No WMDs, No Problem
Impeachment isn't good enough for this gang.
- January 20, 2005
The World This Week
They called off the search for those wily weapons of mass destruction in Iraq last week. "They" are the people the Bush Administration sent out in the field to play a high stakes and expensive ($1 billion) game of charades with the American people.
The WMD search was never really serious; it was like O.J. Simpson's search for the person who murdered his wife -- a diversionary tactic. More to the point, the WMD search was part of George W's comedy routine. You know, the one where he pretends to look under his desk, out the window, behind the file cabinet ... then tells an audience of gutless yellow journalists "they gotta be around here somewhere!" (yes, this actually happened at the National Press Club), and we all die laughing.
"We," meaning anyone with a functioning brain who opposed this terrible war, knew there were no WMDs. We believed Hans Blix and Scott Ritter long before Bush's propagandists, led by the New York Times ' Judith Miller, started laying down their WMD diversions. Miller's source for the WMD claim was Ahmad Chalabi, the Bernie Kerik of the Middle East. We preferred to trust Ritter, a decorated U.S. Marine and super-patriot who worked for the U.N. inspection team from 1991 to 1998. He, like Blix, repeatedly claimed that 90 to 95 percent of Saddam's WMDs were destroyed and practically got on his knees and begged the U.S. government not to invade Iraq. Ritter was way too kind to Bush in his estimates; zero WMDs were found in Iraq, not even the ones the Bushes probably planted there.
We knew that Iraq presented no imminent threat to the U.S. We knew Iraq had no connection to 9/11; 15 of the 18 attackers that day were Saudi; none were Iraqi. And yet, we have been sending our sons and daughters to die for Bush's Iraqi diversion. We number in the tens of millions, but we don't matter. "They," the war criminals who opened this Pain-dora's Box in the Middle East, outvoted us, just as the Supreme Court outvoted us in 2000, 5 to 45 million.
Now that all the justifications for the war in Iraq -- WMDs, threat, connection to 9/11 -- have proven lies, it isn't up to "we" to step forward. "They" already know how "we" feel. It is up to "you" to do that -- "you," who backed this guy, "you," who shouted us down, called us unpatriotic, keyed our cars, made anonymous threatening phone calls and whispered vile lies about us to our communities. You broke it, you bought it. Don't come looking to us for any hugs just because you finally figured out that the "neos" really were the "cons" we told they were two years ago.
Are "you" going to be honest about this, take some moral inventory, and admit you have been duped by some really dangerous people? Or are you going to say, like the President, "It doesn't matter"?
If it's the former, that's the first step toward healing the nation's wounds and reclaiming what's left of our democracy.
If it's the latter, I hope you burn slowly and forever in hell.
When Barbara Walters asked Bush last week if the war in Iraq was worth it, even though no WMDs were found, he responded, "Oh, absolutely" the way someone might respond were they asked at a cocktail party, "Would you care for another pretzel?"
Think about it: We've invaded a country in the heart of the 1.1-billion-strong Muslim world under false pretenses, laid waste to their cities, tortured their people, allowed their cultural treasures to be looted, killed more than 100,000 civilians (that's the confirmed number; it's likely twice or thrice that), and stolen their oil, the one cash crop they have, taunting them every step of the way. And the man responsible says "Oh, absolutely," it was worth it.
No matter what happens with the Iraqi elections on Jan. 30 -- and I anticipate chaos and bloodshed -- the justifications and excuses for this war were lies. The rest of the world knows this. Why don't we?
Another thing you may not know, because it was reported by the foreign press: 5,500 U.S. soldiers have already deserted, either going permanently AWOL or seeking asylum in Canada, Mexico or anywhere that will have them. Maybe these soldiers figured it out before the rest of you. Maybe they've seen one too many stories like the following, from last week: A U.S. warplane dropped a 500-pound bomb on the wrong house in Mosul. The man who owned the house said the bomb killed 14 people; an AP photographer on the scene confirmed the number and said seven of the victims were children. The U.S. military admitted to dropping the bomb, and that it hit the wrong house, but they insist that only five people were killed.
Oh, absolutely. It was worth it.
the valley advocate
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