conservative Le Figaro headlined
White House pleas for help as 'Saving
Toronto, Canada, Sunday, September 14,
crusade against 'terrorism'
and his handlers are not protecting
Americans by pursuing the occupation of
Iraq and Afghanistan, they are
protecting their own political
NEW YORK -- "If at
first you don't succeed, lie and lie
again" seems to be the watchword of the
floundering Bush administration. First, it
was the ultimate evils, bin Laden
and Mullah Omar. When they couldn't
be found, evil forces "that hate our
freedoms." Then Saddam's nuclear weapons,
anthrax, mustard, and nerve gas, "drones
of death," mobile germ labs, and links to
Now, in the latest change of sales
pitch, the president insists his war on
terrorism equals Iraq.
According to Bushthink, any Iraqi
opposing U.S. occupying forces is a
"terrorist." Ergo, growing Iraqi
nationalist resistance will inevitably
mean Bush's signature "war on
terrorism" will be a growth industry. Like
the gigantic Enron swindle, it's a huge
bubble, inflated by false claims and
Straining credulity even farther, the
president claimed that waging war in Iraq
and Afghanistan would spare America from
another 9/11 that might otherwise happen
at any moment - though Iraq had nothing to
do with 9/11.
It was the duty of the world community,
Bush proclaimed, to "share the burden of
occupation" of Iraq and Afghanistan -
which the White House finally admitted
will total at least $166 billion US for
this year and next, an astronomical sum
that could buy 39 nuclear-powered aircraft
carriers. By the end of 2004, Bush's wars
could amount to 30% of the total cost of
the equally misbegotten 17-year Vietnam
By cleverly rebranding the invasion of
Iraq as the essential part of his crusade
against terrorism, Bush and his handlers
were clearly counting on their core
supporters in middle America to have short
memories and a weak grasp of foreign
geography and nomenclature.
probably right: recent polls confirm
2/3 of confused Americans still believe
the nonsense, promoted by the White
House and neo-conservatives, that Iraq
was behind the 9/11 attacks.
This example of how the White House
shamelessly exploited the confusion and
ignorance of many Americans about world
affairs recalls another famous quote.
Reich Marshall Hermann Goering at
the Nuremberg trial: "The people can
always be brought to the bidding of
leaders. That is easy. All you have to do
is tell them they are being attacked, and
denounce the peacemakers for lack of
patriotism and exposing the country to
danger. It works the same in any country."
In an astounding about-face, the Bush
administration is now begging "old"
Europe, led by those "cheese-eating
surrender monkeys" - as Bush's
know-nothing supporters called France -
and the "irrelevant" UN to send troops and
money to Iraq. In Europe, so long abused
and slandered by Bush and his supporters,
the plaintive request was greeted by
France's conservative Le Figaro
headlined White House pleas for help as
"Saving Private Bush."
Congress, terrified of being branded
"unpatriotic," will go along with this
monumental political and economic folly.
While America's economy sags and its
states plunge deep in the red, George Bush
plans to spend in short order almost as
much to wage a hugely expensive colonial
war in chaotic Iraq, as the cost of the
post-WWII Marshall Plan.
Bush and his handlers are not
protecting Americans by pursuing the
occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, they
are protecting their own political skins.
These twin foreign misadventures are a
historic geopolitical, military and
economic blunder. Europeans repeatedly
warned against invading Iraq. So did
genuine Mideast experts, who were
dismissed as pro-Arab or, like this
writer, as "friends of Saddam." The
mushrooming disaster was totally
predictable and avoidable.Absurd
It defies understanding how the many
intelligent men and women in the Bush
administration believed their own absurd
claims about the danger posed by Iraq, and
stuck America in the worst mess since
Vietnam. Mind you, chief "whiz kid"
Robert McNamara, the architect of
the Vietnam disaster, was also noted for
his intellect, as is his heir, Donald
Rumsfeld. "Brilliant" VP Dick
Cheney actually claimed last spring
that Saddam Hussein had nuclear
weapons. In Washington, arrogance and
ignorance too often combined.
Shockingly, Congress's budget office
just reported the U.S. will run short of
troops in Iraq by spring. Almost half of
U.S. Army combat units are tied down in
Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. That's why
Bush is trying to bribe or browbeat
nations like Turkey, India and Pakistan
into sending cannon-fodder troops to Iraq,
and force rich Europe to pay part of the
But asking other nations to "share the
burden" of an unprovoked invasion of
another country takes grand chutzpah.
Aggression is not a burden, it's a crime
under the UN Charter.
administration did not invade Iraq to
perform social work but to grab its
vast oil reserves.
Bush's demand that Third World UN
troops serve under orders of American
officers is a further insult to the United
Nations and will reinforce the belief of
those who attacked its Baghdad HQ that the
organization is merely a cat's paw of
Washington. What Bush should do is declare
victory and bring U.S. troops home. Now.
Save $166 billion and many, many lives.
It's still not too late to climb out of
- Eric can be reached
by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Letters to the
editor should be sent to
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