What's All This Then?

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I didn’t start this blog until after the invasion of Iraq had begun, so I don’t have any written record of my feelings during the PR build up that preceded the attack. I do remember feeling conflicted about whether or not the time had come for members of the UN to back up the warnings and sanctions they had imposed on Iraq. It wasn’t just Iraq - at least not in my mind. It was the case that Bush was making - rather persuasively - that if the UN was to mean anything when it came to warning nations of dire consequences when they continued to defy the authority of that world body, at some point it would have to act to impose those consequences.

That problem still exists of course, because - with the exception of the UK which followed our lead as a puppy dog follows its master - the UN didn’t act to impose any consequences. Just us - and for reasons that have long since been discredited.

As the fourth year of our occupation of Iraq begins - and there can be no other word to describe it - the original "war" having been over in a matter of a couple of weeks - as announced by President Bush on May 1, 2003 - support for the adventure is at it’s lowest level, and in my house, the support is at the zero level. We need to turn things over to the Iraqis and re-deploy to Kuwait as a first step to getting our troops back home.

Over the week end, a new phase was launched in the never ending PR battle to portray the situation in Iraq the way the Bush administration wants us to understand it - which of course is that "progress is being made" and similar nonsensical claims about the newest explanation of the adventure. And what is that? Why it’s the third anniversary of our noble quest to free the Iraqi people. No more weapons of mass destruction. No more Al Qaida. No more fighting the terrorists there so that we don’t have to fight them here.

It’s just the long and arduous task for which our young men and women are sacrificing life and limb in the thousands - to "free" the people of a nation thousands of miles away and having no connection to us other than as a supplier of the oil that makes the gasoline that enables us to travel the kind of highways that the Iraqi people wished they had. Or maybe not. Maybe they were happy living the Iraqi way of life - what ever that might be.

As I listen to all of the Bush/Cheney/Runsfeld et al spin, I am reminded of our spinning Iraqi doppleganger from the early days of the invasion, Baghdad Bob - speaking of resistance and even victory while our forces were blocks away. "Pay no attention to those tanks in your neighborhood." Or that man behind the curtain if you’d prefer it in Wizard of Oz terminology. It was great fodder for the late night comedians as is our own version of Baghdad Bob to this day. In particular on Comedy Central’s Daily Show.

Perhaps an even better example in microcosmic terms would be the battle reports being fed to the Egyptian population during the six day war. It seems that the Israelis were being repelled and vanquished - up until some time on the sixth day that is - when the entire Sinai Peninsula was in Israeli hands.

It’s almost sickening to hear our President repeat the time worn garbage that the right wing ranters and ravers have been using almost from day one of this debacle - that the good news out of Iraq is not being reported - only the violence. The "good" news being that our troops are building schools or soccer fields or helping to open hospitals or handing out candy to kids.

Really Mr. President? Is that what we sent our highly trained fighting men and women to Iraq to die for? To bomb some schools into the dust and then help re-build them? I prefer to get news of what is happening in Iraq from the likes of the lady who runs the riverbend blog out of Baghdad. And by the way, she has a comment about schools that might interest Mr. Bush or anyone else complaining that the so called "good news" isn’t being reported.

As I noted a few days ago, I’m surprised that the President’s approval rating is as high as it is. How anyone can continue to support or believe this man - or Cheney or Rumsfeld is beyond me. But they’re out there - and what scares me about them is that they can vote. I heard one of them calling in to a radio show the other day that will remain nameless because Jerry Springer is a modest man. This nitwit wanted to explain to Jerry that the main reason we invaded Iraq was to go after suicide bombers. In order to win the "war on terror," we had to find the suicide bombers and kill them before they committed suicide., taking some of us with them. As if they wore signs on their kafiyyehs to identify them as the evil enemy. "I’m a suicide bomber. Catch me if you can!!" Jerry actually let this idiot talk and tried - without success - to reason with him.

I’m on my way to vote in the Illinois primary. I take pleasure in voting, but the thought that this idiot and far too many who think as he does may also be voting - maybe even in my precinct - makes today’s experience just a little less pleasurable. And scary!

That’s the sad thought I carry with me on this sad third anniversary of Mr. Bush’s war.