What a sad, sorry lot Americans have become. Lied into a bloody, destabilizing military assault on Iraq by an administration which likens their oppression to liberty and freedom, Americans are being made to endure yet another display of puffery and ignorance from Bush as he attempts to portray his bloody bungling as a defense of an 'emerging democracy' in Iraq and a defense against al-Qaeda imitators he's 'fostered' and 'fueled' into existence.
In Veterans Day remarks at the National Fallen Soldiers Memorial in Waco, Texas, Bush cast his anti-democratic invasion, overthrow, and occupation of Iraq as a blow to tyranny and a liberation of Iraqis from 'oppression.' Yet, there really isn't anyone in the Bush administration who's associated with his contrived mission in Iraq who actually believes that true expressions of democracy or liberty should be allowed to flourish outside of the increasingly autocratic rule of the U.S. installed and enabled Iraqi central government.
For that matter, there isn't anyone in the administration who believes that instigations of our own nation's democracy should take precedence over Bush's manufactured 'war on terror.' It's a revealing measure of the hollowness of his posturing to hear Bush speak of the alleged perpetrators of the 9-11 killings six years ago (that he's let run free in Afghanistan/Pakistan while our forces are distracted in Iraq) as 'enemies' poised and ready to strike again, at the same time he's boasting of fighting them in 'foreign lands' so that we don't have to 'face them in our own land.'
"By spreading the hope of liberty to nations that have not known it, our troops are helping to defeat the ideology of the terrorists -- and secure a future of peace for generations to come," Bush told veterans gathered to hear him speak.
There is no comfort at all for our nation's defenders in Bush's notion of 'liberty' and 'freedom' that he's demonstrated in Iraq. There is no functioning government there which reflects his strident claim that our military is defending democracy, emerging or established. In fact, the U.S.-assisted military oppression of Sunnis opposed to the new regime by the Shiite- dominated Maliki government is the clearest reflection his hypocrisy.
The Pentagon's new strategy of arming Sunnis who declare their intention to aid the administration in the battle they claim to be waging against the al-Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan/Pakistan -- fought, surreptitiously (and opportunistically) waged against the resistance to their imposed regime in Iraq -- will, predictably, lead to an escalation of the sectarian violence Bush invasion fostered with its removal of Saddam; perpetuating the civil war and quashing any chance for the reconciliation Bush claims our troops are there to inspire into being.
Apparently bored with the Iran-friendly, Syria-friendly Maliki regime they enabled into power and assumed authority, the Bush administration has taken to enlisting Iraqis (who may well have been operating against the new government) into band of vigilantes who pledge to fight Bush's al-Qaeda phantom in Iraq in exchange for arms and money. The military calls their new Iraqi mercenaries, 'Concerned Citizens.'
Already, the Maliki regime is protesting the new U.S. strategy of arming each side in the sectarian struggle for power, influence, resources and territory against each other. "It's just a way to get arms, and to be a legalized security force to be able to stand against Shia militias and to prevent the Iraqi army and police from entering their areas," a senior Sunni sheikh who has joined up with "Ameriya Knights" (as they are affectionately called by supporters) was quoted in the Guardian.
In effect, the administration is intent on arming Iraqis against each other, and, eventually, against the very regime our soldiers fought and died to erect and defend -- all done with the greatest cynicism in the name of fighting the al-Qaeda terrorists the administration and their strongman in Pakistan have allowed safe haven for six years.
In Pakistan, Bush has pronounced himself "satisfied" with Dictator Musharraf's promises to 'remove his uniform' and allow the elections scheduled for January he's suspended, to proceed unabated. Declaring that Pakistan's entrenched dictatorship is "on the path to democracy," Bush is determined to continue his support of anyone who agrees to go along with his made-up 'terror war". It doesn't matter a wit to Bush if those anti-democratic leaders he aligns with pose a more pernicious threat to liberty, freedom, and democracy than any rogue terrorist with a bomb and a target. Musharraf is certainly satisfied with his receipt of our tax-dollars Bush has so obligingly provided to the dictator, to the tune of $200 million annually and $100 million a month to his military -- much of the money spent by Musharraf on high price weapons systems.
If America is to regain any moral standing it once had as a beacon of liberty and freedom, it will have to be shed of its greatest threat to its own democracy. There is no mission Bush can call on the new generation of military recruits to fight and defend which is outside cleaning up his own bungling messes abroad. There is no actual promise to defend and preserve the values our nation's veterans have fought and bled for in any of Bush's destabilizing military aggressions; only a promise of more destabilizing bluster and blunder.
Instead of applauding Bush in his ignorance, veterans who actually know firsthand, the value of freedom and liberty (measured against Bush's hollow, duplicitous bleating), should mass together against any further mockery of those sentiments which they fought so valiantly for, long ago, when tyrants and dictators weren't treated as paid mercenaries in support of some narrow political agenda conjured-up by autocrats who profess to be our democratic leaders.