I was watching a BBC broadcast about the protests marking the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq and came to the conclusion that the American public either has ADD or someone, maybe Dick Cheney, is spiking the public drinking water supply with LSD. I found myself becoming infuriated with the fact that the American people actually think the "war is going pretty well right now." Those were the reporter's exact words. I made it a point to write them down because I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The propaganda about the "surge" working is apparently being bought lock, stock and barrel. I'm trying to understand how this administration could possibly have earned this level of trust, particularly since everything about this war is based on outright lies.
The lies are a matter of public record. A complete summary of the 935 lies manufactured by the Bush administration to justify the Iraq war, which of our public officials told them and when they were told can be seen at www.publicintegrity.org. Let there be absolutely no mistake here. What was done is both illegal and impeachable.
George Bush looked the American people and Congress in the eye and lied and his minions, even Colin Powell, followed suit. They lied about weapons of mass destruction. They lied about finding a bio-weapons lab. They lied about Iraq trying to purchase yellowcake uranium from Niger. They lied about Saddam Hussein being involved in the 9-11 terrorist attacks. They continue to lie about this war. So, please, tell me again why Americans should believe one word out of our commander-in-chief's mouth about the surge working. However, beyond the "illegal" aspect, I am ashamed that the American people could buy into a war that is so immoral on so many fronts.
Americans talk about Iraq like it's nothing more than a mass of land. It isn't. It's a country made up of people just as is America. Until we invaded their country, Iraqis got up every day, went to work and took care of their families.
While we sat glued to our television sets and reveled in the "shock and awe" of America's military might, innocent men, women and children were dying for absolutely no good reason at all.
More than a million Iraqis have died in this war, and at least two million have been displaced.
Of course, Americans can assuage themselves by buying into the lie that the "surge" has resulted in decreased violence. While it's true that there were fewer deaths in January (20 deaths a day due to political violence), there were increases in February (29 deaths a day) and March (39 deaths a day). While Dick Cheney was spinning his rosy view of the war during his unannounced visit to Iraq earlier this week, one of the deadliest days ever was unfolding in Karbala, where a suicide bombing killed 50 people and injured dozens more. The so-called "surge" is going in the opposite direction of what the administration wants you to believe.
Of course, it's easy for Americans to look casually at war. We've never had a war on our own soil. We've not been displaced. We've not had a first-hand look at the violence of war and the innocent lives lost for the missteps our leaders take. We don't worry about going to the market to buy food and perhaps dying in a roadside bombing. Yes, we look at images on a television, but we really only see what the perpetrators want us to see and we can turn it off any time we want. American culture glorifies and romanticizes war. It rarely focuses on its destructive effects. And while our president referred to the 9-11 terrorists attacks as being "at war," what happened in New York City on September 11, 2001 pales in comparison to what has been going on in Iraq for the past five years.
Lest I'm accused of being a terrorist sympathizer or an unpatriotic citizen, I have not forgotten that we are approaching 4,000 American deaths in Iraq for a war that has had absolutely nothing to do with protecting our nation from attack. This senseless war is not about fighting for freedom or protecting the American way of life. It is not about avenging the terror attacks of 9-11. While some Americans seem to find comfort in the belief that we are fighting the good fight, the facts are that Iraq was not involved in the terrorists attacks and that America was never threatened or in imminent danger from Iraq. Even one American soldier's death in Iraq would be too high a price to pay for this unjustifiable war.
President Bush has played the "God-is-on-our-side" card time and time again when justifying the invasion of Iraq, painting himself as God's own freedom warrior. Whether you're Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or Protestant, the notion that any "god" would approve of the death and destruction and the not-so-holy-acts of torture and abuse going on in Iraq is repugnant. It is the most immoral position of all for our born-again president to take. And Americans who stand side-by-side with President Bush on the issue of Iraq should take another hard look and reconsider. It is time for Americans to look beyond their own comfort zone, make the Iraq war an election issue again, and demand an end to it.