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Iraq - Then and Now

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Message John Pagoda
The other day, the empire reflected on the day it unleashed the shock and awe of the world’s only military super against a third world power crippled by a swift and crushing defeat during the first Gulf War which had somehow become a threat to the region and to the world when George Bush was selected president.

Corporate media produced live pictures of precision guided missiles flashing above a shaking earth but the death of human life wasn’t for public consumption. The statue of Sadam being taken down provided a symbol of overthrowing a tyrant to conceal the substance that the event was staged for the political purposes of another tyrant.

The graphics started with the number of Americans who died (circa 3200) but you won’t see one flag draped coffin coming home in any photo flashbacks. The number o f Americans wounded are over 24,000 but there weren’t any pictures of those returning veterans trying to exist in the streets back in the homeland or in Walter Reed’s infamous Bldg 18, and a conservative estimate of 60,000 a numberless number of nameless, faceless Iraqi men, women, and children liberated from life itself.

Sound bites included George Bush’s speech to the nation announcing his decision to wage war on a nation that he considered to be a part of the terrorist threat that created 9/11 and claiming today that if we don’t stay the course on the way forward Iraq will become a breeding grounds for terrorists – the same terrorists responsible for 9/11. The same disproved connection he claims never to have made – then or now.

The public wasn’t reminded that we would be greeted as liberators or that the war would pay for itself and the public damn sure wasn’t going to be reminded that the war is costing tax payers two billion dollars a week to wage begging the question “where is the money coming from and who is the money going to?”

World wide demonstrations in 2002 and early 2003 against a preemptive strike were not shown and were not mentioned. Those who knew the war was based on a series of fabrications, intentional deceit and outright lies weren’t heard then and they weren’t going to be heard now.

The constant bombardment on television, radio, and printed page compelled me wonder if we as a people have become so conditioned by corporate media that we are able to so easily ignore the reality that our invasion of the sovereign territory of Iraq four years ago was a crime against peace and a crime against humanity – international crimes which our country helped define to charge Nazi Germany for its predatory foreign policy of preemptive strike they were defeated by “the greatest generation” so we are told.

Indeed that reality was never mentioned by the corporate media in their well crafted self serving montage of these last four years of war in Iraq to shape public perception that ignores the fact that no one was or is held responsible and no one was or is held accountable for a war that was immoral, unjust, and illegal – then and now.

Blaming the nebulous faulty and/or cherry picked intelligence is longer an issue because the detached from reality Bush Administration after all has moved on as if the past has no connection to the present nor the present to the future and the press follows forgetting to remind us that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it - then and now.

While we may very well have convinced ourselves that it’s not a war crime when we commit it the rest of the known world still sees the blood that remains on our hands from the carnage we exported to the cradle of civilization four years ago. Then and now it is truth which shall set us free from the crisis in Iraq. We can choose to pursue it or prefer to ignore it but at the end of the day the consequences will be ours.
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The author is the Contributing Editor of Rabble Rouser
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