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Paying for Bush's Fear in Iraq

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Message Ron Fullwood

"The worst to be feared and the best to be expected can be simply stated. The worst is atomic war. The best would be this: a life of perpetual fear and tension; a burden of arms draining the wealth and the labor of all peoples; a wasting of strength that defies the American system . . . or any system to achieve true abundance and happiness for the peoples of this earth." --Eisenhower

Bush is afraid. He's scared that the Iraqis he's directed our troops to kill and detain for almost four years will "follow us home" if he stops our soldiers from killing and detaining them. Tuesday, Bush went back to his petty pulpit to warn Americans about the effects of the disaster he's fostered and deepened with his illegal invasion and oppressive occupation. In the most sneering and snide fashion he could manage in his fear, he warned Americans that he intends to blame those who are insisting he pull our vulnerable troops away from Iraq for every one of his unmitigated failures.

Bush told members of his American Legion audience that Congress has a responsibility to fund our 'war fighters'. In his diatribe, he demanded that Congress give him the money he's requested in his 'emergency' supplemental budget request "without strings" to continue his sacrifice of our soldiers to defend his crumbled puppet regime. Our soldiers are defending what he called, a "government under constant siege," as they hunker down in little forts erected in the middle of what he described as "daily sectarian violence and reprisals" which he claims is "incited by al-Qaeda.."

"If American forces were to step back from Baghdad now, before it is more secure, the scale and scope of attacks would increase and the intensity would increase," Bush warned. "A contagion of violence could spill out across the entire country, and in time, the entire region. The enemy would emerge from the chaos emboldened, with new safe havens and new recruits and new resources and an even greater determination to harm America," he said.

It's made no impact at all on Bush that it is his own diversion from the "hunt" for the al-Qaeda members who he accused in 2001 of the 9-11 attacks on our nation to invade and occupy Iraq is the only reason some Iraqis were inspired to take on the moniker of the terrorist organization. Bush complained in his speech that a withdrawal from Iraq would provide "new safe havens and new recruits" for al-Qaeda, but he ignored the clear effects reported by his own intelligence agencies of his own blustering militarism in Iraq on the fostering of the militarized resistance to his junta, and in compelling others to violence in defense of basic prerogatives of liberty and self-determination which he disregards as mere obstacles to his attempts to consolidate power.

Bush again elevated the specter of bin-Laden in an attempt to make Americans as afraid as he is, by repeating the calculated taunts of the terrorist leader which were clearly meant to keep Bush bogged down in Iraq instead of devoting the bulk of our nation's defenses to Afghanistan, or Pakistan, where the rebel leader and his associates have found "safe haven" for the five years since the attacks. Instead of listening to the American people, who voted in the last election to replace the congressional enablers who were keeping our troops in Iraq with folks pledged to bring them home, Bush is listening to al-Qaeda.

"Hear the words of bin Laden," Bush said, as he repeated the terrorist's ridiculous claim that our exit would mean some victory for his cynical cause. No matter that it was the terrorist's plan all along to draw America into a war against Muslims to compel others in the region to defense of his campaign against the U.S. presence and influence in the region.

No matter that every day that he continues his occupation, and every resource of nation's defense that he pours into Iraq is a further step away from capturing the suspects who are the central subjects of the authorization to use force that Congress approved; and which Bush uses to justify every instance of his imperious grab for power as he turns his back on the laws of the nation and on the will of the American people.

It's really no matter to Bush that he's berating Congress for shortchanging the soldiers who he, himself, has stretched to the breaking point by ordering historic, repeated deployments to Iraq which have reached deep into the core of our nation's reserve forces and disrupted the entire chain of our military, to prosecute his cynical occupation.

It's really no consequence to Bush that he's ignored the fates of the killed and wounded soldiers he's used to prosecute his cynical invasion and occupation; who he uses as props every Veterans Day and Thanksgiving without releasing them from his political indenture. He praises them as patriots, but he sacrifices them as political fodder for his cynical campaign against his Democratic rivals in the U.S. Congress.

He wants us to equate the money he's squandered in Iraq - and the money he wants Congress to provide under the cynical heading of his Iraq 'emergency' supplemental request - with "funding our war fighters," but it's clear from incidents like the neglect and squalor at Walter Reed and other veteran care institutions around the nation that there is a core disregard for the well-being of our nation's defenders which makes a lie of Bush's vain praise for their efforts and sacrifices.

Bush has no credibility at all in complaining about "strings" that Congress wants to attach to his escalating drive forward in Iraq. He's pushed past the will of the American people since day-one, and he's just as determined to roll over those same heightened concerns as he grabs for more money and tries to duck the check of our legislature on his wanton militarism.

It was revealed last month that Bush's proposed war budget includes many high-cost weapons that won't reach any battlefield for years. There's a request for a dozen F/A-18 fighter jets; 22 new C-130J Hercules cargo planes; seven new V-22 Osprey transport aircraft; six copies of a new plane called the Growler; and $74 million for "design, development, integration, and testing" of an unmanned spy plane.

The Defense Contract Audit Agency found overpricing and waste in Iraq contracts amounting to $4.9 billion since 2003. They found $10 billion in overpriced contracts or undocumented costs, more than $2.7 billion attributed to Halliburton. Bush should walk down the hall and ask his vice, Cheney, the ex-Halliburton chief where all of the money went.

Bush needs to start listening to Congress and the American people, and only give bin-Laden credence by resuming his pursuit of the terrorist and his organization in Afghanistan where they've enjoyed safe haven from the bulk of our defenses that the lame-duck dilettante is busy wedging in-between the warring factions in Iraq.

Whether Congress merely turns their backs on Bush's 'emergency' budget request, or revises it to reflect the demands of those who elected them to begin to bring our troops home, Bush needs to recognize their action as more than a political ploy by the opposition party. Whatever rebuke manages to broach the continued obstruction of his republican enablers in Congress and reach his desk will be the first valid admonition of his occupation that he's been presented with since he invaded Iraq which directs him to pull back from the manufactured mandate he's assumed from the original, defunct resolution.

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Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
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