As the war enters its fourth year, events have shattered Bush's last ex post facto rationalization for war: the liberation of Iraq.
"Our quarrel was not with you, the people of Iraq, but rather with your leadership, and especially with Saddam Hussein."How hollow those words sound now when at the beginning of the war's fourth year, there are renewed calls to pull out immediately:
--George W. Bush
It would take a U.S. commitment of half a million troops to make a significant difference in fighting the Iraqi insurgency. But we are not in a position to do this ...Not only have we failed to liberate Iraq, we have waged war on the people we were supposed to be liberating. In the context of Abu Ghraib tortures, shock and awe, deprivations and even more recent atrocities, it is hard not to conclude that Iraqis have merely traded one dictator for a worse one. The ordinary Iraqi citizen is worse off under Bush than Saddam. If I were an Iraqi citizen, I might be justified in asking: what difference does it make to me whether I am tortured by Saddam or by Bush?
By definition wars are waged between "armies"; Rumsfeld's recent analogy to World War II is therefore absurd. Bush has been killing the people he had told us he would liberate --some 100,000 civilians according to estimates published in the Washington Post.
'Terrorism is the use, or threat, of action which is violent, damaging or disrupting, and is intended to influence the government or intimidate the public and is for purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause, 'By that definition, George W. Bush has waged a campaign of terrorism against the people of Iraq; we are not safer for his having done so. Rather, the opposite. Al Qaeda had no "base of operation" in Iraq before the U.S. invasion and there is no evidence that Saddam and Bin Laden were ever friendly; they were most certainly not allies. Bin Laden represents radical, theocratic Islam; Saddam was head of a "secular" state. What has been the upside to this colossal human tragedy?
Why do we continue to make the same mistakes? "Terrorism" grew worse over the some two years that Ronald Reagan waged his great "war on terrorism" [See: Total Acts of Terrorism in the U.S.1980-98, America's Response to Terrorism, The Brookings Institute]; the final figures, I am confident, will show that "terrorism" will have likewise grown worse over the period of time in which Bush has waged his great "crusade" against the people of Iraq. We would call a doctor an idiot for telling you to keep on doing whatever it is that's making you sick.
The official Policy of torture at Abu Ghraib [See Seymour Hersh's "Chain of Command"] is symptomatic of the muddled, failed mission in Iraq. Most recently it is learned that torture continued as a matter of policy even after the atrocities were made known to the world. Is there a scintilla of real evidence that anything of any value was learned at any time from any one at Abu Ghraib? I venture to say: NO!U.S. crimes against Iraq are not confined to Abu Ghraib or the casualties of shock and awe, the citizens of Fallujah. For a brief account of the many crimes perpetrated by Bush against the people of Iraq, I refer you to a well documented source: Iraq: A victim of international terrorism A brief excerpt:
Research by Thomas Nagy, professor of Expert Systems at George Washington University, revealed that the US military knew the effects of their attacks on the civilian population and proceeded with them nonetheless. Nagy wrote: "The health effects of the destruction of the water treatment system were not merely foreseeable in principle but were actually foreseen ". (The Progressive, September 2001). As Barton Gellman of the Washington Post wrote at the time quoting a Pentagon source; "People say, 'You didn 't recognize that it was going to have an effect on water or sewage, ' " said the planning officer. "Well, what were we trying to do with [United Nations-approved economic] sanctions -- help out the Iraqi people? No. What we were doing with the attacks on infrastructure was to accelerate the effect of the sanctions. " (Washington Post, 23 June 1991)The author concludes that "...a once prosperous nation is being systematically de-developed, de-skilled and reduced to penury."
Then there is the subject of "insurgency"! Indigenous populations have a right under international law, conventions and treaties to which the U.S. Is signatory to defend --with arms and violence if need be --their homeland. WE are the aggressor in Iraq. Iraqi citizens opposed to the U.S. occupation are not "terrorists" for opposing the attack on their country! William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, said the same thing of American Colonists who dared to oppose King George.
"If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms -- never! Never! Never! "
--William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, Speech to Parliament