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Donny and Dick: Sleepless in DC

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George W. Bush has said many times that the United States "will not step down until the Iraqis step up."

I have just read that two Iraqi brigades have refused to leave their home areas for deployment to Baghdad. In other words, we are attempting to train Iraqi forces who are failing to 'step up.' This implies that we may never be able to 'step down.'

The U.S. troop death count today is above 2,630. Thirteen soldiers have died in the past three days. Sectarian violence continues despite the 'pact of honor' initiated by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and signed by hundreds of Iraqi tribal chiefs, pledging to 'work hard to stop the bloodletting....'

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has just revealed, during a question and answer period with Navy personnel, that he can't sleep for worrying about the success of terrorists groups in 'manipulating the media' here at home.

Are we to believe that terrorists are responsible for the nonstop coverage of the murder of JonBenet Ramsey and, now, the "latest breaking" nothing that John Mark Karr, the mainstream media's obsession for well over a week, is not responsible for the young girl's death after all?

Okay, I know that's not what the sleep-deprived Rumsfeld meant when he made his statement and, then, continued with:

The enemy lies constantly-almost totally without consequence. They portray our cause as a war on Islam when in fact the overwhelming majority of victims of their terrorism have been the thousands and thousand of innocent Muslims-men, women, and children-that they have killed.

So, let's see if I understand this. Rumsfeld is blaming an easily exploited media for feeding us terrorist propaganda.

Actually, Rumsfeld is accurate. It's his identity of 'the enemy' that's wrong. It is the Bush Administration that 'lies constantly.' It is the Bush Administration that is responsible for killing 'thousands and thousands of innocent Muslims-men, women, and children.'

Like his playmate Donny, Vice President Dick Cheney has, also, made the rounds, delivering his one-ply rhetoric that only Republicans can keep us safe. Cheney said, 'We were not in Iraq on September 11, 2001, but the terrorists hit us anyway.' Is this supposed to justify the occupation of Iraq? Let me try and grasp the meaning of Cheney's push for the neoconservative agenda. Okay, I've mulled it over and here's the response: We didn't invade Iraq before 9/11 but, certainly, that was the plan. Just as it has been the strategy to control the resources of the Middle East since the Project for the New American Century was conceived when a very greedy group decided that the lives of all those men, women, and children, as well as the lives of our troops are expendable.

Further, Cheney's logic (?) begs the challenge: Republicans were in office on 9/11, warnings had come across their desks, Bill Clinton, before leaving office, had told the Bush Administration that al-Qaeda was the biggest threat to the United States, and so did Gary Hart and Warren Rudman in their reports on security. In fact, the two former senators, Hart and Rudman, emphasized that terrorists planned to attack on our soil and many lives would be lost.

Ignoring all this evidence and advice, George Bush went on vacation.

And now that that's settled, I'll just add that if Rumsfeld can't sleep at night, it's because he's counting his money instead of sheep. He and his neocon pals can buy some fabulous get-a-way island with all the riches they're reaping from the blood that's been spilled.
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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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