Sunday, September 21, 2003

"Be More Cynical"
Bill Maher quote

I told you so. It is not the most eloquent expression in the English language but it can be very powerful. It sums up my feelings about the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Today it was announced that the American controlled governing council will allow Iraqi industries to be sold to the highest bidder, under the guise of reform of course. Read the bad news here. The proposal even includes some right wing dogma on taxation. No corporation or individual will pay more than 15% of income in taxes. That is a very favorable rate indeed for a multinational corporation. The Republican party platform will be realized in Iraq.

I must give grudging credit to the Bush administration. They very shrewdly cultivated congressional and public support for the war by doing two things. They kept Americans in a state of panic about future terror attacks ( color coded alerts disappeared once fighting started in Iraq) and they emphasized the heinous nature of the Hussein regime.

I never thought for one moment that they actually cared about human rights abuses, but they fooled a great many people by claiming that getting rid of the "evil dictator" was the rationale for going to war. If they had told the truth, that Iraq was seen as a cash cow for those connected with Bush Inc., it would have been a tougher sell, to say the least.

We know the arguments for war, but what were the motivations for supporting it? Some believed that Saddam Hussein was behind the terror attacks of September 11th, recent administration denials not withstanding. Others were motivated by ignorance. We had to get back at them, the Arabs. Apparently any Arabs would do. Others believed the lies told about weapons of mass destruction.

We can't forget that most Americans want to give their president the benefit of the doubt. They don't want to think he is a lying, fanatical, extremist bent on world domination. Then of course, there is stupidity. There are a lot of very stupid people in our country. If they hear something more than a few times they believe it must be true. If the president says month after month that we need regime change then by golly we must have regime change.

At times like these I wonder about the old adage, "Ignorance is bliss." I could be watching the red carpet entrance of celebrities at the Emmy awards like everyone else in the country. But instead I am sitting at my computer typing away in a white hot fury.

I always thought that Bush represented the very worst aspects of American culture, i.e. ignorance and callousness about the rest of the world and a belief that the Untied States is superior to every other nation. As he said in one of his deceptively simple statements, "You are either with us or against us." The French are our enemies and the Dixie Chicks have to shut up. I shouldn't be over wrought. Bush has done me a favor. He has made the case for me.

From the start of this ill fated effort I was convinced that the Arab and Muslim world would hate us even more if we invaded Iraq. We don't even pretend to care about their opinions or concerns. The right wing have been very smug because there have been no terror attacks since 9/11 two years ago. I think we all need to remember that eight years went by between attacks on the World Trade Center. We shouldn't be too sure of ourselves because of a two year lull. I get the feeling that Osama is along range planning sort of guy.

We have now lived up to the very worst expectations that the world has of us and there is going to be hell to pay. Sadly, the neocon geniuses who got us into this mess will not be the ones to pay the price. Working class sons and daughters are risking life and limb in Iraq. And to add insult to injury, the military even charges them for food when they are wounded.

Let us all make a pact to speak against this theft of Iraqi wealth. Write or call your congressional representatives, write a letter to the editor of your local paper. I marched against this war to let the world know that all Americans are not unfeeling or stupid. Remember, silence is consent.