Among the many whose lives were destroyed in Iraq last week were three college students. These students were killed in the Sadar City neighborhood of Baghdad the night before their graduation. With our own children graduating this week, we Americans can surely see that these deaths, all by themselves, are a horror too great to comprehend.
Like 90% of the deaths in Iraq, they were civilians caught in the wrong place at the wrong time in a violent war that ironically was supposed to be about preventing violence. The insurgents had fled and the students had not. There were soldiers nearby looking for targets. Just soldiers in the field, just doing a miserable job as best they can.
Can’t blame them for doing their best; except, wouldn’t it be awful if they’d been sent to do the wrong thing? And if their leaders sent them, knowing it was the wrong thing to do, wouldn’t that make the leaders seem evil, like greedy destructive tyrants.
Such leaders would also be easy targets. Like Hussein himself was--a puffed up kleptocrat deserving to be toppled. Bush and company are lucky Americans love their country enough that they have a hard time thinking of their own president as evil. We would rather think of just about any other country that way, even whole races of people as evil than doubt our president.
And so, for some Americans, Iraqis have long made for easy targets. Like his son after him would also do, Poppy Bush loved Iraq’s potential as a target so much he rejected Hussein’s 11th hour surrender in favor of 90s style Shock and Awe, way back during Gulf War I. After all why not take on Hussein when Iraq made such a good target.
We attacked that country so hard and so fast folklore claims many of the Iraqi soldiers were killed while fleeing to US invasion. In some cases we just used a bulldozer and buried them as we went. That highway from Kuwait to Baghdad is expected to be a radioactive kill-zone for the next four billion years thanks to our DU artillery. And in the end the US decided not to depose Hussein after all. Remember, Cheney himself laughed off the mere suggestion, saying to do so would make Iraq a “quagmire”?
Guess he forgot.
Then in 2001, while the Towers were still smoking, after our best intelligence assessed the best approach to try and track down Bin Laden in Afghanistan, Donald Rumsfeld waved them off and lamented he didn’t want to attack Afghanistan. There were no clear targets, but there were great targets in Iraq. Even though it was quite clear Iraq had not been involved in 9/11, the Bush team wanted to attack an innocent country because it made a better target than the guilty one.
Then, when they played out all the other convenient explanations of why we were terrorizing the public of an innocent country, after they’d been caught in that public WMD lie 944 times, Bush and company switched to claiming they were there to spread democracy. Which we then compromised by dismantling what remained of the functioning civilian government and the Iraqi military. And here we are five years later and still no end in sight.
Also last week, Bush was again pressing for an extra Middle East war as if we weren’t borrowing money fast enough on the ones we’ve got going; and compared Obama to a Nazi sympathizer. Bush was in the Middle East to honor the 60th celebration of the creation of the Israeli state, which coincides with the Palestinians’ 60th commemoration of the theft of their country to create the Israeli state. As Hamas and other pesky Palestinians refuse to shut up and starve to death in Gaza, the world wonders what Israel will come up with for their final solution to their own ethnic problem.
Meanwhile Bush endorses the Israeli Palestinian pogrom while calling Dems cowards and traitors. And McCain, in his ever-determined effort to impersonate a president, even this one, has endorsed Bush’s position. Considering George’s approval rating, one wonders how a man with as much military experience as McCain could make such a tactical error as to align himself with W.
For some Americans it makes McCain look like an easy target.
--Mikel Weisser is attending the May 27th anti-Bush/McCain Rally in Phoenix to protest their upcoming appearance. He wants you to know you are also invited.