September 1, 2006

Time for reflection continued

Continued from part one:

They yanked out weapons inspectors, blatantly repeated lies or shaky information at best as if it were rock solid truth, the scarier the better. Cheney whispered grave threats, Rice spoke of mushroom clouds, and the press fell over themselves publishing even more imaginative stories about how terrorists could strike. Hussein, they breathlessly told us, was about to bomb us into the stone age, or wipe us all out with deadly chemicals. "Weapons of Mass Destruction" was so overused that it nearly lost all meaning.

And the major media were willing and enthusiastic participants in this drive to sell a war to the country. They refused to ask questions until it was too late, and acted as if it were their duty to simply repeat White House lies and spin and ignore anyone who questioned it.

The smallest peep of question, the slightest expression of doubt, or even any calls to stop and debate whether the White House plan made sense was instantly met with scorn and accusations of disloyalty, "un-Americanism", treason, or worse. Platoons of right wing pundits, writers, and broadcasters all would receive their blast-faxes daily from the RNC and White House and put out the line of the day, or all attack whomever it was at the moment who even looked like they might be mildly critical of anything Bush wanted to do.

And the American public fell for it all. They were scared, which no one can fault them for, but it's literally criminal the way this administration went to great lengths to lie to them and continue a drumbeat of stories to keep their fear level high with untrue stories, inflated reports of discoveries of plots or WMDs in Iraq, and constant reports of terror threats all around them, mushroom clouds, deadly evil-doers who hated them and wanted to drink their blood, and on and on and on.

It's tragic that more people couldn't see through this at the time.

It's always the case that the government first must dehumanize and vilify a group or nation in order to get the public to support a war. No one wants to go to war. But it's relatively easy to con a country into supporting them.

Just convince them of a looming threat, appeal to nationalism, and you're there.

One historical example is American Indians being portrayed as savage, backward people, primitive, immoral, godless heathens, wild animals, in essence. These distorted and unfair myths were pumped into the public's heads to justify the slaughter of Native Americans so that the elite and others could steal their lands and profit from them. But average people benefited too, by the opening of vast areas of land for farming, ranching, and other purposes.

What the Bush administration has done to this country, and by extension the world, is engage in an even more transparent effort to spread pure lies and propaganda, only on a vastly more sophisticated and massive scale. And it benefits only a miniscule group of people.

We're now told that Muslims are "Islamo-fascists, that they're the modern equivalent of the Nazis, (ridiculous and false. Hussein was a two-bit dictator, Hitler was a truly evil threat) and various other evil-doers of the past. Bush is now going so far as pitching the entire fiasco as a clash of civilizations, as if calling for a sort of global holy war.

And this is only the latest in a long series of constantly changing justifications and efforts to desperately cling to popular support for a war waged for the benefit of only a relative few, at the cost of thousands if not millions of lives taken and disrupted forever, and hundreds of billions of the countries wealth.

This is insane.

The fact that this country and it's citizens have fallen for this stuff is embarrassing and frightening. All one has to do is listen to any call-in show to hear the literally crazy things that people firmly believe, having been fed the disinformation by the massive right wing noise machine.

A recent poll showed that a majority of people still believe that there was some connection between Iraq and the attacks of 9-11, even though that myth is so patently false that even Bush himself has said there was no connection on more than one occasion.

NOTHING they peddled in the run up to the invasion has turned out to be true. They lied and worse yet, KNEW they were lying. They didn't care. In their minds, we're all idiots, and sadly, we largely proved them right.

We've been sold a pack of lies, and thousands have died as a result.

They sold this war like an ad agency rolling out a campaign to introduce a new laundry detergent.

And did their fervent desire to invade Iraq and topple Hussein come from a desire to do what was best for the American people?

Did they do it as a legitimate response to those who attacked our country 5 years ago?

No, and no.

That much is clear to all but the most deluded and misinformed.

They didn't invade Iraq out of any need to protect us from harm. Neither did the invasion make the U.S. more secure or safer in any way.

Iraq posed NO threat to this country, and Hussein hated bin Laden and all Islamic radicals. Iraq was a secular government, and no friend to Islamic fundamentalists.
And all the trumped up WMD threat was a lie, just as so many inspectors, intelligence agencies, and others tried to tell us.

Their attempt to gin up some threat from Iraq has been shown to have been nothing but theatre. Cheap and insulting propaganda shoved down a gullible, ignorant and frightened public's throats to scare them into supporting their power grab in the mid-east.

Was it a legitimate response to the attacks of 9-11 or even a prudent effort to combat "terror"?

Again, the facts show that this too is a not the case.

Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11, no matter how much Bush and Cheney and other nit-wits continue to mention them in the same sentence and infer a connection. They're still doing it to this day.

And Iraq is not some battlefield in the "war on terror", as they try to pound into our heads. It's an incubator for terror precisely because we're there.

The only reason al Quada and bin Laden attacked us in the first place was because we had troops stationed on Arab soil in Saudi Arabia. It's not out of some Muslim vs Christian holy war, and it's certainly not because they "hate freedom", perhaps one of the most insulting of the dozens of marketing slogans Bush has constantly pushed on us, as if we're stupid enough to believe it. (and remarkably, many people apparently do)

Bush says he will stay the course until the "war" on terror is won. But it's an endless war without the possibility of winning. Because due to Bush and his neo-con buddies, we've already lost the "war". Iraq and bin Laden are the only one's who've benefited and come out ahead in all this, except of course all the contractors who've extracted literally billions in profits from the entire fiasco.

The only sane recourse is to cut our losses, and stop compounding the damage already done. In other words, Bush has dug us deep into a hole, and the first thing to do is stop digging. Yet Bush stubbornly continues to push on with no plan whatsoever for the future of Iraq, blithely sacrificing servicemen and women on a daily basis because he simply can't admit a mistake and fears political damage.

Bush invaded Iraq for revenge, oil, profits for his backers, and to establish a U.S. base in the region to protect U.S. business interests. The rest of the constantly evolving rationales we've been sold are after the fact attempts to make it seem as if they had a more lofty purpose for this obvious mistake. I can't count the number of times these "reasons" for why we're in Iraq have changed after each one has shown to be utterly false and based on lies.

And the sad part is that there were millions of Americans who could tell it was a mistake on a global scale BEFORE we invaded. Yet too many were still quaking in their boots and more than willing to agree to anything as long as we thought it would keep us "safe".

Now we're in Iraq. And al Qaida and others are holding us responsible for the atrocities we continue to perpetuate. They feel citizens of the U.S. are fair game because we supported Bush's little adventures.

In one respect, they're correct. We should feel responsible, and we should examine why more people didn't stand up in opposition when it was clear that we were being stampeded into an ill-conceived, illegal, unprecedented, and disastrous war.

In one sense, the blood of thousands of innocent people, dozens of times larger than the number killed on 9-11, are on our hands. Because we were not informed, were far too willing to trust our government, and utterly failed in our civic duty by clinging to the belief that a president can do no wrong and would never mislead us.

The war in Iraq is not in our interests. It does not keep us "safe" nor does it increase our security. It increases the likelihood of terror attacks against us and serves as a massive recruiting tool ensuring that millions more terrorists are being created and generations of those whose family members are murdered will perpetuate the hatred towards us. It's destroyed in a remarkably brief time the admiration, respect, and world solidarity we enjoyed around the globe in the days after 9-11.

And what sticks out is that no one has been held accountable for any of this. Investigations into how 9-11 occurred and what could have been done have been blocked, stymied, and obstructed by the White House. There was a more extensive investigation and we learned more about why Pan Am flight 800 went down than we have about the worse attack on U.S. soil in history.

Paul Wolfowitz, one of the prime architects of the invasion is now president of the World Bank. George Tenet, who failed miserably at the CIA and was responsible for waving off attacking bin Laden during Clinton's administration as well as the utter failure of intelligence in the run up to the Iraq invasion, gets a presidential medal of freedom. Condi Rice, who presided over the worst failure of U.S. security and defense in it's history as head of the National Security Council on 9-11, despite being fully and extensively briefed on bin Laden and the impending threat he posed by outgoing Clinton officials and having a intelligence memo entitled "Bin Laden determined to strike in the U.S." place in her hands prior to 9-11 and doing absolutely nothing about it, is promoted to Secretary of State and mentioned as a possible presidential candidate.

And Bush can't think of anything he's done wrong, other than perhaps saying "Bring 'em on". Cheney is still out lying through his teeth, as he did on Meet the Press only yesterday. And Republicans are still refusing to perform any investigative or oversight functions on this administration. (another reason it's in the best interests of the country to elect a Dem majority in congress.)

We deserve better.

And it's far past time for people to stand up, speak up, and do something to demand and ensure an end to this disastrous administration.


At 9/11/2006 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the only blog on this subject that made sense. The other disgusting part of this is that this administration will continue to promote the fear and memory of this horrible day right up until the day after the November elections. And lots of people will be drawn in by it! I can not believe the things this administration has gotten away with.


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