The Cost of Believing in Lies
Bush's strategy for invading Iraq (Apr 03)
I chose not to publish an article last month to avoid any appearance to "lending encouragement to the enemy" during a time of war. Now that that issue is no longer relevant, it's time to take a look at what actually happened regarding that war from the point of view of seeking the truth relative to God commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves (without restrictions).
Last fall, the Bush Administration succeeded in convincing a majority of our elected representatives in both Houses of Congress that the best way to avoid an actual war in Iraq was to "speak with one voice" by authorizing him to use a credible threat of military force to compel Iraq to accept a resumption of United Nations inspections to find Iraq's alleged "weapons of mass destruction." However, as the situation progressed from there, it became clear to many of us that the Bush Administration planned to launch a regime-changing invasion of Iraq regardless of anything that either Saddam Hussein's regime or the United Nations could possibly have done to avoid it. Bush's "weapons of mass destruction" allegations were nothing more than a cover to help "morally justify" what his Administration planned to do anyway. When it became apparent that the UN inspection teams were unlikely to find any weapons of mass destruction, members of the Bush Administration revised their cover explanation by emphasizing other excuses (like "liberating the Iraqi people") in order to morally justify their planned invasion. Evidently, the Bush Administration figured:
1. That they could at least temporarily silence their critics by "winning" such a war in a relatively short period of time, provided they could do so without (apparently) incurring a large number of American casualties and by diverting attention away from the large number of Iraqi casualties that would be caused by their war.
As it turned out, our military planners successfully devised and boldly executed an invasion plan based on an assumption that Iraq's military planners and field-level commanders were extraordinarily incompetent (an assumption proved to be correct). The actual fighting took a bit longer than many war advocates had predicted, but the ability of our forces to topple Saddam's regime in a relatively short amount of time came as no surprise to either the Bush Administration or its critics. The only surprise was that obvious casualties among American forces turned out to be lower than expected. However, the American casualty figures released by the Bush Administration may in fact be misleading. During the course of that war, tens of thousands of our troops are likely to have inhaled radioactive particles of depleted uranium that were blasted into the atmosphere by our own exploding depleted uranium shells and then circulated further by Iraq's notorious dust storms. Although the Bush Administration denies it, the debilitating health effects caused by depleted uranium dust have been observed and documented by non-governmental agencies working in Iraq following our war there in 1991. This time again, as expected, members of the Bush Administration has been "playing down" the actual number Iraqi casualties caused by their war.
2. That most Americans would "rally around the President" during the war, even if it failed to achieve many of its purported objectives, because to do otherwise would "jeopardize our troops in the field."
This effect is easily predictable; it's one of the reasons the President Bush has been striving to keep America in a near constant state of war in order to maintain political popularity. Such tactics not only tend to "quell the critics", they also help to divert attention away for other problems created by his policies and actions. However, as the Argentine generals who launched an invasion of the Falkland Islands for such reasons discovered, tactics like that can often backfire in unexpected and highly lethal ways. If Iraq actually did posses weapons of mass destruction, then it is quite possible that many of those weapons are now be in the hands of international terrorist organizations (accompanied by former Bath-party technicians to help maintain them). And, as anyone who follows the news reports from Korea can see, the Bush Administration's attempt to create an additional security crisis in the Far East by cutting off oil shipments to North Korea has not only compelled the North Koreans to become a "nuclear power" in order to defend themselves, it has also inspired them to seriously consider exporting nuclear weapons to whoever wants buy them. These are just two examples of the potential dangers created by the Bush Administration's attempts to promote international anarchy for the benefit of their friends in our nation's arms manufacturing industry.
3. That their international "war on terrorism" could succeed, at least temporarily, in preventing any large-scale terrorist retaliation on American soil.
So far, at least, the Bush Administrations "homeland defense" efforts have proven to be surprisingly successful, and I hope they continue to be so. However, as illustrated by the repeated failures of Ariel Sharon's use of such policies and tactics to protect the citizens of Israel from terrorism, this "success" does not appear likely to last.
4. And that their success on the above three points would cause most Americans to quickly forget the points made by Bush Administration critics before the war began. Secretary Rumsfield's use of the quote, "Never have so many
been so wrong about so much" illustrates such an effort to deliberately mislead people, even though few (if any) of the Bush's American critics ever expressed any doubts that our forces could win a military victory in Iraq in a relatively short amount of time. The ability of our military forces to "win" such a war was never the real issue.
It remains to be seen to what degree those criticisms will be forgotten. On that note, I believe it worthwhile to specifically identify (in retrospect) some of the biggest lies used by the Bush Administration to bring us to this point in history. Among other lies, the Bush Administration argued:
a. According to President Bush, the 11 Sep 2001 attack on New York's Trade Center towers was "unprovoked" and done simply because the terrorists involved "hated freedom." But the historical evidence clearly shows that that incident was in fact a well-planned, suicidal act of retaliation in response to the biased, abusive, and often-deadly foreign policies of our own government. By adamantly opposing the establishment of an International Criminal Court, members of the Bush Administration have made it clear that they wish to continue employing such biased, abusive, and deadly policies overseas, so in order to do so, they are falsely attributing the motives of those terrorists to "hating freedom." As long as they are allowed to continue doing so, such retaliations are likely to continue as well.
b. According to President Bush, "every measure was taken to avoid war." That's an obvious lie.
c. According to President Bush, the war was being "forced upon us by Saddam Hussein." That was likewise an obvious lie. American news agencies liked to ridicule Iraq's Information Minister when he uttered lies of such a magnitude, but when Bush uttered lies of such a magnitude, the response of most our those same news agencies ranged from silent acceptance to enthusiastic, amplified, and orchestrated endorsement! What we saw was a modern equivalent to "yellow journalism."
d. According to Colin Powell, the inability of the UN inspectors to find a "smoking gun" was "evidence" that Saddam Hussein was indeed hiding weapons of mass destruction.
e. And according to Donald Rumsfield on 8 Feb 03, continuing the UN weapons inspections would only "increase the likelihood of war."
The views and coverage of many of our so-called "news agencies" (especially CNBC and the Fox Network News) are clearly being driven by public opinion polls rather than the truth. CNN proved to be somewhat more objective, but I often found myself switching to BBC news programs in order to find out what was really happening in Iraq. The editors of The Nation magazine have further documented the dismal lack of objectivity and truthfulness in the TV news coverage of this whole series of events.
So what price are we as a nation likely to pay for tolerating such lies?
1. Although our military forces have clearly succeeded in bringing down the regime of Saddam Hussein, it's still not clear that they succeeded in their attempts to actually kill Saddam or his sons. Those Saddam loyalists who did manage to escape are likely to join various "underground" terrorist organizations whose goal is to execute acts of revenge against Americans in general.
2. So far at least, our military forces have still been unable to prove that Saddam's representatives were lying when they stated that they had no weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, it still appears that the Bush Administration was lying by making such allocations without proof. For this, and the other reasons mentioned above, President George W. Bush has a SERIOUS credibility problem. After seeing the lies that have come out of his mouth, who can seriously believe anything he says? Who can really put faith anything he promises?
3. It is no secret that the Bush Administration's actions in this regard have seriously alienated hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. Millions of people overseas not only "hate America" because of this, they also view George W. Bush as being "The World's Deadliest Terrorist." And this is not without just cause. In this century at least, President Bush has personally ordered the killing of FAR MORE men, women, and children than have Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein combined! In fact, George W. Bush has earned the dubious distinction of being "The Deadliest Man of this Century." Some may argue that once the war began (thereby causing the critics to fall silent), as much as 70 percent of the American people expressed support for his war, so it wasn't just George W. Bush. For similar reasons, Adolph Hitler won resounding approval among a majority in Nazi Germany when he invaded Poland, but that didn't make it right. As Hitler did in Germany, the Bush Administration is turning our country into a war-mongering police state that is seriously despised by many, many millions of people! The death toll resulting from this could be HORRENDOUS!
5. To repair the damage that they inflicted on Iraq, Bush Administrations officials recently awarded billions of dollars in huge, obscenely profitable reconstruction contracts to their contractor friends who contributed handsomely to Bush's election campaign. Ultimately, most of the dollars that will be used to pay for those contracts will come from increased taxes withheld from the wages of middle-class Americans. Few, if any of these costs would have occurred were it not for George W. Bush's decision to military invade Iraq.
6. Although the Bush Administration went to great lengths to protect Iraq's oil production facilities, they failed miserably to protect Iraq's cultural resources, even though many non-governmental agencies urged the Bush Administration to provide such protection before the war began. One may say that the Bush Administration "liberated" the Iraqi people from their cultural treasures.
7. And finally, the Bush Administration has engaged in what is BY FAR the largest amount of deficit spending in our nation's history. Among other things, this entire war will be paid for using BORROWED MONEY, most of which will ultimately be taken out of the wages of middle-class Americans. It remains to be seen how much longer "the Fed" will be able to put off raising our nation's prime lending rates in response to this. We are already spending over 30 percent of our tax dollars for interest on our national debt. Under the Bush Administration, that rate is growing rapidly.
So the way things are going, due in no small way to the lack of concern for the truth demonstrated by many of our nation's leading news agencies, our nation's future does NOT look bright.
(one grain of salt)
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Last modified on Wednesday, April 30, 2003