by RIP RENSE
Iraq around the Clock
( Nov. 5, 2003)
Iraq is not the United States.
I want to make it into a bumper sticker.
To listen to the Bush administration, to read
the papers every day, to watch the news. . .you'd think that Iraq is just around the
corner from Wisconsin. Or squeezed between Kansas and Nebraska. That it was admitted to
the Union sometime around California. That Baghdad won the Series, beating the Yankees
(well, not yet, anyway.) Maybe Lincoln was born there.
Iraq Iraq Iraq Iraq. All Iraq, all the
time. All the Iraq that's fit to print. I raq, you raq, we all raq for Iraq.
Iraq, can you see, by the dawn's early light? We will, we will Iraq you! We're gonna Iraq
around the clock tonight.
Iraq is not the United States.
We have a country to look after. Guess what: it
Remember: the "war" was supposed to
end quickly, and the Iraqis were supposed to greet the invaders as liberators. So said
Dick Cheney, vice-president of Iraq---er, the United States.
Remember: Iraqi oil was supposed
to pay for the rebuilding of the country, and barely tax Uncle Sam's till. So said Donald
Rumsfeld, secretary of defense of Iraq---e, the United States.
Remember: this administration has already spent
$82 billion on Iraq, and is trying to spend $90 billion more---thanks to George W. Bush,
president of Iraq---er, the United States.
Has this country gone off its Iraq-er? What do
you care about Iraq? Have you been there? Did you grow up there? Did you take a vacation
in Baghdad recently? Did Iraq perpetrate 9/11? (Answer: no.)
Here is the administration's original
Iraq-solid ploy: Saddam threatened the world with "weapons of mass destruction."
No, no---not Oprah Winfrey---I mean things that are even worse: nasty germs and nuclear
bombs. Dick Cheney declared that Iraq had "reconstituted" its nuclear program,
and all the SUVs in the USA promptly hoisted flags. Now Tricky Dick says he um,
"misspoke"---there were no nukes, after all. And no WMD of any sort have been
(Well, that isn't quite true. They did find a
test tube of botox, which is a WMD used by many Beverly Hills women to combat the tyranny
of "smile lines.")
If any WMD are discovered, it
seems likely that they will threaten nothing other than Iraq---or maybe Israel
and Iran. One of the long-forgotten headlines from this story, after all, is that Saddam
actually destroyed a couple dozen missiles in the weeks leading up to the Iraq
attack. Imagine that: a "bloody dictator," as Condoleezza Rice likes to say,
destroying his very expensive pride-and-joy WMD delivery system---under orders from the
"irrelevant" (Bush's term) United Nations.
Between Iraq and a hard place, the
administration fell back on pretext number two: morality.
It was morally necessary, went the Iraq
music, to remove a "bloody dictator," a "brutal dictator," an
"evil dictator," a "murderous dictator," a dictator who picked his
nose, and so on. No, not Rupert Murdoch---Saddam.
Morally necessary? The U.S. is in the business
of morally policing the planet? It's our duty to go out there and depose every unsavory
government? Isn't this the opposite of what Republicans have chanted for decades? Ah, but
that was before the "Christian" right began directing foreign policy under
President Born Again and Rev. Condy, who once led the White House staff in worship
services aboard Air Force One.
(Sing it with me, now! Iraq of ages. . .)
Under the morality argument, U.S. military
forces would be engaged all over the world, 24-7. We would be fighting China, North Korea,
and occupying half the countries in Africa. Our military forces would be engaged until. .
.well, how shall I put this? How about until the U.S. rules the world? Of course,
this pretty well describes the "doctrine of preemption," the neocon First
Commandment. (The key syllable in "neocon" being "con.")
Yes, it was "our" moral
business to depose Saddam, claimed the neocons. Of course, these same people did
business with Saddam for decades---from the moment "we" helped put him
into power until the late '90s, when one of Dick Cheney's subsidiaries was still doing
business with Baghdad; until just before the so-called war, when Iraq was still exporting
oil to the U.S. It was also "our" (and Britain's) business to sell this
"bloody dicatator" the chemical weapons he used in his set-to with Iran.
Moral duty? Hyp-Iraq-risy.
Funny, but the first President Bush cannily
suspected that Iraq was not really part of the United States. He long ago rejected plans
to invade and conquer this sorry little place; rejected the "neocon" agenda
altogether: to take Iraq, thus establishing a major permanent U.S. military presence in
the Middle East and grabbing some oil (message to scoffers: please read about the neocon
template, "Project for a New American Century,"
where this is clearly spelled out.)
Bush I also rejected delusional Vietnam-esque
"domino" talk popularized by Bush II: that once Iraq embraced democracy,
surrounding countries might join the freedom train! Bush I was clever enough to realize
that invasion and occupation would fast become a Vietnam-esque quagmire. Here is his
salient quote, from his 1988 memoir, "A World Transformed."
"Going in and occupying Iraq, thus
unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of
international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion
route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly
Bush II is not as smart as Bush I, but
this doesn't matter, as he is not running the country, merely doing the bidding of Cheney,
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, chief
spook Richard Perle (all signatories of the PNAC), the "Christian" right, and
the neocons---many of whom have long-standing strong ties to Israel's right-wing Likud
party. Israel's security being a not-so-hidden agenda in this masquerade "War on
Terrorism"---a "war" that has yet to take on the perpetrators of the worst
terrorist attack in U.S. history. (And Israel, it might be noted, is not the United
Last week, Bush II Iraqed the
world by claiming that all the recent killing is a sign of progress; that the
increasingly successful murder of U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians shows that the
"enemy" is growing "desperate." Right. So "desperate" that
somebody shot down a chopper over the weekend and killed 16 G.I.'s, most of whom were
kids. Bet their parents are feeling a little "desperate" about now.
The president's response? He explained,
for those who cannot read, think, see, or hear, that Iraq is "a dangerous
place." Rumsfeld added the revelation that this is "a rough
business." Meanwhile, more reservists are being summoned to risk their lives for the
Bush administration, and get this: draft board vacancies
are being filled across the nation! That's correct, your child could one day get
a mandatory vacation in the desert.
The capper? This staggering comment from
Iraq---er, U.S.---deputy secretary of defense Wolfowitz: "(Campaign debate about
Iraq) sends a very unsettling message to Iraqis that our elections might decide their
Yes, Wolfowitz wants Democratic
candidates to stop discussing Iraq, because it might make the Iraqis nervous! In
other words, let's suspend the bulwark principle of this democracy---free speech---so as
not to worry the Iraqis! Or hey, why not just suspend elections altogether?
The Wolf-man, in other words, implies that
public debate of Iraq is downright er, un-Iraqian.
I mean, un-American.
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