I read your piece 2000 Americans Dead in Iraq -- Hooray!!
and thought that I should correct you on a few facts.
For one, you are confusing the Democratic party with PROGRESSIVE AMERICA. Cindy Sheehan is not part of the Democratic party. Move On is not part of the Democratic party. They are part of the PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT in America. Do NOT confuse the two, you Cons will be the better for it.
But, yes let’s have a little perspective. On 9/11/01 4 planes were hijacked and crashed, 3 of them into buildings, ultimately killing 3,000 Americans. We all know this, as you people can not keep from repeating it. Cons repeat it so frequently that you’d think that you might be CELEBRATING it. You inaccurately call those who attacked us as “islamofascists”. But don’t think that I didn’t notice the TALKING POINT from neo-con Frank Gaffney
. Gaffney was the first to come up with the term “islamofascism”, and was also one of the signers of their Statement of Principals
for the Project for a New American Century
. Later, PNAC wrote a letter
to then President Clinton begging him to go to war with Iraq, and if he did the neocons would fully support him. Clinton launched Desert Fox, and they didn’t support him, saying Clinton was only doing this to distract the public from his wrong-doing of dittling a White House intern. So Clinton called the attacks on Iraq off, and so the Reich wing impeached him.
Later the PNAC folks wrote in their report “Rebuilding America’s Defenses
” that their goal was to dramatically increase defense spending in order to wages relentless wars and turn the US into a virtual police state. However PNAC said that “[a]ny serious effort” at such a “transformation” must occur “within the larger framework of U.S. national security strategy”. And that such “[a] transformation strategy that solely pursued capabilities for projecting force from the United States” would be “at odds” and would “trouble American allies.” PNAC said that “the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary charge, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor.” (pgs. 50-51) One year later, to the month, PNAC got exactly what they wanted, a new Pearl Harbor.
As for the ACTUAL meaning of this made-up meaningless term “islamofascism”, it would do us all some good to examine the language we’ve all agreed upon.
“Islamo” - referring to a person of the Muslim faith. “fascism” - A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.” - American Heritage Dictionary, 1983.
By DEFINITION al Qaeda can NOT be fascists because they 1) do not run a government and 2) have not mix their leadership with business. By the ACTUAL definition of “islamofascism” one key person comes to mind. Rezi Pahlevi, the former Shah of Iran.
That aside, Reich wingers, such as yourself never fail to state the actual MOTIVES of the attacks on 9/11. Osama bin Laden stated it quite clearly in his fatwa
. One of the primary reasons is because United States foreign policy has destroyed the security of Muslim holy lands. Nonstop bombing, destruction, invasion, and propping up vile dictators (such as Saddam Hussein) has led Muslims all over the world to look at bin Laden as a holy man and a savior. The reason being that bin Laden had that audacity to do to us what we have been doing to the Muslim world for the last 50 years.
You inaccurately state that the United States has been at war with “islamofascism” for quite some time. This is utter nonsense. In fact, the US has been a key supporter of “islamofascism” in the Middle East, going all the way back to 1953. The US supported “islamofascists” like the Shah in Iran, to President Nassar and Sadat in Egypt. In fact, the struggle AGAINST “islamofascism” is where the modern Islamist terrorist movement began, a key figure in Islamic Jihad, Aymen Zawarhiri, helped plan and execute the assassination of Sadat in 1979, before later in his life acting as the mentor of Osama bin Laden. It is also worth noting that the “islamofascist” Shah of Iran, Rezi Pahlevi, came to power in ‘53, after a CIA operation led by Kermit Roosevelt took out the democratically elected President of Iran, Mohammad Mossedegh, who had worked tirelessly with the Truman administration to prevent the spread of communism, including shooting down dozens of communist demonstrators, members of the Iran communist party, the Tudeh.
You also inaccurately state that “islamofascism” was responsible for virtually every terrorist attack on the United States for some time. The neo-conservative propaganda that you’re being fed could not be more inaccurate. Just as before the fall of the Berlin wall, these very same neo-cons said every terrorist attack, even those carried out by Hamas, was actually a secret ploy carried out by the Soviet Union, these very same neo-cons now tell us that “islamofascists”, much less Islamist terrorists, have been responsible for every terrorist attack against this nation.
The latest fad it seems is an utterly inept attempt to re-write history, claiming that Tim McVeigh was a Muslim. That could not be further from the truth. McVeigh was a radical “Christian conservative” who after reading the novel The Turner Diaries
, wished to carry out in realty what the novel laid out in fiction. The Turner Diaries
(photocopies of pages 61 and 62 were found in an envelope inside of McVeigh’s car) described a similar terrorist attack, which created a wide-spread government crack-down against the Christian right, which lead the a full out civil war in the United States, where at the end the only ones left standing were the “good white Protestants”. When McVeigh destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklamhoma City, there was no government crackdown at all, the feds simply investigated the crime, found the guilty parties, and administered justice. McVeigh’s ultimate plan failed. Ironically, that government crack-down would happen when the neo-conservatives took executive power, after ignoring over 50 threats against an imminent terrorist attack, and did virtually nothing as 4 planes crashed into NYC, Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia.
It should be noteworthy to mention that a year after McVeigh unleashed a terrorist attack against the United States, another radical conservative “Christian” terrorist would launch similar attacks, at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, running a spree across the south, destroying women’s clinics, and killing doctors. That “Christian” terrorist, Eric Rudolph, is now rightfully behind bars. Rudolph had managed to escape FBI capture for nearly 10 years, with the help of multiple underground right-wing organizations, who even gave him financial backing and support, printing up T-shirts for him which stated “Run Rudolph Run”.
Had Saddam used WMDs before? Of course he did, he had acquired anthrax, botulism toxin, histroplasma capsulatum, brucella melitensis, clostridium porringers, and e-coli from the United States during the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations. It didn’t end there as US corporations like Hewlett-Packard provided Iraq with computers to work their scud and nuclear programs, AT&T provided technology to upgrade Iraq’s air defense systems, Bechtel helped build a petrochemical plant for Iraq, Caterpillar aided Iraq with the construction of their nuclear programs, and DuPont sold Iraq oil for use with those nuclear programs. Not so ironically, those very same companies, Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, Bechtel, Caterpillar, and DuPont have another thing in common besides helping Saddam to butcher his own people. Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, Bechtel, Caterpillar, and DuPont has given at least $187,000 to George W. Bush.
When the neo-cons decided to launch a war against Iraq in the mid-90’s, they knew that they could only legitimize it a few ways. The plan was to blame Iraq for the “new Pearl Harbor”, but as March 19th, 2003 approached, the Bush administration realized that the WMD argument would fly the best with the American public. It was not the intelligence on Iraq’s WMDs that was faulty. It was the Bush administration FIXING INTELLIGENCE to the policy of justifying a war. The United States aside, the entire planet knew that Saddam had no WMDs, because they knew that UN weapon inspectors had found and destroyed 95% of Saddam’s capabilities, and what little was left had expired their shelf lives.
You continue by inaccurately calling Saddam Hussein himself a weapon of mass destruction. This is utter nonsense, as “weapons of mass destruction” are defined as weapons of a biological, chemical, or nuclear nature with the capability to injure or kill large masses of people. It seems for the cons words have no meaning, and it is perfectly acceptable to change their meanings to suit their own propaganda. You also inaccurately state that Saddam was supportive of the “radical Islamic cause”. This suggests that there is but one “radical Islamist cause”, and it’s entire motive is the destruction of western civilization. This could not be further from the truth. Osama bin Laden had been deported from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan because bin Laden had put together a rebel force to march into Iraq and topple “the socialist infidel” Saddam Hussein. Anslar al Islam, an Islamist group, whom the US State Department claims has ties to al Qaeda (apparently offering zero evidence for this), had been operating out of Saddam’s reach in a no-fly zone section of north east Iraq. A spokesman for the group said that Saddam “was really their enemy.” And that they believed that Saddam’s government was “outside of Islamist zone,” meaning that they were nothing but infidels who they worked to overthrow. It would seem that by the Bush administration going after Saddam in March of 2003, he not only gave up on the capture of a mass murdering mastermind who had planned and successfully launched terrorist attacks against the USS Cole, the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and two African embassies, but instead did Osama bin Laden’s work for him, carrying out one of his very top priorities.
You also state that Saddam, during the first Gulf War launched Scud missiles at Israel, failing to mention the context of that history. Israel, years prior, had destroyed, without provocation, nuclear power refineries within Iraq. Israel saw that as an act of self-defense, but the United States certainly didn’t see it that way, as those very refineries had been built by the United States, with several US companies contracted to do the work, such as Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard. Saddam did what any US General would have done faced with the same situation. When under attack from a massive enemy, do all you can to form a group of allies to aid your own self-defense. That is neither right or wrong, moral or immoral, it is simply the reality of warfare.
Yes, Saddam had a great deal of oil revenue at his disposal, but because of the sanctions, he could not purchase what he wished with it. There were violations of the sanctions, primarily by the United States, but still Saddam could not purchase new weapons or materials, much less build up new WMD programs. The sanctions were so severe that Saddam could not purchase chlorine, out of fear that he would make a chemical weapon out of it. Meanwhile, the United States, for a 12 year period, bombed Iraq’s water purification systems, leaving Iraqis to drink tainted water, which made Iraqis sick with dysentery and diarrhea. This was no small thing, as the sanctions also prevented medicine to treat these illnesses from Iraq’s borders as well. This is one of the many reasons why during the embargo, over 600,000 children perished, with an additional 2 million adults.
You inaccurately state that Saddam was part of the “islamofascist” contingent waging war with the West. Like I said before, the “islamofascists” were primarily aided by the West, not waging war with it, and Saddam was no different. However, that “islamofascist” connection with the West was disjointed after April Gillespie
of the State Department lied to Saddam, telling him that the US government and the first Bush administration had no problem with Saddam invading Kuwait. After Saddam fell into our trap, that “islamofascist” connection ended.
Nobody followed the cease-fire agreement from the first Gulf War. Saddam at times launched defensive air strikes in response to US bombardment, at other times, the Iraqi people just shot their guns at the planes they saw bombing them and destroying their lives. Who can blame them? As for Saddam being perceived as a threat, he simply was not. Nobody in the planet thought Saddam was a threat, which the exception of the people of the United States, and that was only after massive propaganda deployed by the Bush administration to terrify the American populous. Not even Kuwait, Iran, or Saudi Arabia perceived Iraq, or Saddam as a threat, which is why they were opening up to him, to normalize relations with Iraq prior to March 2003.
Much light was made of France and Germany refusing to go to war with such a defenseless and harmless nation like Iraq, but they weren’t the only ones. None of Iraq’s neighbors joined in the effort, not even Israel. The few nations that permitted the US to use their land as a staging ground did so against the will of their nation’s people, and only did so after being offered grand bribes.
While it is true that the United States policy was to achieve “regime change” against the “socialist infidel” Saddam Hussein, we should ask, what right do we have to take part in such nonsense? Since when was it legitimate for the United States to decide who they can overthrow and who can stay in power? There is a term for this kind of behavior, when you threaten to remove another sovereign nation’s leader. That term is called “terrorism”.
You inaccurately say that the United States was “dragged” into war by those who’d declared war on us. In fact, the only way this statement could be even remotely accurate, is if you concede that the Bush administration had declared war against the American People, and dragged them into a war they were hostile to fighting, and now no longer wish to participate in at all. But I would remind you that there were not Islamist terrorist attacks against the United States, or it’s interests prior to the 1953 overthrow of the democratic Mossedegh government.
A greater president than the one we have now, once said “a necessitous man is not a free man.” And that volunteer military is not populated by choosing men, but necessitous men. As Thomas Jefferson warned, no soldier should be faced with death in order to paid a measly pence. Yet, all over America, communities destroyed by conservative supply-side economics have seen opportunities eradicated, and good paying jobs with benefits eliminated and shipped to Mexico, India, or China. Those jobs have been replaced by jobs at McDonald’s and Wal-Mart, forcing good Americans to look at their grime futures. Military recruiters told so many of our nation’s finest that they would never see warfare, and they believed them. Now with two wars waging in Afghanistan and Iraq, those “volunteers” are no longer voluntarily signing up.
If you think our good men and women have chosen to go to Iraq to fight this inane war, then permit those very men the option. Ask them simply, “do you wish to stay in Iraq, or come home?” If that question was asked, and acted upon, how many of the 150,000 US soldiers do you think would stay? How many do you think would say, “there is no noble cause for which I fight for in Iraq”? Those very soldiers know first hand that they are not defending the United States, or our way of life. They are defending Exxon-Mobil’s way of life. They are defending Shell’s way of life. They are defending George W. Bush’s way of life. But they are not defending the way of life of their families, or the rest of America.
You say that because of this idiotic war, there hasn’t been a terrorist attack on our shores since 2001. However the attack on the USS Cole and the attack on our African embassies didn’t happen on our shores either. Nor was the terrorist attacks in Madrid, Spain or London, England on our shores either. Much less the attack on the US consulate in Saudi Arabia in December 2004 on our shores. Or the record number of terrorist attacks carried out against US troops in Iraq in 2004, a fact not well known since the Bush administration silenced the annual Patterns of Global Terrorist report.
Meanwhile, the Taliban and other rogue thugs run the entire countryside of Afghanistan, while the US puppet regime with control of Kabul alone. Meanwhile, western journalists report as if Iraq is a nation in progress, while they are forced to stay inside tiny green zones, and off the streets at all times. The few journalists, such as Robert Fisk, who do venture onto the streets, know that the situation is getting worse and worse with each passing day. Over a year ago Israel’s prime minister Ariel Shron told the American People that the Iraq war is over, the only question now is the level of humiliation the United States will see in its ultimate defeat. That humiliation can only be limited by leaving, and sooner the better.
Meanwhile, the rest of the third world has learned a vital lesson: The United States will only destroy you if you are defenseless. That lesson has given all the encouragement one needs to seek nuclear weapons for defensive purposes, with Iran in the lead. Those very nuclear weapons is why North Korea even has the option of 6 way talks, and the rest of the world will follow suit, making it that much more likely that a nuclear weapon will eventually get in the hands of an Islamist terrorist.
It is long past time to pack up and go home. The only way to defeat the Islamists in Iraq is to let them have full reign. Israel has been fighting a war against terrorists for 50 years, with no end in sight. Yet, Islamists had full reign of power in Iran, Egypt, and Algeria. While the Islamists still hold power in Iran, largely because of our constant threat against the Iranian people, the Islamists are extremely unpopular. In Algeria and Egypt and people overwhelmingly said no to them, and threw them out on their collective asses. That is the only way to defeat the Islamist radicals, show the people of the region exactly who they are, and let the people themselves reject them.
Finally, securing the Middle East is not the RIGHT of the United States. Securing New Orleans, Houston, and southern Florida IS. The United States has no more right to secure Iraq, or any other nation, than Adolf Hitler had the right to secure Poland. What Hitler did the Europe was terrorize the entire continent with fascism and criminal acts of violence and aggression. Six million dead Jews later and the United States has still not learned its lesson, but has instead copied it. Instead of locking up Jews in Auschwitz, we’re locking Muslims up in Guantanamo Bay. And the longer the Bush administration wages a war against the Muslim faith, the more chance we will have that “mushroom cloud” the American People were told to be so scared of, coming to an American city near you.