April 22, 2008
Merchants of Lethal Deceit
Tariq A. Al-Maeena
Five years into the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, US President George Bush claims it’s been worth the haul. And although he claims he sheds tears for every one of the 4,000 soldiers he has sent to their death, little or no mention is made of an estimated one million or more innocent Iraqi civilians who have lost their lives as a result of his grand adventure.
Remember the proponents of the aggression then? One of the strongest, Tony Blair of UK, is now keeping himself as far away from Bush as possible, and privately conceding that this adventure was a “horrible mistake”. Was he led into this deceitful adventure by the smooth-talking neocons of the Bush administration and the gentle prodding by Bush himself?
Whatever happened to Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Donald Rumsfeld, those active cheerleaders of a murderous and unlawful invasion of countries that harbored no ill will toward the United States or the American people?
Now facts have proven that this carnage was built on an orchestrated deception, first among Bush’s constituents through selective manipulation of the media, and later by presenting false evidence to the world community, the United Nations.
These past five years will remain embedded in the minds of those who had lost their loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan with pain and anguish. For it was under the US commander in chief’s instructions that US soldiers used their most brutal practices among the prisoners by systematic acts of rape, sodomy and torture. They dehumanized their captives. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo have become synonyms for gross human rights violations.
This continued and sustained assault on these two countries is a violation that has for the most part remained unchecked. Most nations are noticeably quiet on US transgressions in the region. It has not, however, failed to create deep chasms of animosity and suspicion of Bush’s intentions. His talk of “spreading democracy in the Middle East” is now met with derision.
For poll after poll has proven that the inhabitants of Afghanistan and Iraq see themselves as worse off today than before the acts of aggression began. And really, what was it that Bush was after?
There were no weapons of mass destruction. Nor was there any sign of ill will in either country toward the United States. Was it the oil? Well maybe, but there was always the specter of an Israeli lobby dictating terms and manipulating things.
Many of those smooth-talking neocons who convinced their constituents of a doomsday situation if Iraq was not invaded are not around today parading in front of the world’s media with their false assertions. Perhaps they are keeping a low profile for fear of being charged for these crimes against humanity in some tribunal sometimes in the future.
For, if you strip away all irrational rhetoric, what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan is indeed a crime. A war crime to match the Israeli aggression and occupation of Palestine! How closely were the two operations orchestrated with Bush and Sharon in power?
And while one languishes in a vegetative state, the other is free to continue his acts of violence unchecked and unfettered.
And not satisfied with the amount of innocent blood already spilled, he is now pushing for another bloody adventure, this time against Iran.
Iran is an Islamic state, and Bush should think long and hard before contemplating any such moves. He lacks credibility when he talks about Iran’s threat to the region and his evidence is dismissed as a joke.
The people in this region have seen and heard enough. The real threat has never been Iran. The real threat has been the willingness of some to believe what Bush says.
While Bush and his remaining neocons work covertly with the Israelis in an effort to convince the world body of the threat Iran poses, such alarmist talk has indeed been falling on deaf ears in the region.
As for the tears Bush says he sheds for the fallen, everyone knows they are as fake as the evidence he presented to justify his wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq.