Wish I could call this breaking news, but that would be a lie: it’s old news, that our President lies to us and to the world at large, but Bush keeps doing it, so I might as well call him on it:
“A new generation of Americans is defending our freedom against determined enemies,” Bush said. “And by freeing millions from oppression, our armed forces are redeeming a universal principle of the declaration that all are created equal, and all are meant to be free.”
Bush drew comparisons between U.S. forces in the Middle East and those who served in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and World War II. And he urged the nation to find a way Monday, the Fourth of July, to thank troops, “by flying the flag, sending letters to our troops in the field or helping the military family down the street.“
President Bush, those are goddamned lies.
We have a diary today which shows we can’t even tell friend from foe, and our troops are even killing the family members of the Iraqi Government you’re so proud of.
All we are securing in Iraq is the oil fields. We certainly aren’t securing the lives and property of ordinary Iraqis. We destroyed many of their cities and homes, and have put millions of them out of work. Their economy is a shambles, their security is a joke, and essential services are in short supply. We round them up indiscriminately by the thousands and hold them in prison without due process of law and frequently under conditions that involve torture and abuse, and even death.
To claim we are freeing them from oppression or bringing them the chrished liberty set forth in our Declaration of Independence is worse than a bad joke as Riverbend explains in her discussion of Bush’s speech the other day:
Friday, July 01, 2005 . . .
He [i.e., Bush] was trying, throughout the speech, to paint a rosy picture of the situation. According to him, Iraq was flourishing under the occupation. In Bush’s Iraq, there is reconstruction, there is freedom (in spite of an occupation) and there is democracy.
“He’s describing a different country…” I commented to E. and the cousin.
“Yes,” E. replied. “He’s talking about the other Iraq… the one with the WMD.”
. . . We did not have Al-Qaeda in Iraq prior to the war. We didn’t know that sort of extremism. We didn’t have beheadings or the abduction of foreigners or religious intolerance. We actually pitied America and Americans when the Twin Towers went down and when news began leaking out about it being Muslim fundamentalists- possibly Arabs- we were outraged.
Now 9/11 is getting old. Now, 100,000+ Iraqi lives and 1700+ American lives later, it’s becoming difficult to summon up the same sort of sympathy as before. How does the death of 3,000 Americans and the fall of two towers somehow justify the horrors in Iraq when not one of the people involved with the attack was Iraqi?
. . . Three decades of tyranny isn’t what bombed and burned buildings to the ground. It isn’t three decades of tyranny that destroyed the infrastructure with such things as “Shock and Awe” and various other tactics. Though he fails to mention it, prior to the war, we didn’t have sewage overflowing in the streets like we do now, and water cut off for days and days at a time. We certainly had more than the 8 hours of electricity daily. In several areas they aren’t even getting that much.
. . . We’re so free, we often find ourselves prisoners of our homes, with roads cut off indefinitely and complete areas made inaccessible. We are so free to assemble that people now fear having gatherings because a large number of friends or family members may attract too much attention and provoke a raid by American or Iraqi forces.
President Bush, you lied to get us into war (as the Downing Street documents have made painfully clear) and now you are lying to keep us in a war. Your appeal to our highest ideals of ending oppression and bringing freedom to millions ring hollow when we discover that American forces have used napalm and lied about it even to our closest allies, the British Government. How is the use against civillians of a weapon which was banned by the UN Convention on Certain Chemical Weapons helping to lift oppression in Iraq? How does it bring freedom and liberty to those who were its victims, either those who were burned alive and died or those still living with horrendous burn wounds that will never truly heal?
Of course, your spokespeople refuse to admit it’s napalm in yet another shallow and baseless evasion of the truth:
Well, in one sense you are right, Mr. Bush. Once an Iraqi, man, woman or child, is dead as a result of this conflict, he or she is truly free of oppression, I suppose. Free from everything but a merciful God, which I only hope exists. Certainly your monstrous lies and actions with respect to this war would belie such a God’s existence.