George W. Bush is a natural born liar. He lied
us into a war, and now he is lying to keep us there. In his Oct.
6 self-congratulatory speech at that neoconservative shrine the National
Endowment for Democracy, the president of the United States said: "Today
there are more than 80 Iraqi army battalions fighting the insurgency alongside
Eighty Iraqi battalions makes it sound like the U.S. is just lending Iraq a
helping hand. I wonder what Congress and the U.S. commanders in Iraq thought
when they heard there were 80 Iraqi battalions that American troops are helping
to fight insurgents? Just a few days prior to Bush's speech, Generals Casey
and Abizaid told Congress that, as a matter of fact, there was only one Iraqi
battalion able to undertake operations against insurgents.
I wonder, also, who noticed the great contradiction in Bush's speech. On the
one hand, he claims steady progress toward freedom and democracy in Iraq. On
the other hand, he seeks the American public's support for open-ended war.
In her Princeton
speech, Condi Rice made it clear that Iraq is just the beginning: "We
have set out to help the people of the Middle East transform their societies.
Now is not the time to falter or fade."
On Oct. 5, Vice President Cheney let us know how long this commitment was to
last: "Like other great duties in history, it will require decades of patient
Who's going to pay for these decades of war to which the Bush administration
is committing Americans? Already the U.S. is spending $7 billion a month on
war in Iraq alone. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service says that
if the Iraq war goes on another five years, it will cost at least $570 billion
Bush's war has already doubled the price of gasoline and home heating.
With U.S. forces bogged down in Afghanistan (invaded Oct. 7, 2001) and Iraq
(invaded March 20, 2003), Bush is plotting regime change in Syria and conspiring
to set up Iran for attack.
Is there a single person in the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Treasury,
the Congressional Budget Office, or the Federal Reserve who thinks the U.S.,
already drowning in red ink, has the resources to fight wars for decades?
And where will the troops come from? The U.S. cannot replace the losses in
Iraq. We know about the 2,000 American troops killed, but we do not hear about
the large number of wounded. UPI correspondent Martin
Sieff reported on Oct. 7 that U.S. wounded jumped from 16.3 per day at the
end of September to 28.5 per day at the beginning of October. Multiply that
daily rate by 30 days and you get 855 wounded per month. Approximately half
of these are wounded too seriously to return to combat.
Has anyone in the administration pointed out to Bush, Cheney, and Condi Rice
what decades of casualties at these rates mean?
Insurgents are killing Iraqi security personnel who are collaborating with
the U.S. occupation at the rate of two or three hundred per month. The wounded
numbers are much higher.
Last month, suicide bombers killed 481 Iraqis and wounded 1,074.
Has anyone in the administration put these numbers in a decades-long context?
Apparently not. Once these numbers are put on paper, not even Bush administration
speech writers can continue to pen rhetorical justifications for war and more
The neoconservative Bush administration prides itself on not being "reality-based."
Facts get in the way of the administration's illusions and delusions. Bush's
"80 Iraqi battalions" are like Hitler's secret weapons. They don't
Iraqis cannot afford to collaborate with the hated Americans or with the puppet
government that the U.S. has put in place. Out of desperation, some do, but
their heart is not in it. Few Iraqis are willing to die fighting for the United
States and Likud Israel.
When the 2nd Iraq Battalion graduated from U.S. training camp on Jan. 6, 2004,
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and U.S. commander in Iraq Gen. Ricardo Sanchez expressed
"high expectations" that Iraqi troops, in the general's words, "would
help us bring security and stability back to the country."
Three months later when the 2nd Battalion was brought up to support the U.S.
invasion of Fallujah, the battalion refused to fight and returned to its post.
"We did not sign up to fight Iraqis," said the troops.
Readers write in frustration: "Tell us what we can do." On the surface,
it doesn't look like Bush can be stopped from trashing our country.
The congressional mid-term elections are a year away. Moreover, the Democrats
have failed as an opposition party and are compromised by their support for
the war. Bush has three more years in which to mire America in a wider war.
If Bush succeeds in starting wars throughout the Middle East, his successor
will be stuck with them.
Congressional Democrats and Republicans alike have made it clear that they
are going to ignore demonstrations and public opinion. The print and TV media
have made it clear that there will be no reporting that will hold the Bush administration
accountable for its deceit and delusion.
There still is a way to bring reality to the Bush administration. The public
has the Internet. Is the antiwar movement well enough organized to collect via
the Internet signatures on petitions for impeachment, perhaps one petition for
each state? Millions of signatures would embarrass Bush before the world and
embarrass our elected representatives for their failure to act.
If no one in Congress acted on the petitions, all the rhetoric about war for
democracy would fall flat. It would be obvious that there is no democracy in
If the cloak of democracy is stripped away, Bush's "wars for democracy"
begin to look like the foreign adventures of a megalomaniac. Remove Bush's rhetorical
cover, and tolerance at home and abroad for Bush's war would evaporate. If Bush
persisted, he would become a pariah.
Americans may feel that they cannot undercut a president at war, in which case
Americans will become an embattled people consumed by decades of conflict. Americans
can boot out Bush or pay dearly in blood and money.