June 16, 2004
The day Bush lost
No one believes that there are any WMD in Iraq, any more. (Well, OK, a few neorubes are clinging to a couple of shells that got lost for 10 years, but no one with a brain thinks two shells are the same as all of those tons and tons of WMD that Powell lied to the UN about.) There was never any risk of Iraq causing "mushroom clouds over American cities", and that was true whether we invaded Iraq, or not.
The pictures from Abuse Graibh stand in stark contrast to the argument that Iraq was invaded to STOP torture. But the story continues to break that the White House sought legal counsel to find out how they could get away with torture anyway, in violation of international law, while preying on the fear of terrorism inspired on 9/11 to get America to look the other way. This will all be small comfort to the family of the next service man held by a group that realizes that the Bush administration has declared that the Geneva Conventions no longer apply
Now the media is finally, some would say reluctantly, forced to point out to America that there is no link between Iraq and 9/11, nor ever a link between Iraq and "attacks on America", and that Iraq and al Qaida had "no collaborative relationship". What a change from March of 2003, when more than half of all Americans believed that Hussein was involved in the attacks of 9/11.
People think for themselves, you know.
And they'll remember
when the talking heads told them that all of these
reasons we were given about why we just couldn't afford to wait to go to war in
They're going to be asking themselves "why did we go into Iraq, again?" And their answer to that question will be balanced against 800 American lives to date, countless Iraqi lives, and more every week.
They'll ask themselves "When will we be bringing our troops home?" And that answer won't come. Not on June 30th. Not before November 2nd.
They'll wonder "How
much is this costing us?" and a few of them will know that it's costing
Americans $5000/minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be in Iraq.
They'll ask why Cheney's company, Halliburton, was awarded all those contracts. Why there have been so many reports of over charging? (Do you remember the gas prices, the missing $16 million?) Why were those contracts sealed, and when will that spending end. Are we paying to repair those pipelines? Why are we building schools in Iraq when my own kid's school can't afford uniforms for band or sports. Why are all my co-worker's kids selling those damn candy bars and "pizza kits" if the schools here are in such good shape?
They'll talk to their neighbor, who's been looking for a job for...6 months?...a year?...longer?...and is afraid of losing his house. Even those who totally lack compassion (like a neorube) will begin to wonder what that will do to his own property values now that interest rates have gone back up and they've pumped all that second mortgage money back into the economy.
At some point it will occur to them to ask, "Is democracy in Iraq really worth it? What made Hussein such a 'unique threat' to our society that it was worth tearing the very fabric of that society?" The outrage over the war will only grow, and the partisanship and bickering will only grow, and the debt will only grow, and the death toll in Iraq will grow, and no amount of "recovery" is going to change any of that.
In a few weeks we'll go to the theatres in droves to see "Fahrenheit 9/11". Oh sure, Rush Limbaugh (aka The Vulgar Pigboy), and Ann "the man" Coulter, and Blowhard Bill O'Reilly, and Michael "Weiner" Savage, and Republican-run web sites, and reich-wing radio commentators on "clear channel" (by now we shouldn't need to stress what that channel is "clear" of should we? The truth.) will howl. But most of us won't listen, because we ALL secretly know that these people have an agenda and we ALL secretly want to rebel against authority, sometimes. We may see that movie become the highest grossing film of the summer. And as we leave we'll ask ourselves, again, "Why did we allow a President to take us into war based on lies?" And a few of us might just permanently turn off those talking heads who told us not to go see that movie, because we're Americans and we don't want ANYONE telling us what we can see or do.
And the 9/11 report will come out, and the Plame investigation will continue, and the Abuse Graibh facts will keep coming out, and the Enron scandals will keep coming to light, and the family members/friends/neighbors/friends of friends/sons and daughters of friends will continue to die in Iraq, and they'll take part-time jobs to "make do" while they look for a job that they'll settle for because even though "the benefits aren't as good" the pay is "almost as good" as their last job, and they'll move away because they "can't afford to live here any more", and they'll turn off Fox News when it's telling them how good things are because they'll know that it's all a big fat lie designed to keep those in power in power, and the rest of us on the outside looking in.
And finally, one day in November, they'll walk into a voting booth. Some for the first time, some for the first time in years, because they'll know after what happened in Florida that voting really DOES matter. They'll do it because they can, and they'll do it because they know that they must, and they'll do it because they love their children and because they love their country and because they just can't remember when things have been THIS fucked up. And they'll take their time, and they'll mark their ballots carefully, and they'll make sure that they don't accidentally vote for the man, or the party, who brought them all this "happiness" and "unity".
And for the first time in 4 years, there will be optimism in America, and a firm resolve that nothing like this ever be allowed to happen again.
Get out of our house, Mr. Bush.