By Ahmed Amr.
Special to PalestineChronicle.com
George Bush just gave another tasteless performance in the remodeled James S. Brady Press Room. As usual, he stayed on message, blaming General Tommy Franks for the disastrous post-invasion plan.
Apparently, Franks was awarded the Medal of Freedom for giving us bum advice on troop requirements for stabilizing Iraq. Without missing a beat, Bush went on to declare that he would resist making decisions based on public opinion polls or even the advice of GOP senators. Rather, he would leave future decisions to his new general – David Petraeus.
I can’t remember the last time the president bothered to visit Iraq. And yet he speaks with such authority about what our Mesopotamian oil colony looks like four years after his unilateral and unwarranted war.
If we take Bush at his word, the entire quagmire is nothing more than a rumble between the marines and Al Qaeda – a battle that will determine the survival of Western Civilization. Bush made over 30 references to al-Qaeda during the press conference. Can it be that the decider can’t differentiate between Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia and Bin Laden’s cells in Afghanistan? Is it possible that he actually subscribes to the notion – faithfully propagated by a complicit press corps – that we are fighting the same enemy responsible for the carnage of 9/11?
Who renewed the president’s license to spin the same batch of manufactured intelligence he used to market the invasion to gullible and traumatized Americans? And where in the constitution does it say that Rupert Murdoch has that authority?
Bush keeps pulling the same canard out of the same neo-con hat even though his own intelligence services have consistently determined that the Mesopotamian insurgency is predominantly made up of Iraqis that choose to resist the American occupation. He should know that the members of ‘Al Qaeda in Iraq’ constitute but a small fraction of the insurgents. And there is no debating the fact that Iraqi insurgents have limited their activities to Iraq. Among the tens of thousands of Iraqi detainees only an insignificant minority are non-Iraqi Arab ‘foreigners.’
As usual, Bush painted his imperial enterprise as a noble effort to spread the blessings of democracy. Now that Iraqis can vote, two thousand Iraqis vote with their feet every day and choose wretched exile in Syria, Jordan, Egypt or any other place that will give them sanctuary. Two million have already made the journey to an uncertain future away from the familiar surroundings of their native land. Another two million are internally displaced by the ethnic cleansing that was ignited by the invasion.
If Bush would bother to ask them why they fled – they would inform him that they are fleeing Maliki’s death squads and the militia infested security forces being trained and armed by the American military.
Bush rarely mentions the plight of these refugees and their agony doesn’t register on American radar screens. It takes the unique talent of the mass media murdochrats to make a non-issue out of a massive exodus that dwarfs the epic flight of Vietnamese boat people after the collapse of the Saigon government. In a magnanimous act of generosity, the United States has taken in two hundred Iraqis. That works out to one Green Card for every thousand refugees.
In a country of twenty five million, hundreds of thousands have been killed and maimed. The official policy of the United States is not to count them. Unfortunately for Bush, It’s a little more difficult to hide the 3600 American soldiers that have perished in a war we never had to fight.
Today’s Iraq is a contender for the number one spot on the ‘failed states’ list. Virtually every Iraqi has lost family members, friends and neighbors in the killing fields of Mesopotamia. Every morning, mutilated bodies are dumped in the streets of Baghdad. Suicide bombers are a daily occurrence. Tens of thousands of detainees are in the custody of the merciless sectarian security forces.
Nothing works. Reconstruction efforts have been abandoned. Parents don’t send their kids to school. Infant mortality claims one of every five children under the age of five. Unemployment is at 70%. Electricity is a memory. Oil production is below pre-war levels and the price of a barrel of oil has tripled since the invasion.
In a country that floats on oil, drivers line up for hours to fill their tanks. Sectarian gangs and common criminals stalk the population and fear is a permanent state of mind. And to think it only costs ten billion dollars a month to create so much suffering, chaos and despair.
Five years into the occupation, the Pentagon is boasting about controlling half of Baghdad even as the Green Zone comes under regular mortar attacks. And the Iraqi parliamentarians who aren’t already living in London, Syria or Jordan are getting ready for their month long summer vacation.
In the north, the Turks are threatening to attack the Kurds. In the south, the British have withdrawn their forces to the Basra airport. Brown is just waiting for the perfect moment to sneak out the back door. Behind, the British will leave a virtual theocracy dominated by the militias of Moqtada el Sadr and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq – a group that was recruited, financed, trained and given sanctuary by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
According to recent polls, eighty percent of Iraqis want the American occupation to end and seventy percent of Americans would be happy to oblige them.
What possible outcome could justify the harm inflicted on the Iraqi people? How can one even imagine a final chapter in this quagmire that would compensate for the loss of American and Iraqi blood and treasure? What exactly is left to win?
The bottom line is that we can either wait for the next president to do him the honors or stop funding his illegal war. Dealing with the messy consequences will be left for the Iraqis to sort out. Perhaps massive American reparations can help heal the wounds and restore a fraction of what we have destroyed.
Even if Congress doesn’t act, Maliki and his sectarian ‘parliamentarians’ might invite Bush to pack up and leave at the end of the year by simply refusing to renew his United Nations mandate. Maybe that’s why Bush continues to portray Maliki as a young democrat. It will make it that much easier to spin the inevitable withdrawal as compliance with the wishes of a ‘democratic and sovereign state.’
Any way you cut it, this imperial venture in the Gulf is about to end. And if we can’t impeach Bush for the WMD lies and the horrific results – then we will be left with solid proof that America has no surplus democracy to export. We can either impeach Bush and Cheney or suffer irreparable damage to our political heritage of being a nation of laws.
-Ahmed Amr is the editor of NileMedia.com