“Good doesn’t exist anymore...everything is like Moral Ground Zero!” - Film director, Martin Scorsese, in discussing the script of his latest classic, “The Departed.”
On Oct. 10, 2006, the Department of Defense announced the death of yet another American solder in Iraq. His name is Cpl. Benjamin S. Rosales, age 20, from Houston, Texas. He makes No. 2,748, who have fallen in a war hatched by liars in the administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, promoted by War Hawks in the U.S. Congress, and aided and abetted by accomplices in the Media, like Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. Of the 2,748 U.S. troops who have died in Iraq, 241 came from Texas--a state that President George W. Bush considers his home political base. California leads the state casualty list with 278 military dead, many of them, as with Texas’s mortality profile, having Hispanic surnames. (1) One of the most notorious War Hawks in the Congress, Rep. Tom Lantos, is a Democrat from that state. While Pennsylvania, represented by another man who couldn't wait to put our sons and daughters in harm’s way in Iraq, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), has lost 128 of its citizens. New York State, with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) as one of its warmongering mouthpieces in the Senate, has given up 130 of its finest in this pointless conflict. He repeatedly called for “regime change” in Iraq, along with his sidekick in the House, Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY). What a pitiful duo they are! Although Connecticut’s Iraqi causalities stands at 22, its turncoat U.S. Sen., Joseph I. Lieberman, is one of the most rabid War Hawks on Capitol Hill. (2)
As of today’s date, according to a new Johns Hopkins study, around 654,000 Iraqis have been killed in the war. When a spokesman for the Multi-National Forces in Iraq was asked to comment on the shocking report, he said: “It’s really a government of Iraq issue.” (3) Iraq, a nation of 26 million souls, no longer officially exists! It is now ripe for a cruel partition, with seizure of its enormous oil resources the number one objective of the cunning predators. (4)
With respect to the endemic carnage in Iraq, try this one on for comparison purposes: Recently, a demented milk-truck driver ran amuck in Nickel Mines, PA, an Amish community set in pastoral Lancaster County and executed five innocent children. Americans were duly shocked, as they should have been. It was front page news for weeks. Yet, every day, there are multiple Nickel Mines-like slaughters going on in Iraq. Most people in this country hardly notice them, nor do they wish to acknowledge that it was their government that unlawfully launched the Iraqi War which created these blood stained killing fields. (5) If reported at all, these ghastly murders are presented as sound bites on the TV screen, that news readers, like Katie Couric, will be sure not to mention in any kind of critical context or with any meaningful analysis. To do so would point the finger of moral culpability for these evils deeds back at the hawkish wirepullers in Washington, D.C.
All of the above is only a part of the legacy of George W. Bush and some of his cronies. As for those Neocons, such as: Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and William Kristol, et al, who helped to inspire and push this immoral war, their hands are also, figuratively speaking, dripping with the blood of countless innocents. (6) As for accountability, it’s coming. Justice will not be mocked by these arrogant characters or forever denied. As I write, $332 billion has been wasted on this Iraqi horror show, and more than 20,000 American troops have come home seriously wounded. (7)
Resisting logic, common sense and morality, Bush is intent on “staying the course” in Iraq. No wonder he says that! One of his advisors, it has been revealed is Henry “Iago” Kissinger. I wonder sometimes how many lives in Southeast Asia, Central and South America, that horrible man is accountable for during his long career of giving out bum counsel? Bush won’t listen to a real expert on Iraq, and a patriot, too, like: Lt. Gen. William E. Odom, USA, Retired. He told the House’s “Out of Iraq” Committee on Sept. 26, 2006: “Cutting and running from Iraq is neither cowardly nor imprudent. It is the only way to recover from what is turning out to be the ‘greatest strategic mistake’ in American history!” (8)
It’s probably more poetic justice than anything else that this GOP-dominated Congress is in jeopardy of losing its control in the November election because a hypocritical pro-Iraqi War Congressman, Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), got caught up in a disgusting sex scandal involving one or more juveniles. Cynthia Tucker, put it best, when she wrote of that sordid situation: “That’s [the Foley mess] hardly the worst act this bunch [the GOP-controlled Congress] has perpetrated against the country. Congressional Republicans have cut taxes for the wealthy while also handing out new entitlements, ensuring that the current crop of kindergartners will struggle to pay off the debt. They have siphoned off billions in tax dollars for countless ‘earmarked’ pork barrel projects for favored members. They have enthusiastically joined the White House in the fear mongering and painting their critics as unpatriotic. They have pandered to the worst instincts of reactionaries; bashing illegal immigrants and demonizing gays. Giddy with power, they have allowed a festering culture of corruption that led to the excesses of Tom DeLay, Bob Ney and Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham. And worst of all, they have been complicit in the lies that the White House spread to defend its misbegotten war in Iraq.” (9)
Bush is so far over the proverbial edge that he won’t listen to reason. He even condones torture. Bush is a curse on our Republic. Only a “new” Congress, enrolled in Jan., 2007, is capable of reining him in and his Uber-Presidency. (10) Meanwhile, the damaging legacy of the War Hawks continues to take its toll, not only in Iraq, but also at home. The shredding of our Bill of Rights is ongoing. The ancient writ of Habeas Corpus has been gutted by the “Military Commissions Act,” (MCA), enacted on Sept. 29, 2006. The scope of this measure, dealing, partly, with the subject matter of an individual accused of “purposefully and materially” supporting “hostilities against the United States,” is very broad and deliberately vague. So much so, you could drive a Humvee through it! Every citizen of the Republic is now potentially at peril of being detained as an “enemy combatant” for simply opposing the war, an activity long protected by the First Amendment. (11)
Finally, in his latest film, “The Departed,” the brilliant director Martin Scorsese focuses on a gang of vicious, amoral gangsters in South Boston. He said, and this parallels the antics of the Bush-Cheney Gang for me: “There’re all lying. And their lives depend on it.” He added, “Look at the world today. Even more so now, we don’t know who’s telling the truth.” (12) Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), however, has it right on the Iraqi War. She said: “The problem we set out to solve is worse than it was before...It’s time to bring our troops home!” If only the American people will begin to listen to a rational Woolsey, and others like her, and not that deceptive, crazed “stay the course” in Iraq--Bush! (13) Time is running out. The November midterm election is pivotal. What will it be--more insanity or a return to reason and decency? (14)
1. View Fernando Suarez lamenting the death of his son, a U.S. Marine, in the Iraqi War, at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6azuS-8-hY&feature=PlayList&p=2B623A1B52732F04&index=23
3. “Hopkins Survey Concludes War Tripled Deaths of Iraqis,” Jonathan Bor, 10/11/06, Baltimore Sun.
4. Chalmers Johnson’s “The Sorrows of Empire.”
9. “Culture of Corruption Infests GOP Congress,” 10/10/06, Baltimore Sun, Cynthia Tucker.
11. “Congress Sends Bush Terror Tribunal Bill,” AP, 09/29/06, Ann Plummer Flaherty amd http://www.aclu.org/safefree/detention/26947prs20060928.html http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200609/092806c.html http://legalnews.tv/commentary/the_military_commissions_act_unintended_consequences_20060930.html
12. “Crime Time,” 10/10/06, Douglas J. Rowe, Baltimore Examiner.
14. For some of my favorite Anti-War YouTube Videos, go here: http://www.youtube.com/profile_favorites?user=liamh2
© William Hughes 2006.
William Hughes is the author of “Saying ‘No’ to the War Party” (IUniverse, Inc.). He can be reached at email@example.com