“What’s going on now [in Iraq]. We’re saving the President’s face!” - Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA)
On Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007, President George W. Bush spent the afternoon at the waterfront mansion of V.P. Dick Cheney. Cheney’s $2.5 million manor is located in St. Michaels, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and it fronts on the Chesapeake Bay. I wonder if it’s named, “Halliburton,” after the corporation where Cheney made most of his mega-millions? (1) It’s appropriate that Bush and Cheney, two ultra-Chicken Hawks, got together for a luncheon, in a part of Maryland known for its many “chicken” hatcheries! I doubt if Cheney has ever invited any of the tens of thousands severely wounded U.S. troops from the Iraq conflict, to enjoy his spectacular view of the Bay. His Neocon crony and neighbor, Donald Rumsfeld, “yes,” but an Iraq War Vet, “no.” Meanwhile, 28 U.S. troops have died in Iraq this month alone, bringing the total to 3,834, since the U.S. led invasion of March 20, 2003, which was launched on lies concocted by Bush and Cheney. (2) Here is one of the duo’s biggest whoppers: “We support the troops!” Now, let me tell you how these two warmongers have stabbed the troops in the back.
As background, let’s review the Vietnam conflict and the insights that Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), Chair of the House’s Veterans Committee, has on what happened to the veterans that served in that war. Rep. Filner, on Oct. 17, 2007, on Capitol Hill, said: “We did not take care of them. We [the government] made a mistake. We can still rectify it for those who are [still] with us. Over half of the homeless on the streets tonight, 200,000, are Vietnam Vets. As many Vietnam Vets have now committed suicide as died in the original war. That is over 58,000! We did something wrong. And, we see ‘the same thing’ happening again [with respect to the Iraq War]. The ‘suicide rates’ are back up to where they were in the Vietnam period. We’ve seen homelessness already...The President says: ‘SUPPORT TROOPS,’ ‘SUPPORT TROOPS,’ ‘SUPPORT TROOPS.’ but, when they [the troops] come home, ‘they are on their own.’”
Rep. Filner continued: “Because, what’s going on now is we’re ‘saving the President’s face.’ Everybody has admitted that we can’t win this [the Iraq War] militarily...It’s a political thing. We’ve gotta get out...He [Bush] is going to ‘stay in.’ He’s going to ‘stay in’ through his term. He’s going to make the Democrats take responsibility for this thing. That is to ‘save his face.’ Thousands of kids are going to come back in caskets, which we are not allowed to see, or with amputations, brain injuries, with traumatic stress...Everybody comes back with [this] incredible...sense of what they went through and it’s very difficult to reintegrate.” (3)
In other words, Bush and Cheney rushed the country into the illegal and immoral Iraq War falsely claiming, via their propaganda machine, that the invasion and the subsequent occupation, was going to be “a cakewalk.” As a result of their gross criminal negligence, our troops are continuing to die, suffer major injuries, and the VA facilities have been “overwhelmed” by the returning veterans, who require comprehensive medical care. The VA treated 20,638 Iraq War veterans for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) in just the first quarter of 2006 alone. In addition, the estimated 7,000 veterans with severe spinal, brain and amputations will “requires a lifetime of round-the-clock care.” (4)
The above is only one glaring example of how much Bush and Cheney “support the troops.” These two cretins lied to get the troops over to Iraq, didn’t armed them properly, totally misjudged the resistance, and then also failed to take care of the required medical needs of our soldiers who were placed on the firing line. And, it will take years, if ever, for us to find out exactly what harmful effects the depleted uranium is having on our soldiers (5) Today, Bush and Cheney are lying to keep the troops in Iraq as an occupying power. The “Surge” scheme is part of that lie. Rep. Filner is right when he said, as others have pointed out, including the gutsy Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), that there is “no military solution” to the Iraq conflict, only a “political” one. (6) U.S. troops are in Iraq now for the Mother of All Frivolous Reasons, as Rep. Filner underscored: “SAVING THE PRESIDENT’S FACE!” Rep. Lee, on Oct. 17, 2007, also said how President Bush is “BREAKING THE LAW” by building “permanent” bases in Iraq. (6)
When I read in the Baltimore Sun that Bush was headed for the Eastern Shore to spend the day with Cheney, and to stay at his Saddam-like palace, I couldn’t help but think about the tragic fate of Marine Sgt. D.J. Emery, who’s from Jacksonville, Pennsylvania (near Bellefonte). He was nearly killed on Feb. 7, 2007, by a suicide bombing, losing both of his legs, which resulted also in “limited use of one arm, major internal injuries and an extremely serious blood infection.” His tour of duty in Iraq was scheduled to end in Jan., 2007, but it was “extended” by the Pentagon to fulfill the bogus “Surge” strategy of Bush and Cheney. Sgt. Emery is being treated at Walter Reed Hospital. (7)
I imagined the arrogant Bush, sitting next to his crony Cheney, out on the well-manicured lawn of his sprawling estate. They’re watching the sail boats go by, nibbling on a crab imperial , and laughing aloud about how they have pulled a fast one on the American people, with respect to the Iraq War, and in the process bulldozed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi into becoming one of their puppets. (8) Meanwhile, as they giggle away, Sgt. Emery needs extraordinary medical care 24/7, just to keep his hopes alive! (7)
How many more U.S. troops have to die in Iraq and/or sustain acute injuries in order for Bush “to save face?” How many more have to come back home as invalids, like Sgt. Emery, so that he and Cheney can pretend that they “support the troops?” Bush and Cheney are using the troops and the noble idea of “Patriotism” to cover their serial wrongdoings. They are both fakers, clever, but dangerous, fakers. They are exploiting our sons and daughters for their own selfish ends. Bush and Cheney are looking to deploy our Republic to fight wars without end to enrich the obscene profits of the Special Interests. (9) Unless reversed, it’s a prescription for national, and global, disaster.
I say: Bring the troops home, now, and impeach Bush and Cheney. Let Bush “save face” in a federal prison. This is where he and Cheney belong, as cell mates, for lying to the Congress, and to the people, and for starting a war of aggression against Iraq, a country of 27 million souls, without just cause. And now, they also belong in the slammer for keeping our troops in peril, for the most criminal of reasons: So, that the faker Bush “can save face!”
©2007, William Hughes.
William Hughes is a video and print journalist. His videos can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=liamh2
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