Now that the truth is coming out about George W. Bush (see the recently published memoir of Paul O’Neill and his time as Bush’s first Treasury Secretary) and his intentions in Iraq lets consider the cost of blind patriotism and what we as citizens should demand be done for the people of Iraq and the US troops occupying their country.
It seems Pres. Bush 2 has been planning the war in Iraq from the moment he became the Supreme Court designated occupant of the White House. Before there was a World Trade Center attack, before Saddam Hussein had toyed with and defied the United Nations and its weapons inspectors and in direct contradiction to his own statements to us, George Bush wanted to invade Iraq. His theory of pre-emptive war a mere cover for this action.
Yes, perhaps you are protesting, but Saddam Hussein was a bad man, he did awful things to his people, he murdered Iranians and Kuwaitis and Iraqis. Yes he is a murderer, a despot, a tyrant. He was our appointed murderer, despot and tyrant. Installed with our government’s help and encouragement most of his atrocities passed unremarked by those who currently protect us – Donald Rumsfeld, the CIA, the future Pres. Bush 1 in his many roles with the CIA and the State Dept.
Given Saddam Hussein’s actions throughout his terrifying rule of Iraq, did our government not have a responsibility to the people we had helped him terrorize? Of course it did, but first by admitting what our government had done and then asking for help from the international community, humbly and with recognition of our complicity in creating the mess that is the Middle East.
Which is why US troops cannot leave Iraq. Not after all the ways the Iraqi people were made to suffer for our countries oily aspirations. What will truly support our troops is for the current administration to tell the truth about its intentions. Then, as he awaits impeachment, Pres. Bush 1 needs to turn control of the recovery in Iraq to the United Nations, with the US Armed Forces as their disposal. US commanders need to recommit themselves to the US constitution and organize themselves for peacekeeping and re-orient themselves to willing participation as servants of the international community in the rebuilding of Iraq. Then and only then will the pain and struggles and death of US troops and Iraqi civilians have meaning beyond the hubris of an unelected president.