By Ivan G. Goldman
By Ivan G. Goldman
Monday marks four years since our self-anointed wartime leader, mounted on a stuffed pony atop the hill, raised his hand Sitting-Bull style and sent the Coalition of the Willing across the frontier into Iraq. Demonstrators will mark the anniversary on Saturday, but they won’t be numerous because there’s no military draft. The message from the public is if someone from your family loses a life or a limb or something over there, hey, you took your chances. Besides, I'm doing my part; I've got a Support Our Troops sticker on my vehicle.
What ever happened to the report from that bipartisan panel led by Daddy's consigliere James A. Baker III? The one that said start pulling out and go heavy on diplomacy? It got big play for a while, but now it's another forgotten news story, this year's Tanya Harding, only not, of course, as big as the already-forgotten death of Anna Nicole Smith. Remember the surge? It's going on right now and no one pays much attention.
Invading Iraq was a kind of neocon dream but never an actual plan. It was more like a 5-year-old kid saying he wants to be an astronaut. It’s something he might want, but he has no idea what’s involved in getting there – science, math aeronautics, that sort of stuff. He just thinks astronauts wear cool space suits.
So neocons Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith and their weak-minded convert Bush Junior didn’t concern themselves with Shiites, Kurds, Sunnis, Iran, or any of the details. They wouldn't even bother to read a State Department report warning them of the danger, and when they found out they didn't have sufficient troops to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq they pulled troops out of Afghanistan.
Their duplicity, incompetence, and endless lying has been proved so many times in so many ways, there have been so many insiders who jumped ship and ratted out their former colleagues, that at this point answering the war's supporters is like arguing with the Flat Earth Society.
When it all fell apart – no ties to Bin Laden, no WMD – the Bush-o-ramusses went into a huddle and came up with a new goal they’d send other people’s kids to die for – establishing democracy in Iraq, making it a beacon of sweetness and light for all the Muslim world to see.
In the meantime the invasion and occupation of the oilfields infused crazies all across the Mideast – in Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt – with new strength. Also, Iran and North Korea decided they better really get moving on those nuclear bombs because they figured correctly that, ironically, if Saddam really had nukes, the U.S. would never have invaded. This new guy in Washington was so crazy he attacked countries just because he didn’t like them, kind of like the character in Johnny Cash’s song who shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
It’s hard to believe that after all the these failures the chicken hawks atop our government stay on-message with their loony non-policy of endless occupation. As Zbigniew Brzezinski testified in the Senate, his greatest fear about an administration secret plan "is that there is no secret plan." The dead and wounded are still piling up, for which we pay somewhere above $6 billion a month, enough to finance a seriously good universal health care system, fight systemic poverty, and do something real to stop poisoning the Earth.
Bush, just before this damnable anniversary, sent down a new Iraq appropriations bill. Amazingly, Congress will approve it. All the Democrats could muster in opposition was a bill that sets the goal of ending the war in eighteen more months and is so full of loopholes that even when September 2008 arrives, ignoring the deadline will carry no consequences. Those members, like Nancy Pelosi, for instance, who say no to the war and yes to its new funding are basically taking a stand against cannibalism while writing a check (from our account) to buy Hannibal Lector new cutlery.