Tuesday, September 27, 2005

An open letter to Families United for the Troops and other supporters of the Iraq war

On Saturday September 24, 2005, I and perhaps 199,999 or more other people passed by a small coterie of supporters of George W. Bush and the war in Iraq as we peacefully demonstrated in the streets of our nation’s capital. The hostility that you feel for us was palpable. You called us “traitors, cowards, communists, smelly hippies,” among other epithets. I looked around and saw among my fellow marchers people from the American mainstream, war veterans from several conflicts (some on crutches), retired senior citizens, mothers and fathers with children. I did not see hate. Only when I turned my eyes back to the sidelines, did I feel the emanations of that most blinding of emotions.

First, let me say that to any of you who have lost loved ones in the battlefield of Iraq, I share your loss. Though I may not be able to feel the depth of sorrow that only you can harbor, our common humanity grieves for the end of youth in its blossoming, as well as for the loss of men and women in their prime who likely never thought that their service in the National Guard Reserve would bring them to the killing fields of the Middle East. However, I also grieve for the lost lives of thousands of Iraqi innocents whose deaths go untabulated in the newspapers of America’s heartland, but whose loved ones mourn them as deeply as you do yours. But unlike you, I see a greater tragedy in both their loss and yours: the tragedy of ignoble cause, misguided objectives, and the unseemliness of lies. I see the usurpation of the ideals that you believe empower this conflict. I see the machinations of power, power corrupted by a grave ideology that bears little fealty to the teachings of Christ while painting itself in the colors of faith, power fueled by greed and delusion.

In the wake of 9/11, the United States was the recipient of an outpouring of empathy unparalleled in our recent history. Nations across the globe decried this base and barbaric act of murder. A candlelit vigil of support was held in Iran, of all places, one of the triumverate of George W. Bush's "axis of evil." We had the world community behind us as our forces toppled the Talaban and sought Osama bin Laden in Afganistan. For the first time in his short political career, the prodigal son of the Bush dynasty evinced a degree of leadership. Little did we know, this was a mere distraction. A myth began to be spun, even as our search for bin-Laden
unravelled, a myth about "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, a myth, despite the revelation of its falseness, to which so many of you of still cling, even in the face of its repudiation by its fork-tongued architects. You will never hear your favorite spin jockeys on right wing radio and Fox News tell you the truth: Saddam Hussein was supported militarily by the US and Germany and the UK (among others) up until 1988. Donald Rumsfeld even met Saddam giving him US intelligence to help fight and kill Iranians (see photo on left).

The President of the United States and the
Neoconservative ideologues that surround him knew the truth. But they also knew that so many of you could be duped. Duped by the naive belief that our country's government is not capable of ignominy, or that anything that our country does can be excused purely because it is our country, that somehow, in some mysterious way, we are on always on a path of righteousness and can never stray.

"After 218 inspections of 141 sites over three months by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei charged that the U.S. had used faked and erroneous evidence to support the claims that Iraq was importing enriched uranium and other material for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. So why, considering all this good news, is the White House afraid to allow the inspections to continue? Is Bush worried that the weapons may not exist and that his real goal, stated blatantly in his last press conference, of taking over Iraq might be undermined? How else to explain the president's indifference to the fact that the evidence of weapons locations supplied by his own intelligence agencies has not checked out on the ground?

"To distract us from this essential truth, the president has shamefully frightened the American people, first with his baseless attempt to link Saddam Hussein to 9/11 and then with unproven claims that Iraq's government and weapons pose an immediate danger to Americans. The real story is that U.N. inspectors are reporting substantial progress in terms of Iraqi cooperation and the destruction of weapons in Iraq."

-- Robert Scheer, Los Angeles Times, 11 March 2003

And by reciting the mantra of "9/11", with all the attendent outrage and fear that those numbers inspire, these architects of deception succeeded.

Until now. Revulsion for the policies of this administration brought over 100,000 souls to the nations capital last weekend, while your coterie of true believers could only marshall a few hundred. It is apparent to me why so many of you loathe Cindy Sheehan with such vitriole, why she is such a target for your attacks. She represents your worst fears, the nagging voice in the corner of your mind that whispers that you have spurned the truth in exchange for the empty assurances of a false dream unending, that asks you why
, among all the sons and daughters of America who pay the price of war in Fallujah, Basra and Baghdad, none are the children of this administration and its allies in Congress?

George W. Bush and his Neoconservative administration continue to tell us that we are pursuing a "noble cause" to export American democracy and respect for human rights to Iraq. I would like to challenge you to reconcile this belief, which I assume that you share, with these facts:

  • There is the right to be free from arbitrary arrest and from being exiled, but since the Patriot Act, a person can be arbitrary held without charges.
  • The U.S. has failed miserably to ratify United Nations Declarations to guarantee human rights in more than half the cases.
  • It took 21 years to even ratify the Genocide Convention (the Soviets ratified the Convention in 1954) and then the U.S. did it with so many attachments to the original convention so as to make it worthless. We can accuse other of Genocide but can never be judged ourselves.
  • The United States and Somalia are the ONLY countries in the world that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
  • The United States is the only industrialized nation that has REFUSED to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW.
  • The United States has NOT ratified the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR).
  • AND for those declarations the United States does ratify, it attaches conditions which undermine their effectiveness.
  • The U.S. has REFUSED to ratify the International Criminal Court.
  • George W. Bush withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
  • The U.S. walked out of the World Conference Against Racism.
  • And the United States, by order of its commander-in-chief George W. Bush launched a virtually unilateral attack on Iraq for which it DID NOT HAVE APPROVAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL.

The UN and everyone else on this planet are afraid of the power of the world's only real super-power. Only Germany, France, and Russia made any real noise of objection and were punished by being denied lucrative contracts (read "booty") in occupied Iraq.

Would those of you who still parlay the terms "noble cause" to this conflict still stand as strong if they were substituted with the words "oil and money?"

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
--Hermann Goering, at the Nuremberg trials

I am indebted to Hank Roth's web page Right Wing Ideologues for some of my information.


Sisyphus said...

Good lord, what an idiot. I mean, seriously, could yall get any more clueless?

griffinia said...

Ahhh, another anonymous wingnut prophet. No, I can never be as clueless as you, you poor deluded schmuck.