Democratic Underground

George W. Bush's Iraq

September 29, 2004
By Scott C. Smith

"I'm pleased with the progress (in Iraq)," President George W. Bush said on Sept. 18 to a Maine newspaper. "It's hard. Don't get me wrong. It's hard because there are some in Iraq who want to disrupt the election and disrupt the march to democracy, which should speak to their fear of freedom."

What is Bush smoking? Is he hitting the bottle? What the hell is he talking about? What progress? Iraq is in utter chaos right now. What progress is he pleased with? The frequent kidnapping and decapitation of hostages? The non-stop fighting in Fallujah? The near-daily deaths of American troops?

When Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11 was released, conservative pundits who did not actually see the documentary seized on one moment in the film which, to them, demonstrated that Moore somehow supported Saddam Hussein: a scene in Iraq with children playing, men getting haircuts, and people going about daily activities.

The conservative pundits are, of course, too obtuse to actually understand the point Moore was trying to make: Iraqis, even under a brutal dictator like Saddam Hussein, tried to live their lives under horrible conditions. Moore was attempting to humanize ordinary Iraqis, by showing them doing things we all do.

Conservatives were too stupid to understand this and blasted Moore for his "idyllic" portrayal of an Iraqi "paradise" under Saddam Hussein.

Yet now we have George W. Bush telling us all that we're making "progress" in Iraq, a progress he's "pleased" with. In a Sept. 15 speech to the National Guard Association in Las Vegas, Bush said, "Despite ongoing violence in Iraq... that country now has a strong prime minister, a national council and national elections are scheduled for January. The world is changing for the better."

Changing for the better? How? Does he think scores of car bombings equate a change for the better? Does he consider the deaths of 1,048 Americans a change for the better? Would the thousands of injured soldiers agree that we're making progress in Iraq? Is it progress that insurgents have taken control of cities like Fallujah? What about the thousands of dead Iraqi civilians? That's progress?

Bush and his supporters clearly consider the American public to be rubes, to be so stupid that we all would just forget that the original reason to invade Iraq was to disarm Saddam of his WMDs. And then we changed the mission to removing a brutal dictator, and now the mission is to fight the terrorists. Osama Bin who? We don't care. We'll get the terrorists that attacked us... eventually. In the meantime, we need to spend billions of dollars to ensure that Iraqis get quality medical care. Socialism - bad for America, good for Iraq.

What about the terrorists who attacked us on Sept. 11? Unless my memory is faulty, I don't recall that they hailed from Iraq. But Bush has to have his deadly snipe hunt in Iraq anyway. A snipe hunt that has left scores of young men disabled, brain damaged, blind and paralyzed, their lives changed completely due to faulty intelligence that, as Colin Powell told the U.N. Security Council in Feb. 2003, was not assertion but fact. That mistake has resulted in the deaths of over 12,000 Iraqi civilians. You know, the people we were trying to free from a brutal regime.

How many more decapitations will it take for Bush to admit that our initial intelligence on Iraq WMDs was bad? How many more young men will have their limbs blown off before Bush admits there are no WMDs in Iraq? How many more families will be destroyed before Bush admits he has no idea where the WMDs are?

Speaking of decapitations, the Associated Press reported on September 27 that in Baghdad, videos of the horrific decapitations have replaced pornography as the must-have item. The videos sell for as little as thirty cents.

"We are paying a lot of sacrifices. We are suffering a lot in Iraq," Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said September 19 on ABC's This Week. Prime Minister Allawi flip-flopped two days later in a press conference: "We are winning, defeating terrorists in Iraq. Unfortunately the media have not been covering these significant gains in Iraq," he said.

Iím guessing Allawiís comments on September 19 more accurately reflect the reality in Iraq than the rosy picture he painted with President Bush two days later.

It appears that Americans don't care what happens in Iraq as long as we're fat, dumb and happy, mesmerized by Dan Rather's "memogate" or the latest attack on John Kerry by the Swift Boat Vets. The Bush administration is counting on our complacency, that we will simply ignore what is happening in Iraq. So what if hundreds of billions of tax dollars are going to the reconstruction of Iraq? I can turn on the TV and catch the latest episode of The Apprentice.

Ignorance is bliss, especially when your name is George W. Bush.

Scott C. Smith is a columnist with the web site CounterBias. In addition to his weekly column, Scott writes for his web site, What's In Scottís Head.

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