Democratic Underground  
Is Truth Bush's Number 1 Enemy?
Why the Best American is a Misinformed American
October 10, 2002
By Maurreen Farrell

Last spring, BBC News ran a segment on depleted uranium. Featuring an Iraqi doctor discussing increased cancer rates in areas where depleted uranium-tipped artillery shells were dropped during the Gulf War, the report chronicled the plight of 13 and 14-year-old girls undergoing mastectomies. In doing so, it delved into territory rarely seen. The clincher wasn't just that the BBC addressed uranium-associated horrors, which, in itself, was a TV-Land rarity, but that they did so without some British Paula Zahn accusing them of "drinking Saddam Hussein's Kool-Aid."

Sans Fox Newsian experts discrediting testimony, the piece was entirely convincing. Though, admittedly, it was hard for this American to fathom that the U.K was seriously considering discontinuing its use of depleted uranium ammunition, due to ethical concerns. Would another nation actually admit it might have made a terrible mistake? And that it could somehow be culpable? Here in the Land of Pentagon Infallibility, where we export seeds for germ warfare (and act shocked afterwards), that was hard to imagine. And frankly, one felt "anti-American" for noticing.

Dancing with Depleted Uranium

Certainly, though some journalists, scientists and citizens struggle for clarity, it's as if caring about the fate of Iraqis or suggesting the U.S might be harming its own soldiers is treasonous - even if it's true. Thankfully, some forge ahead regardless. The Christian Science Monitor, for example, should be commended for its valiant efforts with its "Trail of a Bullet" series, while Gulf War veterans should be applauded for their untiring search for answers.

And despite the government's aversion to inquiry, Dr. Asaf Durakovic, former research scientist with the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs, is a hero for investigating the link between depleted uranium and Gulf War Syndrome. Now a professor of medicine, this former U.S. Army colonel has found a "significant presence" of depleted uranium in the bones of Gulf War veterans and estimates that tens of thousands of Gulf War veterans suffer the effects of radiation. With veterans of the conflict in Croatia showing similar symptoms, this can't be blamed on Saddam.

Moreover, if depleted uranium is "safe" why do military safety regulations call for those working near depleted uranium sites to wear heavily insulated clothing? And why have cancer rates risen 400% in Iraq since 1991? Are American tax dollars paying for mass genocide, as some suggest?

"I believe that Americans are basically decent people," former U.N. humanitarian official Denis Halliday said, in a recent Salon interview. "If they understood that Iraq is not made up of 22 million Saddam Husseins, but made up of 22 million people. . . they would be horrified to realize that the current killing of innocent Iraqi civilians by the U.S. Air Force, or what happened in the Gulf War, is being done in their name."

That may be so, but when well-meaning souls try to inform Americans, Americans don't believe them. And those who speak out are often vilified and shouted down. Rep. Jim McDermott's latest statements on Iraq's depleted uranium-related birth defects confirm others' ethical concerns. But as politicians and pundits depict McDermott as a traitor (even though, unlike the squawking chicken hawks, he's a Vietnam vet), few listen to what he has to say. It's anti-American to have a conscience, it seems.


Representative McDermott is in hot water for other "sins," too, especially for suggesting President Bush would mislead the American people in order to drag them into war. Though the Guardian's Simon Tisdall calls Bush "America's great misleader," and CIA officials say the president is using "cooked information" to falsify Iraq's threat, American pundits cry foul. Why, one wonders, is McDermott's observation such a shocker? Is it really so outrageous to suggest that Bush would say or do anything to make sure the war progresses as planned - especially when government insiders confirm that's the case? Whether today's excuse is "weapons of mass destruction" or "regime change" or "disarmament," or Saddam's alleged attempt to snuff Bush the Elder, war is on the agenda and has been since before the 2000 selection. Not only did pre-election think tank studies form national policy, but the GOP included "regime change" as part of its 2000 platform.

Why wouldn't George II mislead us? From Database Technology Florida shenanigans to our "humble" foreign policy to corporate and election reform, he's already told some pretty serious fibs. Plus, his father was a master of manipulation, contriving events and perpetuating propaganda to achieve his ends. "October Surprises" and media strangleholds notwithstanding, can we ever forget April Glaspie's "green light" meeting with Saddam, where she told Hussein, one week prior to the invasion, that the U.S had "no opinion on Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait?" There were also forged photos of troops at the Saudi border and discarded babies in incubators fabrications, which goaded teetering representatives into supporting Gulf War I. If Bush #41 would subvert democracy through deceit, why wouldn't Bush #43 do likewise? As Jeb Bush's recent revelations indicate, "devious plans" seem to run in the family.

And don't forget war profiteering. According to Seymour Hersh, Neil and Marvin Bush and James Baker, among others, struck up sweet post-Gulf War deals. At the time, James Baker represented Enron, and as one Enron executive asked Hersh, "Is there any reason American companies shouldn't profit from the war in Kuwait?" Enron's Gulf War attitude foreshadowed things to come.

Dirty Secrets

"Profiting from war," of course, is one of Bush Inc.'s dirtiest secrets. Citizens shell out up to half of their income to fund a bulging beast while others in this country go hungry and uninsured. The United States' annual defense budget is $260 billion, while Russia, next in line, spends less than $80 billion a year. And guess who profits? Despite being under investigation for corporate wrongdoing, Halliburton continues to rake in the government contracts for overseas military bases and Gitmo cells, while George Bush Sr., James Baker and other Carlyle Group members make a killing through defense contracts.

As the Sunday Herald's Neil Mackay recently reported, the U.S .planned a military attack on Iraq five months before Sept. 11, in order to "secure control of its oil." Citing a document called, "Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century" which has been linked to James Baker, Dick Cheney and other Captains of Industry, Mackay says America's 'military intervention' is meant to "to fix the [approaching] US energy crisis" and insure American dominance in the Middle East.

But Empire and Democracy can't exist side by side, and "we the people" will become but tools of the state. If developing revelations about Bush's Enron-like Harken misconduct weren't bad enough, recently released information about the government's use of citizens as bio-terror guinea pigs confirms that there's an "us" vs. "them." If you want to get beyond the Disneyfied version of reality the networks broadcast daily and don't trust G.W. Bush (or those he serves) to be on your side, educate yourself.

Investigate seedier historic moments, for example, by researching Operation Northwoods, Operation Paperclip and Operation Mockingbird. Or look up "John Foster Dulles" along with "Prescott Bush." You can cross-reference "the National Security Memorandum 200," with "depopulation" and "biological warfare," if you like, or google "Chile, Nixon and Pepsi." And though searching "BCCI, Bush and bin Laden," or "BCCI , Bush and Iraq" or "BCCI, Bush and Iran" might make you permanently lose your innocence and faith, it's fun for the whole family, I swear. If you're especially ambitious, check out the dubious deaths of Don C .Wiley or Danny Casolaro, though you might want to save those for Halloween.

Truth as a Terrorist

Keep educating yourself, and while you're at it, ask: Who stands to gain by having citizens believe the avalanche of lies we're fed? Sooner or later, you'll realize that what amounts to anti-Americanism these days is often an affinity for Truth. As a Vietnam veteran, Congressman McDermott has every reason to question the government's official line before the bloodshed commences. All of us, each and everyone, should have an idealized vision of what America can be - and work towards that goal. The neo-cons who've stolen America can't comprehend that. To them, and their benefactors, the best American is a misinformed American. But whose country is this? Theirs? Or yours?

"The enormous gap between what US leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the dominant political mythology," author Michael Parenti wrote. Push that mythology aside and endure the howls of anti-Americanism. Because though Truth is the enemy of the state, it's the only thing that will set you free.

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