with Strings Attached
By Richard A. Stitt
One of the definitions of sovereignty is "freedom from external
control." George W. Bush's hypocrisy is all the more blatant
when he tells the American people that our military fought
and are still fighting in Iraq because we want to give the
Iraqi people freedom and democracy. In fact, he is now demanding
that the Iraqis can only have partial democracy and basically
no sovereignty over their own country until he says so. Sovereignty,
he says, will be handed over to the Iraqis on June 30. This
ill-fated policy will be a recipe for disaster as soon as
the Iraqi citizens see how once again Bush has deceived them.
Before the war, the sole reason Bush gave for invading Iraq
was that Saddam Hussein was poised to use weapons of mass
destruction against the United States. However, now that no
WMD have been found, even after a full year of U.S. military
occupation and the deaths of nearly 700 soldiers and upwards
of 15,000 Iraqi men, women and children, we are now being
given a far different and revised version: Now the reason
Bush invaded Iraq, we are being told, was to bring them freedom
and democracy. But with strings attached.
Add onto this policy of deception Bush's need to divert
$700 million in funds away from fighting al-Qaeda and the
Taliban, and hunting down Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan,
in order to invade Iraq.
Now Bush's puppet leader in Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, is
little more than the Mayor of Kabul. Afghanistan is officially
named the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, meaning that it
is morphing more each month into a Taliban lookalike theocracy.
In the meantime, because of a U.S. military presence of only
about 15,000 troops, Afghanistan is once again the world's
leading producer and exporter of opium, a cash crop that is
financing the renaissance of the Taliban and al-Qaeda operations.
Bush alone bears total responsibility for permitting the
revival of the terrorists while he diverted money, troops
and resources in order to pursue his preemptive war of choice
in Iraq. He got his much-coveted war and, as Colin Powell
personally told him in the White House Oval Office, once you
go down that road, "you will own that country." Bush now owns
that country, only now he doesn't really know what to do with
Add to this hypocrisy the statement that Bush is fond of
making, "You're either with us or with the terrorists," while
he disdains and criticizes democratic elections such as the
one recently held in Spain where 90% of the Spanish population
opposed Bush's war policies and the consequences in the aftermath
of the Iraq War which have led to more violence and bloodshed.
But Bush has no problem embracing the repressive monarchies
of Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as well as supporting Pakistan's
dictator, Pervez Musharraf. So far, his Faustian deal with
Pakistan has cost the American taxpayers over $2 billion with
more billions on the way as long as Bush can continue to bribe
Musharraf to join in the "coalition of the willing" nations.
Will Mr. Bush and his war hawks now begin their anti-government
screechings against Honduras, the Dominican Republic and possibly
Poland since these countries, following Spain's lead, are
indicating they will pull their troops out of Iraq? According
to Bush/Cheney and their acolytes, the Spanish election was
won by the terrorists, not the people, in spite of the 76%
voter turnout and the desire to distance themselves from the
pro-war Jose Aznar and his pro-Bush government.
If the same fractured logic and reasoning that the Bush
administration is now applying towards Spain is applied to
these other countries, or other countries which opt out of
the Iraq coalition, it follows then that the only elections
or governments that will be supported by the U.S. are those
that agree unequivocally and completely with the Bush war
How many more threats and lies can Bush get away with before
the American people catch on?
If we are to believe most of the major polls which have
appeared in the last week, the worse the attacks against our
forces are in Iraq, the more Bush lies concerning revelations
that his administration had ample warnings of terrorist attacks
before 9/11, the more U.S. military and civilian deaths mount
in Iraq, the higher Bush's approval ratings seem to go. The
Karl Rove-crafted tautology still holds. "War forever, fear
and crises keep Bush's poll numbers high; therefore, war,
crises and fear are good."
If the attention-getting "War Forever" mantra has worked
so well in the past, it now seems to be working more effectively
than ever. But will it continue to work that well up until
That Bush is offering "partial democracy and sovereignty"
for Iraq leads me to ask the question whether in fact Iraq
may be a testing ground to see how well "partial democracy
and partial freedom" could work in America if Bush prevails
for another four years in the White House.
Judging by the acquiescence and willingness of the American
people to accept the USA Patriot Act and its companion, Patriot
Act II, and judging by the recent polls, the United States
Constitution and guarantees of civil liberties are well on
their way to becoming footnotes of history.
When Bob Woodward asked Bush in a recent interview, "Well,
how is history likely to judge your Iraq war?" Bush answered
this way: "'History,' and then he took his hands out of his
pocket and kind of shrugged and extended his hands as if this
is a way off. And then he said, 'History, we don't know. We'll
all be dead.'"
Apparently, Bush never heard of the Nixon era which climaxed
in the Watergate investigations and Nixon's eventual resignation.
But then again, maybe Bush doesn't need to fear being accountable
to the people. After all, he has five right-wing activist
Republican lackeys on the U.S. Supreme Court reinforced by
the gutless, compliant, rubber stamp Republican-contolled
Congress to do his bidding.
Maybe it's time to change the final words of the Pledge
of Allegiance to read, "With Partial Liberty and Partial Justice
for some." Perhaps the mainstream media can conduct a poll
on that subject - that is, if the First Amendment hasn't been
rewritten before they get the opportunity.