Oh give me a home,
Where war criminals roam,
And international bankers get paid.
Where seldom is heard,
A soul-searching word,
And the headlines say it’s all okay…
Be careful what you wish for, because it just might come true.
Shortly after the 9-11 attacks, Pres. George W. (for “Worst in history”) Bush wished for payback for Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein because, “he tried to kill my father.”
Ever since then, better than one million Iraqis and tens of thousands of Americans have been footing that bill. That’s just the cost in terms of the dead and injured in the immoral and illegal adventure in Iraq. The sixth anniversary of that debacle is this week.
I say immoral because, since the dawn of civilization, human beings have only considered war “justified” when it is in self defense, in retaliation for an attack, never for pre-emptive reasons, such as those given for the “shock and awe” terror which was unleashed on Iraq, a country which was no threat to the U.S. or even its neighbors because of more than a decade of crippling sanctions dictated by this country.
That is immoral. That is un-Christian. That is uncivilized.
I say illegal because the former president lied to Congress, lied to the American people, and lied to the world about “weapons of mass destruction” he alleged Iraq to have, when he and members of his administration knew all along that those weapons did not exist. That is illegal.
It was not an intelligence failure which led this country to war six years ago, it was manufactured intelligence, intended to deceive the public into supporting the immoral war. That was a lie.
But they didn’t stop there. They kidnapped and captured individuals and detained them illegally in secret prisons all around the world, or turned them over to brutal dictatorships where they knew they would be tortured.
But they didn’t stop there. Where certain “high value” detainees were involved Bush administration officials ordered the CIA and others to torture individuals, in violation of U.S. treaties–considered constitutionally “the supreme laws of the land.” Can you say “Abu Guhraib?” Can you say “Guantanamo?”
And they didn’t stop there. They illegally spied on American citizens in this country. Even though there’s a law in place–the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)–which authorizes the government to get court-ordered warrants permitting agents to spy on telephone calls, the Bush administration went around the law, pursuing warrant less surveillance of untold thousands of individuals. That was patently illegal!
And while the administration’s “Darth Vader”–Vice President Dick Cheney–went to Iraq last year on the anniversary of the war, to gloat I guess, it was the testimony of hundreds of “Winter Soldiers” which was the most compelling witness against the war. The soldiers and Marines had committed unspeakable acts, beyond the call of war, against, often innocent Iraqis. These were not your rogue, Blackwater-type private contractors. These were uniformed soldiers, serving under oath just like their civilian commanders, to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.
The Winter Soldiers met at what was the largest-ever gathering of Iraq Veterans Against the War, a four-day summit which convened more than 200 veterans sharing accounts of the Iraq war and occupation. The service members–who Messrs. Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld, and Madame Rice were unfit to order into combat to risk their lives–came from across the country and presented eyewitness accounts, along with graphic, sometimes nauseating video and photographic evidence related to everything from the killing and injuring of innocent civilians and unarmed combatants, to racism and sexism in the U.S. military.
Immoral, illegal, behavior. War crimes committed by America’s top leaders. Would that they could be brought to the bar of justice. If only…