Naturally, most Americans dread the prospect of US soldiers coming home in body bags. It’s not something Americans do well, this coming to terms with engineered mass murder — and yet large numbers of Americans support Bush and his decision to invade Iraq.
How many dead GIs will America accept?
“I’m not going there, because I don’t know,” said Dan Bartlett, White House communications director.
“The president looks at this knowing that when the commander in chief talks about the use of force, the American people understand that it may entail the sacrifices he has spoken of. And the president also views this in the post-9/11 context, in which failure to act could lead to the taking of even more lives,” explained White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer.
You know you’re in trouble when they start talking about sacrifice. It usually means a there will be a whole lot more dead people, maybe even a few you know.
Numbers are abstract. 24 US soldiers killed. No names, no faces. That’s why the Iraqis broadcast images of POWs and the dead bodies of US soldiers on TV the other day. It’s both a propaganda war and a numbers game.
Even so, Americans don’t like to see their dead treated disrespectfully. Good chance the Iraqis don’t like to see their dead treated badly, either, but apparently the message has not made it to the corporate media. Images of dead Iraqi soldiers are all over newspapers, television, and the web.
The “coalition” — of two and one quarter — bombed Iraq TV after it showed the disrespectful video in question, but that will not staunch the uncomfortable imagery. It leaks all over the place, if you bother to take a look.
Such images rapidly deconstruct all abstractions the Bushites care to make.
It suddenly gets personal, emotional. People begin to ask questions, ask if this invasion is worth it. How many American kids need to die for Bush, for Wolfowitz, Perle, Abrams, Bolton, the Kristols and Kagans and Ledeens? 500? 5,000? 10,000? Somebody said the invasion might cost 12,000 US lives, ten percent of 120,000 troops.
How many dead Iraqi children and grandmothers are acceptable?
How many lives and how much money will this ill-defined and generally considered illegal invasion cost?
Bush and Ari and Dan Bartlett want to avoid these questions. In fact, Bush has called such questions “silly” and he refuses to answer them. If you’re worried about your kid in the military, how long he or she will be in Iraq and what he or she are up against, let it be known that Bush considers you silly.
Mass murder bothers most people, especially when it involves their loved ones.
Bush is apparently not human, maybe he’s a robot. Sometimes he looks like a robot. Only robots feel nothing when they issue orders to kill thousands of innocent humans.
Some people say Saddam’s dead, he died from cancer four years ago. But then it’s obvious this whole thing is not about Saddam Hussein. It’s about Iraq and Israel, it’s about oil and sending a message to the Arabs. It’s about the will of the Iraqi people who are now resisting invasion and the theft of their country.
As a Christian (or rather a professed Christian) you’d think mass murder would creep Bush out, considering the Ten Commandments and all. But then the Old Testament is chock full of unreasonable violence and murder. The God Bush listens to struck down all the firstborn in Egypt.
Bush’s selected religion — Christian Zionism — embraces mass murder in the name of the so-called Rapture and Second Coming of Christ. In short, countless numbers of people are required to die for these selfish Christian Zionists so they can get a free pass to heaven.
It’s the Arabs now, but later it will be the Israeli Jews who face extermination. Naturally, the Israelis exploit this sort of delusional nonsense and use Christian Zionist support against their implacable enemies, the Arabs.
Christian Zionists don’t care about dead people, especially Palestinian Arabs, all of who must die for the sake of their schizoid end-of-time theology fantasies.
“It’s a matter of victory and the Iraqi people have got to know that, you see,” explained Bush the other day. “They have got to know that they will be liberated and Saddam Hussein will be removed no matter how long it takes.”
In other words, if it takes a dozen or more market bombings, or a medieval siege of Baghdad, it’s in the best interest of the Iraqis for the US to blow them into cluster bomb crisscrossed chunks.
Did Bush even ask the Iraqis if they want to be liberated? No, because liberation is not the issue here — the wholesale looting of Iraq is the issue.
Bush and his neo-con school of global piranhas don’t care about the Iraqis who will die of thirst, starvation, and disease as a result of this criminal invasion and the eventual medieval siege of Baghdad. It’s the oil and the racist interests of the Israelis that matter, not the fate of a few million Iraqis.
More practical types envision gushing oil wells, spanking new strip malls, and a passel of IMF loans designed to loot not only the Iraqis of their water and natural resources, but also their self respect.
Bush doesn’t think like most of us.
Dubya’s a lot like his daddy, like Clinton and Nixon and Reagan and all the others — mass murder, death squads, genocide, starvation, torture, fixed elections, none of this cruel and heartless stuff bothers him.
It’s simply another set of pliers in the New World Order toolbox.
I was just following orders, said Adolf Eichmann.
Millions of people were killed on the direct orders of Hitler and his sadistic Nazi crew. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do and not look back in order to get things done, or so the Nazis reasoned. Millions of Germans agreed — and apparently millions of Americans now agree with Bush. Some of them even find him admirable.
It helps that Saddam and Osama are now the same person.
It wasn’t until the very end that the German people were forced to confront what the Nazis had done in their name. It will be much the same for Bush and the Americans.
It’s the job of CNN and Fox News to make sure we’re not tainted by the blood-drenched reality of this invasion. Truth must be bottled up, locked away.
Only one version of events will be allowed — and that version consists of the deceptive and cynically self-serving propaganda cranked out by the Bush White House, the Pentagon, and duly relayed to a gullible public by the corporate media.
This week both YellowTimes and the English-language version of al-Jazeera lost their internet presence.
Remember, the US put one of its precision-guided missiles down the smokestack of an al-Jazeera office in Kabul during the invasion of Afghanistan.
It has threatened to target the radio and satellite signals of independent journalists in Iraq, those not “embedded” (or entombed) in the Pentagon’s media charade and pre-packaged lie factory.
The pictures of dead Brit soldiers shown on Arab TV reportedly outraged Tony Blair, Bush’s sidekick and co-conspirator. Of course, if the images were of gassed Kurds and the finger was pointed at Saddam, Blair’s outrage would be turned in a different direction.
It’s a stage-managed and fake outrage Blair invokes.
Tony Blair, like Bush, has no compassion for the victims of the neo-con scheme to reorder the world — beginning with the Middle East. Blair is a robot, too. He is programmed for murder and devastation. Clinton — who bombed both Yugoslavia and Iraq — taught his protege Tony Blair well.
More specifically, it’s not dead people that irk Blair — not even dead Brits, per se — but rather the reaction of common and mostly decent British citizens to these horrific images and what they mean.
It’s all about how photos and video negatively impact support for the illegal Bush-Blair invasion of the Iraqi people, a people already suffering from more than a decade of sadistic and cruel Anglo-American imposed sanctions. More than 500,000 Iraqi children perished as a direct result of those sanctions. It’s a crime of Hitlerian dimensions.
In Britain, some people are talking about packing Tony off to The Hague. I support them, with one caveat: George W. Bush must be handcuffed to Blair when he boards the plane.
It was the UK Sun that reported the death of Private Jessica Lynch, 19, a US Army supply clerk who joined the US military because she couldn’t find a job in the Bush-Enron economy.
Lynch was one of 12 US soldiers killed by Iraqi soldiers in the ambush of a supply convoy.
Jessica’s cousin, Lorene Cumbridge, told the media for “West Virginia children in some of the more rural areas, the military is the one good chance of getting an education and making something of themselves.”
“The path we are taking is not easy, and it may be long,” Bush told several thousand working class and poor kid-soldiers at MacDill Air Force Base. “Every day has brought us closer to our objective.”
Ah, yes, the all-important objective.
Shall we summarize?
Jessica Lynch died for a) oil and the destruction of an increasingly euro-based OPEC, 2) the Israelis — who stand to benefit from this criminal invasion more than anybody beyond multinational corporations — and 3) because the Bushites want the world to know in no uncertain terms that the US will bomb and slaughter “vassals” — as neo-con swami Zbigniew Brzezinski calls people in the third world who resist New World Order gangsterism — the rest of humanity must understand that we are indeed a nation of merciless robot killers in hire of Halliburton and Exxon and the Enrons of the future.
Oh, and let’s not forget those 40 million or so Christian Zionists who demand the Middle East be swept clean of unChristianized Arabs — and, eventually, Jews and all other non-believers — so they can go to Heaven while the rest of us burn in Hell.
Possibly a half million or more innocent Iraqis and a few — dozen, hundred, thousand? — working class kids like Jessica Lynch, not to mention a few hundred billion dollars.
Bush is doomed to failure, maybe (hopefully) even criminal charges, because neo-cons such as Richard Perle and Michael Ledeen are unable to understand a very simple and human behavior pattern — when attacked, most people will defend themselves. Ask the Vietnamese peasants who kicked the ass of the baddest and most deadly military force in the world.
It’s called a home court advantage and Bush doesn’t get it.
Some of us knew it would turn out this way, but there’s no time to say we told you so.
We’re at a very dangerous intersection in this invasion — the US is stalled against the sheer intestinal fortitude and anger of the Iraqi people, many of whom are resisting the invasion violently.
It’s not Saddam they fear at this moment, but the global vampire crew of Bush and his “thinkers” — fat-ass wealthy “thinkers” such as Richard Perle who seem to believe people in the third world, especially Arabs, can easily be rolled over with clanking tank treads, their aspirations crushed without much effective resistance.
Once again, history teaches.
Once again, history shows the Richard Perles of the world up for what they are — amazingly stupid, arrogant, racist, reckless, and criminal.
Bush and his Pentagon planners want to avoid bombing Iraq’s already decimated infrastructure — not because they wish to avoid the human cost associated with such a brutal act, but rather because bombing Iraq to a Stone Age condition will make it more difficult to lord over the country, set up military bases in short order for future invasions in the neighborhood, and steal the oil. As well, killing too many Iraqis makes for resentful vassals and uncooperative near-slave laborers.
But then so does occupation, as the Israelis have learned. Instead of learning from history and understanding human behavior, both the Americans and the Israelis plod heavily toward defeat. In this way they are like Afrikaners and other miserable colonialists of the not-too-distant past.
Iraqis will continue their violent resistance to the criminal invasion. So the real Shock and Awe phase may now begin in earnest. It’s serious now, infrastructure be damned. The Israelis and Christian Zionists demand no less than pre-Armageddon devastation.
In other words, more dead people, and a whole lot of them.
As a result, more Iraqis missing a father or mother or brother and sister will now pick up a gun or a suicide bomb and take out American kids from West Virginia, Nebraska, and South Dakota. One foot in the quagmire, the US begins its intractable and predictable descent. The sum total will be nearly unimaginable suffering and death.
It will be the end of America as we know it.
No doubt, emboldened and driven by a shot list cobbled together by demented and immoral neo-con overseers, Bush will attack Iran and Syria next — in fact, he has already lobbed missiles into both countries.
Arabs remember the Crusades all too well. Bush’s Christian Zionist philosophy is not lost on them.
They also listen to what the Israelis have to say, especially the crazed settlers who seem to be running the government there now. Ethnic cleansing is a casual topic of discussion in Israeli cafes at this very moment.
For millions of Arabs, this is nothing short of a religious war — a high-tech continuation of the Crusades.
Is it logical to conclude that as the US military attacks Kerbala and Najaf — towns Shia Muslims consider infinitely holy — the average Muslim will effortlessly reach the conclusion that the Crusader infidels and the Israeli colonizers have finally arrived to eradicate Islam?
It doesn’t help when neo-cons start talking about editing the Koran after they domesticate — or is it democratize? — the primitive vassal Arabs and Iranians.
Did George Bush sincerely believe the Arabs would simply give up and welcome their self-proclaimed liberators with open arms?
It’s the racist elitism of Bush and Cheney and Powell and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and the PNAC think tank white paper writers and scriveners in the Pentagon and so-called intellectuals over at JINSA and AEI that are cajoling and shoving the American people into protracted and unsustainable war.
The ultimate result of all this traitorous collusion will be more dead people.
In the months ahead more and more average Americans will find themselves distressed by increasing numbers of dead people — and many of these usually peace-loving Americans will recognize the names of the dead — and maybe they will do something decisive, something capable of unseating the neo-con and Christian Zionist ideologues before they torch the entire planet with their self-destructive ideas and devious plans.
It may take something more than 500,000 people gathered in New York and San Francisco and Lisbon and Paris and nearly everywhere else.
It will take direct action from this point forward — and we know what that means, as do the men surrounding the George Bush, the unpresident.
He doesn’t want you to go there.
KURT NIMMO is a regular CounterPunch contributor. Bookmark his excellent website Another Day in the Empire http://nimmo.blogspot.com/
A Road Trip in Wartime
We Never Spit on Any Baby Killers
Saddam, a Hero Made in Washington
Icarus on Crack: American Hubris and Iraq
Richard Perle: the Enterprising Hawk
The Mother of All Bombs
Riad Abdelkarim, MD
Iraq War Lingo 101
Schlock and Awe
Website of the War
Iraq Body Count
Keep CounterPunch Alive:
Make a Tax Deductible Donation Today Online!