The Rush to Justify the Devastation

When you wage a war that is strongly opposed by the great majority of those on the planet who are aware of such things, when your own people are becoming increasingly militant against your unilateral waging of that war, when you know well that your war is palpably and embarrassingly illegal, immoral, illogical and unjust, when you can’t admit the real reasons for the war … then you have a consuming need to find a moral-sounding and credible selling point — “Regime change”, to remove the evil Saddam, the Iraqi people will welcome us with flowers and music!

Thus was it mortifying for the warmongers that for more than the first two weeks of the war the Iraqi images shown to the world were largely of the dead, the wounded, the grief-stricken, the immense piles of rubble, the bombing-produced homeless, those bitterly angry at the US. How could it be otherwise? What kind of people like their loved ones torn apart by missiles, their children without a limb, their homes, hospitals, schools and jobs destroyed? The US military told its cannon fodder and its embedded media that any negative reaction, or lack of a positive one, was all because the people were afraid of Saddam, as if one of his agents was standing behind each Iraqi citizen. Why did a million people fight and resist to the death instead of surrendering, defecting, anything to show their gratitude for their “liberation”?

Now, any teenager flashing a victory sign or anyone climbing upon a toppled statue of Saddam is an American media star. But what portion of the Iraqi people are happy about the invasion — happy about all its effects? What are they happy about other than the removal of Saddam? And many Iraqis supported him. Of those “celebrating”, how many have been touched by the death and destruction? How many even know about it? The US bombed Iraqi and Arabic TV off the air fairly early on for much of the country. Much of the telephone system was another early victim.

As an American, I might also celebrate if the cruel and ignorant tyrant occupying the White House were overthrown. But not if my house were demolished and my city were bombed. In any event, I’d keep most of my joy in reserve until I saw who and what replaced the tyrant. Like in Iraq, it would likely be a conservative Republican.

However, I’m being light here. No changes in Iraq justify the American onslaught. What kind of world would we have if any country could invade any other country because it didn’t like the leader of that country? And in this case, the United States was not motivated at all by Saddam Hussein, or his evilness, or his alleged weapons of mass destruction, or his alleged threat to the US.

WILLIAM BLUM is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, Rogue State: a guide to the World’s Only Super Power. and West-Bloc Dissident: a Cold War Political Memoir. He can be reached at: BBlum6@aol.com

More articles by:
March 20, 2018
Jonathan Cook
US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank
Jeffrey St. Clair
How They Sold the Iraq War
Chris Busby
Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout
Nick Alexandrov
Washington’s Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen
David Mattson
Wyoming Plans to Slaughter Grizzly Bears
Paul Edwards
My Lai and the Bad Apples Scam
Julian Vigo
The Privatization of Water and the Impoverishment of the Global South
Mir Alikhan
Trump and Pompeo on Three Issues: Paris, Iran and North Korea
Seiji Yamada
Preparing For Nuclear War is Useless
Gary Leupp
Brennan, Venality and Turpitude
Martha Rosenberg
Why There’s a Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s on World Water Day, March 22
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nomi Prins 
Jared Kushner, RIP: a Political Obituary for the President’s Son-in-Law
Georgina Downs
The Double Standards and Hypocrisy of the UK Government Over the ‘Nerve Agent’ Spy Poisoning
Dean Baker
Trump and the Federal Reserve
Colin Todhunter
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
US Empire on Decline
Ralph Nader
Ahoy America, Give Trump a Taste of His Own Medicine Starting on Trump Imitation Day
Robert Dodge
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons by Divesting from Them
Laura Finley
Shame on You, Katy Perry
Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography
Kathy Deacon
Me, My Parents and Red Scares Long Gone
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Rexless Abandon
Andrew Levine
Good Enemies Are Hard To Find: Therefore Worry
Jim Kavanagh
What to Expect From a Trump / Kim Summit
Ron Jacobs
Trump and His Tariffs
Joshua Frank
Drenched in Crude: It’s an Oil Free For All, But That’s Not a New Thing
Gary Leupp
What If There Was No Collusion?
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: Bernard Fall Dies on the Street Without Joy
Robert Fantina
Bad to Worse: Tillerson, Pompeo and Haspel
Brian Cloughley
Be Prepared, Iran, Because They Want to Destroy You
Richard Moser
What is Organizing?
Scott McLarty
Working Americans Need Independent Politics
Rohullah Naderi
American Gun Violence From an Afghan Perspective
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Why Trump’s Tariff Travesty Will Not Re-Industrialize the US
Ted Rall
Democrats Should Run on Impeachment
Robert Fisk
Will We Ever See Al Jazeera’s Investigation Into the Israel Lobby?
Kristine Mattis
Superunknown: Scientific Integrity Within the Academic and Media Industrial Complexes