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Bush and the Echo Chamber

 

I didn’t watch George Bush on TV this evening.

Instead, I watched Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine, a film I missed when it was in the theaters. As I watched Moore’s exposé on American violence, Bush stood in front of a podium in the White House Cabinet room and rambled on about how America needs to be more violent, how it needs to kill more people. America needs the United Nations to help injure and murder even more Iraqis (according to the Iraq Body Count database and archive of war reports, nearly 8,000 Iraqi civilians have died and at least 20,000 have suffered injury).

Of course, Bush didn’t exactly say it that way.

Bush said — as I read later on the web — Security Council members who were disgusted and repelled by what the United States did and continues to do in Iraq “now have an opportunity and responsibility to make sure Iraq becomes a free and democratic nation” (as Fox News put it). In other words, they should donate their sons and money to the ongoing slaughter. “We cannot let past differences interfere with present duties,” said Bush. “Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilized world, and opposing them must be the cause of the civilized world.”

In other words, now that the US is floundering in Iraq — faced with an unwinnable war against indigenous revolt in opposition its brutal and illegal occupation — Bush no longer believes the United Nations is irrelevant. Rather, now that Bush and the neocon hawks running US foreign policy need more bodies to stop the bullets and RPGs fired by Iraqi guerillas, the United Nations is not — for the moment anyway — irrelevant.

Is it possible they will change “freedom fries” back to “French fries” in the House of Representatives’ cafeterias now that Bush wants to French to donate their kids to the neocon war to terrorize and “democratize” the Middle East?

Apparently, al-Qaeda has successfully attacked Washington — they must have spiked the water system or the air conditioning ducts in the capitol with LSD because both sides of the aisle are speaking hallucinatory gibberish.

“It’s been so obvious to our commanders and to others that we need troops from other nations,” said a senile Carl Levin. “This president must offer more specifics on these and other important questions if he is to build the legitimacy and consent of this nation and our neighbors throughout the world to win the peace in Iraq and win the global war on terror,” babbled John Kerry. “Now that the president has recognized that he has been going down the wrong path, this administration must begin the process of fully engaging our allies and sharing the burden of building a stable democracy in Iraq,” gibbered Richard Gephardt. “We cannot afford to lose the peace in Iraq,” prattled presidential hopeful Howard Dean. And to think a lot of people consider Dean too liberal to win a general election.

Turn them upside down and they all look the same — with the notable exception of Dennis Kucinich, who called for an immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq during the so-called first national Democratic presidential debate held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on September 4.

Bush promised to squander an additional $87 billion in Iraq, if Congress lets him — and you can bet the farm they will. “This will take time and require sacrifice. Yet we will do whatever is necessary — we will spend whatever is necessary — to achieve this essential victory in the war on terror, to promote freedom, and to make our own nation more secure,” Bush said. That $87 billion is up and beyond the $350 billion Bush gave away to rich people (meanwhile, as the Labor Department reported the other day, employers cut 93,000 jobs from payrolls in August, up considerably from the 43,000 positions lost in July).

All Bush and these echo-chamber Democrat presidential wannabes will manage to do is create and perpetuate the worst foreign policy blunder in US history.

“The future of Iraq obviously cannot be separated from future developments in the entire region,” writes Gary Bruce Smith. “Many are of the opinion that the neo-conservative elements in the US have as their basic plan to secularize and democratize the Middle East, with Iraq as the test case. To say that things are not going well would be an understatement. The deterioration in the situation has resulted in the turnabout in the US attitude and the recent attempts to internationalize the situation are signs that the Bush administration is starting to realize the folly of their actions.”

The assassination of Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer Al-Hakim “was the opening volley in the coming Iraqi civil war,” explains William O. Beeman, director of Middle East studies at Brown University. “The United States will reap the whirlwind.”

The Bush speech is an admission that Beeman’s whirlwind is closing in with the determination of Hurricane Fabian. Dubya sorely needs “old Europe” to cover his ass, but it is remains to be seen if they will, especially considering neocon and Republican hostility toward France, Germany, and Belgium (the list of Republicans engaging in Europe bashing is remarkably long — not only have neocons such as Frank Gaffney, Richard Perle, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz said excessively nasty things about these erstwhile friendly allies, but so have loudmouth Republicans such as Tom DeLay, Dennis Hastert, Tom Lantos, Ginny Brown-Waite, Roy Blunt and many others).

Chances are, however, the Europeans will eventually enter into a deal with the neocon nest of vipers in one way or another in the weeks ahead. Naturally, none of this will have much of an impact on the brewing guerilla war in Iraq. The Iraqis will fight on, regardless of Bush’s decision to shift the focus of his so-called war on terrorism directly on the Iraqi people.

The only difference will be a lot of French, German, Belgian, Polish, and other Europeans kids will die alongside the Americans.

KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent online gallery Ordinary Vistas. Nimmo is a contributor to Cockburn and St. Clair’s forthcoming volume, The Politics of Anti-Semitism.

He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com

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KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent no holds barred blog at www.kurtnimmo.com/ . Nimmo is a contributor to Cockburn and St. Clair’s, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. A collection of his essays for CounterPunch, Another Day in the Empire, is now available from Dandelion Books. He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com

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