You have to hand it to Mike Whitney. He never fails to hit the mark.
The war is in its fifth year, and still, Bush has not produced anything even vaguely resembling a political solution. He is utterly clueless. The world’s oldest civilization is being destroyed before our eyes—its cities laid to waste, its people slaughtered by the tens of thousands. Saddam never could have dreamed of devastation on this scale. We’ve ruined everything. Truckloads of dead men are delivered to the Baghdad morgue every morning where they are processed and then dumped in mass graves in abandoned soccer fields or schoolyards. 20% of the population has either been internally displaced or forced to flee into Jordan and Syria. In Falluja alone, 65% of the buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of its citizens are left living in tent cities scattered across the desert–exposed to the elements, living on crusts of bread and foul water. The number of refugees has risen rapidly; 2 million in Amman, Damascus and Cairo. They go wherever they can to avoid the bombing and find safety or shelter.
Little wonder that Bush refuses to agree to benchmarks, even non-binding ones. Simply put, he knows full well that he would fail to meet any of them.
Consider this article which appeared on uruknet.info this week. It provides photos of 24 “special needs” children who were found naked, starving and lying on concrete floors, in their own excrement—their bodies covered with sores. All of them were chained to their cribs. Some of them were near death. This is the Nazi-like terror we have unleashed on Iraq under the rubric of “democracy”. This is what “neoconservatism” looks like when it is stripped of its ideological pretense and we can see its true face—pure, unalloyed evil. It is no different than Hitler’s fascism.
Nor does Bush want to discourage his neo-con lackeys from dreaming up more ways to unleash these horrors. Meanwhile, contrary to the spin, US foreign policy remains unchanged from before 9/11 (minus the veneer of humanism), and shows every likelihood of producing a similar outcome.
We continue to prop up the Middle East’s most brutal dictators and support those leaders who lose in democratic elections, while righteously pretending that our invasions, occupations and bombing campaigns are about spreading democracy (we’re delivering “God’s gift to every man, woman and child”). And the raging debates in our country are over the extent to which we should torture people and how many more Muslims we should lock away for life with no charges of any kind.
The next time there is a terrorist attack, we can all sit around bewildered, scratching our heads and solemnly asking: “Why do they hate us?” And the only answer that will be allowed — a rule to be piously enforced by the Owner of 9/11 himself, Rudy Giuliani — will be the extremely honest and illuminating: “They hate us for our freedoms.”