Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Nightmare Continues

President Bush did his best to salvage his legacy during his last State of the Union Speech Monday night, a legacy that will be defined primarily by two events, his response the events of September 11th 2001 and the invasion, and subsequent occupation of Iraq.

The President spent a large chunk of time pleading with the American people that the surge of American troops is working, that things are getting better and that history will show we’d done the right thing by invading the country and ridding it of Saddam Hussein.

“We must do the difficult work today, so that that years from now people will look back and say that this generation rose to the moment, prevailed in a tough fight, and left behind a more hopeful region and a safer America,” said President Bush during the State of the Union while speaking about Iraq.

But, some might say, the President was speaking to a nation that has turned a deaf ear to men who cry wolf. Unfortunately, they might also see a nation that’s turned a deaf ear to news from Iraq.

That’s due in great part to the media frenzy surrounding campaign primaries, certainly more fun news than stories from Baghdad, instead we hear about who crossed the line in a political attack, what groups will support who, who’s got the most money, and who struck a low blow on the trail today? All of that and so much more make for great tabloid headlines that are filled with all kinds of juicy human drama.

Then again, perhaps we are suffering from collective Iraq news fatigue which could be related to a frustrating lack of faith in our current, apparently along for the ride do nothing Congress, a body that seems to lack the courage to further challenge and air the current administration’s past sins. Those are the sins that continue to lead thousands of our sons, husbands, wives and daughters into a hideous mistake, a mistake that was based in large part, on lies.

Just a few days before the State of the Union, The Center for Public Integrity released a report that documented President Bush and seven top officials of his administration, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

The Public Integrity report further noted “532 separate occasions, in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony and the like” where “President Bush and three key officials along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House Secretary Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, or intended to produce them, links to Al Queda or both.”

This is part of an upsetting tale of falsehoods that has led to years of sad, frustrating and heartbreaking reality.

The same Monday as the day of the State of the Union, news reports that five American soldiers were killed in an ambush near the northern Iraqi city Mosul showed up in newspapers and on a few television broadcasts.

As of Wednesday, January 23, 2008, at least 3,932 members of the U.S. Military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003 according to an Associated Press Count.

And of course, there’s the number of dead in Iraqis which is simply staggering

According to estimates from the World Health Organization, around 151,000 Iraqi’s died from violence in the first three years after the invasion began.

There are plenty of political junkies out there who are biting their nails and perhaps enjoying the dramatic and slip and slap antics of the campaign trail and the future it might lead to.

But, we are in Iraq now, and no one has offered a clear plan on how we’ll get out and no one is calling for some sort of national truth airing moment when we all admit, accept and conclusively know what went wrong when and where and why?

One thing is certain, there is no doubt, that this President does leave behind a legacy of deception and what seem to be misleading abuses of power that were clearly directed by individuals who saw the world through an arrogant, narrow and obviously naïve lens.

There was an almost sad undertone in President Bush’s last State of the Union Speech. In spite of an administration that has clearly bordered on inept and corrupt, the President himself, appears to be such an affable individual, someone that would be pleasant and personally charming. But, then the wall of damage his administration is responsible for rolls over your soul like a tidal wave of truth, and that truth is revealed through the horrors of Iraq.

No matter how its spun, Iraq has been a nightmare of death and carnage. Perhaps, that is why Americans had rather watch the Billary, Obama, John and John, Mitt and Mike and Rudy show.

But, while we doze, the nightmare continues.

Hopefully one of the cast of characters on the trail will someday wake us up.

1 comment:

opit said...

Nightmare ? Oh, yes. Mistake ? Well .. that would imply lack of foresight and mistakes of prediction, wouldn't it ?
Check my links page and look up - under documents - Post Saddam Iraq.