Bush's Military Defeat: The SuperPower of Peace is our only hope
May 2, 2003
George W. Bush has fittingly stopped short of declaring victory
in Iraq. He
doesn't want to claim a definitive triumph because it would legally
obligate the US to begin cleaning the place up and enforcing
But in fact, the US attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan have been
Let's count the ways:
At least three times US troops have fired live ammunition against
angry crowds of
"liberated" Iraqis. Far from "dancing in the streets" over
the American presence, the
people of Iraq have made it clear they want the US out just days
after the removal of
Saddam Hussein, who most Iraqis understand was put in power by
the US in the first
US troops have now killed at least twenty Iraqis in demonstrations
that appear to
be nonviolent. Military claims of self-defense are reminiscent
of lies that Kent State
students fired weapons during the 1970 massacre there.
Those four deaths put the
US in an uproar; in Iraq, 1/20 the size of the US, the equivalent
of 20 dead would be
By independent count at least 3,000 Iraqi civilians were killed
by the US in the
removal of Saddam Hussein. That would equate to 60,000
Americans if the attack
had been by Iraq on the US.
Like Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein is widely believed to be
alive, but has yet
to be found.
The weapons of mass destruction used as a pretext for the American
also yet to be found. None were used in Iraq's defense.
The pillaging of Iraq's most treasured museums, for which the
US is directly
responsible, has been widely ranked as one of the most barbaric
acts of cultural desecration in world history.
US corporate media coverage of the Bush attack was so absurdly
nationalistic it drew unprecedented contempt from critics worldwide.
The "victory" which has so enamored the US corporate media was
an assault by a
rich nation of 280 million people which spends more on its military
than the rest of
the world combined, against an impoverished, disunited nation
20 times smaller
which has been ruled by a hated dictator installed by the US,
international sanctions for 12 years, continually bombed through
that time, and
which was recently disarmed by United Nations weapons inspectors.
Far from a
military triumph, its martial conduct drew mocking derision from
the global media
outside the US.
The first female US soldier killed in Iraq was a divorced Hopi-Navajo
mother of two
small children who joined the military to escape poverty.
Her death, and the grim
future facing her children, received virtually no media attention,
while the dubious
"rescue" of her white friend, Jessica Lynch, received ecstatic---and
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld openly and willfully violated explicit
US law by failing to
establish a baseline health study of American troops entering
combat, reinforcing the
failure to deal with Gulf War Syndrome from the previous attack
Though less than a thousand US troops were killed or wounded
in the 1991 Gulf
War, 220,000 or more are now disabled. Similar casualties
are almost certain to
surface in the wake of the latest attack, though Rumsfeld's illegal
refusal to lay the
statistical groundwork for a health study will again make these
casualties hard to
It is widely believed Bush launched a lethal attack on the Palestine
Baghdad with the express intent of killing and intimidating foreign
While profoundly disinterested in protecting the region's cultural
history, or its civil
institutions, the US military took great pains to guard Saddam's
ministries of interior
and oil, where crucial information on Iraq's petroleum reserves
US military encampments during the attack were named after major
No major nations of the world except Great Britain joined the
attack on Iraq, and
none have come forward since to endorse it, despite Bush's alleged
Though leading Bush hawks have raised the possibility of attacking
Syria, Iran or
North Korea, all other major nations of the world---including
denounced the possibility.
Bush has scorned his previous promise to Great Britain's Tony
Blair, his one major
ally, that the rebuilding of Iraq would be largely done through
the United Nations.
Afghanistan, has sunk into tribal warfare, complete with the
rebirth of the
"defeated" Taliban. American soldiers are still fighting
and dying there.
Despite Bush's effusive pre-war promises, there is virtually
no money in the latest
US budget for rebuilding Aghanistan, or even for repairing the
damage done by the
Drug production, particular opium poppies, is back in full swing
in Afghanistan after
having been successfully repressed by the Taliban.
Bush's violent assault and undiplomatic arrogance have infuriated
much of the
Muslim world and made it highly likely fundamentalist Iran-style
eventually sweep over both Afghanistan and Iraq.
That likelihood has been enhanced by anti-Islam statements from
cronies, including Rev. Franklin Graham, who've confirmed Bush's
of a "crusade".
While crowing over "democracy" to Iraq, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld
says he will
not "allow" fundamentalists to take power in Iraq, but has not
explained how he
would stop it within a democratic framework.
By infuriating the Muslim world and isolating the US, Bush's
conquests of Iraq and
Afghanistan will likely guarantee a horrific increase in terrorist
attacks against the US
in years to come. Polls show a large portion of the American
precisely this outcome.
In short, the Bush "triumph" has the taste and smell of a profound
defeat. The Iraqi
people have made it clear they want the US out, and that the
only escalate. Afghanistan is in ruin and chaos.
World opinion, so profoundly sympathetic to the US after the horrors
11, has swung wildly against us. To the vast bulk of humanity---especially
Muslims---the US is an out-of-control bully that invaded Iraq
provocation, primarily to grab its oil.
Only the grotesquely unbalanced and intolerant US corporate media
this attack with any consistency. Worldwide, its credibility
has sunk below zero.
The United States may currently be the only military superpower.
But it's a hollow
shell, with its domestic economy in profound crisis and the dollar
in fast decline.
The cynicism, arrogance and brutality with which Bush has carried
out these attacks
has provoked a profound, deep-rooted worldwide hostility.
Far from victory, the US has never been more weakened, isolated
or insecure. In the
long run, only one superpower---the one for peace---holds any
hope for any of us.
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