Sep 132004
 
Authors: JP Eichmiller

This past week Americans were reminded twice that the cost of

incompetence in our leadership is paid for in lives as well as

dollars.

A barrage of organized militant attacks in Iraq pushed the death

count of our servicemen and women in that country to more than

1,000. In New York and across the nation this weekend people

commemorated the third anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist

attacks.

The tragedy that hit us on that day three years ago could have

been avoided only through diligent attention to detail and

progressive, forward thinking. In other words, it would have been

next to impossible for the current administration. Our president

had a memo on his desk, warning of plane hijackings before they

occurred, yet he did nothing to prevent them. The White House’s

knee-jerk accusations of corroboration between Iraq and al-Qaida

showed a narrow-minded tunnel vision that would continue to cost

us.

As a response to the Sept. 11 attacks, the president did what

any person in his place should. He responded with the full force of

American might and fury on those who had brought war to us:

al-Qaida. That this was simply a preamble to further ambitions of

conquest and empire building was an abuse of our trust and

emotions.

Iraq was a secular, isolated country led by a brutish dictator

who was a threat only to his own people and those unfortunate

enough to be in a neighboring country. Iraq was not a country

overrun by militants and terrorists, like it is today. Although the

Bush administration would like for you to forget it, not one man

who took over those planes hailed from Iraqi descent. The vast

majority of the Sept. 11 terrorists were Saudis, but that’s a story

for another day.

One day we are hunting for the man (Osama bin Ladin) responsible

for close to 3,000 American deaths, next thing you know it’s time

to go after Saddam Hussein, the man who Bush claimed tried to have

his dad killed.

While it is respectable to want to avenge the near-death of his

father, there was still the little matter of Osama back there in

Afghanistan. The Japanese also tried to kill his father at one

time, and all Bush Sr. did in retaliation was to throw-up on one of

them.

That this unprecedented, pre-emptive war was being sold to the

public on cooked-up intelligence is another fact that the White

House propaganda machine has tried to sweep under the carpet. How

many recall the hawkish cries of “WMDs … we must find the

WMDs!”

The thing is, Saddam didn’t actually possess any of these

infamous weapons of mass destruction and any he shot off in the

past were most likely given to him by the United States when Ronald

Reagan was in office.

But that was OK, Bush’s cronies said, because Saddam was in

cahoots with Osama (remember him!). Actually, as it turns out, that

doesn’t seem to be the case either. Saddam’s and Osama’s worlds

remained separate; that is, until we stepped in and introduced the

two to each other.

Finally we were fed the rationale that Saddam was just a

plain-old bad man, and bad men need to be brought to justice and

executed, just like in Texas. Mr. Hussein was no doubt an

incorrigible soul, a man who repressed and often tortured his

people. That other men of equal, if not more, wicked hearts (Kim

Jong Il) exist even closer to our borders (Fidel Castro) appears to

be a moot point.

According to an article in Time magazine, the president keeps

the pistol that Saddam was holding when he was captured on a mantle

in the White House. The souvenir is brought out for dignitaries and

politicians whom the President wishes to impress. Whether he brings

up the 1,000-plus American lives it cost to purchase this weapon is

unknown.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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