Monday, December 10, 2018

I have been wondering lately why the American people re-elected George W. Bush in 2004 when he lied us into war. And he lied us into war not only in Iraq in 2003, where Saddam Hussein had destroyed his WMDs and had no ties to Al Qaeda, but in Afghanistan in 2001. That war was justified on the claim that Osama bin laden had planned and executed the 9/11 attacks, which is false. Over 3000 architects and engineers say that it is false. And, the fact is, to avoid war, the Taliban offered to extradite bin laden to a third country for trial. And if that had happened, surely that country would have let the U.S. to present its evidence against him in court. Why wasn't that good enough?  We're talking about avoiding a war in which hundreds of thousands of innocent people have been killed. No one has a right to kill innocent people- for any reason. And no government has the right to kill them for any reason. So, launching that war, which George Bush did, was a crime against humanity. 

So, why did the American people re-elect Bush? By rights, he deserved to go to prison- and for the rest of his life.  He did not deserve to go back to the White House. So, why did the American people put him there a second time?   

I can only speculate about it, but what I would say is that as of 2004, the outcomes of the wars looked pretty good. Both seemed to have been successful, with missions accomplished. It wasn't true, but it seemed that way.  And I have to assume that most voters accepted the argument that although the dire warnings about the threat Saddam Hussein posed were false, he was a bad guy anyway, and isn't the world and aren't the Iraqi people better off with him gone? Well, not the dead Iraqi people. They're not better off with him gone. They'd be better off if he was alive- and so were they. And not the friends and family of the dead Iraqis either because they loved the dead Iraqis. 

That the American people could brush off the fact that the whole basis for attacking Iraq was false speaks volumes about our culture and our beliefs, that America has the right to impose its will on the world, that we are the policeman of the world, and we are also the judge of the world. We get to judge which regimes can stay and which must go. And even though many innocents have to die whenever we start a war, and we have started many, we have the right to decide that it's worth it to kill thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of people, in order to accomplish our objectives.   

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright actually said on national television that it was "worth it" to kill 500,000 Iraqi children (from the embargo) in order to contain Saddam Hussein.  I wonder if she would have thought that if one of those children was her grandchild. 

I keep recalling what a dear cousin of mine once said, that Americans are all the products of public schools, which is to say, government schools.  The fact is: it blinds us to the crimes - to the atrocities- that our own government commits.  

So, U.S. voters put a known war criminal back into the White House in 2004, and of course, he is still walking around a free man today. And, it's not just him. How many did Clinton kill in Kosovo, Serbia, Sudan, etc.? How many did Obama kill in Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, etc.? Don't you get it?  That America and Americans are oblivious to all the carnage we cause in the world? We actually think we're good. 


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