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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

May 09, 2003
You can lead a horse to water....

The OnlineJournal (not the cringe-making "opinion" journal, but a different publication altogether) says someone should call the Administration on telling lies about the threat Iraq posed to the USofA but we've been trying to. We're not having much luck getting anyone's attention and I'm starting to have just a tiny bit of sympathy for the reporters, dishonest though many of them were, who couldn't whip up any outrage against Clinton, no matter what excesses, potential excesses, and sexual acts they revealed.

[ diversion ]

(Let's take a moment out to wonder if today's public indifference to the flaws and weaknesses of the Bush Administration are being ignored because people got used to wild, unsupported claims that came to nothing and proved to be untrue when Clinton was in office and because they now no longer believe what they're being told? That now, even with publicly available documentation of what Bush&Co are up to, they don’t have the time or the energy to go read and figure out what's going on?)

[ /diversion ]

Heck, I haven't even been able to convince individual people I talk to that the Administration has lied again and again about the Weapons of Mysterious Disappearance and about the real threat level of Iraq.

I send them to articles, discuss the connections, point out how the government has backed off, changed the topic, and changed its rhetoric over the last six months and They. Just. Can't. See. It. and they say that's the media and the media's interpretation and it's not the government at all.

I say there was no reason to attack Iraq at this moment when we were supposed to be chasing down terrorists. They say Hussein was in league with the terrorists and they say the articles announcing that no such connection existed are "liberal bias," ignoring the fact that no balancing conservative articles exist that prove said connection.

I say that Hussein didn't have any weapons or anything else we didn't know about because USofA companies were the ones selling Iraq most of the banned goods and that many, many of those same companies have suspiciously close ties to the current Administration so it's not likely that there's much going on that the Administration isn't well-informed about so if there are WMD then we probably know just where they're located and, in fact, we claimed that we knew where the stuff was but refused to share the information with the U.N. inspectors, so why can't we find these hundreds of pounds of chemicals, etc., and they become condescending on the subject of "mobile" labs and ignore my questions about how someone sitting in a minivan next to plutonium or dangerous chemicals or biological agents protects themselves or they point a triumphant finger at that 100 or however many chem. protection suits we found and once again ignore me when I ask why the suits were in that place, in storage, instead of out being used and why wasn't there even the tiniest bit of evidence that the suits or the site had ever come into contact with WMD components or they become even more condescending and lecture me on the concept of "warehouses" and when I ask why a hundred suits when they would have needed a quarter of a million to really protect their soldiers and they say other suits would have been stored somewhere else and when I ask where because no finds have been reported they say that they aren't being reported because they're not that important but they're the ones who said they were important because they're the ones who said the existence of the suits was a significant "proof" of the WMD claim.

They insist the weapons exist, and that today's Administration isn't responsible for Corporate America's sins committed under Clinton and they ignore me when I point out that these relationships were primarily formed under Reagan or the first Bush and they also ignore me when I try to talk about the corporate reform legislation that Clinton tried to enact and had killed by the corporate-owned Congress.

(That's what people do when they don't have an answer to your questions. They pick and choose what parts to answer. Am I alone in finding a lot of the pro-war crowd doing this?)

(Actually, that's not fair, Everyone who's half-informed on a topic does it when things get sticky.)

They say that if there's 500 pounds of this, that, and the other, as claimed, or 'only' 50 pounds, it doesn’t matter because it's still WMD and it's not really a lie to misplace a decimal point and the real point is that there are WMD and that makes it all true and legal and righteous of us to have made war on Iraq.

They say, "Anyhow, Hussein was evil and needed to be removed," and when I ask how they can justify a war in 2003 because of atrocities committed over a decade ago, they say, 'better late than never' and point out that the Iraqi people are now happily liberated.

I tell them that the famous toppling of the statue was staged and that masses of Iraqis weren't there cheering, and that, in fact, people are still dying over there because Iraq, while it wanted rid of Hussein, doesn't want the USofA as a substitute and they say it doesn't matter if everyone doesn't love us and anyhow we're the ones who paid for the war so we get to say what's what and if the Iraqis don't like it, they can shut up and they don't seem to understand that THIS IS NOT FREEDOM.

Ahem.

I say we should have had a plan and we should have protected the infrastructure of the country we were bombing into hell and they say that wasn't our job and that we were there to liberate people, not to protect them. (Okay, the last bit is my extrapolation, but it's the logical conclusion of their statement.)

I say Iraq wasn't a threat to us.

Probability always ran against the idea. Iraq is less than one-twentieth the size of America in land area, and less than one-tenth the size of America in population. In fact, Iraq is smaller than Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, both Koreas, and Poland. It has less than one-third the population of Vietnam. (These figures are derived from the World Almanac and Book of Facts.) The Iraqis have already been wasted by two wars in the past 20 years which depleted their male population. Despite their vast oil resources, industry and agriculture are debilitated. Without allies, or Kuwait, they hardly have a port. Even the CIA;s World Fact Book details the miseries of Iraq's economy.

Against this backdrop–let's call it, for want of a better word, reality–the Bush White House pushed a campaign that Saddam's Iraq posed a threat to the largest military power the world has ever seen, a hemisphere away, because of secret weapons so terrible that they have yet to be named.

And they say Iraq was a threat, a huge threat, because of WMD and because Hussein was linked to bin Laden and anyhow do we have to wait until we're attacked before we defend ourselves and do we have to let people die before we stamp out terrorism and I tell them that Iraq had a totalitarian government but that they were not involved in or able to undertake any large-scale, organized terrorism because they didn't have the resources and because most of the Arab terrorist organizations are religious fundamentalists who loathe Hussein more than we do.

And they say Iraq was a threat because they didn't need much in the way of resources because they had Weapons of Mass Destruction and anyhow, what about Hussein helping the 9/11 terrorists and I say no such weapons have been found and even some Administration officials are now admitting they don't really expect to find much and no Iraqis were among the 9/11 terrorists, no links between bin Laden and Hussein have been found or are expected to appear and they say it doesn't matter if we find a lot or only 5 pounds because it's still WMD and misplacing a decimal point isn't really a lie and what about that meeting in Prague or wherever it was and I say that it was one, exploratory meeting that's been known to the entire world since it happened and there was never any evidence, even tenuous evidence that anything came of it and now the conversation is going around and around and around.

I don't know if it's because they don't want to listen to an opposing viewpoint because everyone became so polarized by the war that they now feel a sort of grim determination to have been right no matter what the facts, or if my I.Q. has mysteriously dropped 100 points and I can no longer tell right from wrong and true from false, but I know I get dizzy when I talk to pro-war people.

When all else fails and not even the Free Republic has published anything they can use as support for their arguments (someone actually quoted Horowitz to me and after I took a shower, I explained to them that most of the media is biased and dishonest in one way or another but there is a limit to how far out on the edge they should go for their source material since I wasn't going to pretend to have a rational discussion about Horowitz's insanity), they fall back on the "he was oppressing and killing his people!" rationale, but Hussein has been oppressing and killing people since we put him into power and we've constantly turned a blind eye to it because he was Our Guy In the Middle East when we were fighting Iran and there are other places around the globe where people are more oppressed and more people are dying and all the pro-war crowd can say is that we can't be everywhere at once and when I ask them why we should have started with Iraq, they start up again about the Weapons of Mass Destruction and my head explodes.

I am in such a filthy mood today, you wouldn't believe.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:50 AM


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