Friday, October 20, 2006

Occupation of Iraq: One Crime Too Many

By Mike Whitney

"Iraqi blogger Riverbend summarizes the mood in Iraq saying:

“There are women who have not shed their black mourning robes since 2003 because each time the end of the proper mourning period comes around, some other relative dies and the countdown begins again”. Iraq is in a permanent state of bereavement. The suffering we have caused is immeasurable.

Compare Bush’s indifference to the Iraqi death-toll to his “pro-life” rhetoric at home. Consider how he cancelled his Crawford vacation to speed back to Washington to sign legislation to save the life of Terri Schiavo even though Schiavo was showing no mental-activity and 19 courts had already ruled in her husband’s favor to allow her to die peacefully. Later, an autopsy confirmed that her brain had calcified and shrunk to half its normal size. Still, Schiavo’s political value was of greater importance to Bush than the 650,000 men, women and children he has slaughtered in Iraq. There’s simply no way to measure this degree of cynicism.

Bush’s crimes and the crimes of the United States are far greater than Saddam’s. Saddam had no intention of dismantling the government, the army, the civic institutions; of looting the museums and killing the teachers and intellectuals, of ethnic cleansing the Christians and the Sunnis, and inciting violence between the sects. Saddam had no plan to increase malnutrition, to reduce the flow of clean water, to cut off the electricity, to remove the social-safety net, to increase the poverty and unemployment, or to set Iraqi against Iraqi in a vicious struggle for survival. Saddam did not abide by the neoconservative theory of “creative destruction”, which deliberately plunged an entire nation into chaos destroying the fabric of Iraqi society and leaving the people to flock to militias for safety. Saddam was a brutal, cold-blooded dictator, but compared to the calculated viciousness of Bush, he looks like a pillar of virtue."

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