It�?Ts the betrayal, stupid

After Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and extraordinary rendition, I thought my capacity for feeling shame over this administration�?Ts outrages had been exhausted — leaving only rage.

I was wrong.��

Check out Frank Rich�?Ts latest here if you�have Times Select or here if you�?Tre one of the unwashed masses who doesn’t.

Here are a few of the key paragraphs:

Iraqis are clamoring to get out of Iraq. Two million have fled so far and nearly two million more have been displaced within the country. (That�?Ts a total of some 15 percent of the population.) Save the Children reported this month that Iraq�?Ts child-survival rate is falling faster than any other nation�?Ts. One Iraqi in eight is killed by illness or violence by the age of 5. Yet for all the words President Bush has lavished on Darfur and AIDS in Africa, there has been a deadly silence from him about what�?Ts happening in the country he gave �??God�?Ts gift of freedom.�??

*� *� *

Since the 2003 invasion, America has given only 466 Iraqis asylum. Sweden, which was not in the coalition of the willing, plans to admit 25,000 Iraqis this year alone. Our State Department, goaded by January hearings conducted by Ted Kennedy, says it will raise the number for this year to 7,000 (a figure that, small as it is, may be more administration propaganda). A bill passed by Congress this month will add another piddling 500, all interpreters.

In reality, more than 5,000 interpreters worked for the Americans. So did tens of thousands of drivers and security guards who also, in Senator Kennedy�?Ts phrase, have �??an assassin�?Ts bull�?Ts-eye on their backs�?? because they served the occupying government and its contractors over the past four-plus years. How we feel about these Iraqis was made naked by one of the administration�?Ts most fervent hawks, the former United Nations ambassador John Bolton, speaking to The Times Magazine this month. He claimed that the Iraqi refugee problem had �??absolutely nothing to do�?? with Saddam�?Ts overthrow: �??Our obligation was to give them new institutions and provide security. We have fulfilled that obligation. I don�?Tt think we have an obligation to compensate for the hardships of war.�??

*� *� *

While it seems but a dim memory now, once upon a time some Iraqis did greet the Americans as liberators. Today, in fact, it is just such Iraqis �?’ not the local Iraqi insurgents the president conflates with Osama bin Laden�?Ts Qaeda in Pakistan �?’ who do want to follow us home. That we are slamming the door in their faces tells you all you need to know about the real morality beneath all the professed good intentions of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Though the war�?Ts godfathers saw themselves as ridding the world of another Hitler, their legacy includes a humanitarian catastrophe that will need its own Raoul Wallenbergs and Oskar Schindlers if lives are to be saved.

For a more intimate account of America�?Ts betrayal of those Iraqis who came to our assistance after the invasion, be sure to read this report in The New Yorker.

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5 Responses to “It�?Ts the betrayal, stupid”

  1. Chuck Says:

    My goodness Steve, haven’t you been reading Riverbend & Dhar Jamail?

  2. Chuck Says:

    And besides, why are you just getting around to reading 3 month old stuff?

    (You don’t have to print this one if you don’t want to.)

  3. Larkrise Says:

    The John Bolton’s of the Bush Administration are legion. He is typical of the immoral, arrogant shells that populate this White House, leaving it stained in blood. None of these men and women take responsibility for the death and destruction they have caused. Bush bragged that he sleeps quite well at night. BigMouth Mama Bar doesnt trouble her “beautiful mind” with thoughts of dead servicemen and women. This is the stuff of sociopaths, ladies and gentlemen. No conscience. No compassion. No sense of guilt. Only a sense of entitlement to have what you want and do as you please, damn the consequences to others. The suffering this country has caused the Iraqis is on par with the Holocaust. Given the amount of cluster bombs used, the severe deprivation of food, water and medicine, the daily death toll of the civil war, torture, roadside bombings, and God knows how many other unspeakable acts provoked by opening this Pandora’s Box, 655,000 Iraqi deaths is bound to be an unreliably low count. The true death toll must be over a million plus. It is genocide. These are crimes against humanity. The men and women who engineered and continue to support this war, belong in a Nuremberg-style court, and should be imprisoned for the rest of their miserable, cruel, self-serving lives. The terms “right-wing conservative” and “Neo-Conservative” deserve to reside with the other signatures of hatred, bigotry, and viciousness like Nazi, Ku Klux Klan, Skinhead, John Birch Society, etc. In the future, the right-wing politicians and their corrupt flunkies must be viewed and reviled as destroyers of democracy, and booted back to the lunatic fringes, where they belong. Their pattern is unmistakable. They seek to benefit only the wealthy and destroy anything that would benefit the common good. They seek to loot smaller, weaker countries of their resources. They lie, cheat, steal, defame,scapegoat, stereotype, manipulate, and threaten. They use fear and anxiety to destabilize society. They attempt to destroy civil rights and encourage spying on everyone. They relish torture and prisons of darkness and despair. They use the complacent, corporate-owned media to further their aims. It would take pages for me to list the corruption that has ensued, the scandals, the wasted billions. There is NO morality in this morass. There is no decency. And if the Democrats refuse to acknowledge this and take a united front against it, they,too, will fall into the abyss. Yet, I still hope, and perhaps quite foolishly so, that somewhere a real spark will be ignited, and a phoenix will rise out of the reeking ashes of what George W.Bush hath wrought.

  4. Chuck Says:

    I used to think “neo-con” was short for new conservative, now I find it actually means “newer con artists.”

    How could I have missed that for so long?

  5. Chuck Says:

    Just one more: Political language…is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

    George Orwell 1946

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