By Ed Ciaccio
A shirt I recently bought from Old American Century (www.oldamericancentury.org) has the figure of Uncle Sam, steely-eyed, fists on hips, and under it, the following text:
“If you had told me a few years ago that we would have secret prisons through out the former Soviet republics, tortured our enemies, and used chemical weapons on civilians, I’d have thought you were crazy. But I also didn’t think you’d let Bush steal another election.”
Regardless of whether you choose to believe that both the 2000 and 2004 Presidential Elections were stolen and there is ample evidence; see, for example:
One Million Black Votes Didn’t Count in The 2000 Presidential Election…, http://www.gregpalast.com/ and Was the 2004 Election Stolen?, http://www.rollingstone.com/, there are many other disturbing facts about our nation which no longer need to rest on faith to be “believed” because they are now part of the historical record.
Among them are the following:
Bush and his administration had many warnings before the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks (http://www.buzzflash.com/perspectives/911bush.html)
War on Iraq for “regime change” was planned long before the 9/11 attacks (http://www.commondreams.org/views06/1203-21.htm, http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/comment/0,12956,1036687,00.html, and http://pnac.info/index.php/2003/4-years-before-911-plan-was-set/)
The U.S./U.K. invasion and occupation of Iraq is illegal and constitutes the supreme war crime, that of an unprovoked, preventive war of aggression similar to Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3661134.stm, http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/13670, and http://www.counterpunch.org/freeman09172003.html)
Over one million Iraqis died, including over 500,000 children, as a result of the sanctions imposed by George H.W. Bush after the 1991 Gulf War and then maintained by Bill Clinton and George W. Bush until the U.S./U.K. invasion in March, 2003 (http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/418625.stm, http://www.infowars.net/articles/march2007/270307Iraq_toll.htm, and http://www.thenation.com/doc/20011203/cortright) as all three administrations tried to provoke “regime change” in Iraq
Detainees held in U.S. prisons in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in Afghanistan, and in Iraq have been tortured (http://www.forbes.com/work/feeds/afx/2005/06/24/afx2110388.html and http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/)
CIA “Rendition” (kidnapping) of terrorist suspects to nations known to torture started in the Clinton administration, continued and increased under Bush, and was known by “top officials” (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/04/ and http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAMR510512006)
U.S. forces have committed war crimes by using weapons such as napalm (Mark 77 firebombs), depleted uranium, white phosphorous, and cluster bombs in Iraq (http://www.brusselstribunal.org/WMD.htm, http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11020.htm, and http://www.consumersforpeace.org/pdf/war_crimes_iraq_.pdf)
In spite of prior warnings, Bush failed to have the New Orleans levees repaired or see New Orleans was properly prepared for Hurricane Katrina (http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,372455,00.html and http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11627394/)
Bush admitted he broke the FISA law, an impeachable offense (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1216-01.htm, http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20051230.html, and http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/12/19/1515212)
*If you consider the one million Iraqis who died as a result of the 1991-2003 sanctions and the one million who have died since the 2003 invasion, the word genocide comes to mind. If you consider the four million Iraqi refugees resulting from our invasion and occupation, and the resulting sectarian violence causing the creation of unprecedented sectarian enclaves in Iraq, the term ethnic cleansing comes to mind.
As Americans, supposedly believing in the rule of law, supposedly believing in fairness and compassion, what do we do now that we know these facts?
Do we deny them because they clash with our view of America as the “greatest country in the world”?
Do we shrug and say, “Well, every country has its dark side”?
Do we throw up our hands and complain that we can’t do much because Cheney and Bush have so much power and, besides, they’ll be out of office soon?
Or do we simply turn the page and see what else is on TV?
The “Good Germans” who did nothing had similar reactions while Hitler destroyed Europe and murdered 6 million Jews, and 5 million Poles, Russians, Communists, homosexuals and other “non-Aryans” in his death camps. They denied, or accepted and approved, or said they didn’t know, or (justifiably for many) feared punishment or death in Hitler’s dictatorship.
But we don’t live in a dictatorship.
And we DO know what has been done in our name.
So who are we? What have we become?
Right now there are three massive U.S. aircraft carrier task forces in the Persian Gulf, and B-1 and B-2 bombers and many fighters on airfields in countries surrounding Iran. They are there waiting for Bush, with Cheney’s urging, to give the signal to repeat “shock and awe’, this time on the Iranian people.
Right now another propaganda campaign, similar to that which preceded our 2003 Iraq invasion, is beginning, but this time charging Iran with unproven “evils” against our troops in Iraq. Again it is accepted without challenge by our compliant, corporate mainstream media with its many links to the so-called “defense” industry. Meanwhile, that same media distracts us with “coverage” of Larry Craig’s men’s room saga, or the death of Princess Di ten years later, or John Edwards’ haircuts, or Britney, or Lindsay, or Paris, or…
And right now, Iranian forces are accused, with little, if any, solid evidence, of helping kill U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Meanwhile, ignored by our media, U.S. special forces and CIA operatives are in Iran selecting targets for our planes, drones, and cruise missiles and supporting anti-Iranian government groups there. In effect, we have been waging war on Iran from inside Iran for almost two years already (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4180087.stm and http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0620-31.htm).
And now Bush wants our always-accommodating Congress, Democrats and Republicans, to declare a part of Iran’s military as “terrorists.” This will enable him to attack Iran without Congressional authorization.
These are also facts.
So what will you do about this?
Will you be a “Good German”?