Press Secretary Dana Perino: Spinning Lies for the Butcher of Baghdad by Walter C. Uhler

Dandelion Salad

by Walter C. Uhler
4 December 2007

Every American of conscience should read Michael Massing’s latest article in the New York Review of Books. It’s titled, “Iraq: The Hidden Human Costs.” As Mr. Massing makes clear, the human costs of Bush’s butchery in Iraq have remained hidden largely because there are “limitations imposed by the political climate in which the [mainstream] press works.”

Massing attributes the reluctance of editors and producers to print and broadcast news about Bush’s butchery in Iraq to the fact that “most Americans simply do not want to know too much about the acts being carried out in their name.” Or, as Scott Ritter has put it, “very few Americans function as citizens anymore.”

But, quoting from Generation Kill, by Evan Wright, Massing describes the initial American onslaught on Nasiryah: “During our thirty-six hours outside Nasiryah they [Marines] have already lobbed an estimated 2,000 [artillery] rounds into the city.”

“Entering the city with the Marines… ‘we pass a bus, smashed and burned, with charred human remains sitting upright in some windows. There’s a man in the road with no head and a dead little girl, too, about three or four, lying on her back. She’s wearing a dress and has no legs.”

Describing another of the thousands of disasters that have been unleashed by America’s butcher of Baghdad, Massing writes about US soldiers who were manning a roadblock. As cars approached the roadblock, the soldiers would fire warning shots that, as often as not, caused scared Iraqis to speed up. After one such car had been shot at, “a Marine named Graves goes to help a little girl cowering in the back seat, her eyes wide open. As he goes to pick her up, ‘thinking about what medical supplies he might need to treat her…the top of her head slides off and her brains fall out.'”

Writing for the Daily Mirror (UK) from Fallujah in April 2003, Chris Hughes reported: “I watched in horror as American troops opened fire on a crowd of one thousand unarmed people here yesterday. Many, including children, were cut down by a twenty-second burst of automatic gunfire during a demonstration against the killing of thirteen protestors at the Al-Kaahd school on Monday.” [Dahr Jamail, Beyond the Green Zone, p. 132]

In that same Fallujah, approximately one year later, “one victim of the U.S. military aggression after another was brought into the clinic, nearly all of them women and children, carried by weeping family members. Those who had not been hit by bombs from warplanes had been shot by U.S. snipers.” [Ibid, p. 138]

Of the hundreds of civilians killed and wounded in Fallujah in 2004, reporter Dahr Jamail personally witnessed an “eighteen-year-old girl [who] had been shot through the neck. She was making breathy gurgling noises as the doctors frantically worked on her amid her muffled moaning…Her younger brother, a small child of ten with a gunshot wound to his head from a marine sniper, his eyes glazed and staring into space, continually vomited as the doctors raced to save his life.” [Ibid, p. 137] Both children died

Similar atrocities in Iraq prompted Jeffery Carazales, a lance corporal from Texas, to rage: “I think it’s bullshit how these fucking civilians are dying!” “They are worse off than the guys that are shooting at us. They don’t even have a chance. Do you think the people at home are going to see this – all these women and children we’re killing? Fuck no. Back home they’re glorifying this motherfucker. I guarantee you. Saying our president is a fucking hero for getting us into this bitch. He ain’t even a real Texan.” [Massing]

Not even a “real” Texan? Hell, we first must question whether either Bush or Cheney are even “real” — by which I mean “decent”– human beings. After all, do you personally know anyone who could lie about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and ties to al Qaeda in order to remove Saddam Hussein from power for the sake of oil and Israel — especially if he knew that his invasion would inevitably blow off the limbs of hundreds, if not thousands, of three-year-old girls and split open the skulls of hundreds, if not thousands more?

No, of course not. Unless, of course, you happen to know personally one of America’s despicable neoconservatives, one of America’ crackpot Christian Zionists or Bush’s latest press secretary, Dana Perino. It was Ms. Perino, who, on November 30th, placed her own humanity in a lock box when she offered journalist Helen Thomas the following lie: “To suggest that we, the United States, are killing innocent people is just absurd and very offensive.”

Although such lies might still work with many loyal saps in the Republican Party and the many Americans who have jettisoned citizenship for shopping and television addictions, the rest of the world knows the truth. And it is not amused! Unfortunately, all Americans, not just the stupid and immoral ones, will have to pay for the world’s condemnation.

Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).

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