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    War and Terror: Tons of 'Shock' but Little 'Awe'
    Posted on Tuesday, April 01 @ 12:43:23 UTC
    Topic: Victim
    Victimby Ben Roberts

    Interested in seeing the 'shock' of Bush and his cohorts? Read The Washington Post issue for this past Saturday, March 29, 2003. Find the section 'War In Iraq,' There right before your eyes is the photo of an Iraqi child, possibly no more than five years old. We are used to seeing children animated with activity and boundless spirit. Not here. This child is lifeless, lying on a cold slab in an Iraqi morgue. He was killed by the US Army missile strike on the Iraqi marketplace. In America we value our children highly, and strive to provide them with a full and happy life. Are Iraqi parents damned to see their children's spirits extinguished and their bodies and minds amputated before they have had a chance to even begin living, while ours enjoy a long and comfortable life? 'Katie Couric I remember your tear stained face on that fateful morning of September 11, and your words, "Why do they hate us?" Be sure to take a look at that picture, and maybe you will have your answer.' This is 'shock.' No 'awe' here, just a definite guarantee that we would be even more resented and despised for what we do.

    Now George Bush is asking us for $75 billion dollars (with a capital B), to do more of the same. The White House made it clear that this was an initial request, and assured us that the final tab would be way more than that. The polls allege that two-thirds of America support Bush's war with Iraq. These respondents are free to hold such points of view, but they should be reminded of two things. We are condemning Iraqis to the morgue when they have not killed even a single American. Secondly, Bush wants $75 billion from our pockets to do more of the same. The Iraqis do not have $75 billion dollars to launch an attack on us. In fact we have reduced them to a weakened people with malnutrition and disease due to our sanctions and depleted uranium weaponry. But as penniless and destitute as they are, they do not need $75 billion dollars to get back at us. Just over a year ago, on September 11, those who felt wronged by us inflicted a mortal blow, and their only expense was an airline ticket. We should learn from our 'friends' the Israelis. For all the billions of our taxpayer dollars they get, along with our state of the art military hardware, they cannot protect themselves from those whose children they blow to bits, grandmothers they riddle with bullets, women they bulldoze to death, and kin they destroy with missiles at the marketplace.

    While the guns are still blazing in Iraq, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is doling out lucrative contracts exclusively to American firms to rebuild Iraq. A spokeswoman explained that excluding companies from other nations was necessary for US national security reasons. What a bunch of hogwash. No 'awe' here. Just 'shocking,' crooked, and despicable. Halliburton, Vice President Cheney's former employer prior to taking office, and is reported to still be receiving compensation from, bagged a no bid contract for repairing Iraqi oil wells. Maybe Cheney will encourage maximum destruction to fill his pockets, and those of his former bosses. Even the British, America's friends in this exercise, are complaining about exclusion of their companies. So imagine how French, German, and Russian firms will fare. Also throw in the Canadians who the US is irate with for not contributing 'coalition' troops. Some coalition. A group bound by bribes, promises of payoffs, self interests, and threat of reprisals for non-cooperation? Ali Baba's operation was more principled than this.

    You might experience 'shock' to learn that the Bush Administration attempted to take over, and administer, Iraq's Oil For Food program. It is worth billions of dollars, and was run jointly by the United Nations and the Iraqi government prior to the invasion of that country. The program feeds Iraqis. Bush wanted to wrestle it away from the UN and use it to foot some of the bill for his war. The UN and its Security Council would have none of it. How underhanded that Bush was quite prepared to use the money of Iraqi people, that puts food in their mouths, to finance his expenses for a war he was waging against them. What highway robbery. The Geneva Convention requires that an occupying force provide for the safety and humanitarian needs of the civilian population. In other words, the US is required to provide from its resources for the well-being of the Iraqi people. Period. He cannot appropriate their resources for this purpose. If you're one of those who has bought into this notion of 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' and, 'Iraq's resources are for the Iraqi people,' as advertised to you by Bush, his boys, and a girl, then I have a hot tip for you. Buy stock in the company that makes the Patriot antimissile system. It is impressive. A winner. Guaranteed to lock onto and destroy any target. Yeah right. Even our own fighters. Iraqi citizens dare not buy into such disingenuous drivel masquerading as honesty and good intent.

    It is a 'shock' to the system and quite disturbing and unsettling to see George Bush, the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, in the inadvertent TV taping by BBC, just minutes before he addressed this nation and the world to declare war on Iraq. The man was minutes away from committing America's fighting men and women to war and possible death, and initiating the death of innocent Iraqis. How unreal it was to see Bush, in prepping for his address to the nation, clowning and making faces, grinning like a Cheshire cat, and pumping his fist with the exclamation, 'Feels good!' This inadvertent taping was seen in many European capitals. In Amsterdam and Italy, late night TV shows picked it up. They laughed at the President of the United States, remarking on what a buffoon and a dolt he was. Seemingly, Americans are unaware of this, even though it is readily available on the Internet. Maybe that is because for some strange reason our mainstream media, the self anointed champions charged with the solemn duty of ensuring that Americans are informed, has not shown the taping. Take a look at this taping. I guarantee the feeling will not be 'awe' for George Bush, but instead 'shock' and bewilderment. The TV pundits and news anchor stalwarts who that night 'oohed' and 'aahed' at how the President was 'so somber, serious, and direct,' should see this taping just minutes before. It makes them look foolish and want to eat their words. Maybe that's part of the reason why it was buried.

    Maybe George Bush's odd behavior in the inadvertent taping just minutes before coming out to announce the grave step of sending our sons and daughters to war, is not really a 'shock,' when we consider the man's history. His behavior seemed to say, 'this is a lark.' Considering the fact that, as governor, Bush has signed deathrow warrants, condemning 151 Americans to their death, maybe this situation was no big deal for him. Probably another day at the office. George Bush, as governor, has condemned to death more Americans than any governor of his time. As stated he stands at 151 departed souls. Add one more since taking office. The American blasted to kingdom come by the Hellfire missile over Yemen, and authorized by Bush. Forget about his deathrow record as governor. Too parochial. Now it is on to bigger and better things.

    International power over life and death. Blast an unsuspecting guy with a Hellfire missile from a drone flying high above another country. Send men and women to war in another country. Have the power to, in effect, sign the death warrants of a whole population in another country. Definitely the big leagues for Bush. One can definitely see how he could be elated to the point of exclaiming triumphantly, 'Feels good!' 'Shock' at Bush's demeanor? Maybe not. 'Awe?' Definitely not. Or at least little 'awe' at the man from us. For him though it might be quite different. Would you like to wager your house and antique coin collection that President George Bush is not in a state of 'awe' knowing that he has concentrated in his hands the ultimate power over life and death on a heretofore unimaginable scale?

    But wait. Bush does succumb to 'shock' on occasion. Last week was such an occasion. The Washington Times has in this past Saturday article, March 29, 2003, a funny cartoon of Bush sitting at his Oval Office desk reading a newspaper headline with words to the effect, 'President Tax Cut Bill Slashed in Half By Lawmakers.' On the office wall is a plaque that says 'Shock and Awe.' Having read the headline he is gaping open mouthed at the plaque in what seems to be bewilderment. How fitting. How shockingly embarrassing. The man who has so much power concentrated in his hands, has power over life and death, can be admitted to an Ivy League school based on preferential treatment, can win an election by default, can extinguish more than a hundred American lives by simple signatures, privileged to have his party dominate both houses in government, can make a drunk driving conviction disappear, can John Wayne style give a foreign head of state forty eight hours to leave town, and can sign a 'decapitation' order when there is no compliance, has been stymied and brought back down to earth. Yes, his tax cut bill was last week voted down and slashed in half. This was in a process we call democracy, the will of the people, oversight, and accountability. Concepts that Bush might have some difficulty with. No yahoo 'Feels good!' exclamation here. More like 'Bummer. Double bummer.'

    Ben Roberts is a newsletter editor, freelance writer and published author. His book, Jackals of Samarra, was published in January 2001. Ben can be contacted by email at: grandt730@aol.com

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