May 27, 2006 by lonbud
Pants On Fire
President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair mounted a major PR campaign this week, touting progress being made in the War in Iraq, hammering at the theme of a “newborn democracy” struggling to survive there, even offering an olive branch of contrition for “mistakes” and “missteps” they made in the prosecution of the war.
What a bunch of hooey.
Two of the most unpopular leaders of the modern age are using what little remains of their bully pulpit to try and convince people the unimaginable amounts of money, resources, and lives wasted in Iraq during the last three years will be worth it, as Mr. Blair put it at a joint press conference on Thursday night, “if we do succeed, then the whole of this global terrorism will suffer a defeat.”
In another joint press conference — held the week after the war was launched in March of 2003 — Mr. Blair said, “our aim is to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and make our world more secure.” Mr. Bush reasserted at yet another joint appearance in July of 2005, “Saddam Hussein was a threat to our security, and a threat to the security of other nations. I take responsibility for making the decision to remove Saddam Hussein, because the intelligence made a clear and compelling case that Saddam Hussein was a threat to security and peace.”
Precious little there about fledgling democracies or global terrorism.
The fact of the matter is the war started by Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair has done more to increase the incidence of terrorism worldwide than anything Saddam Hussein ever did; Iraq has actually become a terrorist mecca in the past three years.
But hey, what’s done is done, and the international community has a duty now to support the new unity government in Iraq because, as Mr. Blair described on Thursday,
“the reason there is bloodshed and violence in Iraq is that the very forces that we are confronting everywhere, including in our own countries, who want to destroy our way of life, also want to destroy their hope of having the same type of life. In other words, the very forces that are creating this violence and bloodshed and terrorism in Iraq are those that are doing it in order to destroy the hope of that country and its people to achieve democracy, the rule of law, and liberty…I know the decision to remove Saddam was deeply divisive for the international community, and deeply controversial. And there is no point in rehearsing those arguments over and over again. But whatever people’s views about the wisdom of that decision, now that there is a democratic government in Iraq, elected by its people, and now they are confronted with those whose mission it is to destroy the hope of democracy, then our sense of mission should be equal to that and we should be determined to help them defeat this terrorism and violence.”
Talk about creating a need and then acting to fill it…
Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair are engaged now in a shameless, manipulative exercise to demonize anyone who might suggest they be held accountable for the oceans of blood on their hands, and to brand as enemies of freedom and democracy anyone who might question their leadership.
No right thinking person could come out against democracy and freedom in Iraq; that would be like coming out against sunny afternoons in springtime. But it should not be forgotten that these two men hitched their wagon to the fear that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction he was prepared to use imminently against the United States and his neighbors. They categorically rejected the accusation that the purpose of the war was to remake Iraq, and with it all of Middle Eastern society.
Who knows the real reason we went into Iraq? Whether to avenge Saddam’s attempts to kill Mr. Bush’s father, or because Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair truly believed the flawed intelligence on weapons of mass destruction, or because we just want to control the oil, or because — as we’re now being told — establishing a democracy in Iraq is vitally important to the future peace and security of the entire world, the fact of the matter is we’re on the hook and there’s no wriggling free.
Meanwhile, in other news, today was supposed to be the expiration date for the house arrest order under which democracy advocate and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been confined to her home in Rangoon, Burma with no contact to the outside world since May 30, 2003.
The ruling junta in Burma extended the house arrest order for an additional year, citing fears that Ms. Suu Kyi’s freedom could pose threats to public order, while continuing to reassure the world they are guiding the country back to democratic rule.
Ms. Suu Kyi became the reluctant face of Burma’s democracy movement in the late 1980s and was initially placed under house arrest just prior to the landslide electoral victory of her National League for Democracy in 1990. Since that time she has spent more than 10 years in detention or house arrest and the military junta has refused to acknowledge the will and desire of the Burmese people for democratic government.
For decades Burma has had a reputation as one of the most brutal and oppressive regimes of the modern era.
Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair had no comment.