FOOL ME TWICE
A MESSAGE TO THE BUSH/PNAC ADMINISTRATION
(SHAME ON ME!)
I really have to hand it to you guys – you won the first round with flying colors! It took a major tragedy to set you up, but, boy did you ever pull it off! Timing is everything, I suppose, and you PNAC folk were right on cue. You jumped in at the right moment and rang all the alarm bells. There was no time to lose, you told us. We were in terrible danger, you told us. We were on the verge of being nuked, anthraxed, and smallpoxed, you told us. We were in imminent danger, you told us. You were good. You were damn convincing. And a lot of very nervous people all over the country really believed that we had to go to war!
Hey, it worked. You were fooling a helluva lot of people. It made sense to keep at it, and you did.
You spoke in unison with rehearsed mantras of evil empires and terror threats and the need for war. You chanted: Iraq – terror! Iraq – 9/11! Saddam – WMD’ s.! over and over and over, - how clever! Stockpiles,you told us, biological and chemical horrors, you warned us. Nuclear attacks could come any day now, you cautioned - because you knew, you had seen, you had heard, you had evidence. And then - the whole world was told, in hushed, dramatic tones, by our trusted, respected, and honorable Secretary of State, that The clock continues to tick, and the consequences of Saddam Hussein’s continued refusal to disarm will be very, very, real. And many people understandably shuddered and believed that we simply had to go to war!
And, wow! the media were fawning cheerleaders for your game. They beat the drums to your chants. They played into your war cries and competed for war coverage. They allowed no one to challenge you or question you or criticize you. They dismissed the voices of those who refused to be fooled by your fabrications and exaggerations, and they scoffed at the millions around the world who refused to be fooled. They helped you demonize France and emasculate the United Nations. They sanitized your breach of the UN Charter. They downplayed the pleas of leaders the world over, - and glorified your pathetic ‘coalition of the willing’ (billing.) And they helped you turn an illegal and immoral preemptive attack into an act of salvation, and made it seem that we simply had to go to war!
And so, you went to war and you fooled us again. A cakewalk, you said. Flowers in the streets, you said. Hailed as liberators, you said. Democracy and equality and stability, you said. You, who brought in an accused felon to be the new leader of Iraq. You, who staged the toppling of a statue to convince us of your moral victory. You, who had no exit plans, no strategies for the lawlessness that you were warned about, no clue about the chaos you were creating, and no understanding of the culture you had invaded, - you went to war to shock and awe people who had done you no harm. But you went to war, and you found yourself in quicksand, - so you just had to go on fooling us.
Okay. It’s ten months later. How many daisy cutters and uranium tipped shells later? Surely, many, many thousands of Iraqi lives later. More than five hundred US military lives later. At least a hundred ‘coalition’ lives later. Heaven only knows how many crippled and blinded later! You fooled us about the numbers, didn’t you? You wouldn’t let the Ministry of Health in Iraq count the civilian deaths, or reveal the numbers they already had. Now, that was shrewd thinking! You never show us the flag draped coffins coming home. You never talk about the lives on both sides that you’ve destroyed – cool! But, hey! you did dress up George Bush in a flak jacked and fly him onto an aircraft carrier to declare an end to major combat! Now that was deceit at its best, really great stuff by pros who know their business.
And then, you found the topper: you got on a progress roll, - talking about rebuilding schools and hospitals (that you had bombed to smithereens) – and about a constitution, and about elections, and about your success in getting the ‘bad guys.’ Geez, you even killed those awful Hussein brothers, and got Saddam from the Kurds (and took the credit). That would stop the killing for sure. Not bad at all. People were still buying it. And, possibly because they wanted so badly to believe you, lots of them still believed that you were right to go to war.
But wait a minute. Something’s wrong here – the curtain is unraveling around the wizard, and it’s becoming very clear that you actually did fool us. But listen closely: you can fool us once. And you did, so shame on you. But, if you fool us twice, you’re off the hook. If we look at the evidence of your lies and deception and, as a nation, we don’t hold you accountable, it’s shame on us. It’s a full, total, and unequivocal – shame on us!
You see, it’s now so clear that we were lied to. We were deceived. We were led by the nose into a war long planned by your PNAC group, and launched in the opportune shadow of 9/11. There were no WMD’s. There was no Al Qaeda connection. There was no imminent threat. The invasion and occupation of Iraq had no relation whatsoever to the ‘war on terror.’ These were ploys to justify a preemptive attack on a nation whose oil resources were enormous, and whose pipelines were essential to industrialists among you. But most of all, all this was a measured step in the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Perle (et al) PNAC plan of military domination of the Middle East That, too is very, very clear.
It’s clear that you managed to alienate the entire world community, and that you dismissed the findings and pleas for time of the UN inspectors. It’s clear that you spent millions of dollars pretending to look for weapons you knew did not exist, all the while fabricating stories about a Niger uranium purchase, aluminum tubes, - about biological labs that turned out to be helium trucks, - and most recently about your newest ‘smoking gun’ - some 36 shells, buried for at least ten years, that were not contaminated, after all.
It’s clear that your unnecessary war has enriched Halliburton, the Carlyle Group, Bechtel, and other corporations with whom you are intimately involved. At the same time, your reckless misadventure has depleted the resources of the American economy, and still continues on an endless road to nowhere - drowning us all in the greatest financial deficit in history!
It’s clear that there was no planning, before or after your illegal and immoral war. Your information sources were people who had not lived in Iraq for decades and had no clue about the situation our military would face. It’s clear that you had no idea that while many Iraqis hated Saddam, they might hate you as well for imposing your military might on a helpless nation. It’s clear that your arrogant approach to world problems is steeped in arrogance and a ‘might makes right’ philosophy. It’s also painfully clear that your collective swagger is a farce, and that true leadership does not shoot first and ask questions later!
And it’s terribly and painfully clear that you have no idea of what is coming next. But maybe, we do. Maybe, just maybe – the American public is becoming more and more aware of the shell game you’ve been playing. And maybe, just maybe, - they will assume some of the responsibility for what you have been allowed to do. Maybe, just maybe – the wonderful people who make up this great nation will refuse to be fooled twice. Fooling us once was enough, for it brought shame on you. If you are allowed to fool us again, the shame will be on us. It really will.
Epilogue: A Plea to the American Electorate
There is no time. In only months, a presidential election will determine the policies that will shape the future of this country for decades to come. The Bush/PNAC administration skillfully, professionally, and quite brilliantly deceived the people of this country and led them into a war that is without end. Our involvement in Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Our nation is no safer now than it was before the attacks. In fact, we are probably more hated, more feared, and more resented by people around the world than ever before in our history.
This time around, please, please, don’t let the Bush/PNAC administration fool us again. This time, if they succeed, we will have no right to blame them for deceiving the nation and leading us further into Armageddon. If we allow ourselves to be fooled again, the onus will be fully on us. Should this happen, we will have only ourselves to blame.
FOOL ME ONCE, SHAME ON YOU! FOOL ME TWICE, SHAME ON ME!
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