A TvNewsLIES COMMENTARY
In one sudden and tragic December moment just weeks ago, the waters of the Indian Ocean rose up to swallow nearly a hundred fifty thousand innocent people without warning. The tidal wave set off by a terribly powerful earthquake transformed tsunami into a fearful and horrifying household word, everywhere.
The outpouring of concern and sympathy for the victims of this catastrophic natural disaster was immediate and overwhelming. Nations stumbled over one another to be first and best in pledging aid to survivors. Organizations and individuals joined in unprecedented acts of charity and condolence to the 11 countries affected by this most cruel of calamities.
Help came quickly and unstintingly, and so it should have. Americans, in their usual generosity, gave tens of millions to bring comfort to those who had lost so much. Camcorder images of the first moments of the tsunami were flashed on television screens, 24-7, nonstop. Photos of the dead being retrieved from their watery graves filled the newscasts day after day, totals of the dead and missing were updated by the hour, and the devastation from the worst tsunami in recent history was etched in the publicís mind forever.
The world at large and Americans in particular, are determined to help the affected nations rebuild quickly and will do what they can to see that life in the region returns to normal as quickly as possible.
And so it should be, when so many good people care about the deaths of innocents and the horror that can come unexpectedly from out of nowhere.
FLASHBACK: MARCH, 2003
In one sudden, unstoppable moment, the combined forces of the US and its coalition partners rose up to swallow nearly 100,000 innocent people in Iraq after months of threats and warnings. This UNNATURAL DISASTER set off by a combination of American and foreign invading forces, transformed Operation Iraq Freedom into a divisive and polarizing household word, everywhere.
The outpouring of concern and sympathy for the victims of this UNNATURAL DISASTER was immediate and overwhelming throughout most of the world, but only marginal in the United States itself. Nations competed to be the most outspoken in their support or opposition to the invasion, but the dead and the dying and the survivors were pretty much on their own.
As Iraq became a daily scene of death and destruction, corporations such as Halliburton stumbled over themselves for billion dollar contracts to rebuild the bombed out cities. There were no camcorder images of the carnage to counter the outrageous claims of a surgical and humane invasion, and there were no nonstop images of mutilated women and children and old people. The reality of war was carefully hidden by the cooperative media. And so it should be, in an illegal and immoral war.
The total number of military deaths and injuries was ultimately removed from the public eye altogether. Photographs of flag-draped military coffins were forbidden, and the Iraqi Ministry of Heath was ordered to simply stop counting all civilian deaths. The UNNATURAL DISASTER of the Iraq invasion was in full bloom, - with more and more civilians dying each day, with more and more soldiers being torn to bits each day, with more and more bombs exploding each day, with more and more kidnappings taking place each day. And yet, unmitigated success was declared by those who waged the war each and every single day. And so it should be, when you want people to believe that failure is a success.
And so it also should be, when the media are lapdogs, when the WH Press Corps refuses to ask the tough questions, and when an UNNATURAL DISASTER runs amok. And so it should be, when there is no way to end the bloodshed and the despair. And so it should be, when there no intention of trying.
FAST FORWARD: TODAY
The tsunami is no more. It came and went in moments, and enormous help is already reaching many of the survivors. However long it takes, the world has come together to help rebuild and restore, to heal and console. The dead cannot be brought back, and the memories of that terrible day in December will never be fully erased. Still, there is hope for reclamation and rebirth, and for early warning systems that can minimize the terrible toll of future tidal waves.
As a global community, everything possible will be done to alleviate the devastation of this natural disaster and to prevent similar tragedies in the future. And that is as it should be.
But the war against Iraq continues. In the wake of this UNNATURAL DISASTER, US military deaths have topped 1,350, and coalition forces have lost more than 160 of their troops, with no end in sight. Daily deaths, explosions, assassinations and kidnappings barely make the evening news. Protests, opposition, and resistance to the war have faded into oblivion. There is no hope for reclamation and rebirth, there are only dire warnings of more death and destruction as the insurgency grows along with the countryís instability.
As a global community, nothings is being done to alleviate the devastation of this unnatural disaster or to prevent similar tragedies in the future. And that is NOT as it should be. Not by a long shot.
The war against Iraq is no less catastrophic than the tsunami that just unfolded before our eyes. The obvious difference between the two disasters is the trigger that catapulted them onto their individual paths. The tsunami, however terrible, was a natural event. There is no one to blame for its ultimate horror.
The UNNATURAL DISASTER caused by the invasion and occupation of Iraq was man-made and calculated, It was preventable, it was unnecessary, and it was carried out in a reckless, unplanned, and irresponsible manner. And there are clearly people to blame for its ultimate horror. We all know who they are.
What is yet unknown is how long the UNNATURAL DISASTER in Iraq will go on, and how many more people will die before someone puts and end to the madness. What is yet unknown is how long the American people will turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the carnage in Iraq and the rage it is fomenting in the rest of the Moslem world. What is yet unknown is whether the people of this nation, who are so good and decent and caring when natural disasters strike, will wake up to what is going on in this horrific, UNNATURAL DISASTER.
Maybe, just maybe, they will learn from the past that the voice of the people is the greatest tool for change. Maybe just maybe they will refuse to support the continuation of the Bush doctrine of Might Makes Right. Maybe, just maybe, they will unite and demand an end to the futile tactic of trying to annihilate an ever increasing insurgency. Maybe, just maybe, they will insist that there are other ways to win the hearts and minds of people who have grown to hate us.
Maybe, this UNNATURAL DISASTER can be ended, once and for all. Because that, and only that, is as it should be.
Get your ribbon of resistance here!