[lit-ideas] eloquent

  • From: JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2005 17:20:20 EDT

Friday, July 01, 2005


âNot only can they not find WMD in Iraq,â I  commented to E. as we listened 
to the Bush speech, âBut they have disappeared  from his speeches too!â I 
listening to the voiceover on Arabiya, translating  his speech to Arabic. He 
was recycling bits and pieces of various speeches he  used over two years.

E., a younger cousin, and I were sitting around in  the living room, sprawled 
on the relatively cool tiled floor. The electricity  had been out for 3 hours 
and we couldnât turn on the air conditioner with the  generator electricity 
we were getting. E. and I had made a bet earlier about  what the theme of 
tonightâs speech would be. E. guessed Bush would dig up the  tired, old WMD 
from somewhere under the debris of idiocy and lies coming  out of the White 
House. I told him heâd dredge up 9/11 yet againâ tens of  thousands of 
later, we would have to bear the burden of 9/11â  again.

I won the bet. The theme was, naturally, terrorism- the only  mention of â
weaponâ or âweaponsâ was in reference to Libya. He actually used the  
word â
terroristâ in the speech 23 times.

He was trying, throughout the  speech, to paint a rosy picture of the 
situation. According to him, Iraq was  flourishing under the occupation. In 
Iraq, there is reconstruction, there  is freedom (in spite of an occupation) 
there is democracy.

âHeâs  describing a different countryââ I commented to E. and the 

âYes,â  E. replied. âHeâs talking about the *other* Iraqâ the one 
with the  

âSo whatâs the occasion? Whyâs the idiot giving a speech anyway?â  The 
cousin asked, staring at the ceiling fan clicking away above. I reminded him  
was the year anniversary marking the mythical handover of power to Allawiâs  
Vichy government.

âOh- Allawiâ Is he still alive?â Came the indolent  reply from the 
cousin. â
Iâve lost trackâ was he before Al Yawir or after Al  Yawir? Was he Prime 
Minister or did they make him president at some  point?â

9/11 and the dubious connection with Iraq came up within less  than a minute 
of the beginning of the speech. The cousin wondered whether anyone  in America 
still believed Iraq had anything to do with September 11.

Bush  said:
âThe troops here and across the world are fighting a global war on  terror. 
The war reached our shores on September 11, 2001.â

Do people  really still believe this? In spite of that fact that no WMD were 
found in Iraq,  in spite of the fact that prior to the war, no American was 
ever killed in Iraq  and now almost 2000 are dead on Iraqi soil? Itâs 
to comprehend that  rational people, after all of this, still actually accept 
the claims of a link  between 9/11 and Iraq. Or that they could actually 
believe Iraq is less of a  threat today than it was in 2003.

We did not have Al-Qaeda in Iraq prior  to the war. We didnât know that sort 
of extremism. We didnât have beheadings or  the abduction of foreigners or 
religious intolerance. We actually pitied America  and Americans when the Twin 
Towers went down and when news began leaking out  about it being Muslim 
fundamentalists- possibly Arabs- we were  outraged.

Now 9/11 is getting old. Now, 100,000+ Iraqi lives and 1700+  American lives 
later, itâs becoming difficult to summon up the same sort of  sympathy as 
before. How does the death of 3,000 Americans and the fall of two  towers 
justify the horrors in Iraq when not one of the people involved  with the 
attack was Iraqi?

Bush said:
âIraq is the latest  battlefield in this war. â The commander in charge of 
coalition operations in  Iraq, who is also senior commander at this base, 
General John Vines, put it well  the other day. He said, "We either deal with 
terrorism and this extremism  abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us."

He speaks of  âabroadâ as if it is a vague desert-land filled with 
heavily-bearded men and  possibly camels. âAbroadâ in his speech seems to 
indicate a 
land of inferior  people- less deserving of peace, prosperity and even life.

Donât  Americans know that this vast wasteland of terror and terrorists 
otherwise known  as âAbroadâ was home to the first civilizations and is 
home now 
to some of the  most sophisticated, educated people in the region?

Donât Americans  realize that âabroadâ is a country full of people- men, 
women and children who  are dying hourly? âAbroadâ is home for millions of 
us. It
âs the place we were  raised and the place we hope to raise our children- 
your field of war and  terror.

The war was brought to us here, and now we have to watch the  country 
disintegrate before our very eyes. We watch as towns are bombed and  gunned 
down and 
evacuated of their people. We watch as friends and loved ones  are detained, 
or killed or pressured out of the country with fear and  intimidation.

Bush said:
âWe see the nature of the enemy in  terrorists who exploded car bombs along a 
busy shopping street in Baghdad,  including one outside a mosque. We see the 
nature of the enemy in terrorists who  sent a suicide bomber to a teaching 
hospital in Mosulââ

Yes. And  Bush is extremely concerned with the mosques. He might ask the 
occupation forces  in Iraq to quit attacking mosques and detaining the 
inside- to stop  raiding them and bombing them and using them as shelters for 
American snipers in  places like Falluja and Samarra. And the terrorists who 
sent a suicide bomber to  a teaching hospital in Mosul? Maybe they got their 
cue from the American troops  who attacked the only functioning hospital in 

âWe  continued our efforts to help them rebuild their country. Rebuilding a 
country  after three decades of tyranny is hard and rebuilding while a country 
is at war  is even harder."

Three decades of tyranny isnât what bombed and  burned buildings to the 
ground. It isnât three decades of tyranny that destroyed  the infrastructure 
such things as âShock and Aweâ and various other  tactics. Though he fails 
mention it, prior to the war, we didnât have sewage  overflowing in the 
streets like we do now, and water cut off for days and days  at a time. We 
had more than the 8 hours of electricity daily. In  several areas they arenât 
even getting that much.

âThey are doing  that by building the institutions of a free society, a 
society based on freedom  of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion 
equal justice under  law.â

Weâre so free, we often find ourselves prisoners of our homes,  with roads 
cut off indefinitely and complete areas made inaccessible. We are so  free to 
assemble that people now fear having gatherings because a large number  of 
friends or family members may attract too much attention and provoke a raid  by 
American or Iraqi forces.

As to Iraqi forcesâThere was too much to  quote on the new Iraqi forces. He 
failed to mention that many of their members  were formerly part of militias, 
and that many of them contributed to the looting  and burning that swept over 
Iraq after the war and continued for  weeks.

âThe new Iraqi security forces are proving their courage every  day.â 

Indeed they are. The forte of the new Iraqi National Guard?  Raids and mass 
detentions. They have been learning well from the coalition. They  sweep into 
areas, kick down doors, steal money, valuables, harass the females in  the 
household and detain the men. The Iraqi security forces are so effective  that 
few weeks ago, they managed to kill a high-ranking police major in  Falluja 
when he ran a red light, shooting him in the head as his car drove  away.

He kept babbling about a âfree Iraqâ but he mentioned nothing about  when 
the American forces might actually depart and the occupation would end,  
a âfree Iraqâ.

Why arenât the Americans setting a timetable for  withdrawal? Iraqis are 
constantly wondering why nothing is being done to  accelerate the end of the 

Do the Americans continue to  believe such speeches? I couldnât help but 

âTheyâll believe  anything.â E. sighed. âNo matter what sort of 
they are fed, theyâll  believe it. Think up the most outrageous lieâ They 
people whoâll believe  it.â

The cousin sat up at this, his interest piqued. âThe most outrageous  lie? 
How about that Iraq was amassing aliens from Mareekh [Mars] and training  them 
in the battle art of kung-fu to attack America in 2010!â

âTheyâd  believe it.â E. nodded in the affirmative. âOr that Iraq was 
developing a mutant  breed of rabid, man-eating bunnies to unleash upon the 
world. Theyâd  believe that too.â

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