America: Deluded, Armed and Dangerous in the Middle East

  • From: "" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <news@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 13:08:36 -0000

If Americans understood our last war on Iraq, would we more strongly
oppose another one? Do we know what our military does in the real world,
where the Pentagon won't even take our lapdog of a press corps out for a

The Gulf War's 'video game accuracy' was a lie told by the Pentagon and
re-told by the media. We dropped 88,000 tons of bombs on Iraq, nearly
seven times the force of Hiroshima. 93% were old-fashioned dumb bombs,
mostly dropped from high altitudes. 60,000 of these were anti-personnel
cluster bombs. The civil infrastructure of central and southern Iraq was
devastated, resulting in years of polluted water supplies, no
electricity, and criminal levels of child mortality. 

We use depleted uranium (DU) to pierce armor "like butter." We left 300
tons of DU in Iraq, mostly as easily-inhaled radioactive dust. Now Iraq
has skyrocketing rates of monstrous birth defects and aggressive cancers
and leukemias. Though a few members of Congress tried to highlight this
scandal, it remains resolutely ignored by American media. Consequently,
our commitment to DU has deepened, despite its nuclear pollution of Iraq
and (via NATO) the Balkans. We now proliferate these radioactive weapons
around the world. 

When Hussein pledged to withdraw from Kuwait, President Bush I called it
a "cruel hoax." When the withdrawal began as promised, we waited until
midnight, then launched a frantic, all-out air blitz to exterminate the
departing Iraqi soldiers. That night we incinerated tens of thousands of
Iraqis for the crime of trying to go home. 

How much do we need to know to oppose more war on Iraq? We learn some
very troubling things just sitting in front of the TV. We've seen news
of the devastation caused by the US-sponsored sanctions. We've heard
experts disagree whether the sanctions have killed hundreds of
thousands, or more than a million Iraqi mothers and children. Why do
these deaths, continuing today, mean so little to our hearts? 

Can we maintain a sense of moral responsibility for our
always-benevolent foreign policy, if we're told time and again that its
fatal effects are the result of exploitation by our enemies? It's this
point, where US policy connects with the real world, that is always
attacked by core sources in government and media who aim to pander and
propagandize. They absolve us of responsibility for a generation of dead
Iraqi children by trotting out presidential palaces and rusting Scud
missiles, prattling that "the sanctions wouldn't kill so many children
if Saddam weren't such a monster!" 

As surely as Pavlov's dogs, we take this idiotic bell as a cue to blame
another US-inflicted disaster on a prescribed and suitably evil enemy.
Many well-intentioned Americans have simply been unable to resist years
of televised orders to hate Saddam Hussein like the Devil himself. Thus,
outrageous lies about US policy are digested by a 'free people', and we
hear them dutifully repeated by our neighbors, at the rare times they
are required. 

Our support for Israel's occupation of Palestine also requires
unrelenting propaganda, but, like Iraq, key facts have leaked through.
We dimly understand that Israel occupies land that is supposed to be
Palestinian, maybe in the future, if it's OK with Israel. We've seen
Israeli bulldozers mow down Palestinian homes, and we know the rest of
the world says the occupation is illegal. We even know that our
pro-Israel policy incites more terror against us. 

But we don't protest, or lift a finger to protect the Palestinians, even
to save our own skins. Because we've been told who to blame: "Raging"
Arabs who obstinately reject the "modernity" of occupation. Stunning
evidence that even the most simple-minded lies, repeated often enough on
the right lips, can fatally corrupt our national discourse. 

What did we know, and when did we know it? Future historians will
probably decide that we knew a lot, and we knew it a long time ago. They
will mark the failure of the US media as a critical blow to freedom and
democracy. But unless we are exonerated as non compos mentis victims of
the world's first successful mass brainwashing, history will also fault
us as a people, for our chronic failure to demand respect for human
rights and international law from our government.


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