It was five years ago today that President Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln in a Lockheed S-3 Viking fighter jet and give a speech declaring the end of major combat operations in Iraq. With a massive, now-legendary “Mission Accomplished” banner hanging in the background, Bush announced: “In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”
Five years ago.
In a memo sent to Congress the very same day, Bush declared that his decision to invade Iraq was “to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.”
With roughly 170,000 coalition troops in Iraq at this very moment, and $341 million a day being spent on a massively unpopular war when experts and analysts are screaming about a devastating recession looming, there’s little question as to why Bush is being labeled “Worst President Ever” by more and more publications every day. Yet still we see that same cocky smirk, that same wave, the same assurances that everything is fine. When confronted with the fact that 70 percent of America doesn’t support this war, Dick Cheney laughs and says “So?” We’re then reminded once again that there’s a supernaturally dangerous, freedom-hating enemy out there, one that will surely chase us onto our own turf, into our very homes with their dynamite vests. That is, if we don’t kill them first.
That all makes a good bedtime story, but I’ve got a quick question. What the fuck happened to finding Bin Laden? Where’s that Mission Accomplished banner? Naturally, we don’t want to ask those kinds of complicated questions, because the answers far exceed the attention spans and carefully cultivated ignorance of fast food America. Bush and Cheney’s financial ties to Big Oil and Saudi royalty are none of our business, and who cares if all but four of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabian? This is about freedom and evil, not facts and agendas.
There’s no denying that the Bush administration linked Saddam Hussein to 9/11 in order to sell a war of corporate interest in Iraq that has left hundreds of thousands of people dead, including 4,000 of our own troops. In five years’ time, Bush has offered zero evidence to support the accusations of Saddam’s involvement in or connection to 9/11. Yet still we march on, under blatantly false pretenses, amidst clear evidence of corruption, corporate pandering, lies and smokescreens surrounding virtually every facet of this presidential administration. Do we cut and run, or stick it out? The implications of consequence on either side are frightening.
In an impressive display of idiocy, yapping right-wing pathological liar and laughingstock of the rational world Bill O’Reilly marked today’s anniversary by making the fascinating claim that the United States never actually invaded Iraq. “We didn’t invade Iraq,” he declared on his show last night, contradicting statements he made in reference to the invasion during a January 28th broadcast. “I’ll submit that most folks still have no idea why the Bush administration invaded Iraq,” he said then.
Actually, Mr. No-Spin, we did invade Iraq. Our military forcefully entered the country in order to overthrow their leader. What else would you call it?
Furthermore, sir, you may remember this comment you made on March 6, 2006: “Iraq was invaded to create a friendly country between Iran and Syria, thereby pressuring those nations into a more sensible foreign policy.” Ring any bells?
Don’t be embarrassed, Billy. Bush agrees with at least one of the two stances you took on the “issue.” In a 2006 speech, he discussed the administration’s “two major invasions as a part of the war on terror.”
“We didn’t invade Iraq,” O’Reilly said. “It was a declaration of war. It was a declaration to enforce the first Gulf War Treaty.”
What O’Reilly calls a war treaty, the rest of us refer to as a cease-fire. In an interview with former U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix in 2004, the following conversation transpired:
O’REILLY: Do you understand that when you have 17 violations of a treaty, a war treaty, that you basically have to take action?
BLIX: Well, you’re talking about a war treaty. It was a cease-fire. It was not a war treaty.
O’REILLY: Oh, come on. Now don’t play semantics here, sir.
BLIX: Second- all right. I’m trying to be precise. You are imprecise.
Only someone with the wealth of abstract, illogical reasoning of Bill O’Reilly could mix up the words “cease-fire” with “war treaty,” right? That’s about as crazy as saying that the U.S. occupation of Iraq ended four years ago.
Wait, what’s that?
“I’m afraid that the label ‘occupation’ sticks to us even to this day, although the occupation ended in June of 2004,” said Iraq war architect Paul Wolfowitz at the Hudson Institute Monday. Undoubtedly referring to the “official” transfer of power to the Iraqi government in June of 2004, but with roughly 170,000 U.S. troops in Iraq right now, what exactly would Wolfowitz call our presence there?
Known for being the Iraq invasion’s most passionate and compelling advocate, Wolfowitz also interestingly refrained from acknowledging the presence of some 170,000 troops still stationed in the oil-rich Middle Eastern country.
As Mr. Wolfowitz and O’Reilly have most recently shown us, the disinformation machine is very much alive and grinding. The only real mission this administration has accomplished was to convince the world that this country is nothing more than the ugly, spoiled cowboy who does what he wants ’cause he’s got the biggest guns.