I awoke this morning to this quote on Radio 4: “The Iraqi experiment in democracy is taking place in a pretty scary neighbourhood.”
The American pundit being interviewed then continued to explain how Syria was aiding terrorist organisations, providing a safe haven for fleeing Iraqi officials from Saddam Hussein’s regime, and holding large stocks of chemical weapons. (I turned the radio off again pretty quickly.)
And the top story in this morning’s Guardian is that George Bush has apparently “vetoed” plans to go to war against Syria.
This offends on so many levels. First of all, how could a Radio 4 news presenter let anyone get away with a quote like that? “The Iraqi experiment in democracy?” As if the Iraqi people had decided to dabble with free elections for a lark, instead of having their previous government overthrown by an invading foreign power. As if they are running their country themselves now, rather than being told what to do by an occupying military force. As if this whole war thing (which we’d rather not mention any more) was all about liberation.
Secondly, Syria. On all of the points made against it: duh. What country in the Middle East doesn’t?
Third, George Bush’s political machine. He gets his hawkish factions all charged up with a relatively short, victorious war against Iraq. Then these same hawks rile up public opinion even more by mouthing off against Syria, raising the spectre of a rolling invasion eventually covering all of Iraq’s neighbours. This allows Bush to come in and act magnanimously by ruling out war against another country.
Wow. Picture that. He invades
Poland Iraq, then gets credit for not going even further. Maybe he’s not such a bad guy after all! Maybe he did have the good of the Iraqi people at heart all along! We liberated them, didn’t we?
The whitewash started before the war even began. History will tell the whole story, but probably won’t tell it until after the 2004 US presidential election. If the Bush regime can persuade the American people to ignore the facts for just a little bit longer (easier than it should be, unfortunately), they will secure a second term in office, cement the Neo-Republican power base, and have another four years in which to make the world even an even safer place for
terrorists corporate profits respectful, law-obiding citizens! Hurrah!
Where the hell is the opposition?