There was a one hour presentation last evening on MSNBC titled, Hubris: Selling the Iraq War. It was based on the book, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, coauthored by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.
When I saw the photo on the cover of the book I nearly gagged. There they were- the lying foursome who duped most Americans into believing their lies. It has been a decade since our first and only preemptive war on another nation. The memories raised by the photo and the MSNBC presentation are still unsettling to me lo those many years past. I was thrown back into those ugly and bitter months prior to the War on Iraq.
I have always called it The War on Iraq as opposed to the official phrase because that is precisely what it was. It wasn’t a war with Iraq. The word ‘with’ implies some sort of mutual combat; there was none. There was no provocation, either. Only false propaganda which the gullible citizens believed.
I never did. Never. My wife asked me after watching the TV special, “How did you know that none of this was true?”
I credited both my intuition as well as the many discussions I had on a long-forgotten message board from C-Span. That was my first experience with ‘blogging’ and it helped me become more convinced that I was correct in doubting the sincerity of that clutch of four who ‘sold the war’ to the American public.
Although my wife never participated with that message board, she came to reject the hype on purely moral grounds- war is never the answer. Her tenet was bolstered by the activities of the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition, a local group of peace activists who demonstrated on the streets of Toledo throughout the winter of 2002-2003.
Every Sunday throughout that long winter we’d gather with our signs attempting to convince The People to think about a non-war solution to the contrived problem set before them by the Bush-Cheney Administration. We were often ‘rewarded’ with jeers, the finger and other insults by the passers-by. Yet we held our ground all of the way up to March. 19, 2003 when ‘Shock ‘n Awe’ commenced.
A few weeks prior to this, she and I attended classes on non-violent demonstrating sponsored by the group. She passed, but I failed. I was not non-violent enough, so I became an active supporter but not a participant in the demonstration. She and a dozen others were arrested and I ‘bailed’ them out.
The assumed righteousness of many of the detractors of our demonstrations was amazing. They were terribly righteous in their gullibility. The flag became their symbol, as if we disdained it. Note that we always flew American flags at each rally, but our detractors knew that ‘their’ flag was much more patriotic. And so were they.
I recall an incident early in ‘the war’ because of a homemade sign that I pasted on my rear window. At that time, 825 of our Military had been killed in the conflict and I noted that on the sign. “Stop the War!” was my message which apparently annoyed a car that came up on my left at the intersection. Interestingly it was a military vehicle with two ‘officers’ inside. They caught my eye as we waited for the light to change and gave me the finger and mouthed the ‘F’ word to me. They drove off quite certain that I had been properly defiled.
Years later as the causalities of the Bush-Cheney war rose to 2000, 3000 and 4000, I wondered if these two men were any of the dead or the 35,000 with severe injuries and/or amputations. Or permanent brain injuries. Or PTSD. I wouldn’t want any of this for those two, but my efforts to stop the war went unheeded.
On the TV program last evening was an older Congressman, a Republican from the South. He lamented his ‘yes’ vote on the authorization for the war. He admitted that it was a political vote, not a vote of conscience. Ten years later he regrets his vote and he appeared to have been ever-tormented by the vote.
At the other end of the scale, none of the major players- Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice- have any remorse. They continually justify their decision to sell the war to the citizens of our country. No remorse. Just hubris!