“We were given these ideas that there were weapons of mass destruction...It was just a lie. That wasn't a proper use of American troops. It wasn't a proper use of my life, or my friends' lives, or the marines who I've seen die around me." –Lee Buttrill, Veteran, U.S. Marines”
“…in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily, and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation…” - Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf
Okay I admit it, I got duped. Like CIA Director George Tenet I thought it would be a “slam dunk” that the Americans would find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The fact is that Saddam Hussein did use chemical weapons in his war with Iran and he did gas thousands of his own citizens after the first Gulf War.
I even remember when twenty or so years ago the Israelis launched an air strike to destroy the nuclear power station that Iraq was building near Baghdad because they were convinced that Saddam would use the facility to build nuclear weapons.
Although the Iraq Baath Party that Saddam Hussein led owes its genesis to those Arabs who sympathized with the Nazis during the Second World War, Saddam’s personal role model was Joseph Stalin.
Like Stalin, Hussein is a sociopath who was quite willing to imprison, torture and murder millions of his own citizens in order to maintain a firm grip on power. Saddam’s sons were even worse. So to tell you the truth I was pleased to see the American forces send those two evil creatures to an early grave.
The trouble is that in pursuing an agenda that likely had more to do with payback on Saddam Hussein’s attempt to assassinate George Bush Sr. when he visited Kuwait, than any pressing security threat, George W. has done more to aid than hurt Osama Bin Laden.
The Big Lie that George W’s administration has continued to perpetuate to the American people is that Saddam Hussein was in league with Osama Bin Laden. The fact is that Osama Bin Laden hated Saddam Hussein because Saddam was the leader of a secular party and established a brutal dictatorship rather than the brutal Islamic theocracy Osama and his followers dream of.
Having Osama in league with Saddam would be as unlikely as having George W. in league with the ACLU. And speaking of civil liberties I have been deeply troubled by the increasingly anti-democratic rhetoric and actions coming out of the Bush administration.
In July Newsweek reported that Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge had asked the Justice Department to examine what legal steps would be needed in order to postpone the November 2nd Presidential election in the event of a terrorist attack.
Let’s keep in mind that the United States had a Presidential election in the middle of their Civil War when the outcome of that conflict was still very much in doubt. Also during the middle of the United States’ involvement in the Second World War a US Presidential election was held. In both instances the incumbent President (Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, respectively) were re-elected.
If, god forbid, another terrorist attack does occur and George W. does cancel or postpone the Presidential elections then the terrorists truly will have won. That the Bush administration would even consider such a move shows how shallow their democratic values truly are. But then again even a cursory glance of the so called US Patriot Act would tell you that.
It is too bad that the religious right that now holds such sway over the Republican Party could not bring themselves four years ago to nominate Senator John McCain. But McCain was just a war hero whereas George W. was a party hearty frat boy who had sobered up and found god. So frat boy got the nomination and he was what the United States was stuck with as a Commander in Chief when 9/11 happened.
In terms of the upcoming Presidential elections this time it is the American people and not just the Republican Party who get to choose between another Vietnam War Veteran, Senator John Kerry, and the incumbent Texan who all too often has come across as all hat and no cattle. It will be interesting to see if this time it is actually the US people rather than the US Supreme Court that gets to decide the outcome.
Closer to home I was extremely pleased to see our own Prime Minister Paul Martin taking a trip up north to demonstrate that Canada does in fact extend to the Arctic Ocean. Now if only his government can scrape together enough money from the paper clip allocation budget in order to land a few troops on Hans Island and plant the Canadian flag there.
And if the Danes have the temerity to protest then I say we rename the Danish we buy at Tim Horton’s “freedom buns” and start tossing them at the Danish consulates. Or if the Danes get really uppity and land their own troops again on Hans Island we should fly a squadron of Sea King Helicopters over them.
The Danes know those damn things could drop out of the sky at any minute and will be running for cover less they get hit by the falling debris. Or as a good little vassal state that has utterly abdicated its responsibilities to provide for its own national defense, we could remind our American big brother of the Monroe doctrine and get them to tell the Danes to bugger off.
Of course it was not that many decades ago when no European Power would have dared pulled such a stunt against Canada. During both World Wars German troops learned to fear the tough as nails Canadian farm boys that knew how to shoot to kill and live off the land. But those tough as nails farm boys are now few and far between, so I’m sure we’ll just pucker up our courage and prepare a briefing note and a legal submission and fire it at some international tribunal while the Danes marvel at what a nation of urbanized sissies we have become.