Fear and Bullies, the month of April, 2003
April 14, 2003 – My country’s diplomatic behavior is making me feel the pain of terrible sadness that I feel watching a bully act out his cruelties on the smaller, weaker kids on the playground, deprived by the unintended consequences of well-meaning legislation, of any tool or method to stop him (or her). The lightning destructive drive though Iraq seems to have made us cocky. Militarily, the objective is almost achieved, so perhaps we think we’re invincible and can impose our present Administration’s way of things on anyone and everyone. After all, only a few (most) pesky Europeans and powerless Arabs and other muslims are against us.
Success in Iraq, we say, can make North Korea change its stance on talk, so Syria, from our point of view, should also now cave in to unsupported claims of weapons of mass destruction, and the harboring of Iraqi terrorists (huh?), to say nothing of other terrorists like Hezbollah. (Has Sharon taken over our government?) Syria should now “play nice” with us.
The playground bully always gets his comeuppance when one victim successfully defies him and gives him that much deserved black eye. The more we play the bully in the world arena, the more likely it is that we meet the playground bully’s fate – flattened by the one who is shrewder and cleverer with the available tools. 9/11 may already be an illustration of years of neglect and total ignorance and misunderstanding on our part.
April 15 – We have allowed the destruction and theft of 5,000 years of antiquities and treasures in the Museum of Baghdad. Our soldiers just stood around and watched. How does this disaster make us better than the Taliban, Mr. Rumsfeld?! They destroyed two ancient statues of Buddha, not the entire record of a culture.
April 16 -This is where FEAR has led us. Our President is afraid. His Administration is afraid. They seem to want to erect a new Fortress America at the cost of civil lliberties at home and bullying and military adventures abroad. They are afraid of losing their carefully guarded, wealthy gated community, republican “American” way of life, terrified that the world might change enough to oust them from privileged positions obtained in questionable ways. They are insulated from real life, untraveled, and unread in history, by fundamentalist views. Their fear feeds a media frenzy around all dangers from dread diseases to bombs, and the media frenzy feeds all our fears in a vicious cycle. So we make nasty gratuitous comments about traditional allies and go to war against a far weaker if horrendous dictatorship that posed no threat to us. Where is Osama ben Laden? Where is Saddam Hussein? Where are the infamous “Weapons of Mass Destruction”?
April 17 – Wesley Clark who learned the importance of allies in Kosovo calls the Iraq attack a regression to colonialism and gunboat diplomacy.
The endless alerts, yellow, orange, whatever have become a joke. Based on only the flimsiest of information. Crying wolf to ratchet up support won’t work much longer.
They are bumbling, blustering, and stumbling toward a disaster – a long period of occupation in a country whose language, customs, and history are totally alien to us and whose citizens either just distrust or actively hate us. That in a region of anti-American fanatics.
Iraq has left the front page of my local paper. I suppose Republicans and GW are heaving a huge sigh of relief. WHY are we people so dumb, stupid, ignorant or any other like word??!!! It’s NOT over. Saddam’s statue may have fallen in Maghdad, but no one knows where or how he is. The country of Iraq is not pacified and returned imams and other are stirring up protest and anti Americanism. There is no police to keep order, no government, no work, no money, little food, what water there is may not be safe, and there are hidden feddayeen and saddam soldiers with revenge on their minds lurking everywhere, to say nothing of just plain ordinary crooks taking advantage of night time darkness to loot, pillage, rape and kill. What a travesty of a liberation!
April 20 – Add to the cost of Georgie’s War – 5,000 years of human history and artifacts at the Baghdad museum and library and the goodwill of millions of people around the world. A Pentagon leak says we need and will establish permanent bases in Iraq. The press highlights shiites and others who want us out ASAP.
Our government at its highest levels has been taken over by “born again” fundamentalist Christians and those who use them for their own ends. Who really runs the President?
April 21 – George Wilson on Nighty News – one of the “embedded” reporters (the National Journal) in Iraq – tries to bring an honest reporter’s view and gets cut off 3 times. He did manage to say “The Iraqi Army never showed up”. So it wasn’t the great heroic action all of us have been seeing on our TV’s.