Dana Pittard and Abdallah Al Jibouri are two people who, I am quite sure, never expected to be thrown together. And yet, they have come together in the strangest place at the strangest time.
Reading about their experience, I keep thinking about how much easier things might have been, had our President and his administration taken the proper steps to plan and cooperate with the international community, who held their hands out to us after September 11th. If any reader whose eyes should fall upon this blog thinks that I am happy to remind the public, day after day, of the great failure of the Bush administration to do this thing right, you couldn't be more wrong.
Most soldiers had no inkling of the history of the land to which they were assigned their mission, and we cannot fault them for what they have had to do. They had no idea what to expect. They were told what the American public was told - that they would be greeted, by Iraqi citizens, as liberators. Instead, they are approached by citizens saying "Thank you for getting rid of Saddam Hussein - now leave." And here they remain, well over two years after the fall of Saddam - unwanted.
I heard one Iraqi gentleman on a documentary I was watching called "About Baghdad", and he was metaphorically comparing Iraq to a theatre that has been boarded up for 20 years. The doors to the theatre swing open and there is new-found freedom within. Iraqis are joyous to think about the potential for the freedom within that theatre, only to discover that the occupier wishes to tear it down and turn it into a garish tourist trap. Who cannot understand their anger and frustration, after so many years of massacres and oppression?
We have gravely underestimated and misunderstood the hearts, minds, desires, and dreams of the Iraqi people. Men like Dana Pittard and Abdallah Al Jibouri, who call themselves "brothers", could be in Baquba today working small miracles. Instead, they both have to worry, every damned minute, about being assassinated. The Bush adminstration pretends they have nothing to do with that situation. They, and many members of Congress, are on total disconnect.
John McCain has been called a "nutjob" by his own. McCain may attempt to marginalize activist/lobbyist Grover Norquist, but political insiders know about the influential Mr. Norquist and his Americans for Tax Reform. (For those who do not know him, Norquist is the man who wants to "cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.") Norquist condescendingly and disrespectfully referred to Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe as "the two girls from Maine". Norquist is attempting to introduce the label of "ANTI-MAINSTREAM" into his attacks and arguments against moderate Republicans, whom he claims are "out of the GOP mainstream."
The co-opting of the word "mainstream" by radical conservatives will not fly in the face of reality.
Hearing these words of desperation from GOP activists, I sense that there is serious fear of the successful effect of many of the well-organized efforts of grassroots organizations such as DFA and Moveon.org. I can see that fear resonating throughout the right side of the blogosphere. Finally, someone on the other side has caught on to what the GOP has known for at least 20 years. People can harness great power when they organize and unite. The internet has made MoveOn.org an unstoppable powerhouse. Karl Rove has recently invoked their name, not in the hope of dividing the nation between GOP and Dem, but in the direct hope of dividing what he sees as the "traditional/centrist Democrats" from the progressive, free-thinking Democrats (Rove calls them "liberal", GOP code for Satan). Rove fails to realize that Democrats have caught onto the parlor trick known as "label-and-divide", and all it took was the Bush administration's tactical and strategic failures in Iraq to help Democrats (and many Independents) to pull back the curtain and reveal "The Wizard of Rove", aka 'Bush's Brain', for the fat-headed flim-flam man that he is.
A longtime Bush apologist named Joel Mowbray, who inspired Pat Robertson to emulate a terrorist and say he wanted to nuke Foggy Bottom, says that Bush, in his speech, "neither tried to justify the rationale for the war nor was there any shift in his position." I agree with that statement. There was nothing new, at least nothing of any value to Americans looking for a new strategy. You can feel Mowbray's fear of Moveon.org in the next statement:
While the speech contained little news of any sort, it did achieve a very important goal—one that is crucial in the face of the moveon.org crowd’s white noise campaign: it laid out in clear fashion the entire framework of what we’ve done in Iraq, what we’re doing now, where we’re headed, and most significantly, why it’s important that we prevail.
Mowbray is so lost in the fantasy that I find him to be amusing, as I would find a robot, a broken record, or a cult-film about zombies to be amusing.
In the face of all Americans who are paying attention to reality, the only thing that was made "clear" in the Bush speech was that he is never going to change; he will never have the humility and grace that is possessed by the kind of leader who could steer a united nation or the world community toward meaningful peace; and - after the Downing Street memo revelation and confirmation of his lies and misleading - he will never again have the trust of the citizens of the United States.
Bush may have three years left to limp along on his Achilles heel, but he's over and done.
"I wasn't surprised to hear Bush mention bin Laden. Bin Laden is a very convenient name for him. He totally ignored the name for years. There had been times when bin Laden is brought up, he says ‘Oh, well, I'm not really concerned about him.’ But he always knew in the back of his mind that he could trot him out whenever he wanted in order to justify virtually anything he is doing. Although, you know, you would have to be insane to go to war against North Korea, if he did he would surely be trotting bin Laden out for that, as well."
Why would your leader throw the words of a murderer in your face? Why would he lift the killer's words, in his speech, to that much grace? Why is he now recalling the one he allowed to escape as the towers burned.. When less than two years ago, he told the world he was not that concerned?
Hear the Words.....
Note:If you are wondering why on earth I'm repeating the words of so many American enemies, it's because I'd like you to think about their words - and ask yourself if any prior President of the United States would have asked you to take the enemy's deluded propaganda-words to heart.
- Hear the words of King George III, American Revolution
"A traitor is everyone who does not agree with me."
- Hear the words of Jefferson Davis, Civil War
"All we ask is to be let alone."
Hear the words of General Valeriano the "Butcher" Nicolau, Spanish American War
"My first action was to gather the peasant population and imprison them in concentration camps."
*well -he didn't actually say it - but he DID it!*
- Hear the words of Kaiser Wilhelm, WWI (.. on King Edward VII)
"He is Satan, you cannot imagine what a Satan he is!"...
"Germany's greatness makes it impossible for her to do without the ocean, but the ocean also proves that even in the distance, and on its farther side, without Germany and the German Emperor, no great decision dare henceforth be taken!"
- Hear the words of Nikita Khrushchev, Cold War
"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying."... "We will bury you."
- Hear the words of Joseph Stalin, WWII
"If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves....
"...The people who cast the votes do not decide an election, the people who count the votes do.".
- Hear the words of Adolph Hitler, WWII
"The great masses of people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one."
"What luck for rulers that men do not think."
- Hear the words of Kim Il-Sung, Korean conflict
"Should any enemy attempt to infringe upon our country's freedom and our people's happy life, our People's Armymen will fight to the last drop of their blood to defeat the enemy and defend the country and the people to the bitter end."
- Hear the words of Pol Pot, Viet Nam War
"I want you to know that everything I did, I did for my country."
- Hear the words of George Bush!
"I wish I wasn't the war president. Who in the heck wants to be a war president? I don't.