Just prior to the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration sent out the word, which was echoed by most of the media, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction: nuclear bombs, anthrax and poison gas. They ranted and raved that Iraq was a threat to the United States.
At the same time, Seymour Hersh wrote an article in The New Yorker exposing the Bush war campaign as a giant hoax. The surging peace movement insisted that George W. Bush was out to crush Iraq for the purpose of getting its oil and winning control of the Middle East.
Colin Powell, then secretary of state, displayed before the United Nations satellite pictures supposedly showing where the weapons of mass destruction were located in Iraq. Powell went so far as to show a small handful of anthrax and proclaim what terrible havoc would happen if Iraq were permitted to drop it on American shores.
The U.S. demanded that the UN inspectors leave Iraq so the U.S. could begin the invasion. Bush and his gang of murderers felt the invasion would be over in a few weeks and that the Iraqi people would welcome the American army as liberators. A few months after the March invasion, Bush postured on an aircraft carrier in front of a great sign stating “Mission Accomplished.”
Finally, the truth came out that the entire Bush administration had sold the Congress and the American people a pack of lies.
Almost four years have passed since the invasion. Well over 10,000 American soldiers have been wounded, including several thousand who have lost legs, arms or sight. Thousands more are returning shell-shocked with memories of bombs bursting in their midst. The Veterans Administration put the cost for these wounded at over $1 billion. There have been almost 3,000 GIs killed, many in their late teens or early 20s. The U.S. has authorized expenditure of $500 billion on the occupation.
It only gets worse when you consider the daily reality imposed on the Iraqis. The British medical journal The Lancet recently released a report titled, “The Human Cost of the War in Iraq.” Researchers concluded that the occupation has wiped out about 655,000 people since it began. Over 1.5 million have fled the country. The Iraqi people do not see the Army as liberators, but as occupiers. Yet, Bush has said we will not “cut and run.” He still rants that the U.S. is winning the war. And he repeats over and over, “We’ll not leave until we win.” The present situation in Iraq is a quagmire.
The American people demanded with their votes Nov. 7 that we get out of Iraq and get out now.
President Nixon violated his oath of office by lying about his role in the break-in at the Watergate Hotel. Because of that he was faced with impeachment. Rather than be impeached, he resigned.
President George W. Bush has violated his oath of office by lying to the American people about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction. The new Congress should investigate this crime and others like violating the Constitution by wiretapping people’s homes without permission of the courts and violating articles of the Geneva Conventions on torturing prisoners. If I had my way, an impeachment process would begin in January naming the entire Bush administration criminals against humanity.
John Gilman, a decorated WWII veteran, is a peace and social justice activist in Milwaukee.