Hitler and George Bush all flimflammed their citizens to sell wars of
They told huge lies and mounted
elaborate deceptions before launching utterly unprovoked, illegal,
immoral attacks on countries that had done nothing to warrant being
The overwhelming majority of humankind appreciates that undeniable
truth, but some Americans are still lost in propaganda fog and wrongly
believe there's virtue, or legitimate defensive requirement, in
staying in Iraq until "the job is done."
How do we reach those holdouts against reality, those enablers of
continuing sacrifice of both U.S. and Iraqi innocents in a rich man's
dirty war fought to "access" somebody else's oil?
How do we remove their hands from the bloody meat grinder's turning
Maybe the best way is to offer a reverse perspective.
What if an alien enemy from 7,000 miles away had gratuitously invaded
the United States? What if the attackers -- profoundly biased against
Americans and completely insensitive to our culture -- arrogantly
patrolled our neighborhoods in their military vehicles, stopping only
to kick down doors in search of what they categorized as abject
terrorists, not insurgents with a compelling cause?
If we'd experienced both Shock and Awe devastation and Abu
Ghraib-style torture used to overthrow our government and facilitate
the theft of our wealth, many of us would certainly manufacture
improvised explosive devices in secret, then defiantly put them to
We'd struggle to achieve our country's sovereign self-determination,
for generations if need be, killing occupying soldiers in such numbers
that public opinion within the aggressor nation would ultimately turn,
in total revulsion, against their unjust, unwinnable war.
Identical revulsion must be manifested at our voting booths in
Outside my window, I can hear children's chiming voices and laughter.
Kids across the street are playing touch football. They're about ten
or eleven years old, and undoubtedly oblivious to the unrelenting
carnage occurring in Iraqi cities, entirely because "their" president
started a senseless war of choice where no American combat boots
should ever have set foot.
85 U.S. troops have died in Iraq just
this month, and many more have been horrendously wounded. Iraqi
casualties, of course, are exponentially greater. Recently, an
authoritative Johns Hopkins/MIT study disclosed that 655,000 Iraqis
have died since the "liberating" Americans first arrived.
That sum certainly includes many thousands of Iraqi children. What
games were they playing when fire and shrapnel interrupted their
We've seen a National Intelligence Estimate that declares the Iraq
occupation generates more enemies of America than it eliminates. We've
read Bob Woodward's latest book, which documents chronic failures by
the Bush administration. And yet we're also informed, by the Army,
that it's prepared to maintain a 140,000-man force level in Iraq until
American parents won't tolerate such prolonged sacrifice at the
sanguine altar of monopoly-corporate greed!
Do the mad monsters in Washington really think they can keep sending
our sons and daughters, eventually including even those still
scampering on playgrounds, to their unnecessary deaths or hideous
mutilations in Iraq, forever?
"Not with my child, you don't!" needs to be -- and definitely will be
-- the outraged, universal sentiment that finally puts this
coal-mine-at-midnight-dark chapter in our history to a thankful end.
There are many specific reasons for going to the polls to send
incumbent Republicans packing. Plus, it's simply not in the best
interest of our workaday majority to be ruled by a scandal-ridden
cabal of profits-before-people toadies beholden to a plutocratic
But it's Iraq that issues the loudest call to electoral rebellion.
At least in antiquity, as high priests performed their gory rituals to
appease nonexistent gods, human sacrifice was occasional and usually
limited to only a few victims at a time.
But in Iraq, with viable exit strategies perpetually deferred by both
stubborn denial and an abiding lust for "black gold" beneath
crimson-stained sand, the sacrifice involves masses of fearful men,
women and children, and is cruelly ongoing.
When we wake up on the morning of November 8, will our spirits be
crushed or lifted?
Will we have exercised our duty to serve the best and most ennobling
ideals -- without which America's future can only be impossibly bleak
-- or will we have bought even more lies, taking each new graduating
high school class to the corporatists' killing floor?
It's our choice; it's our country's destiny.
from Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing progressive commentary with
a Heartland perspective for various outlets since the Sixties.
He can be reached at: