He is accurate, of course — and our Secretary of State seems in lockstep — or perhaps Ms. Rice is dictating British foreign policy as well. There is no civil war in Iraq, the fable goes, because there is no government in Iraq. Mr. Bush has, as MP Galloway puts it about Mr. Blair, "installed" a gaggle "of warlords in power in Baghdad, the heads of competing militias, some of them at war with our own soldiers in the south of Iraq. It is not a Government, but Martin Scorsese's 'Gangs of New York' that we have put in charge in Baghdad.
I believe that we are now preparing for a war with Iran.
The first shot was fired just prior to the State of the Union address when we learned that Mr. Bush, Commander-in-chief of our military, was deploying troops to the Iran border supposedly to defend Iraq from invading marauders. It might be a good thing to defend Iraq, but the British — the thinking British — also believe England is planning a similar gig. This, of course, is occuring over the premise that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, Iran is surrounded with nations who have, or could obtain at any time, nuclear weapons — not only Israel, but also Pakistan, and of course India, because they, today, can move in the nuclear circle without redress. What happens tomorrow when these nations become our enemies, as did many former U.S. allies?
I would enjoy the luxury of believing the White House and Ms. Rice when it and she deny that we are running towards war with Iran. Everything, including the Pentagon's detailed workup of such an invasion plan, points in the opposite direction. It is is not new behavior for Mr. Bush to leave out the biggest "details" — yet the consequences may be too shocking to describe.
As is the case in the UK, in this Administration uses the support of our soldiers to inappropriately humiliate those members of Congress that oppose the Iraq war; the same White House that has denied our soldiers decent wages, shelter, body armor, and good mental health care. Instead, Bush and his subordinates are forcing mortification on them when they become so severely shocked and depressed by what they must do and what they must see at war that they suffer from mental exhaustion. There should be no question that men such as these — even braver than those to whom heroic acts are second nature — might be denied treatment, as we denied that treatment for so long to our Vietnam Veterans, for post-traumatic stress syndrome, which can cripple a man or woman as badly as an explosive device. Instead the actor Susan Sarandon, already made a target of this government, has to plead with the Congress to do something rather that entertain us in film.
Yes, we now have the field hospitals and technology available to save the lives of those who might have died during any war prior. But this Administration sneaks behind the figures, not mentioning that although we are suffering relatively fewer deaths from the war in Iraq, the casualties are ten or more times what they would be in any past war — and I am not talking about scratches or cuts but harm so severe that the prosthetics business is attracting Halliburton.
Let's hope that our America has not become so blind as to support another adventure in Iran or that the White House will connive to push Israel into attacking Iranian soil.
Galloway says that if this were to happen, the people who will pay the highest price are, of course, the 160,000 troops and almost equal number of allied civilians in a region we have delivered poste haste to Iran — and we were warned, time and again, by the greatest scholars prior to our launch in Iraq that this would happen.
I want you to know what the Middle East will look like should we become involved in a direct military venture with Iran. Galloway put it best to the UK Parliament only yesterday: "Think about the film 'Zulu,' but without the happy ending."