This last week has started to see the façade crumble away from the wars. Gone is the comfortable fraud, leaving in its wake a very stark and harsh reality.
The Carnegie Report affirmed that there had never been a military threat from Iraq, no weapons of mass destruction were poised just 45 minutes away to strike at hearth and home. The last-second discovery of a few dozen rusted out warheads from 10 years ago only underscored that the desperate attempt to find weapons of mass destruction to retroactively justify the war in Iraq had failed, and failed miserably.
The Carnegie Report came hard on the heels of Paul Bremer’s comments that claims of underground WMDs labs having been found in Iraq were a total fiction. Paul was apparently unaware that Prime Minister Tony Blair was the author of the aforesaid claims.
This was followed by a startling admission by Colin Powell that there was no evidence that linked Iraq or Saddam Hussein with Al Qaeda. This admission was startling because it was Colin Powell himself who nearly a year ago was assuring the world of the exact opposite, that Iraq was supporting and arming Al Qaeda.
A last-ditch attempt to explain the absence of WMDs in Iraq by claiming that Syria now had them was torpedoed by no less a personage than National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, who admitted for the record that there was no evidence at all that Iraq had sent WMDs to Syria, a reasonable conclusion now that it is apparent that Iraq did not have WMDs at all.
Finally we have former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, who has gone public with the revelation that the Bush administration was planning war on Iraq from the day they took office, long before the events of 9-11.
None of these revelations are shocking to those people who get their news from the internet. What has changed is that the mainstream media, possibly out of concern that the internet has succeeded in capturing the lead in reporting stories of government wrongdoing (my own website now has a readership larger than all but the largest city newspapers) , has started to report these embarrassing admissions and exposures to the general public.
The immediate result of these stories is that non-computer literate Americans can no longer avoid what has been obvious to the internet Americans for months. The US Government lied to start wars planned long before the general public even knew they were coming.
No doubt there will be a great deal of denial on the part of those flag-waving ‘true believers’ who eagerly shipped off other people’s children to be killed and crippled. Nobody likes to admit they were wrong, or made a fool of, and we may see the flag-waving ‘true believers’ eager to ship off more of their neighbors’ kids to be killed before they are ready to admit their own error at not being more skeptical of the government’s pre-war claims.
But there can no longer be any doubt. The US Government lied to start the war in Iraq. The whole world knows that now. And more to the point, the whole world knows that Americans know that the US Government lied to start the war in Iraq. The world is now watching to see what the people of the United States will do. We must do something. No longer able to pretend we are innocent victims of government deception, the world will expect the people of the United States to do something about this horrific deception and the equally horrific war it created.
Americans have long held themselves up as the champions of justice and freedom for the rest of the world. It is our image to the world. It is our image to ourselves. It is how we define ourselves, it is our identity, and it is who we are collectively as a nation. And, if we fail to take action in the face of the lies used to start a war, we must in the process sacrifice that image, not only to the world, but to ourselves. Either one acts like a champion of truth and freedom, or one admits one is just another sheep. There is no other choice left.
Most Americans don’t want to face that choice. They want their cake and eat it too. They want to believe that, being Americans, they are honorable people willing to fight for principles, but being practical, they also don’t want to run the risks that taking a stand against corrupt government entails. It is for that reason that so many people will gratefully accept even the most obvious and shoddy propaganda lies, in order to avoid that choice. They can go on believing they have the courage to stand up for freedom and justice while pretending they do not see any reason to do so at the present moment.
But the current, “Big deal, so we lied” attitude of the administration has removed that comforting self-deception. Americans are facing that unpleasant choice of deciding whether they really do have the courage to stand up for truth, justice, and freedom, or if they are cowards who wear their convictions only for show on the appropriate social occasions.