Words of Shame

We should never forget the lies of the last Republican who snuck into the White House without the support of a majority of Americans.

It was fifteen years ago tonight that George W. Bush delivered an infamous State of the Union Address that abused and prostituted the trust of the American people by making a false case for the invasion of Iraq. How many Americans knew that they were being sold a bill of goods that night? How many mothers and fathers of young soldiers cheered Bush’s words that night, only to shed tears as their children came back severely wounded, if they managed to come back at all?

Think about the words used to make that case, and the amount of blood that was shed over those words:

Our nation and the world must learn the lessons of the Korean Peninsula and not allow an even greater threat to rise up in Iraq. A brutal dictator, with a history of reckless aggression, with ties to terrorism, with great potential wealth will not be permitted to dominate a vital region and threaten the United States.

Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of being the last casualty in a war he had started and lost. To spare himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction.

For the next 12 years, he systematically violated that agreement. He pursued chemical, biological and nuclear weapons even while inspectors were in his country.

Nothing to date has restrained him from his pursuit of these weapons: not economic sanctions, not isolation from the civilized world, not even cruise missile strikes on his military facilities.

Almost three months ago, the United Nations Security Council gave Saddam Hussein his final chance to disarm. He has shown instead utter contempt for the United Nations and for the opinion of the world…

From three Iraqi defectors we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs. These are designed to produce germ warfare agents and can be moved from place to a place to evade inspectors. Saddam Hussein has not disclosed these facilities. He has given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb.

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

You can’t read these words–especially those last sixteen words–without feeling the anger rising up again: anger towards the administration that played this country for suckers, anger towards mainstream-media entities that refused to ask that administration tough questions and chose instead to promote bloodshed in the name of patriotism; anger towards those who had argued three years before that there wasn’t a real difference between Bush and Al Gore.

That anger is more than justifiable. Remember what the cheerleaders of that war did to those who dissented. Remember how those war pimps verbally assaulted the Dixie Chicks, Sheryl Crow, Sean Penn and every man and woman famous and unknown who rallied, called their Representatives and Senators, wrote a letter to the editor or even put a sign on their lawns opposing the invasion of Iraq. Remember how the promoters of that war smeared everyone who questioned the invasion as anti-American or pro-Hussein. Never forget what they said. Never forget what they did. Never let go of that anger, because that anger will make you forever vigilant, a sentinel against future efforts to seduce us into unneeded conflict.

George W. Bush and his lying hacks reopened wounds that had only begun to heal three decades after the end of the Vietnam War. He didn’t give a damn how many Americans or Iraqis perished in his vanity war, how many Iraqis died, how many would come back home damaged in body and mind. It was all about him. In this respect, he was every bit as selfish and soulless as the current president. He was just less vulgar about it.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.