Blogged by Brad Friedman from the road...
After a week of being told how the situation has "improved" in Iraq --- with a compliant corporate media, as usual, all too willing to continue their five year service as Bush Administration propagandists at large --- "all hell broke loose" on Sunday as the 6th year of our War on Iraq commenced; at least 60 died in attacks on the Green Zone and elsewhere around the country and the 4,000th U.S. troop was killed for reasons that remain unknown.
At least 97% of those deaths occurred after George W. Bush's spectacular televised landing on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, where he proclaimed face-to-face with our troops, and on TV to the world --- while standing in front of an enormous banner reading "Mission Accomplished" --- that "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."
He was then, as he always has been, wrong. About absolutely everything.
As the 6th year of his disgraceful, criminal lie continues, we associate ourselves at this somber landmark, with blogger and Middle East expert, Juan Cole, who asks today why it has happened at all...
A roadside bomb killed 4 US troops, bringing the total dead in Iraq on the American side to 4,000. The thing I most mind about the deaths of those brave warriors is that our government has not been honest about why they died. We don't know the answer to that question. We've been lied to.
The Bush administration still has not told us why they died. It was not to protect the US from "weapons of mass destruction" (see [this earlier item]; that was a fabricated cover story). It was not to spread democracy. It may have been to nail down a major petroleum-producing country for US geostrategic goals (ensuring its resources were available to the US and could be denied if necessary to growing rivals such as China). If so, one has to ask whether the objectives (which were hidden from the American people) were the top priority for the US, or only for the petroleum industry; whether those objectives have been achieved; and whether there was another way to attain them. No such debate has ever been held. Was it in part to ensure Israeli security...? If so, that should be stated, it should be debated. Even the former head of Shin Bet did not agree that it increased Israel's security. It is not right to ask men and women under arms to die for their country without telling them exactly how they are benefiting their country. For all we know, they have died so that Bush and Cheney could throw goodies to their "base," so that Halliburton could escape bankruptcy and Hunt Oil could get new development contracts.
In the Summer of 2005, Cindy Sheehan, who gave the life of her son for reasons still unknown, was shamefully excoriated by supporters of George W. Bush for having the temerity to demand an explanation of the "noble cause" he claimed that her son Casey had died for. She never received that explanation. Nor have the American people --- not even the ones who attacked Cindy Sheehan so brutally, violently, and mercilessly on Bush's behalf.
Those willing to give their lives, and the lives of their sons and daughters, for our country deserve far better than they have received. Those willing to spend those lives, with a smirk and a "so?" --- without even the courtesy of an honest explanation as to why --- must be held accountable for these most unforgivable of crimes.
We fear such accountability will never come.
The BRAD BLOG stands by those who have fallen and with the millions who have, for so long, had the courage to ask "why?"