May 2006
Usual Suspects Are War Critics

by Donald G. Mashburn

Opposition to the Bush administration’s policy for Iraq has morphed into a concerted effort to cash in anti-war feeling for votes in the coming election, led by the Usual Suspects: liberal Democrats and the talking heads of the liberal networks.

It’s not surprising that anti-war rants have grown louder among critics of the Bush administration, including not a few opportunistic Democrats. Liberal Democrats blather on before the omnipresent television cameras, hoping to come up with something – anything – that the nattering liberal networks can cast as universal unhappiness over the war in Iraq.

The liberal media natter on about the anti-administration troubles of the day – low poll numbers, demonstrators against securing our Southern border, ad nauseam – hoping to spread their pall of dismay over the country before the fall elections. Given the number of gullible people that still think ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC objectively report the news – as only they and the New York Times see it – it’s little wonder the president’s poll numbers tanked.

These “newsmakers” ignore the fact that the removal of Saddam Hussein from power was a dirty but necessary job the world – particularly the European part of it – shunned. Nor do Bush’s critics seem willing to accurately report Iraq’s violent history and the horrible record of the former Iraqi dictator.

Saddam’s record of cruelty in having his henchmen carry out barbarous mass killings of their own people seems to have slipped the selective memory of “usual suspects,” the Bush critics. How soon they forget the squandering of Iraq’s wealth on feeding Saddam’s ego, building more and more palaces, and building elaborate facilities housing horror chambers so that Saddam’s two evil sons could indulge their own whims and huge appetites for cruelty and debauchery.

The hand wringing of Bush critics seem to have no memory of Saddam Hussein’s violent invasion of peaceful Kuwait, and the crimes perpetrated against Kuwaitis, especially women. They choose to forget the helpless Kuwaitis, ravaged and brutalized by the Iraqi invaders in a way the world hoped it would never see again.

The eyewitness reports of brutality gave added credibility to reports of Iraqi atrocities in killing thousands of Kurds by poison gas and other weapons of terror.

But in the deluge of anti-war and anti-American words, memories have grown fuzzy regarding the 16 or so United Nations resolutions ignored by Saddam. So fuzzy that many seem to forget the worldwide belief that Iraq was going about developing and acquiring weapons of mass destruction, a belief that Saddam stupidly fueled by his throwing out the United Nations inspectors.

Now, with the continuing bloody violence against Coalition forces and the Iraqi population, one would think that that even opportunistic politicians like President Jacques Chirac of France and former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany would be enraged at the wanton, senseless attacks on innocent Iraqi civilians. Not to mention the senseless atrocities against civilians from Coalition nations – who daily risk, and too often lose – their lives in an effort to bring real freedom and some semblance of a normal life to Iraqis.

But these critics of the United States have never been accused of deep thinking or objectivity. Critics from the liberal wing of the media showed their lack of objectivity by their silence on and lack of support for the investigation into the corrupt oil-for-food program spawned by and supervised by the United Nations.

That investigation has already revealed widespread corruption and sanction violations in the oil-for-food program. The payoff trail has led right into the UN hierarchy headed by Kofi Annan, while the scent– read “odor” – of trade violations unmistakably lead into the upper levels of business and government in France, Germany and Russia.

The UN’s “investigation” into mishandling of Iraqi oil has so far been mostly a cover-their-own-backside sham. The report of Paul Volcker and his team suggested numerous wrongs had been committed, but the team had no real clout – or perhaps no appetite – to bring any wrongdoers to justice. But the smell still emanates from the upper levels the UN hierarchy. The tired old cries from the Usual Suspects about "No blood for oil" and "Bush's war" should be replaced by cries of “Get us out of the UN.” We could add even more meaningful demands, if we could say them while holding our collective noses.

Given the dangerous and tenuous situation in Iraq, and with our military under daily attack, it’s high time Democrats put the nation, and doing the right thing, above efforts to wring some political advantage over a president that most of them don’t like.

The critics should realize there’s little or no difference in what motivates the insurgents in Iraq today and what motivated Saddam Hussein in 1991 and the current war. Driving forces for both were the evil intent to assert control over innocent people by the murderous use of power and violence for self-gratification, and a “cause” that only their demented minds can understand.

All of it naked of any justification acceptable to the civilized mind.