Baghdad Burns While Dubya Does Lunch
Who Dares Critique the Smirking Commander?
By LINDA HEARD - 22 March
America's great commander George W Bush has surely to be
admired for his amazing sangfroid. If he had any worries
about the impending 'Shock and Awe' campaign, he didn't show
them as he played with his pooch on the White House lawn on
the day the war kicked off. After an intimate dinner with
the missus, the wondrous leader took time out to give the
order to attack Baghdad before delivering his mushy message
to the nation.
But unfortunately for him Aunty Beeb, also known as the BBC,
erroneously broadcast Dubya preparing for his Churchillian
moment in history. There he was practicing his speech
totally unaware that the cameras were rolling. As his mouth
moved soundlessly evoking a guppy in an aquarium a
middle-aged ma'am primped his locks, spraying every
offending hair in to place.
Worse, the small man deliberately contorted his facial
features in an effort to convey passivity, emotion and
greatness as though he were looking into a mirror, which he
probably was. The result was an orchestrated pre-written
blurb absent of sincerity or sympathy. Lee Strasburg must be
turning over in his grave.
By the time it was over and my tears of mirth (and sorrow)
had dried it was well past Dubya's bedtime and determined
not to lose any beauty sleep over a silly thing like a war,
he went off to bed. That's the true mark of leadership.
After all, why should he worry when he's got Eritrea in his
Coalition of the Callous?
No doubt, the chilling Rummy Rumsfeld didn't have to
practice to face his audience. He did what he does best -
gleefully warning of the carnage to come. He told the world
that Baghdad was facing an attack of the scope and scale the
world had never seen before, but of course the US has
nothing at all against the Iraqi people, he tells us.
Indeed, why would the Iraqi people grumble when cruise
missiles are devastating the heart of their capital? Why
should they mind when a neo-imperialist occupying force
invades their sovereign integrity? How churlish! Isn't this
being done to free them from that dastardly Saddam who as we
have heard hundreds of times has 'gassed his own people'?
As I write, the Kurds are dreading the arrival of their old
foes the Turks and the bloodbath, which could ensue. They
have been sold to the Turks for US rights to fly over
Turkish territory. This is far from being the first time
that the luckless Kurds have been betrayed by opportunist US
The conscripted Shias in southern Iraq around Basra are
being bombarded and urged to come out with their hands up by
hundreds of thousands of propaganda leaflets dropped with
the bombs. The Shia population has long hoped to have a say
in the way its country is run but they haven't a hope in
hell. Their close relations with the Iranian ayatollahs will
rule out their dreams as long as the US is pulling the
The people of Baghdad are hiding in their bunkers hoping
they will still have a home, nay a city, when it's over.
Terrified refugees have fled their homes and are gathering
around the Jordanian border, and Bush has lunch with Cheney.
'Have another breadstick Dick!'
As the plumes of smoke rise over the ancient Mesopotamian
metropolis, Britain's Tony Blair and France's Jacques Chirac
face one another over the dinner table. Chirac has said that
Blair is the rudest person he has ever met; Blair has been
spouting disingenuously that if it wasn't for France
menacing its veto, peace could have been achieved. In
earlier times it could have been pistols at dawn. Today, it
may mean the demise of the entente cordiale and the possible
fragmentation of the European Community.
In purely humanitarian terms, surely the French proposal of
containment would have made far more sense. War should
always be a last resort, especially one with so much
potential for destabilizing other countries, wrecking
economies and widening political divisions worldwide. Did I
say 'humanitarian'? How passe! Humanitarian isn't part of
the 'New American Century'.
Instead war has been reduced to a flippant exercise as a
British newspaper recently did with its 'Let's Roll' on the
front page, a disingenuous attempt to link Iraq with 9-11.
Included in A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the
Realm, our leaders will not shirk from lies if these serve
as a pretext for war. Britain's Blair used his honest face
to good purpose when trying to pass off a plagiarized paper
as intelligence and forged correspondence concerning Iraq's
alleged attempts to purchase uranium. Sadly for him the
plagiarisers and the forgers were less professional in their
The jingoistic Fox News anchors are already sporting their
flag pins, and the almost 50 per cent of Americans who
believe that Saddam Hussein was involved with September 11
are flying the Star Spangled banner from their balconies.
The patriots are pouring bottles of the finest Bordeaux and
Beaujolais down the drain, while Russian vodka and Chinese
beer stays on the shelves.
As the embedded, or rather entombed, US/UK government
selected reporters are issuing their censored reports, we
are left to seek for the truth and sift through the lies.
Those reporters who remain in Baghdad have been warned by
the US to leave. Veteran war reporter Kate Adie said that
those journalists using satellite uplink to file their
stories would be fired upon by American pilots.
The American media, which had recently begun to loosen its
nationalistic shackles, is regressing into being a
propaganda arm for its government once again.
I noticed Lou Dobbs, the host of CNN's Moneyline,
successfully intimidating the international philanthropist
George Soros in mid-sentence for daring to criticize his
Dobbs had previously invited a dubious duo to warble 'Have
you forgotten?' against the emotive background of crumbling
twin towers. On Lou's website, Kofi Annan comes under attack
for daring to suggest that a war without United Nations
approval might be illegal.
British television is little better. Last Saturday's
worldwide anti-war demonstrations warranted hardly any
coverage, the protesting schoolchildren covered with fake
blood and the thousands who have downed tools even less.
They say that the first casualty of war is truth, and it
already looks as though that is going to be a rare commodity
in the weeks and months ahead. If the White House and
Downing Street get their way, we will never know the true
effects of their aggression on the Iraqi people.
We will be shielded from the broken limbs, the fearful
screams, the blood and the gore. We will see what they want
us to see and we will know what they want us to know and if
we find out anything that they don't want us to know, then
we will be called anti-American, pro-Saddam Hussein or
crazed conspiracy theorists.
No. We are destined, instead, to witness Iraqis dancing in
the streets, dispensing candy as the good old American
cavalry arrive to save them from Saddam. The Bush
administration will justify the 'collateral damage' by
either finding Iraq's infamous weapons of mass destruction,
or planting them and then Iraq will get a Karzai clone who
will salivate at the idea of privatizing Iraqi oil.
Even before the war is over, Iraqi diplomats are being
kicked out of their embassies and consulates, their real
estate seized 'for the next Iraqi (puppet) administration'.
Some 1.6 billion dollars of Iraqi funds in the US, which
were frozen after the Gulf War is to be grabbed too 'to help
pay for Iraq's reconstruction'. Arms manufacturers are
already laughing all the way to the bank, while Bush's
cronies rub their hands together waiting for their lucrative
post-war contracts to be implemented.
The human shields, or those who are still living, will
return home to write their memoirs, the peace movements will
be stripped back to the leftist stalwarts and another
American protectorate is born. The New World Order is
here...until it is challenged, as it must surely be.