The Rip Post                         Special


Rip Post Special:
THE RIP POST EDITORIAL BOARD REBUTS THE PRESIDENT'S IRAQ ANNIVERSARY SPEECH.

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning and thanks for coming. Laura and I are pleased to welcome you all to the White House. Mr. Secretary, thank you for being here. Members of my National Security Council are here, members of the administration, members of our armed forces, members of the United States Congress. Thank you for being here. Ladies and gentlemen. I particularly want to thank the members of the Diplomatic Corps who are here; thank the ambassadors for coming today.

We are representing 84 countries united against a common danger, and joined in a common purpose. We are the nations that have recognized the threat of terrorism, and we are the nations that will defeat that threat. Each of us has pledged before the world: We will never bow to the violence of a few. We will face this mortal danger, and we will overcome it together. 

THE RIP POST: This clearly implies that any countries that do not support the year-old U.S. occupation of Iraq do not recognize the threat of terrorism. This is a deliberate ploy, Mr. Prez, once again emphasizing the "with us or against us" ultimatum your administration delivered long ago. To suggest that France or Germany or any other European nation that is not aiding and abetting U.S. efforts does not recognize the threat of terrorism is a lie, an insult, and a provocation. Of course, the 84 countries in the "coalition" include such heavy-hitters as Honduras, Poland, and Italy---but wait: Honduras is threatening to pull its troops out, following Spain's lead, and Poland and Italy recently denounced you for being "mistaken" about WMD in Iraq. This has been a coalition of the mercenary; most of the tiny nations who have joined were bought off by the administration with promises of financial and military aid.

 

THE PRESIDENT: As we meet, violence and death at the hands of terrorists are still fresh in our memory. The people of Spain are burying their innocent dead. These men and women and children began their day in a great and peaceful city, yet lost their lives on a battlefield, murdered at random and without remorse. Americans saw the chaos and the grief, and the vigils and the funerals, and we have shared in the sorrow of the Spanish people. Ambassador Ruperez, please accept our deepest sympathy for the great loss that your country has suffered.

THE RIP POST: Had Spain not supported the U.S. in Iraq, it is entirely likely that no such terrorist attack would have occurred. This is clear proof that the U.S. occupation has both galvanized terrorists and heightened their aggression. The Spanish administration that supported your policies was promptly voted right out of office following this attack. The blood is partly on your hands, Mr. Prez.

 

THE PRESIDENT: The murders in Madrid are a reminder that the civilized world is at war.

THE RIP POST: This is the centerpiece of your administration's Big Lie. Were there not terrorists before the Bush Administration? Were there not terrorist attacks before the Bush Administration? Well, there were few major terrorist assaults on U.S. soil, and that is the only difference (why didn't the first attack on the World Trade Center prompt tighter security?) Terrorism is an old, familiar phenomenon ---notably in Europe, The Middle East, and Africa during the past 30 years. Much of the world's civilized countries, their military, and their covert intelligence agencies have been doing battle with terrorist organizations as a matter of course for decades. Mr. Prez., your administration acts as if it is all something new and imperative, as part of its deliberate campaign to cow the populace with fear. This "war" is a public relations cover for implementing the pre-9/11 "doctrine of prevention," long pushed by the likes of Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowtiz, which called for the permanent occupation of the Middle East, perpetual U.S. military presence throughout the world, development and use of new nuclear weapons. What is so sadly amusing about this is that none of these rash, bellicose actions will stem the resolve of terrorists---rather, they will only embolden and inspire them. Common sense.

 

 
THE PRESIDENT: And in this new kind of war, civilians find themselves suddenly on the front lines. In recent years, terrorists have struck from Spain, to Russia, to Israel, to East Africa, to Morocco, to the Philippines, and to America. They've targeted Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Yemen. They have attacked Muslims in Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan. No nation or region is exempt from the terrorists' campaign of violence.

THE RIP POST: It is not a "new kind" of war, except that the Bush/Cheney "neocon" doctrine has decreed it so---and plans to make it more so with the introduction of useable nuclear weapons. Terrorism, again, is very old. The only sensible way to combat it is through cooperation among the world's respective intelligence agencies. To "declare war" on small numbers of unseen, unknown phantom terrorists by invading the Middle East and occupying it permanently is exactly the worst way to quell terrorists' ambitions, as the ongoing daily slaughter of soldiers and civilians in Iraq attests. Had the U.S. government and intelligence agencies in this country taken Al-Qaeda and terrorism as a top priority---as per the warnings of many experts and government officials ad nauseum for years---9/11 would not have happened. Most of this blame falls on your administration, Mr. Prez, for entirely ignoring the warnings---almost the pleadings---of the outgoing Clinton Administration to go after Bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda. Remember: various U.S. intelligence agents had information about the hijackers in advance of 9/11; but for inter-agency and inter-office rivalries and bureaucratic nonsense---and your apathy and arrogance---it would have been utilized and 9/11 thwarted.

 

THE PRESIDENT: Each of these attacks on the innocent is a shock, and a tragedy, and a test of our will.

THE RIP POST: Nonsense, Mr. Prez. No one is surprised by these attacks, least of all you. You have said over and over, almost as a self-fulfilling prophecy, that terror attacks will become more and more frequent. You have said that more lives will be lost on U.S. soil to terrorists than abroad. Wow! Such comfort! Such inspiration and consolation from our commander-in-chief. Instead of building courage and resolve, you have instead left the nation cowering in fear---which plays directly into the hands of. . .terrorists! Correct, Mr. Prez, by encouraging fear at home, as you have done by relentlessly predicting horrors (and implementing completely meaningless color-coded "alerts"), you have helped terrorists in their cause, which is simply to instill fear. Why do your supporters not see this for the outrage that it is? Franklin Delano Roosevelt would never have taken this tack, Mr. Prez. Remember "we have nothing to fear but fear itself?" This, of course, would be contrary to your modus operandi, which is to secure power through cultivating an atmosphere of fear. Your credo should be "Fear fear itself."

Yes, these are all tragedies. Thank you for your keen insight into this matter, Mr. Prez.

No, these attacks are not a "test of our will." This is not a John Wayne movie. This is not World War II. To imagine that terrorists are "testing our will" demonstrates zero understanding of terrorism. They are simply seeking to kill, maim, and spread fear. Period. This is what they do. This is why they are called "terrorists!" It is feud mentality. Whether the U.S. changes policies or not, terrorism will persist. Yet, Mr. Prez, you imply that if we "back down" from your bellicose policies, that this will embolden terrorists further. I'm afraid that quite the opposite is probably true: that by invading the Middle East, you have emboldened them. You have stepped into a hornets' nest, and the world is tremendously more unstable and dangerous for it.

 

THE PRESIDENT: Each attack is designed to demoralize our people and divide us from one another. And each attack must be answered, not only with sorrow, but with greater determination, deeper resolve, and bolder action against the killers. It is the interest of every country, and the duty of every government, to fight and destroy this threat to our people.

THE RIP POST: The attacks are an expression of sheer hatred for the United States, western culture in general, and nations who occupy and/or exploit the Middle East. The attacks are not designed to "demoralize" and "divide us from one another." You are doing a fine job of that already, Mr. Prez, with your "with us or against us" credo, and your well-oiled media machine to instill and exploit fear in the populace (and your administration's implication that opponents lack patriotism.) Yes, of course the terrorists seek to play politics; this is their occupation, played with death instead of diplomacy. Terror groups such as Al-Qaeda are an expression of hatred toward foreign intervention and exploitation of Middle East culture; their actions are born of ignorance, religious fanatacism, criminality, and hatred. Your statement that "each attack must be met with bolder action" would be fine, if this meant infiltrating and destroying terror cells by cooperative international intelligence. If it translates into invasion and conquest of any nation that the U.S. deems an appropriate target, which is the Bush administration "doctrine of pre-emption," this will only spur terrorists to greater and more enduring action. Any fool can see this.

 

THE PRESIDENT: There is no dividing line -- there is a dividing line in our world, not between nations, and not between religions or cultures, but a dividing line separating two visions of justice and the value of life. On a tape claiming responsibility for the atrocities in Madrid, a man is heard to say, "We choose death, while you choose life." We don't know if this is the voice of the actual killers, but we do know it expresses the creed of the enemy. It is a mind set that rejoices in suicide, incites murder, and celebrates every death we mourn. And we who stand on the other side of the line must be equally clear and certain of our convictions. We do love live, the life given to us and to all. We believe in the values that uphold the dignity of life, tolerance, and freedom, and the right of conscience. And we know that this way of life is worth defending. There is no neutral ground -- no neutral ground -- in the fight between civilization and terror, because there is no neutral ground between good and evil, freedom and slavery, and life and death.

THE RIP POST: Gee Whiz, Mr. Prez, it's good to know that you enjoy and prefer life to death. Death: bad. Life: good. Quite a revelation. Given what's going on in Iraq, though, you could have fooled me.

 

THE PRESIDENT: The war on terror is not a figure of speech. It is an inescapable calling of our generation. The terrorists are offended not merely by our policies -- they are offended by our existence as free nations. No concession will appease their hatred. No accommodation will satisfy their endless demands. Their ultimate ambitions are to control the peoples of the Middle East, and to blackmail the rest of the world with weapons of mass terror. There can be no separate peace with the terrorist enemy. Any sign of weakness or retreat simply validates terrorist violence, and invites more violence for all nations. The only certain way to protect our people is by early, united, and decisive action.

THE RIP POST: Doctrine of pre-emption again. If one reads the Project for a New American Century, which was assembled by key Bush administration personnel including de facto President Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, one sees that this was all laid out long before 9/11. Such policies were being pushed by Cheney and Wolfowitz in the first Bush administration. Remember: the PNAC document practically yearned for a "Pearl Harbor-like event" to galvanize (read: inspire fear in) the public in order to rally support for the doctrine of pre-emption. Now here are some interesting questions: How many terrorists are there? Where are they? Instead of stirring them up with permanent occupation of Iraq (driven by Bush's personal zeal for deposing Saddam, plus doing Israel's bidding in the Middle East, and yes, getting a whole lot of oil), why not simply pursue terrorists in an international cooperative intelligence effort? If the U.S. continues its abrasive, hegemonical policies world-wide, this will result in more of what we are seeing today: alienation of allies, exponentially greater hatred of the west throughout the world, bankruptcy of the nation (already approaching a trillion-dollar debt), reduced health, education, law enforcement, fire department resources at home, and ever-expanding, tenacious terror attacks. It is a sure way to self-defeat, nothing less. History bears this out with many examples of failed conquest and colonial enterprise in the name of spreading "freedom" or "civilization" (see Napoleon, Great Britain.) As for the "war on terror" not being a "figure of speech," well, that's exactly what it is: a figure of speech.

 

 THE PRESIDENT: In this contest of will and purpose, not every nation joins every mission, or participates in the same way. Yet, every nation makes a vital contribution, and America is proud to stand with all of you as we pursue a broad strategy in the war against terror.

THE RIP POST: This is not a contest of will. It's not a game of chicken. The terrorists will never stop, regardless of western policy. Terrorism has always been with us, and always will be with us. The question is how to quell and contain it, not inspire its adherents to greater acts of murder.

 

THE PRESIDENT: We are using every tool of finance, intelligence, law enforcement and military power to break terror networks, to deny them refuge, and to find their leaders. Over the past 30 months, we have frozen or seized nearly $200 million in assets of terror networks. 

THE RIP POST: I believe this largely refers to old-guard Iraq money, which is a bit different from terrorists' various supporters throughout the world. Hey, how about spending some of that on education here at home? Funny that with all those tools you cite to fight terrorism, Mr. Prez, no one was able to prevent the bombing in Spain, the daily atrocities in Iraq, or catch Osama Bin-Laden.

 

THE PRESIDENT: We have captured or killed some two-thirds of al Qaeda's known leaders, as well as many of al Qaeda's associates countries like the United States, or Germany, or Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia, or Thailand. We are taking the fight to al Qaeda allies, such as Ansar-al-Islam in Iraq, Jemaah Islamiya in Indonesia, and Southeast Asia. Our coalition is sending an unmistakable message to the terrorists, including those who struck in Madrid: These killers will be tracked down and found, they will face their day of justice.

THE RIP POST: If two-thirds of Al-Qaeda's known leaders are captured or dead, let's see the evidence. Strange that if this is the case, you and officials in your administration blame the daily horrors in Iraq on "outside agitators" and Al-Qaeda. If two-thirds of Al-Qaeda's known leaders are captured or dead, why is there a "state of war?" Why do you conversely portray the situation as so dire? Of course, as you've said, you're "taking the fight to Al-Qaeda." Translation: you are inspiring them to new heights of killing by spending a couple hundred million bucks to occupy Iraq.

 

THE PRESIDENT: Our coalition is taking urgent action to stop the transfer of deadly weapon and materials. America and the nations of Australia, and France, and Germany, and Italy, and Japan, and the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore, and Norway have joined in the Proliferation Security Initiative all aimed to bind together, to interdict lethal materials transported by air or sea or land. Many governments have cooperated to expose and dismantle the network of A.Q. Khan, which sold nuclear secrets to Libya, Iran and North Korea. By all these efforts, we are determined to prevent catastrophic technologies from falling into the hands of an embittered few.

THE RIP POST: Where is the evidence? Nice general talk, but no specifics. As for A.Q.Khan, the U.S. knew for many years of Pakistan's clandestine nuke deals with North Korea and Libya. Administration officials as far back as 1989 (including then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney) turned a blind eye to the proceedings because Pakistan was a key ally in the U.S./CIA-backed proxy war with Russia via Afghanistan. Cheney reportedly was keen on selling Pakistan F-16s at the the time. The U.S. allowed Pakistan to merely slap Khan's wrist after his astounding admission, allegedly in exchange for current Pakistani efforts to hunt Al-Qaeda operatives and new arms deals (that have seriously upset India.) And what of the the U.S.'s hands-off policy when Al-Qaeda (and probably Bin-Laden) escaped through Pakistan, for fear of destabilizing the country?

 

THE PRESIDENT: Our coalition is also confronting the dangerous combination of outlaw states, terrorist groups, and weapons of mass destruction.

THE RIP POST: A rather general boast. How? By invading Iraq, which had no WMD? By making a mockery of United States foreign policy by launching an invasion against a country for reasons that proved entirely false? By provoking international hatred of this country, massive protest, and deeper divisions?

 

THE PRESIDENT: For years, the Taliban made Afghanistan the home base of al Qaeda. And so we gave the Taliban a choice: to abandon forever their support for terror, or face the destruction of their regime. Because the Taliban chose defiance, our coalition acted to remove this threat. And now the terror camps are closed, and the government of a free Afghanistan is represented here today as an active partner in the war on terror.

The people of Afghanistan are a world away from the nightmare of the Taliban. Citizens of Afghanistan have adopted a new constitution, guaranteeing free elections and full participation by women. The new Afghan army is becoming a vital force of stability in that country. Businesses are opening, health care centers are being established, and the children of Afghanistan are back in school, boys and girls.

THE RIP POST: The vast majority of first-hand authoritative reports from Afghanistan say that the Taliban are alive and well. The brutality of non-Taliban tribes is hardly gentler than their predecessors. Women are still horribly oppressed. And lest we forget: Afghanistan remains the world's number-one supplier of heroin, its main "industry." Mr. Prez, you are painting a ridiculously rosey picture of a this opium-poppy-laden, still deeply troubled, chaotic place. And let us also not forget: it was our proxy Afghan war with Russia that led to the chaos that put the Taliban in charge in the first place. It was our proxy Afghan war with Russia that trained and armed Osama Bin-Laden, our former ally. Who remains at large. And of course in the past few days, the Afghan "Aviation Minister" was assassinated, leading to widespread rioting and the killing of 100. Doesn't seem quite so stable, does it, Mr. Prez?

 

THE PRESIDENT: This progress is a tribute to the brave Afghan people, and to the efforts of many nations. NATO -- including forces from Canada, France, Germany, and other nations -- is leading the effort to provide security. Japan and Saudi Arabia have helped to complete the highway from Kabul to Kandahar, which is furthering commerce and unifying the country. Italy is working with Afghans to reform their legal system, and strengthening an independent judiciary. Three years ago, the people of Afghanistan were oppressed and isolated from the world by a terrorist regime. Today, that nation has a democratic government and many allies -- and all of us are proud to be friends of the Afghan people.

THE RIP POST: (See previous response.)

 

THE PRESIDENT: Many countries represented here today also acted to liberate the people of Iraq. One year ago, military forces of a strong coalition entered Iraq to enforce United Nations demands, to defend our security, and to liberate that country from the rule of a tyrant. For Iraq, it was a day of deliverance. For the nations of our coalition, it was the moment when years of demands and pledges turned to decisive action. Today, as Iraqis join the free peoples of the world, we mark a turning point for the Middle East, and a crucial advance for human liberty.

There have been disagreements in this matter, among old and valued friends.

THE RIP POST: That's a polite way of describing how you and Rumsfeld and Cheney insulted, mocked, and alienated "Old Europe," practically pronouncing Germany and France enemies.

 

THE PRESIDENT: Those differences belong to the past.

THE RIP POST: You wish.

THE PRESIDENT: All of us can now agree that the fall of the Iraqi dictator has removed a source of violence, aggression, and instability in the Middle East.

THE RIP POST: Many agree that it has replaced a source of violence, aggression, and instability in the Middle East with another, and greater source of violence, aggression, and instability.

 

THE PRESIDENT: It's a good thing that the demands of the United Nations were enforced, not ignored with impunity. It is a good thing that years of illicit weapons development by the dictator have come to the end. It is a good thing that the Iraqi people are now receiving aid, instead of suffering under sanctions. And it is a good thing that the men and women across the Middle East, looking to Iraq, are getting a glimpse of what life in a free country can be like.

THE RIP POST: Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. He was also far from the only "brutal dictator" and "tyrant" in the world, wreaking terror on his citizenry. More hideous abuses occur in North Korea, China, and many countries in Africa. Of course, these countries either lack oil or, in the cases of China and North Korea, have nuclear weapons. Something that is completely forgotten is that Saddam actually destroyed 24 of his pride-and-joy missiles in a last-ditch, half-hearted attempt to stop the U.S. invasion. You never hear about this anymore. It seems likely that he could have been further pressured by the U.N. and U.S.; he had been open to negotiation under pressure for the many years that Rumsfeld and the U.S. played footsie with him and looked the other way while he allegedly used chemical WMD against the Kurds (sold to him by U.S. and British corporations.) Between 10,000 and 30,000 Iraqi citizens were killed in the U.S. invasion. Almost 600 U.S. troops---many of whom were just kids---are dead. Countless billions of dollars are pledged to facilitate long-term U.S. military and corporate presence in Iraq. For what? This will do nothing to stop terrorism; most foreign affairs specialists agree that the invasion has already vastly heightened instability and danger throughout the world. But this is common sense---one needn't be an expert to see it. Iraq is now a snakepit of fear and death, and a magnet for terrorism. Freedom in Iraq? Consider: no Iraqis dared demonstrate in support of the U.S. on the one-year anniversary of the invasion, for fear of being killed by anti-U.S. forces there. This is progress? This is democracy? And how ironic and audacious of you, Mr. Prez, to cite the demands of the U.N., a body you termed on the brink of irrelevance, and that you imperiously ignored  in your rush to roll into Iraq.

 

THE PRESIDENT: There are still violent thugs and murderers in Iraq, and we're dealing with them.

THE RIP POST: Is this why they manage to blow up soldiers and citizens on a daily basis? It is amusing to hear you and Cheney characterize each bombing, each murder, as an "act of desperation." The other side doesn't see it this way; they see each death as a great triumph. One wonders, Mr. Prez, will you also characterize a nuclear terrorist attack this way? Or does your administration secretly wish for such an attack, in order to declare martial law and embark freely upon World War III?

THE PRESIDENT: But no one can argue that the Iraqi people would be better off with the thugs and murderers back in the palaces.

THE RIP POST: Yes, it can be argued. Whether it is true or not, it can be argued. Iraq was more stable under Saddam than it is now? Yes, it certainly can be argued.

THE PRESIDENT: Who would prefer that Saddam's torture chambers still be open? Who would wish that more mass graves were still being filled? Who would begrudge the Iraqi people their long-awaited liberation? On year after the armies of liberation arrived, every soldier who has fought, every aid worker who has served, every Iraqi who has joined in their country's defense can look with pride on a brave and historic achievement. They've served freedom's cause, and that is a privilege.

THE RIP POST: The world is not a John Wayne movie, to repeat. This was not a war to liberate a people. This is another of the administration's Big Lies. This was an invasion to secure a permanent occupation by the U.S. in the Middle East, partly on behalf of Israel's security, and largely to begin implementation of the "doctrine of pre-emption" outlined long before 9/11 by Cheney and Wolfowitz (and utterly rejected by the first President Bush.) This was also an invasion for oil, and for fat reconstruction deals for Dick Cheney's Halliburton (which was awarded massive no-bid contracts), and for intimidation of the world community. Yet the poor media-numbed American people continue to believe the fairy tale about how this is all about liberating a poor oppressed people. John Wayne to the rescue. Never mind rescuing the poor oppressed peoples in Africa and Asia---and the mass rapes, torture chambers, rampant disease there---unless there is money to be made.

 

THE PRESIDENT: Today in Iraq, a British-led division is securing the southern city of Basra. Poland continues to lead a multinational division in south-central Iraq.

THE RIP POST: Yes, and Poland is none too happy about it. News item: The Associated Press reports that Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski - a strong White House ally - now says he was "misled" about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction before the war. Poland, which has about 2,400 troops in Iraq, has been touted by President Bush for its leadership, and the Administration has repeatedly cited Poland as one of the key allies in Iraq. Kwasniewski told a small group of European reporters, "I feel uncomfortable [about Iraq] due to the fact that we were misled with the information on weapons of mass destruction."

THE PRESIDENT: Japan and the Republic of Korea -- of South Korea have made historic commitments of troops to help bring peace to Iraq. Special forces from El Salvador, Macedonia, and other nations are helping to find and defeat Baathist and terrorist killers. Military engineers from Kazakhstan have cleared more than a half a million explosive devices from Iraq. Turkey is helping to resupply coalition forces. All of these nations, and many others, are meeting their responsibilities to the people of Iraq.

THE RIP POST: Great to have the support of mighty Macedonia!

THE PRESIDENT: Whatever their past views, every nation now has an interest in a free, successful, stable Iraq.

THE RIP POST: Yes, a financial interest.

THE PRESIDENT: And the terrorists understand their own interest in the fate of that country. For them, the connection between Iraq's future and the course of the war on terror is very clear. They understand that a free Iraq will be a devastating setback to their ambitions of tyranny over the Middle East. And they have made the failure of democracy in Iraq one of their primary objectives.

By attacking coalition forces -- by targeting innocent Iraqis and foreign civilians for murder -- the terrorists are trying to weaken our will.

THE RIP POST: Wrong. The terrorists have no illusions about "weakening our will." Osama and Al-Qaeda wanted nothing more dearly than for a U.S. invasion of the Middle East, in order to unite and recruit followers world-wide, and exponentially deepen hatred and resolve. Their mission is accomplished through you, Mr. Prez. You played right into their hands! And into the hands of U.S.-hating Wahab extremists all over the world! A "free Iraq" will be a setback to "their ambitions of tyranny over the Middle East?" If the President refers to the widespread Wahab extremists in Saudi Arabia who support the likes of Bin-Laden, this remains to be seen. The Saudi royal family is none too secure. One thing is certain: a "free Iraq" will do nothing to stem the relentlessness of terrorist attacks. It will, in fact, result in quite the opposite.

THE PRESIDENT: Instead of weakness, they're finding resolve.

THE RIP POST: They are finding a whole hell of a lot of innocent targets.

THE PRESIDENT: Not long ago, we intercepted a planning document being sent to leaders of al Qaeda by one of their associates, a man named Zarqawi. Along with the usual threats, he had a complaint: "Our enemy," said Zarqawi, "is growing stronger and his intelligence data are increasing day by day -- this is suffocation." Zarqawi is getting the idea. We will never turn over Iraq to terrorists who intend our own destruction. We will not fail the Iraqi people, who have placed their trust in us. Whatever it takes, we will fight and work to assure the success of freedom in Iraq.

THE RIP POST: And the financial freedom of Halliburton.

THE PRESIDENT: Many coalition countries have sacrificed in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Among the fallen soldiers and civilians are sons and daughters of Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We honor their courage, we pray for the comfort of their families. We will uphold the cause they served.

THE RIP POST: Well, thanking people for dying is all well and good, and especially gracious of you, considering that the entire WMD pretext on which you based the war, Mr. Prez, was a deliberately and megalomaniacally manufactured lie.

THE PRESIDENT: The rise of democratic institutions in Afghanistan and Iraq is a great step toward a goal of lasting importance to the world. We have set out to encourage reform and democracy in the greater Middle East as the alternatives to fanaticism, resentment, and terror. We've set out to break the cycle of bitterness and radicalism that has brought stagnation to a vital region, and destruction to cities in America and Europe and around the world. This task is historic, and difficult; this task is necessary and worthy of our efforts.

THE RIP POST: Many military experts predict civil war ahead in Iraq. You fired your own former Iraq commander, Jay Garner, because he was pushing for quick free elections in Iraq, with the rationale being that it is better to let them establish a government in a messy fashion, than for us to stay in there endlessly, trying to impose our idea of government. Garner's words prove the lie of your claim to have gone in on behalf of the Iraqi people. Your initial plan was to go in, topple Hussein, watch the Iraqis embrace us as liberators (as Cheney said would happen immediately), take control of the oil fields, and remain long enough for the corporations to get established, then pull most of the troops back. Instead you are saddled with a long-term occupation/war, imposing an alien system of government on three factions that largely despise one another, the majority of which all want the U.S. to leave as soon as possible. It brings up a central question: why is Iraqi welfare our business? Why was Garner wrong to have wanted to let Iraq sort out its own future, right away? Could it have something to do with the hidden purposes: corporate profiteering, long-term occupation of the Middle East on behalf of the Project for a New American Century precepts, and Israel?

THE PRESIDENT: In the 1970s, the advance of democracy in Lisbon and Madrid inspired democratic change in Latin America. In the 1980s, the example of Poland ignited a fire of freedom in all of Eastern Europe. With Afghanistan and Iraq showing the way, we are confident that freedom will lift the sights and hopes of millions in the greater Middle East.

THE RIP POST: Well, so far you have freed thousands of life forces from their bodies.

THE PRESIDENT: One man who believed in our cause was a Japanese diplomat named Katsuhiko Oku. He worked for the Coalition Provision Authority in Iraq. Mr. Oku was killed when his car was ambushed. In his diary he described his pride in the cause he had joined. "The free people of Iraq," he wrote, "are now making steady progress in reconstructing their country -- while also fighting against the threat of terrorism. We must join hands with the Iraqi people in their effort to prevent Iraq from falling into the hands of terrorists." This good, decent man concluded, "This is also our fight to defend freedom."

THE RIP POST: Rest in peace, Katsuhiko Oku. Had it not been for the policies of President Bush, you might still be a proud diplomat with wife and family. Instead of a martyr to non-existent WMD.

THE PRESIDENT: Ladies and gentlemen, this good man from Japan was right. The establishment of a free Iraq is our fight.

THE RIP POST: How imperious. How chauvinistic. Why is the future of Iraq our business? Is the future of the United States the business of Britain? France? The future of Iraq is the business of Iraq.

THE PRESIDENT: The success of a free Afghanistan is our fight.

THE RIP POST: Here you might inadvertently make sense, as the U.S. bears great responsbility for the carnage in that country, having used it for the proxy war with Russia in the '80s, facilitating the rise of the Taliban. We owe it to them to help fix this sad land.

THE PRESIDENT: The war on terror is our fight.

THE RIP POST: To say there is a war on terror is like saying there is a war on hate. Hasn't terrorism always been the enemy? Hasn't there always been a "war on terrorism?" Isn't this understood? Doesn't most of humanity revile terrorism? Don't most governments fight terrorism as a matter of course? Just because it is relatively new to the U.S., you have declared there is now a "war," and have used this as an excuse to implement hegemonical policies---abandoning decades of working in the so-called family of civilized nations. In the process, the U.S. has deeply alienated allies, and the U.N.. If you are so, so intent on fighting terrorism, Mr. Prez, then why did your administration---and this is absolute fact---ignore the Clinton Administration's repeated warnings---no pleadings---that Osama Bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda must be the top priority of your administration? Did Clinton do enough to fight Osama and Al-Qaeda? Hardly, but he did try to kill Osama with a missile attack in Afghanistan. Yet the Bush administration did nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. One can only wonder if your administration deliberately waited for what its parent policy maker, the Project for a New American Century, called "some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor," in order to implement current policy. (No wonder people make careers out of conspiracy theory.) And consider that while you claim on the one hand that two-thirds of Al-Qaeda is killed or captured, and on the other hand that we are in grave danger from "the terrorists," Osama Bin-Laden (whose family has long, clear, well-established business ties to the Bush family) goes free. The perpetrator of 9/11 remains at large. Even if he is captured (conveniently) before the election, why was he not your primary target, Mr. Prez? Why did Rumsfeld, according to your former chief terror expert, Richard Clarke, push to bomb Iraq after 9/11 because there were more targets there than Afghanistan? This is so beyond outrageous. This is so beyond scandal. This is so beyond impeachable offense, that it staggers the mind to think that the entire country isn't out on the streets demanding your removal from office.

THE PRESIDENT: All of us are called to share the blessings of liberty, and to be strong and steady in freedom's defense. It will surely be said of our times that we lived with great challenges. Let it also be said of our times that we understood our great duties, and met them in full.

May God bless our efforts.

THE RIP POST: May God remove your administration from office in the next election. (If He happens to be busy or nonexistent, the American people will do fine.)



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