"They clearly don't want us there anymore, so why stay?" That's what someone told Air America intern Leah Wawro today in New York's City's Union Square Park when she asked about the US troop withdrawal from Iraqi cities. As I recall, however, they never wanted us there.
There's no need to go back to the early 90s. Let's rewind to August 2002. Remember when then White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, speaking about the possibility of a war in Iraq, told a New York Times reporter, "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August."
I'll never forget that statement, because I owned a publishing house at the time and I was possessed by the strong desire to use it to fight what seemed inevitable: another massive invasion of Iraq.
Within weeks and with a lot of help from Chelsea Green publisher Margo Baldwin, Derrick Jensen, and my trusty sidekick Trevor Bundy, we put together a book. William Rivers Pitt conducted an interview with former United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter, Jensen turned it into his own peculiar brand of Q&A magic. Six weeks later the book was in stores.
War On Iraq was almost instantly a New York Times bestseller. Within months, long before the invasion, the book was an international bestseller.
I sent copies to every member of the Senate via Federal Express to ensure delivery before the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 rubber-stamped Bush's idiotic dreams of a latter-day crusade in the Middle East. I got one letter back. Former Republican Senator Don Nickles sent a handwritten thank-you note. That's it.
War On Iraq was a paltry 96 pages. Will Pitt lovingly referred to it as a "beer coaster." Still, everything in that book turned out to be correct. There were no weapons of mass destruction. There were no centrifuge parts. The bio-weapons were past their expiration date. Saddam Hussein had no connection to al-Qaeda (they hated him). Oh, yeah. There was also that part about how removing the Iraqi president from power would plunge that nation into civil war and ethnic division the likes of which it had never seen. Stay tuned.
It's all in that little beer coaster of a book (you can still find used copies online) and it was all a matter of public record before we invaded and further destroyed an already largely US-destroyed nation.
You know what else was a matter of public record? George W. Bush's comment about Saddam Hussein: "This is the guy who tried to kill my dad." Remember that one? Was that the reason we attacked Iraq? Of course not. But if you've read this far, you're dwelling in the truth of the matter. We attacked Iraq. We were the aggressors. We invaded a weak nation and sent it spiraling out of control.
And yet liberal New Yorkers think it suffices to mention that they want us to leave? Sweetheart, they never wanted us there in the first place. Our presence is an ongoing affront to democracy and human dignity, and yet now that the damage is done, everyone's stuck between that rock and a hard place, and it's not going to get better forever and a day.
Thanks, George W. Bush. Thanks, 107th United States Congress. Thanks, Judith Miller. Good work, America. Be proud.
from Air America