By Jack A. Smith
Quote: "Iraq is free."
Commentary: Iraq is a conquered land which has lost its independence and sovereignty to overwhelming U.S. military might in a war of aggression.
Quote: "When Iraqi civilians look into the faces of our servicemen and women, they saw strength, and kindness, and good will."
Commentary: They saw an occupation army, all too willing to shoot first and ask questions later (anti-occupation demonstrators, if not looters).
Quote: "We have begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons, and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated."
Commentary: The search was started by United Nations weapons inspectors soon after the 1991 Gulf War and was discontinued in December 1998 when the Clinton administration ordered the UN to flee Iraq before a new U.S. bombing campaign was to begin. Chief UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter announced before he resigned that 95% of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) had been destroyed. The UN search was resumed several months ago, but no such weapons were found. In addition, the UN revealed - contrary to declarations from the highest levels in Washington - that Iraq did not possess a nuclear program, much less nuclear arms. The U.S. terminated the UN effort when it invaded Iraq in March. American military forces have been searching frantically for alleged WMD depots since the invasion began. They evidently have probed the 100 top locations where the Bush administration said the weapons would be found - to no avail. The search is continuing. If any WMD are alleged to be located, the U.S. government has already stated that UN inspectors will not be called in to verify the claims.
Quote: "We are helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools for the people."
Commentary: As the White House is well aware, one of the signal accomplishments of the now fallen Iraqi government was precisely in the realm of healthcare and education. After the 1991 war, and particularly due to the devastating sanctions, it was impossible to maintain pre-war standards.
Quote: "We will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people."
Commentary: The Bush administration will totally dominate Iraqi affairs for many years - militarily, economically and of course politically. The new leaders have been and will continue to be identified and designated by the U.S. government and propped up by an army of occupation.
Quote: "The battle for Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September 11th, 2001, and still goes on."
Commentary: Iraq was innocent of involvement in the 9/11 attacks or in any terror directed against the United States.
Quote: "In the battle of Afghanistan, we destroyed the Taliban, many terrorists, and the camps where they trained. We continue to help the Afghan people lay roads, restore hospitals and educate all of their children."
Commentary: The Taliban would never have come to power were it not for U.S. involvement in the 1978-94 civil war on the side of reactionary fundamentalist forces. Relatively few Al-Qaeda members were killed or captured in Bush's invasion of Afghanistan. "The camps where they trained" were built for the right-wing mujahedin in the 1980s by the CIA. Regarding the reconstruction effort, Afghanistan is a chaotic ruin governed by a U.S. puppet in Kabul and warlords in the rest of the country.
Quote: "The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We have removed an ally of Al-Qaeda, and cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because that regime is no more."
Commentary: We have been waiting for years for a statement so outrageous that we could proclaim it to be "utter balderdash." Thank you, Mr. President! Iraq has not been liberated, but absorbed. The invasion had nothing do with terrorism. The motivation was to extend U.S. imperialist hegemony throughout the Middle East and to control the world's second largest reserves of petroleum. Regarding WMD - Iraq evidently has none; and even if it did there is no evidence to suggest it would pass such weapons to its arch-enemy, Al- Qaeda. (Nor was Iraq a source of funding Al-Qaeda, an organization which has long called for "regime change" in Iraq to replace the secular Baghdad government of Saddam Hussein with religious fundamentalism.)
Quote: "The use of force has been, and remains, our last resort."
Commentary: For this whopper, and to characterize George Bush's entire speech, we call upon a guest commentator - the author of "Mine Kampf," none other than Adolf Hitler: "The greater the lie, the greater the chance it will be believed."
This article will appear in the May 5 email edition of the Mid-Hudson Activist Newsletter, published in New Paltz, N.Y., by the Mid-Hudson National People's Campaign/IAC, via email@example.com