Bubba, we -- yes, we --have to stop the war now
By Molly Ivins
The president of the United States does not have the sense that God gave a duck -- so it's up to us. You and me, Bubba.
I don't know why George W. Bush is just standing there like a frozen rabbit, but it's time we found out. The fact is that WE have to do something about it. This country is being torn apart by an evil and unnecessary war, and it has to be stopped. NOW.
This war is being prosecuted in our names, with our money, with our blood, against our will. Polls consistently show that less than 30 percent of the people want to maintain current troop levels. It is obscene and wrong for the president to go against the people in this fashion. And it's doubly wrong for him to increase U.S. troop levels in this hellhole by up to 20,000, as he reportedly will soon announce.
What happened to the nation that never tortured? The nation that wasn't supposed to start wars of choice? The nation that respected human rights and life? A nation that from the beginning was against tyranny?
Where have we gone? How did we let these people take us there? How did we let them fool us?
It's monstrous to put people in prison and keep them there. Since 1215, civil authorities have been obligated to tell people the charges against them if they're arrested. This administration has done away with rights enshrined in the Magna Carta, and we've let them do it.
This will be a regular feature of mine, like an old-fashioned newspaper campaign. Every column, I'll write about this war until we find some way to end it. Every column, we will review some factor we should have gotten right.
So let's take a step back and note that before the war, one of its architects, Paul Wolfowitz, testified to Congress that Iraq had no history of ethnic strife.
Sectarian and ethnic strife is a part of the region. And the region is full of examples of Western colonial powers trying to occupy countries, take their resources and take over the administration of their people -- and failing. The sectarian bloodbath we see daily completely refutes Wolfowitz.
And let's keep in mind that when the Army arrived in Baghdad, we, the television viewers, watched footage of a bunch of enraged and joyous Iraqis pulling down the statue of Saddam Hussein, their repulsive dictator, in Firdos Square. Only one thing was wrong: The event was staged, instigated by a Marine colonel and a psychological operations unit that made it appear spontaneous.
When we later saw the whole square where the statue was located, only 30 to 40 people were there (U.S. soldiers, press and some Iraqis -- and one of several U.S. tanks present pulled the statue down with a cable). We, the television viewers, saw the square being presented as though the people of Iraq had gone into a frenzy, mobbed the square and spontaneously pulled down the statue.
We need to cut through all this smoke and mirrors and come up with an exit strategy, forthwith.
The Democrats have yet to offer a cohesive plan to get us out of this mess. Of course, it's not their fault -- but the fact is that we need leaders who are grown-ups and who are willing to try to fix it. Bush has ignored the actual grown-ups from the Iraq Study Group and the generals and all other experts who are nearly unanimous in the opinion that more troops will not help.
It's up to you and me, Bubba.
We need to make sure that the new Congress curbs executive power, which has been so misused, and asserts its own power to make this situation change.