THE DARK SIDE: THE WAR ON TERROR
July 28, 2008
A book review
Few Americans notice how easily media molds, shapes and creates public opinion. Fewer still understand the power of a president to create a lie that changes history. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Baines Johnson and George W. Bush stand in the pantheon of presidents that lied to the American public. All of them sent uncounted tens of thousands to their deaths.
Back in high school, rumors ‘planted’ by an individual or group caught fire with horrendous consequences to the victim. Once the rumor started, the targeted person could never recover his/her honor.
Historians understand that FDR knew about the imminent attack on Pearl Harbor, but made sure no one raised a finger to prepare for or repel it. Much like the ‘rumor’ of the “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution” that drew the United States into the Vietnam War, it proved to be a fraud, or an excuse to send 58,000 young men to their deaths and 350,000 into lives of horror from their wounds. As reported in a previous column, more than 150,000 U.S. veterans committed suicide—thus the Vietnam War killed well beyond its ending. Additionally, thousands upon thousands of veterans died from cancers created by exposure to Agent Orange and other toxic chemicals. When you think of the several million Vietnamese who died in that 10 year horror, it’s a wonder how George Bush created another ‘rumor’ 30 years later that kills so many for nothing.
Today, while few defend Bush’s outright lie of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq, his ‘rumor’ killed 4,000 young men, women, kids, fathers, mothers and wounded 32,000 thus far.
Yet, some defend him. “We better get them over there before the come over here,” spout Bush supporters.
Douglas Feith, Denver, Colorado, sees the only problem with Bush’s Iraq saga as a failure of the administration to, “do as good a job as it should have done in explaining to the public what it was doing and why.”
To that ridiculous comment, Sam Domenico, Golden, Colorado, said, “In other words, Bush’s only problem was an error in advertising. The problem wasn’t the sales job. The problem was the war. The problem is killing 4,000 U.S. troops and 60,000 or more Iraqi civilians, and displacing millions more, while totally discrediting the United States and its principles.”
At this point, after the toothpaste squeezed out of the tube, and after all those deaths for a ‘rumor’, or for what historians already proved, a ‘lie’, a new book surfaced this month that spells it out about the fraud of the Iraq War.
Jane Mayer wrote, “The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals.”
She addresses Bush’s brain, Vice President Dick Cheney, the ultimate slinking coward who engineered the Iraq War.
“Dick Cheney made no secrete of his disdain for international law following 9/11,” The Week editors said, 9/1/08. “Five days after the attacks, Cheney appeared on “Meet the Press” and announced that U.S. intelligence officials would ‘have to work sort of on the dark side.’”
Last year, the Red Cross issued a report declaring some of the highest officials in the Bush administration might be in jeopardy for prosecution for war crimes. Under the guise of being Americans, they authorized torture, “What amounts to an American gulag.”
Cheney proves a uniquely malevolent man. The New York Observer said, “A smart, ruthless, driven man, he can be seen erecting something new in American history: an imperial vice presidency.”
When a few White House staffers tried to counter Cheney, the VP drove them out according to Mayer.
When Bush escapes from the presidency in five months, his ‘rumor’ saturates Iraq with death and destruction. Over 2.5 million refugees languish in misery.
Bush’s rumor assures that thousands of U.S. families no longer enjoy a father or mother, or thousands of fathers and mothers no longer stand proud for their dead child soldiers.
America staggers forward with this horrendous legacy of unending death, senseless lies and fraud as well as incompetence at the highest level. Americans suffer a loss of honor for the United States of America that transcends reason. We pay an accelerating price in the world community for decades to come.
Like all rumors, somebody started it--created the damage—caused the heart ache and pain—messed up somebody’s life—while creating anguish in a small setting. But in the case of the Iraq War, Bush carried it to the ultimate: he destroyed a functioning society while forcing humanity to regress into the senseless slaughter of war.
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“If you intend to vote in November and read only one book between now and then, this should be it,” said Geoffrey Wheatcroft in the New York Observer.
Like David Halberstam’s “The Best and the Brightest” that exposed the fraud of the Vietnam War, I second that.