For better or worse, humanity is married to the truth. We may stray, but we always come back. It seems we are now approaching that point where we decide to embrace the truth again -- the simple truth, our only refuge from folly.
So the former British ambassador to the United States Christopher Meyer now comes forth saying that Bush told him on Sept 20, 2001 that after invading Afghanistan, “we must come back to Iraq.” In other words, Afghanistan was just a way of getting our foot in the door on the way to Iraq.
If one thinks invading Iraq was a good idea, then one can give Bush credit for being on top of things from the start. However, one small problem: the Bush administration denies obsessing about Iraq at the time, and claims it was really working diligently on al-Qaeda.
It seems that those in positions to know the truth can no longer remain silent (O’Neill, Clarke, Meyer, et al), and are coming out into the clear light of day because they know that the whole rationale for war was desperately and hastily contrived, founded on lies (please -- let’s stop the poppycock about “exaggerated intelligence,” etc.) and draped in the emperor’s cloth that is seen by people of all ages. And this film is not rated G.
Now that a critical mass of insiders have come out, sufficient cover has now been provided for those who had wanted to break their silence but feared retribution against their careers or their retirement.
Better to go on record now, than be seen as party to folly. Our democracy has been corrupted beyond the normally corrupt level that we have been accustomed to, and the whoppers that have been told to get us into the current troubles will not stand the scrutiny of history.
Ideology and a grand imperial plan drove this war. Fear-mongering and lies were necessary to sell this hidden agenda to the American public, who, like with Charlie Brown and Lucy’s football, perennially placed trust in someone, despite the fact that experience and intuition indicated otherwise.
The sad but inevitable results are lives lost in gruesome fashion, a depleted US treasury, a crushing debt racked up for the next generation, a domestic commonwealth neglected, a loss of the trust of nearly every nation in the world, no light at the end of the tunnel, and a spiral of senseless violence leading either to a wider conflagration, or a denouement where everyone loses, and revenge simmers, planting the seeds of further violence.
History told us this would be the result, but We the People weren’t listening; or perhaps history wasn’t able to be heard over the corporate media cheerleading.
I am not a Monday-morning quarterback. I have written, and I have protested with my feet, against this war, since the spring of 2002. It was clear by summer, when almost daily the president would mention that Saddam was a threat and “had to go,” that the administration had decided on war, and would scrape up whatever “intelligence” it could, to justify it.
That the American people bought the utterly preposterous assertion of a link between the secular Saddam and the fundamentalist Osama, or that Saddam was the cohort or perpetrator of 9-11 -- various polls indicate between 50% and 70% thought so; along with the “mushroom cloud” threat; is a testament to the power of office and of the blind trust a people innocently put in their leaders, regardless of the amateurish, maudlin, and transparently desperate manner in which the threat was framed, by administration officials on all the talking head shows during the run-up to the war (this is so devastatingly evident in the DVD “Uncovered: the whole truth about the Iraq War,” which documents each televised appearance of these lies back-to-back -- available at http://www.truthuncovered.com).
There is no joy in having foreseen tragic events. Rather, there is great frustration in not having been able to prevent them.
There were truth-tellers before the war, but they weren’t heeded. There were truth-tellers during the war, but they were called unpatriotic. What are the truth-tellers called today -- even now, after having been utterly vindicated?
When will we learn that military force does not win the hearts and minds of a people? When will we learn that addressing needs rather than fears, creates security? And when, really, will the American people become more curious about self-governance, and make informed democracy their favorite hobby?
The flow of truth-tellers will likely become a torrent. Brace yourselves. Study the art and science of propaganda. Screen out the lies. Read between the lines. Analyze motives. Observe who benefits. Examine your own beliefs and assumptions. And then, be true to yourself.
The truth, whatever it may be, will out.
Tom Blodget is an educator and author. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org