Those American soldiers torturing and sexually abusing Iraqi prisoners have made criminals of us all.
And there are only two possible responses to this horrible outrage: get out of Iraq. Now!
And imprison the man responsible, George W. Bush.
Any fantasy that the United States could "bring democracy" or inject stability or somehow do something praiseworthy for the Iraqi people irrevocably died with the publication of those photographs.
With Bush, the flow of abominations only seems to deepen and get worse with every passing day. Any whining or carping that he is not personally responsible is pure hypocrisy. This man belongs in prison!
Every serious Iraqi, Arab or Islamic leader, commentator or "person in the street" has said the same thing: "Game Over". The Americans must leave.
All further blood spilled in Iraq is senseless, useless, gratuitous slaughter.
All killing is only further insult to the people of that tortured nation and to the Americans sent there to kill and be killed. The only question now is: "who will be the last person to die for this mistake?"
And when will the person most responsible, George W. Bush, pay for this abomination?
Thanks to Bush, we Americans---all of us---will forever be seen in much of the world's eyes as parties to torture and forced sexual abuse and a cynical Christian crusade whose idea of religious conversion apparently involves rape or a photographic facsimile.
As Americans, we are duty-bound to hold the guilty parties responsible, and there is ultimately one party to point to: the President of the United States.
As always, Bush takes no personal responsibility. His radio rodents like Rush Limbaugh say the photos were fake. That Bush couldn't have known about any of this. That those reports circulating for weeks about widespread torture and abuse in the Iraqi prisons---not to mention an unknown number of apparent murders---could not have been seen by Bush, and therefore he was not responsible.
Well, where does the buck stop?
It was on Bush's watch that the attacks on the World Trade Center killed 3000 people. He spent the weeks leading up to the attack on vacation, ignoring briefings about its likelihood.
The 9/11 attacks were funded and planned through Saudi Arabia, with whose leaders Bush has close personal ties.
The attack on Iraq was almost entirely Bush's personal doing. He meaningfully consulted only a tiny handful of neo-conservative fanatics. He discussed it with a Saudi oil prince before his own Secretary of State.
In all US history there has been no act of war more the product of a single individual than this one.
Bush consciously and systematically lied to Congress, the UN and the world to get the war going.
By all accounts, Saddam Hussein and the Iraqis had nothing to do with 9/11. Bush attacked anyway, making a mockery of US and UN legal processes.
Bush immediately proclaimed the war a Christian Crusade, and his fundamentalist supporters still see it that way.
Bush shouted to the world that the Iraqis had weapons of mass destruction. He lied.
Bush's ventriloquist, Dick Cheney, said the Iraqis would "dance in the streets" with the American victory, but those streets are now soaked in blood. Bush and Cheney's business cronies have grotesquely profited from the ghastly slaughter.
Bush proclaimed "Mission Accomplished" a year ago, but the death toll has soared, and will now soar again.
Bush said resistance would disappear with the capture of Saddam Hussein.
Bush used Saddam's most infamous prison for these acts of torture. Iraqi commentators hated that the Americans left the prison standing at all. Now we find Bush has used it to commit the same crimes Saddam did.
For all this and way too much more, the finger of guilt points just one place: the Oval Office. In the name of a "Higher Father," Bush ordered this attack virtually on his own, and trashed every legal and moral constraint to get it done.
We Americans have a higher responsibility to stop this flood of outrages, and bring this man to justice.
If those photos from Iraq prove anything, it is that George W. Bush must face criminal prosecution as soon as possible.
These abuses taint us all. As Americans, there is just one way to redeem ourselves: get these murderous torturers out of the White House and into a prison of their own, where they belong.
Harvey Wasserman is co-author (with Bob Fitrakis) of GEORGE W. BUSH VERSUS
THE SUPERPOWER OF PEACE (www.freepress.org). HARVEY WASSERMAN'S HISTORY OF THE
US is available at www.harveywasserman.com.