Once again the toady army of media Bushlickers has proclaimed "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq. And once again, the real outcome is murder, mayhem and utter catastrophe, with worse yet to come.
For endless prime time hours, Fox and the major news desks -- the Izvestia and Pravda of Bush's America -- blare the party line about the "miraculous success" of the Iraqi balloting.
No doubt it set amazing precedents. For example, this may have been the world's first election in which the location of the polling places was kept secret, along with the list of the major candidates.
It may also be remembered for the vast numbers of Iraqis who refused to vote.
The Iraqi vote did differ from the recent balloting in Ohio in that those Iraqis who turned out were at least able to get ballots.
In Ohio, of course, the Bushies did all they could to deny young people, African-Americans and other suspected Democrats the ability to vote. They shorted voting machines in key precincts, deployed "challengers," screwed with both registrations and provisional ballots, and generally made it as hard as possible for certain Americans to cast a ballot -- or get it counted.
As he sang the praises of the Iraqi war, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, both administered the election and co-chaired the state's Bush-Cheney campaign. He refused to allow international observers access to the polling places. He continues to refuse to testify anywhere under oath, even before a Republican-controlled Congressional committee, which now promises to come to Ohio to get his testimony.
In Iraq, the Americans desperately sought as many voters as they could traipse before a camera to get their fingers inked, even if it seemed likely they would vote against the US-backed candidate.
As it turned out, there was no need to bring out more Iraqis to do that. The votes that were counted put America's Allawi a distant third.
And amidst all the hype, the Bushmedia has studiously ignored the fact that the actual winner was backed by an Iranian-born Muslim fundamentalist whose ultimate intent may well be to take Iraq back to the stone age. Once again the fundamentalist church-state Sharia law is being touted as the basis for a new constitution. Stoning those who might offend the official state religion is again on the table. Women's rights are almost certainly a thing of the past.
All of which is very much in line with the Bush agenda for the United States. The death penalty, church-state merger, attacks on abortion and family planning, use of obscenity laws to control free media and much more fit perfectly into Bush's jihad agenda. A right wing fundamentalist is a right wing fundamentalist, whether Islamic or Christian.
But what the Bushies are desperate to hide is that they have dragged the US into a grotesquely bloody and hugely expensive war (which is nowhere near over) to install a pro-Iranian regime. While he rattles an increasingly flimsy saber about invading Iran, Bush has given Iraq to the Mullahs, vastly enhancing their land mass, their popular base, their oil reserves, their financial resources and their geo-political clout.
As even Tom Friedman of the New York Times, a consistent supporter of the war, has grudgingly pointed out, Bush's insane energy policies have enriched the Iranians to the point that they couldn't care less about American threats. Iran is far larger, better armed and more unified than Iraq. The fantasy that US troops could waltz into Iran as they did to Iraq is purely hallucinogenic. Only the most deluded and arrogant American militarist could believe Iran can be physically conquered.
As with all Bush "victories," things can now only get worse. The US military clearly wants permanent bases in Iraq to guarantee access to its oil. But oil still travels through long pipelines that simply can't be guarded.
In the 1960s and 1970s, in a Vietnam war Team Bush dodged en masse, the US staged election after election, installing one puppet after another. The pitiful charade ended with the last Americans fleeing from the Saigon embassy's rooftop.
In Iraq, this "Mission Accomplished" electoral farce has installed a government allied with the "Axis of Evil" Iranians. America's moral standing in the world has been utterly destroyed.
Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden runs free. Bush lied when he told the world that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and harbored the terrorists who attacked the US on 9/11. But very soon both those delusions may come true.
After Bush proclaimed "Mission Accomplished" last time, thousands more people died and billions more dollars went down the drain. One can only shudder at the ultimate consequences of this latest Bush "victory."
Harvey Wasserman is author of 'History of the United States'. His website address is www.harveywasserman.com. © 2005 Free Press