October 18, 2006f
there is one thing about George Bush that both his supporters and
detractors can agree on -- it has to be his inflexibility. His
partisans call it consistency while others recognize it as obstinacy.
As governor of Texas, he never once pardoned a man condemned to the
hangmanís noose. And as chief executive, he never vetoes a bill that
makes it to the oval office.
On the subject of Iraq, Bush adamantly
refuses to recognize the terrible human catastrophe he unleashed by
launching this war of choice. There is never even a hint of personal
guilt about the laundry list of war crimes committed by his
post-mission-accomplished mismanagement of Americaís newest colony.
This is a man as blind as Stalin when it
comes to the suffering he has inflicted on millions of people around
the globe. Like the former Soviet dictator, he probably subscribes to
the view that the death of a single man is a tragedy and the slaughter
of millions is a statistic. In private meetings with the families of
fallen soldiers -- he is said to demonstrate considerable compassion
to the point of shedding a tear or two. Yet when confronted with
questions about the number of Iraqi fatalities -- he gets distracted
by the fashionable attire of a reporter who cares enough to bring up
In his recent press conference -- George
Bush pushed aside the recent findings of a British study that
estimated that over 600,000 Iraqis had perished in the war in Iraq.
Thatís one in forty of the inhabitants of the country he set out to
"liberate." The American equivalent would be seven million fatalities
-- over twice as many victims as the combined American casualties from
every war since the founding of the Republic.
the findings of the John Hopkins Lancet report, the
Stalinist neo-con statisticians in the White House criticized the
"discredited" methodology. Of course, the president never bothers to
volunteer his own estimate or discuss why some of the ample resources
under his command have not been directed at keeping an honest tally of
the carnage he has unleashed.
It would be unfair to suggest that Bush
administration doesnít have its own time-tested methodology for
estimating the amount of blood shed by our colonial subjects in
Mesopotamia. From the very first day of the conflict, they made it
clear that they "donít do body counts." True to their word, they have
spared no effort to make good on that promise.
Hiding the dead bodies in Iraq has
become an art. There are rough estimates from Baghdad morgues -- but
it is well established that morgue officials are routinely intimidated
and threatened with death if they give accurate accounts of the number
victims that come through their doors. Some bodies never make it to
the morgues -- lost forever in unmarked graves, sewers or
unceremoniously dumped in garbage dumps. Others are simply buried by
relatives in family plots. They know better than to report the
information to the very police officers that are intimately involved
with the death squads responsible for the early demise of their loved
No one has a clue about the number of
victims in the terra incognita outside the capital. Reporters and
coalition officials rarely bother to venture outside the Green Zone --
a fantasy island where they live lives of splendor away from the scene
of Bushís crimes. Even the majority of American soldiers are immune
from witnessing the devastating realities of a civil war in progress.
With the exception of the small minority actually assigned to combat
duties -- the vast majority spend their time safely confined to bases.
Force protection is Job One and the
primary reason we have 141,000 troops on the ground in Iraq is that
the generals need tens of thousands to soldiers to supply and protect
the "enduring bases" which could very well end up being permanent
garrisons. Because they are so busy securing their own forces, the
American military has precious little time to keep track of Iraqi
As a police state, Saddamís Iraq was the
kind of place where they kept accurate track of the citizenry. The
series of recent election demonstrated that the current regime knows
enough to register voters by jurisdiction. So, the United States
inherited a country where it is certainly feasible to count the number
of births and the number of deaths. Considering the tens of billions
of dollars in American taxes and oil revenues allocated to
"reconstruction," it stands to reason that enough resources are
available to record the cause of each death.
Itís not that the United States
government canít keep statistics. Rather, the Bush administration
deliberately avoids broadcasting accurate estimates to keep the
average American in the dark about the extent of agony Bush has
inflicted on the average Iraqi. The astronomical quantity of pain and
personal loss endured by every individual Iraqi would shock even the
most jaded supporter of the war.
This is, after all, a government that
prevents curious American eyes from witnessing the arrival of body
bags containing the remains of its own soldiers. The vast majority of
these young warriors went to their graves in the honest belief that
they were dispatched to Iraq to disarm Saddam of phantom stockpiles of
WMDs. And lest we forget, this Likudnik neo-con venture was sold to
the American public on the strength of manufactured intelligence.
In truth, the administration has no
other option but to hide the dead bodies in Iraq under the sacred
carpet of denial beneath the presidentís feet.
But that is not the worst of it. The
fact is that the president and his apologists have managed to enlist
virtually every major American media outlet in this conspiracy of
silence. George consistently tells the same blatant lies and
consistently gets away with it because the media lords consistently
cover up for him. Even today, his campaign of "misinformation" has one
out of every two Americans believing that Iraq had WMDs -- thatís up
from thirty five percent last year. You can thank Rupert Murdoch for
that dubious achievement.
Hiding the dead bodies in Iraq is a job
that requires a considerable amount of talent. It is a task that would
not be possible without willing collaborators in every major media
outlet in America. We forget Iraqís dead because CNN and FOX have
erased their memory. Bushís many blunders in Iraq would never have
happened without the legions of neo-con pundits who were given free
access to the editorial pages of the New York Times, the
Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.
The grim reapers of the media controlled
state hover like vultures above the carnage -- indifferent to the
killing fields below. Rupertís minions -- The Murdochrats -- have been
assigned to keep the score. The public square is infested with neo-con
charlatans who drown out dissenting voices with the monstrous mass
media apparatus under their command -- allowing the carcasses of tens
of thousands of human beings to disappear before our eyes.
During his recent press conference, Bush
kept on assuring his audience that he understands a whole bunch of
things. He must have repeated it a hundred times. "I understand this"
and "I understand that."
It goes without saying that this
shallowest of men makes his policy decisions to "stay the course"
based on his "understanding" of events in Iraq. So, it is only fair to
ask how he could possibly make rational judgments when he doesnít even
care to find out or comprehend the scale of violence that is the daily
fruit of his criminal invasion of Iraq.
With media allies like Rupert Murdoch
and CNN, Bush can be as inflexible and "misunderstanding" as he wants
is the editor of
He can be reached