Tuesday, February 24, 2004

So, you would have left Saddam Hussein in power?

This is a favorite talking point, or talking question, of Republicans. Here is the definitive answer to this ill-premised question:

Actually, I'd prefer to have 550 American soldiers and 10,000+ Iraqi civilians alive and well, rather than dead, so they could answer this question for you. But we all know that is not going to happen now. These people are dead, and there is no way to bring them back. Now, all across America, families struggle to repair their lives and forge ahead without their loved ones - sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, uncles, auts - all gone - forever - for what? No amount of rhetoric, no amount of lies, and no amount of ill-premised questions can bring back the innocent Iraqi civilians and our fine young men and women who were led to believe they were fighting a war of necessity, not a war of oil conquest. And I mean no disrespect to the valiant men and women who went to Iraq to fight Bush's War for Oil and came back with fewer body parts than they left with. These brave people will lead a life-long struggle due to this ill-fated war. We should all be looking for ways to compensate these people for the tremendous efforts they have extended our country in the name of national defense. They were called to duty and acted bravely. They were not politicians - they were citizen soldiers - and they did what they were ordered to do - follow orders - follow the chain of command. True patriots, in every sense of the word. I urge everyone in our audience to think not what your country can do for you, but think what you can do for your country's veterans. More than any chickenhawk in The White House, more than any chickenhawk member of Congress bent on sending innocents to die for oil, more than any flag-waving, liberal-bashing talk-show host, our veterans are our true patriots. Remember that next time you read another headline about Bush cutting Veteran's benefits.

And in case you are just repeating a Bush talking point, a talking question, and are not sure why your question is ill-premised, let me explain for you, and anyone else in the audience who might have been swayed by it: To suggest that anyone who was against this illegal war also approved of keeping Saddam Hussein in power is bold deceit and slander of the worst kind. Many of us have known about the horrors of Saddam Hussein for many years. Regardless, many of us believed that upholding the rule of domestic and international law and maintaining the trust of the American people was more important, more important, than removing Saddam Hussein from power immediately. If the case was made to attack Iraq based on humanitarian grounds, I'm sure the American people would have considered with the utmost attention. Would the American people agree that an attack on a sovereign nation which would cost hundreds of American lives was worthwhile? I don't know. I believe the world community could have put enough pressure on Saddam Hussein, or any dictator around the world for that matter, to either remove him from power or get him to respect internationally-established human rights standards. I still believe that. The Bush Administration didn't want the world community involved in Iraq because the Bush Administration didn't want to divvy up the spoils of war - those illustrious oil fields sure to bring massive wealth to companies like Halliburton for decades to come - if the Bush Administration can only delay elections long enough for American oil companies to buy-up control of the Iraqi oil and financial infrastructure.

Take that, bad guy.

No comments: