Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Setting the record straight

Look, let's be clear about one thing: The U.S. invasion of Iraq, and subsequent occupation, are an outrage. A violation of international law; an action taken without justification, legal or factual; and done without UN sanction and for discredited, or clandestine, purposes.

The US, to my knowledge, has never declared war on, invaded and occupied another sovereign nation without a direct attack by that nation. The Spanish-American War, as unwarranted and devious as that was, at least didn't result in our invasion of Spain (although we took over many of their colonies, including The Phillipines). The war with Mexico did indeed result in our temporary occupation of two of its major cities, but we withdrew shortly afterward. Neither of these episodes was particularly honorable--certainly not hallmarks of US diplomacy--but they were small potatoes compared to this Iraq madness.

We invaded and occupied Germany and Japan, both of which had attacked us and declared war on us. But Iraq? What the hell did it do to justify our "shock and awe" and our ruination of their cities and citizenry? They had a tyrant as a leader. Big deal. Tyrants abound in the world, and we support most of them. They'd made war on Kuwait, but were beaten back and sanctioned by the community of nations.

So now, having taken over their country, having built barricades and zones of danger, we, through the "leaders" we put in power, "hold elections." The Shiites and the Kurds rejoice, because they get to vote. The Sunnis, however, resist and fight the occupation because they're in the minority and will lose power because of the invasion/occupation/election. I ask you: Wouldn't you do exactly the same thing?

The US was wrong to invade. Morally, legally, factually. The occupation and "election" don't make it right. This awful sequence is a blemish on the history of our nation, and it was the action of two men, Bush and Cheney, who are as tyrannical and maniacal as any leaders on Earth.

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