OK, the tenth anniversary of the worst foreign blunder Uncle Sam has ever committed has come and gone, but the post-anniversary headlines remain the same: “Explosions in Baghdad kill dozens and wound scores” (International Herald Tribune, March 20); “For Iraqis, no time for reflection, only desperation” (op. cit., March 19); “Iraq War Intelligence Was a Lie” (Daily Telegraph, March 18); “No Country Since 1945 Has Suffered More” (op. cit., March 18); “Ten Years On, Death Still Stalks Baghdad” (op. cit., March 15). I could go on.
The only victor has been Israel, whose nuclear domination of the region was assured, once the great bluffer Saddam was removed.
Iraq is now a very weak nation split in three, with the Kurds up north, the Sunnis around the middle, and the Shi’ites down south. Uncle Sam spent one trillion dollars and is now broke. Five thousand young Americans lost their lives, and 50,000 were wounded, some grievously—blind, without limbs, needing hospitalization for the rest of their lives. Over one million Iraqi casualties are dwarfed by the number of Iraqis who were displaced. And in the midst of this tragedy, that smirking criminal shyster Dick Cheney is given a whole hour by HBO to play Édith Piaf’s signature song, “I Regret Nothing.” Of course he regrets nothing; decency and honesty are not included in his vocabulary. After all, didn’t Cheney the brave warrior avoid the Vietnam draft by taking five deferments (three more than Bill Clinton)? As they say, only in America, folks, only in America.
And it gets worse. My friend Russell Seitz, a Harvard professor—please don’t hold it against him; he’s a very nice person—sent me a picture of a nine-foot bronze colossus of George W. adorning downtown Fushë-Krujë, in Albania. Russell did not specify why the bronze statue went up. But I can guess. It’s because Dubya facilitated the invasion of Europe by the criminal classes of Albania when he handed Kosovo to the drug gangs that rule it. It is certainly not for his heroics in Vietnam, because, like his number two, Dubya stayed safely behind in Texas.
The third war criminal of the gang is Tony Blair, a con man whose phony smile is the envy of card sharks in Las Vegas. What troubles me about Blair is his ability to flit around the world in private jets giving speeches for a minimum of a hundred grand, without a worry in the world that he will be picked up and flown to The Hague by the International Criminal Court as the war criminal that he is. Bush and Cheney are safe because Uncle Sam has not signed on to the ICC treaty, but Britain has—so why has Blair not been picked up? That’s an easy one to answer. There are rules for African war criminals and for Serb nationalists, and the rest don’t count. Bush, Cheney, and Blair belong behind bars for waging war against a sovereign nation that had absolutely no involvement with September 11. They belong behind bars for having ordered the invasion of Iraq by using false evidence of Saddam’s WMD.
But I’m just whistling Dixie, as Bing Crosby used to say. None of the three criminals will ever face jail, which is a crime in itself, come to think of it. About 20 years ago I attended the 90th birthday of Lord Shawcross, in Sussex, England. His son, William, a good friend, placed me near his father, who was the Allied chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials following the Nazi defeat. I asked the great man who was the most interesting person among the Allies as well as the Nazis during the year-long trial. “Hermann Göring, by a long shot,” said his lordship. As Göring was never implicated in atrocities, I asked Shawcross why Göring got the death penalty. “For waging aggressive war.” I then asked who was being more aggressive: the Allies bombing Dresden, Hamburg, and Berlin, killing over 500,000 old men, women, and children, or Göring’s Luftwaffe, bombing London and Coventry and killing 26,000 in four years. The good lord was not best pleased with me, but such are the joys of having double standards.
Yes, dear readers, Ieng Sary died in his bed last month, having been the Cheney to Pol Pot’s Bush. Pol Pot and Ieng Sary murdered more than a third of the population of Cambodia and imprisoned and tortured close to two thirds. Sary was allowed to own two large houses and live it up until the end. The Cambodian equivalent of neocons made that possible. Our very own Fifth Columnist neocons, the Kristols, Abramses, Wolfowitzes, Perles, Feiths, Frums, and other such scummy types, are still being listened to by naive Americans instead of being silenced for their criminal propagandizing leading up to war. Der Stürmer was shut down after the Nazi defeat. The Weekly Standard is still going. Go figure, as they say.