Wednesday, August 01, 2007

America's illness

But Cheney, an architect of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, otherwise gave no ground in an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live" as he defended President George W. Bush's Iraq policy.

He said the Bush administration would still send troops into Iraq if it could do it all over again, even knowing what it knows now, including that more than 3,000 U.S. military personnel would be killed.

"I firmly believe," Cheney said, "that the decisions we've made with respect to Iraq and Afghanistan have been absolutely the sound ones in terms of the overall strategy."

The best estimates we have are that over 600,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the decision to invade Iraq. Al Qaeda in Iraq formed "in the chaso after Saddam was deposed" by Bush's own admission. Millions of people have suffered, from loss of friends and family members, from injuries, from life disruptions large and small, and from the everpresent fear of what comes next.

He doesn't want you to think about that, about the horrible consequences that are the result of the Bush administration's actions. I imagine the entire Republican Party doesn't want you to think about that. They want to hide the truth, that war is unspeakably ugly, and completely evil, unless there is no other choice - and there was, there were plenty of choices.

Is there anyone who is still willing to do that? Anyone still willing to say that it's okay if a bunch of foreigners suffer and die? Apparently, there are since Bush still has some level of support.

This kind of thing is why I think that America is sick, poisoned by quiet hatred. Not the big, loud kind of hatred, the kind of hatred that's obvious, and hence, ugly. No, the quiet, subtle kind, the kind that lets people toss off lines like "we should prosecute anti-war activists for treason" or "liberals hate this country" or "the invasion of Iraq was justified by what we know."

All of these are ways of not caring about people, not caring how they are hurt, so long as the speakers get their own way.

America is sick, and I hope a recovery is going on, but with people like Cheney still in office, the primary symptoms of the illness are still going strong.

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