Thoughts, Ideas, Observations

Sadness and Anger About Iraq

John Bedell

It's happening again in America.  News about the killings by Marines in Haditha has produced the same reactions that made the Vietnam War such a tragedy for our country.  Right-wing journalists have called the Time reporters who broke the story "traitors," and a powerful anti-Americanism is rising on the left.  It's ugly and getting uglier.

It didn't have to be this way.  After 9-11, the country was powerfully unified, ready to take on a vicious enemy together.  International support for the US was strong, even in places like France and China. We were together, with much of the world strongly behind us.  We had the moral high ground, the military and political advantage, the will to fight even if it meant great sacrifice.

George W. Bush destroyed that unity and threw away that support. His needless war in Iraq has splintered us politically, and his constant lies have bred deep distrust. He and his conservative friends have poisoned the nation with vicious partisanship. His bellicose arrogance, his regime of secret prisons and mass torture, and his indifference to the deaths of more than 30,000 Iraqi civilians have turned the world against us to a degree that we haven't seen in 30 years. By cutting taxes on his rich friends in a time of war he has piled up debts for our children and added class conflict to our other woes. 

Listening to our political discourse I hear little of morality or sense, only strident militarism and a chorus of "I told you so". Even more I hear yawning indifference. Most people seem to have no opinions about the war in Iraq or the secret prisons except that they want the whole business to go away. And who wouldn't, when what should be a war for all that we stand for has been twisted into a Presidential power play and honed into a dagger for Republicans to wield in elections.  

I feel sick at what is happening to my country.  Even more, I am angry, because I know who is to blame.  Al Qaeda and its allies can never defeat America as long as we stand together.  Thanks to George W. Bush, we are at not together.  We are each other's throats.  I do not fear the terrorists; I think that we are still strong enough to withstand whatever they can throw at us, and that our devotion to our republic will endure long after they are gone.  But I am afraid that the damage done by Bush, his war, his astonishing grab for power, and his nihilistic savagery toward all he sees as his enemies will haunt our nation for decades.  

June 6, 2006

From the 
Commonplace Book

Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.  That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.

 -- Herman Goering


Commonplace Book
On the Dead
Bulletin Board
About us


Faith, Error, and the Death Penalty




At Each Other's Throats

Not just the Execution



The Principle of Violence

Iraqi Democracy

Clash of Civilizations

A Sniper Nation

War and Alienation

Revisiting the War

September 11

Taking Anarchism Seriously

The PLO and the NRA

Shay's Rebellion and Bankruptcy "Reform"


What is Justice For?


Education Reform