As America reaches the third anniversary of President Bush's decision to invade and occupy Iraq, there is for the first time the unsettling realization brought about by the clarity of acts that emerges only after the passage of time that something horrible has happened.
This awakening of collective awareness on the part of the American people is reflected not only in the numerous polls which show President Bush's popularity plummeting to all-time lows, largely because of the war in Iraq, but also the collective shrug of the shoulders on the part of the one-time cheerleaders for the war in Iraq -- the mainstream American media -- when covering the hollow rhetoric of the President as he tries to rally a nation around a cause that has long since lost its allure.
No amount of flowery language and repeated pulls at the patriotic heartstrings of America, no repeated assault on the senses and sensibilities through repetitious referral to the events of 9/11 can jump start a second phase of the kind of mindless nationalistic fervor that greeted the erstwhile Cowboy President when he first herded a compliant America down the path of war with Iraq three years ago.
Looking back on the string of unfulfilled objectives, broken promises, squandered dreams, shattered bodies and eviscerated lives that was and is the war in Iraq, one thought emerges plain and clear. This isn't simply a result of bad governance. This is criminal.
Bad governance is telling the American people that a war with Iraq would be concluded in a manner of months, and would cost the American taxpayer less that $2 billion, when in fact the war has gone on for three years now, with no end in sight, and over a quarter-trillion dollars have been expended, with untold billions more to be spent.
Criminal governance is the fabrication of a justification for war (weapons of mass destruction), hiding the PresidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s true intentions from the American people and the Congress of the United States (Bush signed off on the Iraq war plans in late August 2002, and yet continued to publicly state that no decision for military action had been made), and shredding international law by waging an aggressive war of pre-emption void of any United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing such actions.
Bad governance is manipulating war planning on the part of military professionals so that we enter into a conflict with far too few troops for the task, with no plan for how to proceed once the fighting ended and the reality of occupation set in.
Criminal governance is violating every principle of the laws of war in the conduct of the occupation of Iraq, manipulating the economic and political direction of Iraq, suppressing its population, and engaging in wanton acts of widespread murder, torture and abuse of the Iraqi people.
The fact is the war in Iraq has degenerated into one giant hate crime.