A couple of weeks ago, at our weekly card game, the eight of us got into talking about Iraq. We made the statement that Sadam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 and quickly had five of our card playing friends jump on us that he most certainly did. One other took our side. We said to them, “haven’t you read the papers, haven’t you listened to the news media?, No where has there ever been shown any evidence that Sadam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11”. To this, they only had bewilderment as to where we had been hiding and obviously they and we read different newspapers and listened to different news casts.
Well, we have finally been vindicated. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, Vice President Cheney (although only begrudgedly), and yes our fearless leader, the man who can land on the deck of an aircraft carrier thirty miles offshore, the man that has never done an honest days work in this life, your President and unfortunately our, George W. Bush, also has now said the same. Yes, there is no evidence linking Sadam Hussein with 9/11.
So lets see, most of you out there who supported the war, believed that Sadam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, poised at any time to unleash them, not only against his neighbors, but somehow you believed against us here. Also, according to the polls, most of you out there also believed that Sadam Hussein had something to do with 9/11.
We ask this rhetorical question, “If you had known that Sadam Hussein either does not have or did not have weapons of mass destruction or if there was a weapons program it was years away from being any threat to us, and if you knew that Sadam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, would you have supported the war?”. Hopefully, by now you will be honest with yourself and say no. Some of you are going to take the party line thrown out by the Whitehouse, that Sadam Hussein was a bad man, he was a tyrant, we are setting the Iraqi people free, and that it needed to be done. However, lets face it, those credentials just listed, probably apply to nine out of ten world leaders that our government calls friends.
The question might be asked, “how did this all happen?”. The true answer is not that your government let you down but rather your media did. For those of us who go back to the Vietnam war, we know quite well that our government does not tell us the truth, that the truth is slanted for political reasons, that there are hidden agendas by those in power, and that the thing that keeps the government in line more than anything is the media, and the First Amendment. In this case, the media let you down. They rolled over and they played dead. They refused to ask the hard questions or ferret out the truth. Rather, they were cowed by the overwhelming feeling in this country that we needed to strike back after 9/11 and strike back hard. They closed their eyes to their jobs. They played the party line as good soldiers, and good Americans yet they failed to remember what they were taught in journalism school. It is their job to question, it is their job to be a thorn in someone’s side if that thorn needs to be there, and it is their job to tell the truth and not to be scared of that truth.
Right now your government is poised to spend another 87 billion dollars in Iraq. If the true goal is national security, think of what 87 billion dollars would do to our national defense within this country. The amount of people checking luggage before you go on a plane, the amount of extra law enforcement personnel guarding our ports, our nuclear plants and our petroleum storage tanks would and could be actually sufficient. The amount of electronic technology we could have installed around this country to prevent another 9/11 and the amount of quick response teams both to fight terror and unfortunately to clean up the aftermath would be unparralled. Instead, your, and our children and our childrens’ children’s future are being mortgaged in order to rebuild a country that means nothing to us except for the oil underneath its ground. Let’s be honest, do we Americans really care about Iraqi’s having rights and freedoms?
Now, the media is starting to ask the questions. In fact, now the media is starting to question themselves. Yes, an old adage “better late than never applies here”. However, it would be a lot better if the next time the media wasn’t late at all, and remembered the First Amendment is there for a purpose not to be just cheerleaders of a power hungry government bent on war and willing to deceive to get it.