Words are so dangerous.
If you fought the German invasion of France back in the 1940s, people would say you were a member of the Resistance, but if you fought the American invasion of Iraq, you’d be an insurgent. A terrorist.
In the lead-up to the invasion eight years ago, the world was bombarded with statements by Bush and Cheney about weapons of mass destruction, the danger of death to millions of Americans, religious fanatics and 9-11.
Facts. Iraq was a secular, non-religious state. It had nothing to do with the World Trade Center attacks. Iraq never attacked the United States in any shape or form. Despite the vile nature of its leader, there was complete religious freedom there and women were accorded the same rights as men, unlike in Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9-11 attackers originated.
Oddly, even though Saudi Arabia had a close involvement with the 9-11 assault and Iraq did not, the US chose not to invade Saudi Arabia in order to depose the brutal dictators who run it, to bring democracy to the country or to grant human rights to its people.
If we’re going to talk about weapons of mass destruction, let’s mention North Korea, which has real nukes and real rockets. They were threatening to nuke Japan in 2003. Did the United States immediately send in an army to bring them democracy and put an end to weapons of mass destruction? Of course not. Instead, they invaded Iraq which had never shown the slightest aggression. Saddam must have been wondering what the hell he did. After all, he had even invaded Iran under orders from Washington. (Iran, by the way, is a country which hasn’t invaded anyone in hundreds of years. Watch this space.)
Barack Obama, a man who once denounced the invasion, gave a speech in which he made no mention of Iraqi deaths or injuries. It was all very reminiscent of the Vietnam debacle and subsequent spin, with much talk of sacrifice, and serving overseas, but no mention of the local people who bore the brunt of the violence. In the US case, service meant murder, humiliation and torture of peaceful people who posed no threat to the United States. It also meant that a formerly secular country became a breeding ground for demented religious fundamentalists.
The US has become the home of Christian fundamentalism, an ideology almost indistinguishable from Islamic extremism, yet the United States seems unaware of the irony that it quite literally drove a tank through the Garden of Eden, smashing all before it, destroying the culture that gave birth to modern Western civilisation.
The culture that gave us mathematics was destroyed by the culture that gave us Wal-Mart.
Who’s the barbarian?