The president continues to subjugate truth to his mission of preparing us for an immoral, unnecessary and illegal first strike against Iraq.
What can we make of the administration's bad-mouthing of the U.N. inspections, the one real security-enhancing effort now getting underway? Mr. Bush professes to fear that the U.N.'s efforts may generate a false sense of security, apparently worried that our faith in war as a problem-solving tool might slip a bit as the inspection teams' successes reveal an alternative. Just in case no actual weapons of mass destruction are ever found, Mr. Rumsfeld stretches our minds around the idea that a failure to find any will surely mean they are really there, paired with the notion that Iraq must magically prove a nullity, which almost makes the assertion that we'll bomb anyway sound sane, and the subtext of which is, "Why bother looking in the first place?"
Meanwhile, whenever the U.N. Security Council resolution is mentioned, it is hard to tell if the Bush team is misinterpreting it uniquely to mean that American military force is automatically authorized upon American suspicion of an Iraqi breach, or if it has decided to simply ignore the resolution altogether (with roughly the same likely result). If our confusion from all this lasts long enough, an opportunity for a pretext will come along and Mr. Bush will finally have his war.
What can cut through the loopy logic of all this? Perhaps at least this: None of it changes the central fact that our president is making ready to put our troops in harm's way and require them to kill thousands of already immiserated innocent Iraqi people, in an avoidable war that will make us less secure. Citizens who realize this must, as Thoreau said, "Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence." We must begin by telling the president to get real about the human costs; that we do not want to be imperialists; that we do not want more blood on our hands; and that we do not see a more secure and just world in the direction he has taken. And we must remind Sen. Stevens and Rep. Young that, having passed a congressional resolution authorizing force, their duty of continuing oversight makes them responsible for what follows.
Speak out now.