Sean, Truth Holding on Line One!
by Karen Kwiatkowski
On a recent Sean Hannity radio show, a caller explained to Sean how she looked at her husband when she heard of Hussein's capture and noted how she would always remember that moment. Frozen in time forever, she felt this was a great Christmas present from George W. Bush to our nation. We were all safer now.
She proceeded to explain that after seeing Saddam bedraggled and defeated, all the terrorists would know that it wasn't really true what Saddam had been saying to them, about those 72 virgins who would be waiting.
Sean didn't bother to correct the caller with the fact that Saddam wasn't directing any terrorists that attacked the United States. It also seems unlikely, from his latest hiding place and his inability to access a friendly barber, that he was in productive communication with any of the Iraqi Ba-athists, nationalists or other angry folks in the region who are taking deadly potshots at our sons and daughters. Saddam had financially rewarded Palestinian terrorists, or at least their surviving families, but those Palestinians and their families were not targeting the United States. As sorry as relations between Palestine and Israel have been, the United States is still the only broker with even a remote possibility of exercising influence over the Likud Party, and Palestinians realize this.
Sean didn't bother mentioning that Saddam wasn't an Islamist, or even a good Muslim. It is well known among radio talk show hosts that Saddam was a secular Marxist dictator, who, like Stalin, used religion only when necessary to prevent total collapse of his dictatorship. It is widely understood that one of the reasons Wahhabists and other Islamists despised Saddam was Saddam's failure to submit to the will of Allah, and use the wealth of Iraq for Islamic rule in the region.
And lastly, Sean didn't remind the caller that the capture of Saddam did not contribute to the goal of making America safer. We are as safe from Iraq-supported terrorism and Iraqi WMD as we were a year ago when Saddam called Jerry Bremer's new palaces home. The threat of WMD and terrorism after Saddam's capture is identical to that of a year ago. Negligible then as now, it was not worth the life of one American soldier, let alone 458.
Surely Sean remembers that both his President and his deputy secretary of defense have publicly admitted there were no links to terrorism that threatened the United States, and that they had no evidence of WMD in any viable or threatening form. Not surprisingly, Saddam is already saying what the rest of the Most Wanted Iraqis we've interrogated have said. "No, sorry, we wished we had it but we didn't. We were posing, man behind the green curtain and all that. You know how it is, Mr. Bush."
This is not to say that we are not at risk for terrorist attacks, only that past attacks, like 9-11, did not originate from Saddam Hussein. In fact, because we now occupy Iraq, our brothers standing police duty over Halliburton and Bechtel investments as well as those of us back in the States are at greater risk than before 9-11. George W. Bush's imperialism and vengeful behavior have made America hated as never before. Sean Hannity himself probably suspects, deep down, that while many hate us, it isn't because we "love freedom."
Further, Bush's poor judgment and over-extension of both active and reserve forces has made us more vulnerable to real threats to our own country, both financially and physically. We may want to seriously improve our national security by solving the domestic policing and intelligence problems that converged to allow the deadly attacks of 9-11 to proceed unimpeded, but this option is no longer available. The crushing debt Bush 43 has thrown down on the shoulders of working-class men and women in this country rules it out anytime soon.
Because of Bush's political imperative to use active, reserve and guard soldiers to help rebuild the Halliburton and Bechtel business base in Iraq, families and communities all over the country are less able to manage our small businesses, take care of our children, make ends meet, put out house fires and forest fires, or to fully staff our volunteer community services and emergency response functions. The list goes on and on. Bush supporters are right — 130,000 citizen soldiers in Iraq isn't like the 550,000 draftees we had in Vietnam. It is much worse.
Here's why. After the ugliness and shame of Vietnam, General Creighton Abrams took practical steps to change the Army force structure and fix one of the major causes of that political adventure. He saw what happened to our country when year after year, draftees were sent to kill people they didn't know, get killed by people they didn't know, all for abstract reasons they didn't understand, ridiculously repeated ad nauseum by safely ensconced politicians and generals in Washington. Abrams wanted to make sure that "never again would a president be able to send the Army to war without the reserves maintained for such a contingency. The vehicle for doing this was a revised force structure that integrated reserve and active forces elements so closely as to make the reserves virtually inextricable from the whole."
Now, good old Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has been strategizing night and day, both before and after the Iraq invasion, on ways to undo the Abrams Doctrine. The reason is, like all good neo-fascists, Rumsfeld believes that the President, on the advice of his inner circle, should indeed be able to send the Army to war without a lot of damn hoo-ha from the common people.
Ah, the common people. Like Sean Hannity's caller. But why did the truth-loving, straight-shooting Sean Hannity allow the caller to proceed with her fuzzy thinking and bubbly ignorance? I've listened to Hannity enough to know it wasn't due to his innate politeness, respect for his elders, or even his own ignorance. Those factors have never restrained Hannity from interrupting callers and correcting them. Instead, he let this caller go on in pleasing ignorance because she was making an important contribution to the George W. Bush re-election juggernaut.
The Bush re-election campaign does promise to be "an overwhelming, advancing force that crushes everything in its path." Fortunately for the whole country, and like most promises from a presidential candidate, this one is all bluster and no substance. Sorry, Mr. Rove, your targeted demographics and sloganeering are going to get trumped by the Abrams Doctrine, and there is pretty much nothing you can do about it.
In the meantime, I agree with Sean Hannity in hoping that Saddam the prisoner is made to account to his own people for his many crimes. But while it may come as a surprise to Hannity and some of his listeners, fomenting terrorism against the United States and creating dangerous WMD threats to America won't be among the charges. Perhaps we can save those for George W. Bush, where there is far more evidence to support a conviction.
December 18, 2003
Karen Kwiatkowski [send her mail] is a recently retired USAF lieutenant colonel, who spent her final four and a half years in uniform working at the Pentagon. She now lives with her freedom-loving family in the Shenandoah Valley.
Copyright © 2003 LewRockwell.com