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[casi] Senator Byrd, you may weep again for your country!

On March 19, 2003, one day before the US attacked
Iraq, Senator Byrd gave a rousing speech to the
Senate, extolling the "lofty ideals that underlie
our great Republic".

"But, today I weep for my country", he continued.

The country the Senator should have been weeping
for was Iraq.

But he wasn't thinking of the brutal attack his
country was about to launch on a devastated people
of 25 million. The Senator was thinking of his
country's loss of image in the world:

     "No more is the image of America one of strong,
     yet benevolent peacekeeper.... Around the globe,
     our friends mistrust us, our word is disputed,
     our intentions are questioned."

War is peace! And ignorance is strength!

But based on this doublespeak, the US spends
billions in PR trying to project to the world the
image of "benevolent peacekeeper" defending freedom.

The world doesn't exactly swallow this line,
unbeknownst perhaps to Senator Byrd. So on
March 19, he was weeping for his country's image.

On July 11, 2003 he could have wept again. But this
time it was the Senator himself who dealt that
image, such as it is, another blow.

"We Must Ask the World for Help on Iraq"
By Sen. Robert Byrd, July 11, 2003

The Senator is demanding that the United Nations
provide a "multinational peacekeeping force to
cope with the perils of the occupation of Iraq".

The term "peacekeeping force" is obscene doublespeak
in any circumstance: first you bomb a country
to smithereens, then you keep "peace", ie, control.
In Iraq not even this applies: it is occupied
territory. And SCR 1484 has made USUK the occupying

Senator Byrd's insensitivity, arrogance, hypocrisy,
and chauvinism in this article seem incredible.
To say nothing about his apparent ignorance of
world opinion.

For months, the Bushies have been trying everything
to get more foreign troops to Iraq, short of asking
the United Nations.

Foreign troops would cut down on American casualties
and cost. And with all these unilateral problems,
they would gladly go a little multilateral. That is,
having mercenary forces do most of the dirty work
for them.

But the wording of SCR 1483 (drafted in Washington)
doesn't specify  UN military assistance. So the
US has to make its own arrangements - for now.

Offering bribes, they propositioned India and
Pakistan - persistently. But who is going to pay?
New Delhi asked Kofi Annan for an 'invitation'.
He refused. He also said he wasn't going to send
UN troops to Iraq. But Annan may weaken after
having had a cosy chat with Blair.

Washington used the term 'stabilizing force' when
it approached India. As several Indian papers
indignantly pointed out, the Indian troops would
merely be policing the occupation. - Ironically
it is Byrd who accuses Bush of using doublespeak.

Now Rumsfeld has asked France and Germany as well.

Senator Byrd, like the Bushies, is now hoping that
the UN will provide the troops and foot the bill.
There is the cost, for one thing. In the first
Gulf war, he says guilelessly, our allies contributed
$54 billion to the $61 billion cost of the war. This
time the "American taxpayer is virtually alone in
bearing the burden for the staggering cost". And
Now "we" are spending $3.9 billion each month for the
occupation. - But there is nothing "benevolent"
about that.

"British and American soldiers are still dying in
Iraq", he says. So he is quite sincere when he
insists "We Need Help Getting Out of Iraq". But he
doesn't mean that the US will withdraw from Iraq.
He wants foreigners to do most of the patrolling,
the dying:

     "Our brave and professional fighting men and
     women are awesome on the battlefield, but they
     must not be expected to carry out the role of
     peacekeepers or nation-builders in an open-ended

     "Americans have good cause to be proud of the men
     and women who unselfishly serve our country in
     uniform. They have carried out their duty in
     Iraq admirably."

Most people in Arab countries, Europe, Latin America,
India, and other parts of the world will be repulsed
by the hypocrisy of this. To say nothing about people
in Iraq. And they will judge America by the Senator's
human values. Very bad for the "benevolent" good guy
image. So he may have to weep again for his country.

But the worst part is the Senator's insensitivity.
He of the "benevolent" persuasion has no word of
compassion for the thousands of civilian and Iraqi
soldiers killed or maimed in the recent bombings.
Not one word of compassion for the plight of the
people under US occupation. And not one word of
compassion for the children who keep dying because
the US occupiers shirk their responsibility under
the Geneva Convention.

In his arrogance, it does not occur to him that
Iraqis resent the foreign invasion and occupation,
like people everywhere else would.

Instead he talks of the "violent militants" who
are "murdering our troops in the streets of Iraq".
He talks of Americans "under siege in Iraq and
being asked to deal with the treacheries of urban
guerrilla warfare with no end in sight." He talks
about "our troops are being killed and wounded".
And about the American public coming "to grips with
the enormity of the task that we have before us
in Iraq."

No one has asked them to do this hostile takeover,
a takeover that has been planned for 13 years.

And what about the Iraqis living under the siege
of occupation? What about Iraqis being harassed,
killed, and being made redundant in their own
country? What about the Iraqi people coming to
grips with the enormity of occupation?

Does this not occur to Senator Byrd? If not, there
is something terribly wrong with him as a human
being. In fact, he sounds just like another Bush.

Elga Sutter

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