The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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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 authority. 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 mission..." "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 _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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