2003-11-28, 7:01 p.m.
Photo Opportunity vs. Reality in Iraq
Impeach Bush Resource Center Opens
Dear VoteNoWar Member,
The Bush Administration, famous for its capacity to shamelessly lie about the war, is becoming equally famous for its "surprise" publicity stunts and for using real, living soldiers as nothing but extras for his photo-op backdrops.
Bush flew into Baghdad yesterday for exactly 150 minutes to present a tearful pose with US GI's. He never left the airport. Knowing that Thanksgiving is a "slow news day," White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card used this as the latest marketing strategy for the Administration's illegal war and occupation. Card was the Administration official who cynically explained why the Bush Administration waited until September 2002 to declare that Iraq had become a grave and imminent danger by saying "you don't market a new product in August."
Bush's Thanksgiving trip today to Iraq, like his "dramatic" landing on the USS Aircraft Carrier Abraham Lincoln last May 1, is designed solely for domestic political consumption. The Iraqi people, who have suffered so many deaths, dislocation and deterioration in their quality of life view Bush's trip with contempt.
A Reuters dispatch of November 27 quotes ordinary Iraqis on their views about Bush's choreographed visit:
"As far as I'm concerned he's welcome to come and he's more than welcome to leave," said Abu Mohammed, 57, a cigarette and chewing gum vendor on the streets of the capital....
Abu Sara, a restaurant owner in the capital, said if security and living standards under the Americans did not improve rapidly, more Iraqis would turn against the U.S. forces.
"We welcome Bush as we welcome any guest who comes peacefully," he said. "But we want to draw attention to the fact that there is no security, no jobs and no services well into the American occupation of Iraq....
To try to quell guerrillas, U.S. forces have stepped up operations, dropping bombs on suspected rebel positions, firing mortars and missiles and raiding homes with heavy fire.
The aggressive tactics have angered many ordinary Iraqis and led some to compare Bush to imperial invaders of old.
"To hell with Bush. He is another Mongol in a line of invaders who have destroyed Iraq," said Mohammed al-Jubouri.
Iraqis waiting for hours to fill up with gasoline in the center of Baghdad said Bush was not liked at all.
"Look at what we have to go through. Our living conditions have become deplorable. The U.S. situation in Iraq will only become worse if things do not improve," said one taxi driver.
"Bush has zero popularity here"
While the canned images of Bush in Iraq are designed to tell one story, they don't allow the public to understand what the reality is for the soldiers left behind when Bush took off after his 150 minute stop-over. One soldier who attended the Bush photo-op told CNN "All I care about now is getting out of here alive." Another solider told the reporter that the "troops have been here too long," and should go home.
CNN put Bush's trip into perspective, commending the Administration on creating "splendid images as Mr. Bush goes into an election next year."
Bush's trip to Iraq was a desperate attempt to generate a one-day flurry of positive news media coverage to try to overcome the fact that the country, including the soldiers and their families, are turning against the administration's criminal war and occupation. VoteNoWar members are playing an important part in organizing this groundswell of grassroots opposition.
In addition to participation in anti-war activities, including forming the Bring the Troops Home Now! committees, and planning for the March 20 global day of action, many VoteNoWar members have also been active in the movement to Impeach Bush. We wanted to let people know that a new Impeach Bush Resource Center has been created with "Bush Lied. Thousands Died." bumper stickers, t-shirts, sweat-shirts, lawn signs, and more, at ImpeachBush.org. Many are using the Resource Center to give friends, families, neighbors, and loved ones socially meaningful holiday gifts while spreading the word about the growing impeachment movement. Click here if you'd like to check out the Impeach Bush Resource Center site.
Please help support the Bring the Troops Home Now! campaign and the organization for the March 20 global day of action by clicking here to make a donation via our secure on-line server, or for information on where to send a check.
All of Us at VoteNoWar.org
"Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation." - Martin Luther King, Jr.