I am a member of Veterans For Peace, an organization of thousands of combat veterans. All of us have put our life on the line for this country. Most of us opposed the recent invasion of Iraq. We also opposed the first Gulf War, and the sanctions that followed. We opposed the slaughter of fleeing Iraqis on the Road to Basra. We opposed the use of Depleted Uranium munitions. And we opposed the lies upon which the first Gulf War was based. But there was one good thing about that first Gulf War. It ended. And without a wholesale invasion of Iraq. Why?
Here's what the first President Bush wrote about that in his memoirs:
Trying to eliminate Saddam would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. There was no viable exit strategy we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.
My brothers and sisters, it is just too darn bad his son can't read!
I've been severely criticized for speaking out in opposition to this war. So have you, probably. We're told that we're aiding and abetting the enemy. We're told that we should support the president no matter what. We're told that patriotism demands that we support the war. They say that we're abusing the freedoms that our troops are in the Middle East defending. They say we should be ashamed to be protesting while the troops are in the desert protecting our right to do so.
Well I say, Hogwash!I feel an affinity for the troops over there in Iraq. They are my comrades in arms. I admire their sense of honor and sacrifice. I understand why some of them believe they should be there. They have neither the experience nor the wisdom to see past the lies they have been told. The truth is, they are not over there protecting our freedoms. Our freedoms are not under attack from Saddam Hussein or the remnants of his Baathist party. Our freedoms are under attack by John Ashcroft. They are threatened by John Poindexter. They are trampled by Donald Rumsfeld. They are disdained by Dick Cheney. And they are not even understood by George W. Bush. The battle to preserve our freedoms is not taking place in Baghdad and Tikrit. It is taking place in Central Park in New York City, in Lafayette Park in Washington DC, in Ghirardelli Park in San Francisco, and in River Front Park in Melbourne, Florida. The front lines go right down US 1 and up New Haven Avenue.
It is we, here at home, who are the foot soldiers battling to preserve our cherished freedoms by exercising them, in spite of opposition and ridicule. It is we who protect our civil rights through speaking out. We are the Minutemen sounding the alarm against tyranny. We are upholding the spirit of the American Revolution. We are preserving the freedoms that the troops in the desert have a right to come back to. The troops getting shot at in Iraq are not protecting us. We are protecting them, and their honor and their freedoms. We have just completed a forced march through hostile territory to defend their freedoms and ours, and the ideals America was founded on. We are protecting this nation by speaking truth to power. Let us do it loudly and fearlessly and courageously and joyfully, for we are the true patriots!
Here is the truth that we proclaim. This war has nothing to do with national security or freedom or democracy or human rights or protecting our allies or weapons of mass destruction or defeating terrorism or disarming Iraq. It has to do with money. It has to do with oil. And it has to do with raw imperial power. It is based on a pack of lies. And it is wrong. Those who forced this war on an unwilling world are guilty of flagrantly violating the US Constitution, the UN Charter, and international law. What they have done is illegal, immoral, unconstitutional and TREASON.
It's been said that somewhere in Texas there is a village looking for their idiot. Now that may be funny, but it misses the point. George W. Bush is not an imbecile. He is a TRAITOR.
Before this war started, we knew it would fracture NATO, split the United Nations, separate us from our allies, and destroy the great nation we inherited from our fathers who died in World War II. And it has. We knew it would make our beloved country feared and hated, an outcast from the world community, a pariah among the peoples, and the number one rogue nation on earth. And it has. It has done so based on a pack of lies. My sisters and brothers, that is not stupidity. That is TREASON.
We knew this sadistic corporate war would incense the Arab world, provide thousands of new Osama bin Ladens, and enormously increase the terrorist threat. And it has. We knew it would further endanger the American people and destroy our national security. And it has. That is not stupidity, it is TREASON.
The cabal of neoconservatives at the Project For a New American Century who planned this war (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Libby, Perle, Jeb Bush) even before W became president, knew the American people would not stand for it unless there was a new Pearl Harbor. 9/11 supplied that. Our government was warned. They were warned by the Clinton Administration. They were warned by 11 other countries. And they were specifically warned by an FBI agent that one of them was planning on flying a hijacked airliner into the World Trade Center.
They not only ignored the warnings, they made sure no fighter jets were scrambled to stop it. If they had just done nothing, and allowed normal procedures to be followed, the Twin Towers would still be standing and thousands of dead Americans would still be alive. This is not stupidity, it is TREASON.
As a combat veteran, I will not stand idly by and watch our security destroyed by a president who went AWOL rather than fight in Vietnam. Honor requires that I call this by its right name. It is TREASON.
As one who has devoted his life to the security of this country, I will not stand by and watch an appointed president send our sons and daughters around the world to kill Arabs for the oil companies without calling it by its right name. It is TREASON.
I joined the Air Force to protect our borders and our people, not the financial interests of Folgers, Chiquita Banana, and Exxon. We've had enough corporate wars. No more Iraqs. No more El Salvadors. No more Kosovos. No more Colombias. These are not isolated incidents of stupidity. They are part of a long, bloody history of foreign policy being conducted for the financial benefit of the wealthy few. It is a new colonialism. It violates our Constitution. It endangers our people. And it is TREASON.
As a pilot who flew 101 combat missions in Vietnam, I can tell you that the best thing our government can do for its combat veterans is to quit making more of them. Peace is patriotic; a preemptive war is immoral, illegal, unconstitutional, a war crime, and TREASON. I swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. That includes a renegade president. Wake up, America! It is time for George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and the whole oil mafia to be removed from office and indicted for TREASON. We are the people. We are sovereign. We are the patriots. The whole world is with us. Never allow anyone to intimidate you into silence. Wake up, America! It's time to speak truth to power. God bless America, and God save us from the traitors in our government.
Dr. Robert Bowman was a colonel in the US Air Force and was Director of Advanced Space Programs Development under President Jimmy Carter. He is Presiding Archbishop, United Catholic Church. He has been president of the Institute for Space and Security Studies since 1982. Before that he was vice-president of Space Communications Company; manager, Advanced Space Programs for General Dynamics; and director, Advanced Space Programs Development for the Department of Defense, directing the "Star Wars" programs. He is also a progressive populist candidate for President of the United States. He may be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. See also his web site: http://www.rmbowman.com.