April 13, 2004
It's hard to know what planet Bush is on.
There he was with Hosni Mubarak on Monday claiming that "the situation in Iraq has improved."
This after a week in which at least 56 U.S. soldiers were killed, the greatest number in the entire Iraq War.
This after Iraqi insurgents keep kidnapping people.
This after the U.S. military killed more than 600 Iraqi civilians in the last week.
This after U.S. soldiers shot bullets through copies of the Koran, according to Naomi Klein in the Los Angeles Times.
Bush is engaged either in willful denial or outright propaganda. "We can't let a few people" decide the fate of everybody in Iraq, he said. And he labeled those who oppose the United States as "gangs."
But reporters on the ground are seeing a different picture. They tell us that there is widespread hatred for the U.S. occupation, and that Bush's single success has been to unite Shiites and Sunnis--against the United States.
U.S. military leaders brag about taking "precise" and "judicious" action against the enemy. But how precise and judicious was it when the United States killed hundreds of civilians in Fallujah?
Precise and judicious may not have been the operative words. Bush, as Paul Krugman recounts, demanded that heads roll for the mutilation of the four Americans. When that's the command from the commander in chief, concern about civilian casualties takes a back seat.
When asked about those civilian casualties, Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, the flinty senior military spokesman, blamed it all on Al Jazeera and gave this great piece of advice: "Change the channel."
But changing the channel won't make those corpses go away.
The only thing that will do that is to end the U.S. occupation.