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In defiance of 2006 vote, Bush will escalate Iraq war
With his nationally televised speech tonight, President Bush is preparing a massive intensification of the criminal war in Iraq.
Barely two months after midterm elections that were universally understood as a massive popular repudiation of this war, Bush is set to announce that he is ordering at least 20,000 more American combat troops into the country.
The dramatic shift in policy that is being unveiled by the administration is, even by the standards of American political history, without any real precedent. True, Woodrow Wilson launched the US into the First World War after campaigning just a year earlier on the slogan, “He kept us out of the war.” And Lyndon Johnson, after campaigning as the “peace” candidate in 1964, presided over the massive escalation of the Vietnam War.
Yet, there is undeniably something new in the actions of this president. What is involved is not a potential war, but one that has been waged for nearly four years and explicitly rejected by the overwhelming majority of American people
The justification and aims of the Iraqi invasion and occupation have been utterly discredited. The reasons initially given for sending in US forces in March 2003 to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein—weapons of mass destruction and supposed ties between Baghdad and Al Qaeda—have long ago been thoroughly exposed as lies. They were deliberately fabricated by the Bush administration and then disseminated with the assistance of a compliant mass media with the aim of terrorizing the American people into accepting the war.
The war—itself a criminal act of aggression under international law—has produced a social and humanitarian catastrophe, while provoking revulsion and outrage worldwide and within the US itself.
Abu Ghraib, the Haditha massacre, the lynching of Saddam Hussein and countless other crimes, most going unreported, have exposed this war as a savage exercise in colonial-style repression. It has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis while leaving over 3,000 US soldiers and Marines dead and over 22,000 wounded, many of them grievously.
In defending its decision to continue and escalate the war, the Bush administration is preparing to recycle its old lies about the Iraqi occupation being the front line in the “war on terror,” while also claiming that Washington is engaged in a noble effort to implant democracy in Iraq.