The drawing came out of an experience I had at a night club. A Nashville singer-songwriter had a Support Our Troops sticker on his guitar and stated how proud he was of his nephew for serving in Iraq and urged us to Support the troops – I wanted to shout, “Bring’em home!” but I allowed myself to be intimidated into silence. That failure haunted me enough to try to compensate with the drawing.
The text below was printed on the flip-side of the drawing, a pocket-sized flyer I would hand out to folks at demonstrations. When I saw Bush or Support our Troops bumper stickers in parking lots I’d leave one under the windshield wiper. The situation has changed somewhat with Obama’s ascendancy to the throne but the pressure to exercise the violence option is pretty intense, whether that pressure comes from the defense industry, patriarchal ideologues or from within one’s own psyche.
The Bush Administration lied about the reasons for invading Iraq, claiming:
- that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and intended to develop nuclear weapons.
- that Saddam Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda and was involved in 9/11
- Both of these rationales were discredited by the 911 Commission. Despite this the White House continued to portray the war on Iraq as a war against terrorism.
Administration officials advocated for invading Iraq long before 911 as part of their fantasies of empire. The real motives seem to lie here and in the oil riches of the region. War profiteering is a predictable bonus for the administration’s friends and allies in the Military and “Security” Industrial Complex. War is always an opportunity to shrink Democracy and accountability, highly favorable advantages when looting the treasury (since reading Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine I now assign this latter motive a more central role).
The Administration talked of “Freedom on the March” but that was transparent propaganda. Aside from the illegal invasion, measures contained in the Patriot Act and other Administration actions, such as ignoring a Supreme Court ruling on prisoner rights to legal representation, the torture scandal, dismissal of dissent at home and the alienation created by its arrogant relations to the world community put the lie to its pretense of promoting Democracy. The Wikileak revelations certainly support these contentions.
The Administration exploited fear of terrorism among the population to distract from its deeply undemocratic agenda. This agenda includes dangerous and expensive militarization, continued transfer of power and wealth to the already powerful and wealthy, and denial of environmental pollution that threatens the viability, even the survival, of our civilization. Administration policies harmed our standing in the world of nations and undermined our security by creating resentment and animosity toward our country. Obama, despite preposterous accusations (socialist, Islamicist, etc;), has made barely detectable change in Bush’s policies. The hysterical animosity toward him is amplified by Fox news, made easier by racism, the other mainstream news outlets and by his own betrayal of his base. The most zealous members of the ruling elite, via their media, reacting to modest reform as if it were revolution, are laying out a warning to all comers: threaten our privilege, profits and power, however mildly, and you will be demonized.