BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE
But I want to assure you that's not the case here. I'm looking at this situation purely from the perspective of what is just - and what is just in this case, is for Bush, Cheney, and their cohorts be held strictly accountable for their criminal conduct in Iraq - and I sincerely hope that once I've laid out my case that even the most cynical of you will understand my point of view - even if you disagree with it.
Let us go back to what we were feeling during Nine-Eleven for a moment. Think about how much horror and pain we went through as we witnessed three thousand of our citizens being brutally murdered. It was such a traumatic experience that now, close to a decade later, we're still traumatized by it. It seems like it only happened yesterday.
But we've never once stopped to consider that if just that one day could be so traumatizing to the American psyche, what it must be like for the Iraqis who have been forced to watch hundreds of thousands of their people killed, and who have had to face the horror of a Nine-Eleven every day of their lives for the past seven years. The horror that we've brought upon the Iraqi people goes far beyond what can be express here in words. The injustice that we've perpetrated on the Iraqis is bruatally unconscionable - and these people did absolutely nothing to us.
Imagine what it would be like to have some country come over here and kill hundreds of thousands of Americans (millions in order to have the impact we've had on Iraq). Then later, having that country say, "You know, now that we've thought about it, we shouldn't have done this. It was a mistake. But what the hell - what's done is done, so we need to look forward."
And even as they speak of "moving forward," you're thinking of the past - of happier times. You think of your mother's smile, your father's laugh, the hopes and dreams of your beautiful young sister, and how goofy your silly little brother could be. But now, they're all now gone. You're the only one left - so far.
Would you be willing to accept a simple apology? I don't think so. Well, that's what the United states is trying to give the Iraqi people in place of justice - at least, President Obama is - Dick Cheney's only regret seems to be that he didn't torture enough of them.
For the U.S. to think it can just casually walk away from committing that kind of atrocity to hundreds of thousands of families, then simply say, "We're sorry for what happened, but now's the time to look forward - forward, but without any accountability - speaks volumes about American arrogance, who we are as a people, and why people want to kill us.
President Obama spoke of "change." But what could he possibly be thinking, if this represents change? What kind of change could he possibly be speaking of where politics is more important than the horror we've committed? Doesn't he realize that if we don't bring the people responsible for the atrocities in Iraq to justice America will never be safe again? And beyond that, the U.S. will never be able to look the world in the eye and claim to be a nation that believes in justice, or the rule of law, ever again.