Let me finish tonight with a report from the U.S. Department of Defense. The item didn’t get much play in the papers because it was so quietly displayed on the website of the U.S. Central Command. It’s an estimate of the number of people killed in the Iraq war. 77,000 is the figure. Interesting number, seven thousand more than the U.S. government said were killed the day we dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima. People like to move away on cats’ paws from the decision to attack, invade and occupy a country in 2003 that had not attacked us. There were, of course, the multiple perjury convictions of the vice president’s chief of staff, but even that was covered over by President George W. Bush’s decision to keep Cheney’s partner from prison. But I don’t like it. I didn’t like the way this war was sold –propagandized is a better word – to the American people. All the employment of phrases like “weapons of mass destruction,” all part of a new Orwellian, totalitarian vocabulary that rechristened America “the homeland.” Something foreign to this country took over in those years 2001 to 2003. We were susceptible – tee’d up after 9/11 – and there were people in the government and pushing for it on the outside - ideologues all - who wanted this war and didn’t care what damage it did, including to our country’s reputation as an “enemy” of aggression, a country that fights when one country invades another - fights the invader. This time we were the invader and nobody yelled, “Hey, this isn’t our part. This isn’t what we Americans do!” Well, some of us yelled, but maybe we should have done more - laid out there on the train tracks or whatever you do to sound the alarm of protest in a democracy. We should have caused real trouble for the drumbeaters for war, those who now hang back in their bogus think tanks and endless meetings and low-grade war-hawking, as if they weren’t the ones who did this to the 77,000 people killed by this war - and to our country.
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Defense report a 'grim reminder' of Iraq war push