A Voice in the Crowd: Why aren’t we marching in the streets?

Not too long ago, I read and heard that a Johns Hopkins research team, in an effort to reach a reasonable estimate of civilian deaths since the 2003 invasion, had been to Iraq and interviewed thousands of people about their personal experiences. Based on the answers given and pre-2003 death statistics, the team computed that between March 2003 and mid 2006, 650,000 Iraqis had died, which amounted to three times the previous annual rate.

If that is true, the scoundrels in Washington have shamed their nation far more than Saddam Hussein shamed his! Even if the investigators’ number is 50 percent wrong, it amounts to genocide! But, true or not, we know that thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed or maimed by our bombs and bullets. Thousands more have become casualties of the internal strife created by our attempt to make Iraq a “free” and “democratic” country.

Why did we launch a virtually unilateral assault on a small country in the middle of the desert? We may never know, but the fact that the Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld bunch spell “democracy” c-a-p-i-t-a-l-i-s-m is a clue. We do know from early reports, however, that the attack was on the administration’s agenda even before it was “elected” in November 2000. Initially, how it was to be accomplished may have been a perplexity—that is until 9/11/01!

The middle-easterners had thrown down the gauntlet—let the war begin. And, while some of our soldiers were chasing Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the heinous September sneak attack, around Afghanistan, the focus of the conflict, and thus our attention, was, by secrecy, half-truths and other artifice, recentered on Iraq. There never was a scintilla of proof that Hussein had “weapons of mass destruction” or was an agent of or otherwise connected with bin Laden, and the Bush bunch knew it.

I am seeing the American way of life I learned to love and feel good about—government of the people, by the people, for the people—being demolished and replaced by a government of the people, by the few, for the few.

Shortly after the 2003 assault, I remember telling a friend I was ashamed of what our country was doing. I’ll never forget his response. “If you’re so ashamed of America, then leave it!”

Whoa! America is my birthplace—my home of more than 73 years. I will not leave, nor should I have to! As CNN reporter Glenn Beck said not long ago, “I want my country back.”

We should all be marching in the streets with signs and slogans, shouting protests at the thieves who are stealing our birthright!

Jim Spelman is an attorney and Rockford resident.

From the Nov. 1-7, 2006, issue

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