Friday, July 22, 2005

A note to supporters of the war

Dear supporters of the US war on Iraq,

Sorry the "weapons of mass destruction" thing didn't work out for you. Too bad the "in cahoots with al Qaeda" claim turned out to be horseapples. And that Madrid, London and other places far afield seem to disprove the whole "terrorist magnet/flypaper/fight'em there instead of here" theory. Being wrong sucks -- I know, I've been there. I feel your pain, more truly than, say, your fearless leader down at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue likely feels the pain of the families of more than 1,700 Americans whose lives he has so far sacrificed to the delusions you share with him.

And I'm sorry -- I do mean this, I am not trying to be sarcastic -- to see another of your rationalizations, perhaps the grandest yet, go down the tubes.

Your "freedom and democracy for Iraq" arrived. You weren't home, so I signed for it when the FedEx lady brought it to the door. No problem -- I just love those shorts they wear during the summer. This lady obviously owns and uses the "Buns of Steel" boxed set. Legs all the way up to her neck, too. But ... well, I guess I should have looked more closely at the package before accepting it instead of trying to look down her shirt. Or maybe you should have read the fine print before ordering it, because frankly it's pretty goddamn shoddy even by the standards of the International Council of Banana Republics.

Let's have a look at the new Iraqi constitution [link is to a PDF file] which was supposed to justify the effusion of so much American blood (at least after all the previous excuses went south on you) [hat tip to Justin Raimondo at AntiWar.Com, whose article on this abomination made writing this one much easier]:

Freedom of association -- "It is forbidden to construct civil society organizations whose activities are aggressive, harmful to the interests of the society, secret, military in character, or take the form of militias." [Emphasis mine throughout these quotes] So much for opposition political parties, labor unions, etc.

Freedom of speech and press -- "All individuals have the right to express their opinion and publish it in any manner in accordance with the law, provided it does not disturb the public order or public morals. ... Freedom of opinion, expression organization, publishing, the press, media, advertising, meetings, peaceful demonstration and parties is guaranteed ... insofar as public security and morals are not harmed." If you're not an idiot, this should be pretty self-explanatory. If you are an idiot, here it is in simpler English: You're permitted to speak and write, as long as the government likes what you have to say. If not, well, it sucks to be you, doesn't it?

Speedy public trial -- "Court decisions are public unless the decision of a court make them secret."

Double Jeopardy -- "It is forbidden to try someone more than one time for the same accusation after his acquittal unless new evidence has appeared." Translation: If we want to get you, we'll hold back evidence and try you over and over again until we get a conviction or you hang yourself in despair, feeding in a little new evidence to justify each trial.

Right to keep and bear arms -- "Citizens are forbidden to possess, bear, buy or sell weapons except with a permit ..."

Conscription -- "The Iraqi citizen is to defend the homeland and preserve its unity provided that military service is organized by law and voluntary service can be the equivalent of this service."

Freedom of political conscience -- "The idea of the dissolved Ba'ath Party and all thought based on racism, sectarianism, accusations of apostasy, and terrorism are forbidden and are not permitted to be part of political pluralism in the state." Hope that there mind-reading project works out, folks. I'm sure it will -- just coincidence that the people who are "thinking bad thoughts" will be the people who happen to be opposite you in the political arena, right?

Just in case anyone in Iraq forgets who's in charge:

"The Iraqi people are one people, unified by belief and the unity of the homeland and culture. Anything that exposes this unity to danger is forbidden."

"Public and private freedoms are protected provided they do not conflict with moral values and public decency. ... Citizens' private lives are protected. Citizens may enjoy it in compliance with moral values and decency. No citizen has the right to deviancy in the use of his right or to exercise any of his rights ..."

Elsewhere in the document, it is made apparent that although "religious freedom" is "guaranteed," the standard of "moral values and public decency," "culture" and "deviancy" -- and therefore of law -- is whatever the mullahs think Allah wants this week.

Most police states create constitutions full of high-minded phrases about liberty and such, and then ignore them. At least these tyrants are honest. But that's cold comfort -- or at least it should be -- for learning that one applauded the loss 1,700+ American and uncounted Iraqi lives for no higher purpose than that of turning Baghdad into a suburb of Tehran.

Proponents of the war started piping down on the whole "democracy and freedom" thing last week after the leaders of the new Iraqi government paid a friendly visit to Iran, complete with reverent visit to the grave of Ayatollah Khomeini. Apparently they saw this coming, and apparently the next item on the "excuses for this debacle" talking points memo doesn't fly even with them. I haven't been able to procure a copy of said memo, but an inside source tells me that we're down to "got a free set of steak knives" now. Good luck with that one.


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