My thoughts about Saddam Hussein keep shifting… and always in the same direction. Travis just showed me a heavy article about the situation there. Now please be aware that I haven’t ever held any strong beliefs on the issue. I’ve just followed the popular media on the issue. I haven’t done the research on the topic that I would need to form a firm opinion.
Disclaimer: These are all ‘soft’ thoughts about the situation. I haven’t had a need to solidify my beliefs about the Iraq situation, though it should be evident from this journal entry where I currently stand.
I’ve thought for a long while that an embargo war would be moderately successful against Iraq, pulling them into a more passive role in world politics. It bugged me that I rarely heard about the Iraqi government; it was always about Saddam. I didn’t really think that one man ruled the country… maybe it was ruled by a small government, but not 1 man. I felt that the media had skewed our impression, putting a single face on a whole country.
When George Dubbya talked about the situation, I assumed that…. well, Dubbya just doesn’t look like an honest man to me.
Dubbya has a few speech giving habits that make me think he’s a big fat liar. I recently watched him closely for these habits and a hugely prominent one is his inappropriate smiles. He’ll say something serious like, “The Axis of Evil must be put down at any cost.” And then he’d smile with an intensity. That smile has always said to me, “You and I both know exactly what has to be done and why. We have this mutual understanding. We are completely together on this. Our mission is so plain and clear before us. We’ve realized something together that is remarkable! Now let’s act” It’s the same smile that a teacher might show a student to emphasize a point of Eureka, that epiphany moment when the student is supposed to ‘get it’. Well screw you, Dubbya. Your body language and mouth aren’t on the same page! You’re trying to suck me into your fantastic realization, but you haven’t explained anything to me bo me besides your dislike for the “Axis of Evil”… and you haven’t even tried to convince me that this axis IS evil. And he never does present an argument… it’s always just an opinion. He looks shifty, not like a leader.
Another awful habit, that he has, is to put, pauses in at completely inappropriate, moments. I listened to part of one of his speeches, today and found it almost unlistenable. It’s like he’s always pausing, so that a translator, can catch up, to him. It drives me, crazy!
Ah, but I digress. Let’s get back to my soft opinions about Iraq.
It also often bugged me that I never heard anything from the Iraqi government. Maybe the US or the media was stifling their voice. Maybe the Iraqi government was keeping a lid on everything. There’s a LOT of play there! Where is the Iraqi voice? And I know that the language of politics isn’t one that I can trust. For example, when it came up that the huge Iraqi disclosure paperwork was missing some weapons and some chemicals. Well, maybe the Iraqis buried them and really never wanted to use them again but it was more of a pain to destroy them than to just bury them…. of course they could never admit to having them in the first place or the bully Americans would cry foul. OR, maybe the Iraqis are busy loading smallpox into ICBMs and that’s why we couldn’t find them. I’m not qualified to say which is the truth, especially not by listening to the international politicians.
One of my alert mechanisms that I’ve relied on and has served me well is my wariness of repetition. If someone repeats something many many times, and goes to lengths to make sure I hear the message over and over, I become suspicious. I know that human psychology is wired so that we want to fit in… to believe what everyone else believes. This mechanism is played upon every day by advertisers and politicians trying to sway our opinions. And, by and large, it works. People buy Louis Vuittion handbags and Massingil douche regardless of their own style or the helpfulness of douching. So when our president tells me at every opportunity that we should blow up Saddam, but he doesn’t give a solid reason, bells go off in my head.
Then I saw Colin Powell. He sat there showing photographs and taped recordings of legitimately extremely suspicious behavior. My opinion shifted. The most striking and dramatic revelation to me was the satellite photos. He showed photos of a suspected weapons production facility. Two days before the inspectors showed up, a whole mess of trucks pulled up and took “something” away. When the inspectors showed up, the place was empty. He said this scramble took place over thirty times. Ok, you’ve got my attention.
I’ve rarely heard the voices of Iraqi people. Travis’ article gives some of them a voice and also tells me why I haven’t heard from them. From my previous close contact experiences with far-left politics, I feel empowered to mutter to myself, “Bleeding fucking liberals. They’re so wrapped up in their own frigging cause that they don’t even know what their real cause is.”