Finally, a "perfect storm" of insults was hurled at the "leader of the Free World" the President of the United States for his pre-emptive invasion of a sovereign nation, his indiscriminate killing of civilians, his decimation of a civilization's cultural identity. As has been his wont, he ducked, bobbed and weaved, but there is no avoiding the fact that this was/still is/will always remain Bush's blunder. Well, his and his cadre of "best and brightest;" Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Libby, Abrams, Bolton; collectively the PNAC. These were Bush's behind-the-scenes folk, remnants from the Reagan era, domino theorizing Cold Warriors that never defrosted upon the collapse of the Soviet Union thereby disproving that theory used to extract some $6 Trillion dollars over four decades from the American people fighting a hobgoblin called Communism. If you want to know why the United States really went to war with Iraq, read my article Operation Iraqi Freedom: The Why of War written two weeks prior to the invasion (with tense-change edits after the fact) meaning the charge of WMDs was known to be a false premise prior to unleashing our sick Shock and Awe devastation.
Approaching six years after our Mission Accomplished boast, George "W" Bush took an ill-advised in-your-face farewell "victory" lap and was slapped with the reality of his hubris. Iraq is not won over. As stipulated prior to the invasion of 2003, it is not possible to bring "acceptable" democracy to this nation where 60 percent of the population are Shiite with a long history of being brutally oppressed by a minority Sunni population unless the United States is ready to accept radical Islamic dominance as governing authority. Once the American presence is gone, Iraq will become a gigantic free-for-all with Shi'a Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army as rising star.
American forces are now to be redirected into Afghanistan in order to defeat terrorism. Pathetically absurd. So obviously wrong-headed that it shouldn't need to be explained. Yet, a majority of Americans are not only biting, but swallowing whole this ludicrous notion. If we are to stop terrorism, we must go to the source of such lethal animosity. That source is Israel. Public Enemy #1, Osama bin Laden himself, in a speech dated 29 October 2004 stated, "People of America this talk of mine is for you and concerns the ideal way to prevent another Manhattan, and deals with the war and its causes and results. Before I begin, I say to you that security is an indispensable pillar of human life and that free men do not forfeit their security, contrary to Bush's claim that we hate freedom… No, we fight because we are free men who don't sleep under oppression. We want to restore freedom to our nation, just as you lay waste to our nation. So shall we lay waste to yours. No one except a dumb thief plays with the security of others and then makes himself believe he will be secure. Whereas thinking people, when disaster strikes, make it their priority to look for its causes, in order to prevent it happening again. But I am amazed at you. Even though we are in the fourth year after the events of September 11th, Bush is still engaged in distortion, deception, and hiding from you the real causes. And thus, the reasons are still there for a repeat of what occurred. So I shall talk to you about the story behind those events and shall tell you truthfully about the moments in which the decision was taken, for you to consider. I say to you, Allah knows that it had never occurred to us to strike the towers. But after it became unbearable and we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the American/Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind. The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982, when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began, and many were killed and injured, and others were terrorized and displaced. I couldn't forget those moving scenes: blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy. The situation was like a crocodile meeting a helpless child, powerless except for his screams. Does the crocodile understand a conversation that doesn't include a weapon? And the whole world saw and heard, but it didn't respond. In those difficult moments, many hard-to-describe ideas bubbled in my soul, but in the end they produced an intense feeling of rejection of tyranny, and gave birth to a strong resolve to punish the oppressors."
The 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon of which bin Laden spoke: some 20,000 civilians lost their lives in the first couple of days of savage, unilateral bombardment; citizens of village sabra-shatilla were massacred then bulldozed en masse into mass graves; the paper of record The New York Times failed to report any of the preceding; NY Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman wrote a big, thick award winning book From Beirut to Jerusalem and failed to mention the preceding facts; not to mention that despite a bloody century-long history of Zionist usurpation and occupation of Palestine, despite the daily humiliations inflicted on millions of Palestinians, despite the utter hypocrisy of America's stance on nuclear proliferation when Israel has more missile ready nukes at their disposal than all "terrorist" countries combined and yet remains beyond the bounds of accounting for this untoward transgression, despite the Arab world's impotence vis-à-vis American Empire backing of mad dog Israel's repeated asymmetrical aggressions against millions of Palestinians, despite Israel's illegal forays into sovereign airspace and bombing Iraq's nuclear facilities, despite a history of ignoring more United Nations resolutions than any other nation in the world, despite the century of terrorism perpetrated by Israel against the regions minions, only then did it occur to bin Laden that retribution was in order.
Wouldn't any reasonable person conclude that Osama bin Laden is quite a restrained individual rather than the wild and wooly blood-thirsty psychotic that he's portrayed to be? The man tells us what it's all about. And?
President-elect Obama has stated his intention to root out terrorism by putting more troops into Afghanistan. This will, once again (a la Bush), create a magnate for radicalized mujahedeen to learn their trade and make connections for strengthening their war against the oppressors. That's us as in U.S.
All of the above and now the devastation of Iraq along with abuses of Abu Ghraib serve as daily context for an entire people. The Arab sees reality through the lens of reality. And so it was, this huge burden of abuse and outrage brutally shouldered without mercy for a century, weighing on the mind of Muntadar al-Zaidi as he witnessed the indifferent Bush chanting his mantra of victory even as the objective of American invasion is lost forever. No doubt overcome by such effrontery, al-Zaidi sought to express his outrage with the worst insults available to his culture. He removed his shoe and yelled "This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is a farewell kiss, you dog!" before hurling the shoe at the sneering Bush. "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq," he yelled before hurling his other shoe.
Yet, what did our President take away from this occurrence? "That's what people do in a free society, draw attention to themselves;" this, as al-Zaidi was heard screaming "like a woman" as one of Prime Minister Maliki's stooges reported upon the beating by security guards. While across the face of a planet, countless legions make room in their hearts for another true peoples' hero, Muntadar al-Zaidi.
Okay, you've read this. Go read my article mentioned above. Then, tell me, how proud you are to be an American?