Is there anything we can accuse our adversaries of that we are
not now guilty of ourselves: Intervention in foreign affairs,
violations of international law, defiance of the Geneva conventions,
contravention of democracy, fostering conflict and supplying arms to
From torture to aggressive war, from the
nullification of Habeas Corpus to illegal spying, from denial of human
rights to denial of planetary catastrophe, we have as a nation mastered
the art of denying hard truths.
In the eyes of the world, we
are a nation that has lost its way. In the eyes of our leadership, we
are a nation that never makes mistakes. We are a nation of impregnable
virtue. We are a nation incapable of nefarious intent or crimes against
The hard truth is we are a nation so cowardly or
foolhardy that we cannot accept even the possibility that we have done
wrong, any wrong, when in fact we have done greater wrong than any
nation on earth at this time in history.
We can the debate the
culpability of the Sudanese government in the genocide of Darfur but we
cannot debate the accountability of our government in what will one day
be widely recognized as genocide in Iraq.
We can debate the
future of post occupation Iraq but we cannot acknowledge that Iraqi
collaborators have their own debt to pay just as the Vichy French did
in occupied France. We are accountable for upheaval in that country and
fueling natural divides with explosives and a blow torch but those who
chose to side with a foreign power, regardless of motive or rationale,
must have their own demons to confront.
It is a hard truth but one that can no longer be left unspoken.
hard truth is that we have shattered Iraq and its repair will require
both time and international diplomacy. It will require bloodletting and
violent reprisal but justice mandates that the occupying power cannot
be allowed to control its outcome.
We are responsible for the damage done but that is where our responsibility ends.
hard truth is the community of nations cannot allow an aggressor to
profit from its crimes. The world cannot stand idly by while we remain
entrenched inside impregnable fortresses and barricaded embassies.
Rather, we must be removed from the equation for the peopleâ€™s will to
What this nation needs now is the courage to
confront the hard truths. We have betrayed our founding principles. We
have betrayed the community of nations. We have lost our way and the
longer we hide our heads in Arabian sand, the greater the harm.
time, the world will recover from the disaster in Iraq. In time, Iraq
will find a way to heal the wounds that we have ripped open by our
bloody invasion, brutal occupation, by our subterfuge and meddling in
the name of peacekeeping.
The hard truth is: We are the disease and we must be removed before the victim dies, before the patient can begin to heal.
philosophers who take to the pulpit in warning of dark and dire
consequences, who plead for more time, more treasure, more deadly
weapons, and more deaths, they are not practitioners of the healing
arts; they are magicians; they are third rate armchair warriors who
have already co-authored the greatest foreign policy blunder in modern
Future historians will gape and wonder at the
monumental folly, mendacity and arrogance of the Bush White House and
its co-conspirators in the governing elite.
At any cost, with
as little delay as humanly possible, we must get out of Iraq â€“ not only
for our own benefit but first and foremost for the Iraqi people.
is the final and ultimate posture of arrogance to believe that Iraqis
cannot and should not create their own post-Saddam nation.