Unfinished War

Edna Yaghi’s Column


Prompted by recent scenes on CNN about The Unfinished War, I came to the conclusion that I am exceedingly proud of what my fellow Americans accomplished during the Gulf War. The only thing that really bothers me though is that the American government didn’t quite finish what it started. The aging but successfully wimpy former president George Bush Sr. tried to achieve in 43 days of fighting, what took Hitler and Stalin years to accomplish. This is a feat that would make any red-blooded American very pleased.

What especially stirs me emotionally and spiritually is that in 1990, on Christmas Eve, a time for peace and love, Reverend Billy Graham, the gospel spreader, paid old Georgie a White House visit and personally blessed the launching of a campaign to liquidate the Iraqi people. Perhaps the good reverend was a bit tipsy, you know, had one Christmas drink too many. Perhaps he thought that killing Iraqis was the Christian thing to do. Perhaps he thought that by a massive bombing campaign on Iraqi civilians, peace, brotherly love and joy would be spread and that his special Christmas message would be more meaningful. Perhaps he was so concerned about the Kuwaitis that he endorsed whatever it took to rid the tiny sheikdom of Iraqi forces. Perhaps the biblical adage of turn the other cheek had given shifted in the good preacher’s mind to a yin for carnage and a bit of coup de grace, or perhaps the old reverend, powdered hair, makeup and all, wanted to forge brave new doctrines that would inspire generations of Christians to come. Perhaps he wanted to reenact the role of Judas Iscariot when he condoned and encouraged Desert Storm, perhaps he felt a bit of the same kind of power enjoyed by Herod or Pontius Pilate.  Perhaps he was thirsty for blood as long as it was not his own or that of his children. Only his hairdresser and Lady Clairol know for sure what actually went on in the benevolent mind of Reverend Graham.

America is supposed to be the only super power in the world. I am amazed therefore, why it didn’t go and fight one little country all by itself. I can imagine the arm twisting it took, the bribes and the coercion involved to line up a 29-member coalition of countries that would valiantly and in solidarity, carry out the heaviest bombing campaign in the history of the world against a single country. Of course, it all makes sense to me now. The goal was to get Iraq out of Kuwait and to get rid of the “butcher” Saddam Hussein. Well, Iraq did leave Kuwait by the coalition’s gentle persuasion. As for the butcher, he is still in power but he vowed that one day he would have to take lessons from Georgie Sr. on how to annihilate en masse lots of people. I’m really proud of my former president George Bush Sr. It took a lot of courage to watch from the distant shores of our remote but safe America, all the carnage he was responsible for. And the speech he gave at the end of the war was so inspiring. Such tenacity. Such verbosity. Such eloquence. A speech that reminded me of the Gettysburg Address, with a few minor changes, such as instead of a tone of remorse, there was a slight, mind you, a slight, tone of arrogance. For a moment, I thought I saw a scene flash before me of a mask of evil donned by a demon, but then I looked again and saw only the loving caring eyes of a mass executioner. And I know that our George did not wage this war because of his own personal oil interests. Such a tactic would be a thing to which he would never ever stoop.

After 5 é weeks of an intense bombing campaign and more than 100,000 flights by coalition planes, Iraq’s forces were severely damaged. The direct war casualties were 100,000 Iraqis dead. The Iraqi people were also economically devastated, militarily defeated and politically isolated. It was very touching to see all the yellow ribbons tied around American trees because of all the decimation and destruction that the coalition forces wreaked. Remember, the only good Iraqi is a dead one, but all Americans are automatically good simply because they are American. Long live all our presidents.

After the political demise of our dear George, our forty-second president Bill Clinton, swept into power with such charismatic enigma and then went on to inspire billions of people the world over by setting a fine moral example. Even more inspiring, he lied about his ménage de trios without even blinking an eye. And thanks to Bill and of course, George Sr. too, over a million Iraqis have died due to the sanctions. More than half these dead were children. In protest to the sanctions, 3 international relief officers resigned. Am I missing something here or what? Imagine the fact that Americans spend over a billion of their tax dollars to sustain the sanctions. This means that we Americans are paying for the genocide that our government provides free of charge to the Iraqis. Most impressive.

Heyyyyyy. Remember our soldiers who came back home with the Gulf Syndrome? Well, some scientists believe that they were really exposed to all the depleted uranium that we dumped on the Iraqi civilians. Iraq has had an enormous increase of cancer cases, including juvenile leukemia. But that’s not our problem. We have more than enough to worry about. We have to keep our dogs and cats well fed and cared for. And sometimes, when we are feeling especially generous, charitable and humane, we go out of our way to find stranded whales on our American shores and bring them back to life. But then, they are not Iraqis after all.

So, when there is talk about “The Unfinished War,” I keep wondering what more devastation and despoilment can we inflict other than what we have already unleashed? All we can do now is pray that Billy Graham doesn’t pay another religiously motivated Kill and Destroy visit to George Jr. Remember that George Jr. has experienced a spiritual re-birth and no one knows to what great lengths his indulgences will take him and us. Let us hope that his doesn’t follow the prelapsarian footsteps of his father on the path to his own Prince of Darkness. 

God bless America. For justice and freedom we stand. 

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