and the Bush Legacy
How Bush created a "kill for free" zone
Imagine a universe where a man can gun down women
and children anytime he pleases, knowing he will
never be brought to justice. A place where morality
is null and void, and arbitrary killing is the rule.
A place that has been imagined hitherto only
in nightmarish dystopian fiction, like “1984,” or in fevered
passages from Dostoevsky—or which existed during
the Holocaust and Stalinist purges and the Dark Ages.
Well, that universe exists today. It is called
Iraq. And the man who made it possible is George W. Bush.
Take the case of the Blackwater guard who got
drunk at a Green Zone party last Christmas Eve and
reportedly boasted to his friends that he was
going to kill someone. According to both Iraqi and U.S.
officials, he stumbled out and headed provocatively
over to the “Little Venice” section, a lovely area of
canals where Iraqi officials live. He had an
argument with an Iraqi guard, then shot him once in the chest
and three times in the back. The next day Blackwater
put him on a private plane out of the country
—probably only because the incident involved
a rare killing inside the Green Zone and the victim was
a security guard for a high-ranking politician.
That was it. The company has refused to disclose his name.
As anyone who has been in Iraq (like me) knows,
on the ground the unspoken Bush rule has been that
almost all Iraqis, at least the males, are guilty
until proven innocent. Arrests, beatings and sometimes
killings at the hands of security firms and sometimes
U.S. military units are arbitrary, often based on the
flimsiest intelligence, and Iraqis have no recourse
whatever to justice except in a few cases like Haditha.
Imagine the sense of helpless rage that emerges
from this sort of treatment. Apply three years of it and
you have a furious, traumatized population. And
a country out of control.
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