Dear American Enterprise Institute: please go to Iraq
Sat Dec 23, 2006 23:21

Dear American Enterprise Institute: please go to Iraq
by margieburns on Sat 23 Dec 2006 10:19 AM EST

This is an open letter to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution for War and Peace, the Federalist Society, the Republican National Committee (RNC), the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), the editorial boards of the Weekly Standard and the Washington Times, and prominent media personalities connected to Fox News and to the programs of Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly: please go to Iraq.

Do not misunderstand this plea. This is not a request that you send your sons and daughters or your secretarial and clerical help into danger. While it can always be argued that your families and your employees benefit financially from your warmongering, you are still the persons responsible for your own actions and the persons who should shoulder the consequences of your actions, which have been so deadly that no one individual among you can ever make amends. Our system of government does not have positions of hereditary responsibility, and the sins of the fathers should not be visited on the children.

Forget “the twins.” You, gentlemen, ceaselessly promoted war with Iraq, regime change, an intensified arms race against lightly armed poor people around the globe, or all of the above. You promoted this dishonesty, greed and bloodshed with collectively hundreds of articles, on-air commentaries, endless panel discussions and quasi-academic or quasi-military conferences. You promoted the candidates for public office who supported your demented policies. You smeared, slandered, rebuffed and rejected candidates, scholars, and journalists who opposed them or even demurred at them, questioned them or tried to get them clarified. It would be far better that you – each of you, members or signatories or officers of the entities listed above – voluntarily shoulder the obligation of providing some small correction. You should go to Iraq -- you yourselves, not a picture – and you should stay there. Go to Iraq and work with your hands, your heads and your hearts for as long it takes.

(N.b.: If you genuinely cared about conservatism, you would have done it already. There is nothing conservative about what is going on now. Genuine conservatives do not police the world; drive a nation into deficit financing even for the sake of reducing a huge, self-confident middle class or working class to submission, debt and dependency; or attack individual civil liberties, the Bill of Rights and habeas corpus. The fact that these policies are not “liberal” does not make them “conservative.” Even states’ rights are a thing of the past, and without a peep from the “Federalist Society.” -- The what Society? The Federalist what? – Were “states’ rights” merely a code for upholding illegal segregation, as some of us suspected?)

My dear sirs (mostly), With your funding, your technological resources, and your international contacts, there must be much you could do in Iraq. You are amply supported by the conglomerates of Rupert Murdoch and the Reverend Mr. Moon. You receive many hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Scaife and Bradley foundations among others. You have networks around the world, at least in the overpaid, overpromoted, overcompensated parts of the world. You could hire Iraqi engineers to restore basic services and protect them while they did so. You could hire Iraqi teachers and guard their classrooms (yourselves). You could at the very least oppose the installation of more land mines and cluster bombs, work cooperatively to end the production of new land mines and cluster bombs, work to remove existing land mines and cluster bombs from the international market, and work to prevent their use anywhere in the world, starting with the Middle East.

If you were not tainted and compromised by the corrupt candidates and policies you have supported, you could help scrutinize and oversee Iraq contracting.

Perhaps these recommendations may be called unrealistic. Cavilers might argue that there is little that individuals such as David Addison, Reuel Gerecht, Brit Hume, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Rushworth Limbaugh III, Rupert Murdoch, Bill O’Reilly, Donald Rumsfeld, Tony Snow, or George F. Will could accomplish in Iraq. After all, aside from getting years of lucullan pay for promoting reverse-Robin-Hood economics and lethal militarism and strife, what have they accomplished here? Indeed, with all the uncertainties surrounding this topic, and with a sociopath and his wife in the White House, predictions are vain in more than one sense. However, gentlemen, there is indubitably one thing you could do in Iraq, and it is the thing happening so often that I need not name it.

And now I must in effect revoke this entire letter. The truth is that, as a human being, I would feel horrible if any of you were by some miracle to post yourselves in Iraq and were to be harmed. And the reason I would feel terrible is quite simple: I have a conscience.

My question for all of you: why don’t you feel the same?

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