Report from Skopje, Macedonia
Bush War II
By James T. Phillips
09 October 2001
Eleven years ago George Bush the Elder distributed
money and threats to America's allies, then waged war against
people of Iraq. More than one million Iraqis, many of them
children under five years of age, have died since the opening
salvos of Mr. Bush's War in 1991. And, despite claims to
the contrary, that war did not end with the dramatic (and
brief) ground campaign orchestrated by General Norman Schwartzkopf.
It just goes on and on.
The thump-thump of war drums lasted
almost six months before the thump-thump of very large
munitions slammed into Iraqi
soil, cities, buildings and people. The American media
played the war songs, the American people listened attentively
the American government manipulated both media and citizenry
as it presented Mr. Bush's War as a conflict against the
forces of evil. Six weeks after the first bombs dropped
on Baghdad, victory was declared and the American military
feted with parades for the enlisted personnel and paychecks
for the officers who led them into battle.
The death toll
caused by bouncing rubble has never been officially recorded,
and most Americans have not concerned themselves
with the number of dead Iraqi men, women and children.
Mr. Bush's War was the war to end all Vietnams, and Americans
were grateful about not having to build another long black
wall of remembrance. The first hot war fought after the
of the Cold War would produce few American casualties;
their names could have been scratched on a small stone. The
black granite monument located in Washington D.C., etched
with tens of thousands of other names, would not be challenged
as the nation's Wailing Wall.
Bush War II, the war against
terrorism initiated by the attacks on New York's World
Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington,
is now being fought in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan.
A new international alliance of nations, many of them well
versed in the tactics of terrorism, has been created by
George the Younger. These new allies of America, like those
Mr. Bush's War of 1991, have also been paid off or threatened.
It is a coalition built upon money and fear, as well as
the dead bodies of those Americans buried beneath the rubble
in New York City.
Eleven years ago, Saddam Hussein was the
new Hitler, the leader of the fourth largest army on earth
and the invader
of the small nation of Kuwait. American leaders knew Saddam
and, until the invasion of Kuwait, he was their friend.
He was a bought and paid for ally. Saddam had fought against
Iran, America's enemy, for more than eight years; Saddam
invaded Iran, he terrorized the innocent and he killed
of thousands of Iranis. But, he was America's friend. Until
early August of 1990.
America's enemy du jour during the autumn
of 2001 is Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the
attacks in New York
City and Washington. American leaders also know Osama bin
Laden. He, too, was a friend of America during the last
hot war fought during the Cold War. It was a war pitting
Soviet Union against the people of Afghanistan, and America
covertly aided and abetted a motley crew of fighters, including
Osama bin Laden, in their battle against the evil Red Menace.
American leaders knew Osama. He was once a friend of America.
But, Osama is no Saddam.
Osama bin Laden won his war. The
Soviet Union withdrew its forces from Afghanistan; and,
as America turned its back
on the ragged and rugged people who fought against the
superpower, the Afghanis turned their guns on each other
the fighting. Afghanistan would disappear from the headlines.
A civil war in a Texas-sized Central Asian nation, with
limited resources to exploit, was of little importance to
Osama bin Laden was no longer a friend, just a forgotten
cog in a forgotten war.
Osama disappeared into the caves of
Afghanistan, and began plotting a new war against a different
superpower. His initial
attempts to draw America into a war failed; the body count
of innocent victims killed on American soil was minimal.
However, his actions did land him on a list of terrorists
who had to be neutered instead of nurtured. Osama bin Laden,
America's friend during the Soviet Union-Afghanistan war,
had become an enemy. And, on a late summer day in September
2001, Osama bin Laden would, allegedly, finally bring the
war home to his enemy.
From a cave in Afghanistan, Osama bin
Laden, according to rhetoric-laced orations and hidden
evidence, directed the
actions of the terrorists who, on September 11, destroyed
the World Trade Center, damaged the Pentagon and shattered
the illusions of millions of Americans. The terrorists
killed an estimated 7,000 innocent people in less than two
his office in the White House, President Bush, George the
Younger, accepted the declaration of war. He would fight
against those "barbarians" who killed Americans,
and he directed his government to engage the enemy. Blueprints
detailing how to fight a new war against an old friend were
available from previous Bush wars (Panama, Iraq). However,
the President's advisers had the common sense to understand
the difficulties of winning a war against an enemy fighting
from caves that are surrounded by mountains, scarred by battle
and steeled by ideology. Osama bin Laden, the terrorist allegedly
responsible for the murder of thousands of people, especially
Americans, is a difficult target to hit.
The government of
Afghanistan, a group of former students known as the Taleban
who were fed up with the civil war in
their country, took power in 1996. They allowed Osama bin
Laden to hunker down in their country. The Taleban have
created a nasty society of oppression and fear, one that
unwilling to ally itself with the new coalition against
terrorism. So, the Taleban have become the new enemy and
for them and the innocent people of Afghanistan, an easier
target to search out and destroy than is the elusive Osama
bin Laden. Bombs away.
The war against terrorism, Bush War
II, will be a never-ending battle of perceived good versus
alleged evil. Target number
one: the Taleban (with Osama's death a bonus). Target number
two: former friends turned terrorists; check the list, Saddam's
name is at the top. The war against terrorism, like Bush
War I, will go on and on.© The News Insider 2001James
T. Phillips, who sent this report from Skopje, Macedonia,
is a freelance journalist who has previously reported on
the conflicts in Iraq, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. Currently,
Phillips edits the web publication http://www.warReports.com.
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