Caitlín R. Kiernan on Iraq

July 13th, 2003 – 9:38 pm
Tagged as: Uncategorized

Last week writer Caitlín R. Kiernan posted to her weblog:

Months ago, I promised not to speak in this blog of the war in Iraq or President Bush. And I’ve kept my promise. I’d grown tired of the hate mail. So, I’ve sat here in silence, as we invaded and “won,” and the media giants played the Administration’s sock puppets, and the whole country went glassy eyed in a self-congratulatory, patriotic delirium. After all, maybe I was wrong. Maybe Bush and his Republican cronies were right about Hussein having great stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, maybe Iraq really was hiding primitive nuclear devices, and so on and so forth. But now, after 5,000-6,000 Iraqi citizens have died, after the deaths of more than 400 US soldiers and at least 100,000 Iraqi soldiers (how do we spell “lopsided”?), and the Bush Administration’s failure to turn up anything remotely resembling the vast storehouses of mass destruction of which we were warned, I’m beginning to rethink that silence. Oh, and if you want to know how I came by those numbers, just e-mail and I’ll tell you. On February 5th, Colin Powell told us that Iraq possessed “between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons . . . enough to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets.” So where are they? More importantly, why were they not deployed against Allied forces during the “war”? At this point, these aren’t only fair questions, they’re the sort of questions we should all be asking. Why has the Administration been unable to provide convincing evidence of the link between Osama bin Laden and Hussein? What about the apocalyptic figures Bush bandied about in a State of the Union address — 38,000 litres of botulinum toxin and 25,000 litres of anthrax? Where are they? To date, we have no WMDs. We have no connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda. We do have more than a hundred thousand dead people, a ravaged country, a bag of castor beans, and a few trucks that cannot conclusively be linked to the manufacture of bioweapons. More importantly, we are beginning to see admissions that the threat from Hussein was “hyped,” that we were all lied to by the President, his Administration, and the Pentagon, to insure the war would be accepted by the American people.

I don’t really feel like being quiet anymore, and I renounce my vow of silence.

I’m sure it comes as a surprise to no one who reads this weblog that I feel the same way about all of this, but I decided to pass this along because I like the way Caitlín said it. I’m sure that now that she’s ended her vow of silence, she’ll have more to say on the subject, so go check out her weblog (and buy a copy of her brilliant novel Silk too).

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