December 20, 2004
“Okay, I deceived you – and myself, too, I guess – to get us into Iraq. But that doesn’t matter anymore. People are giving me a pass. We’re at war. More than ten thousand Americans have been wounded in combat and more than a thousand died. That means nine out of ten wounded are surviving. That’s an extraordinary testament to our helmets and vests which often save the body but, unfortunately, not the arms and legs and face. We’ll probably have an even higher rate of survival now that we’ve received some reporter-planted complaints from soldiers and had to speed up armoring vehicles. I also have to thank our doctors who save lives by instantly operating in combat zones. Our pilots and airplanes are great too. They can get the most severely wounded warriors back to the United States in four days. During the Viet Nam War that took six weeks; and only one in four wounded survived the communists, who were planning to conquer us.
“Now we’ve got a lot to be thankful for. Those civilian casualties the liberal media have been telling you about aren’t ours. I’m also sure the reports are exaggerated, those claiming that the United States has killed ten thousand Iraqi civilians. And those estimates of fifteen or twenty thousand dead are way off. We pride ourselves on limiting collateral damage. And I guess I’m lucky I don’t spend much time thinking about how many Iraqis we’ve mangled. There’s no way their medical care is as good as ours, so I’ll bet no more than three-quarters of their casualties survive. So let’s say we’ve wounded or maimed sixty thousand Iraqi noncombatants, at most. It’s unfortunate, but we’ve got to do this or sure as hell it’ll soon be happening in Des Moines.
“I’d like to call our enemies in Iraq terrorists but you know the word everyone insists on using – insurgents. They really are a primitive bunch, cutting off people’s heads, planting roadside bombs, and trying to force people to be as backward as they are. They’re the worst. But there aren’t that many of them. That’s what I believe anyway, and hope you do too. I’d frequently been told, and then told you, there were only a handful of foreign terrorists. Then last spring I heard there were as many as three thousand insurgents, most from Iraq. And we quickly killed at least three thousand of them. But up popped reports they then numbered five thousand or more. I can’t figure that out. I know the liberal media is lying about my policies creating more enemies. Anyway, we soon killed ten thousand or more of them. So what do I read this week? Hell, now there are twelve, eighteen, even twenty thousand insurgents. I’m not going to admit it, but it looks like every time we kill one, two take his place.
“As badly as I’ve screwed things up, there really is a chance that something wonderful will happen. Late next month, as you know, there will be democratic elections for the first time in the several thousand year history of Iraq. Damn, that means Iraq is even older than the world so many of my followers and I believe in. Anyway, the Iraqi people will have a chance at liberty. I can’t imagine they don’t want it. I’m just concerned, very privately, that they don’t want it badly enough. They don’t seem to want freedom as badly as the insurgents want repression. That’s what it looks like, doesn’t it? All the time I get these reports of ten, twenty, or thirty Iraqi police officers being slaughtered while on duty in their jail. Or sometimes they’re marched out front and shot in the head. It’s about the same with Iraqi soldiers. They’re often ambushed. Awhile back that sure was embarrassing when we’d just trained fifty soldiers then sent them home unarmed riding a bus, and all of them were forced onto the ground and murdered. How do you explain those wartime soldiers being unarmed? More importantly today – do Iraqi police or soldiers ever kill any insurgents?
“Don’t tell me you wouldn’t have screwed up too if you’d tried to run a war like this, or any other. The bottom line is if the Iraqi people want democracy, we’ve given them the opportunity to have it. If they can’t defend themselves against the insurgents – aided by our soldiers, arms, and money – then they don’t want what we’re offering. And I’m vowing now, in the strictest confidence, that I’m not going to keep more than a handful of U.S. troops there beyond this time next year, at the latest.”
Clark is the author of two books. The latest review of HITLER HERE – by Historical Novels Review Online – can be read on his web page.