According to the AP, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called out President George W. Bush as a coward yesterday for his refusal to personally fight in Iraq, especially in light of his glib response in 2003 to increased attacks on U.S. forces by Iraqi insurgents: “bring ’em on.“
But in a move that can’t possibly backfire, Secretary Rice did call someone else a coward: perhaps the most popular man in Iraq, cleric and head of the Mahdi army, Moqtada al-Sadr.
As the AP reports:
“I know he’s sitting in Iran,” Miss Rice said dismissively, when asked about Sheik al-Sadr’s latest threat to lift a self-imposed cease-fire with government and U.S. forces. “I guess it’s all-out war for anybody but him,” Miss Rice said. “I guess that’s the message; his followers can go to their deaths and he’s in Iran.”
The exact same comments, of course, could be applied more justly to President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and, well, Rice herself. All used lies to sell a war they had no intension of ever fighting. In fact, both Bush and Cheney spent the majority of their college years actively avoiding fighting in another foreign war of aggression that they both supported in Vietnam.
But don’t expect the committed torturers and warmongers that fill the upper echelon of the American state to ever once look in the mirror. Al-Sadr is a despicable coward because he will send others into battle but doesn’t fight himself — despite the fact that al-Sadr, at least, is taking a real risk with his life by opposing U.S. imperial ambitions in the region, and by even being involved in Iraqi politics in general.
In contrast, U.S. politicians are brave Churchillian leaders for having the courage and conviction to send poor, young American men and women off to die in a foreign land. So it goes being the most powerful country on the face of the Earth.