It seems the hits to the Iraqi people just keep coming. During President George W. Bush’s ultimatum speech Monday night, he spoke directly to the Iraqi people, assuring them that the United States would help them rebuild their country once Saddam Hussein was out of power. And Thursday, during a Pentagon press conference, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld again addressed the Iraqi people, telling them to stay in their homes and listen to the radio to learn how to get food and water.
While the sentiments may be meant to encourage and reassure the Iraqis, they are condescending remarks that assume the Iraqi people are happy the United States is invading their country and further prove the Bush Administration’s ego-trip.
Chances are, the Iraqis are not thrilled about the U.S.-led invasion of their country. No one would be. For the Bush Administration to think that thousands of troops at the Iraqi border coupled with bombs dropping in the middle of the night will encourage Iraqis to view Americans as heroes, only proves their belief that anything done through force should be rewarded with thanks and praise.
Rumsfeld’s remarks Thursday further prove the egotistical vein that is overtaking Washington, D.C. The Iraqis are probably not listening to American speeches, they probably don’t care about American speeches, and they probably have as much faith that the Americans will be successful in their campaign to oust Saddam as they do that this war is about freeing them. Never mind the fact that Bush cautioned the Iraqi military not to destroy oil pumps as a retaliatory measure. If anyone needed further proof that this war was about oil, there it is.
Bush, Rumsfeld and the rest of the government should focus on the mission they have set out to do. They should stop addressing the Iraqi people and prepare themselves for a less-than-warm welcome when and if the war ends and is successful. The Iraqi people have enough to worry about, and while they’re dodging bombs, they probably don’t have much faith that Americans are going to help rebuild what they have destroyed.