Don Williams
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Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email

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Don Williams comments

Bush Wars Have Only Begun
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   09/22/2007)


A lie so big and bold and in your face that if you believe it you must be one of the fools Bush had in mind when he joked in March of 2001, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on."

Yes you can believe much progress has been made in Iraq during the Surge if you don't count:

* Those shot in the front of the head. That's a sign of domestic violence dontcha know?

* Shiites killed by unknown killers.

* Sunnis killed by unknown killers.

* Shia on Shia violence.

* Sunni on Sunni violence.

* The largest increase in American deaths since the war began.

Don't believe me? Read Karen DeYoung's story in the Sept. 6 "Washington Post."

I'm not fooling. Nor lying. Nor spinning to suit dogma. I leave that to those busy duping the faith-based community. So trust me when I suggest….

If you've been thinking of moving to Costa Rica? Canada? The wine country of France? Some place, any place, to get away from the insanity that's seized our country and squandered the opportunity we had to address real problems--say, global warming, social security, Osama bin Laden, electoral malfeasance—then before you pack your bags, take a good look around, and ask yourself....

Did the media look this lie in the eye? Refute it? Offer equal time to the truth?

Did your brother Merle, your father-in-law Max--those Fox News addicts of the family--come away from the past week's events truly believing Gen. Petraeus and George W. Bush had shown peace and democracy are on the way in Iraq? Did Congress do anything meaningful to shut down the war? Are we going to meekly go along… Again? Will we swallow the lie that a nine-month draw-down returning us to occupation levels of 2006 is a meaningful act?

Or will a mass movement rise up to hold Bush / Cheney accountable for yet another bait-and-switch maneuver? Unless you're willing to sign onto such a truth-and-responsibility movement, then yes, maybe you'd better leave, because things won't get better soon. Our military, our leaders, our media, your brother Merle, your father-in-law Max, have let us down. They'll believe anything.

The Big Lie they swallowed this time around will have us killing and squandering what's left of our humanity until the end of time. That could come sooner than you think. What they've signed onto is nothing short of the Neocon plan for American dominance through endless war, marked by torture, kidnapping, new nukes and worse.

We should've impeached Bush and Cheney years ago. Just listen to their brassy parade of lies.

Bush claims he didn't know of Paul Bremer's plans to disband Saddam's army in 2003. He still tries to make the connection between Iraq and 9/11. He blames Iran for most of our failures. Acts as though the promise to fall back to pre-Surge levels is a Christmas present unrelated to the dismal reality that he's stretched our military to the breaking point. Pretends the war is progressing on an upward curve. Says Gen. Petraeus arrived at all his recommendations independently, even though a fool could see they're singing from the same Hymnal. But first, a fool has to look.

If the media, judicial and political establishments of this nation dance to tunes emanating from Petraeus' mouth—the mouth of a man who would be president--it proves we'll dance to any pied piper who comes along, sow any seed handed us as we dance, and reap dragon's teeth for generations.

Listen, the Law of Unintended Consequences will not be revoked. Above all, it's that folksy law our president breaks time and again on his way to undermining statutory law and settling Oedipal scores. What has blown my mind during the entire Bush presidency is how willing so many have been to pretend there are no unintended consequences of such poor judgment.

How could we not know that if we deposed Saddam and held "free elections" that angry Shiites would take over and have their revenge on minority Sunnis? That al-Qaida would move in and exploit the situation.

That if Shiites took over Baghdad they'd make common cause with Shia brethren in Iran?

How could we not have reported on the Downing Street memos that proved Bush cooked the books in drumming up this war?

Evidence that Bush's war machine effectively escorted bin Laden to the Pakistan border and let him get away when pinned down at Tora Bora?

How could we meekly go along when Bush embraced Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, which had everything to do with bin Laden, and visited Shock and Awe on Iraq, which had nothing to do with him? ABC reported last week that rich Saudis remain the biggest contributors to al-Qaida, whose leaders are holed up where? Inside our "ally," Pakistan.

How could we let Bush 43 gloss over the reality that Reagan and Bush handed Afghanistan to the Taliban and provided Saddam's Iraq with military technology? Was there no lesson there?

How could we ignore that it would take years to placate Iraq, rather than weeks promised by Paul Wolfowitz?

How could we have muzzled those who predicted this war would cost billions if not trillions, as we glibly reprinted the lie that the war would pay for itself?

How could we have refrained from asking the oil-men and women running foreign policy to tell us their thoughts about Iraqi oil?

How could we have failed to ask Bush if he was fulfilling Biblical prophecy?

How could we have ignored the real truth of Valerie Plame, Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman? That they were all co-opted into the Big Lie against their wills?

That the UN testimony Colin Powell consistently and publicly regrets came from people we tortured or bribed? Why are al-Libi, Chalibi and Curveball not household names?

How could we not have seen that war and terror would spread to Lebanon and Israel, Pakistan and India? Iran and Syria?

Why have Bush and Cheney not been impeached for war crimes and more?

The answer is that some did see, some did bear witness. I can prove that I made most of the above points years back, as did that erstwhile conservative, Charley Reese, good old liberal Molly Ivins and a handful of others who consistently wrote the truest things we could think despite spin and hype and fog of wartime politics and pressure from good ol' Merle and Max and our boss named Jack. Such opinions were read by millions on the Internet and in some of the nation's papers. Unfortunately, the same talking heads you see on TV today broadcast Bush's lies to hundreds of millions. The same so-called journalists who beat the drums for war with Iraq now beat drums for war with Iran. I'm shocked but I'm not surprised how the media glossed over Gen. Petraeus' saber-rattling against Iran during his Congressional testimony. This does not bode well.

If we make it through the Bush / Big Media ventriloquist act another year without going to war with Iran, it won't be for lack of complicity. Even if we don't end up bombing Iran, we'll be in Iraq for years to come unless good Democrats, good Republicans, good Independents and above all, good reporters and publishers discover integrity and fortitude. Don't count on that. Better buy those tickets to Costa Rica or wake up and join the movement for honesty in government. Honesty in media.

Because the truth is, Bush's war has only begun.