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Challenging the Culture of Obedience | The Nation

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Challenging the Culture of Obedience

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The truth has been established. Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks on the United States. There is no evidence of any operational ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda. And there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. What a tragedy, leading to greater tragedy. We are fed lie after lie, our media reinforces those lies, and we are a nation led to a tragic, illegal, unprovoked war.

About the Author

Ross C. Anderson
Former Salt Lake City Mayor Ross C. "Rocky" Anderson is founder and president of High Road for Human Rights.

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After eight years of misgovernment, Americans must join together to restore our democracy, the rule of law, and our nation's moral standing on history's high road.

We are here because of our values. We love our country. We cherish the freedoms and liberties of our country. We don't call those who speak out against our nation's leaders unpatriotic or un-American or appeasers of fascists.

We have good, wholesome family values. In our families, we teach honesty, we teach kindness and compassion toward others, we teach that violence, if ever justified, must be an absolutely last resort. In our families, we teach that our nation's constitutional values are to be upheld, and that they are worth standing up and fighting for. Our family values promote respect and equal rights toward everyone, regardless of race, ethnic origin, and sexual orientation. In our families, we teach the value of hard work and competence--and we are left to wonder about a President who, after receiving an intelligence memo about the threat posed by Al Qaeda, decides to continue his month-long vacation--just before the 9/11 attacks on our country.

As we demand the truth from others, let us also face the truth. Our government all too often has not cared about the human rights of people in other nations--and it doesn't really care about democracy, unless it leads to the election of those who will do our bidding. Consider the irony regarding the claims that Saddam had chemical weapons and, because of that, we needed to rush to war in Iraq. When Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons--first against Iranians, then against his own people, the Kurds - our country provided him with biological and chemical agents and equipment to make the weapons. Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush refused even to support economic sanctions against Hussein for his use of weapons of mass destruction. What did our nation do in response to Hussein's use of chemical weapons, killing tens of thousand of people, when he actually had them?

We befriended, coddled, and rewarded him--with government-guaranteed loans totaling $5 billion since 1983, freeing up currency for Hussein to modernize his military assets.

Perhaps those in the US government who aided and abetted Saddam Hussein to further US business interests, while he was gassing the Kurds, should be sharing his courtroom dock as he is being tried now for crimes against humanity. No more lies, no more hiding of the truth, no more wars that more than triple the value of stock in Dick Cheney's prior employer, Halliburton--and which, as of last September, has increased the value of the Halliburton CEO's stock by $78 million.

We are patriots. We're deeply concerned. And we demand change, now. No more lies from Condoleezza Rice about whether she and President Bush were advised before 9/11 of the possibility of planes being flown into buildings by terrorists.

No more gross incompetence in the office of the Secretary of Defense.

No more torture of human beings.

No more disregard of the basic human rights enshrined in the Geneva Convention.

No more kidnapping of people and sending them off to secret prisons in nations where we can expect they will be tortured.

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