"Nothing to report from Iraq's front, America"

Sixty-nine years ago, after a bloody 68-day siege, Col. Moscardó welcomed one of Franco’s generals who had come to liberate his “blue” insurrectionists holding on to the ruins of Toledo’s Alcázar with the greeting: “Sin novedad en el Alcázar, mi general.” [“Nothing to report from the Alcazar, general.”] That sentence capped a heroic resistance, and the sacrifice of Moscardó’s own son; a sentence immortalized, and one that became a battle cry for the rebel forces in the Spanish Civil War… where not all “blues” were as fascistic as made out to be, nor all “reds” as communistic as often portrayed. Only color that really stood out in the end was “black”… the true color for the million people, or about 4% of Spain’s population then, who died during the three-year conflict, one which only proved man’s inhumanity to man.

After a two and one-half year siege of Americans’ patience, Bush, emulating mythical Moscardó, tells the citizenry at home that there is “nothing to report from Iraq ’s front.” No, not using those words… but in actions or, better yet, inactions. Relentlessly, he keeps focus by underlining one thing, his pledge at any cost and sacrifice to complete “the mission.” Whatever that mission was, is, or will turn out to be.

People around the world, not just the United States , recall how initially the mission was one of security for the US (imminent threat by Saddam Hussein). That mission was restated soon after the invasion, and the “invisible” WMD, as the new front for the war on terror(ism); a few months later re-restated as one of liberty and freedom (better known as the democratization of Iraq ). And now it seems to be re-restated yet one more time, as Bush and his entourage make the rounds to friendly and cleansed (of criticism) American audiences, as a pledge to complete the mission “on behalf of those fallen.” A shameful and sordid lineup of politically motivated lies!

The upcoming finalization of Iraq ’s constitution, to be followed by the referendum in October (to approve it or not) will be another milestone in the never-ending list of reasons, or excuses, to keep American troops- and interests, there. “The position of this government is clear- that as Iraqis stand up, we’ll stand down,” Bush has said.

Now, all we need to do is find out how Iraqis are supposed to stand up, to suit our needs; and how the White House defines standing down. This administration has a history for being long on catchy phrases with good PR value, and short, way short, on being upfront with the truth.

Confronting and dealing with wholesome, honest criticism is not in the cards for this president. Ask Cindy Sheehan, a grieving mother of a fallen American soldier in Iraq , now camping body and soul outside Bush’s Crawford ranch. She is there determined to meet the Commander-In-Chief responsible for her son’s death, and to express to him, as the man who holds the power of life and death for those in the US military, face to face, her one and only desire… and that is “that no one else, not one mom, should have to lose her son in Iraq.”

Here is a president who purposefully, if blindly, took his nation to war, brandishing with equal mastery ignorance and incompetence, yet one unwilling to make amends with a coating of truth, whitewashing all events, instead, with the brush of his power.

Moscardó, in much of an Abrahamic sacrifice (for his ideals, not God), no matter how misguided this action may seem to some, caused his son Luis to be executed when he refused to surrender the Alcázar. Sheehan in turn, had her son’s life cut short by the decisions of Bush, an elected leader entrusted by the people of the US to be prudent in his exercise of power.

But make no mistake… Bush is no Moscardó. The latter sacrificed his son’s life for a cause, while Bush sacrificed Sheehan’s son and other Americans’ lives without cause, right or reason to do so. Notwithstanding the lives of Iraqis and the well-being of a nation that had not done, nor intended to do, the United States any harm.

Sin novedad from the White House, America … and the world! Bush’s America can be counted on to stay the course.