Return of the DICKS!
(Awarding Our Warmongering Leaders)
by Heather Wokusch
October 4, 2002
It's that time again...
Last spring's DICK awards, in honor of US "Vice President" Dick Cheney (under investigation for accounting fraud in his role as CEO of Halliburton), honored outstanding achievements in the art of duping the masses and using public resources for personal gain.
But now that Zany Cheney is fightin' mad and ready to spill some blood (not his own, of course) by attacking Iraq - and eventually maybe the other 60 countries he has labeled as part of the "terrorist underworld" - a new breed of DICK is emerging: the Warmonger, eager to initiate global brawls and "take the battle to the enemy."
Yes, this is the same Dick Cheney who deferred the draft multiple times because he "had other priorities than military service," and as Secretary of Defense during the Gulf War registered cold surprise that the US casualties were so low. The Dick Cheney who recently addressed veterans' groups, and (oddly resembling Mr. Staypuff's scary twin) warned them of Saddam Hussein's pattern of skirting UN resolutions and sanctions, yet failed to mention that back in his own CEO days, Cheney's Halliburton had allowed its foreign subsidiaries and affiliates to skirt US sanctions on Iraq, selling more than $73 million in goods and services to Hussein's government. Cheney repeatedly cited Hussein's possession of chemical weapons as justification for a US attack, but failed to mention his own fight against an international convention on chemical weapons, or the fact that both the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations had sold chemical weapons to Iraq (right up until 1992 - even after it was revealed Hussein had gassed the Kurds at Halabja).
But details like history get lost with the smell of blood - or oil. So now that our Warmonger "leaders" insist it's time for battle, without further ado, (drum roll please ...) let's bring on the DICKS!
The nominations for Best Supporting Foreign Warmonger DICK were crowded with worthy hopefuls. Would the prize go to Australian Prime Minister John Howard for his "firm and faithful" commitment to Bush's global war on terrorism, or for the distinction of being the first foreign leader to hail Bush's pre-emptive military strike policy? Or would the award go to our man in Afghanistan, US-approved Hamid Karzai, whose response to escalating tribal violence and a recent assassination attempt consisted of a quick trip to the US?
Truly deserving candidates indeed, but one DICK rose above the rest, grandly outperforming all expectations. A big hand for that special friend, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair! Whether hangin' out at the Texas ranch, downing cocktails at the presidential retreat in Maryland, or politely clarifying what Bush is fumbling at joint press conferences, Blair has proven a loyal comrade all the way. Promising that Britain would be alongside America "when the shooting starts" and providing aircraft to accompany US military planes on their recent bombing raids of Iraq, Blair justified his military support by citing a "new" International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report as proof Hussein was developing nuclear weapons; this report came as news to the IAEA, which issued a quick press release in response, stating that they actually had not released any "new" report, and furthermore stood by their previous reports stating the Iraqi program had been successfully dismantled by the end of 1998.
Blair somehow forgot to mention that, like their American counterparts, the British government had actually stepped up its weapons-related sales to the Hussein government after the 1988 Halabja attack. (Former Foreign Secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe, explained the sales were kept secret to defend British corporate interests from "malicious commentators" and "emotional misunderstandings.") Bottom line: DICKs don't worry about such niceties as complicity or half-truths: war is good, corporate profit is good, and if you disagree you're the enemy.
Each nominee for Best Back-scratching Foreign Warmonger DICK exemplified the motto "If Bush can call people he doesn't like terrorists, then so can I." There was Russian President Vladimir Putin stirring up trouble in Chechnya, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon rolling tanks into Palestinian territory, and Indian-Pakistani leaders rattling Kashmiri sabers, threatening the nuclear decimation of millions. In a class by himself, though, was Pakistan's General Pervez Musharaf, who recently re-elected himself both president and army chief, cryptically explaining "If you want to keep the army out, you have to bring it in." Far too many deserving DICKs in this category folks, so no clear winners - looks like we all lose.
But now it's time for the grand prize, the coveted DICK of the Year award ... (drum roll please) ... two thumbs up for, you guessed it, "President" Bush! Like Cheney, Bush seemed to have had other priorities than military service, barely showing up for a mysteriously shortened stint in the Texas Air National Guard, but that doesn't stop him from bragging "I've been to war." He delicately observed Hussein "has sidestepped, crawfished, wheedled out of any agreement he had made not to harbor, not to develop weapons of mass destruction ... I'm going to call upon the world to recognize that he is stiffing the world," but has yet to convince the world that Hussein is the one stiffing them. He fulminates about Hussein's "nuke-u-lar" weapon capacity in spite of the fact that available evidence points against it and former weapons inspectors call the Bush claims direct lies. He tells the United Nations he wants it to be "effective and respectful" then thumbs his nose saying if the UN doesn't give him the green light to attack Iraq, he will do it anyway. What a DICK!
Interesting that many arguing against an attack are those who experienced it the first time. A 10-point list by Gulf War veterans eloquently opposes a second Gulf War, citing factors such as increased troop vulnerability and decreased international support.
As with the last DICK awards, the overriding question remains - who really is the biggest DICK? The "leader" getting away with duping the public into war, or the public allowing the leader to get away with it?
Heather Wokusch is a free-lance writer with a background in clinical psychology. Her work as been featured in publications and websites internationally. Heather can be contacted via her website: http://www.heatherwokusch.com/