I had already written about 400 words of the typical serene anti-Bush rhetoric that’s become commonplace. But it didn’t feel right. It wasn’t me. So now I’ve scratched that for this.

Here’s the deal, kids. Bush sucks. He’s a lying prick. He’s a cowboy, go-it-alone, counter-dependent, self-righteous bastard, and if you’ve been paying even a bit of attention, you should already know that. Never before have I seen an administration lie to the American people so blatantly or so often about such important issues.

We now know that Iraq was not at all linked to the events of 9/11. Just today, the BBC reported that Chief Weapons Inspector Charles Duelfer found no chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. And, we also know that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were not allies; in fact, they were rivals. As We the People realized that the exact reasons we went to war in Iraq were completely fabricated, the Bush cacophony of lies spat out a few other desperate excuses: Saddam Hussein was an evil man who deserved to be ousted, Iraq is the battlefront of the War on Terror, Saddam had the means to create WMDs, and Al Qaeda operative Zarqawi was living in Baghdad, with the last of these being the supposed proof of the link between Al Qaeda and Iraq.

I’ll attack these lies in order, since apparently nobody else in the media or politics has stood firm to them.

Yes, Saddam Hussein was a corrupt motherfucker. He was, by all accounts, a sadistic murder. He was also in power for 25 years. The other four U.S. presidents who were in office during those years never felt so overzealous as to think it was that the God-given responsibility of the United States to pick and choose the leaders of other nations. (copy editor’s note: ???????? what about Reagan and Panama and Noriega???????) Yes, while Saddam hurt his own people terribly, if George W. Bush had said that he wanted to put American troops in harm’s way to fight for the freedom of the Iraqi people, he would have been laughed out of the Capitol during his State of the Union address. Don’t any of you understand? Okay, what if the EU attacked us to save us from the Bush regime? My bet is that quite a few members of the NRA would start some shit, guerilla warfare style. People who were baking cookies for the PTA meeting the day before would be “Freedom Fighters” the day after. Imagine how you’d feel if one of your loved ones was being treated inhumanely by their European captors. Or imagine how you soccer moms would feel if you lost one of your little goalies.

The more ignorant of you may think, “Yeah, well, that’ll never happen because our Army is so big and so well trained.” Shut up, you dumb fucks. Might doesn’t make right. If you could stop waving your flag for ten seconds, you’d realize that we would stand up and fight for independence from a brutal invasion, just like any other human being.

That’s why the claim that Iraq is the battlefront for the War on Terror is such a load of steaming crap. Iraq is the battlefront of the still-unjustified War on Iraq. Yes, there are people fighting a guerilla war in Iraq, and there are Al Qaeda operatives entering that country through its now undefended borders. But before we went there, many of these terrorists wouldn’t have crawled out of the woodwork. We decided on the battleground. We made, literally made, our own enemies. What country do you think the majority of the next generation of terrorists will come from? Yes, Saddam had the means and the capability of making WMDs. That’s not very shocking. After all, each of you, my readers, has the means and the capability in your home to make plastic, napalm, or other explosives (remember Oklahoma City?), but we choose not to. Just as, according to weapons inspectors, Saddam chose not to make weapons of mass destruction. By all accounts, he was apparently following the U.N. resolutions that the Bush administration claimed so ardently that he hadn’t. You remember those pre-war days, right? You know, the time when France was holding us back from our drunken fistfight of a war, and we scoffed at them and their fromage? We were boycotting French fries and mustard companies, for Christ’s sake! Oops, aren’t we a bit humbled now. Looks like France had foresight. Looks like maybe France was a better friend then we gave them credit for.

And then there’s that mother fucking Zarqawi. That little cretin and his pals wiggled their way into Baghdad, and the Bush administration is now using this as clear evidence that Iraq was in league with Al Qaeda. After all, there’s a beheading bastard of a terrorist in their midst! Get a clue, people. America had terrorists in our country before 9/11, and it’s likely we still have them lurking now. Most of the 9/11 terrorists carried a Florida driver’s license or ID card. Should we bomb Florida for enabling the enemy? Does the fact that they took up residence there mean that Jeb Bush is in leagues with the Al Qaeda? Of course not. (But I’m all for sending Jeb to Guantanamo, you know, just in case.) The really sad part of this whole thing is that the vast majority of Americans suck these lies down like they are gospel. Why? Why do we believe it? Why do we take it? Why? Because we are in goddamn denial. We don’t want to believe that we stormed into Baghdad and dropped bombs on innocent people — people who were already suffering, due to years of sanctions and misrule — for no good reason. We don’t want to believe that the most patriotic young men and women in the land are being killed and maimed because of bureaucratic blunders or intelligence mistakes. We don’t want to believe that a team of evil, self-righteous bastards in Washington looked upon the murder of 2,800 people on September 11, 2001, as a goddamn opportunity to take care of a little neoconservative business.

And, while we’re talking about body counts, here are some interesting facts for you. In the War in Afghanistan, do you know how many U.S. soldiers lost their lives since the beginning of the war? One hundred and thirty-seven. In Iraq? One thousand and sixty-four. Again, that’s 1,064 U.S. soldiers killed. Not missing, not injured, killed. You want to talk about injured? That’s 7,531, many of them permanently disabled.

And that’s just the US military casualties. Officially, the U.S. government isn’t keeping a body count of “enemy” casualties. That’s for good reason; according to iraqbodycount.net, the total number of Iraqi civilians who have lost their lives since the operation began is approximately 14,118. Add in our casualties, and you have 15,182.

More than 15,000 people are dead without any justification. When contrasted with 2,800, which monster is worse? The value of human life cannot be compared. The death of an Iraqi is just as great as the loss of a New York office worker.

There’s your shock and awe, people. by Mark Milley

I’m lying in bed right now, curled up with my laptop. It’s 12:12 a.m., Wednesday, and my girlfriend is sleeping beside me.

On Monday night, I sent an email to my Alt Press contact, asking him when the deadline was for my next article. He shot me back an email Tuesday morning to let me know that he needed it by Wednesday night. And he wanted something political.