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Just Tell Us The Truth
NEW YORK, April 6, 2000
 By Andy Rooney




(CBS) A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney.

I've lived a long while now and I don't remember any more unpleasant times than these. I'm not even interested in reading the sports pages. I hate everything about this war except that we're winning it.

You can't even be critical, either, without sounding unpatriotic. It's why Peter Arnett got fired by NBC for speaking on Iraqi television.

I'm patriotic but I wish our government would stop treating this war as if they had to sell it to us with slick advertising slogans.

The White House Web site puts out a bulletin about the war with this headline: OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.

Come on, all we want is the news, not a sales pitch.

They called our bombing campaign against Baghdad "Shock and Awe."

After the UN refused to approve the war, our government put together a list of countries it said supported us. They called it a "coalition of the willing."

The generals don't talk about American soldiers. It's always "coalition forces."

It's as if there were no Americans there.

Reporters have been sucked into it, too.

The word makes it sound as though we're just a few countries short of having the whole world on our side, and that isn't true. Most of the world is against us. The Administration says 49 countries are part of the coalition. I see that Eritrea, Uganda and Iceland are on our side.

The fact is, though, we're in this thing with the British, who have 45,000 soldiers there, and the Australians, who have 2,000. That's it. The other 46 wish us well or let us fly bombers over their country. Big deal.

We've practically bribed some of them. We offered Turkey $15 billion to let our troops go through there but they refused. President Bush won't be sending the president of Turkey anything for his birthday this year.

There aren't any good wars, but this one is especially bad. We want to win it quickly without more death but we're grown-up people, too. The President, Rumsfeld and the generals ought to stop treating us like children. Tell us the truth. We can take it even when it's bad.

And the only real good news will be when this terrible time in American history is over.

Written By Andy Rooney MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved