Have the Republican debates this year caught up with the number of times Obama has declared the Iraq war over yet? Just wondering.
Oh we love to kid the president about endlessly ending the war in Iraq, which killed possibly over a million, ruined a society, and scattered millions more — and which Panetta says has been “worth it” and Obama says is a “success”. But he really is trying to get away with simultaneously being seen as the opposite of the brash Bush and his embarrassing “Mission Accomplished” aircraft-carrier landing while having ceremony after press conference about how “he” ended the war in Iraq. Many so-somber memorials and paeans to “our men and women in uniform” — now with more gay! — are what statesmen do, see. Only a child acts like those reckless Republicans.
It’s an attitude that says image and demeanor is what’s important, instead of the plain fact that a country was obliterated, men were tortured and murdered, women were humiliated and widowed, children were scarred and irradiated. Obama’s smirk is seen as confident and reassuring, while Bush’s identical smirk was juvenile, needlessly provocative. But it was Obama who evaporated countless families in Pakistan for the crime of being in the way. Only Obama drone-murdered a US citizen who said mean things about America on YouTube and his 16-year-old son. But Obama didn’t talk about it, so it’s somehow statesmanship and not brutality.
Sorry to be such a downer, but in fact the war goes on, not least in Iraq where the prime minister seems to be consolidating Saddam-like power before the last US soldier even heads out, but also because there will be thousands of subcontracted mercenaries who remain. Yes, they’re armed, and Obama is fighting hard to exempt them from Iraqi law in case they commit some kind of mass civilian slaughter, say. And if it heats up too much, we got this — thousands of US troops will remain just across the border and around the Gulf region to pop by if necessary.
But don’t let that stop the ceremonies of choreographed sadness in front of soldiers — and more importantly, television cameras. There’s an election coming.