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.
The self-absorbed U.S. “commemoration” of 9/11 today was repulsive in the extreme. 3000 Americans died, yes, a great tragedy. But 9/11 was used to launch a war based on lies in which over 1 million Iraqis have died and 4 million have been displaced – who knows how many wounded? No mention of that in all the self-absorption to which this date has been given over. And the effect of 911 and its uses has continued to Libya today in the Bush/Obama wars.
What kind of morality and culture is that? And the “upscale” outlets like NPR are just about the worst on this matter. AM talk radio cannot even come close. And at least the FM rock stations provide a refuge from the mawkishness
9/11 was barely a scratch compared to the millions killed in America’s imperial wars. The skies were dark on that September day with untold numbers of chickens coming home to roost.
Is the enemy that attacked the WTC on 9/11 stateless? I am no advocate of the idea that there was a secret demolition of the WTC – which is far-fetched on the face of it. But it is also clear that the FBI and Mossad both new about what was to come. The FBI’s warnings were ignored at the top – incompetence or malevolence, you tell me. But in either case it should be punished. So it may have been, as the pundits said in the early days, that this slaughter could not have been carried off without the aid of a nation state. There are only two that could have been in on this – Israel and the US itself. And it is now known that the fake 9/11 commission deleted from its report the fact that the single thing motivating the hijackers, who may have been little more than cats paws, was the plight of the Palestinians.
Remember the Maine. Remember the Tonkin Gulf incident. And some would say, Remember Pearl Harbor. PNAC itself said in 2000 that it would require a catastrophe of Pearl Harbor like dimensions to rev up the populace for wars in the Middle East. Looks like PNAC got lucky.
The Oklahoma City bombing does not merit a commemoration like this. Thsi kind of maudlin exercise requires American lives taken by an official enemy- in this case Muslim Arabs, a twofer.
If the Confucian idea that people or their children are punished for misdeeds and evil, we are in for a bad time. Let us hope that we can drive out those who are driving us in this terrible direction, like Bush and Obama and their friends in high places who run our nation, in good time to redeem ourselves and avoid that punishment.
A while back I blogged about a nutty congressman, Dana Rohrabacher, who visited Iraq and suggested Iraqis ought to be the ones to pay Americans reparations. But that was just a kooky representative, right? He didn’t know what he was talking about. Jet lag, perhaps.
Or, not. Murtaza Hussain writing at Salon:
“Reparations payments” are being made by Iraq to Americans and others for the suffering which those parties experienced as a result of the past two decades of conflict with Iraq.
Iraq today is a shattered society still picking up the pieces after decades of war and crippling sanctions. Prior to its conflict with the United States, the Iraqi healthcare and education systems were the envy of the Middle East, and despite the brutalities and crimes of the Ba’ath regime there still managed to exist a thriving middle class of ordinary Iraqis, something conspicuously absent from today’s “free Iraq.” In light of the continued suffering of Iraqi civilians, the agreement by the al-Maliki government to pay enormous sums of money to the people who destroyed the country is unconscionable and further discredits the absurd claim that the invasion was fought to “liberate” the Iraqi people.
We took Wikipedia to task for their parroting of officialdom on Friday; since then, an explosion of comments and edits, some even reversed by other editors, have pushed the consensus away from declaring the Iraq War over. It now lists Operation Iraqi Freedom as having ended on August 19, 2010. It still repeats the canard that the remaining 50,000+ troops are simply for training purposes — though Gen. Odierno warns they could switch back at any moment — but let’s take what we can get.
There are still a few “dead-enders” slogging against the stream of plain truth in the discussion area — won’t the Wiki-savvy among you weigh in with your own volley to protect this important correction? Whatever one’s opinion of Wikipedia, the fact remains it is a respected source and often its articles are taken at face value.