A Strong Dark Shadow
It's somewhere between a comedy and a tragedy, but it's mostly tragedy, and everyday it's looking more and more like a old style opera.
Scott Ritter, the former weapons inspector, and author of the new book, Waging Peace, seems to get it as right as anyone. Here's a piece of his recent report from Baghdad.
"It should come as no surprise that the Bush administration’s newest military-man-of-substance-turned- political lapdog, General Petraeus, maintains that the situation in Iraq is not only salvageable, but actually improving, due to the “surge” of U.S. combat troops into Iraq over the past year. All the president and his collection of GI Joe hand-puppets ask for is more time, more money and more troops.
There is no reason to believe that the compliant war facilitators who comprise the “anti-war” Democratic majority in Congress will do anything other than give the president what he is asking for. No one seems to want to debate, in any meaningful fashion, what is really going on in Iraq.
Why would they?
The Democrats, like their Republican counterparts, have invested too much political capital into fictionalizing the problem with slogans like “support the troops,” “we’re fighting the enemy there so we don’t have to fight them here,” and my all-time favorite, “leaving Iraq would hand victory to al-Qaida.”
There simply is no incentive to put fact on the table and formulate policy that actually seeks a solution to a properly defined problem. Like the Republicans before them, the Democrats today seek not to govern with the best interests of the people in mind, but rather to game the system in order to consolidate political power.
Political sloganeering has so trumped reality that any political backlash that is generated from the so-called “Petraeus Report” will be limited to how the Democrats could better sustain a conflict that kills American troops, since no main-stream Democratic leader has expressed a true “get out of Iraq now” policy.
Nearly 4 1/2 years following President Bush’s ill-fated (and illegal) decision to invade and occupy Iraq, few people in a position to influence policy formulation and implementation in America have actually grasped the horrible truth about what has transpired, and what is transpiring, in Mesopotamia today.
As the United States places the finishing touches on Fortress America, the new half-billion-dollar Embassy complex in the heart of the Green Zone in downtown Baghdad, and more troops pour into mega-bases throughout Iraq, the reality (and futility) of permanent occupation has yet to sink in. clip
How can someone fund permanent infrastructure one day, then speak of the need to get out of Iraq the next?
The compliant mainstream media, of course, is no help. The war in Iraq has become a major generator of advertising revenue for these corporations, so there is no incentive to actually report the truth, but rather manipulate the fiction.
Iraq has become a prestige destination for every aspiring journalist or struggling anchor, determined to get “the big story.” The most recent manifestation of this syndrome is CBS News anchor Katie Couric, who earlier this week travelled to Iraq because she was (in her own words), “Curious about very basic questions regarding living conditions, about how much fear there is in the street, about how the soldiers really are doing.”
That the situation in Iraq has been boiled down to these three big, burning issues (living conditions, fear in the streets, and how the troops are really doing), and that CBS is sending their multi-million-dollar investment to investigate, speaks volumes about the truly degenerate state of American journalism today.
The real big three she should be addressing are “Why do Americans keep dying?” “Who is killing them?” and “Why?” Of course, answering these questions would undermine the very fantasy world Couric is being sent to cover, one where Americans are doing good deeds in the name of peace and justice for downtrodden Iraqis.
Couric’s jaunt is fraud on a massive scale.
Ironically, she herself acknowledged this when she admitted that her up-beat reports from Iraq were reflective of what the US military wanted her to see, and not honest ‘reporting’ on her part. clip
“Why do Americans keep dying?” Simple: Because we are in Iraq. We don’t belong there. Our presence is derived from our own violation of law, not someone else’s, and as such any effort to sustain our presence is tainted by this same foundation of illegitimacy. In short, Americans will keep dying in Iraq as long as we remain in Iraq. clip
“Who is killing them?” Another easy answer: Iraqis. We are occupying their homeland. We are violating their sovereignty. We are butchering, abusing and torturing their citizens. Our continued presence is an affront to the socio-economic-political fabric that is (or was) Iraqi society. clip
The Bush administration, in an effort to deflect public attention away from this reality, has created the fiction of a massive al-Qaida presence in Iraq, working in parallel with a similarly large Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command presence, which apparently is responsible for the majority of anti-American violence and dead U.S. troops. (clip)
In a way, Iraq is a manifestation of all that ails America today...
The whole thing is beyond bizarre. Apparently, killings in Baghdad were considered criminal or sectarian based on the direction of the entry wound to the head.
Labels: political philosophy