I wonder how long it’ll be before Dick and Rummy send their stormtroopers after me. After all, I’m guilty of moral confusion and appeasement by posting things such as this.
We’ve got a reporter in Iraq telling us the situation there is inhuman; we’ve got another in D.C. telling us the Fed is refusing to do anythng about it until after November 8; we’ve got a US soldier totally disillusioned by the idiocy of the way Iraq has been handled so far.
The situation in Baghdad has deteriorated so substantially that the author of an LA Times piece can’t even give his name — for fear of reprisals from people who not only didn’t exist in Baghdad before the US invasion, but people who couldn’t get a foothold there.
I’ve lived in my neighborhood for 25 years. My daughters went to kindergarten and elementary school here. I’m a Christian. My neighbors are mostly Sunni Arabs. We had always lived in harmony. Before the U.S.-led invasion, we would visit for tea and a chat. On summer afternoons, we would meet on the corner to joke and talk politics.
It used to be a nice upper-middle-class neighborhood, bustling with commerce and traffic. On the main street, ice cream parlors, hamburger stands and take-away restaurants competed for space. We would rent videos and buy household appliances.
This was life under “tyrant” Saddam Hussein? Huh. Well, here’s life now.
On a recent Sunday, I was buying groceries in my beloved Amariya neighborhood in western Baghdad when I heard the sound of an AK-47 for about three seconds. It was close but not very close, so I continued shopping.
As I took a right turn on Munadhama Street, I saw a man lying on the ground in a small pool of blood. He wasn’t dead.
I went on to another grocery store, staying for about five minutes while shopping for tomatoes, onions and other vegetables. During that time, the man managed to sit up and wave to passing cars. No one stopped. Then, a white Volkswagen pulled up. A passenger stepped out with a gun, walked steadily to the wounded man and shot him three times. The car took off down a side road and vanished.
No one did anything. No one lifted a finger. The only reaction came from a woman in the grocery store. In a low voice, she said, “My God, bless his soul.”
This is in pretty stark contrast to the bullshit the White House has been pushing about improved life in Iraq, isn’t it?
You’d think that the partei would come up with something, anything, to defend itself, wouldn’t you?
Hey — how about a report from a congressionally-commissioned panel on the topic, such as the Iraq Study Group? The Washington Post tell us that when the group was formed in March, 2006, spokesmen at the time said it “may come forward with some interim reports.”
There haven’t been any.
But that’s okay, since the group gave a progress report on their activities on September 19th. Here are some of the highlights of their report, courtesy of Dana Milbank.
“We’re not going to speculate with you today about recommendations,” [former secretary of state James] Baker announced at the session, hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Can the war in Iraq be won?
“We’re not going to make any assessments today about what we think the status of the situation is in Iraq,” said [former Democratic Indiana congressman Lee] Hamilton.
Could they at least explain their definitions of success and failure in Iraq?
“We’re not going to get into that today,” Baker replied.
So far, it seems that the Iraq Study Group has maintained its policy of releasing no progress reports; and they’ve made it clear they’re going to continue their policy of not saying anything until after midterm elections.
Apparently citizens being shot randomly in the streets of Baghdad and left to die are less important than a given legislator’s election campaign.
What is the price of America’s soul, I wonder?
Meanwhile our life’s blood is also draining.
The ultra-right warmongers really hate hearing from people such as Army Reserve Captain A. Heather Coyne, because she is not the kind of war protester they can argue with. She’s not a hippy pacifist pinko commie bastard appeasing coward; she’s not even guilty of the hubris of mourning her dead son in public. No, she started out in Iraq convinced — as many soldiers were — of the righteousness of the US cause there.
It took two years for that certainty to get beaten out of her by fuckwits such as Rummy and Dick.
Coyne’s personal saga in many ways tracks the broader American disillusionment in Iraq. When she got to Baghdad, she was a strong supporter of the invasion. “I bought into the vision of an alternative Middle East,” she said.
She was an enthusiastic supporter of the invasion back then. “Iraq wasn’t the problem, it was the solution. It had all the right things,” such as an educated population and rich natural resources that would enable it to bring democratic change to the Middle East. And, she said, “I felt strongly about getting Saddam Hussein out.”
This soldier soldiered on, despite a growing sense that the US military was in disarray internally, having no sense how to handle the situation in Iraq. Perhaps it was too complex. Perhaps there were one too many wolves waiting to prey on undefended sheep. Perhaps it was hubris.
But she kept her hopes through the summer of 2003, until she transferred to the Coalition Provisional Authority, the civilian occupation office headed by L. Paul Bremer III. “It wasn’t until the fall of 2003 that I really began thinking, ‘This is a disaster — we are never going to pull this together,’ ” she said. “It was amateur hour.”
Amateur hour went to hell in a handcart soon after.
For Coyne, the breaking point came in the spring of 2004, when news of the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal emerged. “I assumed I was going to stay with the Army in Iraq for three or four years,” she said. But after seeing the torture inflicted on Iraqi detainees by U.S. soldiers at the prison on the western fringe of Baghdad, she said to herself, “I want to take off the uniform. I’ll be in Iraq, but the Army is the wrong organization to do this.”
[B]y the time she left Baghdad in February, she was heartbroken. “I’m terribly anxious and depressed about it,” she said in a recent interview in Washington, where she continues to work for the Institute of Peace.
What I find most striking is that Coyne has said she’d like to do one more tour of duty. Despite the actions of Trickle-Down Stupidnomics, she still believes in the US, in the cause of democracy, in the value of individual liberty.
Unfortunately, with her bosses telling us we aren’t permitted to question, to make comparisons, to think, it seems abundantly clear that they don’t believe in the same things she does.
No related posts.
Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.