Monday, March 19, 2007

US in Iraq: Karma watch

David Seaton's News Links
The most important thing to remember about America's invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq is that it is an unprovoked, criminal, act.

The people who perpetrated it, and especially those who ordered this slow torture and decimation of the people of Iraq are simply criminals and the citizens and institutions who supported them are no less than accessories to horrible crimes.

And unlike Hitler's Germany, no American can ever say that they didn't know all this was or is happening.... America, after all, is a "free country".

All this is not just wet, liberal, "hand wringing", it is simply an understanding of the fundamental sources of America's wealth and power and even what keeps the whole complex beast "airborne".

For unlike Hitler's Germany, one of the pillars of America's power is its commitment to habeas corpus, human rights and the rule of law. America is not an ethnic group, it is an agreement taken freely by people who have come from all over the world to live together in peace and prosperity and to materialize the ideas and hopes of the Enlightenment. Without those ideas, the United States of America is little more than a parking lot... Wal-Mart would be a more appropriate symbol of America than Abraham Lincoln.

Even Joseph Nye's insightful idea of America's "Soft Power," pales into trivial "truthiness" when speaking of presuming to be the embodiment of some of the greatest ideas of Western civilization: freedom, justice, democracy... and then gratuitously violating all those self-proclaimed standards in a "war of choice": attacking a country which had never harmed America, destroying its state, killing, torturing and humiliating the men, raping the women, terrorizing the children and scattering the priceless treasures of timeless antiquity to the winds

The only way for America to recover its prestige -- it would be pretentious to say recover its "soul" -- would be to hand
over all those responsible, beginning with Bush and Cheney, to the International War Crimes Tribunals, where they could be judged in Nuremberg fashion. Sadly, unlike Hitler's Germany, America has not been defeated by a foreign power and its alien ideology... America has defeated itself. DS

Anthony Arnove
- Billboarding the Iraqi Disaster - TomDispatch Abstract: Here is a short rundown of some of what George Bush's war and occupation has wrought: Nowhere on Earth is there a worse refugee crisis than in Iraq today. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, some two million Iraqis have fled their country and are now scattered from Jordan, Syria, Turkey, and Iran to London and Paris. (Almost none have made it to the United States, which has done nothing to address the refugee crisis it created.) Another 1.9 million are estimated to be internally displaced persons, driven from their homes and neighborhoods by the U.S. occupation and the vicious civil war it has sparked. Add those figures up – and they're getting worse by the day – and you have close to 16% of the Iraqi population uprooted. Add the dead to the displaced, and that figure rises to nearly one in five Iraqis. Let that sink in for a moment. Basic foods and necessities, which even Saddam Hussein's brutal regime managed to provide, are now increasingly beyond the reach of ordinary Iraqis, thanks to soaring inflation unleashed by the occupation's destruction of the already shaky Iraqi economy, cuts to state subsidies encouraged by the International Monetary Fund and the Coalition Provisional Authority, and the disruption of the oil industry. Prices of vegetables, eggs, tea, cooking and heating oil, gasoline, and electricity have skyrocketed. Unemployment is regularly estimated at somewhere between 50-70%. One measure of the impact of all this has been a significant rise in child malnutrition, registered by the United Nations and other organizations.(...) In those same years, according to the best estimate available, the British medical journal The Lancet's door-to-door study of Iraqi deaths, approximately 655,000 Iraqis had died in war, occupation, and civil strife between March 2003 and June 2006. (The study offers a low-end possible figure on deaths of 392,000 and a high-end figure of 943,000.) But you could travel coast to coast without seeing the equivalents of the billboards, subway placards, full-page newspaper ads, or the like for the Iraqi dead. And you certainly won't see, as in the case of Darfur, celebrities on Good Morning America talking about their commitment to stopping "genocide" in Iraq. Why is it that we are counting and thinking about the Sudanese dead as part of a high-profile, celebrity-driven campaign to "Save Darfur," yet Iraqi deaths still go effectively uncounted, and rarely seem to provoke moral outrage, let alone public campaigns to end the killing?(....) There is a general agreement across much of the political spectrum that we can blame Iraqis for the problems they face. In a much-lauded speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Sen. Barack Obama couched his criticism of Bush administration policy in a call for "no more coddling" of the Iraqi government: The United States, he insisted, "is not going to hold together this country indefinitely." Richard Perle, one of the neoconservative architects of the invasion of Iraq, now says he "underestimated the depravity" of the Iraqis. Sen. Hillary Clinton, Democratic frontrunner in the 2008 presidential election, recently asked, "How much are we willing to sacrifice [for the Iraqis]?" As if the Iraqis asked us to invade their country and make their world a living hell and are now letting us down. This is what happens when the imperial burden gets too heavy. The natives come in for a lashing. READ IT ALL

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Of course we remember what happened the last time millions of muslim refugees were left to rot in desolate places. They call themselves 'the students'; or Taliban. And they are a very resiliant lot, and may well convince many Pakistanis over the coming month (while General Musharaff is tearing the country's legal structure apart) that the only solution to their political turmoil is Sunni Islamic revolution. Imagine UBL with nukes. It may well happen.
The main base for the Taliban (Quetta) is spiralling into a warzone, yet where is the media coverage.

The fallout of the neo-con war is only begining, even my faith in democracy is waining. I am no Athenian, when the vote produces so much immorality.
God help us all.