As heard on Internet message boards and morning talk radio across this nation.
In a word… Bullshit.
The troops, I will always support. I think there is almost unanimous agreement that they can’t be held responsible for the policy choices of the leadership. They should be lauded, and are, for placing themselves in harms way to do what they believe will protect innocent life.
But, I wish people would realize that my politics aren’t going to change or my passion alleviate because the war has started. If anything I’m all the more concerned now that Bush is betting the lives of our patriotic, well-intentioned citizens on his crackpot plan. The problem with Bush’s whole strategy in my eyes is that it’s contingent upon the terrorists eventually giving up. If we use massive force, hard line policies, and solid police work eventually they’ll give up… that’s the crux of the War on Terror. I guess someone forget to tell him about that little South East Asian country where we killed a few million Charlie’s and poisoned most of their trees and they still didn’t give up. It too 10 years and over 50,000 dead Americans to see that even if one last Viet Kong was standing he’d still spit in our eye and tell us to cram Democracy.
But, we’ve been fighting the War on Drugs unsuccessfully and expensively for sometime now and no one seems to mind, perhaps Terror will fit in nicely. The War on Poverty has fallen off the radar I think though. What I’d like to know is which President is going to spearhead the War on Fossil Fuel? Or the War on War? (I think we’ve hit a logical paradox)
But, for the sake of argument lets say the War on Terror goes more smoothly than those other Wars. Lets say Shrub hits a grand slam. He kills Saddam, finds Osama, and locks 10,000 terrorists away in some hellhole in Cuba. Do you really think that’s it, the war is over? I’ll bet you my family jewels whatever militant contingent remains, or comes of age after our strikes is going to try 9.11 or worse again, and even if they fail a few times they’ll keep going till they get the job done. Israel has been studying and practicing counter-terrorism for 50 years and they still can’t prevent the terrorists from attacking virtually at will. Their big plan right now is a fucking fence. Well that and bulldozing the homes of terrorists, suspected terrorists, and anyone who happens to live adjacent to them. Sharon’s hardline has been as unsuccessful as Bibi’s softballs. When will Israel see drastic, state altering, concessions need to be made? Israel is a colony in a post-colonial world, there is no getting around that.
I don’t want to get off on an Israel/ Palestine tangent, but whenever I say something akin to that statement. The response is always, “what about the Camp David agreement? Arafat turned down 90% of everything he was asking for.” My response was Israel never put Jerusalem on the table, knowing full well it would be a deal breaker for the PLO. Which is why, I advocate internationalizing Jerusalem. Making it an independent city-state run by an elected board of trustees with equal representation from the three faiths that lay claim to it. But, getting back on track…
The only solution to this conflict is diplomacy, compromise, accommodation, and tribunals in the International Court of Justice. Blame lies on both sides. America for 50 years of exploitative interventions in the Middle East, including installing the Shah in Iran, aiding and supporting Saddam in Iraq, and training and arming bin Laden in Afghanistan. And the terrorists for pursing heinous, inhumane acts of guerilla war when non-violent tactics have proven successful in the past, such as in India. The Europeans have to bare the sins of the father as well. Among other misdeeds, France ended the democratically elected, Islamic FIS government in Algeria with little cause, and supplied biological weapons equipment to Iraq in the guise of vaccination plants… just send them the fucking vaccines, they don’t need a whole plant. The UK has to take a lot of the responsibility for fucking up Palestine, and for cutting the people living in Iraq off from access to the Gulf, when they lopped Kuwait off of the Ottoman Empire and what would become Iraq to protect its monopoly on a Mid East trade route through the Suez Canal from a proposed German rail line ending, surprise surprise, in what would become Kuwait.
China could give a shit what Saddam or anyone else does so long as they get their oil at friendly prices, they’re not exactly a sparkling bastion of human rights themselves. Ditto for Russia and they have to be extra nice because they need the oil on credit. Basically any developed nation that stuck its hand in the Middle East pie and has been licking its fingers while the indigenous people starve needs to redress their actions and the actions of their predecessors in front of the world. The West carved up the near East, put a few corrupt monarchs into autocracies, gave them billions for their oil, took back billions for F-16s, BMWs, and Four Season’s penthouses, and watched as they starved, tortured, and murdered their own people and each other. But the oil must flow. It’s like a bad Frank Herbert novel.
Some of the nasty, covert shit America did can legitimately be attributed to the Cold War fight against communism. I’ll accept that as a valid argument. Communism was an authoritarian, repressive, and deficient governance and it was rapidly expanding. We had a duty to prevent its spread. However, a lot of our activity had to do with the fact that 65% of known oil reserves are buried under Middle Eastern sand. Anyone who thinks oil has nothing to do with it (thankfully they are few and far between) is either lying to themselves, ignorant, or a fool. We rallied the world around democracy and then used our CIA to oust democratically elected leaders like the Mossedeq in Iran and replace them with puppet dictators like the Shah who put the masses under his boot. We supported a monster like Saddam and his Baath hoodlums to kill commies for us and then left him in power and armed him to fight Khomeini and the revolutionaries that threw out the Shah out in Iran. The same revolutionaries rebelling against a tyrant whose reign of terror was made possible by the US in the first place. Also, daily, I hear Fox news and its ilk chanting “he gassed his own people!” Sure you’re outraged now, but what were you saying back then? Reagan and America fully supported Saddam during the gassings; the people killed were Kurdish villagers, collateral damage in an attack against the Khomeini’s regime, which was holding American hostages at the embassy. Besides no one gives a shit about the Kurds anyway, least of all the US. We certainly didn’t in Gulf War I when we promised to support them if they rose up against Saddam only to leave him in power and let him slaughter 10,000 of them after the cease-fire.
Round and round the cycle of intrigue goes. Kissinger is credited as having once said, “Oil is too important to trust to the Arabs.” and that pretty much sums up our game plan. There is no “grand scheme,” but there was a consistent ideology. We’re number 1 and we’ll stoop to just about anything it takes to stay that way. Now after 50 years of shitting on the Middle East to protect our grasp on oil we’re complaining about stepping in shit. Bush thinks he can bomb the problem away. These people already live in rubble, in perpetual war, what is one more atrocity going to do but give them more reason to plot our downfall. This it folks, America has decided to do its damndest to defeat, demoralize, and demolish 50 years worth of pissed off brown people. Not the plan I would have signed off on but here we are. Put on your helmets, and pray that our lovable Texan numskull and his cadre of bull-headed strategists get us through in one piece. As always, I am not holding my breath.
God bless the troops, and may Bush get a hankering for pretzels.
Further reading and references:
Camp David Peace Agreements
William Blum - “Killing Hope”
Gulf War I