Friday, April 30, 2004
First entry in new and (hopefully) improved Cadaver Politik blog
I've committed to the political side of things, too, and purchased "cadaverpolitik.com" (I know, I know: how many bloody DotComs does one person NEED, anyway??), and I'm excited to have this new blog available on a server that allows CGI scripts so that I can (once I figure out the coding stuff) enable others to post comments, which I think is far more important than just having my ramblings available for others to read.
So, instead of just gnashing your teeth and foaming at the mouth and spitting on the floor near you and cursing my date of birth, you may respond in words, and tell me in all CAPS what a scum-imbibing nostril licker I am. If you so choose.
Since the old blog is to be disposed of, I'll be posting all archived entries from the old .mac blog on here, so that you might read them at your leisure.
That is all. As you were.
Insurgents = "Terrorists" ; Iraqis now = "The Enemy" . . .
Well, surprise, surprise. There are no flowers, candies, and cheers greeting the U.S. military in Iraq. On the contrary.
We all saw it coming. But right now (although "much progress is being made," of course, of course), the worst-case scenario has come to pass. Divergent (and formerly opposing) factions--Sunnis, Shias, foreign Islamists, former Baath Party members, and other Iraqi citizens--have united in the name of Iraqi/Arab nationalism to oppose a common enemy: US.
Everyone here seems more concerned with the 500 or so U.S. troops that have died in this war than with the 10,000 or so Iraqis that have died (ignoring the wounded, for the moment). I suppose this is understandable, on a certain level; but it also makes me ashamed to be a human being. We hear reports of 100 or so Iraqis being killed in an unprovoked military takeover of, say, Fallujah, and we maybe sigh a bit ("Sure is a lot of fighting still going on"); but we hear about 1 or 2 American soldiers being killed, and we're in tears, dreading what may come of this war . . .
It seems as though no one in Iraq is considered a "civilian" anymore, unless they fully support the U.S. occupation and even fully cooperate with the U.S. in fighting "the enemy" (i.e., other Iraqis defending their own country). So if you're a traitor, you're on the Good side; but if you're a "Patriot," then you're "Evil" and "The Enemy" and a "Terrorist."
The logic seems to be that once you pick up a gun, you're a "combatant." Fine. But if we accept this, then we need to stop mourning the deaths of our soldiers; and we also need to stop referring to the "private security" paramilitary/mercenary forces the U.S. government has hired to supplement the military troops as "civilians." And we need to stop referring to their deaths as "murders." It's all fine and good to decry the way those "civilians" (that is, mercenaries and former Special Forces operatives now acting beyond the control of any authority including the U.S. military) were killed and then burned and then dragged around and hung from a bridge. An atrocity, I agree. But where are the pictures of the children burned alive by napalm? Where are the pictures of the children literally torn to shreds by cluster bombs? And where is the outrage at those "atrocities"? (Never mind the fact that the number of Iraqis killed in this way is perhaps hundreds of times the number of U.S. soldiers killed. And never mind the fact that, in their eyes, such killings are simple justice--revenge for the savage, deadly, and unprovoked destruction of their country--no different from our response to 9-11 in bombing Afghanistan.)
I was astonished and appalled recently when I heard people (senators and military leaders) talking about how disappointed they were in the Iraqi police/security forces that the U.S. military has trained. Because these Iraqis refuse to participate in attacks on their own people, or--worse yet--defect to the "other side" (that is, their side), they are seen as "incompetent" and "a great disappointment."
Well, who's the "incompetent" and "disappointing" party here? I submit that it's the U.S. And the only thing surprising about this situation is that they were able to recruit Iraqis to kill other Iraqis in the first place. I suppose when you've been on the brink of starvation for 15 years of the most brutal sanctions in history, you'll do almost anything for some money. But if the roles were reversed (that is, Iraq had invaded the U.S. and then U.S. citizens were expected to shoot other U.S. citizens in the name of "security"), surely these defectors would be hailed as "true patriots" and those cooperating with the invading Iraqis condemned as "traitors."
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Thursday, April 15, 2004
Let's make the U.N. "relevant" again.
The worst-case-scenario has come to pass: Sunnis and Shiites have essentially united under the principle of Arab/Iraqi nationalism to oppose the U.S. occupation by any means necessary. The fact that they perceive--rightly or wrongly--that you are no better than Saddam Hussein ought to give you great pause and deep concern.
What purpose can continued military occupation possbily serve? Certainly not "freedom" and "democracy" for the Iraqis; for clearly the occupation and U.S.-appointed governing council is the direct opposite of what the Iraqi people want.
And if you genuinely believe that "Operation Iraqi Freedom" is a "theater" in the "War on Terror," then I think, if you are sane, you must admit that we are losing that "war" and that this "battle" was a dire mistake. We're creating enemies faster than we can kill them, and dramatically increasing the likelihood of more "terrorist" attacks.
I believe that this is as much a turning point as was the decision to invade Iraq. There is still an opportunity to demonstrate, with action as well as words, that the United States is not the aggressive, imperialist, self-serving rogue state that most of the world (rightly) perceives us to be. Despite your having deemed the most important organization in history as "irrelevant," there is still time to cease this open disdain for the U.N. and for international law. By admitting our mistakes, asking for forgiveness, withdrawing, and vowing not to pursue any further such actions without U.N. authorization, we could be a world leader rather than a world tyrant.
I am not naive enough to believe that you will do this. However, you might at least attempt to regain the respect of the international community by deferring to the U.N.--which, while it might not be seen in a completely favorable light by the Iraqis, at least is not despised by them.
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