Can't let the week go by without noting "The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear
Witness" in The Nation, a devastating piece of eye-witness
testimony described by its authors as an investigation into "alleged
military misconduct" of U.S. troops in Iraq.
The three words alleged military misconduct are a legalistic
euphemism for the banalized horrors of the war -- "indiscriminate
killings" of innocent civilians, "checkpoint shootings," night raids
by stormtroopers who act like the Gestapo -- all of which are detailed
in firsthand accounts by veterans willing to speak up.
As Spc. Garett Reppenhagen, 32, of Manitou Springs, Colorado, a
cavalry scout and sniper, points out, "It's just the nature of the
situation you're in. That's what's wrong. It's not individual
atrocity. It's the fact that the entire war is an atrocity."
But will the American public get it? Despite polls that say popular
opinion has turned against the war, some observers doubt it will make
much difference in the long run.
Consider what mi amigo William Osborne once wrote before the invasion
and in another context: America seems to regard its victims as "little
more than nameless bystanders, shadows without identity in a
netherworld of 'collateral damage.'"
[They are] brown-skinned shadows whose violent demise need
not touch the American realm, even if their deaths were caused or
abetted by the U.S. government. In short, it's just massive suffering
and death in a remote world, something like images of video games
beamed from the ethers.
Today, speaking of the war, he dismisses all talk of an American
withdrawal as nothing but smoke and mirrors.
Everything is going exactly to plan -- the civil war, the
destruction of Iraq, the strategic 'retreat' into bases, and a gradual
genocide, both physical and cultural, against the Sunnis (and, in a
way, against all Iraqis).
The Americans will back into their bases and wait out the genocidal
civil war. It's been U.S. strategy in Iraq all along. How clever to
hide it behind the facade that we 'lost' the war, or are withdrawing
The theater even includes putting Hillary in office to make the
presumed de-escalation and partial withdrawal appear to be democratic
-- once we have sown the seeds of death.
And now that it is all done, we will, of course, shed a crocodile tear
or two, including suitable articles in The Nation and The New York
Or as that now-forgotten prevaricator Rummy Boy would say, "By golly!"