Saturday, October 22, 2005

Our continued disgrace

Bill Bonner asks: is the American Imperium is doing the world a favour by cutting it's own throat?

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Empires can rarely resist the temptation to fight a war...if they think they can get away with something. George W. Bush saw an increase in his poll ratings coming. People love a "war" president, at least until they've lived through a real war. He could hardly wait for an opportunity to put on a flight suit and land on a real U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, ostensibly to rally the troops, but more importantly to rally the lumpenpublic.
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And now, by putting Saddam on the stand, they offer the old man a chance to make his case. Yes, the nation was a hellhole when he ran the place, but at least it was a hellhole for the Iraqi people, by the Iraqi people, and of the Iraqi people.
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The best way to win a war, said Sun Tzu, is to let your enemy defeat himself. That is roughly what U.S. forces are doing in Iraq.
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Among the charges against Saddam is that he killed more than 140 men and teenaged boys in Dujail. His defense will be that the people of Dujail tried to kill him, which of course they did. He might mention that every brutish leader does the same.
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And on the very day in which Saddam appeared in court, a news item in the International Herald Tribune reported that American planes had destroyed a village in Iraq, after two U.S. soldiers were killed in it. The village harbored insurgents, said the United States More than half the 70 people killed, said eyewitnesses, were innocent bystanders.
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"Many Iraqis welcomed the fall of Saddam Hussein because he ruined their lives," writes Patrick Cockburn in the Independent.
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"The billions supposedly spent by the U.S. – much of it Iraqi oil money – produced almost no benefits. The country became a feeding trough for politically well-connected U.S. companies and individuals...Even Iraqis were shocked to find that almost the entire $1.3 billion procurement budget of the defense ministry had disappeared...Much of the Iraqi government exists only on paper. It is more of a racket than an administration. Its officials turn up only on payday. Elaborate bureaucratic procedures exist simply so a bribe has be paid to avoid them.
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"U.S. generals seemed to pride themselves on their ignorance of local customs," Cockburn, who has spent the last three years on location, continues. During that period, imperial overlords have nearly accomplished what seemed impossible when the war began; they have made Saddam's rule seem to many Iraqis like the "good old days."
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The Iraqi police general in charge of the serious crimes squad was shot through the head by an American soldier who mistook him for a suicide bomber.
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Things have gotten so bad in Baghdad that the prostitutes have left, says Cockburn.
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I've quoted liberally because this was one of those pieces which had bitter clarity ringing from every paragraph. Bonner makes it clear that we are pretty close to the bottom of the barrel in how Iraq is being abused. How long can this continue?

I'd like to think that Blair is ashamed of what he has been party to. Of what he has done in our names by helping to commit such attrocities. Those people who gave Blair a blank cheque should be ashamed of themselves. I'm sick of our leaders and their willfull adventurism, not asked for by us, but paid for by us in money and blood. Their legacy will not be better health, better schooling, or more money in our pockets but Afghanistan, Iraq, Terrorism, and ID Cards. Blair is a war criminal and every bit as much as Saddam Hussein deserves to face a court. That we should allow ourselves to continue to be lead by such people is a disgrace upon us all.

22/10/2005 08:52 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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