"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Dec 15, 2011

Getting Creamy

Robert Creamer, of the Huffington Post, has written a whopper. Let's just get right into it:

"Sometime in the next 15 days, the last American troops will leave Iraq  -- and the War that began almost nine years ago will finally come to an  end."

Of course, that really depends on what you mean by "war." If you intend a nineteenth or twentieth century definition, there was never a war in Iraq, for Obama to be able to end it. Congress declared no commencement of hostilities. The government of the nation of Iraq did not surrender. Instead, the US, along with Britain and a bunch of throwaway client countries, murdered off anywhere between one hundred thousand and one and half million Iraqis in order to establish a weak central government with a reduced power to develop the hydrocarbon and mineral resources under its nominal control. This was accomplished by isolating the somewhat more centralized predecessor state with ten years of crippling sanctions and a cease-fire violating regime of air terror, maliciously and unironically referred to as a "No Fly Zone." When its leader failed to yield, the country was invaded, occupied and bombed with millions upon millions of pounds of explosives. As of 2005, a mere two years into this occupation, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing had dropped more than 500,000 tons of ordnance alone, in Iraq. That was six years ago. From a single Marine aircraft wing.

Over that nearly decade long adventure, the US and Britain conducted untold numbers of checkpoint kills, dragnets and night raids, disappearing tens of thousands of Iraqis into a global gulag. Coalition forces twice destroyed the city of Fallujah, leveled portions of Baghdad, Mosul, Basra and other cities, dismantled or destroyed the water, educational, health and transportation infrastructures, covered the countryside and the cities in uranium dust from the use and detonation of "depleted uranium" munitions, forced more than a million Iraqis (one out of every twenty persons) to flee their homes, built a network of crusader fortresses, and secured for their governments SOFA and "Strategic Framework" agreements to make the most hardened imperialist proud, giving the US near carte blanche to conduct raids, air missions and anti-terror campaigns in and over Iraq. The US and Britain also leave behind, in Iraq, a privately managed army of mercenaries, contracted to the departments of State and Defense, the Ministry of Defense, and their putative client, the Iraqi central government.

This was not a war. This was a conquest. It's still a conquest. As in, ongoing.

If you're working within the neoconservative/neoliberal war powers framework, it's even simpler. "The War" is not ending in Iraq. It's just entering a new, privatized phase, one which still guarantees profits to defense contractors and munitions manufacturers, but which leaves the current and subsequent presidential administrations the leeway to pretend they care about the concerns and sovereignty of the Iraqi client state and the citizens it claims to represent.

"Today, President Obama addresses some of those returning troops at Fort  Bragg, North Carolina.  The big difference between those troops and many  others who have returned from the War in Iraq, is that none of them  will be deployed on yet another tour to Mosul or Kirkuk or Baghdad -- or  any of the other Iraqi cities that became so familiar to Americans over  the last decade."

This is demonstrably false. The Strategic Framework Agreement foisted upon the government of Iraq not only allows US based companies to colonize the Iraqi economy, but it grants explicit permission to the government of the United States to redeploy soldiers and personnel within Iraq, with the flimsiest of "security" pretexts. US armed forces will still occupy a number of bases constructed over the last ten years, positioning them as a forward projection force for any current or future conflicts in Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon or Afghanistan.

"The end of the War in Iraq is a major event in American  history, since in many ways, that War was the defining historic event  for an entire generation of Americans."

Which generation would that be? The one currently facing permanent structural disemployment, austerity and social triage? Or the one getting stoned, fucked up and pharmakon'd into oblivion in perhaps the only genuinely rational response to austerity, declining prospects and a governing generation self-obsessed enough to call their parents "the Greatest" and themselves the "end of history"?

"There are those who would minimize the importance of the final  withdrawal of our troops from Iraq by pointing to the unfinished  business of the War in Afghanistan, or the use of civilian contractors.   Those are important issues, but they should not diminish the  extraordinary significance of the fact that the Iraq War has come to an  end."

No, it has not. And how do you minimize the non-existent?

"Most importantly, Progressives -- and all of those who fought  for a decade to prevent and then to end the Iraq War -- should take a  moment to celebrate the fact that they have won a critical, historic  battle."

That's a nifty trick, there. A little clumsy, but neat all the same. You see, progressives should celebrate that fact that they not only failed to prevent "the War," but that pretending to end it symbolically is a "critical, historic" victory. That's some funny shit.

"There is a lot of cynicism in America -- a sense that it doesn't matter  what you do -- that ordinary people can't really have an impact on the  big decisions and big institutions of our society.  The end of the War  in Iraq shows that the cynics are wrong. "

You have to appreciate the pedestrian effort to define cynicism in puerile terms, as if Americans are somehow incapable of understanding the sentiment which is most fundamental to American politics, entertainment, education, war-making, marriage and child-rearing. And it doesn't stop there. Creamer actually proposes, one imagines with a straight face and his tongue kept between his palates, that the progressive failure to prevent or end a war is a refutation of cynicism itself, demonstrating that "ordinary people" factor into the decisions of our ruling class and its factions of elites. I don't even fucking know what to write about this, except that Creamer is a terrible propagandist, unless he's the subtlest ironic artist this side of Russell Brand's puckering starfish.

"What began in 2002 as an effort to avert the war in Iraq, grew to a  chorus of millions who changed the political landscape and who kept  fighting until all of our troops came home.  That movement elected a  president who promised to end the war -- a president who this week has  kept that promise."

Alright, Creamer. It's just not fun, or funny, anymore.  Not only has the political landscape remained a constant, despite economic flux and social disruption, but the very last movement with the potential to change that landscape with the anti-war one. Millions took to the streets, and Bush invaded Iraq anyway. Then, Americans chose Bush over Kerry. The war continued, got worse. Thousands of Iraqis died. Then tens of thousands of them. Bush, with Democratic approval, escalated US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then Americans voted for Obama, who was utterly silent as Israel murdered Palestinians in Gaza with impunity. Obama took office, and almost immediately committed to dumping tens of thousands more soldiers into Afghanistan, under the command of two of the most brutal generals in the last fifty years (McChrystal and Petraeus). He forced the Iraqis to accept a humiliating framework for future economic colonization, spread the drone war to Yemen, expanded it in Pakistan and Afghanistan, gave Israel cover to prepare for renewed attacks on Iran and Lebanon and reconfirmed funding to the military junta which replaced Mubarak. He has continued his predecessor's policy of funding and arming terrorists in Iran. And he carpet bombed Libya, while providing tactical support, funding and air superiority for a cabal of women-hating racists who gun-raped Qadaffi right before they gave concessions to England, France and US based companies which will follow a fire sale of Libya's mineral, transportation, water and petroleum infrastructure to European and American firms. This is the same Obama, we should remember, whose smouldering contempt for women and their self-possession is without modern parallel in a President. The same Obama, it's worth noting, who has endorsed harsh austerity measures to compliment his Administration's efforts to force Americans into even more restrictive client to patron relationships with insurance companies, auto manufacturers, banks, prison complexes and privatized educational rackets. He is completely dedicated to not only preserving the Drug War, but expanding it and the prison industry - and he has recently promised to refrain from vetoing legislation which will put the stamp of law on the de facto militarization of law enforcement and local government.

I mean, come the fuck on, Creamer.

Or, whatever. I'm going to scrounge up some booze and celebrate the fact that it only took me three years to find a job. Which starts...

...in February.

(You can read the rest, at AOLHuffington, if you want. It's progressive dogwhistling, blaming Republicans for policies that have full Democratic support, and lionizing Obama for "fixing" Bush's mistakes. I don't have the stomach for any more of it. If you are healthy, sane, self-possessed or smart, you won't have the stomach for it either.

My apologies for the republish. Hated the original title.

Anyway, thanks for you time. Or not, ya fucking fucks.)

13 comments:

Anatole David said...

A million Iraqis killed and over 4 million displaced, Fallujah a radioactive wasteland with birth defect rates higher than Hiroshima post '45, but it's all worth it. "American Progressives" can pat themselves on the back for "ending the war"--LOL

NB Great point on Conquest--the Crime spree over and in Iraq was one sided--a classic bomb, terrorize, occupy, install puppets, and grab--Happy to see some attention paid to Sanction years--when over a million women and children died from lack of medicine and proper nutrition--and daily bombings occurred--But "American Progressives" want us to forget Clinton's bombings of Iraq(including a Carpet Bombing on the eve of an Impeachment vote for a nice "rally round the bomber" poll boost).

Great to have you back and posting.

Giving An Appreciative Fuck

Cüneyt said...

You left out all the Freedom Women who crossed the border to sell their Freedom Vaginas to feed their Freedom Babies in Syria and Jordan.

davidly said...

Man, I'm glad I canceled my account over't AriannaOnLine. I'm really happier to come here and type "fuckin' A" than waste my time venting frustrations at the Cream of the Crap.

Thanks for that.

d.mantis said...

I wanted to add my extremely selfish appreciation that your back to this.

This country is so fucked. But Obama is the "appeaser and anti-war president"!

God I want to punch Creamer in the balls.

Jack Crow said...

Humbled and grateful.

zencomix said...

Welcome back, Jack.

Jim H. said...

Good to have you back. Good news about the job! Lawyers? All of them (us)?

re: "Congress declared no commencement of hostilities." True. Recall, tho', Congress did issue a resolution authorizing Bush to use force. He obtained same under false pretenses, claiming he only needed it for leverage: Saddam had WMD & active ongoing contacts w/ al Qaeda which were an imminent threat to the U.S. All false.

Congress punted. Bush ran an end around. Football analogies suck.

But yeah, what you said. Much better than what i wrote. To wit: on balance, it's better that there's an "official" end to the "official" killing, etc. The fig leaf is lifted. All in all a step in the right direction, tho' certainly not the destination.

Richard said...

Hey, don't be so hard on Creamer. It was a hard mission but someone had to do it.

Welcome back, too, by the way.

David W. Kasper said...

A shiny return.

Huffpo, from its title onwards, has always been 'part of the problem' - ideologically, business-wise, labour-wise, and all the rest.

rob payne said...

Thanks for posting this. I have read so many blurbs written by people, some of whom should know better, that the occupation or war or whatever people like to call it of Iraq is over that my head is ready to explode. So this was very refreshing to read. The violence continues in Iraq and people are still dying which isn’t very refreshing. America has military bases estimated at over 760 depending on what you read, some of them since the end of WWII. America is like a cancer tumor that won’t go away no matter what is done. Great post.

Mark S said...

Glad you're back, Jack, and in full stride. Congratulations on the employment.

Not a comment on this post, but am wondering if anybody's seen this: http://falkvinge.net/2011/12/16/do-we-really-have-to-prepare-for-the-fourth-box/

(soap, ballot, jury ... and ammo)

... from probably the highest-profile name yet, anyway.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

How can they expect us to believe something's over when they won't return the civil liberties they've stolen?
~

Randal Graves said...

Remember, work is for slacking.