...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Friday, April 09, 2004
      ( 2:36 PM )
Seeing the Gray

Just a final note here for the week. I have been looking around at the various commentary today. Many folks are starting to really question the Bush administration's motives and tactics in Iraq - even some conservatives and the mainstream media are starting to admit that this isn't all black and white anymore. In an article referenced by Josh Marshall, the WaPo even spends time in the midst of a critical article about Iraq mentioning that Bush has spent 40 percent of his administration on vacation.

In his regular column, Marshall also points out that the CPA over in Iraq is not at all subtle about the fact that it makes its decisions with Bush's political position in mind, not decisions based on what's best for Iraq. The Brits are pretty miffed about how far this has gone and are planning on bringing it up with Bush next week.

But even worse than all the pundits on TV and conservative talk radio trying to distract people with "Will John Kerry be served communion at Easter?" and "Look! There's no 'Silver Bullet!'" and not talking at all about what's really happening in Iraq, is the administration itself. Things have gone far beyond the "we're fighting against a small group of rebels" thing, and we all know it. Yet the Bush people, especially Rumsfeld, can't get anywhere close to letting it go and moving into reality. There are no gray areas for them, no sir. Steve Gilliard says it best:

The sad fact about Iraq is that no one gets the
scale of the tragedy. Not only are the theocrats
going to win, but the scale of killing is vast. Over
40 Americans and 300 Iraqis have been killed in

There is this arrogant idea that all the US has to
do is kill enough people and the resistance will
end. Dan Barlett, the White House spokesman
making the rounds of the morning shows, said
"we're fighting evil".

When I heard that, my mouth fell open. Hasn't
anyone in the White House noticed most Iraqis are
on the fence, and many more have decided to
oppose the occupation. They are not supporting
us. They are not taking our side, except when
we pay them. There isn't one pro-american group
native to Iraq. No one cares about Chalabi's henchmen.


What amazes me is that most Americans don't
understand a simple point: not since March 21, 2003
have Americans in Iraq not been under fire. There
has not been a single day where US troops have
not been shot at or attacked in some way in
some part of the country. While most Iraqis have
sat on the fence, there have always been enough
who so resented the occupation, they have sought
to kill Americans and those who collaborated
with them.

Steve's piece is very good, I urge you to read the whole thing. I just wanted to amplify a bit on the administration continuing to call those that have taken up arms against the occupying troops "evil doers." This whole "either you're with us or you're against us" thing has gone too far. Not every action is a terrorist action either. They've diluted the meaning of terrorism, and they've twisted what has become an armed uprising against occupation forces into a battle against "evil." I don't in any way want our troops harmed or hurt, but I didn't want them there in the first place.

What they are facing now is something that got out of control because the CPA isn't there to help Iraq transition into its own sovereign nation, it was planted there to transition Iraq into a staging ground for US presence in the middle east, greedy Bush-administration-tied corporations to make money, and for the oil. There were no plans made to actually assist this country go through what was always going to be a massive transition out of dictatorship. And the civilians in charge have never ONCE taken the advice of the career military leaders on the ground and in the Pentagon about how many troops we truly needed over there.

Neither our troops nor the Iraqis who are rising up are "evil." The situation was created by people who cared not for the lives of either of those groups, but rather for their own greed and tunnel-visioned view of the world. It can only escalate from here. Winning street battles and firefights are not "victories." We weren't supposed to be winning - or even fighting - gunfights a year after we went in (though many of us predicted we would be). The civilians who have been kidnapped and who most likely face terrible deaths, those others who are in danger over there now, and everyone else over there faces danger and death because of one thing: the manipulation of men in power who have no thought for anything but their own twisted goals. THEY are the ones who are evil, in my book.

The Iraqis will be further incensed the more that die (over 400 have been killed one WEEK), the puppet government that the US wanted to install is doomed already - this entire escapade is just FUBAR, excused this mama's language. The alternatives are getting fewer and fewer, and the only ones that may work (ie, sending in more troops) are either close to impossible, or simply disregarded by the men in power like Rumsfeld and Cheney.

The hubris of these men has killed hundreds of human beings for no reason. This is the same hubris that allows Bush to stay on vacation at his ranch while the soldiers he is supposedly Commander and Chief of die on his watch because of choices he made - choices which had nothing to do with anything other than that very same hubris. This is how I see it.

Whether justice will ever be served is something to discuss in the future. Perhaps it will begin in November. Meanwhile we must pray that somehow, some way, in some kind of quick fashion, the people caught up in this escalating chaos will find a way out. I have a feeling if they do, it won't be because of any help from the people who put them there in the first place.

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