Friday, October 29, 2004

A Divided Nation, United In Shame


It's funny how these things work. The culpability of the Administration for failing to secure an Iraqi weapons depot has been conclusively established by videotape taken by an ABC news affiliate on April 18, 2003. After all the swift boat and national guard and "flip-flop" nonsense, this story that wasn't even on the radar until 8 days before the election will follow voters into the booth and confirm all their suspicions that the Administration's mulish refusal to send enough troops to Iraq permitted the rise of the insurgency and caused the deaths of hundreds of U.S. troops. The belated disclosure of this consequence of Administration incompetence, a misdemeanor on a bill of particulars against this Administration bulging with capital offenses, will defeat the Deserter and deliver us from evil.

But the real scandal, the one that has inexorably built since the first bomb was dropped on Baghdad, will have negligible impact on the election and cause barely a ripple in the public consciousness. The real scandal is not the incompetence, but the policy that sought to subdue a popular insurgency by means of terror and mass aerial slaughter. A Johns Hopkins School of Health study concluded that 100,000 or more civilian Iraqis have been killed in the 18 months since the beginning of the war, most since "mission accomplished", most as a result of aerial bombardment. As I've noted before, the targeting may have been precise, but the blast radius was deadly. The Iraq/Vietnam analogy is now undeniably apt in one respect. The killing of 100,000 innocent people in 18 months is a rate of carnage that matches the barbarity of the "Rolling Thunder" that devastated Vietnam during our last descent into national insanity.

Is the killing of 100,000 innocent people justified by the risk that a country that had never threatened us might one day threaten us? Is it any better if the 100,000 are buried separately rather than in "mass graves"? Is the killing of 100,000 innocent Iraqis justified by the fact that we deposed a dictator who killed 100,000 innocent Iraqis more than a decade ago? If so, does it matter that there was no evidence of an ongoing atrocity in Iraq at the time we began bombing Baghdad? 100,000 deaths later, can one still maintain that the invasion of Iraq had anything to do with our concern for the welfare of the Iraqi people?

I will no longer volley idiocies such as the argument that it doesn't really matter if Iraq had the capacity to threaten us. I will no longer indulge in refutations of the rationalizations of our aggression offered by my wingnut friends. There are 100,000 innocent people who are dead because we deluded ourselves into believing that precise targeting or our innate humanity or putative good intentions could mitigate the effects of dropping bombs the size of SUVs on areas as densely populated as Manhattan and northwest D.C. There is too much of the element of sport in our little scrums now. Our effete, bloodless debates demean the enormity of this catastrophe.

I beg those of my wingnut friends who applauded the torture at Abu Ghraib and urged the levelling of Fallujah to show a little respect and restrain your delight at the Iraqi toll and your pride in the proficiency of our death machines. The 100,000 may have been Iraqis and muslims, and therefore presumptively terrorists in your eyes, but they were humans before we rained death upon them and reduced the vessels of their souls to carrion.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello goldstein / eotp. thank you for correcting former Gov. Milliken's state of residence. from the Daytona Beach News-Journal Online ( http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/Opinion/Editorials/03OpOPN55102804.htm ) some numbers & stats not seen before ( the WaPo ran some new $$$ figures a couple of days ago that pegged the cost of the illegal & immoral invasion of IraqNamStan at $221 Billion by end of 2005 ) but this from the DBNJ was really an eye-opener.

April 2003 - congress approved $78.5 Billion
October 2003 - congress approved $87.5 Billion
August 2004 - congress approved $25 Billion
an additional $70 Billion would then total $261 Billion

remember Lawrence Lindsey's prediction in September 2002 ? He predicted the invasion would cost up to $200 Billion. He got fired by the way for that prediction ...

Military costs for Afghanistan & IraqiNamStan are running $200 Million per Day, more than $6 Billion a Month.

that's the cold cash / looting of the U.S. Treasury part of the equation.

Let's look at the human costs ( this would be the amerikan military cost - no mention in this editorial as to the Iraqi human cost - but you and Johns Hopkins handled that part of the equation today ).

1,250 KIA in Afghanistan & IraqiNamStan

*** 26,000 *** WIA in both ( this was a number that i had not seen before )

7,000 amputees ( IED's will ruin your day )

Future Medical costs = infinity

all of this for gottdamn OIL ??
all of this to kill israel's enemies ??
all of this to put pressure on Iran, Syria and North Korea ??
all of this caused by an AWOL Deserter chimpfuhrer, cheney, powell, tenet, rumsfeld, wolfowitz, ledeen, perle, rice, libby, feith, et al ???

Defeat the Deserter and Deliver Us from Evil. amen.

the usa Has descended into national insanity.

and you know what's down the road ? more OIL wars ( probably with China, maybe with Russia over Central Asia access ) and there will also be wars fought over fresh water. i see nothing but war on the horizon. i see humanity descending right into a Darwinian hellstorm. population is out of control globally. can the usa kill everyone ?

as for the Iraqis ( and this also applies to the Palestinians but in a slightly different manner - they have land that somebody covets ) - they had better wake up real fast as the usa ( and the other white warmongering oil stealing nations, australia and britain ) will kill all of them in order to get that oil. people look at me as if i am a looney - but the Johns Hopkins report bears me out. the Iraqis had better start thinking of rising up as one and throwing the barbarian invaders right the hell out.

what have we become ???

thanks for the pre-election post. 2 november is turning me into a tuning fork.

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