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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Four Years of Pointless Violence

The fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad has come and gone. Associated Press has a great blow by blow timeline of the violence that happened yesterday. Just one day, symbolic of all of them. The day got off to an inauspicious start.

4 a.m. Police in Baqouba said U.S. forces shot at an ambulance, believing someone in the vehicle had opened fire on them. The driver and the patient were not hurt.

All in all, 25 people were found dead or killed in Iraq. Still, some would argue that we're making progress in Iraq. John McCain, continuing his BS campaign, told reporters yesterday, "...I believe we are making progress. These are small signs of progress. They are not large signs of progress. We will know [more] when we get more of our surge over there." No word on what these 'small signs of progress' actually are, but trust John -- he's a straightshooter.

The White House was less circumspect.

Editor & Publisher:

A huge anti-American protest swept two cities in Iraq today, but White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe told reporters this only underscores how much "progress" the U.S. is making in that country.

Four years since the fall of Baghad, Iraq "is now a place where people can freely gather and express their opinions, and that was something they could not do under Saddam." Johndrove said, traveling with President Bush to Arizona.

You know what's fun? That the White House had to go all the way back to Saddam Freakin' Hussein to give an example of when things actually sucked more. And, by any other measure, iraqis are worse off than they were under Hussein -- carbombing wasn't so much of a problem back then, for example. No civil war. No armed gangs. Hospitals were actually functioning. Little things like that.

Writes iraqi blogger Faiza al-Arji, "[T]he Bush administration lies, sending false stories and illusionary successes about Iraq, and on the same time; desisting the international community from its responsibilities towards the Iraqis... A side of lies broadcasted by the satellite channels about what is taking place in Iraq, and another side of negligence, the covering up to the Iraqi's suffering, inside and outside of Iraq..."

Sounds overjoyed, doesn't she?

The truth is that we haven't freed these people at all. They're all stuck in their houses, hoping that militias or US forces just keep going by when they roll down the street.

The worst thing about the last four years has been the bottomless arrogance of those who began this war. The idea that you can force people to accept democracy is idiotic on its face and the assertion that we have the right to 'free' whoever we choose amounts to an admission of criminal aggression.

According to former iraqi government insider Ali A. Allawi, "The corroded and corrupt state of Saddam was replaced by the corroded, inefficient, incompetent and corrupt state of the new order." Not so much of an improvement as a downgrade.

What the neocons didn't count on was their own stupidity, avarice, and cowardice. When the time for tough decisions came, they pretended everything was going great. Now that the time for tough decisions has passed, they pretend they made the tough decisions. And, throughout it all, they carried a completely undeserved air of satisfaction in the knowledge that they were right.

Let's not forget the stunning hypocrisy. While waving flags and declaring themselves the spreaders of freedom, they tapped our phones, took away our rights, punished those who dissented, and brought the US as close to a police state as it's been in a good long time. They subverted law and robbed people of their votes. They stole the treasury and handed it out to their donors. And, every step of the way, they wrapped themselves in the flag and told everyone that it was anti-american to complain about it. Freedom of speech meant you had the right to shut the hell up.

It'd be great to watch all of this fly back in their faces if it weren't for an inconvenient set of facts -- Iraq is still there, the neocons are still there, and the Bush administration hasn't learned a damned thing. Is it any wonder that entire towns are voting to impeach?

And you know how Bush keeps saying that he's the Commander in Chief and everyone has to listen to him? That's BS. He's not your CiC, he's not congress's, and -- *gasp* -- he's not the CiC of the National Guard. That'd be the governors of the states.

In the end, it'll be history that judges Bush and the neocons -- assuming they don't wind up in a court of law before they die -- and it'll be history that will remember them as an example, like Nixon or McCarthy, of how not to govern. The Bush administration will be remembered as the greatest failure in american history. That's a record I hope stands until long, long after I'm dead -- I doubt the republic could survive worse.

So, four years after we rolled into Iraq, we have no clue as to when we'll roll out. As far as Bush and McCain are concerned, we'll never roll out -- give Iraq a state flower, a star on the flag, and an NFL team. We're staying.

But the american people want out and the american people can only be ignored for so long. The '06 elections show that the GOP ignored us for too long as it is. And they continue to do so. If they stay on this path, a strong drive for impeachment is probable and a electoral route in '08 is a certainty.

It's just too bad that people in Iraq have to pay in blood for us to learn from our mistakes.


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