Sunday, July 22, 2007

Notes On A Quagmire -or- IROC-Zeesh

I've been meaning on doing this post for a long while now. I've held off on doing any "hot" issues for awhile out of caution. I really didn't want anything I posted up on this stupid blog to queer my chances of finding a job, but now I just don't give a wet shit.
So, here you go - look for more repressed posts in the coming days and weeks.
Stop and take a good look at the picture above - Click on it (to enlarge) and really look at it.
I'll wait.
It's a painting by Sandow Birk. It was featured in LA Weekly a few months ago, and it depicts the neo-cons vision of being greeted as liberators by the Iraqis. Great, huh? I think that we all wish that this was the reality on the ground over there, but it's not (with one exception - more later).

I've fucking hated this war from the get-go. The human losses involved in such an incursion are a damned shame, but the obvious financial detriment that this war would cost the US is fucking criminal. Our economy is teetering on the brink of ruin with the imminent retirement of the baby-boomers. The last thing this country needs is more deficits. I never bought into the "oil revenue" argument, and the last thing I wanted was our country indebted to rebuild yet another third-world shithole and police its streets. No nation building. Remember that?

Don't get me wrong, I'm no Birkenstock clad daisy picker. I was one of the few people that would have had zero problem if the US dropped ye olde atom bomb on Osama in the Afghanistan conflict. Fuck 'em. Human life is cheap - Ground wars are expensive. Just turn all of their sand into glass and rename the whole wasteland the "Vengeance Memorial".
Since the Ruskies folded up their war booth, we have a shitload of thermo-nuclear goodies that Nevada just won't let us bury. Just as well get some use out of 'em, and leave Nevada to worry about unlicensed whores and card-counters. Done and done.

I saw Iraq as a fool's-errand and detrimental to achieving our goals in Afghanistan. I was amazed that ALL of the news outlets were cheerleading this war from the onset. I never watch Fox, but MSNBC and CNN both had "countdown to war" counters running. Any dissent to the inevitable war was often overwhelmed with extended commentary on how there was no other option. Roll the flag graphic and sell the war.
The one example of this that really sticks with me is the media's treatment of Scott Ritter in the run-up to the war. If you don't remember, he was the former US weapons inspector in Iraq. He was the military guy with a buzz-cut claiming that there were no WMDs in Iraq. Remember? Right before the war he was on every news network pleading not to intervene militarily. He was ignored and slandered. That guy went from being a military consultant for Fox News to being branded as a traitor (and later pedophile) by his own circle. He was derided by his former employer as being on Sadam's payroll, and was largely dismissed by everyone else.
He was right.
I haven't heard word one from that guy since the early days of this war. I'm amazed that he hasn't cashed in on his Cassandraesque prescience. If I was in his shoes, right now I'd be holding Cindy Sheehan's hand with my right hand and my new 'told-you-so' book in my left. The singular fact that he hasn't cashed in on this whole fiasco just goes to reinforce his initial motivations. He was trying like hell to keep us out of a stupid fucking pointless war.
He failed.

Historically, every single fucking conflict with the third-world has ended poorly. Ask the Brits. Shit, ask the US government. Any serious war that wasn't a regional land-grab has been an abject failure. Hell, we provided Iraq with munitions in their war with Iran after the latter grabbed hostages from our embassy, and we brought the fucking Taliban into power to repel the Soviets. The whole fucking region is a god-damned worthless hornets nest. Oil may be a lubricant, but we're the ones getting fucked - Hard. If I wanted to fight to the death with backwards fanatics, I'd wander drunk and naked into a fundamentalist church again. Forget that.
The smart move would have been to give Israel carte-blanc to deal with this issue. The reason that Iraq had no WMDs? Because ISRAEL kept bombing out all of their nuclear/biological warfare installations going back to 1981.

This whole fucking oil-run has turned into the most embarrassing debacle for the US in the last century. We're paying more than ever for gasoline and we get stuck chaperoning a civil war. It's the equivalent of running out to the corner-store for a quart of milk and returning with full-blown herpes.
So what's gonna happen? Here's the deal: Regardless of what we do, or when we leave, the region is going to (roughly) split back into the three former Ottoman vilayets of Mosul, Baghdad, and Basra that existed before the post WWI British occupation. The Sunni faction will ally with Syria, the Shi'ah faction will ally with Iran, and the Kurds will probably be subjugated by Turkey.
Kurdistan in the north (formerly Mosul) is the one shining ray of hope in the region. If you go into any cafe in Kurdistan they have a portrait of George W. hanging right above the register like DiMaggio in a pizzeria. They have a booming free-market emerging, and are true proponents of representative democracy. Everybody fucking hates them - They're doomed.

The bottom line: Now we've lost many more Americans in Iraq than we did on 9/11. We've destroyed the global sympathy that was generated after that tragedy. We've allowed Al Queda to escape into Pakistan, replenish its ranks, and have bankrolled their enlistment campaign. We've made our great country enemy #1 of the hamophobics. And, most importantly, we've flushed a metric ass-load of money right down the shitter just so George Bush could finally out-stupid our last Texan president , LBJ.

WMD is the new Gulf of Tonkin. God bless America.


Michael K said...

I wish I could read the sign in the painting.

garv said...

Nice post. I especially liked "hamophobics." There's nothing like inventing vocabulary to make a point.

Of course, Scott Ritter wasn't the only one to get it right. Several media outlets were reporting that the WMD claims were fishy at best prior to the war. Unfortunately, those outlets were in Britain and other foreign markets.

I couldn't get over that so many people (including journalists) were surprised and outraged when the WMD smokescreen dissipated. All I kept thinking was "didn't I read this reporting two years ago?"

Chris B. said...

I suppose the fact that I don't recall Scott Ritter is telling enough. He probably doesn't know me either but I was dubious about the war, too, because all of Iraq's neighbors were opposed to it.

Also, I only partially subscribe to the "fight them over there instead of here" argument because we are fighting them here (and in London, Madrid, etc.) regardless. However, if this is nothing more than an exercise to distract terrorism, is that really a war on terrorism? Isn't it a very expensive way for GWB to make it through his term with a slightly decreased chance of violence at home? It wouldn't surprise me if he was delusional enough to think that thwarting another major attack by keeping the communists - er, terrorists at bay was actually a success.