Can’t let the week go by without noting “The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness” in The Nation, a devastating piece of eye-witness testimony described by its authors as an investigation into “alleged military misconduct” of U.S. troops in Iraq.
The three words alleged military misconduct are a legalistic euphemism for the banalized horrors of the war — “indiscriminate killings” of innocent civilians, “checkpoint shootings,” night raids by stormtroopers who act like the Gestapo — all of which are detailed in firsthand accounts by veterans willing to speak up.
As Spc. Garett Reppenhagen, 32, of Manitou Springs, Colorado, a cavalry scout and sniper, points out, “It’s just the nature of the situation you’re in. That’s what’s wrong. It’s not individual atrocity. It’s the fact that the entire war is an atrocity.”
But will the American public get it? Despite polls that say popular opinion has turned against the war, some observers doubt it will make much difference in the long run.
(Crossposted at HuffPo)
Consider what mi amigo William Osborne wrote before the invasion and in another context: America seems to regard its victims as “little more than nameless bystanders, shadows without identity in a netherworld of ‘collateral damage.'”
[They are] brown-skinned shadows whose violent demise need not touch the American realm, even if their deaths were caused or abetted by the U.S. government. In short, it’s just massive suffering and death in a remote world, something like images of video games beamed from the ethers.
Today, speaking of the war, he dismisses all talk of an American withdrawal as nothing but smoke and mirrors.
Everything is going exactly to plan — the civil war, the destruction of Iraq, the strategic ‘retreat’ into bases, and a gradual genocide, both physical and cultural, against the Sunnis (and, in a way, against all Iraqis).
The Americans will back into their bases and wait out the genocidal civil war. It’s been U.S. strategy in Iraq all along. How clever to hide it behind the facade that we ‘lost’ the war, or are withdrawing in failure.
The theater even includes putting Hillary in office to make the presumed de-escalation and partial withdrawal appear to be democratic — once we have sown the seeds of death.
And now that it is all done, we will, of course, shed a crocodile tear or two, including suitable articles in The Nation and The New York Times.
Or as that now-forgotten prevaricator Rummy Boy would say, “By golly!”