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“WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS . . .” September 10, 2007

Posted by wmmbb in Iraq Policy, US Politics.
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I continue to be puzzled that with the unnecessary deaths in Iraq, including those of young Americans, that the occupation is not more forcefully resisted by the politicians in Congress. Can the sway of the infotainment industry and the power of the purse held by the lobby groups be so effective and the price of each professional politician be so clearly known?
Another alternative is that the case for withdrawal – including the payment of war reparations – has not clearly and decisively being made, by those who have direct experience of the reign of murder that any imperialist becomes and continues to be. The invasion of Iraq was not, as imagined by some, a rewriting of the Second War World liberation of Germany or Japan, but more like older imperialists occupations, such as the invasion of Egypt by Napoleon (to acknowledge Juan Cole), or the British Raj in India. Subjected peoples have learned a few tactics, and now possess new weapons, including suicide bombing, since the glory days, of which some historians are so fond. Yet the process of imperialism is still barbaric, as it is supposedly illegal since the Nuremberg Trials. The rule of law patiently awaits it’s application in Iraq, which may stop any future adventures and chill the heart of any dictator before he unleashes a reign of terror against his own people.

Matt Howard makes his statement as an op-ed on ABC Online. He says:

As a two-tour combat veteran of this brutal war, I have a responsibility to speak honestly and openly about what has been done and what continues to be done in our name.

We veterans know that this war is not the one being sanitised on the nightly news.

It has nothing to do with the liberation of the people of Iraq; instead everything to do with the subjugation and domination of these people in the name of US economic and strategic interests.

I did not go to war with the country of Iraq. I went to war with the people of Iraq.

During the initial invasion we killed women. We killed children. We killed farm animals.

We were the United States Marine Corps, not the United States Peace Corps, and we left a swath of death and destruction in our wake all the way to Baghdad.

Four and a half years later we as soldiers are done. We are done being told under threat of court martial to run over children that get in the way of our speeding convoys.

We are done raiding and destroying the homes of innocent Iraqis on a nightly basis.

We are done abusing and torturing prisoners.

We are done being hired thugs for the 160,000 contractors and US corporate interests in Iraq.

We are done coming home broken, from two, three, four tours of duty – only to find our commander in chief has actually cut funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs. To find our doctors being told to diagnose us with pre-existing personality disorders instead of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

We are done killing for lies.

So we are taking back the history that has been deliberately robbed from us. We are dispelling the myth that the Vietnam War ended when the Democrats started voting against it.

The truth is that the Vietnam War ended when the people followed their conscience and took to the streets. The Vietnam War ended when soldiers refused to fight; when pilots dropped their bombs in the ocean.

The power lies with the people. The Government knows this and is deathly afraid of it.

Contra wise, I do not believe that G W Bush (to a lesser extent), R B Cheney and others, perhaps including J W Howard, care anything for the opinion of the people, believing that they can control with some justification through their control of the infotainment industry.

Carl Sandburg observed a few things about “the people”:

The people will live on.
The learning and blundering people will live on.
They will be tricked and sold and again sold
And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds,
The people so peculiar in renewal and comeback,
You can’t laugh off their capacity to take it.

Yes, and just sometimes, they get a bee in their bonnet. Then watch out Cheney and Bush.

Postscript: 

Juan Cole points out in his assessment of the Petraeus/Crocker presentations to Congress that the power of the bully pulpit has been enhanced, even if the president is G W Bush, leaving potentially grave problems for the his successor.

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