Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

nikolai-fechin-reading-the-newspaper-1916.gif Reading the Newspaper (Nikolai Fechin, 1916)

The headlines tell the world that the US and the Iraqis are close to a deal to get US troops to leave. Upon further reading, the deal isn’t about getting US troops to leave but making sure that they stay at least five more years. Even then, that’s contingent on the so-called security situation on the ground. An assessment that will be provided by the very men and women whose careers depend on maintaining an occupation there for as long as possible–the military top command. Meanwhile, US troops “inadvertently” killed four more women and a child in Afghanistan. My understanding of the word “inadvertently” is that it describes something that happens without intention. If this is the definition of the word, then I must take issue with the US military’s use of that word in this and many other cases of civilian death. If these killings were inadvertent, then they would have occurred because of an automobile accident or perhaps a roof collapsing because of an earthquake or a tornado. That’s not how they occurred, though. They occurred because the US was unleashing its firepower on Afghanis who may or may not have been members of the network of Afghanis who are tired of invaders tearing up their country and killing their families. In other words, the US military is not inadvertently in Afghanistan, so any deaths that they cause are not inadvertent. They happen because, and only because, the US military is in that country with the intention to make it safe for Washington’s empire, no matter who dies.

Anyhow, back to that Iraqi deal. If I was a signatory to an agreement like the one being foisted on the Iraqi people by the Green Zone government and its US masters, I would deserve whatever fate awaited me by those whom I sold down the Euphrates. This agreement has more loopholes than the US tax code does for corporations and wealthy individuals. Remember that loophole from a few years ago that allowed someone to write off the purchase of a Hummer as long as they used it for their business? Well, the loopholes in the agreement currently being discussed in Baghdad that would insure the continued domination of Iraq by Washington has loopholes that are not only big enough for several Hummers to drive though, they will also insure that Iraqis will be seeing Humvees driven by fully armed US soldiers in their country for a long time. In addition, those soldiers will be operating without any legal restrictions placed on them that the Iraqi government could enforce. If that’s sovereignty, than Attica State Prison is a sovereign state.

Yet, here in the USA, we demand that the Iraqis spend the $78 billion that the US Government Accounting Office says they have in the bank. After all, weren’t we promised that the Iraqis would pay for this war and the rebuilding afterwards? I mean, why should US taxpayers have to pay for the destruction of some other nation’s infrastructure just because it was US soldiers that destroyed it all? And whatever happened to that cheap gas we were supposed to get? Who knows, maybe that will come after Tel Aviv attacks Iran. This possibility, Condoleeza Rice told the media, is something that could happen and the US can do nothing to stop it. After all, even though it is the most powerful nation in the world, our friends in Israel have their own understanding of self-defense. It is an understanding that not only counts on the US backing it up (as it most certainly will), but also understands that the billions of dollars Washington gives Tel Aviv every year requires that country to be Washington’s attack dog in the Middle East. Except, of course, on those rare occasions when Israel’s interests do not correspond to those of Washington.

Good thing there’s an election coming up. Once Bush is gone, the world will get better. Won’t it? At least one of the candidates has to be against all this war and threats of war, right? Maybe Obama is just playing the game when he promises fealty to Tel Aviv. Maybe he doesn’t mean it when he sounds like Bush in regards to Iran. Maybe he’ll listen to the American people (and not the generals) after he gets elected and bring the troops back from Iraq by the end of 2009. Maybe John McCain will quit offering his wife up to bikers “show your tits” contests and evolve beyond the troglodyte stage. Maybe Dick Cheney will face charges at the Hague. And maybe pigs will fly.

Ron Jacobs is the author of The Way The Wind Blew:A History of the Weather Underground. His most recent novel Short Order Frame Up is published by Mainstay Press. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Ron.


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