Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Hate The War

Members of Students for a Democratic Society and other coalitions marched through campus Thursday afternoon, waving an upside down American flag and chanting to protest military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Similar protests have been held annually on campus to mark the anniversary of the U.S. military's invasion of Iraq.
The six-year anniversary occurred during spring break, but organizers chose to postpone the protest to a time when more people would be on campus.
Thursday's protest was organized by SDS, a student group that aims to emphasize the importance of organizing a strong movement to end the war in Iraq.
Erika Wurst , gender, women and sexuality studies senior and member of the Women's Student Activist Collective , said she thinks overall public opinion is solidly against the war.

That's from Hillary Kline's "Students protest Iraq, Afghanistan wars" (The Minnesota Daily) and we'll turn to e-mails. Today's bombing in Baghdad (click here for Raheem Salman and Ned Parker's Los Angeles Times report or click here for today's snapshot), has a right-wing, pro-war woman who e-mails non-stop (and has since at least 2006, usually closing with scripture she feels might 'save' my soul) insisting this is proof of why the United States can't leave Iraq.

Here's her answer: No, it's not.

Did the US presence prevent the bombing? We know the answer to that: NO.

Would the US leaving escalate the violence? We don't know. I would assume the immediate aftermath would see a rise in violence and that's a guess on my part. I make that guess due to the fact that the US government armed two sides to a sectarian war while allowing the Kurds to think the US was on their side. The Kurds appear to be on the verge of learning what others already have: You're only the US' friend when tossing you off the boat accomplishes nothing; however, when your life/wants/needs/desires can be bartered for something else, off the boat you go. Whether you can swim or not.

What happens when the US leaves is an unknown. The US presence does increase the tensions and it has propped up one side in the sectarian war. But at some point the US will leave. They're currently being used as a baby sitter. No one knows what to do. Barack 'ready from day one' certainly doesn't know what to do. So the US military is used as a baby sitter.

If that offends you, it's hopefully because Iraqis are not children. No, they aren't. I didn't call them babies. But the US military is being used as a baby sitter. It's supposed to monitor and punish.

Iraqis are going to have to determine their fate. The woman e-mailing (we'll call her Margie) insists that the US "gave" Iraq "democracy" and must stay on the ground in Iraq to ensure "democracy" takes root. Really?

I wonder how that 'logic' would have played following the Revolutionary War? What if the American people had been told the British were going to remain on American soil, calling the shots and doing so because "democracy" needed to take root?

First off, you can't give democracy. It's not something you can wrap up and tie a bow around. People want it or they don't and that's their determination. It's also their determination, if they do want it, what kind of a democracy they want. The US is not the only democracy in the world. But whatever they want and whatever they become is up to Iraqis.

Lies started the illegal war and lies keep it going. If Margie truly believes that "democracy" has been "given" to Iraq, her insistence that the US stay really means that Margie's afraid Iraq's going to toss the gift out or wrap it up and regift it. Meaning Margie fears Iraq doesn't want it. So to make sure they take this White Elephant gift, Margie wants the US forces to remain in Iraq until 2013. She writes that 2013 is the perfect time for the troops to leave because then "ten years will have been given to Iraq."

I wasn't aware that "ten years" was the designated time for giving but Margie's been writing since 2006 and in some of her rah-rah-war e-mails early on, she maintained that the US needed to remain in Iraq until 2010. She's now tacked three years on.

Point, there's always an excuse to stay in Iraq. There was an excuse to go into it. But reality is that Iraq is a country -- supposedly sovereign -- and its people need to determine what will or will not happen. If we assume Margie won't extend her latest time line, let's ponder a 2013 departure. In 2014, if Iraq decides it wants to be a Socialist society, does Margie propose the US go back in?

The US needs to be planning for a full withdrawal and it needs to be speedy, not dragged out over years. No one can predict the future of Iraq and, thing is, it's not supposed to be determined by outsiders even if they could.

Bully Boy Bush had many kick-the-can moments with the illegal war which, he insisted early on, would be a brief war. Bully Boy Barack wants it bad, wants to have this war and Afghanistan and Darfur. And the only thing that might change his mind is mass opposition. Fortunately for him, nothing like that exists currently.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4257. Tonight? 4259.

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