Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Hate The War

Question: When do you turn out the lights?

Answer: When you leave a room.

Is that all of the answer? No. The room needs to be empty. Most of us would not hit the light switch as we walked out of a room with other people in it.

So what's the point? The point is there's a line between covering a drawdown and just being insulting.

At At War (NYT blog), they felt the need to let you know "The Lights Are Going Out." Really? The lights in Iraq are going out?

No. Not only are US troops and contractors going to remain in Iraq, it was and is a country filled with Iraqis. It is their country. There is something so smug and so alienating about claiming "The Lights Are Going Out" just because (some) US troops are leaving.

The smugness can be found in this passage as well: "The F.O.B. has long been a military place. The buildings at its core were built by the British, and after that it was used and enlarged by the Iraqi Army. They both left their mark, but for reasons of historical analogy the British remnants are more poignant." Yeah, for historical analogies let's leave out the Iraqis, let's just erase them from their own country, okay?

The Iraq War has not ended but this piece -- and so many others like it -- make clear just how pathetic the media is. Hopefully, it's not a reflection of the people and purely the media's hangup.

The media's in a hurry to wash Iraq away. Now most Americans know the Iraq War was wrong. And many of that group would talk about the destruction and devastation to Iraq and the Iraqis. Some would just focus on the US death toll, granted, but a larger segment of the public would include that and the destruction Iraqis face. But the media's attitude is that when (some) US troops leave, the lights go out and so to the media interest.

It's not just that they don't believe the US government owes Iraq anything (how about a lot of money for all the damages?), it's that the story ends for them.

Why does it end then?

The same reason they tried to end Vietnam as a story. We don't want to see the ugliness that takes place as a result of our illegal wars. When don't want to see the violence, we don't want to see the suffering, we can't even take the hardships, not if we're to be lied into illegal war yet again.

So the press will largely ignore Iraq for two decades, if they get their way, and then pop back in -- as with Vietnam -- to declare it's a business miracle! It's thriving!

And never get too close with the cameras to explore what US chemicals did to the people of Vietnam. Never report on the continued birth defects.

Just dash in and dash out and move on quickly.

Because if we address the real after effects of this illegal war, a lot of people won't stand for another one. That matters to the media. Don't kid yourself that it doesn't. The media sold the Iraq War. They whored for it. They did so for a reason. And it's the same reason that has so many of them fleeing while insisting that things are better in Iraq and violence is down and blah, blah, blah.

All of those times we marched and chanted "Out of Iraq Now!" who knew the only segment of the US establishment that would heed our cry would be the media -- the very people who need to be in the country to document all that follows.

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 4402. Tonight? 4403.

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