Friday, August 20, 2010

The war continues (and watch for the revisionary tactics)

The country is divided by sectarianism. Months after the election, Iraq's politicians can not agree on a government that will collaborate with the U.S. occupiers. Militias still function as independent military forces and are run by warlord politicians. Iran still controls or influences many of the various political factions that exist in the country, and that along with other disputes and contention with the U.S. imperialists, could lead to war between the U.S. and Iran. (Admiral Mike Mullen, one of the top U.S. military leaders, recently stressed that the military options are still on the table in regard to Iran.)
The bottom line is that Thursday's withdrawal of the "combat" brigade is not a "historic moment." It is just one more piece of propaganda and one more step in the continuing U.S. war of terror. In addition to the tens of thousands of troops still in Iraq, tens of thousands of others are nearby either in other Middle East bases or in the waters near Iraq on nuclear task forces. If the U.S. needs to do so it can rapidly reintroduce combat forces within days.
The war and occupation will continue until the people of Iraq and the world force the U.S. to withdraw. People in this country have a particular responsibility to build a powerful movement of determined political opposition to the ongoing occupation of and war upon Iraq waged by the U.S. government. Do not be fooled into thinking that Obama or any presidential administration will leave Iraq on its own volition.

The above is from Kenneth J. Theisen's "A Combat Brigade Leaves; U.S. War of Terror Against Iraq Continues" (World Can't Wait) and the Iraq War is not over, despite claims by what Michael R. Gordon has termed the "electronic media." It's a nice photo-op, it's just not reality. Reality isn't even that the US is down to 50,000 troops. RTT News reports the Defense Dept puts the number at 52,000 currently. In the spin cycle passing for a news cycle, we're not only seeing media deceptions, we're seeing the emergence of self-deceptions and that's really important to grasp.

Vietnam was not judged a 'success' or 'good thing' or any such during the final years of war or immediately after. What happened? Jane Fonda explained explained in the amazing documentary Sir! No Sir!, "You know, people say, 'Well you keep going back, why are you going back to Vietnam?' We keep going back to Vietnam because, I'll tell you what, the other side does. They're always going back. And they have to go back -- the Hawks, you know, the patriarchs. They have to go back because, and they have to revise the going back, because they can't allow us to know what the back there really was."

And that is how revisionary history works. A people are in agreement largely but a faction continues to pollute the public square with distortions and misinformation. It's how we end up with a pathetic Barack Obama repeatedly distorting that time period -- please note, a time period that he loves to whine "I was only 8 years old!" about when asked to explain his one-time friendship with Bill Ayers (Bill was drop-kicked under the bus) but he wants to lie repeatedly about Vietnam. And he gets away with it because people don't want to go back. So he's lied about veterans being physically spit on as they returned to the US, he's lied about them being shunned by the public (the government shunned them, the public never did -- whether they were pro-war, anti-war, or apolitical).

It's really something to see and amazing to watch people fail to call him out. Even George W. Bush pulling this nonsense was considered newsworthy. August 22, 2007, Bully Boy Bush spoke to the VFW and, as Jim Rutenberg, Sheryl Gay Stolber, Mark Mazzetti, Damien Cave and Eric Schmitt (New York Times) observed: "With his comments Mr. Bush was doing something few major politicians of either party have done in a generation: rearguing a conflict that ended more than three decades ago but has remained an emotional touch point." As Jane said, "We keep going back to Vietnam because, I'll tell you what, the other side does. They're always going back. And they have to go back -- the Hawks, you know, the patriarchs. They have to go back because, and they have to revise the going back, because they can't allow us to know what the back there really was."

It's probably not going to be different with the Iraq War. And that may surprise you if you didn't live through the Vietnam period. How could it ever change? A number of reasons but mainly because the War Hawks will invent a new hypothesis, test it out, if it has some form of acceptance, they will begin selling it repeatedly. They will sell many such claims, often all in contradiction with one another, muddying the water, confusing the facts and, in less than ten years after the illegal war ends (it hasn't ended yet), you'll have a large number of people unaware how massive opposition to the Iraq War was.

At Gallup, Jeffrey M. Jones breaks down the latest poll on the Iraq War (1,013 respondents, poll taken from August 5th through 8th, margin of error +/-4%):

More Americans believe history will judge the Iraq war as a failure (53%) rather than a success (42%). These views have varied little over the past few years even as Americans have become more positive in their assessments of how the war is going.
To a large degree, Americans' predictions on how history will judge the war mirror their basic support for the war -- 55% say the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, while 41% disagree. War opposition has eased only slightly in recent years from a high of 63% in April 2008.

Those numbers will not change significantly . . . for those who lived through it. That's true of the Vietnam era as well. The War Hawks can't trick the ones who lived through it. But that's not what they're about. They're about tricking future generations, they're about lying and rewriting history. Because the lessons and Vietnam and Iraq are very similar: Want to go war, then you better lie to the people.

That's not the message the War Hawks want passed around and imparted to future generations. So they try to hide behind service members and act as if they're speaking on their behalf when all they're doing is attempting to free the government to start more wars based on lies, to trick and deceive the American people and to send more people (on all sides) into early graves.

If you're reading this in 2010, our numbers will stay the same. We're not the target for the revisionary history. It's the future generations that are the targets. If Vietnam and Iraq can't be revised into 'good wars,' if the facts can't be left out, then generations can grow up knowing that their government has lied in the past and, patterns hold, will lie again in the future. Future generations will know to strongly question assertions made by elected officials allegedly acting on behalf of the American people's best interests. And that's what War Hawks, and their strong streak of authoritarianism, can't tolerate.

For more on current feelings about the Iraq War, see The Takeaway's listener feedback page. Above we were quoting from David Zeiger's amazing documentary Sir! No Sir! and we'll note the following from earlier this month:

As you know, last year--because of the support you gave the Winter Soldier film, This is Where We Take Our Stand, we were able to create the Web Series that has now been posted for a full year. (http:// ).
In January of this year, the Independent Television Service-ITVS-provided funding to complete a one-hour film for PBS, to be broadcast some time next year.
Finally, three years after that historic event, the story of the Winter Soldier Iraq/Afghanistan Investigation will be brought before millions on public television. And as Barack Obama declares victory in Iraq while he expands the horrific occupation of Afghanistan, This is Where We Take Our Stand is as timely as ever.

This would never have happened without the generous support you gave for this project. So once again, Bestor Cram and I want to say...

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!
As we complete the film and get a broadcast date we will keep you posted. Meanwhile, please take a look at my new film, Sweet Old World, which we are in the process of filming now.

The following community sites updated . . . Wednesday and Thursday:

Wednesday and Thursday? I left off yesterday's links even though intending (and typing an intro) to include them. My apologies.

"Fannie & Freddie"
"Terry finds another woman"
"elaine nails it"
"Oh look, he's Merlin!"
"No, it did not end today"
"Sher Kung"
"Palin (classy), Emily's List (hypocrite)"
"No leadership, no nothing "
"How very telling"

We'll close with this -- a rare nod to merchandise and only due to the fact that it attempts to serve the entire spectrum:

Calif., Aug 17, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Off With All Their Political Heads today announced the availability of 120 new products at Zazzle (, the world's leading platform for quality custom products. Products are available for purchase online at

Just in time for the upcoming election season, illustrator Dan Staroff, finally dipping his big toe into the political pond (oil slicked as it may be), lends his humorous rendition of Wonderland's Queen of Hearts to the surreal and absurdist current state of political affairs with his new Off With All Their Political Heads store powered by Zazzle.

"From the Mad Tea Party to the Caucus-race, the similarities between Alice's Wonderland and the American Political landscape are astounding!" says Dan Staroff, creator of the Off With All Their Political Heads brand. "My idea for this line was to play up that fact, while adding some much needed levity to the proceedings. Every party is included in the political dialogue and diatribe here, it's a one-stop shop for all your protest-wear needs."

Offering "Equal Opportunity, Non-Partisan, Political Protest Wear" in eight categories, Staroff's Off With Their Heads art skewers Democrats and Republicans alike, not to mention: Incumbents, Progressives, Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians and Tea Baggers. From T-shirts to buttons, mugs, hats, bumper stickers and tote bags - 15 customizable items per political persuasion are available for sale immediately.

Zazzle is the world's leading platform for quality custom products. Zazzle's proprietary technology enables individuals, professional artists, and major brands, including Disney and Hallmark, to create and offer billions of unique products for customers worldwide. Zazzle's rapidly expanding product base covers every topic imaginable and includes custom t-shirts, business cards, and invites, in addition to a variety of other gifts. Upon creation, products are instantly and accurately visualized on the site and offered in the Zazzle marketplace. When ordered, each product is made on-demand, typically within 24 hours. Launched in 2005 and based in Redwood City, California, Zazzle's vision is to redefine commerce, powered by the world's imagination. For more information

About Dan Staroff:

Dan Staroff is the owner of Dan Staroff Studios, an independent small business specializing in art and illustration. His work has appeared in books and national magazines, and has been donated for use by several educational and charitable organizations. In 2009 he left New York City for the "Valley of Heart's Delight", known today as Silicon Valley, California.

Dan Staroff
Dan Staroff Studios

The e-mail address for this site is

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends