Thursday, November 25, 2010

I Hate The War

So it's two years since the Status Of Forces Agreement passed the Iraqi Parliament and the war drags on. And, as the 'results' of the elections (per power-sharing arrangment) make clear, elections don't matter and treaties don't matter. The US government has shown the Iraqi people a wonderful example . . . of how to create a dictatorship.

For those who never paid attention, the SOFA passed Parliament two years ago but it never passed the Iraqi people. What happened two years ago was that a large number of MPs elected to skip the vote. Those present were strong-armed and the way it was rammed through in the end had a lot to do with the promise of the measure being put before the Iraqi people no later than July 30, 2009 (click here for AFP). That never happened.

In June of 2009, a month before the referndum was supposed to be held, Alissa J. Rubin (New York Times) was reporting, "American diplomats are quietly lobbying the government not to hold the referendum, but so far Iraqi politicians have decided to go ahead with it to avoid appearing to be in the pocket of the Americans in an election year."

In August of 2009, Jason Ditz ( was reporting, "The vote was scheduled to be held in late July 2009, and the efforts to delay the vote were fought tooth and nail by parliament. Ultimately parliament never signed off on the delay, but weeks after the deadline the vote somehow managed to never happen. So now Maliki's proposed idea of holding the vote in January, alongside the also-delayed parliamentary vote, is no longer the worst case scenario for Iraqis waiting for a chance to vote on a pact that enormous numbers of them have publicly protested again. Rather, it's being presented as a possibility, but one that might not happen either." That would have been January 2010. That never happened either.

It's amazing that so many people insisted that SOFA meant US troops had to leave Iraq at the end of 2011 (that's not what the SOFA means -- it may happen, the SOFA may be renegotiated it, it may be replaced with a new agreement) while they ignored that the referendum was never held. While they ignored that the US government -- and this is under Barack Obama, June 2009 is Barack Obama -- was actively working to undermine the referendum.

Year after year, the US government has publicly talked a good game on democracy but it's repeatedly undermined any chance democracy might have in taking root in Iraq. It's done that by undermining aggreements, it's done that by undermining election outcomes. The sooner the US gets out of Iraq, the sooner Iraqis can pick up the pieces and build whatever kind of a government they want. But though the US government should have left long ago, it shows no real signs of leaving. And at some point, all the apologists for Barack are going to have to face the facts that he's really not for withdrawal.

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 week, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4430. Tonight it is still [PDF format warning] 4432.

The e-mail address for this site is