Sunday, February 05, 2012

And the war drags on . . .

Because they have a desire to risk it all. That's why Bully Boy Bush stood under the "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" banner in 2003. It's why Barack's doing his own idiot thing. Gregg Zoroya (USA Today via Tucson Citizen) reports that Barack's decided to host an 'end of the war' dinner with "a select group of combat veterans and their spouses or guests." Let's hope that handle the event (including the announcement) better.

There's nothing wrong with the White House hosting veterans for a dinner. They could do that every week, every day, and there would be nothing wrong with it.

But it takes a real idiot to give a photo op on the 'end of a war.' The war isn't over. More importantly, most people grasp that just because the White House says the war isn't over doesn't make it so.

And with the CIA, the FBI and Special Ops still in Iraq, with Marines guarding the US Embassy (meaning they are in Iraq still) and the US military 'trainers' (which Nouri has declared publicly is 700 more US soldiers), with 17,000 'State Dept' workers still in Iraq, I don't think it's really smart to be toasting the end of the Iraq War.

Not just because those listed don't really make for a withdrawal but also -- pay attention -- because those Americans still in Iraq are at risk. Is Barack begging to be Jimmy Carter? What's going to destroy good will towards Barack fastest? 3 dead State Dept workers? Or do they need to be kidnapped?

Is America even aware of the risks? Ted Koppel spoke about them on NBC and NPR but since then, the threats become even more real. Aswat al-Iraq reported what US outlets wouldn't last month: "Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr clled his 'resistance' followers to be prepared to face the US Embassy in Baghdad, if they did not stop their breaches. In response to a question made to his followers, received by Aswat al-Iraq, he expressed rejection that US officials walk in Baghdad streets with their weapons."

Now since then, a US helicopter emergency landed in Baghdad (with another transporting the Americans away), reports of F-16 jets flying overhead are coming from the Iraqi Parliament and there is the drone issue enraged Iraqis last week.

So while Moqtada al-Sadr is already issuing threats about Americans still in Iraq, it's probably not smart for Barack to have a photo op celebrating "the end" of the Iraq War. In fact, it's tempting fate, begging for things to go wrong.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, the number of US military people killed in the Iraq War since the start of the illegal war was 4488. Tonight? PDF format warning, DoD lists the the number of Americans killed serving in Iraq at 4487. (They fixed their error.) Here's the screen snap.


Reuters notes that 1 police officer was shot dead in Baghdad, three Ishaqi roadside bombings injured three people and, last night, Nahdia al-Daini (Iraiqya member and Sunni) was kidnapped in Samarra along with his "brother and bodyguard."

New content at Third:

Isaiah's latest goes up after this. Pru notes this from Great Britian's Socialist Worker:

John Keane captures Blair’s lies and Iraq’s horrors on canvas

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Siân Ruddick reviews John Keane’s anti-war exhibition at London’s Flowers Gallery

John Keane is best known as a war artist. In 1991 he was the Imperial War Museum’s official artist during the Gulf War. His criticism of the horrors of war—and particularly of the US’s conduct—outraged the political and military establishment.

Today Keane takes a fascinating and holistic look at the world. His new exhibition, “Scratching the Surface, Joining the Dots” is on at the Flowers Gallery in London. It takes in the “war on terror”, the economic crisis and the revolutions in the Middle East.

The exhibition focuses on the Iraq war—particularly Tony Blair. Keane’s huge canvases scream disdain for Blair. They highlight Blair’s deceit and his appalling use of his religious belief to justify his drive to war.

Several paintings portray Blair at last year’s Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war. His face appears pixellated and obscured.

Anyone who remembers watching Blair give evidence will have their sickening memories brought rushing back to them. Here was a man hiding behind lies and self-satisfaction, refusing to apologise for the murder and destruction he had caused.

Sign from God 2009 (pictured above) draws on Blair’s so-called mission from God to bomb the Middle East to smithereens. The signs behind Blair point to Iraq, Damascus and Attanf on the Iraq-Syria border.

It is hard not to think of Blair’s other targets, and the targets of the ruling class today—most notably the current threats against Iran.

Other paintings directly address the brutality of the Iraq occupation. Hindsight (Rules of Engagement) shows the silhouette of a woman and child walking through a Baghdad housing area. Crosshairs are painted over the top.

The exhibition leaves you with the feeling that in war it is ordinary people who become the targets—and people like Blair who try to conceal the truth.

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