15 years on and still the Iraq War continues. The war continues, the occupation continues, Iraq remains a colonial outpost for the US and UK governments.
When does the Iraq War end? We should be demanding the answer to that question.
My name is Penny Evans and I've just gone twenty-one
A young widow in the war that's being fought in Vietnam
And I have two infant daughters, I thank God I have no sons
Now they say the war is over but I think it's just begun
-- Melanie's version of "The Ballad of Penny Evans" used as an intro to "Peace Will Come (According to Plan)"
Now they say the war is over .. . but I think it's just begun.
The war and the occupation of Iraq continues all this
Yesterday's LETTERS & POLITICS (KPFA) explored Iraq.
Mitch Jeserich: Now the conventional war itself only took about a month and would end with the toppling of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. But Iraq would remain to this day incredibly unstable as much of the Middle East and it could be argued that the instability around the Middle East was also due in part to the invasion of Iraq. The total number of people who died in the war -- and it's hard to get an exact estimate, but they range, on the very low side, to far more than 100,000 people to, the high side, of over a million people. And for people in the United States this war who had popular support at the beginning though, of course, not from all quarters that support waned as the war dragged on. US soldiers and contractors deaths added it up it became clear Iraq did not have Weapons of Mass Destruction and reports also made it clear that the United States committed systemic torture. Today, the Iraq invasion of 2003 is considered the biggest foreign policy mistake in US history -- argued by many -- and right there with the Vietnam War.
Many got it wrong. Many walked away. At THIRD, Betty, Elaine, Trina, Ava and I had discussed a piece that time ran out for. But here are ten that deserve mention for not just making the hard calls when everyone talked about the Iraq War but who have continued to make those hard calls and refused to provide cover for political favorites.
1) Glen Ford, Margaret Kimberley and Bruce A. Dixon (BLACK AGENDA REPORT)
2) Arundhati Roy (novelist and activist)
3) Sarah Abdallah (activist)
4) Harry Belafonte (singer, activist, author, leader)
5) Justin Raimondo, Jason Ditz, Margaret Griffis, Scott Horton (ANTIWAR.COM)
6) Cindy Sheehan (activist, author)
7) Patrick Martin and Bill van Auken (WSWS)
8)William Rivers Pitt (TRUTHOUT)
9) Zach Haller (SHIRTLESS PUNDIT)
10) John Stauber (critic, author)
These are the ones we had agreed on -- Betty, Elaine, Trina, Ava and I -- and the plan was to include them on a list -- a much larger list -- with other choices for people who had not walked away from the topic. A lot of people would not make the list because, for example, like United For Peace and Justice, they closed shop after Barack was elected in November of 2008. Fakers. But it's important to note the people who did make a difference.
Yesterday, we noted the latest poll which found more people still believe the Iraq War was a mistake but that the numbers for that position had dropped. That's because people walked away from Iraq, so called leaders in the US. It's also because hypocrites have to deny Iraq. They voted, for example, for Hillary Clinton and they have to disappear Iraq. Or they are members of The Cult of St. Barack, so they have to disappear Iraq.
And it's very hard for We The People to know what goes on Iraq today.
Community members surveyed the 'independent' media landscape yesterday and found disappointing results. Trina noted US Socialist Worker had nothing on Iraq, Ruth noted that THE PROGRESSIVE had no interest in Iraq, Marcia noted the same with IN THESE TIMES and Betty noted THE NATION's useless Katha Pollitt. And, for the record, THE NATION did have one article on Iraq -- sadly, it's the Phyllis Bennis article.
It's that awful piece that we covered in the February 22nd snapshot. 25 days ago! How timely. As we observed then:
It's a curious editorial -- one that leaves the impression that the Iraq War is over.
If it's over, Phyllis, why are US troops still on the ground in Iraq.
The editorial hits new lows of whorishness as it names various people -- all Republicans. I'm sorry, Phyllis, but it was the Democratically controlled Senate, in 2002, that voted for the Iraq War. Not only does she ignore that, she also ignores certain key others.
The Iraq War is not over. For example, over the weekend, the DOD issued this about those killed in the US helicopter crash in Iraq:
The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of seven airmen who were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. They died March 15 when an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Captain Mark K. Weber, 29, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. For more information, media may contact the 23rd Wing public affairs office at 229-257-4146.
Also killed were:
Captain Andreas B. O'Keeffe, 37, of Center Moriches, New York.
Captain Christopher T. Zanetis, 37, of Long Island City, New York.
Master Sergeant Christopher J. Raguso, 39, of Commack, New York.
Staff Sergeant Dashan J. Briggs, 30, of Port Jefferson Station, New York.
All four were assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing at the Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, New York. For more information, media may contact the New York National Guard public affairs office at 518-786-4581.
Also killed were:
Master Sergeant William R. Posch, 36, of Indialantic, Florida.
Staff Sergeant Carl P. Enis, 31, of Tallahassee, Florida.
Both were assigned to the 308th Rescue Squadron, Air Force Reserve, at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. For more information, media may contact the 920th Rescue Wing public affairs office at 321-615-0329.
The war is not over. And it now includes the ongoing occupation. From US Major Danny Sjursen, "Unmitigated Failure: Operation Iraqi Freedom, 15 Years Later" (ANTIWAR.COM):
America, the guileless behemoth, brimming with hubris, somehow cannot see it. The sheer irrationality of the whole endeavor borders – 15 years later – on the absurd. The only real winners in Iraq have been a chauvinist brand Iranian Shi’ism, and the trademark Wahhabi Sunni Islamism of Saudi Arabia. Neither is a true friend to US interests or values. Neither cares whether US soldiers live or die. Each has its own agenda and plays US policymakers and generals like so many fiddles. The rational move for America is to opt out; do less; and walk away before sinking farther into the next quagmire. Unfortunately, compressed so narrowly between adversarial forces, and obtuse as ever, American "statesman" can’t see the way out.
These wars won’t end well for the United States, just as matters didn’t end well for my platoon, wedged, as it was, between micro-factions of these same adversaries: Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The Sunni precursors of ISIS shot Sergeant Ty Dejane through the spine – he’s still in a wheel chair. The Shia militiamen aligned with Iran exploded a massive bomb which unleashed shrapnel that tore apart three other young men. Sergeant "Ducks" Duzinskas lost most of an arm. Sergeant Alex Fuller and Specialist Mike Balsley lay dead. They never knew what hit them, just as our platoon never knew who, or what, exactly, we were fighting.
My boys were sacrificed on the altar of American hubris. That’s the war I remember, and the one the US still fights – futilely – in the Fertile Crescent. Perhaps the citizenry should ponder that…before the next escalation in Iraq.
The next escalation because the war's never ended.
But grasp that even on the so-called left, the American people are left in the dark about Iraq. THE NATION, THE PROGRESSIVE, IN THESE TIMES, et al. They fail to cover Iraq. They fail to note it. How are people supposed to be aware that the war continues when their own media doesn't tell them that truth?
Even on the 15th anniversary, these whorish, money grubbing outlets can't cover Iraq.
New content at THIRD:
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: The ongoing war hits 15
- TV: Talk talk talk
- The Lush War Hawk
- NYT smears Woody Allen (Ava and C.I.)
- Someone explain ethics to Andrea Mitchell
- The Fake Asses
- NYT digs through everyone's garbage but their own
- Joni Mitchell's "Shine"
- Raed Jarrar Tweets
- Senator Patty Murray Demands Answers from Departme...
The following community sites updated: