Friday, June 22, 2007

Peter Pace & Robert Gates splash Operation Happy Talk at each other while giggling

Maybe there is a civil war in Iraq. Maybe there isn't. If there is, according to the Pentagon, 80 percent of the violence will end when the occupation ends.
But what is certain, at least in my opinion, is that promoting the yet-unproven idea that there is a civil war in Iraq is helping the war criminals in the White House to continue justifying the occupation of that country.
Those who are against the war but somehow still believe in Western divine intervention so that Iraqis don't kill one another rely on the idea that there is a civil war to continue supporting the occupation of Iraq--which is to support the continued slaughter of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians, close to a million and counting.
Understanding the Iraqi resistance requires us to view Iraqis and view ourselves outside of our culture and our religion. We need to put ourselves in their shoes and imagine, if only for a brief moment, that our streets were being occupied by the most powerful military on earth. Would we turn against one another?
When a bomb goes off by a Shia mosque, that’s exactly what it is--a bomb going off by a Shia mosque. To my knowledge, no American serviceman or --woman ever goes to look for IDs on the charred bodies of the bombers.
We don’t what happens. We know about the death squads, we know about the Salvador option, we know about the mercenaries. We cannot trust the embedded journalists, we cannot trust the Pentagon spokesperson. We cannot be certain that Iraqis are killing one another.
What we do know is that we have a resistance in the United States. What we do know is that we have Iraq Veterans Against the War.
We are war resisters. We have been incarcerated for refusing to go back to Iraq. We are in the active duty, we are in the reserves, we’re on the bases, we’re in the first GI coffeehouse. We are in the National Guard, we are in every branch of the military.
We are the muscle of the military, and we're going to see to it that the U.S. government can no longer rely on the military to fight illegal, criminal and immoral wars of aggression.
If it requires more Agustín Aguayos; if it requires more Jeremy Hinzmans in Canada; if it requires more Mark Wilkersons, who is in jail right now; then that's exactly what they’re going to get, because we’re not going to stop.
We're not going to stop until we bring down the war machine. We're here to end the war, and we're serious. Thank you for standing with us.

The above is from Camilo Mejia's "Confronting empire" (US Socialist Worker). Turning to the New York Times, Alissa J. Rubin offers "14 Americans Are Killed in Combat in 2 Days:"

Fourteen Americans were killed in combat in five attacks, most in Baghdad, in a 48-hour period ending Thursday, the military announced.
[. . .]
While the American military has not yet said whether any of the attacks in the last 48 hours involved the very powerful explosively formed projectiles, which are capable of hurling a solid fist of copper through armored vehicles, that type of bomb has also become a regular tool in the arsenal used by Shiite and Sunni Arab insurgents.
The most lethal attack came Thursday in northeastern Baghdad, when a powerful roadside bomb exploded near a vehicle, killing five soldiers, their Iraqi interpreter and three Iraqi civilians who were traveling with them.

The two-day toll, for some reason, is actually getting attention for a change. So Peter Pace and Robert Gates rush out to distort. Lloyd notes this from Josh White's "Iraq Deaths Don't Mean Failure, Pace Says" (Washington Post):

The recent rise in U.S. troop deaths in Iraq is the "wrong metric" to use in assessing the effectiveness of the new security strategy for Baghdad, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday in a news conference with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.
Despite military reports to Congress that use numbers of attacks and overall levels of violence as an important gauge of Iraq's security status, Gates and Pace told reporters at the Pentagon yesterday that violence is not a useful measure of progress. Setting the stage for mandatory reports to Congress in September, both officials said violence could go up in the summer months as troops try to give the Iraqi government time to set the country on the right track.

"If you had zero violence and people were not feeling good about their future, where are you?" said Pace, emphasizing that the sentiment of the Iraqi people is a much better measurement than the number of attacks. "So it's not about levels of violence. It's about progress being made, in fact, in the minds of the Iraqi people, so that they have confidence in their government in the way forward."

Deaths aren't a sign of failure, violence isn't a sign of failure. How about this then: When Operation Happy Talkers rush out to spin, it's a sure sign of failure. How about, when the insanity is so great that Happy Talkers move from ignoring the deaths to dismissing them as unimportant and not real indicators, lost is not only the sanity but the sense of humanity. This may be the most extreme drink the kool-aid version of Operation Happy Talk and that's saying a lot.

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