Sunday, May 28, 2006

Editorial: The Reailities of Occupation

Italy says it will reduce the size of its military contingent in Iraq from 2,700 to 1,600 soldiers next month and end its military presence there by the end of the year.

AFP reports the above. Reueters notes the item below:

The Los Angeles Times reports investigators are expected to call for charges including murder, negligent homicide, dereliction of duty and filing a false report.
The newspaper says military investigators have concluded a dozen Marines wantonly killed unarmed civilians, including women and children after a comrade was killed by a roadside bomb.

Meanwhile, still stuck in the quagmire, you've got Bully Boy who, after years of ridiculing some as 'pre-9/11' thinkers, suddenly falls back on the Cold War and sees himself as the new Harry Truman. As Anthony Arnove and Laura Flanders noted on yesterday's RadioNation with Laura Flanders the occupation has led to the secretarian conflicts in Iraq.

And what does that mean on the ground? Reuters reports that today and yesterday it's meant, among other things, the discovery of six headless corpses near Kut, two Iraqi police officers dead from yet another roadside bomb, at least two dead civilians in Baghdad from a roadside bomb and "Hundreds of protesters marched through the city of Samawa [. . .] in protest against the deterioration in public services and demanding the resignation of its governor, witnesses said."

It's the ugly face of occupation. It's always been and will always be the ugly face of occupation. Democracy isn't, you do what we say, as we say with these people in charage as we approve.
But because there's an election farce or because there's an appearance that Iraqis were in charge of deciding the cabinet positions, a lot of people want to fool themselves.

Maybe it's easer to sleep walk through life?

If so, that's only true if you're in a non-combat zone and all of Iraq is a combat zone. That's the logic that allowed for attacking ambulances, for refusing to let docotrs in Falluja do their job, for refusing medical care and for 'starving out' certain people by refusing to allow foods to be brought into the perimeter.

That's the ugly face of occupation.

And a compliant mainstream media has allowed Americans to think that these non-reported things aren't happening -- also allowed them to think that, until recently, they were just traveling freely all over Iraq when, in fact, they've been captives of the Green Zone for months, for years. And armed fighting broke out in the Green Zone (the one safe place, at one point) last week.

All the big babies who are trying hard to keep their war ons wagging and standing at attention, whine that we can't leave like we did Saigon. At this rate, we won't have that option. There will be no last flights out because there will be no way to evacuate them as the occupation grows more violent and people resist more openly and in greater numbers.

That's reality. At some point, even the die hard believers in the Bully Boy, convinced he'll bring them lower taxes and eternal savings (if not salvation), may have to face that as well because it's getting a lot uglier than we're being told. (And hasn't that been true of every day in Iraq since the invasion?)

Reality is going to start coming home, regardless of whether Americans think they're ready for it or not.

From Raymond Whitaker's "The massacre and the Marines: US troops could face death penalty for what is seen as potentially the worst war crime since Iraqi invasion" (Independent of London):

US Marines could face the death penalty after one of their number took horrific photographs of a massacre in Iraq on his mobile phone, The Independent on Sunday has learned.
The photographs, seized by the US Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), show many victims shot at close range in the head and chest, execution-style, according to sources who have seen them. One image shows a mother and young child bent over on the floor as if in prayer. Both have been shot dead.
Similar photographs taken by a Marines intelligence team which arrived on the scene later show that soldiers "suffered a total breakdown in morality and leadership, with tragic results", according to a US official quoted by the Los Angeles Times yesterday.
The killing of more than 20 Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha last November, first reported in the IoS two months ago, has become an international scandal after evidence from two official investigations was shown to Congressmen in the past 10 days. Democrat John Murtha, a former Marines colonel who has retained close links to the military despite his denunciation of the Iraq occupation, said Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood".

That's the reality of the occupation. The one to blame? Who started the illegal war? Who lied a nation into war? Bully Boy put troops over there and refused to face how the occupation was endagering the lives of every and anyone in Iraq. That's the reality of occupation and, if they are guilty as the press reports currently report, Bully Boy created them. Bully Boy sent them into Iraq. Like the drunk he claims no longer to be, he was an unfit 'father' to the children of America. Insteading of facing the reality of his actions, he wants to talk "long war" and now play Harry Truman.

We've had Barbie Dress Up As Farmer, and Barbie Dress Up As Military Pilot, and Barbarie Dress Up as Compassionate Conservative -- who knows what outfit he'll put on next?

It doesn't matter. He's failed repeatedly in every way a leader can fail. Those thinking 'a corner can be turned', whether they realize it or not, are putting their faith in the Bully Boy. After all the times he's been exposed and revealed, that may be one of the sickest things (stateside) about this war.
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