Sunday, January 03, 2010

Editorial: Iraq


It is 2010 and we have to congratulate President Barack Obama. Campaigning for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, he swore that, if he was elected, he'd pull one brigade a month out of Iraq starting in January 2009. We doubted him. We questioned him on it. And he's kept that promise and, boy, do we feel stupid for ever doubting St. Barack.

Oh, wait. S**t f**k didn't keep his promise, now did he?

But at least the Cult of St. Barack immediately began to scream and yell about that, right?

Oh, wait, they didn't.

Ever wonder why Tom Hayden and all the other Panhandle Media Whores act like the Iraq War has ended?

Because they whored it for Barack. They swore he'd end the Iraq War. They swore he'd keep his promise.

Now, like a battered spouse too afraid to leave, they ignore the abuse and never admit to the bruises.

Saturday the USF announced the following: "BAGHDAD -- A United States Division - Baghdad Soldier died, Jan. 1, of non-combat related injuries. The Soldier's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The names of service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense official website at The announcements are made on the Web site no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary next of kin. The incident is under investigation." The announcement brought the total number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4372.

Violence claimed Iraqi lives last week. Sunday 7 were reported dead, 36 reported injured. Monday 1 person was reported dead. Tuesday 8 were reported dead and 9 reported injured. Wednesday 9 were reported dead and 34 wounded. Thursday no deaths reported in the day but Thursday night 1 death was reported. Friday 1 person was reported injured. Saturday 8 were reported dead and 27 were reported wounded. Totals: 34 reported dead 107 reported wounded.

In the midst of another wave of Operation Happy Talk, the Los Angeles Times breaks from the pack with "Toward a less deadly Iraq:"

Whenever we see a report on the declining violence in Iraq, we're reminded of the old book title, "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me." Take, for instance, the report that the civilian death toll fell in November to the lowest level since the 2003 U.S. invasion: 88 fatalities. That was after October bombings in Baghdad killed 155 people, and just ahead of December's two rounds of multiple car bombings in the capital that left at least 136 dead and hundreds wounded.

It's amazing how many deaths pile up as everyone rushes to assure us that things are 'better.' By whose measurement?

Wednesday on KPFA's Flashpoints Radio, Nora Barrows-Friedman addressed the Iraq War with Ahmed Habib.

Ahmed Habib: There is no doubt that the Iraqi people have a great tradition and history of revolution. And the people of Iraq hold an immense ability to be resisting in the face of this violence and brutality that has gone hand-in-hand with the American occupation -- an extension, of course, of the kind of genocide Iraqis experienced under the sanctions and of course an extension of the genocide that they experienced under the American-sponsored dictorship of Saddam Huseein as well. So there is no doubt that the Iraqi people will be able to overcome these conditions and will talk later about some of the tremendous things that are happening in Iraqi communities and the diaspora. But I think it's important for our listeners to sort of dispell many of the myths that had been promoted by the Obama adminstration with regards to their attempts to "end the war in Iraq." The Obama administration has not only inherited many of the same policies that were adopted by the Bush administration and we saw early on in the year the Obama administration's refusal to publish images of people that had been tortured and de-humanized and bases that had become prisons throughout Iraq and of course in Afghanistan as well. But we also saw the emergence and sort of the truth unveiled about the Status Of Force Agreement -- known as SOFA in the American media. And this agreement was, of course, was supposed to be the agreement that would embody the withdraw of American troops from Iraq and subsequently lead to the end the occupation. What many people didn't know is that within this agreement there are clauses that will not only keep permanent military bases in Iraq but will give the America the ability to conduct military operations without the permission of the Iraqi government, that America will control air space above a certain altitude in Iraq, and, of course, America's political strangle-hold on the Iraqi government through, as you were mentioning, the ascent of thousands of military contractors in Iraq, through the privatization of the most fundamental sectors of Iraqi economy are the real elements of the American occupation here. We see, for example in Iraq, fundamental sectors such as agriculture and education -- ironically in a country that invented both agriculture and education -- now being sold off to American corporations under the guise of of American occupation. We also heard early on in 2003, Colin Powell speak about how NGOs are part of the American occupation and, in fact, on the front line. And this has become very true in Iraq as well. And the American occupation of Iraq is perhaps no longer constituted by American soldiers on the ground raping, killing and maiming Iraqi civilians but now has really taken on a much scarier and more longterm identity in terms of the strangle-hold it has on many of Iraq in terms of all the things I have mentioned but also in terms of how Iraqi politics and the day to day running of the government also unfolds.

Somewhere, non-Quakers in Quaker organizations are yammering and desperate to refute. But you can't refute it. Barack hasn't ended the illegal war and Barack hasn't kept his campaign promises. Corporatist War Hawks rarely do.
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