TBT: The Brutal Truth

Monday, February 27, 2006

Good Grief, Greenwald

I'm not going to set this up nor post any feel-good knuffles about how much I respect and enjoy reading Glenn Greenwald because -- after reading this and this -- it's all besides the point and matters little. So, I'd rather just skip the appetizer and get right down to the main course:

The post I wrote earlier today regarding Howard Dean's accurate pre-war warnings about Iraq was followed by an interesting debate in the comments section about whether we ought to withdraw our troops immediately. Some argued that there is something corrupt about Howard Dean's position because, having opposed the war in the first place, he is opposed to immediate withdraw now. The argument was made that anyone who opposed invading Iraq in the first place must now favor immediate troop withdraw.

That's an arguement that I'd agree with wholeheartedly.

Unfortunately, the issue isn't that simple and the moral issues aren't nearly that clear.

Bullshit. Pure and simple. How? You lay out all the piles for me:

Regardless of whether one favored the invasion, the reality is that we invaded that country, removed its government, and smashed the (corrupt and murderous) regime which ruled the country with an iron fist, maintaining relative social stability. There is chaos in Iraq because we created the chaos. It is incredibly irresponsible to just casually demand that, having done all of that, we simply leave because we changed our mind about the war and just don't want to stay any more.

We have an ethical responsibility to do what we can -- if there is anything -- to help Iraq regain some semblance of stability and peace. We have no right to simply leave the country engulfed by a civil war and drowning in anarchy because we grew tired of our little project or changed our minds about its morality. If we are achieving any good at all with our military occupation (or if we can achieve any good), we have the obligation to do so. The sovereign elected government of that country does not want us to leave because they fear that our troop withdraw will severely worsen the instability and increase the violence in their country.

Every single We you've made constitutes the very unwieldily and colossal piles of mountainous bullshit trying its damndest to compete with the thundering piles that land at the feet of the White House Press Corp from Karl Rove's jowls every hour on the hour. Of course, it can't compete, but that doesn't mean it's not bullshit. Who is this "we" you're talking about, Glenn, especially considering that the White House and Republican "ownership society" live in their own reality of "we", the Corporate Press shares an entire wing or two of their "we" reality, the Democratic opposition have congealed into a gelatinous blob of complacency they call "we", while roughly 70% of the American people have their own "we" to carve out their own reality-based community?

Assuming you mean the latter, I submit to you that we did no such things. We didn't invade Iraq -- the Neocon Bush Cultists and the Corportocracy did. Using public airwaves Bill Clinton's deregulation act of 1996 allowed them to usurp from the American people right along side with their other assets, they launched a sweeping PSYOPS campaign to "manage" our "perception" around their desire to invade a country, remove its government, and smash an evil yet otherwise contained regime which -- after over 2,200 lives, hundres of thousands wounded, and trillions of wasted dollars -- wouldn't be on the brink of civil war in the first goddamned place had our peceptions been managed by Gen. Zinny and Gen. Clark.

It's not "our little project".

It never was.

Being opposed to the war before it began does not necessarily mean that one must be in favor of withdraw now.

It does, in my book, because anyone who supports the notion that American forces must stay in Iraq over some moral obligation to clean up the mess (which is a Republican-constructed, business-cretin approved talking point trying to masquerade as a Democratic Party one and, since the Democrats in D.C. can't think or act without seeking permission from the GOPs Gauleiters, they'll use it) is also supporting the notion of more multibillion dollar contracts to Halliburton, Bechtel, GE, Rendon Group, Lincoln Group, and the rest of the Corportocracy who are getting richer and richer than they need to be and with no oversight whatsoever (if you think a DNC victory later this year is going to bring actual oversight, I've got two words for you: Paul Hackett).

Anyone who supports such a notion is also supporting the notion that our men and women must continue to be stuck in this quaqmire until a few more IEDs unstick them from all possible quaqmires, particularly the quaqmire of drawing oxygen. Then again, maybe we won't have to wait for more IEDs -- Steve Gilliard pointed us to a WSJ article that, as far as I'm concerned, gives us all an easily morally justified reason to demand complete withdrawal ASAP -- the security of Iraq be damned.

Farley goes on to argue -- and I agree -- that the burden should be on those who want our military to remain there to demonstrate how exactly our continued military presence would improve the situation in Iraq. Clearly, the elected Shiite government believes that our military presence is helpful to the maintenance of security, which is why they want us to stay.

This won't ever happen. Neither Bush, the Republicans, nor the Democrats are going to demonstrate exactly why should we remain because -- surprize -- they can't. Not after all these years, the billions of dollars, and the ammount of soldiers lost. The best they can offer -- which is exactly what you're doing -- are the same old and tired platitudes that we've heard bleated on and on from foolish Democrats who authorized the war in the first place, witness the unmitigated disaster it has become, and fall for the Republican "We Can't Cut Run" talking point trap. If the forementioned WSJ article Gilliard delivered is of any indication, we'd better cut and run pretty damned fast before any of these new recruits from our "Softer Gentler" Army get on the front lines -- recruits that will make the mess in Iraq look tame.

There is a good case to be made for troop withdraw. But it can't be persuasively made by easy anti-war sloganeering. There is a compelling argument to make that we should withdraw our troops. But that argument can only be based on the premise that our troops -- contrary to the views of the elected Iraqi government -- are doing more harm than good, not that the invasion was unjustified in the first place.

Glenn, read the comments from actual veterans regarding the WSJ peice Gilliard posted. That's not anti-war sloganeering at all -- they of all people would know that if one of these new recruits decide to get lippy with their C.O. over a direct order while on the front lines, the eyeballs of the enemy may see the altercation and use the kids's helmut as an aiming beacon to wipe out the entire fucking platoon. I had two Vietnam Vets in my family and if they were alive today to witness the utter brainlessness of the Bush Administration's foreign policy (along with the Democratic Party's "on-again-off-again" opposition to it) only to turn around and read that article, they'd be jumping up and down for complete and total withdrawal right the fuck now -- everything else be damned.

But if you would like to maintain the position that we need to stick around in Iraq because "it's our mess to clean up" over some "moral obligation", then you probably wouldn't mind standing next to one of these new "Kinder and Gentler" soldiers, particularly an asthmatic one that got the sudden idea in his head that he can toss a primed pineapple and take a toke of Albuterol at the same time.


0 comment(s):

Post a comment

<< Home