We’re all Abu Ghraib guy. Hooded and muted, afraid to move.
We who oppose The War, the great global death worship of all against all from Sierra Leone to Kashmir to Utah, “The War itself as tyrant king,” we are terrified of the big pronouncement, the demand for what we and our families need, the truly human statement that we have a better way to do things.
I don’t mean a program, a manifesto, a six-point plan. I mean a diagnosis and the simplest prescription
Patient: Doctor, doctor, it hurts when I go like this.
Doctor: Try not ramming that pitchfork into your forehead.
We don’t just need to “get out of Iraq” or “elect Ciro Rodriguez” or “stop the war machine.” We need to give up the empire.
By comparison, here’s what we’re up against. Yesterday, hours after it came out that the Saudi ambassador had gone home to “spend more time with family,” Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo wrote a column in which he laid out a scenario he said is supported by some Washington “hawks” (more accurately vultures). They want to create a pro-U.S., Shia-dominated country or group of countries in control of Iraq, Iran, and the oil-rich north of Saudi Arabia.
We hate the Saudis and the Egyptians and all the rest of the standing Arab governments. But the Iraqi Shi’a were oppressed by Saddam. So they’ll like us. So we’ll set them up in control of Iraq. You might think that would empower the Iranians. But not really. The mullahs aren’t very powerful. And once the Iraqi Shi’a have a good thing going with us. The Iranians are going to want to get in on that too. So you’ll see a new government in Tehran. Plus, big parts of northern Saudi Arabia are Shi’a too. And that’s where a lot of the oil is. So they’ll probably want to break off and set up their own pro-US Shi’a state with tons of oil. So before you know it, we’ll have Iraq, Iran, and a big chunk of Saudi Arabia that is friendly to the US and has a ton of oil. And once that happens we can tell the Saudis to f$#% themselves once and for all.
This scenario gained credence today with this N.Y. Times story, “Saudis Say They Might Back Sunnis if U.S. Leaves Iraq.” Those of us with critical faculties might find it hard to imagine the U.S. voluntarily signing up to fight a proxy war against Saudi Arabia, the Iranian mullahs and Iraq’s Sunnis, while also trying to hold off the depredations of anti-American Shiite Moqtada al-Sadr. Then again, we probably wouldn’t have set up the baroque lunacy of the Arms-for-Hostages deal, which involved our new Secretary of Defense.
While we fiddle and diddle, the people who started the war — people who might share this insane, bones under the tread of tanks babies with bloated bellies child amputee rape rape power drill to the forehead vision of the future — try to convince the world they’re the sane ones, that no one questioned the War (the 15 million on Feb. 15 (as important a date as March 19) 2003 were ghosts and figments, easily canceled noise against a signal of necessity to kill, maim, wreck) and no one truly questions it now.
The latest CBS News poll gives me hope that their magical thinking is running out. 21% of U.S. poll respondents say Mr. Bush is doing a good job in Iraq. That represents 60 million people, which sounds like a lot until you recall that just as many believe that justice was served in the O.J. Simpson trial, approve of how the Catholic Church handles pedophilia and think the killing of civilians in Vietnam was “relatively rare.”
Speaking of Vietnam, CBS News also found this remarkable fact:
Today, 62% of Americans call it “a mistake” that the U.S. sent its troops into Iraq, considering the developments that have occurred since the war began.
WAS SENDING TROOPS TO FIGHT IN IRAQ A MISTAKE?
Yes 62% No 34%
These sentiments are slightly higher than any recorded in Gallup Polls in the early 1970’s about the Vietnam War. During the Vietnam War, the percentage that felt sending troops there was a mistake rose as the war went on. 24% called Vietnam a mistake in a 1965 Gallup Poll, 41% called it a mistake by 1967; 61% said so in 1971 and 60% thought so in 1973.
Of course this isn’t another Vietnam, because the Vietnam War took place in Vietnam, and Iraq is very far from Vietnam. (Old joke.)