Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Iraq and Ruin

Now here is a comforting quote, from President Obama: “Our commitment in Iraq is changing — from a military effort led by our troops to a civilian effort led by our diplomats." Yeah... when's the last time you ever heard of “a civilian effort led by our diplomats” amounting to anything? Especially when said “diplomats” are all Obama appointees? Sheesh... maybe the whole operation is designed to fail, so he can justify sending troops back in. But never fear! According to the article, “A transitional force of 50,000 troops will remain to train Iraqi security forces, conduct counterterrorism operations and provide security for ongoing U.S. civilian efforts.” This “transitional force” is bigger than most occupation forces! So really – and I'll say it again – nothing is really going to change. And he confirms this, as follows: “We have not seen the end of American sacrifice in Iraq.” But actually, the word “sacrifice” is a misnomer, because the assumption when one talks of sacrifice is that it's for a purpose – that it means something. I have yet to see any evidence of this in the entire Iraq operation. Well, we did get rid of Saddam, Uday, and Qusay, so I guess that amounts to something. I mean, I guess I would have been willing to sacrifice a couple of square meals to get rid of those clowns. But beyond that...

And would anyone in their right mind call the presence of 50,000 troops anything but an occupation? And when it comes to this lame excuse that they are not “combat troops”, well... any time you have 50,000 troops stationed in a country where most people hate our guts, guess what – they will, sooner or later, become combat troops. After all, they _are_ “troops”, and in uniform, and they carry guns. This notion that you can have a clean demarcation between combat and “other” is a total delusion... and the politicians know it. They know they are only playing word games with this. I'd like to see, for instance, how much our casualties decline when all the “combat troops” leave and all the “trainers, advisors, etc.” stay; I can't imagine there will be much difference, especially considering the tactics involved. We haven't been fighting set-piece battles in Iraq anyway... so the “look” of combat has been, basically, one of street fighting and guerrilla warfare. But this sort of thing can be inflicted on “trainers and advisors” just as readily as on explicitly “combat” troops. And the net result will be the same – more blood shed for no discernible purpose.

Plus, what about all those "contractors" -- AKA mercenaries? Obama didn't have much to say about them, nor about our square-mile "embassy" (also known as a "fort") in Baghdad. So what it amounts to is that the "withdrawal of all our combat troops" is a technicality and a word game; it does not change our level of commitment one iota -- nor is it intended to. We will continue to occupy Iraq in perpetuity... that is, unless we are forcibly thrown out.

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