Swans Commentary » swans.com February 27, 2006  



The Meaning Of Chutzpah


by Deck Deckert





(Swans - February 27, 2006)  The U.S. has warned that it might cut aid to the Iraqis if they don't shape up.

The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, has warned that Washington might cut off aid if the new government includes sectarian politicians. I'm not quite sure what aid he is talking about, but he did mention that we have spent billions of dollars "building up the police and the army."

Let me get this straight:

We invaded their country without provocation.

We massacred at least 100,000 of their people, mostly women and children.

We have left their people cowering in the dark as our troops invaded their homes and took away their men to be imprisoned, and often tortured.

We destroyed their homes, their shops, their museums, and even their hospitals.

We leveled several of their cities and towns.

We littered their land with cluster bombs and depleted uranium.

We shattered their culture.

We are grabbing land for military bases so we can better steal their oil.

In short, we have spent hundreds of billions of dollars invading and occupying their country, and slaughtering their people.

And we are threatening to cut their aid because they are not living up to our idea of the ideal democracy?

It is all a joke, or would be a joke if it weren't so tragic.

The aid ambassador Khalilzad was talking about, of course, is not food and clothing and medical supplies. It is "aid" for the police and army, in other words, guns and munitions -- "aid" that is designed for more killing.

And just when you might think it couldn't get any worse, Iraq seems to be slipping into a full-scale civil war.

There are a few people speaking out, besides the usual suspects who are against all war. "What's Wrong with Cutting and Running?" retired Army general William Odom has asked in an article in which he says, "The invasion of Iraq I believe will turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history." Others who have spoken out include military leaders, Pentagon insiders, Bush administration insiders, Iraq war vets.

But nearly all US politicians, Democrats and Republicans, continue to support the war, although a very few carp at the way it's being run -- as if there is a good way to manage a tsunami.

The mainstream corporate media continues its gung ho support, ignoring anything that would make their readers uncomfortable. They continue to ignore, for example, the devastating air war in which US planes make bombing runs in heavily populated areas, with civilians bearing the brunt of casualties. The media routinely refuses to cover casualties inflicted by US troops, writing only about those inflicted by "insurgents."

The media never covers the Iraq war at the gut level -- the level where people's bloody guts spill out from their bodies after being hit with our bombs and bullets. Occasionally, when they actually feel a need to excuse their obscene reporting, they say that it's too dangerous for the reporters to get out on the street. But even to the extent that's true, there are other ways of getting the news.

Even in war-torn Iraq, there are bloggers, for example. Sabah Ali, recently reported on a family of 17 killed in few seconds after a military operation by 3,000 American and Iraqi troops.

"Modhhir Najim Abdulla took us to his uncle's bombed house where 17 women, children, and civilians were killed," the blogger says. "His sister was pregnant in her 9th month. 'I cannot describe her and her baby when we removed the bodies.' A cousin's baby was only 25 days. A third child's body was not found until 2 days later."

He lists them all, one by one, and their injuries -- e.g., "1) Alia Amir, 50, smashed skull, broken ribs, burns and injuries in the chest and abdomen... 3) In'am Arkan, 14, smashed skull... 10) Thammir S. Arkan, 4, broken ribs, bleeding inside chest and broken legs... 17) Khattab Mahmood Arkan, 2, smashed skull."

"Who of these do you recognize as terrorist?" the blogger asks. "This one, this, or may be this? This is my sister, this is her son, this is my youngest cousin .... "

But US media doesn't want this kind of war reporting. People might begin asking too many uncomfortable questions.

The majority of Americans now tell pollsters they are against the war, but a substantial minority supports it. And even those who say they are against the war are really mostly indifferent to it, ignoring the killing and dying as something not worthy of their attention.

Long before George Bush began waging pre-emptive wars, William Fulbright spoke out on the subject:

A pre-emptive war in "defense" of freedom would surely destroy freedom, because one simply cannot engage in barbarous action without becoming a barbarian, because one cannot defend human values by calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal damage to the values one is trying to defend.

Too bad we didn't listen.


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Please help us keep a modicum of sanity in the midst of US Chutzpah.

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Internal Resources

The Rape of Iraq

Patterns which Connect


About the Author

Deck Deckert on Swans (with bio).



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This Edition's Internal Links

The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is . . . Karl Rove - David Bordelon

Eat, Drink And Be Merry, For Tomorrow . . . - Philip Greenspan

Wanted: A New Consciousness - Charles Marowitz

To Ignore Is To Participate - Milo Clark

False Pride For Greek-Americans - George Beres

Eugene Jarecki's Why We Fight - Film Review by Jan Baughman

Cliff Conner's A People's History of Science - Book Review by Louis Proyect

Wormshead - Poem by Laura Madeline Wiseman

Letters to the Editor

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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art12/rdeck058.html
Published February 27, 2006