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Monday, March 19, 2007

The War of Words

dr. elsewhere here

Just a thought on this distressing anniversary (at least to us, if not to King George, the sports fan)….

Let’s stop dignifying this messo’potamia in Iraq by calling it a war. What has happened in Iraq is NOT a “war,” it was never a “war,” and the only real “war” that could ever come of our presence there is a civil war that no one in this administration can admit, and that we should not be party to in any way, shape or form. Certainly not now, after all.

Instead, let’s loudly insist that this very undignified mess be called what it is, an invasion of a sovereign nation that has led to our occupation of that nation.

We invaded Iraq, and we now occupy Iraq. This is not a war, it is an invasion and occupation.

The only folks involved who have any right to refer to our presence in Iraq as a war are the Iraqis themselves. We forfeited that right when we determined to be the aggressors, raising our bomb-filled fists and screeching “THIS MEANS WAR!!” without any real provocation whatsoever articulated or proven in that “this.”

The implications of such a shift in wording are enormous for not only how the public responds to the situation (as if the public could be much more outraged if we called it genocide of Americans), but for how the debate is actually undertaken, particularly in Congress.

If Democrats insist on using the term occupation, then consider how difficult it will be for Republicans to address things like troop “surges” (what happened to escalation, anyhow?), Iraqis “standing up,” funding the troops (for an occupation following invasion?), and “success.” Many of the positions taken by the Republicans are instantly exposed for the ridiculous sham that they are, their insistence on “victory” and “winning” while avoiding “defeat” at all costs.

At all costs, indeed. Would you care to unpack the meaning of that phrase for us, Senators McCain and Lieberman, in real numbers, in real human numbers? And how about you, Blue Dog Dems? And those of you, Red and Blue, who cower in the face of AIPAC?

And speaking of anyhows, just what would it mean to win, anyhow? What would success or even victory even look like in this case? Would those flowers and chocolates and welcome greetings suddenly appear? Would the "insurgents" just lay down their weapons and wrap their arms around all our soldiers in one huge group hug? Would all the corruption vanish and all the criminals become Boy Scouts overnight, there and here? Would all the oil under their land be happily given over to our lusty consumerism? And would all that consumerism be miraculously translated into a saved planet?

Whose victory? Whose success? Who are the winners?

And, conversely, just how different would defeat look from where we are now? And who are the losers?

And why is is the press not asking these questions? There is so much talk about “winning” and “success” (though Bush did avoid the word “victory” in his breathtakingly brief speechlet today), but few politicians or pundits want to speak in other than abstract terms, because then they would be required to define these abstract terms, and their air-thin argument would be instantly as lost as the pseudo-war itself. I suppose such questioning would just be too stressful for our conscience-challenged press, though, wouldn't it? Those shiny new press room seats and all those cocktail weenies.

It might take a conscience, but it doesn’t take that many neurons to recognize that there is no winning this occupation, and there is certainly no winning this war, whether in Iraq or on terror. Any sophomore’s knowledge of Viet Nam (are students even taught about Nam??) will recognize this scenario has defeat written all over it. Why are none of the media whores obsessing over this question? Please, ‘splain it to us, Mr. Politician; just how many more lives must be destroyed – American and Iraqi, there and here – before we “win” in this “occupation?”

And while we’re on the subject, we also need to stop talking about “insurgents.” These people are, by definition, resistance fighters. Insurgents are, by definition, individuals who fight against an established government; there is no established government in Iraq, not one that the citizens fully recognize as independent of the US. On the other hand, a resistance is, by definition, a fight against an occupying force. This is no less trivial distinction, and it is also not unrelated to making the distinction between calling this a war or calling this what it truly is, an invasion and occupation.

And finally, still on this general topic, when will we get to the point where we return to calling torture torture? Not “major organ failure” or “interrogation” or public relations for a failed policy, but torture. As if that were even debatable. Or even remembered.

Words; they matter.

Comments:
"Words, Carravaggio. They have a power."
 
Bush and the Democratic Congress has placed Israel's interest ahead of U.S. interest by proxy. Only Israel benefits from these endless Middle East wars. Iraq is the beginning. As we commit war-crimes in Baghdad, the US gov't commits treason at home by opening mail, eliminating habeas corpus, using the judiciary to steal private lands, banning books like "America Deceived" from Wikipedia, conducting warrantless wiretaps and engaging in illegal wars on behalf of AIPAC's paramour. Soon, another US false-flag operation will occur (sinking of an Aircraft Carrier by Mossad) and the US will invade Iran. Then we'll invade Syria, then Saudi Arabia, then Lebanon (again) then ....
Final link (before Google Books bends to gov't demands and censors the title):
America Deceived (book)
 
I am a Republican please read my letter anyway, as it has some good ideas in addition to some rants.
Every communication between a member of the U.S. government and any lobbyist should be monitored!
The Ape -pacs ability to threaten congress behind closed doors is bullshit. I am an American and I want to hear them when they threaten the U.S. with all out nuclear strikes against our cites. Israel is clearly the aggressor in the middle east and if they don't like it there I submit the sensible thing is not to act like Nazis and murder and starve to death millions of defenseless people from neighboring countries and send spies and terrorists into countries all over the world to plant bombs in order to silence legitimate right thinking critics but to move, ! Buy Madagascar or Baja California! (mars would be better still.)
How many millions of dollars per person have we given to the corrupt officials of this stupid place anyway? MY COUNTRYMEN ARE NOT COWARDS! (until they get elected to one of the Houses apparently).
STOP THIS MONEY FOR morally bankrupt leaders. Almost none of it gets to the people it was claimed to help! I resent the vain and egotistical assertion that everyone in an anti Semite! when I don't really know or care what the hell a Semite is anyway! ( I imagine that very few yelling Apes from ape- pac land are Semites anyway).
I want my country to be at peace and ONLY support nations that are able to STAY at peace!
Go to war Cut the money off.<
The problem is it is all done in "secret" this is so clearly wrong it must be stopped now! The very idea that foreign lobbyists meet in secret!? with MY elected officials? Is so disgusting I have no words..(a rare condition for me). It is no wonder the Cheny/Bush mob has been so effective at hurting me and my family and friends, we are all angry because we are aware of the hate and disdain that the two failed oil men that planned the 911 attacks are heaping upon our fellow citizens and the people of the world. These people don't answer to the voters of this country but to foreign powers that are sooooo important that we the people must never know what kind of payola is being tossed about in secret. I imagine it is something like this..Ape-Pac to U.S. scum.. please send more money & atomic bombs now! None of your stinking billions. We want trillions now! We will use them up again right away, targeting U.N. troops and hospitals, apartments and children playing on the beach.. If you don't we will start a war with everybody!
Ape-Pac to Dear Nancy; we have set up Private "interviews between you and our beloved president Wink closed door wink wink nanccyohh!
PS to bad George wont be able to keep his date with our beloved South American Ambassador who we had to recall! Wink wink.. gag balls for everyone! What a fun congress not as good as the grand old one but with the help of the gag balls to replace the ones you wont be needing anymore, it wont be long!Ha ha ha
Lets see .. how do we fix this.
Here is an Idea.
Congress and the House shall not increase their pay unless it is agreed to by the citizens committee. One citizen from each state. This citizen shall be elected for a one year term to be select by lottery from a volunteer pool of minimum wage workers.(so as to make it harder to corrupt them all before the new one comes in) No Citizen on this committee shall make more than the minimum wage. This citizen shall be present at ALL MEETINGS with lobbyists and ALL closed sessions and or Hearings without exceptions and shall report on the integrity of the assigned representatives in a weekly report. What do you think?
 
Yes they do have power.
 
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