Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

No thanks

As most readers know, I compile the Today in Iraq post on Sundays, and of course I follow developments in Iraq closely throughout the week. This painful avocation often creates a psychological block to my posting here.

How can I get my dander up about how we in this fabulously wealthy, peaceful and safe country don't always do what's right by some of our people, when I continually have the unspeakable suffering of the Iraqi people before me? How can I snicker at the conservative definition of compassion in my shining city on a hill, where learning and healing are the leading industries, when professors and doctors are murdered in Iraq every day, along with hundreds of ordinary people; most parents are too afraid to allow their children to attend school; and the hospitals have no electricity, no antibiotics, and not even clean water?

I don't need to give you links to information here -- visit Today in Iraq if you can stand it. This is what our country has brought about. The motive is not a mystery, the perpetrators proudly proclaimed their intention to invade Iraq, and the reasons why, before George W. Bush even declared his candidacy for president. The reason was to establish large, permanent military bases in Iraq, from which the U.S. could militarily dominate the oil resources of the Middle East. This is not a secret, or a conspiracy theory. It's a matter of public record.

The politicians and pundits who supported the war initially all knew it. The reporters who transcribed Colin Powell's speech to the UN Security Council all knew perfectly well that it was a tissue of lies. If they didn't know right away, all they had to do was read British newspapers, which exposed the entire edifice of fabrication within two days. Hell, I knew it, and I'm just a sociologist, not a professional journalist. John Kerry knew that Saddam Hussein was not building a fleet of unmanned aircraft in order to spray anthrax on east coast cities. Tom Friedman knew that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with al Qaeda. Christopher Hitchens knew that the Bush administration had no intention of bringing "democracy" to Iraq -- particularly since they proclaimed that a "democratic" Iraq would be an ally of Israel, an enemy of Iran, and would allow American companies to pump its oil. That's a unique definition of democracy. They all knew.

And guess what? The war has gone splendidly. The permanent military bases have been built. They are using them today to bomb Afghanistan. The $591 million palace of the U.S. proconsul, safe behind 20 foot blast walls and rings of armored artillery, is nearly completed. The disintegration of Iraqi society around it all is irrelevant. Who cares? They got what they wanted. And no, we are not leaving. Not in six months, not in twelve months, not in twelve years. Most certainly not if Hillary Clinton is president. (See what better writers than I have to say at Tom Engelhardt's site.)

The cost to all of us is not comparable to the cost to Iraqis, but it's pretty steep. It has sent the American empire on a final path to decline and ruin. Maybe that's what the world needed, though.

Anyhow, sorry about that, but I had to say it. Stayin' Alive will be dark until Sunday -- my family is very primitive, no Internet where I'm going. I do hope to get the next post up on the Dialogue -- a few more verses of Genesis -- and possibly one more here, before I go. And I'll be back on topic. There's a lot of health care and public health news this week, and I will cover it. Thanks for waiting.

1 comment:

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