Spence and Braustein: Coming to Terms with the Iraq War

By Emily Spence and Robert Braunstein
Special to PalestineChronicle.com

Some people, automatically, assume that, if people were jailed or mowed down, they must have done something wrong. What about the US civil rights movement? For anyone to say that there is as much violence in any American city as in US war activities, in which an inordinate amount of people are jailed and mowed down, is nonsensical. At least hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in Iraq over the past few years and, by some estimates, the death toll is tabulated to be more than 1,168,000 [1]. This certainly is not the case in NY, Boston, Atlanta, LA or DC.
In addition, many people, including those affiliated with the US military, completely ignore references to Halliburton (a company in which Dick Cheney has stock [2]) and war profiteering. Why do you think that the entire infrastructure was bombed out? Why do you think that at least hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars and a billion dollars worth of weapons "disappeared" in Iraq [3]? How could this happen under military watch unless there were perhaps some sort of calculated collusion and/or gross negligence?

Simultaneously, young children and other civilians are dying from contaminated water and malnourishment every day in Iraq as an indirect outcome from this war. At the same time, the Iraqi populous is supposed to be grateful to our troops for liberating them from the potential destruction that Saddam Hussein could have wrought had he maintained his rule? The Iraqis are pleased with the surge results? The Iraqis like the thought of turning over THEIR oil to whatever companies that Bush and his Iraq puppet government select? They like having been invaded by foreign "liberators," who destroyed their jobs, their schools, their homes, their streets, their way of life? They like offering their children for sex in order to pay for food? Would you? (One only need to type "Iraqi children sex" into a search bar to see the full magnitude of this last particular outrage.)
We are not discussing Disney World or other fantasy spots to which American adults take their own children. We are not discussing relative rates of homicide in Baghdad and NYC. This conversation is about Iraq and the outcomes from US involvement there, and it is damn hard to state anything good about the situation.
As such, the majority of Americans are against this war and want our troops quickly brought home. So, there goes anyone’s argument that this is a democracy and so our troops are there because the American population wants it.
No, this plutocratic nation is becoming increasingly undemocratic. All the same, it may become a democracy again.
For now, though, everything that any good hearted, moral, patriotic troop imagined that he fought for is in jeopardy. So, it is understandable that lots of individuals and groups are upset about the roles of the troops. At the same time, many of them don’t think that the troops are stupid when they choose to stay in Iraq based on wrongful orders involving invasion of a country that had no instigators carrying  out 9/11 attacks, nor a huge hidden cache of WMDs. Instead, they just don’t want to see anyone killed. That includes our "own" young people over there for sure. As Admiral Gene LaRocque stated, "I hate it when they say, ‘He gave his life for his country.’ Nobody gives their life for anything. We steal the lives of these kids. We take it away from them. They don’t die for the honor and glory of their country. We kill them." Our policies and their related actions, also, kill countless others, although primarily civilians [4].
Unfortunately, the lives of Iraqis are irrelevant to some people. Meanwhile, others are afraid that if the US leaders keep up this bad behavior, American lives, across the board, will be treated with the same irrelevance by our enemies. Civilians and truth are always the first casualties of war.
Adolf Hitler once stated "Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it." As the writer John James recently mentioned, the same outcome, fortunately, applies to the truth.
Awareness that this is the case provides the motive in writing this piece. On account, it is high time that we see the truth for what it is so that more pressure can be brought to bear to, immediately, remove our troops from Iraq. No more lives, American or Iraqi, should be sacrificed for such a misguided and miserable fiasco as this war, absolutely, is. Instead, let us remember General Omar Bradley’s words: "We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living." All considered, it is high time to learn again about the ways to live.

[1] This datum derives from:Just Foreign Policy – Iraqi Death Estimate   (www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html).
[2] This outrageous matter is discussed at: Cheney’s Halliburton Ties Remain, Contrary To Veep’s Claims … (www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/09/26/politics/main).
[3] For further information on this topic, please see: Paul Criticizes 12000 Missing Weapons in Iraq (www.nolanchart.com/article398.html) and Weapons disappeared in a ‘chaotic’ Iraq (politicom.moldova.org/stiri/eng/69854/).
[4] This topic is discussed at: Study: War blamed for 655000 Iraqi deaths – CNN.com (www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/10/11/iraq.deaths/) and NPR : Study: 655000 Iraqi Civilians Killed in War (www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=62474).

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