With many in the media now recognizing -- without celebrating -- the anniversary of the disastrous invasion and occupation that began four years ago today, I thought I would look back at my small contribution to the discussion. Although I did not predict the sheer magnitude of the continuing tragedy that has been visited on us by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush and company (in that order), I am not at all gratified to say that the millions of us who resisted the Stupid War were right.
One of the amazing things this far down the line is that the MSM and, certainly, the wing-nuts still give face time to pigs like Richard Pearle, who was on Meet the Press this weekend, pressing the case for more blood and death. People like him will always live in their ivory towers, counting their war profits and will never apologize for anything. People who were wrong about (at least) going along with the war, like most of the MSM and too many Democrats should apologize (yes, that means you, Hillary) and use everything in their growing power to extract us from this mess.
But some of us have nothing to apologize for.
From “Mike Plaisted’s Anti-War Blog” -- March 20, 2003:
Despite the attempts of religion and the military to claim that there is life after death -- be it in military "glory" or heaven -- there really isn't. Dead is dead. One of the most influential books I read growing up was "Johnny Got His Gun" by Dalton Trumbo. It should be required reading for anyone like Bush and Cheney and the rest of them, Vietnam war wimps who are now sending our sons and daughters into harm's way in the desert and cities of Iraq. The moral of the story -- mostly narrated by a torso, all that was left of the soldier in the story -- is that our brave soldiers do not die in the trenches thinking about the country they are fighting on behalf of or the proud leaders who sent them there. They die screaming for their mothers, father, husbands, wives, children, lovers, friends.
I thought about this morning, watching a typical military puff piece on the Today show about a husband and wife who were now in Kuwait while their five kids (five!) stayed back in the states. The couple seemed to be typical working-class kids of the type that are attracted to voluntary military service -- for what they perceive as a good job with lots of benefits that they need. The upshot is that they were trying to get out of the military sooner by taking these assignments together. But what if they are both killed? Those kids would then be orphaned for what? For Bush and his obscure family vengeance? Cheney/Rumsfeld, et.al. and their vision of world domination? Haliburton? "Sorry kids, but your parents died so that we can get more geopolitical leverage for our grander designs." Wha?
The best explanation of this previously incomprehensible drive for alliance-destroying war is the Crazy America theory. We are going into Iraq and kicking ass for the same reason we dropped atomic bombs in Japan as World War II was winding down. For the same reason Nixon and Kissinger considered dropping the bomb on Hanoi. We get more leverage in the world if the world thinks we are nuts. The atomic bombs dropped innocent civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki had little to do with Japan -- it was a signal to the USSR, the first shot in the Cold War, that we had the bomb and were crazy enough to use it. By driving into Iraq, the Bushies are telling the world that they don't care about world opinion or silly diplomatic niceties. We're big, now we're bad. Get used to it.
Let's say (and, at this point, let's hope) that the military part of this war is quick. It won't be painless for many, but let's say "not many" US soldiers or Iraqis die (and watch for the sliding-scale spin on what's defined as "not many"). Pick your favorite Bush rosy scenario. Even if "successful" by those terms, the Bush's version of the US is still criminal in starting the war, still imperialist in the outrageous intent to mold this sovereign country to its own designs. Add this crime to the list of the genocide of the Native American, slavery and its aftermath, dropping atomic bombs in Japan, etc. For the first time, the US, on its own, has invaded a foreign country for the sole purpose of taking out and reconstructing its government. I'm sorry, but this is the same sort of shit Hilter did -- and he used the ruse of German security to justify it.
There. I said it.
Which brings us to people saying things at this point in time. Tom Daschle has been excoriated by the Bushies and other radical right-wingers for making some very mild comments about the failure of diplomacy. Other Dems are unlikely to stick their necks out, since they usually play too fair. Why do the Dems always think they have to play fair? Could you imagine what would be happening if Clinton dragged us into this thing against all world opinion and against the Security Council? This whole "our disagreements end at the water's edge" thing should get chucked out with everything other old "20th century" practice the Bushies seem to be throwing out the window. The Dems should be telling the world to hang tight for a couple of years until they can get back in and straighten out this mess.
Now that we have seen the first arrests of anti-war protesters, the rest of us will be looking over our shoulders for the likes of John Ashcroft to find a way to prevent us from "giving aid and comfort", or whatever. I wouldn't put it past these people to label an anti-war activist or two as "enemy combatants" and lock them up for the duration, without charges. But I'll keep plugging along here for the sake of my five readers. Three of whom probably work for the FBI.
A Plaisted Blog History: From 2003 to February 2005, I had a blog in the Salon community, variously titled Anti-War Blog, Beat Bush in ‘04 Blog, Bush Surrogate Watch, and Mondo Media, which was the name of my media column in the Daily Cardinal in the early '80s. The blog was notoriously ignored (7 or 8 hits for most posts) and I stopped in February 2005 when my Salon blog subscription expired. Anyway, I was depressed about the 2004 election results and lost my energy. Highlights included my trip to the Democratic convention in ‘04 and my final post, a eulogy of the great-but-wasted Hunter S. Thompson. I put up a permanent link to my old stuff over there on the right. Apparently, blogs are forever.