Monday, March 24, 2008

4000 Americans and thousands and thousands of Iraqis have died in this war

What is there to say. No picture today. We have no picture of what is going on in Iraq really, just lots of misleading pieces of information, lots of deaths, and lots of money.

Here 's an example of "news coverage" This is from Navy Lt. Patrick Evans a military spokesperson in response to raids on the Green Zone today. " There have been some significant gains. However this enemy is resilient and will not give up, nor will we."

What are the gains? The destruction of the entire country and the killing of probably over a million Iraqis. The gains? fewer Americans killed?? Many fewer would be killed if they all left. The enemy?? Who is the enemy, the enemy is us. Why are we there ?

This particular article which has already been buried online, blamed the attack on "probably tensions between rival Shiite groups" What on earth does that mean? More prominent online is the article blaming Iranian backed militias. More propaganda for Cheney's next campaign to start a war against Iran. Later on we have Mosul where the area is "the last major urban area where the Sunni extremist al-Qaida group maintains a significant presence>" What are they talking about here?

For a revealing view of the resistance from their own perspective, see the excellent movie Meeting Resistance which interviews the resistance and finds out their motives. Steve Connors and Molly Bingham embedded with one community of resistance fighters, not a "group" but a series of individuals affiliated in different ways, for ten months. They gained their trust enough to be able to interview them about what they were doing. The immediate impact of the movie is that we see the occupation by the US from their perspective, huge machines, soldiers, heavily armed invading every street, action, neighborhood. We look up at these enormously armed men and wonder what on earth do we think we are doing.
Steve Connors one of the filmmakers commented to me "I think a major problem for people attempting to remain informed by reliance on the media here in the United States is that only rarely are Iraqi's as motivated human beings, driving events, taken into consideration. The view from here is that they lay passive as Americans enact their policy decisions upon them."
This is so true.

1 comment:

Admiral said...

With all due respect, and I really like your blog, how can you say that we really know nothing about what is going on over there, then assert all these supposed facts?

The reality is that we know more every day -- and not all of it is good OR bad. For the many Iraqis who do not have to fear being murdered by Saddam Hussein's regime anymore, they are probably better off unless they live in Baghdad, in which case they are likely not better off, though... it is worth noting... the city has been improving noticeably of late.

The country is HUGE. You say statistics are misleading unless they support your point which is not a very good strategy for learning anything factual at all. Obviously things are getting better over there, every Democrat who has visited concurs. The Iraqi Army recently had a phenomenal success with the Sadr Army too. The real question is "when should we leave?" The answer does not depend on any liberal rewriting of reality for a version of life that supports your argument.

Personally, I opposed the war at the beginning, but have not been so quick to condemn a situation that I do not know much about. So I read as much as I can and try to remain humble enough to understand that not everyone is a loser or winner in this gamble. One thing is for sure: mainstream media has shamed itself regarding the war as of late. Right when all the so-called "misleading statistics" come out, the stories stop being front page because they show progress. Sigh.

What conditions would be necessary for you to support a continued presence? The immediate threat of millions dying? A civil war to end all civil wars? I am asking in good faith because I don't know the answer myself.