Iraq Rant

It’s disheartening how the media and its roster of conservative talking heads ensists on discussing the Iraq ‘War’ in terms of ‘success’ and ‘failure.’ This so-called war was never anything but some neo-con agenda to establish Western dominance in a strategically located Middle Eastern territory. Notice how the goal and purpose of the ‘war’ shifts whenever some new alibi is needed. It goes from eradicating non-existant weapons of mass destruction, to deposing a dictator for war crimes that we did nothing to stop at the time they occurred, to installing ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’ for the Iraqi people whom we slaughter indiscriminately with cluster bombs. The Pentagon spits out lovely little catch-phrases like “insurgency,” “sectarian violence,” etc, to try to present what is occurring over there as if they’ve got some kind of hold on it. Have we learned absolutely nothing from the war in Vietnam? Trying to impose our values and our economics and our governing systems on other peoples is a mess–it’s a fucking bloody mess and does nothing for anyone except demonstrate the utterly sad ridiculousness of idealism used as a shield for mis-guided power struggles.

One thing many people said, even if disagreeing with the war, was that “well, at least the Iraqi people will be better off.” I hope that I don’t have to elucidate now why that is bullshit. If anyone wants to make the argument that the Iraqi people (and we are talking all of the population, not the elite 20%) have benefitted in any way from what we are doing to them, I would be interested in hearing it. They are not benefitting from the continuing occupation of our troops, nor our continuing campaigns of bombing and terrorism. Yes, the country will continue to sink into the mire of bloody civil war and “sectarian” violence. But our troops and our bombs and our “noble pursuits” are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

So is it a ‘failure’ or is it a ‘success’? Can we ‘win’ this ‘war’? Failure to whose interests? Which of the aforestated goals would we be fulfilling? What would be won?


Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

2 thoughts on “Iraq Rant”

  1. Great to read this, though so many years after it was written. One of my favorite articles, Jospeh Margolis’ “Historicity and the Politics of Predication” (2007) discusses a similar need for new language and narrative forms, realizing that modern war has outgrown the limited notions of discrete occurrence, agentive and lasting victory, etc. with which we’ve traditionally discussed events. Margolis warns that the failure to develop new ways of discussing events which exceed the norms of traditional predication contributes to our inability to diagnose and engage these crises, which cyclically promote their absurdity.

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