“Winning the Iraq War” and Other Myths

I think it’s interesting that when political figures–most notably the always loquacious President himself–discuss the Iraq “war,” it is always in terms of “winning.” And the media just runs along with it, as if an occupation of a middle eastern nation–which, just a reminder, never was justified on any grounds–is a situation where something can be “won.” Does anyone ever stop to think about this? What exactly is it that one can win in any war? And if something is won, is it simply resources and strategic power? And does this ever balance out with the lives lost on both sides and the devastation of the land where the battles took place? Did we “win” anything in Vietnam?

It disturbs me that this idea of winning something, anything at all, through militant attacks can be so blithely accepted by the media and general society. Such an outlook basically accepts the very premise of war as a completely logical and acceptable course of action, because if one can “win” something by attacking a foreign nation and killing tons of innocent people along with our own soldiers and devastating that society and destroying its history, well, I sure as hell am confused about it.

So all they talk about–both Republicrats and Democans–is whether or not we are “losing” or “winning” the Iraq “war.” Shit man, how many lives have we lost now? Almost 3,000 American soldiers, and an untrackable and probably horrific number of Iraqi citizens and “dissidents.” And what else have we lost? Respect and credibility from the rest of the world. Now let’s see what we’ve gained: an ever increasing drain on the national budget and a whole new generation of young militant Islamic extremists. I’m searching desperately here for any reason, any at all, to be found that could even remotely justify this occupation of Iraq–but just like when the whole bullshit propaganda campaign leading all the way up to the “shock and awe” bombing in Baghdad was started, there ain’t no good reason at all. It was never a matter of winning or losing. It was a matter of complete idiocy and short-sightedness based on an idealogical Neocon conception of “A New American Century.”

George W. still believes that “we’re going to win” in Iraq. That’s charming that he’s so naive and faithful. I just can’t believe how much this country still just rolls along with it, with no seeming skepticism beyond a gentle prodding at him about the polls. This guy is a moron, and anyone who for a second is hem-hawing about how “history will be the true test” of whether the Iraq invasion was a “success” or not is one as well. We invaded a country, a civilization, a society, and we tore it apart with guns, bombs, and ideologies that have no application in that world, nor in any real world. You want to know what’s going to happen to Iraq? Take a look at Vietnam now. Remember that country? Yeah, it once was a country, and not just a name for a “war,” before we went in there and fucked it up. Take a look at Afghanistan now. Remember that place? We went in there to warm up for Iraq. We were supposed to be making all of these places better, we were freeing them from their antiquated mentalities and governing systems, we were giving them the wonderful joys of Democracy and IMF Bank Loaned Capitalism. Ah, yes, we Americans are indeed honorable and God lovin’ folks, as long as the God lovin’ comes floating down on a green back note. We’re winning all kinds of battles, and all of them completely imaginary. But as long as the media keeps spinning those sweet songs of mindless numbing acceptance, will any of us ever really know the difference?

Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

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