Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! CounterPunch is entirely supported by our readers. Your donations pay for our small staff, tiny office, writers, designers, techies, bandwidth and servers. We don’t owe anything to advertisers, foundations, one-percenters or political parties. You are our only safety net. Please make a tax-deductible donation today.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Somebody Blew Up Baghdad

by ANTHONY GANCARSKI

 

And on the sixth day, the Lord gave us a double-digit body count. AP reports an Iraqi Defense official claim that 14 civilians were killed by 2 US cruise missiles that hit the Al-Shaab section of northern Baghdad. As the report puts it, “the area consists of homes and about 30 shops, mostly inexpensive restaurants and auto repair shops.”

Sounds like auto repair is going to be the least of the survivors’ worries. These folks undoubtedly will have funerals to get all gussied up for, and then there’s the ceremonial grabbing for supplies from the outstretched white hand of a US serviceman. And the kissing of Ahmed Chalabi’s ring when he helicopters in with Michael Jackson, Bono, and Chris Hitchens, of course. But, yeah, anyway, a few civilians died for Democracy.

But no one really knows how it happened. Fox News pin-up Geraldo Rivera maintains that they could be US missiles, but blames the whole nasty business on a sandstorm. CentCom is ducking responsibility. Good thing this was just an military mix-up and not, say, a paternity suit. Because “we don’t know that those are ours” rarely flies in court.

But God knows this war isn’t about legalities. This war, like Bush said Wednesday at MacDill AFB in Florida, is all about helping out the “long-suffering Iraqi people.” But this campaign of unabashed generosity, which we here in America call “shock-n-awe”, has run into some obstruction.

Not Tom Daschle type obstruction, where one does a press conference with a flow chart and a weatherman’s pointer and a grimace like the “Before” picture for a Metamucil print advert. No, this here is real obstruction. With guns mounted to pick-up trucks, and the cold, steely determination of natives struggling to repel an unwanted horde of invaders.

Because that’s exactly what American troops are. The mendacious US media can dredge up Iraqi atrocities from the Reagan era all it wants; left unmentioned by them is our role in facilitating a war between Iran and Iraq with no benefits for the people of either country.

Left unmentioned as well, amidst the constant barrage of interviews with retired generals and Presidential pep rallies at military bases, is the fact that this Iraqi war is a result of consistent failures of statesmanship by the Washington government, which clearly lacks the ability to resolve its own conflicts without the use of decisive force.

Two shooting wars in two years of President Bush, Secretary of State Powell, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice, and their policy experts and assorted hangers-on. Two of these, and more to come.

It’s antithetical to the American character, assuming there is still such a thing. The sight of the President at MacDill stumbling through his lines yet again, posing like a tough guy in front of a wall of the sort of poor men and women who die for the rich. Never before has he looked so ill at ease in the role, so much like a CEO running late for his pedicure, as when he confused Afghanistan for Iraq during the speech. Good thing he didn’t say Iran, or Michael Ledeen’s performance bonus would’ve kicked in.

Bush’s lips betrayed him, and those poor soldiers behind him, but enlightened the American people. The twitching form of the Commander-In-Chief suggests that he’s starting to see why folks used to say that war was hell, and that people were better off avoiding fights they weren’t prepared to finish.

Iraqi men, whether regular soldiers or just civilians, don’t miss the symbolism in the US mounting its news models to the hoods of tanks and allowing them to provide play-by-play of the stirring march of Baghdad. They see the casualness with which US talking heads justify an assault on their homeland in its proper context; as an unmistakable, ritualistic humiliation.

For how can it not be humiliating? How many times are we going to be subjected to effectively pornographic images of debased Iraqis before we understand exactly why they are there? They aren’t there to inform us, but to manipulate us. To provide a pretext for an authoritarian imposition of “American idealism” with unprecedented, catastrophic force.

ANTHONY GANCARSKI’s columns run regularly in CounterPunch. Emails are welcome at ANTHONY.GANCARSKI@ATTBI.COM

Yesterday’s Features

Pablo Mukherjee
Watch Their Lips

David Krieger
Shock But Not Awe

Linda Heard
Winning Hearts and Minds Bush—-Style

Imad Jadaa
The Beautiful Face of America

Adam Engel
Buckets of Blood

Patrick Cockburn
Kurds Unimpressed

David Lindorff
POWs, Torture and Hypocrisy

Robert Fisk
The Coup That Didn’t Happen

April Hurley, MD
A Doctor’s Outrage in Baghdad

Gloria Bergen
Chretien’s Shame

Reema Abu Hamdieh
The Smell of Death Surrounds Me

Website of the War
Iraq Body Count

Keep CounterPunch Alive:
Make a Tax—-Deductible Donation Today Online!

home / subscribe / about us / books / archives / search / links /

ANTHONY GANCARSKI is a regular CounterPunch columnist. He can be reached at Anthony.Gancarski@attbi.com

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
September 30, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
Thinking Dangerously in the Age of Normalized Ignorance
Stanley L. Cohen
Israel and Academic Freedom: a Closed Book
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Can Russia Learn From Brazil’s Fate? 
Andrew Levine
A Putrid Election: the Horserace as Farce
Mike Whitney
The Biggest Heist in Human History
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Sick Blue Line
Rob Urie
The Twilight of the Leisure Class
Vijay Prashad
In a Hall of Mirrors: Fear and Dislike at the Polls
Alexander Cockburn
The Man Who Built Clinton World
John Wight
Who Will Save Us From America?
Pepe Escobar
Afghanistan; It’s the Heroin, Stupid
W. T. Whitney
When Women’s Lives Don’t Matter
Julian Vigo
“Ooops, I Did It Again”: How the BBC Funnels Stories for Financial Gain
Howard Lisnoff
What was Missing From The Nation’s Interview with Bernie Sanders
Jeremy Brecher
Dakota Access Pipeline and the Future of American Labor
Binoy Kampmark
Pictures Left Incomplete: MH17 and the Joint Investigation Team
Andrew Kahn
Nader Gave Us Bush? Hillary Could Give Us Trump
Steve Horn
Obama Weakens Endangered Species Act
Dave Lindorff
US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing
John W. Whitehead
Uncomfortable Truths You Won’t Hear From the Presidential Candidates
Ramzy Baroud
Shimon Peres: Israel’s Nuclear Man
Brandon Jordan
The Battle for Mercosur
Murray Dobbin
A Globalization Wake-Up Call
Jesse Ventura
Corrupted Science: the DEA and Marijuana
Richard W. Behan
Installing a President by Force: Hillary Clinton and Our Moribund Democracy
Andrew Stewart
The Democratic Plot to Privatize Social Security
Daniel Borgstrom
On the Streets of Oakland, Expressing Solidarity with Charlotte
Marjorie Cohn
President Obama: ‘Patron’ of the Israeli Occupation
Norman Pollack
The “Self-Hating” Jew: A Critique
David Rosen
The Living Body & the Ecological Crisis
Joseph Natoli
Thoughtcrimes and Stupidspeak: Our Assault Against Words
Ron Jacobs
A Cycle of Death Underscored by Greed and a Lust for Power
Uri Avnery
Abu Mazen’s Balance Sheet
Kim Nicolini
Long Drive Home
Louisa Willcox
Tribes Make History with Signing of Grizzly Bear Treaty
Art Martin
The Matrix Around the Next Bend: Facebook, Augmented Reality and the Podification of the Populace
Andre Vltchek
Failures of the Western Left
Ishmael Reed
Millennialism or Extinctionism?
Frances Madeson
Why It’s Time to Create a Cabinet-Level Dept. of Native Affairs
Laura Finley
Presidential Debate Recommendations
José Negroni
Mass Firings on Broadway Lead Singers to Push Back
Leticia Cortez
Entering the Historical Dissonance Surrounding Desafinados
Robert J. Burrowes
Gandhi: ‘My Life is My Message’
Charles R. Larson
Queen Lear? Deborah Levy’s “Hot Milk”
David Yearsley
Bring on the Nibelungen: If Wagner Scored the Debates
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]