Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
Send the Footwear, Hold the Soldiers

We Need Boots on the Ground in Iraq!

by JOHN ESKOW

In recent days, every major politician in American has insisted that our combat-weary country will never again have “boots on the ground” in Iraq.  Even the most demented of them, like John McCain, have chanted this mantra, preferring instead America’s clumsy and hideous strategy of bomb and drone, bomb and drone, bomb and drone.

So let me be the first to say it: we DO need boots on the ground in Iraq!

No soldiers.  Just boots.

I propose a series of strategic air-drops which leave  hundreds of thousands of boots standing upright on the plains and cities of Iraq.  Orthopedic boots for crippled kids.  Boots affixed to prosthetic legs for those Iraqis whose bodies were ripped up by American bombs.  Warm boots for those forced to sleep outside because America destroyed their homes.

And not just boots!  We need coats on the ground, too.  Coats, and gloves, and medical supplies.  We need to strafe Iraq with first-aid kits.  Sure, we may need to re-train American pilots, who’ve only been trained to commit aerial murder.  But we’re supposed to be a can-do country!  With a little training, our pilots will be able to drop a single pair of Tony Lama cowboy boots down to a kid in Fallujah who dreams of becoming a cowboy!

Let’s start sending out squadrons of boot-filled planes out today.

Just one caveat:

No combat boots.

John Eskow is a writer and musician. He wrote or co-wrote the movies Air America, The Mask of Zorro, and Pink Cadillac, as well as the novel Smokestack Lightning. He can be reached at: johneskow@yahoo.com