Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
GOD SAVE HRC, FROM REALITY — Jeffrey St. Clair on Hillary Clinton’s miraculous rags-to-riches method of financial success; LA CONFIDENTIAL: Lee Ballinger on race, violence and inequality in Los Angeles; PAPER DRAGON: Peter Lee on China’s military; THE BATTLE OVER PAT TILLMAN: David Hoelscher provides a 10 year retrospective on the changing legacy of Pat Tillman; MY BROTHER AND THE SPACE PROGRAM: Paul Krassner on the FBI and rocket science. PLUS: Mike Whitney on how the Central Bank feeds state capitalism; JoAnn Wypijewski on what’s crazier than Bowe Bergdahl?; Kristin Kolb on guns and the American psyche; Chris Floyd on the Terror War’s disastrous course.
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