FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

"Getting Better" in Iraq

“The situation is improving on a daily basis inside Iraq. People are freer, the security situation is getting better, the infrastructure is getting better, the schools are opening, the hospitals are being modernized.”

George W. Bush, Oct. 6

Of course it’s getting better, betterment being official policy. Soon the number of US soldiers killed in post-May 1, liberated, occupied, better Iraq will reach 100. And the security situation will be better then than it was when the ninetieth soldier was killed. And it will be better for all involved by Christmas.

The security situation, to just cite one example, is improving in Huwaijah, fifty miles north-east of Baghdad. U.S. troops, according to Agence France-Presse, withdrew from the town October 9 “due to repeated guerrilla attacks” and the “increasing exasperation of the local population” about the detention of 1000 local inhabitants by U.S. forces. Now the U.S. troops are more secure, and so are the Huwaijah residents. Things are getting better in the Sunni Triangle.

Meanwhile among the Shiites, who have better relations with the occupiers than the Sunnis, are getting better and better at organizing themselves and securing their neighborhoods in Baghdad against foreign intrusion. Overextended, demoralized occupying troops are being forced out of some areas because the local folks’ ability to express their rage improves over time.

Bush, however he might hide his head in the sand, surely knows the Beatles’ tune “Getting Better,” from the Sgt. Pepper’s album.

I’ve got to admit it’s getting better (better)
A little better all the time (it can’t get no worse)
I have to admit it’s getting better (better)
It’s getting better since [Iraq’s] been mine

Getting so much better all the time
It’s getting better all the time (better, better, better)
It’s getting better all the time (better, better, better)

But maybe he’s doing a little reconsideration, and feeling poorly served by Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz.

Man I was mean, but I’m changing my scene, and
[with Condi and her Iraq Stabilization Group taking over responsibility for the Iraq fiasco] I’m doing the best that I can.

I’ve got to admit it’s getting better (better)
A little better all the time (it can’t get no worse)
I have to admit it’s getting better (better)
It’s getting better since you’ve been mine

Investment economists, who are not at all optimistic about Iraq, have a term, “delusional optimism.” It is a serious psychological problem that can ruin people’s lives. It may be relevant here.

GARY LEUPP is a professor of History at Tufts University and coordinator of the Asian Studies Program.

He can be reached at: gleupp@tufts.edu

 

More articles by:

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa JapanMale Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at: gleupp@tufts.edu

September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail