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

April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
Ted Rall
Stop Letting Trump Distract You From Your Wants and Needs
Steve Klinger
The Cautionary Tale of Donald J. Trump
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Conflict Over the Future of the Planet
Cesar Chelala
Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail