FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

SOTUS Quo

by RON JACOBS

 

George Bush’s State of the Union speech provided every single US resident that opposes the war in Iraq with a reason to take that opposition into the streets. His argument that ending the US military involvement in that nation would lead to extremists running the world is nothing new, but his insistence that this would create an environment that provided “an emboldened enemy with new safe havens, new recruits, new resources and an even greater determination to harm America” is certainly a step up in his rhetoric. According to MR. Bush and his advisers, the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq would spell the end of the world for all freedom-loving Americans and place them in a never-seen-before danger.

To put it as bluntly as possible and without obscenities, let me say HOGWASH! The withdrawal of US troops from Iraq would not spell the beginning of the end of the world as we know it. Nor would it mean the eventual rule of Osama bin Laden and his band of zealots. Instead, it would provide the Iraqi people of all political stripes an opportunity to take control of their nation. No longer would there be US troops staging military operations in their cities and villages. No longer would there be US military commanders and spies running a war to suit Washington’s ends while creating a climate that killed 34,000 Iraqis last year alone. No longer would there be Washington’s economic experts trying to force the IMF neoliberal economic formula down the throat of Iraq’s sickly economic system. no longer would there be sham elections that the people stand in line to proudly vote only to have their votes mean less than the votes for Al Gore did in the 2000 Florida presidential balloting.

Indeed, a US withdrawal might even spell the end of the ability of Salafist and Wahabbi networks in Iraq to maintain their battle against the United States. After all, it is to the benefit of these Islamist cells for the US troops to stay, since it is the presence of the US troops that fuels their sectarian war on everyone with whom they disagree. In fact, a US withdrawal would certainly increase the chances that the truly nationalist forces currently fighting in the resistance would be willing to engage in political battles more than military ones since their primary goal of making the invader and occupier leave would have been achieved.

If I were an Iraqi, I would be quite insulted by Mr. Bush’s speech. His supposition that there would be a “contagion of violence” if US troops were to leave because extremists from all sides would battle sounds a hell of a lot like he is calling most Iraqis extremists bent on battling until their country is destroyed. ignoring the obvious fact that there has been a contagion of violence in Iraq since the US/UK brought it there in March of 2003, Mr. Bush’s implication is a crude interpretation of the Orientalist fantasy that all Arabic people are violent and bloodthirsty. Of course, this fantasy was developed by European invaders who came intent on conquering Arab lands and took great pride in the spilling of Arab blood. Now, if someone invaded where you live, don’t you think you might take up arms against them, especially if they killed you women and children without remorse?

But this piece isn’t really about Mr. Bush. It’s about Congress. You know, the folks we in the United States elected in November to get us out of the war in Iraq. Well, they’re backsliding already. Mr. Bush’s little burst of the same old 911, terrorism, Al-Queda rhetoric the night of January 23rd might fog up their politician brains even more. Our job is to not let that happen. Our job is to make sure it doesn’t happen. Out job is to insist that those men and women in Congress end the war in Iraq immediately. Not in June. Not in August. Not in 2008 or later, but immediately.

The first big step in this process was the election. The next big step comes this Saturday, January 27th in Washington, DC, San Francisco and elsewhere. Those cities are hosting antiwar protests on that day with the demand Troops Out Now. If you weren’t planning on going to one of these protests, then you need to reconsider. Put aside your personal plans and get on a bus, a train, a plane or in a car and head to a protest. This is not a time to backslide for us as citizens against the war or for the legislators we elected to end the war. If we allow Messrs. Bush and Cheney to get away unchallenged with their escalation, then we will most likely see these men and their fellow extremists expand their war and destroy the freedoms we cherish.

RON JACOBS is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs’ essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch’s collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. His first novel, Short Order Frame Up, is forthcoming from Mainstay Press. He can be reached at: rjacobs3625@charter.net

 

More articles by:

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castille’s killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
Gregory Barrett
“Realpolitik” in Berlin: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger
Louis Yako
The Road to Understanding Syria Goes Through Iraq
Graham Peebles
Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen
Ezra Rosser
The Poverty State of Mind and the State’s Obligations to the Poor
Ron Jacobs
Andrew Jackson and the American Psyche
Pepe Escobar
Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
Andre Vltchek
Why I Reject Western Courts and Justice
Lawrence Davidson
On Hidden Cultural Corruptors
REZA FIYOUZAT
Useless Idiots or Useful Collaborators?
Missy Comley Beattie
The Poor Need Not Apply
Joseph Natoli
What to Wonder Now
Thomas Knapp
The Castile Doctrine: Cops Without Consequences
Nyla Ali Khan
Borders Versus Memory
Binoy Kampmark
Death on the Road: Memory in Tim Winton’s Shrine
Sam Pizzigati
Companies Can Either Make Things or Make CEOs Rich
Tony McKenna
The Oily Politics of Unity: Owen Smith as Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary
Nizar Visram
If North Korea Didn’t Exist US Would Create It
Jill Richardson
Trump on Cuba: If Obama Did It, It’s Bad
Olivia Alperstein
Our President’s Word Wars
Clark T. Scott
Parallel in Significance
Richard Klin
Prog Rock: Pomp and Circumstance
Charles R. Larson
Review: Malin Persson Giolito’s “Quicksand”
June 22, 2017
Jason Hirthler
Invisible Empire Beneath the Radar, Above Suspicion
Ken Levy
Sorry, But It’s Entirely the Right’s Fault
John Laforge
Fukushima’s Radiation Will Poison Food “for Decades,” Study Finds
Ann Garrison
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party, and the UK’s Socialist Surge
Phillip Doe
Big Oil in the Rocky Mountain State: the Overwhelming Tawdriness of Government in Colorado
Howard Lisnoff
The Spiritual Death of Ongoing War
Stephen Cooper
Civilized, Constitution-Loving Californians Will Continue Capital Punishment Fight
Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla
Cuba Will Not Bow to Trump’s Threats
Ramzy Baroud
Israel vs. the United Nations: The Nikki Haley Doctrine
Tyler Wilch
The Political Theology of US Drone Warfare
Colin Todhunter
A Grain of Truth: RCEP and the Corporate Hijack of Indian Agriculture
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail