FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Politics of Exploitation

The Washington Post online edition headline read: “Obama tells veterans the end of the Iraq war is about to begin.”

“The end of the Iraq war is about to begin.”

I say this like a mantra and note that there is something absurdly absurd about the language, here. More familiar is the ominous phrase “the beginning of the end.” As in “woe is me.” And, yes, I know some would correct this to “woe is I.” But to say “the end of the Iraq war is about to begin” carries an illusion of hope. Certainly, that’s the intent.

I’ve read the text of Obama’s message to Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and didn’t see this quote, anywhere, so I’m unsure if it is an Obamaism, something Barry said, prior to, or after, the speech. It is clear, though, that 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq in a support role, training and advising Iraqis.

Unclear is the meaning of support role. What exactly does this job description include? Combat? What kinds of weapons will be involved? More information, please.

When the Nobel Peace Prize recipient spoke on August 2 at the National Convention of DAV in Atlanta, Georgia, he repudiated his vow to withdraw all troops from Iraq in 2010 and emphasized successes in the war-ravaged country, blah, blah, blahhing about recent low levels of violence. Truth is during July, 400 civilians were killed, 50 Iraqi soldiers died, and 89 police officers perished—this according to the Iraqi government, figures challenged by the US military. Who you gonna believe? What do those Iraqis know, anyway?

Here’s some of what Obama said about the next chapter in the mission, this “end” that’s “about to begin”:

These are dangerous tasks. There are still those with bombs and
bullets that will try to stop Iraq progress and the hard truth is that
we have not seen the end of America’s sacrifice in Iraq. But make
no mistake: our commitment in Iraq is changing from a military
effort led by our troops to a civilian effort led by our diplomats.

“Diplomats”? Again, more information, please.

Will these “diplomats” pack heat? After all, we didn’t spend a gazillion dollars on the Green Zone, the largest embassy in the history of US Empire, this 104-acre monstrosity the size of 80 football fields with shops and restaurants, a cinema, and much more, to, later, say, “See ya.”

Okay, we did cede control of the multiplex to Iraq in 2009, but, most certainly, this control is under our control.

The president’s words on Monday served up the customary dose of exploitation.

Exploitation of 9/11.

Exploitation of fear.

Exploitation of patriotism.

Exploitation of sacrifice.

Even exploitation of exploitation because Obama wrapped with “destiny” and “brighter days ahead” and “we will emerge from our tests even stronger than before” and “the country we love” and, OF COURSE, “ God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.”

Back to “diplomats.” I’m scratching my head as I consider the significance. I kinda sorta think in Military Industrial Complex-speak, it translates to combat troops. Yes, that’s it—“diplomat” is a euphemism for uniformed soldier.

The continuing task of carnage, which debuted as Operation Iraqi Freedom (how ironic is that?), will persist, augmented by mercenaries employed by private security companies. These highly paid killers, along with the 50,000 support-role troops, will perpetuate bloodshed, imperialism, and an occupation that will never end in a design where “the end of the Iraq war is about to begin.” Woes are us, or we, and woe is unto them.

MISSY BEATTIE lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She will be in DC in July for Peace of the Action. Contact her at missybeat@aol.com.

 

WORDS THAT STICK
?

 

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
December 05, 2019
Colin Todhunter
Don’t Look, Don’t See: Time for Honest Media Reporting on Impacts of Pesticides
Nick Pemberton
Gen Z and Free Speech
Bob Lord
The U-Turn That Made America Staggeringly Unequal
Josh White
The Most Important Election in British History
Daniel Warner
The Hillsborough Soccer Tragedy: Who is Responsible?
Dean Baker
The Big Deal in Warren’s Prescription Drug Plan
George Ochenski
Another Utility Disaster Headed Our Way
Binoy Kampmark
Spying on Assange: the Spanish Case Takes a Turn
Victor Grossman
Big Rallies and Big Differences in Germany
L. Ali Khan
A Playboy Misrules Pakistan
William J. Astore
How American Exceptionalism is Killing the Planet
Susie Day
The Mad Activist Impeaches Western Culture
Andrés Castro
Look Out for the Drift
December 04, 2019
Jefferson Morley
RIP Fred Hampton: a Black Visionary Assassinated by the FBI
Vijay Prashad
Wealthy Countries’ Approach to Climate Change Condemns Hundreds of Millions of People to Suffer
Kenneth Surin
The Tory Election “Campaign” to Date
Maria Paez Victor
Indians Shall Not Govern
Peter Lackowski
Bolivia’s Five Hundred-Year Rebellion
Dave Lindorff
Billionaire Entitlement Run Amok: the Case of Michael Bloomberg
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Is Corbyn for Christmas Just Another Stove Pipe-Dream?
Howard Lisnoff
Elizabeth Warren: Savior of a Fallen System?
Robert Fisk
The Remembrance Poppy is Becoming a Weapon Against Immigrants to Canada
Dean Baker
NAFTA was About Redistributing Wealth Upwards
Richard Greeman
French Unions and Yellow Vests Converge, Launch General Strike
Binoy Kampmark
Legitimised Surveillance: Kim Dotcom’s Case Against GCSB
Walter Clemens
Goodbye Law and Morality, Welcome Pretend Tough!
Sam Pizzigati
Football Without Billionaires? Why Not?
Anthony Giattino
Royal Forests of America
December 03, 2019
Richard Lachmann
Can the US Get Out of Its Endless Wars?
Ramzy Baroud
Israel’s Unfinished ‘Coup’
David Rosen
The Dialectics of Postmodern Sexual Identity
Robert Fisk
Reporting Syria: I Talked to Everyone, Except Assad
Patrick Cockburn
Why the Resignation of Iraq’s Prime Minister May Not Stop the Mass Uprising on the Horizon
Norman Solomon
For Corporate Media, It’s ‘Anybody But Sanders or Warren’
Bob Scofield
Uruguay Turns to the Right
Joe Emersberger
Talking About Ecuador’s Political Prisoners: an Interview With Marcela Aguiñaga
Medea Benjamin
Trump Was Right: NATO Should Be Obsolete
Nyla Ali Khan
Lesson in Diplomacy for India’s Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty
William Gudal
The Bubble Machine
Gaither Stewart
Dirty Hands
Peter Certo
End the Wars, Win the Antiwar Vote
Binoy Kampmark
The Liveris Formula: Dow’s Inclusive Capitalism
Dan Bacher
California Freezes New Fracking Permits – But All Oil Drilling Permits Still Outpace 2018
Kay Sather
Can’t Get No Satisfaction?
December 02, 2019
Rob Urie
Ukraine, the New Cold War and the Politics of Impeachment
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail