Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ho Hum

Reaction to Zarqawi: Indifference at the Orwell
"Goldstein" Moment

In any sane democracy the public reaction to the
killing of Zarqawi would be massive indifference. The
best course would have been to never have created
Zarqawi in the first place. Zarqawi was a nobody
before we gave him the platform of the Iraq occupation
on which to carve out his bloody moment of glory. In
this self-regenerating insurgency we have created, it
will not stop our troops from getting killed or bring
peace to Iraq.

Is the killing of a psychopath whom we gave an
environment in which to thrive supposed to balance the
killings in Haditha, or the thousands of civilian
casualties (up to 100,000 according to the Lancet
most through aerial bombardment, contrary to
perceptions that most are by sectarian suicide bombs?)
Or balance the now-emerging torture of innocent men
at Guantanamo? The timing is suspicious,
since it distracts attention from awareness that the
Haditha killings may just be the tip of the iceberg.

The Deliverance Wing of the Republican Party, whose
upbringing taught them no rules on the conduct of
civil discourse, now contend that the "liberals" are
gleeful at the Haditha killings, because it helps the
anti-Iraq War cause (Hey wait! I'm not even that
liberal!) Those who gleefully cheered the bombing of
a Third World country that had not attacked us, accuse
others of enjoying carnage.

If their little war hadnever been started, there would have been no Haditha
killings. Saddam Hussein would still be in charge of
his dysfunctional, simmering powder keg of a nation,
our troops would have secured Afghanistan and the
Afghan-Paki frontier IN FORCE, with perhaps the
capture of bin Laden to show for it, and a vast
majority of Muslims would still think Americans the
greatest and most righteous people on earth. People
who only attack those who attack them first. Muslims
may have problems with our government's Middle Eastern
policies, but by and large, not with us. With the
help off informants disgusted at bin Laden's methods,
we would be rolling up the war on terror.

Yes, Saddam Hussein would still be killing people, but
maybe not even at the rate the war is doing so now.
30,000-100,00 innocent civilians since the invasion
would be a pretty good clip even for old Saddam (who
also now justifies it because he was a "war"
president.) With our credibility secure and our
intentions untarnished, we would be positioned to deal
with Saddam and our tyrannical allies in Saudi Arabia
and the Persian Gulf monarchies as we saw fit.

The Dueling Banjos Wing on Fox News now presses us on
whether or not we are happy that a killer like Zarqawi
is dead. Aren't you happy? Aren't you happy? My
answer is, I couldn't care less, because the
insurgency is a lobster that will grow another claw
once one has been hacked off. There are now hundreds
of Zarqawis waiting in the wings to take over,
probably happy this one is dead so they can have their
chance at glory by butchering the oil-stealing,
permanent base-building, baby-killing Americans.
People who blow themselves up with belt bombs, and
itch to be chosen for the next mission, do not fear
the fate of Zarqawi.

I refuse to participate in Bush's little morality play ("justice" has been
brought to Zarqawi) because we long ago lost sight of
who the good guys are. Since Zarqawi's death will not
stop my brothers from getting killed in Iraq, or the
insurgency from growing, my reaction is not happiness,
but indifference. In Orwell's 1984, an audience
conditioned to hating the villain-of-the-moment starts
booing in a movie theater at the mention of his name.
Anyone who is not cheering loudly enough is suspect.
What we have now is a pure "Goldstein" moment.
Meanwhile the war goes on forever and the population
submits to the authoritarian state.

Never mind for now how someone killed by two
five-hundred pound bombs manages to have his face
fully recognizable and only a little bloody. We won't
go there, and assume that Bush didn't have Zarqawi in
the equivalent of cold storage for just such a tiime,
when the shooting of two-year-olds and old men in
wheelchairs may be dangerously pricking the American
conscience. Trot out the villain to show this is all
worth it. Is it? No. Things are as they have always
been: The war on terror was lost the minute Bush
invaded Iraq, according to the former chief of the
CIA's bin Laden unit Michael Scheuer. It will
continue to be lost as long as we are there, the
victory in Afghanistan is unsecured, bin Laden is
free, and Bush is president.


Anonymous guile said...

nice, cozy place you got here :)..

2:14 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home