Began then abandoned three attempts to write about Iraq, or what’s left of it. Maybe I’ve hit a wall when it comes to the war, or maybe there’s nothing left to say. When I read all the reports and analysis about the slaughterhouse we helped to erect, I feel paralyzed. I don’t know how others can keep offering opinions about this human disaster. At this point, especially for Americans, we should be shamed into silence.
Which is not to suggest, of course, that people do or say nothing about the war. Pressure to find alternatives to the present madness must be maintained, or else it’ll never end. Perhaps what I’m trying to say is that I no longer have anything to add to the chorus. I feel somewhat guilty about this, being a political blogger who’s expected to pop off at daily headlines. But that’s where I’m currently at, for what it’s worth. Besides, there are others, like Juan Cole and Patrick Cockburn, who keep their eyes and ears on the chaos. And my pal Jon Schwarz, who knows quite a bit about US involvement in Iraqi affairs, from pre-Saddam time to now, will always have something to say. Though how he keeps his sense of humor about it eludes me.
I will offer this: the notion that the US held “honorable intentions” as it tore the lid off of Iraq is not only self-serving piety, it’s a widespread sociopathic delusion. Yet, US politicos from Chuck Hagel to Russ Feingold utter this line whenever possible, keeping a straight face while another thousand or so Iraqis are blown to bits, and a few dozen more US soldiers and Marines have their heads, arms or legs blown off by IEDs, or are felled by snipers. “Honorable”? Are you fucking kidding me? Criminal would be the first word out of my mouth, but then, I’m not trying to appease the fantasies of the political elite nor those among the greater mass who seriously buy into this insane logic. Recall that Richard Nixon called for “Peace With Honor” in Vietnam, then invaded Cambodia and Laos while continuing to rip apart Vietnamese society. If I was someone who lived in the crosshairs of US foreign policy and heard American politicians talk about “honorable intentions,” I’d either start building a bomb shelter or pack what I could grab and hit the road.
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