As the Bush administration continues to bask in the glory of its “liberation” of Iraq, evidence is creeping into the mainstream media that Iraq is in a state of disaster. Civilian casualties continue to mount and appear to be far more extensive than what was previously believed. Scenes of “chaos and looting” dominate the airwaves, at least when the media is not talking about how the United States needs to invade Syria next. Meanwhile, admist the looting the United States’ priorities are becoming clear — they are protecting the oil ministry instead of stopping the looting of museums, instead of cleaning up unexploded munitions, and instead of assisting the wounded — while new documents support the idea that this war had more than a little to do with oil.
Now that U.S. forces have achieved the occupation of Iraq, the Bush administration is looking for its next target. Syria seems to be the prime candidate. As part of the “roadmap” to a solution of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the U.S. is considering possible military strikes on Syria. Richard Perle, one the primary architects of the war in Iraq, claims that it is possible that Iraq’s WMD have been moved to Syria and that were the case, then the “US would be compelled to act against Syria”. Paul Wolfowitz, another administration hawk, said on Thursday that ‘the Syrians have been shipping killers into Iraq to try and kill Americans’, adding: ‘We need to think about what our policy is towards a country that harbors terrorists or harbors war criminals. ‘There will have to be change in Syria, plainly,’ said Wolfowitz.
The United States says it is taking precautions to avoid civilian casualties, but Baghdad’s hospitals are packed to overflowing with wounded residents of the capital.
One of them is Ali Ismaeel Abbas, 12, who was fast asleep when a missile obliterated his home and most of his family, leaving him orphaned, badly burned and missing both his arms.
“Can you help get my arms back? Do you think the doctors can get me another pair of hands?” Abbas asked. “If I don’t get a pair of hands I will commit suicide,” he said with tears spilling down his cheeks.
As the U.S. starts speaking of Hussein’s regime “coming to an end” and that the “tide is turning” we must ask ourselves what this means for Iraq and the Iraqi people, but also what it means for other nations in the scope of U.S. aggression. There remain an innumerable amount of questions on the future of Iraq; and there remain an equal number of questions on what this administration plans next.
Unrelated but Worth a Read:
The four major American tv news outlets enjoyed showing Iraqis and U.S. Marines working together in Baghdad to dismantle a statue of Saddam Hussein (despite the U.S. flag of occupation on the head of the statue –
later replaced by an Iraqi flag) but continued to blackout stories about civilian casualties and suffering around Iraq.
While Bush and Blair meet in Ireland to decide the future of Iraq, the corporate media refuses to ask any serious questions about who has the right to make decisions for another country. Bush and company want to run things politically and maybe they’ll allow the UN some humanitarian rule. What the US is planning and who they have in mind for running Iraq tells us a great deal about what this invasion was all about.
While the United States does not have a state-run news service, most state-run news services would be envious of the propaganda efforts of the mainstream media in the United States, as the most media outlets report whatever the government says without questioning its validity. As the military enters Baghdad, we are once again being shown a barrage of distortions and outright lies regarding the actions. The mainstream press has reported that there was little to no resistance as the military “dramatically” drove to the “heart of Baghdad,” yet eyewitnesses provide a strikingly different view of the events. Similarly, the media has joined the chorus of government officials in condemning attacks by Iraqi “irregulars” fighting without military uniforms, yet there has been no widespread acknowledgement that US special forces are fighting without uniforms.
Finally, while CNN, Fox News, and other television media reported the discovery of a “smoking gun” in Iraq—chemical weapons, tests show that these chemicals are really just pesticides. Yet another fine piece of propaganda brought to us by the mainstream media.
At a time in which we are all being asked to “support our troops”, we have to ask how the Bush administration is “supporting the troops”. Although the official line is that every precaution is taken to protect our soldiers and keep the death toll low, the reality is that war makes a victim of every person who participates in it. All soldiers who experience combat suffer some sort of mental or emotional damage regardless of whether they are physically hurt or not. War brutalizes all involved and breeds callousness among solders toward civilians, exemplified by the marine sniper who, upon killing an Iraqi woman accidentally, commented “the chick got in the way”. And yet the Bush administration, while knowing full well the effect of war on soldiers, is actually cutting government benefits to veterans.
The Bush administration continues to keep up the rhetoric about how “Operation Iraqi Freedom” was designed to rid the people of Iraq of a tyrant. While conservative talk show hosts and administration officials cite footage of Iraqis that appear to be happy to see coalition troops, a more detailed examination of the situation shows that the Iraqis are not eager to see the troops in their cities. The promised revolts and uprisings have failed to materialize. There are a number of reasons why the Iraqi people are not rising up — skepticism and fear about the coalition’s intentions, as they did not assist in uprisings during the Gulf War, nationalism, the bombing and detentions of innocent civilians, or the simple fact that when the United States “installs” a government, the Iraqi people will be far from “liberated.”
Disguised as “National Security” the Bush administration, headed by the ever-watching John Ashcroft, continues to strip away our civil liberties. In the PATRIOT ACT II (among other measures taken by the administration) many of the loopholes left by the first PATRIOT ACT- devastating enough for civil liberties- have been closed and it is now easier for the government to completely overstep the boundaries of individual privacy and civil liberties.