March 25th, 2003


Support Our Troops?!?

You know I don't want anyone to die in Iraq. I don't want American soldiers to die, I don't want Iraqi soldiers to die.

But I'd like to point out that anyone who joins the military should read down into the fine print where it says that the government reserves the right to get them killed for whatever stupid ass reason the government deems worthwhile.

I'd also like them to keep reading where it says they'll be required to shoot at and possibly kill people who never did anything wrong to them.

If they're still ready to roll, I'd also like to remind them that in the event of peace, they could spend 2 years painting rocks white at an Oklahoma military base.

When I hear about Gays fighting for the right to be in the military, I always wonder if I should be fighting to keep heterosexuals out of the military.

Fehler Nach Fehler

I discussed last summer's big fat war games a few days ago and now what seems to be Saddam's real game plan is coming out.

It basically amounts to letting the US to go wherever they want to, but keeping groups of irregulars in the civilian population centers to come out and harry the Americans when they can get away with it.

This is pretty brilliant, actually. He may be a ruthless bloodthirsty tyrant, but he's not stupid. The US has really played into it with their Grand Strategy, which is to come in with the absolute minimum ground forces, and depend on airpower to tip the balance. What Saddam hopes apparently is that best case, he can play cat and mouse with the Americans, and wage a war of attrition in the meantime.

Eventually, the Americans are going to have to cut through the gordian knot Saddam has tied, and just start blowing away civilians along with the combatants. Otherwise we could be there forever without ever really securing the place. Iraq's a big place, and an insurgency could go on there indefinitely.

The real problem is that we have maybe 150,000 combat troups in a country of 25 Million. If we start losing the battle for hearts and minds there, we're triply fucked. We could face an insurgency even if Saddam gets caught, because there are plenty of bad guys in Iraq who don't like us very much, even without the B'aath party to hold them together. Saddam has had something like one in ten people involved in his security apparatus -- no one is more than one degree of separation from a government spy. All those people can just fade into the woodwork.

We've put ourselves in a pretty predicament. Saddam wins just by not entirely losing. He wins when we look bad. And in the Arab world, he wins just for not being us.

And what, really is the aftermath of this going to be? Iraq has been run on the Stalinist model, where you're either a spy or being spied on by a spy. There may be blood on Saddam Hussein's hands, but in the process he has made sure that everyone who he co-opts has plenty of blood on their hands as well.

What should happen is something like the South African Truth and Conciliation Committee which to my mind is one of the most revolutionary political things that happened in the last century. The idea that confession and forgiveness be the means to a political goal of healing a country is not one I can see coming to the stellar mind of George Bush. He understands one foreign policy tool: blow shit up.

By the way: Rachel Corrie. I try and keep up with Ramallah Friends School because members of my meeting have ties there. The horrible life
the Israelis are imposing on the Palestinians is every bit as unconscionable as suicide bombers. I think the Palestinian people have been ill served by their own leadership so far as well, but the Israelis have no excuse. I mean c'mon, you've tried 30 years of brutality, why not try something different? What you're doing isn't working.

angryrobot says I ramble. Yes I do.