Monday, October 1, 2007

A "real" discussion about Iraq?

(Originally posted at The Motley Patriot)

There is a disconnect in America regarding Iraq. Brad Warthan, VP/Editorial Page Editor at The State newspaper in Columbia, SC, calls for a "real" discussion on Iraq. If you care to have a good laugh you can read his article; it is neither a "real" discussion, nor, does it face basic facts.

If we are to have a "real" discussion on Iraq we must face the facts and discuss.

In May 2007, MSNBC reported that the Green Zone in Iraq was no longer considered safe after a spike in attacks. In September 2007, the LA Times reported that the U.S. had to ban, indefinitely, diplomatic travel outside of the Green Zone. In other words, despite the White House report given by General Petraeus to Congress, the "surge" has failed to establish security in Iraq. The political reconciliation that the "surge" was meant to provide hasn't occurred either, for if it had, why is our government now suggesting that Iraq be partitioned into three separate ethnic states with each state governing themselves? The answer to that is self-evident.

Reports of violence and deaths in Iraq are contradictory. The Washington Post did a "fact checker" and found that, depending on who you listen to, civilian casualties in Iraq could be decreasing or increasing. The one thing that the Washington Post continually points out is that the numbers in these reports are possibly inflated. They make this point repeatedly in the article. What these reports don't discuss is one basic fact; we are not killing "terrorists", we are killing Iraqi civilians who have taken up arms over our American occupation of their country. The simple fact is that if we continue killing every Iraqi who refuses to accept our occupation of their country until there are no more left, America has committed, in effect, genocide.

Larry Johnson at No Quarter makes a very accurate and stunning statement in his article, `What war on terrorism`; "The success (and even that is arguable) we have achieved in Iraq and Afghanistan is not typical and is teaching our military forces some bad habits. We do not have to bother asking Maliki or Karzai for permission to hit suspected terrorist targets. So far our forces have a green light. Our military forces, complete with airlift and logistics support, are already in place and can get to most targets within a few hours. Despite these advantages, our operations against terrorist targets have not been accompanied by a significant decline in insurgent violence. In fact, after our forces killed the Al Qaeda in Iraq leader, Al Zarqawi, in June of 2006, the level of violence by terrorists continued to increase for the subsequent six months."

The reason for this increase in violence is obvious; for every actual al-qaeda terrorist we killed, we killed, detained, and even tortured, hundreds of Iraqi civilians. It is our continued use of military force in Iraq that has fueled the Iraqi insurgency until we were forced to "surge" more troops to meet that rise. But, what is so stunning in this statement is that we don't have "ask permission" to operate within a sovereign nations borders. How we got to that point is obvious to everyone; we invaded, we occupied, we instilled puppet governments, and we operate under no rules other than our own. What is lost in the "real" discussion, however, is that we invaded Iraq based on lies and cherry-picked intelligence. Colin Powell's United Nations presentation has been so discredited that he rarely shows his face in public anymore.

We are now at the point where the majority of media and pundits try to dismiss the history of why and how we invaded Iraq in order to salve their own conscience. We are now asked to "move forward" in the debate to "now what" simply because we are "there". Even that has been answered; we now detain everyone in Iraq who refuses to live under American rule; we now torture anyone who takes up arms against us; we now claim we can keep these people jailed indefinitely; we now claim that we can keep our armed forces in these countries for as long as we please. This is not a "real" discussion; it is a blatant attempt to justify the illegal invasion and continued killing of Iraqi civilians.

The only "real" discussion concerning Iraq is, and has been, how long will we, the American people, allow our country to continue these actions, yet, even this doesn't get any "real" discussion. The "conventional wisdom" has turned from "when do we leave" to "how can we justify our continued stay" and has now arrived where we say "we are there to stay so deal with it". Where is the "real" discussion in that?

Has America now fallen to the point we are the Germany of the 1940's invading who we wish? Will it take the world standing up to us, just as we did to Hitler, before we decide to stop? Will it take our nation bringing about another world war before our government, our media, and our own citizens begin to realize just how wrong we have been in our actions? Is that the point where this "real" discussion on Iraq has evolved; when does the world say enough to America's unprovoked aggression? If that be the case, let's have a "real" discussion on that for it seems there is no "real" discussion on Iraq anymore.