Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's the Occupation, Stupid!

19th Variation on a Consistent Theme
For me, anyways . . .
David Corn, published on The Alternet writes,
Dems Miss Opportunity to Challenge Surge . . . The Democrats on the committee took shots at the the-surge-is-working narrative, but with their 10-minute-long bursts of disjointed questions they were not able to redefine the debate.
Well, of course they weren't. True to pattern, right?

But Corn, himself, doesn't do too well pointing out a direction for redefining the debate over Iraquagmire, either. Corn still clings to Busheney's "WAR" frame. In his piece, Corn actually uses the expression 'war' a dozen times. (That's not counting his usages in the "civil war" context.)

As long as Liberals buy into this frame, the debate is going to be all about winners and losers, warriors and quitters. Iraq hasn't been about war for years. Bush declared victory on May Day, 2003. By December 2003 he had captured Saddam. Since then, Bush's war has morphed into occupation mode.

It's an OCCUPATION, stupid. How many times does Corn use the words "Occupation", Occupier", or Occupy"?

Zilch, zip, and zero!

No one wins or loses an occupation. In occupations, the occupier eventually realizes an irreversibly adverse trend in his opportunity-cost equation and goes home. Isn't that always the case in uninvited and hostile occupations? (Except in cases, of course, when the occupier also becomes a colonizer?)

There's a difference between Liberals and Progressives. Liberals flail around and about because they share their language and lexicon with conservatives (and NeoCons). Progressives insist on the importance of words. (Pay attention, Hillary!) Words always effect the way we think.

Progressives want to go from point A to Point C and are aware they have to go through point B. In this instance, Point B is realizing that we are in occupation mode in Iraq. Bush is not a war president. He's an occupation president. A compliant Congress and media has allowed Bush's imagined entitlement of war powers to persist for years. Actually, all he's really entitled to are occupation powers.

WTF are those? And where were they provided for in the October 2002 Authorization to Use Force against Iraq?

Bush has sentenced the world's greatest, bravest and most professional military organization to policing gangs and ghettos in a land foreign to us in culture, language and geography. Tha amounts to military malpractice.

Bush is a C.I.C.? WTF! Give me a break..

Bush has turned the U.S. Armed forces into the American Foreign Legion. (Or the Lost Patrol?)

If you can call a spade a spade, then you can call Iraq an Occupation. Then the surge becomes a splurge.

24 comments:

  1. It's a war. Iraq has its own government, one that launches offensives with their own army and police, and one that passes laws and works on improving the infrastructure. They have free elections. These are not the hallmarks of an occupied state. We do not occupy Iraq. We are there coincidental to a war we so rashly started and cannot finish.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Eugene Robinson, The Surge Turns Into the Stall, Friday, April 11, 2008:

    No, it's not your imagination: The "debate" about Iraq, and I use the word loosely, becomes ever more surreal as the occupation drags on.

    ... It's understandable that Bush hides behind Petraeus's breastplate of medals and Crocker's thatch of gray hair, sending these loyal and able public servants to explicate the inexplicable: What realistic goal is the United States trying to achieve in Iraq? And in what parallel universe is this open-ended occupation making our nation safer?

    Even the most basic question of any war is undefined: Who is the enemy?

    ... It's a messy situation, to be sure, but there's no way to call it a war anymore. Our presence in Iraq is an occupation, pure and simple. As in any occupation, the "enemy" consists of people who don't want the occupying troops in their country -- and also people who do want the occupying troops in their country, as long as they see some political advantage in having those troops there to attack.


    Read the rest, Mike, and take it up with Robinson.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Me again:

    Listen to Douglas Feith's Regrets:

    Looking back, we had serious problems in Iraq, but 14 months later - after we had run the country as an occupying power - we had a full blown insurgency. I think the idea of setting ourselves up as the occupying power for over a year was a mistake, and I think it helped stimulate many Iraqis to believe that they had to fight us to get us out of the country.

    In my view, the single biggest mistake that we made was setting ourselves up as the occupiers. It's especially terrible to think about it in retrospect, because everybody agreed throughout the U.S. government, in principle, that if the United States set itself up as an occupier, we were going to get violence and anti-Americanism and terrorism and, essentially, an insurgency. And so we all agreed that we didn't want to do that and yet we ended up doing that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Those articles were certainly thought provoking IP and I thank you for sharing them with me. I have many faults but being close minded is not one of them however a literalist I can be. I think I may have to reconsider my position despite my innate resistance to arguing with Mr. Webster. Thanks again.

    Are you shocked Vigil? We have had this debate for over a year:-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's an occupation. It was an unprovoked war of aggression. And now that we completely fucked it up, it is an occupation. Military service is fine and dandy until the military tells you to commit crimes you know are immoral. Then now matter your rank, you, as a human being, and not merely a military man, have the obligation to your own conscience and sense of justice and integrity to have not only the right, but the obligation to do the right thing. No? Better the stockade than loss of your soul.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Vig, thanks for pointing out the problems with color on my site. I think I have fixed it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't know that waging a war that you are ordered to wage by your government and supported by your people is committing an immoral act, nor is it reasonable to believe that military officers should be in the business of second guessing those who lead them. Those that do belong in the stockade. The view that some inspiration of one's own morality drives leadership is both naive and dangerous. While it is hard for me to abide opinions of those who have no clue as to the role of the military I do understand that everyone is entitled to an opinion, even if it is uninformed. This is one of the reasons I enjoy blogging, as a hobby, not an aspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A good discussion is underway, here.

    I.P. gets props for a GR8 post on Feith (the un-indicted war criminal).

    And Mike gets props for sticking up for the idea and tradition of a professional military. That's never not to be supported.

    And I'm not totally shocked that Mike may change his tune from time to time on Iraquagmire as an occupation. He has wavered before in our decade-long conversation about this, Nevertheless, I curb my optimism: he's a little like Wizard's on-again/off-again support of Obama. Tuesdays and Thursdays he's with me; other days? Forget it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Concerning Maliki's government: it has to be said that this entity amounts to little more than the mayoralty of the Green Zone. Its writ does not expand throughout Baghdad. It most certainly doesn't hold sway in Sadr City. And Sadr City, often described by the western press as a suburb of Baghdad, actually amounts to the third largest city in Iraq. Maliki's army, if you want to call it that, suffered 1,300 desertions, mutinies, and equipment surrenders to Mahdi Army after the recent "offensive". Bush apologists maintain the percentage of the putative Iraqi army deserting was in the single digits. But that's not the point. The point is how many troops were actually part of the 'offensive against the Mahdi army. I don't think that's known. Moreover, the only reliable parts of the Iraqi army are the Kurdish Peshmerga units.

    So, basically, Maliki has squat credibility, apart from being pumped up by the international press.

    ReplyDelete
  10. vigilante a healthy dose of reality and being an objective observer doesn't mean a person is "waivering," it means he is honest.

    And, moreover, new facts can always lead an intelligent and rational person to change their mind.

    That being said, I continue to endorse vigilante's view that this is an occupation.

    We basically destroyed Iraq. Yes they have a govenrment, but ut us weak and lacks popular support from those it governs (kinda like the Bush administration lacks popular support). It couldn't exist for a day without the US military.

    And therein lies the rub.... if we leave (as vigilante constantly proposes), the government falls and an unknown something replaces it. That something is likely to be either an Iranian shiite government or it will be an al qaeda dominated government. In either case the Iranian people will go through absolute hell into a strict Islamic religious slavery.

    The question quite frankly isn't if Iraq qill be occupied. It's simply who will be the occupier.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Please consider the views of Saudi cleric Muhammad al-Munajid as posted on my website just moments ago as you consider the FUTURE of the occupation of Iraq and the role (if any) the United States must play.

    Ultimately you may decide Muhammad al-Munajid's words have no bearing upon our actions.

    So I ask you view the video (or read the transcript) as food for thought.
    The Wizard, fkap: One World

    P.S. It certainly isn't wrong for you to point out that Saudi Arabia is an ally of the United States while being one of the most repressive nations on earth.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Pertaining to Occupation & Malicki:

    At one point in the hearings, I saw Crocker say something that the purpose of the anticipated Status Of Forces Agreement, would be to take the occupation out from under the specious - that was his word - authority of Chapter VII of the U.N., where it's been. I looked up the Charter and found not one instance where 'occupation' is mentioned in Chapter VII. If we've been under Chapter VII, it's a leaky umbrella. No wonder Bush wants to prop up the 'mayor of the Green Zone' as their 'sovereign government of Iraq'. Specious, indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Its a scam to make money. The same scam has been run by both political parties now since 1948. It is a way to bring money to special interest groups. The American people are either mostly stupid or ignorant or brainwashed to the point where they are no longer to able perceive reality.

    Most of the posters here are part of the problem. Most are soldiers for a system that no longer works and will NOT work in the future. Occupation ? PreOccupation with dumbed down thought constructs. It is a scam operated by our Political Price System... Both fake sides of it. Most of you are parroting bullshit because you no longer can think. You have been chewed up and spit out by the media.... themselves also victims of thought control.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Why not take a look back at McCain's war? Remember My Lai? Remember the stories of soldiers using rape and the killings of women, children and old men as part of that war? Remember the use of napalm, agent orange? Remember Vietnamization? Are there not parallels? Isn't there something in the military's code of conduct that might provide for conscience and correct conduct when it comes to killing civilians, following orders that are, frankly, insane? This war is wrong from beginning to......no end in sight. This war, like most of our wars since WWII, is about money. All the rest is bullshit. Sorry Mike.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Did you finally figure that out ?
    The so called Illuminis always plays both sides and it is the paper pushers that profit from war.
    The American Political Price System TNAT info.
    So rediscovering the wheel does not seem like any great accomplishment. Right ?
    How is it that a forum like this can extol the so called differences of something that is beyond their grasp as a group to understand ?
    Divide and Conquer.
    Soldier on.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yeah, points well taken, Wizard. I applaud wavering. I do it myself. Sometimes too often and for too long. But I certainly respect it in others. Open minds, too. You and Mike have challenged my positions over the years. Challenged me to re-think them and challenged me to improve ways to put them across. Because the two of you make no bones about it when you disagree, it's a real plus for me whenever I get some agreement!

    ReplyDelete
  17. That said, Let me address Wizard's concerns about what follows the Government of the Green Zone (GOGZ) following our precipitous withdrawal (which I prefer).

    The GOGZ will no doubt be followed by some coalitions of Shi'ia (mostly) and Sunni militias and tribes. They will no doubt seek Iranian support. Iranians will have an interest in playing politics with various Iraqi political groupings. Financial support will flow from Tehran to the emerging Iraqi nationalist government. After we have been gone for a number of years, we can come back, conduct trade and maybe even offer something in the way of reparations. I'm not saying there won't be ugly for a while. But if you find that especially troubling, I know exactly where you can take your concerns. Address them to Dick Cheney, who said in 1991:

    Once you get to Baghdad, it's not clear what you do with it. It's not clear what kind of government you put in place of the one that's currently there now. Is it going to be a Shia regime, a Sunni regime, a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Baathists, or one that tilts toward Islamic fundamentalists? How much credibility is that going to have if it's set up by the American military there? How long does the United States military have to stay there to protect the people that sign on for that government, and what happens once we leave?

    It's really Dick and George's problem. This American doesn't want to spend another dime or another drop of heroic blood on Busheney's legacy.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Muqtada al-Sadr slapped away the hand offered him by US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who had said Mutqtada al-Sadr was not considered an enemy by the US as long as he joined the political process.

    The Arab Times reports, "Radical cleric Muqtada Sadr says he will not enter any political process that would allow US forces to remain in Iraq. Sadr also denounces US Defense Secretary Robert Gates as a terrorist and says he will never work with Iraq’s occupiers."

    ReplyDelete
  19. So what ?
    We destroyed Iraq.
    2.7 million or more are homeless refugee's now.
    We destroyed the infrastructure.
    Millions are starving now.
    We killed over a million people.
    Do you think he is going to play nice and be happy when an idiot makes a reference to ''joining'' a fake political process ?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Good point. Maliki is a stooge. What is needed is a thug. Muqtada al-Sadr fits the bill. He's Shiia who's got links with the Sunnis. He's an Iraqi nationalist who gets along with everyone but us Yanks. He can pull it together. Shit, Bill Maher says bring him to Washington. I agree.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This powerful and sobering film by Dutch filmmaker Geert Wilders is well worth the 15 minutes it requires to watch it. It will likely change your perspective on how we must approach the War On Terror.

    ReplyDelete
  22. #1. There is no war on terror. That is a phrase made up in the U.S. and elsewhere to provide an excuse for large amounts of dollar making by special interest groups.

    Islam like Christianity and Judaism are offshoots of the original conspiracy. The Babylonian creation myth. A social control mechanism.

    That myth was developed to create our Price System which includes contractual law. It is a social control mechanism that is no longer needed and no longer viable.

    Religion has always been an inside joke created by the Illuminis from the beginning to form work gangs and to make people slavishly committed to nonsense and willing to fight special interest wars.

    Because America has deteriorated into such a dumbed down society where even the Political system seemingly believes in religious precepts .... we are caught in a bind.

    Stirring up hatred against Jews or Christians or Islam is really kind of pointless.
    Those hate mongering and ignorant social constructs are antiques.
    There is no accounting for belief.
    A good society does not allow violence against people.
    That is the rule in a good society.
    We do not live in a good society.

    Better just to point out that religion originally was a joke that got out of hand ... and now threatens to destroy the world.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I wish I had seen Utah's comparison to Vietnam and Iraq earlier. Oh well. There is no comparison. None! There are no similarities in theater of operation, tactics, deployment, enemy, and of course the overwhelming loss of lives. Vietnam: 58K Iraq: 4K. Please do not ever compare the two Utah. Your argument is weak and without merit. Sorry Utah!

    ReplyDelete