Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Had Enough Yet?

I just learned (reading the always stimulating weekly review at Harper's) that the US has now been occupying Iraq for as long as it was at war with Germany in the 1940's. Trivial though this piece of information may seem, it does beg some attention. Back then there were quantifiable successes to fight for in Europe, among them the liberation of the death camps (mainly accomplished by the Soviets) and the removal from power of a racist, supremely aggressive, militaristic regime hellbent on occupation and slaughter.

Fast forward to now. The US is uncontroversially (unless you are insane) guilty of the supreme crime of aggression. Its military prowess is beyond the wildest dreams of the German National Socialists. Instead of liberation, the US offers the people of Iraq a country poisoned by depleted uranium, littered with prisons and torture chambers -- call them concentration camps if you like -- and deprived of its archeological treasures. Entire cities have been filled up with gunfire and emptied of families, businesses, communities, and histories. Iraqi men are imprisoned and tortured seemingly for being Iraqi men. Back in the Homeland, media ownership rules have been modified substantially enough to squeeze out any legitimate public discourse about what is occurring; indeed, to squeeze out anything but corporate cheerleading for the imperial project, even as the White House has closed its press room for "renovations." The world's largest embassy is being built in Baghdad by utterly unaccountable contractors -- call them war profiteers if you like -- while recruitment efforts for the military in the US are stepped up, training is shortened, tours of duty get extended, and the dead are hidden from view.

This ends when you say it does.

The slogan had enough? will be used this fall by American Democrats (far too many of whom have spinelessly supported the invasion and occupation of Iraq at one point or another) preceding the November elections. I don't put much stock in the American political system, and I value the Democratic Party about as much as I value whiney dirt with a blue suit and hairspray, but the slogan is useful. Now that the US has been at war with an abstract noun in Iraq longer than it fought Nazi Germany, and is slowly but surely assuming its own fascist garb for the 21st Century, ask yourself if you've had enough. Start a conversation with someone, with anyone, anywhere. You don't need a pretext. Just ask them. Had enough? They will say yes. Ask yourself. You will say yes. Now what are you going to do about it?


pissed off patricia said...

I've already seen one, Had Enough? bummer sticker on a car. Hopefully it will make people stop and think for a bit.

Anonymous said...

You have penned a reasonably decent observation and commentary. First, a couple of nits: The death camps were mainly liberated by the Soviets? So what? Is there any problem as to who liberated them? No, I should hope not. Authorship in this case is irrelelvant. Next, whatever you want to say about the US mis-adventure in Iraq, it certainly has not been done for imperial purposes. It was sold totally as a means solely for regime change. Nothing more. So therefore, we have a situation in which the underlying reason was borderline insanity, and the execution was non-existent. Which makes for an all-around perverse action on the part of the US. On this we can certailny agree. And lastly, "Had Enough?" was originally coined by non other than Newt Gingrich, champion of the War Party, as a fine example of what the Democrats could use in November. Boy, will they ever, and not just nationally. Even in little itty bitty towns and villages, that phrase will resonate loudly this coming election cycle. It is perfect. It is succinct. It asks the most appropriate question. And it plays to the huge anger out there about the Iraq catastrophe. It is therefore, a classic question of our times. Use it!!!
Because the US neocon War Party is suffering such severe failures in Iraq and in Lebanon, their next push will be to get fool-Bush to........go to Iran!!! Watch out; neocon pressure is building up as we speak / write. The real danger to/in America are the fully insane neocons.

Keir said...

Anonymous: Why did I clarify who liberated the death camps in Europe? Another piece of news that came out last week is the fact that many Americans cannot say for sure in what year 9/11 occurred. (Some) Americans are allergic to history, and I thought it was worth mentioning when giving credit to the US for at least doing something (sort of) right (but certainly too late) in WWII.

I don't agree with you that the US occupation of Iraq is not an imperial project. Just don't agree. Too much evidence to the contrary.

As for Democrats: this is the question for all of them running for office this November: What are you going to do to prevent a war in Iran? Ask it often.

Rory Shock said...

right on post ... it's been that long? amazing ... and how much longer will it go on ... imperialism indeed ... chimpanzee politics at its technologically enhanced worst