Living in fantasy land

Conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan, October 25:

I have to say that as someone who trusted the administration not to consciously lie or mislead about their evidence for Saddam’s WMDs, I’d be pretty pissed if it turned out they did. We have no solid evidence for that, though. Yet.”

Sullivan’s unholy belief in the truthfulness of the American government is telling and naive in the extreme, but few conservative writers have been as transparent as Sullivan in documenting the Bush administration’s sanction of torture, rendition and growing Republication hatred of homosexuals. Check his blog for a man constantly challenging his own views and realising the cronyism and corruption at the heart of the world’s only superpower.

With the announcement today that 2000 American soldiers have died in Iraq – with many more injured and maimed and tens of thousands of Iraqis murdered – the US has asked journalists to not view the milestone as, er, a milestone.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, director of the “Coalition’s” combined press centre, has sent an email to reporters (note to readers: this is not satire masquerading as the US army):

I ask that when you report on the events, take a moment to think about the effects on the families and those serving in Iraq. The 2,000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone. It is an artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives.

Celebrate the daily milestones, the accomplishments they have secured and look to the future of a free and democratic Iraq and to the day that all of our troops return home to the heroes welcome they deserve.”

Boylan’s deluded propaganda should be seen for the folly that it is. No doubt, some pro-war news organisations will respect his request.

So where to from here? The International Institute for Strategic Studies has released a report that says American troops will likely remain for years to come, with little reduction of the 140,000 currently stationed there. The Iraqi army is, quite simply, incapable of independence.

The American people – and to a lesser extent the British and Australian populations – will not tolerate an extended and indefinite military commitment.

Now is the time to increase pressure on docile politicians thinking of withdrawal.

Australia’s proposed anti-terror laws may make opposition to illegal military operations a punishable offence, so let it be said once again: the Iraq quagmire has made us a greater terrorist target and has created the perfect breeding ground for Islamists with a grievance against the West and its arrogance. The defeat of America and its allies in Iraq is vital to ensure similiar acts are not carried out again.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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