Thief of Baghdad


Several times a day what I read in the news makes me want to throw up, but this sentence on MSN took me way beyond the dry heaves to something I can only call brainpuke, the involuntary expulsion of ideas so vile that they and sanity cannot be retained by the mind simultaneously. Here we see the media in action, already manufacturing the “Iraq War” that will be inscribed in the history books:

President Barack Obama meets Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki Monday, marking America’s exit from a war launched in a aerial “shock and awe” assault that went on to deeply wound both nations.

The notion of some sort of equivalence or mutuality of suffering between Iraq and the United States–some kind of shared pain experienced by both sides in this war, or even that it can be called a “war”: it was an invasion and occupation, on a false pretext, and it laid waste to a nation that had done nothing to ours; almost 5000 US soldiers dead, compared to between 100,000 and a million Iraqis; millions of internal and external refugees, infrastructure ravaged, cities reduced to rubble, children playing in streets strewn with depleted uranium, civil society extinguished, civil war continuing to rage–should be beyond the conceivable and the civilized; yet it’s what we need to believe and so we do, safely ensconced in our sense of moral certitude.

6 responses to “Thief of Baghdad

  1. Many will read the MSN statement as fair and balanced. We are wired to feel our own wounds most deeply. But you are right. The damage we did is unconscionable, and America should face that reality. Good post.


  2. Amen. To this day, Baghdad has less than two hours of electricity a day – a result of the war. They had full service before.

    The other day I noticed Paul Bremmer on one of hte gabber shows (sound off, just saw his face) and it enraged me. I honestly cannot remember when a single person did as much damage as he did – right out in the open and celebrated for it. And the Bush admin let him because they had not a clue about what the right thing to do was.


  3. Now that the Iraq war is over (at least for the Americans), we will slowly, painfully begin to grasp the enormity of what the invasion did to Iraq.


  4. Hello from behind the Great Firewall of China! The thought that the US, which emerged practically unscathed in terms of people lost can even compare it’s sacrifices to Iraq’s is laughable. The people were under occupation for years and now their country is going to become a future battleground between Saudi Arabia and Iran as each country tries to be the next regional super power. Iraq went from being at the top to being a corpse that everyone wants a piece of.


    • Right, and we heard (and still hear) the same crap about Vietnam, as if the “war” was the outcome of a dispute between two sovereign nations, and not a brutal invasion and occupation that left somewhere between two and four million Vietnamese dead.


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