[For those with a limited capacity remaining for gloom,
THE BADDA NEWS
I've been battling depression for the last two days. But the war is over, right? I should be happy, right? Heck, only a handful of U.S. soldiers dead, or something, I forget, and we saved that one cute marine ...
Well, first of all, the number of declared casualties for U.S. troops is more like 108 dead, I haven't seen numbers on wounded.
"Of the 108 coalition troops reported dead in Iraq as of midday Monday, 53 had been killed in action, according to military reports. Of the remaining 55, helicopter accidents had killed 28 and 14 others died in land accidents, according to a casualty database maintained by The Associated Press." -- Las Vegas Sun
Number of Iraqi soldiers killed? Hundreds? Thousands? We won't know. We *do* know that between 1158 and 1411 Iraqi citizens are dead, as reported by mainstream media, compiled by the IraqBodyCount.org website.
OK, so that's all very sad, and not cause for celebration. But I should be happy that the carnage has stopped, right? Well, I think this is crux of it. In no way is this the end. It is potentially the start. There is widespread anarchy and looting. See: NYTimes.com
The war in Iraq could continue in a guerrilla fashion for months or years as the factions rise up that Hussein kept under control with an iron fist for these many years. The Kurds, peshmerga, P.U.K., K.D.P, I.N.C., Turkey, all these sides are going to be jockeying and, sadly, maybe fighting it out. See: NewYorker.com: Letter from Northern Iraq
The prediction that the world is more pissed off at us, and that this will result in the creation of more terrorists, is acknowledge by the State Department:
"Voluntary evacuations have been approved in 13 countries because of concerns over terrorism or retribution from the war in Iraq. The countries are Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Turkey, Pakistan and Yemen." -- NYTimes.com
And these are our FRIENDS. Nevamind Syria, Iran, etc. Which brings me to the real reason for my funk. Rummy announced that he is ready to kick it to anyone else who wants a piece of him, preferably sooner than later.
Syria Warned Again Not to 'Meddle' in Iraq
With these announcements, I think we could be hearing the new drumbeat for an expanded war. As Cheney said after 9-11, this is war without end. Welcome to the nightmare.
WAIT! Don't tune out just yet! There's good news.
THE GOODA NEWS
The ray of hope is that for the first time in human history, we are all connected more than ever, and people of all nations, races, religions, and beliefs are united in questioning the legitimacy of war, and are empowered to effect change. (Hmm, exploiting the squigliness of the English language, maybe the Anti-War movement effects peace, while the Administration affects peace...) What did the anti-war movement do this time?
Possibly, we brought so much attention to the atrocities planned, the shock and awe, the leveling of Baghdad with 6000 bombs a day at the start of the war, that the administration pulled back from that plan. Yes, they shelled Baghdad, but they didn't carpet-bomb, which is what they were planning. That alone may have saved thousands of lives. They also appear to have shown some measure of restraint in other actions. I'm sure that life in Baghdad is pretty terrible right now, but anything we did to lessen the suffering was a good thing.
And as compliant as the U.S. corporate media was to Administration propaganda, there was still a lot of focus on costs of this war in terms of human life and money. This may make Americans a tad more squeamish about going after Syria and Iran.
I believe that we must continue to act, to network, to talk, to plan for a number of things:
OK, I've been registered Green in past years, and voted for Nader, but that was in California, where I felt a Green vote was important in a state that would surely become a Blue State. But I think the constitution will not survive another four years of this Administration.
It's time to take back our country, to take back our flag, and say: the American flag stands for the constitution, for the ideas of freedom and democracy, not for the security of a police state, or for an imperial, warmongering power. If we wanted security and world domination, we'd still be flying the British flag, and cheering the Redcoats.