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The "End of the War?" -- the Badda News and the Gooda News

Posted 4/11/2003 by laramie, laramie@b-rant.com



[For those with a limited capacity remaining for gloom,
  scroll down to the section titled "THE GOODA 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.

Rumsfeld warns Syria, Iran
Syria Warned Again Not to 'Meddle' in Iraq
Wolfowitz Says U.S. May Rethink Policy If Damascus Harbors Iraqi Officials

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 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:

  1. Take back the Democratic party. Move it back to the issues that Americans care about, and away from the politics of fear that the Administration has championed to the point of estranging thinking republicans and former military leaders. The politics of fear inspired by Tricky Dick Nixon, and now swallowed hook, line and sinker by the bulk of the Democrats and the Democratic Party machine.
  2. Elect a Democratic president in 2004. Hopefully one of the pack who is anti-war. Personally, I'm looking at Howard Dean for President now. I encourage you to get involved. If one of the others wins the primary, though, I'm going to be on board with that candidate to get BushCo out of office, since I believe a Bush 2004 presidency will expand the war, expand the USA PATRIOT Act, expand tax cuts for the wealthy, and continue sacking the Environment.
  3. Build a networked, net-roots, grassroots society that meets online and in person to discuss issues, pool resources, do research using Internet media and share the research and discussions with small groups of friends, religious organizations, clubs, social gatherings, and union halls. There's too much to do to take it all on ourselves. But united, we can divide up the problem of information overload and be informed and effective.

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.


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