The pictures that lost the war. I hope the headline is right. The California spring is so gorgeous and the birds are singing vociferously both morning and night in an ironic contrast to the unraveling of the Bush administration’s policy in Iraq. One year after Dubya, in his crotch-hugging, macho flight suit, posed on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln (another irony) and declared “Mission Accomplished,” more than six hundred additional American soldiers are dead, and thousands more have been maimed, blinded and psychologically/physically wounded. Uh huh.
And the Iraqi dead (including so many children!) number tens of thousands. Add to this, the 12 years of sanctions that had already killed so many, years of bombing overflights (remember the no-fly zones?) that routinely killed shepherd families and their sheep. No wonder they hate us! (Even that statement is not entirely true. Peace activists and alternative journalists report that the “ordinary Iraqis” have continued to be gracious to them.)
And now this, the proof to the Muslim world that the USA is in league with the devil—torture and humiliation of the worst possible kind for a culture based on shame (as ours is based on guilt). Read Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker, hear him on Democracy Now and watch for his followups.
Every other day I pray to find a lover to obsess me so that I can spend the months until the November election in bed, in bliss—not to forget about peace activism, but to balance my extreme sadness and my rage.
I hardly ever watch corporate TV news, but by accident I got a clip of Dubya on Saturday. “Our mission was accomplished, he smirked somewhat stiffly. “Saddam Hussein is in jail and there are no more torture chambers and no more mass graves in Iraq.” Uh huh.
600 civilian bodies buried in the Fallujah football field because the road to the cemetery was closed by the Occupation. That sounds like a mass grave. A woman’s body rotting in her neighbor’s front yard for almost three weeks because each time he tried to retrieve it, he was fired upon by Marine snipers. Ambulances shot up (a detail right out of the Israili Defense Forces playbook). I will resist torture descriptions. Save that for the Mel Gibson-like sadists of the world.
There are many more pictures of abuse at Abu Ghraib which Hersh says might not see the light of day, but he points out that the report by Major General Antonio Taguba is the most damning. It points to systemic issues in the military, lack of responsibility at the highest levels and harsh criticism of intelligence officers and private contractors who are increasing doing the dirty work for American military/industrial complex adventures, both in Iraq and elsewhere. Remember Afganistan? Anyone but the parents of young soldiers there care what’s going on?
Time is up. I have local news stories to write. Women on Wine, the Ballet… the concerns of my immediate, rose-scented, sunshine-soaked, breezy, blue-skied Sonoma County. Raise money for senior housing, raise money for public radio. Interview another set of Argentine tango teachers and buff up my dancing shoes for tonight’s lesson. I’ve spent my two hours in political awareness—all I can allot on a working Monday.