Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Operation Alternative Nightmare

I know little about Patrick Cockburn, and don't care to know more, other than his writing appears at Counterpunch, Alternet, Independent UK, etc., that he's the son of a socialist author with 2 brothers who are also journalists. This article Operation Deepening Nightmare is as benign as other high-profile mainstream writers, and as pointless. Sometimes I think serious-appearing white folks, to avoid any real change in the status quo, write just enough to reinforce the hope of admirers.

COCKBURN: Four years ago, in the middle of the US invasion, I drove safely from Arbil in northern Iraq to Baghdad. There were heaps of discarded weapons beside the road, and long lines of former Iraqi soldiers walking home. Signs of battle were few, aside from the hulks of burned-out tanks, but they all seemed to have been hit by US aircraft after their crews had fled.

I believe Cockburn experienced this safe drive during the middle of the Iraq invasion, but I fail to grasp a point, if there is one. Is he saying the initial invasion was a cakewalk afterall?

My oldest son in 2003, on a second tour to Baghdad, having been there for Poppy, called home regularly during the initial invasion of '03. In one call I heard worry/fear for the first time in his long career in the Corp. And his anger and disgust. Halfway to Baghdad, coming up from the south, he said the suits running this war were insane; "mom, we're moving so fast to reach Baghdad we're not securing the towns behind us or to the side, and now Iraqi are coming at us from all directions." He said to make sure his journal was recovered and given to his daughter - just in case.

Cockburn was driving in the north, where the anti-Saddam Kurds did welcome the US invasion, so I expect Cockburn's experience was safer, however, hardly representative of Iraq "in the middle of the US invasion." I would have chosen Kurdish Iraq in Spring 2003 too, Pat.

COCKBURN: Tony Blair and George Bush still occasionally imply that the picture of Iraq as a war-torn hell is an exaggeration by the media. They suggest, though not as forcibly as they did a couple of years ago, that parts of the country are relatively peaceful. Nothing could be more untrue.

I could write a book on Reagan/Bush media exaggeration during 1980s in Central America. My experience in war zones has been there are always parts of the country relatively peaceful. Odd as it may seem, there are areas where you can relax, put up your feet and suck down a beer, in peace. I have known Vietnam vets who never fired their gun or saw a dead body, pushing paper and night clubbing their whole tour in Saigon. There are always pockets of neutrality and calm in a war zone. Iraq vets I have spoke with spent months in areas of relative peace, Cockburn is untruthful to say otherwise. What's the point of that?

COCKBURN: In May 2003, people in Baghdad were getting 16 to 24 hours of electricity a day. Today the official figure is just six hours a day--and even that is on the optimistic side. In a city with one of the hottest climates in the world, it is catastrophic when fridges, freezers or air conditioners cannot be used.

Many, if not the majority of Iraqi, before the invasion and under SH lived in mud huts without amenities. "Catastrophic" is overstated. The hottest climate, after hell, is Managua. Even if Iraq had 24 hour electricity it would not be affordable to the majority. During the Contra War, the Sandinista government allocated maybe 2 to 4 hours a day of electricity, due to shortage and in part due to caution No electricity after dusk in most areas – lights are targets. If you had candles or kerosene you put up black curtains. Outside of Managua or larger towns, no one drove after dark, not even the troops. Today most Nicaraguans still do not have fridges, freezers, or AC. It will be the same in Iraq, as it is for billions of victims of the New World Order.

Remember – conquerors rarely give a nation's wealth back to its people, no matter how many elections Jimmy Carter oversees, the conqueror holds the NAFTA, CAFTA, or other SHAFTA. All neat, tidy, on paper, inked and feel good legal.

COCKBURN: There are 4.8 million Iraqi children under the age of five, who have lived most of their lives since the fall of Saddam Hussein. UNICEF figures show that 20 per cent of them are so severely malnourished that their growth is stunted.

There are many, many, many more billions throughout Latin America and Africa suffering, stunted. Hell, for that matter stunted brain growth is going on across America from poor parenting and shoddy diets. In Guatemala 65 percent of children die before age 5 of malnutrition, childhood diseases, diarrhea. I wonder if Senator Jerry Weller married to the Guatemalan politician Zury Mott or John Kerry married to "African-America" Theresa worry about those children? Does Patrick Cockburn? Or is "the children" just part of the standard opposition nightmare list.

Cockburn gets brown-nosing points for referencing in good terms the Baker-Hamilton Report, for claiming in 1991 Washington (Bush I) had the good sense not to remove Saddam, referencing UNICEF statistics (not all members are child molesters), and for using terms such as the bombastic "drenched in violence," to generate knee-jerks and mental images.

Cockburn remarks : "US forces had not pressed on to Baghdad 16 years ago…" Not true, US troops reached Baghdad 16 years ago, but withdrew without ousting Saddam. Poppy Bush knew Iraq today is what he would have had in 1991, and he preferred tainting Junior's legacy rather than his own … Bush the Elder is a Christian man … he so loves the elite world he gave his only misbegotten idiot son.

Poppy and TPTB spent another decade setting up the chess board, to further weaken Iraq, degrade SH weapons they knew to be scary, and wear 'em down starve 'em out, thank you Willie Jeff and the UN. The long planned New Iraq had to be initiated by Junior. The one and only reason for the fiasco of Election 2000 – was to install the Boy Fool for the elite agenda. And, as planning would have it, if Gore somehow took office and was uncooperative, there was always the alternative of President Leiberman.

But, when reading Cockburn I ask myself what is his point? He's not condemning the system but the players. Is my perception colored (pun intended) because of gender? Am I missing some grand Cockburn insight? Or is it simply the same old same old "alternative" supporting perverted capitalism – but via a slower nightmare with legal documents and international support so the bleeding looks justified and feels better to that part of the elite who think feeling squeamish is the same as having a conscience?

Reminds me of my great great grandfather, a Tennessee judge, lifelong senator, and slaveholder, who justified the capital'ism of his era - he wrote he treated his nigger property good, two meals a day, hardly ever used the whip, and kept meticulous records on all of them. Eerie huh?

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