Archive for 'Iraq'
Today I found myself, not for the first time, arguing with a friend whether the U.S. under Bush was “sincere” in its desire to bring democracy to the Middle East. I went back to an April 2003 article by Josh Marshall, in which he lays out the grand vision neoconservatives had at the time, improbable as it was, in the first days of the war in Iraq.
Ledeen: “Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day….” Klein: “Iraq wasn’t being destroyed by cruise missiles, cluster bombs, chaos, and looting; it was being born again.”
While on a surprise visit to Iraq, President Bush was just starting a news conference with Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki when a reporter for Al-Baghdadia television hurled his shoe at the president’s head from a few meters away.
The Bush administration is pressuring the Iraqi government to sign an accord in which they will agree to be trampled forever by American troops.
Is it too farfetched for Americans to thank the Iraqi resistance for giving us back our democracy?
In case you ever doubted whether the U.S. presence in Iraq is an occupation, President Bush is hoping to write imperial privileges into Iraqi law before leaving office.
To my dismay, I found that Aimé Césaire’s cry of protest against mid-20th century French colonialism is a perfect fit for the moment we are living now. Change a few place names, and you will find that he is describing American behavior in Iraq and Afghanistan, or Israeli behavior in Palestine and Lebanon, and its corrosive effect on our own souls.
One thing that strikes me about these two images is that neither involves kissing the actual earth. Instead men are kissing the pavement we have put between us and the earth. There is a tragic element in these photos, an element of unrequited love.
Naturally I don’t approve of blowing anyone up, but in this case I can’t help being aware of the irony. Just a week ago President Bush was in Anbar Province, Iraq, shaking hands with Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, described as a key ally in winning over Sunni tribes to the fight against AlÂ Qaeda. Today Abu Risha is dead, killed by a roadside bomb.
“He’s learning to be a leader. And one of my jobs as the president and his ally is to help him be that leader without being patronizing.”