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August 19, 2005

War is For Real

-- by Dave Johnson

We started a war. If we "withdraw" that does not end it. I know this comes as a surprise to many in America, but I am going to deliver some bad news.

America has become an audience nation. We act like everything is a TV show. We are accustomed to watching and changing the channel when the show gets boring. And we extend this attitude into our expectations about reality. We pretend that we can cut taxes but spend on programs (especially the military) and borrow the money to do this and this will never catch up to us. We pretend that we can buy on credit from China and send them all our manufacturing jobs and this will never catch up to us.

We pretend that we can ignore our infrastructure - our roads and our bridges and our rail and our schools and our justice system - and they will keep functioning. Perhaps we'll be able to change the channel again and not see the deterioration.

We start wars that others must fight, and pretend it is a show for us to watch. But Americans are disovering that we can't change the channel on the war we started. It's starting to sink in, just how bad a mess Bush has created. Dead troops don't come home and bombs keep exploding. The channel isn't changing. So Americans are getting cranky.

War is the worst thing in the world. And we have started a war. We went over there and killed maybe as many as 100,000 fathers, brothers, sisters and mothers. They aren't just going to forget that - and we shouldn't either. A year and a half ago I wrote,

My comment is that WE DO NOT KNOW why we are in Iraq, and the reasons put forth by the Republicans are obviously bogus. They laid down a smokescreen, told a bunch of lies, whipped us up into a frenzy of fear and loathing, and got their war on. But no one accepts their reasons for war, and no one understands why we REALLY went to war. So we are left with rumors, conspiracy theories, people trying to piece together logic out of whispers of supposed information from possibly trusted sources... My point being that in a Democracy WE were supposed to decide after digesting all available information, with our government serving us by making that information available so we can be informed in our decision process, and the Congress was supposed to "declare war" only in response to the gravest of emergencies. But this time we were led to war, tricked into it, lied to, and manipulated by people who are masters of marketing but apparently void of basic humanity. But why? All we have to go on is rumor and speculation.

WAR. WAR. My God, we started a WAR! WAR IS THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD and we are at war, and we started it. Yes WE. You and me, our country, we started a war, and now we are starting to see it grow. We are seeing images of soldiers urinating on prisoners with hoods over their heads. We are seeing images of children burned to death, arms missing, mosques exploding, bombs ending lives, coffins returning home...

And here we are. We click and click and the channel doesn't change. So now our easy solution is to just "withdraw," as if that's all we have to do. There's an interesting psychological parallel in the term, no? Just "withdraw."

But is it really such an easy answer? Aside from all the consequences for Iraqis there will be long-term ongoing consequences here. I'm talking about serious national security concerns. While we had no reason to invade Iraq in the first place WE HAVE CREATED THE THREAT. Saying "we are less safe now" is not a political slogan. WE ARE LESS SAFE NOW. If we leave, we are leaving behind an Afghanistan, with a Taliban, infrastrucutre destroyed (by us) but with all the resources of an oil-rich nation-state, and not very concerned that we will be coming back any time soon.

Withdrawal is changing the channel. But anyone who really thinks that "withdrawal" ends this hasn't thought past those painful events of today that are making them want to "withdraw." As if "getting out" means we'd be out. No, it means never being safe again. We started a war. Do you understand? You don't just end a war by wishing it to end.

No, leaving means we're STARTING, not ending, the problems. Why on earth do you think that what we did to THEIR cities can't be done to OUR cities?

If you think the weapons that will be used against us in coming years are going to discriminate and not target the people who wanted to "withdraw," you are kidding yourselves. You are in the "denial" phase, as the consequences of what the American chickenhawk leadship has done are beginning to come home to roost. 1800 dead soldiers is NOTHING. We STARTED A WAR. Now we are AT WAR. We can't just "withdraw" and think that war ends because we want it to.

Go look at pictures of Berlin and Tokyo and see how the war they started ended for them. There was supposed to be a lesson for the world from that: THAT'S WHY YOU SHOULDN'T START WARS.

And it's why we hang people who do.

Posted by Dave Johnson at August 19, 2005 12:34 PM

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Comments

You are wrong Dave; War is not the "worst thing in the world", slavery is. And the fact that socialists like you cannot understand this , and advocate such systems for us and the Iraqi people (socialism for us, Saddamism for Iraq) scares me.

Posted by: Pericles [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 4:50 PM

Thank you for presenting the pro-war view. War is good. Sure. I'm glad you posted because it's hard for people to believe that there are people who would actually say something like that.

Who is advocating slavery for the Iraqi people? What the fuck are you talking about? And what does that have to do with the reasons we were told we needed to go to war - that Iraq was about to attack us with nukes? You just show up and repeat smears intended to cover for what they did -- starting a war?

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 4:55 PM

We went to war to bring Democracy to that country, because the US and the UN had resolutions against Saddam that he was breaking (and Kofi Annan's cronies were profiting off of [see food-for-oil]) and because we thought it was developing WMDs. We were correct on the first part, correct on the second part, and the world was incorrect on the third. Not just us, the world. Now, we actually have a semi-functioning free-market Democracy in place; where before we had a Stalinist, socialist dictatorship

And don't forget Saddam's ties to terrorism, such as aid to Palestinian suicide bombers and the fact that he had hosted several Al Qaeda reps. OK, he was not involved in 9/11, we all know that; but he did support terror. This is a fact that even you in the fantasy-based community cannot deny.

Posted by: Pericles [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 5:01 PM

What, we have Rush Limbaugh visiting now?

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 5:21 PM

I've seen this troll on other websites. There will be no reasoning with he/she/it. Another blind bushie/repub spouting the approved line of bs.

Posted by: smirkslapper [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 5:23 PM

Quoting the person who was in charge of counter-terrorism at the CIA until recently:

"The war in Iraq has broken the back of our counterterrorism effort. I‘m not an expert on the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, but the invasion of Iraq has made sure this war will last decades ahead and it has transferred bin Laden and al Qaeda from being man and an organization into being a philosophy and a movement. We‘ve really made sure that the war against us is going to be a long and very bloody one. Iraq was an absolutely disastrous decision."

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 5:25 PM

Troll,

The Congressional Resolution is entirely about WMD and "threats to the United States" - based entirely on Bush's claims that we now know he knew were false. It does not say a single thing about bringing democracy. Read it here.

Leading to the war the Bush admin was all about the threat and WMD and did not talk about "bringing democracy."

The Congressional resolution is in support of UN efforts to get inspectors into Iraq. But after the resolution passed inspectors WERE IN Iraq and Bush ordered them out.

The supposed ties to terrorism are lies designed to justify that we started a war. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran had ties to terrorism, not Iraq.

You are just repeating lies. Why?

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 5:42 PM

You really are a dumbsh*t davey-boy. From the link you provided:

Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime

Oops

Posted by: Pericles [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 6:34 PM

This is the most cogent presentation I've seen of why withdrawal is no longer an option. As unpalatable as a continued, higher-octane and more competent occupation of Iraq may seem to anyone who is concerned about the lives of Iraqis, it appears to be the only available alternative.


Also, is there a chance you'll take out the trash from your comments? I ask because this is so good I'd like to refer friends to read it, yet there is a certain...bad taste...left by some drunk puking on the very nicest pair of shoes.

I assume you can ban users or something equivalent fairly easily. Maybe I'm atypical, but I've been reading your stuff for a year and have never bothered to comment because the TypeKey thing is a small PITA...yet trolls are not stopped by it. What's the deal?

Posted by: PhoenixRising [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 9:26 PM

I've figured it out Dave - you want to force the Republicans to impose a draft, because you know there will be riots in the street if the Federal Government attempts to draft a million plus young men and women and send them overseas to die in a rich man's war for oil.

I tell you, and anyone else who cares to hear: they'll drag my kids off to this war over my dead body, literally. No blood for oil, and mother bleeping god bleep none of my children's blood for oil. Over my dead and bloody body, and I'm not going down without a fight!

The resistance being experienced those Isreali troops evicting the settlers in Gaza from those homes will be nothing in comparison to what any government insane enough to attempt to enforce a draft will encounter. Any politician fool enough to vote for this won't be able to show their face in public again without precipitating a riot.

The only problem with your strategy, Dave, is that while it certainly will destroy the Republican Party forever, it is likely to take the Democrats along with it, as those bastards (DiFi, for example) are likely to be too chickensh*t to vote against it.

I've aways been a gun control advocate, but I'm now seriously thinking about whether or not I should exercise my constitutional right to purchase an AK-47 or the equivalent, and I'm talking about next week! You're going to turn me into a lifetime member of the NRA by the time this is done, Dave.

Posted by: Thomas Leavitt [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 20, 2005 12:24 AM

Pericles is right - one of the several wherases does mention democracy. My points is that the reason the public was told was that there was a threat that Iraq was ready to attack us with nukes, and THAT is why they went along with this.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 20, 2005 5:46 AM

Pericles: "We went to war ..."

What is ironic about your post is that Pericles trumped up reasons for war in order to distract attention from a corruption and bribery scandal, and to cover up the continued raiding of the public treasury. His actions are one reason why democracy was discredited as demagoguery and mob-rule for the next two thousand years.

Posted by: Zachriel [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 20, 2005 7:00 AM

I had to stop and think about this for awhile because your point about "changing the channel" is so important. I became acutely aware of this on 9/11. I could sit in front of the TV and watch what was happening in living color, safely removed from reality, or I could GO OUTSIDE AND WATCH IT IN REAL LIFE BECAUSE IT WAS ALL HAPPENING JUST A FEW BLOCKS AWAY. There's a profound difference between taking part in something in "real life" and dealing with it through the virtual reality of TV. This profoundly affects the way we think about things, especially about the Iraq war.

What's more the TV virtual reality never lets go. Even now, years later, I can watch that attack and watch the collapse of the two towers, nicely sanitized and edited. For example, on TV I don't see the people who jumped to their deaths. They're edited out, although I sure could see them when I stood out front and watched. By now I'm not entirely certain which of my memories of the actual event come from TV and which from actually being here watching and experiencing the actual event.

TV brings us reality edited and sanitized. In the case of the war in Iraq, edited and sanitized by government edict. We're not allowed to see the dead bodies, told the exact body count, especially that of the Iraqis, told the exact number of our own wounded, since only those actually injured in official "combat" are included. We're not allowed to see the coffins coming home. In other words, the truth we're shown is really a lie. We're not allowed to know the whole raw ugly truth, as we did pretty much during the Vietnam war.

War truly is the worst thing that can happen. Famine and plagues, earthquakes and hurricanes come to a fairly rapid end. War is something we do to each other, and the majority of wars last for years. Pericles claims that the Iraqis were "slaves." Exactly what is the evidence supposed to be for that? The majority of the people of Iraq were actually doing fairly well in spite of the boycotts imposed on them by us. Because of the war, they now face dire poverty. But then everything we hear about this war turns out to be a lie, doesn't it?

Let's not forget, either, that our leaders live in a permanent virtual reality. They are utterly isolated from the real world by their wealth, by their theology and ideology, by the fact that they're protected from contact with "real" people by an army of Secret Service bodyguards. It's pretty much like the story about the life of the Buddha Brought up in isolation, he had to escape to be permanently shocked by the suffering happening in the world outside his walled palace.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 20, 2005 9:14 AM

A very perceptive comment on modern perception, MJ.

When a soi-disant "libertarian" like Pericles says "people are enslaved" he means "they are forced to pay taxes." I'm not kidding, that's what they mean when they say that. So what he is saying is that paying taxes is worse than mass murder. They really believe that. They'll believe ANYTHING that justifies their juvenile greed.

Posted by: richard [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 20, 2005 1:28 PM

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