Thursday, October 23

How to win a crime

Senator McCain keeps bellowing forth that, as president, he is going to "win" the greatest crime of the Bush administration -- the violent invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq. (Of course he doesn't call the crime a crime. He prefers the inaccurate, righteous-sounding word "war." But let's be serious.) McCain's claim is that, by contrast, Obama can only lose the crime by seeking an end to it. Well, not only is there very little possibility that Obama will end the crime or prosecute those who are responsible for it, the idea that McCain can in any way "win" it is simply inconceivable -- that is, unless by "win" McCain means perpetuate the greatest international crime of the last 60-some years and crush any idea of justice and democracy in Iraq. What a win that would be, huh? And what a whopper of a campaign promise. If this is what is meant, McCain's achieving "victory" would require us to invent a new expression in English -- "to win a crime." But, if that is not the sense intended, it remains unclear how McCain intends to achieve "victory" in any honest use of the word. How, precisely, would McCain appease the vast majority of citizens in Iraq, those who have always rejected U.S. presence there, let alone bring real security and a functional infrastructure back to what remains the most dangerous nation on the planet? And does he intend to do this without withdrawing all US troops, in accordance with the wishes of the Iraqi people?

I don't know if Senator McCain pays much attention to events in Iraq, or to the criminal nature of Bush's designs on that nation and its resources, but it is worth underscoring that the
US president has just signed, or issued a signing statement, showing the intention of the US government to take control over Iraq’s oil.
So notes Raed Jarrar, an architect in Washington, D.C. who translated the relevant documents. Here are his comments:
I think this is an amazingly frustrating and shocking thing to do at the same week that the Bush administration is trying to sign a long-term agreement legitimizing a long-term occupation of Iraq. So, it gives, I think, the wrong—or maybe the right—message to the Iraqi people, that the US will continue occupying their country to secure oil, to control their country’s oil...
Jarrar's blog, Raed in the Middle, presents the translated document in full (also pdf'd here) and also shows photos from anti-occupation demonstrations that just took place in Baghdad. According to Jarrar,
the city witnessed another demonstration with more than one million Iraqi, Arabs and Kurds and others, Muslims and Christians and others, Sunnis and Shiites and others demonstrated together against the occupation and the long term agreement, asking for a complete withdrawal the leaves no permanent bases, no troops, and no mercenaries.
Put the pieces of this puzzle together. On the one hand, you have massive public rejection among Iraqis of all forms of U.S. occupation and intrusion into their nation -- a fact that is left without comment in the U.S. other than in a few independent news sources such as Democracy Now! (see, in particular, show of October 21, 2008); on the other, you have a U.S. president who, never having been even censured for his massive crimes there, continues to pursue, via the ruse of a signing statement, his ultimate goal of controlling Iraq's natural resources, thereby sitting on and butt-smearing any notion of justice or democracy for the foreseeable future.

In the midst of this conundrum peeps up little soldier boy: "I will never concede defeat, my friends. I will never surrender in Iraq!"

Sounds impressive, Johnny.

Now, what the hell does it mean?

terrette photo: Etretat, France 34173