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Decline in Iraq, Decline in America Putsch beats a dead horse in the middle of the stream
by Bryan Zepp Jamieson
Zepp's Commentaries
September 18, 2004

It didn't come as any real surprise to read in the Guardian's Sunday edition (which in England is spelled "Observer") that the UK is planning to start pulling their troops out. One third of them over the next six weeks. At this point nobody with any common sense or awareness of what's on the news thinks there's much hope for the US occupation of Iraq. In fact the poor bastards that are over there are pretty much reduced to huddling in their enclaves (primarily "The Green Zone") and waiting either for someone to bail them out, or for a missile to come sailing in that has a warhead, or a biochemical weapon, which finishes them off.

The Iraq Survey Group's final report has leaked in Washington. The Group was engaged in a 15-month hunt in Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, which folks will remember was Putsch's primary rationale for attacking Iraq in the first place. The group concluded that Iraq's weapons program consisted pretty much of whatever poisons Saddam might have had in his medicine cabinet for political opponents, and that was about it. Oh, he THOUGHT about WMDs, just as most leaders do these days, faced with a rogue United States.

Saddam continues to sit in a cell, guarded and fed (and probably gang-raped) by American soldiers, but officially, he's an Iraqi prisoner. But one of the other reasons Putsch attacked Iraq was to "liberate" the Iraqi people from Saddam. OK, they're liberated. Much more liberation like this, and they'll be extinct. So since Saddam is out of the picture, why are American soldiers still gunning down Iraqi civilians?

Kofi Annan explicitly called the occupation of Iraq illegal the other day. This sort of put a dent in right wing claims that the world wanted America to attack Iraq, or that the UN supported it any way. A pity that Annan hadn't been as direct back in March of 2003. Of course, the right wing smear machine was running full blast at that time, smearing anyone who questioned the need to attack Iraq, which included Annan, Hans Blix, France, and Democrats.

In Washington, an intelligence analysis of Iraq suggests that the most optimistic scenario would be that things would stay pretty much as bad as they are now. Mind you, that was the ROSY scenario. Over the past three weeks, along with 65 US troops killed and a couple of hundred maimed, several hundred Iraqis, all civilians (there is no Iraqi military) were killed, and thousands wounded. There are so many bombings and attacks that they all run together, and headlines that read "Car bombs kill dozens in Baghdad" might refer to one or three of a half-dozen such incidents on any given day. The military admitted that larger portions of Iraq, including most of the cities, were no longer under "coalition" control, and even large chunks of Baghdad were out of control. The other two scenarios involved complete chaos (as if the current situation was anything other than that already), and civil war.

It's clear to the British government, as it is to the rest of the world, that the situation in Iraq is lost, and the only thing left to do is get the hell out, and let the UN work with Iraqis to try and bring some peace to that benighted country.

So how is America's "strong, resolute, and Churchillian" president dealing with this?

He told the Manchester Union Leader that he was "pleased with the progress in Iraq."

Yes, he said that this week. No, I don't think he was talking about some other Iraq.

Was he serious? Well, he doesn't read newspapers, he tells us. And his aides probably don't distract him with bad news because he has to stay focused enough to give his campaign speeches about how strong and masterful he is, and he can't do that if he's standing in a big puddle of flopsweat.

Or maybe he was just lying. He's been known to do that, too. He is still chirping happy babble about free elections and democracy in Iraq. He can't even manage that in Afghanistan, and the situation there, while bad, is nothing like the cascading chaos that has enveloped Iraq. Hell, most people doubt we're going to see freedom and democracy in America after this year.

There is one thing about that intelligence analysis, the "optimistic" one that hoped things wouldnąt be any worse than they are now. It was largely based on projections of what would happen if the US attacked, invaded and occupied Iraq, and it was done, in large measure, in January of 2003. It hoped things wouldnąt get as bad as they are now, since in their estimation that would have made the US incursion a military and political failure.

The US occupation of Iraq is a military and political failure. The US needs to get out, and get out now. If we wait, we're just going to see a lot of people die, and they will die for no discernable reason beyond the crazed delusions of a bunch of discredited neo-con chickenhawks, and a crackpot president who is trying to prove his pecker is bigger than daddy's.

The media still supports Putsch, of course. CBS/NY Times just released a poll that showed Putsch with a nine point lead over Kerry, giving the rest of the right wing media the opportunity to prattle on about how the Kerry campaign was disintegrating, and to quote happily from the poll, which showed that 40% of respondents felt Kerry should spend less time attacking the President. (And I would bet that this 40% all supported Putsch in the poll, too).

Down deep in the fine print of the 35 page poll was the question, "Who did you vote for last time?" Putsch led in that question, too, by nine point. In other words, the poll was weighted by nearly ten points in favor of Putsch (who trailed in the popular vote last time by a half point), so the ten point lead that the right wing is shouting "ta da!" about doesn't actually exist. It's a crooked result from a bent poll.

With the Smearvets pretty well discredited everywhere except the very trashiest elements of the far right, and the Dan Rather memogate thrown into confusion by the Mrs. Landinghamesque Marian Knox, who said, "I did not type those memos, but I did type memos essentially identical in content," the right wing smear campaign needs more ways to distract from the chaos of Iraq, and the fact that Putsch's vast tax cuts not only failed to stimulate the economy, but added trillions in new debt.

So the latest was a picture of a thuggish guy in a union T-shirt grabbing a "Bush/Cheney" sign from a crying three year old girl named Sophia and tearing it up. Oh, the horror.

Except first it came to light through the blogs that daddy Phil Parlock, upon whose shoulders the little girl sat, had "been attacked" at Democratic rallies in 1996 and 2000. Given his track record, one might wonder why he would drag his three-year old girl along. Was she supposed to be a shield in case someone threw a rock at him or something?

Now it's come to light at another blog that the "union assailant" was the guy's son, and the little girl's older brother.

Those blogs are getting kinda handy, doing all the stuff that our "lazy, arrogant and bitchy" mainstream media will no longer do.

But it's worth looking at the picture of the crying three year old, and considering her lucky, even if daddy is a rather vile political operative. After all, she isn't crying because her home just got blown up by an American bombing run. She isn't crying because her mother was just killed in a car bombing, and she isn't crying because she just had a foot blown off. She isn't crying because Daddy just lost his life over in Iraq, and she isn't crying because she's hungry because the unemployment ran out, and her folks can't find work.

She's one of the lucky ones.

Posted: September 20, 2004


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