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October 11, 2006

A River in Egypt
Posted by Michael Signer

A buzz is starting about a startling example of the through-the-looking-glass world of the President from today on CNN:

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN: Thank you, Mr. President. Back on Iraq, a group of American and Iraqi health officials today released a report saying that 655,000 Iraqis have died since the Iraq war. That figure is 20 times the figure that you cited in December at 30,000. Do you care to amend or update your figure and do you consider this a credible report?

PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I don't consider it a credible report, neither does General Casey and neither do Iraqi officials. I do know that a lot of innocent people have died and it troubles me and grieves me. And I applaud the Iraqis for their courage in the face of violence. I am, you know, amazed that this is a society which so wants to be free that they're willing to - you know, that there's a level of violence that they tolerate.

Um.  So Iraqis society "so wants to be free" that it is "willing to" "tolerate" a "level of violence" and therefore should be "applauded"?

Is he saying something causal here?  That because the Iraqis want freedom that they desire the willingness to tolerate it?  Or, to cut a quick logical corner -- that they somehow desire the violence itself?

Boy -- that would make things easy.  If that were the case, well, then, sure -- violence is a good thing!  Because it's testing the mettle the Iraqis want tested!  Because it gives Iraqis a chance to demonstrate their courage!  Because it would give us something to applaud them for.

Talk about denial...


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Well, Bush doesn't consider a survey supervised by Johns Hopkins to be a credible report. I wonder why, and I wonder why we should accept Bush as a judge of credibility, with his record. The Iraqis tolerate violence. Really. Iraqi mothers don't mind when they see their child's head roll out the door. Children don't mind when their parents are summarily killed at a roadside checkpoint. Not at all.
A recent poll found that 61 percent of Iraqis now approve of attacks on Americans. The New York Times reports that 78 percent of Iraqis now believe that the U.S. military presence is "provoking more conflict than it is preventing." And 71 percent of Iraqis want the U.S. out within a year.
Why is this? We deposed Hussein, and our soldiers are helping little old ladies cross the street and are handing out candy to little kids--why do they hate us? Why are fifteen million Iraqis willing to do an American if they get the chance?
The answers aren't easy to find. They are not to be found in our corporate media, currently celebrating new stock market highs. But the answers may be found in obscure places, like for example a 2005 interview with a reservist military policeman who served in Iraq April 2003-April 2004.
An extract: DELGADO: "It was common practice to set up blockades. The Third Infantry would block off a road. In advance of the assault, civilians would flee the city in a panic. As they approached us, someone would yell: 'Stop, stop!' In English. Of course they couldn’t understand. Their cars were blown up with cannons, or crushed with tanks. Killing noncombatants at checkpoints happened routinely, not only with the Third Infantry, but the First Marines. And it is still going on today. If you check last week’s MSNBC, they dug out a father and mother and her six children. We were constantly getting reports of vehicles that were destroyed (with people in them) at checkpoints."

What we're observing here with Bush and previously with Medal of Freedom recipient Gemeral Franks who said "we don't do body counts" is racism, pure and simple, in its latest form. In any organiztion you can judge a leader by the attitudes of the lowest employees, and the US troops' pleasure in offing "ragheads" and "sand niggers" is merely a reflection of the arrogant racism of their leaders, straight ftrom the top.

Denial goes with war like ham goes with eggs.

A Quiet Morning In A Small Village

A man walks into an Amish school and kills 5 school girls, and severely wounds 5 other school girls. This is a barbaric act of terrorism.

The American people are shocked into disbelief, as anyone with a sound mind should be.

I have a good friend who walked into four Vietnamese villages and witnessed the horrifying aftereffects of U.S. jets dropping napalm on innocent Vietnamese civilians. There were over 600 people killed.

The American people were never told this happened, because what happens in the field, stays in the field.

This was a barbaric act of terrorism committed by the United States Government.

It was not an accident, it was not the wrong coordinates. It was premeditated murder.

This happened so many times in Vietnam, that we covered it up with bullshit Geneva Convention Rules.

"When I was a child I thought as a child, but when I became....."

A man walks into a Amish school and kills 5 school girls, and severely wounds 5 other school girls.

The American people are shocked into disbelief, as anyone with a sound mind should be.

But, when it comes to war, what happens in the field, stays in the field.

I have several other friends who served in Vietnam, who could bring the American people to their knees. Just like millions of Americans did when they heard about the Amish school massacre.

What the American people know about war, you could stick in a thimble.

--Mike Hastie, Vietnam Veteran, October 9, 2006

This of course is why you:
1. Avoid going to war unless it's either absolutely unavoidable or
2. You can win fast and easily and get the Hell out.
Iraq clearly wasn't unavoidable. I think Rummy et al did honestly think they were looking at 2. This in turn I think is part of a typical fallacy on the part of otherwise intelligent members of the American Right: a gross oversimplification and underestimation of the cultural and social aspects of any given situation.

So, the Iraqis are willing to accept some violence along with freedom, and you have a problem with this?

Isn't just about EVERYONE willing to tolerate some violence in the name of freedom?

Or, put it another way, raise your hand if you would really prefer a society that was both 100% non-violent, and 100% non-free.


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