The cost of Iraq

The Iraq election results are in, and as the Washington Post ‘says’:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21679-2005Feb13.html: Iraq _Winners Allied With Iran Are the Opposite of U.S. Vision._

bq. But, in one of the greatest ironies of the U.S. intervention, Iraqis instead went to the polls and elected a government with a strong religious base — and very close ties to the Islamic republic next door. It is the last thing the administration expected from its costly Iraq policy — $300 billion and counting, U.S. and regional analysts say.


The earth orbits the sun, and in other startling news, the Bush administration was yet again wrong. That is how things are, but somethings bear repeating: DailyKos, one of the most liberal sites on the internet on the above:

bq. If the cost of this monumental fuck up was only $300 billion, that would be easier to take. But it’s unfortunate that this piece ignores the thousands of US and allied troops that have died for this failed policy. *That’s the real cost of this mess.*

>> ‘Irans electoral invasion of Iraq’:http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/2/14/114015/049

p. Sadly, even the American’s who oppose the war do so perhaps not for the same reasons that the rest of the world opposed the Iraq war for.

Christopher Day ‘replies’:http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2005/2/14/114015/049/26#26:

bq.. Why are the lives of the invaders the only ones included in the costs? What about the thousands of Iraqi soldiers killed in the invasion? What about the members of the Iraqi resistance killed?

Okay, so you think they are disposable. Well, what about the 100,000 Iraqi civilians killed by this U.S. initiated war?

p. The full reply is worth reading:

bq.. *the real problem revealed by Kos’s comment that the “real costs” of this war are the lives of U.S. and allied soldiers.* This is typical of liberal (as opposed to left or radical) opposition to the war: it accepts the idea that the standard of good an bad is the effect it has on us. This is largely unconscious most of the time, but when it gets challenged it usually gets defended at the very least on the basis of expediency that amounts to cynicism about the capacity of Americans to be horrified by the slaughter of non-Americans.

the problem isn’t just Democrats who support the war, its also liberals whose opposition to the war accepts much of its rationale. A good example of this is the objection that by “rushing” into war the U.S. alienates its allies. While this is obviously true on one level, on another it presumes that the maintenance of U.S. global power is a good thing, which it might be for many Americans (who benefit from cheap goods and oil), but it definitely isn’t for the rest of the world.

*Liberal opposition to the war refuse to acknowledge the systemic roots of the war and treats it simply as the abberant policy of a tiny cabal of neo-cons even though the the U.S. has been invading, bombing, and otherwise trampling on the sovereignyty of other countries for a very long time.*

>> ‘Christopher Day’:http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2005/2/14/114015/049/70#70

p. After the Bush reelection, a lot of people around the world had their perceptions of America forcibly changed. The above just confirms the reactions below, written after the Bush victory. It’s not just the neocons, it’s also a vast number of ordinary American’s, even the most ‘liberal’:http://dailykos.com of them who keep the status quo going.

bq. *There is an idea of America constructed in my head, built by my associations with the land, the people, the cities. It died last night. A new America was born last night. An imperial America, a theocratic America, an America built by fear and loathing.*

>> “Chapati Mystery:C’est Meme Chose”:http://www.chapatimystery.com/archives/straw_polls/cest_meme_chose.html

For long, American’s could say: _’Don’t hate us because we’re Americans, just hate our government!’_ and people over the world would nod their heads in agreement. After all, it’s not like the American people are responsible for what their elected representatives do in their name are they? It’s not good to generalize, but one must wonder how is that 59 million people could vote for someone like George W. Bush?

p. More reactions:

bq.. I walked out this morning and the sun was shining. I felt better. The wind was clear and crisp. I felt better. I cried all night – big searing, gulping sobs – I cried in my sleep. Ever have those dreams where you want to wake yourself up by screaming? I tried last night but never succeeded. I mourned like a loved one had died. *There is an idea of America constructed in my head, built by my associations with the land, the people, the cities. It died last night. A new America was born last night. An imperial America, a theocratic America, an America built by fear and loathing.* This great nation that can destroy anyone cowers from shadows. It fears the gay man who will destroy its families. It fears the slut teen who will kill its unborn child. It fears the brown man who will detonate a bomb in its mall. It fears the secular intellectual who will corrupt its youth.

Faith is the opiate of the masses. Faith in the Man. Faith in Jesus. Faith in their lack of faith. Reason has no place, logic no permanance. Facts are just balancing weights.

I was prepared for a Bush victory. But this is not a Bush victory. This is a vindication. We lost comprehensively. This is their America and I just live in it by their good grace.

Since I suck at predictions, I will now predict the near future: We are going to Iran. There will be a draft. The Supreme Panchayat will overturn. Blues will not regain the country during my lifetime.

Life, though, must go on. I still have to teach the Crusades tomorrow. I still have to design some websites. I still have to put those job applications in. I still have a family to hug and love. I still have some very bright friends who will cry with me in their beers. I walked out this morning and the sun was shining. I felt better. The wind was clear and crisp. I felt better.

>> “Chapati Mystery:C’est Meme Chose”:http://www.chapatimystery.com/archives/straw_polls/cest_meme_chose.html

p. From John Kerry’s “concession speech”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3980533.stm:

bq. But in an American election, there are no losers, because whether or not our candidates are successful, the next morning we all wake up as Americans. And *that is the greatest privilege and the most remarkable good fortune that can come to us on earth.*

At the end of the day, one has to remember that John Kerry was considered way too liberal compared to Bush. The above *is* startingly ‘racist’:http://www.answers.com/racism, and wouldn’t be out of place coming from ‘Saddam Hussein’:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein rallying his troops against the ‘Shia’:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shia. Now, Kerry is considered a liberal, so I wonder how a neocon would phrase it? On second thought, I really don’t want to know…

The ‘European reaction’:http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/20/opinion/20friedman.html?ex=1263963600&en=c59b494ba9112b92&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland :

bq. Before Mr. Bush’s ‘re-election’:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._presidential_election,_2004, the prevailing attitude in Europe was definitely: “We’re not anti-American. We’re anti-Bush.” But now that the American people have voted to re-elect Mr. Bush, Europe has a problem maintaining this distinction. The logic of the Europeans position is that they should now be anti-American, not just anti-Bush, but most Europeans don’t seem to want to go there.

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