Dead people everywhere

Remember those glory days, when the US could go into a Third World country, depose the ruler it put there in the first place, and then return home, high on the feeling of kicking butt, American style? Certainly you remember those triumphs of American military intervention in places like Panama, where rock n' roll played a part in getting rid of the evil, twisted Manuel Noriega? And who could ever forget Grenada, the key to the entire "free world" back in 1983?

Well, those good old days are over. Now we are in the bad new days, thanks to the president of the United States, George W. Bush, and his ideological masters Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle and Wolfie. The US continues to get one bloody nose after another in Iraq, due in large part to the absolute ignorance of the criminals - listed conveniently above, for any law enforcement officials who may be reading this page - who "planned" this disaster. The car bomb in Najaf, which killed over 80 people, including SCIRI leader Al Hakim, follows earlier thrashings administered at the Jordanian embassy and the UN headquarters. Noticeably lacking are feathers in the hat - except for those worn by the CEOs of companies like Halliburton and Bechtel, which continue to pull in money hand over fist while Iraq burns, thanks to a little thing called nepotism.

But the worse thing is that ordinary Iraqis - yes, the same ones the US was supposedly rushing over to save - are dying at an ever increasing rate. This is in addition to ordinary US soldiers, nearly 300 of whom have now died in Iraq. The US either cannot or will not do anything to protect a) its allies in the region (Jordan); b) the international community (represented by the UN) the Bush administration is so fond of talking about when it suits their purposes; and now c) Iraqi political figures who would form the backbone of any kind of civil society that would take shape in Iraq. Bush's yokel pledge to "provide security against those who try to spread chaos, or settle scores, or threaten the territorial integrity of Iraq" might now be laughable, if it were he and his cronies - or the members of the American Enterprise Institute, who happily and self-contentedly applauded this garbage - who were the ones at risk of being blown to bits in car bomb or being shot in the head by a sniper. Meanwhile, US soldiers keep guard at Iraq's central bank and oil ministry, ensuring that no harm will befall these important insitutions, even if the rest of the country slides all the way into hell.

One thing that needs to be said is this: the US's adventure in Iraq should be recognized as a failure of the Israeli approach to dealing with the Middle East. As I and other people pointed out earlier, the government of Israel was a leading proponent of US military action against Iraq. Many members of the Bush administration - not coincidentally the same ones pressing most for the war - have very, very close ties to the Likud party and Sharon. They are more than fellow travellers with Israel's project in the Middle East - they are active, ideologically committed participants. Israel's approach to solving problems has not made anything better in Palestine and it did not make anything better in Lebanon, a big part of which it occupied from 1978 until 1999. Now that the US has adopted the Israeli approach to dealing with the Middle East, things are getting even worse (which is saying something). Recognition of this fact would be the first step in bringing peace to the region.

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