Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Tough Question for Obama and Clinton

Today is Tuesday, 20 February 2007.

No one wishes to conclude that the combat death of a child, spouse, sibling, or other loved one was in vain, or in furtherance of a vile purpose. Sometimes, alas, this is the case. To deceive oneself and others serves no nation, or the loved one. Such self-deception does great harm, for it creates additional pressures to throw away more lives.

On 11 February, speaking in New Hampshire, Senator Barack Obama said that “we ended up launching a war that should never have been authorized and should never have been waged, and to which we now have spent $400 billion and have seen over 3,000 of the bravest young American lives wasted”.

The next day, Mr. Obama changed course. “Even as I said it, I realized I had misspoken. What I would say --- what I meant to say --- is that their service hasn’t been honored, because our civilian strategy has not honored their courage and bravery, and we have put them into a situation in which it is hard for them to succeed”.

The problem with the Iraq war is not the strategy, but the purpose. This was not a war to liberate the Iraqi people and prevent additional atrocities by a dictator who had once been Ronald Reagan’s regional darling (because the Ba’athist regime had been the enemy of Reagan’s enemy, and therefore Reagan’s friend; the most excellent reason to become strange bedfellows with a neo-fascist dictator; as a “good Christian” [I use this term by ironic analogy with “good German”), Herr Reagan knew “the ends justify the means”, no matter the human debris which constitute the means).

This war is the product of the unholy confluence of two wicked ambitions: that of the neoconservatives to secure permanent American imperial hegemony over the Middle East and its oil, and that of George Bush, to be recognized in history as a mighty conqueror.

During the Vietnam War, when soldiers were killed in combat, their comrades said they had been “wasted”, meaning it in the common sense: something precious had been, for no good reason, discarded like trash into the hands of death.

If Mr. Obama is serious about values and change, and not just about his ambitions, he must speak truth to power and the American people. He must constantly remind us of the wickedness of this war and its authors. He must strive to awaken the majority of Americans to the fact that these 3,000+, and the 500,000+ Iraqis have died in vain, and in worse than vain. This is the actual “slow bleed” in Iraq, the throwing away of good lives in a mad and vain attempt to resuscitate a plan which was tactically fatally flawed and ethically reprehensible from the beginning.

He must shame and inspire until the majority of American force a corrupt Executive and his creatures to resign, so the war may be ended, and something positive salvaged from the Bush-Cheney-etc. rape of Iraq.

This may not be the safest strategy to win the Presidency, but is Mr. Obama seeking to struggle to right great wrongs, to give refuge to the butchered Iraqi people, to open a door in history by which there might be a better world possible, or is he merely ambitious and covetous, like George W. Bush?

One must ask the same question of Senator Hillary Clinton.

1 Comments:

Anonymous NET said...

HH said - "No one wishes to conclude that the combat death of a child, spouse, sibling, or other loved one was in vain, or in furtherance of a vile purpose. Sometimes, alas, this is the case. To deceive oneself and others serves no nation, or the loved one. Such self-deception does great harm, for it creates additional pressures to throw away more lives."

Sorry, HH, I have to disagree with a portion of this. Families and friends of the deceased have every right, and many of them have the need, to believe their loved one died for a purpose. If this be deception, play on. If it gets them through the day, even through the next hour, than it is a valid view for them to take.

You are taking the big picture and imposing it at the individual level. That I cannot agree with.

6:00 PM  

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