Sunday, April 15, 2007

Shadows on a Wall

In the days following the first Gulf War led by George Bush senior America was flush with a sense of victory seeing itself as a super power rivaled by none, perhaps the most powerful super power ever to tread the face of the earth.

A victory parade quickly ensued with tanks rumbling down the parade route twirling their turrets in an ecstasy of phallic symbolism. The ghost of our humiliating defeat in Vietnam had been erased and America was back on track, the crowds roared their approval.

Today the super power of perceived American supremacy is more akin to shattered shards of glass strewn on blood soaked earth. The grimacing gargoyle of defeat at the hands of Iraq insurgency has bloodied the nose of American might. Recent events such as the bombing of the Iraq government and the loss of a strategic bridge in the heart of the so-called green zone has tweaked the neo-con ear despite the escalation of the American occupied Baghdad.

In desperation Bush escalated the number of troops in his now miserably failed surge and has increased the length of time troops stay in Iraq from twelve months to fifteen. The armed forces are already stretched to the breaking point and seem to serve no purpose other than to provide targets as sitting ducks for insurgent snipers and bombers.

I have never been a huge fan of Iraq war critics who base their criticism in terms of tactics or perhaps more to the point failed tactics and the incompetence of the Bush administration as well as the military leadership. The reason for this is simply that I feel that imperial designs on world domination are simply inhuman and wrongheaded. Unfortunately I understand that for many Americans the desire to leave Iraq is not because it was wrong to invade another country but because the invasion has been an abject failure.

However that may be the fantasy of America’s unbeatable might has proven to be nothing but shadows on a wall and despite the fact that Bush and congress fully intend to promote this fools errand on to infinity the people of Iraq may well end the occupation for our flailing national leaders.

Tom Engelhardt of Tomdispatch who has consistently provided expert commentary as well as links to informative and top notch articles has the story.

After all these years, the Bush administration still seems not to grasp the full dangers it faces, including, as Juan Cole long ago pointed out, what might be called the Khomeini solution in which the majority Shiite population would take to the streets, a development against which the Americans could prove helpless. ("An urban insurgency/revolution," Cole wrote back in 2004, "can in fact win, and win quite decisively, as the urban crowds won out over the Shah [of Iran]. The Shah tried everything to put down the urban crowds. He had them spied on. He had them shot at. Nothing worked. The urban crowds just got bigger and bigger.") And don't forget those endless supply lines from Kuwait, so crucial for the American war-fighting and base system -- and so vulnerable.

Please go read the post.