News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Totentanz [Death-Dance] in Iraq

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Totentanz [Death-Dance] in Iraq

As we watch Iraq break up into razor-sharp shards, there will be much breast-beating from those who were wrong (also see here) and "I told you sos" from those who were right. ...

Yes, all admit it--supporters and opponents. Invaded and shredded to the abyss of civil war: A fully functioning society, secularized by any imaginable criterion. A society where women walked down the streets and families went about their jobs without fear of being kidnapped, held for ransom and killed. What is becoming a sad commentary on the debacle we and the Iraqis face is that Iraq was better off under Saddam Hussein.

After so much death and destruction visited on a society that had undergone two disastrous wars and then embargoed into poverty; after so much suffering, the last shreds of civil threads tear to raw nerve.

I confess that I was against the war from the beginning. I was teaching a class on religion after 911 on the night of its invasion. During those weeks leading up to the war, I discussed many of the arguments against the war that I know now to be true.

Yet, I also confess that I wavered. I wanted the President to be right. I wanted the weapons to be found. I had many doubts about their existence, but I wavered, thinking the President knew.

I also wanted to support the troops. For months I held off attacking the plan, if only because I wanted it to be the right thing to do. I was convinced by the former soldier who displayed shock and dismay at the possibility that US soldiers would kill and be maimed and destroyed for a lie. I understand the bitter taste that those whose loved ones died in war want their deaths to be for the right reasons.

Even after I wrote about two months later that Bush should be impeached for lying about the weapons and the threat, I hoped that Iraq would succeed as a democracy.

The names of those who stood up before craven fear and calls for vengeance should be remembered because they stood up in the face of raging blood-lust. They asked the country to stop, reflect, and consider the evidence before visiting the terrible violence of our force on a country that had done nothing to us, not one of us.

But many still refuse to admit the truth. They continue to twist the facts into illusions that would save them face and cover up their complicity in mass murder. Or they threaten those who might tell the truth about how many are dying in the Iraq civil war.

If there's one thing that we should never forget, it's the following: many wanted this war. The support for it was nearly 90 percent. Many bought into the falsehoods and deceit purveyed by the Bush administration. Lies and falsehood they wanted to believe.

Yes, many of those did it to support the troops. But we must also face the fact that many wanted to go to war because they feared for themselves and wanted to take out that fear on someone, anyone. It was revenge for 911 that this country sought, not justice.

At the same time, I hope we will realize how the politicians--almost all of them--cheered on as the troops set sail. All rallied round the flag and made wonderful speeches about how greatly we needed this war.

Update 3/2/06: Oh, you wanted a real analysis of whether there's even a civil war or not in Iraq? The Bushniks are successfully passing off what's happening in Iraq as just more of the same, it seems. Look at Larry Johnson's analysis for some real politik talk that might speak to the right-brain.

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