Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

We fight for freedom – or “What if someone else did it to us?”

January 14, 2008

It’s been eight years now. Eight long years. Sure, initially I was glad when China toppled the Bush regime and executed the “retarded tyrant” as I love to call him. It wasn’t that bad at the start, but as time wore on and I realized they weren’t leaving, it started to gnaw at me.

Bush declared martial law in June of 2008 after initiating a nuclear attack on Iran. Martial law became “necessary” in the chaos surrounding the oil shock that followed the Iranian conflict. People had said he’d been planning the Iran move for a while, but the media kept pointing out how much of a threat Iran was so I guess we needed to act. He didn’t have any conventional forces or weaponry available because he’d over-extended our reach in Iraq and Afghanistan. Without conventional options, he went nuclear. The events that followed received sporadic and muddled coverage and what happened is still disputed today. All I know for sure is that oil become scarce in a real hurry. China removed the Yuan/dollar peg, called in its massive store of US Treasury bonds and sent the greenback into freefall. Most Americans didn’t realize that China was trading more with Europe than the US, and while the move stung China, it crippled the US. They then started paying the Saudis and other Persian Gulf countries in Yuan, the new global currency. The greenback was shunned like a redheaded stepchild. The same thing worked on Venezuela and Mexico and their oil output was redirected to China’s burgeoning economy. It is rumored that the Chinese then, using covert ops, disabled much of the Canadian oil infrastructure and America was oil dry within weeks. It turned out that the American government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve didn’t hold the 720,000,000 barrels that the government claimed. Everything ground to a halt.

So Bush declared martial law soon after and China went on the offensive. Ostensibly, the Chinese invaded to “remove a tyrant that the rest of the world considers an unnacceptable risk”. Of course the US military went nuclear with the Chinese but didn’t realize that the 15+ satellite launches a year the Chinese had been grinding out were all part of an ICBM defense system. None of the nukes got through. It was over quickly. The famed military-industrial complex of the US was an amazing powerhouse. It’s just that without oil, the powerhouse didn’t have all that much power. Unlike previous wars where the might of American production pushed us over the top militarily, production sputtered to a stop and this war was lost without so much as a whimper.

The Chinese instituted some changes. They said that the only truly free society was one in which everyone worked for the common good. They imposed their political system on us without asking. I think they believe they’re doing us a favor.

One of the biggest issues before the media was nationialized and put under government control was the checkpoints the Chinese introduced. There are sickeningly frequent reports of US citizens being killed at these checkpoints throughout the country. Apparently what happens is that a carload of civilians gets shouted at (in Chinese) to slow down or stop. Not understanding, they fail to comply. Result: bullet riddled civilians with confused and terrified looks on their faces. Just last week the Chinese killed a busload of 17 civilians. Most of them were school children on a class trip. There were three teachers too.

While the Chinese have deployed much of their national army on US soil, they’ve also used a lot of civilian contractors to enforce curfews and protect foreign diplomats. These contractors and the company they work for (Redwater) are beyond the reach of the US judicial system. The Chinese have given them immunity for their actions on US soil and the company spirits away any individuals accused of wrongdoing before an investigation can get underway, even if there was a point to conducting one.

The eight years they’ve been here on US soil have produced some heartbreaking statistics. Over 4,500,000 “excess deaths”. I like that. Excess deaths. Basically, that’s people either killed violently during uprisings (ruthlessly crushed by our benevolent occupiers) or those that have died since the Chinese destroyed many of our factories, roads and infrastructure. Of those 4,500,000, about 1,800,000 have been violent or combat related deaths of Americans. Canada, in a stunning act of humanitarianism has opened its borders to refugees and 12,000,000 Americans have fled our home to reside with our now beloved northern neighbors.

Initially, people seemed to accept the fact that we needed help getting rid of Bush’s dictatorship. Lately, I think people have come to understand that the Chinese are really here for our natural resources. In the fusion driven, post-oil world, apparently American soil contains a lot of the minerals that drive the fusion process. I don’t really understand it but apparently the largest supply of “whatever it is” (some sort of helium?) was found in Iowa. The Chinese have set up camp there and apparently haven’t left. They can talk all they want about giving us our freedom but with 4,500,000 dead, 21,000,000 Americans who’ve fled and are now living as refugees elsewhere (12,000,000 in Canada alone) and another 1,100,000 fleeing each month, I gotta tell ya, it doesn’t feel all that free.

There is hope however, apparently the Chairman of the Chinese Communist party and thus the leader of China is frail. It’s said that health-wise he’s on his last legs. All we can do is hope that China’s next leader will curtail China’s empire. China has to realize the futility of trying to police the world. China’s political, social and moral systems are great … for China, but to impose them elsewhere at the barrel of a gun is wrong. I just hope the Chinese leadership realizes that. I’d say that I hope the Chinese people realize it but we all know that the Chinese don’t have any say in how their country is run or what wars it wages. It certainly feels a bit strange to have our future depend on the whims of political leaders far away, but that’s our new reality.

It’s hard for me to get too excited about the possibility of Chinese regime change. Regardless of what happens, the Chinese can’t give me my sons back. I won’t ever hold them again or see their cheeky smiles. So while other people hope that confusing political changes in foreign lands will help us, I apply slightly more direct methods.

Yes, I know they call me a terrorist and an insurgent. I like to think of myself as a freedom fighter. If someone invaded your country and killed your people, I’d like to think you’d fight too. I don’t expect to win but if I don’t fight, if we don’t fight, then all Americans lose.

I miss you.

December 20, 2007

Fuck I miss you.

I miss having an educated populace. Actually, I miss having a populace that can read … or spell … or add … or think.

I miss being the tourists that were culturally naive and oblivious to our own volume. Now we’re the tourists that should pretend to be Canadian.

I miss knowing that we don’t torture. I miss knowing that, no matter what the other guy did, no matter how low he stooped, we would take the moral high ground. We would do the right thing. The wrong thing was something other people did. I miss that. I miss everything you used to stand for. A beacon in the darkness. An example to others. A bastion of hope. A place where hard work and a sharp mind just might, with a touch of luck, be enough. I miss having a nation that believes in itself. I miss having a nation that is entitled to believe in itself.

I really miss having a leader that can talk, think and be honest. I miss having a leader that could do any one of those three things. I miss having a leader that can inspire rather than embarrass, a leader that can stir any emotion other than shame. I miss having a leader that I don’t have to apologize for.

I miss feeling that we fight on the side of justice and against tyranny. Actually, I miss at least knowing why we fight.

I miss being confident that this is the best country in the world. I miss knowing that my grandchildren will inherit a world better than the one I found.

America, I miss you and I want you back.

I’m not sure how to get you back, but it might start with taking some responsibility… I want us to stand up and take responsibility for what we’ve done. I’m sick and tired of people saying “Yes, it’s all terrible, but I didn’t vote for the guy. It’s not my fault.”

Yes. It is. It is your fault. It’s my fault too.

By my actions, or lack thereof, I have been responsible for the deaths of innocent Iraqis. How? I didn’t do everything I could to stop Bush being elected. I could have tried harder. Once he was returned to power, I could have done more to limit the damage.

I could have paid attention to every vote on every piece of legislation and organized a groundswell of outraged support when the Democratic “leadership” caved and continued funding the war. I could have campaigned (and still could) for the defeat of every Democratic Senator who failed to follow through on the mandate they were given to end the war.

I could have reduced my dependence on fossil fuels and removed the reason for the war in the first place. I could have encouraged others to do the same.

Maybe no one else feels the same way. Maybe I couldn’t have done much. Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered. It would sure feel different to have tried though. Reminds me of a Roosevelt quote:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Like I said, maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference but at least I would have failed while spending myself in a worthy cause. I’m responsible for the deaths of Iraqis. Me. Now I have to figure out how to change things and I need my country back to do it.

Please come back America, I miss you.

Iraq

September 21, 2007

A friend recently made a statement that clarified my understanding of the Iraq war:

The Bush administration has come to believe that “peak oil” is an imminent and potentially devastating problem.

The reason it clarified things for me is because it explains everything about the Iraq situation.  It explains why we’re there, why we won’t leave and why we’re rattling our sabers at Iran.

It also provides the simplest possible explanation for those available facts.

The Bush administration believes that peak oil is coming and coming soon.  I’m going to read “The Last Oil Shock” soon.  I’ve heard the author speak and he makes some interesting points.

Possibly the most surreal thing about this new understanding is that it makes me feel more positive about the Bush administration.  Not much, but a little.

Bush sits down with Cindy Sheehan

November 22, 2006

CS: Mr. President, I’ve wanted to speak with you for months now and I’m not sure you ever knew why. I pursued you for answers. I want to know why we went to war in Iraq. I want to know why my son died. You sent him to his death and I think you owe me an explanation. I want you to look me in the eye and tell me why we went to war.  My son’s life blood seeped away in the dirt of a foreign country and you should have to explain why.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

GWB: Ms Sheehan, I’ve dreaded this conversation for a while now.  Firstly, let me say I’m sorry. I’m sorry for your tragic, devastating loss. I feel powerless even trying to put into words what you must have gone through. Your suffering and the suffering of thousands of other parents is very real to me. I think about your family and families like yours every day. That burden never, ever leaves me and I know it never will. I’m sorry.

I’m also sorry I ducked you for so long.  I did it for many reasons but all of them were political.  I owe you more than that.  I owe your son’s memory and his sacrifice more than that.  For that, I’m sorry.

Now, to your question.

We went to Iraq mostly for the reasons I gave publicly and some that I didn’t give … couldn’t give … in public. I’m the president of the most powerful nation on Earth. Many say that makes me the most powerful individual on Earth. That might be true, but I’m still just a man. There are things I don’t know, things I can’t know. I surround myself with advisers and experts to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. I have to rely on these people to give me information about the many subjects I deal with every day.

When it came to Iraq, the advice I got was terrible. Absolutely terrible. First, a caveat; this isn’t an excuse. I’m not trying to duck my responsibility here. I listened to the experts, but I made the decisions. In many cases I was involved in appointing the advisers, so I won’t be pointing fingers without realizing that ultimately all fingers point back to me. I understand that.

As I said, this is not about excuses, it’s about explaining.

After 9/11, America was hurting. We wanted to strike out and make sure that the people who conducted the attacks on us were made to suffer. We wanted to make sure that their capacity to strike at us was removed. We were pretty successful at that in Afghanistan.  While Afghanistan was a success story, Iraq was far from it.

Iraq wasn’t really about terrorism.  It was about two main things.  It was, first and foremost, about the politics of the region and trying to create a foothold for democracy.  Secondly, it was about stabilizing one of the major oil producing nations in the region and installing a government that shared our sympathies.

Yes, in hindsight these are terrible reasons.  I understand that.  At the time, based on advice I was given, I mistakenly believed that we’d be in and out quickly.  I believed we’d be greeted as liberators for removing a despicable tyrant from power.  It certainly didn’t turn out that way.

I saw an estimate the other day that said 650,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed.  I can tell you this face to face (but I’ll deny it on the record) , I believe that number.  We made sure that earlier reports of civilian casualties were much, much lower than that to train the public perception.  Mission accomplished.  The number 650,000 sounds outrageous now.  It isn’t outrageous and it might actually be low.

The first few weeks in Iraq could be reasonably described as a resounding success.  However, that was the last point at which I can describe anything we did as successful.   It devolved from there into a situation where it wasn’t an invading force taking control of terrority.  It was an occupying force involved in skirmishes with local insurgents.  The skirmishes have steadily increased in frequency and damage as time has gone on.  We’ve also given up almost everything we gained in Afghanistan.

You asked me for the truth.  The truth is that your son’s life was lost in a war we shouldn’t have been fighting.  His life was given for goals that, in hindsight, don’t make sense.  Nothing I can say or do will give your boy back to you.  I understand that.  All I can do is tell you that his sacrifice won’t be in vain.  It’s a reminder that America has to fight for the right reasons.  We have to fight as a last resort.  His death is a reminder that the President of the United States of America is, above all else, a public servant.  He’s supposed to protect this country from harm, not increase the risks.  He’s supposed to defend the great freedoms that America stands for, not whittle them away.

I’m sorry for the loss I’ve caused you.  I can tell you our foreign policy will change because of the sacrifices of the brave men and women I killed in this war.

The highest sacrifice a person can make for their country is to die in its defence.  That carries an obligation at the highest levels to make sure that sacrifice is only made when absolutely necessary.  Your son died as a result of poor policy, planning, diplomacy and leadership.  I’m the leader and therefore that’s my fault.

I’m sorry.