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Fri

23

Mar

2007

Blues for Allah: More Blood in the Wake of the "War on Terror"
Friday, 23 March 2007 17:44
by Chris Floyd   

Has anyone noticed that yet another "regime change" accomplished with U.S. military assistance is now collapsing into savage – and entirely predictable – internecine conflict?

The Washington Post has certainly noticed. They put this story about the growing insurgency in Somalia and the brutal reprisals against the Bush-backed, Bush-trained Ethiopian occupiers and the Somali government they installed way up near almost the very front, all the way to…page 1 5. But you can see why they would do that. It is actually an excellent story, written by Stephanie McCrummen , which exposes – with the hard facts of that "reality" thing that Bush and his sycophantic followers, like Fred Hiatt, have such a hard time getting a handle on – the bloodsoaked chaos that follows everywhere in the wake of Bush's "Global War on Terror." And we all know that excellent stories exposing the follies of Bush's reckless, blunderbuss militarism (no doubt the walls of the Oval Office are filled with buckshot from Bush's shotgun blasts at the occasional mosquito flitting by) are habitually buried deep in the Post's compost pit of inside pages – which was the fate of so many of the pre-war Dana Priest stories that revealed the grave weaknesses of the Bush gang's arguments for invading Iraq.

As noted here (and elsewhere), the Washington Post isn't really like Pravda (except when Hiatt gets all trembly while gazing at the portrait of the Generalissimo in his office). Pravda never would have published any story that reflected badly on the government, even one buried certain fathoms deep inside the paper. The Post has always provided stories in which crumbs of truth and reality – and sometimes whole chunks – could be unearthed from beneath the mounds of fawning spin and bogus "objectivity" of the "Matt Drudge rules our world!" school. And as the cesspool of Bush crime rises to such stenchful, overflowing levels that even a few of the Beltway barons have been forced to scratch their heads and say, "Hmm, looks like there might possibly be something slightly amiss here, if I may say so without appearing shrill or unserious," the Post is getting more and more bold in its placement of critical pieces. Why, they even put a story about the horrible neglect of wounded soldiers – a widespread scandal that had been going on for years, even as the Administration and their pom-pom boy Hiatt were excoriating war opponents for "not supporting the troops" – on the front page. And as the Scarlet Pimpernel used to say, Odd's fish, that's something, isn't it?


And to be fair, the Post has had several courageous and resolute reporters bringing home the reality of the vast war crime that Bush has instigated in Iraq. Often these stories have made it to the front page – although it's still a sad commentary on the state of our modern media when the Post must be praised for occasionally speaking the plain truth about a wretched misdeed whose monstrousness no sentient being could deny. But here too, these stories can still – just – be slotted into an acceptable Establishment narrative, a line of conventional wisdom that has slowly emerged over these years of mass murder and ruin: the charge that the Bush Administration has "mismanaged" the war, they "didn't do it right," they've made so many "blunders." The "Iraq Study Group" of heavily jowled worthies led by James Baker provided the final seal of Establishment approval for this line, which has been adopted by all the leading Democratic presidential candidates and most of the Party's power players. (It was also the basic theme of John Kerry's presidential campaign: "Hey, I can do this war better than Bush!" Wonder what a young Kerry would have thought of any Democrat who ran for president in 1972 on the theme: "I can fight this Vietnam War better than Nixon!")

And although this new narrative can encompass a good deal of genuinely harsh criticism against the government, the basic premise of the Establishment's long-running, bipartisan foreign policy remains unchallenged: "We have the right to intervene in any country in the world – covertly, overtly, with military force if need be – in order to advance the interests (and the ignorant prejudices) of our ruling cliques." The most any critic within the Establishment – especially one who aspires to high political office – is allowed to say is that a particular intervention has been "mismanaged," or ill-timed, or unproductive, or too expensive. To go beyond that, to say that a war launched by the United States is criminal and immoral, is to be cast into outer darkness, labeled "unserious," banished to the back benches with the cranks and the losers. (The current political situation gives proof to this: where are the Democratic leaders with institutional power or large national followings who will plainly say that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was an immoral act, a work of evil?)

But the underlying assumption of "unilateral action" is never seriously questioned. And it is this bipartisan assumption that drives the entire "War on Terror," which is simply a vast machine for perpetuating and expanding the military-industrialist complex. It obviously has nothing to do with combating terrorism – which it has demonstrably exacerbated – or with bringing peace and democracy to benighted lands.

And thus Somalia, a much-ravaged country that had at last won some measure of stability under its homegrown "Islamic Court" system has been plunged into murder and ruin again. (And to anticipate the tired and tiresome troll objections at this point: No, I wouldn't want to live under Somalia's Islamic Court system, any more than I would want to live under the rule of the hardline religious parties that Bush has installed in power through mass murder in Iraq. Or under the brutal religious tyranny of Bush's family friends and business partners, the Saudis. Hell, I might not even want to live in a dry county. But my lifestyle preferences don't give me the right to invade other countries (or counties!) and slaughter their people and arrange their way of life for them. One can criticize the war crime of military aggression against a country without endorsing that country's way of life in all particulars, or any of them. But I realize this is a logic beyond the dwindling band of Hiatt-like bootlickers who still keep their slavish faith in the Leader.)

Now Somalia's brief moment of stability is gone. Now the nation is occupied by a foreign power, helped in their invasion not only by American training and money but also by extensive U.S. air raids on fleeing refugees who supposedly had "al Qaeda terrorist leaders" among their ranks. (And even turning fleeing Americans, uncharged with any crime, over to the tender mercies of the Ethiopian regime. More on this story after the jump.) But goldang it, wouldn't you know the bombs missed them Qaeders and just killed a bunch of unimportant innocent black nobodies instead. Oh well, as Stalin always said: "When wood is chopped, chips fly." That's pretty much the motto of Bush's "War on Terror."
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