Sunday, April 30, 2006

Progress in the War on Terror

For a long time, I have thought President Bush engages in willful ignorance and wishful thinking when he insists, over and over, that the U.S. is "making progress in the war on terror," "advancing freedom across the Middle East," and gaining ground at winning the hearts and minds of Iraqis as they struggle to create a stable society from the ruined infrastructure "his" soldiers are occupying.

Non-military Americans are regularly encouraged to pretend nothing out of the ordinary is going on: "Go to work. Go on vacation. Go shopping," we're told. We should try pretending another lifestyle. We should try going a day or so without water, electricity and gas. Pretend that a few of our husbands and wives and children and parents and aunts and uncles and cousins have been killed by bombs. We should imagine that every plane passing overhead may be about to drop another bomb, and every car passing on the street outside may be filled with explosives and a suicide bomber. Americans with a family member in Iraq already live in this state of terrible grief and fear for their loved ones. Thousands of traumatized veterans are struggling with PTSD, lost limbs and brain damage.

Now, however, learning that the U.S. is finally admitting that the Iraq war is responsible for a quadrupling of terror attacks and admitting by explicit denial that Iraq is now a safe haven for terrorists to learn terror skills for use around the globe, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2157116,00.html, I begin to suspect that when Bush talks about "progress," that's exactly what he means.

He wants more and more violence, more and more dead people lying in the streets of Baghdad and Manhattan, Madrid, London. More death, more fear, more war, means more power and more money for him and his friends. They are making "progress in the war on terror." They are making more terror, and soon more war. The same article also notes that the Pentagon would like to reduce the number of Americans KIA (killed in action) to the "politically sustainable" figure of one per day. I guess one devastated family and community per day is what Bush means by sustainability.


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