Back To Iraq, And Welcome To The Suicide State
By Danny Schechter
New York, New York: I feel like an Iraq war veteran not because I served in that still ongoing war.
No one thanked me for my service, and all praises be, I was not among those who were killed, wounded or traumatized on our side or theirs?
I was a veteran in the same sense that I was during Vietnam, as a journalist, for years, totally absorbed in the war from the building to the first shots fired and bombs dropped, as a daily blogger, a film maker that made WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception about the media war that was fought alongside the invasion and two books discussing that coverage in detail. Embedded (Prometheus Books, 2003) and When News Lies: Media Complicity and the Iraq War (Select Books, 2006). I later commented on the issues for AlJazeera's global website.
After such a deep immersion, I was burned out and delighted to focus on another issue, the war at home---the Financial Crisis. I directed two films, In Debt We Trust and Plunder to investigate that crisis. and wrote there companion books from 2006 to 2010.
But, now, Iraq is calling me back as the US plans a new round of bombing, not necessarily that it believes will be any more successful than the murderous Shock and Awe campaign was, but the pressure to "do something" is heard as a call to return to the limited playbook that gets trotted out in all these conflicts. Yes, Virginia, generals do fight the last wars,
an invasion justified by lies and deception is being treated with a certain
nostalgia with frequent interviews with pro-war veterans and loud prescriptions
for more Pentagonian violence by Neocons who made the mess in the first place. Howard Dean called out the networks for giving
"experts" who were so wrong the first time around airtime to call for more US
Dean said neoconservatives "have no idea what they're doing" and criticized Sunday talk shows for presenting political viewpoints instead of impartial analysis of what is occurring in the region.
"The problem is the Sunday talk shows are in decline, and that's because all they have are people on there who either do political posturing like Sen. [Lindsey] Graham -- who actually is very smart and knows a lot about defense, but the statements he made are clearly political and silly -- and Judith Miller, who has no credibility whatsoever, who was fired from The New York Times for essentially misleading them and all its readers."
Yet, this time around there are calls from the Obamanoughts who favor liberal intervention. The "tough" guys of 2003 have been replaced by the tough gals of 2014.
Writes Bob Dreyfus in the Nation: "It's appropriate that two of the leading liberal interventionists, both of whom have served in prominent positions in Barack Obama's administration -- are named Power and Slaughter.
Samantha Power, of course, is Obama's ambassador to the United Nations, and a leading advocate of using American force overseas, especially when in her opinion civilian casualties can be exaggerated as "genocide." And Anne-Marie Slaughter, long a foreign policy insider and currently head of the New America Foundation, served under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as director of policy planning at the State Department (2009-2011). Back in 2011"
True to her name, Slaughter is seeking more US slaughter on the ground. Interesting isn't it that an Administration that backs massive NSA Surveillance, was caught off guard by the ISIS offensive in Iraq that seized cities and now oil fields. So much for the brilliant prognosticators in our intelligence agencies who also missed Putin's move into Crimea.
Of course, the media jumped in with all its baggage. Suddenly there were new terrorists to excoriate with very little airtime devoted to explaining the corruption and failures of the Maliki regime that we brought to power, and who played the ethnic card by stigmatizing Sunnis and brutalizing critics.
The voices of Iraq Veterans again the war were, of course, not heard. In a press release, they "call on the Obama administration to learn from the lessons of our country's past and to pursue non-military diplomatic solutions in supporting the people of Iraq in reaching reconciliation."