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Through the Looking Glass in Iraq

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What’s going on in Baghdad?

Wasn’t that “surge” and security crackdown supposed to be reducing the violence?

Certainly that was the argument Bush made when he announced his latest new “strategy” of adding 21,500 troops to the occupying force in Iraq. He said that the so-called “surge” was needed to “reduce the cycle of violence,” but so far, the violence has only increased, with more bombings, more killings, more Iraqis—both Shias and Sunnis—dying, and more American troops being killed.

This is progress?

I guess maybe it is in the Through the Looking Glass world inhabited by the president and by the vice president, who recently declared that the decision by Britain to cut and run from Basra was a sign of “progress” in the Iraq War.

Maybe President Cheney (a man who, after all, has a hard time distinguishing a quail from a hunting companion), really believes that the increasing violence in Baghdad is some kind of death spasm of the resistance to US occupation and to the fratricidal conflict that the US War on Iraq has ignited.

He was saying that the insurgency was in its “death throes” back in May 2005, and we all see how dead they are today.

No doubt Vice thinks that the upsurge in violence in Baghdad and in western Iraq (what the US Marines refer to now as “Marineland”), is evidence that the U.S.; is winning, too.

It must be heartening to the U.S. troops who see their buddies being cut down, and to the families of the dead, to know that we are winning over there. If we win any more, though, the president may have to reinstate the draft to keep enough targets, er I mean boots, on the ground.

It's a bad sign that the "surge"--a word that was meant to imply a brief, dramatic increase in troop numbers, followed by a drawdown--now appears likely to last well into 2008, meaning a year or more, which sounds more like an escalation of the war than a "surge."  But hey, we're talking semantics here, right, not lives. 

While we’re still inside the mirror, how about the support this administration has been giving those troops?

You go over to Iraq or Afghanistan, give your all, get chewed up by an AK-47 or a roadside bomb, or all too often by friendly fire from your own side, and then come home, often missing some body parts, to rat-infested quarters and a military/Veterans Administration bureaucracy that works tirelessly to deny you treatment and a disability rating.

In Bush/Cheney Land, I guess that’s called “supporting the troops.”

It is this altered reality which the Democrats, now in control of Congress, are talking about bringing to a merciful conclusion…at the end of 2008.

And that’s what they call taking a stand against the war.

Clearly it’s not just Bush and Cheney who have gone through the mirror.

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Dave Lindorff, winner of a 2019 "Izzy" Award for Outstanding Independent Journalism from the Park Center for Independent Media in Ithaca, is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper (more...)

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