Thursday, March 20, 2014

On The 11th Anniversary Of The Iraq War-U.S./Allied Troops Out Of Afghanistan Now! 

From The Pen Of Frank Jackman

[No this writer is not lost in a time warp, nor  is he suffering from a senior moment in noting the 11th Anniversary of the ill-fated, ill-advised, ill, well, let’s just keep it as the previous two, start of the now seemingly completed fiasco in Iraq. However although American troops have mainly been withdrawn many thousand American bought and paid for “contract” soldiers are still operating in that theater. Moreover the wreckage from the huge American footprint (boot print, really) is still wreaking havoc on that benighted land from lack of electrical power to unexploded bombs to speak nothing of the current constant political turmoil between the myriad factions struggling for power. Then there is the question of those tens of thousands of soldiers switched over within a heartbeat from benighted Iraq to benighted Afghanistan. The call for immediate troop withdrawal from Afghanistan if not drawing much support in these back- burner concern days is still a necessary call. Finally, if there is a modern example  of the follies of war, of a needless imperial adventure, of flat-out American imperial hubris to do something explosive (in more ways than one) then the ill-famed Iraq invasion started on March 19, 2003 should be etched in every leftist militant, hell, every thoughtful citizen’s brain.]        

After listening to the evening news that May1st 2003 Tim Reid was deeply satisfied that he had stuck to his guns and defended President Bush’s decision in March to go into Iraq and get rid of that mad man and vicious killer Saddam Hussein before he unleashed holy hell on the United States and the world with those dreaded weapons of mass destruction that Tim was sure would be discovered very soon. That evil bastard had had plenty of time to hide them in some out of the way place not easily accessible especially with military operations proceeding apace. That evening President Bush had announced that major operations had been suspended against the porous melting Iraqi army and that the road to democratic nation-building in Iraq could now go forward, full- steam ahead. Some lives, sadly some American lives, had been lost, but not many not as against what might have happened had Saddam not been toppled. The military operation had been in the words of one correspondent who quoted an anonymous military source “a slam dunk.”       

Tim thought back to his younger days, days when he had opposed the President’s father, George H.W., in the first Iraq war back in 1991 and was able to draw a very big distinction between that opposition which to his mind was basically being drawn into a squabble between dictators and sheiks and not really any of our business and this. Times had changed (and he would take into the mix that he had changed too now being the father of two young ones and, as any father would do, trying to protect them from a dangerous world any way he could), 9/11 happened, happened right here in New York City , and happened to people he knew and cared about,  and no further reference was needed that there were bad guys in the world, bad guys aiming their arrows in our direction, and they needed to be stamped out like cockroaches. And Saddam was the numero uno state actor on that list especially with atomic bombs and biological bombs and other stuff the CIA and other national security agencies knew he had hidden somewhere. Now that the dust of battle had settled they would be able to go in and destroy all those damn things and while it might still be a dangerous world at least it was a smidgeon less so.      

Later that night, that May Day night, after the kids had gone to bed, and Sheila was doing something in the study, some homey thing like she did after the kid wars of the day were done he sat on the sofa, television now off, a book in hand to finish the night off, a snooze off probably, Tim flashed back for just a minute to those 1991 days. Days when he was ready to raise infinite amounts of hell to stop that first Iraq war, had even joined an ad hoc anti-imperialist committee here in the city made of old time progressives, pacifists, and socialists in order to combine with others in his fury against the big bad American military machine wreaking havoc on the world . He had that year, ironically, even marched in the small May Day parade down at Union Square, the place where today’s anti-war activists had launch their latter-day marches. How times had changed, how he had changed. And just for one second he wished he could still be that old Tim Reid. But just for a second…                

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