Monday, January 8, 2007


Bush’s leaked plan to increase the number of “American”—

(I’ve always hated the US-centric notion that the US is “America” when there are many countries in North and Central and South “America” besides us)

—troops in Iraq by twenty thousand or so has nothing to do with “victory” as they claim it does.

And they know it, since their own generals and advisors have made it clear that there is no way to win in Iraq without at least a hundred thousand more troops and a commitment of being in that country for at least another ten years.

And even those figures are only a guess, and would be impossible to fulfill or maintain and most likely end up “losing” Iraq anyway.

The “surge” idea has nothing to do with military “victory”—but a political one.

It’s the neo-conservatives response to the James-Baker-led commission report, which indirectly but obviously blamed the neo-cons for making a mistake with their “pre-emptive war” idea, and in their execution of that preemptive war and its aftermath.

And it’s the usual replay of the battles of the so-called “1960s”—

(what is usually meant by summoning up that decade is: the late 1960s and early 1970s, i.e. the time of the amping up of the Viet Nam war and the anti-war movement, ending with the eventual withdrawal of “American” troops)

—in which the rightwing Republicans, and later the neoconservatives, have always accused “liberal” Democrats of “losing” Viet Nam because they didn’t increase the troop strength and use even more bombing as well as so-called “tactical” “battlefield” nukes.

(It’s not a coincidence that the Bush administration is authorizing the building of a new version of “tactical” nuclear weapons, with supposedly “limited” fall-out etc.)

This way, if the newly-Democratically-controlled Congress refuses to support the “surge,” Republican right-wingers, led by the neo-cons, will be able to accuse “liberal Democrats” of “losing” Iraq by refusing to send in more troops.

And then, for the first time, these same right-wingers will acknowledge the incredible loss of life in Iraq among civilians, as well as the loss of so many Iraqi refugees fleeing the country, but will rewrite reality to make it appear that this was a result of “liberal” resistance to their brilliant planning and intentions.

(If the Democrats and more moderate Republicans succeed in thwarting the “surge” don’t be surprised if the administration suddenly reverses course on its limited allowance of how many Iraqis it will let into the US and makes it a lot easier for a lot more Iraqi refugees to get in, something they’ve been blocking so as not to give credence to the reality of the failure there, which the refugee problem makes obvious as anyone with any professional skills, or Christian or secular beliefs and practices, as well as ordinary Sunnis and Shites, flee from the violence and chaos.)

Whereas, if the “surge” is approved, highly unlikely as that is, and Iraq is still “lost,” highly likely, the neoconservatives can say they had the right plan but it was executed incorrectly, or it was sabotaged by “the liberal media” or by “liberal” Democrats whose criticism gave hope to “the enemy.”

An “enemy”—at least as far as Iraq is concerned—that didn’t even exist before the neo-cons got their hands on that country. “Surge” indeed.


Lisa D. said...

Dear 60's Radical,
Thanks for writing about this. The hubby and I have been talking about the upcoming ride to Washington to protest the war in Iraq. Should we go? Is it worthwhile? And what would we accomplish? Has the government so sanitized this kind of protest that it is virtually ineffective? Would it be more effective if we go, but break rank and run up on the lawn of the White House? What kind of grand gesture could this generation stage to get their (and the country's attention)? A thousand white Starbucks cups filled with piss, thrown on the lawn? Or how about a thousand cups filled with oil? is great, and I send emails and sign petitions on a weekly basis but we may as well rename it, because it's now as automatic and useless as that.
I want to do the next right thing, but what is that? Can you help?
Outraged but Unsure in Maplewood

Lally said...

I wish I had an easy answer, but the circumstances out of which the 1960s movements arose were much different than they are now. The simplest answer is that the current circumstances must shape the response. Some '60s methods, without the self-righteous attitude hopefully, can contribute—i.e. teach-ins, campus and local organizing, coordination of various groups and issues to form larger groups that join to generate demonstrations of masses of people, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, impossible to ignore back then, but may need even more to not be ignored today, with a much larger populace and a much less focused media. But other, newer tactics are necessary, like the cellphone generated events that have occurred in recent years, doing that on a massive scale. The basic tenant is still the one the famous Wobbly martyr Joe Hill immortalized in his last message to his fellow Wobblies—"Don't mourn, oragnize!"