Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Iraq as Performance Art 

Are they serious? It makes no sense as a war anymore, but has become a bizarre attempt at Performance Art -- with real blood as the medium.
RangerAgainstWar alerts us to the newest American tactic, phoney war:
U.S. tax dollars are building Iraqi businesses and boosting their economy, but instead of reaping any publicity benefits from the endeavors, U.S. officials stress that the effort will only work if the U.S. contribution is totally "invisible," this "given the hostility toward the U.S." (These Raids in Iraq Look Real, But They Aren't.) So part of what the U.S. forces are tasked with in this phony war on terror is staging phony raids in order to help those Iraqis ostensibly on our side to be made to be seen as though they are really phony U.S. enemies. Got it?
This is a make-work program from the Americans, who are hoping it will also "keep otherwise idle men from joining the insurgency." As well, the Iraqi component of this project stressed the importance of keeping the U.S. role secret.
Robert Fisk in the Independent describes the newest US technique for stabilizing Baghdad -- ghettos:
The initial emphasis of the new American plan will be placed on securing Baghdad market places and predominantly Shia Muslim areas. Arrests of men of military age will be substantial . . . the new project will involve joint American and Iraqi "support bases" in nine of the 30 districts to be "gated" off. From these bases - in fortified buildings - US-Iraqi forces will supposedly clear militias from civilian streets which will then be walled off and the occupants issued with ID cards. Only the occupants will be allowed into these "gated communities" and there will be continuous patrolling by US-Iraqi forces. There are likely to be pass systems, "visitor" registration and restrictions on movement outside the "gated communities". Civilians may find themselves inside a "controlled population" prison . . .
. . . another former senior US officer has produced his own pessimistic conclusions about the "gated" neighbourhood project.
"Once the additional troops are in place the insurrectionists will cut the lines of communication from Kuwait to the greatest extent they are able," he told The Independent. "They will do the same inside Baghdad, forcing more use of helicopters. The helicopters will be vulnerable coming into the patrol bases, and the enemy will destroy as many as they can. The second part of their plan will be to attempt to destroy one of the patrol bases. They will begin that process by utilising their people inside the 'gated communities' to help them enter. They will choose bases where the Iraqi troops either will not fight or will actually support them.
"The American reaction will be to use massive firepower, which will destroy the neighbourhood that is being 'protected'."
The ex-officer's fears for American helicopter crews were re-emphasised yesterday when a military Apache was shot down over central Baghdad . . .
Here's a family walking past where a carbomb killed six people. This is the kind of thing children in Iraq see every day. No wonder they're leaving if they can:

We have "the world's fastest growing refugee crisis" in the countries surrounding Iraq as 2.2 million Iraqis flee. The website Refugees International reports:
“Iraqis who are unable to flee the country are now in a queue, waiting their turn to die,” is how one Iraqi journalist summarizes conditions in Iraq today. While the US debates whether a civil war is raging in Iraq, thousands of Iraqis face the possibility of death every day all over the country.
A short story in this week's New Yorker contains this little-known fact about suicide bombers:
“Where there are suicide bombings. Maybe you don’t want to hear this.”
“I don’t know.”
“In those places where it happens, the survivors, the people nearby who are injured, sometimes, months later, they develop bumps, for lack of a better term, and it turns out this is caused by small fragments, tiny fragments of the suicide bomber’s body. The bomber is blown to bits, literally bits and pieces, and fragments of flesh and bone come flying outward with such force and velocity that they get wedged, they get fixed in the body of anyone who’s in striking range. Do you believe it? A student is sitting in a café. She survives the attack. Then, months later, they find these little, like, pellets of flesh, human flesh that got driven into her skin. They call this organic shrapnel.”
He tweezered another splinter of glass out of Keith’s face.
“This is something I don’t think you have,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bush keeps giving the same speech over and over, even CNN can't stand it anymore and cuts away . . .
Yeats had it right, after all:
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world . . .

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