This post was composed in February.
It is now September. I came across it looking for something else, but I haven't changed my opinion so it is being reposted.
The links are still active, if dated.
"Today in Iraq" relocated to Iraq Today. Same dismal theme. Seems to follow the same meticulous attention to comprehensive detail. The reports speak for themselves. Editorial flourishes would be redundant.
Gentle reader, if you are among those who support the war in Iraq, you probably need to skip this post. I doubt it will dissuade you from your position and it may just make you angry. But something in me this morning overcomes the need to be polite. I am driven to put together a protest against the ugly madness being sponsored in Iraq by our country. In line with history's most compelling theme, the myth of redemptive violence (PDF link) is being expressed in the bloodiest terms imaginable. Our children, not yet or just barely into their twenties, are being fitted with uniforms and trained ro be warriors. They are being dispatched to Iraq, Afghanistan and other places around the world on a variety of missions, most of which are noble but one of which, the adventure in Iraq, is a despicable and tragic blunder.
I hoped to see in these last two years of a lame-duck administration pulling down the war effort and making a sincere effort at getting our children out of a no-win situation. They and their patriotic, dedicated, experienced career commanders and strategists, are doing all in their power to make lemonade out of a lemon. But sadly, to follow that silly metaphor, the lemons are poison and there is no sugar to be had.
The best way to "support the troops" is to get them out of Iraq's civil war as soon as possible. Our Senators and Congressmen seem frozen in a state of inaction, fearful of the consequences should they do anything unpopular. I have to give credit to the president in this regard. He hasn't let the weight of public opinion stop him from making unpopular moves. The deeper he sinks in the polls, the more determined he seems to advance this mindless agenda of "helping the Iraqis build Democracy." At least that is the language being used. I have no words to speak to that argument.
This morning I am linking to Today in Iraq. I usually skip over this link on my aggregator because it makes me mad. But today I got caught up on my reading and decided to take a look. Today's link alone is some thirty seven monitor screens in length (twenty-five, or so, if you use F11 to collapse the toolbars), filled with link after link of current information that exposes the madness of this war for all to see and read.
[Note: If you are using Internet Explorer, this page will not fully load on your screen. To view the full page, hit your F11 button twice.]
Iraq Leads Another Bloody Year for the Press
Arab Families Will Not Be Forced To Leave Kirkuk – Kurdish official
More Attacks Target National Grid
Time to Head Home
A media with no ethics
“I Discovered I Was Made Pregnant By A Rapist”
Asylum Seekers In Jordan To Increase Threefold
“Stealing Is The Easiest Job In Iraq Today”
“I’m an 11-year-old boy who has never been to school - so I can neither read nor write. For the past two years I have been living on the streets of Baghdad, surviving on leftovers that I scavenge from garbage or by stealing from people and shop-lifting. “When I first started, I was scared that at any time the police would catch me for stealing. Now it has become easy for me to steal. I have become an expert and the proof is the title my peers have given me. They call me ‘the young king’. “People might be surprised to hear a child like me being happy for being an expert at stealing and looting things but in a country like Iraq, where most people are without homes and food, the hero is the one who can survive by whatever means. “I’m an orphan and don’t know who my parents are. Nor do I know if they are alive or dead. I was taken into an orphanage when I was four years old and since then different people have been taking care of me. They were not good people. During [former president Saddam Hussein] Saddam’s time, police officers sometimes used to come and have sex with older boys. “I ran away from the orphanage during the [US-led] invasion with another three boys in 2003. But three months ago they abandoned me as they discovered the world of drugs.
More at the link...
Just like a scene from Oliver. Makes you think that Fagin is about to make an appearance and start singing You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two...
There are many ways to dismiss these images. Populations at war employ them all.
I have a great love for the American musical tradition, but sometimes I think that musicals, along with Hollywood movies and popular television have jaded our sensibilities to the point that we no longer have a real understanding of tragedy. Fiddler on the Roof comes to mind.
I'm tired of copying and pasting links, so I'll stop here. It's Saturday morning and I have other things to do. Scores of other bad reports follow the ones I linked.
With some ninety percent of hits to this blog coming from searches I doubt many people will read this post, but putting it together has helped me release a bit of frustration.
I hope my handful of regular readers will excuse me.