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The faces of democracy in Iraq

So... I was surfing my favorite Leftie news sites and I came across an article on motherjones.com. It's titled: "The Iraq War as a Trophy Photo" (http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2006/06/war_porn.html).

Within that artice I found the link above. If anyone ever doubted the old addage: "A picture is worth a thousand words".... its a good argument in the old wisdom's favor. I felt I should post something.... But I am uncertain as to what to say.... I am nearly speechless, almost numbed - due to the horrrifying images I found there. What are foremost in my mind are TWO WORDS, not a thousand. Those two words are "COLLATERAL DAMAGE" as the Bush Administration and US media like to refer to civilian casualties among the Iraqi people. The callous denigration and objectification of human beings and human suffering in that phrase is appalling, and as horrifying as the images themselves. I am dumb-founded as to how people who espouse a love of peace, a respect for human life and human dignity, and fairness for all can be so cavalier and show such a complete disregard for their fellow humans and spout such garbage. I am equally as dumb-founded as to how anyone can stomach such blatent propagandizing and false testimony on a continuing basis. I can only suppose the continuing support (although it is thankfully waning) for the Iraq adventure among US politicians and segments of the US populace is due to the complete disjoint between what is happening on the ground in Iraq and what the US people see of it. None of the americans I know personally would tolerate what Bush and his closet SS have done for long.

If you have a strong stomach - check out the photos. The afterdowningstreet site has galleries of civilians, wounded and killed, including children, scenes of how US soldiers treat the people they are apprehending for questioning, and a couple of galleries of trophy photos. These pictures are graphic in the extreme, and not for everyone to look at.

I used to wonder at how the "Insurgents" seemed able to move amongst the population, with seeming impunity, and not get reported. I wondered at how the Iraqi people could turn from cheering the arrival of US and British troops to universally distrusting them, and in many cases, outright hatred. Having had a small taste of what the Iraqis see every single day: horrendous "collateral damage", Iraqi bodies piled in the street and left to rot.... I can understand why some Iraqis have been horrified and angered into picking up a Kalashnikov or a rocket launcher. This is the the real effect of "shock and awe" tactics: people shocked and awed into a bloody rage, beyond reason. I think I understand now why so many experts say that the majority of guerilla fighters in Iraq are home grown resistance fighters, not foreign "insurgents". You can only subject people to so much "collateral damage", before the loss and/ or maiming of loved ones becomes a call to war.

This article asks hard questions, indeed. I will have to admit that as I read the article I toyed with the idea of clicking on the image links but did not. Thanks for posting it, graven.

I am not anti-war on principle, because I think that there are things worth fighting for and against, but it is not ever something to undertake voluntarily, as W has in Iraq. This article, and probably the pictures linked therin, is a good indication why.

Nor am I anti-war just on principle. I do believe there are times and reasons for which reasonable people may have to fight for just causes. And they must do it voluntarily. But, the men and women in Iraq, as well as those in Afghanistan, are laying it on the line for the flimsiest of excuses... designed to hide the real reason: for the greed of the uber-wealthy.

The people the soldiers were told they were there to benefit are still suffering. In the case of Iraq, they are suffering more than they did under a brutal dictatorship. That is a statement in and of itself. The soldiers stationed there are ill-trained to play the sort of role they should be, and are totally bereft of any semblance of responsible, accountable leadership.

I guess the photos came as a slap to the face, kind of like having ice cold water suddenly dumped on you. Those images demonstrate very clearly the brutality, the ugliness, the suffering and tragedy that inevitably accompany war. I think they speak, with brutal honesty, of the reasons that war should never be entered into lightly. The resort to violence must always be reserved as the last recourse, when all other options have been tried and have failed. There should also be a very clear and present danger to society at large.

The Bush Administration is subjecting a generation of young american service personnel and millions of arabs of all ages to untold horrors in the name of greed. It seems ironic to the point of being disgusting that a man who did everything a spoiled, rich, well-connected american can do to avoid his own period service during a time of conflict (when his peers were all answering their country's call [I won't argue the rightness or wrongness of that here]to Viet Nam)can so freely spout the rhetoric of duty, and national obligation. It is saddening to see so many buy into it.

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