Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Those memoirs keep coming out

I guess Gen. Sanchez is now cashing in. I guess I'm too jaded to be shocked these days by the revelations in these various tell-alls that are making their way to bookstores everywhere. That said, the revelations, while not "shocking" are still damning. This passage alone (including the quote of Bush) speaks volumes:

Let me briefly set the scene, as Sanchez tells it on pages 349-350 of Wiser in Battle. It's April 6, 2004. L. Paul Bremer III, head of the occupation's Coalition Provisional Authority, as well as the President's colonial viceroy in Baghdad, and Gen. Sanchez were in Iraq in video teleconference with the President, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. (Assumedly, the event was recorded and so revisitable by a note-taking Sanchez.) The first full-scale American offensive against the resistant Sunni city of Fallujah was just being launched, while, in Iraq's Shiite south, the U.S. military was preparing for a campaign against cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia.

According to Sanchez, Powell was talking tough that day: "We've got to smash somebody's ass quickly," the general reports him saying. "There has to be a total victory somewhere. We must have a brute demonstration of power." (And indeed, by the end of April, parts of Fallujah would be in ruins, as, by August, would expanses of the oldest parts of the holy Shiite city of Najaf. Sadr himself would, however, escape to fight another day; and, in order to declare Powell's "total victory," the U.S. military would have to return to Fallujah that November, after the U.S. presidential election, and reduce three-quarters of it to virtual rubble.) Bush then turned to the subject of al-Sadr: "At the end of this campaign al-Sadr must be gone," he insisted to his top advisors. "At a minimum, he will be arrested. It is essential he be wiped out."

Not long after that, the President "launched" what an evidently bewildered Sanchez politely describes as "a kind of confused pep talk regarding both Fallujah and our upcoming southern campaign [against the Mahdi Army]." Here then is that "pep talk." While you read it, try to imagine anything like it coming out of the mouth of any other American president, or anything not like it coming out of the mouth of any evil enemy leader in the films of the President's -- and my -- childhood:

"'Kick ass!' [Bush] said, echoing Colin Powell's tough talk. 'If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can't send that message. It's an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal.

"There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!'"

Keep in mind that the bloodlusty rhetoric of this "pep talk" wasn't meant to rev up Marines heading into battle. These were the President's well-embunkered top advisors in a strategy session on the eve of major military offensives in Iraq.
My emphasis added. The whole "war on terra" has been an exercise in pagan bloodlust complete with propaganda; outright lies; mass slaughter, displacement and social death that can only be called genocidal; mercenaries run amok; widespread corporate looting and corruption; torture; and a complicit Congress that even as more and more of these revelations filter in to the collective conscious of the American public cannot bring itself to do the right thing and begin impeachment proceedings. A commenter to the article I just quoted made a great statement:
Lets see how tough they are while standing trial for war crimes.
I wish that there were the necessary political will for the US government to do so on its own. As I have expressed elsewhere, if these folks ever do stand trial for war crimes, it will likely have to be imposed from some entity outside the US. The conditions that would allow that to happen are difficult to imagine, but my guess is that those conditions would include some sort of spectacular economic and military meltdown of the Empire, thus emboldening those who have sought justice for so long. Sadly, the best we seem to get for now is the occasional isolated effort to arrest one of these perps during overseas junkets.

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