Friday, July 14, 2006

A Gray Morning

I’m currently about three quarters of the way through a book about America’s role in World War 1. It’s called, rather aptly, “The Illusion of Victory”. It contains some truly horrific descriptions of war and some even more frightening descriptions of the incompetence of the leadership in America. Woodrow Wilson is so often revered as the man who set America on the path to Global leadership, making the spread of liberalism and democracy the cornerstone of American foreign policy. It’s curious that in all the criticisms of his arrogance, his isolation from Congress and from the American people, his vision of the US as the moral leader of the world is never questioned.

The idea that the US has both the right and the responsibility to morally shape the world is still at the heart of US foreign policy. While traditional interests and realpolitik still carry significant weight, most policy is still fashioned to fit within this ideological framework. This conflation of interests and values is what saw the US entry into the two World Wars, Vietnam and now Iraq.

The blogger at Baghdad Burning has written:
It's like Baghdad is no longer one city, it's a dozen different smaller cities each infected with its own form of violence. It's gotten so that I dread sleeping because the morning always brings so much bad news. The television shows the images and the radio stations broadcast it. The newspapers show images of corpses and angry words jump out at you from their pages, "civil war… death… killing… bombing… rape…"

With Iraq still crippled by unimaginable sectarian violence three years after “liberating” the Iraqi people, it seems absurd to speak of the progress of democracy and liberty as justification for the war. As the investigation continues into allegations of US soldiers raping a fourteen year old Iraqi girl, then killing her and her entire family, it seems grotesque to hear the Bush administration claim their country is the protector of freedom and human dignity across the globe.

And yet, while politically I’m a realist and generally a bit of a pessimist when it comes to human nature, I also truly hope that it is possible to limit this kind of suffering and conflict. It must be.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even as the administration exploited this Official Story (or "Official Conspiracy Theory") as the pretext to launch new wars long in the making, independent researchers began to accumulate a vast body of evidence suggesting a different narrative for 9/11: that of the Inside Job.
The 9/11 events and the anomalies in the official story raised Unanswered Questions about:
- the unprecedented failure of the US air defense system on the morning of the attacks;
- the AWOL military chain of command during the actual attacks, including the inexplicable behavior of the presidential entourage;
- the seeming impossibility of official claims with regard to Flight 77;
- the evidence that Flight 93 was shot down;
- contradictions and dubious evidence in the official claims about the alleged hijackers and masterminds, and doubts about their real identities;
- signs that the alleged hijackers enjoyed high-level protection against discovery by honest investigators;
- evidence that the alleged hijackers were financed by states allied with US intelligence;
- suspicious and massive international financial trades suggesting foreknowledge of the attacks;
- widespread signs of official foreknowledge and, in fact, advance preparation for the 9/11 attack scenario;
- the long-running links between Islamist fundamentalist terror cells and US covert operations, dating back to CIA support for the anti-Soviet mujahedeen and Osama Bin Ladin himself;
- the demolition-like collapse of the Twin Towers and of a third skyscraper, WTC 7;
- and questions concerning who could have logically expected to derive benefit in the aftermath of a massive attack on the United States.
The suspicions received further confirmation a few weeks after September 11th, with the arrival of anthrax letters targeted only at opposition politicians and media figures, and timed to coincide with the introduction of the USA PATRIOT Act.
Google: 9/11 inside job

12:56 PM  
Blogger Dr Philm said...

As dangerously seductive as conspiracy theories go, that one is pretty 'grand', and inconsistencies notwithstanding, it doesn't really change the ideological basis of America's foreign policy, and repeated "illegal" (if that word has any meaning left at all) international interventions. You could add a dozen or more countries to that list and still not account for half the 'crusades' the U.S. had embarked on over the last century.

I completely feel your sense of anger and helplessness Mu! As far as depressing reads go (although I haven't had time to get into in any real depth), "A Question of Torture" by Alfred McCoy, on CIA 'methods' (particularly in Guantanemo) is enough to make you want to attach jumper cables to certain nether regions of the entire US Political Administration.

"Someday a real rain will come and wash the scum from the White House"...

2:28 PM  
Blogger Hooch said...

"Someday a real reign will come and wash the scum from the White House"...

12:31 AM  
Blogger canoe said...

dr philm and hooch, that quote, as hopeful as it should be, doesn;t actually dimish the fact that politics will always be a dirty game, with fear the driving force behind all decisions and power the only real currency. No leader can overcome that. And generally, the more ideological they are, the more disastrous their policies.

Pass the gin. I promise to cheer up tomorrow.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Jellyfish said...

I am really glad that you are blogging this suff, and not just because I feel guilty I don't write enough about them myself and am relieved that someone else is. *ahem*

I enjoy reading your opinions and think you give very good explanations of things.

I wouls also like to congratulate you on your first visit from Conspiracy Theorists 'R' Us.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice site!
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