Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Sands of Iraq and Dover Beach

I don't know what's going on in Iraq. Neither do you. Each of us must rely on information that is gathered by others, condensed by others, and presented by others. Even if you're visiting this blog from a laptop in the Green Zone, you don't really know what's going on 20 miles away.

For months, though, we've been promised that we will be getting a status report from General Petraeus. While I didn't really have high hopes for the impartiality of a report that amounts to a self-evaluation, I was at least looking forward to a report that would be a military assessment instead of a political argument. After 4 plus years of rightwing cheerleaders telling us how wonderful things are, and 4 plus years of lists of dead American soldiers every week, it would be nice to have someone in command stating his view of where things stand militarily.

We learned earlier this week that the Petraeus Report will not happen. There will be no Petraeus Report. The White House will write the report. And it's even worse than that. The White House will write the report "with inputs from officials throughout the government," which means that we will get a thoroughly vetted and processed version with every spun nuance to be found within the Bush Regime.

This morning, I am as disgusted by our federal government as I've ever been. From Powell's bogus photos of chemical trucks during the marketing campaign to the embedded reporters at the beginning of the war to the suppressed photos of coffins and casualties all the way up to the White House Report (f/k/a Petraeus Report, and any news outlet that refers to the "Petraeus Report" after this news will be playing along with an Administration lie), the American public has consistently been denied access to the unvarnished truth.

I am not an informed citizen. You are not an informed citizen. When you vote, you do so based upon deeply flawed and biased presentation of controlled information. If you're a rightwinger, you might believe that the mainstream media are the source of misinformation. If you're a progressive, you believe that the Bush Administration is lying to us.

We're both correct, and Matthew Arnold comes to mind:
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
Welcome to Dover Beach.


Phil Cardarella said...

To quote Joe Biden (probably quoting someone else) "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts."

There is such a thing as objective truth in some areas: Ain't no WMDs, for example.

Anyone who thought Petreus was going to give an objective report should avoid land speculation in Florida real estate. The Bushies fire generals who tell the truth, like Shinsecki (sp?) and the poor guy who investigated the Abu Graib (sp?) torturing.

This is all show to make it look like the Dems are responsible when things in Iraq go to hell when we leave. But we must leave sometime. To quote a high-ranking official, "Removing Saddam just isn't worth spilling the blood of American soldiers1" (Dick Chaney, 1994).

This is a gut check for the Democrats in Congress. Do they have any?

demdreamweaver said...

"If you break it, you bought"- Colin Powell on the Pottery Barn analogy...The problem is no political party wants to take responsibilty for this quagmire. As a democrat I do not look forward to years of "they cut and ran". As a human being, the toll on humanity in what is rightly considered the cradle of civilization is much too high a price to pay.
The cynic in me wonders what made Cheney change his mind since 94, could it be his Halliburton and energy contacts? There are American companies that are making a profit on the backs of our soldiers, meanwhile our military is in a state of emergency. God help us if we nned them, will they be ready? Where is the Fulbright of our time, who in congress will stand up for our fighting men and women? Great post!

Anonymous said...

You could enlist into the Military and hopefully get transfer to Iraq. There you could write on your blog and let us know what is going on.
Get a penpal from Iraq then that person could tell you.

demdreamweaver said...

Paintman 9:52
I dont need to enlist, frankly the military might not want me, I'll just take my cousins' word for it, or maybe my neighbors' son who was woefully under prepared and not trained fully, or maybe I will ask my brother who just got back from his second tour of duty. Yeah, thats exactly what I will do, I'll ask my brother who is a true patriot, what he thinks. I am afraid, I already know the answer.

demdreamweaver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
we don't need no stink'in indoctrination said...

DemDreamweaver and Dan Ryan, you two have it right.

Yet, people like Paintman want us all to be indoctrinated by the Defense Department before we can chime in like a citizen should. As Archie Bunker said, Love it or leave it. To me the indoctrination is the REAL enemy.

The indoctrination that the troops face is too strong for most of them to walk away from when their tour(s)end. Some of of the troops will become candidates who smile a pretty smile, but ultimately believe that wars of aggression and torture in interrogations are both just fine.

Yes, I know a some vets will speak out against what Bush, Cheney and their ilk have done. And those brave vets have already been targeted for scorn and retribution by the Administration.

So don't get me wrong, I welcome returning vet's participation in politics, but I will feel better if I see them at some Peace Rallies (and posing for pictures at those rallies) before they expect me to vote for them. But that goes for all candidates for public office in my book.

I worry about a whole generation of 20-something (highly indoctrinated) vets entering politics who may be hiding a deeply seeded neo-con perspective. Hundreds or thousands of little Manchurian Candidates running for low offices first and then moving up the ladder.

At the very least, I fear we are going to get a great number of young "Duke Cunningham" candidates who will wrap themselves in the flag, with the belief that the ends justify the means.

"Just touch the scum bags with something hot, so we can get the answers we need to hear and get back to the compound in time for beer call. Wait, someone take a picture of me with my hand on my gun to send home for the file."

The rules that made America the envy of the world are for chumps from the perspective of the Duke Cunningham-type. They do a lot of damage to the country before they are led off to prison blubbering because they did not think the rules applied to them.

I think we are going to deal with the residual aspects of this neo-con war for a very long time to come.

Anonymous said...

"we don't need no stink'in indoctrination said"

Most soldiers have a calling to go to war and others like yourself are branded with a name " John Kerryians" or in other words "chicken shit"

The funny thing about peace rallies is the war is still going on and your group is like a homeless person. It doesn't get any worse and it doesn't get any better. Your in limbo.

You would have a better chance if you can get a prayer rally for peace. You have a better chance if God was involved in your crusades.

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