Surrealpolitic for surreal times.: A Grim Reaping

10.21.2006

A Grim Reaping

In America we are enmeshed in our own political game of horse trading. The news, depending upon what station you watch, has either declared a Democrat sweep or a Republican reaffirmation. The Republican's latest strategy is not to discuss the war in the Middle East which is interesting considering they haven't discussed the war since the polls showed unfavorable numbers. George W. Bush, in what can be considered as a sort of maybe kind of concession acknowledged that the current upswing of violence in Iraq has a resemblance to the 1968 Tet Offensive in the Vietnam conflict prompting the question, "so when is the fall of Saigon supposed to happen?"

Not to sound like an alarmist, but in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the situation is getting worse. Much worse. "Coalition" troops are now engaged in killing sprees on innocent men, women and, most horribly, children. Red Cross reports are pouring in on how the U.S. policy of "enemy combatants" which essentially means civilian populations, is the cause of well over a half a million deaths. Families are bombed, shot and withheld medical aid, food or any sort of assistance. As though the terrorists we are fighting are indistinguishable from the population. This is exactly what happened in Vietnam. With one exceptional element: Religion.

In Vietnam there were no religious overtones which can take any low intensity conflict and turn it into a full blown centuries long war. The Administration, in ignoring this glaring fact, has embroiled the United States and its "allies" in a new struggle which they've admitted may last decades, if we're lucky. The BBC has reported that "those in Iraq who previously never considered themselves as part of a secterian group, are now forced to do so." Once Saddam and the Taliban fell (probably a good thing overall) the United States' complete lack of postwar planning has caused almost total political chaos, that the only thing most of these fractious leaders agree upon is that America is their enemy. Generations from now Iraqi and Afghani children will tell their children of when the westerners came to their nation and killed their friends and families and bombed their communities without descrimination or concern. From these hundreds of thousands of memories more enemies will emerge. What happened in Vietnam stayed in Vietnam, but rest assured the ghost of what we are doing in the Middle East now will return to haunt us.

It only took 19 men with box cutters and a religious cause (removing US troops from Saudi Arabia is one of Bin Laden's prime raison d'etres) to bring the United States economy and way of life to a grinding halt not to mention shred our notion of habeas corpus. So you tell me, how many more do you think we're making now? If America doesn't change its policies (and it may be too late) of murdering indescriminately innocent civilians, we will be faced with the results for years to come. If you want an example, look at Britian in the 70s and France in the 80s. That is what happens when you subjugate entire peoples to irrational violence. They tend to return the favor.

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