Saturday, October 23, 2010

A leaky ship

A smart man once said, "Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it." Oh Chomsky, why don't more people listen to you? Unfortunately, people usually only listen to good advice once the time has passed to take it.
It appears that the US is the poster child for not only avoiding good advice but doing the exact opposite. Again, while our media (as I perused CNN's website) seems more interested in cool youtube videos and retracing Chandra Levy's steps, mad mayhem is ensuing due to a Wikileaks report on the Iraqi war.
Over 400,000 previously classified war documents showcase evidence of war crimes. Amongst other things: The documents show that there were more than 109,000 violent deaths between 2004 and the end of 2009. Of those 66,081 civilians, 23,984 people classed as "enemy", 15,196 members of the Iraqi security forces, and 3,771 coalition troops. 15,000 unrecorded civilian deaths are also noted. The reports show that although US military claimed not to be keeping track of civilian deaths, the leaked papers prove that they did. They also unveil the previously unreported instances in which US forces killed civilians at checkpoints and during operations.
The Pentagon has obviously sent out a massive shit storm of attempted buffering to try and get out of this one unscathed while Iraq's prime minister, Nouri Maliki bashes Wikileaks for trying to sabotage him as he deals with difficult election matters post March elections.
Meanwhile, many of his constituents applaud the leaking of official war documents saying that the people have a right to this information under a democracy.
Simultaneously, we, the heroic bearers of democracy shy away from any responsibility claiming that when the reports make mention of the abuse of Iraqis by Iraqis, the duty of American soldiers was to "observe and report" what they had seen to their superiors, who in turn would then pass the evidence on to the Iraqi authorities.
Ummmmm...wait...didn't we invade the country because Iraqis were abusing Iraqis? Didn't we claim to march in there all high and mighty because Saddam was a bad man hurting his people? Or did I just fall asleep when Bush admitted he had no fucking reason for killing what has now become nearly 5,000 US soldiers?
So, in short, we cause the splintering of an already strained nation, rape their natural and historical resources under the guise of freedom and democracy, disband their military, build it up again to our own liking and then walk away from any responsibility regarding their actions while simultaneously scolding the evil-doers who dabble in terrorism, torture and violence?
Yep, sounds like us.
I personally applaud Wikileaks for this. It may sound naive, but as a republic, if our government (or any corporate official acting in its stead) doesn't want the people to know of their actions, they shouldn't be doing them. We have every right to know, and since we were so eager to impose our way of life on Iraqis, they have every right to know as well.

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