The Logical End of "Support Our Troops" Idiocy
The Logical End of “Support Our Troops” Idiocy
“You have done well, that men must lay their murders on your neck.”
The troops who committed the slaughter at Haditha should seize that line from Shakespeare’s Othello and affix it to George Bush, in connection with the murders they committed in Haditha and other places, known and unknown, in Iraq.
This is where the “support our troops” idiocy has led, to outright murder. And not, according to most Iraqis, by just a few rogue American soldiers. The schizoid dichotomy between opposing the war and supporting the troops has given us the worst of both—a continuation of the egregious mistake of invading Iraq, and carte blanche to boys who volunteer to kill people because their countrymen tell them they are heroic for doing so.
Reporting on the slaughter by American troops of women, old men, and children in Haditha, CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier ended her last segment by repeating an oft-heard sentiment among our heroes in Iraq: “Kill them all, and let God sort them out.” The next day shrapnel from a car bomb sliced through her brain and body.
Her sound and cameramen were killed. Dozier lost most of her blood, her heart stopped, and she came as close to death as anyone can before being saved by physicians at the Baghdad field hospital. One of the doctors treating her, absurdly obeying the American diktat to think positive, said that if she had sustained such injuries in the States, she would be dead.
The mainstream American media, which played such an uncritical role in the run-up to the invasion, has been taking terrible hits since the initial storm-trooping phase of the war turned into the interminable, blood splattering phase. However many times the American people are told that we invaded Iraq to establish a beachhead for freedom and democracy in the Middle East, the truth of the unspeakable barbarity of this war keeps surfacing.
Kimberly Dozier was “embedded” with US Marines on patrol in Baghdad. If there ever was a word that conveyed journalistic complicity in this war, it is that word “embedded.” The rationales and rationalizations for it are legion, beginning with the near impossibility of covering the war in any other way.
Better however, for journalists to sit in their hotel rooms and have Iraqis and soldiers willing to talk come to them, than risk life and limb while “becoming an integral part of” (the definition of ‘embed’) this evil, insane war.
Meanwhile, our bashed and rehashed European allies, nowadays allowing themselves to be led by the Bush Administration, play an internecine game of Russian roulette with Iran, with nuclear weapons in the chamber. Russia and China have temporarily acquiesced to “the world stands with us” cant. On the first of June the entire discordant chorus huddled around Condoleezza Rice in Vienna, putting on a good show of solidarity.
You know things have gone past the point of no return for the international/multilateral order when Javier Solano, the EU foreign minister, wears a tie emblazoned with the stars and strips to the photo op. He wants the world to know that Europe now stands unequivocally behind the war criminal Bush in building a siege ramp against Iran.
The Europeans are betting on multilateralism and American ‘leadership’ because they see no alternative. They believe they are constraining the Bush Administration by making them operate within the multilateral system. The Bush Administration believes it is laying the groundwork, by obtaining a UN imprimatur, for eventual military action against Iran. (They also get a two-fer, since “the world stands with us” ploy retroactively justifies their illegal invasion of Iraq.)
Both sophisticated European politicians and evil-minded American politicians cannot be right. Which strategy will prevail? Sophistication never prevails over evil. Besides, how can the United States, which still has thousands of nuclear weapons (and is developing more), be the moral and political leader in non-proliferation? That alone attests to the unworkablity of the European’s venerated multilateral order.
In a country like the United States, which is so responsive to consumer desires, the political culture accurately reflects the disposition of the people. Therefore George Bush is an expression of the character and conscience (or rather lack thereof) of the American people. He is not, as many on the Left still believe, an aberration, the result of media manipulation, voter fraud, or corporate control of the political process.
So how is it that the “evildoer” Bush has any leadership capital at all with European leaders? World citizens must not allow Bush Junior to succeed in killing the human spirit with his wars, as Bush Senior killed the American spirit with the first Gulf war.
- Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He has been publishing in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Europe (and now New Zealand) for 20 years. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The author welcomes comments.