Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In Case You Thought We Were leaving Iraq Anytime Soon

From Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast on 21 August:

We are still an occupying force in that country, and billions of dollars that could be paying for Social Security, Medicare, health care, teachers, and infrastructure are still going into the pockets of companies like Blackwater and Halliburton.

Endless war. Endless unaccountable money being funneled into these wars. Blank checks for Blackwater, cat food for America's elderly and failing schools for America's children and no jobs for Americas working-age citizens.

Does it really matter anymore who we elect, when one party loves endless war and the other one is so terrified of being labeled weak that they enthusiastically go along? Does it really matter who we elect when BOTH parties are just champing at the bit to make sure people work busing tables at Fuddruckers until they drop dead because they've been pushed out of their living wage jobs? Does it really matter anymore? Or do we just sit and watch it all fall apart?

Jill goes on to quote David Sirota’s piece in the Huffington Post:

As the Associated Press reports, there was lots of happy talk about the end of combat in Iraq this week throughout the national media, as various media outlets stumbled all over themselves in a desperate (and rather blatant) attempt to pitch the news as a reprise of the famous Vietnam withdrawal imagery. The problem, of course, is that there are still tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq -- and, according to the New York Times, the Obama administration is "planning to more than double its private security guards" there (Blackwater anyone?).

That's the story cable news doesn't want you knowing, because it gets in the way of reporters efforts to pretend to be documenting some sort of iconic military history -- when, at least at this moment, it looks like they may be promoting a new version of George W. Bush's infamously misleading Mission Accomplished/"end of major combat operations" declaration back in 2003 -- a typical form of spin that simultaneously reassures a war-weary public and obscures a permanent-war reality.

But for any media outlet to pretend that a change in official policy and rhetoric is akin to the end of the war is arguably as misleading as the "March to War" coverage that led us into this conflict in the first place. And I say that because of what the military itself is telling us not in the glamorous high-spotlight national media, but right here at home where troops and their families live.

Notice today's dispatch from the Colorado Springs Gazette, which has been all but ignored by the national media:

In a matter of days, the seven-year-old Iraq war will officially have a new name: Operation New Dawn. At Fort Carson, however, the new day brings few changes.

In a news conference on post Thursday, representatives of the 4th Infantry Division discussed the future of Fort Carson's infantry soldiers, saying that current and scheduled deployments will resume as planned.

"Our mission has not changed," Maj. Joe Bethel of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team said.

Remember the simple phrase that should be guiding every action that any of us take: For. The. Children. Has this misbegotten military adventure made us or our children safer?


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