Death everywhere, death every day, nothing but death and the stench of death and the never-ending agony of the aftermath of death. This is the true and only meaningful context of all the punditry and political posturing around the "issue" of Iraq. While the White House maneuvers to "buy time" for the president and provide "political cover" for continuing the war – and the Democrats make plans to float some "proposals" on "beginning to redeploy some forces" – the cry of an Iraqi grandfather whose entire family was murdered in the bombing at Amerli rips like a knife to the heart of the matter:
"We were wiped out mercilessly, and we blame the Americans, the Iraqi government, the criminals and all the politicians who brought us catastrophe and destruction. They have destroyed everything with their sectarianism and politics."
These were the words of Zainulabideen Rustam Abdullah, who "lost his wife, three daughters, his grandson and his daughter-in-law" in last Saturday's attack, the Washington Post reports. I have never read anywhere a more succinct and accurate portrayal of the hell-hole that George W. Bush has created in Iraq with his unprovoked invasion and destruction of that country. The war is in truth a merciless act, a brutal act of hubris, of avarice, of cynical deliberation and wilful ignorance. The sectarianism that it has unleashed – and abetted – and the thuggish politics in both Washington and Baghdad have indeed "destroyed everything."
None of it was necessary. None of it was justified. Abdullah's grandson was shredded into fragments of meat and bone because George W. Bush wanted to be a "war president" and prance around in his "Commander-in-Chief" socks. Abdullah's wife had her brains dashed out because Dick Cheney wanted to impose American dominance over the oil lands of the Middle East, for the greater glory and profits for his oil cronies and his military servicing paymasters. Abdullah's daughters were mutilated and disemboweled by shrapnel because the blind, monstrous engines of barbaric militarism and greasy war contracting have spread their moral rot from the swamp called Hell's Bottom where the Pentagon was built throughout the entire American Republic. Abdullah's daughter-in-law had her skin eaten away by ravenous fire because the leading lights of the American Establishment -- in government, in media, in business, in academia, in "think tanks" and "policy centers" – were giddy at the thought of empire, or dazzled by the prospect of loot, or maddened by ideological fervor, or driven by some private evil… or turned into cowards by 9/11, ready to sacrifice anything and everything – morality, reason, common sense, legality, the lives of their nation's soldiers and endless multitudes of innocent foreigners – in order to keep themselves safe, to keep living high on the hog, to stay well-wadded, cozy and comfy, forever protected from any adverse consequences of the destructive policies that have enriched them.
The Bush Faction's violence and extremism have been answered with violence and extremism. Their mass slaughter of civilians has been answered with the mass slaughter of civilians. The inherent criminality of their invasion has unleashed and begotten criminality on a massive scale. Their attempt to use war and death for political advantage in the region has been answered by other countries trying to use the Iraqi carnage for their own political advantage. As long as human beings are what they are – frail, foul, savage, broken, vulnerable creatures – there can be no other outcome to such brutal, senseless policies. Just death, everywhere, nothing but death.
This is the context of the "debate." This is what it's all about. Everything else is just posturing, just empty talk – empty talk from mouths dripping blood.