Five years ago, I wrote several articles about a horrific massacre of Iraqi civilians in Ishaqi. Credible evidence and eyewitness testimony indicated that American soldiers, in the course of a raid, had executed unarmed civilians -- including several small children -- then called in an airstrike to destroy the house, and the evidence of these murders.
At the time, these articles were criticized by some for putting the "worst case" construction on the evidence. After all, in the "fog of war" -- that clapped-out rhetorical trope which has hidden a multitude of sins down through the years -- who could know what really happened? Yeah, some mistakes might or might not have been made -- crossfire, collateral damage, etc. -- but surely no one could believe that American soldiers would deliberately do such a thing. My take -- and that of this blog's co-founder, Rich Kastelein, who put together a devastating flash film on the incident -- was just the usual overblown, knee-jerk, anti-war hissy fit, etc.
But thanks to a recent WikiLeaks revelation, we now know that at least two other groups of knee-jerk, anti-war freaks were also pursuing the "worst-case" interpretation of the massacre: UN investigators, who delivered a detailed report on the evidence to the American occupation forces -- and the invaders themselves. It turns out that American authorities regarded the UN evidence very seriously; so seriously that they took immediate, decisive action .... to cover it all up.
Publicly, of course, the invaders had solemnly promised to investigate the "allegations" with all due speed and diligence; this promise was, of course, an outright lie -- as has been the case countless times with similar "allegations" in America's decade-long war on the world. The atrocity was never investigated by the Americans, who simply tossed aside not only the work of the UN investigators, but also the mountain of first-hand evidence gathered by the US-trained, pro-American Iraqi officials on the scene.
So here we are: we now know that the Americans themselves strongly suspected that the "allegations" were true, that U.S. soldiers had entered a house in an Iraqi village and executed five children under the age of five -- including a five-month old -- and four women, including a grandmother, and the children's father, a young man in this 20s. They had credible evidence for this, they took the evidence seriously -- and they bent all their efforts toward burying the case and protecting the perpetrators (and their commanders). They have sat on this evidence for five years, beyond the end of the Bush Regime and deep into the reign of the Nobel Peace Laureate.
This would be the same Nobel Peace Laureate whose forces, along with their local proxies, carried out yet another mass killing of civilians in Ishaqi last month, as we noted here. Barack Obama has never repudiated the War Machine that routinely produces such atrocities; on the contrary, he has embraced it, praised it, identified himself with it at every opportunity. He has never repudiated the criminal occupation of Iraq, but has instead sought frantically, for months, to extend it, in any way possible, with tens of thousands of "advisers," "trainers," and mercenaries disguised at "State Department security personnel." Along with his favorite general -- now his spymaster -- David Petraeus, he has intensified the Ishaqi-style "home invasion" system in the other war of domination and profiteering that he has not only embraced but boldly escalated, in Afghanistan. He has taken deadly home invasions to new heights -- literally -- with his cowardly drone missile campaign against homes and neighborhoods in undefended villages in Pakistan. And in Yemen. And in Somalia. (And in who knows what other countries in the secret wars and covert ops that his security apparatchiks boast of conducting all over the world?)
Yet it is this figure -- this xerox copy of the despised Dubya -- whom all good liberals and progressives are being urged to support. His election is far more important than the mounds of dead children piling up under his command. His personal political fortunes are far more important than the national bankruptcy engineered by the War Machine he proudly leads and the Money Power he faithfully serves -- a bankruptcy that has opened the door to the destruction of programs, hopes and ideals that liberals and progressives have nurtured for generations. His electoral fate is more important than the generations of hate, extremism, violence and instability being bred by his policies. Indeed, Barack Obama's re-election is even more important than the well-being and dignity of one's own child.
So we are told by the Big Progressive Kahuna himself, Markos Moulitsas. In a recent, super-savyy analysis of the Obama Administration's manifest failures to promote its image properly and thus secure the president's re-election, Moulitsas produces this remarkable passage:
Bottom line, if Obama's approach to governing was proving popular, then there'd be little fault. If triangulating against liberals bolstered his numbers with independents, then that'd be cool! Heck, if slapping my first-born in the face bumped his numbers up with independents, I'd tolerate it. But it's not. His current approach isn't working.
"If slapping my first-born in the face bumped his numbers up with independents, I'd tolerate it." I realize this is offered as a deliberately over-the-top rhetorical flourish (perhaps even as a cack-handed, piles-producing strain toward humor), but it bespeaks a partisan obsequiousness -- and a moral blindness -- that staggers the mind. After all, Obama has actually been killing, not just slapping, first-borns (and other children) at a steady clip for more than two years now. And this certainly hasn't hurt "his numbers" with serious, savvy progressives like Kos.
It is just possible, of course, that these on-going atrocities have in themselves kept Obama from "bumping his numbers up with independents," some of whom might object to seeing mass murder committed by their government. But this is not a factor in our progressives' earnest cogitations. No, it's all about the process, the PR framing, finding the "popular approach" and "not looking weak."
These vast outpourings of innocent blood literally do not matter to our serious, savvy progressives. The only thing that really matters is Obama's re-election, his chance to continue grinding up bones and bodies with his beloved War Machine and his runaway Security Organs for another four years.
This is what it's come to: "Take my child, slap her in the face, if it will help you keep on killing." This is all that's left of the "professional left."
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