Wise man William Blum has spent decades shredding the tired pieties of empire to reveal the rotten reality of the American war-and-domination machine, as it churns its way back and forth across the world, chewing up individual lives and whole countries. And so, as you might imagine, he has a few choice words to say about the bogus "end" to the American war crime in Iraq, recently praised to the highest heavens by our presidential Peace Laureate as "an extraordinary achievement, nearly nine years in the making."
Here are few excerpts from Blum's take on this extraordinary achievement, from his latest "Anti-Empire Report." (Go here to sign up for the newsletter.)
"Most people don't understand what they have been part of here," said Command Sgt. Major Ron Kelley as he and other American troops prepared to leave Iraq in mid-December. "We have done a great thing as a nation. We freed a people and gave their country back to them."
"It is pretty exciting," said another young American soldier in Iraq. "We are going down in the history books, you might say." (Washington Post, December 18, 2011)
Ah yes, the history books, the multi-volume leather-bound set of "The Greatest Destructions of One Country by Another." The newest volume can relate, with numerous graphic photos, how the modern, educated, advanced nation of Iraq was reduced to a quasi failed state; how the Americans, beginning in 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one dubious excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, tortured without inhibition, killed wantonly, ... how the people of that unhappy land lost everything — their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women's rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives ... More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile ... The air, soil, water, blood, and genes drenched with depleted uranium ... the most awful birth defects ... unexploded cluster bombs lying anywhere in wait for children to pick them up ... a river of blood running alongside the Euphrates and Tigris ... through a country that may never be put back together again …
Blum also quotes the Peace Laureate's final judgment of this vast swamp of carnage and corruption, in the Fort Bragg speech that Obama gave to some of the crime's factotums and cannon fodder on the occasion of the withdrawal of all the American armed forces (except of course for the ones, in uniform and out, who remain behind in their thousands):
"This is an extraordinary achievement, nearly nine years in the making. And today, we remember everything that you did to make it possible. ... Years from now, your legacy will endure. God bless you all, God bless your families, and God bless the United States of America."
Yes, God bless us for killing, wounding, traumatising, imprisoning, displacing or exiling millions of innocent people in a country that never attacked us and posed no threat to us. God bless us for killing hundreds of thousands of children through our years of sanctions, invasion and occupation. God bless us, God bless us, God bless us every one, every one of us a precious sunbeam for the Lord!
And as we noted here last month, the American war crime in Iraq just keeps rolling on. This week saw yet another spate of mass slaughter in yet another series of bombings in the virulent sectarian warfare which was spawned, set loose, empowered and fomented by the invaders, who very deliberately -- with malice aforethought -- divided their new "Iraqi" government along strict sectarian lines, arming and paying death squads and militias on both sides of the Sunni-Shia divide to rip each other -- and Iraqi society -- to pieces. The mass murder this week is a direct result and a direct responsibility of the Americans who instigated, carried out, supported -- and praise -- the "extraordinary achievement" of this endless atrocity. "Nine years in the making," yes -- and still going strong!