Thursday, December 15, 2011

A "formal" end to our informal war

File this under the category of "what do you expect them to say?". After nearly a decade of struggle both to sell the war to a skeptical public and then to conclude hostilities "with honor," the politicians have finally hit a brick wall in the pursuit of the Iraq conflict, and now the US is "withdrawing" its military with customary expressions of self-approval:
"REPORTING FROM BAGHDAD --  The U.S. military mission in Iraq formally ended Thursday in a small ceremony at Baghdad airport as the last U.S. troops prepared to leave the country after nearly nine years of war, billions of dollars spent and nearly 4,500 lives lost.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and other top civilian and military officials flew in to Baghdad to mark the formal end of the U.S. military effort, one of most divisive wars in American history.
Instead of addressing the deep questions about the war, Panetta paid tribute to U.S. troops, arguing that the combat losses and the enormous expenditure of resources since 2003 had not been wasted.
What began as a con job ends as swindles and dirty dealing always does -- with carefully scripted, delusional expressions of vindication, both over means and ends.

That this war was never declared by congress is never mentioned. An "authorization to use military force" to remove Saddam's supposed weapons of mass destruction was merely a ruse to get the US into the war. The additional lack of UN sanction, carefully neglected in the communal accolades, ensures that history will regard the enterprise as an unlawful war of aggression, and a crime against humanity and against the peace.

The authors of this atrocity well deserve the fate of Hitler and his henchmen, but will escape being called to account for their crimes in an international order that is based on lies and hypocrisy. It's more the pity, we're so used to it by now as to make little in the way of protest.

The protesters, how gathered in such great numbers in the run-up to war, have long ago disbursed, never to again bother to try to make the will of the people a part of the dialog in our supposedly democratic republic.

This was the war that began with "shock and awe," and ended with barely a whimper, and a tired and bored public long ago dismissed the gore and destruction from its consciousness in favor of xmas banalities and other doobious amusements.

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