Thursday :: May 1, 2008

We Can Dream


by Turkana

The Bush Administration has finally admitted fault about the Iraq War. Well, not about the actual war. Not about the occupation. Not about the lies. Not about devastating a sovereign nation, an innocent people, the U.S. military, U.S. national security, and U.S. prestige. No, the White House has finally admitted fault about something even more important. The headline, from the Associated Press:

White House admits fault on 'Mission Accomplished' banner

The symbol. The administration that creates reality while we only study it admits fault about a symbol. And what could be more symbolic than that?

The White House said Wednesday that President Bush has paid a price for the "Mission Accomplished" banner that was flown in triumph five years ago but later became a symbol of U.S. misjudgments and mistakes in the long and costly war in Iraq.

Except that the White House doesn't acknowledge misjudgments and mistakes. Like the Soviet Union, this White House never makes mistakes.

Thursday is the fifth anniversary of Bush's dramatic landing in a Navy jet on an aircraft carrier homebound from the war. The USS Abraham Lincoln had launched thousands of airstrikes on Iraq.

Dramatic. A wasteful, juvenile, photo op that had the corporate media foofs slobbering and drooling. A chickenhawk American president in a military uniform, a dramatic symbol of militancy that a true military leader like President Eisenhower understood to be wrong and dangerous. A symbol. An aircraft carrier carefully positioned so that the television cameras wouldn't catch that it was within sight of the San Diego coastline, that the dramatic landing was wholly unnecessary, and that the ship's crew had their homecoming from war delayed so they could be props on a political stage. But U.S. service personnel have never been anything but props to Bush. Props and cannon fodder for a perpetually impotent frat boy's priapic fantasy.

After shifting explanations, the White House eventually said the "Mission Accomplished" phrase referred to the carrier's crew completing its 10-month mission, not the military completing its mission in Iraq. Bush, in October 2003, disavowed any connection with the "Mission Accomplished" message. He said the White House had nothing to do with the banner; a spokesman later said the ship's crew asked for the sign and the White House staff had it made by a private vendor.

"President Bush is well aware that the banner should have been much more specific and said `mission accomplished' for these sailors who are on this ship on their mission," White House press secretary Dana Perino said Wednesday. "And we have certainly paid a price for not being more specific on that banner. And I recognize that the media is going to play this up again tomorrow, as they do every single year."

Shifting explanations about the symbol of the war and occupation, the rationale of which has relied on shifting explanations since the day it began to be discussed in public. Lies. They're called lies. A war of lies symbolized by a lie. And how sad for Ms. Perino and company that they've paid a price for that symbol. Because, most certainly, no one else has paid a price for the symbol or the lies. Certainly not the Iraqi people or U.S. service personnel. Let's all hang our heads and hold a moment of silence for Ms. Perino and the administration that has paid such a devastatingly steep price for their unspeakably immoral monstrousness. And how horrible that the usually lapdog media play the clip every year, just as the administration intended them to do, only with an entirely different symbolic intention.

At the New York Times blog, The Caucus, Carl Hulse wrote:

Democrats have all sorts of plans to commemorate Thursday’s fifth anniversary of President Bush’s famous Mission Accomplished moment. The idea is to remind Americans that the president’s celebratory carrier landing and shipboard ceremony was far from the end of the conflict in Iraq.

I have a better idea. How about if the Democrats remind us of all they've done to end the war, since they recaptured control of Congress? How about they tell us why they continue to fund it? How about they tell us how this ends?

Not that it matters, but the Los Angeles Times reports that April saw the most deaths of both Iraqi civilians and U.S. troops in months. Surging backwards.

The four U.S. soldiers killed in a series of roadside bombings Wednesday lifted the number of American service members killed in April to a seven-month high of 50.

Civilian deaths reported by the Iraqi government also reached the highest levels in months as Baghdad experienced intense clashes triggered by an Iraqi government crackdown against Shiite Muslim militias.

U.S. commanders say Sunni Arab militants are also attempting to reassert themselves by staging suicide bombings and other high-profile attacks in parts of the country where they have come under pressure since last year.

The jump in deaths raises questions about whether U.S. and Iraqi forces can consolidate last year's security gains as most of the additional 28,500 American troops deployed to the country return home.

Raises questions? Are there really any more questions? Is any thinking person still honestly deluded enough to believe the U.S. is going to bring peace and prosperity to Iraq? Is any thinking person still honestly deluded enough to believe that there is anything left to do other than just get the hell out of the hell Bush created? And reparations. And investigations into possible violations of both domestic and international laws. Is any thinking person deluded enough to believe the former will be happening any time soon? Is any thinking person deluded enough to believe the latter two will even happen? We can dream. It's no longer even about thinking. Peace and justice. We can dream.

Turkana :: 11:04 AM :: Comments (4) :: Digg It!