Monday, June 21, 2004

Ramblin' Man
(Apologies in advance to Duane Allman.)

This is what military insurgency looks like. I guess we can't call it "war" anymore, because the term "war" denotes armed conflict between two nation-states. We're not battling a nation-state. The U.S. is battling an insurgency largely of its own making due to poor pre and post invasion planning.

Yes, those are American soldiers lying there on the ground. Yes, they're dead. And yes, more continue to die because of the arrogance of a few powerful guys in a few powerful places. The Bush administration is more focused on nuancing the meaning of the word "collaboration", and desperately trying to spin the news in their direction, rather than doing any meaningful conflict resolution.

One of the refrains I hear from the LGF'ers of the world is, "Well, give me your solution you whiney, liberul, traitorous scuzzball." I don't have an instant fix or magic wand. My brain isn't big enough. But my brain is big enough to know that the theocons don't have one either, other than pointing the fingers at whiney, liberal, traitorous scuzzballs or something that ends with the rapid splitting of atoms.

I apologize for getting off on several tangents here, but I'm going to ramble for a moment. Here's how AP characterized the story of the dead American soldiers:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents gunned down four U.S. service members west of Baghdad on Monday, and South Korea said it would go ahead with plans to send thousands more troops to Iraq despite a threat by Iraqi kidnappers to kill a South Korean seen pleading for his life on a videotape.

Elsewhere, Iraq resumed oil exports Monday, six days after attackers blasted pipelines carrying crude oil to the Basra terminal on the Persian Gulf. Iraqi officials have announced stepped-up measures to protect the oil industry - the foundation of the nation's economy.
One third of one sentence on four U.S. soldiers being gunned down - shot in the head repeatedly, according to other accounts. Two thirds of one sentence devoted to showing South Korea "is not capitulating to terrorists". And two full sentences on Iraq resuming oil exports. Look, we already know where the priorities reside, AP. Why rub it in?

And this whole sham with Prime Minister Iyad Allawi? Just that. Every day, his words seem handpicked to juxtapose quite well with the party line of the Coalition Provisional Authority. It's looking like Jerry Bremer couldn't have picked a better lackey:

Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has promised to crush the terrorist threat and said Sunday his administration was considering martial law in some areas to restore law and order.

"They are trying to destroy our country, and we are not going to allow this," Allawi said Sunday.
I'm sure that Iraqis who have lived "in country" over the course of their lifetimes would find Allawi's statement quite laughable. An ex-pat, 25 years removed from living in the country - threatening martial law - and cracking heads in the process - I'm sure this guy is going to go over really well with the locals. Iraqi viewpoint: the occupiers have appointed Saddam 2.0, only without the Iraqi-led goon squads. On the other hand, Allawi doesn't need them. Americans are doing the heavy lifting. (Free-associating here...I wonder if Mr. Allawi has ever ventured to poke his head outside of the green zone blast walls?)

(Sorry, I warned you I was going to ramble.)

After all of that, how's this for a shorter news blurb of the situation in Iraq today?

4 GI's dead, the oil she is a-pumping PRAISE JESUS, S. Korea stands firm, Bremer's Chihuahua barks.