September 10, 2008

You Can Put Lipstick on a War Criminal, But He's Still a War Criminal

Consider my headline to be the extent of my concession to the trivial stupidity of the moment. Don't worry; it will probably be supplanted by an equally or still more trivial stupidity before this post is even published. This is not to say there are no issues worthy of attention here. Certainly, the emergence of primal misogynistic hatred in the glorious year when a hell of a lot of men (and women) revealed how much they fear and loathe those stupid, trashy, slutty females deserves mention -- and I've more than mentioned it here. Follow the links for a nauseatingly good time. But this latest lipstick-pig episode...well, there is one issue I want to address that has received scant attention. I'll get to it later. With only a handful of exceptions, no one has offered two intelligent words on the subject. Here's one exception, with some further links for those interested. As I say, I'll explore a related point when my revulsion subsides.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama has repeatedly told us that Afghanistan and Pakistan is where the real action ought to be. He's restated the identical program many times over the last year and more. In August 2007, Obama said:
When I am President, we will wage the war that has to be won, with a comprehensive strategy with five elements: getting out of Iraq and on to the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan; developing the capabilities and partnerships we need to take out the terrorists and the world's most deadly weapons; engaging the world to dry up support for terror and extremism; restoring our values; and securing a more resilient homeland.

The first step must be getting off the wrong battlefield in Iraq, and taking the fight to the terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Given recent developments, Obama should be feeling as mindlessly blissful as a pig in shit. Oh, my. Did I say that? Why, yes. Yes, I did.

"Taking the fight" to Afghanistan and Pakistan is the "good" war. Contemplate only one of the unending horrors of the "good" war:
Every day, the shame mounts, the lies grow more brazen and more brutal, and the dishonor spreads and deepens -- ineradicable, like a white garment soaked with blood.

The atrocity in Azizabad, an Afghan village hit by an American airstrike on the night of August 22, is by no means the worst depredation of the so-called "War on Terror," which has left more than million innocent people dead in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia over the past seven years. But the mass death visited upon the sleeping, defenseless citizens of Azizabad encapsulates many of the essential elements of this global campaign of "unipolar domination" and war profiteering: the callous application of high-tech weaponry against unarmed civilians; the witless attack that alienates local supporters and empowers an ever-more violent and radical insurgency; and perhaps the most quintessential element of all -- the knowing lies and deliberate deceits that Washington employs to hide the obscene reality of its Terror War.

In the days following the attack, the American-backed Afghan government, local officials with long-standing relationships with American forces, and representatives of the United Nations declared that at least 90 civilians, most of them women and children, had been killed by American bombs in Azizabad. The Pentagon and White House adamantly denied the eyewitness accounts of their own allies on the scene. Washington claimed that "only" five to seven civilians had been killed in what the Pentagon claimed was a successful Special Forces operation against a Taliban stronghold. [Think of that: "only" five to seven civilians killed! How far have we become steeped in blood, when the obliteration of half a dozen innocent human beings can be dismissed as a trifle.]
That's just the beginning of this installment in the perpetual nightmare. It gets much, much worse.

And here's some more shit for Obama to wallow in along with the Bush criminals, from "US's 'good' war hits Pakistan hard":
KARACHI - Seven years after the United States led the invasion of Afghanistan in search of al-Qaeda and to topple the Taliban government, US President George W Bush has added neighboring Pakistan to the list of countries that are "a major 'war on terror' battleground", while also announcing a "quiet surge" of troops into Afghanistan.

Bush, in remarks prepared for delivery to the US National Defense University and released by the White House late on Monday, said Afghanistan, Iraq and now Pakistan "pose unique challenges for our country" in the worldwide conflict against terror and that it is in Pakistan's interests to "defeat terrorists and extremists".

What Bush didn't spell out is that it is also in the US's interests that Pakistan get tough on militants, and that the US is increasingly taking matters into its own hands inside Pakistan. In the the latest incident on Monday, at least 25 people were killed in a missile attack by unmanned Predator drones on a Pakistani village near the Afghan border.

The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier has moved into the Persian Gulf. Contrary to comments by US officials that it is to relieve the USS Abraham Lincoln, Asia Times Online has learned it is part of a new task force, separate from the Lincoln, which will allow the US to increase air sorties in the South Asian war theater. The Bush administration, critics say, is desperate to notch up a major terror success ahead of the presidential elections in November.

Pakistan, under president-elect Asif Ali Zardari, is on board with the US's war strategy, but, to the surprise of Islamabad and with potentially devastating consequences for Pakistan, the US has trained its guns on the "good" Taliban based in Pakistan with deep connections to the Pakistani establishment.
This episode, too, gets worse.

So I guess Obama is feeling pretty damned good right now, except for the fact that the Bush administration is stealing his thunder -- stealing, that is, his own plans for ongoing destruction and death. But Obama's program is being implemented in full. You can call it a "good" war, you can slap the "humanitarian" label on it, you can lie and propagandize about every aspect of it -- but war crimes remain war crimes.

War criminals, almost every last one of them. Go ahead. Vote for one of the major party candidates.

See you in hell. I'll be waiting.