Monday, March 19, 2007

The Iraq War: I Think I Finally Get It

Could it be that my brain has been deceiving me? Call it a protective filter of denial, but there's some level of my conscious thought that still doesn't believe any of this is really happening. That's what these years seem like. They are so much like a nightmare that I'm running with it.

Somewhere in this cavernous skull of mine, a message keeps going out not to be too upset. It's a whisper that argues persistently, saying, "If it's this much like a nightmare, maybe it really is a nightmare. You never know." Hey, you can't fault the brain for trying to lessen the anxiety level. The whispers continue, "Just go on sleeping and eventually you will wake up and the Iraq War will be over. You'll kick yourself and laugh at how upset you were, when it was only a bad dream." A bad dream that's now lasted 4 years.

The Anti-War March yesterday was a deeply sobering and sad occasion. I filmed the marchers walking by and it took something like 46 minutes - 46 minutes of banners and signs and all types of people, and in the end, I couldn't pretend anymore. Not in the darkest recesses of my head could there be any doubt. The Iraq War is very real - a living breathing nightmare that seems to become more tragic by the second.

I've seen Portland for years including during many protests when I was working at a hotel downtown. It was downright unsettling to see this many people winding through the streets. It seemed extremely dire, as if I was watching a funeral procession - an angry, sad funeral procession. Even the light hopeful moments were drenched in the overwhelming knowledge that something horrible is happening and we can't seem to make it stop. There is no alarm clock that will snap us out of this.

By around 4 o'clock yesterday, I think I got what this is really all about. I felt it. This is about the State's ability to kill someone - a citizen who hasn't done anything to anyone else. Not just to ask politely to kill them, but to entice them into a situation with all manner of noble talk, to deceive them as to the real reasons why, and then to turn around and get them brutally killed. And if along the way they become onto it, to keep sending them back over and over again, as virtually permanent government wards who can't go home. That's what we have here right now. That's the nightmare we're living in.

Yes, we all know there are extreme circumstances when young people are called upon to defend our country. We all know that. But what is it when the State tells them that's what they are doing, and then sends them to die unnecessarily in something else? That has to be a crime, doesn't it? I mean what's manslaughter? What's murder? Is the State so big and powerful that it can do things that would be crimes for anyone else?

No, or at least it shouldn't be, which means we are living in a time when the United States government's leaders are criminals. They shouldn't be allowed to take a 19-year-old boy and blow his limbs off and then let him die on the side of the road in a place that wasn't threatening us.

Of course they said it was threatening us, because they had to say that. This should only happen when our country is being threatened, so that is what they said. Don't you see this as the proof? The State can only be allowed to do this if it is a matter of national security - defending the country. That's the threshold that makes this behavior not a crime. Self defense is not a crime. This was not self defense.

What was their point? That if we didn't respond, these same streets this march went down in Portland could have been taken by the Iraqi Republican Guard? It was ridiculous when they first said it, but it just seems tragic now. It is obvious that it was a marketing job - it was not the truth. The State lied and took some of our young people and killed them. That cannot be legal.

What worries me most are the millions of people out there who are okay with it. They see something about their lives as being so important that a certain percentage of the lesser ones should be asked to die for an errand. For a mere whim. If the leaders just feel that it's a good idea that could lead to a beneficial result, than that is enough to kill a young person.

What I realized yesterday is that it isn't enough. Oh, I knew it already, but it came into greater focus. First, the idea behind America is that there are no lesser ones. And the State doesn't exist as something so great that it can ask someone to die carrying out some mere agenda. It has to be absolutely necessary. It has to be a matter of life and death already. Iraq wasn't. The President has sent young people to die for a vision, a hunch.

Who cares if it was about oil or what it was about? It wasn't about defending America from an actual attack - there was none from Iraq - so the reasons we did this are not good enough. You can't kill young people over something like this. In fact, what our leaders have done is a crime. Sure, it feels like a nightmare, but in the final analysis, it's a crime.

11 Comments:

At 1:23 PM, Anonymous Auggie said...

And that's why impeachment is the only solution. Until the representatives of the people have enough of a collective backbone to do it, we're stuck with these criminals.

 
At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Sully said...

Anyone catch Fox News Sunday yesterday?

I'm starting to see a connection between Brit Hume's general demeanor and the health of the Republican Party.

Let's just say he wasn't looking so good.

 
At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Tenskwatawa said...

Bill, in my highest hoping dream, you one day here say 'I see it all.' And stand as the role model, set the standard, seeing which Bogdanski and Chisholm also see the light. It was not nice they called me and several million others 'tinfoil hat'-wearers, pests to themselves and perturbed to ourselves, and blacklisted any comments that disturbed their own ignorance -- ignorance intentional, which they revelled in and built their identity of.

Now it is all crumbled, their fascist-leaning uberperson sense of self is dead and out, and Loaded Orygun is in. Portland Freelancer is, as ever, Great Art. And art thou ever great, yes !

Dot-by-dot, one more time: The antichrist is papa Bush and he must be identified, tried, and sentenced in prison cagement, for crimes against humanity and with his CIA poison -- abolished ! -- going back 60 years. The Oregonian and Stickle is more of it: evil. More example: In the current US Attorney corruption, where anti-Bush civil servants were unjustly fired: what does that say about the US Attorneys who were commended, not fired, (such as Portland's, Immerut or whatever her name is)? SHAME on every Bush Medal winner. SHAME on every public employee in Bush good standing.

The 2000 election was rigged and a fraud. Junior Jughead is not legal POTUS.

There were NO hijackers on the Nine-Eleven Op planes -- nineteen, religious fanatic, or otherwise.

There is no terrorists except the enemy is among us, the militaristic, the brutebrain, the disgrace and disfigurement of humankind.

HERE is the Bushfascism and our 'blessings, to ourselves and our posterity.'

HERE is what must be done: Teach your children well ... because the past is just a good-bye

HERE is hopeful recovery from TV addiction.

 
At 6:14 PM, Anonymous butch said...

Tenskwatawa....I don't think I'll have any of what you're smokin'.

PS - I don't want "hopeful recovery from TV addiction". Not during the NCAA Tourney anyway....

 
At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Tenskwatawa said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:18 PM, Blogger Jack Bog said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger Jack Bog said...

I'll try this again.

Let's just say he wasn't looking so good.

No sh*t. And check this one out. "Where's my next drink?"

 
At 10:22 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I wish my Dad had lived to see that picture. He always did love Mad Magazine.

Tensk, please don't threaten violence - it's not what we're here for. I don't know what we're here for but it's not that.

Butch is a brother from another ideology. Although if my real brother reads that, he'd probably kick my ass.

Vent, but do it with some grace. Please. Try comedy. Rage really works in comedy.

 
At 5:45 AM, Anonymous Sully said...

So I was Googling for a video of Fox News Sunday when this popped up. Apparently someone at DailyKos caught Fox censoring their own transcript. Kerry told Chris Matthews to 'check the transcript' on what Matthews had said, but Fox changed what he said on the transcript. Pretty funny stuff.

Here's the story: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/3/19/145742/538

They've got a video there of the interview, but it doesn't have any shots of Brit Hume. Bummer.

 
At 5:48 AM, Blogger Crankshaft said...

I find it hard to believe it as well. Four whole years.

And the situation isn't getting better.

I'm Malaysian and everyday I witness the fervent anti-American sentiment increasing.

Is It Really A War Against Terror?

No one seems to be winning.

 
At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Tenskwatawa said...

Point taken. No comment.

 

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