Friday, April 13, 2007

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD

Sometimes I wonder why the media and government insist on referring to our military operation in Iraq as a "war." Technically, it's not a war at all. The war came to an abrupt halt when Baghdad fell and the Iraqi army surrendered. We weren't still calling it the "War in Deutschland" when we occupied post-WWII Germany. Post-war resistance is not the same as "war." But those who insist on labeling it such have their reasons.

This fine post makes some excellent points regarding the continued use of the term "war" in describing what would more correctly be termed a "military occupation."

In a nutshell, war is sexier. It's easier to find sympathy and win support for war. It's easier to exploit patriotism and divert resources for war than for a military occupation. And it's easier to keep the masses scared out of their wits when you're at "war" because the very word implies a threatening state of impending danger. The irony here, of course, is that there wasn't a threat in Iraq to begin with. Further, the threat that exists now only grows the longer we remain mired in occupation there.

I wish the government and folks in media would call it what it is instead of misleading us with rhetoric. There's a lot of fighting still - that is for certain. But the only "war" going on in Iraq right now is a civil one - and our over-extended military folks are stuck in the middle of it.

Just today, spin maestro Dickie Cheney suggested that some in government would like to see us "retreat" from this war. More sharp rhetoric intended to paint us into this "war" setting. Clever use of the word "retreat" - no one wants to be pinned a sissy or a coward. Dick - it's not a war, buddy. And a phased pull-out is not a "retreat."

These are some shrewd folks. Their words are carefully selected to advance their political agendas. And everything is spoken so matter-of-factly, as though it isn't to be questioned. Over and over again it plays. They are the same sound-byte wizards who turned a single, harmless Kerry quote into the "flip-flop" phenomenon of 2004. Listen to the buzz and the chatter. Stop focusing on the details and just take it all in at once. There's a single message coming down from the top and it filters into your life in countless ways. Magazines, newspapers, internet articles, television, radio, barber shop conversation. It's hypnotic in a way. And after a while you just start to accept what they say as truth. But the truth is not in words, it is in action. Nevermind what we're being told - look at what we are doing.

The "war" has been over for years. Saddam Hussein is dead. There are no weapons of mass of destruction in Iraq. Why are we still there?

Brings a whole new meaning to the term "military occupation," doesn't it?

1 comment:

Jay said...

Come on, man. The WAR is against TERROR. It rages still. And I am prepared to fight it to the bitter end. (Well, not personally... you know, in uniform.) I challenge every American who would call themselves a patriot to swear the following:

1. I will support my country's deficit-funding of the war on terror until every terrorist is smoked out and killed or the country collapses in financial ruin, whichever comes first.

2. I renounce all due process under the law because I trust the authorities of this great nation to infallibly shepherd justice.

3. I renounce all claims to any protections that might reasonably fall under the quaint rubric: civil liberties.

4. Heil Bush.

5. I fully support incorporating the tactics of our sworn enemy, to include: torture, the annihilation of civilians, disinformation, and propaganda.

If we would all simply take this oath and let George and Dick do their jobs, I have no doubts that nirvana would shortly ensue. So what do you say America? The news media is already on board. Will you take the oath? We are at war people!

I SEE YOU!