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Thoughts on the War - The Life and Thoughts of Zach — LiveJournal

Apr. 10th, 2003

03:28 pm - Thoughts on the War

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Date:April 12th, 2003 08:18 am (UTC)
This may be a small quibble, but I think that it is somewhat important; namely, many news organizations that certainly don't accept the US's version of events at face value were "embedded" with military units. Al-jazeera had reporters embedded w/ troops, as did the BBC, to mention two examples. Certainly, the Americans saw a sanitized version of the war (Hell, I was w/ out internet access for most of it, apparently, and didn't see very much of it, period.) But I don't think there was a systemic effort on the part of the military to control what war looks or feels like. Intelligence about troop movements, plans, yes. Spin control, definitely. I would expect no less. But the Trvth? I don't think we're that smart.

I think the understanding of the last few weeks as the culmination of a decade spanning "long war" is very perceptive. I don't think you can draw a straight line from the Oil crisis of the 70s to the last ten days as representing a coherent, focused effort to pacify badly-behaving brown people. That's seductive, but you can't have it both ways. You can't point to pictures of Don Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam in 1983 (not you in particular, Zach just, rhetorically speaking), and point to our past support of Hussein as evidence of our hypocrisy today, while suggesting that there has been a cohesive, escalating pattern of "disciplining" the Iraqi people and government for not cooperating with our oil requirements. Those pressures are very real, and very diabolical. I just don't think we're that smart.

All that said, it has been been three days since Hussain left power. I agree that the riots on the streets now are probably much scarier versions of the kind of stuff that happens in every city when its team wins the NBA championship. I don't think the people we have in Iraq can switch from, you know, "invading and destroying" to "administrating and rebuilding" in a days time. Give 'em a week. I'll end this, and work on a post for my own damn journal now, and flesh this out, methinks. Lots to think about.

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