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The War on Iraq One Year On: Countdown To Regime Change

Here's a pretty old legacy post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 20 years ago, in 2004, on the World Wide Web.

The World Still Says No To War: M20 march in NYC

Today is the first anniversary of the Bush administration’s war on Iraq. hundreds of thousands of people are taking to the streets in protest of the war, the occupation, and the lies that were used to murder some 8,000 – 10,000 Iraqi civilians in a bloody game of geopolitical chess, and to create a rudderless, hopeless war between heavy-handed occupying forces and brutal terrorist guerillas. President Bush, meanwhile, keeps repeating the same old crap, perhaps in the hope that it will start to stick through sheer force of repetition. Apparently we are supposed to forget the deception and the manipulation and the bullying of dissenting voices, and the simple fact that the past year has proven that we were right and he was wrong, and pitch in with support for this bloody occupation:

No concession will appease their hatred. No accommodation will satisfy their endless demands, Bush said after deploring last week’s Madrid bombings, which were followed by the election of a new prime minister eager to remove Spanish troops from Iraq. There can be no separate peace with the terrorist enemy. Any sign of weakness or retreat simply validates terrorist violence, and invites more violence for all nations.

As if trying to prove a point, Bush trots out every tired neo-conservative creepy spendthrift fascist trope about the war: the terrorists as the new Hitler, Bush and his cronies as the new Churchill, the new Chamberlain in Decadent Europe and the rest of us who feel just a tad squeamish about a completely unrepetant gang of lying warmongers who profess to be on our side. But the real battle cry here is not from World War II; it is from Vietnam. Apparently we are supposed to persist in a deadly and useless occupation of a Third World nation that the U.S. government annihilated on fabricated grounds because if we pull out now, we will give a sign of weakness. We will send the wrong message.

I don’t know quite what to say to this appalling idea — except to quote from a fine film:

It seems you burned the wrong village.

They always say that. And what does it matter? A village betrays us, a village is burned. The point is made.

Your point, their village.

And also to quote from a fine website, which adds a heart-rendingly fresh update of the theme. in the wake of the 3/11 massacre in Spain and the upsurge of public rage over the Aznar government’s manipulations and lies:

El gobierno miente, manipula, extorsiona, oculta información, asesina, no escucha, insulta, acusa a la oposición, le importa una mierda 200 muertos con tal de sacar votos y no perder, somos objetivo de terroristas islámicos por culpa de la prepotencia, la chulería, el afán de protagonismo, los aires de grandeza de un pequeño gran hijo de la gran puta llamado Aznar.

Vuestra guerra, nuestros muertos [Perdido en Madrid]

The Government lies, manipulates, extorts, hides information, murders, doesn’t listen, insults, accuses the opposition; 200 dead aren’t worth shit so long as they get votes and don’t lose; we’re the target of Islamic terrorists and it’s all the fault of the power-mongering, the insolance, the eagerness for heroism, the airs of greatness of that little son of a bitch called Aznar.

Your war, our dead [Lost in Madrid]

In spite of the warhawk hand-wringing over cowardly Spaniards and their appeasement, the electoral crash-and-burn of the Aznar gang is a courageous step: a popular upsurge against the politics of fear, and emboldened by their much-touted white-hot rage—turned not only on the thugs who inflicted this slaughter on innocents, but also on the lying thugs who launched a dirty war and left 200 innocent madrileños to face the consequences. That the Spaniards can find the courage to throw the bastards out in 2004 gives me some hope that we’ll be able to do it here, too.

This is connected to a broader point about terrorism, war, and the State; it’s a point well worth reflecting on on this anniversary. The essence of the State is irresponsibility: that is, States (as opposed to voluntary associations) always exist in virtue of one group of people inflicting the costs of their decisions on others against their will. The most mundane form of the phenomenon is taxation; the most egregious are War and State terrorism. This is something to remember whenever some politician is droning on about duty, sacrifice, and glory; they mean their glory taken from your duty and sacrifice. George W. Bush will never pay for the destruction that he has wrought. You will pay for it when you surrender your taxes in about a month. Donald Rumsfeld will not be the one who faces death for his agenda in the Middle East. The troops he has deployed will be the ones who have to face the consequences of his decisions. José Maria Aznar and Tony Blair will not be the ones killed in the subway for the war they helped unleash. All too many of us—Spaniards, Britons, and Americans— are the ones who have been put into the crossfire by their reckless war-mongering. Should we be surprised that the health of the State is a disease that we have to live with, and they don’t?

Anarchism: Because it isn’t your fault that George W. Bush is a dickhead.

For further reading:

3 replies to The War on Iraq One Year On: Countdown To Regime Change Use a feed to Follow replies to this article

  1. Discussed at www.radgeek.com

    Geekery Today:

    Death and Taxes

    Posting on Geekery Today may be held up for a while in the next several days, as I grudgingly prepare the paperwork for my annual…

· June 2004 ·

  1. Discussed at www.radgeek.com

    Geekery Today:

    Outrage Fatigue

    I, like Roderick Long, haven’t had much to say about the war on Iraq lately; Roderick chalks it up to outrage fatigue. I think…

· September 2004 ·

  1. Discussed at www.radgeek.com

    Geekery Today:

    Yadda yadda yadda

    Yesterday I offered the following commentary on the debate over the authenticity of the alleged memos on Bush’s alleged no-show for Air National Guard appointments:…

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