Sunday, May 28, 2006


The US military are turning inward in Iraq, holing up in 'superbases', the FOBs. The Forward Operating Bases dot the Iraqi outback. Almost invisible just a few miles outside of cities but within easy deployment range . The bases aren't what you'd expect, encircled khaki-clad small town America with main streets, theatres and fast food joints. The young soldiers have taken the suburban wasteland with them into the Iraqi wasteland.

The FOBs make it clear that the US has no intention of going anywhere.
There will be a withdrawal, probably sooner rather than later, but a core of several thousand American soldiers are going to be a permanent presence in Iraq. Indefinitely.

Haditha is a small river town in the heart of the Sunni triangle. It's the kind of town occupying soldiers hate. The insurgents rule and you don't know who they are until you're already bleeding.

Marines are de-humanized, as a matter of policy, in basic training. The explicit stated goal is to break young men down, break them to discipline, break the visceral human empathy and learned morality that will keep them from doing their jobs. From Killing.

Combat files away even more of the human, but interacting with the prisoner population - that is, everybody - is the ultimate de-humanizing phenomena. Nothing else even comes close.

People become blurs. Watched only for weapon silhouette or bomb vest bulkiness. Become gooks or ragheads. Not human.

What's left after all the human is taken away?


Twenty-four dead civilians. Men, women, children, murdered on their feet and on their knees. Then in the final act of contempt their lives swept under a rug by commanders and investigators. Whatever credibility the US government thought they had in Iraq is gone.

Hence, the heavily armed feudal castles dotted among the restive serfs.

The greatest foreign policy disaster in American history continues.

No comments:

Popular Posts