Saturday, February 28, 2009

But ours is a bond forged by shared bloodshed


Obama gave his Iraq speech yesterday. Most of what I intended to say has been written by Eli at Left I (in two posts) while I ate dinner, watched Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse, tried to fix a corrupted file, tried to figure out what was wrong with Haloscan, etc.

What pushed both our buttons was Obama’s praising of this godawful war. He told the marines (he was speaking to one of those captive military audiences Bush liked so much): “You have fought against tyranny and disorder.” He told the Iraqi people (who unlike the marines weren’t actually there): “Our nations have known difficult times together.” Together in the sense that lots of our troops were occupying your country. “But ours is a bond forged by shared bloodshed.” Mostly yours, of course, and not so much shared as caused by our, you know, bombs and bullets and things. “We Americans have offered our most precious resource – our young men and women – to work with you to rebuild what was destroyed by despotism...” Say, Barack, can you think of anything else in Iraq in the last few years, other than despotism, that might have created the need for rebuilding? An invasion and a giant frigging war, for example? “...to root out our common enemies; and to seek peace and prosperity for our children and grandchildren, and for yours.” “In years past, you have persevered through tyranny and terror; through personal insecurity and sectarian violence.” Also, an invasion and a giant frigging war. Obama seems to keep forgetting about that war, which is odd considering he was supposed to be giving a speech about that very thing.


And from the way he describes it in those statements, you’d never know that we actually invaded Iraq. If all you had was this speech, you’d think we were invited in. Bond forged by shared bloodshed, indeed. Obama, a supposed opponent of the Iraq War, is as big an exponent of the myth of America’s innocence in the world as George Bush. “We can serve as an honest broker in pursuit of fair and durable agreements on issues that have divided Iraq’s leaders.” Yes, I’m sure if you ask the Iraqi people how they’d describe the US in relation to their country, the term they’d all use would be “honest broker.”

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