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(DV) Random: Three Years After Shock and Awe







The Iraqi Resistance
Three Years after Shock & Awe
by Jack Random
March 21, 2006

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“For misleading the American people and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 BC … Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial.” 

-- Martin Van Creveld, Israeli Military Historian 

“Five to seven years. No less. In five to seven years, Iraqi army is OK.” 

-- Iraqi Army Officer, San Francisco Chronicle 3/16/06 

On 15 February 2003, I joined the largest worldwide protest in history on the streets of San Francisco. I carried a simple sign reading: BUSH/ENRON/WWIII. 33 days later, without United Nations approval, our president christened the invasion of Iraq with the infamous Shock & Awe campaign. 

Three years later, we are more shocked than awed. 

The president issues yet another call for perseverance in the war effort. As yet another offensive is unleashed upon the inhabitants of the Sunni triangle, he asks for American patience and Iraqi unity against the resistance. The truth is the Iraqi resistance is the only cause that can unite the Iraqi people. 

Meantime, Senator Dianne Feinstein charges that the war is more difficult now because of the administration’s incompetence. One more round of a familiar Democratic refrain: More troops, better planning, better equipment and more allies to prosecute an immoral war. 

The truth is the war in Iraq was doomed to failure from the very moment Congress handed the president a blank check and a loaded gun to initiate the doctrine of preemptive strike. Would we really be better off now if we had sacrificed more soldiers and punished the Iraqi resistance with even greater deadly force? 

Message to Senator Feinstein and her war-loving friends: The problem is not the efficiency of the killing machine; it is that the cause is morally bankrupt. 

The truth about Iraq is: We have become the front line of the Shiite militias. Of course they want us to stay and secure a Shiite government. When the mission is complete and the Sunni resistance is crushed, they will give us a choice: Leave or face a new resistance. They will seize control of the resources we have contracted to international corporate profiteers and they will take possession of the monstrous military installations we have constructed for permanent occupation of the oil fields. They will form a new alliance with Iran, establish a variation on Shari’a law, and say goodbye to their former allies. (If you believe that Russia, China or even India will take our side in the new equation, you may well be catastrophically wrong.) 

If we refuse, we will be compelled to pick up the pieces of the Sunni resistance, change sides and fight alongside the same soldiers we currently condemn as terrorists. 

The truth about the Iraqi resistance is: There are no terrorists -- none. Even if we accept the neocon definition of terrorism (which conveniently exempts sovereign nations -- otherwise, Shock & Awe would be the operative model), an act of terrorism requires the intent to terrorize. In Iraq, the intent of roadside or suicide bombs is not to terrorize the most powerful military force on earth but to exact a price on the enemy occupiers and their collaborators. 

Whether we accept it or not, the Iraqi resistance is engaged in a civil war because the occupying nation has taken sides. If we had been told three years ago that we would sacrifice American blood and treasure to establish Shiite rule in Iraq, we would have had no part in it. 

All this lip service to the cause of democracy is a charade, a deadly farce, and a perversion of American ideals. 

Democracy is not a cause for war. Like foreign occupation, it is a cause for rebellion from within. Democracy in America has a very different meaning than democracy in Iraq. In America, it means that two parties controlled by the same corporate interests alter the rules of the game until the majority will of the people is virtually obscured. Democracy in Iraq means total Shiite dominance and inevitable civil divide. 

You do not impose a state of war on any nation for any reasons other than a real, direct and imminent threat or an ongoing process of ethnic cleansing or genocide. (Clearly, this was not the case in Iraq where the vilified dictator is facing trial for crimes committed fifteen years before the invasion.) If your only reason for war is to change the form and nature of government, you have denied the people the fundamental right of self-determination -- a right that includes the choice between peace and rebellion. 

Any reasonable criteria for justified war would disallow the invasion of Iraq, an aggressive act of war perpetrated by a deceptive, corrupted and ideologically driven administration. (Such criteria would also preemptively prohibit an act of aggression against Iran, a nation infinitely more threatened than threatening.) 

We may not favor the form and nature of any number of governments around the world but it is not for us to determine by military means which will stand and which will fall. We have embraced far too many despots to defend such a distinction as grounds for war. 

As the Bush administration continues to promote its dark doctrine of military supremacy and preemptive strike, at this juncture of international affairs, there is not a single nation on earth less peaceful and more threatening than our own. 

The truth about Iraq is: We were wrong at the inception of the war; we have been wrong for three years, and we continue to be wrong today. 

It would be the first time since the Bush administration took office that it appealed to the international community without a covert agenda. As citizens of a nation that has willfully violated the cardinal principle of international conduct through aggressive war, we should request that a neutral body negotiate a simultaneous truce between the warring factions (Shiites and Sunnis with Kurdish engagement) and the withdrawal of all occupying forces. The only acceptable condition of withdrawal is the safety of our soldiers and their replacement by a legitimate peacekeeping force. 

Save for a continued occupation, all options should be on the table, including shared oil revenues and civil divide. 

We have inflicted great harm upon the world and we have paid a great price yet our sacrifice is little when compared to what the people of Iraq have endured -- even if we allow for the demise of a ruthless dictator. 

We are not miracle workers; we cannot change water into wine. We cannot transform the sands of Arabia into a democratic Garden of Eden and we cannot expect to profit from our gross and criminal misdeeds. We can only hope to make amends. 

Let us begin by ending the occupation and beginning the long process of transforming our own political system so that disasters like the presidency of George W. Bush never happen again. 

Jack Random is the author of Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press) the Jazzman Chronicles, Volumes I and II (City Lights Books). The Chronicles have been published by CounterPunch, the Albion Monitor, Buzzle, Dissident Voice and others. Visit his website: Random Jack.

Other Articles by Jack Random

* Barry Bonds and the Steroids Saga
* Defiling the Grave of an American Hero: The Censoring of Rachel Corrie
* Starving the Beast: Programmed Ineptitude
* Constitutional Suspension: An Abdication of Democracy
* Right and Responsibility Depictions of the Prophet Mohammed
* Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan: Challenging the Pro-War Democrats
* The State of the Union: A Stumbling Illusion of Strength
* The Presidential Power Grab
* Surrealistic Pillow: The West Virginia Mining Disaster
* Pataki & Bloomberg: How to Bust a Union
* The Imperial President and the NSA Spying Scandal
* France and the Burning Embers of Repression
* The Activist Court & the Neoconservative Agenda
* The Agnew Factor: Clearing the Impeachment Path
* Iraq and New Orleans: The ABCs of Police Lawlessness
* The Age of Catastrophe: Preparing for Disaster
* No Tears for Rehnquist: The Legacy of a Chief Justice
* Zero Tolerance: Bush Gets Tough as New Orleans Suffers
* Hugo Chavez and the American Slug: Pat Robertson’s Call for Assassination
* The Lie of a Strong Economy (Beneath the Towers of Avarice)
* Fooled Again: Major Party Turnabout
* The New War Candidate: Major Paul Hackett for Congress
* Free Judy! The Fine Art of Calling a Bluff
* Executive Blackmail: The Betrayal of Democracy in Haiti
* Blame the Democrats & Move On: The Federalist Court
* Against the Wind: The Inevitable End of the Iraqi Occupation
* London and Madrid: Reflections on the War on Terror
* Judith Miller: The Anti-Hero
* Schizo Scherzo: The Last Waltz
* The Last Throes: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
* Impeach Bush -- US Out Now!
* Recall the Governator
* The Gates of Hell: Occupied Iraq
* May Day: The Rise & Fall of the Middle Class
* The Papal Aristocracy: Confessions of a Nonbeliever
* No Citizen Left Behind
* A Marine Comes Home: The Untold Story of War
* The Compassionate Leader -- In a Time of Crisis
* In Defense of Barry Bonds
* Defending Dan? Rather Not
* David Went to Canada...& Johnny Got His Gun