Have they won the war yet, those happy young guys in their big tanks? I give thanks if the missiles have stopped tearing human flesh. Please, not one more living creature killed or mutilated in the name of Iraq's "liberation" -- on either side. And if the yoke of a bloodsucking dictator like Saddam is lifted, so are my own spirits. But hold back the high fives. For the last three weeks it's been the big machines moving across the earth and sky that were out to efficiently destroy and kill. Crimes against the children of a whole nation, fine journalists plucked away -- the stupidity and wastefulness of it all.
Now I shudder at the burden on the living. A crazy continuing war, out of sight and still out of its mind.
The cluster bombs and other fire-breathing monsters were at least glaringly visible. The media could sort of follow where they were. Now we face the evil of invisibility. Will the suffering to come cease to be a story in the eyes of the world, as in Afghanistan, because the POWs have come home and the families of the fresh-faced soldiers are dreaming of reunion?
And so, no relief for Iraqis from decades of tyranny and violence. It means the war has just taken a new shape -- and the end is nowhere in sight.
The looting is more than a phase. It is a symbol of the real legacy of imperialism. Foreign control empowers theft -- it's that simple. The reward of imperial power is robbery.
That's the reason the Americans had a revolution, for Christ's sake.
Watch as the U.S.-mandated new Iraq places the power of justice in the hands of criminal politicians, politicians who are bought, who answer to their benefactors and who in turn grease the wheels by buying others.
These will be the same people who are supported by entrenched cultures of corruption and oppression. It doesn't take a history lesson like the former Soviet Union, just a TV, to see that anarchy empowers criminals. And how convenient, really, because in truth there is nothing as efficient for imperialism as a local gang of enforcers. That's exactly what the Americans are really looking for, and even if they weren't, it's what they'll find.
Let's hope the eyes of the corporate media have the integrity to stay tuned to the next cycle as closely as they have to the fire phase. Every pundit on every side has said the same thing since well before the war. The danger of this war is in the so-called "peace."
I heard George Bush promise to liberate the Iraqi people. Did he mean it in the sense that the archeological museum treasures have been "liberated"? I don't think this is the dream: massive privatization accomplished in just days. But it will be the reality if the same voices who cried out against occupation don't demand that justice -- not might -- become the foundation for peace and prosperity in Iraq.
Now, just when the anti-war movement runs out of its strong, simple "no war" message, comes the beginning of the next cycle of misery. We know we need to continue to shine the light of international attention and to leverage our voices with a message that's pointed and strong.
I say we start with a call for law and order. Not the corrupt, arbitrary justice that's bought and sold to the highest bidder. The real thing, a bulwark against the unchecked power of U.S.-sponsored politicians and the always-present danger of police for hire.
Governance is a process that will take time. Right now, without delay, the Iraqis need the best and the fairest justice system money can buy. And they need it delivered by the undisputed custodian of international law -- the United Nations.
Iraq is now taking that horrible ride from ruthless dictatorship into ruthless criminality. It is time to call for an independent UN-run judiciary (with a big, fat legal aid budget), based on internationally recognized rules, that punishes violence, litigates against corruption and fosters human rights. It's ironic, but the power of the law may be the world movement's next best ally against a rogue U.S. state and its shady new email@example.com