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The sad insanity of Iraq

By Alexander Carpenter
This video comes from a whole series called Hometown Baghdad, created by young people in Iraq. I found this episode, One of Thousands, to be particularly revealing in the Kafkaeque sad insanity it portrays about the real world of living in an occupied Iraq. Is this objective truth? No. Is this a larger reality? I think so. But you should decide for yourself.

I think the story’s most salient point centers on the resentment that the occupying troops often inadvertently spread in the discharge of their duties. By being there we undermine the very peace that we are supposed to represent. And more and more of the normal middle classes are trapped between Iraq and a harder place.
Below, I have also posted some video from one of the most straight-shooting reporters in Iraq, CNN’s Michael Ware. He gets past the endless debate over whether the surge is working in some areas or not to the wider concerns of what the last six months have cost. In fact, we are now undermining the very government we created and arming para-government militias (this time Sunni –thanks Bob) — a policy that should bring a smile to those familiar with Afghanistan, Colombia, Nicaragua, oh yeah, and Saddam Hussein during the 80s.

As Sy Hersh writes in the New Yorker
The Bush Administration’s reliance on clandestine
operations that have not been reported to Congress and its dealings
with intermediaries with questionable agendas have recalled, for some
in Washington, an earlier chapter in history. Two decades ago, the
Reagan Administration attempted to fund the Nicaraguan contras
illegally, with the help of secret arms sales to Iran. Saudi money was
involved in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal, and a few of
the players back then—notably Prince Bandar and Elliott Abrams—are
involved in today’s dealings.

Iran-Contra was the subject of an informal “lessons learned”
discussion two years ago among veterans of the scandal. Abrams led the
discussion. One conclusion was that even though the program was
eventually exposed, it had been possible to execute it without telling
Congress. As to what the experience taught them, in terms of future
covert operations, the participants found: “One, you can’t trust our
friends. Two, the C.I.A. has got to be totally out of it. Three, you
can’t trust the uniformed military, and four, it’s got to be run out of
the Vice-President’s office”—a reference to Cheney’s role, the former
senior intelligence official said.

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