Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Ten years ago, George W. Bush set America on course for one of the biggest imperial disasters since Valerian tried to conquer Persia with nothing but his purple toga. Today, we take a look at Iraq and see what all that blood and bombs accomplished.

First, though, let's dispense with all the myths. It wasn't about helping the Iraqis in anyway - that's gotta be the dumbest myth of all. Not a single American, then or now, gives a damn about the people of Iraq. Just like they didn't give a damn about weapons of mass destruction - the search for which ended as soon as Bush secured a second term. And it wasn't even about oil or imperialism or any of that. Not in the way we usually think of it anyway...

The Iraq war was two things - a business venture and a grand sociological experiment. The neocons who'd been pushing for this war since the Clinton era held to the sort of romantic theories that can only be dreamed up by third-rate academics, namely that invading a foreign country by force of arms wouldn't piss off the locals. "We bring you democracy! And blackouts! No more AC in the dessert but here's the Federalist Papers!"

"And delicious combs!"

It takes the dumbest sort of true believer to think anyone would welcome that and neocons were nothing if not dumb. So dumb they didn't even have a counter-insurgency plan when they kicked it off! When these nimrods finally accepted the reality of Iraq - in 2007! - the clown they put in charge with grand ceremony could only lose thousands of assault rifles and cook the books on casualties to make things look a little less horrible.


But that was the sideshow, like anything having to do with ethics or morality in this rotten country. What really drove the invasion of Iraq, what really mattered at the end of the day, was good ol' business. The crooked sort - contractors charging grunts a hundred dollars for a load of laundry, huge no-bid contracts that were paid for but never completed, lost pallets of money, and "sailboat fuel." That last one is the sort of terrible that's almost funny - contractors made American soldiers drive empty trucks up and down IED-laden highways so they could write off the extra miles. How many of you pro-business, red state fucktards care to defend that!?

"Gots ta git paid, bitchez!"

And it failed. That's what no one really wants to admit and I don't just mean how Iraqis are still bombing each other rather than voting for dull Protestants like good Ohio Republicans or whatever lame-ass fantasy neocons believe. The cold, imperial goal of the war was American hegemony in the Middle East - through bullshit business and happy civic lies, but hegemony nonetheless. Since then the US has been losing in standing around the world, suffered so many economic woes it's turned in on itself in an orgy of minarchist malarkey, and the Arab Spring has elevated one Islamic hardline faction after another. Funny how, when people get a hold of democracy, they don't always vote the "right" way...

So take a bow, Iraq War! Not many ten-year-olds can take credit for hobbling the greatest empire in human history.

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