Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Sadness that is Iraq

We have heard almost nothing about Iraq in the American news these days. Yes, of course, there is always the air strike targeting "terrorists" or "insurgents," though all too often the victims are women, the elderly, or, ho hum, children. (Of course if there is a tragedy in Israel it makes the front page.)

Suddenly there is a flurry of the pundit's pens (or, I guess, a clatter of the keyboards.) Packard in the New Yorker says that Obama has a problem because: a) he promised to bring home the troops, albeit slowly but b) WE ARE SUCCEEDING IN IRAQ!. This is apparently a combination of Bush's surge, Petreus, cooperation of the Sunni's, and the coming of age of the Iraqi government. Break out the champagne. So, Obama's promise to bring home the troops, i.e. get our military out of Iraq where they never should have been, is a BAD IDEA.

In the New York Review of Books Michael Massing, a usually astute journalist, gets embedded with the Army in a Baghdad district (Dora) and comes to the same conclusion. We are succeeding! Break out the champagne (but not too much because it will take a long time and we have a long way to go, if only those Iraqi would cooperate. You know, they are just not grateful for all we've done for them. And why shouldn't the big oil companies reap all the profits from their oil. Why, just look at all they've done for the world!)

In 1865 Lewis Carroll published "Alice in Wonderland." Who knows the real meaning, if any, behind this work. What we do experience when we read this work is typical dream experience of up is downism. That there is a world where things that we ordinarily take for granted (like gravity, relationships, hierarchy) are all askew. This is how I feel reading these essays. All askew.

If it wasn't so serious; if it didn't involve the death of so many innocent children, if it didn't involve the destruction of a society and a peoples, I guess one could give this insanity a modicum of credence. But it is serious. It does involve the killing, yea the murder, of countless innocent children. And eventually, it will be rectified. Everything gets rectified eventually. It may take centuries, and be long after myself and Bush are pushing up the daisies, but it will be rectified.

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