The logic of occupation, the corruption of empire is what the liberals refuse to challenge–and in that refusal they show themselves as accomplices, hypocrites, and apologists for misery and mayhem and murder. Occupation always elicits the same series of idiotic and impossibly thick observations: we mean well so why do they resist us? I can’t tell friend from foe on the streets so who should I shoot? I’m trying to help them so why aren’t they gratefully working harder to help me help them? And on and on…

Nationanal Propoganda Radio had a heart-warming puff piece last week about an “ethics” course taught at West Point– oxymoronic in the extreme, though the reporter didn’t seem to notice. The course is “Winning the Peace” and the premise is that winning wars is the easy part for  the US military machine, but that those nettlesome hearts and minds–have we learned nothing?– aren’t so easy to capture or subdue, especially after they’ve been invaded, destroyed, killed and maimed and tortured. The little scenarios for ethical reflection and discussion are about whether to pay a young boy to photograph suspected terrorists, things of that ilk. No ethical discussion of whether occupation and preemptive war is moral. No talk of saying “no” or speaking the unwanted truth to power. So luckily our paid killers are being asked to behave well in a hell of their own creation– to be ethical actors at the level of a slave-holder who paid his bills on time and always attended church on Sunday.

2 Responses to Occupation

  1. bruce rubenstein says:

    great post Bill….hopefully folks all over the place will begin to think about the consequences of the invasion and occupation abit more because of your wonderful blog…

  2. Adrian says:

    Many liberals seem to find it politically safer to say that Bush “botched the job” rather than acknowledge that this war has been an immoral and criminal project since its sinister conception.

    Since politicians will almost never question the fundamental goodness of American military power, Bush’s “incompetence” becomes a deceptive but convenient explanation for why this war has been such a catasrophe. In other words, we are asked to believe that the war was noble in principle but, as McCain would say, was “fought badly”… as if, in more capable hands, the invasion and occupation of Iraq would have turned out hunky-dory.

    Another reason the “incompetence” talking point has gained so much currency is that it provides a useful cover for warmongering pundits and journalists. Early champions of the war like Thomas Friedman, the editors of the New Republic and others, played an important role in making this war possible.

    Of course nowadays, these drummer boys for “regime change” have jumped on the Bush-bashing bandwagon – you almost forget where they stood four years ago. By making the issue Bush’s mismanagement, they absolve themselves of their own resposibility for this tragedy.

    As Bill points out, it’s tough to question the logic of occupation when the mainstream analysis refuses to question the broader reasoning behind the initial invasion (beyond the debunked WMD claims), i.e. with what moral and political authority does the United States invade and occupy a foreign country?

    Christopher Hitchens & Co. tell us that the U.S. must stay in Iraq for the sake of the Iraqis, for the future of democracy, etc. etc. But this is an old line – even the most rapacious 19th century imperialism justified itself with pretty words and good intentions. Apparently it’s now the Yankee’s burden to “uplift and civilize” the benighted peoples of the Earth…at gunpoint.

Leave a Reply to Adrian Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: