How easy it is to forget that we have a war going on here. With all the hoopla over Scooter Libby’s indictment, Bush’s latest Supreme Court wrangling and Tom DeLay’s legal quandary, the media has all but forgotten that the gravest matter, the war in Iraq, is still raging on with October culminating the bloodiest month for US troops since January.
On Halloween, seven more US soldiers were killed bringing the monthly total to 92. At this rate we should reach 3,000 US deaths by August, if not sooner. The bombs and attacks that are killing occupation forces are becoming more accurate and sophisticated say Pentagon officials — so we are only likely to see an increase in deaths as the war continues. Journalists haven’t fared much better than soldiers and Iraqi civilians; the total death count of journalists in Iraq already outnumbers the total killed during the entire Vietnam era.
Iraq is beset with death thanks to the US government.
November’s outlook is also grim. The Democrats are likely to spend the majority of their time attempting to oppose Samuel Alito’s quest for the high court. So you can bet the war isn’t going to take center stage anytime soon. Sure the liberal Dems will pay lip service to the Libby indictments, but they will never go after the heart of the matter: the lengths to which the government is willing to go in order to sell its imperial crusades.
Why won’t the Democrats address this? Well, the liberal establishment served up the same contaminated cocktails during the lead-up to the Iraq invasion as the Republicans did. The Democrats will always play victim, though. They’d just as soon declare they were misled than admit that they too lied about Saddam’s alleged WMD stash. Despite what DC Democrats may say, this is a bipartisan war that was set into motion during Clinton’s reign.
Before we go much further, I think a small clarification is in order. This whole CIA leak and Scooter’s latest tribulations are not a product of some personal tit-for-tat aimed at Joseph Wilson, but part of a larger White House effort orchestrated in order to counter increasing CIA rumblings about the short sightedness of the government’s Iraq endeavor during the lead up to war. Never mind that outing an undercover CIA officer shouldn’t be illegal, but championed. Regardless, the Libby episode isn’t about outing a CIA creep, anyway, it’s about lying to a grand jury.
So back to the bloody war. As chaos, violence and car bombs enflame Iraq, the US government is going about its business as usual. Reconstruction contractors are posting record profits. Weapons producers are fattening their bottom lines. War in Syria and Iran may soon become reality. Campaign coffers are busting at the seams thanks to the same industries profiting in the Middle East. The neocon agenda is persevering despite the bumps in the road and it looks as though they will still be steering the helm after the 2006 elections.
If we are ever going to stop this war we can’t get sidetracked by alleged victories and poll figures. We’ve got to keep the pressure on the warmongers as long as US soldiers and corporations occupy Iraq.
Joshua Frank [send him mail] is the author of Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, just published by Common Courage Press. To learn more visit www.BrickBurner.org.