It’s wonderful to see how the logic of war continues to drown out the still-feeble attempts to change course in Iraq and repudiate that criminal enterprise. Now, the reigning assumption among some self-appointed experts is that the troop surge in Iraq has ‘worked’ because the horrific mass slaughter has slowed down, relatively speaking, to a mere homicidal trickle.
This recalls the cynical spin placed on the Salvadoran civil war back in the 1980s when the Reaganite death squads roamed the countryside there and systematically eliminated trade unionists, local leaders or anyone suspect of sympathy with the guerrilla movement. They also drilled a few holes in their victims’ flesh beforehand to make sure they and their relatives got the message although the State Department was forbidden to suggest that ‘human rights’ might be suffering as a result.
When those assassinations dropped to a mere few dozen rather than the hundreds of previous months, Saint Ronald’s spinners said their steady support was producing results on the ground and preparing the way for the wonders of democracy. No one was supposed to notice that the peace they generated was that of the cemetery as the Pentagon’s serial-killer allies had no one left to torture and kill.
But if victory for ‘our’ side is the only issue, then I suppose McCain has a point. Only if there is zero interest in the Iraqi polity and its capacity to exist for and of itself can one find anything in the current situation there to be proud of. However, if we focus exclusively on the possibility that the country can be stabilized long enough to settle U.S. oil companies in a favorable position, perhaps ‘victory’ is indeed just around the corner.