War

I’m guessing that tens of millions of people today know the name of the young woman Eliot Spitzer was paying for sex. I’m guessing that no one outside their circles of family, friends, and colleagues knows the names of Kevin S. Mowl and Christopher S. Frost. They are the last two named American servicemen to have been killed in Bush’s Iraq disaster. Mowl died in late February, from wounds suffered in an IED attack. Frost died last week, in a helicopter crash. Thirteen more American service personnel have been killed more recently, but their names have not been released to the public. Three were killed yesterday, in a rocket attack near An Nasiriyah.

We all know about Geraldine Ferraro. We found out about Samantha Power not because she’s an expert on one of the most important issues humanity faces, but because she made some stupid comments to a Scottish reporter. We’ve recently heard more about obscure Canadian embassy officials than we have about the people who are dying in Iraq. Little wonder, then, that support for the war is at the highest level since 2006. Little wonder that more Americans think the number of U.S. casualties is closer to 3,000 than the actual 4,000. The Iraqi people are a little more realistic. As reported by the Associated Press:

In just a week, Baghdad has seen a spate of suicide bombings that have killed scores of Iraqis and five U.S. soldiers – among 12 Americans who have fallen in the line of duty during the past three days in Iraq.

Suddenly, the city is feeling the unease of the period before violence eased partly as a result of the U.S. troop buildup, which is now coming to a close.

“Violence has increased dramatically” over the past few days, said Haitham Ismael, a 33-year-old father of three living in western Baghdad.

After five years of war, Iraqis interviewed said they were not necessarily changing their daily routines. But all said the growing bloodshed was present in their minds, clouding what had until recently been a more hopeful time.

Violent civilian deaths were up 36%, last month. American casualties are also again increasing, with the first two months of this year seeing more deaths than the last two months of last year. Total U.S. and Iraqi casualties are on pace for the highest monthly total in more than half a year. The cost estimate is now up to $12,000,000,000 a month. And then there’s that embassy. Not to mention Pentagon efforts to bury the latest report proving no pre-war links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

I mention all this because it matters. I also mention it because the Democratic candidates don’t mention it nearly often enough. We know that the corporate media won’t tell the truth about the war, but our candidates should. Every day. All day long. Everyone’s watching everything they do and say. The media are dishonestly dissecting every comment. The candidates should take advantage of all the attention. A lot of people whine about the potential pitfalls of a drawn out nomination fight, well the candidates ought to turn that around and make it a positive. Tell the truth about Iraq. Don’t make it but another talking point, recite the facts. Recite the statistics. Begin each stump speech by honoring the latest released named American service personnel to die for Bush’s folly. Tell the truth. No one else will. No one else can. There’s a war going on. The American people are being lulled into complacency. The Iraqi people and American service personnel are dying for it.

17 comments

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    • Viet71 on March 14, 2008 at 12:19 am

    and will stay off-track until there is the consensus that the invasion of Iraq was not simply wrong or badly handled or politically controversial but FUCKING ILLEGAL.

    ILLEGAL!  Not bungled.  Not wrong.

    War trials!

    A rant.  But like all who rant, I’m 100% correct.

  1. showed up, and 1/3 of the country is transfixed (the election); and a real bear showed up, and another 1/3 of the country is transfixed (the current economic meltdown–I remember the 1970s and it wasn’t pretty), and the other third don’t much give a shit.

    But yes, we need to keep up the pressure.  I’m as guilty as anyone of being transfixed (in my case, by the bear).

    But you’re right.  Great diary!

    • documel on March 14, 2008 at 12:47 am

    The economy is going down the tubes because of the expenditures, unpaid for, in Iraq.  These two stories are really one–yet Dems are too dumb, or too timid, to call it the Iraq Economy Recession.    

  2. to say the renewed violence is due to Sadr’s pulling out of the deal he had made to keep the peace, which means it is a reasonable conclusion to say that the violence will continue.

    And The Big Lie continues to work…..amazing.

  3. or sticker, or graffiti

    Iraq

    1234 US dead

    1234 billion dollars

    $99 zillion profit for Haliburton

    with the older value obviously painted over and updated.  Keep on updating it every week or two.

    The number of Iraqi dead could be in there, I’ve found that too often that gets assumed to be ‘terrorists’, even if the word ‘civilians’ is used.  Maybe the number of Iraqis displaced from their country would be more effective.

    Posters and leaflets, terse and focused.  No political rants, just numbers.  Let the readers draw their own conclusions in their own time.

    0 WMD found  (government report name and date)

    NO connection between Saddam and al Quida   (government report name and date)

    12345 US military personal seriously wounded.

    put them up where you can, update them.  Print them out, with a date, leave one on the bus, in books and under appliances in thrift shops, on the shelf of a Walmart (I’ve a half hour wait for the bus outside of one, I go in armed with a shopping list, read the writing on a product box and make a note on my list, somehow leave the little flyer behind, pick up a flyer of Walmart’s in return)

    • Mu on March 14, 2008 at 2:31 am

    I used to read your diaries and comments over at Daily Kos.  Very good to see you here.  And, you’re 100% correct about how this, this matters.

  4. no, no, no. war is EXCITING. didn’t you get the memo?

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President George W. Bush got an earful on Thursday about problems and progress in Afghanistan where a war has dragged on for more than six years but been largely eclipsed by Iraq.

    snip

    “I must say, I’m a little envious,” Bush said. “If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed.”

    “It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You’re really making history, and thanks,” Bush said.

    • RUKind on March 14, 2008 at 6:27 am

    had a really good time. Instead, Halliburton, KBR, DynCorp, BlackWater, neocons, Iraqis, international arms dealers, oil companies and criminal syndicates are feeding at an unending trough of US wealth. This war is all about a small number of people getting incredibly wealthy by raiding the US Treasury for all it contains. And that’s both “our” side and the enemy.

    The same thing is happening in the Afghani-Pakistani War. We’re funding both sides simultaneously through internal corruption in those countries. No one in power over there wants this to end any time soon. They’re all getting obscenely wealthy while it lasts.

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