The Hidden Unseen War: The Reality of
Visions of Somalia reverberate, mutilated bodies being witness to the growing frustration of the populace with the US occupation and its "nation building" policies. Every month there seems to be a steeper escalation in the resistance fighters’ hatred of American soldiers, and this is manifested in their highly meticulous planning and the tenacity and savagery of their attacks. So frustrated is the population, it seems, that a growing number of Iraqis nostalgically desire for the return of the savage dictator if for no other reason that he at least provided security, stability, jobs and a reasonable semblance of normalcy. Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio, a strong advocate of the Iraq invasion, recently said that "There is a serious security problem" in Iraq…"Daily life, above all in Baghdad, is in worse condition than during Saddam Hussein's time." Without jobs, wages, electricity, water, self-government and, above all, security, Iraqis are growing increasingly impatient with the Americans. It seems promises that were once made have become nothing but lies.
Paul Bremer and the occupation government live behind a fantasy world of concrete blast walls and razor sharp wire, in designated safe-zones protected by hundreds of soldiers and far removed from the daily life of average Iraqis. Saddam’s luxurious palaces and hotels have become a bubble for the occupiers and the profiteers who live inside them, most of whom are unable or unwilling to venture out into cities and streets. This is due to the crippling mist of all-encompassing insecurity and the all-too-real fear – or respect – of the resistance. Because of this, Bremer and company are out of tune with normal Iraqis and out of tune with a nation simmering in growing anger and frustration.
From concrete-brick-mashing mobs to rocket-spewing-donkey-carts, from roadside bombs to Blackhawk-ravaging missiles, the Iraq insurgency is an enigma to an administration that won’t publicly admit that the resistance is spreading, that it is nationalistic and that it is disrupting the occupation in its attempts at nation-building. In short, they do not want to admit that they were wrong in their presumptions about the invaded nation in their quest to keep the peace. They gloated and cheered at the fall of Saddam, at the relatively easy victory over the Iraqi army. Yet the fantasy bubble they believed and the harsh reality we now live in collided like two supernovas, creating a bursting energy of panic, chicanery and suppression of truth.
Today, their mistakes and the reality of Iraq are hidden from us in their belief that we are but gullible, believe-anything, attention deficit disorder drones addicted to the many fantasy television shows that enable us to escape our little real world circumstances. They have gotten away with so much lies and deceit, however, that one wonders whether they are correct. It is said that the first casualty of war is the truth. The second casualty, it may be added, is the American people. Propaganda and conditioning, worker bees we have become, relying on what they tell us, self-thinking minds we have none.
Back home, the neoconartists and Bush were delusional in their beliefs that they knew the Arab world, and Iraq in particular. In fact, they failed to grasp everything about this growing quagmire, from the Iraqi way of life to the importance of honorable revenge among families to the real attitudes towards the United States to the interwoven intricacies of tribal and Muslim culture. Forgetting the importance of cultural sensitivity in the training of soldiers, they have unleashed rabid resentment among the citizenry due to daily humiliations of men, women and children. These have not gone unnoticed. In their overzealous thrust to impose ideology they seemed to forget exactly where in the world they had invaded. Discarding history like yesterday’s trash, they now seem content in forgetting the old saying that "those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it."
Again and again bestowing the virtue of democracy throughout the entire Arab world, the administration fails to grasp just how historically different and culturally heterogeneous these peoples are to us. Iraqis and Arabs have a deep history rooted in thousands of years, not just a few hundred. Their systems have been in place since the dawn of time, their way of life based on rules different than our own. Bush and his Eurocentric, Western-style, Judeo-Christian gang of zealots have not attempted to dust off the pages of history nor of civilization in their attempt to impose American style systems of government on peoples who are not ready for it. Without the rule of law, an educated populace, a middle class and a viable state order democracy cannot be born. Replacing a system that has endured for millennia, under completely different conditions, beliefs and philosophies with a creation based on Western experience and thought will not be achieved in one year, one decade or! perhaps even one century, especially under the threatening and watchful eye of tanks and smart bombs.
Bush talks democracy but what he means is democracy only if it benefits the United States. True democracy in the Arab world, if allowed to prosper, would be anything but good to Bush as fundamentalist Islam and anti-Americanism would reign supreme, thus washing away Bush’s neocon vision for the region. What Bush and his right-wing, Likud Party-puppet neoconartists naively wish for is a stable Iraq that will be subservient to Israel and that will act as a domino catalyst for the region, while at the same time acting as a staging point for American strategic imperial aspirations. Naiveté, it seems, is a neocon prerequisite, as their Jacobian daydream as influencers of the world runs in direct contradiction with Middle East reality and history. This reality is exactly the reason why our government supports dictators and inept monarchs throughout the region, if not the world. They are our puppets, serving our interests, not those of the native populations.
Democracy, after all, is the will of the people, not the design of the delusional. And right now, in the Arab world, anti-Americanism is at an all time high, thanks to Bush and his mentally-challenged foreign policy. "Diraqcracy" will not work, and, as such, will not be granted to the Iraqi people because of the inherent danger to Bush if it is allowed to prosper. With Shi’a, Sunni and Kurd groups comprising Iraq’s populace, each vying for power and autonomy, democracy will only lead to civil war. Besides, before preaching democracy for the world from his hypocritical pulpit perhaps Bush would be better served restoring it at home first, beginning with an introspection of himself and a careful look at his lack of honor and integrity in blatantly usurping the will of the people and the election of 2000.
If Bush really sought democracy and a better life for billions of world citizens, we would have already invaded, for the sake of bringing "freedom, liberation and democracy" to oppressed peoples, dozens of nations, all full of leaders representing the scum of the Earth. There are dozens of Iraq’s, dozens of Saddam’s, but not all with black gold or strategic locations from which to impose imperial aspirations. If you free one people from a tyrant you must do it for all, if not, Bush’s moral crusade becomes but a façade. Altruism is not George Jr.’s strength or motive because if it was, then Africa, rotting for decades in war and disease and continuing its steep fall to the bowels of despair would have already been anointed with Bush’s magic wand of democracy and salvation.
If democracy was of such importance to Bush, then the dictators and monarchs of Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and many other nations in Central Asia and the Middle East would be eliminated, instead of being politically, militarily and financially supported by the administration. In truth, democracy is only a viable option if it fits the Bush agenda of strategic power allocation and resource exploitation. For an empire such as ours, the game of geopolitics brings hardship for millions of world citizens who will suffer from the support by America of ruthless dictators and inept monarchs who preach democracy and freedom but instill only illusions of both while subjugating and exploiting their citizens for the benefit of themselves and of the hand that feeds them.
Diraqracy is of such importance in Iraq that already freedoms of the press and of speech have been curtailed when acting against occupation interests. Arab news organizations have been threatened and shut down, international journalists have been harassed and Iraqi citizens critical of the occupation have received harsh treatment by soldiers. Government propaganda spews like hot geysers erupting many times a day as the attempt to brainwash and assimilate the masses to the occupier’s line continues unabated. In Iraq, democracy means profiteering by US companies and Bush/neoconartist allies, in essence pilfering entire sectors of Iraq’s economy by privatizing and selling most national institutions. Crony capitalism and destructive democracy have been imported to the cradle of civilization; greed mongering now flows through the Tigris and Euphrates, making fertile the soils of the profiteer occupiers. It seems that Iraqis were not the only ones looting and pillaging Iraq’s resources. To the victors go the spoils, after all. Democracy, it seems, is evolving the same in Iraq as it is in the United States.
Under Bush, the United States has meddled into an occupation that is leading to strangulation in an aridly sandy version of Vietnam, led by fervid hallucinators of deception that have knowingly created a jihad-awakening struggle that has no end in sight. Under the guise of "terrorism" and through Bush and his Minority Report, precognition-style, oracle-predicting, psychic-preaching doctrine of pre-emption, America can go to war with whomever, whenever and for whatever reasons it sees fit. The neoconartist magic crystal ball of fortune telling, it appears, can predict the future but not its consequences. It can apparently predict who will be an enemy – a threat – and who will one day have plans to do us harm. In the game of empire building, no challenger must be allowed to stand or compete with the great United Corporations of America.
This attempt at reproducing Dark-Ages style magic by the neoconartist wizards of naiveté has led to an armament escalation by nations that see themselves in the crosshairs of Bush’s Texas Ranger six shooters. A new arms race has begun, and the world’s peoples are its losers. The administration has alienated most of our allies, and most of the people in the world. Today we stand alone, caught in a quagmire, with no offer of help by those we so arrogantly shunned. Our support for Israel, in the obviousness of such callous and inhumane treatment of Palestinians that can be seen as apartheid at its best and ethnic cleansing at its worst, is separating us further from a world that sees the injustice, dehumanization, suffering and the blatant endorsement for such by our unevenhanded policies.
It is time we Americans wake up to the harsh reality that what puppet Bush and his cronies have done has been to alienate the world against us by arrogantly ignoring the collective will of the planet. The world today is much more dangerous than ever before; indeed, the United States is a much more dangerous place today than before 9/11. The neoconartists and Bush, blinded by pro-Likud, pro empire and pro Christian fundamentalist interests, have endangered us all. Bush has not only lost three million jobs here; he has created three million more jihadists as well, all eyeing their holy war at the United States George W. Bush has created. Through his actions and policies he has given Osama bin Laden exactly what he most wanted: a perfect jihad-building recruiting tool that is helping to mobilize tens of thousands of anti-American warriors. He has unleashed a vicious circle of violence that will not soon stop. In fact, it will get worse before it gets better.
What Bush does not see is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The entire globe sees how dangerous this administration is, why can’t we? It is time we begin questioning authority, stop being brainwashed and manipulated by the corporate media and start learning about this administration, Iraq, and, most importantly, the world. We are not alone on this planet. The garbage and lies we are fed by television is making fools of us all, and our democracy is disappearing as a result. We are neither informed nor curious, and the robbery of the American soul continues unabated. And so, as winter glues us to our couches and we sit fused watching the tube, obediently following the 24-hour coverage of the exploits of Michael, Kobe or J.Lo or any other of the corporate-media-created superstar heroes, keep in mind the brewing storm of resentment and animosity that Bush’s failed foreign policies are setting free. Blizzards of snow will be the least of our problems.
Manuel Valenzuela is an attorney, consultant, freelance writer and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel that will be published in 2004. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin and can be reached at email@example.com
Other Articles by Manuel Valenzuela
Perpetual War, Perpetual Terror