Thursday, March 22, 2007

Somebody stop George Packer...

... from breaking my heart every time he writes his excellent dispatches from Iraq.
I mean this rhetorically, of course. We need George Packer to keep illuminating us about the appalling mess going on over there, because here we only get the very tiny tip of the iceberg. We don't really know squat about the ugliness of the situation and here everything conspires to keep us in the dark as much as possible.
This time, the article is about the incompetence, ignorance and ingratitude the American government has shown towards those Iraqis that have chosen, with enormous risk to their lives, to side with the US because they used to believe that America was going to bring freedom and prosperity to their country.
It is a brilliant article, but it will make you gag. Your stomach will turn at the appalling lack of vision, the narrowmindedness, the banality, the incompetence, the sheer idiocy of the official policy of the Bush administration in general in Iraq and in particular towards the Iraqis who have tried to cooperate with the US, mostly as translators. They know the culture, they can bridge not only the language gap, but the more important culture gap, but no one wants to hear what they have to say. They need protection and nobody is giving it to them. I can understand a certain measure of caution, but if somebody has risked their life every day for four years to work with you, surely they deserve some respect. You can't use these people and treat them like shit.
And then there are the refugees we don't hear about because they are certainly not going to be welcome here.
Sure, as Packer points out, there are decent Americans out there, Americans who are ashamed and outraged, but they can do little against the bureaucracy and against the official policy that dictates that everybody should pretend that things are coming up roses in Iraq.
Broken record: It all comes from the top. The policy mirrors those who are in office. The ugliest, nastiest, most callous, stupidest bunch of people ever to be in power in this country.
Maybe now that Bush has finally relented and appointed some disgruntled critics of how the war has been handled, instead of people who may have sucked his dick once or are yet to do so, maybe these people will be able to reverse some of the damage that has been done by establishing better policies. We can only dream.

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