Sunday, January 16, 2005

In Utopia, we have no need for troops...

Just had a few re-reads of Kamil Mahdi's reply to Lakshmi Chaudhry. He finishes;

The peace movement must fight for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops, and also for the U.S. and the whole world to accept its responsibility to help Iraq recover. It is absurd to hold that the U.S. can only help Iraq through troops and contracted mercenaries.

A remark, perhaps, on one of Chaudhry's closing questions;

can we bring our soldiers home and fulfill our responsibility toward the Iraqi people?

Ok, well I already did my spleich about "the peace movement" after reading Lakshmi Chaudhry, so now I'll move on to my "troops out" spleich.

The interesting thing about the "Troops Out" versus "Troops fulfill responsibility by Presence" debate is the position it unwittingly put US spin doctors in - perpetually squirming from one opinion poll's results to the next. "Flip-flopping" as it were, between trying to justify war and trying to control a blown out defense budget. In short "the peace movement's" internal discussions have made certain pro-war administrations look curiously melleable.

As the world's public floundered over reports and images emerging from Iraq, Bush's speech writers seemed to follow suit. If voters claimed war was wrong, Bush's speech writers choreographed a "the war is over" declaration. If voters felt somehow their countries war-faring governments should pay penance by "sticking it out", pro-war presidential and prime ministerial speechwriters had their mouth-pieces vowing to remain in Iraq and "get the job done". If voters swayed shocked over Abu Ghraib, pro-war speech writers scripted in equal feigned shock.

Personally, I never thought calling for "troops out now" cut it as an anti-war slogan. It almost compromises the original "No War" sentiment. Simply calling for the withdrawal of troops seems to accept the inevitability of troops. Surely it would be better if we had no troops at all. "No War" just seems so much more decisive. How could anyone possibly argue with it's beautifully simple logic? Why only campaign for troop withdrawal? I mean, frankly, it's a bit below even a bloggers station to be making such compromising suggestions. "No War" is marvelously cross border - it applies to all troops, regardless whose, and all war atrocities, regardless where. In fact, you don't even really have to say it anymore, you can just fix a steely gaze on some pro-war rhetorical trollop and make cynical movements with your eyes and everyone knows damn well what you mean.

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