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Bush's folly stretches to eternity

Only the Murdoch Press, (represented at its most rabid pro-war delusionism in the editorials of The Australian) and George Bush still believe in the folly of Operation Freedom in Iraq. Unfortunately, the inconvenience of all those people dying, (including those of the US military, whose individual lives are worth at least a thousand Iraqi lives) is not enough to put an end to the debacle. The most important thing of course, is not to admit error, and not to lose face, so many more thousands will have to die before some retreat with honour can be manufactured.

A recent editorial in The Australian, true to the rigid pro-war tone it has set in its editorials over the past three years, counts at least one blessing in the current state of the debacle it will go into history as being an unabashed supporter of. It claimed that at least there are not thousands of people demonstrating in the streets for an end to the war, as there was during the Vietnam War. Perhaps they think that this means people support the war? That they believed the lies that Bush as his cronies and The Australian peddled? That they believed the gung-ho unquestioning support by The Australian for all of Bush's lies?

In fact more people demonstrated against this war, before it had even begun, than had ever demonstrated against any war. And The Australian treated their views with contempt. The Australian accepted Powell's submission to the UN, cooking up a false case for the prescence of WMDs, (which he has expressed his embarrassment about - but not the Oz) while the protesters viewed it with cynicism. The Oz accepted the nuclear lies; never questioned the links with Al Qaeda and Saddam, and totally ignored Iraq's efforts to supply all the requested information about WMDs, and to allow unrestricted access to the weapons inspectors. It ignored the inspectors' requests for more time to carry out inspections, and it ignored their opinions that suggested that there were no WMDs.

We watched in despair as The Australian supported the slaughter of civilians, cooked up photo-ops of US forces treating Iraqi prisoners kindly, skimmed over the atrocities at Abu Ghraib prison, and gave a diagonal nod to the long term imprisonment of thousands without charge, all the while trying to convince us that all was going well.

The irony is that it was The Australian which was against the Vietnam War in this country, something it proudly reminds us of on occasion. There will be no proud history of this debacle in future years, despite some feeble attempts to argue that the Oz has been giving equal voice to opposing views in recent months, as its obvious embarrassment grows. To have to resort to saying that people are not demonstrating in the streets, as some kind of justification for its approach to this subject demonstrates not only that its pious editorials are increasingly on shaky ground, but that it is shaping to concede that it has been wrong all along, and is now looking to show a more balanced appraisal of the whole stupid mess.

As to the lack of demonstrations. The truth is that the rotten eggs which make up the stink in the Middle East cannot be unscrambled with any simple answers. Whether the US troops stay, and keep killing and being killed, or whether they leave a ruined country in disgrace, there is only one certainty, and that is on-going bloodshed. Bush will not pull out of course - he would lose face, so there is nothing to be done by him and the Oz but to continue this murderous escapade for years to come. Perhaps it will give the Oz an opportunity to gradually change its attitude, but history will show that it supported an illegal invasion in the biggest fuck-up of the century, which the next ninety five years will struggle to surpass.

As Colin Powell is reputed to have said. "You break it - you fix it!" But there is not much point to him now marching down the street with a peace banner. The Australian's pet escapade has gone far beyond that.

Posted: Thu - September 21, 2006 at 04:38 PM      
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