Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Henderson: Al-Qaeda, not US, is to blame for Iraq disaster

Blinkers on in the killing fields - smh.com.au Henderson makes the best case he can for the war in this article, critiquing the 'left' for its opposition and lamenting the horror of Al-Qaeda terrorism. Its very much in the grand style of condemning the historic crime of Hitler's Holocaust (not to mention the shocking acts of Genghis Khan) but having nothing to say about the evils for which we today, right now, are responsible, and could stop if we were minded to.

I suppose the most interesting thing about it is that he no longer seeks to deny the war has slaughtered 650,000 (and counting) Iraqis, he just attempts to pin the blame on Al-Qaeda and the insurgency. The US and its miserable Anglo-Saxon 'allies' Blair and Howard, who are just valiantly striving to promote democracy, apparently don't have anything to do with it.

Lets hope he's reading UK General Rose, who bluntly declared the war is lost, we have to admit defeat and leave, and that the insurgency is right to attack US forces. Henderson might get a clue but I doubt it. He long ago sold his soul to the neo-liberal, neo-conservative, pseudo-fascist governments we labour under. Henderson is billed as the 'executive director of the Sydney Institute', one of those phony academies cum-propaganda-outfits that are a defining feature of the right wing reaction to the sixties. Usually described as 'think tanks', these places have degenerated into being all tank and no think. Naturally a tool like Henderson doesn't know exactly who or when the next country it is that is going to be attacked, only that when the attack comes in, he has to propagandise for it as best he can.

The Iraq war is a modern watershed. There were those who recognised it as an immoral, illegal act of aggressive war and thus opposed it, even before it started; and then there were those who recognised it as an immoral, illegal act of aggressive war and supported it, to the bitter genocidal end. There were only 25 million people in Iraq to start with. We are now heading towards one million killed and another four million refugees. Another ten or twenty years and the place will be depopulated.

Perhaps that is the plan? Genocide the natives and work the fields with imported slave labour. Its reminiscent of the Irish famine: why don't these people just die or can I put them on a coffin ship to the New World? Capitalism wont be able to advance if we can't clear the land and make a profit from modern farming.

If democracy is to be saved and psuedo-fascism defeated, this latter category of war supporters will have to be driven out of public life and public discourse. People who really believed or still believe the silly lies about weapons of mass destruction, links to Al-Qaeda, and promotion of democracy are an insignificant minority. These lies would have done Himmler and Heydrich proud, which is exactly why no decent person these days would want to admit being duped by them.

A word about Pilger: he is one of Australia's great journalists, simply because he takes a moral stance, unlike Henderson who is nothing but a propagandist hacking away in a modern day Ministry of Propaganda. Certainly Pilger is correct in assessing the influence of the insurgency. They have halted the Bush plan of aggressive imperium, for which much of the world might be thankful. Another way of putting it is that 650,000 Iraqi people have paid with their lives so that Syria and Iran could be spared attack (sorry about Somalia).

However the phrase 'supporting the insurgency' is problematic. What exactly is meant by this? That one should send money and guns, perhaps volunteers, to the insurgency? I doubt many antiwar people (or Pilger) would actually agree with this, unlike warmongers of the Henderson variety who are doing all they can to keep the flow of political support, guns, money and soldiers into the warzone. Pilger's use of the word 'support' is probably more like the meaning of 'barracking' for the underdog in a movie at the cinema. You want to see the military machine defeated so that it cannot kill again. Ideally, the American people exercising democracy would halt the war and dismantle the Pentagon themselves, finishing the job Bin Laden started (non-violently, of course). But where democracy and the Republic have failed and been replaced by militarism and imperialism, the only check is military defeat and moral, political, and financial bankruptcy, which, for the sake of the world, cannot come quickly enough.

A couple of other points about Henderson's article: the whole theme of this article is that the immoral 'left' does not condemn terrorist killing, and yet in the very statement from Pilger that Henderson himself quoted Pilger says "we abhor and condemn the continuing loss of innocent life in Iraq". No decent and fair minded person would doubt that that is the genuine motive and feeling of John Pilger. So what is this, cognitive dissonance? Henderson or his propaganda line manager need to review this crap before it goes to print lest it collapse under its own self-refuting idiocy.

Secondly, Henderson say baldly: "Whatever a person's position on the invasion of Iraq, the fact is that most Iraqi deaths are being caused by members of the Iraqi insurgency - Sunni and Shiite alike - as well as by the radical Islamists who comprise al-Qaeda in Iraq." Evidence please? Even if this were true, it does not absolve the US and its allies of responsibility for the disaster which the invasion has imposed on Iraq. But, IIRC, the Lancet guys indicated that most of the deaths were caused by airpower - the vast, great unpunished warcrime of the modern world.

From the slaughter of the Germans (600,000) to the firebombing of Tokyo and the nuking of two other cities, to the monstrous Indo-China bombardment, to the slaughter of 200,000 Iraqis in the First Gulf Massacre, through to this contemporary Second Gulf Massacre, what would Henderson know or care about that? Picasso's Guernica is nice, but its ok if we do it. The shame is revealed, however, when they put a blanket over it.

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