Thursday, June 28, 2007
By Tom Engelhardt
"......Now, Americans are theoretically waiting for the commander of US forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, to "report" to Congress in September on the "progress" of Bush's surge strategy. But there really is no reason to wait for September. An interim report - "Iraq by the Numbers" - can be prepared now (as it could have been prepared last month, or last year). The trajectory of horror in Iraq has long been clear; the fact that the US military is a motor driving the Iraqi cataclysm has been no less clear for years now. So here is my own early version of the "September Report"......
The question is: What word best describes the situation these Iraqi numbers hint at? The answer would probably be: no such word exists. "Genocide" has been beaten into the ground and doesn't apply. "Civil war", which shifts all blame to the Iraqis (withdrawing Americans from a country its troops have not yet begun to leave), doesn't faintly cover the matter.
If anything catches the carnage and mayhem that were once the nation of Iraq, it might be a comment by the head of the Arab League, Amr Mussa, in 2004. He warned: "The gates of hell are open in Iraq." At the very least, the "gates of hell" should now officially be considered miles behind us on the half-destroyed, well-mined highway of Iraqi life. Who knows what IEDs lie ahead? We are, after all, in the underworld."