Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Days of future passed

As always, I'm a day late and a dollar short, but I've missed too many anniversaries recently to let another one slip past.

Monday, February 15, was the seventh anniversary of the largest worldwide day of protest in history.
[M]illions on 6 continents demonstrated against the U.S./U.K. plans to invade Iraq. Reported totals included 1 to 2 million in London and Rome; 1.3 million in Barcelona, Spain (a city of 1.5 million); 500,000 each in Berlin, Paris, Madrid, and New York. Smaller demonstrations were held in over 600 cities and towns across the U.S., including tens of thousands in several cities, and 150,000 the following day in San Francisco. Total participation is estimated at 25 million in more than 100 countries.
And it apparently didn't do a goddam bit of good, which is why I'm not sure if this should be noted with some degree of pleasure and pride at the outpouring of feeling or with dismay and disillusionment at its failure to prevent the war.

Y'know, the rightwing nutcases are forever insisting that those of us on the left never admit to being wrong. That's a good bit of psychological projection on their part, but never mind, my purpose here is to acknowledge something a rightwinger said that was correct even though it was criticized by a number of lefty bloggers.

Remember when, during the 2008 presidential campaign, John McCain was asked that question about US troops in Iraq "for 50 years" and he said "Why not a hundred?" Boy, did he get smacked around for that.

He was right.

He was right because what he actually said involved comparing US troops in Iraq with those stationed in Germany and South Korea and said that Americans would not object to US forces remaining in Iraq indefinitely if no Americans were dying. As long as casualties were low enough not to draw a lot of atttention, we wouldn't give a damn.

As so it has proved to be. The seventh anniversary of the invasion and continuing occupation are approaching with barely a notice. I mean, Iraq was so yesterday. So last administration. Okay, that's an overstatement but not by much - not when it can't be denied that there is far less attention being paid to Iraq than in years past. And, to be quite clear, I do not exclude myself from the guilty.

It's not that things are so much better and it's not because violence is down for Iraqis - yes, it is down but I daresay most Americans have no clue what level of violence Iraqis suffer now or suffered in the past - but because violence against Americans is down to almost nothing. The attitude among the media, the politicians, and too much of the public, including the left, is that if it doesn't affect us, we don't really care that much.

I am so damned depressed.

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