After months and years of Bushisms about Iraq – Stay the course, Batten the hatches, Damn the torpedoes, etc. ad nauseam – lots of people sense fresh air in the Baker, Hamilton, and Co., report on Iraq. But I smell a rat or two.
The report is just perfume on a policy of continued mass murder. You don’t even have to search the fine print; the headlines make it clear that even under the terms the Wise Elders have dictated, US forces would remain in Iraq in large numbers well past 2008, and whether our soldiers and Marines were explicitly ordered into combat or kept back as “advisers” and “trainers,” they’d keep killing Iraqis. Thus we could see the toll of “excess deaths” in Iraq rise to a cool million very quickly – still far from what we wrought in Southeast Asia a while ago, but certainly a number worthy of a great power.
Nothing in the Baker report or on its pundit-ridden fringes should distract us from the plain truth. The US invasion and occupation of Iraq were and are illegal and immoral, and as such must be stopped immediately. And let’s not take refuge in the passive voice: We are the ones who must end this war and call the “leaders” to account. That includes Baker - who did yeoman service with the Reagan administration and then George H.W. Bush’s dirty little war council, and thus is no rose himself.