A History of Violence

Just a short post today, linking to a much longer essay.

I got this link from Broshaq, who posted it on his blog, "Liquid Crack Repository." I'm just going to echo the link with a few comments of my own.

The link is to an article on Truthdig that is a quite long summation of a study conducted jointly with The Nation, entitled “The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness,” about the horrible atrocities perpetrated by American troops upon Iraqi civilians.

It's quite horrible, as one might expect. The gist of it is, there are many horrible killings, tortures, and violences that go uninvestigated or unreported, and are pretty much status quo for American troops in Iraq.

It is easy to say things regarding this report. "The war is awful, lost, and needs to be stopped now." "War is hell." "We are alienating the civilians rather than helping them, and training terrorists." "Colonialism, Colonialism, Colonialism." All of which are important things to say.

But what I want to say, because it was the particular conclusion that struck me first after the initial horror wore off is about how history will look at this. America looks like an oppressive, occupying power, and no amount of apologizing about how were were fighting for freedom or against terrorism or for democracy can balance this out. This shit looks like fucking Kristalnacht, and it is impossible to see it any other way.

After recounting one of the more benign stories about property invasion and unwarranted arrest, one of the soldiers said, “I just remember thinking to myself, I just brought terror to someone else under the American flag, and that’s just not what I joined the Army to do.” This is what we are going to see from this whenever we look back on this war. Americans flew halfway around the globe to terrorize people, purportedly for their ideals. We are the fascists now, pure and simple, no metaphor, no compare and contrast. Our soldiers, under some misconceived notion of promoting security, break into houses at night, destroy property, shoot innocent people for effect, scare children, and carry their parents away to be lost in prison. How is this a tactic of fighting terrorism? It is terrorism.

I only hope that the people who argued that this war was a good thing (which includes a large amount of people who are now so against it) have a hell to go to worse than the one that they caused. But I know they don't.

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