Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Friday, June 09, 2006

CROSSROADS COMMENT -- Zarqawi Is Dead--Denial Lives


Zarqawi is dead.

At Camp David with the boys, Bush is probably strutting his Banty rooster walk. “We got him. We got the S.O.B..” He’ll probably rein himself in from crowing “Mission Accomplished” again. Maybe not. He is George Bush.

Zarqawi is dead. And so are how many more Iraqis, ages unknown--lives, beliefs and dreams a mystery to Americans?

Zarqawi is dead. And so are Gary T. Rovinski, 44, Chief Petty Officer First Class, Navy, from Roseville, Illinois and Michael D. Stover, 43, Major, Marines, from Mansfield, Ohio. Two Americans in the prime of life. They died doing their duty. They are deaths 2,471 and 2,472 since the start of the Iraq war.

Zarqawi is dead. The war goes on. On the home front, we honor the dead with a brief nod and go on with our lives. Most of us have not been asked to sacrifice a thing in support of this ill conceived and ineptly conducted war.

Zarqawi is dead. The Iraqi people live within a nightmare. The American people live in denial.

And just before Zaraqawi and Rovinski and Stover and all of those unknown Iraqis died , David Brooks (NYT, June 8, 2006) writes this:

“One of the paradoxes of this war is that when U.S. forces commit atrocities, we regard it as a defeat for us because we have betrayed our ideals. When insurgents commit atrocities, it is also a defeat for us because of our ineffectiveness in the face of the enemy. Either way, morale suffers and the fighting spirit withers away.”

This is not a paradox. Hopefully “our ideals” have not been defeated though they most certainly have been betrayed. “Our ideals” are not about war and mechanized violence in service to false and deluded goals–-preemption, regime change, oil, democratization delivered out of the barrel of a gun. And insurgent atrocities do not represent defeats or the cold “ineffectiveness” Brooks laments. They represent the fruits of a failed, ideologically driven policy.

Brooks should review the meanings of paradox. [see “liar paradox”]

David Brooks wants us to see paradox in the atrocities, theirs and ours, in Iraq. He is hiding behind the falsity in this supposed paradox; he too is in denial as to what we have created in Iraq and how it is playing out.

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