By MARC McDONALD
It's become pretty obvious lately that Iraq has plunged into a civil war. That's the opinion of a variety of commentators and observers on the ground in the hell on earth that is today's Iraq.
That the Iraq War is a failure is hardly a viewpoint that is only coming from the likes of Howard Dean or Michael Moore. Here's a quote from William F. Buckley Jr., the dean of conservative American authors, writing in National Review, the bible of American conservative thought: "One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed."
After reading countless blood-curdling accounts of the ongoing Iraq civil war, I got curious recently about what the U.S. soldiers on the ground in Iraq think about all this.
It's not difficult to find the soldiers' viewpoints on the Web these days. After all, hundreds of soldiers on the ground in Iraq operate their own blogs, in which they write about their views and war experiences on a regular basis.
After reading hundreds of stories describing the situation in Iraq as a "civil war," I was curious to see what the soldiers have to say about all this. After all, if Iraq really is in a civil war, this has got to be demoralizing to our troops, (as the collapse of Iraq is the worst possible outcome for that nation). I began my quest at the popular site Milblogging.com, which offers a large roundup of military blogs from around the Web.
I spent a few hours, browsing various military blogs, and I have to admit, I saw very few references to a "civil war." I found this curious. If the media and various other commentators and observers are falsely characterizing what's going on as a "civil war," then you'd think that the military blogs would challenge this notion.
To be sure, most military blogs that I encountered are quite angry at the media. They bitterly blast the likes of the Washington Post and The New York Times.
Actually, I wouldn't blame the troops for being angry at The New York Times. After all, the Times assisted the Bush White House in its efforts to lie America into the war in the first place.
Recall during 2002, during the buildup to the Iraq War, Bush was trying to convince the nation that Iraq had WMDs and posed a threat to Americans. Instead of taking a hard look at Bush's claims to see if they were true, the Times did the worst possible thing. It pretended to investigate Bush's claims and then gave its blessing to Bush's case for war.
I know if I was in the military, I'd be angry as hell at the likes of the Times and the rest of the U.S. mainstream media that acted as cheerleaders for a war based on lies.
There's only one problem.
Most military blog writers are angry at the media---but it doesn't have anything to do with cheerleading the nation into a war based on lies. Instead, they're angry at the media for supposedly being "liberal" and anti-Bush. In fact, they're pretty much angry at anyone who opposes Bush, period (which, by the way, includes a majority of Americans these days, according to the polls, including the one conducted by Fox News).
I was really hoping that the military blogs would give me some valuable insight into this war. But most of the blogs I saw didn't offer any more "insight" than one would get from listening to an episode of The Rush Limbaugh Show. Most military blogs seem to consist of just a bunch of right-wing/Fox News bullsh*t talking points and pro-Bush blather.
Reading over the blogs, my ability to see the troops in a positive light was tested by their fanatical loyalty to Bush himself. I mean, here's a coward who ran away from serving in combat in Vietnam. Bush was waving pompons as a cheerleader at Andover prep school while true heroes like John Murtha and Wesley Clark were getting shot at in the jungle by the Viet Cong.
I guess you can't blame the troops for supporting their "commander in chief," though. What is bizarre is how many of the MilBlogs also support the likes of Rush Limbaugh, another chickensh*t coward who refused to serve his country in war-time.
Maybe I'm being unfair. The military blogs that I saw were all pro-Bush and full of right-wing cliches and Fox "News" talking points. Maybe there are military blogs out there will differing points of view. But if there are, I didn't see them. Maybe the military censors don't allow dissident points of view. Highly ironic for a "democracy," don't you think?
There's no doubt, of course, that our troops in Iraq have been heavily propagandized. That's probably the case in every war. Our nation's ruling class, of course, needs to convince the troops dying on its behalf to fully believe in the cause for which they're fighting.
However, there's a big difference between rallying the troops with the Stars and Stripes and cynically lying to them. That's clearly what has happened in the Iraq War. For evidence of this, you need to look no further than surveys like this one that show that an incredible 90 percent of U.S. troops believe that the Iraq war is retaliation for Iraq’s (nonexistent) role in 9/11.
A message to any troops who might be reading this: We support you. We just don't support this war. You've been lied to. You may not realize this today. But you will, someday. You are, in fact, fighting on behalf of a gang of crooks, cowards and liars in the White House and their wealthy backers. But you're NOT fighting on behalf of a majority of the American people (who now believe that this war was a mistake).
At the end of the day, are we to conclude that all our troops in Iraq are NeoCons who worship Bush? Fortunately, that's not the case, despite the fact that most "MilBlog" site owners seem to be Republicans. The fact is, there are plenty of troops these days who believe otherwise. There are also groups out there such as Iraq Veterans Against the War, who seek to end the war in Iraq as soon as possible.