Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Pentagon's Hypocrisy On Iraqi Civilian Deaths


At long last, the U.S. is preparing to heed the wishes of the rest of the world (not to mention the Iraqi people) and begin the process of winding down the disastrous occupation of Iraq. In order to save face from this whole fiasco, U.S. leaders and the Pentagon have decided to declare the war a "success."

But there's only one problem for the Pentagon. Violent deaths in Iraqi are sharply up. In fact, 535 civilians were killed by bomb blasts or other attacks last month, an increase of 50 percent from the previous month, according to Iraqi government figures.

This inconvenient fact has posed a problem for the Pentagon.

So what's the solution? The Pentagon has bizarrely begun disputing the Iraqi government figures as unreliable.

This is truly surreal, not to mention hypocritical.

After all, throughout this whole 7-year fiasco of a war, the Pentagon has never cared about the stats of Iraqi civilian deaths. The Pentagon's stock, glib answer to the whole question of Iraqi civilian deaths has always been the same: "We don't do body counts."

Now, the "We-don't-do-body-counts" people are attacking the Iraqi government's own official civilian death statistics. The whole thing stinks of hypocrisy--the same sort of hypocrisy that has defined this war from the beginning.

I can't imagine why the Pentagon would think that the Iraqi government was exaggerating the death count. Or, for that matter, why the Pentagon would think it has more accurate statistics than the Iraqi government.

The fact is, the Pentagon has never cared about how many Iraqi civilians have died in this war. And when you don't care, you don't do body counts. (For the record, over 1.3 million Iraqi men, women and children have died in this war).

On countless occasions since 2003, the Pentagon brass have proven themselves to be liars, over and over. They lied about Jessica Lynch. They lied when they stage-managed the phony photo-op that showed the toppling of Saddam's statue. They lied when they initially claimed that they hadn't used horrific, flesh-melting white phosphorus chemical weapons in Fallujah.

In reality, the Pentagon's only real role is to secure Iraq's oil for the multi-national oil corporations that ultimately will be the only beneficiaries of this war. Clearly, the wishes of the Iraqi people don't enter the picture.


Anonymous said...

I recall when the MSM was so eager to declare Bush's surge a "success." Now, the MSM no doubt will work hard to sell the Pentagon's claim of "victory" in Iraq.
The, the MSM will move on to more important stories like Lady Gaga's latest hairstyle, or Paris Hilton's latest love affair.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, the wishes of the Iraqi people don't enter the picture.

The wishes of the American people don't enter the picture either.

John said...

Many hippies, myself included, have been saying for years we should claim we won in Iraq, and leave. This worked well for President Nixon in 1972, with his "Plan for peace, with honor."

Oshkosh John
Proud DFH, emeritus

Anonymous said...

They lied when they stage-managed the phony photo-op that showed the toppling of Saddam's statue.

Funny, your link suggests that, in fact, the Iraqis present WERE beating on the statue when the Marines pulled in, and then the Marines offered to do more to the statue than beat on it with their shoes.

Where's the phoniness?

Batocchio said...

Remember the Bush standard: if violence is down, it's good. If it's up, it's because the evildoers are on the ropes and desperate, and thus also good. And since when Iraqi civilian deaths counted to the hawks, or most of the Pentagon brass?

Anonymous said...

So many Obamanible Bush-HOGS; so little listick!

Marc McDonald said...

Hi, John, good point. Thanks for stopping by.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Batocchio, you nailed it....very true. Thanks for your comment.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Anonymous,
>>Where's the phoniness?

Yes, there was a small crowd at the site when the Marines pulled in. However, as the story notes:

"But somebody had the bright idea of getting a bunch of Iraqis and a lot of kids and pile them on the wrecker to make it look like a spontaneous Iraqi event, rather than, you know, the Marines sort of stage-managing this entire dramatic fall of the statue."

And the purpose of doing this? From the story:

MARTIN: And even if the Army psy-ops was involved, were they - what was the message that they were trying to drive home by seizing this so-called opportunity?

Mr. ZUCCHINO: Oh, their message was clearly that the Iraqis were welcoming the Americans. They were thanking the Americans for - literally for toppling Saddam Hussein, and this was a very dramatic moment, and they wanted to push across the message that the U.S. was liberating Iraq. They weren't occupiers. It wasn't a conquest. It was liberating the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein.

Donna Davis said...

"Iraqi Freedom" how would you like that as your tombstone headline?How will this slogan read years from now when a kid asks "what does that mean?" Well,Johnny we freed 1.3m innocent people from their mortal coils and stil didn't get any oil.

Jack Jodell said...

The Pentagon and the military/industrial complex have been lying to us for far longer than 2003. I trace their pattern of lying back to the close of the Eisenhower administration, with its origins found in Allen Dulles' sinister mishandling of the CIA even before that.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Jack, thanks for your comment.
>>The Pentagon and the
>>military/industrial complex have
>>been lying to us for far longer
>>than 2003

Yes, and just imagine all the lies that have never been uncovered. It's probably mind-blowing when one considers all the evil that has been done by the Military Industrial Complex and the CIA over the decades.
How many innocent people have died? How many trillions of dollars have been wasted? The mind reels.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Iraq's winding down, but am PISSED that Afghanistan will heat up again. Really sucks that the military industrial complex found those 3 trillion dollars worth of minerals. Now we'll never leave. Hello Resource Wars...

-War, war never changes.-


Marc McDonald said...

Hi WageslaveZ, thanks for your comment.
>>I'm glad Iraq's winding down

I'm not sure that that war is indeed "winding down." Violence is up sharply. Millions of Iraqis have fled the country and are still afraid to return. And the political situation is in chaos.
I'm not sure Obama could remove all the troops, even if he wanted to.
I think the U.S. is there, for the long term. Obama has made noises about winding down the Iraq War (just as he did re: Afghanistan), but that was just a few crumbs he tossed out to the left.
I don't think the U.S. is going anywhere in either war.