Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Still Waiting, Not Seeing

At the day job, I work with a man who, I think, would agree with me if I characterized him as a partisan of the Democratic Party. I'm not using his real name anyway, so maybe that doesn't matter. In any case, I was talking with "Bill" some months ago, and he was telling me how it was that President Obama (Bill always includes the title -- told you he's a partisan) would be withdrawing all The Troops from Iraq before year's end. I was skeptical. I asked if he was sure it wasn't just "combat" Troops that would be leaving, as there seem to be other sorts of Troop; how many American mercenaries (Blackwater Xe employees and the like) would be staying, and so on. Bill's an honest man; he admitted that there could be some definitional weaseling going on, and that some careful parsing might be in order. At conversation's end, we agreed to disagree, as we usually do; I said I'd have to wait and see what the situation would be at year's end.

Well, here we are. It's 20 December, and you've all seen the news, replete with reports of the very last Troop crossing over into Kuwait, keys to various reinforced-concrete fortresses being handed over to our gallant allies, the Cuddly Iraqis™ (those being our direct-report employees among the wog population). So, a few days ago, Bill naturally had to tease me a little, reminding me that I was supposed to be waiting and seeing, and asking me whether I was ready to credit the O-bomber -- excuse me, The President -- with ending Iraq War II. Now, Bill's a friend, and I certainly don't begrudge him his fun. But I had to say that no, my waiting-and-seeing was still incomplete. Plenty of waiting, but not so much seeing. I mean, presumably we're leaving an ambassador, right? In fact, we're leaving this "embassy" that's really a downsized city, sitting in a Green Zone that had better be hermetically sealed within some very thick walls; who's manning the walls? ("You want me on that wall; you need me on that wall ...") So, it's fair to assume that there'll be at least a smallish army providing embassy security ... but they're not combat Troops. Then, in the dutifully-transcribed Pentagon news releases that pass for reportage from our lapdog press, I've seen some vague references to military "trainers" who're supposed to be getting the Cuddly Iraqis up to speed as Modern Warriors, but those references have been notably shy about numbers. And, in any case, I'm sure that a trainer is also not a combat Troop.

How large a garrison will be left in the wholly-owned American subsidiary called Kuwait? Surely a withdrawal across that oh-so-formidable international border has to be regarded as purely administrative, doesn't it?

Now, I'm not saying I don't trust our government. I'm not saying our government would lie to us. I'm just saying ... well, all right, I'm busted -- I'm saying exactly those things. I'm saying I trust "our" government just as far as I could (over)throw it: a microscopic distance, indeed. I'm saying that "our" government can be relied on absolutely to lie to us, again and again, in multiple and conflicting versions. I'm further saying that to read or view the "news" supplied by the corporate press is exactly the same thing as consuming the info-waste products excreted by our secretive, lying, murderous government. I'm saying that to really know what the American military presence remaining in Iraq is, I'd have to go there and search the place, which I'm obviously not going to do. Thus, I go on about my mundane affairs, while waiting ... and not seeing.


Anonymous said...

Well, between our troops waiting in Kuwait and the 17,000 "contractors" being left behind, I think we've got it covered. http://tinyurl.com/c2lm5nj

Besides, we now have to go rattle sabers on the South China Sea. We've neglected them far too long.

Phil Marx said...

"Now, I'm not saying I don't trust our government. I'm not saying our government would lie to us."

Good way to open the paragraph. The CIA trolls will probably be too stupid to read past this so you will not be spending the holidays in sunny Cuba.

Jim Wetzel said...

Thanks, GaGa! I've seen numbers like that 17K quoted here and there, but they're very hard to find (at least, I didn't find them, which probably isn't the same thing) in the "prestige" media. But when the government's so nervous about trying to secure immunity from the law for Americans in the sandbox, you just know there's going to continue to be lots of them. And what's the difference between a commercial merc and a real, for-sure uniformed Troop? I think it's that the merc is even more free to abuse and kill natives than the Troop -- and that's saying a lot.

Phil, the fact that I'm still not in custody shows that my supervisors know just how much of a non-entity I truly am. They can't afford to throw unread oddballs such as myself in Gitmo, or the equivalent ... the cost to feed me, and pay some knucklehead to beat me every now and then, would be disproportionate to the benefit. They don't have to get all worked up about gnats such as myself.