Jeff Gibbs is a writer and filmmaker living in Michigan.
“War” is not over.
There never was a war.
There was an invasion.
An unleashing of mega-violence by an Empire upon a people who were no threat to them. Zero.
A unilateral assault by the United State of America on a small nation that had nothing to do with 9/11, that in fact despised and were threatened by the Saudi fundamentalists that perpetrated 9/11 just as much as us.
No, what happened in Iraq was no war.
It was a crime.
And if the United States weren’t the armed to the teeth and the economic bully of the world, we would be held accountable.
If you had any doubts whether this was a “war” or something else, all you had to do was watch the sad spectacle of the new leader of our Empire standing up there ALONE declaring “war is over.”
News flash: it takes two side to have a war. Where was the “enemy?”
No surrender, no peace treaty or armistice, no enemy bowing before us — or alternately if they had won preening and primping in victory.
The second clue this was not a war is that you cannot end a war by unilaterally stopping. That's how you end an invasion or attack, not a war.
A war ends when someone wins or loses. If we won, what did we win? Who did we defeat? Where are they?
In fact trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of dead later we lost by creating a nation where none before existed now open for business for violence, tribalism, lawlessness, fundamentalist extremists, and now full of people who hate us to the core and would most certainly harm us if they could.
A war ends when two sides make moves or come to terms.
An attack ends when the rapist stops raping, the murderer stops murdering, the bully stops bullying, or in this case when an Empire who cannot even admit it is an Empire tires of beating a tiny nation to a pulp.
The third clue that this was an invasion, an attack by an Empire, not a war, is the decision of the Emperor that the other side “doesn’t count.”
No more guilt over innocent people’s brains blow out, arms and legs flying across the street into someone’s yard, children incinerated as they slept, babies dead in a dead mother’s arms. Simply decide they “don’t count.” By not counting them.
Our “war president” a guy who will go down in the annals of history with other stupid, violent, rulers of empires as a tragic character, who decided in his insanity that the way to deal with our slaughter was to pretend it doesn’t exist.
And we, the people of Empire, went along with it.
They do not count. But our people do.
We know the names and numbers of the 9/11 victims 2,997.
We know the names and number of our own troops killed: 4,484 in Iraq.
We know the names of number of those killed in the chaotic carnage of Vietnam, of World War II, and World War I, the Korean War, the Spanish-American conflict, the Civil War, and even the Revolutionary War.
We know how many were killed in the Titanic, roughly how many Jews were lost, how many people were gassed by Saddam, how many have been slaughtered in Syria.
Those people count, so we try to count them.
But in Iraq the most technologically-advanced, wealthiest Empire there ever was claims we have no clue or estimate as to the number of Iraqis killed. Umm, killed by us.
The lowest estimate I could find for civilians alone was 100,000, the highest, 1,000,000.
Killed for our benefit, or more accurately our collective delusion we are in a “war.”
And do the good People of Empire clamor for this accounting, to make sure that Iraqis “count” as much as people from Brooklyn or Oakland or Chapel Hill?
It’s not too late.
We need to count the bodies: those killed in our name. Iraqis are human beings too. They count. Count them.
We need to apologize for the invasion, the attack, the killing, the slaughter, the ruin of a civilization that we might not have liked, but was not our toy to blow up when we tired of it.
We need to make reparations to the Iraqi people even if it means we go without at a very, very difficult time. We need to make them whole, even if it means our own ruin.
We need to hold our leaders accountable for the dead, the tortured, and any war crimes.
We need to hold accountable any of our troops or contractors who killed or destroyed wantonly.
We need to admit to the world we were wrong and ask for help in changing our ways.
Our troops that have returned from this terrible errand need to be take care of, and apologized to, including the families of the dead.
Of course we are going to do none of this.
We’re the Empire of Delusion.
Our conservatives declare their mental illness by wanting to leave more troops to defend freedom and fight terrorists and keep Iraq from failing.
Seek help immediately, FOX and friends.
From America you can see a violent failed state where people are having their heads cut off and terrorists are in charge. Stand in El Paso with binoculars and look over the river to Juarez. Invade them and see how that goes.
And my fellow liberals, those of us who had an “anti-war” movement because we did not have the balls to have a “stop the war” movement, we can be so sad about all this, but in the end we accept it.
We're so sad, we will be booking flights on jets filled with thousands of gallons of oil presented to us as plunder of our violence around the world, and our violence against the planet.
I’m so sad about “the war,” but I am the special me, after all. Excuse me while I use the fruits of Empire to make myself happy.
That’s what Empires do: invade, attack, pillage, plunder, get, consume, dominate. For the people. For the common good. For prosperity. For peace.
And then deny deny deny. Disown: I am a good Roman. I am a good German. I am a good American. I'd stop it if I could.
Excuse me I have to watch get my nachos and watch the Lions.
Empires have always been this way. And all their people, those lusty for empire, and those sad about it, live a good life, or at least a life better then the ones they pillage and plunder and brutalize.
Warning: when the Empire begins to crack, chickens come home.
The dogs of war we let fly around the world, the crazed machine of war and might and brutality and control, is unleashed on its own people.
After all, they might be terrorists.
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