Mike Whitney: All the news from Iraq is bad, and getting worse . . .
Posted by uscsjp on October 2, 2006
It was another bad week in Iraq. While bodies were piling up in the Baghdad morgue and the militia fighting steadily intensified, the Bush administration was hit with a rash of PR scandals that are bound to erode public support for the war. The worst of these is the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) which was leaked to the New York Times and which stated that “the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the 9-11 attacks.”The NIE carries great weight because it represents the unanimous judgment of all 16 of the American intelligence agencies. The document’s findings cast doubt on the central tenet of the war on terror, that is, that terror originates from a radical ideology (Islamo-fascism) which fosters an irrational hatred for modernity, western-style democracy, and personal freedom. The NIE proves that the Bush-Blair theory of terror is hopelessly flawed and that violent jihad is actually fueled by occupation and injustice. Terrorism is a reaction to foreign policy. It has nothing to do with “hating our freedoms”. The NIE confirms this simple truism. . .
The results from a number of polls appeared in last week’s news. In a University of Maryland survey the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) found that “71% of Iraqis want the US troops to leave within a year”. The poll also found that nearly 4 out of 5 Iraqis believe that the US military is “provoking more conflict than it is preventing”and that “60% of Iraqis approve of attacks on US-led forces.”The survey shows that popular support for the occupation has continued to dwindle while hostility towards the American presence is growing beyond all expectation.
In still another poll (Harris poll) showed that only 20% of Americans are “still confidant that US policies in Iraq will be successful”. Public support for the war is plummeting despite the enthusiastic efforts of the media and the political establishment. . .
They expose how the mainstream media intentionally reduces its coverage to maintain support for the war. The figures fail to show, however, the omissions and diversions that the media provides on an hourly basis. The American people are prevented from seeing flag-draped coffins, disgruntled GIs, or the vast devastation caused by military occupation. Televised coverage is carefully limited to fashion a misleading narrative of sectarian warfare, which suggests that the main problem is “Iraqi killing Iraqi”. The real problem is US occupation, a fact that is unavoidably evident in every survey conducted in Iraq. . .
In other news of the week, the Congressional Research Service announced that the “total cost of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and enhanced security at military bases since September 11, 2001, could reach $549 billion this year. The White House Office of Management and Budget estimated that the war will cost $110 billion for fiscal year 2007″(McClatchy Newspapers) . . .
Whatever transpires, the first phase of the Iraqi fiasco is nearly over. The Bush administration will be compelled to protect its interests while limiting the exposure of its troops. They may choose to minimize their activities to bombing raids and counter-insurgency operations, further destroying the threadbare fabric of Iraqi society. (continued . . . )