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Commentary Last Updated: Jan 12th, 2007 - 00:27:58

No escalation! End the war against Iraq now!
By Dennis Rahkonen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jan 12, 2007, 00:16

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Al Qaeda plays only a miniscule role in the Iraqi insurgency, but George Bush continues to link his entirely needless war and disastrously counter-productive occupation to 9/11's alleged perpetrators.

It's about as ridiculous as a teenager discovering a giant zit in the morning mirror, then calling Homeland Security to ascertain its cause.

"Sounds like something the terrorists are behind."

So the kid enlists in the military, gets sent to Iraq, gets killed, and is never plagued by pimples again.

With Democrats showing insufficient spine to effectively thwart Bush's escalation, only massive street protests can stop the madness.

They're already being organized, for January 27 and mid March (

Be there, or be prepared to attend heartbreaking funerals indefinitely.

Sacrificing OPC (other people's children)

Even after their electoral "thumping" on Nov. 7, surviving conservatives still think along these lines:

"The choice in Iraq is between cutting and running or having our troops get cut to pieces by roadside bombs there forever.

"As a proper patriot and a good Christian, I opt for the latter.

"I'm no liberal surrender monkey, and I know that sacrifice (of other people's children) is required to control our oil lying beneath Iraqi sand.

"Let's slap some more ribbon magnets on our discontinued Ford Tauruses and show the world that America remains strong.

"God bless the Dow Jones averages and Sean Hannity!

"Waterboard Muslims for Jesus!"

Bullies wallowing in the quagmire

When a schoolyard bully picks a fight with some poor boy who's just trying to make it through another day, it would be sadistic to take his side and wish him "victory."

But after George Bush invaded Iraq, triggering a disaster that's devouring $2 billion a week and claiming roughly 100 young Americans each month -- plus many more Iraqis -- some still want to wallow in the quagmire until we "win."

The war is surpassingly wrong. It can't ever be made right, or won.

America needs to stop being the international equivalent of the big, mean kid who steals little, weak kids' milk money.

Abominable Bush

A robber enters a convenience store, shoots the clerk, rifles the cash register, then runs.

Later, when apprehended, he claims it was all a "mistake."

A man leaps out from behind bushes, grabs a young girl walking in the dark, pulls her into the shadows, and savagely commits rape.

Afterward, while handcuffed in a squad car, he also contends the incident was a mistake.

George Bush's war against Iraq violates international law and elemental morality. His Shock-and-Awe mass murder and Abu Ghraib prisoner torture are criminal abominations. There's no truth to the aggression's rationale, or to anything claimed by the administration since.

Meanwhile, certain politicians say, "Yes, the war was a mistake, but now we're there, and we've got to stay until we get the job done."

What's wrong with this picture?

Hawks' futile hope of triumph

I vividly remember a particular peace demonstration in the Sixties.

Among the participants' placards was one reading, "44,000. Enough!" It referred to the number of U.S. troops who'd been killed in Vietnam up to that point.

Across the street were a few counter-protesters, including a young man wearing a bandoleer of shotgun shells. His placard read, "Stay in Vietnam!"

His position prevailed, resulting in 58,000 names being chisled on a black granite wall in Washington, D.C., several years after we'd been defeated by a people who, it was abundantly clear, would never submit to foreign domination.

I wish I could find that individual, who'd shouted obscenities at the antiwar activists and called them traitors. I'd bring him to the Vietnam Memorial. "See what you did."

The worst month for U.S. fatalities in Iraq has just ended, and the 3,000th American has died.

See what today's hawks clinging to a futile hope of eventual triumph are doing.

Bush's bloodlust

Saddam Hussein was executed for civilian deaths resulting from a reprisal for an attempt on his life. Hypocritically, our forces in Iraq routinely fire upon homes and whole villages where occupation resisters are thought to be hiding.

According to the Lancet study, 655,000 Iraqi civilians have died because of George Bush's war. That's well over twice the estimate of Iraqis killed by Saddam's internal oppression.

Since Saddam was hanged, how many Iraqi doors have been broken down by foreign troops? How many terrified residents have been arbitrarily taken into custody, to disappear into secret prisons?

How many will get blown to bits as Bush's upcoming "surge" utilizes increased artillery fire and air attacks to punish those who've resisted conquest?

Meanwhile, all around the world, hatred for America grows, as folly verges on abject catastrophe.

Dollars before lives

The best way to assess the Iraq debacle is to imagine the situation in reverse.

If we'd been invaded by a foreign power that toppled our government and occupied us to control our natural resources, all of us would fight to win our country back.

George Bush's new escalation rationale is to inject troops into Baghdad suburbs, and leave them there, rather than make sweeps and depart.

How would we react if enemy soldiers were in our neighborhoods 24/7? As proper patriots, we'd figure out the best ways to kill them, quickly and in quantity.

Thanks to Bush's obscene loyalty to profit-minded oil interests, U.S. fatality 4,000 is only a few months away.

It's dollars before lives, and it's a crime and sin that we need to fill America's streets with protest to end!

Dennis Rahkonen of Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing for various progressive outlets since the �60s. He can be reached at

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