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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Living in a Neocon Nightmare

In the most-hard hitting attack yet on the Iraq war by a senior US military figure , Retired Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez, the former US military chief in Iraq, has labelled US political leaders as "incompetent" and "corrupted" and said that they would have faced court martials for "dereliction of duty" had they been in the military.
Sanchez rubbished claims that "the surge", enthusiastically urged by the neo-cons, had been a success, and said that the best the US could manage in Iraq was to "stave off defeat".
"There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight," Sanchez said.

The nightmare that America is currently living in has been brought about by the actions of a tiny group of fanatical extremists: the neocons. As I have written on several occasions, the nightmare, for the US- and the world- will not be ended, until these truly depraved advocates of perpetual war are removed from all positions of power and influence.


purpleXed said...

General Ricardo Sanchez's speech to US top military reporters is the long overdue hour of reckoning for tortoise-shelled media activists. It is a clarion call for often compliant and at times coopted journalists to wriggle out of their age of denial, dismissal and disapproval of sources that could have (and still can) otherwise provided alternate view of Iraq.

Encouraging and embracing alternate sources of media has become increasingly important at a time when many US media organs tiptoe around issues in fear of overstepping their boundaries. The following examples illustrate why instead of encouraging broader, pluralistic coverage of say, Iraq and Afghanistan, some circles prefer a cover-up.

Media outlets ought to answer why it hasn’t sufficiently probed the cakewalk crowd who promised a casual march to victory in Iraq. How many media activists pressed for accountability of the likes of Ken Adelmen who misled the American media by claiming “measured by any cost-benefit analysis, such an operation would constitute the greatest victory in America’s war on terrorism.”

Let’s bring in how dearly some naively proposed plans are costing USA in terms of not just high financial stakes but regrettably cost of irreplaceable lives.

According to Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Columbia University professor and Nobel laureate, so many soldiers are being injured that the costs of caring for them over their lifetimes is likely to be $350 billion, or up to twice that, depending on how long the war lasts. The high cost is the result of huge advances in military medicine that have greatly reduced the chances that a soldier injured in Iraq will die. As a result, the ratio of injuries to deaths 16:1 by her estimate is higher than in any other war in U.S. history. The White House budget director, Rob Portman has asked, in the new budget, basically for another $365 billion over the next few fiscal years. This comes on the $433 billion that’s already been spent, a total of nearly $800 billion.

An Italian scholar of the Arab media, Donatella della Ratta rightly suggests that the West should seriously consider before blaming or blocking channels like Aljazeera that are in fact educating tools to inform rather than a medium providing an embedded version from a warring side. If the likes of Aljazeera English had wider access in to American homes it would not have taken this long to see the contradictions between the lofty claims made at the Capitol and actual realities faced on ground.

Donatella della Ratta’s analysis is a wake-up call for those who believe that pouring $62 million on Al-Hurra can make the US image right in the Middle-East. Instead of making wrong choices and pursuing wrong approaches that are just goose-chasing and witch-hunting exercises US needs to befriend with the ones that capture and portray the facts professionally and far effectively. Now more than ever the USA public and its opinions makers need tools that can help them separate the wheat from the chaff not occasionally but on an on-going, round the clock basis.

Anonymous said...

Have you bothered to read the rest of what Sanchez said? That the media is as guilty of political bias in undermining the Iraq War as any politician or Congress. Interestng that YOU, the NY Times, and just about every other journalist left that part out when talking up Sanchez's condemnations.

Convenient, huh? You're part of the problem!