Iraq Front News going dark
Dear faithful readers,
I’m putting IFN out to pasture. I’ve again lost the code that sends email from my RSS reader to the group (don’t ask), and I don’t want to write it again. My original intent was to wrap when US forces officially withdraw from Iraqi cities, closing the Iraq Front in the so-called War on Terror. But I’ve reached the point of diminishing returns, and now seems as good as any time to call it.
Six years ago, I watched in horror as the Bush mob ginned up their fraudulent case for war. It was clear that if the neo-cons were willing to lie to get into Iraq, they would continue to lie as the war ground on. I started IFN in June ‘03 as an attempt to provide a searchable news archive that would give citizens a chance to discern the truth through the official propaganda. This was occasionally successful; when one US general claimed that Karkh was “pacified” during the worst of the Baghdad ethnic cleansing, I searched IFN and found that bodies were still turning up daily in the streets of Karkh.
The press did a remarkable job of reporting on the war and occupation, and many reporters paid with their lives. Because of their work, amplified by the power of social networking technologies, we knew more about the war, as it was happening, than in any other past conflict. “Iraq is Vietnam on Internet time,” I used to say. By the end of 2006, public opinion had turned solidly against the Iraq war, after “only” three years. It took over a decade, and many more dead US troops, for the Vietnam war to lose its shine.
How harshly will history judge Bush and his neo-con puppeteers? Very. In addition to the OSP and WHIG criminal enterprises, it must always be remembered that Bush and Rumsfeld failed to secure the nuclear sites at Tuwaitha. They didn’t believe their own “mushroom cloud” story, and they swept past Tuwaitha, leaving it wide open for looting. A Greenpeace team later confirmed massive contamination in the nearby civilian population, who had raided the unguarded sites, dumped the radioactive chemicals, and used the empty canisters to hold drinking water. Add to this the plan to “Gitmo-ize” the Abu Ghraib prison, introducing torture techniques worthy of Pol Pot, and there is ample ground for legal action.
“Nothing succeeds like success,” said Bush supporters before the war, dismissing critics. And nothing fails like failure. The scale of this failure is colossal, resulting in a minimum of 95,000 Iraqi civilians killed by Bush’s decision to invade; credible estimates range to one million dead and higher. Four million refugees, the complete destruction and failed reconstruction of Iraq’s infrastructure, a plague of brutal death squads inflicting horrific tortures on innocents, an ethnically cleansed Baghdad, the loss of US standing and credibility, one trillion dollars’ worth of veterans’ brain injuries…we’ll be dealing with the appalling ramifications of this failure for generations.
So there will be a story to cover for a long time. A focused journalist could devote a lifetime. I won’t be able to keep away from the immense Iraq story for good, so I’ll probably post now and then, just for the archive. Many other bloggers are carrying on, and a few have a special place in my heart: Margaret Griffis (http://antiwar.com/updates/), Iraq Today (http://warnewstoday.blogspot.com/index.html), Juan Cole (http://juancole.com/), and Iraq Coalition Casualty Count (http://icasualties.org/Iraq/index.aspx). Honorable mention to David Rees for helping our sanity with the grim humor of Get Your War On (http://www.mnftiu.cc/category/gywo/war81/). Riverbend (http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/), I hope you’re fairing well in Syria.
Finally, my heart goes out to the long-suffering people of Iraq. May President Obama bring as much succor as Bush brought misery.
IFN Post 18,005