Nicholas von Hoffman: To "Win" the War
- To "Win" the War, Tax America's Rich
Nicholas von Hoffman
In Iraq and in America, frustration turns to anger and despair.
In America, the frustration grows even among those least engaged in
what is going on. The years pass and nothing changes but the numbers
of the dead and wounded. They may not know that they are still being
lied to, but they see George Bush doing the Trudge and recognize it
for what it is.
The Trudge is the trip abroad where our officials meet the same
officials in the same rooms and walk out of them to make the same
statements they made the last time and the time before the last and
the time before that. The Trudge to China, the Trudge to Israel, the
Trudge to Egypt, to Iraq, to Afghanistanall to no avail. One Trudge
merges into the next. In her most recent Trudge, Condi Rice announced
to a less-than-breathlessly-awaiting world that "I came here to
Ramallah, as I am going around the Middle East, to say to everyone
that the United States is deeply committed to finding ways to
accelerate progress on the road map. The road map, after all, is the
internationally recognized guide to the establishment of a two-state
solution, and we should fulfill all of its terms.
"I am also here to talk about how we can build on the momentum that is
currently in Palestinian-Israeli relations, to look at the political
horizon and to begin to show to the Palestinian people how we might
move toward the establishment of a Palestinian state . "
These words came a few days after the United States let it be known
that it is shipping $88 million worth of guns and ammunition to Fatah,
the moderate (or obedient) Palestinian political party, to be used to
fight Hamas, the extremist (or disobedient) Palestinian political
party, which was unruly enough to win the last election in that sad
half-prison/half-Bantustan containing some 3.5 million people.
Fatah was the party of Yasir Arafat, who, while he lived, was
denounced as too corrupt and too dictatorial to be a negotiating
partner. Hamas, now denounced as a collection of Islamo-fascist
fanatics, was once the recipient of money from the Israelis, who built
it up to cancel out Fatah. What Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice are doing in
Palestine is the equal of an Iraqi government hanging. Ponder it: Here
are these millions of Palestinians, literally walled in and trapped on
what little land has yet to be stolen from them, with the United
States government shipping in guns so they can kill each other while
withholding, via the agency of Israel, everything from food to
schoolbooks. And all because the cursed Palestinians voted the Fatah
crooks out of office in favor of overly pious Hamas.
The line of Trudgers arriving in Iraq is a long one. The place is so
dangerous that most Trudgers' arrivals must be kept secret until they
have been safely stored in the Green Zone, that palace of
foreign-policy pipe dreams. Outside the Green Zone, the blood flows.
The United Nations guesses that 34,000 Iraqis died in the non-civil
war last year. Each body contained about a gallon and a half of blood.
When spilled, does that cumulatively constitute a trickle, a stream or
However fast it runs, there is nothing we can do to staunch it. The
President says that keeping up the flow on Blood River is the way to
win. The commentators say he's doing it for his legacy. We say goddamn
his legacy, but the blood continues to flow as the Trudgers keep on
Talk is heard of trying to apply a tourniquet by impeaching Bush. If
it proved to be impossible to successfully impeach and remove a
President from office for having out-of-wedlock sex, what chance is
there of doing it for spilling blood?
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