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Following orders
by Thanos Kalamidas
2007-09-14 09:42:03
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General Petraeus, the latest US military commander in Iraq, has faced heavy criticism in Congress while reporting on the non progress of the US targets in the country for security and stabilization of life. Actually the general must be a very brave man, while everybody knows the reality in Iraq he had the courage to come out and say that objectives were met and I presume he was not under some kind of medication or hallucinations.

After every war all army leaders have used a very popular phrase to avoid responsibility and that has been ‘following orders’. We heard it from all sides in all the wars but I’ve been long wondering what people like Petraeus will say when it will come the day for somebody to take responsibility for what has happened over the last few years in Iraq.

I have often written myself that we should never miss what was going on in Iraq, since the country was definitely suffering under a criminal dictator and his overthrow from power was a necessity most likely a decade before it actually happened. However, the mistake was made during the first invasion of Iraq where the allies had every right to do so and most of all the UN that was leading had every right to do so.

However, to invade without preparation, especially for the day after, should not have been permitted. The United Nations and countries that could literally help with the logistics of the day after were absent, while the constructing companies were seemingly the obvious priority of the American vice-president and the then Defense Secretary. What was truly missing from Iraq on the day after was the logistics that could help guide a federal country consisting of different groups ethnic and religious to a united country with a functioning democracy.

Iraq is literally facing a tragedy. They have a government that nobody respects, even the closest allies including the Americans, hundreds of thousands of refugees in the country or abroad, the fear in every step and dozens of innocent victims daily, with a civil war banging at the gates and ethnic parts ready to demand independence, how does General Petraeus think that the objectives were successfully met?

Perhaps if he thinks that the target of the Americans all the way was to trigger a civil war and the death of thousands Iraqis then it is almost mission accomplished. If that was the target… well, now I understand why the US and President George W. Bush will refuse any connection with an international court. In Iraq there is only one solution left and that is for the Americans to admit that they failed and ask for help. It is as simple as that, after all it is a trait of the leaders – if that’s the role the Americans wish to play – to admit and accept their mistakes.

So why is it so important for General Petraeus to save face or cover his chief in command instead of telling the truth that we can all see? Is this the legacy George W. Bush is building? Full of lies and misleading declarations like this one? When the US president stood proudly years ago to announce that it was mission accomplished we all …just laughed. Today when a US general and specialized military tactician comes with an announcement like that it makes you wonder, just what do they put in their coffee.

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Emanuel Paparella2007-09-14 12:30:13
"Another big day on Capitol Hill. General Petraeus testified again today before Congress about the Iraq war. Some Democrats are claiming that Petraeus' answers are scripted by President Bush. Which explains Petraeus' use of the word 'surgerrific.'" --Conan O'Brien

I suppose we all see reality with the type of ideological lenses we wear. I watched a documentary last night (during the time of all the latest "surgerrifcic reports” ) which compared Neanderthal man to Homo Sapiens giving a more plausible explanation than the usual tools’ (read: technological) superiority, or the discovery of fire (read; oil), or the ability to paint on caves’ walls (read: elitism). The explanation was that Neanderthal's larynx was further up his esophagus and thus he did not have the same ability for language as Homo Sapiens. It makes sense for as Vico wrote without language, religion and marriage there is not even a rudimentary civilization. Extrapolating from this, it appears that language shapes our view of reality and even our very destiny. That would explain O’Brien’s “surgerrific.” We create our own reality and it is funnier than fiction most of the times.

It would also appear than some Neanderthals did survive after all. They can be seen on various commercials under the caption “even a caveman can do it.”

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