Coincidentally enough, this Sunday, April 9th, is also Iraqi Liberation Day, or V-I Day as they like to call it on some aircraft carrier decks. You would know that, you anti-freedom hippies, if you spent enough time trolling right-wing blogs. So I figure, what better way to celebrate V-I Day than by going down to the Walk for Women's Lives thingamabob this Sunday and capping a few non-virgins in the back of the head for some good old fashioned Iraqi honor killings! You know they'll all be dressed like whores, anyway, calves and elbows and hair showing all over the damn place.
But seriously, folks, let's hear from the Organization for Women's Freedom in Iraq:
The US-UK occupation has pushed Iraqi society back into a medieval world in which "honour killings" beheadings, forced veiling and seclusion and sexual servitude are now a part of everyday life.
Now the reactionary, tribalist and sectarian government the US has installed in Iraq wants to go further by institutionalizing the oppression of Iraqi women. The outcome of a war and occupation which was sold to the world as bringing "liberation" and "democracy" has been a hand-picked group of political hacks and tribal elder imposed on Iraqi society through a pseudo-parliament and a constitution that makes women second class citizens.
Well done, indeed. Mission accomplished in my book!
Things are going to get confusing in a couple years, though, when we try to celebrate two V-I Days. At least Europe and Japan had the decency to have names with different initials...or maybe it's that at least the Germans and the Japanese had the decency to start wars in two different places...whatever. Our problem is that Iraq and Iran are spelled just so dang similarly that it's hard enough to tell 'em apart, let alone know what to call our Liberation Days.
I say "when" rather than "if" because apparently the decision has been made. According to arms control guru Joseph Cirincione (by way of ThinkProgress.org),
For months, I have told interviewers that no senior political or military official was seriously considering a military attack on Iran. In the last few weeks, I have changed my view. In part, this shift was triggered by colleagues with close ties to the Pentagon and the executive branch who have convinced me that some senior officials have already made up their minds: They want to hit Iran.
Isn't that fun? But wait, here's the part that really makes you want to stab yourself in the face repeatedly with a dirty fork; it comes from the Council on Foreign Relations by way of my predictably favorite blog ArmsControlWonk:
Flynt L. Leverett, who served in senior posts at the National Security Agency, the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, says that the United States has gotten itself into a diplomatic dilemma with Iran "because we essentially don’t have a strategy" for dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue. Asserting that the Bush administration rejected an invitation made by Iran in 2003 to open a strategic dialogue, Leverett says that Bush “is, on this issue, very, very resistant to the idea of doing a deal, even a deal that would solve the nuclear problem.”
CFR: In an op-ed piece you wrote for the New York Times in January you referred to an offer made by the Iranian government—of course then headed by the reformist President Mohammed Khatami—to begin a sweeping diplomatic dialogue. Could you talk about that?
Leverett: This was shortly before I left government, in the spring of 2003. ... [W]e received through this Swiss channel a one-page document, which basically laid out an agenda for a diplomatic process that was intended to resolve on a comprehensive basis all of the bilateral differences between the United States and Iran.
This wasn’t a new interest on the part of the Iranians; there was the whole experience after 9/11 of Iranian cooperation with us over Afghanistan, which I think at least some Iranian officials were hoping could get leveraged into a broader strategic dialogue, but that channel was effectively foreclosed when President Bush in his 2002 State of the Union address labeled Iran as part of the “axis of evil.” But in a sense I think the Iranians were trying again to see if there was some possibility for a broader strategic conversation with us and here they were actually in a way putting their cards on the table: “this is what we want, we want a broad strategic conversation with you.”
So theUnited States had to make a decision on what it wanted to do. Was there a big debate about this?
... What I do know happened is that the formal response of the administration to this was to complain to the Swiss foreign ministry that the Swiss ambassador in Tehran was exceeding his brief by talking with Iranians about a paper like this and passing it on.
[I]t’s not just the neo-cons who wanted regime change and nothing else. Ultimately the president is, on this issue, very, very resistant to the idea of doing a deal, even a deal that would solve the nuclear problem. You don’t do a deal that would effectively legitimate this regime that he considers fundamentally illegitimate.
[I]n the president’s view you have this unelected set of clerical authorities, epitomized by the supreme leader, who are thwarting the clearly expressed will of the Iranian people for a more open, participatory political system, for more political, social, intellectual, and cultural freedom—all this kind of thing. And so it’s a system that in Bush’s mind is fundamentally illegitimate. It’s a system that needs to change, and he is not going to do a deal that lets this regime off the hook, even if that deal would solve our problem with them over the nuclear issue.
We're on the brink, and we really didn't have to be. Remember that, all of you, when George Bush gets another 2,500 young Americans killed.