THOLOS OF ATHENA

Sunday, January 02, 2005

REPORTERS HEDGES AND DOWD DON'T MINCE WORDS

--excerpt from Chris Hedges' "ON WAR" --

We are losing the war in Iraq. There has been a steady increase in the assaults carried out by the insurgents against coalition forces. The attacks over the past year have risen from about twenty a day to approximately 120. We are an isolated and reviled nation. We are tyrants to others weaker than ourselves. We have lost sight of our democratic ideals. Thucydides wrote of Athens' expanding empire and how this empire led it to become a tyrant abroad and then a tyrant at home. The tyranny Athens imposed on others it finally imposed on itself. If we do not confront our hubris and the lies told to justify the killings and mask the destruction carried out in our name in Iraq, if we do not grasp the moral corrosiveness of empire and occupation, if we continue to allow force and violence to be our primary form of communication, we will not so much defeat dictators like Saddam Hussein as become like them."



--and an excerpt from Maureen Dowd's "ADMITTING THE OBVIOUS"
"President Bush has finally acknowledged that the Iraqis can't hack it as far as securing their own country, which means, of course, that America has no exit strategy for its troops, who will soon number 150,000."

"If this fiasco ever made sense to anybody, it doesn't any more."

"The Bushies are betting a lot on the January election, even though a Shiite-dominated government will further alienate the Sunnis -- and even though Iraq may be run by an Iranian-influenced ayatollah. That would mean that Iraq would have a leadership legitimized by us to hate us."

"International election observers say it's too dangerous to actually come in and monitor the vote in person; they're going to "assess" the vote from the safety of Amman, Jordan. Isn't that like refereeing a football game while sitting in a downtown bar?"

"The Los Angeles Times reported last week that a major U.S. contractor, Contrack International Inc., had dropped out of the multibillion-dollar effort to rebuild Iraq."

"The Bush crowd thought it could get in, get out, scare the Iranians and Syrians, and remove the bulk of our forces within several months."

"But now we're in, and it's the allies, contractors and election watchdogs who want out."

"As [Bush] said at his press conference, "the enemies of freedom" know that "a democratic Iraq will be a decisive blow to their ambitions because free people will never choose to live in tyranny"."

"They may choose to live in a theocracy, though. Americans did."





Thanks to Kelsey Shipman for passing along the Hedges' excerpt, which is from his review of two recent war memoirs about Iraq.

Thanks also to Cathy McConnell who sent us the Dowd article.

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