1st Armored Division Soldiers conduct a combat patrol in Tal Afar, Iraq in their M2 Bradley fighting vehicle.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon

Editors note: The photograph above was taken in February 2006 at a time when Bush was reporting Tall Afar as an Iraqi success story.
I think Bush saw the city as an example of the Iraqi version of “no child left behind.”

The headline reads: “Gunmen Go On Rampage In Iraqi City” above a story by Joshua Partlow in this morning’s Washington Post. It seems that the Malaki/Bush/Cheney/Halliburton Democracy left a few legal and procedural fundamentals out of their Police Academy training manual or perhaps they are using a revised Middle Eastern version of the Chicago Police manual which allows for the summary execution of Sunni suspects following violent episodes.

In the Chicago version you’re only allowed to beat them up, in Tall Afar though, this is civil wartime, and the Shiite police and their auxiliaries have gone on yet another orgy of reprisal and revenge, killing as many as 70 Sunni suspects, men, women and children, some as young as fifteen, with a bullet to the back of the head in the Mesopotamian democratic tradition so reminiscent of other great democratic leaders like Saddam and Stalin.

Such is the nature of the Bush/Cheney grand corporate democratic experiment in Iraq that the people with whom we have allied ourselves are equally as brutal and as fully capable of the same extremes of violence and terror as the “evil extremists” with whom we have sworn holy war.”

“Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas” it is said, and we have been living in this doghouse of national self delusion long enough to pride ourselves on the shock and awe, violence and death that our “compassionate conservatives” are able to dispense in a matter of hours and can deliver anywhere in the world on a pretext of their choosing, or at the behest of whatever multi national corporation has sufficient clout in the halls of government to determine what is in the “national interest.”

So here we are in the midst of an escalation oops, surge, in their futile involvement in the Fertile Delta, sending ever more of what they have determined to be our fully expendable American youth to die amid the filthy corrupt realities of the modern, oil saturated Arab world. All the while our boy Junior adds daily to his litany of pious pronouncements on peace and freedom for a part of the world where there is little respect for peace and no respect for liberty because 13 centuries of Islamic fatalism and authoritarian rule have not allowed, and may never allow either.

As the bullets and shrapnel fly and the bodies are stacked in great rotting piles and the Mothers of Iraq and the Mothers of America weep in endless screams of pain and anguish our congress plays political games in a disgusting, half ass tug of war with President Puke that makes me want to offer Monica Lewinsky a chance to perform just one more public service so that we might at long last give the Republicans and the Democrats something to get stirred up about enough to impeach this criminal son of a bitch.

I talked briefly with a young man today who is leaving for Army boot camp in a few days. We were introduced by his friend’s father who is a close friend of mine from my favorite watering hole, the local pool hall. The young man is 19, fresh of face and rosy cheeked, not an ounce of guile in his spirit and ripe for the slaughter. As we spoke I couldn’t shake the feeling that I might never see the kid alive again. I wanted to cry as I shook his hand and told him to pay attention and cover his ass.

I have lived through more than a half century of nearly constant war, serving in one as a reluctant participant, bearing witness to the rest as a psychologically tormented observer. I am personally sick to death of war and violent death in all it’s forms, no matter the excuse.

I am sick of reading of war, hearing of war, writing of war and speaking of war and I know that all of the knowledge of war that comprises so much of my own human experience has only created in my soul a world in which I no longer have a thirst to live. I will take to my eternal grave the knowledge and stench of war and death and in my dead ears will dwell the clamor of the agonized keening of all the victims of war of human history.

The hell with it, I need a drink.

Bob Higgins

Worldwide Sawdust