welcome to the blogroll: eteraz

I haven’t done one of these in quite awhile. I know, bad raincoaster, BAD girl. But better high time than never, so here goes.

Today we added to the blogroll eteraz, one of the few comments-enabled sites in the world which I read and yet, inconceivably, do not comment.

Except that time I told that one guy I’d poison and beat him, but “not to excess.”

The bitch had it coming.

Anyway, eteraz‘s blog is dedicated to philosophical analysis of current events from an Islamic, humanist perspective. You can read about the man himself here, where you can also learn that People Magazine isn’t the only place girls pick out heartthrobs.

Like we didn’t know that already.

In any case, here’s a sample of the eteraz blog. It’s “email from anonymous female soldier,” and it’s currently about #3 out of all WordPress posts, and although I do not know when it was dated, nor to whom it was originally sent, and thus cannot verify its authenticity, it has the whiff of truth about it and it has the reputation of someone I respect behind it, and so I am posting it here.

Even though I actually disagree with its conclusion.

If the American presence in Iraq increased the death toll so drastically, is it really that hard to imagine that an American absence will result in an overall lower death toll? I’ll refer you back to Ryszard Kapuscinski‘s views on when people revolt and when they are passive, and also to the situation in Afghanistan. It may well be that, invasion having destabilized these countries, the best way through instability to peace and a new, better order, is for the invaders to withdraw and allow the chaotic process to focus on the country itself, rather than on the foreigners. Even if that upsets Dick Cheney.

And no, not just because it upsets Dick Cheney.

She served in Iraq:

If you watched the President’s comments on Monday, you’ll note he blamed the Iraqis for not fighting hard enough for….somethgn they didn’t lose in the first place. Unmentioned was just how many Iraqis have been killed by that something in July: 1,700, according to the Baghdad morgue, compared to a total of 2,600 US soldiers killed. In the first seven months of this year, ten thousand Iraqis have died in the sectarian violence that Bush refuses to call a civil war.

For perspective, consider this: New York, LA, and Baltimore have homicide rates per year of several hundred—I’m not up to date on that, but the last I checked, these cities were horrified when homicides jumped above five hundred a year. At about seven hundred, that would be two murders a day. Compare that with the rate of rapes committed in this country, which occur about every ten minutes or so—-and I know that’s an extremely conservative estimate. Two murders a day is considered a devastating crime wave that shocks the senses. Now imagine fifty plus deaths per day. There is not one family in that country not touched by death or disappearance. While Western reporters get news coverage when they get kidnapped, ordinary Iraqis do not. Fifty deaths a day, and for the past six months.

Now from figures, let’s go to the stuff that Bush and Co really hate: the emotional bullshit that he’s so adept at slinging. The Iraqis have nowhere to go, unlike the soldiers who can escape and go home. The Iraqis are home. Where do they go for relief from combat? Where are their vests, helmets, and guns? How do they live life under those circumstances? People talk about a draft, but what Bush did on Monday was essentially draft the Iraqi population into a war that was forced upon them due to one man’s hubris. Nor did Bush stick to young men and women of military age; the war he has begun and lost control of there makes every Iraqi, young, old, ill, or frail, into a soldier in a war where they have no weapons—and no value. Who treats their PTSD? Who offers them relief from combat stress? Who should?

It’s for this reason that I say that we cannot withdraw from Iraq, not until we have cleaned up the mess we made. The Iraqis right now are not even as safe as our own soldiers: we owe them at least that.

5 thoughts on “welcome to the blogroll: eteraz

  1. I disagree with your statement that the US troops leaving will lower the death toll. It’s possible that sectarian violence would flare spectacularly, then subside. But how many would die while the battles were fought? And what would arise in the vacuum?

    Iran redux? No thanks.

    The American occupation reduced the death toll in Iraq by about 5% annually compared with the risk of simply living under Saddam. Not that that’s a great comfort–just saying, is all.

    The first mistake, as Hitler and *** figured out too late, is not to open a second front. Especially when the second one has everything to do with your dick size and bugger-all to do with the war you claim to be fighting.

    *** should have doubled the number of troops in Afghanistan for five years, reducing to present numbers after three (ie. about now). THEN maybe he could have satisfied his blood lust.

    But even then he should have listened to the generals who told him he needed twice or thrice the troop numbers he was prepared to commit.

    I supported the Iraq war, somewhere at the beginning of all this. It is in part the administration’s comittment to NOT winning the war and the fragile peace that once existed that utterly disgusts me.

    The un-civil war is unlikely to get much better. The prescence of uniformed troopies on the ground may be all that prevents a second Rwanda.

    Unfortunately, by having his head so far up his ass that he can see his uvula, *** has allowed the time to slip by when sending more troops would have been palatable, let alone less than political suicide. Dubya’s already said he’s leaving the mess for the next president to pick up. I’m sure this suits the Republicans just fine, as on evidence it might be either Clinton or Obama (go Barack!).

    It will be a different, and hopefully better, generation of politicians that brings the boys home.

  2. “Palatable”??? You must be insane. Sending more troops is simply impossible, even given extending the sign-up age to 42 and revoking the right to retire from the military. They have troops fighting now who are actively insane through PTSD.


    It seems clear to me that as American occupying forces have gotten more defensive in Iraq specifically, that they will consequently be missed less, because they are not keeping order so much as keeping their heads down.

    The death toll will certainly rise in the short term, but overall I believe it will result in a lower overall death toll than a continuation of the occupation.

    All this is beside the fact that there is no actual “exit strategy” at all. If they must stay until they restore order, they’d better hope they don’t know their history; it would be quite depressing to realize they are going to be there for the next few decades at least. Can they commit to that? Of course not. If they cannot leave until order is restored, they’ll be there for decades; the only alternative is to leave BEFORE order is restored. And if that results in a new order that’s antithecal to America, then America must take part of the responsibility for that.

  3. Pingback: the return of eteraz « raincoaster

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