US Media Declare Victory: Over What?

A New York Times editorial of April 12, entitled “War and Peace: Triumph
on the Battlefield” begins with a line about, “The swift military victory in Iraq.” But we need to
seriously consider what constitutes “victory” in the current context.
If we consider victory to be the accomplishment of stated goals, then the
qualities of our recently declared victory over Iraq become as nebulous
and doubtful as the stated reasons for this war–which were almost daily
changed with each subsequent Bush administration announcement.
The only proclaimed goal for our invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq
that has actually been achieved is the removal of Saddam Hussein from
power. And this removal of a recognized (if despicable) leader, against
the wishes of his citizens, can only constitute a victory over international law and decency, and nothing
else.

2003.04.17

The New York Times editorial of April 12, entitled “War and Peace: Triumph
on the
Battlefield” (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/12/opinion/12SAT2.html) begins
with a line about, “The swift military victory in Iraq.” But we need to
seriously consider what constitutes “victory” in the current context.

If we consider victory to be the accomplishment of stated goals, then the
qualities of our recently declared victory over Iraq become as nebulous
and doubtful as the stated reasons for this war–which were almost daily
changed with each subsequent Bush administration announcement
(http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=41&ItemID=3450).

But let us shed the most charitable light possible on our recent foreign
policy decisions by assuming humanitarian motivations on the part of our
government.

Assuming that our efforts are in the interests of the safety and
well being of the Iraqi people, then the New York Times headline of April 13
appears to cast serious doubt upon our success, as we are told that US
troops are moving “to Restore Order in Edgy Baghdad” (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/13/international/worldspecial/13MARI.html). While
very far from an ideal society, there was without doubt a more safe order
to the streets of Baghdad before the arrival of US and English bombs.

If we choose to believe the statements that our real purpose in Iraq is to
find and remove weapons of mass destruction, then we have surely not been
victorious in that we now occupy the country and yet have failed to
turn up any more evidence of such weapons than the UN inspection teams
did in all of their peaceful efforts
(http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/13/international/worldspecial/13SCIE.html).

If we sent our troops to Iraq to fight terrorism, then we are
accomplishing just the opposite. That is, if our own intelligence agencies
are to be believed
(http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030209-020607-8252r), we can only
expect intensified terrorist activity due to our starving
(http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/iraq.html) and killing
(http://www.iraqbodycount.net/bodycount.htm)
of innocent civilians, and our occupation of still more arab land
(http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/special_packages/iraq/5606063.htm).

Experts, again our own, are predicting extreme instability in the
region due to our military activities, thus precluding any argument for
victory in the realm of enhancing the security of the US or any of its
regional interests
(http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ssi/conf/2002/usarab.pdf).

The only proclaimed goal for our invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq
that has actually been achieved is the removal of Saddam Hussein from
power. And this removal of a recognized (if despicable) leader, against
the wishes of his citizens
(http://www.rsi.com.sg/en/programmes/newsline/2003/02/21_02_01.htm) can
only constitute a victory over international law and decency, and nothing
else.

Author: Gabriel Voiles

News Service: theExperiment

URL: http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1925