Posted by: Winslie Gomez | 18/03/2008

Truth, lies bleeding on the streets

While the spin doctors tell us that life in Iraq is improving. Yet a female suicide bomber struck Shiite worshippers in the holy city of Karbala on Monday.

The dead/wounded toll rises from 8 to 15 to 35 to 43.

Do the numbers matter? Well it does, if you are one of the family of those blown up, but not for someone here in UK or US.

It isn’t even news anymore. As they say, talk to the hand


Img credit to Farm1

However there are people on this planet who will tell us that Tension Escalates in Iraq.

Reading between the lines, it is becoming obvious that Shock and Awe has had such a brilliant effect that this week, 5 years later as

Cheney’s motorcade zigzagged through Baghdad to meetings as helicopter gunships circled overhead. Explosions were heard in parts of the city, but none were near the vice president.

So what is Joe Public supposed to believe?

There appear to be two camps:

1. One that says one thing but knows another.

“The United States can do a lot for Iraq, but we cannot provide Iraq with an anchor in the Arab world, a kind of legitimacy for the new Iraqi project that comes from being fully integrated in its neighborhood,” said a U.S. official who asked not to be identified.

“And I think clearly some of our friends in the Arab world can do more on that score,” the official said of Cheney’s coming visit to Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Thanks to Faizshakir.

McCain, who arrived in Iraq on Sunday, told reporters that he also discussed with the Shiite leader the need for progress on political reforms, including laws on holding provincial elections and the equitable distribution of Iraq’s oil riches.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., speaking to reporters from Kuwait after a visit to Iraq, said Iraq should begin picking up more of the bills.

“We’re paying for things that Iraqis clearly should be paying for,” Levin said. “They have the capability, the surplus funds to do their own reconstruction, and to do their own weapons purchases and other things which we’re paying for and they need to pay for.”

Reported in

2. One that faces facts as they see it.

But some analysts have doubt about any major breakthroughs when Cheney talks about the matter with Arab countries.

“I don’t think that he’s going to be able to bring back anything meaningful because he’s got nothing to offer,” said Steven Simon, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“He represents a lame duck president, a floundering economy, a situation in which the U.S. for all its efforts in Iraq has no leverage on the government in Baghdad,” Simon noted

In the final analysis it all boils down to simple things like

The Iraqis do not yet have a law for sharing the nation’s oil wealth among the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, a law that the Bush administration believes will trigger multinational energy companies to invest in exploration and production in Iraq.

Five years and still nothing to show for what they really came for except perhaps as Desert peace eloquently puts it “The Invisible Wounds of the Iraq War”.

Remember Mr Joe Public, they did it on our behalf and we let them.

People sometimes say they respect the ‘sincerity’ of those who display passionate conviction, even when what they are convinced about is visibly false. Tony Blair is regularly given credit for his sincerity, at least by the right-wing media, as he remains the only person in the world to believe in Iraqui weapons of mass destruction. But surely we ought to find passion and conviction in such a case dangerous and lamentable. The tendency of mind that they indicate is the vice of weakness, not the virtue of strength. Far from being a sign of sincerity, passionate conviction in these shadowy regions is a sign of weakness, of a secretly known infirmity of representational confidence. If we sympathize with the doughty Victorian W. K. Clifford, we will see it as a sign of something worse: a dereliction of cognitive duty, or a crime against the ethics of belief, and hence, eventually, a crime against humanity. (A paper by Simon Blackburn “Religion and Respect” Simon Blackburn is currently the Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge)

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