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Spider holes and blue sky blues

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
December 9, 2004


The weather of late has been extremely intoxicating. Clear blue skies, cleaned from recent rains and Santa Ana winds, is the kind of blue that has to be experienced to be truly appreciated. The diffused light of early December lends a certain glow to all landscapes, a nuance of astronomical proportions. In Southern California late fall is a season of changing colors, bright red Toyon berries, and falling leaves. When clear skies mean brisk days and cold nights.

It almost makes me want to take off the tin foil hat, and drink the Kool-Aid being offered by all the well-meaning people.


December 13, 2004 will mark the first anniversary of the liberation of Saddam Hussein, from his spider hole beneath the Tikrit farmhouse. No longer can regime change be given as a reason for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Saddam is gone and still the war of control continues. No Weapons of Mass Destruction, the occupation continues. No stockpile of chemical or biological weapons, and the occupation continues. In keeping with the Neocon ideology, reasons for invading a nation are as expendable as the people of that invaded nation.

This is the time of year when people start singing about peace on earth and joy to the world. How sad that such sentiments are completely out of reach due to over reaching corporate imperialists. Refusing the Kool-Aid, I see an empty glass. If the people of San Diego can't expect a fair election how can the people of Baghdad? No one of intellectual honesty sees even a remote chance for fair Iraqi elections any time soon.

In reality, the next leader of Iraq will be yet another tool geopolitics and the war over energy resources. Iraqis will never be free as long as there are foreign troops occupying their nation, and American troops will be in Iraq for a very long time.

The people of the Philippines know something about this. The United States of America bought the Philippine Islands from Spain for $20 million as part of the Treaty of Paris. Resistance to American colonial ambitions led to the Philippine-American War of 1899. Still an American colony, the Japanese occupied the Philippines during WWII. Americans "liberated" the country in 1945 and granted its independence on July 4, 1946

It took 100 years, and a volcano, before Uncle Sam was willing to leave. As long as there is oil in Iraq there will be American Troops in Iraq. As long as Americans stay in Iraq there will be a war on terror to justify Americans in Iraq. The Kool-Aid that tastes like nation building is only possible if there is a nation needing to be rebuilt. And nations need to be destroyed before they can be rebuilt. Hence, the need for a "War on Terror." With plenty of munitions and casualties to go around, the Iraq oil can be siphoned away in under cover of free market liberation.

O.K. so it has been a year since Saddam Hussein, the former CIA operative, secular dictator, and petty tyrant was found hiding in a hole with a million dollars and a empty revolver. What, exactly, has been achieved since that anti-climactic event? Other than an American dictated Prime Minister calling for order and foreign troops wrecking havoc on the population of a post Saddam Iraq?

After 12 years of sanctions and two years of liberation, security is nonexistent, disease rampant, and malnutrition commonplace. American bombardment of buildings, roads, railways, power stations, sewage plants and telecommunications facilities continues to destroy the physical infrastructure of the nation, while littering it remnants of a high tech munitions.

Besides the immediate of carnage of the current hostilities, the ecological cost of this war is mind numbing. Mk 77 Mod 5 (the new Napalm,) depleted uranium, and other battlefield toxins, leave a legacy of pollution generations long. Birth defects and childhood cancers will be the most obvious. Loss of biodiversity and other biological impacts will be impossible to assess until long after irreparable damage has been done.

Looking out at a beautiful blue sky, made golden by the sun of late fall, a sycamore shedding multi-colored leaves in a crisp breeze, I can almost block out the horrific injustice being dished out half a world away. I can almost drown out the voice in my head telling me things have gone to far. I can almost ignore the signs that say the debacle of Iraq is just the beginning of much darker days. I can almost pretend that this is not a world at war.


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