occupation of iraq

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Psybertron always leads me down untrodden paths. Today he introduced me, unbeknownst to him, to a heavyweight intellectual I had never heard of, Slavoj Zizek. The reason Zizek is interesting is that he is the very model of a modern secular humanist, i.e. the very model of what a secular humanist should be, one not just tolerant of both sides of fundamental issues, but radically tolerant of both sides. Now what this really means is still not entirely clear to me. Perhaps this final paragraph of Zizek’s The Empty Wheelbarrow will illustrate the point:

Recall the old story about a worker suspected of stealing. Every evening, when he was leaving the factory, the wheelbarrow he was rolling in front of him was carefully inspected, but it was always empty – till, finally, the guards got the point: what the worker was stealing were the wheel-barrows themselves. This is the trick that those who claim today “But the world is none the less better off without Saddam!” try to pull on us: they forget to include in the account the effects of the very military intervention against Saddam. Yes, the world is better without Saddam – but it is not better with the military occupation of Iraq, with the rise of Islamist fundamentalism provoked by this very occupation. The guy who first got this point about the wheelbarrow was an arch-intellectual.

OK, I think the point is clear, except I’m not sure of the last sentence, i.e. what is an arch-intellectual?

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OK, I’ve had about enough of this nonsense. The Horror! It has to stop. War has to stop. We have to get the hell out of Iraq, lock stock and barrel, period.

I’m dropping my support of Obama and will support neither Clinton nor Obama. Instead pressure has to be applied on both of them to promise to really get us out of Iraq.

Cennad has a post A Peace Movement… ‘So’ which contains a link to this great article by Naomi Klein and Jeremy Scahill, Anti-war campaigners have to change electoral tactics.

Klein and Scahill state that “Neither Clinton nor Obama has a real plan to end the occupation of Iraq, but they could be forced to change position”. Let’s hope this is possible.

Here’s the key paragraph from Klein and Scahill:

In sharp contrast to this downsized occupation is the unequivocal message coming from hundreds of soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq Veterans Against the War which, earlier this month, held the Winter Soldier hearings in Silver Spring, Maryland – modelled on the 1971 Winter Soldier investigation, in which veterans testified about US atrocities in Vietnam – are not supporting any candidate or party. Instead they are calling for immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all US soldiers and contractors. Coming from peace activists, the “out now” position has been dismissed as naive. It is harder to ignore coming from the hundreds who have served – and continue to serve – on the frontlines.

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