On the road to Adelaide
Yesterday, when I drove back to Adelaide from Victor Harbor around lunchtime I wondered about the possibilities of a bio-terror attack --the plague or anthrax being let loose in Australia. I couldn't cope with that line of thought.
I got this far though. Do the health authorities have the vaccine readily available in Adelaide? They should, shouldn't they? After all we don't have this vaccine stuff ready to hand in our medicine cabinets. And the PM
has been warning us for weeks now about all this stuff. Its why we at war isn't it. So all the disease tracking, crowd control, communication and local vaccine delivery mechanisms should be in place.
Oh, I know. There's nothing. So what does that say? It was all too difficult. So I stopped wondering about it.
Then I pondered why I had given up watching the live feeds from the war zone by the US television networks late at night. One night of live coverage (and flickering chanels) was enough for me. I could cope with that.
sickened me-----so gungho war (not just this war but war in general ) and the thrills of it all. The commentary from the tank by the embedded reporter
sounded as if he had a hard on from all the high tech stuff + the thrills and spills. War = big desire. War is sexy. He was almost masturbating as the mobile and lightly armed forces of the Militarized Enlightenment dashed to Baghdad.
As a viewer watching from a beach house with a backdrop of waves and wind it was like being in a video-game. No that's not quite right---I'm groping for the visual form here. It was more like reality television. Well, not quite because it hadn't quite got there. It had the form of not the content reality television----that was the marketing of war.
But there was another side to all this. The US military have ensured that the US networks are their lapdogs in Operation Iraqi Freedom. They have become the psych-ops arm of the US military, which is trying to scare the Iraqi soldiers to give up in the face of overwhelming power racing up the highway. That's the tactics of shock and awe. The thesis is simple. Iraq as a nation state only holds together because of fear of the evil dictator. Create another fear ---death from bombardment--cos these peopel only understand fear. So now's your chance to give up. Take it while you can and side with the forces of liberation. Its Saddam we are after, not you or the Iraqi people. We have a common enemy. So get out now because we are going to pummel Baghdad good and proper. You haven't got a chance.
So the Iraqi resistance is downplayed and the forward momentum is played up. Resistance is also unexplainable in the high tech discourse---sporadic resistance is encountered. Why are they resisting? Where are the flowers and kisses and smiles from a grateful people? It is not rational to resist. Sandstorms
yes. Stiff resistance no.
Then it dawned on me. The psych.-ops boys had forgotten to factor in patriotism---Iraqi patriotism--into their equations. Of course, the psych.ops boys had overlooked that because there was no such thing as Iraqi patriotism in their high-tech discourse.
Maybe the Iraqi people wanted to see Saddam go and the tyranny end, but they weren't too happy with the Americans occupying their country. Maybe they wanted to govern the country for themselves. After all Iraq is their homeland. It's a bit arrogant to say Iraqis do not know what democracy is until the Americans bring it to them.
What has been rejected as irrelevant by the Militarized Enlightenment is what is most important.
Thats what happened on the road to Adelaide.
Then I read this personal account
by Nate Thayer of a day's experiences as an American journalist in Baghdad. (Link courtesy of Tim Dunlop
, who is doing a great job at Road to Surfdom.) And this personal voice
from April Hurley, an American working in a Baghdad Emergency room.