I’ve decided not to go to the fireworks tonight. I spent much of this morning and most of yesterday walking around, and don’t want to walk again tonight. Besides, I’ve seen the San Francisco fireworks before.
I did visit the Golden Gate Bridge today and the mood, which should have been full of silly sunshine and good times was made somber because there were more soldiers than usual out today. At the entrance to the old Fort at the base of the Bridge there was one stationed, looking closely at all the people entering the old site. What did they expect? That someone was going to fire up the old 1800’s cannon and take a shot?
This reminded me of a link to a Washington Post article that AKMA pointed to, about the distrust between the US soldiers and the local Iraqi police force. I was stunned to hear such animosity from our soldiers. Stunned, but not surprised. The soldiers don’t want to be there, people are taking shots at them, they didn’t find weapons of mass destruction, the Iraqi people don’t really want them there, and everyone is hot. No electricity, jobs, no education, no life for the people in Baghdad, and they’re supposed to be grateful? Can’t spit on Bush, but the soldiers are close by, so they’ll spit, or worse, on the soldiers, and the situation is going to get worse before better.
If this is how the soldiers’ attitude is, after only a couple of months – what’s going to happen in a year? Two years? We said we would never get into another Vietnam: fighting against a people that don’t want us, for a people that don’t want us, and in a land that is hostile to us. We said we would never get into another Vietnam, and we did.
But this isn’t stopping Bush, as he dons his true blue American work shirt to go talk to the troops this 4th of July. This was after his belligerent talk yesterday about ‘bring em on’ to the Iraqi people. Stan Goff had about the best comment on this*:
This de facto president is finally seeing his poll numbers fall. Even chauvinist paranoia has a half-life, it seems. His legitimacy is being eroded as even the mainstream press has discovered now that the pretext for the war was a lie. It may have been control over the oil, after all. Anti-war forces are regrouping as an anti-occupation movement.
Now, exercising his one true talent ‘blundering’ George W Bush has begun the improbable process of alienating the very troops upon whom he depends to carry out the neo-con ambition of restructuring the world by arms.
Somewhere in Balad, or Fallujah, or Baghdad, there is a soldier telling a new replacement, “We are losing this war.”
Happy Independence Day, Iraq.
*also pointed to by Frank Paynter