Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sidetracked: Why I am NOT in Iraq

I should be in Iraq. I should be in Baghdad. I should be sending back eye-popping stories to The Black Commentator about how our money is being misused, mismanaged, misspent and morally misdirected to kill women and children whose only crimes are to be born in an oil-rich country and to not be born the same color as George W. Bush.

Bush had no business invading Iraq. Now he has killed 665,000 (and still counting) Iraqis and 3,020 (and still counting) U.S. soldiers in cold blood. If he can kill them without any conscience, what's to keep him from killing us next?

Yes, I've been sidetracked from observing the occupation and reporting back to you exactly what is going on over there. And who has sidetracked me? Who is keeping me from reporting to you from Iraq? Let me tell you. It is extremely difficult to get to Iraq as a reporter unless you are officially sanctioned and "embedded" by the U.S. military. Knowing this, I dutifully applied through the proper channels for embedding media personnel in Iraq and wrote to the U.S. Army CentCom in Baghdad. "I want to go over there so that I can tell our readers exactly what is going on in Iraq," I said.

"Sorry," they wrote back. "We don't embed bloggers." So. The Black Commentator doesn't count as REAL journalism? Nor does Counterpunch, OpEd News, CLG News,, the Online Journal or TruthOut? It's only when the New York Times lies through its teeth to America that it's real? Yeah, sure you're sorry. Me too.

Then I wrote to Senator Barbara Boxer to see if she could help me to embed. But it's been four or five months now and I haven't heard back. "Senator, I need your help," I wrote. "They are not letting me into Iraq. Apparently you do not get allowed over there unless you PROMISE to write what they want you to write -- about how well the illegal occupation, killing, torture, bombing, napalming, hanging, embezzling, etc. is going and how Bush has to Stay the Course as long as there is one drop of oil left in Iraq...." And you KNOW that I can't make that promise.

But I will promise this: I will do every single thing humanly possible to stop this insane and bloody "war" on the people of Iraq. And on Afghanistan, Lebanon, Palestine, Darfur, Somalia and anywhere else where there is power or land or oil that the Bush murderers covet.

Martin Luther King Jr. risked his life to stop the war on Vietnam. We must follow his example. Why? Because our future is at stake here. We cannot afford to be sidetracked again.

PS: "In the future...they can do it to us." What am I talking about! They already have. Perhaps I should just go embed in New Orleans...or South Central.