Friday, October 12, 2007

Raw Sewage As Metaphor

I have a cousin who has worked for the US government in Iraq. He was riding in one of the ubiquitous enormous black US government SUVs in a tunnel, and apparently a sewer main had broken and spilled raw sewage all over the road.

The SUV tore through the tunnel, naturally splashing raw sewage everywhere in its wake. Some poor Iraqi was driving along with his windows open, likely because his car didn't have A/C and it was like 115 degrees, and the SUV swamped him, splashing gallons of raw sewage into his car.

My cousin said that there was no reason he could think of that the SUV needed to tear through the tunnel and swamp that Iraqi car like that. The SUV, did, of course, have A/C, and they had it set to recirculate the interior air, so though some stench from the sewage did get into the SUV, it wasn't so bad that it was necessary to drive so fast.

And, if you know anything about cars and/or raw sewage, you know that smell isn't coming out of that Iraqi's car. His car, for all intents and purposes, was ruined, as likely were his clothes.

This was back before the insurgency started, mind you, back when they still thought they might find WMDs, back in the "Mission Accomplished" days. My cousin couldn't believe how callous American officials and contractors were in regards to the Iraqis, and he could see right away that doing things like splashing Iraqis with raw sewage was not likely to help us "win the hearts and minds" of the Iraqis.

And, I'm sure it occurred to that Iraqi, as he sat in his sewage-filled car, that he never had to drive through raw sewage under Sadaam. From his point of view, rightly or wrongly, the Americans came, messed up the infrastructure such that raw sewage was spilling into tunnels, and then they splashed it all over him.

I can't think of a more fitting metaphor for what the US invasion of Iraq has ultimately accomplished.

Except that now, instead of just splashing raw sewage on the Iraqis, Blackwater mercenaries are shooting them. That's apparently what the Bush regime means when they say that the US is making "progress" in Iraq.


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