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The Huffington Post

Are We Done Yet?

Jane Smiley

The Guardian reports today that, according to the Wolfowitz/World Bank investigation, when Wolfie's senior staff objected to Shaha Riza's compensation package (and, where, once again, did she get her security clearance, I would like to know), Wolfie shouted, "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too!"

I love this. Isn't Wolfowitz the guy who has been repeatedly commended for his humane outlook, his charitable drive, his general do-gooder (but in a conservative way of course) point of view? Yes, Wolfowitz got us into the horror of the Iraq war. Yes, he was the architect of the madness, but, you know, it was only out of an excess of good intentions. He wanted to save Iraq, not destroy it, and if the Iraqis have not allowed themselves to be saved, well, what can someone who is just a bureaucrat, and maybe, in fact, a little too good for this world, do about it? Not much. Certainly not apologize or commit any sort of honorable suicide. Just as a little reminder of what Wolfie did in his last job, I quote another piece in the Guardian, from some weeks ago. The author is Haifa Zangana, an Iraqi columist and novelist who was no friend to Saddam. This is from the April 12 Guardian, and concerns the growing resistance by Iraqi women to the American presence:

It is important to recognise that the resistance was born not only of ideological, religious and patriotic convictions, but also as a response to the reality of the brutal actions of the occupation and its administration. It is a response to arbitrary break-ins, humiliating searches, arrests, detention and torture. According to the Red Cross, "the number of people arrested or interned by the multinational forces has increased by 40% since early 2006. The number of people held by the Iraqi authorities has also increased significantly." Many of the security detainees are women who have been subjected to abuse and rape and who are often arrested as a means to force male relatives to confess to crimes they have not committed. According to the Iraqi MP Mohamed al-Dainey, there are 65 documented cases of women's rape in occupation detention centres in 2006. Four women currently face execution - the death penalty for women was outlawed in Iraq from 1965 until 2004 - for allegedly killing security force members. These are accusations they deny and Amnesty International has challenged.


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That Wolfowitz apparently still thinks of himself as a good person, and, right now, a victim of a "smear campaign", after instigating the wreck that is Iraq is something that I simply cannot understand. Clearly Wolfowitz, Cheney, Perle, Rice, Hadley, Kristol, and all the other perps here are lacking in some innate human capacity of observation and understanding, though the fact that they carefully protect themselves from ever seeing what is actually going on in Iraq, in American army hospitals, or in the families of American soldiers indicates that there is, at least, some vestigial organ of fear and avoidance that is still active.

It would seem that our principal hope is that Wolfie will follow through on his threat, and really fuck whoever it is who might fuck him. And let that be the Bush administration, who are, right now, protecting him. I would like to think that we are approaching the deepest, brittlest nubbin of the Bush/Rove conspiracy to take over the US, and that when the inner circle begins to go, there will be less of a crumpling and more of an implosion, as every man and woman saves him -- or herself -- by outing the others. Tenet has begun, but I want a cascade effect. I want an avalanche that buries every single one of these people beyond rescue and beyond redemption. No memoirs, only depositions. No retirement activities, other than mopping floors at Walter Reed. No resurrections, a la Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rove, post-Nixon. Conservatives, read my lips: you own these people. If you want anything from us for the next three generations, get rid of them now.

Jane Smiley has contributed to a wide range of magazines, including The New Yorker, Elle, Outside, The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, The American Prospect, Practical Horseman, The Guardian Sport Monthly, Real Simple, and Playboy. Smiley's latest book is Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel, a history and anatomy of the novel as a literary form (Knopf).

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