Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

A quiet brushing away of a horrific blunder

By BJ Bjornson

A flag ceremony marks an official end to the US military operations in Iraq. Well, so long as you ignore the 15,000 personnel still based in the world�s largest embassy and who knows how many mercenaries still running around the country.

Still, Charles Pierce notes that there is still an accounting to be made, even if such an accounting seems entirely unlikely.

On Wednesday, the president said that the Iraq War belongs to history. This, of course, is true. So, for that matter, does whatever he had for breakfast that morning. But history is not just all the stuff that happened in the past. It's why all that stuff happened in the past. It's who made all that stuff happen in the past. Until that accounting takes place, the war does not belong to history. Vietnam doesn't even fully "belong to history" yet. Our politics are still fought out over the fault lines created during that previous exercise in waste and treachery. I suspect � nay, I fear � that a great effort will be made among our political elites not to let that happen again here. Nobody will want to be "divisive." We  will move forward. It will not be allowed to affect our current politics, except as a handy tool with which the war-hungry claque in our conservative foreign-policy elite can bang the president over the head a few times.

The Iraq War will "belong to history" in the sense that it will be buried there.

That will not pay all the bills. And until those bills are paid � until the proper people pay the proper recompense for what they did to this country, to that country, and to the world � the Iraq War is not over.

In this, I fear he is right. There will be no real accounting for the crimes that have taken place in Iraq, and most particularly for the crimes of those who led the US into the war there in the first place, no more than they will be held to account for any of their myriad other crimes.

Much like the elites in Wall Street are not going to be held to account for their roles in destroying the lives and wealth of millions, so long as you have your hands on the levers of power, no crime is too big to simply walk away from and tell everyone that they need �to look forward, not back�. The whole mess will get brushed aside and dumped down the memory hole as much as possible, much as it already has.

Little wonder such things keep happening.


  1. I came of age during Vietnam. We now know that those in charge knew that the war was unwindable early on and 10s of thousands of America's finest died after they came to that conclusion - some of them friends and relatives. The only punishment was history and that will be the same in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan. It's too bad we can't seem to learn from history.

  2. BJ -- somewhat OT, but I didn't want to derail the Hitchens thread, I finally got around to trying to answer you and Doug M.. It's in a Crooked Timber comment thread on this very subject (the nominal end to the war in Iraq). Sorry it took so long -- it's been an insane semester, for reasons some of your commenters referenced obliquely last time around.

  3. Underscoring your sentiments read what Rami Khouri says in Lebanon's Daily Star. Take a moment to check out the whole thing. It's not long.
    Somebody who has Obama�s ear should take him aside one day soon and let him know that in the Arab world, Iraq since the 2003 Anglo-American invasion has never been a model for anything other than perpetual chaos, fear, death and destruction. It is everything we want to avoid, and nothing we seek to emulate. Most Arabs � if not most human beings around the world � see the last nine years in Iraq as the epitome of neo-colonial Western invasions that deal with Arab societies as if they were modeling clay to be molded into images that are pleasing to simpletons and predators in London and Washington. Iraq is not a democratic model, it is a nightmare.
    I suspect the president might be in agreement but is in no position to say so.