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:: Article nr. 8740 sent on 09-jan-2005 03:22 ECT
George Walker Bush's Willing Executioners
Les Blough, Editor, Axis of Logic
Jan 8, 2005, 21:00
"You do not become a "dissident" just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society."
- Vaclav Havel
It appears that the Iraqi people are winning the war. Who is the "Iraqi resistance"? What if they force the U.S. out of their country militarily? Are you supporting them or the U.S. military who appear to be losing this war, day by day? Where do you stand and what is the potential cost of your stand? Do you have a choice?
Yesterday (January 8, 2004), AFP reported with the following headline: "Deadliest day for US in new year in Iraq as emergency laws extended." Today, Reuters reports that a U.S. air strike flattened a villa in Northern Iraq, killing 14 civilians inside, adding to fury of the Iraqi people against the United States ( http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&ncid=578
&e=2&u=/nm/20050108/ts_nm/iraq_dc ). Also today, Reuters reports that the U.S. Army Sargeant who forced an Iraqi off a bridge, drowning him was found innocent and that the Iraqi resistance abducted 3 senior Iraqi officials working for the U.S. military in Iraq, killed one of them and "at least four others.
On October 28, 2004 USA Today reported that Iraqi "Gunmen" assassinated Faris Abdul Razzaq al-Assam, one of the three Deputy Baghdad Mayors installed by the U.S. USA Today added,
"Anti-U.S. resistance forces have assassinated or attempted to assassinate several political or police figures holding posts under the occupation. The most prominent was Aquila al-Hashimi, a member of Iraq's interim Governing Council, who was fatally wounded by gunmen on Sept. 20."(http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=2&u=/a
For years many Americans have been wary of the corporate-funded U.S. network news services. They have turned instead to the news services of NPR and PBS which are also corporate-funded, but pretend independence. NPR radio continues to give an open pulpit to the U.S. government and the Pentagon to spin facts about Iraq without presenting a significant dissenting view. Again today, NPR's open-ended interviews with U.S. military leaders spun these facts, blaming Iraqi military operations on "Sunni insurgents" who are at war with their Shia brethren and opposed to the U.S.-controlled January elections. Last evening, PBS gave George Walker Bush voice to describe the Iraqi resistance as "killers who can't stand democracy". Anyone who reads all the news coming out of Iraq know the difference between "Sunni killers" and a genuine peoples' guerilla military in Iraq that is massive in number, well-organized, well-armed and hell-bent to kick the invaders out of their country.
Among the reports we shall examine here is yesterday's report of "The deadliest day" for U.S. in the New Year. We will leave out the descriptive terms meant to shape the readers thinking. Let's cut-to-the-chase of this carefully nuanced, desperately-worded, AFP report by listing the facts of the report:
cusoniraq/2005/January/focusoniraq_January43.xml§ion=foc ... )
The Success of Iraq's Military Defense vs. the U.S. Invaders
"...Iyad Allawi extended emergency laws in a bid to quell violence ahead of the January 30 elections.
"... Donald Rumsfeld is sending a retired general to Iraq to conduct an "open-ended" review of the US military's Iraq policy, including troop levels
"[yesterday] ... a bomb tore apart an armoured fighting vehicle in Baghdad on Thursday, killing seven US soldiers, while two marines died in the volatile western province of al-Anbar.
"[In] Samarra north of Baghdad, two Iraqi soldiers and a civilian were killed Friday ...
"... only a third of Sunni Muslims are 'very likely' to vote and 88 percent said fear of attacks would keep them away.
"[In] Mosul, bodies of 18 Iraqis apparently lured ...by promises of work at a US base were uncovered Thursday ...
"... in a separate development a French newspaper said one of its correspondents was missing.
"In the bloodiest attack against US troops in the new year, seven US soldiers in a Bradley fighting vehicle were killed when a bomb ripped a hole in the light armoured tank, valued for its maneuverability in Baghdad's dense streets.
"It was the largest number of US troops killed in a single attack since last month's suicide bombing in a military mess hall at a Mosul base that killed 22 people, including 14 US service members.
(Author's note: The initial reports indicated that this attack was a successful military operation by the Iraqi resistance that penetrated a U.S. military base with a "suspected" rocket or mortar attack inside the base on soldiers eating lunch. On the following day, the U.S. changed the story to report that it was a "suicide bomber" who attacked inside the mess hall. In the following 3-4 days, the complicit U.S. corporate media reinforced the government's second version in subsequent reports. What do you believe?)
AFP continuing ...
"In Al-Anbar province .... two US marines were killed in action, the military said, but released no further details on the separate incidents
"Curfews are already in place in Baghdad, Mosul, Baquba and other cities.
"We are worried but we have no certainties" about what happened to the two, Barnier told French television. Aubenas, 43, and Hussein Hanoun Al-Saadi left their Baghdad hotel early Wednesday and have not been seen since"
On January 6, AFP reported that Leutenant General James Helmly warned: "The US Army reserve is turning into a 'broken force'" and "may not be able to meet it's operational requirements in the future" ( http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?ID=35665 )
The report stated Lt. Gen. Helmly reported as "Congress prepared to consider another multi-billion-dollar request for financing the war on terror and was expected to raise new questions about the sustainability of the war in Iraq without reintroducing the draft."
On January 3, 2005, AFP reportedthat a U.S.-installed, Iraqi Intelligence chief stated that 200,000 Iraqi "insurgents" are battling the U.S. in Iraq. ( http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_14878.shtm
On December 20, 2004, the media platoon of the Islamic Jihad Army issued an extremely well-produced, articulate, audio/video message to the U.S. government, saying they chose "principles over fear". They concluded ( http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_14507.shtm
"And to George W. Bush, we say, "You have asked us to 'Bring it onĺ, and so have we. Like never expected. Have you another challenge?"
Despite the massive U.S. bombing and razing of Fallujah in November, 2004, meant to "break the back of the insurgency", the U.S. failed to stop Iraq's military resistance ( http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_14442.shtm
l ). Of Fallujah's pre-war population of about a half million, only a tiny fraction returned following the bombing of the city to inspect the damage to their homes and only about 7,000 remain. NPR reported today that most will refuse to vote in the January elections.
Who are the "Insurgents"?
As early as May, 2003, just after the U.S. invasion, 10,000 Shias marched against the U.S. occupation of their country ( http://www.theolympian.com/home/specialsections/War/20030519
The U.S. government/corporate media tells us over and over again, even today, that the "Iraqi insurgents" are residual members of the old Baathist Party, loyal to Saddam Hussein. They are Sunnis, we are told, who want to regain control over the Iraqi government, rejecting their Shia countrymen. On April 19, 2004, Martin Jaques, visiting fellow at the London School of Economics Asian Research Centre wrote for the Guardian (UK) ( http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_6661.shtml
"It is now clear to everyone - apart from Donald Rumsfeld and his cronies - that, far from being a rump of Saddamist malcontents, the resistance enjoys broad based support among the Sunnis and increasingly the Shias too. The old truths are alive and well. People do not want to be ruled by an alien power from thousands of miles away whose interests are self-serving. The resistance in Iraq bears all the hallmarks of a people's war for self-determination."
Today the corporate media tells us it is "foreign fighters" who are assisting the Iraqi resistance army - as though there is something wrong with such support by Iraqis using allies to defend their country. We reply that it is "foreign fighters" who invaded Iraq in 2003, including the U.S. military, the British military and a hodge-podge of other dwindling foreign military forces, patched together to enable the U.S. and Britain to spuriously call the invaders "coalition forces" or "allies". Who are the Iraqi Resistance? Martin Jaques is correct in calling them, "the people".
Who Can Argue?
Who can argue that the U.S. military in Iraq is not in disarray; that U.S. soldiers and the desperate, unemployed Iraqi citizens who cooperate with them are disorganized, undermanned and undergunned? Who can argue that the Iraqi resistance is only a rag-tag bunch of "Sunni Insurgents", trying to disrupt the elections, not wanting want democracy in their country? Who can argue that the Iraqi resistance has not mounted and maintained a well-organized, well prepared military defense of their country against the foreign invaders? The successful military operation by the real Iraqi army last month inside the U.S. military base at Mosul clearly shows their ability to penetrate the most heavily-guarded U.S. installments in Iraq.
Let us not forget who initiated this war on Iraq. Name the names.
We are reminded of the words of Kenneth Adelman. ( http://warincontext.org/editorials/cakewalk.htm ). Adelman is one of the members of the Defense Policy Board and supporters of Project for the New American Century (PNAC). He is personal friend of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and one of the principal architects of the war on Iraq, along with Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, James Woolsey, William Kristol et. al. In 2002 Adelman repeatedly declared that the war on Iraq would be a "cakewalk."
We are reminded of the words of Richard Perle ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Perle ), another principal architect of the war on Iraq when he predicted that the war would last no longer than three weeks. He added, "And there is a good chance that it will be less than that." In the summer of 2002 Perle stated, "... support for Saddam, including within his military organization, will collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder":
"Saddam is much weaker than we think he is. He's weaker militarily. We know he's got about a third of what he had in 1991. But it's a house of cards. He rules by fear because he knows there is no underlying support. Support for Saddam, including within his military organization, will collapse at the first whiff of gunpowder. Now, it isn't going to be over in 24 hours, but it isn't going to be months either."
They were wrong. Dead wrong. But these are not stupid men. Was it a simple mistake? - that they miscalculated, or were they simply unconcerned? If the latter is true, we can deduce that they also were unconcerned about the hundreds of thousands Iraqis and tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers who have been killed and maimed in the year and half that followed.
When I think of the magnitude of death and destruction in Iraq today, I am reminded of Saddam Hussein's dream of having a ground war with the U.S. military prior to Bush-the-Elder's merciless bombing of Iraq. Saddam warned of the "Mother of all battles" ( http://www.halexandria.org/dward256.htm )and the unwitting laughed at him as Raytheon "smart bombs" fell on Iraq in 1991. We are also reminded of the famous words of Tarique Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, in December, 2002:
"Our cities will be our jungles and our buildings will be our swamps".
The successful military operations of the Iraqi army over the past year suggest to us that the U.S. has already lost this war. Now, it is only a question of how long and how many deaths and injuries. The U.S. has lost the war in terms of military strategy and in terms of their propaganda efforts both within and without Iraq. Most people of the world agree that it was wrong for the U.S. to commit the atrocious, unprovoked attack on the Iraqi people. Most agree that the time has long past for the U.S. to admit that their invasion, plunder and occupation of Iraq was morally wrong morally and militarily foolish. Most U.S. citizens, either covertly or openly disagree with this invasion in Iraq.
Where does all this leave us? As editors of Axis of Logic who report daily on the war on Iraq, let there be no confusion: We stand - openly - and "shoulder-to-shoulder" with the Iraqi resistance who are doing no less than we would do if we in the U.S. were invaded by a foreign nation. Our position is based on principle: The right to for any nation to defend their national boundries and sovereignty against invasion and occupation - on the principles of the right to independence and the right to national self-determination.
The arguments against immediate withdrawal of all U.S. Troops
Some readers, even those who oppose the war, write to us with the following arguments against an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq:
"But what will happen then? What if a civil war results in Iraq?" We reply that the U.S. and many other nations have had their civil wars and have resolved them within their own borders".
"What if a dictatorship takes over in Iraq?" We reply, "Do you refer to a dictatorship like that of Saddam Hussein who was installed and supported by the U.S.? The U.S. government does not have the authority, the right, the moral rectitude nor the ability to determine the form of governments in other sovereign nations.
"What if Iran gains a foothold in Iraq and establishes a theocracy led by Muslim clerics?" We reply that it is for the Iraqi people to decide with whom they will align themselves.
"We should continue the occupation in Iraq in our own national interest and for our own "national security". We reply that the WMD-less Iraqi government, weakened by 10 years of brutal sanctions posed no threat to the U.S. government - ever - despite the lies of the Bush regime who falsely claimed they could strike our eastern shores with nuclear weapons within 45 minutes.
If the U.S. pulls out now, the Iraqis will understandably be outraged at what our country has done. However, there is absolutely no evidence that they have the desire or the capability to commit "terrorist acts" in the U.S. There is absolutely no evidence there was ever a linkage between Al-Queda and the Saddam Hussein regime. If the U.S. pulls out now, the Iraqi people will have their hands full rebuilding what's left of their country. The safest way to leave Iraq is to leaving them as winners, not losers. When did Vietnam ever retaliate against the U.S. after it won the Vietnam war? When did they retaliate against France who occupied them before the U.S. and lost?
"We have the responsibility to install democracy in Iraq". We reply, Do you mean the type of democracy that revealed itself in the 2000 and 2004 national elections in the U.S.? Do you really believe a foreign country can "install democracy" in a foreign land and culture by putting a gun to their heads?
"We cannot afford to lose the war in Iraq. We are winners, not losers. We are #1 ... the superpower". We reply, We couldn't afford to lose the war in Vietnam either, but we did. If only we had admitted that the war was lost earlier, 58,000 U.S. soldiers would not have been killed in Vietnam and so many others collecting disability benefits paid by taxpayers for decades following. Millions of Vietnamese men, women and children would not have been maimed and killed. Billions of dollars would not have been wasted on a stupid, immoral and bloody war in Southeast Asia.
"It is 'unpatriotic' - even 'treasonous' to support America's enemies. We reply that the Iraqi people are not our enemies and that dissent, questioning and changing our government is patriotic. We support the Iraqi resistance not only in the interests of the Iraqi people but also in our own national interest. We support the U.S. troops in Iraq by calling for their withdrawal before more are killed and maimed. We support the U.S. withdrawal in our own economic interests. In October, 2004, The National Priorities Project reported ( http://www.nationalpriorities.org/Issues/Military/Iraq/CostO
So far, Congress appropriated approximately $56 billion in April 2003; another $72 billion in November 2003, and currently is in the process of appropriating an additional $25 billion, which was requested by the Bush Administration in May 2004. The total amounts to over $150 billion, but will be higher as the Bush Administration requests further spending later this year.
Please go to the NPP website to see what this war is costing your state and you personally in tax dollars.
Project Billboard and Center for American Progress placed a giant clock in NYC in August, 2004 showing the cost of the Iraq war to the U.S. taxpayer to be $177 million a day and $122,820 per minute ( http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/presid
The U.S. government knew about the cost of this war as early as September, 2002. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported to the congress ( http://www.ips-dc.org/iraq/failedtransition/index.htm ):
"CBO estimates that the incremental costs of deploying a force to the Persian Gulf would be between $9 billion and $13 billion. (See the explanation below of "incremental costs.") Prosecuting a war would cost between $6 billion and $9 billion a month--although how long such a war may last cannot be estimated.
In September, 2004, the Institute for Policy Studies reports on the long term costs of the war on Iraq predicated on "a failed transition": ( http://usgovinfo.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http:
//www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm%3Findex=3822%26amp%3Bsequence=0 ... )
"Long-term Impact on U.S. Economy: Economist Doug Henwood has estimated that the war bill will add up to an average of at least $3,415 for every U.S. household. Another economist, James Galbraith of the University of Texas, predicts that while war spending may boost the economy initially, over the long term it is likely to bring a decade of economic troubles, including an expanded trade deficit and high inflation."
In addition to these direct economic costs, the IPS described the costs of the Iraq war in terms of the deaths of U.S. military, Non-Iraqi Contractors and deaths and injuries among the Iraqi people; the shrinkage of the U.S. "coalition"; "terrorist recruitments"; Low Troop Morale and Lack of Equipment; the Loss of U.S. Credibility; the Loss of First Responders (e.g. U.S. National Guard); U.S. Private Contractors; Oil Prices; Economic Impact on Military Families; U.S. Budget and Social Programs; Social Costs to the Military; Cost to Veteran Health Care; Mental Health Costs; Iraqi Deaths and Injuries; Effects of Depleted Uranium; Rise in Crime; Psychological Impact; Rise in Unemployment; Corporate War Profiteering; Iraq's Oil Economy; Health Infrastructure; Education; Environment; Human Rights; Sovereignty; Disabling International Law; Undermining the United Nations; Enforcing Coalitions; The Global Economy and Human Rights.
We say that as U.S. citizens we have the responsibility to protect the United States from the folly of it's government's wars, occupations and colonisations. We have the responsibility to protect our own U.S. military personnel from needless death and injury. We have the responsibility to protect our country from jettisoning our economy for the greed and gains of the profiteering corporations in this war; We have the responsibility to stop irresponsible leaders who have gained political power through corporate funding and corporate media propaganda. We have the responsibility to use our wealth and power as a nation for the good of the common man, woman and child whether in our own country or abroad. We have the responsibility to fight hunger and poverty at home and abroad. We love our country and want what's best for every American. We are patriots.
Our answer to these questions can be distilled to this: Every sovereign nation has the right to self-determination. Every nation has the right to find their own way to their choice of government. It is arrogant, unwise, illegal and immoral for the U.S. to impose it's will on another sovereign nation out of its own "self-interest".
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Costs of Speaking Out against U.S. Foreign Policy
We have seen what has happened to those who oppose the U.S. corporate-wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and U.S. proxy war on Palestine. Those who are vulnerable to deportation are jailed and/or deported - for doing no more than speaking out against U.S. foreign policy. We have seen the government violate the civil rights and free speech of activists when protesting the war on Iraq. As activists, we have been intimidated, harrassed, gassed, arrested, placed in razor-wire "Free Speech Zones" and imprisoned.
Earlier this month an angry reader wrote to tell me he was reporting me to "Homeland Security", accusing me of "aiding and abetting the enemy". The government replied that they would "investigate". The reader sent me copies of his letter and the government's reply. As we traveled by air over the holidays, I and my family (including our young child) and I were pulled out of the security lines at two airports and put through extensive searches. This was not the first time for me, but it was the first for my family. During a previous search at an airport last year, I asked three security personnel why I was being singled out. One of them replied, "Because your name came up on a computer list". This time - they searched my child. Is this only the beginning? These personal costs and threats are miniscule and not to be compared with the losses to the leaders of the international anti-war movement in Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq.
The U.S. government has used fear, intimidation and harrassment to silence us. We will not be silenced. The time has long passed for the American people to stand up against their government's invasion and occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and against their proxy war in Palestine. Our consciences will allow us to do no other, regardless of the personal costs exacted upon us by a rogue U.S. government.
What is our View of the Iraqi Resistance?
As editors of Axis of Logic, we believe that it is our responsibility, morally and legally to support the real Iraqi army - the people - in defense of their country. We believe that the only solution - if it can be called that - to the bloody quagmire in which the U.S. now finds itself swamped today is two-fold:
(1) The U.S. must withdraw all troops from Iraq now, before the loss of life reaches the proportions of the foolhardy Vietnam war.
(2) The U.S. must live up to the responsibility for what it has done for decades to come - by paying for the damage in the form of reparations. Those reparations must be paid to the Iraqi people for their use at their own discretion, as they request it - not under the control of the U.S. government from its military bases already established in Iraq against the will of the Iraqi people.
In his September, 2001 speech to a joint-session of congress, George Walker Bush framed a question, "Either you are with us or with the terrorists". In regard to his invasion of Iraq, we categorically reject this not-so-clever challenge. In regard to Iraq, we reply, "Mr. President, we are not with you." To the reader we say, "You too have a choice". We have long recognized the futility of "writing your representative in Congress. However, today we offer this suggestion: If you are opposed to the U.S. invasion and occupation in Iraq, write an email message to the congress. Place your view in the subject line of your email where it is difficult to be missed: "Bring the Troops Home Now!". Join the massive Anti-Inaugural Demonstration in Washington D.C. on January 20 ( http://iacenter.org/ ) to tell the government, "Bring the Troops Home Now!" If we take any other position, perhaps a book will one day be written about us titled, "Bush's Willing Executioners".
Copyright 2003 by AxisofLogic.com
:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.
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