|02/08/03||GI Special #67: Iraqi Resistance Celebrates|
Date: Sat, 2 Aug 2003 17:48:05 -0400
GI SPECIAL #67
Wanted: Enemy Combatant. Armed And Dangerous.
Approach With Overwhelming Forces.
IRAQ WAR REPORTS:
Iraqi Resistance Celebrates:
Attacks on Pipeline, US Troops and Polish Troops Mark Iraq’s Three-Month War Anniversary;
Hussein Says U.S. Troops Who Surrender Will Be Treated Fairly
BAGHDAD (AFP), August 1, 2003 – Saboteurs blew up a key oil pipeline in northern Iraq, clashes left four Iraqis dead and three US soldiers lightly wounded
Polish troops joining the US-led coalition’s rebuilding efforts also received a baptism of fire when five mortar bombs were launched at their base in Hilla, south of Baghdad, with the violence coming three months to the day since US President George W. Bush declared the war effectively over.
The pipeline fire in the northern refinery hub of Baiji, still seen raging Friday, was certain to throw off US plans to further resuscitate Iraq’s massive but crippled energy sector.
Only a day earlier, US officials hailed the expected reopening early this month of the country’s main oil pipeline from the petroleum center of Kirkuk to the Turkish Mediterranean terminal of Ceyhan, wrecked in a previous sabotage attack.
Resistance fighters in the Fallujah area again clashed with US troops amid an escalation of anti-US violence in the region west of Baghdad.
Four Iraqi men were killed when they assaulted a US military convoy with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), Sergeant Keith O’Donnell told AFP at a US base in Ramadi, near Fallujah where US troops come under daily attack.
“It was one of eight attacks in the last 24 hours west of Baghdad, the most extensive attacks in a while,” O’Donnell said.
In a separate incident, three soldiers were lightly wounded when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device near a US base, O’Donnell said.
While declaring that only resistance would end the US occupation of Iraq, a tape by Saddam Hussein said Iraqis should treat any foreign troops that “surrender” in accordance with international law and the tenets of Islam.
And the young incendiary cleric, Moqtada Sadr, launched another barb against the Americans as he seeks the wrest the mantle of leadership of the country’s majority Shiite population.
In his Friday sermon, Sadr took the US troops to task over heavy-handed tactics in their security sweeps. Speaking to a gathering of around 100,000 faithful, Sadr asked: “Must we accept that Iraqis are humiliated and dragged helplessly along the ground by these soldiers? We demand that they be judged according to the sharia (Islamic law).”
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
Polish Base Under Fire; Evacuated
From correspondents in Warsaw
08/01/03 (Daily Telegraph. UK) A BASE housing Polish troops in Iraq came under mortar fire overnight but there were no casualties or damage, the defense ministry said on Friday.
It said that US special forces had tried but failed to capture the assailants.
The ministry said five mortar shells were fired in the early hours at a logistics base in the town of Hilla, near Baghdad, but all of them fell at the edge of the facility.
“Our men were immediately evacuated to a shelter, while US special forces and gendarmes set off to chase the assailants,” ministry spokesman Eugeniusz Mleczak said.
However, the assailants escaped, he said. The attack was the first reported against Polish troops in Iraq, where about 300 military personnel are working to prepare for the deployment of a multinational division under Polish command.
Convoys Fat Targets;
By Alastair Macdonald, Reuters, AOL News: 7/31/03
Three months into an edgy sort of peace declared by their president on May 1, 51 American soldiers have been killed, their slow-moving convoys and isolated guardposts making soft targets for shadowy enemies able to strike at will with vast stocks of secreted Iraqi military hardware and homemade bombs.
“What you’ve seen so far are just pinpricks. You look at the Americans and they have no idea what to look out for. The IRA could have massacred hundreds by now,” said a military expert in Baghdad, who has experience of Northern Ireland.
U.S. commanders say attacks are getting more sophisticated.
“They’re getting smarter, using more timing devices, more sophisticated triggers,” said an officer with the 4th Infantry Division in Tikrit, north of the capital. We found one cache of 2,000 pounds of C4 e.”
Iraqi Traitors Pay The Price
(Washington Post, August 1, 2003, Pg. 1)
Iraqi informers are being shot and killed by their own countrymen for cooperating with the U.S. military, according to U.S. officials and witnesses. Anecdotal evidence suggests the campaign is widespread in the Sunni Muslim region north of Baghdad, where support for the Baath Party remains strong.
A Special Forces Vet Speaks Out….
‘We Need To Try In Every Way Possible to Politically Destroy the Bush Government”
Most of TO Interview: Stan Goff with Jennifer Van Bergen
t r u t h o u t | 16 July 2003
Editor’s Note | Stan Goff is a former Sergeant with Special Forces and military instructor at West Point, among other posts. He is the author of “Hideous Dreams,” about his experience in the 1994 American incursion into Haiti. Goff’s upcoming book, “Full Spectrum Disorder,” from Soft Skull Press, will be available in December.
[JVB] It seems unusual for former military, especially those who were in Special Forces, to come out as strongly as you have against military measures. How did you come to speak out as you’re doing and, briefly, what is your main message?
[SG] I’ve always been intellectually restless, as I think anyone is who is truly interested in what is going on around them. Not interested in appearances, but interested in understanding how things work and damn the consequences. The military actually exposed me to some of the most educational experiences around, not the least of which was travel and the occasional obligation to live among and at the level of poor people in peripheral countries. Measuring my own experience against a lot of reading and studying led me to the left in a pretty gradual but inevitable way. I don’t hold my views because of some religious devotion to an idea, but because leftist analysis conforms most consistently with my own experience. That doesn’t mean it conforms with my comfort level. But when we stay comfortable, we quit growing. So I try to stay a little uncomfortable intellectually, an important thing for an auto-didact.
And a friend of mine who died recently said that soldiers are natural political scientists, because politics can be a matter of life or death to them. If I have a main message, it’s that I’m from inside the military system, and now I am from inside the political left, and I want to build a bridge between the left and the military. Not militarism, but the people in the military.
[JVB] Tell us about your background.
[SG] My parents’ families were from Arkansas and Michigan, but I moved a great deal when I was a kid. My dad followed work. I was actually born in San Diego. My family lived outside St. Louis when I joined the Army at 18. Both my parents worked at McDonnell-Douglas as riveters on center fuselage assembly of the F-4 Phantom close air support aircraft.
[JVB] How did you start out your career in the military?
[SG] I just hung around doing spot work and learning how to get into trouble right after I graduated high school in 1969. After a few months, I started to see myself stuck in St. Charles, taking a job on the assembly line at McDonnell. I believed the whole official narrative about the world communist conspiracy and in its evil, so I enlisted in the Army in January 1970.
[JVB] What conflicts did you fight in?
[SG] My first duty assignment was Vietnam. It was the 80s before I worked in any more conflict areas. I didn’t fight in them all. They included Guatemala, Grenada, El Salvador, Peru, Colombia, Somalia, and Haiti.
[JVB] I realize you’ve written about Haiti in your fascinating book, “Hideous Dreams,” but could you tell us anything briefly about any of the other conflicts?
[SG] Well, there was a common denominator that it took me a couple of decades to figure out. We were engaged in conflicts against poor people. I didn’t realize it at the time – Haiti was the watershed actually – but this is the military role in an imperial state. While the national chambers of commerce in these places, with their eager compradors, assisted US corporations to drain the value out of these countries, the military’s job, often through the surrogate militaries of the host nation as we called it, is to stand guard against all those masses of people in the host nation from whom the value was being drained in labor and resources. If you steal enough from people, they hit a point where they become rebellious, and to continue stealing, you have to use people with guns.
Aside from that sort of macro-analysis, one thing that stands out in my mind is how badly many of the operations went, and how important it is for the US military to spend huge sums of money on arms and high technology. Grenada and Somalia are examples. Real emblems of stupidity in planning and execution. That’s why I tell people not to buy into the hype about US military invincibility. Person for person, and dollar for dollar, the US military is the most inefficient in the world. And the most fragile. They are fragile because of their overwhelming dependence on high technology, and fragile because the troops come out of a pampered consumer culture where real physical hardship is anecdotal. Sustained hardship, as we are seeing in Iraq now, devastates morale.
[JVB] What kind of a commander were you? What did your colleagues think of you?
[SG] I was never a “commander.” That title is reserved for commissioned officers. I was a non-commissioned officer, a sergeant. I did, however, act as the senior enlisted member of infantry and special operations units. I had a very good reputation overall. I had an aptitude for planning and operations
[JVB] When did you get into the Special Forces?
[SG] Actually, Special Forces was a late interest for me in the military. I started out an infantryman. I gravitated into the Rangers, which is a highly disciplined force of specially trained shock infantry that is part of the Special Operations community. I worked for a year as a tactics instructor at the Jungle School in Panama, then went to try-outs for Delta Force. Delta is designated as a “special forces detachment,” but it is not Special Forces, that is not part of the 18 Branch, the Green Berets everyone hears about. Delta is a very small, very specialized and highly secretive unit that does almost exclusively direct action missions that are politically sensitive.
It’s known as a counter-terrorist unit, a military SWAT outfit if you will. It’s a unit that puts a very high premium on skills for entering man-made structures like buildings and vehicles, and a very strong emphasis on precision marksmanship. After Delta, I taught Military Science for a while at West Point. Then I had a break in service, where I went to Oak Ridge, Tennessee and trained SWAT teams at the Y-12 nuclear weapons facility.
I re-entered active duty, with a loss of rank, in 1988, working for just over a year as a platoon sergeant at 1st Ranger Battalion in Savannah. Then, at the advanced age of 38, I went through Special Forces Assessment and Selection, another torture try-out. I was the oldest guy to finish with my group, probably one of the oldest guys to ever go all the way through it. Like I said, I had a high threshold for pain.
Then I went through the Special Forces Qualification Course as a Special Operations Medic. I spoke Spanish, so I was assigned to 7th Special Forces Group, who are responsible for Latin American work. I left 7th Group to be attached to 75th Ranger Regiment in 1993, and accompanied them to Somalia that year. Then I was promoted to Master Sergeant, and you can’t be a medic in SF as a Master Sergeant. Your job then is to be a team sergeant in charge of an A Detachment. So I went to 3rd Special Forces, a Sub-Saharan Africa and Caribbean Group, and went with them to Haiti in 1994. In December, 1995, I went on terminal leave, and was officially retired February 1, 1996.
There, now you have my whole career before you.
I should say that I retired under a cloud, and that whole tedious story is in my first book, “Hideous Dream.”
[JVB] What do you do now?
[SG] I have been working in the non-profit sector, mostly on liberal political and social justice issues. Right now, I am the field organizer for an environmental group concerned about nuclear energy risks. I should say that I am not a liberal. I find most liberals to be conservatives who want to be forgiven.
[JVB] How do you feel about those years in the military? How do you feel about the military now?
[SG] I’ve written quite a bit about how I felt about various aspects of my military life. There’s no one monolithic impression. Parts of it I liked very much. The travel. The economic security. The exposure to other cultures. The highly physical nature of the life.
Other aspects of it I hated. Bureaucratism. Institutionalized stupidity. The hegemonic sexism and homophobia. I don’t regard military people as any more or less culpable for what they are sent to do, however, than anyone else. Lots of people like to stereotype the military, like to sit up on whatever privileged hilltop they can perch on and cast little stones of sanctimony at the military. These are people who say we live in a system, but they don’t really believe it. In their most secret hearts, they’ve bought the whole bourgeois narrative about personal responsibility, individualism, the history of kings and generals, all of it. Now once someone understands the nature of that system, and they are in the military, well, then you’ve got a genuine role conflict. And that’s my issue with the U.S. military. It is an instrument not of defense, but of control and plunder of peripheral peoples.
[JVB] What do you think about Bush’s build-up of the military?
[SG] Bush is making more politically fatal mistakes than I can count these days. His so-called build-up of the military is one of them. He is not in fact building up the military, depending on how you define that. He is building up the weapons industry, at the behest of his mad military advisor, Donald Rumsfeld – a weird man who has convinced himself without a shred of evidence to support it, that he is a military genius.
Rumsfeld has convinced himself that technology can replace human leadership and ingenuity on the battlefield, so he is prevailing on his intellectually challenged boss to buy lots of expensive toys. I write at length about this Rumsfeld Doctrine in “Full Spectrum Disorder,” the book that’s coming out in December from Soft Skull Press. This whole trend is being reinforced within the administration by his coterie of neo-con economists who think they can replicate the Reagan era recovery through military Keynesianism.
Like I said, the sum of these errors will be far greater than their parts. Unfortunately, other people will pay with treasure and blood, and the whole clique will retire in comfort to write their bullshit memoirs and give lectures. The military itself, if you look at the humans who populate it, is undergoing the same kind of attacks on its living standards as the whole rest of the American working class, in order to pay for Rumsfeld’s killer drones and super-subs.
[JVB] What do you think about him reducing veteran benefits? What do you think about his giving tax cuts to the rich while reducing vet benefits?
[SG] I think it will bite him in the ass at the end of the day. The problem is, they have to cut. They are trapped on the runaway train of their own economic nostrums, their own overwhelming rich-white-boy hubris, and a very real, very deep crisis of capitalism itself.
In response to a column I wrote recently taking Dubya to task for his inane ‘bring ‘em on’ comment, I was flooded with supportive emails from pissed off vets and military families. They were all talking not only about the hypocrisy of this faux-cowboy preppy daring people to attack soldiers while he sat in the air conditioned White House, they expressed a profound sense of betrayal at benefits cuts, for active duty people and veterans. Bush’s entire neo-con hallucination about world domination is based on the projection of military power, yet he manages to alienate the very people who will lay it all on the line.
[JVB] What did you think about the invasion of Iraq?
[SG] I think it has turned into a tremendous tar baby. And the more he fights this tar baby, the deeper he will become stick in it prior to 2004. People know it had something to do with oil, but they don’t understand the complexities of oil.
So understanding what invading Iraq had to do with oil takes a little study. They didn’t just go there to steal. There was a confluence of factors that were economic, strategic, and political. People like Andrew McKillop and Michael Hudson have written at length on these points. The main point is that the US economy has been converted into a credit and debt scam aimed against the rest of the world, and backed up by military force. But the scheme is falling apart as the rest of the world is losing the ability and willingness to pay. The US economy is dreadfully weak, with the real material economy now gutted by parasitic speculation, and the only source of strength left is the military, which they are now trying to use to gain control over the world’s energy supply.
[JVB] About the fact that we now know that Bush lied about WMD’s?
[SG] Every thing this administration has told the public has been a lie from the very beginning. The way you determine whether on not the Bush cabinet is lying is by whether or not their lips are moving. They started with a fraudulent election, consolidated by a right-wing judicial fiat. They had planned the invasion of Afghanistan as a first step for developing a standing military presence in the region the summer prior to 9/11. They’d even informed the Pakistanis of their intention to invade in October. Then the 9/11 hijackers fly in like a scourge against the nation, but like Santa Claus for the Bush’s neo-con clique. All the plans were put on fast forward, and the pretext was now available for advancing a very aggressive domestic agenda for the development of a police state infrastructure. September 11th was a neo-con wet dream.
[JVB] What about Afghanistan?
[SG] Afghanistan and now Iraq have fore-grounded the just deserts of overweening pride and plain imperial racism. They underestimated their putative enemies, failed utterly to understand the cultures they were invading, and maintained an unshakable faith in the ability of high technology to deliver stable apolitical military victories. Now they have a dual quagmire.
[JVB] Bin Laden? About the fact that we didn’t find him and now no one is even focused on him at all?
[SG] That’s because he was never the issue. Controlling the region as a way to position for economic war against Europe and China was… and is.
[JVB] What about the Patriot Act? What about the Military Tribunals? The Guantanamo detainees? The “unlawful enemy combatants”? Do you think the Bush Administration is violating the Constitution? The Geneva Conventions? (Other international laws?)
[SG] This is the most lawless administration in living memory, and that’s a real accomplishment given the parade of arch criminals who have occupied the Executive Branch for the last 100 years.
There is a wealth of material available on the net and elsewhere warning us about the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act has one major flaw. Once the decision is made to apply it generally, instead of against scapegoat populations, the U.S. government will be faced with the most heavily armed population in the world. There’s a certain grim poetic justice there.
The tribunals and detentions are just plain exercises of impunity against every internationally recognized standard of legal practice in the world. This is also well known. The Geneva Conventions forbid unilateral invasions in the absence of a real and immediate threat. Period. It’s unequivocal. People say we should be cautious with the term fascism. I agree. We are now faced with a wannabe fascist administration. They would do well to recount how Mussolini ended up.
[JVB] How do you feel about Bush’s war on terror?
[SG] Bill Blum once said that the difference between a terrorist and a superpower is that the latter has an Air Force. This whole slogan, ‘war on terror’, is used to tar any government that fails to comply with the U.S. diktat. They actually allege that Cuba sponsors terrorism. That’s preposterous, and everyone damn well knows it.
[JVB] You’re aware of the allegations that Bush went AWOL while he was enlisted?
[SG] I’ve read them.
[JVB] What do you think of that?
[SG] I don’t really care. I sort of avoid that whole chicken-hawk thing, even though it has wide appeal. It’s pretty gendered, for one, and it tacitly endorses an ideology of militarism. What Bush is doing would be wrong and stupid even if he had a chest full of combat ribbons to rival Smedley Butler. That doesn’t mean I won’t out him when he sits in D.C. and says shit like “Bring ‘em on.”
[JVB] Do you think this war is race-based?
[SG] Politics is economics by other means, and war is politics by other means. Let’s get this straight right now.
Our entire system was constructed from day one on the subjugation, exploitation, or extermination of whole peoples. There has to be a cover story about that kind of practice, a justification. Racism provides that justification. Frontal racism, like slavery and Jim Crow, and implicit racism like ‘white man’s burden’ and ‘exporting democracy.’ In that sense, not only this war, but this entire society is race-based.
[JVB] Is there is anything you would like to add?
[SG] Just that we need to bring all the US troops home immediately, and allow the Afghans and Iraqis to determine their own futures. And that we need to try in every way possible to politically destroy the Bush government. They are both stupid and reckless, and that is a dangerous combination.
General John Keane, Lying Fool
NEWS TRANSCRIPT from the United States Department of Defense
DoD News Briefing, July 30, 2003
Gen. John Keane, Acting Chief of Staff of the Army):
Keane: The troops, their moral is magnificent if that’s what’s behind your question. And we have plenty of evidence of that, I mean demanding, difficult conditions and
what they’re about is protecting America and they know it. I have never, ever seen such intensity and focus on the part of our soldiers that I have seen in Afghanistan and in Iraq. (Yeah, focused on getting the fuck out of there and back home.)
Why? Because they know they’re protecting the American people and that is different from anything we’ve been doing recently. (HUH?)
Soldiers Rebellion Forces Out Intelligence Chief
A Philippine intelligence chief quit after a weekend rebellion by soldiers. Mutineers say he had a role in the Davao bombing, using it to gain extra U.S. aid. (Wall St. Journal 7.31.03)
Time To Nut A Hogg
US Colonel Brags About Kidnapping Wife and Daughter of Iraqi Officer
Col. David Hogg, a U.S. commander in Iraq, has admitted taking hostages to flush out an Iraqi General. The admission appeared in Monday’s Washington Post more as bragging than the admission of a crime.
But a crime it is. According to the Geneva Convention www.us-israel.org/jsource/History/Human_Rights/geneva1.html , Part III, Section I, Provisions Common to the Territories of the Parties to the Conflict and to Occupied Territories, Article 34: “The taking of hostages is prohibited.”
The Post did not comment on the remarkable information. It was buried in the middle of an article about “changing tactics” by U.S. forces in Iraq www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54345-2003Jul27.html.
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
Commander Figures Out The Obvious
(USA Today, August 1, 2003, Pg. 5) The commander of coalition forces in Iraq acknowledged that local resistance to the U.S. presence is becoming more sophisticated.
Bremer Says He May Be Done In Iraq By Next Year (If He Lives That Long)
(Los Angeles Times, August 1. 2003) The U.S. administrator of Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, said that the United States could relinquish control of the country by next summer, a speeded-up timetable that would suit politicians in the United States and Iraq alike. But in a fresh reminder of instability, guerrillas staged two attacks that killed two American soldiers and wounded five others.
DANGER: POLITICIANS AT WORK
“Remember, Sacrificing American Lives for Oil Is A Team Effort”
Dying in Iraq Killing Bush
by Bob Herbert, New York Times, July 31, 2003
The credibility of the Bush administration is approaching meltdown. The White House won’t level with the American people on the cost of the war, or the number of troops that are really needed, or the amount of taxpayer money that is being funneled to the politically connected corporations that have been given carte blanche for the reconstruction.
For the Bushes and the Rumsfelds, this is a grand imperial adventure, with press-conference posturing and wonderful photo-ops, like the president’s “Top Gun” moment on the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln.
For the youngsters condemned to the shooting gallery, it’s a fearful exercise in survival in a conflict that has never been adequately explained.
All Hat No Cattle
William Bowles, 07/31/03: (Information Clearinghouse www.InformationClearingHouse.info
We have Bush/Blah finally admitting that they’re having a hard time convincing the public why they invaded Iraq. And with every passing day, we see them retreating on virtually every front that they have used to justify invasion and actually admitting (if in a roundabout way) that things are not panning out the way they said it would.
So now Bush/Blah, somewhat battered and bruised from the past few months, are hoping (and no doubt praying to their God) that something will go right for them, and soon. But it’s unlikely, and for the following reasons:
Niger; 45 minutes; Kelly, 9/11; the increasing resistance on the ground in Iraq; the disastrous PR resulting from the ‘execution’ of the Hussein brothers; the ‘road map,’ which increasingly looks like the scene of a multi-vehicle pile-up; the Iran and North Korea fiascos, which the imperium has failed miserably to sell an increasingly skeptical public (largely because of its failed Iraq policies).
And when they can see that their political leaders are up to their ears in financial scams, and who stand to benefit directly from the spoils of imperial war through their connections to corporations they employ to wage it, they are even more unlikely to support them, that is, if they are exposed.
Terms of Engagement: Definitions to Keep on Top of Current Events
By ERIC MARGOLIS — Contributing Foreign Editor, From the Toronto Sun online, July 27, 2003
It’s very difficult keeping up with Mideast news. So here’s a handy list of key terms, translated into simple English.
Liberation – Invasion.
Coalition – The U.S. and British invaders, plus some troops from rent-a-nations like Romania and Poland. In the past, “the coalition” would have been called imperial forces and mercenary auxiliaries.
Dictator – A ruler you don’t like, or who does not cooperate.
Statesman – A cooperative dictator.
Iraq reconstruction – a process whereby big firms that contribute to the president’s re-election campaign obtain contracts to rebuild the damage caused by U.S. bombing.
Mideast democracy – regimes that hold rigged elections and obey Washington’s orders.
Free trade – pouring goods and services into the newly “liberated” country, and buying up its key industrial assets at fire-sale prices.
Terrorism – violent acts by dangerous fanatics and malcontents who refuse to accept the downtrodden status assigned to them by Washington.
Anti-terrorism – State terrorism.
Iraq Administrator – A pro-consul or gaulieter, disguised as a minor suburban bureaucrat.
Drones of death – Iraqi remotely piloted aircraft that the White House claimed were poised to fly off Iraqi ships lurking in the North Atlantic and shower fiendish germs on a sleeping America – which turn out to be two model airplanes, only one of which could fly. See “vans of death.”
Vans of death – Claimed by Washington to be Iraqi mobile germ warfare laboratories, but turn out, on inspection, to be British-supplied trucks for inflating weather balloons.
Weapons of Mass Destruction – Nasty weapons, existing or non-existing, that the other side has. When your side has them, they become invisible.
Torture – a foul act committed by your enemies. When your side does it, it’s called intensive interrogation in Guantanamo.
Homeland security – rounding up Muslims and denying them due process of law.
French – Insubordinate ingrates and depraved chain-smokers who had the nerve to try to block the jolly little war in Iraq, and now sneer, “we told you so.”
Germans – Untrustworthy. Just when you order them to be warlike again, they go soft. Wait until they see the next dozen WWII epics from Hollywood.
Fox News – The Ministry of Truth.
Al-Jazeera News – All the bad news we don’t want to hear. See Fox News.
Die-hards and Saddam loyalists – Any Iraqis opposing the invasion of their country.
Traitors and friends of Saddam – Journalists who questioned the Bush Administration’s lurid claims over Iraq’s purported threat.
Moderate – A Mideastern ruler who toes the line and makes nice to Israel.
Peacekeepers – Troops from browbeaten or bribed vassal states sent to perform garrison duty in U.S.-occupied nations that the Pentagon wants to avoid, or lacks the troops to perform.
New Iraqi government – An august body that leaps to its feet when a U.S. soldier enters the room, and has total authority over garbage collection and sewers.
Saddam Hussein – A former close U.S. ally who got too big for his britches. If not assassinated, may soon be needed again to run Iraq for Washington.
What do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Send to the E-mail address up top.
Idiot WMD Hunter Says Iraq Hid Weapons 20 Years Ago;
Dog Ate His Homework
(New York Times, August 1, 2003) The administration’s new chief weapons hunter gave closed-door briefings to two Senate committees and said afterward that teams searching for evidence of illegal weapons in Iraq were making “solid progress.” But he also counseled patience. “It is going to take time,” David Kay said, noting that the Iraqis had two decades to develop and hide any weapons.
More For The Slaughterhouse: Senator Wants To Call Up Seven National Guard Brigades
(Providence Journal-Bulletin, August 1, 2003) U.S. Sen. Jack Reed called for the immediate activation of seven extra National Guard brigades to cover a global shortfall of U.S. troops brought on, he charged, by the Bush administration’s poor planning and “cooked” intelligence.
Congress Fed Up With Wolfowitz Bullshit
Jules Witcover, (Baltimore Sun, August 1, 2003) The president’s chief intellectual architect and salesman of the Iraq adventure, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, took his case to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the other day and ran into an uncommon torrent of criticism about what he has wrought. Also uncommonly these days, some Republicans joined Democrats in a bipartisan inquisition of the man who still insists on the basis of skimpy or nonexistent evidence that Saddam Hussein was in cahoots with Osama bin Laden.
AFGHANISTAN: THE FORGOTTEN WAR
Good News: U.S. Troops Shoot Officers;
Bad News: Wrong Ones
(New York Times, August 1, 2003) American soldiers opened fire on a taxi near Kabul, wounding three officers of Afghanistan’s new national army. U.S. military officials said the taxi was “driving aggressively” as it approached American military vehicles.
CLASS WAR NEWS
BUSH BUDDIES BLOOD MONEY HITS $16 BILLION
Bechtel Group, lead contractor on Iraq’s infrastructure, now figures the price is at least $16 billion—more than 23 times the $680 million the U.S. so far is dishing out to Bush and Cheney’s corporate buddies at Bechtel already. Power and water each will take more than $6 billion; airports and building repairs will cost $2.6 billion.
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