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Nir Rosen
Nir Rosen is a fellow at the New America Foundation and a free-lance writer. His book on postwar Iraq, "In the Belly of the Green Bird: The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq" was published by Free Press in May 2006.

His articles from Iraq and elsewhere are available on


The Occupation of Iraqi Hearts and Minds

(Page 2)

I still feel guilt over my complicity in crimes the one time I was embedded, in the fall of 2003. (I spent two weeks with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment stationed in Husaybah, an Iraqi town near the Syrian border that is a suspected entry point for foreign insurgent fighters.) Normally, I like to think, if I witnessed an act of bullying of the weak or the elderly, or the terrorizing of children, I would interfere and try to stop it. After all, a passion for justice is what propelled me into this career. It started when I arrived in the main base in the desert. Local Iraqi laborers were sitting in the sun waiting to be acknowledged by the American soldiers. Every so often a representative would come to the soldiers to explain in Arabic that they were waiting for their American overseer. The soldier would shout back in English. Finally I translated between them. One soldier, upset with an Iraqi man for looking at him, asked him: “Do I owe you money? So why the fuck are you looking at me?”

After a week, the Army unit I was living with went on a raid targeting alleged Al Qaeda cells. Included were safe houses, financiers and fighters as well as alleged resistance leaders such as senior military officers from elite units of the former Iraqi army. All together there were 62 names on the wanted list. A minimum of 29 locations would be raided, taking out the “nervous system” of the area resistance “and the guys who actually do the shooting.”

The raids began at night. The men descended upon villages by the border with Syria in the western desert. After half an hour of bumpy navigating in the dark the convoy approached the first house and the vehicles switched their lights on, illuminating the target area as a tank broke the stone wall. “Fuck yeah!” cheered one sergeant, “Hi honey I’m home!” The teams charged over the rubble from the wall, breaking through the door with a sledgehammer and dragging several men out. The barefoot prisoners, dazed from their slumber, were forcefully marched over rocks and hard ground. One short middle-aged man, clearly injured and limping with painful difficulty, was violently pushed forward in the grip of a Brobdingnagian soldier who said, “You’ll fucking learn how to walk.” Each male was asked his name. None matched the names on the list. A prisoner was asked where the targeted military officer lived. “Down the road,” he pointed. “Show us!” he was ordered, and he was shoved ahead, stumbling over the rocky street, terrified that he would be seen as an informer in the neighborhood, terrified that he too would be taken away. He stopped at the house but the soldiers ran ahead. “No, no, it’s here,” yelled a sergeant, and they ran back, breaking through the gate and bursting into the house. It was a large villa, with grape vines covering the driveway. Women and children from within were ordered to sit in the garden. The men were pushed to the ground on the driveway and asked their names. One was indeed the first high-value target. His son begged the soldiers, “Take me for 10 years but leave my father!” Both were taken. The children screamed ‘Daddy, Daddy!’ as the men were led out and the women were given leaflets in Arabic explaining that the men had been arrested.

Home after home met the same fate. Some homes had only women; these houses too were ransacked, closets broken, mattresses overturned, clothes thrown out of drawers. Men were dragged on the ground by their legs to be handcuffed outside. One bony ancient sheik walked out with docility and was pushed forcefully to the ground, where he was wrestled by soldiers who had trouble cuffing his arms. A commando grabbed him from them, and tightly squeezed the old man’s arms together, lifting him in the air and throwing him down on the ground, nearly breaking his fragile arms.

As her husband was taken away, one woman angrily asked Allah to curse the soldiers, calling them “Dogs! Jews!” over and over. When his soldiers left a home, one officer emerged to slap them on the back like a coach congratulating his players during halftime in a winning game. In a big compound of several houses the soldiers took all the men, even the ones not on the list. A sergeant explained that the others would be held for questioning to see whether they had any useful information. The men cried out that they had children still inside. In several houses soldiers tenderly carried out babies who had been left sleeping in their cribs and handed them to the women. When the work at a house was complete, or at the Home Run stage (stages were divided into 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Home Run and Grand Slam, meaning ready to move on), the soldiers relaxed and joked, breaking their own tension and ignoring the trembling and shocked women and children crouched together on the lawns behind them.

Prisoners with duct tape on their eyes and their hands cuffed behind them with plastic “zip ties” sat in the back of the truck for hours, without water. They moved their heads toward sounds, disoriented and frightened, trying to understand what was happening around them. Any time a prisoner moved or twitched, a soldier bellowed at him angrily and cursed. Thrown among the tightly crowded men in one truck was a boy no more than 15 years old, his eyes wide in terror as the duct tape was placed on them. By daylight the whole town could see a large truck full of prisoners. Two men walking to work with their breakfast in a basket were stopped at gunpoint, ordered to the ground, cuffed and told to “Shut the fuck up” as their basket’s contents were tossed out and they were questioned about the location of a suspect.

The soldier guarding them spoke of the importance of intimidating Iraqis and instilling fear in them. “If they got something to tell us I’d rather they be scared,” he explained. An Iraqi policeman drove by in a white SUV clearly marked “Police.” He too was stopped at gunpoint and ordered not to move or talk until the last raid was complete. From the list of 34 names, the troop I was with brought in about 16 positively identified men, along with 54 men who were neighbors, relatives or just happened to be around. By 08:30 the Americans were done and started driving back to base. As the main element departed, the psychological operations vehicle blasted AC/DC rock music through neighborhood streets. “It’s good for morale after such a long mission,” a captain said. Crowds of children clustered on porches smiling, waving and giving the passing soldiers little thumbs up.  A sergeant waved back. Neighbors awakened by the noise huddled outside and watched the convoy. One little girl stood before her father and guarded him from the soldiers with her arms outstretched and legs wide.

Next Page:  “Did they just arrest every man they found?” he asked, wondering if “we just made another 300 people hate us.”

Dig last updated on Jun. 27, 2006

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By polibtrand, December 26, 2009 at 12:52 am Link to this comment

This is great! I think reading this, I loved every word. Seriously, keep posting the good information, bloggers like myself need it.

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By Bukko in Australia, October 17, 2008 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

PAY US BACK?!? You mean, like give us money or oil for the favours the U.S. did them? Pay us back for blowing the shit out of their country? Pay us back for unleashing six years of hell that have resulted in the screaming, bloody deaths of a million more Iraqis than would have died otherwise? PAY US BACK FOR BEING WORSE THAN SADDAM HUSSEIN?!?

You had better hope the Iraqis don’t decide to pay the United States back for even 1/1000th of what the U.S. has done. That payback would be well-deserved, but it would be a bitch.

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By Leisure Suit Larry, October 15, 2008 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment
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By 95flhtcu, October 13 at 5:41 pm #

“They’re going to have to pay us back one way or the other.”

Pay us back for what???  bringing down the price of realestate in Sadr City?

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By 95flhtcu, October 13, 2008 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

If you’re complicit in a crime your guilt will go away when you surrender yourself to authorities. In the meantime, perhaps you could encourage the eye-rakis to stand up for themselves, ask their leaders to stop taking month long vacations and start spending their money for reconstruction. For all your crying, as soon as we start to pull out, they’ll be begging us to stay. Hopefully, Obama will tell them no, it’s time that you took care of yourselves. Leave only enough troops to protect our oil. They’re going to have to pay us back one way or the other.

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By S K Das, June 17, 2008 at 4:03 am Link to this comment
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Bestowed with piles of money and inconvincible military power America has lost its sense. They view others, people of another religion, opposing them as criminal and want to crush them with impunity regardless of any legal and moral basis and, certainly with disrespect to the rest of the world. They use the U.N. as they like and their tool. Americans think they are the only master over the whole world. But be aware America! You should be prepared as well for the days when the oppressed people worldover will raise their head one day against you and mercilessly destroy anything and anyone linked to your nation.

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By Charlie Jackson, January 9, 2008 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment
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Even this week, American soldiers are kicking in the doors of homes and arresting men and older boys on “suspicion” to join the 65,000+ already imprisoned without warrant or charge.

At the same time, American peace workers continue to travel throughout Iraq and assist Iraqi families to learn the whereabouts of their loved ones.

It’s a crazy world.

Charlie Jackson
Texans for Peace

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By Blueboy1938, August 2, 2007 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

Re:  #91263 by Charlie Jackson on 7/31 at 8:39 pm

Although I note your extensive exposure to Iraq, I believe your conclusion is a bit too simplistic.

Yes, while many if not most of the attacks on the U. S. and other coalition military are probably motivated primarily by anti-occupation zeal, at least some are simply terrorist attacks on a ready target.  So-called “al Quaeda in Iraq” is not really interested in saving Iraq from occupation.  It is just as likely to kill Iraqis in order to further destabilize the current government through inciting sectarian violence.  Shia militia are killing sunnis.  Sunnis are killing Kurds and shia.  In fact, in terms of casualties, this violence is now responsible for more killing and maiming than the attacks on the “occupiers.”  During the week from July 23 to 25 554 Iraqis died, compared to U. S. deaths in a typical week of around 30.

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By Charlie Jackson, July 31, 2007 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment
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Dear all of you “we’re fighting them over there, so….”

The MNF in Iraq reports that it has in custody 200 “foreign” fighters in Iraq (and 45% are from Saudi Arabia).  The idea that there are thousands of “terrorists” trying to get to the U.S. is a fabrication created out of whole cloth by the Bush regime. 

While al-Qaeda is entirely a real organization, and there are terrorists who would do anything - even to kill innocent women and children - the fact of the matter is that 99% of all of the fighting is between Iraqis who want their freedom and independence from a foreign occupation force. This is no different than Poles who fought the Germans (or patriots who fought the British in the U.S.).

I’ve been to Iraq three times during the past five years and will stand up to any terrorist, abroad or at home!

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By Blueboy1938, July 31, 2007 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

Re: Comment #47528 by Skruff on 1/14 at 8:26 am

It’s “hubris.”

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By CitizenDefender, July 30, 2007 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

Psychologists who participate in the Interrogation through torture fostered by the CIA should be barred from future practice and lose their professional license.

The Senate Armed Services Committee should investigate this use of torture.

Psychologists James Elmer Mitchell, Bruce Jessen of Mitchell Jessen & Associates, LLC located in Spokane, WA. aided the CIA’s use of reversed SERE tactics. Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) tactics are based on studies of North Korean and Vietnamese efforts to break American prisoners. SERE was intended to train American soldiers to resist the abuse they might face in enemy custody. However, using this form of torture causes a splintering of an individual’s personality. The use of SEER will result in multiple personality disorder which is a type of permanent psychological damage.

Sleep deprivation, white noise, prolonged isolation, painful body positions and total control over the victim’s bodily functions creates an overwhelming stress on the individual. The person develops uncontrollable anxiety and there is loss of self-esteem and a total collapse of identity. Negative hallucinations often accompany this torture technique leading to the individual craving reassurance from whoever is present. The observer then obtains a “false” confession which to date does not provide an accurate transfer of memory since the individual has been made delusional.

The American Psychological Association with its 148,000 group membership needs to be re-evaluated as a valid group of professionals. If they endorse this kind of activity by their members then they have no function in the field of Medicine.

“I think [Mitchell and Jessen] have caused more harm to American national security than they’ll ever understand,” says Kleinman.

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By Charlie Jackson, June 9, 2007 at 8:58 am Link to this comment
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There seems to be some general agreement, by both those that favor and oppose the occupation, that “there is no question that our troops doing their jobs cannot avoid intrusive and insulting presence” (i.e. raids, damage, killings).

If so, then why all of this talk about bringing “democracy” “freedom” “liberty” to Iraq?

I’ve traveled extensively throughout that country, both before this war and during it and have found that about 1/2 of the Iraqis originally supported the invasion but now about 90% want the U.S. to leave.

In visiting with soldiers, there are there for many reasons: duty, economic, patriotism, etc.

Most use the most racist and anti-Islamic (even though Iraqis aren’t all Muslims).  Much of this comes from those soldier’s lack of education (truly most soldiers are poorly educated in high school). Too many of the soldiers still view Iraqis as the “enemy”. 

I continue to ask my religious friends to comment on the following quote: “When Jesus said to ‘love your enemy’, I think he meant don’t kill them.”

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By Charlie Jackson, May 27, 2007 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment
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Funny how those who serve in military capacity in Iraq always justify their actions (i.e. “You want to see what happens when you are nice and knock on the door..”)

As an American who has been Iraq three times already during this war, I can say quite clearly that most Iraqis are threatening to people who come in peace.  It’s quite understandable to receive an angry response when the visit is hostile (which is of course the intent of the entire war and occuption of Iraq).

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By SgtJon, May 25, 2007 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment
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Let’s not blame the soldiers, for they were only “volunteering”.  Let’s not blame Congress, for they were only “doing what they thought best”. Let’s not blame the President and his Adminstration, for they are only deluded. 

....exactly what the Germans said.

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By Skruff, May 22, 2007 at 7:09 am Link to this comment
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I am ashamed to be part of this “liberation” of Iraq.  In surfing through the internet I came across a picture showing our troops “escorting” a young boy (about 10 or 11) to lock-up.  He is crying, and has wet his pants. 

In all four soldiers with weapons have a hold on him.  In my opinion that picture pretty much tells the story. Can you imagine the hate that child will nurse?

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By Charlie Jackson, May 21, 2007 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment
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It’s a good thing that Iraqis are somewhat better educated concerning world events and politics than the average American.

I’ve traveled throughout that country three times now, during this war, and they are still able to let an American (from Texas, no less!) live in peace.  They understand that the policies of the Administration are not necessarily supported by the average American.

All of those peace protests in the street actually help to make U.S. soldiers “safer”.


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By Skruff, January 14, 2007 at 9:26 am Link to this comment
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Comment #39503 by Ken Schreier on 11/23 at 4:54 pm says:

Well, here we see Nir Rosen attacking our American boys ,who’s only wish is to do their job, and make Iraq into a multi-cultural democracy

Unbridaled western Huberous!!!

The citizens of Mesopotamia (including present day Iraq) had running water, and public street lights and a bountiful library while Europeans were still shivering in animal skins and living in caves.  The idea that we could bring these people ANYTHING that they have not already rejected is a adolescent western fantasy.

....and our “multicultural society” is not working very well here….AND As everyone knows we are not a “Democracy” or Al Gore would be our current president.  We are a representative republic… Democracies don’t have electorial colleges. MAYBE we should fix things at home before attempting to change the world….As countries go, we’re still pretty young…

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By JohnKonop, January 6, 2007 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment
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I poster your comment on my website (39511). This comment should be required reading for anyone debating the war! 

Ken thank you for the kind words.

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By Fadel Abdallah, January 6, 2007 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment
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Please go to:\b\hotzone\blogs19056 and read the courageous story of the conscientious rejecter, Ehran Watada.

I am adding the name of this young courageous man Ehren Watada to my short list of heroes. Acttually, evil Bush looks like a dwarf in comparison to how tall and dignified this young man stands. We need few thousands of his types to put the criminal warmongers on notice! But, alas! In a country of 300 million people, you cannot find few thousands of Watada caliber! I already mourned this lost nation a few years ago.

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By Army Brat/Army Wife, November 25, 2006 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment
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comment 12692 i t’s been my view since I was old enough to have one that the MAJORITY of VOLUNTEERS in military service do NOT offer themselves up for God or country. They do so FOR THE BLOODY THRILL OF IT… and by the time they realize it’s not a game it’s too late - they’re either dead or maimed for life. Those who survive the ghastly horror show, appear each year to play the sympathy card… “look what I gave for my country… now, “country” honor and support me for the rest of my life.” I was stunned to read your comment; you are an idiot you then say “look in the mirror” This is exactly what you need to do! It’s idiots like you that have chosen to follow the hitlers & Saddams why? Because you cannot be the leader! Then you have the balls to bash our Veterans, A VET would NEVER take a HAND-OUT the ones you see holding a sign or begging on the streets are NOT VETS they just use that as a scam they walk to there BWM at the end of there work day & go home! I feel sorry for your parents they should be ashamed of YOU. I am a US citizen, lived in several differnt countrys to include the middle east. If not for our armed forces we would NOT be free to write what we feel even a dumb-ass like you have that freedom. Try living in another country I’m sure most would appreciate our men & woman who serve our country with pride, despite the few as yourself who are too closed minded to see the real picture-

Proud Daughter & Wife

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By iraqvet, November 23, 2006 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment
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I served in Iraq also and worked directly with the locals.  Soldier is correct in that knowledge of IED’s is not just limited to those who planted them but there are two reasons the locals are not stepping forward to tell us who did it. 

Reason 1 - Fear. 

We don’t fully control the cities, villages and neighborhoods.  We only control them temporarily when we are there and the minute we leave the people who helped us are retaliated against.  We found the bodies of people who had passed information to us with their lips cut off and other forms of gruesome torture.  Career minded CYA officers in my AO spent all their time disarming the Iraqis who were friendly to us (so they could report larger numbers of weapons seized) which left them vulnerable to retaliation.  In that climate we lost a lot of support from the locals while the preppy little officers got BSMs for their “major accomplishments”. 

Reason 2 - Hatred. 

Soldier, you and I have both seen some (or many) of our fellow soldiers acting like a**holes toward the locals.  It doesn’t matter if the entire platoon treats the people nicely, it just takes that one a** who is over there to get a kill and spends all his time listening to Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter.  Use some empathy and imagine yourselves in the shoes of the next guy that gets zip tied and bagged and thrown into the back of the Hummer to roast in the sun.  When he gets back from confinement (often weeks or months), he’s certainly going to be helping kill us. 

But the bigger question to ask is this “Why did we invade Iraq since we haven’t found WMD?”  Was it to establish a democracy - what a joke - this isn’t democracy it’s anarchy with a thin veneer of democracy smeared over the top.  Purple thumbs don’t mean jack when you are in fear of your life every day. 

As a conservative I hated Bill Clinton.  If the Mexicans invaded America to liberate us from Bill Clinton and they started treating us like we treat the Iraqis I’d be out there shooting Mexicans, putting IEDs on the side of the road, torturing the ones I caught (to make the others afraid to come here) and planning ways to retaliate against them all the time.

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By Ken Schreier, November 23, 2006 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment
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People: read comment#29405 by John Konop !
It is an excellent analysis of the problems in the Middle East and possible solutions that will resolve the situation !
I commend him on his insight !

God Bless

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By Ken Schreier, November 23, 2006 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, here we see Nir Rosen attacking our American boys ,who’s only wish is to do their job, and make Iraq into a multi-cultural democracy !
This reporter should understand, that if you are being attacked by terrorists everyday, and you happen to fit the physical description of them, you would have to be a fool not to make sure that you were not one of them !
But you can’t see this because you melt in with the physical features of the terrorists and they don’t know you are an American !
You are a coward, try doing your job as an African American or caucasian American and see how long you will live !
You are one of those liberal Anti-American intellectuals who find no cause worth fighting for !
Iraq was run by a murderous egotist named Sadaam Hussein and his degenerate sons ! 
He murdered and terrorized the people of Iraq for nearly 30 yrs !
The United States, represented by it’s constitutionally elected President, decided it was time to get rid of this threat to humanity and free the people of Iraq from their oppression!
Only if such thinking happened in 1933 when Hitler came to power ! Just think, maybe 50,000,000 people would not have died and countless others who were psychologically & physically injured !
What fools these pacifists are who fight for no cause but their own creature comforts and decadent way of life !
This guy, Nir Rosen, can talk about the evil our troops do, but we know better !
Our boys are there to free a people from oppression and misery ! They are their doing what it takes to stay alive !
Nir Rosen is a coward, doing everything to help them fail in their mission and get them killed !

God Bless our Troops, God help, Nir Rosen and those who cannot see the truth !

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By Blueboy1938, October 24, 2006 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment
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Well, wouldn’t that be nice, Spinoza?  However, it’s not just the Sunni insurgency now to make an accord.  Shiites are fighting amongst themselves, presumably for control once the U. S. departs.  You might find this analysis interesting:

And all of the mayhem discussed in the reference above is proceeding while we are still there.  After we leave, it will become even fiercer, as we will not be there to prop up the weakening current “democratically elected” government, headed by Nouri al Maliki, who refuses to crack down on the militias, especially al-Sadr, which, initially at least, supported him.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not in favor of our staying.  I’m just saying that we really have no idea how bad it will get when we leave, whenever that is.  It’s already pretty bad with us there.

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By Spinoza, October 24, 2006 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment
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>>>>In other words, we “ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”<<<<

Maybe not.  There is talk that if the USA pulls out all of the insurgency except al Queda will sign agreements with the Shiia and the Kurds.

We can’t know till we do it.

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By Blueboy1938, October 23, 2006 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment
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When the “coalition” forces leave, it is most likely that they will leave a significant portion of their equipment in theater.  It will be done as an effort to shore up the wavering Iraqi military.  Unfortunately, when the inevitable civil war goes into high gear without out troops to keep the lid on, our equipment will be used, probably by both sides, assuming that there will even be two well-defined sides.  In other words, we “ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

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By Bukko in Australia, October 23, 2006 at 1:30 am Link to this comment
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Good onya for serving, Soldier. You mention that all the Iraqis in a village are complicit by knowing who planted the IEDs. So what can you do? Kill them all? Saddam would have, but the U.S. is supposed to be better than that. Bash a few until they name a name, which may or may not be the right person? Kick in doors, piss more people off so they’ll stand lookout for the IED gang the next time? You’re right, the situation if F’ed up.

Ditto for the Iraqis wanting U.S. troops there to tamp down on the death squads. No doubt they do. But you guys can’t stand watch on every corner of every village every minute of every day. You’ll go, and the killers will come back when your dust settles. You’re going to leave that village, and the entire country, sooner or later, and what’s going to happen will happen.

Those of us on the left want to see you leave NOW. That way, fewer of you will get killed. The chickenhawks who sent you over used you, mate. Used you badly. They did an F’ed-up thing, and it’s their fault that they set all this death in motion. If there was any justice, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz and the others who planned this would be left in Iraq when you got to go home. “Team Chickenhawk, Iraq Police.” But it’s over. Lost. Get out whilst you have the chance, and batten the hatches for the blowback that’s coming.

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By soldier, October 21, 2006 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment
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I am a soldier in Iraq, i deal with Iraqis especially when we do LNE (local National Escort) for those that work on base.  I don’t see how the reporter doesn’t see the big picture. In these small villages there are no secrets, everyone knows who is the person who plants the IEDs, so when we go into a village and everyone is silent and we know that person is living in the village, than all the citizens are complicit for hiding an insurgent. but the reporter doesn’t see that.  he also doesn’t realize that American sons and daughters are dieng for these iraqis, its sunni vs. Shiia and americans are in the middle. and it is a lie that Iraqis don’t want us here, it matters who you ask, if there is a small comunity of sunni in a shiia neighborhood, they welcome patrols, the people who don’t want us there are the deathsquads that will slaughter the minorities in thier area (shiia, suni, or kurd) once we leave. and yes the situations is f#%$ked up.

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By John Konop, October 18, 2006 at 8:56 am Link to this comment
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Anyone who questions the lack of a realistic and comprehensive Iraq strategy is labeled a friend of fascism by the Republican leadership. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) recently said, “I wonder if [Democrats] are more interested in protecting the terrorists than protecting the American people.” Republicans are paralyzed with the fear of being thought ineffective on national security and the war.

Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership cannot seem to accept that—regardless of how we got there—we are in Iraq. They have not made a convincing case that an arbitrary phased or date-certain troop withdrawal is in the best long-term interest of the United States. Rather, they seem to think that withdrawal will undo the decision to have gone to war. Rubbing President Bush’s nose in Iraq’s difficulties is also a priority.

This political food fight is stifling the desperately needed public discussion about a meaningful resolution to the fire fight. Most Americans know Iraq is going badly. And they know the best path lies somewhere between “stay the course” and “get out now”.

Some Truths

1) Iraq is having a civil war between the Sunnis and Shiites. The Kurds will certainly join, if attacked. It may not look like a civil war, because they don’t have tanks, helicopters, and infantry; but they are fighting with what they have.

2) Vast oil revenues are a significant factor behind the fighting. Yes, there are religious and cultural differences—but concerns about how the oil revenue will be split among the three groups make the problem worse.

3) Most Iraqis support partitioning Iraq into Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish regions. (Their current arrangement resulted from a pen stroke during the British occupation, not some organic alignment.)

4) Most citizens of the Middle East who support groups that kill and terrorize civilians—such as Hezbollah, Hamas, or al Qaeda—in part because of their aggressive stance against Israel and the United States, but also because they provide much needed social services, such as building schools.

5) Both Republican and Democratic administrations have spent decades doing business with the tyrants who run the Middle East in exchange for oil and cheap labor. This has been the one of the rallying calls of Bin Laden and Hezbollah—that we support tyrants who abuse people for profits. In fact, our latest trade deals with Oman and Jordan actually promote child and slave labor; it’s so bad the State Department had to issue warnings about rampant child trafficking in those countries.

6) Iran is using the instability in Iraq to enhance its political stature in the region. Leaving Iraq without a government that can stand up to Iran would be very destabilizing to the region and the world.

From the U.S. perspective, this is all mostly about energy. As things stand, a serious oil supply disruption would devastate our economy, threaten our security, and jeopardize our ability to provide for our children.

New Directions

Success in Iraq and the Middle East in general requires us to work in three areas simultaneously: (1) fostering a more stable Middle East region, including Iraq, (2) pursuing alternative sources of oil, and (3) developing alternatives to oil. To these ends we must:

1) Insure that the oil revenues are fairly and transparently split among all three groups: Shiite, Sunni, and Kurds based on population.

2) Allow each group to have a much stronger role in self government by creating three virtually-autonomous regions. Forcing a united Iraq down their throats is not working. Our military would then be there in support a solution that people want, rather than one they are resisting.

3) Become a genuine force for positive change, thus denying extremist groups much of their leverage. Driving a fair two-state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian problem should be our first priority. We should also engage in projects that both help the average Middle Easterner and Americans, such as supporting schools that are an alternative to the ones that teach hate and recruit terrorists. We should also stop participating in trade deals that promote child and slave labor by insisting on deals that include livable wages and basic labor rights.

4) Declare a Marshal Plan to end our Middle Eastern energy dependency with a compromise between exploring for new sources, reducing consumption, and developing of alternative energies. For example, we should re-establish normal relations with Cuba so we can beat China to Cuba’s off-shore oil. We should also redirect existing tax breaks for Big Oil into loan guarantees for alternative energy companies.

Once we no longer need so much oil from the Middle East, we can begin winning over its people by using our oil purchases to reward positive and peaceful behavior from their leaders. This would ultimately reduce tensions and encourage prosperity in the region.

We will have to live with the threat of Islamic radical terrorism forever; but these solutions are a start to reducing the threat. Both parties have to put politics aside and put together an honest and reasonable plan that the American understand.

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By el cuervo, October 18, 2006 at 5:43 am Link to this comment
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Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. Three nations, two are oil-rich, and one, the former controllers of ‘Iraq’ under Saddam, the Sunni, very very very poor. There is no oil in the traditional lands of the Sunni, which is why they took control of the oil-rich regions of Iraq in the first place. Surely this can be solved by finding a way to give the Sunnis a measure of the oil wealth in the two other regions, then letting each fledgling neighbour live alongside the others in peace. Is there room for American troops in this process? The question that needs to be answered, probably by civil war: Who are the most powerful (Iraqi) representatives from each of the three regions? (I mean without US interference) Because now Iraq belongs to them, and they need to start communicating with each other to find a solution. The US presence, shoring up their own (otherwise weak) Iraqi allies, is probably confounding that process.

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By Blueboy1938, September 14, 2006 at 11:21 am Link to this comment
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The Washington Post stated on 9-11-2006 the following regarding Al Anbar province in Iraq:  “The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country’s western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there, said several military officers and intelligence officials familiar with its contents.”

And further:  “One Army officer summarized it as arguing that in Anbar province, ‘We haven’t been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically—and that’s where wars are won and lost.’”

Since then, the military has issued denials and accused the media of “oversimplifying” the situation in Iraq in general and Al Anbar province in particular.  However, despite the spin, the report details exactly how bad it is:

President Bush has consistently stated that one reason we cannot leave “prematurely” is because that would ensure that the “bad guys,” as he so quaintly puts it, would be able to use Iraq as a terrorist base like Taliban Afghanistan.  It would seem that the chief of Marine Corps intelligence has just conceded that condition exists already in Al Anbar, which covers almost a third of Iraq’s territory.  If the current U. S. (or rather “Coalition”) troop levels and tactics are insufficient to secure Al Anbar, then either the troop levels or tactics have to change, or we have to get out.

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By Brian, September 13, 2006 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment
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archy it i

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By Spinoza, September 10, 2006 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment
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Mr. Command, I wasn’t disagreeing with you just that your source was obviously from the Sunni Iraqi resistance and I thought the anti-Shiia stuff mostly nonsense. I don’t think American opponents of American involvement in Iraq should take sides in the sectarian conflict.  I actually think the USA knew what it was doing when it started this conflict. I think it a conscious divide and rule tactic. I just hope that if we can get the USA to get out, the Iraqi’s can solve this problem.

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By Shi'ite's WANT power to halt oil exports, September 10, 2006 at 6:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)\zbusinessz\979.htm&dismode=x&ts=23/08/2006 05:00:59 ã

Iraqi oil workers end strike

Striking oil workers in southern Iraq on Wednesday ended action that closed the main pipeline supplying Baghdad with refined oil products a day after they had won higher pay, a union leader said.

“We received a document from the ministry of oil. It is a document to increase our salaries and to pay us (a) share in seasonal profits,” Hassan al-Asadi said.

Asadi is the head of a workers’ syndicate representing over 700 employees from the stated-owned General Company for Oil Lines and Pipes in the southern cities of Basra and Nassiriya.

Tuesday’s action did not have any impact on oil exports, oil ministry and union officials had said.

Asadi said the oil minister had agreed to meet with a union delegation in the next 48 hours.

But he warned that the workers would go back on strike on Sunday if remaining grievances about management practices were not resolved.

Basra accounts for most of Iraq’s crude exports.

Political parties in the south have demanded greater control over revenues from the oil produced there and greater autonomy from Baghdad.

Security in Basra has deteriorated this year.

In May, a Shi’ite faction there said it had the power to halt oil exports.

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By Command response, September 10, 2006 at 6:28 am Link to this comment
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Dear Mr. Spinoza:

The post was to relay the following info:

Our US Government had a press briefing stating that our military ” handed over commands to Iraq’s.”

More lies.  NONE were done.

“US handed over of command of non-existent military services to Iraqi puppet government as propaganda show, ex-military commander says”

Secondly, I believe we should leave Iraq NOW.
As we are literally, training terrorists, who then leave Iraq and set up cells around the world.  Moreover, we as Americans are paying the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ through our military to train those “terrorist want to be’s.” GREAT JOB!

Just a few dirty little secrets that never hit the press.

The site listed is most acturate in daily events of IRAQ bloodshed and further depicts US soldiers killed, except for wounded figures.

I hope I answered your ?  Further, no intention of disrespect to you.

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By “lying by omission.”, September 10, 2006 at 6:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)\zopinionz\965.htm&dismode=x&ts=10/09/2006 08:06:53 Õ

10/09/2006 08:06:53 AM (GMT)
Iraq’s Reality Sinks In

By Robert Dreyfuss*

President Bush strutted confidently last year in advance of the December Iraqi elections, brashly predicting that U.S. victory is just around the corner. Then, in the spring, after the bombing of the Golden Dome in Samarra, the president shifted to a kind of gritted-teeth forced optimism as the shaky government of Prime Minister Maliki took shape amid intensifying sectarian violence. Now, as Iraqi deaths mount at the rate of 3,000 per month, Bush has all but abandoned talk of victory and is reduced to issuing scary pronouncements about what failure in Iraq would mean. But most of what the president warns is wrong.
Bush’s argument that Iraq would fall into the clutches of al-Qaida, in particular, is utterly stupid: first, because al-Qaida is only a tiny part of the Sunni-led Iraqi resistance to the U.S. occupation; and second, because the Shiites and the Kurds, who make up perhaps three-quarters of Iraq’s population, would never allow what Dick Cheney calls “al-Qaida types” to seize control of Iraq.
The president’s dire warnings on Iraq come far too late to matter. He might, or he might not, be able to scare voters. But he isn’t scaring the establishment.
What’s happening in Washington now is that the establishment political class—and that includes the military, moderate Republican and Democratic members of Congress, the jabbering pundits and op-ed writers, and the bulk of the thinktank denizens—are coming to grips with the stark fact that the war in Iraq is over. And that the United States has lost. It’s beginning to sink in, but it won’t be confronted directly by the political class until after the November elections. After that, all hell is going to break loose. If the Democrats win back Congress, it will happen faster—but even if the Republicans hang on, the gusting winds on Iraq now buffeting the White House will gather strength to become a full-fledged, Category 5 hurricane.
There was an inkling of that impending doom in the 66-page report released by the Defense Department last week, called “Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq.”
“The security situation is at its most complex state since the initiation of Operation Iraqi Freedom”—meaning since the invasion of March, 2003—according to the Pentagon report. The United States is facing both the continuing Sunni insurgency, which it described as “potent and viable,” and a proliferation of sectarian militias and ethnic killings. In a stunning indictment of its ability to provide security and economic stability, the Defense Department added: “Local illegal armed groups are seen as the primary providers of security and basic social services.” These groups, it said, have become “entrenched” in both east (Shiite) and west (Sunni) Baghdad. And it concluded: “Conditions that could lead to civil war exist in Iraq.”
The notion of entrenched militias dividing Baghdad into east and west, of course, immediately raises the spectre of Beirut during its 1975-1990 civil war, and such fears are increasingly shared by Iraqis, says the Pentagon. It notes that not only in Baghdad but in the mid-Euphrates region south of Baghdad and in the area around Basra, Iraq’s port city in the south, there are sharply rising fears of all-out civil war among Iraqis.
Casualties in Iraq, the Pentagon says dryly, have increased 51 per cent since the last report was issued in May 2006. Attacks against U.S. forces have doubled since 2004, to a staggering 800 attacks per week, causing 17-20 casualties (killed and wounded) among U.S. and other coalition forces per day—that is, 20 Americans, Brits and others killed or wounded every single day.
For all its blunt talk, the Pentagon report still drastically understates the situation on the ground. Anthony Cordesman, a conservative military analyst and Persian Gulf expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, issued a scathing 15-page indictment of the Defense Department’s own bleak report this week, saying that the Pentagon “does not identify the need to shift U.S. strategy to deal with the growing risk of civil conflict.” He adds that by ignoring the vast political problems that plague the government of Prime Minister Maliki, the Pentagon is “lying by omission.” And he calls the section on Iraq’s nonexistent economy, with estimates of unemployment as high as 60 per cent, “over-optimistic rubbish.”
In spite of the massive, ongoing effort to secure Baghdad—the second such big push since last spring—the carnage continues without letup, from massive attacks that kill scores to violent outbursts that leave a dozen here and a dozen there dead to the endless one-by-one killings that leave bodies scattered all over Baghdad every morning. According to the Pentagon’s report, although the violence is centered in Baghdad, it is spreading, with the pace of attacks up significantly in Kirkuk, Mosul and Diyala.
A brief tour of Iraq’s three main communities makes the point even clearer.
The Sunnis, who have been the heart of the resistance to the U.S. occupation since at least the fall of 2003, are virtually unified now. A critical piece of news, overlooked but for a brief mention in the Washington Post, is that fully 300 Iraqi tribal leaders—mostly Sunni, but including some Shiites—met in a town south of Kirkuk, to issue a demand that Saddam Hussein be freed. One of the leaders, whose tribe numbers 1.5 million, said: “If the demand is not satisfied, we will lead a general, sweeping, and popular uprising.” Such a threat would mean, in effect, that the Iraqi insurgency would be adopted officially by the entire tribal leadership of western and central Iraq. This is not al-Qaida. This is Iraq.
The Shiites, meanwhile, are entering the early stages of a fratricidal splintering. Although they have long been divided, current trends would indicate that the Shiite bloc in Iraq is about to collapse. Until now, the Shiites have been the tent pole holding up the entire U.S. enterprise in Iraq—so, if they splinter, it signals the end of the U.S. occupation. It’s a kaleidoscope: The Mahdi Army of Muqtada Sadr is restless, seemingly ready to launch another uprising, as it did in 2004—and Sadr’s army itself is seriously beset by divisions, with armed, rogue elements throughout. The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) is pressing hard for partition of Iraq—which it calls “federation”—and one of its leaders (who happens to be the Iraqi education minister) laid out a scenario for full-scale civil war. “Federation will cut off all parts of the country that are incubating terrorists,” he said. “We will put soldiers along the frontiers.”
Deepening the divisions among the Shiites even further, a new warlord is emerging, Mahmoud Hassani, who has built private armies in Najaf, Karbala, Basra and Baghdad, and who is violently opposed to SCIRI and to Sadr’s Mahdi Army. Hassani, who also opposes the United States and who hates Iran, is emerging as a nationalist Shiite leader who could upset the whole Shiite apple cart.
And the pesky Kurds are openly threatening secession. Massoud Barzani, who is the real power in Kurdistan, said defiantly this week: “If we want to separate, we will do it without hesitation of fears.” Should the Kurds launch their widely expected operation to seize Kirkuk and Iraq’s northern oil fields, it will trigger a major escalation of civil war in Iraq.
Bush isn’t acknowledging these realities. The Pentagon is only hinting at them—though the generals know what’s going on. But inside the political class, an awareness of realities in Iraq is dawning. Last week, James A. Baker and Lee Hamilton, two consummate political insiders who happen to lead a hush-hush task force on Iraq called the Iraq Study Group, were in Baghdad, where (according to my sources) they got a heavy dose of reality. The Baker task force—which I wrote about in The Washington Monthly—includes top-level luminaries, including Robert M. Gates, Vernon Jordan and William Perry. Returning from Baghdad, Baker’s elite group, which also includes dozens of Iraq experts, met this week to consider a draft plan to exit Iraq, Jack Murtha-style, or alternatively, to stick around for another 12 months and then end up getting out anyway. Increasingly, after the elections, that will be the stark choice forced on the White House—by Washington’s political elite, by the precipitous drop in public support for the war and by the growing antiwar movement that has set up shop at Camp Democracy on the Mall.

* Robert Dreyfuss is the author of Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (Henry Holt/Metropolitan Books, 2005). Dreyfuss is a freelance writer based in Alexandria, Va., who specializes in politics and national security issues. He is a contributing editor at The Nation, a contributing writer at Mother Jones, a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, and a frequent contributor to Rolling Stone. He can be reached through his website:

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By Sen. John Rockefeller speaks TRUTH, September 10, 2006 at 5:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sen. John Rockefeller speaks TRUTH all the while many Republican   ” MURDERERS ”  are still lying over their own lies concerning IRAQ!

Mother of US Special Forces Soldier


Sep 9, 2006 11:22 pm US/Eastern

Rockefeller: Bush Duped Public On Iraq
Senator Says World Would Be Better Without Iraq Invasion
(CBS News) WASHINGTON When the Senate Intelligence Committee released a declassified version of its findings this past week, the Republican chairman of the committee, Pat Roberts, left town without doing interviews, calling the report a rehash of unfounded partisan allegations.

Its statements like this one, made Feb. 5, 2003, by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell that have become so controversial, implying Iraq was linked to terror attacks.

“Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an associated collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda lieutenants,” Powell said.

But after 2 1/2 years of reviewing pre-war intelligence behind closed doors, the lead Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), who voted for the Iraq War, says the Bush administration pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes.

“The absolute cynical manipulation, deliberately cynical manipulation, to shape American public opinion and 69 percent of the people, at that time, it worked, they said ‘we want to go to war,’” Rockefeller told CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. “Including me. The difference is after I began to learn about some of that intelligence I went down to the Senate floor and I said ‘my vote was wrong.’”

Rockefeller went a step further. He says the world would be better off today if the United States had never invaded Iraq — even if it means Saddam Hussein would still be running Iraq.

He said he sees that as a better scenario, and a safer scenario, “because it is called the ‘war on terror.’”

Does Rockefeller stands by his view, even if it means that Saddam Hussein could still be in power if the United States didn’t invade?

“Yes. [Saddam] wasn’t going to attack us. He would’ve been isolated there,” Rockefeller said. “He would have been in control of that country but we wouldn’t have depleted our resources preventing us from prosecuting a war on terror which is what this is all about.”

Republicans say there was flawed intelligence to be sure, but they insist there was no attempt to mislead the public.

“In 2002 and 2003, members of both parties got a good look at the intelligence we had and they came to the very same conclusions about what was going on,” White House Spokesman Tony Snow said.

(© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved

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By Spinoza, September 9, 2006 at 11:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Mr. Command

The immediate impression one gets from your post is the stupidity of Arabs.  Do you really think Arabs slaughtering each other is a good policy?  Do you realize that your enemies have fostered this Shi’ite/ Sunni divide so that it would be easier for them to rule?  Even the not very wise sheik Usama praised Nasrallah and recommended that Shia and Sunni work together. Religious wars are always stupid.  Now the Bushites are promoting a crusade against Muslims.  Want to bet who will win?

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By non-existent COMMAND turned over, September 9, 2006 at 6:25 am Link to this comment
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More Great Progress within Iraq:

Oh Pinocchio, your nose is growing of great length!

see the attached link for all the cities within IRAQ Civil War


Amidst great publicity, US handed over of command of non-existent military services to Iraqi puppet government as propaganda show, ex-military commander says.

Amidst extensive international media coverage US General George Casey and Iraqi puppet “Prime Minister” Nuri al-Maliki signed documents supposedly providing for the transfer of command of Iraqi military services from the US military to the US-installed Iraqi puppet regime leadership. Following international news coverage of the alleged hand over, the independent Saudi-based news agency Mafkarat al-Islam turned to a retired colonel familiar with the situation to comment on the facts of the alleged “handover.”

In a dispatch posted at 6:55pm Makkah time Thursday evening, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the former Iraqi colonel, formerly in command of the northern Baghdad sector for the puppet army, had been dismissed because he is a Sunni on the grounds that information had been leaked under his watch to the Iraqi Resistance.

The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported the colonel as saying that in fact the US had handed over two Iraqi military services that do not exist on the ground to the Iraqi puppet government in an attempt to convey a positive message to the American people about what was taking place in occupied Iraq where the death toll continues to rise.

The colonel said that the US occupation forces handed over command of the puppet Iraqi Navy – something that does not in fact exist. All that Iraq has in the way of a “navy” are seven small patrol boats that ply the waters between al-Basrah and Kuwait.

The retired colonel went on: “The second force is the Iraqi Airforce, whose name suggests a service made up of squadrons of deadly fighters. But in fact there is no Iraqi air force in the skies of Iraq, apart from a military transport airplane used to transport troops.,” the colonel revealed, adding:“and even in that case, it is not known how Iraqis might be flying it, since the plane was recently presented as a gift from the Pentagon to the Iraqi puppet Defense Ministry and it is maintained and flown by a special American crew.”

The retired colonel pointed out that until now the US refuses to hand over command of the Iraqi puppet land forces and marines to the Iraqi puppet government for reasons that they refuse to discuss. That handover has been the subject of a complicated discussion for a long time and the media are kept in the dark about all that transpires in that area.

Prodded by Shi‘i religious authorities in an-Najaf, Iraqi puppet regime executes 27 accused Resistance fighters, four of them Saudis.

In a dispatch posted at 4:20pm Makkah time Thursday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the US-installed Iraqi puppet “Government” carried out the execution of 27 individuals who it claims were members of the Iraq Resistance battling the American occupation of Iraq. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported a source in the puppet “Iraqi Ministry of Justice” as saying that the sentences were carried out on the 27, all accused of what the American-backed regime dubs “terrorism.” Four of those executed were citizens of Saudi Arabia.

When the official was asked for the names of the 27 executed individuals, the source in the puppet “Justice Ministry” replied: “the Iraqi puppet government refused to announce the names or nationalities for political reasons and their execution came about as a result of pressure applied by the Shi‘i religious authorities in an-Najaf on the Iraqi puppet government.”

Iraqi puppet regime orders closure of al-‘Arabiyah satellite TV offices in Iraq.

In a dispatch posted at 3:40pm Makkah time Thursday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the Iraqi puppet regime had ordered that the offices of the al-‘Arabiyah satellite TV station in Baghdad and all the rest of Iraq be closed down. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported that a statement issued by the puppet “Council of Ministers of Iraq” and broadcast on local television stated that the puppet “Prime Minister” Jawad al-Malili had ordered the closure of the al-‘Arabiyah offices for a period of one month.

The al-‘Arabiyah TV station, based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, has acquired a reputation for ready compliance with the wishes of the US-installed Iraqi regime. Nevertheless, according to a dispatch posted by Quds Press the official puppet regime spokesman ‘Ali ad-Dabbagh told a press conference later on Thursday that al-‘Arabiyah was guilty of “non-journalistic behavior in its coverage of developments in Iraq.” Ad-Dabbagh said that several instances of such behavior had been registered, but declined to give any examples.

QudsPress noted that the other most well-know Arabic satellite TV station, al-Jazeera, was shut down for one month about two years ago, but that ban was simply regularly extended and as a result al-Jazeera remains locked out until today.

Resistance car bomber kills six puppet “Interior Ministry Shock Troops (Maghawir).”

In a dispatch posted at 2:28pm Makkah time Thursday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that a short while earlier, an Iraqi Resistance fida’i fighter drove an explosives-laden car into a patrol of puppet “Iraqi Interior Ministry Shock Troops (Maghawir)” near the railroad in the al-Yarmuk neighborhood of western Baghdad. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported eyewitnesses as saying that the explosion killed six puppet “Shock Troops,” one of them an officer and completely destroyed their vehicle. US and Iraqi puppet troops had completely surrounded the scene of the attack at the time of reporting.

Resistance bombards US military headquarters set up in former factory in western Baghdad.

In a dispatch posted at 12:15pm Makkah time midday Thursday, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that Iraqi Resistance forces fired four 82mm mortar rounds into the US military headquarters set up in the former Biskulatah factory in the al-Khadra’ area of western Baghdad. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported eyewitnesses in the al-Khadra’ area a saying that the barrage sent plumes of smoke rising into the sky.

Resistance car bomber blasts fuel station in east Baghdad reserved for the puppet police.

In a dispatch posted at 11:42am Makkah time Thursday morning, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that an Iraqi Resistance fida’i fighter drove an explosives-laden car into a fuel station reserved for the Iraqi puppet police in the ash-Sha‘b neighborhood of Baghdad and blew up.

The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported a source in the puppet police as saying that the car bomb broke through the gate and blew up inside the station, which is located near the international ash-Sha‘b sports stadium in eastern Baghdad. The source said that he blast destroyed four puppet police vehicles and killed seven puppet policemen. Another 15 were wounded. Three civilians who were near the scene were also killed in the blast and five more of them wounded.

Shi‘i sectarian militias together with puppet police kidnap two busloads of Sunnis as efforts continue to partition Iraq on sectarian lines in keeping with US-Zionist plans.

In a dispatch posted at 10:50am Makkah time Thursday morning, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that Shi‘i sectarian militias together with Iraqi puppet police, all working to provoke sectarian war in Iraq in keeping with American and Zionist plans to partition the country, kidnapped 26 Iraqi Sunnis from the southwestern part of Baghdad.

The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported eyewitnesses in the southern Baghdad suburb of ad-Durah as saying that Shi‘i sectarian gunmen of the pro-American Badr Brigades and Jaysh al-Mahdi supported by units of the Iraqi puppet police seized too busses that weree carrying a number of Sunni Iraqis on their way to ad-Durah. The sectarians drove them off to an unknown destination.

Efforts to split Iraq along religious and ethnic lines – which often are masked under language about forming an Iraqi “federation” – are consistent with plans hatched by US and Zionist politicians and reflected recently by Leslie Gelb (President Emeritus of the US Council on Foreign Relations) in “The Three-State Solution published in The New York Times on 25 November 2003, in the article by Gelb and US Democratic Senator Joseph Biden in “Unity through Autonomy in Iraq,” in The New York Times on 1 May 2006.

Banking on splitting the Shi‘ah in Iraq from the rest of the country was a cornerstone of the neo-Conservative strategy laid out in “A Clean Break” a paper drawn up by American Zionist government officials Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, and Paul Wolfowitz in 200 for the then Zionist Prime Ministe Benjamin Netanyahu.

But before the recent period, the idea of “the dissolution of Iraq into a Shi‘ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part” was voiced by veternan Zionist military correspondent Ze’ev Schiff in Ha’aretz on 2 June 1982 and was a part of the divide-and-rule strategy laid out by Zionist writer Oded Yinon in his “Strategy for Israel in the 1980s,” published in Kivunim (Directions), A Journal for Judaism and Zionism, published by the World Zionist Organization in occupied Jerusalem in February 1982. (It was translated by the late anti-Zionist writer and activist Israel Shahak and is widely available.)

Bodies of murdered Sunni Iraqis recovered from drainage ditch Thursday evening.

In a dispatch posted at 7:34pm Makkah time Thursday evening, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that the Iraqi puppet river police had recovered more than 14 bodies of murdered Sunnis from a small river used to drain water in the Abu Dushayr area of southern Baghdad. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported that more bodies were still being found in the stagnant water at the time of reporting. At that hour the following bodies had been identified:

“umar ‘Abd Mushhin al-‘Ithawi, Khalid Ya‘qub al-Kubaysi, ‘Ali Walid al-Fallahi, Rafid Muthanna al-Mahdawi, Durayd Munir al-‘Ani, Anwar Nassar al-Jannabi, Fayyad Khalaf al-Jabburi – an elderly man.

Salah ad-Din Province.


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By Spinoza, September 8, 2006 at 12:14 am Link to this comment
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Fadel, The right wing scum are trying to discredit Islam and are trying to start an anti Islamic crusade.  Though I don’t like religion it is morally wrong to start religious wars. The Bushites, The disgusting Christian Right and the mendacious Neo Cons are promoting World War three and are trying very hard to turn this country into a police state.

They might succeed.

The following article should be widely circulated as it is mostly right.


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By Fadel Abdallah, September 7, 2006 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment
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Kindly read the following with an open mind and pay attention to the statistics provided by this sober piece! Learn how evil occupation is the source of all evil and terrorism! 
Nationalism, not Islam, motivates most suicide terrorists
Posted: 06 Sep 2006 05:00 PM CDT

By Gary Olson

Here is today’s discussion question: Suicide terrorism is primarily caused by Islamic fundamentalism. True or false? Although it seems counter-intuitive, especially given everything we read and hear in the mainstream media, the correct answer is ‘’false.’’

In his recent book, ‘’DYING TO WIN: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism,’’ University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape has provided an indispensable public service by collecting data from all 315 suicide terrorist campaigns from 1980 to 2003, involving 462 individuals. His overall finding: The major objective of 95 percent of suicide attacks is to expel foreign military forces from territory that the terrorists perceive as their homeland. There is little connection with Islamic fundamentalism or any of the world religions. The taproot of suicide terrorism is nationalism and it’s ‘’mainly a response to foreign occupation.’’ The objective is political self-determination. The Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, a secular, clearly anti-religious movement, have committed 76 of the 315 suicide attacks, the most of any group. Their specific goal was an independent homeland in Sri Lanka.

Pape, who has also taught at the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Airpower Studies, convincingly demonstrates that ‘’suicide terrorist groups are neither primarily criminal groups dedicated to enriching their top leaders, nor religious cults isolated from the rest of their society. Rather, suicide terrorist organizations often command broad social support within the national communities from which they recruit, because they are seen as pursuing legitimate nationalist goals.’’ Absent these goals, suicide terrorism rarely occurs.

Only 6 percent of the perpetrators have come from the five countries with the world’s largest Islamic fundamentalist populations. (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran and Nigeria). He notes, ‘’Prior to America’s invasion in March 2003, Iraq had never experienced a suicide bombing in its history.’’ Further, Pape’s demographic profiles of individual suicide terrorists reveals they are not uneducated, poor, mentally unstable, lacking in prospects, or young men expecting to spend paradise in the company of 72 virgins. Almost exactly the opposite is true. The data indicates they have higher incomes, intelligence and education, are deeply integrated into their communities, are highly politically conscious and from widely varied religious backgrounds. A significant minority are female.

Obviously, killing innocents is a morally repugnant act, but the evidence also strongly suggests that these individuals are motivated by a deep sense of duty and view their actions as a sacrifice for a nation’s common good, its culture and community goals. Reprehensible, of course. But not caused by religious fervor. Although suicide attacks account for only 3 percent of terrorist incidents, they account for 48 percent of all fatalities. Clearly it’s the most deadly manifestation of terrorism and there is every reason to suspect it will increase. It works.

Placing tens of thousands of U.S. troops in the Arabian Peninsula between 1990 and 2001 was the pivotal factor accounting for the Sept. 11 attacks. Pape concludes that given the high correlation between foreign military occupation and suicide terrorist movements, the continued and hated presence of American troops in the region will greatly facilitate terrorist organizers in recruiting fresh volunteers.

My own take is that here we get to the nub of the matter. U.S. military might is concentrated in this region for one reason: He who controls the world’s energy resources, especially scarce oil resources, controls the world. He also becomes fabulously wealthy. Permanent military bases in Iraq are crucial to realizing their ends. How much easier, and necessary, for U.S. planners to deceive our citizens that Iraq and all the rest is about a ‘’war on terrorism’’ related to Islamic fundementalism than to reveal the truth about their motives. They’re well aware that an enlightened American public would refuse to give our nation’s blessing, blood, and treasure to such a nefarious enterprise.

The so-called ‘’war on terror’’ is fatally flawed because its planners are incapable of addressing the real political goals of those employing terrorism. They can’t afford to do so. Precious little time remains to reverse a U.S. course of action that virtually guarantees a significant uptick in deadly attacks on Americans, both here and abroad.

Gary Olson, Ph.D., is chair of the Political Science Department at Moravian College in Bethlehem. His e-mail address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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By Spinoza, September 6, 2006 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment
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Try to stop world war three.

Here are two frightening and mostly accurate pessimistic analyses

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By guitarsandmore, September 6, 2006 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment
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Bush wants to keep the war going because it’s easy.  Send weapons and men.  Point shoot bang bang.  See how great we are. Need more guns? Great we send more guns.  Need more men.  Ok we send more men.  Its easy.

If we weren’t over there fighting as priority one then we would have to be dealing with the tough issues that are not so easy like health care, the economy, global warming, immigration, etc.

It is long past time for us to come home

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By Mark, September 6, 2006 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment
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Thanks for taking

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By Daniel, September 4, 2006 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment
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Your hard work paid off

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 31, 2006 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment
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America Building Symbols of Its Civilization in Iraq!

To those critics who keep yammering that the Bushittes have spent billions of our tax dollars for the reconstruction of the Iraq they destroyed, but have built practically nothing, one would say “Ha!”
If you went to Iraq today, you’d see a marvelous new complex rising up in the heart of Baghdad. This 104-acre shining oasis would certainly supercede the palaces Saddam Husain was known for building. It will include more than 600 condos, two major office buildings, its own electricity plant and water system, air conditioning, swimming pools, a gym, a movie theater, a food court, a beauty salon, a car-repair shop, and even a night club.
This sprawling new palace complex, which will have 8,000 people working in it when completed next year, must be a welcome sign of progress and a symbol of democratic pride for the long-suffering people of Iraq-right? Well… not exactly! You see this palace is not for them. This is to be the new U.S. center of occupation in Iraq, called nicely the U.S. Embassy.
Being built by an affiliate of –guess who?- Halliburton, this half-billion dollar, self-contained complex will be by far the largest embassy in the world. But this is no mere house of diplomacy-it’s a mini-state inside Iraq capital and the largest complex of espionage in the world, establishing a permanent American base that literally ripples with negative symbolism. Surrounded by 15-foot walls, guarded by marines, and overlooking the chambers housing the Iraqi government, this fortress will be viewed by the average Iraqi people as an evil palace of occupation and a continued target for the Iraqi resistance to liberate themselves from and evil foreign occupation. This symbol of neocolonialism will eventually be surrounded by the angry Iraqis, and only God will know what would happen to its occupants. Remember what happened to a similar complex in Iran in 1979!

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By Spinoza, August 31, 2006 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment
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LDThompson, thanks for your post. I am certain that the Iraqis can work things out if we got out of the equation.

We Have to kick Bush out first though and keep the fascist Democrats out also.

There is a necessary fight against fascism as represented by Rummy and other Bushites. Unfortunately the left is divided and ineffective as usual. However, I recently got an email from the World Can’t Wait and they are hoping to organize a super political action on October 5th. They are also asking for donations. Hopefully we can really do something to change history. They can be found at the

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By LD Thompson, August 28, 2006 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment
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Peace Delegation, Amman Jordan

For two days early in August 2006, members of the Iraqi parliament agreed to meet with a peace delegation from the United States in Amman, Jordan. The peace delegation included Medea Benjamin, Jodi Evans, Gael Murphy, Diane Wilson, Cindy Sheehan, Ann Wright, Judith LeBlanc, Barbara Briggs-Letson, Geoffrey Millard, Tom Hayden, Father Louis Vitale, Raed Jarrar, Aseel Albanna and Jeeni Criscenzo. I had been invited as a filmmaker to document this momentous occasion.

The meetings were complex and revealed the contradictions and factions that are making it difficult for the new Iraq government to speak with a unified voice. The one thing that was unanimous was their desire for the US to end the occupation and withdraw its troops.

Though they disagreed about the timeline for US troop withdrawal, they all agreed that federalism (the creation of separate discreet states within Iraq) is a mistake. Reconciliation of competing factions, compensation for war victims, recognition of the resistance as legitimate, amnesty members of the resistance, disbanding the militias, eradicating the mysterious death squads and rebuilding the country were priorities.

One parliamentarian, a doctor, had very sad reports about there being no medicine and no electricity in hospitals that were fully operational before the invasion and occupation. According to her, many of the skilled and educated, including doctors and nurses have either fled the country or been killed. Apparently, most of the reports we receive of hospitals and schools being built by the American occupation forces are really just efforts to rebuild existing institutions that have been destroyed.

The British ambassador, the day we arrived in Amman had been quoted as saying that civil war is imminent between the Sunni and the Shia. Yet, what we heard repeatedly is that the Sunni and the Shia have been intermarrying and living in integrated communities for thousands of years. In one of the sessions we heard from two men who represented the mainstream political parties – one is Shia, he is married to a Sunni. The other is Sunni and is married to a Shia. This is the character of Iraqi society.

In the second day of meetings, three men who had been incarcerated at Abu Ghraib spoke. Their testimony was electrifying. Even after all of the furor as a result of the photos from Abu Ghraib it was deeply disturbing to sit face to face with men who had been subjected to torture. We heard from one of the men that when he requested pain medication for his hand on which he had recently had surgery, a guard stomped on his hand and told him “that’s pain medicine in America.” He also told us of a man who was taken by a female guard and ordered to have sex with her. When the prisoner refused, ‘she put on an artificial penis and raped him’. And what is it they want? They want to be heard and they want justice.

That’s what struck me above all else was that these people are looking to America for justice. They believe that America is a just and law abiding society and they expect that the US will return their sovereignty to them and make right the damage and destruction that has been wreaked upon their country.

The goal of the peace delegation was to return to the United States with a clear and concise statement of what the Iraqis want and to present it to American legislators. But, I believe, an equally important effect of this meeting is something less tangible because it was clear that the men and women from Iraq who met with these citizens of the United States were given renewed hope that their belief in the innate goodness of Americans is not invalid. Their hopes for the future of their country were given new life.

LD Thompson
trick dog films

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By Funky McGroovy, August 15, 2006 at 11:21 am Link to this comment
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Certainly a point of view we’re not accustomed to.

Does this article disturb you?  Why?

Does it bother you because it confirms your assumptions and views?

Does it bother you because it goes against your beliefs and values?

We are all most comfortable with our own point of view.  We prefer to have our beliefs reaffirmed.  To see things as we’d like them to be, not as they are.  It’s much easier and more comfortable that way. 

The first casualty of war is the truth.  Perhaps we can get a glimpse by reading both sides and between the lines. 

Remember, first step in dealing with a problem is admitting you have one.

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By ecp, August 3, 2006 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment
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Hi ho Silver, away.

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By wwbo, August 1, 2006 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment
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I found it very interesting.

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By Spinoza750, July 26, 2006 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment
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The War is widening we have to get out in the streets

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By JohnR, July 26, 2006 at 6:56 am Link to this comment
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Skyrider7: the answer to your question is none of the above. The first three achieved temporary solutions to large problem. Just ask the millions who died during the transfers between India and Pakistan.

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By sdf, July 26, 2006 at 2:44 am Link to this comment
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hello world!

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By Mother of US Special Forces Soldier, July 25, 2006 at 7:42 am Link to this comment
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BUSH RESULTS of - Spreading Democracy in IRAQ

The above link equals article below.

Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Monday, 24 July 2006-Translated and/or compiled by Muhammad Abu Nasr, member, editorial board, the Free Arab Voice.



Monday, 24 July 2006



·Resistance sharpshooter’s bullet reportedly kills US soldier on patrol in Hit Sunday evening.


·Iraqi Baath Party issues warning in connection with deteriorating health of Iraqi President Saddam Husayn.


·Iraqi Resistance fighters attack fuel convoy, blowing up more than 20 tanker trucks west of Samarra’ Monday morning.


·Resistance mounts two dawn attacks on US forces in ad-Diwaniyah.


·Resistance barrage grounds air traffic through British-occupied al-Basrah Airport.


Al-Anbar Province.


Resistance sharpshooter’s bullet reportedly kills US soldier on patrol in Hit Sunday evening.

In a dispatch posted at 10:15am Makkah time Monday morning, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that an Iraqi Resistance marksman shot and killed a US soldier in Hit, about 170km northwest of Baghdad on Sunday evening. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported eyewitnesses in the al-‘Ummal neighborhood as saying that a US foot patrol was proceeding on the road to the al-Mu ‘allimin neighborhood when a Resistance sharpshooter’s bullet directly struck and killed one of the Americans.


Iraqi Baath Party issues warning in connection with deteriorating health of Iraqi President Saddam Husayn.

According to an announcement posted on the patriotic Iraqi website, a spokesman for the Iraqi Baath Party declared on Sunday that the deterioration in the health of the General Secretary of the Party and President of Iraq Saddam Husayn and his admission to hospital as a result of his hunger strike was all due to the failure of the occupation to respond to the President’s demands that his defense team be provided proper protection. The Baath Party spokesman “emphatically warned” the American Administration against the response that would be mounted should any harm befall the President. The Party, the spokesman said, “will be obligated to respond with all available means against the American Administration and its stooge officials for this crime, should anything bad happen” to the President.

“The spokesman added that the Iraqi Regional Command of the Baath Party had prepared everything needed to bring down a stern punishment upon all who harm the President.” “The occupation and its lackeys,” the spokesman said, “will witness an earthshaking and close response particularly if the American Administration continues along its course at the farcical so-called ‘trial’ and issues pre-arranged verdicts.” The spokesman concluded by saying: “Our Party is determined to inflict defeat upon the occupation on the field of battle and is determined to protect the leaders of Iraq, and in the first place President Saddam Husayn.”

Resistance bomb targets puppet “National Guard” patrol in western Baghdad’s al-Mansur district.

In a dispatch posted at 10:40am Makkah time Monday morning, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that an Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a puppet “Iraqi National Guard” patrol in the western Baghdad district of al-Mansur. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported eyewitnesses as saying that the bomb went off a the ar-Ruwwad intersection in al-Mansur, disabling a military vehicle and wounding three puppet “Guards.”

Salah ad-Din Province.


Iraqi Resisatance fighters attack fuel convoy, blowing up more than 20 tanker trucks west of Samarra’ Monday morning.

In a dispatch posted at 9:10pm Makkah time Monday night, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that Iraqi Resistance forces attacked a convoy of fuel tankers belonging to the Iraqi puppet regime and the occupation forces on the ath-Tharthar road near the city of Samarra’, about 120km north of Baghdad Monday morning. The Samarra’ correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported eyewitnesses as saying that more than 20 tanker trucks, come carrying crude oil, were set ablaze in the Iraqi Resistance attack, forcing other drivers to divert to dirt roads in order to avoid the inferno of the burning tankers. A source in the Samarra’ puppet police confirmed that the tanker trucks had been destroyed and said that they belonged to private companies working with the Iraqi puppet regime and US occupation forces.


Resistance bomb targets puppet “Iraqi National Guards” in Yathrib.

In a dispatch posted at 10:38am Makkah time Monday morning, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that an Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a patrol of Iraqi puppet “National Guard” troops in the middle of Yathrib, about 70km north of Baghdad. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported eyewitnesses in Yathrib as saying that the bomb destroyed a puppet troop transport, killing or Iraqi puppet “Guards” and wounding three more of them.

Diyala Province.


Resistance fighters kill pro-American sectarian commander in Buhriz.

In a dispatch posted at 10am Makkah time Monday morning, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that men believed to be Iraqi Resistance fighters killed a commander in the pro-American Shi‘i sectarian Da‘wah Party, which is led by Ibrahim al-Ja‘fari, former puppet “Prime Minister” of Iraq, in Buhriz, about 60km northeast of Baghdad. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported eyewitnesses in Buhriz as saying that Resistance fighters armed with machine guns opened fire at the car carrying Nuri al-Ja‘fari, the Da‘wah Party leader in Ba‘qubah and the surrounding area. The Resistance men killed al-Ja‘fari and then immediately left the area.

Babil Province.


Resistance bombards Jaysh al-Mahdi headquarters.

In a dispatch posted at 10:05am Makkah time Monday morning, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that Iraqi Resistance forces fired four 82mm mortar rounds into the headquarters of the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia in al-Mahmudiyah about 30km south of Baghdad. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported eyewitnesses in al-Mahmudiyah as saying that the shells scored direct hits, inflicting material damage on the headquarters.

Ninwa Province.


Resistance car bomber blasts column of puppet “National Guard” troops in al-Mawsil.

In a dispatch posted at 2:22pm Makkah time Monday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that an Iraqi Resistance car bomb exploded by a puppet “Iraqi National Guard” column in the ‘Adan neighborhood of al-Mawsil in northern Iraq. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported eyewitnesses in ‘Adan as saying that an Iraqi Resistance fida’i fighter drove an explosives-laden car into the column, destroying two military vehicles and killing six puppet “National Guards” and wounding five more of them.

Resistance car bomber blasts US column in al-Mawsil.

In a dispatch posted at 12:35pm Makkah time Monday aftrnoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that an Iraqi Resistance car bomb exploded by a US military column by the Fourth Bridge near the al-Khadra’ neighborhood in the city of al-Mawsil in northern Iraq. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported eyewitnesses in al-Khadra’ as saying that a Resistance fida’i fighter drove an explosives-laden car into a US column on the bridge, completely destroying a Humvee and killing or wounding the five US soldiers who were aboard it.

Tall ‘Afar.

Resistance bomb targets puppet army patrol in Tall ‘Afar.

In a dispatch posted at 10:10am Makkah time Monday morning, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that an Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by an Iraqi puppet army foot patrol on the main road in the as-Salam neighborhood in the middle of Tall ‘Afar west of al-Mawsil in northern Iraq. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported eyewitnesses in Tall ‘Afar as saying that the bomb killed one puppet soldier and wounded two more of them.

Al-Qadisiyah Province.


Resistance mounts two dawn attacks on US forces in ad-Diwaniyah.

In a dispatch posted at 10:48am Makkah time Monday morning, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that Iraqi Resistance forces mounted two attacks on US occupation forces in the city of ad-Diwaniyah, about 120km southeast of Baghdad at dawn on Monday. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported eyewitnesses in ad-Diwaniyah as saying that the Iraqi Resistance fired a barrage of eight medium-range Katyusha rockets into the US headquarters in the north of the city, scoring direct hits and setting off violent explosions inside he American-occupied facility. In a second attack, Resistance fighters equipped with light arms and pipe rockets ambushed a US force as it raided the al-‘Askari neighborhood in northern ad-Diwaniyah, destroying one Humvee and damaging a second vehicle.

Al-Basrah Province.


Resistance barrage grounds air traffic through British-occupied al-Basrah Airport.

In a dispatch posted at 10:30am Makkah time Monday morning, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that Iraqi Resistance forces fired six medium-range Katyusha rockets into the British occupation headquarters at al-Basrah Airport in the south of Iraq. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported a source in the Iraqi puppet police as saying that the rockets scored direct hits on the British-occupied facility, forcing domestic and international flights in and out of the airport to come to a halt.

Resistance lobs bomb at offices of puppet “Iraqi Central Intelligence Agency.”

In a dispatch posted at 12:45pm Makkah time Monday afternoon, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that an Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a by the offices of the puppet “Iraqi Central Intelligence Agency” in the southern Iraqi city of al-Basrah on Sunday-Monday night. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported that an explosion shook the “ICIA” building during the night. A source in the agency building said that the bomb was thrown at the outer door of the agency and exploded without causing any harm to employees inside, because of the concrete barriers set up around the compound.


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By Mother of US Special Forces Soldier, July 24, 2006 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment
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Red Rover Red Rover send another 200,000 MORE troops over to the IED IRAQ Ritz Carlton.

But please aquire same from Virigina JAG Officers Guard / Reserve Units who sit behind comfy little lap - tops in air-conditioning US offices all the while collecting 1900.00 a month as a RESERVE or NATIONAL GUARD JAG OFFICER.  You see most of the general public doesn’t know that JAG officers haven’t been sent to Iraq.  They are “trained ” in infantry, but never see IRAQ imagine that and I wonder why?
NEVER….....if we stay we need another 200,000 for the current civil war fighting.  Please plant their butts outside green zones patroling the streets!

Most Sincerely
Mother of US Special Forces Soldier
d- green

The article listed below is from the above link and time.

Bush, Maliki to consider adding troops in Baghdad By Steve Holland
Mon Jul 24, 1:03 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -      President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will consider adding more U.S. and Iraqi troops in Baghdad and other ways to counter surging violence when they meet at the White House on Tuesday.

Bush and Maliki will consider new approaches to quelling the bloodshed in and around the capital after Maliki’s security plan for the region proved a disastrous failure.

“One of the first challenges, obviously, is to go ahead and find an effective way to secure Baghdad,” said White House spokesman Tony Snow.

Senior Bush administration officials said one option to was to move more U.S. and Iraqi troops into Baghdad from different parts of the country.

“The situation in Baghdad is one that if there starts to be improvement in that city, that will have positive reverberations throughout the country,” one official said.

Bush is under political pressure to show progress in     Iraq, clearing the way for a reduction in U.S. troops by the end of the year, as his Republicans face elections in November with their control of the U.S. Congress at stake.

“Iraq is still the prism which every American voter looks through when thinking about politics,” said Republican strategist Scott Reed. He said although voters were also worried about high U.S. gas prices and illegal immigration, “Iraq is still front and center.”

Bush and Maliki were also expected to discuss the Iraqi leader’s strong condemnation of     Israel’s attacks in Lebanon, one of the only issues that has united Iraq’s warring factions. U.S. officials characterize his sharp criticism, which differs from the U.S. approach, as a sign of a healthy democracy.


While the Bush administration insists civil war has not broken out in Iraq, Democrats disagree.

“There is a civil war in Iraq… In the last two months more than 6,000 Iraqis have been killed. It is averaging more than a hundred a day being killed in Iraq. We need to make sure there is a debate on this,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat.

Bush is fighting to maintain Americans’ support for the troops, keep up troop morale and urge patience from a public weary of the three-year-old conflict.

He visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Monday to attend a ceremony for three wounded U.S. military service personnel to become American citizens.

“I want our troops to understand that not only does the country support them but we’ll win. It’s in our national interest that we win. And we will,” Bush told recently returned military service personnel in Aurora, Colorado, on Friday.

Maliki’s emergence to power prompted Bush to make a surprise visit to Baghdad June 13 and, along with the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al Qaeda leader in Iraq, spawned hopes among Americans that things were changing for the better.

But with Sunni-Shiite violence claiming hundreds of lives in the weeks since, analysts see Iraq getting worse with violence among Shiite groups rising as well as Shiite-versus-Sunni bloodshed.

Anthony Cordesman, an Iraq expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, called the violence “soft ethnic cleansing” and said that violence was spreading beyond Baghdad to other cities.

“These trends strongly argue that the Iraqi government and U.S. are now losing, not winning,” he said. “They are scarcely based on firm data, however, and they scarcely mean the struggle is lost. What they do mean is that the Maliki government must act far more quickly and decisively.”

(Additional reporting by Patricia Wilson)

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By M Henri Day, July 24, 2006 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment
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I expected to be outraged by Nir Rosen’s report, but to my surprise, I found myself profoundly saddened instead. If this is what big-brained H sapiens sapiens is all about - and if you don’t think so, perhaps you need to take a longer, harder look in the mirror - perhaps it’s just as well that by the look of things, our species won’t be around so very much longer. Pity, though, that we seem to be taking so many other species who don’t share our particular capacity for screwing things up on a major scale with us….

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By skyreader7, July 23, 2006 at 12:29 am Link to this comment
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A Little Question

Which one of these men did not achieve a solution to a large world or national problem through peaceful means?

A. Mahatma Gandhi

B. Nelson Mandela

C. Martin Luther King, Jr.

D. George W. Bush

Gosh, you can solve problems through peaceful means?

Of course, if your motivation is greed and power, you might not want peace.

It’s all about the motivation.

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By Bukko in Australia, July 22, 2006 at 2:17 am Link to this comment
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I realise I’m a bit late to the discussion, but add me to the people thanking you for printing this. My pulse is racing and my breathing is shallow due to my horror after reading this. I’m an American who emigrated to Australia because my wife and I couldn’t stay in the U.S. with clean consciences any more because of the atrocities that were being committed with our tax dollars. It wasn’t easy leaving a middle-aged, middle-class life behind. Stories like this affirm our decision. Good onya to all the people who are concerned about the horrors being done. I’d say shame to the ones who defend this intimidation and murder, but they have no shame.

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By Blueboy1938, July 21, 2006 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment
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Fadal Abdallah has apparently forgotten that one group of passengers did risk immediate death in order to prevent the plane they were on from doing damage, apparently intended to flatten the U. S. Capitol building.  One must remember that, until the second plane hit the second World Trade Center Tower, no one had yet figured out that there was a multi-pronged terror attack in progress.  It is to the immense credit of those brave passengers on United 93 that they did figure it out, put aside their personal fears, formed a plan, and courageously carried it out.  Minimizing the threat of “mere box cutters” to un-armed people in such dire circumstances is unworthy.

Oh, re: my last post: it was Caruso that last recorded on September 20, 1920.

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By Fadel Abdallah, July 20, 2006 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment
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To Janice A. # 14474:

You’re vey smart Janice. You’re one of the few thousands in America and around the world who believe 9/11 was an inside evil job, to create the atmosphere of fear in preparation for the the trauma and mind control you talked about.

I simply could not believe and will never belive that some people living in caves and constantly on the run, could have carried out such sophisticated operation. This is not to say that Al-Qaeda had not enough hate for America to attempt hurting it in a big way when they could; but from a scientific point of view, know-how and sophisticated human resources, they did not have that, and no small group of enemies will ever have what it takes to prepare and carry on such operation. And imagined that!! The hijackers had only box-cutters as their weapons! From all those on board the highjacked planes, wasn’t there a few courageous enough who were willing to get injured and possibly die to prevent a bigger disaster?!!
Elements in the Pentagon, CIA, FBI with possibly a lot of help from the Israeli Mossad must have started working on this just as Bush was put on the throne by the Supreme Court! For Bush and the Neoconservatives to continue ruling the country and taking it in the direction they have taken it, something tragically big must have to take place! Everyone knows, that in every country and society there are that class of people called the merchants of death! For what happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and now Lebanon, 9/11 was a must prerequisite!
Sad as it is to invoke thoughts about the 9/11, I always find consolation to find like-minded people. Thank you Janice for being a free thinker and publicly join the small but privileged group!

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By Blueboy1938, July 20, 2006 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment
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Well, Janice A, so far, after checking several sites, what I’ve been able to come up with for September 16, 1920, (in addition to: “Enrico Caruto made his last recording for Victor Records.”) is:

“[9- 16 -1920]—US: Bomb explosion outside the J.P. Morgan Company on NY’s Wall Street kills 30, injures over 100, & does $2 million worth of damage in the ensuing fire which destroyed Morgan’s offices. Authorities blame “anarchists,” many who subsequently flee to Russia.”

Is that what you are referring to?  If so, it looks like the “obvious” answer to your question is:  Unspecified “anarchists,” some of whom apparently fled to Russia.  So, I guess that also puts some indirect blame on the new Bolshevik regime there.  What do you think?

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By Janice A., July 20, 2006 at 7:48 am Link to this comment
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9/11 was a false flag operation, to get the American people full of fear….a bit of trauma and mind control.

The government should prove they and the ones benefitting from the deed DID NOT do it. History repeats itself, 9/16/1920. What was covered up then and who benefitted?

People who lie and keep ‘secrets’ have much to hide.

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By zenseeker, July 20, 2006 at 7:45 am Link to this comment
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Take a look at the new flash game Slap Newt Gingrich before he starts WW3, and there is also a great say no to war flash presentation at
check it out when you guys have some time.

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By Mother of US SPecial Forces Soldier, July 17, 2006 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
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And so it goes ON and ON…...tick .... tick tick..tick.tick !!!!
“In God We Trust”...

Mother of US SPecial Forces Soldier

Corruption Cited in Iraq’s Oil Industry

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 17, 2006; Page A12

U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker told Congress last week that “massive corruption” and “a lot of theft going on” in Iraq’s government-controlled oil industry is hampering the country’s ability to govern itself.

“It took me about, you know, a second and a half to realize that, obviously, there was massive corruption going on, because the numbers just didn’t add up,” Walker said, referring to a trip he took to Iraq this year in which he was shown figures on oil production and revenue.

Walker, who heads the Government Accountability Office, made his remarks at a House Government Reform subcommittee meeting last Tuesday called to examine implementation of the Bush administration’s 2005 “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq.” He said one of the failures of the U.S. program was related to the prewar assumption that Iraq would be able to pay for its reconstruction “in large part through oil revenues.”

He said about 10 percent of Iraq’s refined fuels and 30 percent of its imported fuels are being stolen, in part because the subsidized Iraqi price of gasoline, about 44 cents a gallon, is less than half the regional price of 90 cents a gallon. “That provides a tremendous incentive to be able to steal these fuels and be able to sell them for whatever purposes, corruption or otherwise,” Walker said.

Walker noted that oil production, which was to provide prime support to the new government, is below prewar production and distribution levels, complicated by the insurgency and difficulties in maintaining the aging oil infrastructure.

Another GAO official, Joseph Christoff, director of international affairs and trade, pointed out that the Iraqi budget is paying for “what some could contend to be a bloated bureaucracy, primarily because oftentimes you don’t know who is working in the different ministries—there are ghost employees.”

Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), chairman of the subcommittee on national security, said the hearing was held to determine “whether we had and have a strategy and to what extent that strategy is meeting the needs of our engagement in Iraq.”

The GAO report criticized the administration’s strategy for not identifying which U.S. agencies are responsible for implementation, for not integrating U.S. goals and objectives with the Iraqi government and for failing to identify future costs.

James Jeffrey of the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs also testified at the hearing. “The organization roles have been as clear as I have ever seen,” he said, but he acknowledged, “Of course there are disputes.” He said the GAO was correct in saying that “we haven’t been able to align our goals, our resources and such fully with the Iraqis,” but he added: “That’s because we have not had a long-term Iraqi government.”

He said the reconstruction program, which involved the Defense Department, the State Department and the Agency for International Development, was, at $21.9 billion, “the largest . . . since the Marshall Plan.” He said that prewar assumptions that “there would be a permissive security environment that would allow reconstruction to go forward” turned out to be wrong along with the estimate “that the Iraqi government would make important contributions to the reconstruction effort.”

As a result, Jeffrey said, “we shifted billions of dollars from longer-term infrastructure into shorter-term projects—primarily security, but also democracy programs.”

But “without security,” he said, “you really can’t do anything or enough on the political and economic tracks. However . . . the solution to the security situation is not military but political.”

Walker’s GAO report criticized the administration’s failure to identify “current and future costs” or “the sources of funding needed to achieve U.S. political security and economic objectives in Iraq.”

The report concludes that neither the Defense Department nor Congress “can reliably determine the costs of the war, nor do they have details on how appropriated funds are being spent or historical data useful in considering future funding needs.” He said it costs about $1.5 billion a week for U.S. military operations, reconstruction and support for Iraqi forces.

Walker said that although the administration “has resisted for several years providing cost estimates longer than one year in advance, there is a basis to come up with some estimates.”

The Congressional Budget Office last week released its estimate of potential spending requirements for Iraq in the fiscal years 2007 to 2016 based on scenarios where there was either a rapid or slow drawdown of U.S. forces. In the case of rapid withdrawal—troops out by 2009—the CBO estimated an additional $166 billion would be needed for military operations, on top of $290 billion already allocated. For a slower withdrawal, where 40,000 troops stay through 2016, it would cost $368 billion, said the CBO.

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By Friedenschaffen, July 17, 2006 at 9:55 am Link to this comment
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Excellent response by iraqvet on the matter of the US in Iraq. #14017

Any nation hoping to have a US style democracy has to understand that the cash layout for acquiring all of those Diebold vote-rigging machines is not going to be chicken feed.

At present it appears that generally speaking, folks were better off under Saddam (some were, some were not, like always in politics), along with the entire Middle East. He committed various alleged atrocities, right? Maybe, maybe not, how can you believe anything anymore? Murderous regime? What do they have now? Compared to what? Stalin?

In any case, it was an internal matter and the reasons given for the invasion are all phony. In Guatemala, around 1956, the US did the flip side, dumped a legitimate head (ako Hugo Chavez), and installed a dictator for the benefit of the United Fruit Company. All depends on what is good for US business interests. (Of course, this practice has never stopped.) Oh, the benefits are not handed down to the folks (minimum wage constant), but rather the CEO and buddies get a raise.

What is an atrocity? Confusing. Was it classified as “military” when the Germans were sending V2 Bombs into London in WWII? Like terrorists (versus soldiers), “atrocities” is convenient when it suits. Seems like when one is blown to smithereens, it’s all the same.

The words terrorist and atrocity had not yet been invented when the Partisans were mutilating German soldiers trying to escape back to Germany from the Eastern Front.

Korean War Vet

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By iraqvet, July 16, 2006 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment
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As a veteran, I wanted to comment on John’s post # 13294

**John, you said : “In regards to comment #13408 by Paul Kibble, I’m still noticing how you liberals fail to mention the atrocities committed on a daily basis by the insurgents while condemning the U.S. military for a few sporadic incidents”

First, I’m not a liberal and second, this is childs logic.  Just because the evil enemy does something, does that mean we have to do it also?  We expect evil people to commit atrocities, we also expect the American military to behave with honor, even in the face of atrocity. 

**You also said: “Now, about how the war is being fought.  Maybe it is just my common sense, but I don’t know if I would walk down to the New York Times and tell them how to print a newspaper.  They’ve been doing it since 1851, and they are probably pretty good at it by now.  So, I’m not real sure where all you liberals that have never served a day in the military come in criticizing the warfighting ability of an institution that has existed for over 200 years for one purpose: to fight wars.  Sure, you might have a couple of liberal ex-generals toeing your line.  That could be the reason they are ex-generals.  “

Your logic is completely flawed on this.  First, the newspaper is a private entity, the military are PUBLIC SERVANTS who swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.  We are not a law unto ourselves, we have a code of conduct and rules we are to follow.  You are using the presidents tyrannical interpretation of war as a license to do as you see fit and worse, insinuating that only the military can tell the military how to behave.  We saw what this administration did to anyone in the military who was not a bootlicking sycophant, they showed them the door.  Do you really expect, in this sort of climate, we will have any real objective review from within?  It’s sad when a man has to wait to retire before he can voice a criticism because the president and his administration are notorious for vincitively abusing their power to retaliate against those who tell the truth. 

**You also said:  “Now, I’m finding it very very interesting that liberals are dropping the hammer on the Republicans over the war on terror, and Iraq in particular.  I guess the collective memory of liberals doesn’t reach back far enough to remember that there were Democratic presidents in office that got us into World War 2, Korea, and Vietnam.  World War 2, I can forgive Roosevelt for that one.  Now, I’d like to hear the liberal justification for Korea and Vietnam, oh, and guess what guys?  Since Bush catches the rap for all the atrocities committed by a few deranged joes in Iraq, the Democrats get to take credit for everything in Korea and Vietnam, to include the huge casualty count suffered by the Americans.  “

This is more childs logic John, you are attempting to excuse Bush’s lying us into the Iraq invasion by simply saying “the liberals did it too”.  Sorry John, wrong is still wrong, just because liberals did it doesn’t make it right. 

**You said:  “As to comment #13387 by Hallelujah Jones, I can assure you, they are cowards.  Met any of them lately?  I didn’t think so.” 

This comment makes me question whether you are one of those 18Xray SF soldiers, a kid who has no actual experience, little education or experience on the art of war and think that the SF tab makes them consumate experts on war when in fact you are a rank amateur.  Having survived combat does not make you an expert on war John, it makes you a veteran.  An expert is one who is both practiced AND is a perpetual student of his art. 

Actually John, having been there, I did “meet” them or at least dealt with them and the results of their operations.  John, do you have the guts to blow yourself up for a cause you believe in?  The quickest way to get beaten in a fight is to not respect the capabilities of your enemies.  calling people who are fanatical and will die for what they believe in “cowards” is foolish. 

I heard soldiers accuse the enemy of cowardice from time to time, they were frustrated at fighting guerilla war which TE Lawrence likened to “eating soup with a fork”.  They believed that the guerillas should come out in the open and fight againt our armor, tanks, aircraft and massive firepower with light arms. 

You must have been asleep during your guerilla warfare training.  The objective for the guerilla force is not just to kill the enemy, it is to make him react in such a way that the local populace will rise up against him and conversely, support the guerillas.  Mao said that the guerilla is a fish and the people are his ocean.  Clearly they are achieving that objective in spades, they know exactly how to push our buttons and get us to over-react. 

**You also said:  “comments on the cowardly nature of Bush and Cheney, perhaps you should look in the mirror.  Since I’m noticing you aren’t in uniform and in combat, perhaps calling the president and vice president cowards is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.”

First, this is rathe bizarre John; it would be like saying that until you vote for John Kerry, send in a large campaign contribution to the DNC and work on the Kerry re-election campaign, you can not call Kerry a liberal.  Further, neither Bush or Cheney have ever been in combat and the only time GW was in uniform was to be in the Texas Air National Guard specifically to avoid service in Viet Nam (Texas was one of several states that declared they would NOT send troops to VietNam).  I’ve been in uniform and i’ve been in combat.  They are cowards John, let me assure you.  Worse still, they are America hating traitors who despise the Constitution and have contempt for the military. 

Didn’t you ever question why we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq and yet a pittance of it goes to things like adequate armor for the vehicles?  Didn’t you ever wonder why we had shortages of body armor, indeed shortages of everything imaginable?  These things could be rectified for less than a billion dollars and yet they are consistently ignored.  John, just because a politician says something doesnt’ make it the truth.  How sad that you are so easily swayed by flag waving symbolism and don’t look for a shred of substance.  Although I don’t support Kerry because I hate liberals, I have to say that Kerry VOLUNTEERED to serve in Swift boats in VIET NAM while Bush was AWOL in Texas.  Kerry has a Silver Star and 3 purple hearts and despite malicious accusations by paid partisan hacks, no credible proof has been offered that he did not earn them (else they would have been revoked). 

***You said:  “By “morally brave” you must mean those who would rather desert than serve.  Fine.  Let them go.  I don’t want a quitter with me.

John you have confused the courage of ones convictions with cowardice, they are vastly different.  I’ve seen soldiers who claimed Conscientious Objector status simply to get out of a deployment or to get out of the military.  But when a soldier has to go to prison and have his life ruined with a felony conviction for standing on his principles, I call that courage.  I am saddened to see people with such virtue railroaded out of the military because the president and his cronies committed us to an immoral invasion of a country that was no threat to us. 

And quitting isn’t a bad thing.  If you accidentally shoot yourself in the foot, are you a quitter because you stop doing it?  Doing something stupid, repeatedly and endlessly isn’t courage John it’s arrogant pig headed stupidity.  It is immoral cowardice when that activity hurts someone else. 

**And here you go again:  “I figured I would save the best for last.  To quote you directly: “defending their country and their own people from an evil, raping, looting, murderous, criminal invading army.” Now, genius, do you really think the Iraqi people were better off when Saddam was in power?”
First John, tell me which part of the US Constitution says that the USA is supposed to institute regime change on all the dictators of the world?  Second, again, you need to read your guerilla warfare books.  It doesn’t matter if they were better off under Saddam or not.  People will tolerate a lot more abuse from their own leaders than from an occupying Army.  I know that you don’t have the empathy gene but imagine the Mexican Army invading and occupying America.  I would be out killing Mexican soldiers all day every day, I would cut their heads off, I would castrate them, I would burn them alive.  I would in short do EVERYTHING I could to drive the invaders off my soil.  You seem to completely misunderstand what motivates the enemy.  I suggest you read your guerilla warfare books and quit listening to Sean Hannity and Michael Savage if you want to learn about the enemy.  You don’t have to like the enemy but you DO have to respect his capabilities.

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By Friedenschaffen, July 16, 2006 at 9:31 am Link to this comment
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Response to 13986. Blueboy:intended “semantic issues” (was sloppy typing) but “issues, semantically”  is better.

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By Tim, July 16, 2006 at 7:33 am Link to this comment
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In response to Comment # 13846:

It is true that the current US military force is not the largest in history in terms of men in arms.  But in terms of fire power, it is most likely true.  The US spends almost as much on “defense” as all the other nations combined.  The fiscal year 2007 budget request for defense was nearly 500 billion (half a trillion) dollars.  Iraq’s defense budget was abour $2 billion at the time of the invasion.

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By Blueboy1938, July 16, 2006 at 7:29 am Link to this comment
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Well, Friedenshaffen, here I go again, raising “semantically issues” - or did you mean, “issues, semantically” - or maybe, “semantic issues” - once again regarding this statement by you:

“Curiously, the Bolsheviks were very unpopular, for example in the Ukraine, and would have welcomed the Germans as emancipators.”

What it says: “the Bolsheviks . . . , would have welcomed [etc.]”  What I think you meant:  “the inhabitants of Ukraine, hating the Bolshiviks . . . , would have welcomed the Germans as emancipators.”  You see, semantics isn’t just “nit-picking” as you put it.  It’s the basis for clear communication.  Either one takes some care with it, or the meaning intended may become distorted beyond the ability of the reader to “figure out” what the writer meant.  My prior little lesson about the relative size of American forces, however, was not just semantic nit-picking.  It was meant to correct a matter of fact, not merely to clarify muddy writing.

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By Friedenschaffen, July 15, 2006 at 8:54 am Link to this comment
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The alleged reason for invading the Soviet Union, given by Hitler, was to gain “Lebensraum” (living space). But, simultaneously, the troops were given standing orders to have no mercy on mischief-makers, guerrillas, saboteurs, and Jews. Needless to say, the S.S., following the German army, commenced to hang folks for almost any reason, under such a mandate. Curiously, the Bolsheviks were very unpopular, for example in the Ukraine, and would have welcomed the Germans as emancipators. However, as in the present situation in Iraq, the reasons given for the war were phony.

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By Friedenschaffen, July 15, 2006 at 5:59 am Link to this comment
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Nit picking on semantically issues seems inappropriate and demeaning to the underlying theme of the article. For example, the statement “largest military force know to man” is mostly figurative and the “force” is the largest as far as destructive power is concerned. But acrimony and a dichotomy seems to characterize society in the US today, perhaps a means of venting of the frustration brought on by the “Pearl Harbor” effect. Most unfortunate when we should stand together against the sort of thing described in the ariticle.

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By Asa Simmons, July 15, 2006 at 5:56 am Link to this comment
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Does service in WWII allow opposition to the Iraqi mess? Even if one was in the Marine Corps?

In my experience as a Marine, one must always critique authority objectively if one want to succeed in one’s mission. There are always plenty of biased and blind people, whose stupidity and arrogance are dangerous, so one must always thry to nullify that stupidity. At least two distinguished Marine Corps officers have published excellent critiques of fighting a guerilla war. One facts that has been known to all military people since Julius Ceasar is that they cannot be “won”, in the normal sense of the word. If one can completely isolate the population in the subject territory, so that no outside contact can exist, one can wear down the opposing fignters, if one can effectibely repulse attack. This involves winning the hearts and minds of the locals by offering them help in their own efforts to revitalize their own communities. The money given by a Marine and an Army general to local people that allowed them to rebuild local infracstucture like an electric plant is a powerful aid in winning this kind of conflict. Always! The assaults to find and eliminate possible terrorists, when one neither understands or respects the local language and culture, is a certain way to make the loss of the fight faster and more brutal. Any knowledgeable commander knows this. As Bush said (as usual misquoting things, and getting them in reverse): “They know they can’t defeat us by military means.: Of course. They also know that they can always beat us by guerilla means, just as Russia was defeated in Afghanistan, and both France and the US were defeated in Vietnam.

Unfortunately, all populations contain a rather large group of people who think that violence is the best (or only) way of solving problems- especially when they feel insulted about their actions or intentions (read “manhood”). There are always hidden attitudes and agendas. Back in the 2000’s to 0 BC, the quick and final answer was always annihilation and erasure of all traces of the losers in a dispute. How much better can one prove one’s lrecrtitude than the death of those who disagree and cannot be convinced. After all, Saint Dominic understood this. After preaching to the people of Southern France and being rejected, he said (approximately): ” I have tried earnestly to convince you to accept the true religion, and you have rejected me. Therefore, I am returning to Rome. But I will return with an Army, and you will be converted”. He received the blessing of the Pope to start the seventh, and last Crusade, targeting the people of South France (who later were again assaulted militarily for not only becoming Protestants, but also almost succeeding in convincing the king to become Protestant.). On pain of torture and death, Saint Dominic succeeded in converting all who did not flee.
Thanks to him, we gained the city and culture of New Orleans. He also helpe greatly to motivate the antagonism to religion that makes France so determinedly secular. Are we to become the new Crusaders, and offer conversion or annilhilation?

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By Blueboy1938, July 14, 2006 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment
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First of all, Le Stylo, the United States does not currently have the “largest military force known to man.”  That would be China, and if the paramilitary forces in India are combined with the regular armed forces, they would have the second largest in terms of overall numbers.  If you mean historically, the numbers under arms during WWII were far greater, with 10+ million for the U. S., 12+ million for the Soviet Union, for instance.  Next, by far the bulk of the deaths and other atrocities in Iraq are being visited by Iraqis on other Iraqis of differing ethnicities in what is beginning to look a lot like a civil war, or at least an endless cycle of vengeance killing.  You’re right that our armed forces are unlikely to quell this escalating violence.  Of course, your proposal to arm the non-terrorist Iraqis is basically a good one, but unfortunately, the ones getting the arms are primarily Shiites, and some, not all, are using them for precisely those vengeance killings.

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By Gina, July 14, 2006 at 10:07 am Link to this comment
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The first thing we need to realise is that Iraq belongs to the Iraqi’s . IT DOES NOT BELONG to America. Second is that people in Iraq are human beings just like us. We need to leave the country now!! not in 6 months now!!! We were able to send 250, troups there in less than a week we can bring them back just as easily. We were decieved from day the military went in there to stay, construction of 14 miltary basesstarted in 2003. WHERE DID THIS lAND come from?  Ordinary Iraqis are not allowed in the GREEN ZONE Sadams ex-place. So we took away places from a dictator so that Americans couuld lkive there. Imagine how this looks to The Iraqis

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By Le Stylo, July 14, 2006 at 9:21 am Link to this comment
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John writes:

“Someone once asked me if I would fight Mike Tyson.  I said sure, as long as he gets to play the part of the U.S. and I get to play the part of the insurgents.  See, Mike would have to play by the rules of boxing.  I’d bring a baseball bat, a chainsaw, and a whole array of instruments dedicated to the defeat of the enemy.  I wouldn’t have to play by any rules.  Anyone want to make a bet on who would win?” 

This is indescribably twisted logic. To intimate that the U.S. is playing by any rules at all, or that they are somehow defenceless in the face of the insurgents, is ludicrous. The U.S. continues to flout the Geneva convention at every turn. They have far and away the deadliest weapons and largest military force known to man. I have no doubt that those such as John have seen horror and atrocity committed by their enemies. It cuts both ways however. The problem is John, you needn’t be there at all - there is no “chicken and egg” argument to be made - the U.S. started this war, and kicked off the bloody cycle. It won’t stop until you leave or kill every Iraqi. Consider, as the article notes, what your reaction would be if you and your family were terrorized needlessly because of some incompetent and ignorant foreign invader who didn’t speak your language or understand your culture. You are creating enemies John. There was NO Al-queda in Irag IN Iraq until YOU invaded THEIR home. Even somebody who sympathized with your cause would be your enemy by the time you were done killing their families and terrorizing their children. Terrorists in Iraq are small in number - but you have angered an entire nation. Are they after your head now? Hell yes. I would be too, and I would use any means at my disposal. You want a fair fight? Then equip the Iraqi people - the majority that aren’t terrorists - with the same weaponry you have at your disposal, and win the war based upon having better soldiers. Until you do, don’t blame them for their choice of weapons or their tactics - it’s all they have to fight back with. Your country was BORN of a revolution that used guerrilla tactics to defeat their oppressors, so I find your comments and opinions ironic and hypocritical - reflective of your country’s administration and this folly of a war you have entred into.

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By Tim, July 14, 2006 at 8:47 am Link to this comment
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I’ve read some very well thought-out comments here, particularly Comment #13574 by David.  The administration’s justifications for invading Iraq have been discredited: There were no weapons of mass destruction, and no Iraqi ties to Al Queda or 9/11.  The only thing left is bringing democracy to Iraq.  It sounds good on the surface:  granted, Saddam Hussein was a tyrant, who beat or killed his political opponents.  But what about all the other despots in the world?  In Myanmar (formerly Burma), a human rights activist was imprisoned for telling citizens they had a right to refuse to be conscripted by the government for a labor project.  There are other examples.  Perhaps Iraq was a convenient target in an effort to divert the public’s attention from Bush’s failure to deal with Osama bin Laden and Al Queda.

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By David, July 13, 2006 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment
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In reference to John’s post # 13355.  It looks like John is in enemy territory or rather a place where that “Fair and Balanced” dribble doesn’t work.  I am not a liberal but rather a conservative Republican who voted for Bush in 2000. I voted for his father in 1992.  I can say that you have pretty much stooped to the lowest level possible to try to win this debate. 

You bring up 9/11 as an excuse for a strategic blunder of catastrophic proportions in going to war in Iraq.  Today the news from the Middle East is as best dire and at worst on the brink of a regional war. The world stands on the precipice of a cliff and I am one person who doesn’t want to see what is on the other side.  We have destabilized the entire region (which is vital for economic stability throughout the world because of the oil).

I supported going after Al Qaeda and Afghanistan but my support was not a blank check and it was not open ended.  I thought a focused and narrow effort directed against the people who attacked us was smart and prudent. Unlike you I do not become a war junky.  I think war should be the last resort and only should be attempted when there is a viable and direct threat.  And it should be planned in a thorough and clear manner and with all of the relevant data available and with no idealogical bias.  Lastly, a war should be planned with a clear timeframe and an exit strategy.

As for the discussion of atrocities, how about the 14 year old Iraqi girl who was raped and murdered along with her family. As well, how about the killings in Haditha. I guess to a person like you murdering “Terrorists” is acceptable? Right?  Like when we were murdering “Vietcong” in Mei Lai, Vietnam?  I guess that innocent 14 year old girl was threatening our troops because otherwise they would have killed her for no reason. And that would be considered cold blooded murder and a war crime. 

As well, you said that the insurgents in Iraq and the Vietcong were committing atrocities and they probably were.  So I guess because we are fighting an enemy who does not fight like professional soldiers we should act like them?  Then we should be targeting and killing civilians.  Correct?  Is that what you are saying?  My question to you:  how do you fight for your values by shunting them aside? 

I beleived the garbage that was used to build support for this insanity and I will always feel guilty for that but at least I have learned from my mistake and I hope you will someday. 

Condemning the moron’s who started this damn war does not translate to supporting Terrorism or the Insurgents.  That kind of brain dead logic does not work in the real world.


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By Mother of US Special Forces Soldier, July 13, 2006 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment
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TO the author:  Comment #13294 by John

  Kurds are NO better off by far (facts from the front lines).  Check Mosul and Tal Afar enough said.

As for the education level in special forces, d-green or d-cag, rangers, seals more than 60 % are degreed.  And further, take advanced language classes as well.  Most come from homes of educated degreed parents up to Phd’s.

However, I strongly suggest that you educate your mind relative to bills in the senate and house that have been passed.  The records speak volumes: republicans are AGAINST soldiers benefits and issues. 

” They plan on being as cruel and inhumane as they can, both to the Iraqis and Americans, hoping to drive us out.  After all, according to the liberals, there is no way that country would collapse into chaos after we left. “

Incorrect, sadly YOU will NEVER WIN an Insurgent - civil war. NEVER.  Just ask Robert Strange McNamara and or any General that reported to him directly.  I did. Secondly, they are using this as a training camp.  What do you think for?  Don’t you realize they aren’t staying in Iraq?  What do you think they will do with these skills? 

Tick tick tick tick…...“IN GOD WE TRUST”

“country would collapse into chaos after we left. “

As for Iraq YOU WILL NEVER change anything more than the day of Saddam!

  And lastly but most important, I wish you a
” safe ” term as a special forces soldier.  And God Bless.

Mother of US Special Forces Soldier

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By Mother of US Special Forces Soldier, July 13, 2006 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment
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Hello RED voters:

So like are YOU RED VOTERS enjoying YOUR gas prices yet?  How about the YOUR food prices?  Oh I see YOU have NOW realized that “the best is yet to come ” and it will soon.  Can you say Zoooom in the commodity indices.  And just how much do YOU think YOUR little “IN GOD WE TRUST” is going to buy the above?  Do I hear rice on the menu?

Yeap BUSH did a GREAT JOB!  More Incompetence by the day.  So open YOUR wallets another 35 % RED VOTERS as BUSH BLEEDS you dry.  Tick…tick tick.;=;=$CRB&data=H&code=BSTK&evnt=adv

Hello .....H Y P E R _ I N F L A T I O N;=

Bye bye middle class american RED VOTERS.  Just remember who planted YOU in these financial times.  Bush needs a little Thank You note. Come on RED Voters pony up.

As for the IED IRAQ Ritz Carlton, come on over it’s a cake wake.  Just hope YOU red voters come home with ALL YOUR body parts.  I’m sure YOU can mengle in with the suicide bombers that YOU have created!

YOU Foolish people when will YOU realize that we have CREATED M O R E terrorists in Iraq.  They have used IRAQ as a training camp and then leave to set up in other countries. Duh. Great planning!

Most Sincerely
Mother of US Special Forces Soldier

Hope YOU red Voters are around for the US DEFAULT in the XXXXXX market!

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By Geo1671, July 12, 2006 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment
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God fearing nation—balony!
Back in the settlers days—over 32 million natives slaughtered
  Millions died Yanks and Confeds-for what?
  Back in late 1800’s,over a million philopines slaughtered—out of 8 million
  Back again 1800’s—thousand spanish and Cubians slaughtered
  Back again in the 1890’s—Hawaii king and queen and hundreds of thousands slaughtered
  WWI—USA made it , slaughterd millions
  WWII,USA funded the Nazies—millions died
  Palestine,Iraq, Eypht, Iran slaughter
Vetinam slaughter
Combodia slaughter
North Korea—slaughter
Kosvo Slaughter
Ahfagastan slaughter
  Sure preacher man—trust we in God—the slaughtering was done by USA——empire building—god fearing?? BS

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By Blueboy1938, July 12, 2006 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment
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Oops!  Just re-read Archer’s post and must apologize for the “it’s” spelling lesson.  It was spelled correctly for the possessive context.

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By Blueboy1938, July 12, 2006 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment
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Just so you’ll know, Archer, the posessive of “it” is “its” while “it’s” is the contraction of “it is.”  Now for your point:  I believe that you’ve confused America, with Australia regarding early settlers.  England did initially send some “convicts” to Australia and operated “New South Wales” as a penal colony for a time, but for the most part, the American colonists were either people of means who paid for their passage or indentured servants and apprentices who worked it off.  The notable exception, of course, were the Africans brought as slaves, who could not “work off” their servitude, but were not necessarily criminals either.  James Oglethorpe had originally planned to liberate people from debtors’ prison to colonize Georgia, but had abandoned that plan by the time his patent was granted, and he proceeded to hand pick a group of 116 as the initial party to settle Savannah.  So it would seem that you think the religious groups that came to Plymouth in Massachusetts colony, and the Quakers that Penn brought to Pennsylvania, among others, were “natural born killers” from whom we in the U. S. all share murderous genes.  How incredibly misinformed can one get?

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By Osmond, July 12, 2006 at 10:00 am Link to this comment
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Re Rick’s comment….. your question why U.S. took no military action against the Pakistan government is a valid one, although the answer to that is easy.  Pakistan, under President Zia, supported al-Qaeda & Taliban with the whole-hearted support (not to mention the massive funding!) from the U.S.

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By Rick, July 12, 2006 at 8:12 am Link to this comment
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RE: Comment By John

“Now, I’m interested in your definition of atrocity.  Abu Ghraib?  Gitmo?  Damn, I went through tougher stuff during S.E.R.E. school.  An atrocity is 9/11.”

Yes, 9/11 was an atrocity.  So why are you bemedalled buffoons in the Republican party’s pathetic military combing the internet for expressions of thought crime rather than combing the mountains of Pakistan for Osama bin Laden?

Why did you not take military action against the government of Pakistan, which had been supporting al Qaeda and the Tabliban, rather than Iraq’s inept and unarmed (albeit brutal) dictator?

And no, I am not a “liberal”.  I guarantee that I am far more conservative than you are.

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By Lucille K. Brothers, July 12, 2006 at 7:56 am Link to this comment
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Thank you Nir, for the revelation of the true atmosphere in Iraq.  Do you know anything about a young reporter named Mohammed al Zanoun who submits pictures of destruction and civilian deaths occurring in Gaza as I write?  He was recently wounded by the Israeli army while taking pictures.  His pictures appear with his commentaries on website: Would it be possible for to run one of his stories?

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By Tim, July 12, 2006 at 7:40 am Link to this comment
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This story illustrates an unfortunate phenomenon:  With the abolishment of the draft, the military is left with the lowest intellectual element.  The soldier who threatened to shoot Nir Rosen if he didn’t stop moving probably couldn’t have located Iraq on a map before he went over there.  During the Vietnam war, when the draft existed, there was a prominent anti-war movement.  That’s what happens when you try to force middle-class college kids to do something they don’t agree with.

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By Charlie, July 12, 2006 at 6:22 am Link to this comment
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As someone who has been to Iraq three times and spent a considerable amount of time on the ground with Iraqi families and U.S. boots on the ground (all independent, outside of the Green Zone), I can say quite clearly that this is an unmitigated disaster. The “hearts and minds” are turned against the occupation and there is no way to “win” the war.

For those who claim to support the military there is only one answer.  Bring them home and prosecute those who sent them in the first place.

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By iraqvet, July 12, 2006 at 5:11 am Link to this comment
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I was there as a soldier in special operations (Civil Affairs) and saw much of the same.  We went out the wire every day and saw it first hand.  I thank you for pointing out things which the MSM and especially the propaganda spewing ones are dutifully ignoring. 

Ignore the ignorant who claim that “because you aren’t a soldier, you have no right to criticize”.  I’ll bet the soldier who posted such nonsense wouldn’t have a single problem complaining about police tactics if a cop roughed him up and trashed his car during a routine traffic stop, even though he is obviously not a cop. 

Your most salient point was that “commanders are a law unto themselves”.  I saw the wannabe Pattons, Napoleons and “I am GOD” types in droves and believe they are not only criminally liable for the misdeeds of their soldiers, they should at the very least be relieved of their commands.  Sadly the administration seems to condone such counter-productive behavior even though it is destroying the overall mission and the stated goals of the Commander in Chief. 

We were often denied security because the commander wanted to instead send his troops on “kick some ass” raids.  These raids were often sent into neighborhoods that had been made safe and allied to us with much expense and effort.  I will never forget the day a government building, full of loyal locals whom we had carefully vetted and installed, was trashed by a local infantry unit.  Seems they saw an Iraqi with an AK-47 and went ballistic, destroying much of the property, seizing his weapon and arresting him. 

The S-2 had sent them into the neighborhood on nothing more than a tip.  The tip was not investigated, instead it was acted upon immediately.  had they investigated, they would have found it was done by a Shiite who was trying to cause trouble for the Kurds and Turcomen. 

The man with the AK-47 was a guard we had hired and had papers and an ID card to prove his case.  The infantry unit ignored it.  He never got the AK back, it apparently went up on the wall of the barracks of the infantry unit as a “war trophy”. 

And more importantly the soldier, John, indicates a level of ignorance that should not be allowed in specops, namely he presumes all who disagree with him are liberals (what’s next John, are we all traitors and terrorist sympathizers too?).  I’m a true conservative and have been one for many years, I volunteered for Iraq and can see that it is a first class disaster, especially the occupation and rebuilding phase wihch apparently was the most poorly planned operation ever conceived for our military. 

The truth must be told and thank you for doing so.

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By James, July 12, 2006 at 4:54 am Link to this comment
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Believe me all the people who are responsible for Iraq and Afghanistan will pay for long time to come wither they are directly involve or it’s done in their name, (have you heard of the sins of the fathers). you just need to look at the history of these two regions to know that ones could not have picked worse enemy that is near impossible to get away from even when you giving up fighting them.

Oh dear, dear me you are in trouble.  Try to look at the US government with open mine you might be able to see why they use their population as pawns for their self gain and arrogance…...America and (subservience) your suppose protectorates is your enemy, please thinks freely.


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By archers, July 12, 2006 at 4:50 am Link to this comment
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biggest problem with Americans—they don’t teach history at all in class. To the John’s in this world——here is one history point not to overlook—-Europe dumped all it’s most violent prisoners and gathered alll the prostitutes—into America. It’s in the Genes johnny boy—born Baby Killers.
Please read the following from Times on Line Article—-read it—-Jonnycome late—-you just might seewhat justice really is—and america is about to get it—just give it a chance.
Quote from Times
It was impossible not to wonder whether any of those attacking us could be the same men as those I was with back in early 1988. And how, when Moscow had got such a bloody nose in Afghanistan, losing more than 15,000 men in what is seen as Russia’s Vietnam (and a defeat that had played a crucial role in the collapse of communism), had the British ended up taking on the same enemy?

It’s not as if we don’t have a history. When the paras moved into Camp Price just outside Gereshk in May and their commander had his first meeting with local officials, it took the Afghans just 10 minutes to bring up the battle of Maiwand. One of the worst defeats ever suffered by the British Army in which more than 1,000 men were slaughtered by the side of the Helmand River, the battle may have happened in 1880 but Afghans in Helmand talk about it as if it were yesterday and all claim that their forefathers were there.

If any further reminder were needed that one gets involved in Afghanistan at one’s peril, the Kabul headquarters of the Nato-led peacekeeping force is on the site of the old British cantonment. Its entire strength fled from here in January 1842 after a tribal revolt against the British-imposed ruler.

Of the 16,000 soldiers, wives, children and camp followers who left, only one got away; the rest were massacred or taken prisoner by Ghilzai tribesmen. Only Dr William Brydon was deliberately left alive to tell the tale and warn people back home of the consequences of getting involved in Afghanistan.

In a country that has ended up as a graveyard for so many thousands of British soldiers, why don’t we learn from history?

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By Yentil, July 11, 2006 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment
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Amazing how quickly a buffoon can ruin a nation. Not only is Bush destroying Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of ‘freedom and democracy’ but he is also destroying America. He has poisoned the American mind with racism, xenophobia and paranoia. Americans have forgoten about respect for other cultures, and they now need to be re-educated about what ‘freedom and democracy’ actually mean.

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By Blueboy1938, July 11, 2006 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment
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When Karmic metaphysics enter the argument, Freedem, then concrete, factual logic pales into insignificance, I guess.  I don’t agree with all that much of what John said, and I believe that I’ve made it abundantly clear that we are fighting the wrong war, in the wrong place, for the wrong (trumped up) reasons, while the real targets, bin Laden and the al Quaeda, are basically ignored.  That being said, trashing our troops is beside the point.  They are doing a difficult job in an impossible situation, and for the most part, doing it well.  The mattress tramplers should be more careful, if possible, and the baby bringers and wise NCOs reported by Mr. Rosen need to be commended.  The Haditha type perpetrators, on the other hand, should be, and are being prosecuted as appropriate, depending on what the investigations show.  Meanwhile, stop blaming the troops and get busy activating the already disenchanted electorate to wrest control of Congress from the craven Republican majority come November.

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By paul kibble, July 11, 2006 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment
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•  Re Comment #13432 by John

As to your major points:

1. I’m fully aware of “the atrocities committed on a daily basis by the insurgents.” But once again, you’ve avoided the central question: why are they being committed? Didn’t Rummy assure us that we’d be greeted as liberators? Are all the insurgents Al Q. fighters who have recently infiltrated Iraq? Hardly.

Take Boushra Khalil, one of Saddam’s defense lawyers who was recently profiled in the L.A. Times.  A Shia Lebanese, she has good reason to hate Saddam since her Iraqi cousins were killed for rebelling against his “Sunni-dominated regime.”

Yet, according to the Times, “Khalil views her work as an epic assignment on behalf of the pan-Arab ‘nation’—-a cause Hussein espoused during his years in power.” Khalil explains that Hussein “never surrendered. . .If he’d quit, then the whole Arab nation would have been handed to America on a gold plate.”

The Times then notes, “. . . .In ways both subtle and blunt, Hussein and his lawyers have repeatedly compared Iraq’s fate under his heavy thumb to the blood-spattered security vacuum created by the U.S. invasion.”

“. . . .The Arab public didn’t have much love for Hussein during the years of his notoriously bloody rule. . .Hussein was seen as a particularly ruthless leader. . . .But once the United States pushed into Baghdad, Hussein was held in a slightly more sympathetic light by Arabs leery of U.S. intentions in the region.

“To people who often complain angrily of their own governments’ acquiescence to Washington’s wishes, Hussein was, if nothing else, an Arab leader who had fought the United States.”

And Khalil? After angering the judge at Hussein’s trial by showing pictures of the abuses at Abu Ghraib, she explained, “I wanted to make a comparison between the democracy of America and the dictatorship of Saddam Husein. . .America has done much more than he has done.”

So here you have an Arab whose cousins were killed by Saddam defending a mass murderer against the supposedly “worse” atrocities perpetrated by the U.S. Is she wrong? Of course! But a region blinded by nationalist and tribal loyalties won’t be able to see this. What it will see is an occupying army that is acting as the opening wedge in a larger plan to expropriate the oil supplies of that region.

For the record, I detest Islamic fundamentalists even more than I detest Christian fundamentalists.  And that’s saying a lot. Christian fundamentalists are somewhat less willing to behead those who don’t share their beliefs, but with the rise of our American theocracy, who knows? Ten years from now, it may be decapitation for feminists, abortionists, gays, etc.

2. Your inference that the burden of my post was “I’m obviously educated so therefore I am a higher moral authority than the knuckle dragging grunts” is likewise erroneous. You’ve obviously put some considerable thought into your post, and I have no “authority,” moral or otherwise, to dismiss you as a “knuckle-dragging grunt.” My father and grandfather began as Army grunts (knuckles well off the ground) and later moved up in the ranks and, I’d like to think, served their country honorably.  My father, who also earned a purple heart, thought Vietnam was bullshit that ended up wasting the lives of over 50 K U.S. soldiers and thousands more Vietnamese lives. By the way, he was a life-long Republican. Disagreeing with the policies of a particular administration doesn’t make you any less of a patriot.

In any case, our respective educational levels are irrelevant to any questions of moral authority. Robert McNamara, Sec. of Defense under Johnson, and Henry Kissinger, Sec. of State under Nixon, were two hypereducated, supersmart guys. They were also architects of mass murder.

3. I’m not arguing with over “how the war is being fought;” I’m arguing with you over why it’s being fought—-and what the long-term consequences of that fight may be. But since you brought it up, why did the Bushies fail to have a realistic scenario about how a highly nationalistic people would react an invading/occupying army? Why did Rummy at the start of this thing consistently oppose sending in more troops to get the job done right? Why did he fail to supply those troops with adequate body armor——or even, in some cases, food? And, stateside, why did the Bushies campaign aggressively to reduce G.I. benefits and services for our returning heroes? I’ve seen how this country has fucked over Vietnam vets and I fully expect it to do likewise to our Iraq vets.

As for the N.Y. Times, they may have bee around since 1853, but that still doesn’t mean they always know what they’re doing. Judith Miller, their key Iraq reporter, was a willing shill for the administrations horseshit about those nonexistent WMD’s until overwhelming evidence to the contrary forced them to apologize for her misleading their readers.

4. Do you really want to Swift-Boat those generals who dared to oppose this insane Iraq adventure?  How do you know what their political views or party affiliations are. Maybe they just didn’t want their soldiers to die for a lie.

5. I fully recognize the disastrous policies—-foreign and domestic—-that Democratic presidents have helped author.

A. I am not a fan of “Give ‘em hell, Harry.” Yes, “liberal” President Truman was responsible for the Korean [undeclared] War debacle. Much of the rationale for that “police action” [nice euphemism!] was articulated in a National Security Council report (NSC 68, 1950) that urged abandoning “containment” of Communist aggressors with an active “rolling back” of Communism.

In the process of implementing these recommendations, Truman helped create the National Security State [see A Cross of Iron : Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954, by Michael J. Hogan]. “How can we prepare for total war without becoming a ‘garrison state’ and destroying the very qualities and virtues and principles we originally set out to save?” asked a New York Times military-affairs columnist in 1947 as the Cold War was commencing.
As it turned out, we did become a garrison state and many of our democratic [note: small “d”]  “qualities and virtues and principles” were damaged if not destroyed..

Almost 60 years later, the original Cold War (along with the Soviet Union) has vanished, but the underlying mentality and its policy justifications remain intact (hence the continued erosions of civil liberties in the name of Homeland Security). 

Ironically, it was a Dwight D. Eisenhower—-former WWII general, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, and 34th (Republican)President of the U.S.—-who, despite authorizing all those covert interventions abroad, at least had the foresight to warn us against the depredations of the “military-industrial complex.”

B. Since I spent many of my late teen and early adult years opposing the Vietnam War, I am fully aware of the role two Democratic presidents (Kennedy and Johnson) played in of the creation and escalation of that little adventure.

6. Final point: I am not a “liberal,” much less a Democrat, at least as you seem to define those terms. Unlike you, I’m not strapped into some ideological straitjacket   that forces me to divide the world of politics into a Manichean struggle between the Forces of Light vs. the Children of Darkness.

Years ago, Gore Vidal pretty much summed up my feelings about our sacred two-party system: “. . .[t]here is only one party in the United States, the Property party. . .and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt—-until recently. . .and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.” 

My distaste for many conventional liberals is temperamental and is largely a matter of style rather than substance, since I tend to agree with many of their social and political goals. What I don’t agree with is the wussy-pussy manner in which those goals are expressed. Liberals are just so goddam nice.

When it comes to debate, liberals by and large have become overdomesticated—-groomed out of their fighting instincts in the name of some illusory standard of civility. Of course, Ann Coulter is a relentless self-promoter, not to mention a lying psychopathic cunt. Then why not just say “Ann Coulter is a relentless self-promoter, not to mention a lying psychopathic cunt” rather than offering her a forum for flogging her latest one-word-title hack job and wasting everyone’s time by pretending she has something serious to say?

Answer: because oh-so-polite-and-fair liberals believe in “dialogue,” the free exchange of ideas, and good manners. But Coulter is interested only in her one-person monologue, has no ideas to exchange, and behaves like Attila the Hun on crack. 

So where, say, Allan Colmes would murmur, “Really, Ann, I have to respectfully disagree with your statements about the Jersey Girls,” I’d cut to the chase and say, “Oh, fuck off, bitch” and find an adversary worthy of my attention.

7. Forty years ago Norman Mailer wrote a book titled Why Are We in Vietnam? We never got a satisfactory answer. So, John, forty years later: Why Are We in Iraq?

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By Freedem, July 11, 2006 at 4:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Blueboy & John

You make my point better than I did, Indeed I was not aware lower ranked officers still had to come from college first, but sadly that does not mean a good education in social understanding, much less the special understanding of such an alien culture, much less a good grasp of the language.

You describe well the dangers and fears you have in busting into peoples’ houses. And those dangers and fears are no different if the house is of a major player, or just some poor shlub of a similar name or just pissed off your informant somehow.

My main point was(as Mr Rosen pointed out)that boy scout chior boys could not help but make more terrorists than they kill under such circumstances.

Indeed the tv show “cops” is very enlightening. These guys are ON TV! They know it. The tv guy is standing there, and still I have watched the level of human rights degrade over time from when the show first aired. I have to keep reminding myself “these guys are on their BEST behavior”.

Indeed they are trained to “be nice” in a civil society. That is what makes a civil society(!) If the cops, or soldiers forced to be cops, are brutal, PEOPLE WON’T LIKE THEM. They will do all they are able to make their life difficult, and give aid and comfort to those who oppose them, and the society will decend into barbarism.

One doesn’t need metaphysics to see Karma at work, it is just that the actual bad guys aren’t always the ones taking the punishment.

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By John, July 10, 2006 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment
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In regards to comment #13408 by Paul Kibble, I’m still noticing how you liberals fail to mention the atrocities committed on a daily basis by the insurgents while condemning the U.S. military for a few sporadic incidents.  I don’t condone what those soldiers have done, and I make no excuses for them.  Liberals, on the other hand, seem to have a history of excusing such things.

I’ll grant you, it was a well thought out column.  However, if you wish to continue with your “I’m obviously educated so therefore I am a higher moral authority than the knuckle dragging grunts” attitude, I will continue with my “Until you have been there, keep your mouth shut” comments.  I’ve been shot at.  I’ve chased bad guys.  I’ve cleaned up the sites of car bombings. 

Now, about how the war is being fought.  Maybe it is just my common sense, but I don’t know if I would walk down to the New York Times and tell them how to print a newspaper.  They’ve been doing it since 1851, and they are probably pretty good at it by now.  So, I’m not real sure where all you liberals that have never served a day in the military come in criticizing the warfighting ability of an institution that has existed for over 200 years for one purpose: to fight wars.  Sure, you might have a couple of liberal ex-generals toeing your line.  That could be the reason they are ex-generals. 

Now, I’m finding it very very interesting that liberals are dropping the hammer on the Republicans over the war on terror, and Iraq in particular.  I guess the collective memory of liberals doesn’t reach back far enough to remember that there were Democratic presidents in office that got us into World War 2, Korea, and Vietnam.  World War 2, I can forgive Roosevelt for that one.  Now, I’d like to hear the liberal justification for Korea and Vietnam, oh, and guess what guys?  Since Bush catches the rap for all the atrocities committed by a few deranged joes in Iraq, the Democrats get to take credit for everything in Korea and Vietnam, to include the huge casualty count suffered by the Americans. 

As to comment #13387 by Hallelujah Jones, I can assure you, they are cowards.  Met any of them lately?  I didn’t think so.  As for your comments on the cowardly nature of Bush and Cheney, perhaps you should look in the mirror.  Since I’m noticing you aren’t in uniform and in combat, perhaps calling the president and vice president cowards is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black. 

Yes Miss Jones, I can tell the difference between right and wrong.  I am also noticing that your comparison to Ireland means nothing.  England was trying to dominate Ireland, whereas we are slowly turning Iraq over to the Iraqi military.  Maybe if you had been there, you would know that.  I’ve been on a number of missions where there were only 2 of us Americans and an interpreter.  All we did was observe and advise the Iraqis. 

As to your uneducated soldier argument, those of us in Special Forces are required to do 6 months of intensive language training.  Watch Discovery channel, maybe you will learn something.  They’re always doing specials on us. 

By “morally brave” you must mean those who would rather desert than serve.  Fine.  Let them go.  I don’t want a quitter with me.  To be quite honest, that is the kind of person who is going to think about shooting back while his friends are being shot at.  I want someone I know will return fire, not sit there and debate the moral implications of killing an armed man who happens to be emptying a gun in your direction. 

I figured I would save the best for last.  To quote you directly: “defending their country and their own people from an evil, raping, looting, murderous, criminal invading army.”  Now, genius, do you really think the Iraqi people were better off when Saddam was in power?  Nevermind the fact that he had murdered 300,000 of his own people.  Or that he had actual detention facilities for the sole purpose of raping women.  I guess that since he had a proven formula for dealing with insurgents (he simply destroyed the entire family, or village) you could say that he was more effective than we are.  Or, perhaps maybe you think that whole using chemical weapons on the Kurds was just an accident using commercial pesticide.  I’ve been to those places, and I have talked to those people.  You liberals are big fans of “The man on the street” kind of stuff.  Go on over there and talk to the Kurds about life under Saddam.  See what they have to say. 

To screw up your end quote a bit, “I am disappointed to know that there are those who think they are decent human beings in America yet can’t tell the difference between right and wrong.”

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By paul kibble, July 10, 2006 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
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Re:Comment #13355 by John

I’ve never seen a more perfect embodiment of the old couplet: “Ours not to reason why/ Ours to simply do or die.” You obviously know what you’re doing when when it comes to CQB. You just as obviously have no idea why you’re doing it.

As payback for 9/11? Sorry, wrong target—-although thanks to our occupation of Iraq, there are now plenty of Al Q. recruits in Saddamland.(With your vast mlitary expertise, you should be familiar with the real-world concept of “blowback.”) WMD’s? “Humanitarian” intervention to topple a dictator?

Of course that last faux-rationale (“They’ll welcome us as liberators!”) is the one currently favored by the Bushies since the previous casi belli have been exposed as bullshit.

But, alas, this high-moral messianism is belied by your brutal Realpolitik. Here’s my favorite passage: “You want to know why there are so many civilian casualties?  It is because until the bad guys grab a gun, they are civilians.  It’s not like they put on a uniform, go to basic training, and get listed as part of a foreign army.  They dig up their AK and RPG launchers in the back yard, and they go ambush a convoy.  Or they drop an IED by the side of the road on their way to the market.  Or they drive a VBIED into a checkpoint.  Welcome to the world of paranoia and overreaction, but it keeps your ass alive.”

And if you wind up with a few Iraqi dead asses—-hey, as we used to say of all those collaterally napalmed Vietnamese 30 years ago, “Sorry about that.” Since all civilians are potential bad guys, then we their American counterparts just have to understand that the stresses of war are going to make incidents like Haditha inevitable. But since Haditha isn’t “really” a My-Lai style atrocity, our outsider’s opinion doesn’t matter, any more than the alleged rape/murder by Pfc Green of that Iraqi woman, or the abuses at Abu Ghraib that so upset those wussies from the Red Cross, etc., matter. We pussy-ass liberals Just Don’t Get It.

But apparently some of those military tribunals don’t get it either, since all of these inconvenient charges are being filed against some of the alleged perps (obviously to placate these whining liberals and their ivory-tower idesas about justice.)

Odd that under even extreme combat conditions most of our guys behave homorably and—-unlike you—-don’t use the you’d-have-to-be-there shtick as a universal get-out-of-jail-free card.I know onw Iraqi combat vet he is horrified and disgusted by Haditha.

So, the Iraq occupation has become about just surviving at any cost. But wait: didn’t we tell the Iraqis that we were bringing them the lovely gift of democracy, which presumably includes such elements of the Western ethical tradition as, oh, I don’t know, refraining from shooting someone because he MIGHT be an insurgent. We were going to teach them our superior values by word and by—-oooops—-deed.

Unfortunately, some of deeds look pretty close to the shit the Iraqis had to endure under Saddam’s murderous regime. If you take a leetle peek at American history, you’ll find that “Shoot first and ask questions later” and “Kill ‘em all—-let God sort ‘em out” has proved a less than successful strategy for winning the hearts and minds of an occupied people.

Oh, and as for the white-knight-to-the-rescue foreign policy that we’ve used to justify invading all these despotic countries, well,  as Andrew Bacevich recently noted in a review of Stephen Kinzer’s Overthrow:

“When targeting some offending potentate for retirement, Kinzer notes, Washington has seldom if ever acted for altruistic reasons. ‘Every time the United States has set out to overthrow a foreign government, its leaders have insisted that they are acting not to expand American power but to help people who are suffering.’”

“In reality, however, the suffering of the oppresse has never figured as more than an afterthought. ‘What distinguishes Americans from citizens of past empires,’ writes Kinzer, ‘is their eagerness to persuade themselves that they are acting out of humanitarian motives.’ But Kinzer recognizes this as poppycock; like any great power, the United States has set its policy according to self-interest. Whether in Latin America, the Asia-Pacific or the Persian Gulf, the United States has seen regime change as a means for improving economic access, shoring up political stability and enhancing American control.”

Welcome to the real Real World.

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By hallelujah jones, July 10, 2006 at 11:07 am Link to this comment
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John, the Iraqui insurgents aren’t cowards, they’re the bravest of the brave, defending their country and their own people from an evil, raping, looting, murderous, criminal invading army.

The British called the IRA ‘cowardly’ too but they had to negotiate with our Irish freedom fighters in the end, just as the US will have to do in order to get itself out of Iraq.

Bush is a coward. Cheney is a coward. They shirked Vietnam. I don’t think your individual soldiers are cowards but they’re not very educated for their job. Couldn’t they have taken a crash course in Arabic before travelling east or are they not educated enough for that?

Your bravest soldiers are the morally brave, the soldiers who refuse to engage in the US administration’s war crimes. They stand up for honour and justice and preserve a little of the once good reputation of America at a time when your government drags that once proud name through the filth and slime of torture, illegal internment and pre-emptive war.

I am relieved to know that there are still decent human beings in America who can tell the difference between right and wrong.

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By Blueboy1938, July 10, 2006 at 7:20 am Link to this comment
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Apparantly, Mr. Jackson, you are not familiar with the term “volunteer” as applied to today’s military by everyone in acadamia, the media, and in common parlance.  It has been used ever since the draft ended in 1973 to describe a military force that is not based on conscription.  Of course they are paid.  Of course some enter because of economic reasons, one of which is the substantial educational bonuses promised.  However, they chose to enter the military of their own free will, which is a “voluntary” action.  Please don’t let semantics be the sum total of the reasoning regarding this issue.  As I pointed out in my last post, not only do those “volunteer” military (Army) recruits have a higher rate of high school graduation (98% as opposed to 75% in the 18-24 year old segment of the general population), educational levels actually increased after 9/11.  Doesn’t that imply that a good number of more highly educated individuals decided that it was important to them to take part in the so called war on terror?  The fact that war has been derailed by an administration so intent on “getting” Saddam (Bush: “Thet wuz th’ guy th’t trahd t’ keel mah dad!”) that the main targets, al Quaeda and bin Laden, were ignored doesn’t change their pretty selfless motivation.  Demonizing our military is beside the point.  Concerted action to overturn the constipated Republican congressional majority in November is the real deal.

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By John, July 9, 2006 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In response to comment #13326 by David, if my post is an invitation to commit atrocities then welcome to what the world looks like on the ground.  I’ve never seen an atrocity committed.  I’ve never committed an atrocity.  The people I have worked with are too professional for that kind of stuff.

Now, I’m interested in your definition of atrocity.  Abu Ghraib?  Gitmo?  Damn, I went through tougher stuff during S.E.R.E. school.  An atrocity is 9/11. 

You take issue with “Nice guys finish last” and you toss My Lei out as an example of an atrocity.  OK, that’s one from 40 years ago.  Ever read the accounts of the widespread campaigns of terror that the VC waged on the population?  On the Vietnam note, I suppose we could cut and run from Iraq, just like the liberals had us do back then.  I mean, they all thought the idea was absurd that communism and genocide would take over the region after we left.  Now, fast forward to the present.  How about the daily insurgent activity?  You want atrocity, read what those cowards do every day.  The recently inhumane torture and beheading of American soldiers, the past beheadings of civilians on video, the intentional bombings of mosques and markets by the insurgents.  Funny how I don’t see you mentioning that stuff.  After all, those American soldiers were being nice guys.  However, you seem to believe that we, as Americans, are morally superior to the insurgents. 

This is interesting:  “I am not stupid or insane enough to believe that we can butcher our way to any semblance of victory.”  You obviously believe that the insurgents can butcher their way to some semblance of a victory.  They plan on being as cruel and inhumane as they can, both to the Iraqis and Americans, hoping to drive us out.  After all, according to the liberals, there is no way that country would collapse into chaos after we left.

Perhaps you should get some experience in the real world before you criticize those of us that live in it.

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By Charlie Jackson, July 9, 2006 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A poster above said,

“The current volunteer armed services are filled by the best educated and best trained personnel they have ever seen.”

1. It’s not volunteer….they get paid.

2. If they’re so well educated, then why are they working in Iraq and not Wall Street, an American hospital or a high-technology company.

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