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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Anti Climax as told by me...

Looking back on my and my team's accomplishments it seems like the end of our tour will be anticlimactic. Even after capturing and ridding Iraq of many 'bad men' so many more have only come to take up the fight against us. How could this be? Perhaps it is because we have become "the Red Coats" in the eyes of the Iraqis, and to them this is their own version of our revolutionary war...

I can not tell you that is true however, for I am not an Iraqi, so in closing I must say that this, like most things on my blog, is but my humble observation and nothing more.

48 comments:

Hurria said...

"Looking back on my and my team's accomplishments...Even after capturing and ridding Iraq of many 'bad men' so many more have only come to take up the fight against us."

So, that's what makes them "bad men"? The fact that they fight against you? And no doubt, being an intelligent and thoughtful person, it has occurred to you that if you hadn't shocked and awed and killed and destroyed your way into Iraq there wouldn't be any "bad men" there fighting against you?

And so this is what you consider your teams "accomplishments". Capturing and "ridding Iraq of" (i.e. killing) "bad men" whom you caused to exist by your deadly and destructive and criminal invasion of a foriegn country that posed no threat to anyone. Congratulations on your great "accomplishments".

Kitty Antonik Wakfer said...

Hurria, Zach did use quote marks (" "), which in English signifies that he is giving a special meaning to the words enclosed. If he had not used them, then you could rightly criticize him as you did. I interpret his use of "bad men" in this manner (inside quotes) as a quotation by others, rather than as his own thoughts.

But, Zach, you are in a unique position of being an Arabic translator and therefore - far more than most soldiers in Iraq - able to actually understand directly what is said to you and in your presence by Iraqis. Can you read posters, signs, newspapers, etc. in Arabic? All of these sources should provide you with understanding of at least what the speakers/writers think about the US military presence. You can know if you want to - listen carefully and even ask questions. Now what you do with that information is another question - but it's still yours to answer.

Hurria said...

"Perhaps it is because we have become "the Red Coats" in the eyes of the Iraqis, and to them this is their own version of our revolutionary war..."


Very, very bad analogy, Zach. The "Red Coats" were the forces of the country that originally colonized, populated, and developed the area, and who were trying to retain the territory it had invested in. You are a foreign invader that forced its way without any right whatsoever into a sovereign state by means of massive deadly and destructive force and that has continued to kill, destroy, and oppress in for going on three years now in order to force your will on the country and its people. You are a foreign presence that has, by its own actions, made itself increasingly unwelcome.

This is not the equivalent of your revolutionary war, this is a legitimate attempt by Iraqis to rid itself of a foreign invader that never had any business setting foot on the soil of their country.

yong said...

Zach,
I am so sorry for you. But Hurria is absolutely right, no matter how you cut it. A very bad gig, as I've written before.

When you're back home safe, please don't hate the Middle East and its people. If we lived in a saner world, we would all be friends.

Take care & be safe.

Anonymous said...

amerikans ingest far too much aspartame. its why they are all nuts.

avoid all their foodstuffs, otherwise you'll become just as crazy as them.

Snag said...

Hurria,
I actually thought the "redcoat" analogy was somewhat appropos. By your own admission we helped install Hussein in the 60's (via the CIA) and Iraq's geographical boundries were established by the British sometime before. The analogy only breaks down when considering recent history and that many Iraqi's now consider their state based on national, rather than cultural divides with no cultural link to the west.
I also agree with Kitty Antonik Wakfer regarding the nuance that is conveyed by the use of quotation marks.
A question I have, and I don't really have an answer for it myself, so I ask in good faith.
What if we were only to have destroyed Husseins regime/governmental apparatus and not have occupied afterward?
Or, if we had made good on our offer to the Shiites and Kurds that we would back them in an overthrow of the government (this one I feel would have also produced a very bad outcome)?

yong said...

Sorry snag, I know it was posed for Hurria & I hope she replies, but your questions made my fingers itch:

What if we were only to have destroyed Husseins regime/governmental apparatus and not have occupied afterward?
Or, if we had made good on our offer to the Shiites and Kurds that we would back them in an overthrow of the government (this one I feel would have also produced a very bad outcome)?


These are questions that would make me go bonkers if I tried to work them out. So, I'll just stick to what I know.
1. Hussein's regime has been destroyed.
2. Iraq is still occupied by US troops.
3. There is a question of validity about going to war in the first place.

No matter how you spin this situation, I can only come back to my original conviction that people have a right to determine their own fate, and not have it chosen for them. Not by Hussein, not by the US and not by any puppet government installed by the US. - spare me the rhetoric on democracy - it hasn't made the dead come to life, hasn't brought peace, and hasn't unified the country. Most of all, it's monstrous that so many people have died, and will continue to die for the spurious reason of removing a lousy dictator from power. Hurria is absolutely right to point out that the US had no right to invade and turn these people's lives upside down. Life and earning a living is hard enough without idiots with grand delusions ruining it for less fortunate people of the world.

When will people learn that imposing your will on another person, whether for good reasons or bad is basically evil? Can the West ever understand this most basic principle?

All the best, Yong

Anonymous said...

Right on, Yong.

Peace etc
taff

Hurria said...

Snag,

The Redcoat analogy makes no sense whatsoever historically or in recent terms! Britain did not invade and occupy the colonies. Britain established the colonies, governed them legitimately and legally, and invested in their development. Whether the revolutionaries accepted it or not, Britain was the legal legitimate sovereign in the American colonies, and was legitimately protecting its interest in fighting to maintain that status.

The U.S., on the other hand, embarked on a massively deadly and destructive war of aggression against an independent sovereign, independent, and has proceeded to use the most horrific means in its attempt to impose its will illegitimately on that country and its people. There is nothing legitimate whatsoever about the U.S. presence there, or its activities or its intentions.

The resistance forces in Iraq are not seeking independence from the colonial power that created, supported, and legally held sovereignty over their country, but from a brutal, destructive, illegitimate occupation initiated in a war of aggression.

Iraqis' sense of identity is not something recent. They have had a sense of regional identity for centuries, and have never accepted foreign domination even before there was a state there. They fought for independence from Ottoman rule long before WWI, and from British rule following WWI. When Iraq became a state the sense of regional identity quickly became a sense of national identity. What is recent is not Iraqis' sense of national identity, but what you call the "cultural divides", which grew significant under Saddam, and has been enormously exacerbated by the Bush administration.

Hurria said...

"What if we were only to have destroyed Husseins regime/governmental apparatus and not have occupied afterward?"

This question contains the implied - and extremely bizarre - assumption that it is in any way legitimate or in any way acceptable for a foreign power to go in at will and destroy the regime/governmental apparatus of a sovereign state. Since this is not legitimate or acceptable your question is not a legitimate one.

The bottom line is that the U.S. had no right on earth to do anything to Iraq or its government, and should have stayed the hell out.

"Or, if we had made good on our offer to the Shiites and Kurds that we would back them in an overthrow of the government (this one I feel would have also produced a very bad outcome)?"

First, the offer was not made to the Shi`as and the Kurds by any means. The call for an uprising was not directed at the Shi`as and the Kurds, or at the Iraqi people, but at members of the regime and the military officers. The intention was to get rid of Saddam while keeping the regime in place. When it turned out to be a popular uprising, and mainly by Shi`as and Kurds this did not fit the plan at all, and what ensued was one of the most shameful aspects of the first Bush regime, as the U.S. did not merely stand aside as Saddam's military brutally crushed the rebellion, but actually facilitated the slaughter.

The bottom line, Snag, is that when it comes to Iraq everything the U.S. touches it manages to transform into a huge stinking pile of s***, so it had better keep its hands off of Iraq than try to interfere.

Hurria said...

PS: Snag, you seem not to understand that it is not up to you or to the U.S. to manipulate outcomes for Iraqis, or to decide what is a good and what is a bad outcome. Just stay out of Iraq's business for once, and let Iraqis decide and manage their fate whether they do it badly or well, or whether you consider the outcome good or bad. Looking in particular at the last 15 years, and most especially at the last nearly 3 years, the Iraqis can hardly help doing better for themselves than you have no matter now ineptly or incompetently they may handle the job.

banana said...

Hurria said: "This is not the equivalent of your revolutionary war, this is a legitimate attempt by Iraqis to rid itself of a foreign invader that never had any business setting foot on the soil of their country."

whoa whoa Hurria, hold your horses.

I agree with you, that we should have never gone; and I criticize the Democrats who voted for the war. They can't use the excuse that "they were lied to by Bush's 16 words," because they should definitely have more knowledge and intelligence than I did back then; and I have been opposed to this wrongful invasion since the start.

However, please do not belittle our Revolutionary War. ALL Revolutionary Wars are legitimate when you are victorious over an oppressor.
It is not an either or situation. It's best not to let yourself get caught into such false analyses.

Peace,
Hannah

Hurria said...

Dear Hannah,

Sorry, if I gave the wrong impression. I did not mean that your revolutionary war was not legitimate, though I can understand why you might have taken it that way. What distinguishes the Iraqi resistance to U.S. occupation from your revolutionary war is not that one is legitimate and the other is not but a number of other factors.

Kitty Antonik Wakfer said...

Hurria, most USers ("Americans" is IMO a poor term - Canadians, Mexicans and all those residents of Central and South America are Americans too), especially those less than ~50, have a scanty understanding of the USA founding history. The textbooks used in US government schools (and most attend and are indoctrinated by these from the age of 5) give a limited and slanted view of what took place in the earliest years prior to, during and shortly after the creation of the country. Even worse is the failure by most to understand that it is not simply the current president and his associates who are responsible for the increasingly fascist practices of the US government. These measures have been active and increasing since early in the 20th century, with the ground fertile for their placement going back to the very words of the US Constitution itself. The use of the collective "we" (and "us" and "our") within the founding documents implies that in regard to those documents, all US citizens were in agreement rather than merely those who actually signed them, but this was and is far from the truth. This practice of using "we" continues today by many people who fail to understand (or ignore the fact) that they can not speak for others who have not given them specific authority to do so.

Those who speak about the US Revolutionary War as though they were alive at that time and, more so, understood the background and activities that took place during that time are almost always far less knowledgeable than would be best for them. If these individuals fully understood the foundational principles underlying these issues - and the US invasion and occupation of Iraq is just one of numerous currently - they would realize that the governments (US and others too) are the problem. Homo sapien sapiens have come a great way in the many tens of thousands of years since appearing on earth. Scientific and technological advances have been plentiful; individuals can profit from the knowledge available and create a society that is improved over the best of the past. Despite what most USers appear to think, what exists now in the US is far from optimum as an orderly society for maximally free, unrestricted and happy individuals. But moving towards that goal is very possible for those who are willing to take self-responsibility.


**Kitty Antonik Wakfer

MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
Reality based tools for more life in quantity and quality
Self-Sovereign Individual Project - http://selfsip.org
Rational freedom by self-sovereignty & social contracting

Anonymous said...

Hurria,

Sorry to nit-pick on a minor point, but as a Brit I can assure you that we certainly did invade the Americas - just ask the Native Americans. The US war of independence was simply about one bunch of white people fighting another bunch of white people for control of somebody else's land. Not a great analogy for Iraq, though - sorry Snag!

taff

Hurria said...

Taff,

Yes, of course, you are right, but as you know the U.S. war of independence was not about the native population of a sovereign state trying to expel a foreign invader from their land. You put it very well and succinctly.

Anonymous said...

far too much aspartame, diet coke and fries in thet 'muriKan minumum daily requirement.

Snag said...

I don't mean to imply that Iraq's resistence is completely analogous, but I wanted to make a point to the more simplistic argument that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."
I'm glad someone pointed out the native population of the America's.
I also think the assumption was made that becuase I posed a question about possible policy and courses of action, that I advocated those policies. I think it is perfectly legitimate to discuss other possible actions that the U.S. might have taken, rightly or wrongly. It is flawed to think that the U.S. for whatever reason would not engage Iraq in some form or another, just as it is naive to think that we don't have some design regarding Iran or Syria. To limit the discussion to only our invasion of Iraq without investigating the bigger picture is intellectually lazy.
Not to be flippant Hurria, but what is done is done. I'm sorry. The fact still remains that the U.S. is currently led by a cabal that has vested interest in maintaining the foreign policy status quo. It also remains that Americans can be myopic and arrogant, and we unfortunately have the guns to reach out and touch someone. There is oil beneath your land and we want it. We still drive too much, we still use too much power, we still have everything plastic wrapped. And honestly, we're not alone. In many ways we're fighting for smaller nations by proxie. So many societies out there enjoy their little extravagances because of our ability to enforce policy with a gun. As long as there are those that profit and remain in power based on the resources in the middle east, this issue ain't going away. our little drop of fuel doesn't seem like much, but enough of us justify the little things, we end up powering the machine that devours. It may only be a drop, but we all have blood on our hands.
Here's another question then. Is it reasonable to expect that the U.S. will stay out of other nation's business particularly if the control of oil is at stake? We can pontificate all we want about the past evils of the nation, but without clearly understanding what those in power will do or are capable of, I think we are in for at least another generation of this.

Anonymous said...

Some of you might be interested in this report on how ordinary Arabs view the USA (and other countries). It doesn't include the views of Iraqis but it should provide food for thought for those who would like to win hearts and minds in the Middle East.

Incidentally, sorry to disagree, Snag, but yes, it is perfectly "reasonable to expect that the U.S. will stay out of other nation's business particularly if the control of oil is at stake". If "your" oil is under "their" desert, then tough luck to you. We both know that's not how the world works, but might is definitely not right, and our efforts should be to do what's right wherever possible.

As you have suggested elsewhere, maybe the USA should address its dependency on oil by cutting its consumption. With its natural resources, technological expertise and world-class research centres, the USA could lead the world in green technology, and make/save a lot of money doing so, but instead the US leads the world in (a) gas-guzzling cars, (b) fat people who eat and drive too much and generally waste far too much energy, and (c) imposing its will on the people of other countries to ensure they hand over the oil to keep items (a) running and items (b) driving.

Simplistic account of US energy policy, I know, but I don't see America rushing to hand control of its natural resources to other nations, so why do Americans think "might is right" when it comes to the US grabbing other people's stuff or expect the brown people to hand it over without a fight?

But you're right, I expect this crap to continue for the rest of my lifetime and then some. Climate change as a result of insane energy policies is just going to add to the conflicts over resources. I hope Zach and his buddies get home safe and stay out of the army, 'cos it's going to be a busy time for the US military and its proxies for years to come.

Peace to all in Iraq and elsewhere

taff

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hog the blog, but some more questions prompted by Snag's robust economic realism above:

* Do Americans think it's reasonable to expect young Americans to kill/die for oil (as opposed to "democracy")?
* How many US soldiers should die per $ million of increased profits or short-term savings on fuel costs to billionaire industrialists?
* What are the financial cost/benefit ratios that US taxpayers would consider reasonable to justify (a) a costly and devastating war for oil in Iraq, (b) political/covert intervention to regain control of oil/gas from elected governments in Venezuela/Bolivia, (c) ethnic cleansing of oil-rich areas in Africa, (d) financial/economic/military support for thugs and crooks in various Central Asian republics to ensure the free flow of oil, (e) more of the same?
* Do the costs of training/equipping/deploying a US soldier who gets killed in Iraq outweight the supposed economic benefits of his deployment in Iraq?
* Do the economic interests of US corporations represent the interests of US citizens e.g. oil-wars in the Middle East vs. outsourcing of jobs across huge sectors of the US economy?
* When soldiers like Zach get home from their masters' oil wars, will there be any jobs for them?

OK, more than enough from me for a while.

taff

Anonymous said...

This is all very interesting, but...

Have you read Toomey's latest post?
Check it out:
http://www.foolsgambit.com/index.php?main=blog%2ephp

You should write about that.

Anonymous said...

The Iraqis are behaving no different that we would if an invasion force landed on our shores and decided to occupy America. We would fight and resist in any way necessary to guarantee victory. We didn't learn a DAMN THING from Vietnam.

-roamer in mich

banana said...

You're right: we haven't learned a damn thing from Vietnam. History has repeated itself, once again.

I predicted at the onset of invading Iraq that this war would meet the same fate as Vietnam. Not militarily but the impression of the war on Americans.
That Americans would eventually realize we were lied to and that this was not a war we should be bothering ourselves with.

30+ years ago, to get Americans to support your war, all the government had to do was cry "They're Communists!" and the people would support their invasions.

Today, to get American people's support they cry "They're Terrorists!" and the Americans buy their lies hook, line, and sinker.

Today, many Americans are opposed to the war in Iraq; and I've met many die-hard republicans (including my father) who regret voting for Bush, and how we wouldn't even be in Iraq with this crisis if Al Gore had been elected.

Hurria, I do agree with you that this war in Iraq is far more egregious than the Revolutionary War that took place in America. And despite the evils that can be wreaked by the government here, I do love my country. My ancestors have been in America for over 30,000 years, because we're Native American Indians on my mom's side.

So this is where i"m from. it's why I find it funny when red-faced white men try to tell me to leave the USA, like they have some owernship right to this country that I don't have, when actually, the reverse is true.

On another note, it's why it's so irritating when fat, red-faced white men complain when Mexicans come to the States to work. If you want to get down to it, many of the Mexicans are indigenous peoples of the New World; and therefore, they have more of a birthright to America than the red-faced xenophobes of America have.

sorry to get off topic. I just want people to understand that it's more complex than just saying that all Americans are ignorant or that the Revolutionary War was not legitimate because it was white guys fighting white guys.

It was about principle; it was about independence from a monarch that wouldn't let people be. It's very similar to Iraq in that way.

Not all of the people that fought in the REvolutionary War were of the upper echelons of American society.

Many Native Americans fought in the Revolutionary War against the monarch, too.

Today, it's not so much about monarchies of the past: instead it's about corporations that function like monarchs, and are now sitting in the White House and in Congress (HCA corporation is the Senator from Tennessee, for example).

it's a travesty, and Regular Americans don't even realize it, but the corporate monarchs dominate us just like they dominate the peoples of Central and South America (vis a vis Wolfowitz of the World Bank); and what they're trying to do in Iraq.

So there needs to be another Revolution in America to throw these corporations out of power, and put it back into the hands of the people.

Hopefully we'll see some of that in 2008.

PubliusK said...

I've been itching to jump in on this but I think you said most of what I had in mind, Banana. Bravo.

Daedalus said...

Bravo, banana. As long as the US is run by Corporatism, these types of wars are going to happen. $$$$$$$ is all they can see.

I'm in on the new revolution thing!

Jamie said...

hurria,

What country do you live in?

I'm just curious...

Adrienne said...

Happy Veterans Day! You are in my thoughts today, as everyday...but today especially. THANK YOU for everything that you have done and are doing. You are a hero! Thank you again. Have a great day! Keep your spirits high!

Lance said...

My humble two cents, for what it's worth...and its not even mine:

"War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children." Jimmy Carter

Zach is right, no matter how many of the 'bad guys' we get, there will be another one around the corner. I don't always know what the answer is, but "killing each other's children" is not it.

SSquirrel said...

Have you seen this? New flash from PeaceTakesCourage I assume you've seen "Someone's". If not you should.

Anonymous said...

On the financial costs of the war: http://www.counterpunch.org/tripp11112005.html

taff

Anonymous said...

Banana: Thanks for your points about the American Revolutionary War. But it's worth remembering that Native Americans fought on both sides - some of them had to move to Canada when "we" Brits lost. But I'm glad the revolutionaries won - I wish we'd got rid of our monarch centuries ago! It's just a shame that from that time to today, America has shifted from electing presidents to anointing (via the Supreme Court) elected kings like Bush I and II.

Viva la revolucion!

taff

banana said...

you're right. indians fought on both sides, kinda like iraqis right now.

i have ancestors that fought on both sides, which has deprived one of my grandmoms from admission to the Daughters of the American Revolution.

On another note: let us not forget and remind the world that many many people have been opposed to this illegal invasion of iraq:

all of the Christian Churches in America, except for the Baptists, came out against the war; including the Methodist Church, of which George Bush happens to be a member.

so if god told Bush to invade iraq, it certainly wasn't while he was in the halls of his Methodist Church!!

I'm only speaking of Christian Churches. I don't know about the other religious groups in America.

oh wait! the Buddhists were opposed to the war in iraq too!

banana said...

here's a link to the churches coming out against the war in iraq in 2002

http://www.ncccusa.org/news/02news82.html

Anonymous said...

Hey Zach,
Tara told me you got your package from me :) I hope you took it in good spirits.
We can't wait for you guys to be home.
Take care
Brooke

Anonymous said...

"bad men" are those who hate Americans. Yes we are in their territory but muslim extremists terrorized us. Sadaam seems to have had no direct involvement with 911 but we know he provided training grounds for Al-Quaida and he applauded when the towers fell. It was only a matter of time. Without going into Iraq, we have no foothold in the Middle East to fight this. If they were smart and just wanted us out of the country, why did they start doing these cowardly suicide attacks and roadside bombings? They hate us anyway, no matter where we are. We'd have probably pulled most of out troops from Iraq months ago if they had just laid low. But muslim extremists could not wait they had a target and went for it. Now the Iraqis pay and those who constantly rag on this war and the "lies" and the abuse do not get it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: quit whining and trying to evade responsibility for the actions of your government. "They hate us anyway" - so that means you don't have to listen to anybody who criticises your actions, huh? Maybe they hate what your government does? "Cowardly suicide attacks" - brutal and murderous, certainly, but smarter than marching up to the US Marines in a red coat, surely? And no, Saddam did not provide "training grounds for Al-Qaida" - Bin Laden hated Saddam and Saddam hated Islamists because they would have threatened his regime. Your own government probably did more to help train the first generation of Osama's jihadis than Saddam did. As for the lies and abuse - you Americans were the prime targets of the lies, and the Iraqis are the targets of the abuse. But you still don't get it, eh?

taff

Anonymous said...

Sorry, anonymous, one slight correction: there were Islamist training grounds in Iraq. But they were in the Kurdish area that we (the US and UK) supposedly controlled, not Saddam. As for 9-11, the terrorists learnt to fly in Florida and were funded by Saudi money, so why not bomb Saudi Arabia or Florida?

taff

Hurria said...

Taff,

Just to clarify, the Islamist group that had facilities in Kurdistan were not, as the Bush administration and the U.S. press continuously claim, "Al Qa`eda affiliated". On the contrary, there was little love lost between that group and Al Qa`eda.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clarifying that one for me (and for anonymous), Hurria.

taff

Cynthia Antoinette said...

Dear snag:

I agree with you. I think the comparison between the British Red Coats and the Iraqi occupation was effective. Sure, lots of things are different about it but as analogies go, they’re simply comparisons between two things that are similar in some respects, not necessarily all, which are used to help explain something or make it easier to understand. And I am grateful that this writer takes the time to tell us what its really like to him. It’s so good to find these blogs, from people who are there! Additionally, I read his notation on “bad men” to mean it as a “quote” by many, and not necessarily how he perceives the situation.

Anonymous said...

All this discussion of the war in Iraq, comparing it to other wars, linking it to the US "Great War On Terror", has got me thinking. Many Americans understandably regard "9/11" as the defining event in their recent history, a unique attack that forced the US to take military action in the Middle East. Meanwhile, many other people regard the actions of the US and its allies as being at least as disastrous for them as 9/11 was to Americans. So let's see if we can compare these different situations.

The 9/11 terrorists murdered around 3000 Americans, out of a population of around 300 million i.e. about 1 in 100,000. So let's make this the unit of terrorist atrocity - we'll call 1 death in 100,000 people "one WTC". Here's how the US experience compares with some of the other countries involved in the GWOT. The figures below are approximate, but they should be roughly correct. The number of deaths in Iraq is hotly disputed, so I'll stick to a relatively low estimate, bearing in mind that Iraqis are dying every day. And I couldn't find any figures at all for Afghanistan.

Country - casualties / population - WTC (one WTC = 1 in 100,000 of population)

USA - 3000 / 300 million - 1 WTC
UK - 55 / 60 million - 0.1 WTC
Spain - 191 / 43 million - 0.44 WTC
Israel - 1000 / 6 million - 17 WTC (since start of current intifada in 2000)
Palestine - 3300 / 3 million - 110 WTC (since start of current intifada in 2000)
Iraq - 35000 / 26 million - 135 WTC (since 2003)

So while the US and the UK governments are the loudest in screaming for a "War On Terror", it looks like the people who are suffering the most, by a massive margin, are Iraqis and Palestinians, who have suffered something like one "9/11" every two weeks (Palestine) and one "9/11" per week (Iraq) in recent years. Also, US casulaties in Iraq (2000+) are now approaching 1 WTC with no end in sight.

Maybe it's time to start thinking about what "our" actions are doing to "them", instead of screaming about what "they" have done to "us". Especially when the people who are suffering the most in this GWOT had nothing to do with any of the major attacks on Western interests in the first place.

Wishing peace and safe home-coming to all in Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Indonesia....

taff

mihael said...

Nice point there taff. Thing is that US had a war on their own soil too far back to remember the pain in their collective memories, while some of us drive by burned houses to war every day, having a grim reminder of what was, and what could be if we're not carreful. As always, the loudest warmongers are those that never held a weapon in their hands. While I mean no dissrespect to the victims of 9/11, those 3000 deaths were used and abused to bring incomparable more death to many other people worldwide, and I am affraid there is more to come. If international law holds any validity, we would see the current US president on trial, but I am sure we will never see that.

dr. strangeglove said...

You guys are over-analyzing the American Revolution.

All I think Zach meant by his Red Coat comment is how the U.S. military appears to the local people of Iraq. That's all. Many North American colonists (but not nearly all) thought the British government and it's army were unwelcome. Non-invading armies can become unwelcome just like invading armies.

Hurria said...

Iraq has been an independent, sovereign state for decades. Iraqis do not view the U.S. military as their version of Red Coats, and they do not view this war as in any way equivalent to the U.S. Revolutionary War. Iraqis view this war as an illegal, illegitimate attempt by an invading foreign power to take control of the country and forcibly transform it into a compliant client state.

Anonymous said...

Get some reality here...

The first fact that should come to mind is that if the anti-iraqi forces (most of whom are not iraqi's themselves) would quit blowing up people (not just US soldiers either... many more innocent iraqi's are targeted than soldiers) then the US would be out of Iraq in about 6 months. The Iraqi's themselves could work out political solutions instead of killing each other.

THAT is the quickest and surest way to end the 'occupation' of Iraq. Why is everyone stuck on the status of US forces when we are LEAVING as soon as possible? That is another area where the redcoats comment doesnt fit -- the British wanted to stay and control... all the US wants is a stable and sane government that will take care of its own people.

Where is the outrage at these bad men -- and yes these terrorists are very, very bad men -- continue to inflict war and death on the Iraqi people?

Hurria said...

"The first fact that should come to mind is that if the anti-iraqi forces (most of whom are not iraqi's themselves) would quit blowing up people (not just US soldiers either... many more innocent iraqi's are targeted than soldiers) then the US would be out of Iraq in about 6 months. The Iraqi's themselves could work out political solutions instead of killing each other."

A nice sounding statement I suppose. The problem with it is that it does not contain any facts - on the contrary, every "fact" in it, with one exception, is actually contrafactual.

1. "anti-iraqi forces" - a standard Bush administration propaganda phrase that has nothing whatsoever to do with reality. In fact, the biggest, and most dangerous anti-Iraq forces are the invading forces that used massive terror tactics - they called it shock and awe - to blast their way into the country, and have continued to use terror, torture, death, and massive destruction in their attempt to impose their will on Iraqis.

2. "(most of whom are not iraqi's themselves)" - This claim is risible, particularly in view of the U.S. military's own repeated reports that non-Iraqis make up only a miniscule percentage of the so-called "insurgency". Recently, for example, the U.S. military reported that they captured some 1,000 "insurgents" in Tal A`far, every single one of which was Iraqi.

3. "many more innocent iraqi's are targeted than soldiers)" - completely contrafactual. The overwhelming majority of the 60-70 "insurgent" attacks each day are directed against occupation forces and/or their Iraqi proxy forces or other elements of the occupation. Independent studies have confirmed this, and so has the U.S. military. For example, a recent study by the Center for Strategic International Studies - hardly a left-wing organization - found that only in 1-2% of all "insurgent" attacks were Iraqi civilians the target.

"the US would be out of Iraq in about 6 months."

The U.S. government, by its own admission, is currenlty building four major permanent military bases in Iraq, each of which amounts to a small all-American city, complete with all the comforts of "home". The U.S. is also planning and staffing, and preparing to build in Iraq by far the largest - and the costliest - embassy in the world. That permanent military bases, and a mega-embassy were both part of the Bush administration plan from the beginning, combined with the fact that they are implementing them indicates that the U.S. plans to maintain a major presence in Iraq indefinitely, not that it intends to be out of Iraq any time soon.

By the way, the U.S. government als maintains control of Iraqi ministries and other aspects of Iraqi "government" via a multitude of so-called "advisors" without whos approval the Iraqis cannot do anything.

"The Iraqi's themselves could work out political solutions instead of killing each other."

Finally, something that makes sense! Iraqis have been living together successfully for centuries. Indeed, if the U.S. left, Iraqis WOULD work out political solutions instead of killing each other. So, given that, as you admit, the U.S. leaving would lead to Iraqis working out political solutions, please explain again your reason for not leaving immediately?

Anonymous said...

Great read.

Lawk Salih
http://www.lawksalih.com

Brain Fart said...

> All I think Zach meant by his Red Coat comment is how the U.S. military
> appears to the local people of Iraq.

The majority of the Iraqi people see the US invaders in the same light the French or Polish saw the Nazis during WW2. Isn't that obvious? And isn't it obvious that they are right? The Iraqi "insurgents" are their version of the "RĂ©sistance", the Warsaw ghetto uprising and underground resistance fighters. From a moral standpoint they are 100% in the right to fight the invaders and collaborators, and in the end they will prevail. Simply because history tells us that is what will happen. The US will get their ass kicked out of the country eventually. The pendulum always swings both ways.

The coming generations of the US population will end up paying the bill, once the house of cards that makes up the deficit driven economy crashes.