(what's this?)
Discussion Forum
Headline Archive
Video Archive
Audio Archive
Document Archive
POAC counter- spin
Daily Email Newsletter
Postal newsletter
POAC Store
Recommended Books
POAC Myspace 
You can have POAC headlines emailed to you every day free of charge. Subscribe here


Paper or plastic? NO! Earth-friendly reinforced canvas grocery totes now available in the POAC store
If you are presently serving in the military or in the Delayed Enlistment Program and beginning to rethink your participation, here are resources to help you.
Your ad here: $50/week or $150/month Click for details

 Contributing Columnists

Tj Templeton
Jack Dalton
Anwaar Hussain
Doris Colmes
Crisis Papers
Vincent L Guarisco
W. David Jenkins III
Dr. Steven Jonas
Lucinda Marshall
Jason Miller
Andrew Wahl
Rowan Wolf
Reader Submissions

POAC merchandise:

T-shirts, fleece, tank-tops, prints, magnets and more...


Must-see Selections

14 points of fascism
Sept. 11: They Let it happen 
A brief history of the PNAC: a refresher 
Bush Cronyism
Catapulting the propaganda: The Rendon group
The office of special plans
The Whitehouse Iraq Group

POAC ENDORSED: The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001 to 2022 

F r o m   t h e Archives

National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive makes Bush dictator in event of a terrorist attack or disaster
Former Reagan official says "something's in the works" to trigger a police state (Held over)
Whitehouse denies member of the Homeland Security Committee right to examine plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack.
Iran-contra all over again. (Video) "Explosive" new Hersh scoop: Bush funneling money to Al Qaeda-related groups
Must see: What happens at Facebook.com does not stay at Facebook.com
Dateline 2002: "This is a memo that describes how we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq..."


Still Losing the "War on Terrorism"
Rowan Wolf

While the devastation and debacles of hurricanes have pushed the news to lower priority, the "war on terrorism" proceeds. What is interesting is that for many the overlap of U.S. presence in Iraq (in particular) and lack of federal preparedness for natural disaster have greatly increased opposition to the "war." However, the actual news of the "war" - particularly in Iraq - has largely been delegated to the back pages. Now that news is starting to come back, and things certainly appear to have gotten worse while it was not receiving headline attention.

Folks may have been startled this week by the news that what little "progress" had been made in training and deploying the Iraqi military have gone backwards. In an update report to Congress, the military reported that there as actually been a decline in the number of Iraqi battalions ready to function independently (see also related article). It went from three battalions to one. There was no reason given for why things are moving backwards in terms of Iraqi military readiness, but since Bush has predicated U.S. exit on Iraq's ability to defend itself, this decreases any significant troop draw down in the near future. Rumsfeld, always the optimist, said that readiness was improving and that the loss of two independent battalions was "insignificant" ( Wa. Post).

Given the billions the U.S. is spending on the war in Iraq and on the military in general, the "Army of One" may not be particularly effective. The U.S. is now buying bullets from Israel. Apparently, it is taking about 250,000 bullets for every "rebel" killed by the U.S. forces, and we have overrun our domestic bullet production. But more bullets are certainly needed as US troops launch another massive attack on villages on the Syrian border in an effort to root out "al Qaeda." This is the fourth major offensive in the area in the last four months.

While the U.S. spin machine continues to claim that the "insurgency" problem is being caused by "foreign" fighters, estimates are that only 4 to 10 percent of the insurgents are actually from outside Iraq. This should make folks take notice. Since the ongoing fighting and "offensives" are aimed at rooting out "terrorist" groups - particularly Al Qaeda, and there was virtually no terrorist presence in Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion, and the number of "foreign fighters" are estimated to be so low, then it is Iraqi's who are rising up. If "terrorist organizations" are proliferating in Iraq, it is Iraqi's who are forming them. The two scenarios that seem most likely to me are: 1) Iraqi's are violently tired of the occupation of their country; and 2) that we are seeing an emerging civil war in an internal struggle for power in Iraq. Or perhaps it is both. Certainly there is a power struggle going on in Iraq, and "Officials Fear Chaos if Iraqis Vote Down the Constitution"

An increasing "insurgency" seems reasonable if recent accounts of random firing on Iraqi civilians are as widespread as they seem to be.

Of Prisoners and Torture
An item that has been significantly kept out of the news is the growing hunger strike at Guantanamo. In mid-July, prisoners at Guantanamo Bay started a hunger strike to protest conditions at the camp (Independent article posted at Red NOVA). Those "conditions" include sexual humiliation, and human and religious rights violations. The military is placing protesting inmates on IV's. My guess is that is not a voluntary treatment, and may actually be increasing the number of those participating in the hunger strike. Initial reports were of a hunger protest by 52 "detainees," but now that number is over 200.

More reports of torture (from 2003 to 2004) as common have surfaced recently. A report from Human Rights Watch had testimony from soldiers about the pervasiveness of torture and ill treatment of Iraqi detainees. According to a Reuters's article:

"three U.S. army personnel-two sergeants and a captain-describe routine, severe beatings of prisoners and other cruel and inhumane treatment. In one incident, a soldier is alleged to have broken a detainee's leg with a baseball bat. Detainees were also forced to hold five-gallon jugs of water with their arms outstretched and perform other acts until they passed out. Soldiers also applied chemical substances to detainees' skin and eyes, and subjected detainees to forced stress positions, sleep deprivation, and extremes of hot and cold. Detainees were also stacked into human pyramids and denied food and water. The soldiers also described abuses they witnessed or participated in at another base in Iraq and during earlier deployments in Afghanistan.

According to the soldiers' accounts, U.S. personnel abused detainees as part of the military interrogation process or merely to "relieve stress." In numerous cases, they said that abuse was specifically ordered by Military Intelligence personnel before interrogations, and that superior officers within and outside of Military Intelligence knew about the widespread abuse. The accounts show that abuses resulted from civilian and military failures of leadership and confusion about interrogation standards and the application of the Geneva Conventions. They contradict claims by the Bush administration that detainee abuses by U.S. forces abroad have been infrequent, exceptional and unrelated to policy. "

This report undermines the "few bad apples" defense of the U.S. military and the Bush administration. Perhaps recognizing this, District Judge Alvin Hellerstein (NY) order the release of more torture photos that the Pentagon is withholding. However, that has not stopped the prosecution of soldiers indicted for participating in that torture. Lynndie England has been found guilty of conspiracy and mistreatment of prisoners, and now faces up to nine years in prison. Since thus far the Military and the Administration have largely shielded the higher ups (and Bush administration) from even being questioned, it is hard to say how more evidence of a policy of torture plays into events. It seems that once again, the ones who give the orders will escape any accountability.

So things are not going well at home or abroad. Money and resources have been diverted from little things like disaster preparedness into a very expensive war in Iraq, and expensive "homeland security" measures domestically. Five years of bad policy seem to be coming home to roost and U.S. credibility and Bush invincibility seem to be further eroding. However, there truly seems no thought that the administration might change course. Instead, they Secretary of State is still out there arguing that democracy at the end of a gun is valid and necessary - even if you have to import your bullets from Israel.

Rowan Wolf is a columnist for Project for the Old American Century,  
and the editor of 
Radical Noesis and Uncommon Thought Journal . 
Her email is [email protected]

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information please review Title 17, Sec. 107 of the U.S. Code. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

privacy policy

© 2002- 2007  OLDAmericanCentury.org and OLDAmericanCentury.com