Still Losing the "War on Terrorism"
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.
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
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
"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.
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.
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.
© 2002- 2007 OLDAmericanCentury.org and OLDAmericanCentury.com