Wednesday, December 28, 2005 10:20 AM
GI SPECIAL 3D57: 25/12/05
email@example.com Print it out: color best. Pass it on.
From ArchAngel To Robin Vaughan:
[This is good comment from ArchAngel to Robin Vaughan, mother of a man serving in Iraq.
[She and others military family members were tormented by an officer for setting up their own website. See GI SPECIAL 3D54, lead story: “Commanding Officer Threatens Military Moms; A Dishonorable Coward At Work” at www.militaryproject.org/article.asp?id=793 ArchAngel works to correct abuses of serving troops by command, and is a very effective operation, managed by veterans.]
From: Arch Angel: mailto:ArchAngel1BL@aol.com
Hey T, could you pass this to the mom who was told not to go on her web site by the base commander that the next time he calls, to tell them to come to her front door and tell her that in her face and provide proof that what she is doing is against any law and I mean that by civilian law, not military.
Last I checked freedom of speech is in the Constitution.
The military cannot force civilians to do anything unless it’s a matter of martial law.
If she gets another call or in fact if anyone on that web site gets another call like that, make sure they write down the name and rank of soldier calling, the time and what was said and don’t forget to get a phone number. If they don’t give that then they can tell them to shove it.
The info that is obtained can be reported to the State Rep. Surely one of the members is a lawyer, I am sure that they can look up things in this matter for a harassment lawsuit. (HINT)
As for the government monitoring the site, does it really matter if they are or not? All the family members know what to talk about and what not to talk about, and bad mouthing the president is once again their right. That is what makes us Americans!!!!!
And if the Soldiers of these families are getting into trouble for what you are doing, then they need to go to the AG.
The families getting together by a website is called SUPPORT, i.e. support your troops..
IRAQ WAR REPORTS
Task Force Baghdad Soldier Killed
December 26, 2005 MNF Release A051226c
BAGHDAD, Iraq — A Task Force Baghdad Soldier was killed when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his vehicle while on patrol in Baghdad Dec. 26.
Fremont Soldier Dies In Blast
December 26, 2005 Simone Sebastian, Glen Martin, S. F. Chronicle Staff Writers
Sgt. Cheyenne C. Willey didn’t make it back home to Fremont for Christmas.
Willey, 36, was one of two California soldiers who died Friday when their vehicle was destroyed by an improvised explosive device near Baghdad.
Also killed was Sgt. Regina C. Reali, 25, of Fresno.
Both soldiers were assigned to the Army’s 351st Civil Affairs Command, a reserve unit based in Mountain View.
Willey’s family home was dark early Christmas evening except for the illumination of a single bulb.
Willey’s sister, Stacy, said the family was exhausted after receiving the news of her brother’s death and was not granting interviews.
“He meant everything to us,” Willey said of her brother, as she cradled her baby daughter in her arms. “He was an amazing human being. To know him was to love him.”
Willey joined the Army in June 1995. After completing his advanced individual training at Fort Benning, Ga., he was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., where he served with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Willey joined the 351st Civil Affairs Command in June 2004. He was deployed to Iraq shortly thereafter and was promoted to sergeant in October 2005.
Willey received numerous commendations during his military career, including the National Defense Service Medal with a Bronze Star, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Parachutist Badge and the Expert Marksmanship Badge.
He also has been recommended for several posthumous awards, including the Bronze Star Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Purple Heart, the Global War on Terrorism Medal and the Iraq Campaign Medal.
Reali began her Army Reserve career in July 2000. After completing basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., she qualified as a civil affairs specialist at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School and Center at Fort Bragg.
She was deployed to Iraq in the summer of this year and was promoted to sergeant in November.
Her posthumous award recommendations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Badge and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.
Bragg Soldier Killed
December 26, 2005 The Fayetteville (NC) Observer
Special Forces soldier stationed at Fort Bragg died in Iraq on Christmas Eve when his unit was attacked.
Master Sgt. Joseph J. Andres Jr., 34, was wounded in a firefight in Baqubah, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said. He died in Balad.
Andres, of Garfield Heights, Ohio, grew up in the Cleveland suburbs. He enlisted in the Army Reserve after high school then volunteered to be a combat medic in the 42nd Medical Company.
In 2003, Andres was assigned to the Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg. After his death, Andres was promoted to the rank of master sergeant.
He is survived by his parents, Joseph and Sandra Andres, of Seven Hills, Ohio.
Family: Soldier From Muskegon Killed
12/26/2005 The Associated Press
MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — An army specialist who grew up in Michigan has been killed in Iraq, his family said Monday.
Tony Cardinal’s wife, Amber, said she was informed of his death on Christmas Day by two soldiers who came to her door at Ft. Stewart, Ga.
Cardinal, 20, graduated from Oakridge High School in Muskegon in 2003. His wife, Amber Cardinal, graduated in 2004.
Amber Cardinal told The Muskegon Chronicle that she did not know the circumstances of her husband’s death.
Four U.S. Troops Wounded At Ramadi 12.25
[Buried in the middle of another news story.]
26 December 2005 NBC News
Maj. Alex Lee sees Iraq from a different perspective serving in Balad, a town 50 miles north of Baghdad.
He is a doctor at the largest U.S. military hospital in Iraq, and his early Christmas shift began quickly:
Four American soldiers were flown in by helicopter suffering from burns caused by a roadside bombing near the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi.
One soldier arrived with burns on his back. His exposed legs trembled from the cold and he unconsciously tore off an air tube placed down his throat. A sweating medic knelt beside him and told the doctors about his condition.
“Why Are We Here? Why Are We Doing This?”
Nine members of the 2-7 were killed during their tour of duty. Lt. Col. Todd Wood, the battalion’s commander, doesn’t know how many, if any, of the perpetrators have been caught. He does know that some are still out there.
“It raises questions, you know: ‘Why are we here? Why are we doing this?’ “ Temple said. “That really hits at the foundation of your sense of purpose.”
December 26, 2005 Anna Badkhen, S. F. Chronicle Staff Writer [Excerpts]
Sgt. Kenneth Stephens’ humvee is a beaten and scarred roadmap of the year he and his Army battalion spent fighting insurgents on the hostile plains of north-central Iraq.
A spiderweb of cracks scars the right rear side window, where a fragment of an exploding car bomb hit the truck July 6.
A fissure runs through the dusty armored windshield on the passenger’s side where shrapnel from a roadside bomb struck Nov. 4.
On Dec. 15, the day Iraqis voted for the first full-time parliament since Saddam Hussein’s regime fell, someone fired several shotgun rounds, and a spray of fingernail-size dents now pockmarks the glass.
“This truck is pretty banged up,” said Stephens, 25, of Oneida, Tenn., who, along with the 900 weary soldiers of the 2-7 Infantry Battalion of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, is heading home after a year in the scarred, hostile Sunni triangle.
They came here expecting a battlefield. Instead they found themselves in a different kind of war, in which the enemy was often gone long before his roadside bomb went off, and there was no way to avenge the resulting deaths of their comrades.
A war in which it was impossible to tell insurgents from friendly Iraqis, and any car in the chaotic traffic might have been packed with explosives.
“It’s tough to recover over here from losing a soldier because you can’t go out after the insurgent who killed that soldier,” said Capt. Matt Temple, 32, the battalion chaplain from Lexington, N.C.
As they prepare to depart after a 12-month tour of duty in one of the most dangerous parts of the country, the soldiers of the 2-7 also take away a sense of pride about what they have tried to build.
“At times, this is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done,” said Capt. Jason Freidt, 31, of Temecula (Riverside County), whose company helped open a 60-bed hospital in Auja, a village of about 5,000 people south of Tikrit.
But violence and loss shadow their assessments.
Nine members of the 2-7 were killed during their tour of duty. Lt. Col. Todd Wood, the battalion’s commander, doesn’t know how many, if any, of the perpetrators have been caught. He does know that some are still out there.
“It raises questions, you know: ‘Why are we here? Why are we doing this?’ “ Temple said. ”That really hits at the foundation of your sense of purpose.”
After walking through the scenes of devastation wrought by 26 separate car bombings, the soldiers of the 2-7 became inured to the shock.
Drew Madison, 20, from Jasper, Ala., operates an M240 Bravo machine gun in the turret of one of the battalion’s humvees. Six months ago, he said the bloody horrors haunted him and gave him nightmares. Asked more recently to sum up his year in Iraq, he replied, laconically: “Just another year. A couple of VBIEDs, a bunch of IEDs.”
REALLY BAD IDEA:
A U.S. Marine with the 6th Marine Regiment fires a Light Antitank Weapon at a possible insurgent position in Al Qaim November 17. REUTERS/USMC/Sgt. Jerad W. Alexander/Handout
Notes >From A Lost War:
December 26, 2005 By Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post Staff Writer [Excerpts]
SAMARRA, Iraq — On one of his last days in Iraq, Sgt. Dale Evans looked out over the turbulent city from a rooftop tower piled high with sandbags, manning a machine gun. Below him, rows of Bradley Fighting Vehicles stood at the ready.
Dusty streets were lined with coiled barbed wire and abandoned houses pockmarked from gunfire — a protective no-man’s land around a base that U.S. commanders describe as their “battleship” in downtown Samarra.
This month, Evans and his company from the 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, will leave Patrol Base Uvanni, beginning a third attempt in as many years by U.S. forces to hand this Sunni city over to Iraqi police. It’s a major test for the U.S. military in Iraq, and one U.S. commanders here say they can’t afford to fail. [Same old same old. For two years, various commanders have been bragging about how Samarra has been captured, Samarra has been cleansed of resistance fighters, blah blah blah. To late for “can’t afford to fail.” Already failed. A classic of failed counterinsurgency and a failed, lost war.]
Since 2003, Samarra has come to symbolize the trials and errors of U.S. strategy in Iraq — a cycle of military offensives, lulls and new waves of lethal insurgent attacks.
In recent months, U.S. forces have resorted to draconian tactics to try to drive insurgents from Samarra and keep them out. [And after two years they still are completely clueless. The citizens of Samarra are the insurgents, and there is no way to “keep them out.”]
In late August, Army engineers used bulldozers to build an eight-foot-high, 6 1/2-mile-long dirt wall around the city, threatening to kill anyone who tried to cross it. Entry into Samarra was limited to three checkpoints.
Since then, attacks have fallen sharply, and voter turnout was high for the Dec. 15 national elections. [Of course attacks have fallen sharply. Everybody in town knows the U.S. troops are leaving. Duh.]
But no one here is sure the relative calm will last. The military received reports that at least one local election worker was killed last week.
In Samarra, 10 police officers have been assassinated in recent months. About 800 policemen are on the payroll, but only 100 to 150 show up for work, according to their American trainers.
At Patrol Base Uvanni, a three-story school surrounded by concrete barricades, Evans, 35, of San Antonio, said that as the U.S. military recruits police, insurgents are recruiting, too.
A day before, the base was rattled by insurgent mortars — a regular event. Evans’s advice for the far smaller contingent of U.S. troops that is coming to Samarra: “Watch your backside. It’s kind of rough.” [Looks like the great wall was just more pissing in the wind.]
After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, successive military offensives brought only short-lived security to the city of 200,000, which repeatedly fell back into the grip of insurgents.
Local police were killed, fled or simply walked off the job. Following the last U.S. military sweep into the city, in October 2004, U.S. troops built several small police outposts inside the city using trailers barricaded by cement slabs. Those, too, failed.
“They created a police station in a box,” said Maj. Patrick Walsh, the operations officer for the battalion, part of the 3rd Infantry Division. ”There were too many out there. Insurgents overran them, and police died.”
When Walsh’s battalion took over Samarra in February, the city had “zero” police, he said, apart from a sergeant guarding an armory of 20 rifles and small contingents at the hospital and Golden Mosque.
Officials said the Iraqi Interior Ministry sent two battalions of Special Police commandos from Baghdad to help quell the violence, and attacks dropped off from dozens each week to less than two a day. But last spring, half the commandos were pulled out on another mission, and violence quickly escalated.
On May 23, insurgents launched an all-out assault on Patrol Base Uvanni. Three mortar shells pounded the base, followed by two cars packed with explosives that crashed into the outer wall, blowing it up and knocking down a barrier. Then two suicide bombers rushed toward the breach but were shot down by soldiers on the school roof.
“I had just woke up and saw dust all over,” recalled Spec. Tony Ngo, 20, of San Jose, Calif., whose platoon rushed out to reinforce the guards. It was one of repeated attacks on Uvanni in which insurgents tried to “ambush us from all corners,” including with machine-gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades, Ngo said.
On July 26, Walsh was riding with a patrol down the main street past the spiral minaret headed to Uvanni. Not long before, the Antiquities Ministry had required him to remove his sniper team from the minaret, making it more difficult to prevent insurgents from planting bombs in the streets below. Suddenly, a Humvee in the convoy was blown up by a buried 155mm artillery round, detonating the fuel tank and setting it on fire. Walsh managed to pull one soldier from the blazing vehicle, but it was too late for another, who burned to death.
“I got mad,” said Walsh, of South Bend, Ind. Over the course of three weeks, six battalion soldiers died in attacks. ”That was the catalyst,” he said, for what was called Operation Great Wall.
Using bulldozers and armored earthmovers, Army engineers encircled Samarra with a wall of dirt, sealing off the many small roads that insurgents used to move weapons into the city. Signs warned that anyone trying to cross the berm would be met with deadly force — and some were, according to battalion officers.
The wall sent a panic through Samarra that a major offensive was imminent.
“We helped spread that rumor,” Walsh explained, “to get people to leave, so citizens of Samarra would be more inclined to give up the insurgents. Cooperate, or we’ll clear the city.” [The slogan of every Imperial army since Genghis Khan, and as useless now as then. The Empire gets a little breather, and then the oppressed nations’ fighters strike again, and again, and again.]
Tens of thousands fled, reducing Samarra’s population to about 70,000. Half the working police force quit.
Meanwhile, in a change of tactics, soldiers began taking up unpredictable, covert positions in houses and abandoned buildings. ”We got more sneaky,” said 1st Lt. Adam Hurley, 24, of Raleigh, N.C., whose soldiers shot insurgents as they were placing artillery rounds in freshly dug holes.
“We had to do some deep-seated military operations,” Walsh said. ”We had to take a step back versus going forward. We took one step back, instead of destroying the city.”
After Samarra was walled in, attacks in the city dropped sharply, from seven or eight a day last summer to one or two now, according to the military. Since October, only one roadside bomb has exploded on the main portion of highway running past Samarra, and there has been only one car bomb, in contrast with two or three a month previously.
The security has come with a cost. Long lines of vehicles sit idle at the city’s three checkpoints, where crossing can take as long as an hour. ”It completely disrupted the city market,” said Hurley, adding that farmers especially suffered. [More recruits for the resistance.]
While thousands of residents have returned to the city, the population is still down by about a fourth from a year ago.
Now, the U.S. military is embarking on a gradual plan to cut its forces and pull out of the city — a plan that ultimately depends on a local police force that trainers say is undermanned and years away from being up to the task. [This is the same bullshit they tried twice before. Lots of luck.]
Beds with blankets were situated under an awning, and Islamic prayers wafted from a cassette player.
Two battalions of special police commandos returned to Samarra from Baghdad in December to bolster the local police but plan only a short stay. ”Right now the police are capable of defending themselves,” the commandos’ chief, Col. Bashar Abdullah Hussein, asserted between cell phone calls in his office. The commandos will be in Samarra “not more than three months,” he said.
But Capt. Barry Humphrey, who trains local police, says the vast majority of policemen don’t come to work, and those who do often put in only a few hours. Several hundred idle police are on the payroll under a patronage system tolerated by the current police chief.
On a foot patrol Dec. 2 in a violent part of Samarra called Abu Bas, Humphrey was with a police patrol when two men in black robes and head scarves flew around the corner and opened fire. They shot one policeman in the forehead and shoulder. But instead of taking cover, five police officers went forward in pursuit. Ultimately, the attackers were caught trying to escape through a checkpoint. To Humphrey, it was a small step forward.
“This time,” he said, “some of them did shoot back.” [And when you’re gone? Checkmate.]
Marine Wounded In Iraq Still Recovering At Home
Dec. 26, 2005 Brian Bonner, KRT
Kyle Anderson, a U.S. Marine who suffered brain damage in an Oct. 11, 2004, bomb explosion in Iraq, is out of the hospital and recovering at home.
Anderson, 20, underwent successful surgery to reconstruct his skull in mid-November. He was discharged from the VA Medical Center at Fort Snelling on Dec. 2. He is now living in South St. Paul with his father, Timothy, and older brother, Matt.
Kyle Anderson has yet to regain speech but has learned sign language. He understands what people tell him and is improving his ability to read.
He gets around with the help of a walker but still suffers from nerve damage that limits the mobility of his right arm and leg.
Matt Anderson said that his brother, for the most part, is looking to the future with optimism.
“The day he will walk and talk again, that will be the greatest day ever,” said Matt Anderson. “Hopefully, it will happen in the next couple of years.”
He’s also had a year of special public appearances.
Kyle Anderson threw out the first pitch at a Minnesota Twins game. He served as parade grand marshal during Inver Grove Heights Days. He also received a Purple Heart for his combat wounds before a crowd at Simley High School, where he graduated in 2003.
Matt Anderson also said that his brother remains an active-duty Marine, although the family is working to get him discharged so that he can become eligible for disability pay.
He spends some of his days watching television and still pays attention to developments in the Iraq war.
“He’s still an active Marine right now, laying on the couch,” Matt Anderson said. ”He’s pretty much the same Kyle, except he can’t talk.”
IRAQ RESISTANCE ROUNDUP
Resistance Launches Another Complex Attack In Force At Buhriz
Spent bullet casings litter the road as firefighters douse a fire after guerrillas attacked and killed five officers at a police checkpoint near Buhriz, Dec. 26, 2005. (AFP)
[This is the second and third attack of this character in the past few days. Evidently the resistance has decided to clear the area.]
Dec 26, 2005 By Deepa Babington, (Reuters)
Guerrillas stormed a police checkpoint near an Interior Ministry commando base north of Baghdad, killing five policemen and wounding four.
Attackers jumped out of a minibus in the early morning and began firing mortar rounds and rocket propelled grenades at the checkpoint in Buhriz, a small town about 60 km from the Iraqi capital, police said.
As they got closer, they also began hurling hand grenades.
In a sign of elaborate planning, a main road leading to the checkpoint was laid with roadside bombs, delaying backup police forces sent in to help from the nearby town of Baquba, police said.
“They attacked us from all sides,” said one police officer at the scene.
In the small village of Dhabab, guerrillas shot dead five Iraqi army soldiers in separate, but apparently coordinated attacks as they left for work or went about their morning routine, the army said.
The attack appeared to have been carefully planned and staged, similar to a dawn assault on an Iraqi army post near the northern town of Adhaim on Friday that killed 10 soldiers and wounded 20 others.
Assorted Resistance Action
December 26. 2005 By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer & The Canadian Press & MNF Release A051226a & Reuters
Attackers blew up an oil pipeline south of Samara Sunday night, police Capt. Mohammed Hasan said. The pipeline has been a frequent target of insurgents, he said.
At 8:30 a.m., a car bomber detonated in the Karadah district of Baghdad, killing one Iraqi civilian and wounding one Iraqi Policeman and one Iraqi civilian.
The second car bomb exploded in Eastern Baghdad at about 10:00 a.m., injuring five Iraqi police officers.
At 10:43 a.m., a third detonated near an Iraqi Police patrol in Northeast Baghdad, killing four Iraqi civilians and wounding two Iraqi Policemen.
Around 10:45 a.m. in central Baghdad, the fourth incident, initiated by a car bomber, wounded four Iraqi civilians and two Iraqi Policemen.
Partisans killed five officers and wounded four at a police checkpoint 30 miles north of Baghdad, a morgue official in Baqouba said.
Guerrillas raided a house in southern Baghdad on Monday, killing three people, police Capt. Qassim Hussein said. They attacked the house again when police arrived to remove the bodies, wounding two officers, police said.
In Diyala, a car bomb targeted the governor, killing a body guard, and guerrillas killed Soaad Ubed, a member of Diyala city council, police said.
Guerrillas opened fire on a cargo truck Monday in al-Mahmodiya, 30 kilometres south of Baghdad, killing two Iraqi civilians, a police source said.
The source told dpa that the cargo truck carrying various products, including alcohol, was set on fire by the guerrillas after they killed the driver and his assistant.
Some 45 kilometres south of the capital, on the road between Mahmoudiya and Latifiya, an attack on chief of police of the city of Hillah killed one of his guards and injured three others, said Latifaya police sources.
Three roadside bombs exploded as the convoy of Brigadier General Qais Hamza al-Mamouri passed by. He survived the incident, one of several he faced over the past 10 days.
A shootout between Iraqi police and guerrillas in Bahraz, 60 kilometres north-east of Baghdad, left 5 dead and three injured, witnesses said.
When guerrillas attacked a checkpoint patrolled by Iraqi police and exchanged fire with them, five policemen were killed. Three other policemen were injured.
NEAR BAQUBA – A member of the Independent National Elite List, which took part in the Dec. 15 election, was captured by insurgents while travelling from Baghdad to Baquba, the head of the list said.
FALLUJA – A bomber threw grenades at police recruits outside a training centre, killing two, and then detonated his explosive belt, killing himself, police said.
IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
Guerrilla Attack Wounds Diyala Governor
The governor of Iraq’s restive Diyala province was wounded in an assassination attempt on Monday and al Qaeda’s wing in the country claimed responsibility.
A makeshift bomb hidden in a cigarette kiosk exploded near the motorcade of the governor, Raad Rashid Jouad, wounding him and his driver, his office said.
An aide was killed in the attack.
Earlier reports had said the governor was unhurt.
2003: Sewing The Wind
[Fair is fair. Let’s bring 150,000 Iraqis over here to the USA. They can humiliate, or kill, people at checkpoints, bust into their houses with force and violence, overthrow the government, put a new one in office they like better and call it “sovereign” and “detain” anybody who doesn’t like it in some prison without any changes being filed against them, or any trial.]
[Those Iraqis are sure a bunch of backward primitives. They actually resent this help, have the absurd notion that it’s bad their country is occupied by a foreign military dictatorship, and consider it their patriotic duty to fight and kill the soldiers sent to grab their country. What a bunch of silly people. How fortunate they are to live under a military dictatorship run by George Bush. Why, how could anybody not love that? You’d want that in your home town, right?]
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
“There’s No Way These Impoverished Masses Can Trust Anything Related To American Promises Of ‘Freedom’”
23 December 2005 By Pepe Escobar, Asia Times [Excerpt]
Robert Fisk, in his masterful The Great War for Civilization (Fourth Estate, London) remarks, “The sanctions that smothered Iraq for almost 13 years have largely dropped from the story of our Middle East adventures … When the Anglo-American occupiers settled into their palaces in Baghdad, they would blame the collapse of electrical power, water-pumping stations, factories and commercial life on Saddam Hussein, as if he alone had engineered the impoverishment of Iraq.
Sanctions were never mentioned. They were ‘ghosted’ out of the story. First there had been Saddam, and then there was ‘freedom’.”
But Iraqis as a whole have not forgotten the sanctions, imposed by the US, carried out by the “international community” and responsible for the death of thousands of children.
As much as the Shi’ites have not forgotten their betrayal by George Bush senior, who called for a Shi’ite uprising in early 1991 and then left thousands of men, women and children to be massacred by Saddam’s gunships.
There’s no way these impoverished masses can trust anything related to American promises of “freedom.”
What do you think? Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are especially welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Name, I.D., withheld on request. Replies confidential.
“Utter Contempt For Foreign Occupiers And Unyielding Struggle To Force Them Out”
15 – 21 December 2005 Ramzy Baroud, AL-AHRAM (Egypt) [Excerpts]
US President George W Bush once again blamed Arab media for his country’s image problem.
“I recognise we’ve got an image issue, particularly when you have television stations, Arabic television stations that are constantly just pounding America — saying America is fighting Islam, Americans can’t stand Muslims, this is a war against a religion,” Bush commented following a speech in Philadelphia on Monday.
It’s disturbing to think that the president truly believes that Arab and Muslim contempt for his government stems from Arab media detractors, rather than his administration’s misguided policies.
Simply put, Arab and Muslim nations’ disdain for the Bush administration is a natural human response to colonisation, military oppression and the degrading regimes they bring about.
Before offering his impulsive remarks, President Bush should have consulted the history of the Middle East, of which his clique often claims mastery, a region whose past has been marred with utter contempt for foreign occupiers and unyielding struggle to force them out.
The conventional colonialist experience was forced to yield in the years following the end of World War II to alternative methods that would still allow Western countries to safeguard their economic interests in the region.
Militarily weakened and unable to tame the fractious colonies, yet reluctant to treat former subjects as equal partners, Western nations were compelled to devise new colonial stratagem.
Arab nations for example were subjugated through Western-sponsored local elites, corruptible and coercive.
Many Arab intellectuals have rightly argued that a decided halt of Western imperialism never truly actualised. Direct and indirect intervention in Arab affairs, with the same arrogant expectations, continued to mar the relationship between the West and Arabs.
As if its despised involvement in helping shape a miserable reality throughout the Middle East was not enough, the US occupation of Iraq, the heart of the Arab world, in March 2003 earned it the designation of colonial master.
NEED SOME TRUTH? CHECK OUT TRAVELING SOLDIER
Telling the truth – about the occupation or the criminals running the government in Washington – is the first reason for Traveling Soldier. But we want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance – whether it’s in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces. Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed forces. If you like what you’ve read, we hope that you’ll join with us in building a network of active duty organizers. www.traveling-soldier.org/ And join with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)
Associated Press Photo Caption Corrected
GI Special 3D56: Weighed And Found Wanting:
Members of the U.S. Army 3rd US Infantry (The Old Guard), carry the casket of Sgt. Jeremy M. Campbell, of Middlebury, Pa during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery Sept. 27, 2005. Campbell died on Sept. 11, 2005, in Baghdad. An improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during patrol operations. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
3rd Infantry Division is “Rock of the Marne”
2nd Infantry Division is “the Old Guard”
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