American Troops in Iraq:”I hate this place more and more every day” [Archives:2004/729/Opinion]

April 15 2004

If these are the words of the American troops fighting in Iraq, you can imagine what the feelings of the Iraqi people are. Even with the June 30 deadline fast approaching, it does not seem that the American fiasco in Iraq is anywhere near completion. For one thing there is a force of some 150,000 American troops and a fledgling number of other “coalition” troops and there does not seem to be any effort to withdraw any of them. On the contrary, all signs point to a permanent presence of American troops in the Fertile Crescent and possibly an increase in their number to meet the increasing “insurgency”, as the mounting resistance is being called by the American Military Central Command, which obviates the rising displeasure among the Iraqis for the determined American to maintain an indefinite presence in their country. This is confirmed by the existing contracts to construct 14 American bases (of course given to Halliburton) throughout Iraq, In addition, the American Proconsul, Paul Bremer has issued so many directives that clearly signal a permanent American presence in Iraq and indefinite control of most of its resources and even economic activities. For sure, the intention is to keep Cheney busy dividing the spoils of war amongst the big contributors to the Bush campaign effort for the second term of the G. W. Bush Presidency.
So, where is this sovereignty that George Bush insists must be given on June 30, if the interim government (up to the elections) will be handpicked by Bremer and with Bremer and his corps of “embedded” advisors and consultants continuing to have the first and last say in all matters of statecraft. Of course, according to the Guardian, Bremer has not so reluctantly given the control of the hospitals and other health facilities to the Iraqis, without any genuine effort to upgrade or even restore the quality of health services to their already unsatisfactory pre-war level, while they bear the major brunt of dealing with the hundreds of Iraqi casualties falling from Apache assaults and random firing of disenchanted American troops, who have no genuine desire to be there in the first place. Most foreign reporters clearly have indicated that even the most loyal of the American ground troops engaged in Iraq (and their families at home) have no taste for the kind of war George Bush wants them to fight in Iraq, because they are in direct contact with the openly displayed displeasure at the American occupation of Iraq and the outright robbery of its resources. Speaking of hatred, it is not hard to see why such hatred would mount, when we see that hundreds of Iraqis have been victimized in Faluja, in an operation of cold blooded vengeance against the death of paramilitary personnel on a defense contract, who were mutilated in a frenzy of mob violence. Needless to say, the American troops nearby might have been able to prevent this horrible display of discontent, if they really cared to, or if the order had been given to them to do so. But in Iraq, strange and sometimes ugly things will happen, simply because the Americans want to beef up their fluid case for a continued presence in a country that is not at all pleased with their stay. Why should they be pleased, when they have replaced Saddam with a worse dictator than Saddam, the former personified by a Proconsul, who rules by decree. Wasn't that how Saddam also ruled Iraq?
Yes, Iraq is under an indefinite American occupation and the Arab World and the international community are completely out of the picture. Whatever happened to the sanctity of the Holy Land from the destructive force of evil greedy hoarders of the domestic resources? One would think that the West has tired of hearing how ugly imperialism and colonialism was and the black marks they left in the great histories of societies of grandeur such as the British or the French. One would think that globalization was to be spiced with all the nice trimmings of social and political consciousness that mostly evolved as western civilization began to sense that the world must be made a nice place for all its inhabitants. Wishful thinking! 30 million American Evangelists and 5 million Zionists have decided to make this world and its resources a bounty to plunder as they see fit, with the might and resourcefulness of the Untied States at their full disposal to bring death and destruction to anyone who stands in their way.
Even if the members of the Armed Forces are now pointing out their disapproval of their Government's murder campaigns in Iraq, just like the Israeli members of the Armed Forces who stood up to Sharon and said: “Hay, this is uncivilized behavior we are perpetrating in the Holy Land and we want no part in it!”, Bush and his neo-cons meet all opposition with contempt and slander!
Perhaps, Iraq will be Bush's Vietnam, as Ted Kennedy said. There are those who say that Kennedy was exaggerating when he said this, because Vietnam cost the US 55,000 fatalities. But, let us not be fooled by statistics, because for one, this is only the first year of American involvement in Iraq and because the death toll is rising day by day on an incremental basis (23 deaths in just three days during the latest fighting). God forbid that Iraq should reach Vietnam proportions, but it is not far-fetched to declare that the situation in Iraq is bound to engulf a wider zone of combat and bloodshed all because some buffoons in the Pentagon decided to play out their simulated war games in the Fertile Crescent, without either knowing what they are getting into or without a care as to the monumental bloodshed that these war games turn into when they are played out in real turf.