Hmm, this 'war' just keeps looking stranger and stranger. All kinds of mishaps and problems, but according to Bush, Rumsfield and company, all is going fine. How long will the American public buy this BS? Don't know, but it is surely going to get worse before they wake up and realize exactly how bad this is all going to turn out.
I went on my bike ride early, then worked on my article (which is going well) and then surfed a bit, looking at news and various discussion groups online. I want to post a few of the more intelligent comments I found here, though I won't give screen-names. I think these are very much on-target about the war in Iraq.
US HISTORY LESSON COMING RIGHT UP
Iraq is a creation of the British after WW1 when the Ottoman Turkish Empire collapsed. Little if any regard was given to the ethnic or religious diversity of the land when Iraq was created. Kurds, Turks, Persians, Arabs, Christians, Sunni & Shiite Muslims all live in that region but forced under one national “Iraqi” banner. In considering this, one cannot help but to deduct that if not for a harsh dictator like Saddam this creation of Britain, most likely would have separated long ago.
The hatred amongst the people of Iraq for one another runs far back into history. The Americans to think they can simply go in their with no UN backing, and set things straight will prove to be the biggest mistake since the Vietnam war. Yes the people of Iraq will be happy to see Saddam gone, however within a year's time they will turn on the Americans. The Americans -- no matter how they claim to be liberators -- will be seen as an occupying force and an obstacle for the people of the region to attain true freedom. Furthermore the different factions, Kurds, Turkmen Shiites etc will all turn on each other. The land of Iraq will fall into a state of anarchy similar to the state of Afghanistan. The Americans will be trapped between the warring sides, and eventually will leave the state of Iraq ironically in a worse position than even under Saddam.
The end result will cause the entire Middle East to become destabilized. Turks will send in forces from Turkey, Iranians from Iran, Kurds will resist them along with the Arabs: Welcome to the future America will create in Iraq – One of death & destruction.
Though the American goals for Iraq are noble – they lack foresight. One only needs to look at the Israelis/Palestinian conflict to get a taste of what is to come in Iraq.
The U.S. is under the microscope by other nations jockeying for power in this new world order. The mighty Anglo-American war machine is being put to a very difficult test. Iraqi resistance is inspiring other Muslims in the region to see our newfound weaknesses. Basra is nowhere close to being as big and impregnable as Baghdad. The civilian death toll will rise alarmingly and more American-coalition casualties will grow just as well.
Look, pro-war folks, many of the Iraqis interviewed in the southern cities and Baghdad all are fighting for pride and to keep out a foreign occupying force that they find to be a cultural and religious threat to them. This will soon not be viewed as a war for liberation once Baghdad is besieged and the people don't rise up against Saddam. What is being painfully learned is that a majority of the Iraqis are fighting for themselves and not for Saddam. They are aware that he won't be around for long. Iraqi history has been one of in-fighting or chasing away foreigners. Ask the British, who had their tails whipped by these stout Muslims in the 1920s. The Battle of Al-Kut is still remembered in Iraq as a great event of national pride, when the mighty British Empire suffered a surprising defeat. Most Iraqis and Muslims know that Bush has in mind to install Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, a pro-Israel warhawk, as the post-war civil governor of Iraq. That is pure stupidity to do so. This will surely infuriate the Shiites and Sunnis. Bush has embarked on an already doomed mission.
I really don't understand why British and American generals who get paid up to 300,000$ a year can prepare a war this badly.
Ewww, we didn't think the Iraqi's would use guerilla tactics, we only thought they were going to line up all their tanks in the desert so we can bomb 'em for free.
Ewww, we didn't know that having a 600 mile supply line from Quwait to Kerbala makes you vulnerable.
Ewww, we didn't plan the possibility of people in Basra not welcoming us, but instead seeing even 12-yo kids shooting at us.
And then you read that GW asks for another 70 billion and another 130,000 troops.
This war is a non-event. It shows the stupidity of not only the Bush administration, but of an entire echelon of power.
And now let's allow one of the Iraqi people to give his opinion:
Note: This interview was conducted just moments after reports emerged that US/UK forces bombed Iraqi television and a market place in a residential neighborhood in Baghdad. Democracy Now! Host Amy Goodman and correspondent Jeremy Scahill spoke with Gazwan Al Muktar, a retired engineer from his home in Baghdad.
Jeremy Scahill: Gazwan, what will you do, if US forces try to come into Baghdad, you as a man, what are you planning to do?
Gazwan Al Muktar: Well ah—what I’m planning to do? I will pull up my rifle and I will shoot. And I will shoot at anybody who comes in. I’m a sixty year old man, but I am not going to let anybody, any foreigner tell me what to do or running my own country. This is a country I have spent all my life, trying to build something, to do something about improving the lot of the Iraqi people. Iraq is a wealthy country, Iraq has been, because of the sanctions, relegated to a third class country. You remember in 1961, that’s 42 years ago, the Iraqi government then, and it wasn’t the Ba’ath Party government, sent me to the States to study. I was a high school student. They sent me. Iraq has invested a lot of money in our education, a lot of time. The consecutive governments, all the governments of Iraq, and we are trying to build a country and you have ruined it. The US government is destroying everything. They destroyed it in ‘91 and we rebuilt it and they are destroying whatever we have rebuilt--
Amy Goodman: The US government says—
Gazwan Al Muktar: --for absolutely no reason.
Amy Goodman: The US government says it’s Saddam Hussein who is ruining it.
Gazwan Al Muktar: What?
Amy Goodman: The US government says it’s Saddam Hussein who is ruining it.
Gazwan Al Muktar: Well, they’re entitled to their view, but my view is that Saddam Hussein, was in 1984 was the President when Donald Rumsfeld came and shook his hand and said “he’s a nice fellow, we can work with him.” Saddam Hussein is the same Saddam Hussein that you people gave commodity credits to. So what changes is the perceptions of Donald Rumsfeld of what Saddam Hussein is. Saddam Hussein is the same Saddam Hussein that I have known in ’79 when he took power. So anything that changes, it’s the perception of Donald Rumsfeld. Saddam Hussein is the same Saddam Hussein that dealt with Ronald Reagan and the presidents before him. It’s now Bush, he doesn’t like Saddam Hussein and he had—they are ruining the country. Bush is entitled to say whatever he wants. But that doesn’t make him right.
Jeremy Scahill: This is the voice of Gazwan Al Muktar, something I have not seen on any of the networks. An ordinary Iraqi speaking live to Americans via radio and television. Gazwan we want to thank you very much for being with us. Do you have any final comments you want to make to this national audience in the United States right now?
Gazwan Al Muktar: Jeremy, everytime I look at the letters, UKUSA, it means to me: “United to Kill Us All.” And that, if you take the first letters of it it’s UKUSA and that’s how I feel. The two countries are united to kill us all, irrespective whether we support the government or we don’t support the government.
Jeremy Scahill: Gazwan—
Gazwan Al Muktar: The final thing, Jeremy, the final thing, I think, it’s the blind leading the blind. You are blind, I mean the US government is blind, and it’s led by another blind people who are the oppositions who are telling you that we will welcome the American soldiers. And you saw what happened in Um Qasr, Al Fao and Basra and Nassiriya. Those are the Shi’ite places where you think they should have welcomed the revolt against the government. But they did not. So it’s about time, you people open up your eyes and see what’s happening and understand the message and forget about the rhetoric.
Excerpt from this Website
Now let's address the "free press" here. As a former journalist, I have already expressed my skepticism of journalist being "embedded" with troops -- rather like being 'in bed' with the government/military. In some ways though, it's been fairly interesting: Nightline's Ted Koppel seems to try and insert a bit of objective comment. Like any reporter in danger though, and living with the military troops, he's bound to be somewhat biased on their behalf.
The fortunate factor in this war is that so many people have access to the internet and satellite TV, and can get the foreign press news. Some are more unbiased, and try to present facts, as well as provide different opinions/viewpoints from all over the world. I like to read the BBC and Guardian news online, as well as several other European and Middle-East online news sites. When I compare those with ours, I can find a balance between the extemes, possibly come up with balanced, more factual information. Try it.
Additionally, Editor & Publisher has a good website of critical commentary about the USA media/news...and this is a list of stories that have been widely misreported or poorly reported so far in the American media:
1. Saddam may well have been killed in the first night's surprise attack (March 20).
2. Even if he wasn't killed, Iraqi command and control was no doubt "decapitated" (March 22).
3. Umm Qasr has been taken (March 22).
4. Most Iraqis soldiers will not fight for Saddam and instead are surrendering in droves (March 22).
5. Iraqi citizens are greeting Americans as liberators (March 22).
6. An entire division of 8,000 Iraqi soldiers surrendered en masse near Basra (March 23).
7. Several Scud missiles, banned weapons, have been launched against U.S. forces in Kuwait (March 23).
8. Saddam's Fedayeen militia are few in number and do not pose a serious threat (March 23).
9. Basra has been taken (March 23).
10. Umm Qasr has been taken (March 23).
11. A captured chemical plant likely produced chemical weapons (March 23).
12. Nassiriya has been taken (March 23).
13. Umm Qasr has been taken (March 24).
14. The Iraqi government faces a "major rebellion" of anti-Saddam citizens in Basra (March 24).
15. A convoy of 1,000 Iraqi vehicles and Republican Guards are speeding south from Baghdad to engage U.S. troops (March 25).
Source: Editor & Publisher Online
Since it's been announced that over 100,000 more US troops will be sent to Iraq, and there seems to be continuing problems with Syria (said to be giving arms to Iraq) and with Iran (warned not to send troops into Iraq), and Turkey (some of their troops in northern Iraq)I have to think that we are going to need a draft very soon in order to provide more US troops. Or as one poster put it:
"I feel a draft blowing in the wind."
All I can say is: I sure hope that Bush & Company haven't started WWIII.
And for those USA citizens who are outraged by GW's arrogance and hubris, here's a link where you can vote to impeach him:
Hope that helps!