Tell Me Again What This War is All About
By Michael I. Niman ArtVoice,
If we’re to believe the official rhetoric formally put
forth by George W. Bush, Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and all, the
Let’s just go with what we have.
Despite a host of false reports about weapons of mass destruction finds – all prominently reported in shouting headlines, only to be quietly retracted days later – there have been no weapons of mass destruction used in Iraqi attacks and no credible discoveries of such weapons. British Home Secretary David Blunkett went as far as to admit late last week that there in fact might not be any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – but he was still looking forward to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s government nonetheless, weapons of mass destruction or not.
Back on March 17th, when George W. Bush in
effect declared war on
According to a report published by Reuters, by day 10 of
the war, finding and destroying Iraqi weapons of mass destruction had slipped to
fourth and fifth places on a list released by Pentagon spokesperson Victoria
Orwell: We Have Always Been at War With…
For George W. Bush the rhetoric has become even simpler. Gone are his endless references to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction – weapons that American representatives from two successive waves of UN inspection teams claim never existed in the first place. In place of this rhetoric, Bush now speaks of “freeing the Iraqi people.” The transcendence in dogma, especially over such a short period of time, is frighteningly Orwellian – with the now discredited supposed rationale for this three week old war all but forgotten. It no longer matters why we’re fighting – we’re at war, and hence, we have no time for such trivial questions. Of course outside of the fog of American media, no one else seems to be forgetting anything.
Yes, the rationale for the American invasion was to rid
Radioactive Weapons Found
Former US Army Colonel and ex-director of the Pentagon’s
depleted uranium project, Doug Rokke, in an interview with the Scottish Sunday
Herald, classified the American use of DU weapons as a “war crime.”
Rokke argued that American “double standards are repellent,” since “This
war was about
The Sunday Herald quotes a UN report issued in 2002, stating that the use of DU weapons violates laws and agreements protecting civilian populations in wartime. These include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of the United Nations, the Genocide Convention, the Convention Against Torture, the Geneva Conventions of 1948, the Conventional Weapons Convention of 1980 and the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 against the use of “poison or poisoned” weapons.
According to official Pentagon sources, the
Because of these horrific statistics, veterans groups, human rights organizations and peace activists around the world have joined together to condemn the use of DU weaponry, which is used to pierce the armor of tanks. Evidence of DU weapons use in the current war comes from a recent “friendly fire” incident which saw British troops hit by a DU armed shell fired from an American A-10 “tankbuster” plane. Regarding that incident, British forces in the field told the media that the American pilot was a cowboy, recklessly shooting his DU weapons irresponsibly at anything moving below.
War is hell – and this one certainly is no exceptionm
with reports from the battlefield – a host of heavily populated Iraqi cities
– getting uglier. According to the
Pentagon, “precision-guided” bombs have an accuracy rate of around 90%, or
conversely, a failure rate of around 10%. Given
Thanks for the Cluster Bombs
Civilians are also dying as a result of misdirected cluster
bombs dropped by US and British forces. These
bombs disburse small yellow bomblets which are the same color as the food packs
currently being distributed to Iraqi civilians.
British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon dismissed such deaths, declaring
that the mothers of Iraqi children killed by these bombs will “one day”
Iraqi civilians are also being killed by artillery and
rockets fired by frightened
Franchetti cites one US Marine Lieutenant, in tears, lamenting the girl’s death. But he also quotes another Marine at the scene by name, who tells him, “The Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy.” That Marine went on to explain, “I am starting to hate this country. Wait till I get a hold of a friggin’ [I suspect this is a sanitized British translation of “fuckin”] Iraqi. No I won’t get a hold of one. I’ll just kill him.”
Franchetti, however, puts this apparent barbarism into a sad context, writing: “Only a few days earlier these had still been the bright-eyed small town boys with whom I crossed the border at the start of the operation.” It was the insanity and horror of ground combat that was the “turning point,” for these Marines. Franchetti described how they “lost all of their assumptions about the war and became jittery aggressors who talked of waiting to ‘nuke’ the place.” “Before last week,” he added, “few had even seen a dead body. Now their faces had changed.”
This was the point of Franchetti’s article – not to demonize the Marines blasting away with their machine guns at civilian cars – but to empathize with their pain and confusion as they’re thrust into chaos. This is the other death – the one that is seldom reported – the death of the human spirit that goes along with killing. Two weeks ago these Marines were told that they would be greeted as liberators by surrendering troops. Despite an endless deluge of Associated Press images supporting this delusion, such as one that ran last Sunday showing an Iraqi man gifting flowers to an American soldier at a checkpoint, American forces were met with another reality. They were attacked from all sides, seemingly by everything that moved – and they shot back. And they kept shooting. And shooting. And calling in air strikes. And they are now drowning in a pool of blood.
They are Americans, 95% of whom hail from poor and working
class backgrounds. They are both
victims of an economic draft, and idealists who wanted to serve their country,
only to find themselves in a military that has been hijacked to fight for a
deranged and unobtainable vision of empire.
Like the civilian bodies littering
World War Four
Perhaps this question is best answered by former CIA
Director James Woolsey, who declared on April 3rd, that the US is
currently fighting World War Four [presumably the cold war was number three] –
which he declared “will last considerably longer than either World War One or
Two…” He named
Of course protests throughout the Arab world demonstrate
that the destabilizing factor in
It was George W. Bush’s amateurish use of the word
“crusade” when he launched his open ended “war on terror,” that has
united rival factions in the Arab and Islamic worlds in a Jihad against
America’s Holy War
And this is how many people in the
Evangelical Christian groups are now poised to enter
But also don’t give up.
It’s imperative for people to speak up now, lest the Bush
It’s not too late to stop this insane evil war.
Dr. Michael I.
Niman’s previous columns are archived at http://mediastudy.com.
Recent columns are also available in printable pdf format at http://coldtype.net.
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