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Iraq Quagmire - Support Our Troops - Bring Them Home, Now!

Mar 30, 2004
Michael Hogan

Editors Note The following essay was written three months after America invaded Iraq, or 3 years and 6 months ago.

Historians will forever refer to America?s war in Viet Nam as a quagmire. Those of you who did not live through the Viet Nam era, allow me to sum it up as a predicament. After 15 years of being told we were winning, we suddenly departed. In the meantime, over 50,000 Americans, and perhaps 4,000,000 southeast Asians (Viet Nam, Cambodia & Laos), died.
Yet, nobody seems to know why we invaded Viet Nam. The place is so poor no one seems to have a clue ?least of all historians. As in Imperial Adventure, the Viet Nam war was stillborn. The American power elite failed to notice the Vietnamese people had previously defeated the French, Japanese and Chinese (repeatedly) invaders. We went into the wrong neighborhood and found the finest fighters on the planet.
Viet Nam was a psychosocial catastrophe for America. All the G.I. Joe figures and John Wayne movies had taught us America could never lose a war. No sooner did we lose then Orwellian revisionist historians began to rewrite history so the defeat could be more palatable and make other wars possible. You see, the mass media informed America (late 70?s & 80?s) we were suffering from Viet Nam Syndrome ? an inability to make war. 

President Ronald Reagan began to take us all back on the road to war with the first baby step ? the invasion of Grenada. We came very close to losing the war in Grenada when a rag tag bunch of Cuban construction workers made it real. 

The first George Bush destroyed much of Panama City and the lives of many in the continuing return to war and the elimination of Viet Nam from our public mass mind. Then the first Gulf War was an outstanding success, although it devastated Americas? troops with a Gulf War sickness ? much as Agent Orange destroyed the lives of so many Viet Nam veterans and the Vietnamese people for thousands of generations to come. In a similar way, the Iraqi people have suffered an extreme form of Gulf War Syndrome by being exposed to the U282 (radioactive) tank shells fired during the first Gulf War. It seems America brought weapons of mass destruction to the first Gulf War. 

Now, another president has lied to the American people in the urgent need the American power elite have to make war. President Lyndon Baines Johnson lied to the American people about the Gulf of Tonkin incident that was used to take America to war in Viet Nam BIG TIME. It is now historical fact that the so-called attack never happened. When presidents want war, they lie to the people.
Sometimes, these lies are lies of omission. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt neglected to tell the American people or the sailors in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 there was a Japanese fleet on it?s way to attack Pearl Harbor. Rather than breaking the Japanese naval code just before (partial) and after the Battle of Midway, historians have confirmed the code was broken before the attack on Pearl Harbor. In addition to the ability to listen to all Japanese naval transmissions, Americans on the west coast were triangulating the transmissions to accurately position the Japanese fleet as it crossed the Atlantic. A Dutch attache assigned to the Pentagon in late 1941 watched the Japanese fleet position approach Pearl Harbor on a huge map in a war room. 

Although George Bush, the son, took America to war after a year and a half of the most intense propaganda and lies seen in my lifetime, there is no end to the lies. The biggest lie is not that weapons of mass destruction remain unfound. Rather, it is the notion that America has been victorious. It will be hard to convince the New Jersey parents of the young trooper who was shot and killed in a Baghdad marketplace last week. His killer faded into a crowd.  This is how it was in Viet Nam. Each and every day troops were murdered and we were told victory is at hand. 

George Bush, the son, stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier recently, with a huge sign behind him: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. This is an outright lie. The war is not over. American troops will come under fire as long as American troops are in Iraq.  This is the opinion of a high-ranking retired American general named John Nash. General Nash has some experience in occupying captured territory. He was the man in charge of the southern portion of Iraq after Gulf War I and he was the director of the occupation of Kosovo.   What does General Nash have to say as quoted in the Observer, an English newspaper: the general claims Iraqis will kill our troops for a variety of reasons. The fathers of dead daughters killed by American troops will become killers themselves. While all Iraqis families suffered disease, starvation and death during 12 years of American imposed sanction, some will strike at American troops as symbols of the mass murder of their people, the destruction of their country and the theft of the world?s second biggest deposit of oil.  The general went on to list the ongoing American support for Israel?s theft of much Palestinian land and the occupation of what very little remains. Then there is the mass state sponsored terror by the Israeli government to subjugate and dominate Palestinians as a slave labor force. The general understands all Muslims think of themselves as brothers - much like Christians or Jews. 

When Iraqis and Muslims throughout the world watch America use its iron heel to routinely step on Muslims all over the globe, what can it mean? Will Muslim people simply watch their brothers be mass murdered, or will fathers and nationalist pick up a gun?  More and more will go for the gun. By the way, where are all the guns? I am not talking about weapons of mass destruction. Where are the highly accurate shoulder fired antiaircraft rocket launchers made by the French, English, Russians and Americans, at least since the 1973 mid east war when the Egyptian army successfully invaded the Sinai while defeating the Israeli air force with such shoulder fired rockets. Suddenly, the infantryman had the edge on jet planes.  Where are the wide variety of highly accurate antitank rocket systems fired by two man teams and supplied by Italy, France, England Russia and America? Much like the shoulder fired rockets; there were no reports of Iraqis using sophisticated antitank weapons.  How can this be? Either the Iraqi army was a paper tiger because Saddam Hussein stole all the money needed to buy weapons, or these ordinary but highly sophisticated weapons exist and may be used by disgruntled fathers, nationalists and rump factions of the Baath Party.  Whether they use highly sophisticated weapons or the resistors are children throwing stones, when invaders on an imperial mission of theft encounter resistance they need not be surprised. 

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell refer to such resisters as "bitter enders". Nationalists and patriots fight to the bitter end.   America is run by highly nationalistic bitter enders who regularly wrap themselves in the flag. Members of our power elite can well afford to be bitter enders because it is not the sons and daughters of our decision makers who will be fighting to the bitter end. The sons and daughters of the rich do not join a volunteer army. They have other options.   Without a draft system, the Viet Nam war would be going on today. When the sons and daughters of our wealthy elites must face a draft, at that point the American public will begin to question the Iraq quagmire. 

The poor can be used as cannon fodder and it is romanticized in the media, but when the middle class and rich are yanked out of college and put in harms way the media meisters take a dim view.   America\'s ongoing worldwide imperial adventure will go on as long as the Pentagon planners are able to manage the exercise with an all-volunteer army. As it is, things are tight. At present 70% of the American army is tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan with another 10% in Korea. In Viet Nam, the generals kept telling Presidents Johnson and Nixon that more troops were the answer. It may be so in Iraq. If bands of Iraqi fighters form as fighting units, the generals will be asking President Bush for more manpower to contain the threat. This will require the institution of a draft.   The draft will bring American mothers and fathers into the streets in huge Viet Nam era style demonstrations. In fact, this has already happened. Much as in Viet Nam many coffins will need to come home before the power elite listen to the people and bring the troops home.
Do not wait 20 years to lose 50,000 men and women. Support our troops. Bring the troops home, now.
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