Iraq; "a right rollicking cock-up" 

By Mike Whitney 

10/03/05 "ICH"
-- -- Donald Rumsfeld continued his bloody onslaught on civilian enclaves this weekend by laying siege to the Iraqi city of Sadah. Most of the 2,000 desperately poor residents of the town have already been evacuated, leaving the city vulnerable to the vast and predictable devastation that always accompanies these unprovoked attacks. Judging by the appalling results we've seen in Qaim, Falluja and Tal Afar, we can expect that water lines, electrical power and sewage will be laid to waist as a form of collective punishment against the townspeople. The ultimate purpose of the assault is to break the back of the Sunni-dominated resistance by demolishing the "sea in which they swim"; in this case the entire Sunni heartland. In the process, the military is trying to erase whatever vestiges of Iraqi culture still exist in the cities. By sweeping away the landmarks and icons of national identity, the Pentagon hopes to assert the values of the dominant culture by force. This is the main thrust of a plan to remake Iraqi society into a "free market" economy. 

As always, the western media has provided the muddled-rationale for American aggression. Associated Press reported that the attack was "aimed at rooting out al-Qaida militants who have taken hold of the village." Nothing could be further from the truth. The claim is not backed by any corroborating evidence nor does it fit with recent estimates of the number of foreign-fighters in the country.(which varies between 5 to 10%) Now that the Pentagon has systematically liquidated or detained the few independent journalists operating in Iraq, they are free to execute their information-strategy according to their own skewed objectives. The claim that Al Qaida has seized control of these small border towns is patently absurd and unworthy of further comment. 

The assault on the defenseless cities is intended to maximize human suffering and discourage greater participation in the resistance. The strategy emerges from a civilian leadership that has produced nothing but bloody failures and continues to conduct operations that eliminate any possibility for a political solution. This blind adherence to violence and overwhelming force is what led retired General William Odom to recently refer to Iraq as the "greatest strategic disaster in United States history". 

While Rumsfeld continues his terror-campaign on the Syrian border, fellow-traveler Condi Rice has been defending the merits of unprovoked-carnage to an audience at Princeton University; Rumsfeld's alma mater. Rice said that the use of military force to advance the cause of democracy and liberty is "the only guarantee of true stability and lasting security." 

Rice, of course, failed to cite any examples of the "stability and lasting security" produced by Bush's savage war on terror. 

"Let's be clear about who they and we are fighting," Rice opined. 

"Insurgents, including foreigners, kill Iraqi children receiving candy from American soldiers, and shoot schoolteachers in their classrooms. This is not some grass-roots coalition of national resistance," Rice said. "These are barbaric, merciless killers." 

Yes, but which "barbaric, merciless killers" are we talking about? 

Rice's ignores the widespread suspicion among Iraqis that American and British Intelligence are directly involved in the terrorist attacks on civilians to achieve their goal of partitioning Iraq. The incident in Basra, where 2 British commandos were allegedly arrested with explosives in the trunk of their vehicle casts a pall over the nattering of the Secretary of State, whose credibility is already at its nadir. 

The recent alleged "suicide bombing" outside Baghdad illustrates the problem with America's credibility on this issue. 60 people were killed when "three suicide attackers detonated car bombs nearly simultaneously." 

No one from al Qaida or any other terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the bombings. So, we must ask ourselves; 'who benefits' by the random murder of innocent civilians? 

Certainly, not al Qaida who must curry support from the local population to carry out operations while remaining concealed from the occupying forces. 

Or, is it possible that the same people who brought us Abu Ghraib, "Shock and Awe", Falluja, and myriad other atrocities, are now engaged in a massive black-ops program to incite civil war? 

Don't expect the embedded media to help answer this disturbing question. As global managing editor, David Schlesinger, admitted last week; reporters are under attack nearly as much as Iraqi civilians. Schlesinger said that American forces' conduct towards journalists in Iraq is "spiraling out of control" and preventing full coverage of the war reaching the public. Schlesinger noted "a long parade of disturbing incidents whereby professional journalists have been killed, wrongfully detained, and/or illegally abused by US forces in Iraq". He stopped short of saying that journalists were being intentionally killed by American troops, but the frequency and circumstances of the deaths are causing increasing suspicion. 

66 journalists have been killed so far, and countless others have been detained without explanation. Schlesinger stated that the military's conduct, "creates a serious chilling effect on the media overall." 

Well, duh! 

Rumsfeld has no intention of allowing the free media to chronicle and photograph the orgy of terror he has engendered in Iraq. The American people must never see the countless lives that are sacrificed or ruined so they pedal-about in their behemoth luxury-vehicles. 

An iron curtain has been drawn around Iraq, allowing the invading power to wreak havoc across the country with complete impunity. Nearly a full year has passed since Falluja was leveled in a drunken fit of revenge and still the apocryphal "free press" hasn't produced pictures of the devastation for their American audience. 

Is there any greater proof of the media's complicity than that? 

And doesn't the EU's support of Washington's resolution against Iran prove that they tacitly back the ongoing decimation of Iraqi society? 

Why else would they risk the same butchery in Iran by standing with the superpower? 

The bloodshed in Sadah is just the latest chapter in the "most cowardly war in history". (Arundhati Roy) The lumbering military-goliath is simply stepping on anything in its path to fulfill its mission. While 57% of Americans now believe the "U.S. should assume the implementation of democracy is achieved and begin a process of withdrawing troops," (according to a poll by Knowledge Networks for the Council on Foreign Relations) the recalcitrant Bush administration refuses to budge. Elites on both sides of the aisle have circled-the-wagons and will not alter the direction of the current catastrophic policy. 

The American experiment has reached its zenith; the nation's elected representatives have rejected the will of the people and the peaceful channels for political change have been foreclosed. We're facing a steady and irreversible decline in prestige, power and moral authority. Iraq is America's crossroads; a war that was best summarized by British Colonel Tim Collins as "a right rollicking cock-up".

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