fredag, januari 06, 2006

2/Scott Ritter skingrar dimmorna över utvecklingen både hemma och i Irak

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The Military Recruiter's Lament AlterNet, Jan 18, 2006 (Utdrag)


Rekryterarna borde inse att det inte är själva militärtjänsten som amerikanarna är emot utan snarare att den inte är värd uppoffringen. Samtidigt som de kämpar för att överbrygga denna nationella aversion mot militärtjänst kämpar de överordnade för att undertrycka orsaken till detta misslyckande.

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I frankly couldn't think of a greater insult to the American people than to put forward an argument along those lines (about "a sense of duty to this nation") When one examines the employment picture in America today, firefighting is listed as one of the most dangerous vocations.


And yet America's youth are lining up to compete for firefighting jobs, despite the dangers. The reason for this is that danger aside, firefighting is seen as an honorable profession, one worthy of the sacrifice entailed.


Americans aren't afraid to put their lives on the line for a worthy cause. It is not military service that is being rejected, but rather military service in support of a cause not deemed worthy of the sacrifice expected.



The military today has degenerated into an entity that is viewed by many in the American public as no longer serving the larger interests of the American people, but rather the play toy of a political elite who use the U.S. military as a tool to impose their ideology on others around the world, as opposed to "upholding and defending the Constitution of the United States," the mission assumed when one is sworn into military service.


It is not just the fighting and dying in Iraq that creates an image problem. The military today is involved in a variety of activities that not only insult American sensibilities abroad (such as the illegal invasion of sovereign states, and the illegitimate occupation and oppression of sovereign peoples), but also assault at home the very Constitution they are sworn to uphold and defend.


Americans should not overlook the fact that the agency at the heart of the illegal warrant-less wiretaps that have been ordered by President Bush is the National Security Agency, or NSA, run out of the Department of Defense.


Likewise, a lesser known but equally disturbing attack on the individual civil liberties enjoyed by American citizens -- the ongoing collection of "domestic intelligence information" by a Department of Defense agency known as the Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA. CIFA has, for several years, been operating a new reporting mechanism known as TALON (for Threat and Local Observation Notice).


TALONs report on "non-validated domestic threat information" derived from a variety of means, including a process known as 'data mining' -- a similar process used by the NSA to spy on American citizens as part of the president's illegal warrantless eavesdropping campaign.


"Data mining" allows the agency involved to access as much data as it can from any and all available sources -- emails, internet chatter, phone calls, newspapers, etc. -- in an effort to collate and correlate information on suspected potential threats.


To date, the data mining efforts of CIFA have targeted such high-priority targets as university students and concerned Americans expressing their constitutional freedom of speech through participation in anti-war discussions and demonstrations.


It should come as no surprise to Gen. Cody and others in the U.S. military that American citizens might very well balk at joining an organization that ostensibly is supposed to protect the constitutional freedoms of Americans but in reality serves to violate those freedoms.


The Pentagon's recruitment problems have spilled over into the political realm as well. Rep. John Murtha, D-Penn., who was thrust into the center of the Iraq war debate when he declared last fall that the Iraq war (of which he was once a fervent supporter) was no longer winnable, and that America needed to leave Iraq immediately, added fuel to the fire when he recently noted that if he were a young man today, he would not join the U.S. military.


The Pentagon immediately attacked Rep. Murtha's remarks. Gen. Pete Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took the lead. Murtha's remark, Gen. Pace said, was "damaging to recruiting. It's damaging to morale of the troops who are deployed, and it's damaging to the morale of their families who believe in what they're doing to serve this country."

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Gen. Pace said young people should be encouraged to join, not shun, the military, "especially when we're in a war where our enemy has stated intention of destroying our way of life."


It is very curious that Gen. Pace likened the war in Iraq to a struggle against a foe who has stated its intention to destroy the American way of life. The only "way of life" being destroyed today in Iraq is the Iraqi way of life, and the force responsible for this devastation is the U.S. military.


The insurgency being waged in Iraq today is not anti-American, but rather anti-occupation. The more Americans reflect on the nature of the occupation ongoing in Iraq, the more they wrestle with the notion of how they would respond if a foreign power put its troops on the ground here at home.


The answer, of course, is obvious. It is hard to recruit Americans who know that if they were in the shoes of the Iraqis, they would be doing the exact same thing as the insurgents -- fighting with every tool available to drive out the foreign occupier.


Gen. Pace and others miss the point completely when they appeal to American patriotism in trying to draw recruits to a U.S. military that is engaged in activities in Iraq that can only be seen as inherently un-American.


The very fact that the War in Iraq does NOT threaten the American way of life is the main reason why Americans, by and large, are refusing to walk away from the comforts afforded by the American way of life to join a military system comparatively Spartan in nature.


While economic incentives have always played a role in rounding out the numbers in the all-volunteer force of the post-Vietnam War era, the fact is that military service was for many (including myself) a calling, a reflection of a desire to serve a higher cause than simple economic self-interest.

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The colonel said the American people should be very proud of U.S. service members in Iraq, noting that they and their coalition and Iraqi partners have "the enemy on the run." The Iraqi people should know that America is "going to stand by them" until the insurgents have been defeated, McMasters said.


If one were ignorant of Col. McMasters' curriculum vitae, one might be excused for thinking that Gen. Pace or one of his clones had given the briefing, so in lock-step was the briefing with the political message being issued from the White House.


According to McMasters' simplistic briefing, one would believe that the "terrorists" had imposed themselves on the people of Tall Afar, and not the U.S. military. Tell that to the Hassan children, orphaned by the U.S. Army in January 2005, when their car was shot up at a U.S. military roadblock inside Tall Afar.


"If it were up to me, I'd kill the Americans and drink their blood", 14-year-old Jilian Hassan, who survived the shooting, is quoted as saying afterwards. The Hassans were Turkmen, natives of Tall Afar.


I'd like to ask Col. McMasters what his sentiments would be if foreign troops shot up his car while he drove home in his own hometown, killing members of his family. I'm certain they would echo that of young Jilian.


But McMasters will be the first to tell you that there are unforeseen consequences to war, first and foremost being the tragic reality of what the military euphemistically refers to as "collateral damage" among the civilian population.


But I will tell you that another casualty of war is the truth, and McMasters, the man who took the Joint Chiefs of Staff to task for their lack of honor when it came to selling the Vietnam War, seems to have taken a page directly from his own book.


McMasters failed to mention that his operation was an eerie repeat of a similar operation fought in Tall Afar almost exactly one year prior by members of the U.S. Army's Stryker Brigade in September 2004.


As with that effort, Operation Restore Rights found virtually no foreign fighters in Tall Afar, only Iraqi Turkmen native to the city. Almost all of those killed or captured during the battle for Tall Afar were native Turkmen.


McMasters also glosses over the reality of the Iraqi military, which fought alongside the U.S. soldiers in Tall Afar. Drawn primarily from the ranks of the Kurdish Peshmergh, who were (and are) waging their own pogrom of ethnic cleansing against Turkmen in the area of Kirkuk,


the Iraqi military was engaged in nothing less than the wholesale terrorizing of an innocent civilian population which the U.S. military, including McMasters, allowed to be categorized as "criminal."


Iraqi Defense Minister Sadoun al-Dulaimi, a former lieutenant colonel in Saddam Hussein's army who fled Iraq in 1986, commenting on the "battle" of Tall Afar, said that it would be used as a model as his forces attacked other insurgent-held cities in quick succession.


"We are warning those who have given shelter to terrorists that they must stop, kick them out, or else we will cut off their hands, heads and tongues as we did in Tall Afar," al-Dulaimi said.


Within a month of McMasters' press conference, U.S. forces in Tall Afar were trying to win over the deeply traumatized Turkmen population. Meetings were held with local school officials on how to reopen schools closed since the fighting in September.


Most of the schools had been destroyed or damaged in the fighting, and those that remained intact served as barracks for the occupying U.S. military forces that remained behind in Tall Afar.


School officials asked when the Americans might leave, so that they could return to a sense of normalcy. The U.S. military made it clear that the security situation in the city will dictate when the soldiers will leave the schools. "We hope we can leave those schools as soon as possible, but we do not want to do so too early and allow the criminals to come back," a U.S. military officer said.


Left unsaid was the reality that the "criminals" the officer referred to are in fact the very citizens he claims to be protecting. As McMasters and others know, the vast majority of the "terrorists" killed and detained during the fight for Tall Afar were natives of that town simply fighting to defend their homes.


Like young Jilian, however, there can be little doubt about what will motivate them for the foreseeable future -- a burning desire to drive out an occupying force, that destroyed their homes and slaughtered their fellow townspeople.


In an effort to win back the "hearts and minds" of the citizens of Tall Afar, Col. McMasters' 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment participated in a program in mid-November 2005 to distribute blankets to help ward off the cold of the coming winter.


This action was reported by the Department of Defense's new "Defend America" website, part of a propaganda effort to feed to the American people the "good news" coming from Iraq.


Tell that to the citizens of Tall Afar, who know that a few blankets and repaired schools can't undo the damage done by a brutal occupation run by officers like Col. McMasters who have lost all sense of history or responsibility when it comes to waging war in Iraq.

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All of this only serves to solidify my endorsement of Congressman Murtha's statement encouraging America's youth to avoid service in the military today. America's youth would do well to enlist in an armed forces led by men not afraid to put their careers on the line when it comes to telling the truth about a war in which these same youth are called upon to give their lives in increasing numbers.


As Congressman Murtha knows, it is not the number of casualties that presents the problem. Marines lost thousands on Iwo Jima and other islands in the Pacific during the war to defeat Imperial Japan. Hundreds of thousands of Americans gave their lives to defeat the forces of fascism and empire. These were losses justified by the cause.


In Iraq, it is not the numbers, but the cause. If the Iraq war were just, then America should (and I believe, would) be prepared to lose as many as it takes to get the job done. But since the Iraq war is not a just war, one soldier, sailor, airman or Marine is too great a price, let alone more than 2,270...



Scott Ritter: Elections in 2005, Civil War in 2006? (utdrag)
...Inga artiklar om de djupa sprickor som finns i dagens Irak
kan dölja att Irak numera är förlorad som nationalstat.


När Paul Bremer signerade lagen som dikterade att Baathpartiet skulle bannlysas glömde han att fienden också har en röst. I detta fall två miljoner medlemmar inte minst ur Baathpartiet, vars legitimitet plötsligt försvann trots att dessa också ville ha sitt ord med i laget vad gäller Iraks framtid....


Tillsammans med Sunni -islamister och -klaner består de av nära fem miljoner människor som utestängts från makten bl.a genom tillämpningen av majoritetsval.


Den andra gruppen kapabel till en snabb politisk organisering är den Kurdiska Unionen, särskilt majoriteten i KDP och minoriteten i PUK. Unionen skapades då läget verkade passa, trots att man år 1987 varit inbegripna i ett fullskaligt krig med varandra.


Det är inte en önskan om ett fritt och enat Irak som förenar dessa kurdledare utan snarare en strävan efter ett oberoende Kurdistan. Ungefär som under valet i januari 2005 då kurderna hade en egen omröstning om sitt oberoende där ca 90% röstade för. Sedan dess har målet varit att fortsätta den nationella utvecklingen både politiskt, ekonomiskt och militärt.


Militärt har man uppmuntrat en amerikansk träning och uppbyggnad av kurdiska bataljoner lojala gentemot Kurdistan. (anm: också en israelisk militär elitträning)


Ekonomiskt har kurderna varit aktivt involverade i att driva ut icke-kurder från området runt Kirkuk som härbergerar ett av de viktigaste oljefälten i Irak och därmed utgör första prioritet för ett framtida kurdiskt ekonomiskt oberoende.


Kurderna utgör ca 20% av den irakiska befolkningen och var entusiastiska inför det "demokratiska" valet år 2005 som då fick en särskilt kurdisk profil i syfte att ytterligare fördjupa de sprickor som uppkommit efter Saddam Husseins styre.


Den tredje och sista organisation som är kapabel att verka på en nationell nivå är SCIRI. En av Iran uppbackad och finansierad organisation vars rötter ligger i det Shi'a-islamistiska motståndet mot Saddam Hussein's styre. SCIRI har också positionerat sig som den mest inflytelserika enskilda grupperingen i dagens Irak.


Genom att erkänna det inflytande som SCIRI åtnjuter i varje "demokratisk" process baserad på en person, en röst (Shi'a i Irak utgör 60 procent av befolkningen), har SCIRI manövrerat ut sina politiska motståndare inom den Irakiska Shi'a kommuniteten, eller när detta misslyckats, förödmjukat och våldfört sig på dem genom bruket av sin militära gren, Badr Milisen. Och har nu blivit den dominerande Shiamakten bakom den politiska scenen.



SCIRI har varit noga med att inte verka se ut som regeringarnas ansikte utåt, som om de tjänat en impopulär ockupationsmakts intressen. Samtidigt har SCIRI inte stött motståndet mot den USA-ledda ockupationsmakten och heller inte spritt antiamerikanska känslor i landet.


Omkring 80 percent av Shi'a i dagens Irak vill ha ut de amerikanska inkräktarna och använder samtidigt den amerikanska militärmakten till att undertrycka all inre opposition. SCIRI har idag kontrollen över de viktigaste ministerierna i Irak, antingen direkt eller genom ombud. Liksom kurderna har SCIRI låtit hundra- eller tusentals Shias lojala till Badr Milisen få en amerikansk militär träning.


Alltmedan interimregeringens alla misslyckandena kunde skyllas på sekulära Shias typ Iyad Allawi, eller shias som inte tillhör SCIRI, typ premiärminister Ibrahim Jafari (Dawa), så opererade SCIRI bakom scenen för att kontrollera processen fram till Iraks nya konstitution (inför omröstningen i oktober 2005) och den nya regering som efter det baserades på konstitutionen (valet i december 2005).


Men de flesta irakier som röstade i decembervalet var illa informerade om dynamiken i denna interna politiska process, vilken de då istället kom att legalisera. USAs snabba rush för att skapa ett fritt och demokratiskt Irak har alltså kreerat det rakt motsatt. Man ersatte helt enkelt en form av tyranni (Saddams) med en annan (teokratin under SCIRI)


Det nya SCIRIstyret har legaliserat våldtäkt, mord, tortyr och brutalitet som legitima sätt att regera på (fråga bara kvinnorna i Basra och Bagdad vad det innebär att leva under teokratiska sharialagar, eller vilka verktyg Badr Milisen använder för att tvinga på sin egen lag) och har på så sätt skapat sin egen rättvisa gentemot de som opponerat sig mot diktaten.


SCIRI har använt sig av ett demokratiskt verktyg (alltså ett öppet val) för att få fram ett helt odemokratiskt resultat. Det är inte första gången i historien som ett sådant förfarande ägt rum. Det fanns fria val också under Weimarrepubliken i Tyskland under 1930-talet. När de en gång hade stämplats som legala hade tyrannerna en förmåga att använda dylika val som ett sätt att legitimera den egna makten.


2005 må vara året då det hölls demokratiska val i Irak, men historien kommer att döma detta år som året då grunden lades för ett storskaligt inbördeskrig. Ingenting om de allvarliga sprickor som finns i post-Saddams Irak kan dölja detta faktum, att dagens Irak är förlorat som nationalstat.


I Irak finner man inte bara Sunni mot Shi'a och Araber mot Kurder utan också sekulära Sunni gentemot islamistiska Sunni, Kurder inom KDP mot Kurder inom PUK och Iranuppbackade Shia inom SCIRI gentemot Mokhtar al-Sadrs irakiska Shia.


Irak av idag är en krutdurk som bara ligger och väntar på att explodera. Hittills har de amerikanska soldaterna fungerat som dynamitarder som ser till att hålla elden pyrande innan allt slutligen exploderar utanför varje kontroll.


Men därigenom har man också öppnat luckan till de lager av pyrande bränsle i form av hämndbegär, girighet och politiska handlingar, vilka framkallar en brand som ingen amerikansk styrka av vad slag det vara mån är i stånd att bemästra.


…År 2006 blir det år då USA får skörda vad man själva sått. Denna "demokratiska regering" av SCIRIs teokratiska och tyranniska modell kommer slutligen att slita denna tragiska nation kallad Irak i bitar. I ett kattrakande där alla dras med i ett inbördeskrig på liv och död. Mer likt en präriebrand än varje annan känd politisk process.


Där i mitten kommer USAs militära styrkor att befinna sig, oförmögna att stoppa de strider som briserar runt omkring dem. Utan möjlighet att undvika att bli svedda i lågorna av det inbördeskrig som man själv varit med om att skapa.



Flammorna som uppslukar Irak kommer inte bara att hota amerikanarnas närvaro i landet utan också grannländernas territorium. Utifrån det faktum att den amerikanska inblandningen i Iraks inre angelägenheter inte bara saknar syftet att installera en verklig demokrati i landet utan också var en del av en övergripande strategi av regionala regimförändringar, inte bara i Irak utan också i Syrien och Iran och på andra ställen i världen.


Den stora faran är hur Bushadministrationen kommer att reagera på utvecklingen i Irak och den instabilitet detta medför även utanför Irak. Med tanke på krigsretoriken från Vita Huset om Syrien och Iran nyligen, är det inte svårt att föreställa sig även om det är omtumlande, vart vi är på väg i Mellanöstern år 2006....



(anm: Sedan åratal har både iranier och sunniirakier vittnat om hur oerhört skickliga de iranska ayatollorna är att bedra både den egna landsbygdsbefolkningen och att spela dubbelt gentemot USA. Samtidigt som man skor sig något rent kriminellt)

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