First, remember how over the past few days I've been saying that the US will not be able to launch an effective ground assault on Baghdad “by the numbers” and would have to bomb them for a while first? Now remember how the Bush regime has been claiming that there would be no pause? Well, guess what… As much as a 40-day pause so the people of Baghdad can get bombed first has been decided on (more).
I want to very briefly also mention “dirty tricks”… The US and Britain have been whining about how Iraq is using guerrilla tactics like troops out of uniform (did you ever consider that maybe they are too poor to have real uniforms?)… Let me remind people that this is total BS. It's for the benefit of the TV audience. The US has piles of troops dressed as civilians carrying out assassination missions behind enemy lines (more), so if anyone tries to argue that point, please see through their double-standard.
Even though so far ten sites have been found that have previously been claimed to be WMD sites, so far all are turning up blank (more). That said, Americans don't seem to care that Pearl Harbor was a deception to get America into WWII (more), nor do they care that the Gulf of Tonkin incident that got them into Vietnam never happened (more)… so maybe no one will notice that Saddam actually has no WMDs. Watch Bush's speeches — notice how WMDs are mentioned less, and “freedom” and “liberation” are the new buzzwords.
But don't think Iraq or the Arab world will forget this butchery built on lies… Don't think the rest of the world will either. The American government may be able to propagandize and blind a majority of its population, but it can't do it to the entire world.
I'd like to quote from a British pilot who was attacked by America “friendly fire”. Even though he was tagged with the thermal markers provided by the US, and the A10 the Americans were flying had all the gear required to identify their tank as British, the US pilots could apparently identify them from neither the electronic signature, the design of vehicle (modern British tanks don't look like old Iraqi crap), or the Union Jack which the US pilots directly targetted…
"We [in our tank] can identify a friendly vehicle from 1,500 metres, yet [the American has] an A10 with advanced technology and he can't use a thermal sight to identify whether a tank is a friend or foe. It's ridiculous."
"Combat is what I've been trained for. I can command my vehicle. I can keep it from being attacked. What I have not been trained to do is look over my shoulder to see whether an American is shooting at me."
"There was no gap between the bullets. I heard it and I froze. The next thing I knew the turret was erupting with white light everywhere, heat and smoke. I didn't even have time to close my eyes or blink. I don't know why I've still got hair or eyebrows.
"I felt I was going to burn to death. I just shouted, 'Reverse, reverse, reverse'. My headset had come off. My gunner was screaming, 'Get out, get out.' I was out of the turret in milliseconds. How I got out of that hole I don't know. Then I saw the A10 coming again and I just ran."
"I'll never forget that A10. He was about 50 metres off the ground. He circled, because he can turn on a ten-pence. He came back around. He was no more than 1,000 metres away when he started his attack run. He was about 500 metres away when he started firing."
"On the back of one of the engineers' vehicles there was a Union Jack. It's about 18 inches wide by about 12 inches. For him to fire his weapons I believe he had to look through his magnified optics. How he could not see that Union Jack I don't know."
"The plane came over again and it started shooting. I saw sparks coming from the ground or my leg. It didn't hurt, it felt like someone had kicked me in the back of my leg. I felt warm down the back of my leg. Blood was spurting everywhere. I thought I was dead."
"There was a boy of about 12 years old. He was no more than 20 metres away when the Yank opened up. There were all these civilians around. He had absolutely no regard for human life. I believe he was a cowboy."
"I'm curious about what's going to happen to the pilot. He's killed one of my friends and he's killed him on the second run."
Does it make you proud?
Along of lines of things of things I've warned about before, the US continues to threaten Iran and Syria (more), and it looks like they're getting sick of it (or perhaps simply scared of it). Syria has been forced to issue a statement saying, “We will not wait until we become the next target. I call on Muslims to use all means possible to thwart the aggression, including martyr operations against hostile invaders. This is the obligation of all Muslims.” (more). According to the US, the war efforts are going “on track” and are “truly remarkable” (more)… Sure, if your goal is, and always has been, the apocalypse (more).
American people need to know how truly hated they are. Yes, I know, and I think Europeans know that you aren't actually being represented by the Bush regime any more than Saddam represents his people, but realize that even though Arabs were no fans of Saddam, they so hate the idea of American invasion that they'll use their bodies as weapons. They'll die before they'll let Americans in… So you've got Turkish villagers attacking US military convoys with stones (more) and unarmed Kuwaitis smashing trucks into crowds of US soldiers (more).
I point out those two incidents because American people are being told that the Iraqi people want US liberation. They don't. I'd like now to quote Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar, a 59 year old Iraqi man who loves British pubs and American diners, went to school in the US, and has travelled extensively in the UK. He's no friend of Saddam, he understands the Western world, and he feels just like most Iraqis (more):
"The more of those American bastards I get the happier I will be. I loved both Britain and America but you idiots have turned me against you. You impose punitive sanctions on this country which bring us to our knees. And now you want us to roll out the red carpet for you — you must be joking."
"Saddam Hussein is no friend of mine. But when your troops come down my street I'll be shooting at your boys all the way. But it won't be for the president. It will be for Iraq."
"You say Saddam Hussein has killed many people — I say the UN sanctions have killed our children. Does Saddam Hussein kill children? No."
"You weren't calling him a ruthless dictator in the Eighties when this place was dripping with money. Now you say you are bombing us into democracy. Yet since you've unloaded thousands of missiles on us I don't feel more democratic."
"So you should unleash another thousand — or double that, triple that or more. Maybe then I will feel more democratic. You give me the choice between Saddam Hussein or George Bush. I take Saddam Hussein every time."
Do you still believe the Bush regime when they tell you that Iraq will welcome the American invasion with open arms? Another more quick quotes to illustrate what's going on (more):
"First, I carried out my little cousin, Rana — she was dead. Then I saw my sister Hana — she was dead. And I looked everywhere for my wife. And then they found her on the stairs... [holding the photo of Rana, crying] "I took you to the village because I was afraid of Bush killing you, and then Bush came to the village and killed you."
From Eric Margolis on this subject (more):
Iraqis, quite clearly, do not want to be "liberated" — even many who have long opposed Saddam's brutal regime. To the contrary, the American-British invasion appears to have ignited genuine national resistance among 17 million Arab Iraqis, just as the 1941 German invasion of the USSR rallied Russians and Ukrainians behind Stalin's hated regime.
So far, regular Iraqi army units, militia groups and guerrillas have been delaying and harassing the northward advance of U.S. forces by assaulting their overextended supply lines, then retreating into cities and towns. Any 18th century general worth his snuff would tell you never leave enemy garrisons athwart your communications (supply lines). Napoleon said lines of communications were the most important factor in war, a lesson U.S. forces are painfully relearning in Iraq.
So 100,000 more American troops are being rushed to Iraq, meaning almost half of the U.S. Army will be stuck in Mesopotamia at a time when North Korea is threatening war. And this before U.S. forces have even clashed with Iraq's Republican Guards.
I think it's also important to quote Doug Johnson, who's been in Baghdad recording the “collateral damage” in the city (more) even though we're told “only military targets” are being hit. Come on! They've been playing footage of residential neighbourhoods in Baghdad in flames for days. Unless the city is a ghost town you'd have to be an idiot to believe there aren't innocent people dying (more).
"Several large explosions have just shaken my building... It's funny, but you actually get used to it. U.S. bombs are dropping everywhere. They have broken windows in my hotel. These bombs are not that smart... The only effect (the bombing) has on the Iraqis is that it pisses them off, and they can't wait for the U.S. soldiers to arrive on the ground so that they can put up the fight of their lives."
Americans — you must realize the legacy the Bush regime is leaving you. Yes, you can vote him out in two or six years, but at that point the damage is done. For every year the Bush regime is in power, for every year he brutalises the Middle East, you will need to spend twenty to fifty years repairing his damage… And every one of those years he and his cronies rape you for billions of dollars in personal profits.
Let's see what the US troops have to say (more):
"[upon hearing stories that ice cream trucks are coming] I hope it's true!. I like ice cream, the way they put strawberries in it, and the seeds stick between your teeth."
- USMC Cpl. Jason St. Pierre
"[describing his tanks running living people over] Killed one, ripped the legs off another..."
- USMC "Monty"
"[complaining that their access to TV and newspapers has been restricted] Day to day you have no idea what you're doing or what you're getting yourself into... I think everybody should have a chance to know what's going on, we're all in this together."
- USMC Pvt. 1st Class Antonio Garcia
I think though I should finish with a quote from Neville Watson, a Peace Team member from Australia. He's 73 years old, a judge, and minister. He travelled to Iraq in January. His plans originally would have brought him back by now, but upon seeing the situation in Iraq, he “elected to stay, even if it meant never again seeing his wife, children, and grandchildren.”
"To say God bless America as it goes to war is blasphemy of the worst kind. I used to think of the U.S. as a peace-loving country, but the picture we have today is of a belligerent sheriff deciding which regimes will be changed. I continue to be concerned at how easily the hand over the heart drops to the holster."
I've tried to keep my editorialising out of the entries lately as much as possible. I've tried to let the war speak with the voices that are coming out of it. I've provided links so you can confirm I'm not twisting words… Make your own mind up as to what conclusion the above should take you to.
PS. Maybe dolphins are just dumb fish after all… (more)