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Somewhat Shocking Article from the U$A Today

When I read this article, I thought I was reading Howard Zinn or Michael Albert! But no, it was originally published in that Radical Leftist newspaper, the U$A Today. I guess even Mainstream America is starting to wake up--kind of.
Published on Thursday, July 10, 2003 by USA Today
End U.S. Occupation Now
by Harry Targ

The great folksinger Pete Seeger sang in 1967 of the U.S. sinking deeper and deeper into "the Big Muddy" that was Vietnam, while "the big fool," President Lyndon Johnson, said, "Push on."

For those of us who remember Vietnam, Iraq seems more and more like "the Big Muddy," as U.S. troops are targeted for assassination and Iraqis are killed indiscriminately in retaliation.

It is not that the circumstances involving the two U.S. military interventions are the same. In the Vietnam case, the U.S. engaged in a long and escalating neocolonial intervention from 1950 until the war was finally lost in 1975.

In Iraq, the intervention that began with the Gulf War in 1991 did not involve growing troop commitments until the quick and brutal strikes by land and air against Iraqi targets this past March.

What is similar, however, is the colossal ideologically driven miscalculation that the growing guerrilla opposition today is the result primarily of malcontents from the Baath Party, who lost power and wealth with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and extremist Iraqis who relish engaging in acts of terrorism against U.S. and British troops.

As in Vietnam, the explanation for growing violent opposition to U.S. military occupation is that a tiny and malevolent minority supported by foreign enemies is bent on undermining the "democratization" of Iraq.

U.S. leaders just never seem to get it. When the U.S. engages in brutal economic strangulation, sends covert operatives to terrorize populations and launches air and land war on targeted populations, the victims of these actions do not regard the aggressors as liberators.

The interests of the Iraqi people and the increasingly vulnerable young men and women of the U.S. military occupation would best be served if the United States negotiates the complete withdrawal of coalition troops and allows them to be replaced with a true international peace force under the aegis of the United Nations.

Nothing less will stop the bloodshed.

Harry Targ teaches U.S. foreign policy and international relations at Purdue University. He is the author of 11 books and 50 articles on these subjects.

© Copyright 2003 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

homepage: homepage: http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0710-09.htm

Glad you start to RECOGNIZE the lines 11.Jul.2003 11:10


we have bought into the victim position too long. I guess it was because of the die hard 19th century leftist amongst the movement, those who yearned for a true revolution by the working stiff, led by the academic elite, those who still appologize for the hhorrors under east block statecapitalism, those who could not see that the way forward was not following the first guess of those dead white men....

So we see the pettite bobo papers "coming round? Wow! maybe the wacko right, the rush LimpBows were correct. Maybe there is a progressive, or at least a RATIONAL bias to the news. Maybe we've been loathe to see it because the press has somehow refused to be "our" lapdog, as it has refused to be that for the neo-cons.

We all abuse the press, by what we demand it say and by what we do in response to what it says- when its not our own party line.

Some refuse to look at the NYT. Some of the best writing against the neo-cons is found there. Dry and unassuming ("oh there they go, downplaying the importance, giving lip but really just dismissing us") It was NYC where the "there are two world superpowers, the us mil ind complex... and world opinion" was first presented for public consideration. And wasn't it in the WSJ where I first learned of dissent in the WB / IMF bureaucracy ? But many consider these presses the official voice of predatory capitalism, the enemy of the people.

So, thanks for noticing that the mainstream is not so black and white. And thanks for not spewing how its a trick that they present "our" side.

Thanks for a little OPTIMISM. We all need some.

“Shocking?” The source of the above article … 11.Jul.2003 12:25


is the Editorial/Opinion page of USA Today. Although their online website does not explicitly identify it as such, it apparently was published as an "op-ed" piece.

Given the author Harry Targ's connections with the Committees of Correspondence and CISPES (see  http://www.polsci.purdue.edu/Directory/Faculty/targ.html ), it is somewhat surprising he made it onto the pages of USA Today.

However, I don't think it's "shocking", as the poster, "author: ex-Corporate Media Hack" says in the posting's title. Or is that label of "ex-corporate Media Hack" intended to refer to writer Targ??? If so, that appears to be an erroneous label. (And if it's the IMC poster who is the "ex-Corporate Media Hack" I AM shocked at their being "somewhat shocked" and also at their lack of clarity as to whether they are labeling themselves or Harry Targ as "author:ex-Corporate Media Hack".)

although he certainly makes some unflattering comparisons between America's wars on Vietnam and Iraq, actually, I don't find Targ's position to be so alarming, either. I think Dubya and Rummy should be happy to turn over the "peace-keeping" to the U.N., especially if it's PERCEIVED as a "true international peace force", if they're able to maintain significant control over its direction. That would allow them to hold onto the credit for their glorious victory while distancing themselves, in the eyes of both American and world opinion, from the inevitable problems of even a benevolent "reconstruction" of Iraq, not to mention the ugly appearance of their exploitive intentions. And, it would relieve thousands of American troops to be available for the next battleground in the endless War on Terrorism.

Wire dance 11.Jul.2003 22:52


Let's not get mushy over a little light coming from under the basket. These media whores cannot always suppress the information within their secured public stage. Editorial policies are still in place to control rather than express the information of our world.
What we see here is the wire walk between the devil ( the public trust of the source which is critical ) and the deep blue sea ( the events that would inform the people ) and sometimes, the performers need to use the balance stick
as they trudge onward while entertaining and assuring us. Don't get your hopes up. The ring in their snout is still fixed to the leash.

Do you realize? 13.Jul.2003 13:48


"...predatory capitalism, the enemy of the people..."

Don't you realize that we wouldn't have the technology or the leisure to enjoy this website if it wasn't for capitalism? Socialism could never come up with anything like this. Government can never work as well as free markets do.

USA Today 14.Jul.2003 07:35


...also posted an article just after the anthrax attacks with a handwriting analyst stating unequivically that the notes scribbled on the letter "Allah is God" could not be written by a real Muslim as they would not use this phrase, and the penmanship indicates someone attempting to be fraudulent.