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I Cannot Support the Troops.

An open letter to all active duty U.S. Military personal.
I Cannot Support the Troops.

An open letter to all active duty U.S. Military personal.

By Lloyd Hart

Because, to support the troops I would have to support war criminals. Every soldier in Iraq and throughout the U.S. military infrastructure that continues to follow orders that support the invasion and the continued occupation of Iraq are directly or indirectly complicit in a war crime. The members of the U.S. military have had more than enough time to study the illegality of the actions that they are involved in, in Iraq. They cannot plead ignorance of the law nor of any of the criminal actions committed by superior officers or for that matter those of the Commander in Chief who set this act of genocide, this war crime in motion.

In case you are a soldier who is reading this and is unaware of the International War Crime you are committing, it is very clear in international law that I might add the U.S. helped to write and has officially endorsed, that no nation may invade another nation without clear provocation. In the case of Iraq there was absolutely no provocation, and no threat whatsoever to the United States of America being posed by an already destroyed and sanction weakened nation that could not even defend itself let alone launch an attack on the United States of America.

In your individual case, the Nuremberg trials after World War II made it very clear that you could no longer use the excuse that you were just following orders and therefore attempt to shuffle the total responsibility up the ranks. In other words you the soldier made the act of genocide, the war crime you are committing in Iraq possible by following the order without question that came down from the commander in chief, the president of the United States. More clearly, it is you the soldier who has enabled your government to go to war for an obviously corrupt reason, oil.

It is you the soldier that is ultimately responsible for following orders with the obvious criminal intent of the commander-in-chief, the president of the United States displayed in broad daylight for all see even prior to the illegal invasion of Iraq.

Even when you hold up weapons of mass destruction as the reason the U.S. opted to use the U.S. National Security Strategy of pre-emption, the invasion and continued occupation of Iraq are still international war crimes for the simple fact that Iraq did nothing against the U.S. prior to its invasion by the U.S. that could justify in international law a preemptive defensive military invasion. In fact pre-emption, the national security strategy put forth by the Bush regime prior to the invasion of Iraq and put against the backdrop of international law is an illegal strategy.

Even when you hold up the new reason for the illegal invasion and continued occupation of Iraq, democracy? There is nothing stated in international law that gives the right to the United States of America or any nation for that matter, that allows for the export of the political system in America or that of any nation to another nation by a military force. So if you as a soldier are still attempting to justify your war crime by convincing yourself you're bringing Liberty to the people of Iraq I beseech you to ask the family members of the hundred thousand Iraqi people you have helped to murder in an international war crime whether or not they feel liberated.

I realize that it is difficult for anyone to admit complicity in such horrific events, to take responsibility for one's own actions in a war crime that you may believe did not begin or originate with you but taking responsibility upon oneself is the cornerstone upon which peaceful human behavior is built. The overwhelming majority of a human being's time on Earth is spent conducting peaceful activities with the intent of causing no harm. This signifies the truest identity of a human being. What you are doing in Iraq is the exact opposite and what you are doing is punishable by law.

 http://dadapop.com

homepage: homepage: http://dadapop.com

I agree 06.Mar.2005 10:29

Eurosquirrel

Most troop supporters are:
a) people who would never join the military
b) wouldn't associate with an actual "trooper" if they met one, let alone let their daughter/son go out with one

Besides, those that feel that the war is wrong but nevertheless "support "their" troops" is kind of like saying Hitler was an asshole but the S.S. troops were o.k. since they were my father/son/uncle ...

Observation 06.Mar.2005 11:05

Visitor Q

Mr. Hart, this is an interesting position that I'm sure is inspired by the right instinct, but is problematic and misguided. The problem is rooted in the fact that the entire phenomena of "support the troops" is itself problematic.

One does not surrender the capacity for independent and critical thought by virtue of joining the military. To be sure, it's already clear that a growing number of soldiers on duty are beginning to realize what they're involved in and are being radicalized by their experience. They are speaking out, at great personal risk to themselves.

Others, of course, are not. I think it is important that we who are watching all this unfold from the safety of our own homes that the typical solider serving in Iraq -- or anywhere abroad, for that matter -- is not necessarily privy to nuances and details of the debate here in the United States. I'll bet there are a lot of kids over there who don't even know what the Nuremberg tribunals were.

Yes, we should be talking about the Nuremberg principles, and yes, there should be a passionate, rational argument made for prosecuting Bush and his war planners. There is no question ... they belong in the dock.

I think you ought to get off your high horse about not supporting the troops. Unless one is actually sending soldiers equipment and/or items to make their stay in Iraq a more comfortable experience, you aren't "supporting the troops" anyway, even if you have a silly-ass sign in your yard that says you do or a yellow ribbon bumper sticker on your gas-guzzling SUV. They are words, meaningless words, that are intended for a single purpose: to identify yourself as someone who either is fully in support of the war, or as someone who does not feel inclined to question it, but does not want to be seen by the hard-core hawks as either neutral or a war opponent. "Support the troops" is not a grassroots phenomena ... if memory serves, it was produced during the first Gulf War by those in power. You're buying into rhetoric that has hoodwinked even the people who are using it.

I would focus your rhetorical fire at the top of the political food chain. I don't see any point in calling for the head of everyone in uniform. Putting aside the element of soldiers who are truly backward and bloodthirsty, those kids over there are ultimately our allies. Certainly, they are potentially our allies. We ought to be talking to them and engaging them in a calm, rational manner ... not hollering for their arrest.

Yellow Ribbons 06.Mar.2005 11:59

billy ray

Yellow Ribbons have replaced the swastika for this fascist government

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER 06.Mar.2005 12:37

IMAGINE I'm not the only one

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER
Buffy Sainte-Marie
© Caleb Music-ASCAP

I wrote "Universal Soldier" in the basement of The Purple Onion coffee house in Toronto in the early sixties. It's about individual responsibility for war and how the old feudal thinking kills us all. Donovan had a hit with it in 1965.


He's five feet two and he's six feet four
He fights with missiles and with spears
He's all of 31 and he's only 17
He's been a soldier for a thousand years

He's a Catholic, a Hindu, an athiest, a Jain,
a Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew
and he knows he shouldn't kill
and he knows he always will
kill you for me my friend and me for you

And he's fighting for Canada,
he's fighting for France,
he's fighting for the USA,
and he's fighting for the Russians
and he's fighting for Japan,
and he thinks we'll put an end to war this way

And he's fighting for Democracy
and fighting for the Reds
He says it's for the peace of all
He's the one who must decide
who's to live and who's to die
and he never sees the writing on the walls

But without him how would Hitler have
condemned him at Dachau
Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He's the one who gives his body
as a weapon to a war
and without him all this killing can't go on

He's the universal soldier and he
really is to blame
His orders come from far away no more
They come from him, and you, and me
and brothers can't you see
this is not the way we put an end to war.


Entire Contents ©2003 Buffy Sainte-Marie

From:  http://www.creative-native.com/lyrics/univelyr.htm

Lyrics (without comment) also available at  http://www.hugelyrics.com/lyrics/106492/Sainte_Marie_Buffy/Universal_Soldier

Been there, Done that 06.Mar.2005 12:51

over 50

Haven't we been down this muddy road before? Back in the days of the Vietnam War, demonizing soldiers was a common tactic among the redder shades of protester. "After Nuremburg.." doesn't hold much water these days, since Abu prison and Gitmo seem to be normal S.O.P. with the Rumsfeld crowd. We had Lt. Calley & Co. to reinforce our fears back then, but there was also Ron Kovic. There's no avoiding being a soldier in this world for many people. It's an age-old dilemma. All wars are inhuman and cruel by their very nature. The fact is, the soldiers in Iraq know all too well that this whole deal is B.S. They're the ones playing the leading roles in this daily remake of High Noon. If the tables were turned and the USA was being invaded by armored Chinese infantry, everybody would be glad to see the Marines. Context, context. You think these soldiers just appeared one day? They're US. They could be YOUR KIDS a few years down the road with a Draft in place. Let's put our priorities where they belong and hassle these damned Congressmen and Senators to put a timetable on troop removal NOW, not in the weeks leading to the next big election.

On general principle? 06.Mar.2005 13:28

tenacious

The methodically analytical examination of the U.S. governments creation of and entry into the war in Iraq, alledging that it's presence there is criminal, as is that of participating troops, is way beyond the scope of average people. People don't spend a lot of time equivocating multiple outcomes of possible American government/military decisions that might be regarded criminal at some point. They enlist as a way of becoming part of the backbone of this country, and providing a life for their families.
It takes quite a discerning mind, with the leisure to apply it, to divine that the U.S. government will take illegal actions in the affairs of other countries. Despite what political science enthusiasts, revolutionaries, activists and cynics may believe about that, citizens in this country predominately beleive the actions of the the U.S. are generally straight up. As a citizen and a soldier, an even greater requirement is involved in studying whether the actions of your country in the affairs of another that may eventually judged legal criminal, will make you personally culpable.
The military is part of the economy. It's jobs. It's also a way of keeping the country from being a toothless old dog in the face of aggressive countries in the world. People join because most still believe the country stands on solid social and moral ethics they can understand without spending 2-3 hours a day reading and discussing politics.
They join up, get married, have the kids, get as many of the typical american life accessories as they can, and when the government says go, they go. It might happen down the road, but at this point, very few of said people stand around hem-hawing about whether an imminent action on the part of the government is going to give them cause to not participate because certain people around them second guess the government's decisions on the basis that they're criminal.
As citizens of the U.S., we are certainly all entitled to exchange opinions about our lives here. If somebody wants to say all troops in Iraq are criminals complicit with U.S. government actions that particular somebody considers criminal, they are free to do it. But to do so is nothing short of absurdly simplistic, self-serving, and petty.
Persons saying so, that have the will and stamina to forego the family and perks of american life that are only available to many citizens through a life in the military are not that common. Their stance may be commendable, but viciously attacking those who aren't prepared to conduct their lives similarly is not reasonable.
Withold your support from troops in Iraq if you must, but think about the basic, general reasons underlying a citizens decision to become a troop. Taking such an absurd position calls for at least a little of that activity before one speaks.

Hi Buffy 06.Mar.2005 13:59

Over 50

Buffy- I still remember those great Friday night jams with you and Taj Mahal at Anini Beach before Hurricane Iniki. Those were the days!

Rapists and scum 06.Mar.2005 14:17

Joe

Fallujah Massacre Interactive 1984 Whatshisname Vialls Homexxx Warning to Parents: This Page Contains Sexually Explicit Images xxx

Vietnam's Operation Phoenix Reborn in Iraq American Perverts
Pack Rape & Kill
Iraqi Women

Copyright Joe Vialls, 5 May 2004

"The sole mission of Phoenix personnel was to terrorize the Vietnamese into submission using 'whatever means necessary'. Though this remit is chillingly non-specific and Phoenix documents are still highly classified today, two personal friends who were directly involved in Phoenix all those years ago, tell me that they still break out in a cold sweat at least once a week, and will probably suffer from nightmares for the rest of their lives. I believe them."
"Under the wide and starry sky, dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die, and I laid me down with a will."

'Requiem', Robert Louis StevensonIraq War Crimes Trial Early on 8 June 1972, American "fire" rained from the sky onto Highway 1 outside the South Vietnamese village of Trang Bang. Badly burned by napalm and disoriented by the bomb's impact, 9-year-old Phan Thi Kim Phuc picked herself up, tore off her clothes and stumbled blindly down the road. Though by 1971 millions of Americans were already actively demonstrating against the wanton barbarism in Vietnam, photographer Nick Ut's picture of the terrified Kim Phuc, mouth agape with horror and pain, arms splayed out from her tiny naked body, had a massive impact on millions more angry Americans, many of them women.
A tidal wave of pure revulsion rippled across the United States, as people came to realize that the tiny naked Kim could have been anybody, including their own daughter or sister. The photograph served as absolute proof that American politicians ordered weapons of mass destruction ["jelly fire"] to be dropped on defenseless civilians, which in turn proved military commanders in the field were ready, willing and able to carry out these depraved political directives.
Though the New York media attempted to insinuate that anonymous "intelligence officers" were to blame for the deliberate firebombing of Trang Bang, Nick Ut's photograph proved they were not. The napalm that rained down on the village that day was dropped by U.S. military aircraft on the direct orders of military officers, who in turn were obeying direct political commands from Washington, D.C.
Even more obscene were New York claims that the terrible pictures of little Kim Phuc had been forged by the "Commies", in some sort of desperate but unspecified plot to discredit the honor and dignity of the proud United States armed services. This was a classic example of American imperial hypocrisy at work, with politicians reserving the absolute 'God-given' right to firebomb, torture and kill anyone anywhere in the world at any time, while the media cleaned up the mess behind them, and pretended that the victims were either lying or had brought it upon themselves.
More recently with the release of appalling torture photographs from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, these absurd claims have surfaced yet again, with New York and its 'alternative media' lackeys trying to insinuate that shadowy anonymous spooks gave "our poor soldiers" orders to "soften up" these Iraqi prisoners for interrogation. This is provable rubbish. No Brigadier General allows mere spooks from Langley or anywhere else to give direct order to his or her subordinate ranks, meaning that what you see is what you get: American soldiers wantonly torturing Iraqi civilian prisoners as a matter of U.S. Government policy, and clearly enjoying the experience.
Believe me when I say that what you seen so far, is merely the tip of a giant iceberg of Invader depravity in Iraq that beggars the imagination. For nearly two months I have been in possession of images far worse than these, in fact so sickening that even as a retired combat veteran myself, they turned my stomach. After receiving the images through Jordan from women's refuges in Iraq and other sources, I agonized week after week about posting them on the Internet, before coming to the conclusion that this would be a practical impossibility, at least until one of America's own "respected" media outlets showed at least some of these disgusting torture pictures, and before an 'alternative media' site in turn tried to pretend that the pack rape images were "staged porn".
It is a sad reflection on western morality today, that in the wake of the attack on the World Trade Center in September 2001, no one is allowed to criticize what "our boys" in the military do, or how they do it. I knew that if I published too soon, and despite my unblemished reputation as a fair and impartial investigator, I would immediately be labeled as a "propagandist" or "agent of a foreign power" in order to detract from the photographs themselves, and from their truly horrifying and thus powerful content.
However, now that CBS has published a handful of relatively tame images from Abu Graib Prison, and World News Daily has followed up with the predictable claim that the far worse rape pictures are in reality extracts from a porn website called "Iraqi Babes", I feel the time is now right to expose a little more of the iceberg of invader depravity in Iraq.
The World News Daily 'investigation' is flimsy at best, and while it accurately reports that "Iraqi Babes" was first created in April 2003, it fails to mention that these specific images were not posted on the site until early 2004. On the evidence so far, it seems certain that "Iraqi Babes" and a handful of other sites are parts of an American COINTELPRO operation, designed to act as catcher's mitts for leaked images, and thus provide a means for the 'alternative media' to stifle justifiable public outrage and dissent.
The likelihood of a sophisticated COINTELPRO operation is strongly reinforced by World News Daily titling its report, Bogus GI rape photos used as Arab propaganda, while at the same time challenging the website, Committee for the Defense of Saddam Hussein and Albasrah, to "remove the photos from the website and admit they are staged images". No respectable website would do this without hard evidence, which WND does not present, and especially not in the face of corroboration from women's refuges inside Iraq.
The decision to publish the pack-rape images shown later in this report is mine alone, and it is final. If you have a weak stomach it is strongly recommended that you read no further, and if you are a politically-correct Zionist lobbyist in New York, do not waste your time exerting untoward pressure on my host servers to remove the report or its images on the grounds of "obscenity", because this page has been correctly marked "xxx". In addition to the server where you are viewing this report today , it has already been mirrored at five other locations. Should you succeed in having the report removed from an existing server, five more mirrors will be generated, and so on. Rest assured that the depraved behavior of Invading troops and mercenaries in Iraq will be visible on the Internet for a very long time to come.
It is a fact that the level of depravity in Iraq today is at least ten times as bad as it was in the bad old days of Vietnam, and has been directly affected by events following in the aftermath of 9-11. When John Walker Lindh was publicly transported back to America in a black sensory-deprivation coffin, and more than 600 'suspects' were unlawfully kidnapped in Afghanistan and transported openly to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, for comprehensive abuse and advanced torture in defiance of the Geneva Convention and International Law, American perception of human rights was modified on a permanent basis.
When the White House Recently appointed Guantanamo Concentration Camp Commandant Major General Geoffrey D. Miller to "clean up Abu Ghraib Prison" in Iraq, the American public remained curiously silent. This lack of dissent gave the U.S. Administration authority to continue torturing Iraqis, but this time using experts and avoiding publicity. Though very few Americans believe that a bunch of incompetent trainee Muslim Cessna pilots flew two giant Boeing 767 passenger jets into the World Trade Center towers with devastating accuracy at a blistering 575 m.p.h., the media managed to convince most Americans that Muslims in general were 'the enemy', which in turn resulted in tacit public approval of their shocking mistreatment at Camp Delta. Because there were no massed demonstrations in America against this gross abuse of human rights at a United States navy base on American territory, torturing Muslims and treating them as "Untermenschen", the Nazi term for sub-humans of racially or socially inferior groups, gave soldiers and mercenaries alike the 'green light' to do whatever they wanted to Muslims anywhere in the world.
It is perhaps the height of irony that by allowing their own government to torture Muslims in Guantanamo Bay, Americans in general have opened themselves up to almost unbelievable Orwellian restrictions on the mainland, courtesy of the totalitarian lobbies in New York and Washington. Those 600+ tortured souls down at Camp Delta are the only visible hard proof of the phony Zionist-manufactured "War on Terror". The entire camp is an 'icon' used to distort reality for the American public, and thus permit gross totalitarian excesses at home in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.
If all Americans pulled together, held mass demonstrations, and demanded that these 600 Muslim men be released and returned to their homes, the phoney "War on Terror" would collapse almost overnight. Without their visible 'terror icon' at Guantanamo Bay, the totalitarians would be left floundering around trying to justify their insane behavior. During the nine hundred and fifty-six days that have elapsed since the anonymous attack on the World Trade Center, not one person in America has been killed by a "Muslim Terrorist". Let me repeat that just one more time for absolute clarity: During the nine hundred and fifty-six days that have elapsed since the anonymous attack on the World Trade Center, not one person in America has been killed by a "Muslim Terrorist".
What would Rothschild, Cheney, Sharon, Wolfowitz and Perle do then? How would they convince Americans to go on submitting to crude body searches at every airport across the land, and how would they convince naïve young American soldiers to go and get themselves killed in the Iraqi desert for the greater good of Zionist crude oil? They would not be able to do so, and America would then have a very slim chance of returning to the carefree country that it used to be. However, leave Camp Delta intact, and this will never happen. Instead, those 600 pitiful Muslim men will be used as a constant media cattle prod, to spur all of you on to greater and greater human rights excesses both at home and abroad.
One of the biggest problems facing ordinary American citizens today, is trying to determine exactly who is doing what to whom in Iraq. During the last year the U.S. Administration has hired more than 40,000 "independent contractors" for Iraq, with more than 20,000 of these being armed mercenaries operating under exactly the same remit as the notorious Operation Phoenix in Vietnam. The sole mission of Phoenix personnel was to terrorize the Vietnamese into submission using "whatever means necessary". Though this remit is chillingly non-specific, two personal friends who were directly involved in Phoenix all those years ago, tell me that they still break out in a cold sweat at least once a week, and will probably suffer from nightmares for the rest of their lives. I believe them.
After piecing together the available evidence from more than 400 known cases of pack rape in Iraq, the women's refuges are of the combined view that about 80% were perpetrated by American-controlled mercenary groups rather than by line military soldiers, but they cannot be absolutely sure. This is due partly to the sheer terror of the victims at the time, and because some victims [including those whose faces you see on this page] were brutally murdered when their tormentors had finished abusing them. Please note that I have made no attempt to obscure the faces of the men involved. If you, a friend or contact can positively identify any one of them, please contact your local FBI office as quickly as possible. Your testimony will remain strictly confidential, and you will be provided with witness protection if it is considered necessary.
Writing on a subject as delicate as this is incredibly difficult to start with, made even harder nowadays because so many Americans are on the defensive, determined to shield American "honor" no matter what the price. On this subject it is wise to remember that informed patriotism is highly desirable and very healthy, but blind patriotism is incredibly dangerous. This fact was brought home to me on 14 April, when I wrote an accurate report about rogue American officers destroying U.S. Marine Corps honor, by ordering their subordinates to slaughter unarmed women and children in Fallujah, the City of Mosques, with heavy weapons including tanks, Cobra gunships and AC-130 Spectre flying battleships. As usual, independent verification was provided three days later by eminent war correspondent John Pilger, and by the highly respected Médecins Sans Frontières, but this was all way too late for 'alternative' American website Rumor Mill News.
Within hours of the report being published, my work was "banned for ever" by website owner Rayelan Allan, who indulged herself in an incredibly long rant against me personally, including, " What were my doubts? That he [Vialls] was working for one of the alphabet agencies spewing carefully constructed disinformation that none of the rest of us are smart enough or have the sources to verify! You want to bitch about my decision... take it to God like... I will not have inflammatory lies like the kind Joe Vialls posted put up on Rumor Mill News".
While having no idea what an "alphabet agency" might or might not be, my work contained no lies at all. More than a thousand Iraqi residents were killed in Fallujah [their own town in their own country], by massive and indiscriminate U.S. Marine firepower brought to bear by rogue officers, some of them JINSA members. In the end they [The U.S. Marines] got themselves into such a mess that General Kimmitt panicked and handed the city back to Iraqi Republican Guard General Jassim Mohammed Saleh, and one thousand of his men. While the word "defeat" would probably stick in the throats of most Americans, be absolutely clear on one point. The fanatical General Kimmitt would not have handed Fallujah back to the Republican Guard if he had any other choice. The reality is that Kimmitt had no other choice, and there will be a heavy price to pay sometime in the future for the wanton mass murder of all those Iraqi citizens.
Ms Allan also wrote, "Vialls' post is an insult and a slap in the face to every Marine that has ever lived!! I sincerely hope that Mr. Vialls is not living where a Marine can find him! If he is, he had better find some cover until this blows over!" Clearly this was intended as a direct threat against my life, because it is impossible to interpret the words any other way. Let me just say this. My address is displayed on the home page of this website, meaning that locating me is no problem at all. However, any Marine directly involved in the cowardly murder of unarmed women and children in Fallujah should note that I am an extremely angry combat veteran. Because of the heinous war crimes you have personally committed in Iraq, you bring shame and dishonor on every uniformed fighting man who has ever served, regardless of his national flag. In short, wear your dog tags and bring your own body bag, Marine, so we can air freight you back to the correct address in America.
For the sake of those honorable Americans determined to do something about the totalitarian maniacs currently running their country, it is probably time to take a quick look at George Orwell's chilling novel "1984". In 1984, Winston Smith lives in London which is part of the country Oceania. The world is divided into three countries that include the entire globe: Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. Oceania, and both of the others, is a single totalitarian society led by Big Brother, which censors everyone's behavior, even their thoughts. Winston is disgusted with his oppressed life and secretly longs to join the fabled Brotherhood, a supposed group of underground rebels intent on overthrowing the government.
George Orwell was an exceedingly clever and devious man, because I had to read "1984" from cover to cover four times, before the subtle underlying message became clear. What George Orwell was actually describing was "democracy", the overwhelming confidence trick designed to control us all in the west. Taken in the American context, Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia represent the Presidency, the Republican and the Democrat parties, all of them directly answerable to Big Brother, i.e. the Zionist Cabal in New York.
Regardless of whether Americans vote for Bush or Kerry at the forthcoming elections, most already know from bitter experience that nothing will change. Election promises will be made of course, but they will inevitably be broken by remote control from Wall Street, by Big Brother. Americans next year will be no better off than they were last year, and things may even get worse, brought about by the increasingly totalitarian nature of the bureaucracy.
In "1984" the Ministry of Truth [the media] constantly changes truth for lies in order to generate something for people to cheer about, because people need to be kept busy, and more importantly, they all need something to believe in. Thus for example Oceania may score a victory over Eurasia, giving reason for wild joy and celebration, though of course there is nothing real to cheer about, and people's humdrum lives will not change at all. This is identical to the run up to the American presidential elections this year. People will shout themselves hoarse and give their hard-earned money to a Republican or Democrat who they already know will do nothing for them.
Let us assume that the average American spends about $10.00 on his "chosen" party, whether this be in terms of a direct donation, or for gasoline to get to the voting station. Now think what would happen if even 20% of eligible American voters suddenly decided to withhold their collective $10.00 contributions, and spent the massive resulting sum on a street campaign to "Free The Inmates of Camp Delta". At a single stroke, Big Brother would be neutered, the fictional "War on Terror" would collapse, and American totalitarianism with it. If you think this is a pipe dream, think again. Apart from being easily possible, it would actually cost you nothing you would not otherwise have spent, and would be the first step back along the dusty and forgotten road to American freedom.
Viewed in the short term, this is probably the only viable option left apart from simply waiting for the second American Civil War, though this time around the boot will probably be on the other foot. When the gunsmoke in Iraq finally clears and Americans wake up to the reality that the only oil reserves they have are in the United States, someone somewhere is going to realize with a jolt that approximately 90% of those reserves are contained within the boundaries of the old "Confederate South". Which all leads me to wonder exactly how much hard cash a New York banker will have to pay Johnny Reb, each and every time he wants to fill his flash Mercedes Benz with gas...


One of the "American" guards in Abu Ghraib Prison
From Counterpunch

Much has been made of the sexual humiliation of the men incarcerated by the Crusaders in Abu Ghraib Prison. However the abuse of the female prisoners at Abu Ghraib, and other prisons in Iraq, have gone nearly unnoticed. Although it took photographs to wake the world's attention to the shenanigans, within the cells, it was actually a letter scribed by a woman prisoner that first exposed what was going on in the infamous prison. The contents of a note that was smuggled out of the prison were so shocking that, at first, Amal Kadham Swadi and the other Iraqi women lawyers who had been trying to gain access to the jail found them hard to believe. It claimed that US guards had been raping women detainees. Several of the women were now pregnant, it added. The women had been forced to strip naked in front of men, it said.
Swadi, one of seven female lawyers now representing women detainees in Abu Ghraib, began to piece together a picture of systemic abuse and torture perpetrated by US guards against Iraqi women held in detention without charge. This was not only true of Abu Ghraib, she discovered, but was, as she put it, "happening all across Iraq". In November 2003, Swadi visited a woman detainee at a US military base at al-Kharkh, a former police compound in Baghdad. "She was the only woman who would talk about her case. She was crying. She told us she had been raped," Swadi says. "Several American soldiers had raped her. She had tried to fight them off and they had hurt her arm. She showed us the stitches. She told us, 'We have daughters and husbands. For God's sake don't tell anyone about this.'" During Swadi's visit to Abu Ghraib in March, one of the prisoners told her that she had been forced to undress in front of US soldiers. "The Iraqi translator turned his head in embarrassment," she said.
The Taguba inquiry has corroborated the contents of the letter smuggled out of Abu Ghraib by a woman known only as "Noor". The enquiry found the letter to be entirely in line with the activities going on within the prison. While most of the focus since the scandal broke three weeks ago has been on the abuse of men, and on their sexual humiliation in front of US women soldiers, there is now incontrovertible proof that women detainees have also been abused. Among the 1,800 digital photographs taken by US guards inside Abu Ghraib there are, according to Taguba's report, images of a US military policeman "having sex" with an Iraqi woman. Taguba discovered that guards have also videotaped and photographed naked female detainees. Bush refused to release other photographs of Iraqi women forced at gunpoint to bare their breasts (although Congress were shown them) - ostensibly to prevent attacks on US soldiers in Iraq. However in reality this is merely to prevent further domestic embarrassment.
Earlier this month it emerged that an Iraqi woman in her 70s had been harnessed and ridden like a donkey at Abu Ghraib and another coalition detention centre after being arrested last July. UK Labour MP Ann Clwyd, who investigated the case and found it to be true, said, "She was held for about six weeks without charge. During that time she was insulted and told she was a donkey."
Several women are housed in solitary confinement, within cells 2.5m long by 1.5m wide. There remain extremely troubling questions as to why these women came to be classified as "security detainees" - a term invented by the Crusaders to justify the indefinite detention of prisoners without charge or legal access, as part of the war on terror. According to Swadi, who managed to visit Abu Ghraib in late March, the allegations against the women are "absurd". "One of them is supposed to be the mistress of the former director of the Mukhabarat. In fact, she's a widow who used to own a small shop. She also worked as a taxi driver, ferrying children to and from kindergarten. If she really had a relationship with the director of the Mukhabarat, she would scarcely be running a kiosk. These are baseless charges," she adds angrily. "She is the only person who can provide for her children."
The women appear to have been arrested - not because of anything they have done, but merely because of who they are married to, and their potential intelligence value. US officials have previously acknowledged detaining Iraqi women in the hope of convincing male relatives to provide information; when US soldiers raid a house and fail to find a male suspect, they will frequently take away his wife or daughter instead.
The horrific abuses that are taking place in the prisons of Iraq have come to symbolise the horrific nature of the Iraqi crusade in general. The brutality of the six military personal, that happened to get caught out, is the logical continuum of the occupation. Bush may claim that these abuses have only been committed by six sick individuals and their behaviour "does not represent the America that I know," as he proclaimed on Arabic television. All the evidence now points to the facts that Donald Rumsfeld, authorised physical coercion and sexual humiliation in Iraqi prisons. America's political establishment actively encouraged the abuse. Donald Rumsfeld was hand picked by Bush, who was chosen by a minority, and a Court, to be the president of the USA. Therefore the behaviour of the six is wholly representative of the American way.

Female Lawyers Prove Iraqi Women Pack Raped by Americans
"...happening all across Iraq..." Scroll Down To Blue Update 26 May 2004Update 26 May 2004

Female Lawyers Prove Iraqi Women Pack Raped by Americans
"...happening all across Iraq..."


Berg decapitation video was filmed inside Abu Ghraib prison, Click Here

 http://www.joevialls.co.uk/myahudi/rape.html

... 06.Mar.2005 14:46

this thing here

i support the soldiers in iraq

because i do NOT support the war in iraq.

how can anyone, in any country, say they support their soldiers, while also supporting the wars they fight/die/become maimed in?

to support any war is NOT to support the people who fight in it...

bring them home.

I just wrote this at Chicago IMC. It applies here to. 06.Mar.2005 16:00

Lloyd Hart dadapop@dadapop.com

Ron Kovic's brother accused him of being of baby killer upon his return from the VA hospital after he was wounded in Vietnam. Although it was hard for Mr. Kovic to take what his brother said to him and in fact he drank himself into oblivion before he finally came to terms with what he did and what he was. It was only then that he set out to protest the war.

If we do not bring the rule of law into the question of this war we will not get the support of the troops when they cycle back into the world.

It is my firm belief and experience that everyone must be confronted with who they are and what they've done so that they may recognize where they have taken themselves, so they can see what they are and what they've become. Then and only then can an dividual begin to change and head in the other direction.

We are in a terrible political crisis and as long as soldiers in the field pull the trigger they are as complicit as the George W. Bush himself.

Treating the soldiers in U.S. military as though they are children incapable of taking personal responsibility is a disservice to all U.S. service personnel. By holding them responsible as we would hold any adult who makes a decision we are saving them from a worse outcome then they have already experienced in their lives.

But shifting responsibility seems to be big in America. So I suppose we all have some work to do.


support the troops? 06.Mar.2005 16:08

We ben there

First, I would like to say that,as a nation, we cannot support the murder of even one person. How can anyone support the murder of thousands of innocent men,women and children? Murder is not a value that I was brought up to support. Someone please tell me why it is fine for our school kids to be sent to Iraq to kill and be killed in the name of freedom and democracy? If this country is so free than why is it a crime for any american citizen to visit Cuba? Why is Martha Stewart a criminal for lying to the government when the government lies to the people on a daily basis? Why should we support an organization that murders people and represents evil? I should know a little about this hypocracy called the american government. I was once a 19 year old kid from Idaho and I bought the whole lie about america and freedom and "bong the cong". I soon realized that I was lied to and that I was part of a big criminal conspiracy. I did not expect people to support the vietnam war and felt that I was fighting for my own preservation. I cannot support our troops but I don't blame them for the situation that they are in. The guilt of Iraq falls on every member of congress who supported the president. Do not support the troops and vote out the congress and every governmental official who supports this hypocracy.

do you know any soldiers? 06.Mar.2005 19:47

d

three of my friends are either in Iraq, back from Iraq or about to be sent to Iraq... talking to the one that ia back you slowly understand what it means to be a soldier. when you are out there in the desert with people that you've grown to care about as your brother, you no longer care about policy or politics or even rules of war, you only care about keeping your friends alive... you forget that the people who are fighting this war didn't sign up to fight in iraq... most of them signed up to get out of the projects, be the heros that their parents wanted them to be, or like my friends, help pay for their college education because they couldn't afford to go due to our nation's laughable higher education system... they did not join to kill iraqi children or even abuse prisoners... they joined as decent people, poor people, and idealistic people... it is war that turns people to monsters... noone can go through war without changing... my friend who is no longer serving won't even speak about his time as a soldier, and i doubt i would be able to understand anyways having never been there... there is never something so black and white and to reduce things into good and evil is the same shit thinking that got us into this war to begin with.....

In agreement with much of the above 06.Mar.2005 20:46

greg snyder

Lloyd Hart, thank you for stating a truth. I agree that the war itself is a crime. It was entirely unprovoked. Iraq was not a threat to the United States. "Preemption" as practiced by the Bush administration is a crime, a crime that will be judged historically but that will probably never have any other hearing, unfortunately.

While I agree that the soldiers involved in the conflict can be thought of as co-conspirators in this crime against humanity (as can also be said for the Congress that approved the war), it's also true that that is what they signed on to do and were hired to do. It's sad that these troops, many reservists, have made the decision to be soldiers and to put their lives at stake for whatever foolish action this country's idiot government decides to take in the world. But they enlisted, it was a job choice. I don't have a SUV and never will, so I can't put a yellow "support our troops" ribbon on it, and I wouldn't do it anyway because, as you pointed out, Mr. Hart, many people have been killed, over a thousand American troops and well over a hundred thousand Iraqi citizens, and that is not something that I am happy about nor am I proud that it has happened. It's sad that these soldiers have agree to take this job, that they willingly did so. It's one of the many sad things about the United States that so many people decide to become soldiers. I should say rather that it's sad, as Buffy St. Marie, bless her heart, so beautifully pointed out, that the problem is that it is, and always has been, a universal problem. What is really sad about living in a world where so many people opt to become soldiers is that they don't do something else for work. Maybe part of the problem is that options for employment are as limited as they are or that the economy is such that many people don't see too many other options as being open to them. What's sad is that the soldiers, instead of soldiering, are not carpenters, bricklayers, mechanics, technicians, cooks, or any other type of worker, or that they are not involved in something that really does need to be done immediately like coverting the US into a hydrogen-powered economy. But the political will of the thieves of the American political system, in cahoots (?) with the bigshots that make all the big important decisions about how the American economy will function, is such that America clings to an economy that is based on the heavy consumption of fossil fuels and the continued degradation of the earth's environment. It's disgusting that this country is not doing all that it can right now to change over to a hydrogen economy, including putting our soldiers to work on that project instead of using them as expendable fodder for the insurgents in Iraq. I feel very concerned for the young kids who are the potential fodder of the government because that is exactly what they are: expendable. Their lives, their aspirations, their feelings, their accomplishments mean nothing to the people in government who want to rattle sabers and talk of reinstituting the draft. My response to youth is that they do have a choice and they do not have to agree and go along with the government if they believe that the government is wrong. But, it takes a certain type of critical mind to know that, not everyone is so equipped to know that, or to come to that conclusion. And, there will always be a certain number of people who think "might is right". I personally do not believe in a "Superpower" America or that the United States should be the world's policeman or bully. The United States would be far better off to really tackle and resolve the many true problems that it faces internally such as separting church from state, converting to free, non-polluting energy sources (hydrogen), reforming democracy (getting rid of the electoral college, instituting true campaign finance reform, and getting rid of election fraud as happened in the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 in Florida and Ohio. The US should safeguard the popular vote from manipulation so that once again it would actually have some meaning. And, it would be nice if we were to return to a system with governmental checks and balances. Another element of my wish list would be for the US to once again have a free and unbiased press and other media as well as the guarantee of freedom of speech. What can I say...I'm a dreamer) and politics so that they are not dominated by intolerant, bible-thumping, conservative, loud-mouthed, insecure/paranoid, bigoted, selfish, my-way-or-the-highway politicians with their hands out, who think that accepting money, the more the better, is the correct way to make political decisions, and that it is a god-given right for them to stuff their pockets full of the stuff, fuck their constituents.

And, thank you, Mr. Hart, for also pointing out the problem of using the implantation of "democracy" in Iraq as a justification for the war. While I do truly believe that the middle east, politically, is in desparate need of political and religious modernization. I also believe that those countries need to decide for themselves what they need and how they need to go about doing it. George W Bush is a complete ignoramus when he stands there with his big floppy ears wagging as he tells the world that we are liberating Iraq and bringing democracy to it. What he has done is to open up a can of worms, a pandora's box, and I never once really believed in any of Bushie's "good intentions". Before he got Congress to allow the war, when he was making his pitch for the war and stated that "it's not about oil", I told myself, yeah, right, and George "the wimp," and Barbara are not his parents either. What it boils down to is this: It's not exactly realistic to create a political vacuum by taking out a despot in an environment that for the last few millenia has known only tribalism and ethnic and religious divisions and animosity, to impose democracy and to expect it to work just fine and everything will be all rosy and great. That the world will be liberated. I can only hope that Iraq will be able to make some kind of a political system for itself that will work. But I know that the United States will not do anything to really help that happen. There is too much at stake for the United States to lose. Oh well, if anyone had asked me, I would have said, "No, let's not go. It's not a good idea. It will only lead to bad things." But no one asked me.

As Visitor Q pointed out, we should engage those in uniform in a calm, rationale manner. We also should tell them that they should know that if they enlist in the armed forces or as a reservist, they do so at their own risk. If they have any questions about what the government wants them to do as a soldier, they should consider that before signing on the dotted line. And if they have any problems with fulfilling their obligations as a soldier, they could always be landscaper or a real estate agent or any number of other jobs where they don't have to sacrifice their lives for a government with questionable and dubiously honorable motives. They don't have to agree to be the expendable fodder that they are if they make the decision to enlist in the military. There is such a thing as being a conscientious objector.

yellow road 06.Mar.2005 21:23

dude

a start for an artist
yellow road
yellow road

wherefore art thou perfection? 06.Mar.2005 21:32

tenacious

The first post re; Buffy St Marie/Universal Soldier lyrics. Doesn't look like she really wrote that post, but it would mean more to me if she had. Even as I have written a response to the original article writer countering his opinion that all soldiers in iraq are war criminals, I completly support and embrace the idea that ms.St Marie expresses in her composition. From the first time I heard it many years ago, I've considered it one the most inspirational and meaningful works to come down the pike, landmark expression that may well burn strong through decades and possibly centuries.
So it is, that establishing a specific nature of support for the people shedding blood for our way of life turns out to be a complicated and delicate act of agility.
I have some empathy for Mr. Hart's position, but I'm afraid he goes too far down an insufficiently discriminate road. The situation that presents itself to soldiers once they are in the battle arena may not be quite so securely removed from identification as a case of war crime committed by the U.S., as it did before they went in.

As poster "d" writes:

...you no longer care about policy or politics or even rules of war, you only care about keeping your friends alive... you forget that the people who are fighting this war didn't sign up to fight in iraq... most of them signed up to get out of the projects, be the heros that their parents wanted them to be, or like my friends, help pay for their college education because they couldn't afford to go due to our nation's laughable higher education system... they did not join to kill iraqi children or even abuse prisoners... they joined as decent people, poor people, and idealistic people...

Another way to put it....once you're in, you're screwed. All us poor armchair soldier/adventurists/activists/sympathizers can sit safely at home watching olly stone's Platoon, that religious fundamentalists in this country have censored so their pure viewers won't have to hear variations of the word "fuck" as they get their dose of scenes of people's guts being blown far and wide in paradise. Once you're in, you're screwed.
Imagine you were there, then think over you're options in resisting a military campaign you've decided is criminal. What are you going to do Mr. Jones? You going to just sit there and not fire, and get your head blown off? You goint to blow your CO's head off so your pals won't have to participate further in a military engagement you've decided is criminal. You going to stage a mass demonstration ala Portland Peaceful Response at the bases in Iraq? Or, are you going to file a nice report with your CO stating your objections? All interesting options.
Many of us would like things to be different before there is even the likelyhood that our country has to interfere with the affairs of another. It's always time to examine the mentality surrounding our national standard of conduct relating to involvement with other countries. Adjustment is an ongoing process. Valuable developments can occur before engagements commence. For those troops in Iraq, that window of opportunity is almost certainly long gone. If you want to apply an identification of "criminal", perhaps a look in the mirror would more appropo. In the words of Buffy St Marie:

He's the universal soldier and he
really is to blame
His orders come from far away no more
They come from him, and you, and me
and brothers can't you see
this is not the way we put an end to war.

Read those words and weep, for the burden is on you.

more Yellow 06.Mar.2005 21:50

yellow flag

Its hard for the citizen and the soldier. One pays the man, the other follows order that are paid for.
Lots of yellow to go around
Lots of yellow to go around

idiots 07.Mar.2005 02:48

me

nazi swastikas point clockwise, not counter-clockwise.

Support our Poop 07.Mar.2005 17:13

american fascist

.

*sigh* 07.Mar.2005 18:34

Colby

For every soldier that's over there doing this because they think it is the right thing to obey and "get the bad guys", there are many more who never wanted to go there at all. How many joined the National Guard after 9/11 so they could protect America on American soil? Which Nation does it Guard now?

And now they're over there, because the sad fact is that once you enlist, you are theirs, body and soul, to do with as they please, regardless of your intentions?

Help the COs and those wanting to be COs. Help the ones who are writing home asking "WTF am I doing here?"

The more soldiers who come home alive, the more truth can come back from Iraq. The truth is the only cure for this madness.

War toys , violent videos, and Hollywood to blame 08.Mar.2005 07:51

boycott them!

Parents who on the one hand teach their kids not to be violent and who on the other hand buy all those war toys and violent video games for Xmas are to blame. It all starts at home,then the schools take over with their nationalism and xenophobia. It's a vicious circle. Parents were indoctrinated too.
SO LET'S BREAK THE CIRCLE!
The above contradiction...yeah...once experienced by the child leads to their mistrust of their parents' teachings...leads to the kids following the cultural norm which is the glorification of violence and of the military.
Parents need to be educated and need to take a firm stand against the education the corporate state gives their kids. It's at the local level that one has to act - while thinking globally.