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imperialism & war | political theory

Another Battle of Baghdad Cover Up -- It's Time for Truth

Summary: Former Army intelligence and public affairs officer Captain May argues that the Bush

League infowar to hide the truth of Iraq's strategic and tactical blunders has sunk us into Middle

Eastern quicksand -- and that the time for getting out is running out.
He who controls the present controls the past, and he who controls the past controls the future. George Orwell, 1984

Orwellian Overture

By any rational reckoning, we have lost the war in Iraq, unless there is some plan to escalate it to World War Three, mobilizing the US economy and returning to the draft. How could we be at such a low point without there having been a vigorous national debate about our deeply flawed war goals, war plans and war results?

In April of 2003, we saw Saddam Hussein's statue fall in Baghdad. On Mayday, 2003 we read "Mission Accomplished" as Bush praised his Shock-and-Awe war from the USS Abraham Lincoln. By the summer of 2003, though, we heard the word insurgency for the first time, and within a year we were hearing words like Sunni Triangle, militias and civil war -- and we've been hearing them ever since.

In 1984 Orwell pointed out that Big Brother, through its Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), never admitted failure in reporting war, and neither have those who were supposed to be reporting our Iraq fiasco. We haven't had any Congressional oversight, media scrutiny or military correction for the worst war results in American history. In Orwellian terms, the Bush League is a Big Brother imitation, and our current corporate-run US media is a rental Minitrue.

If journalistic ethics -- or regard for truth -- could influence them, the media wouldn't continue to tell us, through pages, cameras and microphones, that there is any kind of success -- or prospect of success -- in the disastrous Quicksand War. They swore to be an embedded asset for the Bush League, though, and they've kept their devil's pact by finding new ways to shade, hedge and omit the facts. They have told us every lie necessary to bring us to the Middle East in the first place, and now telling us every lie necessary to keep us there.

Compromised Commanders

Our top officers share the blame for the military/media propaganda effort. Just last week we heard American generals like Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace and CENTCOM Commander George Casey squirm before Senate questions about the country we liberated in 2003 -- and have been killing ever since, as we lost control of it. Showing true Bush League loyalty, the wriggling warlords sought to avoid telling the truth, but enough came out to paint a poor picture.

We have an Army with broken down equipment and burned out soldiers, and we no longer have a US strategic reserve for ready deployment. Civil war is erupting in Iraq. We have lost Baghdad, the city whose capture we boasted about as our Cheerleader-in-Chief, George Bush, urged Iraqi Resistance to "bring it on" back on July 4th, 2003. Thousands of US troops are being drawn from other places in Iraq -- many of them embattled -- to retake the capital. In short, we're back to square one -- and we're worn out.

As I watched the glittering generals hem and haw, bob and weave and make excuses for themselves I remembered my enlisted days, when we grumbled that officers were nothing but politicians. Rumsfeld, who never pretended to be anything other than a politician, sat between his puppet generals, and from time to time put in a forceful word of distortion. Brazenly, he admitted no problems at all, and argued tirelessly that two plus two really do make five. All you have to do, he assures us, is understand that we're in a global war, Iraq is the central front in that global war and Baghdad is the key to Iraq. To the Bush League this is called geopolitics, but to me it still seems like quicksand.

Baghdad and Fallujah

Just as the major strategic strains of this war have been kept back from the American People, the tactical tangle has been covered up as well. The current Battle of Baghdad demands that we remember that -- or realize it for the first time if we didn't know it before.

We must take the unhappy premise that the media is getting paid to discover military reality, but to cover up. We must read between the lines, as if we were intelligence officers working to understand enemy media -- which is in fact what ours has become in spewing propaganda. We must understand that catching them in lies is an old story, which only seems new because it doesn't get told by the media that has been caught again and again.

The Battle of Baghdad (2003): On April 4, 2003, Army and Marine units were poised to encircle and reduce Baghdad. On the morning of April 5, "Baghdad Bob" said that we had been counterattacked and suffered heavy losses at the Baghdad Airport -- and he was telling the truth. The US media/military pros labeled it all a lie, though, then shifted from the real battle to Private Jessica Lynch for three days. The sham show ended only after hundreds US GI's had died, while killing thousand Iraqis. It ended with a propaganda pull-down of a Saddam statue in Baghdad, just to make sure we knew that Saddam had indeed fallen.

The Fight of Fallujah (2004): In April 2004, the Bush League decided to crush the ongoing Sunni insurgency in its Fallujah stronghold. As the Fight of Fallujah raged, the true dead and wounded counts of US GI's were again covered up, as was the eventual mission failure. In November Bush decided to use some of his election "political capital" by evening the score on Fallujah. The second part of the Fight of Fallujah was as under-covered and covered-up as the first. Its most notable results were to provide the world with a new Guernica, thus removing any claim we had to protecting Iraqis.

The Battle of Baghdad (ongoing): Although Israel has held the headlines with its invasion of Lebanon, there has been a fierce fight in the Iraqi capital, prompting the sending of reinforcements whose aim is to retake Baghdad. Last weekend the fighting was intense, and even the cover-up media expressed condolences for the US dead (while hiding their numbers). They even complained that the Israeli attack on civilians in Qana seemed to be getting all the attention, instead of US actions and losses around the Iraqi capital. Cynics argue that the reason for the egregious Israeli attack on Qana was to give media something to help the uncomfortable issue of another Battle of Baghdad. Dozens of dead Lebanese civilians held the headlines this time quite as well as Private Jessica held them last time.

Infowar Insanity

America has been set up to exert itself without feeling the pain of it. The normal information processes through which we determine how we are doing in our foreign affairs has been commandeered so that we could be commanded. The first amendment is in shambles, along with most of the others, and has been since 911. Rumsfeld rumbles about how the most important part of the war is the propaganda war, which he also refers to as the information war. The two kinds of war -- propaganda and informational -- are really the same thing, infowar.

Infowar is the key to continuing the quicksand war until the world war can continue it, as it was always supposed to do. Those who have lied us into this mess never intended to one day tell us the truth if good sense proved that we needed to get out of it. Far to the contrary, they figured that sinking the Armed Forces into Middle Eastern quicksand would become the "footprint" from which we could commit ourselves further still, and that end justified any lying means necessary.

We finish this essay where we started it: By any rational reckoning, we have lost the war in Iraq, unless there is some plan to escalate it to World War Three, mobilizing the US economy and returning to the draft. My hunch is that just such a plan exists, and that the people who have misled intend to implement it before remember that we are a democracy and end a no-win war.

Captain Eric H. May, MI/PAO, USA
CO, Ghost Troop, 3/7 Cybercav+
Mission of Conscience / Patriots in Action

Captian May, a former Army intelligence and public affairs officer, was an NBC and Wall Street Journal writer. His published Houston Chronicle war analyses (  link to www.geocities.com), specifies what kind of plan the Bush administration may use to initiate World War Three.

address: address: Houston, Texas