Sunday, August 28, 2005

Returning home to despatches from Iraq.

We are back from our camping holiday in Cornwall. We went as a rather motley crew assembled from separate families. We endured a great deal of wind and rain, at least enjoyed a fair amount of sun, and returned as a well functioning team, getting the tent down in rapid fashion to beat the oncoming rain storm.

Back home the world goes on much the same. I quote from despatches from Iraq today. What is new to me is that the resistence to the last British invasion of Iraq also started in Falluja. Locally we could soon have the National Resistence leader to Mr Blair in charge here. No one really thinks Cameron can win the Tory contest this time, though. It seems likely that the Tory party is as divided as Iraq, but with more awful consequences likely.

"Wars for empire don’t change…and Iraq is the perfect example. Invading
armies using slave labor (foreign in this case due to their deep
distrust of Iraqis), taking advantage of those who lack privilege, the
poor, minorities, to do the dirty work while the top 1% make more money
than ever before.

And the pirates behind the US policy-making in Iraq have chosen, perhaps
to their chagrin at this point, to disregard some of the latest history
from a past occupation of Iraq.

During the previous British occupation of Iraq, the resistance began in
Fallujah. As a response the British shelled half of that city to the
ground, much like the US military did recently as part of their failed
policy. (US soldiers are now dying in and near Fallujah again.)

It was said that if the British left Iraq civil war would ignite. Just
as we are hearing today, even though state-sponsored civil war is in
full swing, thanks to the occupiers.

The rule of the British Empire over Iraq went on for three decades
before the Brits withdrew. Every year of that time found an uprising
against the occupiers…and now less than three years into the failed US
occupation, lesser uprisings occur daily.

Attacks on US forces in Iraq are now back up over 70 per day…we’ll cross
the 2,000 dead mark before too much longer, and things are about to get
much, much worse. As Iraqis continue to say, “Today is better than
tomorrow.” The same goes for US troops there.

There is a reason why a relatively recent Army survey found that 54% of
all soldiers in Iraq reported either “low” or “very low” morale.

There is also a reason why, again according to the Army, that 30% of all
soldiers returning from Iraq develop mental health problems 3-4 months
after their return.

And there is a reason why soldiers like Nicolas Prubyla come home and
join organizations like Iraq Veterans Against the War.

“Up until five days ago, I had large amounts of blood in my stool,” he
told me recently, “I’ve felt tired all the time, I have had loss of
hair…loss of the feeling in my right arm…I’m battling this stuff.”

What he is battling is exposure to uranium munitions in Iraq. He is
battling radiation sickness as the result of the most recent nuclear war
waged by the United States of America. There is a reason why over 11,000
veterans from the ’91 Gulf War are dead today, and over 250,000 others
are on medical disability. That reason (hundreds and hundreds of tons of
uranium munitions dropped on Iraq) is the same thing Prubyla is battling
today.

“As the years go on this is going to effect a hell of a lot more people
than we think…radioactive dust and the clouds of smoke and dust from
firing the DU [depleted uranium] is getting to us now,” he said, “And I
know I’m not the only person in my unit-my boss got diagnosed with
cancer, one of my other buddies who is 23 years-old is getting
rashes….every time I do more research on DU-I’m seeing that I have all
the side effects.”

Prubyla has realized what more and more veterans understand…that the
powers that be in our military plutocracy (also known as the US
government) could care less for their well being. One of the shadow
members of the current plutocracy who is also an exalted
neo-conservative, Henry Kissinger, has referred to military men as
“dumb, stupid animals to be used” as pawns for foreign policy.

People like Prubyla get this; they have had enough, and are now doing
something about it.

Meanwhile in the Crawford “Green Zone,” Mr. Bush chooses to ignore the
resistance movement that is standing outside his fence. But that is
alright, because the hundreds of people there now protesting represent
tens (if not hundreds) of millions across the country who, like the
Iraqi resistance, are not going to go away."

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