Saturday, October 25, 2008

America’s logic of death in Iraq

By Paul J. Balles

26 October 2008

Paul J. Balles views the USA’s logic of death in Iraq whereby its lawless disdain for the occupied and its repeated crimes against humanity stimulate resistance, which the USA in turn uses as an excuse to continue its criminal behaviour.

"The war in Iraq is not covered to its potential because of how dangerous it is for reporters to cover it," says Liam Madden, a former Marine and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. "That's left a lot of misconceptions in the minds of the American public about what the true nature of military occupation looks like."

Michael Prysner, a corporal in the Army Reserve, complains:

“I tried hard to be proud of my service, but all I could feel was shame. Racism could no longer mask the reality of the occupation. These are human beings. I've since been plagued by guilt. I feel guilt any time I see an elderly man, like the one who couldn't walk who we rolled onto a stretcher and told the Iraqi police to take him away. I feel guilt any time I see a mother with her children, like the one who cried hysterically and screamed that we were worse than Saddam as we forced her from her home. I feel guilt any time I see a young girl, like the one I grabbed by the arm and dragged into the street.”

Prysner adds:

“We were told we were fighting terrorists; the real terrorist was me, and the real terrorism is this occupation. Racism within the military has long been an important tool to justify the destruction and occupation of another country. Without racism, soldiers would realize that they have more in common with the Iraqi people than they do with the billionaires who send us to war.”

Iraq Veterans Against the War argues that well-publicized incidents of US brutality like the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and the massacre of an entire family of Iraqis in the town of Haditha are not the isolated incidents perpetrated by "a few bad apples", as many politicians and military leaders have claimed. They are part of a pattern, the group says, of "an increasingly bloody occupation".

As of 23 October 2008, according to Just Foreign Policy, the number of Iraqis slaughtered since the US invaded Iraq totalled 1,273,378. "The number is shocking and sobering,” they say. “It is at least 10 times greater than most estimates cited in the US media, yet it is based on a scientific study of violent Iraqi deaths caused by the US-led invasion of March 2003."

Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Yingling, former deputy commander of the 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment, who served two tours in Iraq, writes, "Events over the last two decades demonstrate that insurgency and terrorism are the most likely and most dangerous threats our country will face for the foreseeable future. Our enemies have studied our strengths and weaknesses and adapted their tactics to inflict the maximum harm on our society."

The invasion and occupation of Iraq will wind up costing us three trillion dollars, according to Nobel-winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, whose notable book The Three Trillion-Dollar War makes clear that theirs is a conservative estimate.

"One can almost hear Bin-Laden's evil laughter echoing from the depths of his cave," comments Justin Raimondo. "Al-Jazeera released a video of Bin-Laden in November of 2004 in which he boasted of the success of his strategy of bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy... he jeered that every dollar spent by al-Qaeda in its terrorist campaign has cost the Americans a million."

In the beginning of his book, Imperial Hubris, Michael Scheuer observes:

"US forces and policies are completing the radicalization of the Islamic world, something Osama Bin-Laden has been trying to do with substantial but incomplete success since the early 1990s. As a result, I think it fair to conclude that the United States of America remains Bin Laden's only indispensable ally."

Thus, America and coalition forces occupy a country illegally for five years. They have a lawless disdain for the people under occupation. They commit repeated crimes against humanity. This stimulates an understandable resistance. The occupiers use the resistance as an excuse to continue their criminal behaviour.

The resistance to genocide spreads, adding to hatred and anti-Western extremism. The US spends three trillion dollars on its continuing idiocy, adding to an unparalleled financial crisis. Osama Bin-Laden sits in his cave laughing.

Paul J. Balles is a retired American university professor and freelance writer who has lived in the Middle East for many years. For more information, see

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