What Are We Doing Now?

by James Glaser
October 22, 2003

"Much of Keith Deusch's right leg was blown off during a rocket propelled grenade attack in Iraq. He winced in pain through an explosion that tore through and burned his limb, and he screamed while the tourniquet was tightened."

Keith Deusch's story was written by Elizabeth Dunbar of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It goes on to tell how Keith was going to sneak out of the Minneapolis Veterans Hospital, and with the aid of his new prosthetic leg, be with his older sister on her wedding day. This was the first story of a wounded soldier from Iraq that I have seen in any paper.

Right now the Commander In Chief, George Bush is flying around the world trying to get money and troops from anybody, to help our troops in Iraq. In the last Iraqi War, Japan gave us 13 billion dollars, but only 1.5 billion this time around.

Next week there is a "Donors' Conference" in Madrid. This is where we hit up our friends for money and troops. Lindsey Graham, a Republican Representative from South Carolina says, "The worst scenario is for the US to be left holding the bag."

Unless we get lots of real help that is what is going to happen. We now have over 130,000 troops in Iraq, plus those "coalition forces" the President likes to talk about. What he doesn't like to talk about is how much we are paying for those troops.

Former Senate majority leader Trent Lott said, "I'm getting uneasy on how much we're calling on Guard and Reserve units." If our international friends don't step in we are going to have to mobilize tens of thousands, in order to rotate some of our troops in Iraq back home.

Just like Vietnam, the stress of combat is starting to show with how we treat the Iraqi people. In Vietnam we lost the battle for the hearts and minds of the innocent Vietnamese people and we are now doing the same in Iraq.

As a show of collective retribution for failure to turn in those attacking our troops, American forces bulldoze down Orchards north of Baghdad. One can only imagine how much help those farmers are now giving to those attacking our troops.

Not in American newspapers, but in Danish papers, it has been reported, with photos, how American troops humiliate Iraq men by forcing them to walk naked in public. Karen Kwiatkowski writes of how an Iraqi Taxicab was repeatedly run over by a tank as punishment for the driver stealing wood. That cab was that families only source of income. Who is that man helping now?

Our soldiers said that punishment like this would send a message to others. We tried that in Vietnam and it does not work. We tried killing anyone we even thought might be helping the enemy and killed thousands in the process and it didn't work. People the world over are stubborn and if you screw over them, you drive them right into your enemies camp.

We are supposed to be in Iraq to give those people a new form of government based on ours, but our military punishes people with no court system. The Commanding Officer says punish him and that is what the troops do. Right now our troops from the lowest private on up, can kill any Iraqi they want, no questions asked. You don't think our troops would do that, think again. When you start down the road of collective punishment and humiliation of the population, you have crossed a line you can never come back from. We have lost this war.

Sure America is powerful enough to occupy Iraq for as long as we will suffer the killing of our troops, but the Iraqi people we are doing these things to will never respect us and the numbers of those attacking us will only grow.

Killing innocent people, making Muslim men walk naked in public, and destroying farms that took generations to grow does not win wars. These are Nazi tactics. Every Army in history that brutalized those they tried to occupy were later defeated.

The United States went through this very thing in Vietnam. We did every dirty trick and punishment we could think of to the Vietnamese people and we couldn't break their spirit. We had the weapons, the money, and even a half million troops and still we couldn't make them do as we wanted.

George Bush and those in Congress that have voted for this war do not understand that the Iraqi people love their country and are willing to die for it. That is because George Bush, most of the people in his administration, and most of those elected in Congress never loved our country enough to risk their lives for it.

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