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Commentary :: International
Bush's War on the Rocks
25 Oct 2004
Whatever the president says, things are going from bad to worse in Iraq and in the “War” on Terror. If the voters are paying attention, it may cost him the election next week.
<p> Clearly it's all falling apart for Bush's splendid little war in Iraq, and the war on terror too. Just look at the latest news: <br>

<p>The Pentagon is scrambling to cover up both its botched torture/interrogation campaign at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, with prosecutions and guilty pleas being dragged out of only the lowest ranking participants in the scandal. Yet new outrages keep popping up, like the report that in a gross violation of Geneva rules, captured Iraqis were secretly moved out of the country for more intense interrogation. <br>

<p>Hundreds of the over 600 people swept up during the U.S. attack on the Taliban in Afghanistan and spirited off to indefinite detention at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba are now being quietly shipped back to Afghanistan or, if they are foreigners from other countries, to their homelands (to an uncertain future at best), after it became clear that no court would allow the Pentagon to go ahead with kangaroo-court military tribunals of their cases. Most of them, the Pentagon is now concedes, had nothing to do with terror or threats to the U.S. <br>

<p>The Pentagon is also doing its best to cover up the first reported case of open rebellion against orders by troops in Iraq--the reserve unit of 18 people who, with their commander, refused to make what they called a "suicide run" to deliver tainted aircraft fuel to a remote camp in badly maintained and unarmored trucks with no armed escort. This desperate act of collective insubordination, which was brought to public attention by the soldiers' families, is reminiscent of widespread mutiny against battle orders that swept the U.S. military in Vietnam beginning in 1969, and hobbled the U.S. war effort there. It is probably the tip of a looming iceberg. <br>

<p>Meanwhile, in the new Iraqi defense force, which Bush repeatedly touted as his ace in the hole during the presidential debates, insubordination and refusal to fight on command is the least of the problem. Yesterday, 50 new recruits were executed in a carefully orchestrated slaughter that reports say showed clear evidence of having been the result of inside information about the Iraqi defense forces plans. If the new Iraqi army is already riddled with rebel fifth-columnists, it will be worse than useless in assisting the U.S. military occupation of Iraq, and certainly won't help the U.S. to escape the deepening quagmire. <br>

<p>Back home, the news from Iraq--even in the still largely uncritical corporate media--is so grim that military recruiters aren't even meeting their recruitment goals for this year with the help of $15,000 recruiting bonuses and promises of increased scholarship assistance for returned veterans. The Pentagon reportedly missed its active-duty recruiting goals by 20 percent this year, and missed its reserve recruiting goal by a whopping 45 percent. The figures for the National Guard--traditionally not used for fighting foreign wars, but on the front line in this one--aren't in yet, but will likely be even worse. <br>

<p>To top it off, economists are now reporting that the cost of the Iraq war, in addition to the $120 billion spent directly by the government, should include some $150 billion in economic losses caused by dramatically higher oil prices and by uncertainty that has stunted investment and stock market performance. <br>

<p> For the rest of this column, please go (at no charge) to <a href="";> This Can't Be Happening! </a>. <br>
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Re: Bush's War on the Rocks
26 Oct 2004
His Unholiness George Warmonger Bush I to the USSA: "God told me to do it. Sorry to Oil the Air but Oil comes first. See ya at the Inaugural Ball in 2005. Before I Invade Iran and have a Front Door Draft."