In case you haven’t noticed, the war in Iraq is not going that well despite the continual misrepresentations and out-and-out lies by those in our government. But, if one’s strategy for starting a war is based on nothing but lies, it stands to reason one would have to keep lying to continue the war and keep the sheeple in the cheering section.
We are hearing now that the Tillman family is most upset that the U.S. Army would actually lie about the circumstances of their son — former NFL star, Pat Tillman’s death in Afghanistan. First, the Army concocts the glorious story of a heroic combat death by Tillman; actually awarding him one of the nation’s highest awards for bravery, and then had to admit Tillman was killed by friendly fire. The Washington Post stated in an article on the subject that the Army lied from the beginning about the circumstances surrounding Tillman’s death, even to the point of falsifying reports and burning his uniform and body armor. The Army issued false statements to the nation, Tillman’s widow, and even kept secret the circumstances of his death from his brother who was serving with the same U.S. Army unit.
To anyone who takes such things seriously, the circumstances of the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib and the lies told by our government concerning the events there will always remain a stain on the character of our military and our nation.
The wild stories perpetrated by the military concerning Jessica Lynch stand alone as an example of lies perpetrated on the American public in an attempt to legitimize bad policy and false war rationale.
Understanding as we do that the government concocts lies to begin a war and how it lies to create heroes; can we doubt they also lie to create the villains? Sheila Samples provides very good evidence here that many of the terrorist figures in Iraq may in fact be fabrications of the State. Could the madman du jour of the liars, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, actually be nothing but a creation of our leaders? Could the opposition actually be telling the truth about his death? Considering the lies told in the run-up to the war and all the lies told about heroes, our worthy opponent has at least as much if not more credibility than our own government. My sources in the intelligence community tell me the only time they see any mention of Zarqawi is in the U.S. press. Surely if Zarqawi was as active in the insurgency as our leaders claim, he would show up in Human Intelligence (Humint), Electronic intelligence (Elint), or Signal Intelligence. (Sigint).
We hear often of the successes of our military in Iraq; but are we getting the truth? Many were the stories last fall of the destruction of the resistance in the city of Fallujah, but we were not told that at the same time we lost control of the much larger city of Mosul to the insurgency.
Sources now in Iraq tell me the happenings there as they pertain to fighting the insurgents resemble the arcade game called "Whack-A-Mole." You see the enemy briefly in one spot — send your forces there and then they appear somewhere else — when you respond to that site — they disappear again. Those who pursued the Viet Cong in the jungles of Vietnam can certainly relate to this analogy.
Another problem facing our troops and their very lives is the weapon of choice of the insurgency: the Improvised Explosive Device. (IED). A large proportion of the casualties our troops are suffering come at the hands of the IED. These explosives utilize conventional ordinance: ordinance that is abundant in Iraq. There are acres and acres of bunkers with these conventional explosives located all over the country. Guarding these weapons stockpiles is a group called the Force Protection Services. (FPS).
US Army Stryker destroyed by IED
The employees of this group are nothing but ordinary Iraqi citizens who need a job. They fill out a seven-page questionnaire/application and the information given on that application is never verified because there are no resources to do so. So those who are guarding the huge amounts of explosives in Iraq that are being used against our troops could be members of the insurgency, others easily bribed to look the other way while they are stolen, or simply sell the explosives for additional income. An Explosives Ordinance Disposal (EOD) officer that I contacted told me that the US neither had enough explosives to destroy the enormous supplies of this conventional ordinance nor the personnel to do so.
The following incident illustrates the similarity of the Iraq and Vietnam situations with regard to the corruption of the "friendly" forces supposedly supporting the U.S. war effort. An American battalion commander in Northern Iraq had just such a corrupt Iraqi officer working with him. For some reason the American commander continued to support this corrupt Iraqi Colonel, no matter how much proof of corruption and corroboration with the enemy his staff presented. A seasoned senior NCO was the first to see this corruption and brought it to the attention of the American commander. The NCO was promptly transferred. When two Majors (both Kurds) on the Iraqi Colonel’s staff came forward with their own stories of corruption, including photographs documenting their claims, the American commander, too, shipped them out. The camera and its contents conveniently disappeared. Finally, the staff of the American commander working along with the Senior NCO who had been dismissed, was able to compile massive evidence of the corruption and proof that the Iraqi Colonel was feeding intelligence on this American unit’s movements to the insurgency. The commander’s staff went over the head of the commander to Brigade level with their evidence and the commander was forced to turn the Iraqi officer over to the authorities. The American commander promptly chewed out his staff for going over his head with the complaints and evidence, pretending all the while he knew nothing of the corruption charges.
It seems in the light of the same type activity occurring over 30 years ago with our units in Vietnam, we would have learned something of how to prevent this from happening again. The devastating effects of such corruption on the morale of the troops who see it on a daily basis are incomprehensible. A soldier sees any lives lost due to this corruption as totally unacceptable, even if they personally support the war.
As powerful as the lies are, the truths we are not being told about the enormous amounts of money being made by corporations with close ties to the Bush administration are shocking. Why are we taxpayers having to pay 18 dollars a plate for meals served to our soldiers? Why are we paying 100 dollars a bag for their laundry to be cleaned? These are the exorbitant fees that we the taxpayer are paying to Kellogg Brown and Root. Does anyone believe KBR wants this war to end anytime soon, and who has the ear of this administration? If our soldiers were receiving meals that were actually worth the 18 dollars per plate, perhaps there would be no argument. Those who consume them on a daily basis tell a much different story.
The most important questions Americans should be asking are: why are we in this war, why are our soldiers dying and what is Bush’s plan to stabilize the region? Pat Buchanan tells us all of the lies of Bush and company may have accomplished the exact opposite. Such is the product of lies told by corrupt politicians: death, destruction and chaos.
On this Memorial Day, I saw a headline that said "Bush honors war dead at Arlington." How can anyone without honor, "honor" those who died for his own lies and greed?
As a veteran, watching the hypocrites that have been elected to the office of President desecrate hollowed ground with their presence for the past 13 years makes me physically ill. I know others were just as guilty, but the last two have been especially repugnant. When will Americans wake up and quit listening to the siren song (lies) that leads to war?
Michael Gaddy [send him mail], an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and Beirut, lives in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest.