June 1, 2008—As we near this presidential election, we in the anti-war movement must now demand, in the public debate, that whoever the democratic nominee might be (because he or she will be President, regardless of independent voters), that he or she commit publicly to bringing all of our troops home, because all of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are "combat troops," not just some of them.
We should also let it be known, that when elected, the next President will be charged with treason if she/he doesn't get us completely out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
We cannot let them say things like "we will bring the 'combat' troops home," when what they are really saying is "we will leave 100,000 'advisers' or 'support' troops in Iraq."
In these occupations, all the troops are "combat" troops (except for the Commander In Chief and his staff, who all sit in a bunker in D.C. and say "the surge is working," and "bring 'em on").
"Bring 'em home" must be our mantra... "bring 'em all home". In these occupations, all the dead, tortured and homeless, are innocent victims of Bush and Cheney lies, and these lies need to end, completely.
In guerrilla warfare, and this is without question a guerrilla war, there is no "front line." In truth, a huge percentage of KIA's and WIA's in Iraq sand Afghanistan are in "non-combat" units. Being a mechanic is almost as dangerous as being a grunt. Being a driver is perhaps the most horrifying and terrifying job in the Middle East, because you are responsible for yourself, a vehicle, those in it, seeing IED's, and avoiding every vehicle or debris pile that you approach...not to mention the people that happen to be on the street. Walking is not too safe, either.
Guerrilla warfare is the worst kind of hell.
To understand that there is no such thing as simply "combat troops" in Iraq and Afghanistan is critical to getting us out of there, completely. There is no MOS (military job) that has not had casualties. No one is safe. Certainly the infantry engages the Iraqi people (those that are fighting to remove us from their land) more often than supply specialists, because the infantry is always sent to where the enemy was...about 30 minutes before the infantry responders got there...but over there, as in all guerrilla wars, the game is called "hit and disappear": strike, and become invisible.
Even the "safest" place in Iraq, such as our obscene, billion-dollar embassy, in the ironically-named "Green Zone" ($$), built in a fortress, like a fortress, has taken many, many KIA's and WIA's. So the truth is, that even the "safest" place in Iraq is anything but safe. Surge on that. Any U.S. soldier that is in Iraq, now or later, will be a target, because of what has already happened there.
The commander-in-chief, and most politicians running for President, like to use words like "we will remove "combat" troops", as a technical phrase, but all that is, is rhetoric to give them a political opportunity to really leave as many troops over there as they want to...and still gain the support of those citizens who so desperately want an end this nightmare... without the politicians really saying they will be ending the occupations.
"Support" troops, or military "advisers," are the political words for (supposedly) non-combat troops. But after you invade an innocent nation, there is no such thing.
Again, everywhere is the "front lines" in Iraq and Afghanistan, and all the troops are combat troops. If Exxon and BP want to fight a war for oil rights, then let them supply a completely mercenary army, out of their own pockets, and let them see how well they fight against the "insurgents". Now that is a war that would really last only a few months, as Cheney told us these "wars" would. In a mercenary war, the final score in that war would be: Iraq 1, Exxon-BP 0.
So why are we sacrificing our children?
Dick Cheney still thinks he can mass an infantry army in Iraq, "lead" from his bunker in Nebraska, and after a few months of [infiltrated] planning, crush the people who live there. Wrong, Dick. Sadly, and tragically, people like him will never learn. He's seen one too many John Wayne or Chuck Norris flicks, without watching "Platoon," or so it seems.
And apparently none of the neocons seems to understand that in an "insurgency" (or, as we say here, "the fight for independence"), the people simply move around, one step ahead of the occupiers, because all levels of the puppet government/police force include a number of infiltrated-insurgents (a.k.a. citizens)...and they live there, so they know every move an army makes before its own troops do. Kill one here, kill three there, until you win, by driving the soldiers crazy, by nature of the sheer frustration of fighting an invisible "enemy." There are no "military" victories to be had.
To the people we have invaded, we are all killers, torturers, and occupiers, because of what we have done. Every family in Iraq has been touched in some evil way by our occupation. Over 1,000,000 Iraqis are dead. They will never allow us peacefully to leave a mass of troops in their country, and why should they? Hell, here in the U.S., the South still hasn't forgiven the North for their invasion. Iraqis are no different.
We have no right to be there. Remember back when we in this nation thought and cared about human and civil rights? Remember back when the world respected us? Those days are gone, because a significant number of 300,000,000 U.S. citizens allowed a small and pitiful neocon-right-wing, with full support of the Democrats, to do whatever they wanted to do with our so-called democracy. They decided to invade innocent countries.
The question is, can we save ourselves, or will the rest of the world be forced to stop us?
If we don't un-invade the Middle East, the rest of the world is going to practice "preventive warfare" on us. And who could blame them? We have established "preventive warfare" as policy. We have given approval to attacking countries because they might attack us in the future. And in that we are now proven to be murderers, torturers, kidnappers, and invaders (all based on lies from an "elite" handful of cowards), who do you think the rest of the world is most worried about? "Preventive warfare" is what the Nazis used, remember? And the rest of the world had to rise up and stop them.
Our country is in collapse, morally and financially. Only by completely ending the occupations in the Middle East, paying reparations, and having justice served to the Bush & Cheney Klan, will we have even a remote chance of saving our nation for our children and grandchildren.
Rights...human and otherwise...yeah, that was back before the days of the USA PATRIOT Act, and when we had honest elections. Now, if you are a U.S. citizen, freedom means killing, liberation means death, lies are the truth, and buildings mysteriously fall down. U S A!!! U S A!! When foreigners yell it now, they aren't cheering. They are screaming.
Are George Bush and Dick Cheney going to get away with preventive war and their war crimes?
Now is the time to establish the definition of what the next President considers the words "getting out of Iraq" really are. The world can't wait much longer to know. It needs to be spelled out in facts, and in true definition, as in: "we will remove all of our troops from Iraq in X amount of time".
This "war" was lost the day we invaded an innocent nation for any reason. Never forget that fact.
Recently, Iraq veterans gathered in Silver Spring, Maryland for five days of testimony about Iraq and Afghanistan. They clearly stated, at this event called "Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan," that our troops being over there is the root of the problem. They say that nothing is working on the ground over there. All of our troops must come home, now. That's what our troops just testified to. Hundreds of them said it.
Are we going to believe our troops who've served in Iraq, or a bunch of proven liars who hide in bunkers at home and say "it's working?"
In the November 2006 elections, we overthrew our government, and ordered Congress to end the occupations. But Congress didn't. This election may well be our last chance, folks. For real. If we don't exit the Middle East, all U.S. citizens might learn what it means to be "combat troops."
"God" might save the King, but can "We The People" save ourselves via the next election in November?
"Bring 'em ALL home."
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
This story was published on June 2, 2008.