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Mark Stapleton
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The recent US helicopter attack in Syria, near the Iraq border, and the missile attack by US drones in Pakistan has caused outrage in those countries. The White House has remained silent, as has the cowardly Western media. The combined death toll was about 34.

The US considers itself above the rule of law and continues to violate the sovereignty of other nations with impunity. In this regard they share a common trait with Israel. Indeed, it's clear they are working in tandem, most likely with some larger strategy in mind. One would hope they are not setting a precedent for an unprovoked attack on Iran--the US/Israel axis of evil is clearly itching for a war with Iran--with the tired old 'war on terror' line as their flimsy but ever reliable excuse. Iran shares land borders with seven countries, including Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan so it's possible the US might send in Team America for another attack close enough to the Iranian border to provoke an Iranian military response. This is what the Bush regime, and especially Israel, dearly want.

Bring on the war crimes trials.

The bombing of Syria was clearly an act of war.

So do you agree that 9/11 justified the Afghan War? The Taliban, who were not recognized by the UN as the legitimate government of the country, probablly didn't sanction the attack but they harbored the people who did even aftr the fact

Lucky for the world (and Obama) the Syria did not declare war on the United States.

As I stated above I though the attack was short sited but this is silly. 1) Syria wouldn't so stupid and 2) the US would probablly just ignore them.

What else can Bush try to get the Republicans elected?

It occured to me as well that the timing was not coincidental. McCain or some GOP flack said something about how the attack would not have taken place if Obama were president. That's probably true but he said it as if it were a bad thing

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The recent US helicopter attack in Syria, near the Iraq border, and the missile attack by US drones in Pakistan has caused outrage in those countries. The White House has remained silent, as has the cowardly Western media. The combined death toll was about 34.

The US considers itself above the rule of law and continues to violate the sovereignty of other nations with impunity. In this regard they share a common trait with Israel. Indeed, it's clear they are working in tandem, most likely with some larger strategy in mind. One would hope they are not setting a precedent for an unprovoked attack on Iran--the US/Israel axis of evil is clearly itching for a war with Iran--with the tired old 'war on terror' line as their flimsy but ever reliable excuse. Iran shares land borders with seven countries, including Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan so it's possible the US might send in Team America for another attack close enough to the Iranian border to provoke an Iranian military response. This is what the Bush regime, and especially Israel, dearly want.

Bring on the war crimes trials.

The bombing of Syria was clearly an act of war.

So do you agree that 9/11 justified the Afghan War? The Taliban, who were not recognized by the UN as the legitimate government of the country, probablly didn't sanction the attack but they harbored the people who did even aftr the fact

An act of war is when one state invades or bombs anther state. The 9/11 attack what by a group of terrorists, not an individual state.

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The recent US helicopter attack in Syria, near the Iraq border, and the missile attack by US drones in Pakistan has caused outrage in those countries. The White House has remained silent, as has the cowardly Western media. The combined death toll was about 34.

The US considers itself above the rule of law and continues to violate the sovereignty of other nations with impunity. In this regard they share a common trait with Israel. Indeed, it's clear they are working in tandem, most likely with some larger strategy in mind. One would hope they are not setting a precedent for an unprovoked attack on Iran--the US/Israel axis of evil is clearly itching for a war with Iran--with the tired old 'war on terror' line as their flimsy but ever reliable excuse. Iran shares land borders with seven countries, including Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan so it's possible the US might send in Team America for another attack close enough to the Iranian border to provoke an Iranian military response. This is what the Bush regime, and especially Israel, dearly want.

Bring on the war crimes trials.

The bombing of Syria was clearly an act of war.

So do you agree that 9/11 justified the Afghan War? The Taliban, who were not recognized by the UN as the legitimate government of the country, probablly didn't sanction the attack but they harbored the people who did even aftr the fact

John Simkin: An act of war is when one state invades or bombs anther state. The 9/11 attack what by a group of terrorists, not an individual state.

Indeed, and that is why Rummy set up Task Force 88, the "hunter-killer teams assigned to target al Qaeda's leaders and operatives" worldwide.

"You need to see Team America twice." Mark

Ameicans parody themselves. Take off from the Brit Thuderbirds

Team America:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_America:_World_Police

The real story: No bombs, no children, no innocent civilians, no war, no trials.

The Sunday Times: Questions raised over Syria:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/worl...icle5062848.ece

With no mention of Task Force 88 - Is the official Secrets Act in play here?

Then how about this report from UPI five years ago:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4138.htm

Where's the outrage?

As Ron Pointed out this is not a war against a nation state but a war against an idealogy

and not limited to artificial national boundries or time - it will last a hundred years and in fact has been going on for two hundred years.

One of the few journalsits to even mention Team 88, whose blog is aptly titled.

Bill Roggio:

http://www.longwarjournal.org/

Bill Kelly: The Two Hundred Year War -

http://remembertheintrepid.blogspot.com/

What really irritates me is the continued harange against Americans killing innocent civilians and children, and the alledged violation of a national soverignty in an attempt to rally hatred for Americans as kid killing imperialists.

Number of children killed: "An Associated Press journalist at the funerals in the village's cemetery saw the bodies of seven men — none of them children. The discrepancy could not immediately be explained."

John "It's an Act of War" Simkin:

"The parents of the children killed in the attack would not be interested if the bombs came from planes or helicopters. All they know is the Americans killed them and unless they have the morals of Martin Luther King they will seek revenge."

Mark "Bring on the war crimes trial" Simpleton:

"Bill, Abu al-Ghadia obviously had form and terrorism is a poor career choice but I see people like him as largely a product of America's own making. When he was growing up, how many times did he witness members of his own and extended family being killed by Israeli or American attacks?"

Mark, that's why the Irish hate the English, and I'm sure that Hitler was abused as a child by a Jewish nanny or there's some ingrained reason for that hatred. But that doesn't make me emphaize with Hitler or Abu Ghadiya. If his own or extended family were in fact killed by Israeli or Americans, then why? Because Americans and Israelis intentionally kill them for no reason. I now know more about Abu Ghadiya than I ever wanted to know, and IF his extended family were killed by Americans (you are speculating aren't you?), Then they were bad guys too. They were such evil people that the Syrians didn't even want them and helped arrange for the attack.

Someone earlier, I think it was Ron, brought up the idea of retrubtion and cycle of violence, and I did read "On Aggression" in high school, but the idea that we could forgive these terrorists because of perceived injustices inflicted on their children by Americans (or Isralies - what's the difference in the mind of Mark), because it didn't happen.

Abu Ghadiiya's kids weren't killed by Americans or Isralies, thus giving him the motive to hate Americans and Jews, there were no children killed by Americans in the raid, thus giving Syrian women reason to hate and want to kill Americans, and no, I can't find any empathy for these mass murderers who you seem to idolize.

That's okay, though. You can still hate Americans (and Isralies) and imagine that that's what Americans do, - intentionally and randomly kill innocent civilians because that's their job, they like it, and they want to incite further terrorists action for the next generation to fight.

It's easy to stirr up anti-American emotions, evoking bombing, child killing, war mongering and war crime trials, but its more difficult to find out what really happened and analysize it so you have an accurate idea of what will happen next.

And whether its happening because of the looming election and new administration or because new intelligence indicates their location or part-time enemies like Syria tip them off, the Ameicans (and apparently with British SAS help) are going after al Quada leaders and combatants where ever they are.

Every card carrying al Quada, especially those who got their passports stamped by Abu Ghadiya, can now expect to someday hear those helicopters overhead and expect death momentarilly.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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What really irritates me is the continued harange against Americans killing innocent civilians and children, and the alledged violation of a national soverignty in an attempt to rally hatred for Americans as kid killing imperialists.

That's okay, though. You can still hate Americans (and Isralies) and imagine that that's what Americans do, - intentionally and randomly kill innocent civilians because that's their job, they like it, and they want to incite further terrorists action for the next generation to fight.

It's easy to stirr up anti-American emotions, evoking bombing, child killing, war mongering and war crime trials, but its more difficult to find out what really happened and analysize it so you have an accurate idea of what will happen next.

BK

On August 22, 2008, US forces led by the 7th special forces group (airborne) were conducting a midnight raid to apprehend Mullah Siddiq, a Taliban Commander. When they encountered initial resistance, they called in reinforcements and the resultant massacre left 91 dead----61 of them children.

The attack took place near Azizabad, Herat province, Afghanistan.

Here's a list of the dead, with photos and comments from survivors:

http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=46866&s2=02

How many survivors of this war crime will now hate America? All of them, imo. How many will in turn become martyrs for the cause? Unknowable, but I would suggest plenty.

Bill Kelly says this is a hundred year war. How many Americans really want to be part of this insanity?

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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What really irritates me is the continued harange against Americans killing innocent civilians and children, and the alledged violation of a national soverignty in an attempt to rally hatred for Americans as kid killing imperialists.

That's okay, though. You can still hate Americans (and Isralies) and imagine that that's what Americans do, - intentionally and randomly kill innocent civilians because that's their job, they like it, and they want to incite further terrorists action for the next generation to fight.

It's easy to stirr up anti-American emotions, evoking bombing, child killing, war mongering and war crime trials, but its more difficult to find out what really happened and analysize it so you have an accurate idea of what will happen next.

BK

On August 22, 2008, US forces led by the 7th special forces group (airborne) were conducting a midnight raid to apprehend Mullah Siddiq, a Taliban Commander. When they encountered initial resistance, they called in reinforcements and the resultant massacre left 91 dead----61 of them children.

The attack took place near Azizabad, Herat province, Afghanistan.

Here's a list of the dead, with photos and comments from survivors:

http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=46866&s2=02

How many survivors of this war crime will now hate America? All of them, imo. How many will in turn become martyrs for the cause? Unknowable, but I would suggest plenty.

Bill Kelly says this is a hundred year war. How many Americans really want to be part of this insanity?

I said this has already been a two hundred year old war - Remember the Intrepid?

Americans have been fighting tyrianical Islamic pirates for centuries, and will continue to do so, I will venture, for as long as such tyrany esists.

You want to start a thread on Azizabad? Go ahead.

This is your thread on the USA attack against Abu Ghadiya in Syria.

While I am not familiar with that incident, if it's anything like this incident, the bad guys lost.

Like I said, you are not interested in the truth of the raid, the evil of Abu Ghadiya, or the end of al Quada and radical islamic fundamentalism and their intent on the imposition of islamic law on everyone, you are merely trying to inflame anti-American passions.

BK

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I said this has already been a two hundred year old war - Remember the Intrepid?

Americans have been fighting tyrianical Islamic pirates for centuries, and will continue to do so, I will venture, for as long as such tyrany esists.

You want to start a thread on Azizabad? Go ahead.

This is your thread on the USA attack against Abu Ghadiya in Syria.

While I am not familiar with that incident, if it's anything like this incident, the bad guys lost.

Like I said, you are not interested in the truth of the raid, the evil of Abu Ghadiya, or the end of al Quada and radical islamic fundamentalism and their intent on the imposition of islamic law on everyone, you are merely trying to inflame anti-American passions.

BK

That's your opinion. I would be interested to know what other Americans think, but I realise this can be a sensitive issue for Americans.

As for me trying to inflame anti-American passions, America does that quite effectively itself---look at its tattered reputation around the globe.

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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I said this has already been a two hundred year old war - Remember the Intrepid?

Americans have been fighting tyrianical Islamic pirates for centuries, and will continue to do so, I will venture, for as long as such tyrany esists.

You want to start a thread on Azizabad? Go ahead.

This is your thread on the USA attack against Abu Ghadiya in Syria.

While I am not familiar with that incident, if it's anything like this incident, the bad guys lost.

Like I said, you are not interested in the truth of the raid, the evil of Abu Ghadiya, or the end of al Quada and radical islamic fundamentalism and their intent on the imposition of islamic law on everyone, you are merely trying to inflame anti-American passions.

BK

That's your opinion. I would be interested to know what other Americans think, but I realise this can be a sensitive issue for Americans.

As for me trying to inflame anti-American passions, America does that quite effectively itself---look at its tattered reputation around the globe.

Mark,

I don't speak for any other Americans, but there are plenty on this forum who will respond if you ask them, and it would be hard to find one who will agree that Americans intentionally kill innocent civilians in order to inflame passions against them.

You are right that ant-American feelings run high globally, but not because Americans have killed innocent civlilians and children in pursuit of al Quada and Taliban.

The example you give Azizabad, Afghanistan, is a bad one, as it is in the wrong theater of operations, and the soldiers came under attack while chasing a Taliban leader.

My example, By UPI Intelligence correspondent Richard Sale, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4138.htm

is a better example of what you want to say - Americans mistakenly kill 80 Syrian civlians, based on faulty intelligence supplied by the Izzies (Isralies), your favorte whipping boys. It also detalis the conflicts between and among US forces - regular military and special ops guys, and also the cooperation between the Syrians and CIA, who operate a joint base in the area and share intelligence. And the failure of the mainstream media to even report on this incident (New you won't get from CNN).

Why wasn't there any Syrian or international outrage over this incident?

Because the victims were smugglers?

Well now the Russians, Cuba, Iran and Venezula have all fallen in line to condemn the recent American raid, even though it isn't true that there were any civilian casulaties at all.

Here's an American perspective of the same incident:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editor...ok/6092795.html

http://www.411mania.com/politics/columns/8...h-the-U.S.?.htm

And "the Chicago Way," a reference to the Sean Connery movie line:

http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=...40-ef3ac16a42b5

BK

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It turns out that Abu Ghadiya was targeted as a result of the finding of the "Sinjar records" of foreign fighters in Iraq, documentation on over 700 al Quada fighters brought into Iraq via Syira.

The Sinjar records remind me of the Odyessa File, the fictionalized account of the network of former Nazi SS officers who were spirited out of Germany at the end of WWII using forged passports. The novel is based in Berlin and begins on November 22, 1963, centered around a reporter (played by John Voght in the movie) who infiltrates the organization through the passport forger, who kept the Odessa File records.

Abu Ghadiya was the guy who arraged for the foreign fighters to get to Iraq via Syria, and the Sinjar Records are the Odessa File of al Quada figthers who passed through Syria.

The West Point Counter-Terrorism Center issued a study of the Sinjar Records and has published them on line.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2742/is_/ai_n25020048

For the post-literate videophiles:

http://www.palantirtech.com/sinjar/

http://www.ctc.usma.edu/harmony/pdf/CTCFor...er.19.Dec07.pdf

http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0107/p02s01-usmi.html

Edited by William Kelly
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http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jU2Mzu...xsq-Kj75Yo_EbUw

President Hamid Karzai congratulated Barack Obama on his White House victory Wednesday but urged him to end mounting civilian casualties in the US-led "war on terror" in Afghanistan.

The number of civilians being killed in strikes by US-led forces had caused tensions between Afghanistan and the previous US administration, Karzai told reporters at press conference to congratulate Obama on his victory.

As he spoke, the US military said it was investigating new claims that several civilians had been killed in air strikes in the southern province of Kandahar that had hit a wedding party on Tuesday.

"My first demand from the US president, when he takes office, would be to end civilian casualties in Afghanistan and take the war to places where there are terrorist nests and training centres," Karzai told a press briefing.

Karzai has long called for more focus on militant sanctuaries in neighbouring Pakistan which he says send fighters across the border into Afghanistan, where insurgent attacks are on the rise.

The president said his government had a good relationship with Washington but "our basic problem, which caused tensions between us a while ago, is the civilian casualties."

Karzai has made several emotional speeches calling on US and NATO-led forces operating against extremist insurgents in Afghanistan to take more care to avoid harm to ordinary people.

Mounting civilian casualties in the war are tarnishing the image of the international forces and the government as they try to win popular support for the effort against militants.

Karzai also reiterated that the new US administration should change strategy in the "war on terror", in which international forces now numbering 70,000 have failed to crush an insurgency by Taliban and other militants.

"Our demand is the repetition of demands we have had since long ago and that is a change of the strategy of the war against terrorism," he said.

"The 'war on terror' cannot be fought in Afghan villages... Afghanistan is the victim of terrorism," Karzai said.

The "'war on terror' should be directed to its nests and its training centres," he said, referring to militant hideouts in the tribal areas of neighbouring Pakistan.

Karzai, whose fragile government relies on US military and development aid, congratulated Obama on his win at the polls, saying his election had taken the world into a "new era."

"The election of Senator Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States has taken the American people and the rest of the world with them into a new era -- an era where race, colour and ethnicity, I hope, will also disappear... in politics in the rest of the world," he said.

He said he hoped that Afghanistan, divided along ethnic lines after decades of bitter conflict, and other countries riven by war and suffering, could one day see a similar event.

"I hope we and the rest of the world, in particular in our own country Afghanistan, follow in the same footsteps," he said.

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Recent reports from Afghanistan indicate the Al Qaeda and Taliban are assassinating suspected "spys" who inform the USA of the locaton of their fighters, and knowing the US forces standard policy of calling in air strikes after being attacked, have been firing on US troops from civilian positions in order to increase civilian casualities

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5h6RL7s...DPq8NViDEfnzRgw

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?p...-11-2008_pg7_24

NYT Secret Order Lets US Raid Al Queda in Many Countries

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/10/washingt...ilitary.html?em

BBC

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7719050.stm

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  • 1 month later...

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?con...a&aid=11392

The Failed Logic of Supporting the Troops

by Remi Kanazi

Global Research, December 14, 2008

In the United States, a growing number of leftists are voicing their opposition to the Israeli occupation. They condemn the demolition of homes, the jailing of Palestinians without charge, and the confiscation of Palestinian land for settlements. They don't support the Israeli troops or their mission, nor do they give a free pass to those who are just "doing what they are told."

Nonetheless, many of these same individuals support the US troops in Iraq. Dangerously, most Americans put forth the notion that the troops' intrinsic heroism provides them with the impunity to destroy any bogeymen who stand in their way, cultivating a code of silence that strongly discourages dissent. It is under this premise that we support our "brave" and "noble" soldiers: we know their stories well, they miss their families, they are "just like us," and we should respect their service.

While one may comprehend the mindset of the troops, this understanding does not validate support for them. If the invasion of Iraq, the mission, and the occupation as stated policy are all wrong, then support for the armed forces carrying out the mission must also be wrong.

US soldiers are not a monolith and nearly everyone would argue that the majority of the troops are "good people." Yet, our emotional inclinations and the societal norm that tells us troops are good like bumper sticker slogans shouldn't serve as justification for supporting them and, by extension, the mission they are carrying out. We are led to believe that a soldier can either serve out the rest of his tour or be branded a disgrace and imprisoned for becoming a conscientious objector. In reality the choice is much starker: a soldier can refuse to serve or contribute to the death of a million Iraqis.

When people invoke the hardships our troops face, I think of the dead Iraqi mother, the splattered torsos painting the pavement, and the .50 caliber bullets that have hollowed out the bodies of Iraqi children. Each American has a distinct face and a tale that chokes us up, but our government and media have systematically dehumanized another people, whittling their presence in the world down to a nuisance that drains our budget, as though Iraq is a welfare state that strips our society of health care, education, and gas for cross country vacations.

Iraq is not Lehman Brothers pillaging our economy. Yet, even many self-described progressives deride the Iraqi people for their $79 billion surplus but make no mention of the fact that they lack proper access to electricity; Baghdad is still one of the most dangerous city in the world, and stability is nowhere in sight. Furthermore, a growing number among the mainstream left discuss Iraq in terms of "our" interests, criticizing the so-called ineptness of Iraqis and their unwillingness to embrace democracy (democracy that was never truly offered), all while five million have been made refugees, Baghdad has been cleansed of Sunnis, and each child, father, and mother live with horror stories we wouldn't wish upon our worst enemies. This is the result and reality of US occupation.

The assertion that troops are "just following orders" and that it is impossible to refuse once enlisted rings hollow. The US has not implemented a draft; on the contrary, each soldier chooses to fight in Iraq on behalf of the American government. This should not be applauded, nor should it be respected. Real courage would be abandoning this war—against orders, against the US administration—as a number of US soldiers have done (a phenomenon ignored by the mainstream media).

Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia is a well known conscientious objector who served nine months in prison for refusing to return to Iraq. In a 2005 article on AlterNet, Mejia wrote:

"I say without any pride that I did my job as a soldier. I commanded an infantry squad in combat and we never failed to accomplish our mission. But those who called me a coward, without knowing it, are also right. I was a coward not for leaving the war, but for having been a part of it in the first place. Refusing and resisting this war was my moral duty, a moral duty that called me to take a principled action. I failed to fulfill my moral duty as a human being and instead I chose to fulfill my duty as a soldier."

Perhaps most importantly, many people fail to make the connection that supporting the troops enables the war and presents people who are against the occupation with a false reality: the ability to support the troops while rejecting the mission. Standing in solidarity with the troops facilitates funding for the occupation; it redresses the "intrinsic nobility" of the soldier, which further weakens congressmen who rhetorically reject the war, but support it through their votes. Occupation is dirty, and so too are the people who employ it. Following orders should not replace humanitarian law, and the excuse shouldn't serve to satisfy our consciences.

We are asked to support US troops when logic is absent. We look at the troops as victims who are forced to do things they would not otherwise do; we give them immunity and their crimes become unseen collateral damage. Yet, Iraqis are not monsters; they are the victims that face the gun's barrel. We should only support the troops as much as we support this war. Anything less supports the victimizer and not the victim.

Remi Kanazi is a Palestinian-American writer, poet, and editor living in New York City. He is editor of the recently released collection of poetry, spoken word, hip hop and art, Poets For Palestine. For more information, please visit www.PoetsForPalestine.com.

Remi Kanazi is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Remi Kanazi

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  • 2 weeks later...
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?con...a&aid=11392

Mark,

Yes, I support the troops in Iraq by calling for them to be brought home, or sent to Afghanistan, or go chase Al Quada and Taliban into Syria and Pakistan.

Now you want to argue about the occupation of Iraq or the topic of this thread - the incursion of US troops into Syria and Pakistan in pursuit of Al Quadea and Taliban. Now that you can't win the support for such evil entitites, who kill children intentionally (American soldiers do not) and who ensalve women and destroy schools, churches and Buddest shrines, you want to change the subject?

BK

The Failed Logic of Supporting the Troops

by Remi Kanazi

Global Research, December 14, 2008

In the United States, a growing number of leftists are voicing their opposition to the Israeli occupation. They condemn the demolition of homes, the jailing of Palestinians without charge, and the confiscation of Palestinian land for settlements. They don't support the Israeli troops or their mission, nor do they give a free pass to those who are just "doing what they are told."

Nonetheless, many of these same individuals support the US troops in Iraq. Dangerously, most Americans put forth the notion that the troops' intrinsic heroism provides them with the impunity to destroy any bogeymen who stand in their way, cultivating a code of silence that strongly discourages dissent. It is under this premise that we support our "brave" and "noble" soldiers: we know their stories well, they miss their families, they are "just like us," and we should respect their service.

While one may comprehend the mindset of the troops, this understanding does not validate support for them. If the invasion of Iraq, the mission, and the occupation as stated policy are all wrong, then support for the armed forces carrying out the mission must also be wrong.

US soldiers are not a monolith and nearly everyone would argue that the majority of the troops are "good people." Yet, our emotional inclinations and the societal norm that tells us troops are good like bumper sticker slogans shouldn't serve as justification for supporting them and, by extension, the mission they are carrying out. We are led to believe that a soldier can either serve out the rest of his tour or be branded a disgrace and imprisoned for becoming a conscientious objector. In reality the choice is much starker: a soldier can refuse to serve or contribute to the death of a million Iraqis.

When people invoke the hardships our troops face, I think of the dead Iraqi mother, the splattered torsos painting the pavement, and the .50 caliber bullets that have hollowed out the bodies of Iraqi children. Each American has a distinct face and a tale that chokes us up, but our government and media have systematically dehumanized another people, whittling their presence in the world down to a nuisance that drains our budget, as though Iraq is a welfare state that strips our society of health care, education, and gas for cross country vacations.

Iraq is not Lehman Brothers pillaging our economy. Yet, even many self-described progressives deride the Iraqi people for their $79 billion surplus but make no mention of the fact that they lack proper access to electricity; Baghdad is still one of the most dangerous city in the world, and stability is nowhere in sight. Furthermore, a growing number among the mainstream left discuss Iraq in terms of "our" interests, criticizing the so-called ineptness of Iraqis and their unwillingness to embrace democracy (democracy that was never truly offered), all while five million have been made refugees, Baghdad has been cleansed of Sunnis, and each child, father, and mother live with horror stories we wouldn't wish upon our worst enemies. This is the result and reality of US occupation.

The assertion that troops are "just following orders" and that it is impossible to refuse once enlisted rings hollow. The US has not implemented a draft; on the contrary, each soldier chooses to fight in Iraq on behalf of the American government. This should not be applauded, nor should it be respected. Real courage would be abandoning this war—against orders, against the US administration—as a number of US soldiers have done (a phenomenon ignored by the mainstream media).

Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia is a well known conscientious objector who served nine months in prison for refusing to return to Iraq. In a 2005 article on AlterNet, Mejia wrote:

"I say without any pride that I did my job as a soldier. I commanded an infantry squad in combat and we never failed to accomplish our mission. But those who called me a coward, without knowing it, are also right. I was a coward not for leaving the war, but for having been a part of it in the first place. Refusing and resisting this war was my moral duty, a moral duty that called me to take a principled action. I failed to fulfill my moral duty as a human being and instead I chose to fulfill my duty as a soldier."

Perhaps most importantly, many people fail to make the connection that supporting the troops enables the war and presents people who are against the occupation with a false reality: the ability to support the troops while rejecting the mission. Standing in solidarity with the troops facilitates funding for the occupation; it redresses the "intrinsic nobility" of the soldier, which further weakens congressmen who rhetorically reject the war, but support it through their votes. Occupation is dirty, and so too are the people who employ it. Following orders should not replace humanitarian law, and the excuse shouldn't serve to satisfy our consciences.

We are asked to support US troops when logic is absent. We look at the troops as victims who are forced to do things they would not otherwise do; we give them immunity and their crimes become unseen collateral damage. Yet, Iraqis are not monsters; they are the victims that face the gun's barrel. We should only support the troops as much as we support this war. Anything less supports the victimizer and not the victim.

Remi Kanazi is a Palestinian-American writer, poet, and editor living in New York City. He is editor of the recently released collection of poetry, spoken word, hip hop and art, Poets For Palestine. For more information, please visit www.PoetsForPalestine.com.

Remi Kanazi is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Remi Kanazi

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  • 6 months later...

Were these cross boarder attacks in Syria the "Operational" use of the Special Ops Unit that is now being exposed, that they say was never made operational?

BK

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?con...a&aid=10737

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?con...a&aid=10735

The recent US helicopter attack in Syria, near the Iraq border, and the missile attack by US drones in Pakistan has caused outrage in those countries. The White House has remained silent, as has the cowardly Western media. The combined death toll was about 34.

The US considers itself above the rule of law and continues to violate the sovereignty of other nations with impunity. In this regard they share a common trait with Israel. Indeed, it's clear they are working in tandem, most likely with some larger strategy in mind. One would hope they are not setting a precedent for an unprovoked attack on Iran--the US/Israel axis of evil is clearly itching for a war with Iran--with the tired old 'war on terror' line as their flimsy but ever reliable excuse. Iran shares land borders with seven countries, including Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan so it's possible the US might send in Team America for another attack close enough to the Iranian border to provoke an Iranian military response. This is what the Bush regime, and especially Israel, dearly want.

Bring on the war crimes trials.

Wait a minute. Both of these incursions were US attacks on al Quada units who coordinated across border attacks on US forces and then retreat into Syira and Pakistan.

While I don't think the USA should be in Iraq at all, both Syria and Pakistan are ostensibly safe harbors for those who attack US forces, so they are fare game, as far as I'm concerned.

If Syria and Pakistan don't want US forces to violate their soverignty, they shouldn't allow al Quada to violate their soverignty either.

Bill Kelly

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-New...tack_Carried_Ou

Remember Poncho Villa!, Muhammad Omar and Abu Ghadiya.

Look out Osama Bin Laden.

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They say that this secret CIA plan was never "Operational" but what about TASK FORCE 88?

Remember back in October, 2008?

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...c=13618&hl=

Doesn't "TASK FORCE 88" sound suspicously like the secret CIA assassinations squad

that was never activated or made "operational"?

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/na...0,4043827.story

Reporting from Washington -- The secret CIA program halted last month by Director Leon E. Panetta involved establishing elite paramilitary teams that could be inserted into Pakistan or other locations to capture or kill top leaders of the Al Qaeda terrorist network, according to former U.S. intelligence officials.

The program -- launched in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- was never operational. But officials said that as recently as a year ago CIA executives discussed plans to deploy teams to test basic capabilities, including whether they could enter hostile territory and maneuver undetected, as well as gather intelligence and track high-value targets.

Clamor grows over CIA secrets

Cheney linked to secrecy of CIA program

Hayden rebuts surveillance program reports

The initiative evolved through multiple iterations, and was close to being scrapped several times as CIA officials struggled to find solutions to daunting logistical challenges. But even as the Predator drone emerged as a potent new weapon against Al Qaeda, CIA officials continued to pursue the secret program as an additional lethal option.

"You always want to have capacity because you cannot predict opportunities," said a former senior U.S. intelligence official with extensive knowledge of the program.

With the emergence of the Predator, the official said, "we still wanted to explore having that capacity, but there wasn't the same sense of urgency that may have existed before."

That official and others spoke on condition of anonymity given the acute sensitivity of the issue.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano declined to comment on the nature of the program.

The existence of the program, and the fact that it was kept secret from lawmakers for nearly eight years at the direction of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has fanned an already heated atmosphere in Washington over the Bush administration's intelligence programs.

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials have said that in terminating the program, Panetta may have been more concerned about the fact that the initiative had been kept secret from Congress than he was about the merits of the program.

A U.S. intelligence official said Panetta has not ruled out reviving an effort to develop a similar close-range capability in closer collaboration with lawmakers.

"If the United States ever needs something like this in the future, we'll find better ways to build it," the U.S. intelligence official said. "That includes briefing Congress earlier on. Panetta understands all that. He's an aggressive proponent of counter-terrorism, pushing tools and tactics that work and have the support to be sustainable. This one didn't."

Leading Democratic lawmakers have said it was illegal for the CIA not to disclose the program to intelligence committees, and called for an investigation.

"Individuals who ordered that Congress be kept in the dark should be held accountable," Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-Wis.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Monday. Feingold also said he had expressed "deep concerns about the program itself" in a classified letter to President Obama.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the former vice president may have broken the law by instructing the CIA to keep the program secret.

But current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that Cheney's role has been mischaracterized, and that the agency was not obligated to disclose the program because it was never close to being operational.

The former officials said that Cheney was never involved in managing the program, and that his instruction not to brief Congress came shortly after the initiative was first proposed.

"It was more like, before you go around and start talking about this, see if it is something you can make happen," said one of the former officials.

Legal authorities for the program were grounded in a comprehensive memorandum that President Bush signed just days after the Sept. 11 attacks, a 10-page document giving the agency powers to pursue Al Qaeda targets with lethal force.

A 1976 order signed by President Ford banned the CIA from carrying out assassinations. But that prohibition does not apply to killing enemies in war.

Panetta ordered the program terminated immediately after learning of it last month, and called emergency meetings with the House and Senate intelligence committees the next day to brief them.

The U.S. intelligence official defended Panetta's decision to dismantle the program, saying that it "never fully took shape" and "was derailed repeatedly over the years by concerns about its feasibility. So killing it cost virtually nothing in operational terms."

The program was launched at a time when then-CIA Director George Tenet and other top agency officials were scrambling to sort out what the agency would do if it could determine the location of Osama bin Laden or other high-level Al Qaeda figures.

CIA officials quickly endorsed the idea of developing small paramilitary teams that could carry out "surgical" strikes on high-value targets. But the program repeatedly bogged down on basic operational and logistical questions.

"Do you put them in Waziristan and sit there and wait?" said a second former U.S. intelligence official with knowledge of the program. "It's one of these things that makes a lot of sense until you start trying to make it work."

The official described internal debates over whether the teams should come out of the CIA's Special Activities Division -- its longtime paramilitary wing -- or whether they should be developed in partnership with U.S. military special operations forces.

The military was faulted after Sept. 11 for its tendency to require elaborate plans and large backup forces even for small-scale operations, a factor that had played into failures to capitalize on opportunities to catch or kill Bin Laden before 2001.

The former U.S. intelligence official said the program was designed to provide an option beyond guided bombs or Hellfire strikes from Predator aircraft.

The initiative was also focused exclusively on the top figures in the Al Qaeda chain of command, the former official said, dismissing suggestions that the effort was aimed at assembling teams of assassins that would roam the world looking for lesser terrorist targets.

greg.miller@latimes.com

IF THIS PROGRAM WAS NOT OPERATIONAL THEN WHO WERE THESE GUYS? - TASK FORCE 88

US strike in Syria "decapitated" al Qaeda's facilitation network

By BILL ROGGIO

October 27, 2008 4:51 PM

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/200..._in_syria_d.php

Al Qaeda leader Abu Ghadiya was killed in yesterday's strike inside Syria, a senior US military intelligence official told The Long War Journal. But US special operations forces also inflicted a major blow to al Qaeda's foreign fighter network based in Syria. The entire senior leadership of Ghadiya's network was also killed in the raid, the official stated.

Ghadiya was the leader of al Qaeda extensive network that funnels foreign fighters, weapons, and cash from Syria into Iraq along the entire length of the Syrian border. Ghadiya was first identified as the target of the raid inside Syria late last night here atThe Long War Journal. The Associated Press reported Ghadiya was killed in the raid earlier today.

Several US helicopters entered the town of town of Sukkariya near Abu Kamal in eastern Syria, just five miles from the Iraqi border. US commandos from the hunter-killer teams of Task Force 88 assaulted the buildings sheltering Ghadiya and his staff.

The Syrian government has protested the attack, describing it as an act of "criminal and terrorist aggression" carried out by the US. The Syrian government claimed eight civilians, including women and children, were killed in the strike. But a journalist fromThe Associated Press who attended the funeral said that only the bodies of seven men were displayed.

The US official said there were more killed in the raid than is being reported. "There are more than public numbers [in the Syrian press] are saying, those reported killed were the Syrian locals that worked with al Qaeda," the official told The Long War Journal. "There were non-Syrian al Qaeda operatives killed as well."

Those killed include Ghadiya's brother and two cousins. "They also were part of the senior leadership," the official stated. "They're dead. We've decapitated the network." Others killed during the raid were not identified.

The strike is thought to have a major impact on al Qaeda's operations inside Syria. Al Qaeda's ability to control the vast group of local "Syrian coordinators" who directly help al Qaeda recruits and operatives enter Iraq has been "crippled."

Ghadiya's staff

The identity of Ghadiya and several members of his senior staff have been known since February 2008 when the US Treasury identified Ghadiya, his brother, and his two cousins as members of the network. The US Treasury department publicly designated Ghadiya, his brother, Akram Turki Hishan Al Mazidih, and his two cousins, Ghazy Fezza Hishan Al Mazidih and Saddah Jaylut Al Marsumis as senior members of al Qaeda's foreign facilitation network.

Ghadiya, whose real name is Badran Turki Hishan Al Mazidih, was an Iraqi from Mosul. He was working as an al Qaeda logistics coordinator in Syria since 2004, when he was appointed to the position by Abu Musab al Zarqawi. After Zarqawi's death, he "took orders directly, or through a deputy" from Abu Ayyub al Masri, al Qaeda's current leader in Iraq,

Ghazy Was Ghadiya's "right-hand man," the Treasury stated. "As second-in-command, Ghazy worked directly with [Ghadiya], managed network operations, and acted as the commander for [Ghadiya's] AQI [al Qaeda in Iraq] network when [Ghadiya] traveled."

Akram directed al Qaeda operations along with Ghadiya in the Al Qaim region right on the border with Syria. He smuggled weapons from Syria into Iraq, and ordered "the execution of AQI's enemies," Treasury stated. "Akram also ordered the execution of all persons found to be working with the Iraqi Government or US Forces."

Marsumi was an al Qaeda financier who "facilitated the financing and smuggling of AQI foreign fighters from Syria into Iraq." He helped Syrian suicide bombers enter Iraq, and also wired hundreds of thousands of dollars to Ghadiya to facilitate operations.

All four men lived openly inside Syria. The US Treasury identified Ghadiya, Ghazy, and Akram as living in Zabadani. Marsumi lived in the village of Al Shajlah.

A senior US general and the Iraqi spokesmen both noted that al Qaeda leaders were openly living inside Syria, and the Syrian government did nothing to shut down the network.

"The attacked area was the scene of activities of terrorist groups operating from Syria against Iraq," Ali al Dabbagh, Iraq's spokesman told Reuters. "Iraq had asked Syria to hand over this group which uses Syria as a base for its terrorist activities."

Major General John Kelly, the commander of Multinational Force - West, described Syria as "problematic" during a briefing on Oct. 23. "The Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi intelligence forces feel that al Qaeda operatives and others operate, live pretty openly on the Syrian side," Kelly said. "

Background on al Qaeda's Syrian facilitation network

Syria has long been a haven for al Qaeda as well as Baathists who fled the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Terrorists and insurgents took advantage of the long, desolate, and unsecured border, which stretches more than 460 miles along Iraq's western provinces of Anbar, Ninewa, and Dohuk.

At the height of the Iraqi insurgency, an estimated 100 to 150 foreign fighters poured into Iraq from Syria each month. Operations in Anbar and Ninewa have pushed that number down to 20 infiltrators a month, according to the US military.

Wanted insurgent leaders, such as Mishan al Jabouri, openly live in Syria. Jabouri, a former member of the Iraqi parliament, fled to Syria after being charged with corruption for embezzling government funds and for supporting al Qaeda. From Syria Jabouri ran Al Zawraa, a satellite television station that aired al Qaeda and Islamic Army of Iraq propaganda videos showing attacks against US and Iraqi forces.

Al Qaeda established a network of operatives inside Syria to move foreign fighters, weapons, and cash to support its terror activities inside Iraq. An al Qaeda manual detailed ways to infiltrate Iraq via Syria. The manual, titled The New Road to Mesopotamia, was written by a jihadi named Al Muhajir Al Islami, and discovered in the summer of 2005.

The Iraqi-Syrian border was broken down into four sectors: the Habur crossing near Zakhu in the north; the Tal Kujik and Sinjar border crossings west of Mosul; the Al Qaim entry point in western Anbar; and the southern crossing at Al Tanf west of Rutbah near the Jordanian border. Islami claimed the Al Tanf and Habur crossing points were too dangerous to use, and Al Qaim was the preferred route into Iraq.

The US military learned a great deal about al Qaeda's network inside Syria after a key operative was killed in September of 2007. US forces killed Muthanna, the regional commander of al Qaeda's network in the Sinjar region.

During the operation, US forces found numerous documents and electronic files that detailed "the larger al-Qaeda effort to organize, coordinate, and transport foreign terrorists into Iraq and other places," Major General Kevin Bergner, the former spokesman for Multinational Forces Iraq, said in October 2007.

Bergner said several of the documents found with Muthanna included a list of 500 al Qaeda fighters from "a range of foreign countries that included Libya, Morocco, Syria, Algeria, Oman, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom."

Other documents found in Muthanna's possession included a "pledge of a martyr," which is signed by foreign fighters inside Syria, and an expense report. The pledge said the suicide bomber must provide a photograph and surrender their passport. It also stated the recruit must enroll in a "security course" in Syria. The expense report was tallied in US dollars, Syrian lira, and Iraqi dinars, and included items such as clothing, food, fuel, mobile phone cards, weapons, salaries, "sheep purchased," furniture, spare parts for vehicles, and other items.

The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point later conducted a detailed study of the "Sinjar Records," which was published in July 2008. The study showed that al Qaeda had an extensive network in Syria and the Syrian government has allowed their activities to continue.

"The Syrian government has willingly ignored, and possibly abetted, foreign fighters headed to Iraq," the study concluded. "Concerned about possible military action against the Syrian regime, it opted to support insurgents and terrorists wreaking havoc in Iraq."

Al Qaeda established multiple networks of "Syrian Coordinators" that "work primarily with fighters from specific countries, and likely with specific Coordinators in fighters’ home countries," according to the study. The Syrian city of Dayr al Zawr serves as a vital logistical hub and a transit point for al Qaeda recruits and operatives heading to Iraq.

A vast majority of the fighters entering Iraq from Sinjar served as suicide bombers. The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point estimated that 75 percent conducted suicide attacks inside Iraq.

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