Friday, March 24, 2006

Shocking images of war - and a "cowardly act of terrorism"


(This is just one of citizen of Mosul's shocking pictures. Dead children; killed during the "hunting down of a terrorist" )

The Iraqi blogger "a citizen of Mosul" often brings some of the most shocking pictures of the war.

I am sorry to publish those pictures.But I think all American citizens should see how their brave soldiers defeated the terrorists Iraqi children, he says.

This should make the Danes think as well. A few days ago the media in Denmark reported the death of yet another Danish soldier. That is sad and deplorable. The official Danish response is also deplorable. The Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen calls it a "cowardly terrorist act".

It is wrong to call it that. Denmark is at war; those fighting against the Danish troops should more appropriately be regarded as freedom fighters than as terrorists, but it probably alleviates guilt or removes blame from the PM that he can call them terrorists. It turns the war into a "war on terror", and this - according to the likes of Bush and Fogh Rasmussen - gives justification for any kind of retaliation. And retaliation there is. It is a known fact that the Americans are getting increasingly sophisticated at counterstriking the roadside bombs (Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs). They put snipers on rooftops, and they put jammers on the vehicles that counteract the remote controls of the IEDs.

The coalitions forces' snipers are probably not called "cowardly" by Mr. Rasmussen. They're on the "right" side of history's great divide between good and bad. So the kind of adjective being used on combat behaviour depends on which side uses it.

A lot of the comments on the Mosul citizen's blog are from angry Americans who won't accept responsibility. They won't even regard the pictures as authentic. They have been manipulated by conservative American media. This is part of war; the heavy propaganda that fill the population with lies and militaristic and nationalistic propaganda.

In World War II there were Danish freedom fighters fighting aganist German occupation. They were regarded as dangerous terrorists by the Germans when they blew up the railway line that transported agricultural goods from Denmark towards the south and products from Norway through Jutland. The Danish people have forgotten they were in a situation very similar to the one the Iraqis are in. Prime Minister Rasmussen even uses it in a reverse story telling as part of his despicable spin: Saddam Husein is like Hitler, he has said, and the "Coalition of the Willing" are, together with cooperative Iraqis, the freedom fighters.
How low can you get? Saddam Husein was a cynical dictator, but apart from that the two historical situations do not compare. Germany was an emerging and strong industrial power that could easily dominate half the world. Germany was permeated with a totalitarian ideology that affected all sectors and segments of society. Iraq was in comparison a poor country weakened by the UN sanctions. As a backward Third country it could not develop totalitarianism of the German kind, as this requires efficient mass organisations and a modern society.

The Baath party propagated a kind of pan-Arab development ideology. The country could hardly be a threat to anyone. The neo-cons in Washington, however, succeeded in conjuring up a non-existent threat because it served American geopolitical interests. And Rasmussen swallowed the rotten porridge raw!

- And talking of children: How many hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children lost their lives due to the UN sanctions?

The British clown Jo Wilding toured Iraq entertaining Iraqi children. She participated in rescue operation the first time Fallujah was cleansed of insurgents. Here is an excerpt from one of her reports from the war stricken city. But of course, snipers are not "cowardly":

“Come,” says Maki and ushers me alone into a room where an old woman has just had an abdominal bullet wound stitched up. Another in her leg is being dressed, the bed under her foot soaked with blood, a white flag still clutched in her hand and the same story: I was leaving my home to go to Baghdad when I was hit by a US sniper. Some of the town is held by US marines, other parts by the local fighters. Their homes are in the US controlled area and they are adamant that the snipers were US marines. Snipers are causing not just carnage but also the paralysis of the ambulance and evacuation services. The biggest hospital after the main one was bombed is in US territory and cut off from the clinic by snipers. The ambulance has been repaired four times after bullet damage. Bodies are lying in the streets because no one can go to collect them without being shot.Some said we were mad to come to Iraq; quite a few said we were completely insane to come to Falluja and now there are people telling me that getting in the back of the pick up to go past the snipers and get sick and injured people is the craziest thing they’ve ever seen. I know, though, that if we don’t, no one will.He’s holding a white flag with a red crescent on; I don’t know his name. The men we pass wave us on when the driver explains where we’re going. The silence is ferocious in the no man’s land between the pick up at the edge of the Mujahedin territory, which has just gone from our sight around the last corner and the marines’ line beyond the next wall; no birds, no music, no indication that anyone is still living until a gate opens opposite and a woman comes out, points.We edge along to the hole in the wall where we can see the car, spent mortar shells around it. The feet are visible, crossed, in the gutter. I think he’s dead already. The snipers are visible too, two of them on the corner of the building. . (wildfirejo.org.uk. No longer available)

This kind of warfare produces more "terrorists" than it removes. That is why the situation in Iraq continues deteriorating. By even the most conservative estimates by coalition forces American troops have killed over 250 innocent people at vehicle check-points alone.

12 Comments:

Blogger Sophia said...

Thank you for this post. Sadly, images like the one you posted are becoming routine in Iraq. In my ditsress I am trying to find out what was the purpose of invading Iraq ?

WMD ? There was none
Oil ? Oil prices have jumped and will likely stay at this level in the future.
Liberating Iraq from tyranny ? False. Because liberators don't stay after the liberation, don't steal national resources, don't impose their political will, help rebuilding and infrastructure.
Now, the last excuse: Fighting Islamic fanatism and it came in a speech Tony Blair gave yesterday. They would us to forget that Iraq was a secular country before the invasion.

What are the hidden motives ?
In my opinion:
1) Distract the international community from a solution to a lasting peace in the middle east.
2) Radicalise Islam.
3) Terrorrize other countries in the middle east who didn't sign a peace agreement with Israel(Syria, Lebanon, Iran) by showing them the example. Aren't you surprised that Olmert who mwill be likely elected on sunday is declaring that israel's geographical and political frontiers WILL BE DRAWN DEFINITELY BY 2010 ? This means there is nobody to speak with on the other side. While the arab world is busy surviving its many catastrophes, israel is making peace alone according to its own interests and the interests of its population at the expanses of palestinians and the arab world. Even the EU is silent.
4) Establishing a long lasting and uncontested US hegemony on this part of the world and submitting populations and states.
After this is done, the US will likely move to other imperial adventures with the help of nations having interests keeping their industrial military complex well and alive.

In my opinion, the US is still operating on the basis of a cold war logic , creating artificially a powerful ennemy (terrorrism and Islam for the moment) in order to nourrish its beast (the idustrial military complex). I don't believe them when they claim that the world have changed and that they are acting accordingly. Cheney repeated this many times during the reelection campaign.

In fact, the world have changed. With the fall of communism, there was the possibility of a decrease in warfare across th globe but this is not good for the military and the military industry.
The US and its allies are fabricating ennemies in order to maintain the interests of this complex.
Telling me that osama bin laden is a global menace makes me laugh. Terrorrism is still terrorrism. Italy and France have dealt with terrorrism in the seventies and the eighties without bringing the entire world into their fight.

The radicalisation of Islam is part of the fabrication of the artificial menace. Don't forget that Bin Laden was a US-CIA homegrown terrorrist.

I am calling on muslims and others to resist the provocation and to work for peace.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

- Duck mio,

As usual, you’re speaking words of wisdom: igniting forever the eternal fires of sectarian violence throughout the Middle-East was exactly what the pyromaniac Neocon Neros of Washington had in mind when they launched their attack on Iraq, deliberately targeting the only secular republican regime of the Arab world.

French researcher Thierry Meyssan proved that the whole 9-11 circus was engineered by rogue rightwing operatives within the Pentagon and the office of the Vice-President- see link below:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thierry_Meyssan

Washington’s response was ruthless: Professor Meyssan was banned from entering the US territory for fear of him telling the truth about the Rumsfeldcheneysharon conspiracy… so much for “freedom of speech”!

Ironically, the storyline of September 11, 2001 echoes in many ways the plot of “The Long Kiss Goodnight” a 1996 action movie with Geena Davis and Samuel Jackson.
In the movie, Samantha Caine (Geena Davis) discovers that her former boss at the Pentagon has allied with some US-trained terrorists in a plot to detonate a chemical bomb in New York, frame a moustached Arab for the crime and thus secure more funding for the Pentagon...

Sounds familiar??

9:37 AM  
Blogger Sophia said...

Dr. De la Vega,

Always glad to hear from you. I have seen the movie you mention and I never thought about the comparison, and indeed it is not the only one in american cinema. Don't search too much to find out where the neo cons are taking their scenarios for world domination. Didn't they hire a scenario writer from hollywood after 9/11 to help them figure out the terrorrist menace ?

Some people will say that conspiracy theories are useless. But there are some disturbing facts. In my opinion, what may have happened is an 'infiltration' (could be ideological provocation or actually physical infiltration) of muslim fanatics by the US and Israel which may have made 9/11 possible.
Meyssan was discredited for his conspiracy theory but I think the more the US will delve into chaotic foreign policy the more it will raises questions about its motives and the more people will look for conspiracy theories and facts behind them.
It is likely that nobody will ever be able to prove conspiracy theories but it is not because a theory is not proven correct that it is false. In science for example, refutation is more important than confirmation. What may represent a refutation to 9/11 consipracy theories are facts confirming for example competitive theries about US foreign policy, the most prominent being neo-con theories.
However every day, facts on the ground refute neo-con theories for US foreign policy, so we are left with conspiracy theories as possible explanations of US foreign policy.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Denmark is at war; those fighting against the Danish troops should more appropriately be regarded as freedom fighters than as terrorists, but it probably alleviates guilt or removes blame from the PM that he can call them terrorists. It turns the war into a "war on terror", and this gives justification for any kind of retaliation.

Cosmic Duck, you really write any kind of retaliation here. Does this include killing Danish civilians, including yourself, in retaliation for Denmark being one of the occupying forces in Iraq? Terrorist attacks in Copanhagen? (Yes, I oppose the occupation myself.)

If yes, you are ready to be killed by terrorists because of your government's decision which you oppose.

If no, you discredit your own words.

Which one do you pick up?

My questions is exactly as simple as that.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

Anonymous.

It is not I, who have chosen to be involved in a "war on terror". It is the Danish government which has wanted to turn Denmark into a client state of the USA.

Of course, I'll not justify attacks on civilians. That's why I have shown the citizen of Mosul's picture and made links to his homepage. I want to discourage people from such acts.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

Dr de la Vega and Sophia.

"so much for “freedom of speech”!"

Yes, this is interesting. The number of people who are blocked in their exerting this right. It was like the Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams who was recently held back in an American airport, so he couldn't make it on time to the lecture he was going to give.

The "war on terror" knows no bounds. It is stupid. You use the term "war" about an activity that threatens national existence, the economy, or the infrastructure of a country. The attack on twin towers was bad enough in itself, but it did not threaten the existence of the USA. But now, the fighting the "war on terror" in retaliation to the WTC attack is threatening the democratic fabric of American society.

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, CD, but then you should take back your earlier words. If you write any retaliation as you did, that leaves the decision on what the retaliation might be and who the target(s) might be on the retaliator and you or any other potential victim has no say in it. If you see what's been going on and what's been done by those people you respectfully label "freedom fighters", so most you see is bombing innocent civilians, death threats, kidnappings and bombing cultural landmarks such as mosques. That's no freedom fighting whatsoever.

I also disagree with you on something you earlier wrote on totalitarianism. It's true that Saddam's Iraq wasn't a real threat to world peace since 1991 (note: I've myself opposed both the 1991 and 2003 attacks, but now I think Iraq qould be even worse off if the coalition left immediately) unlike Hitler's Germany was from the late 1930s (as well as Stalin's USSR which you of course fail to mention) but I don't buy your claim that

Germany was permeated with a totalitarian ideology that affected all sectors and segments of society. Iraq was in comparison a poor country weakened by the UN sanctions. As a backward Third country it could not develop totalitarianism of the German kind, as this requires efficient mass organisations and a modern society.

You mean that countries such as North Korea, Mao's China, Saudi Arabia, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Castro's Cuba, and others were/are not permeated by a totalitarian ideology in all sectors of society? These were/are all poor backward third world countries and for sure as totalitarian, if not more, than Hitler's Germany.

Besides, the first step to oppose a force occupying one's country is to fight it before the occupation really starts. Iraq fell in quite a short time, and if I'm not wrong, Denmark was occupied by Germans in one or two days. I don't understand how the latter is even possible logistically.

11:57 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

Anonymous.

When I used the word "retaliation" I meant retaliation on the side of power. I did not mean as a moral legitimation of terror on civilians. In the context it is meant as a Machiavellian concept that I distance myself from.

The totalitarianism of the countries you mention is different from totalitarianism in Nazi Germany. This was a highly industrialized country with mass organisations and media that enabled a more thoroughgoing totalitarian ideology to penetrate society. That is why the analogy used by the neo-cons - and PM Rasmussen - does not hold. Nazi Germany was "evil" in another sense than Saddam's Iraq. Consequently the Americans were not received as liberators, but became occupiers gradually.

The Americans probably knew about this, though it has never been admitted. The State Department has some of the best political analysts in the world. Either the reports were not read, or the motives pushed for another kind of action, which of course were the geopolitical interests of the US.

It is not the first time the USA acts on completely misconceived information about the world. It happened in the 1960's when the "Missile-gap" was grossly exaggerated. The purpose, of course, was to legitimize a military build-up that is in the interest of the military-industrial complex.

It also happened in the 1980's when Ronal Reagan deliberately exaggerated the threat of the "Evil Empire". That led to the expansion of the defence budget in the 1980's.

12:31 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

Anonymous.

When I used the word "retaliation" I meant retaliation on the side of power. I did not mean as a moral legitimation of terror on civilians. In the context it is meant as a Machiavellian concept that I distance myself from.

The totalitarianism of the countries you mention is different from totalitarianism in Nazi Germany. This was a highly industrialized country with mass organisations and media that enabled a more thoroughgoing totalitarian ideology to penetrate society. That is why the analogy used by the neo-cons - and PM Rasmussen - does not hold. Nazi Germany was "evil" in another sense than Saddam's Iraq. Consequently the Americans were not received as liberators, but became occupiers gradually.

The Americans probably knew about this, though it has never been admitted. The State Department has some of the best political analysts in the world. Either the reports were not read, or the motives pushed for another kind of action, which of course were the geopolitical interests of the US.

It is not the first time the USA acts on completely misconceived information about the world. It happened in the 1960's when the "Missile-gap" was grossly exaggerated. The purpose, of course, was to legitimize a military build-up that is in the interest of the military-industrial complex.

It also happened in the 1980's when Ronal Reagan deliberately exaggerated the threat of the "Evil Empire". That led to the expansion of the defence budget in the 1980's.

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, and there are historians and political scientists who claim that Reagan's deliberate exaggeration in turn led to the Eastern Block investing too much in arms which in turn made them bankrupt which in turn led to the end of their dictatorships.

I still don't share your opinion on totalitarian states. Take North Korea, for example, which is more totalitarian Nazi Germany ever was, far more closed from the outside world and with less opportunities for the ordinary people to have a say in anything or hear dissenting opinions. And don't forget North Korean mass organizations and probably the world's least free media and you get the picture. No, I'm no way defending the Nazi dictatorship, just pointing out that totalitarianism in an industrial state can hardly ever be as totalitarian as in a more closed country without the kind of history Germany had before the Nazis.

3:20 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

I tend to agree with you on North Korea. But then again: What is the point?

My point was to say that we live in a dangerous world when the one remaining superpower acts on distorted information about reality because they dare not be honest about their true motives. By comparing Saddam to Hitler and the Baath party to the national socialists in Germany they distort reality. They turn an attack on a poor country into a "noble" endeavour in the pursuit of freedom and democracy. They try to impose democracy through violent means.

In Denmark Anders Fogh Rasmussen compares it to the occupation 1940-45, which is falsification of history. The most relevant comparison is to compare the Danish resistance to the insurgents operating in Iraq now. Fogh's argumentaton is furthermore hypocritical, because Venstre (Liberalist party) politicians also collaborated with the Germans.

I'm not blind to the fact that some of the "insurgents" are fanatical terrorists coming from outside Iraq, but a large part of the insurgents are Iraqis tired of foreign occupation.

4:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure most are tired of the occupation (note again, I opposed the attacks on Iraq in 1991 and 2003 and was angry when I saw Denmark took part in the latter - BTW, I'm not a Dane or Danish resident myself) but that doesn't mean that they would like the coalition to leave or that the coalition leaving now would be the solution.

I wouldn't compare the Iraqi terrorists who randomly kill civilians, bomb mosques and take foreigners resisting the occupation as hostages to the Danish resistance to the Nazi occupation. One crucial difference remains, and with that the point: I'm sure the Danish resistance fought for the restoration of democracy and surely was a better alternative than the occupiers (and I guess at least they tried to avoid civilian casualties except perhaps for collaborators - you surely know better, so correct me if I'm wrong), while if the Iraqi resistance managed to get the power, we could say goodbye to whatever democracy is now being developed in Iraq. Being tired of occupation doesn't automatically make the person tired of it a democrat and better alternative.

Whether the Bush administration deliberately misled the international community or they believed what they said remains to be shown (anyway, starting the war was wrong). Anyway, I felt extreme schadenfreude when it slowly started to turn out that they weren't any.

Anon again

6:31 AM  

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