Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Empire Notes in the 51st State
I went to the talk at Malcolm X by Eric Herring and Rahul Mahajan, I've heard a lot about Eric Herring and so was eager to see him talk. As for Rahul, I've been reading his Blog for some time now and am a big fan of his reporting. Eric talked of finding a quote on a US military website written by one of the people writing the counter terror manuals for Iraq. In this chilling quote he wrote of who the best counter-insurgency people from history were the Nazi's and Stalin's lot – and noted that the Coalition were adopting some of their methods without being tainted by the ideology. In response to a question about if the Coalition were creating ethnic trouble to justify staying in Iraq, both were clear. Eric Herring stated that there was no clear evidence to support this idea (to quote: "In terms of the withdrawal of foreign troops its worth pointing out that the American strategic vision for the new Iraq never was the desire to have large numbers of troops permanently stationed there. What they wanted was a basing capability, a deployment capability; so they’d have bases with a relatively small number of personnel and the idea was that they would have them there in a time of crisis, not for use in Iraq but for use elsewhere in the region. So that was the outcome that they explicitly sought and again I have no reason to dispute that because that was their strategic vision before.")

Rahul Mahajan stated that not all the insurgency want the US out – that many of the al-Qaeda/fundamentalist Islamic fighters want the US right there so they can be fought. I guess perhaps they feel they game an empire a bloody nose (to the USSR in Afghanistan) in the 80s (with Western help) and so can now repeat the exercise on the US. Rahul noted that the only force currently equipped and with the local know-how to take on the al-Qaeda psychos are the Sunni resistance – something they are not going to do while the US is around. They also talked about how the efforts to combat the insurgency are unwittingly fueling civil war such as the use by the US of Shia and Kurdish forces to police Sunni areas. Another example is the first assault on Fallujah the Iraqi units refused to fight and both Sunni and Shia marched on the beleaguered city to offer aid to the civilians. The second time round, that the the increased ethnic tensions meant that the Shia did very little, indeed some troops took a limited part in the assault.

Both stated that there was no easy way out of the mess that is Iraq. Both agreed that the situation is a complex nightmare of no-win scenario's. The least worst thing that can be done is to end the occupation now.

Want to know what life under occupation is like? Check this video of Private Security Consultants (aka mercenaries) driving around Iraq taking pot-shots with live ammo at any vehicle that comes close (I guess fear of suicide bombers) as well as anything else they feel like. The occupiers, far from liberators, are untouchable parasites drawing more diseases to a swamp of their own creation. Its a swamp many people - innocent and guilty - will drown in, and all so the US can secure a little more control over the world. As folk singer David Rovis sang, "Empire's crumble, and this one will too/ So here's to the day when this one is through."

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