Who should be the "deciders" in our "democracy", to paraphrase the vernacular of our previous "president" George W. Bush? Obama is not really qualified in that capacity, though some of his speech writers seem to cast him in that light. Were the military really attempting to "force" President Obama to escalate the war in Afghanistan? As I recall, their leaders were not the ones we voted for in the Presidential election. The war-mongering political class has called for presidential and congressional deference to military demands since Hollywood movies and anti-communist ideologues began countering the public's "Vietnam Syndrome" by blaming that quagmire in Southeast Asia on elected officials. Ronald Reagan asserted in 1980 that Vietnam was not lost because of flaws in mission or strategy, but because politicians allegedly forced soldiers to fight "a war our government was afraid to let them win." Since I was there, I am here to testify that those were not our problems at the time. In reality, the bastards just beat us, despite our modern weapons and our firm resolve. By meekly agreeing to McChrystal's demands, Obama let Americans know that when it comes to foreign policy, the rogue general is in control in the White House.
Canada's Bill C-440, an act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of war resisters, was introduced by MP Gerard Kennedy, and seconded by MP Bill Siksay in September of 2009. Debate on Second reading for the bill will resume on September 27th 2010. If passed, Bill C-440 will allow US Iraq War resisters to apply for permanent resident status in Canada. I can personally recommend a life in Canada, since my parents and I had lived there for at least five years, first in the picturesque town of New Liskeard, in the heart of the beautiful "Canadian Shield" on a lake right across from Quebec province, where my father was able to find satisfactory work in the local print shop. Although the pay was somewhat meager, his job came with a beautiful house on a hill near that town. On weekends, we would stroll though the forest around our house, along the bear and Moose tracks. One year later, my father found employment in Toronto, near the huge Lake Ontario, where we enjoyed our sailboat that we had brought with us from Germany. If our war resistors choose to live and find employment in Toronto, I can not recommend a more beautiful site on which to raise a family.
When Jason Links described the experience of CNN correspondent Michael Ware in dealing with the death of an innocent young Iraqi shot by US troops in 2007, my memories of my own experiences in Trung Lap, Vietnam return. After a heavy barrage of mortars had descended on my advisory compound, I ran through intense fire to meet Captain Quoc, the commander of the force I was training, to meet him at his mortar pit. Captain Quoc was already standing next to one of his heavy mortar tubes, cradling one of the mortar shells in one of his hands. When I asked him to begin firing, he hesitated for a moment. "I know our target like the back of my hand. The area is heavily populated, and we will kill many innocent civilians. In my rage, I screamed: "I don't care. This is war, and the Vietcong will kill us, or we will kill them! Captain Quoc was a gentle man, and he hated that war more than any of the members of my five man team. After many combat missions with me, he was certainly used to killing the enemy, but what I was proposing was basically murder. Since he knew from my long association with him, he understood that I never, ever, change my mind, so he dropped the mortar round into one of his three tubes. Next morning, an old man, supporting one of his wounded legs with a crutch made from the crude limb of a tree, and an elderly woman, who was supporting a very young child, whose intestines were kept into his stomach with a dinner plate, hobbled though our gate, and left the young boy in my care. Though I immediately called for helicopter evacuation, I realized that I was only trying to cam my conscience, and my medic assured me that the boy would die before he could be treated by the doctors in our nearby base camp at Cu Chi. War makes murderers of those who seek to engage in it, and we must live with our guilt for the rest of our lives.
Scott Ritter knows a lot more about the problems of Iraq than our former President Bush and our current one - Obama. In dealing with the legacy of the latter, he chides our current ruler, the one who promised us "change" you can believe in, and has not only disappointed those who were foolish enough to vote for him, but also the guardians of the heritage of the Nobel Prize, who mistakenly believed that he would be our "peace president". The Obama administration's so-called 'strategy' for Iraq lacks any discernible benchmarks for success. Void of any coherent concept of what "success" in Iraq might actually look like, the "withdrawal" of "combat troops" from Iraq can be viewed as little more than an ineffective attempt by a faltering president to improve his image - and that of his floundering party - on the eve of critical midterm elections. By continuing to place American troops American troops in harm's way in Iraq for no other reason than to prop up his domestic political image, Obama has compounded his mistakes in ways that allow his political viability to be questioned, tarnish his legacy and undermine America's image at home and abroad. Even the decision to attract big oil to Iraq was driven more by corporate greed than the genuine will of the Iraqi people, as witnessed by the Iraqi Parliament's continued inability to pass a national oil law.
Our so-called Department of Homeland Security, which is funded by Americans, has been spying on people who don't like gas drilling, and is handing the resulting data to the oil companies. According to recently leaked documents, the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security has been using high-tech tracking of anti-gas drilling groups and their meetings. It has then sent bulletins to gas companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale. The local State Homeland Security Director James Powers said the Oil Companies needed to have all the data because there have been "five to ten" incidents of vandalism around the state related to the natural gas industry. He said that the briefings are sent to local "coppers" and the owners and operators of "critical infrastructure". However, once the information has been sent to the oil companies they have been sharing the data and publishing it on pro-drilling sites and disseminating the information among anti-drilling activists. He was quoted as saying Homeland Security wanted to continue providing support to the Marcellus Shale formation natural gas stakeholders, while not feeding those groups fomenting dissent against these same companies.
In my honest opinion, the huge web site by "Jeff Rense" is now the only site which dares to air the misdeeds of our rotten government. As always, Jeff is currently on top of the true scope of the health disaster caused by the BP oil spill. Currently, as Deborah Dupre writes in the Human Rights Examiner, whose site will be found at examiner.com, has aired a highly explosive news story, titled" "Censored Gulf Alert: Entire La. communities were vomiting blood." According to her story, there are "massive, massive disasters happening on any given day - rashes and other related (problems) related to the dispersants are becoming commonplace. There are entire communities in south Lousiana where "they are vomiting blood and passing blood when they go to the bathroom. Urgent support is needed for Gulf Coast Barefoot Doctors to distribute TOXIC SURVIVAL KITS, to help the unfortunate Americans help to survive. On July 12, Dupre reported: "Chemical warfare on Americans in the Gulf Coast region and beyond has been planned and researched by the EPA, DoD and petro-chemical companies for decades according to government documents" (See Censored Gulf dispersant news: Act of war (PII) The art of chemical warfare. Examiner)
A group of American soldiers are facing murder charges for a five-month killing spree in which they randomly targeted Afghan civilians for sport, a US military investigation has reported. In at least one attack, a soldier threw a grenade to pretend they were being ambushed as a pretext to kill an innocent villager. The soldiers also dismembered and photographed bodies and kept bones and skulls as trophies in some of the most grisly accusations against US troops since the invasion in 2001. Meanwhile, Hospitals are braced for a doubling of Afghan wounded, and there is a low turnout in the Afghan election. Also, NATO has suffered its deadliest year in Afghanistan since its 2001 invasion. Can it get any better?