Monday :: Nov 15, 2004

The Winds of Chains


by pessimist

George Warwhore Bu$h Wants Your Kids.

I'm not the one making this statement. Christopher Hedges is. Now that it's known that Colin Powell is being pushed onto his politcal sword, more war is the only likely result. As one Iraqi I quoted in a previous post said when notified of Bu$h'$ (s)electoral 'victory', "Four more wars."

Draft coming, students told

The news from Fallujah, Iraq grows more disturbing each day. In the first 13 days of November, 52 U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq, an average of 4 per day, doubling the prior death rate of two per day. More than 300 U.S. soldiers have been wounded in combat so far this month, more than 20 per day. With this bleak picture of escalating Iraqi nationalist opposition to the prolonged U.S. military occupation of Iraq, the specter of a military draft looms on the horizon, according to Christopher Hedges, an investigative journalist and author who covered the 1991 Gulf War.

Reinstatement of the military draft is imminent, war correspondent and author Christopher Hedges told a crowd of more than 120 students and residents yesterday at Manhattanville College.

"We are losing the war in Iraq very badly, but the Bush administration will not walk away from the debacle without trying to reoccupy huge swaths of the territory they have lost," Hedges said. While working for The New York Times, he covered fighting in Central America, the Balkans and the Middle East, including Iraq during the first Gulf War.

To regain territory lost in Iraq, it will take double or triple the current 140,000 troops, Hedges said during the last lecture in a series called "The Costs of War."

The reservists and National Guard members who make up half of the U.S. forces are stretched to the breaking point and need relief, he said, and the draft is the only way to assemble the numbers needed. Reintroduction of the draft will be made in the name of the war on terrorism soon after an attack in the United States or abroad, he predicted.

Anyone smell a neo-con rat working hard to make this happen yet? You will! All those missing armements that can be proven to have been in their bunkers once US troops occupied the area that no longer can be accounted for. How could so much of this material have been secreted out from under the noses of the military without some kind of compliance? If the 'insurgents' had it, would it not be likely that they would have used some of it by now?

Hedges seems to see something like this coming:

"The war in Iraq will no longer be an abstraction," he said. "It will become deeply personal. In the next few weeks look for shifts in administration policy leading in the direction of an escalation of the war."

There had to have been some kind of consciousness-raising during the final weeks of the campaign, for Hedges' own experience changed radically in just over eighteen months:

Hedges encountered no detractors at Manhattanville, unlike his experience at Rockford (Ill.) College in May 2003, when he was booed off the stage while giving a commencement speech shortly after President Bush's battleship [more correctly, an aircraft carrier - ed] announcement that the U.S. mission in Iraq had been "accomplished." On the contrary, many in the audience last night said they had braved rainy weather to hear Hedges indict the seductiveness of war and the dangers of mindless jingoism as an antidote to their depression over the results of the presidential election.

"It's been a hard week and there are much harder times ahead. That's why it is so important for us all to be together tonight," said Connie Hogarth, who has a peace and justice center on the Manhattanville campus named after her. "After we finish grieving, we have to get back to working for peace and justice, and an end to this war and its killing."

Hedges' audience remained rapt as he wove poetry, mythology, history and Freudian psychology with anecdotes about colleagues lost on distant battlefields and his own brushes with death. He criticized military heroic ideals that thrive during war and the way war distorts the human imagination. In the fervor of war the individual sacrifices thought for a false sense of belonging to something larger, he said.

"At the end of the Vietnam War, we became a better country in our defeat," Hedges said. "We asked questions about ourselves that we had not asked before. We were humbled, maybe even humiliated. We were forced to step outside of ourselves and look at us as others saw us. And it wasn't a pretty sight."

Can you hear the wrong-winger calls for his head? If this be treason, make the most of it!

Those who confuse his anti-war stance with an anti-soldier position are mistaken, Hedges said. "War in the end is always about betrayal. Betrayal of the young by the old, of soldiers by politicians and idealists by cynics."

So Come on all you Red State men Uncle Sam needs your help again Got himself in a terrible jam Tryin' to bust that bad Saddam So park your big trucks, and pick up a gun You're gonna stay until you are done

And it's one, two, three, what are you waiting for?
Iraq isn't freed from Islam
We just might have to bomb!
And it's five, six , seven, send 'em to the Pearly Gates
AHHHhhhh! Don't tell them why, just say goodbye
And send them to the virgins on high


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