Surprise, surprise. In an interview with John
King from CNN last Thursday, Dick Cheney said that withdrawing U.S. forces from
Iraq would be the "worst possible thing we could do."
Doing his best to stoke the always simmering fears of so many U.S. residents
(let us be careful how we use the word "citizen"), Cheney said of the terrorist
groups in Iraq, "If we pull out, they'll follow us."
Because according to Cheney, "This is a global conflict. We've seen them attack
in London and Madrid and Casablanca and Istanbul and Mombasa and East Africa.
They've been, on a global basis, involved in this conflict. And it will continue
– whether we complete the job or not in Iraq – only it'll get worse. Iraq will
become a safe haven for terrorists. They'll use it in order to launch attacks
against our friends and allies in that part of the world."
Lovely to watch how people like Cheney, and the minions who support his ilk,
conveniently forget that there was no terrorism in Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion/occupation.
And one must love his "logic." For according to Cheney, "whether we complete
the job or not in Iraq" his beloved "terrorism" will "continue"… "only it'll
Then why stay in Iraq, Dick?
Because when Dick said, "only it'll get worse," if he'd been referring to the
situation on the ground in Iraq, he'd have been 100 percent accurate.
For starters, things for the U.S. military continue to disintegrate. With raping
and pillaging being carried out by soldiers who have long since surrendered
the war for "hearts and minds," other less-reported developments underscore
the trajectory of the military in Iraq.
According to the Arabic al-Sharqiyah television channel, on July 6:
"Gunmen shot down two U.S. Apaches in al-Zur village, north of al-Miqdadiyah
in Diyala governorate, northeast of Baghdad. Security sources and local residents
said that both gunships were seen crashing in one of the village's farms, and
reported that a U.S. APC carrying 15 U.S. soldiers was destroyed in clashes
that raged in the cities and villages located north of al-Miqdadiyah. The U.S.
Army is yet to comment on the incident, which comes at a time when U.S. and
Iraqi forces are besieging areas north of al-Miqdadiyah, including al-Zur village."
This comes at a time when the U.S. military is once again aggressively attacking
the forces of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr – an action that threatens to spread
violence deeper into southern Iraq as well as unifying Shia and Sunni against
the occupation forces. Think March and April 2004 – a time when Shia and Sunni
were, at times, literally fighting side by side against U.S. soldiers in places
like Najaf and Fallujah.
While the military futilely spins its giant wheels in the bloody sands of Iraq,
it continues to be the Iraqi people who are suffering the most.
Here is a recent e-mail from an Iraqi friend:
"How are you doing? I hope you are fine. I'm sorry for not keeping in touch
with you, but as you know the situation is bad here and it gets so much worse
and worse that words cannot describe it.
"I really want you to remember someone named Abdul Razak who you met one
day here. He was responsible for the corpses' freezer at one of the hospitals
where you visited. This was the man who helped you as you nearly fainted when
you tried to enter the freezer. This man, unfortunately, was found killed and
his body thrown away on a street on the 4th of April of this year. I met his
wife and his five children. The oldest child is a girl who is 20 years old and
the youngest is 6 years old. They live in a rented house. The father's salary
was the only source of money for the whole family. Now, as he is dead, they
have no source of money. I tried to help them by getting some donations for
them from the staff working in the hospital where he used to work, but it seems
that it is not enough. Of course for a big family like his, this makes it more
difficult. But I hope we can ease their pain and help them manage their life
by finding someone who can donate some money. I am wondering if you can get
some donations for this family to start a new life and construct a small project
to help them manage their life. Thank you in advance…"
I get these regularly, and several of my colleagues who have also worked in
Iraq are telling me that they too are receiving requests for help nowadays.
Here is another e-mail I received the day before the aforementioned, from another
friend in Baghdad:
"Maybe this is the last message I am going to send… really I don't have
anyone here. I am like a foreigner in my own country. I am really feeling very
afraid. I am living next to al-Sadr City and the al-Sadr militia is killing
anyone who is Sunni, especially when any explosion attacks the Shia. They come
to our zone and take Sunni people from their houses and kill them. They killed
one of my relatives. They killed my neighbor, who was only 26 years old. My
friend, the situation now in Baghdad is very bad. Do you know that there is
no work and no safety, even in my own house? I'm very sad to tell you that I
am very tired from changing my house. My family and I leave the house every
month for three weeks and we run away like some one who did a crime. What is
"We are in a very bad situation. It is so bad now. Please help, is all
that I ask as we need help now. We are living, just waiting for our turn to
die… Please help us if you can. … I don't have any one to ask but you."
So while Iraqis are being killed or fearing death as they suffer through the
daily hell that is the U.S. occupation, Cheney, the real force behind this "administration,"
tells CNN, "No matter how you carve it – you can call it anything you want –
but basically, it is packing it in, going home, persuading and convincing and
validating the theory that the Americans don't have the stomach for this fight."
Guess what, Dick – moral and sane Americans "don't have the stomach for this
fight" because this fight should have never taken place. And anyone with a soul,
let alone a conscience, should be more than happy to see U.S. troops in Iraq
"packing it in."
This piece originally appeared on Truthout.org.