IRAQ: The two 'Green Zones'

September 7, 2005

Dahr Jamail

As the US-backed Iraqi puppet government flails about arguing over the so-called constitution, Iraq remains in a state of complete anarchy. There is no government control whatsoever, even inside the infamous "Green Zone" where the puppets seem to have tangled their strings.

Why the harsh tone for the conflagrations of the so-called Iraqi government? Because the price paid for this unimaginably huge misadventure of the neoconservative-driven Bush junta is being paid by real human beings who shed real blood and cry real tears. Because well over 100,000 Iraqis and more than 1800 US soldiers would be alive today if it wasn't for the puppeteers of US President George Bush.

The coward sits behind his guards in Crawford, Texas, too afraid to deal with the reality of the grief he and his masters have caused to thousands of military families who have lost loved ones in Iraq.

Meanwhile, fires are raging out of control not only in Iraq, but in the US as well. "I ask you, Mr Bush, if you believe that this war is for 'our freedom' and 'our values', why don't you send your daughters to fight for freedom", wrote Fernando Suarez del Solar recently, who lost his son in Iraq due to the lies of Mr Bush.

Suarez continued: "Why don't your closest associates send their children to defend these values? Why are the children of immigrant families dying? Why are children from working families who are the least privileged dying? Why Mr Bush? Why?"

Of course Suarez knows the answer. It's a rhetorical question asked of a prep school punk who has never earned nor risked anything. A smirking dimwit, who has never truly served his country, let alone fellow human beings outside of his gangster corporate crony pals who inserted him into the highest office twice.

Today he chooses to ignore the fire which is spreading across the US as he ignores the debacle in Iraq, where the US military must leave, will leave, but are unable to leave for fear of tarnishing what is left of the now sordid reputation of the US.

I get emails daily from sources throughout Iraq, both Iraqi and American. Even inside US bases in the newest colony, things don't seem to be going so well, according to an American man who is working there as support.

"I don't know how much longer I can stand working for these idiots and their brothers' mothers' sisters' cousin", he wrote me recently. "They have acres of armored air conditioned trucks but won't pay to fix the alternators, so the drivers must use the worst of the equipment — no armor, no air conditioning. You know the heat here, now add the heat of an engine to that cab and throw in a few rockets, mortars, and IEDs [roadside bombs] and it makes for a very bad day. I'm trying to expose the corruption of the third country national contractors by finding them a forum to send the truth. Prisoners, slaves, concubines. My life may be a contradiction, but I will not compromise with evil. The enemy is inside the wire."

Wars for empire don't change and Iraq is the perfect example. Invading armies using slave labour (foreign in this case, due to their deep distrust of Iraqis), taking advantage of those who lack privilege, the poor, minorities, to do the dirty work while the top 1% make more money than ever before.

And the pirates behind the US policy-making in Iraq have chosen, perhaps to their chagrin at this point, to disregard some of the latest history from a past occupation of Iraq.

During the previous British occupation of Iraq, the resistance began in Fallujah. As a response the British shelled half of that city to the ground, much like the US military did last November as part of its failed policy. US soldiers are now dying in and near Fallujah again.

It was said that if the British left Iraq, civil war would ignite. Just as we are hearing today, even though state-sponsored civil war is in full swing, thanks to the occupiers.

The rule of the British Empire over Iraq went on for three decades before the Brits withdrew. Every year of that time found an uprising against the occupiers and now less than three years into the failed US occupation, lesser uprisings occur daily.

Attacks on US forces in Iraq are now back up over 70 per day — we'll cross the 2000 dead mark before too much longer, and things are about to get much, much worse. As Iraqis continue to say, "Today is better than tomorrow". The same goes for US troops here.

There is a reason why a relatively recent US Army survey found that 54% of all soldiers in Iraq reported either "low" or "very low" morale.

There is also a reason why, again according to the US Army, that 30% of all soldiers returning from Iraq develop mental health problems 3-4 months after their return.

And there is a reason why soldiers like Nicolas Prubyla come home and join organisations like Iraq Veterans Against the War.

"Up until five days ago, I had large amounts of blood in my stool", he told me recently, "I've felt tired all the time. I have had loss of hair loss of the feeling in my right arm. I'm battling this stuff."

What he is battling is exposure to uranium munitions in Iraq. He is battling radiation sickness as the result of the most recent nuclear war waged by the United States of America. There is a reason why over 11,000 veterans from the 1991 Gulf War are dead today, and over 250,000 others are on medical disability. That reason (hundreds and hundreds of tons of uranium munitions dropped on Iraq) is the same thing Prubyla is battling today.

"As the years go on, this is going to effect a hell of a lot more people than we think. Radioactive dust and the clouds of smoke and dust from firing the DU [depleted uranium] is getting to us now", he said. "And I know, I'm not the only person in my unit — my boss got diagnosed with cancer, one of my other buddies who is 23 years-old is getting rashes. Every time I do more research on DU, I'm seeing that I have all the side effects."

Prubyla has realised what more and more veterans understand — that the powers that be in our military plutocracy (also known as the US government) couldn't care less for their wellbeing.

One of the shadow members of the current plutocracy who is also an exalted neoconservative, Henry Kissinger, has referred to US soldiers as "dumb, stupid animals to be used" as pawns for foreign policy.

People like Prubyla get this; they have had enough, and are now doing something about it. Meanwhile, in the Crawford "Green Zone", Mr Bush chooses to ignore the resistance movement that is standing outside his fence. But that is alright, because the hundreds of people there now protesting represent tens (if not hundreds) of millions across the country who, like the Iraqi resistance, are not going to go away.

[Reprinted from <>. Dahr Jamail is an independent US journalist who has reported from Iraq. He was a keynote speaker at the US Veterans For Peace national convention, held at the University of Dallas, August 3-5.]

From Green Left Weekly, September 7, 2005.
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