AMERICA’S ARMY, A TALE OF MISUSE AND ABUSE –
“Yes, even without Wikileaks we always knew that such things were happening and now we know that altered versions of some of our reports and additional forgeries have been mixed in with documents meant to incriminate Iran.”
For nearly a decade, America has been, in the eyes of the world, the successor to Nazi Germany. Last week, nearly 77% of Australians polled (over 10,000 respondents) considered the 9/11 terror attacks an American “false flag” and that nation has troops in Afghanistan fighting alongside Americans. Imagine what nations that oppose American involvement think?
Whatever the percentage blaming America or Israel or both for 9/11, 30% or 90%, the numbers don’t matter. The justification for war, seen as blatantly illegitimate, aggression, invasion and bullying, doesn’t stand, not among the people of the world, certainly not any more. It also doesn’t stand well with America’s troops as well. “Volunteer” doesn’t mean “stupid.”
American troops, raring to go, punish the terrorists, find the weapons of mass destruction, root Al Qaeda out of Iraq are older now, wiser, many are dead, hundreds of thousands damaged, many beyond repair and most of all, they feel exploited, misused and abused.
American troops didn’t sign up to be part of a force of occupation, there is no honor in that.
A key component, in fact the primary component of these “wars” has been “counter-insurgency” or “irregular warfare” or whatever buzzword the Pentagon is using today to describe people fighting against Americans exactly the same way Americans fought against the British at Lexington and Concord. If the Minutemen had IEDs and RPGs, they would have used them and been seen as heroes for it. Anyone who thinks our own troops aren’t faced by this irony on a daily basis are underestimating their intellect.
Troops and civilians have never mixed. Civilians are quickly reclassified as “suspected terrorists” or even “hostiles” at the drop of a hat. No army in the history of warfare has successfully occupied any conquered nation without resorting to both brutality and a “Quisling/Vichy” regime as a partner.
Seldom are there military operations among a population unless the force is an invader, an occupier, propping up a puppet government using brutality and intimidation. We have many examples without going very far, two wars with Germany. Nations seldom need saviors to come in, blow everything up, convert people to Christianity at gunpoint and spread venereal disease. The Spanish tried this 500 years ago and they are now a debt ridden backwater.
You can’t walk across a street in Europe without seeing a memorial to someone executed by the Nazi’s or even the Kaiser’s troops. The conquest of the America West was an occupation combined with an ethnic cleansing, deeply parallel to the “restoration” of Israel to the Jews. A “people” exist, live and build, become a nation, if even only in a spiritual sense, these are the Palestinians. Their land is coveted, nice beaches, good location.
G-d gave Judea to people of the Jewish religion, a group that is 95% converts from a continent away, it was “given” and it was taken and held by force. We call this “occupation.” Similarly, god gave America the west through “manifest destiny.” The story is always the same. Even Americans are occupiers but, as is convenient after an ethnic cleansing, as with Palestine or America, when nobody is left to complain, the problem goes away.
When American troops gave blankets to the Cherokees being forcibly “removed”, blankets known to be infected with small pox, was this a holocaust? It is known as the “Trail of Tears.” It is history, so much history that it is even taught in schools in America, and that’s saying a lot.
Today, the culture with the guns and the German trained military wins. We all learned from the experts. Might makes right and the survivors are put into concentration camps, or reservations or “Gaza” or whatever is popular. When they resist, when they even speak up, they are exterminated. They had become “terrorists” or “renegades.”
This kind of war of conquest is simple. If you win, the label sticks, “terrorist” or “insurgent” or “Taliban.” If you lose, they become freedom fighters, patriotic resistance, heroes or martyrs.
If you lose, you become war criminals, murderers and barbarians. War criminals, losers, face “Nuremberg” or hanging as with Saddam. In America, they retire to Dallas and write a book.
The most powerful military force known to man has a new direction today, not dominance of space, the air or the seas nor protection of the United States and its interests. America babysits poppy fields, oil pipelines and stands guard over corrupt dictators and druglords. We train our soldiers to kick in doors, throw in a grenade and hope the dead aren’t all small children. 400,000 recent veterans who have filed for disability due to stress related illnesses brought on from such duties tell the tale.
There are shades of Vietnam in this, not just My Lai. When helicopter crews reported,
“We were told, whenever we saw a unarmed male between 12 and 60, open up near them. If they move, kill them, they are VC.”
Imperfect as Wikileaks are, the video showing the helicopter attack in Iraq actually went further than this. Two American Apache helicopters with advanced optics and in full radio contact with base, not only wiped out local militia working for the Americans as part of the “Sunni Awakening” but destroyed a vehicle with unarmed civilians including children. Reports from Fallujah now indicate that what we were told about that “great battle” is almost entirely false.
One of the staff writers at Veterans Today reviewed the recent Wikileaks output and made the following comments:
“I wrote countless SIGACT reports. The ones I found on Wikileaks are not as I wrote them. Due to the previous statement(s) it is unknown just how much of that data is altered or changed or can even be believed. When one views the Wikileaks Iraq War Diaries I want the civilian population to be proud that our very small Army was capable of holding that vast territory, with an insurgency everywhere; and when the average reader can now see that children were regularly used as weapons against the troops, that bombs were everywhere (literally), no place was ever safe, the Police and Iraqi Army were untrustworthy if not criminal, and the ROE itself complicated matters by placing troops between a rock and a hard place. Perhaps that may place a better perspective on allegations of mistreatment and violation of the ROE and using the Wikileaks documents to make political statements”.
I viewed the Guardian UK’s Iraq War Logs interactive piece and was amazed at how crazy that one day was. I was there that day, and I had my tail handed to me that month, along with the rest of the forces. The sad part is, that I feel the Wikileaks release is missing most of what actually happened that day, and based upon my personal recollection I would say that only about 1/3 of the events of October 17, 2006 actually made it into the Wikileaks release. I suppose I am rambling here, and now I think you can see the dilemma in my head. How the heck do you deliver this story? From what perspective? And worst of all, how do you make the troops look good (because they were and are) and try and convince a public that only cares about shopping, that these reports are not glass half empty, they are quite the opposite, they are glass half full? Do I just say it? Hey America, the troops are the shit because we should all feel lucky that any Iraqi’s lived at all. That is just presumptuous and arrogant but very true. These kids do need to feel proud that they didn’t waste every single person they saw. Or do we stay out of this mess altogether?”
Of course, there are no lessons from Wikileaks as the receipt of altered and forged documents, can add nothing positive toward a realistic analysis of anything other than the motive of those responsible and their agenda. Thus we can easily say,
“Yes, we always knew that such things were happening and now we know that altered versions of some of our reports and additional forgeries can be mixed in with documents meant to incriminate Iran.”
WHAT WE HAVEN’T LEARNED
After D-Day, Germany had two classes of military units in France to fight off the allied landings, combat units and occupation forces. No combat unit could remain as an “occupation” force and still be considered “effective.” Occupation is a police activity at best and a criminal activity at worst. Any army that becomes an occupying force is no longer an army. Any army that trains for “hearts and minds” operations, will degenerate into something with little combat effectiveness, no discipline and severe morale problems.
It will turn into an army of PTSD victims.
If anything, “garrison duty” in a hostile environment is the worst of all worlds with the worst soldiers allowed to abuse civilians, get involved in rackets and “suck” their way into the hearts of an increasingly dispirited officer corps. The best and brightest leave for the private sector, contractor jobs, advanced education and the job of holding families together while those who remain, a combination of the dedicated and the “dead beats” become, well, exactly what we are seeing.
When reports began coming in from Afghanistan that units “in the field,” really “occupation forces,” were “fragging” civilians and randomly murdering people along the road, intimidating, not only squad members but NCOs and officers as well, we knew how far things had gone. In Vietnam, officers and senior NCOs eventually had to barricade themselves into small fortresses within American bases, little “Dien Bien Phu’s,” as it were. Gunfire inside compounds, frag grenades, tear gas, all became a daily part of life. The war between the LIFERs (Lazy Ignorant F&%$#’s Evading Reality) and the “heads” (drug users) was eventually more deadly than combat.
The “volunteer army” that was meant to end all that, when worn to nothing, betrayed and eventually “sold down the river” by both the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs, lasted as long as it could.
HEROIC SOLDIERS FIGHTING FOR A GOVERNMENT OF WAR CRIMINALS
Despite the press releases, TV dramas and news reports, there is no terrorist organization called Al Qaeda. There never has been. None of the “intelligence” about Al Qaeda and Iraq proved correct, quite the contrary, it proved to be purposefully false, created to justify an illegal invasion, created at the request of the President of the United States. Our government was controlled by war criminals and the invasion of Iraq and even Afghanistan are considered by every responsible expert in international law as criminal acts.
The idea of invading Afghanistan looking for Osama bin Laden, the man someone said was responsible for 9/11 is even more treasonous. Though the US State Department at www.america.gov claims bin Laden is responsible for 9/11 and admitted such, that statement is totally untrue as is every other assertion of fact on America’s “9/11 debunking” website. The site is maintained so poorly and updated so irregularly, that it disputes things that have long been admitted as fact by our own officials. www.america.gov is an embarrassment.
9 years later, we are in Afghanistan, tasked with destroying an insurgency we built and eliminating the worlds largest narcotics empire, which is run by our closest allies with our direct protection. Is this clear?
Does anyone think our soldiers are so stupid they don’t see this? When America went into Iraq, it took with it, wanted criminals, known gangsters hated by Iraq, to rule the country. In Afghanistan, we forced “outsiders” from the “Northern Alliance” on the majority of Afghan’s, the fearless Pashtun tribesman, who will stop at nothing to destroy the United States and eliminate the insult of being placed under occupation by foreign tribesmen they see as criminal and backward.
We put a weak ruler, Hamid Karzai, in charge of the government, someone hated by all sides, accused of every imaginable crime, most of all “weakness.” There is no greater sin in Afghanistan than “weakness.”
Then we left an occupation army there, drones killing thousands, Special Forces death squads tasked with “decapitating” insurgency leaders, involved in one bungled operation after another and finally, some of our troops roaming the countryside as murderers and rapists. Worse than that, the troops themselves know this went on in Iraq, the same “bad apples” there simply moved on to Afghanistan, the Army didn’t care and knew that, in the end, nobody at the top of the food chain would end up being stuck with the bill.
All this, and we plan to stay forever and ever and, if Israel has its way, institute a draft and send 400,000 troops into Iran so we can continue the same and more on a larger scale for another century.
Gordon Duff is a Marine Vietnam veteran. A 100% disabled vet. He has been a featured commentator on TV and radio including Al Jazeera and his articles have been carried by news services around the world. He has been a UN Diplomat, defense contractor and is a widely published expert on military and defense issues. This article first appeared in Veterans and Foreign Affairs Journal.
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