an American GI, and you signed up because you love your
country, you want to defend it, and you also want to
improve the quality of your own life in a dead economy.
You're willing to fight anywhere they send you, obey
orders like a good soldier, and you think the antiwar
movement is completely full of it. As war looms on the
horizon, you are rarin' to go but how come your commanders
and officers aren't? A
recent article in Time magazine informs us:
"As many as 1 in 3 senior officers
questions the wisdom of a pre-emptive war with Iraq.
The reasons aren't surprising: the U.S. military is
already stretched across the globe, the war against
Osama bin Laden is unfinished, and even if the march
to Baghdad goes quickly, a long postwar occupation looks
inevitable. The military's assessment of the chances
of success are less optimistic than those of the Administration's
grunts, as usual, are just following orders. They accept
what they hear in the news media about the antiwar movement
as a bunch of nutjob lefties and feel-good pacifists.
But what about their own officers, who have doubts
about the crazed strategy being touted by the War Party
as the key to success in Iraq? Are they pacifists?
I don't think so. So listen up, soldier. Forget the
antiwar movement, and listen to General
Anthony Zinni , the Marine Corps commander and former
chief of the Central Command, who
Iraq now will cause a lot of problems. I think the debate
right now that's going on is very healthy. If you ask
me my opinion, Gen. Scowcroft, Gen. Powell, Gen. Schwarzkopf,
Gen. Zinni, maybe all see this the same way. It might
be interesting to wonder why all the generals see it
the same way, and all those that never fired a shot
in anger and really hell-bent to go to war see it a
different way. That's usually the way it is in history."
magazine devotes a lot of attention to the new, "streamlined"
plan for an invasion of Iraq that Defense Secretary
Donald "Know it all" Rumsfeld is trying to
shove down the throats of the boys in the Pentagon,
who don't like it much. Retired Army General Norman
Schwarzkopf, who led the first Gulf War, says he is
"nervous" about the control Rumsfeld is exercising
over the buildup. "It looks like Rumsfeld is totally,
100%, in charge," says Schwarzkopf. "He seems
to be deeply immersed in the operational planning –
to the chagrin of most of the armed forces." Rummy
the dummy wants to do it with as little as 50,000 soldiers,
and "no more than 100,000." The Rumsfled plan
is to zoom straight to Baghdad after a mere 7-day
bombing campaign, a "quick victory" scenario
that angers many in the Pentagon. They see him as the
instrument of the civilian leadership who devise "heroic"
scenarios that they are expected to somehow pull off.
Retired General Merrill McPeak, formerly the Air Force
Chief of Staff during the last Gulf war, is frankly
"Rumsfeld is running this on
a very short string. I'm sure that's a source of frustration
for Tommy Franks, but this is a Rumsfeld show. He's
really running this buildup, hands on the throttle and
steering wheel. If I were there, I'd be contemplating
can bet he didn't say this lightly. As a lifelong soldier,
and a loyal one, General McPeak's concern for the welfare
of his own soldiers, as well as his country, overcame
his natural tendency to simply go along with the commander-in-chief
and his civilian advisors. But what has McPeak and a
lot of the brass up in arms was summed up by General
James L. Jones, four-star commander of the Marine Corps.
As the pro-war Brits over at the Telegraph reported:
of America's most senior generals has condemned as 'foolish'
plans backed by leading Washington hawks to topple Saddam
Hussein by using special forces in a repetition of the
tactics that succeeded in Afghanistan
The "quick victory" scenario
is politically plausible, which is why the civies are
for it. Get it over and done with, it'll be a "cakewalk"
says the War Party. But does the Rumsfeld "Gulf
war lite" plan make military sense? Here's General
"Afghanistan was Afghanistan;
Iraq is Iraq. It would be foolish, if you were ever
committed to going into Iraq, to think that the principles
that were successful in Afghanistan would necessarily
be successful in Iraq. In my opinion, they would not."
but what does a Marine commander know about it? After
all, who is he compared to, say, Paul Wolfowitz, one
of the political appointees in DoD who has been pushing
hard for war and never served a day in his life, except
in thinktanks and government, along with all the rest
of the pencil-necked geeks gunning for war?
reports that the higher you go up in the military ranks,
the more mutinous the grumbling gets:
"There are hundreds of one-star
generals and action officers who complain that Rumsfeld's
not listening to the military."
Hundreds! But why isn't he listening
to them? What's up with this rush to war?
The reason is simple: it's politics.
The President needs to get this over with before election
season rolls around, or else do what the whole world
is telling him to do: let the UN inspections proceed.
But that process that could last as long as a year.
The War Party is pushing for unilateral American action
now, because of politics, not only in the U.S.
but in Israel.
The extremist Likud government of hard-liner
Ariel Sharon is in political trouble, and even if he
overcomes the effect of the recent scandals and retains
the office of Prime Minister, his government is going
to be very shaky, and even further to the right. The
political price exacted by small but influential ultra-nationalist
parties in Israel for their support is a campaign of
stepped up repression against the Palestinians, including
the idea of "transferring," i.e. ethnically
cleansing them. Such a monstrous deed could only be
pulled off, however, if a larger war obscured its ugliness,
and buried it amid a catalogue of similar horrors throughout
We hear much about weapons of mass destruction
supposedly in Saddam Hussein's possession. Let's assume,
for the sake of argument, that he does have them.
With a range of 420 miles max, Iraqi missiles would
be no threat to Peoria, but Tel Aviv might see some
action. That 's another reason why Rummy wants to go
charging into Iraq outnumbered eight-to-one, before
the bombing campaign has time to take out all of Iraq's
major military assets (including chemical and biological
weapons): the possibility that, early on in the war,
the Iraqis will attack Israel.
are the politicians playing with soldiers' lives, expending
them like chips in a high-stakes game of poker? In a
word: Israel. It's the key to the President's re-election
campaign, which will be dependent on a core base of
Christian fundamentalists who will do anything Jerry
Falwell and Pat Robertson tell them to do. They are
fanatical heretics who have gone off the deep end and
believe that Israel's plight foretells the end of the
world. This is a good thing, they say, because it heralds
the Second Coming of Christ. Meanwhile, however, Israel
must be totally supported, no matter what crimes Israeli
soldiers are ordered to commit.
Look, religion is a private matter,
and everybody's free to have their own, but when the
quirks of money-crazed and otherwise deluded preachers
start determining national policy especially foreign
policy we have a problem.
Israel's amen corner in the U.S. has
found powerful allies in the President and his Svengali,
Karl Rove, but here's a question you ought to be asking
yourself: how come U.S. soldiers have to be fighting
wars on Israel's behalf? Don't we already give those
guys billions of dollars every year? Why can't they
take on Iraq, a dilapidated fourth-rate military
power? Israel's nukes should be enough to deter Saddam
in the same way Stalin and his heirs were deterred all
the years of the cold war.
Listen, soldier, you signed up to defend
America not Israel. Is it disloyal to suggest that
this war is unwise and not in American interests or
are the warmongers the real traitors, who put Israel
and not America first?
I know you would die to defend America.
But, say, soldier, do you really want to die for Israel
so that Ariel Sharon and his nut-job Likud party can
stay in power?
I didn't think so.
what can you do about all this? It's simple. This war
hasn't started yet, and there are enough people steamed
up about it including your own officers that it
might not happen after all. You may not know it, but
you have the right to speak out, to spread your views,
because you're – still – an American citizen.
Sure, the Clintonistas tried
to take away your right to vote in the last election,
and you're just expected to shut up and follow orders.
But they can't shut down your brain. And they can't
prevent you from surfing the internet, getting information,
and networking with people of like-minded views. They
can't legally stop you from speaking out, when the time
for it comes.
They say a great many of those heavy
biological warfare suits you'll be expected to throw
on at a moment's notice are defective,
and also that that they
can't even ensure you against penetration by toxic poisons.
Do you really want to die a horrible death while some
civilian fool quails about the glorious "liberation"
It doesn't have to happen.
This war is not about defending America.
It's about making Israel the dominant regional power
in the Middle East and Osama bin Laden the spiritual
and political leader with the most power in the Muslim
world. If somebody wants this war more than Ariel Sharon,
then that has got to be the man responsible for the
9/11 terrorist attacks on America. In the first five
minutes of Gulf War II, Bin Laden will see the ranks
of his underground armies swell with waves of fresh
Listen, soldier. You have a stake in
all this, the biggest stake of all. No one has more
of a right to speak out than you. Listen to your top
commanders, to the brass with the experience and the
inside knowledge about what's really going on.
They are speaking out against this madness, and you
must follow them into battle – or else surrender your
fate to chickenhawk civilians with a dubious agenda.
The choice is yours.
Colonel David Hackworth, the war
hero and military columnist, put
"Should the president decide
to stay the war course, hopefully at least a few of
our serving top-uniformed leaders those who are now
covertly leaking that war with Iraq will be an unparalleled
disaster will do what many Vietnam-era generals wish
they would have done: stand tall and publicly tell the
America people the truth about another bad war that
could well lead to another died-in-vain black wall.
Or even worse."
Get in touch with Antiwar.com. If you
are in the military, and want to organize discreetly
but effectively against this needless war, you can help
spread the message of the patriotic peace movement in
the ranks. Don't worry, you aren't alone: the voices
of military dissent are already rising. Your voice,
when it is raised, is going to carry real authority.
People will listen: and that's what the warmongering
civies are so afraid of.
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