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Old 02-10-2005, 03:31 AM
Hawk Hawk is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 131
Default from the Iran Times, "Who are the U.S. soldiers occupying Iraq?"

a different perspective, interesting to see the Irananan news viewpoint.
.................................................. .............................................

By Hamid Golpira
Who are the U.S. soldiers occupying Iraq?

Well, most of them are not ideological and they are not the imperialist storm troopers or false Christian crusaders that they are made out to be, although some of their commanders and many Pentagon officials are.

Most of the U.S. soldiers in Iraq are teenagers or in their early twenties. Many joined the army because they were unemployed. Some joined because they wanted to learn a skill in the military or to finance their university studies through the GI Bill.

A significant number of them enlisted before the 9/11 events, which the U.S. imperialists used as a pretext for the invasion of Afghanistan and the so-called war on terrorism. They did not expect to find themselves in the middle of a war.

Others are members of the U.S. National Guard and reserve forces. These troops are only sent to war zones when there is a shortage of troops, as is the case today. Thus, these people also did not expect to be in a war.

Compared to the time of the Vietnam War, the only major difference is the fact that there is no conscription. However, in the absence of the draft, many of these young men were forced into the military for economic reasons.

At the end of the Vietnam War, half of the U.S. citizens drafted into the army refused to serve. Thousands took asylum in Canada, Sweden, and other countries.

As the war dragged on, U.S. soldiers in Vietnam began to disobey orders, having realized that they were regarded as cannon fodder and that there was no clear game plan, besides filling the coffers of the military-industrial complex. Some defected to the North Vietnamese side. Others began fragging their commanding officers to avoid being sent on dangerous and seemingly meaningless missions. Fragging is a word coined by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam which means killing the commanding officer, usually with a fragmentation grenade.

Fragging has not become common, but many of the other things that happened in Vietnam are now happening in Iraq.

Soldiers are refusing to obey orders. They are complaining about the lack of armor on their vehicles. And they surely took note of U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld?s flippant remarks in response to this complaint, in which he said, ?You go to war with the army you have, not the army you wish you had.?

U.S. troops are definitely beginning to think the Pentagon regards them as cannon fodder. Morale is low. And they know that they are being exposed to depleted uranium dust, which many experts believe is the cause of Persian Gulf War syndrome. Unfortunately, Pentagon officials order the use of weapons of mass destruction like depleted uranium as they see fit and view the death and illness of U.S. troops as collateral damage.

According to some reports, at least 10 percent of the U.S. occupying troops are not even U.S citizens. They also enlisted for economic reasons, having been told that they would be given green cards if they survived the war. They are the new U.S. foreign legion.

Although there is no conscription, there is a sort of backdoor draft in which soldiers whose tour of duty is over are being forced to stay in the military. Obviously, these soldiers are not happy about being forced to stay in harm?s way longer than necessary.

A large segment of these soldiers are from the inner city ghettoes of the United States and only joined the military because they saw it as a way out of poverty. Others are from the Bible Belt, an area in the U.S. South and Midwest that is a bastion of conservative Christian fundamentalism.

Many young people from the Bible Belt also joined the military to escape poverty or to fund their university studies. Some of them even joined the military to get away from Christian fundamentalists.

Ironically, these same youths who sought to flee a stiff fundamentalist interpretation of Christianity are now being killed by Al-Qaeda supporters with a stiff fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. If these young men from the Bible Belt know about the Najaf seminary, they probably prefer the fundamentalism of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and his followers, who are offering U.S troops a face-saving way to withdraw from Iraq.

The majority of low-ranking U.S. soldiers are just scared kids with M-16s in their hands, hoping that they get out of Iraq alive. These Bible Belters in the Sunni Triangle are wishing that they were somewhere else, anywhere else, even in the relative safety of Karbala.
I am only one, but I am one. I can not do everything,
but I can do something. And because I cannot do
everything, I will not refuse to do the something that
I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should
do, By the grace of God, I will do. -Edward Everett Hale
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