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Saturday, November 3, 2007

US spin doctors fib about Iraq

Fri, 02 Nov 2007 22:01:11
By Bita Ghaffari, Press TV, Tehran
Western print and broadcast media have been giving much hype to an apparent decline in violence-related deaths of US soldiers and Iraqi civilians in October 2007.

Figures say 875 Iraqi civilians have been killed in Oct. compared to 1,023 in Sept., while the number has fallen to 36 for US military personnel from 65 during the same period.

It can be safely argued that the civilian death toll is much higher, for a large number of fatalities are never reported.

In the chaotic situation that is governing Iraq today, it cannot be expected that all killings in every corner of the violence-torn land be accounted for.

Not to mention that the murders committed by private US contractors, or military mercenaries, go largely unreported.

So the proposition - based on inadequately compiled information - that violence has ebbed in Iraq, is rather immature.

The ignominious acts by US forces in Iraq have implanted such a profound hatred in the hearts of Iraqis that will last for generations to come. Iraqi people no longer want the 'planned-in-USA' gifts of anxiety and intimidation, murder and insecurity, dearth and poverty bestowed upon them on a daily basis.

President Bush's propagandists hail a decline in the level of violence against US troops and confidently attribute it to the success of the 'surge' strategy in Iraq.

But these figures fall short of portraying the situation as it is. The figures largely pertain to lethal attacks in Baghdad and Anbar.

Even if we acknowledge that the level of violence has gone down in Oct., there's no reason for the immature deduction that the surge policy is working.

Eight-hundred and twenty-five people have lost their lives in one month and that provides no justification for joy.

Inconclusive figures from one month have been collected to jump to the conclusion that there's been a decline in the level of violence against US military.

Yet, the statistics do not include those injured. The nonsensicality of the proposition further comes to the surface when we recall that the highest-ranking US military personnel in Iraq since the 2003 invasion was wounded in a roadside explosion in the very month of October. Brigadier General Jeffrey Dorko was transferred to a medical center in Germany to receive treatment for wounds which were claimed to be non-life threatening.

US soldiers are equipped with most expensive and cutting-edge devices and weaponry. The army's Humvees, equipped with devices to discover and dismantle roadside bombs, patrol Iraqi neighborhoods consistently.

Despite the distinctive US military superiority over the Iraqi insurgents, roadside blasts continue to kill and maim American soldiers on patrol.

The rise in insurgency, which the US military adamantly blames on al-Qaeda militants, is ample evidence that the American forces are not welcome in Iraq.

The people of Iraq are frustrated and outraged over the endless killings of civilians, rampant insecurity and brutal air raids which have taken a heavy toll on the population. They've come to the realization that the presence of US troops, contrary to what is claimed, has brought distress instead of democracy, slaughter instead of security and privation instead of peace.

Millions of Iraqis have been either internally displaced or have migrated to other countries with adverse consequences for the children's education and the families' economy.

The nation has been deprived of its productive workforce. The invasion has inflicted substantial damage on the country's infrastructure, reversing its development and taking it back for at least several decades. Those inside the country are leading even more unstable lives.

The population in most parts in pressed for energy, safe drinking water, electric power, etc. There has been a surge in the number of US soldiers in Iraq suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental conditions.

The number of soldiers back from tour of duty, who seek post-traumatic stress disorder counseling, is on the rise. They are growing more skeptical of the rationality of Bush's much-publicized war. Soldiers are traumatized by the prospects of fighting a most-hated war.

Why should they pay the price of Bush's nonsensical foreign policy? What is the purpose of fighting this unjust and unjustified war? In what ways are they defending their nation? The US army has admitted a record decline in its volunteers for basic training this year than at any time since in 1973.

This is a sign of the growing unpopularity of the Iraq war inside the United States.

The Iraq war is now so detested in the US that diplomats shunning Iraq tour of duty are threatened with losing jobs.

As a near-retirement State Department employee put it, an Iraq assignment is evidently a 'potential death sentence'. The killing of every single US soldier sends a clear signal: The Americans are wanted out of Iraq.

But it seems like the Whitehouse bigheads are planning a much longer stay: at least 50 years as admitted by General John Abizaid, the former commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM).

More surprisingly, he blatantly asserted that the dependency on Middle East oil will be a major driving force behind prolonged American stay in Iraq.

But no matter how complicated the spin doctoring strategies employed by the American PR experts to downplay the army's failures and whitewash the Bush administration's blunders regarding the Iraq war, the US military personnel will be viewed as hostile invaders rather than messengers of peace.

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