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Monday, October 30, 2006


The $64,000 question

A year ago, I wrote:
Has anyone else noticed that there are now allegedly 200,000 Iraqi troops "standing up," and not a single American soldier (not one!) has been "stood down" as a result?
Well, now the corporate media are finally asking the same question, as happened, for example, during a give-and-take between Anderson Cooper and embedded reporter John Roberts on tonight's 360 show. Which is part of the $64,000 question the title of this post refers to. The other part came just a moment later, as Roberts was discussing the problems with the Iraqi forces, and noting that one of the major ones was that the Americans were having a hard time teaching the Iraqis an "offensive" (accent on the first syllable) mindset. To which Cooper responded, "But the insurgents and the militias don't seem to lack an offensive mindset, do they?"

Unfortunately, but predictably, Cooper and Roberts didn't dare go any further in exploring the why of that observation. Because if they had, they would have come face-to-face with the reality of what being an occupying force means, and the fact that collaborating with an occupying force, and resisting an occupation, are two very different things.

In a related development, the Washington Post discusses the extent of infiltration of the Iraqi police forces, with this ominous conclusion:

The top U.S. military commander in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., predicted last week that Iraqi security forces would be able to take control of the country in 12 to 18 months. But several days spent with American units training the Iraqi police illustrated why those soldiers on the ground believe it may take decades longer than Casey's assessment.
Not years. Decades. And the trend isn't even in the right direction, as today's news indicates - American troop strength in Iraq has risen to 150,000.

There is one group that can cause the American forces to withdraw from Iraq a lot sooner than that by standing up, and it's not the Iraq forces. It's us. Stand up. Speak out. Get involved. Stop the war.

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