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Escalate the Occupation, Own the Occupation

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Ron Fullwood
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"O can't you see, brother- Death's a congested road for fighters now, and hero a cheap label." --C.D. Andrews The word from the Pentagon is that Gerald Ford will get an aircraft carrier named after him. After a week of eulogies which have memorialized Ford as a national "healer" who brought the country together after Watergate, and ended the Vietnam War, Rumsfeld was quoted bragging to funeral goers about how perfect it will be that the former president's name "will patrol the high seas for decades to come." Ford's warship will join H.W. Bush's 11-hundred-foot, last in-the-series, Nimitz-class, floating platform of U.S. projected aggression and contrived world dominance which was launched in October with his moniker. It's a sickening spectacle to watch the republican chickenhawks in power who've hijacked our nation's defenses for their cynical war games, as they wrap themselves and their warmongering party around the sacrifices of the soldiers they've deployed. Were it not for the utter incredibleness of any suggestion that Bush and his cohorts deliberately allowed the present conflict in Iraq to prevail and escalate just to feather their own elevated power and influence that they assumed after the 9-11 attacks, it would be a forgone conclusion in the face of their indefatigable zeal for continuing their faltering aggression abroad. There is nothing Bush and his republican minions are more passionate about than continuing the bloody occupation of Iraq in the face of overwhelming public opposition. Bush has not indicated, at any time throughout the occupation, where in Iraq he would limit the commitment of the lives and resources which make up a significant portion of our nation's defenses. Over three-thousand American lives have been lost so far, in Iraq alone, yet, Bush is still poised to commit even more soldiers to hunker-down in the Iraqi sand. A "surge" of 10,000 to 30,000 troops into Iraq, which was the reported recommendation of his 'generals on the ground', is likely to be adopted by Bush in his "new way forward" plan that he's due to spell out any day now. Even if Bush was allowed to escalate the force there by 40,000 soldiers, it is agreed by almost everyone that the sectarian violence would be virtually unaffected, and would likely not be effective in the task of securing the beleaguered Iraqi regime. Yet, Bush will reportedly push on. Bush and his surrogates are using the specter of a potential terrorist attack on our nation coming from the combatants who've answered Bush's call to bring it on in Iraq to justify all of the digging in and "moving forward" with their occupation. Militarized combatants who weren't at all active in Iraq or threatening to the U.S. before Bush's destabilizing invasion and coup, are now to be feared by Americans as he escalates the U.S. role as aggressor on one side of the multi-pronged civil war and gambles out more combat forces to posture behind. There's nothing for combat forces to do except increase the suppression of Iraqis, limiting freedom of movement throughout their country with increased checkpoints and roadblocks; ramp up the collateral killing of innocents with an escalated bombing campaign in opposition neighborhoods; or escalate the search and destroy raids, and round-ups and detentions of Iraqi men. All of these things are the business of Iraqis, not the U.S. military. Bush may have a legitimate interest in wanting his junta to succeed, but Americans aren't bound to the new Iraqi regime's survival; neither in their defense, nor in defense of our own security. If we stop aggravating the Iraqis with our interference, they will be less inclined to make us the target of their recrimination. We will won't be able to prop up the Iraqi regime forever. Where will Bush draw the line? How many of our soldiers is he willing to sacrifice before he's ready to let go ? Iraq is Bush's only validating pursuit, outside of the promises he made atop the pile of rubble and humanity in New York to chase down and capture the perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks. He chose Iraq as the "center" of his manufactured war against "enemies" and would-be terrorists because he had failed to capture the individuals our government held responsible for the September 11 attacks. Five years after that deadly day, Bush has squandered and lost the bulk of the coalition of nations who had lined up to support the U.S. in the aftermath of the attacks. Bush has allowed over 3000 of our soldiers to be killed in Iraq, along with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, yet he still is willing to posture there in his escalating occupation as a defender of liberty and a protector of freedom. Bush is no more a liberator of Iraqis than the man he just had executed. Indefinite detentions without trial or representation have increased above those of Saddam's reign; reported tortures have increased; death-squad executions are above the level of the last regime; corruption and cronyism are flourishing in Iraq, all with our own government's aid and tacit consent. Iraqis are no more benefited by the new regime than they are by their new constitution which has been suspended by martial law since the inception of violence early last year. There will be no aircraft carrier with Bush's name on it in the near future, but he will not have to begin his civilian life without his name on his own symbol of U.S. projected aggression and contrived world dominance. His Iraq disaster will forever bear the moniker of 'Bush's Occupation'. Instead of a Mideast transformed by his military bullying in Iraq, as Bush said he wanted to achieve, he only succeeded in galvanizing the world community against him and our nation. Iraq will forever symbolize the limits of America's ability to spread its influence and to determine the outcome of events through the exercise of overwhelming military force. Bush isn't looking for a "victory" or a "success" for Iraqis or Americans to come out of his continued occupation. Bush is looking to salvage any piece of progress in the crumbling Iraq facade that he can claim as his crowning legacy; something dominating to hang his name on. He doesn't care how many troops have to die to get him there. In the end, that sad fact will be all that's remembered.
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Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
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