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Home arrow Blog arrow July 2009 arrow July 18, 2009

July 18, 2009
July 18, 2009: To all the Sharp Dressed Soldiers Shipping Out

Last Wednesday, I flew to
Atlanta to meet up with an old friend from my misspent youth who became a lifetime member of the ZZ Top fan club in 1983. Ever since, she has received two free tickets when ever they tour. They opened for Aerosmith who will remain forever young on Youtube:






The next morning I awoke fully conscious that it was the first Thursday of a weekly global call to fast for Gaza http://www.fastforgaza.net/statement during daylight hours so that the hearts and minds of the leaders of the world would open up to the human misery in Gaza Palestine and be moved to end the siege and occupation. Three hours and three cups of coffee later, I boarded the hotel elevator for the last time.

In next walked three sharp dressed tan/brown/grey camo covered young men whose parents might not even be as old as many years as ZZ Top have been a band: forty years and they still are sharp: 





 

I asked where were they going and a baby faced blonde responded, "I am going to Iraq and they are both shipping out to Afghanistan."

I mumbled how sorry I was that it had to be the way it is, but I do hope, pray and work for the day when all our troops come home and go to concerts and may they still be young.

In the Atlanta airport, as I made my way from ticketing to security, I counted dozens more tan/brown/grey camo covered soldiers. After removing my belt and shoes for SECURITY, I turned and looked into the eyes of one of three other soldiers-but these guys were much closer to my age.

I asked, "Is there a base around here? You tan/brown/grey camo men are everywhere."

He replied, "No, we are all shipping out after a two week R and R. I am going back to Iraq and they are both going to Afghanistan."

I blurted out, "How do you stand it.?"

He shrugged and replied, "It's our job."

I know how that is and upon taking my seat, I opened back up to Jeff Halper's 2009 edition of Obstacles to Peace. On page 86, Jeff wrote:

"When the Oslo process began, about 200,000, Israelis lived beyond the Green Line; by the end the number had doubled to 400,000…Tensions came to a  head with Sharon's provocative foray to the Haram/Temple Mount triggered the outbreak of the second Intifada.

"For the Palestinian 'street' the uprising, which was initially either non-violent or limited to the throwing of stones at soldiers erupted out of fear that Israel and the US would succeed in pressuring Arafat to sign the Camp David "agreement". Rather than being directed by Arafat, an accusation discredited even by the Israeli Security Services the uprising was directed against him as much as it was against the ever more repressive Occupation.

"The Israeli army began its onslaught on the Palestinian areas in October 2001, aided by post-9/11 American complicity and carefully framed in Bush's own words: to "destroy the infrastructure of terrorism."

"Sharon persuaded the Bush Administration that he could bring the Palestinian Authority to its knees within a matter of months, thereby achieving "industrial quiet" on the Israel/Palestine front that would enable the US to proceed with its plans against Iraq…Israel played a key role in training American troops for the invasion by building mock Iraqi neighborhoods and villages in the Negev.

"Israeli's security services also contributed to the disinformation campaign over Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction that preceded the invasion. And the US adopted from Israel its model of occupation, complete with a Civil Administration and a policy of demolishing Iraqi homes for 'security reasons'."[ISBN: 978-965-90262-1-4]

 

Ann Jones, humanitarian aid worker and author of Kabul in Winter recently wrote from Kabul, Afghanistan:

"I've come back to the Afghan capital again, after an absence of two years, to find it ruined in a new way. Not by bombs this time, but by security.The heart of the city is now hidden behind piles of Hescos  giant, grey sandbags produced somewhere in Great Britain. They're stacked against the walls of government buildings, U.N. agencies, embassies, NGO offices, and army camps (of which there are a lot) -- and they only seem to grow and multiply…What's called security generates fear.

"How Lies Begat Illusions Begat Lies…you can't understand the Taliban without knowing about America's covert operations in the region in the 1980s. Back then, President Ronald Reagan's administration, mainly through the CIA, used the Pakistani Intelligence services to fund, arm, and train Afghan and foreign Islamist jihadis to defeat the Soviet army in Afghanistan. Pakistan subsequently used "channels built with U.S. money" to install in Afghanistan a friendly government -- the Taliban.

"Later, after the George W. Bush administration invaded the country and the U.S. ousted the Taliban, it installed Hamid Karzai as president and returned many of the old Islamist jihadis to power in his government. Thus, this peculiar, well-established fact underlies the current war in Afghanistan: the United States sponsored both sides.

"Only the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has called, year after year, for a moral accounting. Its surveys of Afghan citizens consistently find that the people want lasting peace, and to attain it, they would prefer some sort of truth and reconciliation procedure, like the one that took place in South Africa, to cleanse the country and set it on an honest intellectual and moral footing.

"As I write, 4,000 newly arrived U.S. Marines are trudging through the blistering heat of Helmand Province to push back the Taliban so local Pashtuns can turn out to vote next month for Karzai, their fellow Pashtun. What's wrong with this new Obama strategy? For one thing, in some areas the local Pashtun population has instead turned out to fight against the foreign invaders, side by side with the Taliban (who, it should be remembered, are mostly local Pashtuns). They're as fed up as anybody with the puppet Karzai. Like millions of other Afghans, they say Karzai has done nothing for the people. But saddled with history, Karzai remains the horse the U.S. rode in on." http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175096

 

The Hescos of Afganastan and the twelve foot high concrete walls in Baghdad that divide the Sunni and Shia populations [see video here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2008/mar/17/baghdad.city.of.walls] are dwarfed by the 30ft high concrete ones in the 'Holy' Land; which is in pieces, Bantustans.

All the builders of these barriers and walls claim that they are democracies and that the walls are all about Security.

All builders of these barriers and walls exhibit the schizophrenic discipline of thinking two contradictory truths at the same time. Coined by George Orwell in "1984" as 'doublethink' the Ministry of Peace wages war, the Ministry of Truth fabricates lies and the Ministry of Love tortures and kills any it deems threatening. Most threatening of all for Big Brother are those with independent thought.


In 2007, Naomi Klein, in her book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, argued that at the height of the 2003-07 economic boom, the military industrial complex was driving Israel's tremendous economic growth, and Israel had the largest GDP growth of any Western country.

Klein theorized that the source of Israel's tremendous economic growth in the past five years cannot be attributed simply to its encouragement of high tech entrepreneurship and basic science. Its success must be understood, rather, as a product of its ability to use the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank as a laboratory for defense industry innovation -- and to showcase their wares.

"Young Israeli computer scientists and engineers gain their training in the military, and then go on to start the kind of technology companies that have proliferated wildly in Israel and whose products are much sought after abroad. The entire Israeli hi-tech sector and not just military technology per se, is thus an outgrowth of Israel's hyper militarization. The Israeli economy's tech sector grew by 20% in 2006 alone, and Israel is now the foreign country with the second most US stock exchange-listed companies. Klein's point that Israel's military-derived technologies are an economic growth-driver because they can be tested in situ is correct, but it is insufficient for describing the magnitude of the military's tremendous penetration of the country's economy. Palestinians under occupation can indeed be seen as human 'guinea pigs' and not just merely military targets, as Klein claims, but the society's militarization is far more profound than even she suggests.

"After the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, Israel's economy was devastated, but then came 9/11, and "suddenly new profit vistas opened up for any company that claimed it could spot terrorists in crowds, seal borders from attack and extract confessions from closed-mouthed prisoners…Many of the country's most successful entrepreneurs are using Israel's status as a fortressed state, surrounded by furious enemies, as a kind of twenty-four-hour-a-day showroom--a living example of how to enjoy relative safety amid constant war…Israel now sends $1.2 billion in "defense" products to the United States—up dramatically from $270 million in 1999…That makes Israel the fourth-largest arms dealer in the world…Much of this growth has been in the so-called "homeland security" sector.

"Before 9/11 homeland security barely existed as an industry. By the end of this year, Israeli exports in the sector will reach $1.2 billion--an increase of 20 percent. The key products and services are …precisely the tools and technologies Israel has used to lock in the occupied territories. Israel has learned to turn endless war into a brand asset, pitching its uprooting, occupation and containment of the Palestinian people as a half-century head start in the 'global war on terror.'"

Israel's policy of erecting walls and checkpoints to seal off the occupied territories are also "laboratories where the terrifying tools of our security states are being field-tested Palestinians--whether living in the West Bank or what the Israeli politicians are already calling "Hamasistan"--are no longer just targets. They are guinea pigs."  http://www.wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=860&Itemid=198

 

Iraqis Slaughtered since the U.S. invaded Iraq: 1,331,578
www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html

U.S. Military Personnel officially acknowledged dead in America's War on Iraq: 4,326 www.icasualties.org/oif/

The War on Iraq has spent $665,578,410,207 USA tax dollars so far. See the cost in your community:
www.nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182



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