Eat At Joes

Just a regular Joe who is angry that the USA, the country he loves, is being corrupted and damaged from within and trying to tell his fellow Americans the other half of the story that they don’t get on the TV News.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Sunday, July 03, 2005

US Combat Veterans who served in Iraq describe occupation of Iraq as a “runaway train” and say Bush speech flies in the face of reality in Iraq

A group of US Service members who served in Iraq called “Iraq Veterans Against the War” are calling into question the President Bush’s view of the Iraq War. You can read a recent article from them here. The Bush Administration has continually put pressure on current US Service Members preventing them from saying anything critical of Bush or his administration, but these are Vets who are no longer under subject to Pentagon rules keeping active service members silent. Here is the text of that article:

Bush speech flies in the face of reality in Iraq.
Iraq Combat Veterans describe occupation of Iraq as a “runaway train.”

“President Bush misled the American public last night,” says Mike Hoffman, Iraq combat veteran and founder of Iraq Veterans Against the War. The President’s speech delivered at Fort Bragg (NC) yesterday attempted to shore up the flagging support of the American public, who are growing doubtful that the U.S. will have success in Iraq. Delivered before a disciplined captive audience of 82nd Airborne troops, serving as hand-picked stage props, the presidential address emphasized the supposed connection between the war in Iraq and the events of September 11, 2001, despite recent revelations brought about by the Downing Street memo, that claims the Bush Administration was “fixing” the facts to justify an Iraq invasion. Patrick Resta, a medic who served in Iraq says, “Let’s be clear - the Iraq War has nothing to do with 9-11. The so-called Iraqi insurgents are not the terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center.”

The President’s assertion last night that “our commanders tell me they have the number of troops they need to do their job,” flies in the face of military commanders’ advice to both Bush and Sec. Rumsfeld that a “successful” occupation would require a minimum of 500, 000 troops, not the 140,000 who are currently there. However, the military is currently overstretched forcing many soldiers to return to Iraq for two and three tours of duty against their will thru its Stop Loss policy. Troops are being cycled through Iraq with increasingly short breaks in between deployments, family crises are multiplying, divorce rates are rising, desertion rates are mounting, and recruitment standards are being scaled down. There is a dire recruiting and retention crisis developing in the military, with many refusing to fight in a war they see as a quagmire. Jimmy Massey, a Marine recruiter who resigned upon returning from Iraq believes that many are unknowingly joining the Marines “to kill civilians on behalf of their government.”

“The Iraqi resistance is only growing stronger,” says Charlie Anderson, a Navy Corpsman who also served in Iraq. “The insurgents are mostly Iraqi citizens who are taking up arms, determined to drive us out. I don’t blame them. We are occupying their country.” Among U.S. troops in Iraq, there is a psychological shift from mission-focus to self-protection, and the singular goal is to get home alive. Many troops on the ground in Iraq believe the war is “un-winnable.” Sec. Rumsfeld admitted two days ago that this war could go on for another 12 years. The President asserted in his speech last night that the Iraqi resistance is mostly foreign, but U.S. troops and their commanders know that the resistance is home-grown and cannot be militarily defeated.

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) believe that bringing the troops home now is the only solution to the deteriorating situation in Iraq. “Bush says, ‘stay the course,” says Kelly Dougherty, IVAW member and a former military police sergeant who served in Iraq last year. “If you are driving home, staying the course might be a good idea. If you are on a runaway train, that seems like a really bad idea.”


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