Daily Archives: April 8, 2006

IRAQ: PERMANENT U.S. COLONY, by Dahr Jamail

 

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Click here to go to Dahr Jamail's     IRAQ: PERMANENT U.S. COLONY
    (The U.S. Government is Building
    At Least Four Permanent
    Bases in Iraq)

    By Dahr Jamail
    t r u t h o u t | Perspective
    Tuesday, 14 March 2006
    [Copyright (c) 2006 in the
    U.S.A. and Internationally
    by t r u t h o u t (.org)
    and/or Dahr Jamail.
    All rights reserved.]

 

     Why does the Bush Administration refuse to discuss withdrawing occupation forces from Iraq? Why is Halliburton, who landed the no-bid contracts to construct and maintain US military bases in Iraq, posting higher profits than ever before in its 86-year history?

     Why do these bases in Iraq resemble self-contained cities as much as military outposts?

     Why are we hearing such ludicrous and outrageous statements from the highest ranking military general in the United States, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace, who when asked how things were going in Iraq on March 5th in an interview on “Meet the Press” said, “I’d say they’re going well. I wouldn’t put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say they’re going very, very well from everything you look at.”

     I wonder if there is a training school, or at least talking point memos for these Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, because Pace’s predecessor, Gen. Richard Myers, told Senator John McCain last September that “In a sense, things are going well [in Iraq].”

     General Pace also praised the Iraqi military, saying, “Now there are over 100 [Iraqi] battalions in the field.”

     Wow! General Pace must have waved his magic wand and materialized all these 99 new Iraqi battalions that are diligently keeping things safe and secure in occupied Iraq. Because according to the top US general in Iraq, General George Casey, not long ago there was only one Iraqi battalion (about 500-600 soldiers) capable of fighting on its own in Iraq.

     During a late-September 2005 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Casey acknowledged that the Pentagon estimate of three Iraqi battalions last June had shrunk to one in September. That is less than six months ago.

     I thought it would be a good idea to find someone who is qualified to discuss how feasible it would be to train 99 Iraqi battalions in less than six months, as Pace now claims has occurred.

     I decided that someone who was in the US Army for 26 years and who worked in eight conflict areas, starting in Vietnam and ending with Haiti, would be qualified. If he had served in two parachute infantry units, three Ranger units, two Special Forces Groups and in Delta Force that would be helpful as well. And just to make sure, if he taught tactics at the Jungle Operations Training Center in Panama and Military Science at the United States Military Academy at West Point, thus knowing a thing or two about training soldiers, that would be a bonus.

     That person is Stan Goff.

 

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THE NEW CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, by Marjorie Cohn

 

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Read more of Marjorie Cohn’s columns.

 

Click here to go to t r u t h o u t ' s 'Marjorie Cohn' Page!    THE NEW CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
    (Despite the Curbing of Dissent,
    It Is Increasing Exponentially)

    By Marjorie Cohn
    t r u t h o u t | Perspective
    Friday, 31 March 2006

    [Copyright (c) 2006 in the
    U.S.A. and Internationally
    by t r u t h o u t (.org)
    and/or Marjorie Cohn.
    All rights reserved.]

 

    In a wave of mass protest not seen since the 1960s, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand justice for the undocumented. An unprecedented alliance between labor unions, immigrant support groups, churches, and Spanish-language radio and television has fueled the burgeoning civil rights movement.

    The demonstrations were triggered by the confluence of a draconian House bill that would make felons out of undocumented immigrants and HBO’s broadcast of Edward James Olmos’s film, “Walkout.” But the depth of discontent reflects a history of discrimination against those who are branded “illegal aliens.”

    Since September 11, 2001, immigrants have become the whipping boys for the “war on terror.” Calls for enhanced militarization of the southern US border – including a 700-mile-long Sisyphean fence – reached a crescendo in the bill passed by the House of Representatives.

    Under its terms, three million US-citizen children could be separated from their parents, who would be declared felons and be subject to immediate detention and deportation. Those who employ them, and churches and nonprofits that support them, could face fines or even prison.

    Cardinal Roger Mahony called it a “blameful, vicious” bill, and vowed to continue serving the undocumented even if it were outlawed.

    Immigrants comprise one-third of California’s labor force. But claims that immigrants take jobs away from Americans are overblown. Last summer, California suffered from labor shortages in spite of the high percentage of undocumented workers who labor in the fields.

    As a likely result of pressure from business dependent on cheap labor and the escalating protests around the country, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill that strikes a more reasonable balance. It would legalize the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, and provide them with the opportunity to become citizens. They would have to remain employed, pass criminal background checks, learn English and civics, and pay fines and back taxes. A temporary worker program would allow about 400,000 foreign nationals to enter the United States each year; they too could be granted citizenship.

    The current debate in the full Senate has focused on accusations and denials of “amnesty” and threats to national security. But the “immigration problem” is more complex than the sound bytes that proliferate. Seventy-eight percent of the 11 million undocumented immigrants are from Mexico or other Latin American countries.

    According to Michael Lettieri, a Research Fellow with the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, “The free trade accords that the Bush administration so tirelessly promotes do little to remedy such maladies, as both NAFTA and CAFTA-DR leave regional agricultural sectors profoundly vulnerable, as well as disadvantaged, in the face of robustly subsidized US agribusiness that enables Iowa to undersell Mexico when it comes to corn.”

 

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