from a public HS teacher (Gov't, Religion, Soc. Issues), who is eclectic (Dem-leaning) politically and Quaker (& open) on everything else. Hope you enjoy what you find here.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

A bloody day in Iraq 

U. S. deaths were 10, 8 soldiers and 4 Marines. One Salvadoran soldier. And dozens of Iraqis.

I fear that our response to this, and to the events of the past week where 4 "contractors" werre killed and their bodies abused, will only cause the situation to deteriorate further.

I ahve no doubt that what the U.S. government has said about those four is false. Clearly we are in a situation where U.S. companies are effectively bringing in mercenaries. These four were American, former servicemen, three at least with special forces-type training: I have read of one how he enlisted in the Army at 19, got SEAL training, and spoke in addition to English Russian, Spanish, Arabic and Croatian. I have also read that some of the companies are hiring former Chilean and S African police and military. There ae now perhaps 15,000 of these rent-a-guns in Iraq. They are not bound by U.S. rules of engagement, nor are they subject to the UCMJ. Yet whatever they do will be interpreted by the Iraqis as actions of the American government, and the Iraqis will respond accordingly.

After today's events, I fully expect that some in the U.S. will argue for grabbing al-Sadr, the 30 year old Shi'ite cleric who is vocally opposed to the U.S. presence. That would be a disaster -- much of today's violence was a direct result of our arresting one of his chief aides for a murder that apparently happened last year. We have also closed down his newspaper. And the greatest violence now seems to be in Najaf, which is a holy city for Shi'ites.

I have insufficient time to post to this blog, because I have been busy devouing various of the books that so scare the Bushites, such as Clark, John Dean, Craig Ungar. Methinks the focus of discourse is changing to something at least somewhat critical of the administration: interviews with military officers saying they'll vote for Kerry, 60 Minutes doing a piece on a major environmental coverup in Appalachia. We may be at a crossroads in the discourse, to the point where the overall modd and attitude of the American public may be about to tip. We will see in the next week or so, with testimony before the 9-11 commission not only by Condi Rice in public, but in privatge by the top two of each of the past two administrations [and if people think what is said in executive sessions will not get out, they are sorely mistaken].

It is late. Actually, it is late only because of the clock change, but I have already been orinetating my body to the spring forward, so i feel tired as the time on my toolbar say 11:40 PM.

This blog is now being linked from posts on dailykos. I wonder who if anyone ever reads it ... other than family and firends, i have neer had a response.

FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME OFFLINE at kber@earthlink.net Comments, suggestions and even rude remarks are welcomed! Preface any messages with "teacherken" so I know they are not spam.
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