By Geoffrey Cook, MMNS
Camp Meeker (Calif.)–A few months ago your writer caught the award-wining combat journalist and his co-author Laila Alrian, the daughter of the much maligned, Sami Alrian, on a book stop for their Collateral Damage: Americaâ€™s War Against Iraqi Civilians.
In this new book, the two journalists present the voices of fifty American combat veterans of the Iraq War and their understanding of the U.S. occupation and why Iraqis are so opposed to it.
Hedges began with the statement that the strife in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan are unequivocally intertwined. Hedges, further, maintained he had covered every American War of the past twenty years in order to bestow his words authority. The rules of engagement of the American Military were set up to protect our soldiers. He judged â€œThis type of racism to be intrinsic,â€ for there was no accountability. (Your columnistâ€™s viewpoint is that what America was dealing is not racism but rather Sectarianism.) Further, â€œWe [the American Army] never found anything [of military significance]â€¦â€ after the invasion. This was never covered by our (American) media. â€œWhen we sent them [our soldiers] on two or three tours, they would go crazy,â€ too.
Laila noted that the term our GIs utilized against us was â€œhajjiâ€ which in the context that it was applied- became blatantly bigoted. Iraq was/is not Afghanistan. There was/is a high rate of suicide in both theaters, though. None of the fifty veterans that were interviewed could relate to their experiences.
An occupation is culturally and linguistically malevolent. The Occupiers lash out at the innocent. â€œThese forms of wars are organized,â€ though! The foreign media have picked up our book, but we have largely have been ignored in the US because we (Washington) have destroyed Iraq, and, thereby, have become a state terrorist, (and they exposed that.) â€œI canâ€™t stop the Iraq conflictâ€¦it is a freight train of death!…I am disillusioned with the Obama Administrationâ€™s acceptance of pre-emptive War, also.â€ (An allegation with which your correspondent does not agree.)
Hedges states that â€œTo increase troop levels in Afghanistanâ€ is foolish. Then, following illogically from his previous contention, Chris Hedges asserts that as a news reporter, he could not comment on policy. Still, the Iraq War for him derived from a Utopian project â€“ literarily in the mode of the 16th Century English philosopher and (Christian) Martyr, Thomas Moore.
â€œIn Palestine, Israeli policyâ€¦has created eighty enclavesâ€¦â€Arian emphasized that â€œPolitics is always the game of pressureâ€¦â€ Therefore, funds to Israel must be blocked â€“ especially while Gazans are under the pressure of War crimes.
â€œOur Imperial projects in the Middle East are eating up our wealth!..Permanent War is a part of our economy!â€ Resuming,â€œ[Our] Empireâ€™s expansion is causing its collapse.â€
The journalist Hedges is most concerned about a war with the Pushtoons.