There is a reason why a relatively recent Army survey found that 54% of all soldiers in Iraq reported either “low” or “very low” morale.
There is also a reason why, again according to the Army, that 30% of all soldiers returning from Iraq develop mental health problems 3-4 months after their return.
And there is a reason why soldiers like Nicolas Prubyla come home and join organizations like Iraq Veterans Against the War.
“Up until five days ago, I had large amounts of blood in my stool,” he told me recently, “I’ve felt tired all the time, I have had loss of hair…loss of the feeling in my right arm…I’m battling this stuff.”
What he is battling is exposure to uranium munitions in Iraq. He is battling radiation sickness as the result of the most recent nuclear war waged by the United States of America. There is a reason why over 11,000 veterans from the ’91 Gulf War are dead today, and over 250,000 others are on medical disability. That reason (hundreds and hundreds of tons of uranium munitions dropped on Iraq) is the same thing Prubyla is battling today.
“As the years go on this is going to effect a hell of a lot more people than we think…radioactive dust and the clouds of smoke and dust from firing the DU [depleted uranium] is getting to us now,” he said, “And I know I’m not the only person in my unit-my boss got diagnosed with cancer, one of my other buddies who is 23 years-old is getting rashes….every time I do more research on DU-I’m seeing that I have all the side effects.”
Prubyla has realized what more and more veterans understand…that the powers that be in our military plutocracy (also known as the US government) could care less for their well being. One of the shadow members of the current plutocracy who is also an exalted neo-conservative, Henry Kissinger, has referred to military men as “dumb, stupid animals to be used” as pawns for foreign policy.
Reluctant Iraqi soldiers hinder US strategies
Three weeks of patrols and interviews in restive Anbar Province suggested that Iraqi security forces will need years of preparation before they're ready to take charge of the complex and violent tribal areas of western Iraq. President Bush has said repeatedly that US troops will withdraw only when Iraqi troops are ready to take over.
But many of the Iraqi troops appear to be in poor condition, unable or unwilling to complete long foot patrols without frequent breaks. They often do not know what to do in complicated situations, standing back and letting Marines and soldiers take the lead.
Many of the Iraqi troops are Shi'ite Muslims -- the majority religious group in Iraq -- who were long oppressed by Sunni Muslims, Anbar's predominant ethnic group but a minority across Iraq. That history creates obstacles to establishing trust with the locals.
Top UK official warned Iraq war fuelled extremism
A top British government official warned Prime Minister Tony Blair last year that Britain's involvement in the Iraq war was fostering Muslim extremism at home, according to a leaked memo published on Sunday.
The warning was delivered just over a year before four British Muslims carried out bombings of London's transport network, killing themselves and 52 other people.
Two weeks later, similar attempted bombs by another group of British residents failed to detonate.
The Observer newspaper printed a letter from Michael Jay, the top civil servant at the Foreign Office, dated May 2004 which said invading Iraq had made Britain a target for terrorists.
"British foreign policy and the perception of its negative effect on Muslims globally plays a significant role in creating a feeling of anger and impotence among especially the younger generation of British Muslims," Jay's memo said.
Poll: Critics of the Iraq War Should be Free to Voice Their Objections
An overwhelming number of people say critics of the Iraq war should be free to voice their objections. Nearly three weeks after a grieving California mother named Cindy Sheehan started her anti-war protest near Bush's Texas ranch, nine of 10 people surveyed in the AP-Ipsos poll say it's OK for war opponents to share publicly their concerns about the conflict.
The poll found that Republicans are the most likely to disapprove of people voicing opposition to the war.
Pro-War Protesters Fight Other Pro-War Protesters
A handful also got themselves arrested, including a protester whose anti-Sheehan sign was deemed unnecessarily offensive by organizers of a large pro-Bush rally. The man carrying the sign became violent when he was asked to put it down.
Ken Robinson, of Richardson, Texas, who described himself as a Vietnam veteran, was carrying a sign at a “You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy!” rally. The sign read, “How to wreck your family in 30 days by ‘b**** in the ditch' Cindy Sheehan.”
Kristinn Taylor, an event organizer with FreeRepublic.com, heard about the sign and rushed up to Robinson.
“This is our rally and you can't do that here,” he said, only for Robinson to insist he was within his rights.
Camera crews rushed in and Taylor turned to face them.
“To all the media here, this sign is not representative of the crowd here today,” Taylor announced. Some of the crowd around Robinson came forward to shake his hand, while others chanted, “Idiot, go home.”
The two men then squared off and raised their voices.
“Just get outta here!” Robinson yelled, and aimed a kick at Taylor's midsection. Taylor called for security, and a young Woodway policeman quickly showed up.
“I have the right to freedom of speech,” Robinson said.
Robinson continued to protest loudly as police handcuffed him and led him away.
An Iraqi boy runs past a car as firemen extinguish the fire, in Baghdad, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005. An American patrol opened fire on a civilian, who was driving the car near the Um-Al-Quraa mosque, for not respecting the patrol sign, killing him and causing the car to burn, Major Mousa Abdul Karim from Al-ghazalyaa police said. (AP Photo/Mohammed Uraibi)