FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Giving Terrorism a Reason to Exist

by CAMILO MEJIA

According to a report by 16 U.S. Spy agencies leaked to The New York Times, the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped create more global terrorism and energize jihadist ideology throughout the world since the 9/11 attacks. The intelligence report, completed in April of this year but still classified, contradicts more optimistic assessments by both The White House and the House Intelligence Committee, which have claimed that America and its Allies are safer since the September 11 attacks. The report, however, also supports what critics of the war, especially dissenting U.S. veterans, have been saying all along, that the war in Iraq is actually creating more terrorism.

On March 15, 2004, just before surrendering to military authorities after refusing to return to the war, I gave a press conference to both national and international media. A reporter from Univision asked me if there was a difference between what was being reported in the U.S. about soldiers in Iraq and my experience there. I told her that morale amongst U.S. troops, contrary to media reports, was really low because we lacked a sense of mission and because “we were all lied to about weapons of mass destruction and connections between Iraq and terrorism to justify the war. In reality, we’re giving terrorism a reason to exist with this war.” Fast forward to the New York Times article and you have the exact same thing, only this time reported by 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, two and a half years later!

Part of the problem is that the public tends to believe what the government and the corporate media present, through its hordes of loyal analysts and experts, as fact, while readily dismissing the first-hand experience and information brought back by the very same service men and women they allowed their government to send to war without a real justification. A more serious problem, however, would be for the people of the United States to allow this “new report” to be misused for political gain rather than for a more appropriate action: the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq.

If unchallenged, the misuse of the report would simply aid top Republicans in bashing their second-term president in order to secure their party’s next presidential nomination. Only six weeks away from national elections, the intelligence report would also aid Democrats in their quest to regain control of both houses of Congress. But regardless of which party takes home the trophy, what constituents should not lose from sight, during either election, is that with the Iraq War increasing terrorist threats to the United States, there could be no better reason–nor a more appropriate time–to demand from the government the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq.

At the heart of this mess is not simply which party is to blame for sending our troops into a bound-to-fail military adventure that actually energized global terrorism–in reality both parties obediently stood behind the president as his administration led the country to war–but also how to best utilize the information to do right by both the Iraqi people and our own military, all while making the world a safer place. The choice is clear, end the occupation of Iraq and bring all the troops home.

Camilo E. Mejia, a former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, served nine months in a U.S. Army jail for refusing to return to his Florida Guard Unit in Iraq. His Iraq War memoir, Road From Ar Ramadi The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejia, will be published by The New Press in the spring of 2007.

© 2006 Camilo E. Mejia

 

 

Weekend Edition
April 29-31, 2016
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
David Yearsley
Miles Davis: Ace of Baseness
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail