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
February 12-14, 2016
Andrew Levine
What Next in the War on Clintonism?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Comedy of Terrors
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh – Anthony A. Gabb
Financial Oligarchy vs. Feudal Aristocracy
Paul Street
When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party’s Jill Stein
Rob Urie
The (Political) Season of Our Discontent
Pepe Escobar
It Takes a Greek to Save Europa
Gerald Sussman
Why Hillary Clinton Spells Democratic Party Defeat
Carol Norris
What Do Hillary’s Women Want? A Psychologist on the Clinton Campaign’s Women’s Club Strategy
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Election: Any Good News for Palestine?
Linda Pentz Gunter
Radioactive Handouts: the Nuclear Subsidies Buried Inside Obama’s “Clean” Energy Budget
Michael Welton
Lenin, Putin and Me
Manuel García, Jr.
Fire in the Hole: Bernie and the Cracks in the Neo-Liberal Lid
Thomas Stephens
The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective
David Rosen
When Trump Confronted a Transgender Beauty
Will Parrish
Cap and Clear-Cut
Victor Grossman
Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates
Ben Terrall
Raw Deals: Challenging the Sharing Economy
David Yearsley
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Formation: Form-Fitting Uniforms of Revolution and Commerce
David Mattson
Divvying Up the Dead: Grizzly Bears in a Post-ESA World
Matthew Stevenson
Confessions of a Primary Insider
Jeff Mackler
Friedrichs v. U.S. Public Employee Unions
Franklin Lamb
Notes From Tehran: Trump, the Iranian Elections and the End of Sanctions
Pete Dolack
More Unemployment and Less Security
Christopher Brauchli
The Cruzifiction of Michael Wayne Haley
Bill Quigley
Law on the Margins: a Profile of Social Justice Lawyer Chaumtoli Huq
Uri Avnery
A Lady With a Smile
Katja Kipping
The Opposite of Transparency: What I Didn’t Read in the TIPP Reading Room
B. R. Gowani
Hellish Woman: ISIS’s Granny Endorses Hillary
Kent Paterson
The Futures of Whales and Humans in Mexico
James Heddle
Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You
Michael Howard
Hollywood’s Grotesque Animal Abuse
Steven Gorelick
Branding Tradition: a Bittersweet Tale of Capitalism at Work
Nozomi Hayase
Assange’s UN Victory and Redemption of the West
Patrick Bond
World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor, by Ignoring the Rich
Mel Gurtov
Is US-Russia Engagement Still Possible?
Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown Receives Cold, Dead Fish Award Four Years In A Row
Wolfgang Lieberknecht
Fighting and Protecting Refugees
Jennifer Matsui
Doglegs, An Unforgettable Film
Soud Sharabani
Israeli Myths: An Interview with Ramzy Baroud
Terry Simons
Bernie? Why Not?
Missy Comley Beattie
When Thoughtful People Think Illogically
Christy Rodgers
Everywhere is War: Luke Mogelson’s These Heroic, Happy Dead: Stories
Ron Jacobs
Springsteen: Rockin’ the House in Albany, NY
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“The Martian”: This Heroism is for Chinese Viewers Too
Charles R. Larson
No Brainers: When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail