FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Giving Terrorism a Reason to Exist

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

 

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
Robert Koehler
Playing War in Syria
Tamara Pearson
US Shootings: Gun Industry Killing More People Overseas
John Feffer
Trump’s Trade War is About Trump Not China
Morris Pearl
Why the Census Shouldn’t Ask About Citizenship
Ralph Nader
Bill Curry on the Move against Public Corruption
Josh Hoxie
Five Tax Myths Debunked
Leslie Mullin
Democratic Space in Adverse Times: Milestone at Haiti’s University of the Aristide Foundation
Louis Proyect
Syria and Neo-McCarthyism
Dean Baker
Finance 202 Meets Economics 101
Abel Cohen
Forget Gun Control, Try Bullet Control
Robert Fantina
“Damascus Time:” An Iranian Movie
David Yearsley
Bach and Taxes
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail