Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Michael Prysner

Michael Prysner is a veteran of the war in Iraq and an anti-war activist

April 12th, 2011 7:12 PM

Two US soldiers killed in Iraq as Pentagon hints at permanent occupation

On April 2, U.S. Army Staff Sergeants Quadi Hudgins and Christian Garcia were killed by indirect fire while on their “non-combat” outpost in Babil, Iraq.

This is what the “end” of the Iraq war looks like for troops on the ground.

Attacks from rockets and mortars on bases housing U.S. soldiers are not out of the ordinary—they are a regular occurrence. They have continued to kill and maim U.S. troops since the “end of combat” was announced.

Less than a week later, on April 8, Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Iraq. He said that those bases where U.S. troops are under constant attack will likely remain for years, if not forever.

The Washington Post reported that Gates indicated that the Pentagon was considering options “from staying an extra couple of years to remaining in Iraq as permanent partners.”

The war in Iraq has long been exposed as an illegal war of aggression, based on blatant and willful lies about non-existent “weapons of mass destruction.” The myth of the Iraqi people wanting U.S. “liberation” was shattered when the masses of Iraqi people in every town and from all walks of life rose up against the occupation. The American people overwhelmingly turned against the war too, demanding that it end, forcing the incoming Democratic Party to promise a full withdrawal of all troops by the end of 2011.

But despite what the vast majority of people in both the United States and Iraq want, and what the politicians in Washington promised to do once elected, the Pentagon has another plan. They want us, our friends and our family, to continue to die in Iraq for a lie, for many more years, possibly forever.

So much for the Democrats’ promises. So much for our “great democracy.”

The Iraqi people will resist

Gates went so far as to make the ridiculous assertion that he would base his decision on “what the Iraqis want.”

The Iraqi people responded to Gates’ comments the very next day by taking to the streets in the tens of thousands, burning effigies of U.S. soldiers, chanting “Leave, leave, occupier,” and vowing to return back to full-scale armed struggle if the withdrawal deadline is not honored.

The “Iraqis” that Gates was referring to were not the Iraqi masses, but wealthy Iraqi politicians. They are the ones who have been carrying out extrajudicial killings, torture, restrictions on the press, corruption and smashing of rival political groups—the same things that Saddam Hussein was accused of doing.

The Iraqi people will never accept foreign occupation—especially one that taken the lives of over one million innocent people, made five million refugees, and reduced its cities to rubble. That is why they are still fighting today, although there has been a lull in violence. But that lull is not at all permanent, and if the U.S. remains past its promised withdrawal deadline, Iraq will once again become a bloodbath for U.S. troops.

The Mahdi Army militia, which nearly defeated the U.S. military and only stopped fighting because over 100,000 were put on the Pentagon’s payroll, vowed to return to battle if troops remain in Iraq one day past the withdrawal deadline. Other groups vowed to return or step-up attacks as well. A return to heavy combat in Iraq is right around the corner.

But that is of little concern to Gates and his team in the Pentagon. They care nothing about our lives. They have already sent 5,000 service members to their deaths while they kick to the curb those who come home. They only calculate what level of death and destruction they can get away with to achieve their imperial aims.

CEOs giving us orders

When Gates spoke to troops in Mosul about why they must keep fighting in Iraq, he was speaking to a room of soldiers who have absolutely nothing in common with him. He spoke to a room full of young people escaping rampant unemployment, increasingly unaffordable college tuition and the substantial cost of providing health care and a home for their families.

Gates, on the other hand, has lived a life of luxury in Ivy League schools and plush offices. The closest he has ever been to war is his long career in the corporate boardrooms of the same defense contractors and oil giants making a killing off of the occupations.

This millionaire Boeing executive is telling us “Keep risking life and limb, keep leaving your families behind, keep fighting this unpopular war for Shell and Halliburton.”

If he said it this bluntly, none of us would fight. Why would we endlessly risk our lives for the bonus check of some Wall Street fat cat? So, they change the language, and say it is for “democracy” and “helping the Iraqi people.”

If Gates and his billionaire friends want to keep a foothold in Iraq to gobble up its resources, then maybe they should put on uniforms and patrol its streets. Maybe they should lose their legs, be maimed, be psychologically traumatized, be carried home in coffins—instead of luring us with a job and college money to do it for them.

That’s why we have the right to refuse to fight. This is their war, not ours.

Only the people can end the war

They only promised to leave Iraq, they only began the drawdown because there was such popular opposition to the war; protests shook the country and soldiers began refusing their orders, speaking out about the criminality of the war, and joining the ranks of the anti-war movement.

If left to its own devices, Washington will continue to send us to die in Iraq for “years” or even “permanently.”

The politicians will only end the war when they are forced to do so. A vibrant anti-war movement, in the streets and in the military, has the power to do that.

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

If you have a moment today, I hope you can read the obituary for my father Francis (Frank) Moore, who died this past Saturday at the age of 92: Francis...

Apr 22nd
6:33 PM
Read More

My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
Read More

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law Donna Smith Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? Donna Smith We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa Nick Turse Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch Donna Smith The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles