The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

The families of the troops want them home

Jul 14, 2003

A U.S. Army colonel recently addressed a meeting of 800 military spouses at Fort Stewart, Georgia. According to news reports, he had to be escorted out of the meeting by military police – because the angry wives and husbands, tired of the government's lies, were yelling at him and cussing him out so badly he feared for his life.

This was not an isolated incident. There are similar reports filtering out of U.S. military bases all over the world. In those areas where the families of soldiers are collected together and can share what information they have, anger is growing. They have been lied to. They are fed up. They want their family members back home. They are right to feel this way.

This war is being fought NOT because there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which there weren't; and NOT because Iraq threatened peace in the world, which it didn't; and NOT because Saddam Hussein was a real S-O-B, despite the fact that he was. This war was fought for one main reason: so U.S. imperialism could control oil throughout the Middle East.

This is a filthy war – killing men, women and children for the sake of oil profits, leaving a whole people desperate. And the bitter fruits of this dirty war are now coming to rest on the shoulders of the U.S. troops that Bush & Company sent off to Iraq.

In the first two and a half months after Bush declared that "major combat operations" in Iraq were over, more than 70 U.S. soldiers have been killed in ambushes, grenade attacks, sniper attacks, land-mines and "accidents," with hundreds more wounded. The former commanding general in Iraq, Tommy Franks, admitted to Congress early in July that attacks on U.S. troops are coming at a pace of 10 to 25 a day.

This is not a war that is over. It is the beginning of a new deadly swamp.

Franks admitted that this war will go on at this level for the "foreseeable future," what he acknowledged could be four years.

As for the nonsense that Iraqis were welcoming the U.S. troops – not even Bush or Rumsfeld dare pretend that any longer.

Bush – who pretends to be a rough-and-tough guy – is the same man who once used his family's influence to avoid combat in Viet Nam. The same holds true for Vice-president Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and for the trio which supposedly planned this war: Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith. Not a one of them got their feet dirty in battle. They all had the way out of combat that wealth and privilege provide, and they all used it.

But for the troops now in Iraq – who are overwhelmingly the sons and daughters of the working class – there was no way out. The sons and daughters of the working class did not choose military service so they could be an occupying army in a country where they are not welcome. They did not choose to do the dirty work that Bush and Company want done in the Middle East. Most of them chose military service because they had no other choice. There were no jobs – not that paid a decent wage or provided training.

Bring them out of Iraq. And take the money being spent to destroy Iraq and put it to work creating jobs here.