Oct 2, 2006
Since marking the 5th anniversary of 9/11, President Bush has been claiming that the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are part of the war on terrorism. He has also endlessly repeated that progress is being made in these wars and that U.S. troop withdrawals will soon begin.
What is this man talking about?
In fact, more and more Iraqis and Afghans – mostly non-combatant men, women and children – are being killed by U.S. rockets, bombs and gunfire. Whole cities have been destroyed. Tens of thousands more are dying in the warfare the U.S. has precipitated between various Iraqi factions. Hundreds of thousands of people in both Iraq and Afghanistan have been seriously injured, frequently with little or no medical care. Millions of others have been turned into refugees in their own country.
These wars are not winding down. The overall level of violence in both these countries is increasing, not decreasing. In Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, more people have been killed in the last couple of months than since the slaughter during the first days of the U.S. invasion. In Afghanistan, it is reported that the Taliban is making a come back.
Recent polls conducted in Iraq by the U.S. State Department and Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland show that over three-quarters of Iraqis want U.S. forces out of Iraq now. Three-fifths support attacks on U.S. forces.
In response to this rising opposition, U.S. forces are not being reduced; they are being increased. There are more U.S. troops in Iraq today than ever before – about 147,000. This doesn’t include the thousands of CIA agents, mercenary soldiers and employees of U.S. military and private contractors. And the top military brass is now saying U.S. forces are going to be in these countries for years to come and they will have to start calling up even more National Guardsmen for active duty in these wars.
According to Bush this all adds up to “progress.” Don’t tell us that lie!