In an earlier posting, "the Ugly American is schizophrenic
" on October 2, 2005, mention was accorded to a book written in 1958 by two Americans who coined the very apt term, "The Ugly American". The book, at that time, was renowned for its slashing exposé of American arrogance, incompetence, and corruption in Southeast Asia. Vietnam's bloody orgy proved the book's point of view a few years later as the American military bombed that country to near oblivion till the American's defeat in the seventies.
Yet, having been mashed through the mental and moral Vietnam grinder, the American sheeple (sheep + people) were yet again led by the nose into decimating Iraq with their tax dollars after ingesting a heavy dose of government lies dished to them by the Corporate Media laxative. They readily excreted the wrenching Vietnam debacle from their conscious.
As their own American Ugliness stared them, yet again from Iraq, straight in the face, they resorted to threadbare cosmetics, too little too late. Note the glaring contradictions/inconsistencies in these reports:"Former Marine Col. Thomas X. Hammes, an expert on insurgent warfare, said a lack of accountability in cases involving the mistreatment of civilians by U.S. personnel — particularly at the Abu Ghraib prison — helped fuel the insurgency by creating a source of frustration among ordinary Iraqis.He praised efforts to promote greater accountability among senior officers, saying it would help fight the war in Iraq."To date, we've been very, very poor at holding our people accountable," Hammes said. "Anything that … emphasizes the responsibility up the chain of command is a positive step. It certainly will help our troops on the ground."Marines Getting a New Message July 9, 2006"Americans are far more socially isolated today than they were two decades ago, and a sharply growing number of people say they have no one in whom they can confide, according to a comprehensive new evaluation of the decline of social ties in the United States.
A quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom they can discuss personal troubles, more than double the number who were similarly isolated in 1985. Overall, the number of people Americans have in their closest circle of confidants has dropped from around three to about two.The comprehensive new study paints a sobering picture of an increasingly fragmented America, where intimate social ties -- once seen as an integral part of daily life and associated with a host of psychological and civic benefits -- are shrinking or nonexistent. In bad times, far more people appear to suffer alone.Social Isolation Growing in U.S., Study Says
June 23, 2006"A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed "large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists" to infiltrate the military, according to a watchdog organization.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist and right-wing militia groups, estimated that the numbers could run into the thousands, citing interviews with Defense Department investigators and reports and postings on racist Web sites and magazines."We've got Aryan Nations graffiti in Baghdad," the group quoted a Defense Department investigator as saying in a report to be posted today on its Web site, http://www.splcenter.org/. "That's a problem." .... The groups are being abetted, the report said, by pressure on recruiters, particularly for the Army, to meet quotas that are more difficult to reach because of the growing unpopularity of the war in Iraq."Hate Groups Are Infiltrating the Military, Group Asserts July 7, 2006"Lt. Thomas Tompkins had a decision to make. His unit had come under fire from a band of insurgents, who had just fled for cover in a mosque.
Strictly speaking, the rules of engagement allowed Lieutenant Tompkins to storm the front door and spread through the mosque in search of the enemy. But there was another option, it turned out: Knock on the door and talk to the imam.Tompkins's test came not in the furnace of Baghdad or Baquba, but in a quiet classroom exercise on the lush countryside campus of Marine Corps Base Quantico. The lesson is one example of the US military's efforts to instill in troops the notion that - in a war where support from the local populace is as important as raids and airstrikes - cultural awareness can be an effective weapon.As the Marines' "center of excellence" for culture and language, the year-old center is charged with spreading cultural understanding - of lands wherever marines are deployed - into all levels of its forces education, training, and operations. Likewise, the Army has opened a similar "center of excellence" for cultural training at Fort Huachuca in Arizona."What US wants in its troops: cultural savvy July 5, 2006Two and a half years ago, my 16 years old (at the time) daughter, Nofa Khadduri, had instinctively wrote the following (had only the top brass of these 'centres of excellence' noted):
"..... Though it is a long road to gain the trust of the Iraqi people, it is not a very difficult process. Here is a suggestion that the American government might consider: the government is sending pop stars to perform concerts for American soldiers in Iraq so the soldiers do not feel very isolated from their home country. Would it hurt to save the cost of the travel and accommodation of those pop artists and print out a pamphlet outlining the Do's and Don'ts in Iraqi culture?
After all, the soldiers will be definitely staying longer than originally expected, and there is no way to stop the feeling of isolation by bringing bits and pieces of their culture to them. The American government might as well make the stay of their soldiers more palatable by giving them some pointers on how to fit in where they are; they are going to have to do it if they are expecting any cooperation from Iraqi citizens.
If the American government would only understand that it is nearly impossible to destroy Iraq's culture, beliefs and way of life, then working toward a democracy would be much easier. There would be a lot of Iraqi and American blood saved. Was that not the whole point of this war: to stop terrorism? Or was it the weapons of mass destruction? Or was it the connection with al-Qaeda? Maybe it was oil, or maybe... Well, I lost track of all the reasons for this war, as did most of the world."
Iraqi teenager appeals to Americans to understand Iraqis: Would it hurt them to try?
(2) February 9, 2004But then, the force majeure of the "American Way" is:""If you're not willing to kill civilians, or to assume that there is a likelihood that innocents are going to be killed, you have no business fighting an insurgency - because you can't win," he (Mike Scheuer, who headed the CIA unit charged with capturing Osama Bin Laden in the late 1990s) said."US 'too wary of Iraq casualties' July 8, 2006(Comment: The definition of a Terrorist: "a terrorist is someone who consciously targets innocent civilians in a quest for political ends".)"After famously telling reporters that they "don't do body counts," Pentagon officials now say that they have in fact been keeping a record of civilian casualties in Iraq for one year. And while that number remains classified, independent estimates suggest that at least 50,000 people have died in the country since the 2003 invasion."50,000 Dead, But Who's Counting? July 8, 2006"Question: How much is an Iraqi life worth? Answer: A lot less than an American or British life, according to the amount of compensation paid to the relatives of victims.
.... In the early months of the invasion, the United States paid Iraqis $106,000 for 176 claims - averaging about $600 per claim.
During the siege of Fallujah, where US soldiers killed 18 people and wounded 78 during an April 2004 firefight, the American military commander in the area paid $1,500 for each fatality and $500 for each injury.
More recently the US paid $38,000 for Haditha victims' family members. That comes up to less than $1,600 per person killed. What a bargain.
The most any Iraqi has received to date for injury or property damage is $15,000.
By comparison, the Libyan government recently settled a lawsuit for victims of Pan Am 103, which was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. The Libyans paid $2.7 billion for 270 passengers with an average payment of $10 million per death. Shortly after the war with Iraq, the Bush administration pressed for legislation to double the death benefits paid to the families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan to $500,000.Last year a Seattle woman was awarded $45,000 for the wrongful death of her cat."Are all lives equal? Not according to the way the US compensates victims
July 3, 2006On another note, the discrepancy between the number of killed American soldiers that are officially announced by DoD and CentCom (2544 as of July 10, 2006) and the higher numbers that are claimed by the Iraqi Resistance reports that quote eye witnesses and filmed video clips of IED attacks, one explanation might very well be that there are hundreds who are serving with the American occupation forces who are not American civilians. These freelancers are wearing US military uniforms but aren't really Americans (their families are overseas) so their deaths won't be reported by CentCom. Note what occurs every year in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan:
-"More than 100 service members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan became the newest American citizens in naturalization ceremonies on Independence Day. In Afghanistan, 27 Soldiers from 17 countries took the oath of citizenship. In Iraq, 75 service members from 29 countries also took the oath." Deployed Soldiers become U.S. citizens on Independence Day July 5, 2006
- "CAMP VICTORY , Iraq -- One hundred forty-three candidates from 42 different countries held up their right hands during a U.S. Army and Citizenship and Immigration Services-led ceremony in the Al-Faw Palace rotunda July 25." Naturalization ceremony held at Victory July 25, 2005