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投稿者 木村愛二 日時 2003 年 7 月 05 日 13:42:51:





Bush: Harsh Treatment for Attackers, U.S. Not Leaving Till Iraq Is Free

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2003 Anyone who attacks U.S. troops "will be found and brought to justice," President Bush said at the White House July 2.

"Bring 'em on," the president urged. The U.S.-led coalition force in Iraq is "plenty tough" enough to ensure the situation is secure.

There are some who feel that attacking American forces may cause U.S. officials to "decide to leave prematurely," Bush said. "They don't understand what they're talking about if that's the case," he stressed.

About 230,000 Americans are serving inside or near Iraq, according to defense officials. About 12,000 coalition forces from Great Britain, Poland and the Ukraine are serving in Iraq, Bush noted, and U.S. officials would always welcome help from other countries.

The president promised harsh treatment for anyone who brings harm to coalition forces or the Iraqi people.

"Those who blow up the electricity lines really aren't hurting America," he said. "They're hurting the Iraq(i) citizens."

Bush noted that military operations only began in Iraq a short time ago, and it's only a matter of time before Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction are found.

"Saddam had a weapons program," Bush said. "Remember, he used them. He used chemical weapons on his own people."

Coalition officials are learning more and more about the threat Saddam posed to the world and his own people, he said. "We have uncovered some unbelievable scenes," the president said. Although he has not seen them himself, he said, people have described what it's like to see mass graves opened.

"(Saddam) was a threat to America," Bush said. "He was a threat to freedom-loving countries. He was a threat to the Middle East. But what we're finding out is the nature of this man when it came to how he (treated) the Iraqi people, as well. And it's unbelievable what he did."

The United States will stay the course in Iraq, Bush said, despite those that would like to "run us out of there" and "create the conditions where we get nervous and decide to leave."

"We're not going to get nervous," the president affirmed. "We're not leaving until we accomplish the task" of establishing a free country run by the Iraqi people. "That in turn will help peace in the Middle East," he said. "That will in turn bring stability in a part of the world that needs stability."

The people of Iraqi want to be free, Bush concluded, adding that he considers it a great honor to "lead our nation to free people from the clutches of what history will show is an incredibly barbaric regime."

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July 3, 2003

A Former Special Forces Soldier Responds to Bush's Invitation for Iraqis to
Attack US Troops

"Bring 'Em On?"


In 1970, when I arrived at my unit, Company A, 4th Battalion/503rd Infantry,
173rd Airborne Brigade, in what was then the Republic of Vietnam, I was
charged up for a fight. I believed that if we didn't stop the communists in
Vietnam, we'd eventually be fighting this global conspiracy in the streets
of Hot Springs, Arkansas. I'd been toughened by Basic Training, Infantry
Training and Parachute Training, taught how to use my weapons and equipment,
and I was confident in my ability to vanquish the skinny unter-menschen. So
I was dismayed when one of my new colleagues--a veteran who'd been there ten
months--told me, "We are losing this war."

Not only that, he said, if I wanted to survive for my one year there, I had
to understand one very basic thing. All Vietnamese were the enemy, and for
us, the grunts on the ground, this was a race war. Within one month, it was
apparent that everything he told me was true, and that every reason that was
being given to the American public for the war was not true.

We had a battalion commander whom I never saw. He would fly over in a Loach
helicopter and give cavalier instructions to do things like "take your unit
13 kilometers to the north." In the Central Highlands, 13 kilometers is
something we had to hack out with machetes, in 98-degree heat, carrying
sometimes 90 pounds over our body weights, over steep, slippery terrain. The
battalion commander never picked up a machete as far as we knew, and after
these directives he'd fly back to an air-conditioned headquarters in LZ
English near Bong-son. We often fantasized together about shooting his
helicopter down as a way of relieving our deep resentment against this
faceless, starched and spit-shined despot.

Yesterday, when I read that US Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush, in a
moment of blustering arm-chair machismo, sent a message to the
'non-existent' Iraqi guerrillas to "bring 'em on," the first image in my
mind was a 20-year-old soldier in an ever-more-fragile marriage, who'd been
away from home for 8 months. He participated in the initial invasion, and
was told he'd be home for the 4th of July. He has a newfound familiarity
with corpses, and everything he thought he knew last year is now under
revision. He is sent out into the streets of Fallujah (or some other city),
where he has already been shot at once or twice with automatic weapons or an
RPG, and his nerves are raw. He is wearing Kevlar and ceramic body armor, a
Kevlar helmet, a load carrying harness with ammunition, grenades,
flex-cuffs, first-aid gear, water, and assorted other paraphernalia. His
weapon weighs seven pounds, ten with a double magazine. His boots are
bloused, and his long-sleeve shirt is buttoned at the wrist. It is between
100-110 degrees Fahrenheit at midday. He's been eating MRE's three times a
day, when he has an appetite in this heat, and even his urine is beginning
to smell like preservatives. Mosquitoes and sand flies plague him in the
evenings, and he probably pulls a guard shift every night, never sleeping
straight through. He and his comrades are beginning to get on each others'
nerves. The rumors of 'going-home, not-going-home' are keeping him on an
emotional roller coaster. Directives from on high are contradictory,
confusing, and often stupid. The whole population seems hostile to him and
he is developing a deep animosity for Iraq and all its people--as well as
for official narratives.

This is the lad who will hear from someone that George W. Bush, dressed in a
suit with a belly full of rich food, just hurled a manly taunt from a
72-degree studio at the 'non-existent' Iraqi resistance.

This de facto president is finally seeing his poll numbers fall. Even
chauvinist paranoia has a half-life, it seems. His legitimacy is being
eroded as even the mainstream press has discovered now that the pretext for
the war was a lie. It may have been control over the oil, after all.
Anti-war forces are regrouping as an anti-occupation movement. Now,
exercising his one true talent--blundering--George W. Bush has begun the
improbable process of alienating the very troops upon whom he depends to
carry out the neo-con ambition of restructuring the world by arms.

Somewhere in Balad, or Fallujah, or Baghdad, there is a soldier telling a
new replacement, "We are losing this war."

Stan Goff is the author of "Hideous Dream: A Soldier's Memoir of the US
Invasion of Haiti" (Soft Skull Press, 2000) and of the upcoming book "Full
Spectrum Disorder" (Soft Skull Press, 2003). He retired in 1996 from the US
Army, from 3rd Special Forces. He lives in Raleigh.

He can be reached at: stan@ncwarn.org

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Updated: 17 Jan 2002

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