The Iraq quagmire
There are more and more indications that the US has its feet, its money, its troops and its mouth firmly in a quagmire in Iraq, in just the same way that was never imagined when the first contingents of American troops invaded Vietnam in the 1960s. The Washington National Guard's 81st Armour Brigade will be mobilised in November for action in Iraq. Washington State Governor Locke said it is the largest deployment of Washington service personnel since World War II. Soldiers from the first Stryker Brigade will start leaving Fort Lewis for Iraq next week. The brigade has been notified that it will be deployed for a year. Plans for Iraq invasion The former commander of Operation Iraqi Freedom, General Tommy Franks said last week that he presented a plan to invade Iraq to President Bush just a few months after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The now retired Army General said that when he gave Bush a status report on the war in Afghanistan on December 28, 2001, he also presented him with a plan to launch operations against Saddam Hussein. Franks said he told Bush he didn't like the plan but was ordered to put together another one, which he showed to the President in January 2002. Franks said that "No one was more surprised than I" when weapons of mass destruction weren't used against US troops. Obviously believing their own lying propaganda Franks said, "I was absolutely expecting every day of the fight to see those weapons". Iraq's real WMD crime Arabic TV Al Jazera, reports that there are weapons of mass destruction all over Iraq and they were used this year. Iraqi children continue to find them every day. They have ruined the lives of just under 300,000 people during the last decade — and the numbers will increase. The reason is simple. Two hundred tonnes of radioactive material were fired by invading US forces into buildings, homes, streets and gardens all over Baghdad. The material in question is depleted uranium (DU). Depleted uranium has a half life of 4.7 billion years — that means thousands upon thousands of Iraqi children will suffer for tens of thousands of years to come. "This is what I call terrorism", says Dr Ahmad Hardan the man who documented the effects of depleted uranium in Iraq between 1991 and 2002. Dr Ahmad Hardan, scientific advisor to the World Health Organisation says, "This has caused a health crisis that has affected almost a third of a million people. As if that was not enough, America went on and used 200 tonnes more in Baghdad alone this April." Leukaemia has already become the most common type of cancer in Iraq among all age groups, but is most prevalent in the under- 15s. Women as young as 35 are developing breast cancer. Sterility among men has increased ten-fold. But by far the most devastating effect is on unborn children. Nothing can prepare anyone for the sight of hundreds of preserved foetuses — barely human in appearance. There is no doubt that DU is to blame. It is already too late to reverse the effects. Those who have seen the effects of DU hope the US and its allies will never use these weapons again — but it seems no such decision is likely in the foreseeable future. UN and aid workers pull out Last week as a trainload of US Army supplies was brought to a fiery halt and an explosion in the capital Baghdad killed at least two people the United Nations pulled staff out of Baghdad and international aid agencies debated whether they could continue operating in the face of persistent lawlessness. "We have asked Baghdad staff to come out temporarily for consultations with people from headquarters on the future of our operation", said UN spokeswoman Marie Heuze. The International Committee of the Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres, (Doctors Without Borders), have also announced that they are pulling their workers out of Baghdad. The attack on the train was only one of an increasing number of attacks on US troops and US appointed police and other personnel. The number of US soldiers killed in action since major combat was declared over on May 1 has surpassed the number killed in combat during the war that toppled Saddam. The total is now 139 US soldiers killed.