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Science of the Social Credit Measured in Terms of Human Satisfaction
 
 
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On Target Britain


IRAQ - THE PIGEONS ARE COMING HOME TO ROOST

September, 2003

* Attack in Iraq kills two U.S. soldiers, wounds others (27th May, 2003).
* Iraqi rebels shoot down U.S. helicopter (13th June, 2003).
* U.S. troops caught in grenade attacks (2nd July, 2003).
* Iraqis celebrate rocket attack on troops (4th July, 2003).
* U.S. morale hits rock bottom (7th July, 2003).
* Pandemonium on highway is deadly routine for U.S. troops (17th July, 2003).
* War-weary wives call for U.S. troops to come home (18th July, 2003).
* U.S. soldier killed as Wolfowitz tours Iraq (19th July, 2003).
* Another day, another American death (20th July, 2003).
* Three American soldiers killed in Iraqi grenade attack (27th July, 2003).
* U.S. soldier shot dead by Iraqi gunman (23rd August, 2003).
* Iraqi attacks kill two more U.S. troops (28th August, 2003).

AN EXERCISE IN DUPLICITY AND SELF-DELUSION


On 24th July, 2003, The Daily Telegraph reported that the "guerrilla war may be ending". This followed the deaths of Saddam Hussein's two sons, Uday and Qusay, and the killing of two American soldiers in separate ambushes. On 3rd August, 2003, David Aaronovitch wrote in The Obser-ver: "Iraq - it's working". On 28th August, 2003, Naomi Klein wrote in The Guardian of "A deadly franchise". Her theme was that President George W. Bush's war on terror is being used by the Ruling Elite to eliminate opposition to their global ambitions with the consequent, assumed, legal remit to suppress opposition in the Middle East, the Pacific, Latin America and elsewhere. On 3rd September, 2003, The Daily Telegraph repeated an article by Paul Wolfowitz, United States Deputy Secretary of Defence, that had originally featured in The Wall Street Journal. The title was "War against terror is being fought - and won - in Iraq". Aaronovitch is typical of the opinion forming "talking heads" of the Mass Communications Media who hedge-hop with an aura of authority from one topic to another with no obvious evidence of expertise in any particular field. On terror, Naomi Klein was incidentally showing how the term "terror" is being universally employed to define illegal opposition to some legitimate, superior force. In Modern Irregular Warfare(1), Professor Friedrich August Frhr. von der Heydte points out that terror is a perfectly legitimate element of warfare. Terrorist methods are those employed by small forces faced with vastly superior, conventionally equipped armies. This is exactly the same situation as guerrilla operations undertaken behind the German and Italian lines, backed by the Allies, during the 1939-45 War.

Paul Wolfowitz, along with Richard Perle, William Kristol and other members of the co-called "neoconservative" group in the United States, is behind the Project for the New American Century (P.N.A.C.). The objectives of this caucus are uncompromisingly those of Global Power per se. Their cultural affinities and loyalties underline the pivotal role of Israeli and Zionist interests in United States foreign policies. These are the men behind the almost maniacal Secretary of State for Defence, Donald Rumsfeld. It is now quite clear that, in pursuit of this ruthless campaign to eliminate opposition, the invasion of Iraq was rigged on blatantly fabricated evidence. There was absolutely no quest to "liberate" the people of Iraq except in the minds of the politically naive. There was, even on their own subsequent admission, virtually no analysis or preparation for the post-combat phase in Iraq. Equally, there was almost total ignorance of - as well as indifference to - the highly complex political, tribal or cultural infrastructure. Like sacrificial lambs, ill-prepared, ordinary American ser-vicemen - and women - are paying a gruesome price.


What we recognise now, if not before, is that President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have been, and continue to be, bluntly, a couple of liars; cowardly armchair politicians and fronts for the Global Power Brokers who have not only sent their own forces to their deaths, but caused the slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians in a wholly duplicitous cause. The American forces in particular are almost completely out of their depth in a ferociously hostile climate - in all senses - of infinite complexity. Having forced the invasion of Iraq through the United Nations Security Council in March, 2003, riding roughshod over French and German opposition in particular, the United States is in a hole as costs escalate and the attrition of American troops begins to break through the Media blackout in the United States. We are now seeing attempts through the United Nations to dragoon the European and other nations into sharing the costs with an operational commitment to provide their own forces as "cannon-fodder". The destruction of the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad at the end of August further underlined this nemesis. Headed by its feeble, equivocating Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, the United Nations can only be seen as complicit in this situation, and yet another uninvited presence on Iraqi territory. It is also too easily identified as the Anglo-American front for a decade of illegal sanctions that have caused the deaths of some 1,000,000 Iraqi people, and concur-rently maintained the vital infrastructure in a state of decay.

TRUTH - AND THE FRUITS OF WAR

The Washington Post, like The Daily Telegraph in the United Kingdom, backed the invasion of Iraq against opposition from most political factions. This reflected the strong association of their ownerships with Israeli-Zionist interests. Now that Iraq has effectively been destabili-sed, it is interesting to note how such papers appear to be turning on their respective Governments to exploit domestic objectives. The following report was published in the Washington Post of 11th August, 2003:

Number of Wounded in Action on Rise

by Vernon Loeb

United States battlefield casualties in Iraq are increasing dramatic-ally in the face of continued attacks by remnants of Saddam Hussein's military and other forces, with almost 10 American troops a day now being officially declared "wounded in action", the number of those wounded in action, which totals 124 since the war began in March, has grown so large, and attacks have become so commonplace, that United States Central Command usually issues news releases listing injuries only when the attacks kill one or more troops. The result is that many injuries go unreported. The rising number and quickening pace of soldiers being wounded on the battlefield have been overshadowed by the number of troops killed since President Bush declared an end to major combat operations on May 1. But alongside those Americans killed in action, an even greater toll of battlefield wounded continues unabated, with an in-creasing number being injured through small arms fire, rocket propelled grenades, remote controlled mines and what the Pentagon refers to as "improvised explosive devices." Indeed, the number of troops wounded in action in Iraq is now more than twice that of the Persian Gulf War in 1991. The total increased more than 35 per cent in August with an average of almost 10 troops a day injured last month. Fifty five Americans were wounded in action last week alone, pushing the number of troops wounded in action since May 1 beyond the number wounded during peak fighting. From March 19 to April 30, 550 United States troops were wounded in action in Iraq. Since May 1, the number totals 574. The number of troops killed in Iraq since the beginning of May already has surpassed the total killed during the height of the war.

Pentagon officials point to advances in military medicine as one of the reasons behind the large number of wounded soldiers; many lives are being saved on the battlefield that in past conflicts would have been lost. But the rising number of casualties also reflects the resistance that United States forces continue to meet nearly five months after Hussein was ousted from power. Although Central Command keeps a running total of the wounded, it releases the number only when asked making the combat injuries of United States troops in Iraq one of the untold stories of the war. With no fanfare and almost no public notice, giant C 17 transport jets arrive virtually every night at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washing-ton, on medical evacuation missions. Since the war began, more than 6,000 service members have been flown back to the United States. The number includes the 1,124 wounded in action, 301 who received non hostile injuries in vehicle accidents and other mishaps, and thousands who became physically or mentally ill. "Our nation doesn't know that," said Susan Brewer, president and founder of America's Heroes of Freedom, a nonprofit organization that collects clothing and other personal items for the returning troops."Sort of out of sight and out of mind."

On Thursday night, a C 17 arrived at Andrews with 44 patients from Iraq. Ambulances arrived to take the most seriously wounded to the nation's two premier military hospitals, Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. Dozens of others stayed overnight at what the Air Force calls a contingency aeromedical staging facility, which has taken over an indoor tennis club and an adjacent community centre. On Friday morning, smaller C 130 transports began arriving to take the walking wounded and less seriously injured to their home bases, from Fort Bragg in North Carolina to Fort Lewis in Washington State. Another C 17 was due in Friday night from Germany, with 12 patients on stretchers, 24 listed on the flight manifest as ambulatory and nine other passengers, either family members or escorts. "That's going to fill us right back up by the end of today," said Lieutenant Colonel Allen Delaney, who commands the staging centre. Eighty six members of his reserve unit, the 459th Aerornedical Staging Squadron, based at Andrews, were called up for a year in April to run what is essentially a medical air terminal, the nation's hub, for war wounded from Iraq.


At Walter Reed, a half hour drive from Andrews, Major General Kevin C. Kiley, the hospital's commanding general, said there were only two days in July and four in August that the hospital did not admit soldiers injured in Iraq. "The orthopaedic surgeons are very busy, and the nursing services are very busy, both in the intensive care units and on the wards," he said, explaining that there have been five or six instances in recent months when all of the hospital's 40 intensive care beds have been filled mostly with battlefield wounded. Kiley said rocket propelled grenades and mines can wound multiple troops at a time and cause "the kind of amputating damage that you don't necessarily see with a bullet wound to the arm or leg." The result has been large numbers of troops coming back to Walter Reed and National Naval Medical with serious blast wounds and arms and legs that have been amputated, either in Iraq or at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where virtually all battlefield casualties are treated and stabilized. "A few of us started volunteering [at Walter Reed] as amputees in 1991, and this is the most we've seen ever," said Jim Mayer, a double amputee from the Vietnam War who works at the Veterans Administration. "I've never seen anything like this. But I haven't seen anybody not get good care." Kiley said that Walter Reed has 600 physicians and 350 physicians in training, plus reservists and the ability to bring in more nurses if necessary. The hospital "Could go on from an operational perspective indefinitely we have a lot of capacity," he said. The hospital has treated 1,100 patients from the war, including 228 battlefield casualties.


National Naval Medical Center was most severely stressed during the major combat phase of the war, said Captain Michael J. Krentz, its deputy commander. During that period, 800 of the hospital's medical professionals a third of its regular staff and half its military staff deployed overseas to the USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship. The hospital called up 600 reservists to replace them. Before the fall of Baghdad in April, the hospital had 40 patients a night mostly Marines from Iraq. Now the number is down to three, since the Marines have begun departing and will soon hand peacekeeping duties in their area south of Baghdad to multinational forces. "Taking care of returning casualties is our number one job that's why we're here," Krentz said. "That's our sworn duty, and it's our honour to do so." Kiley and Krentz said high tech body armour and state of the art battlefield medical procedures are keeping more seriously wounded soldiers alive than ever before. Krentz said advanced radiological equipment aboard the USNS Comfort enabled doctors to spot internal injuries and operate much sooner than they might have otherwise been able to, preventing fatalities. In fact, he said, patients had been stabilized so well overseas that there were no deaths of returning service members at Bethesda. Kiley said he had seen several cases in which soldiers had been operated on in the field so quickly that doctors managed to save limbs that might otherwise have been lost. "But it's a long haul even when they do preserve limbs," he said.

Moving Forward, One Step at a Time


"Moving forward, one step at a time", was the title of a feature by Tamara Jones and Anne Hull. It was published in The Washington Post of 21st July, 2003, with the sub-heading "After Iraq, Wounded Soldiers Try Out New Limbs, New Lives":

A fat C 141 rumbles to a halt at Andrews Air Force Base. A gangplank is lowered from the belly of the plane, and the Army's latest casualties from Iraq hobble or are carried to a waiting white bus, their gear still covered with fine desert dust. These medevac flights are now so routine that no cameras, no V.I.Ps., await the wounded. Their welcome home happens at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the nation's biggest military hospital, where doctors and nurses in camouflage fatigues wait at the curb to whisk the newest patients to the large examination room on the second floor. Here the soldiers are triaged with swift precision:

"I need 10 of morphine!" a doctor calls out.


"Are you weak in your right hand?" another asks.


"Where does it hurt you now?"

A 20 year old private moans. In Baghdad, he camped out in a bathroom of Saddam Hussein's palace, stacking his Chips Ahoy on the shelves above the gold ingot faucets. Now he lies on a gurny with shrapnel in his belly, beneath a balloon that says, "You're the Best!"


Upstairs on the orthopaedics ward, the beds are already filled with recovering casualties from the war in Iraq. There are different battles be-ing fought on Ward 57, more private struggles. It's not about victory, but coping. Not about war, but its aftermath. First Lieutenant John Fernandez is a veteran of Iraq and by now a veteran of Ward 57, too. He reports to an examination room early one morning for his twice daily dressing change. The former West Point athlete is 25, a newlywed whose wife, Kristi, hasn't left his side since he arrived six weeks earlier. They had been married less than a month when John shipped out. His hospital room would become their first home together; the nurses looked the other way when Kristi, 22, moved a cot next to John's bed against hospital regulations. Their usual wisecracking is on mute this morning, their faces drawn. John hoists himself onto an examination table and the doctors begin scrutinizing what is left of his legs.

"I felt sick yesterday," John announces. "My glands are swollen."

"Any fever, chills?" Ken Taylor wants to know. The chief orthopaedics resident swabs his patient's surgical wounds with iodine. John is missing his foot and ankle on one side, most of his lower leg on the other. He knows that any infection in his body might find its way to his legs, putting him at risk for higher amputations. He already has had a dozen operations. Surgeon Donald Gajewski notices some redness and leakage around the sutures on the left stump and Taylor searches for a sterile pad so he can clean it. "They're in that cabinet," Kristi says, pointing. By now, she knows this examination room like her own kitchen.

As the headlines shift from the war in Iraq to the rebuilding of Iraq, a similar theme emerges at Walter Reed. Joe Miller, the prosthetist who will craft John's artificial sockets, joins the doctors in the examination room to decide whether John is ready to be sized. "I think we can start the right side," Miller offers. John can barely manage a wan smile at this consolation prize. "My stupid foot hurts again," he mutters. The severed nerves in his legs are sending frantic signals to body parts no longer there. Phantom pain, it's called, but there is nothing imaginary about it. John is in constant agony. His nonexistent feet throb. His lost toes burn. "Like Fred Flintstone when he stubs his toe?" Kristi wants to know, imagining a red hot pulse. "Exactly like that," John says. Painkillers are useless. Mil-ler heads for the door, reminding John to come to the prosthetics lab first thing the next morning so he can make a plaster mould of his right leg. The doctors interrupt. They'll want to see him first. And don't eat any-thing the night before, Taylor and Gajewski advise. If that oozing doesn't clear up on the left side, they're going to have to operate again to check for infection.

So there's a chance he'll have a new leg tomorrow.


And a chance he'll lose more of the other.


An Impatient Soldier


Garth Stewart is no favourite among the nursing staff of Ward 57. They bring Jell O, he wants apple sauce. But the mortar gunner who lost part of his left leg to a land mine near Baghdad isn't trying to be the perfect patient. He just wants to be the perfect soldier. That means getting out of Walter Reed, his home for the past three weeks.

"I hate this place," Garth, 20, said. "I'm sick of being sick."


Garth doesn't want to wait for the Army's bureaucracy to decide whether he's fit for combat. He's ready to buy his own plane ticket back to Iraq to rejoin the 3rd Infantry Division. Even the dullest moments of war playing chess in his armoured vehicle on the convoy to the Euphrates were exhilarating. He was part of something larger than himself. Now he watches cartoons from his hospital bed. He's got to make himself strong again. One morning he lowers himself into his wheelchair to go to a physical therapy appointment on the third floor. For the wounded soldiers on 57, physical therapy is a confrontation with pain and humiliation. In their minds, the soldiers are still elite athletes capable of marching 15 miles with 40 pound rucksacks. P.T. is the hard truth, with three pound dumbbells. Garth scans the room for Isatta Cooks, the physical therapist who works with amputees. She smiles when she sees him. Cooks, 28, is the rare employee at Walter Reed who does not find Garth prickly. Not that their relationship has always been smooth. Cooks once innocently started, "When you were in the Army . . . " "I am in the Army," Garth snapped. And yet he has earned her admiration. One of the tools she uses is a full length mirror. It helps the soldiers see how their bodies are leaning as they get used to having only one leg or one arm. Some of the new amputees refuse to look.

When Cooks led Garth to the mirror, he stared, as if trying to burn the image into his mind. Today, Cooks wants Garth to practice walking. Sweat has gathered on his forehead from doing a set of leg lifts and push ups. Cooks hands Garth a pair of crutches. He blows a puff of air from his cheeks and stands. Cooks buckles a harness around his waist so she can pull him upright if he loses his balance. Taking a step, Garth extends his stump as if he still had a leg and foot. "Good, Garth," Cooks says, walking alongside. Garth travels 30 feet and then proceeds out the front door of the PT room. A man sitting in the lobby averts his gaze into a magazine, not lifting his eyes until Garth passes. Garth makes it back to the table and lies down, winded. Cooks touches his bandaged stump. Garth gasps. "Ow, ow, ow, what are you doing?" he asks, desperately. He exhales and stares at the ceiling. He can feel someone watching him. A girl with auburn hair has paused beside his table. She is struggling on her own crutches. Garth reaches out, placing his large hand on her small one.

A Visit From Hulk



A blast injury is like no other wound, a war unto itself. The tremendous force of a land mine shears soft tissue from bone, then reverberates through the skeleton with an energy that has nowhere to go but up. The brain bears the final insult, whiplashing inside the skull. Hitting the ground hard can also cause a blast victim's brain to swell, bleed or tear without any outward sign of a head wound. When a land mine or grenade or mortar detonates, the sound waves alone can cause concussion. Danny Roberts, 26, is wheeling himself to the Traumatic Brain Injury Unit, one gleaming hall down from his room on Ward 57. "There's nothing wrong with me," he fumes. The slight reservist from Green Bay, Wisconsin, had just been getting his life on track, tending bar part time and settling on a major education when his Army reserve unit, the 890th Transportation Division out of Hobart, Indianapolis, was deployed. He went to war with paperback classics in his duffel bag, never fired his weapon, then was blown sky high by a land mine while just standing around talking to his buddies one afternoon. His left foot is gone. Now a neurologist will flip through a tablet of drawings. What's this, and this, and this? he asks. A bench, a tripod, a seahorse. Danny is usually so good natured that nurses on Ward 57 drop by his room even on their breaks to chat. But today he's exasperated, his lips pressed tightly together. He is sure his nagging headaches are a side effect of his meds, that's all.

Deborah Warden and her associates patiently explain to Danny that concussions can be mild; he may not even realize he has any symptoms. They cover his eyes and ask him to identify smells: coffee, oranges. They break a cotton swab in half and tap his palm with the cotton, then the stick. Which is soft, Danny? Which is sharp? A technician attaches electrodes to Danny's scalp. An electroencephalogram will chart any abnormal brain waves. Verbal and written tests will chart concentration and memory. Once that's done, doctors have promised discharge. Goodbye, Walter Reed, after 24 days. When the examiners take a break, Danny goes AWOL. He rolls back to his room. Hulk Hogan is coming to visit! "I'll be there for that," he says. Minutes later, Hulk barrels into Danny's room, all cartoon swagger. "We just wanna thank you guys for going over and protecting us," the wrestler booms. "We love you, brother." He glances at Danny's stump. "They'll fix that flat tyre and get you runnin' again," he says. "Put me in a headlock," Danny begs. His mother has a camera ready. Hogan declines, but poses with his arm around him instead.


Word comes that a medevac plane departing Andrews Air Force Base the next morning can ferry Danny and his mom to Wisconsin. The brain team will call him with their findings, and he can get an artificial foot at the Veterans Administration hospital in Milwaukee. When Taylor comes to say goodbye at dawn, the orthopaedist finds his cheeriest patient in a tearful fury. The charge nurse is insisting that he cannot go because he needs valid military ID to board the plane. Danny's was shredded by the blast. "You have any other ID? Driver's licence?" Taylor asks. Danny shakes his head. "They're saying it's my fault, that I should've taken the initiative! I can't walk up there." He jerks his head toward the nurses' station. "It's their job." "You're absolutely right," Taylor soothes. He confronts the stubborn charge nurse: This is ridiculous, he says. Danny didn't need ID to be flown here and shouldn't need it to leave. Just send him to Andrews, they'll let him on. "I doubt it," the nurse says. But she hands Danny a lunch sack filled with narcotics and his blue plastic hospital card. "Maybe that will work," she suggests. Nancy Roberts points out that her son has his dog tags tattooed on his chest what more ID could anyone want? Taylor and Danny exchange goodbyes, and Taylor studies him for a moment. "You're the most down you've been since you came here," he ventures. "I know. Just frustrated." "It's the system. All right, my friend . . . " Downstairs, they load Danny onto a litter and a couple of uniformed soldiers carry him through the lobby to the white shuttle bus idling outside. At Andrews, no one demands proof that Danny Roberts is a soldier.

World Without Sleep


Walter Reed, named after the Army major who proved that yellow fever was transmitted by mosquitoes, launched into operational tempo the day the war in Iraq started. The pace didn't slow when the war ended. Some soldiers have been patients of 57 for so long that they are treating the nurses' station like a concierge desk. They request Chinese take out menus and the number for pizza delivery. "They think this is a hotel," one nurse says. "I keep tellin' them it's a hospital." Which no one really can forget. A team of Army psychiatrists visits the soldiers daily. They ask: Are you sleeping? Are you eating? Are you dreaming? Most of the soldiers swear the war left no psychological imprints, such as the lieutenant who is such a charming cut up that he invites his doctors home to Houston for margaritas. "Every day above ground for that guy is a celebration," comments a hospital staff member. Then why can't the soldier sleep at night? A psychiatrist teaches him hypnosis. Imagine you are on a beach, the doctor says. Breathe.


Sleep is just as elusive for the nurses in the crush of overtime hours. They talk about sleep constantly. "I close the Venetian blinds, put on the siesta mask and earplugs; then the silence drives me crazy," one nurse tells another during dinner break. Taylors' pager goes off so frequently that his 4 year old son knows what the sound means. "Are the soldiers hurt"" the boy asks. "Do they need you?" "Yeah, buddy, they do," Taylor answers before returning to Walter Reed for another numbing stretch. He considers the soldiers his brothers and sisters, "not just a payment on my boat." That sense of brotherhood overrides all sense of exhaustion on Ward 57. Jim Mayer, a Vietnam veteran and double amputee, is known as Milkshake Man because he brings McDonald's milkshakes to the soldiers several times a week. Garth Stewart has become a buddy. He loves hearing about Vietnam. But one night, when Mayer walks into Garth's room, it's empty and smells of cleaning solvents. Garth has been discharged. Mayer feels his eyes welling up. Then he reminds himself. This is a good day.

Holding Tight



Gajewski unwraps the bandage from John's worrisome left stump. Kristi hovers protectively. The surgeon takes a cotton tipped swab and pokes beneath the black sutures. A thin red line of blood wells to the surface. Gajewski smiles. "That's what we wanna see. We want to see that skin edge healing. Dead, unhealthy tissue doesn't bleed. We just had a little skin edge necrosis that is all. I can't get the applicator in deep there, and that's a good sign." "You already had us in tears last night!" Kristi blurts out, relieved. "I was in tears!" the doctor counters. The Fern-andezes head for the hospital cafeteria. Standing in line for omelletes, Kristi rubs the burred back of her husband's head, and he leans in to nuzzle her. She stoops to wheelchair level, and they kiss. This isn't how they were supposed to start their life together. They had a five year plan: She would finish school, get into public health administration. He would finish his Army tour in 2006, then put his degree in systems engineering to work in the civilian sector. They'd start a family. War fast forwarded their lives. John decided to apply for medical retirement; he'll look for work as an engineer. Kristi will have to plunge into the job market. Where they live will be a matter of accessibility; even the little choices, like who drives, are dictated by injury. They have to compromise their very closeness: John's relentless pain makes sharing a bed impossible for now. Yet they insist that they're coping just fine. Kristi hasn't fallen apart, not once. "I'm still waiting for it." No looking back is their attitude. "If this had to happen to anyone," Kristi says, "I'm glad its us." Because they can handle it, she is sure. "All I see when I look at him is John." For his part, John speaks of what happened to him with an engineer's cool regard. He is a mathematical problem man, minus legs with a mechanical solution. Even though the explosion that killed three men beside him remains under investigation as a possible friendly fire accident, John is unwavering in his support of the war. "It could happen in any war," he says. "It's war. It's not a pretty thing."

The hospital staff marvels at the resilience of John and Kristi Fernandez, at the tight net beneath their trapeze act. But among themselves, the doctors and nurses who have treated traumatic injuries for decades question whether the young lovers can bear the stress over the long term. "Is their relationship going to survive this?" Taylor wonders aloud. On the most important day of his new life so far, John nearly misses the appointment to get his first artificial limb when a fellow amputee a sixty-ish stranger blocks his wheelchair in the hall and begins spouting advice. John and Kristi listen with polite impatience. The man is diabetic. Once he's out of earshot, they hurry to Miller's lab. "Nothing he said applied," John observes. "I know!" Kristi nearly shouts. "It wasn't vascular, it was a bomb!" Joe Miller greets them with the foot he ordered for John from a catalogue.

"What exact type of foot is this?" John wants to know. "Is it flexible? How does it work? What about lateral distribution weight?"

"This is a dynamic response foot," Miller says. "A special keel gives you ankle motion without having a true joint."

John has brought a new sneaker for the new foot. Kristi pulls it out of her ever expanding tote bag, which also contains sterile gauze, John's pills and lip gloss. A thick silicone stocking slips over John's stump. A brass pin on the bottom will screw into the plastic socket Miller has crafted, which in turn fastens onto the artificial foot. "Does it hurt?" Kristi wonders.

"No, I'm all right," John assures her.


"I forgot what you look like with legs!" she says happily.

Miller leads the way to a practice walkway flanked by parallel railings. He warns John to take it easy, that he may feel dizzy. For the first time since he was wounded, John Fernandez stands.

"I'm going to be a lot taller!" he discovers, laughing. The prosthesis has added two inches to his 5 foot 8 frame.

"Oh, I like it when you stand up," Kristi says flirtatiously.
The parallel bars shake from the force of John's grip, and Miller asks if he's okay, can he manage. And John answers the way he always does.
"Yeah, I'm all right."

Memories of War


When Garth Stewart was in Iraq, he would lie under camouflage netting and listen to the plastic leaves rattling in the wind. He'd close his eyes and imagine he was at home in the woods in Minnesota. But back in Stillwater, all Garth can think about is Iraq. His mom works in the bakery at a grocery store, so he has the apartment to himself most of the day. Fitted with a new prosthesis, he practices walking with his cane. He plays video games and reads Marcus Aurelius. His friends throw a party in his honour. Garth holds everyone spellbound with his stories from Iraq. He removes his prosthesis to let people see. A guy drinks beer from the hollow socket. Garth keeps in touch with the Milkshake Man. Jim Mayer encourages Garth to visit Ward 57 someday to speak to new amputees. At first, Garth recoils. That hospital represents nothing but pain. But the idea starts to grow on him. Stillwater is green and hot, cut in two by the majestic St. Croix River where Garth swam as a kid. One afternoon, a friend picks him up and she drives him to the river. Garth limps as he makes his way toward the water. "It's not much farther," his friend says, looking back to make sure Garth is okay. The two of them lie on a rock in the sun, Garth's silver prosthetic ankle glinting in the sun. Canoeists paddle by and birds fly overhead. "I came back here and people think the Iraqis just surrendered," Garth says. "The television didn't show anything. I saw bodies. Melted bodies. Skulls. Bodies with the skin falling off. We got to Karbala and we started fighting the Republican Guard. Those guys don't want to take no for an answer." His feelings about the war remain mixed. But there is no doubt surrounding his desire to be a soldier again. Finally he gets the news he's been waiting for. Garth is told to report back to Fort Benning, Georgia, home of the 3rd Infantry Division.

A Future in Flux



Danny Roberts is home alone in his new ground floor rental outside Green Bay when the three boxes arrive from Iraq, emissaries from a distant dream scape. Danny tears into them, dirt and sand spilling everywhere. My stuff! All his Army gear, plus his CD player, the last disc he listened to still inside. In Wisconsin, Danny is unsettled, scattered. Waiting for a new foot, still unable to put weight on his other leg with its mangled heel, he can't reach the cupboards so his girlfriend has to put dishes out for him each day before going to work. For now, he spends hours watching television or reading or playing video games. Doctors told him it would improve his concentration. Tests revealed mild brain trauma, after all. Which burns Danny out, despite assurances it will heal on its own within a few months. Sometimes he forgets where he put things, or who called or visited him that day. He joins a chapter of Purple Heart veterans, and they push his wheelchair in the Memorial Day parade. The Veterans Administration is trying to determine what kind of vocational training would suit him, but Danny is convinced they screwed up the test results. "You have no reading comprehension," he remembers the V.A. lady telling him. He is still incredulous. "All I know how to do is read! " Does this mean they won't pay for him to get the English degree he wants? He sweet talks the V.A. lady into retesting him, and plans to re enroll in college this fall. He's applying for a discharge from the Army. Maybe he won't teach, after all. Maybe he'll buy land in the Colorado Rockies. He knows a tiny town called Alma where they're always desperate to fill the lone policeman's job. He imagines himself the peacekeeper in that cool, quiet place. Jennifer Love Hewitt keeps calling. The actress kissed Danny's forehead when she visited Ward 57. Now she wants him to participate in an MTV documentary. Sure, he tells her. Danny is still trying to sort out what he thinks about this war. "I want the world to be a better place," he muses. "We gotta focus on homelessness, on education. We spend more money on guns and tobacco than we do on education." He records a new message on his answering machine. Danny's voice sounds rushed, like he's worried that time will run out. Well before the beep, he offers a hurried sign off. "Peace" is what he says.

Reporting for Duty



Fort Benning is just like Garth remembered: scrubby little sand hills and Georgia pines, with hot asphalt roads slashing the landscape of flat buildings. One thing is different: No one is here. Garth passes his barracks. The parking lot is empty. All 4,500 soldiers in the 3rd Brigade are still deployed. He knows it's up to the Army to decide his assignment, but Garth wants to convince the medical review board he can be a ground pounder again. A cab drops him off and he walks into battalion headquarters. Behind a desk, the weekend duty sergeant is playing video games. Garth introduces himself. "I was wounded in Iraq," he says. "I need a place to stay tonight." The sergeant dials someone on the phone. "Hey, we got a W.I.A. here," he says. "Hey," Garth says, pleased at the heroic sound. "I guess I am a Wounded In Action." Three hours later, another sergeant arrives to welcome him back and announce that a room in the barracks awaits him. Instead of the fourth floor where he used to live, he's getting a spot on the first floor where the non-commissioned officers are housed. Garth's jaw drops. "No stairs!" he says. He arrives in his new barracks and sits down on the bed. After 16 hours of wearing his prosthesis, his leg is throbbing. He lays his cane aside and looks around. There are fresh sheets on his bunk and the room has been stocked with toilet paper, bottled water and a few candy bars. "Outstanding," he says.

Graduation Day


John Fernandez returns to West Point at the invitation of Vice President Cheney. It is graduation day, and he is a guest of honour. Only 48 hours earlier, he was at Walter Reed getting his second foot attached. For the first time since the war, John is back in uniform, crisp in his Army dress blues, spit shined shoes on plastic feet. He gazes from his wheelchair at the perfect rows of proud cadets; only two years have gone by since he was one, too. John begins steeling himself, a soldier with a mission. As the opening bars of "The Star Spangled Banner" fill the stadium, John rises from his wheelchair, up through the blinding pain. With Kristi holding him tight, he stands tall for just a few shaky minutes, and salutes his flag.

REALITY BEGINS TO DAWN - "BRING THEM HOME NOW!"

The following two press releases, dated 7th and 23rd August, 2003, demonstrate the growing anger of the American public:

Military Families, Veterans Demand End to Occupation of Iraq,
Immediate Return of All U.S. Troops to Home Duty Stations


Galvanized to action by George W. Bush's inane and reckless "Bring 'em on" challenge to armed Iraqi's resisting occupation, Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace and other organizations based in the military community will launch Bring Them Home Now, a campaign aimed at ending the United States occupation of Iraq and returning troops to their home bases, at press conferences on August 13 in Washington, D.C; and on August 14 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. United States military casualties from the occupation of Iraq have been more than twice the number most Americans have been led to believe because of an extraordinarily high number of accidents, suicides and other non-combat deaths in the ranks that have gone largely unreported in the media. The other under reported cost of the war for United States soldiers is the number of American wounded - 827, officially, since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. (Unofficial figures are in the thousands.). About half have been injured since Bush's triumphant claim on board the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lincoln at the beginning of May that major combat was over. The mission of the Bring them Home Now campaign is to unite the voices of military families, veterans, and G.Is. themselves to demanding: an end to the occupation of Iraq and other misguided military adventures and an immediate return of all US troops to their home duty stations. In Washington, D.C., and Fayetteville, N.C., Veterans and Military Families will raise concerns about current conditions in Iraq that their loved ones and other troops are facing such as the lack of planning and support troops are receiving, as well as questions about the justifications used to send troops to Iraq in the first place.

Who: Military Families and Veterans (See list of speakers below)

What: Press Conference to launch the Bring Them Home Now Campaign


When: Wednesday August l3, 2003, l0.00am.;& Thursday, August l4, 2003 l0.00am
Where 8113: National Press Club, West Room (529 14th Street NW Washington, D.C.); 8/14: Quaker House 223 Hillside Ave. Fayetteville NC 28301

Speakers Include.

Moderators: Nancy Lessin and Charley Richardson, co founders, Military Families Speak Out, an organization of families opposed to the United States invasion and now occupation of Iraq who all have loved ones in the military. Their son Joe is a Marine who was deployed in August 2002 and who returned from Iraq on Memorial Day 2003.

Susan Schuman, from Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, is the mother of Justin C. Schuman, a sergeant in the Massachusetts National Guard. Justin was deployed to Iraq from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on March 29, 2003, and is stationed in Samarra, north of Baghdad.


Michael T. McPhearson a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina was a field artillery officer of the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division during Desert Shield-Desert Storm. His military career includes 6 years of reserve service and 5 years active duty service. Now living in Bloomfield, New Jersey and a member of Veterans For Peace, Michael works as an activist and facilitator to help bring about social and economic justice. He is the father of an eighteen-year old son who is planning to join the Army in September.

Fernando Suarez del Solar, of Escondido, California, is the father of Marine Lance Corporal Jesus Suarez, one of the first United States servicemen killed in Iraq (March 27, 2003). Suarez is seeking the truth behind why his son and others were sent to their deaths in Iraq.

Stan Goff, of Raleigh, North Carolina, began a military career in the United States Army in 1970 and retired as a Special Forces Master Sergeant in 1996. He served in Ranger, Airborne and Special Forces counter terrorist units, in eight conflict areas. He has become an astute commentator on military matters and an outspoken critic of the United States occupation of Iraq. His son serves in the United States Army and has just been deployed to Iraq.

Other military family members and veterans will be present and available for questions.

Military Families Gather in Crawford on August 23 to Tell George
Bush "Bring Them Home Now!"


On August 23, 2003, military families, veterans and other concerned citizens from the state will converge on the Crawford Football Field from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm with one clear message, "Enough is enough, bring the troops home now!" Backed by the group Military Families Speak Out, protesters carrying signs bearing pictures of their loved ones in the military want to show George Bush the faces of the men and women he is putting in imminent danger day after day. "George Bush said, 'Bring 'em on!' but we say bring them home!"said Nancy Lessin, co founder of Military Families Speak Out, one of the organizations launching "Bring Them Home Now". "If fighting is truly over in Iraq, then our soldiers should be on their way home, not being killed at the rate of one a day. Their presence in that region is purely political and George Bush needs to be shown the families are not going to sit back and accept our loved ones being killed anymore," said Joe Gordon, father in law of a reservist currently serving in Iraq. On May 1, 2003 George Bush announced that major fighting is over in Iraq. Since that day we have lost 55 soldiers to combat related injuries. On average, we are losing one American soldier a day. Over the weekend George Bush seemed "upbeat" about the progress that is being made in the region, while four more soldiers were being wounded in ambushes. For military families this is unacceptable. For anyone who claims to support our troops, this should be unacceptable.

"I never want to talk with my kids about their dad in the past tense. 1 don't want to have to explain to my kids that their father died in a war that should never have been fought. If I don't fight to get him home, the chances of that happening increase everyday. I can't allow that to happen to my or any family of an American soldier," protest organizer Candance Robison stated. Until this point, many family members have hesitated to speak out for fear of retribution on their soldiers and themselves. "It is time to speak out because our troops are still dying and our government is still lying," said Robison. "Morale is at an all time low and our heroes feel like they've been forgotten," Robison continued. "We are gathering in Crawford to let them know we do care and to let George Bush know we will not stop speaking out until every American soldier is brought home safely." On Wednesday August 13th, Bring Them Home Now! launched our campaign with a nationally televised press conference. View the video footage on C SPANorg, and read the press release below:

AND THE REST OF THE COALITION FORCES?

* Six U.K. troops killed in Iraq (25th June, 2003).
* Dane killed as sabotage stretches coalition in Iraq (18th August, 2003).
* Three more British military police die as gunmen ambush convoy in Basra (24th August, 2003).
* Soldier killed by mob is 50th Briton to die (29th August, 2003).

Attrition Begins To Bite Closer To Home



The United States forces as the dominant element of the Coalition took control of the Baghdad region in the centre of Iraq, and the Northern Kirkuk region. The British contingent, with a few American units under command, became responsible for the coastal area around Basra, to the South. Without doubt, the culturally insular - retarded - American troops, sated with their own state-of-the-art superiority in conventional military power, were the least fitted for any form of internal security operation. Raw, untrained troops drawn from the vast American hinterland and cities were almost totally ignorant of the Middle Eastern culture, with its own conventions, language and traditions. We only had to watch the public demeanour of the retired American General despatched after formal hostilities had ended to attempt to shore up the shattered infrastructure and restore some semblance of vital public services. The uncouth, dark-spectacled, gum-chewing General Jay Garner demonstrated only too clearly that the problem was far more than just skin-deep and in the lower orders; but that it ran from top to bottom of the United States socio-military structure. On the ground, the American occupying forces have maintained the same menacing accoutrements; the body armour, full combat uniform, helmets, dark goggles. Early during the occupation they destroyed monu-ments before staged audiences of "jubilant" Iraqi civilians, entered Iraqi property and reacted to insurrection, real, threatened, imagined or mistaken with their super-abundant firepower. Innocent civilians, including those who happened to be in the vicinity, were killed and injured with the same irresponsible untrained use of force.

However lacking the underlying political or military benevolence, the British Army has a background of three and more centuries of dealing with indigenous populations. On the ground the British "Tommy" has usually managed to establish a degree of empathy with the civilian com-munity. In Basra the accoutrements of the battlefield were quickly discarded in favour of more conventional uniform. Engineering troops began to make repairs to the infrastructure. Even here the cultural affinity and understanding fell short of what nevertheless remains an occupying Anglo-American Power. British troops carried out a house-to-house search wearing boots and trampling over mats reserved for Moslem prayer. They intruded on the privacy of Iraqi women. Not surprisingly, Iraqi anger at the presence of forces that had occupied, gassed and bombed the country in the 1920s, has now started to result in death and injury amongst the British troops as well. We have followed the situation carefully. We have maintained close contact with the journalist Felicity Arbuthnot, who has a deep knowledge of Iraq, its people and its culture. She has written and broadcast widely on Iraq and with Denis Halliday (former United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for the administration of the United Nations Food for Oil programme, who resigned in protest at the conduct of the sanctions against Iraq), and was senior researcher for John Pilger's Award winning documentary: "Paying the Price Killing the Children of Iraq"(2). Even before the invasion by the Anglo-American Coalition Forces, Felicity predicted with uncanny accuracy what the consequences would be. We are now witnessing these being played out. What follows is a letter addressed by Felicity to those Americans now determined to bring the United States involvement to an end:

"Dear 'Bring Them Home Now!' Members"



I read of your actions and anguish with pain of my own. Your loved ones in Iraq will never know the Iraq, the people, I love: Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilisation. Your loved ones have been lied to and led to destroy something beyond precious. The country that brought the world all we call civilised: writing, algebra, mathematics, the wheel, the first time piece, the first written laws.

Abraham, father of Christianity, Islam and Judaism was believed born at Ur, where the great ziggurat, built in the mists of time, has been sprayed with graffiti by United States soldiers. Abraham is believed to have been suckled on two fingers one which gave forth milk and the other honey thus, 'land of milk and honey'. The United States army is building a vast base there. Sacrilege for which history will never forgive. 'Bring down their statues and destroy their high places' says the Book of Numbers. A 'Crusade' indeed.

I write in anguish not in anger. You were, as you have eloquently said, sold a lie. The tragedy is that if the United States and United King-dom Administration had spoken to any of those who know Iraq we could have written the script of all that has happened. But they wanted the oil and would not, anyway, have listened. Iraqis are possibly the most nationalistic nation on earth and so complex a society they make the Balkans look simple. Every decision made at the top, makes your relatives hated more and it is not their fault, it is the insensitive, crass stupidity of those making the decisions others are forced to carry out. Lack of knowledge of culture is turning even gentle university professors into resistance fighters. Nobody has apparently even told soldiers that to stand with your arm up and palm out in Iraq, means 'welcome', so the "liberated" drive through road blocks and get their heads and children's heads blown off.

The Pentagon regards Iraqis as non people. They are people of the richest culture on the planet. Now they have had their history, their past, present and future destroyed. They have no records, no central birth, marri-age or death registry, no health registry records, their passports are invalid, their examination records are destroyed they are now non people. With the water mostly off they cannot wash. This is not alone a health hazard, but washing is integral in Islam before and after prayer, before and after food the body must be as clean as is hoped the soul will become. One of your members sends her son bottled water who sends the Iraqis bottled water? Even when it is available, Iraq's water is a biological weapon.


What about the thousands of "disappeared"? Iraq has become a vast Guantanamo Bay. What does this say abut the democracy we are inflicting? Iraqi friends tell me in despair that there are more 'disappeared' now than ever under Saddam. What are we becoming? What is being done in our name? A distinguished former United Nations Assistant Secretary General and United Nations Co ordinator in Iraq, Count Hans von Sponeck, said to me in despair not long ago: "The well of hate (for the United States and United Kingdom) is filling up . . ." And it is, worldwide. Bush's ludicrous "war on terrorism" in actuality a war to grab whatever he and his cabal wishes, for which your loved ones are endangered and dying where were the Afghans and Iraqis on 9/11 'planes? Not a one Pacifists are becoming potential terrorists now, the anger worldwide is so great. United States and British citizens where ever they are too are endangered. We are all targets now, for possibly generations to come. Generations unborn may continue to pay the price for Bush's delusional folly as they will in the deformities from depleted uranium's attack on the genes in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq and on those who serve there.

I end with a memory of reconciliation. Three years ago, I was asked by a group of anti-sanctions activists, here in the United Kingdom, if I would act as a guide for them in a planned visit to Iraq. I jumped at the opportunity and Sheffield Against Sanction on Iraq and I, joined former Greek First Lady, Margarita Papandreou's sanctions busting flight from Athens to Baghdad's proudly rebuilt, reopened airport. "There are tears in our eyes every time a 'plane lands" said an Iraqi friend. Isolation had been as hard as the deprivation of the sanctions years. I had travelled numerous times, the up to twenty seven hour road journey into Baghdad, but never flown. As we landed, tears ran down my face.

Due to the dangers of the flight, fears of being shot down by the illegal patrols by the United States and United Kingdom, all the Olympic Airways crew were volunteers. The Chief Steward sat next to me for landing and touched my hand. I looked at him and his eyes too were full of tears. "God I love this place, these people" he said. He had lived there for some years until the 1991 war: "I never thought I would see it again." The airport, a beam of new hope for the Iraqi people, is now another Guantanamo Bay, shaming us all.

To reconciliation: on the visit with the Sheffield group, I had written magical, mystical, Ur into the itinerary. We were a group of twelve and hired a battered mini bus to tour. On the road to Ur, I kept missing the turning and eventually suggested to the driver that we return to an army checkpoint and ask directions. The dignified Shia soldier in charge said he was about to go off duty and lived near the turning, if we gave him a ride, he would point it out. (The Iraqi army was so poverty stricken, most soldiers hitched to and from duty. So much for W.M.Ds.)


The group had printed small fliers in Arabic with a beautifully thought through mission statement, they wanted to see, talk, learn, build bridges with the people of Iraq. It was on green paper Iraq's colour though under the US, Iraqi policemen are now forced to wear blue and white uniforms like the Israeli police. They have "IP" in English on the sleeve. There is no "P" in the Arabic language.

The soldier sat in front with the driver and one of the group whis-pered to me: "Should we give him one?" "Absolutely" I said.

He read it very slowly and carefully, then re read it. Along the way we had witnessed barely describable carnage of the ongoing United States-United Kingdom bombings of his region. He turned round and said: "Here in the south, it is incumbent upon us to offer hospitality to travellers. My home is simple, but I have five chickens, you will eat well." It was the eve of the great Muslim feast of Eid and we knew for what those chickens were destined yet he was prepared to sacrifice them to strangers from countries who were still devastating his. I learned about shaming humility and reconciliation, at Ur.

Take your campaign to Iraq, take your anger and grief to Iraq and share it with the mothers and fathers of Iraq that will Bring Them Home and bring real power and reconciliation to all "we the people" of our precious planet.
Felicity Arbuthnot


SO WHO'S NEXT? 3,000 MORE BRITISH TROOPS FOR IRAQ

So the word has rolled downhill, just like sh*t does, to minimize patrols, harden positions, and keep the Ameri-can casualty figures to an absolute minimum. This is, in military parlance, a heightened force protection posture. Isolated from Iraq and Iraqis within hardened positions, the troops are now literally between Iraq and a hard place . . .

REFERENCES

Note: References in the text are listed numerically, followed by general references relevant to the subject. Prices for back numbers of On Target are given on the last page. A wide range of additional reading may also be found in the Stock Price List (S.P.L.), which may be obtained post free on request from the address given on the last page. Out of print, or older works, may be obtained through the Book Search Service, or the Second-Hand Book Service, both of which are operated by Mr. T.G. Turner, for which details are available as for the S.P.L.


(1) Von der Heydte, Professor Friedrich August Frhr. Modern Irregular Warfare In Defense Policy And As A Military Phenomenon. New Benjamin Franklin House, New York, 1986.
(2) Statutory International Rape - United Nations Sanctions Against Iraq. On Target, Vol. 29, Nos. 19 & 20, 11th & 25th March, 2000.
- Clark, Ramsey. The Fire This Time - U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf. Thunder's Mouth Press, 1994.
- Pilger, John. The New Rulers Of The World. Verso, 2002.
- Iraq Under Siege - The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War. Edited by Anthony Arnove. Updated edition. Pluto Press, 2003.
- Iraq In The Global Scenario; in three parts, Nos. 18 - 23, On Target Vol. 31, 9th & 23rd March, 6th & 20th April and 4th & 18th May, 2002.
­ Power, Greed and Money - Target Iraq. The World, Courtesy The International Community. On Target, Vol. 32, Nos. 1 & 2, 13th & 27th July, 2002.
­ The "Liberation" Of Iraq - How (Not) To Win Friends And Influence People. Published in 2 Parts. On Target Vol. 32, Nos. 18 - 21, 8th & 22nd March & 5th & 19th April, 2003.
­ Iraq, Before And After - Those Who Consign Us To Our Deaths. On Target, Vol. 32, Nos. 22 - 26, 3rd, 17th & 31st May & 14th & 28th June, 2003.
­ Iraq - And After. On Target, Vol. 33, Nos. 1 & 2, 12th & 26th July, 2003.

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