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Thank You
7 March, 2003

The two most depressing aspects of the debate on whether or not the United States and its allies should attack Iraq are that President George W. Bush is often described as an idiot, and this country is accused of having done virtually nothing--ever--to advance the cause of peace. The impression you get from the mainstream news organizations is that the world is steadfast and nearly unanimous in its condemnation of our reckless adventurism and the immoral, illegal action we're about to take, which will result in the wholesale slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent men and women. Across the globe, our former friends and allies feel nothing but disgust for us and our loud-mouthed bullying.
      Concerning the first issue, President Bush's intelligence: I didn't vote for him. I thought he was bland and somewhat dim, a man of no real convictions, a cipher. I voted for Al Gore. But I realized Bush was no dummy when I saw him stand on the rubble of the World Trade Center and address the construction workers with the bullhorn, making that entire speech off the top of his head. I'd underestimated him. Badly. And despite everything that's happened since then, people still underestimate him. Badly.
      As we began preparing for the upcoming war, I was certain that there was a lot more to the proceedings than a planned mass bombing and invasion. I was sure that we would be a lot smarter. For example, I'd read about a force of 20,000 Iraqis we were training at secret camps in the Gulf region. What would we use them for? Something unprecedented, I hoped. The antiwar movement asserted that we were doing things the same old way, by brute force, with a maniacal idiot in charge, threatening the stability of the Middle East and indeed the entire planet, but I just didn't buy it. I couldn't see the man who stood on the rubble as a moron who was orchestrating a brainless "rush to war," or "beating the drum of war," or whichever godawful weirdo catch phrase you want to use. It couldn't be that simple.
      Well, according to the article I found on, it may not be. In "Secret War for the Control of Iraq," writer Richard Bennett claims that there's a lot more going on behind the scenes than is being reported by the mainstream news organizations. The war against Iraq has apparently already started, and the United States is far from alone. American Special Forces and CIA paramilitaries from the Special Operations Group are already in Iraq, identifying targets, training Kurdish rebels, and carrying out attacks against the Iraqi military. They are allegedly being supported by Israeli Mossad electronic warfare specialists operating out of an air base in Incirlik, Turkey. The Israelis are said to be using advanced communications interception and jamming equipment to monitor and disrupt Iraqi command-and-control capabilities. Israelis performing similar duties somewhere in Iraqi Kurdistan are under the protection of Turkish commandos. This story has been carried by Jane's Foreign Report, as well as the Jerusalem Post and the Italian daily Il Foglio.
      Muslim commandos operating with Israelis, not against them.
      If that weren't earth shaking enough, the UPI and the Iran Press Service have reported that not only has Iran allowed American and British Special Forces to use its bases in the Fao Peninsula, units of the Iranian Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guard) Special Forces have actually joined with the American Green Berets, the Delta Force, and the British Special Air Service. These very strange bedfellows have been in Iraq since November of 2002, assisting Iraqi dissidents in their escalating clashes with Saddam's army. Covert-action teams of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) are said to be working with other Iraqi dissidents to safeguard the oil fields near the northern city of Mosul, and to top it all off, Jordanian, American, and possibly British Special Forces are using bases in Jordan as jumping-off points for missions into Iraq to search for Scud missile sites and mobile missile units, the intention being to prevent Iraq from firing on... (drum roll) Israel.
      Yes, Arab Special forces are trying to prevent a brother Arab nation from attacking Israel, as corroborated by the British newspaper the Guardian. And according to the Jerusalem Post, Israel has been granted permission to use Jordanian airspace in the event it retaliates for any Iraqi missile strikes.
      The CIA Near East Division is supposedly organizing a revolt against Saddam by senior Iraqi military officers, and the National Security Agency is providing intercepted intelligence to all parties from its fortified bases inside Iraq, along the Turkish border. Though unconfirmed, it has also been reported by Israeli sources that since August of last year, a full-scale war has been fought around the city of Basra, as Iraqi dissidents and coalition Special Forces--including Israelis--confront the Republican Guard in an attempt to protect local populations and secure the juncture of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, allowing for a direct invasion route into Baghdad.
      It all sounds very cloak and dagger, but I'm inclined to believe it. What happens in the real world is so much more complex than sloganeers and chanters could ever comprehend. Polish commandos snatching al Qaeda suspects out of Pakistan! Danish commandos clearing the caves of Tora Bora! Jordanian and Turkish commandos guarding Israel! It's a brave new world. And to think that the idiot/cowboy/neo-Hitler in the White House is behind it all. Silly man. Why go through all the secret rigmarole when he could just carpet bomb and kill those trillions of innocent women and children? What a moron!
      The second point I want to address is the issue of how we Americans have squandered the goodwill of our friends and allies. To be perfectly frank, I don't care what they think. I really don't. If they see us as a bunch of stupid, arrogant thugs, so be it. Whatever. I only care about the opinion of their military, who clearly don't agree with their marching, protesting countrymen. At last count, the armed forces, police, and intelligence agencies of ninety countries were involved in the war on terrorism. I want to be on record expressing my appreciation for their bravery and sacrifice. I won't forget or minimize or distort what they've done to ensure my safety. It's been said that many of our coalition partners are helping us only for reasons of their own self-interest, to which I reply "Bravo." If they're acting in their own self-interest, we can trust them to actually follow through on their promises.
      Besides, we'll never know the truth.Ê If Germany and France are so opposed to war against Iraq, why have French and German Special Forces in Afghanistan been photographed in the beige uniforms and stripped-down, sand-colored, gasoline-can-laden vehicles usually associated with long-range, clandestine operations in the desert?Ê I mean, olive drab and green are what most of the other members of the International Security Assistance Force are wearing.Ê According to the Asia Times, an elite German nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare battalion has been in Kuwait since early 2002.Ê And most hilariously, the International Herald Tribune says that French military strategists have gone to Florida to meet with the U. S. Central Command, the headquarters for American operations in the Gulf.Ê The Tribune goes on to say that French fighter jets have been fitted with transponders to make them instantly recognizable by American sensors, and small numbers of French Special Forces have already been committed.Ê
      Just a thought.
      No matter what is really happening, many thanks to the following:

     The Central Intelligence Agency
     The Federal Bureau of Investigation
     The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
     The National Security Agency
     The United States Army
     The United States Navy
     The United States Air Force
     The United States Marines Corps
     The United States Coast Guard
     The International Security Assistance Force
     The Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa
     The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force Task Group
     The Canadian Naval Task Group
     The Canadian Joint Task Force 2
     The 3rd Battalion of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
     The Norwegian Jaeger Kommandos and Marine Jaeger Kommandos
     The Danish Jaegerkorpset
     The Swedish Särskilda Skyddsgrupp
     The German Kommando Spezialkraefte
     The Austrian Special Forces and 25th Airborne Jäger Battalion
     The Dutch Korps Commandotroepen
     The Spanish Unidad de Operaciones Especiales
     The Turkish 1st and 2nd Commando Brigades
     The Greek Monada Yprovrixion Kastrofen and Idiko Tmima Alexiptotiston
     The Albanian Special Forces
     The Lithuanian Special Forces
     The Polish Grupa Reagowania Operacyjno-Mobilnego
     The Rumanian 26th Infantry Battalion "Neagoe Basarab"
     The Italian Alpini-Paratroopers Regiment "Monte Cervino"; 9th Special Forces Regiment "Col Moschin"; and 1st Regiment of Carabinieri Paratroopers "Tuscania"
     The Czech Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Decontamination Unit
     The Bulgarian Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Decontamination Unit
     The Australian Special Air Service Regiment
     The New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment
     The British Special Air Service Regiment and Special Boat Service Regiment
     The French 21st Marine Infantry Regiment and French Foreign Legion
     The Pakistani Special Services Group
     The Jordanian Special Forces
     The Iranian Pasdaran Special Forces
All Israeli military units, intelligence agencies, and police
     The Philippine Army Scout Rangers; Special Forces; Navy SEALs; and National Police Special Action Force

And so many more. Thank you. You're the real peace activists.

Previous Things I felt like writing:
An Incredibly Arrogant Statement for Which I Apologize (February 11, 2024)
Low-End Wymyn (January 18, 2024)
Baby Killers from Outer Space (November 17, 2023)
You Don't Sound How I Expected--But I Don't Either (October 8, 2023)
Unhappy Anniversary (August 23, 2023)
Basses I've Loved, Basses I've Hated (June 26, 2023)
Coincidence (May 1, 2024)
We'll Do Lunch (March 27, 2024)
What the War Has Taught Me (December 23, 2023)
Now It's Time to Help (November 29, 2023)
Götterdämmerung (November 12, 2023)
Let the Spin Begin (October 28, 2023)
Context and Reality (October 18, 2023)
Berkeley and the Flag (October 3, 2023)

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