As the overall milieu get deeper in Iraq, explicitly in the wake of almost sixty-eight new causalities as an upshot of a car bomb blast–”at the mid-week, an American cargo worker, the bold and beautiful Tami Silicio slacks her job–”yet goes indexed in the history as a soul with atypical nerve. Her spouse, prima facie also turns a scapegoat –”perceptibly, as to why did he tie his fate with such an audacious young lady.
Taking instantaneous cognizance of the playful Tami’s ‘act’ of taking snapshots of the coffins of the marvelous marines [engaged in putting a sanctified realm–”ablaze, overtly to clutch to aspires of their masters, who are ‘bestowed’ with a raucous zeal to take their rule to an endless domain], the Pentagon has moved to stop any more pictures of servicemen’s coffins being shown–”any more anywhere. Totally banned for screening via a VDT or even in the newspapers or periodicals of any style. [What a magnitude of the freedom of Press and that too in a limb of the orb, with an icon or [champion] of a civilized world.
The move comes after more than 350 pictures of the coffins at America’s largest military mortuary were shown on a Web site and then in the mainstream media.
The pics were exposed after a ‘thriving’ challenge by an anti-government secrecy activist under the Freedom Of Information Act.
But the Bush administration moved to clamp down on further publication, citing the decision to release such pictures contravened a policy reinstated just before the invasion of Iraq.
The issue of servicemen’s coffins is a sensitive one, with some analysts claiming America’s withdrawal from Vietnam was fuelled by pictures of body bags coming home.
John Molino, a deputy under-secretary of defense comes out with an bizarre perception, which, he phrased as: "Quite frankly, we don’t want the remains of our service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice to be the subject of any kind of attention that is unwarranted or undignified."
But others claimed the pictures showed the true extent of the cost of war, and that the Bush administration was trying to cover-up the cost – especially in an election year.
The row came as it emerged that an American football star, who quit a £2 million contract to join the Army, had been put to death during a mÃªlÃ©e in Afghanistan.
Pat Tillman, 27, a former player with the Arizona Cardinals was killed during a brawl in the eastern part of the country–”at the week-end.
Yet, the poor Tami’s felony is perhaps–”first of its’ kind. She has been sacked [not for assaulting any-one]–”but just for releasing photographs of coffins containing the bodies of American troops who took off for perpetuity in Iraq.
As the perspective pin-points, Tami Silicio, was working for a military contractor in Kuwait. She saw bodies into an aircraft and at-once took snaps. These were placed on a Web site, which conceivably disseminates news from the world-over.
Simultaneously, a website carrying hundreds of the photos has also been placed behind shutters and closed down.
Contemptuously, the authorities in the US do not allow the media to photograph coffins returning home from war zones–”possibly to keep the populous at assuage or at ease and feel relaxed.
On the contrary, Tami’s shot of flag-draped coffins bearing the remains of US soldiers was published on the front page of The Seattle Times.
Yet, Ms Silicio, 50, who was maybe expecting an award–”much elevated than the Oscar, got it in the neck as she was fired by the Maytag Aircraft Corporation after officials raised eye-brows with anxiety and ache about the photograph.
The smart lady took the picture in a cargo place about to leave Kuwait and then sent it to a friend in the United States.
The friend contacted the paper which got permission from Ms Silicio before it’s’ publication. One hopes ‘she’ll not do so again–”and now she can’t, never’.
As for Iraq, the crisis deepened on Wednesday with the death of at least 68 people in a string of car bomb attacks against police in southern Iraq as deadly battles raged in Fallujah and elsewhere resulting in 13 casualties.
At the same time, the US scrambled to hold its coalition together after Spain, Honduras and the Dominican Republic have decided to withdraw their troops from Iraq within weeks.
US motives in Iraq are becoming more and more evident with the passage of time and the situation is causing disillusionment to the coalition partners. All US tricks and falsehood have diluted as a result of the determined resistance by the Iraqi people against the occupation of their country.
The coalition countries naturally genuinely feel that they had contributed their forces for security of the Iraqi people and not to kill them to consolidate American hold over the oil rich country. This has, in fact, prompted the countries like Spain, Honduras and Dominican Republic to announce withdrawal of their forces from the war battered nation.
The perpetration of violence against the Iraqi people in different parts of Iraq by the coalition forces led by the United States has also exploded the myth of Washington’s ruse of Iraq’s liberation. On the contrary, the Iraqi people are being subjected to aerial bombing, killings by helicopter gunship and annihilation by tank fire with death and destruction as the common sight in Iraq. The Iraqi fighters have started attacking the Iraqi collaborators as is evident from the attack on police stations in Basra, which is a normal phenomenon in popular resistance movements against foreign occupation.
The state of affairs in Iraq has made it abundantly clear that it’s not possible for the US-led coalition forces to restore peace and order in the violence stricken country. It’s, therefore, logical that Washington should ponder and take a pragmatic view of the situation prevailing in Iraq with an early decision for withdrawal of its forces from Iraq, rather than perpetuating its immoral occupation of the Arab country on the basis of self-deception. The UN should take over Iraq swiftly to avoid further bloodshed. It should hold polls and transfer power to Iraq’s chosen representatives.
Pragmatically, the raison d’Ãªtre is that as squabble to the US occupation of Iraq is mounting, Washington is increasing relying on the United Nations to help form an interim set-up in the war-ravaged country for transfer of power by June 30 next. UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is already in Baghdad and engaged in efforts to win agreement from Iraqis on the transfer plan. It’s good that Washington appears firm on its plans to hand over power to Iraqi interim set-up by June 30 next. President Bush has reiterated his resolve in this connection at his latest Press conference on Tuesday night. The US has sought UN chief’s help to seek a credible interim arrangement for the transfer of power.
UN representative Lakhdar Brahimi is already in Baghdad to work on the assignment. Brahimi’s induction to bail the US out of the crisis in Baghdad is, however, not enough in the situation at hand. True that US is seeking a UN resolution in support of its proposed process, but it is not seemingly willing to allow any major role to the world body to restore peace, security and normalcy in war-torn Iraq. It’s unfortunate that it’s trying to be shrewd even at a time when Iraq is burning and both Iraqis and US troops are suffering heavy casualties. It apparently wants to take credit for the transfer of power to the Iraqis without involving the UN.
By doing so, I think, the striking political pundit of the new epoch–”rather millennium, Mr. Bush will be committing the same blunder that he committed in arrogance by ignoring the world body before launching attack on the soils of Iraq. It’s a matter of record that he had attacked Baghdad despite opposition of the international community. It would have been far better for the US as well as for the world community if he had listened to the world community.
The right course for the US in the objective realities prevailing in Iraq is that it should hand over authority to the UN and quit as early as possible. The death and destruction that US forces are inflicting on Iraq ever since anti-Saddam war was launched has comprehensively alienated the Iraqi people, which is amply evident from the level of resistance across Iraq.
There is hardly any room for Washington to maneuver on the issue of transfer of power now. The fact is that UN is the only forum in the given situation that can restore peace in Iraq. A large number of countries will also be willing to contribute their forces for peace keeping in Iraq under the UN banner. At the same time, the United States has warned Syria to stop interference in Iraq and threatened of ‘action’ if it failed to curb infiltration of militants into the neighboring country. At a news briefing, US forces commander in Iraq alleged that Syria is pushing militants and weapons into Iraq to fight against the coalition forces there.
The United States has really faced a dilemma in Iraq after its occupation. All its calculations of support from Shia community have proven wrong and it’s disillusioned and flabbergasted with the amount of resistance it has faced from the Iraqi people. Its troops have face bullets instead of bouquets from the Iraqis irrespective of their ethnic diversity.
A mortified US is, thus, attributing its own failings on account of evaluation and analysis of the ground realities in Iraq to infiltration of militants and weapons from Syria. The truth is that resistance in Iraq is patently indigenous, which has sprung from the patriotic spirit of nationalism in the Iraqi people, who have since seen through the US motives behind its attack on Iraq and destruction of Saddam regime.
The Iraqi people are convinced that US had attacked Baghdad with an eye on Iraq’s oil resources on the pretext of liberating them from Saddam’s tyrannical rule. [And what a liberation!] US troops have brought nothing but death and destruction to Iraq. The Iraqi people are in greater misery today than they were under Saddam–”now in cage.
As for the Syrian connection, it’s a matter of record that Washington had threatened to target Syria and Iran even before launching aggression against Iraq. The US should, therefore, mend its ways in Iraq rather than blaming other countries of interference. It’s in her own interest to keep its hands off Syria, as any attempt to target Damascus will drift US to deeper crisis both in the regional as well as in international context. It’s already up against heavy odds due to mounting resistance in Iraq and subsequent body bags of US soldiers going back home.
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has admitted that coalition forces had endured tough weeks recently.
If one goes by a bona fide style, CENTCOM chief’s statement against Syria seems totally unwarranted. Bush administration should refrain from any action against Syria, as it will further escalate the situation to the detriment of the United States. It’s hoped that the Arab League and the OIC will take notice of the US threats to Syria and will adopt appropriate steps to deter Washington from casting evil eye on Damascus.
Apart from others, the new Spanish Prime Minister Jose Lui Rodriguez Zapatero has ordered withdrawal of Spain’s troops from Iraq as soon as possible and with maximum security. In his television address to the countrymen just a day after formally assuming the office following his Socialist Party’s March 14 victory in elections had vowed to withdraw his country’s 1300 troops from Baghdad.
By taking tangible steps to implement his election manifesto and his pre-poll commitment with the Spanish people, Mr Zapatero has proven that he is a man of action. He had pledged to withdraw the troops following the train disaster, which had claimed lives of 200 people, due to public resentment over sending troops to Baghdad by his predecessor Jose Maria Aznar to serve as part of the US-led coalition in Iraq in August last year despite popular protests across the country.
He has responded to the popular demand of his people and refused to be a party to the death and destruction that the US Forces are inflicting on the Iraqi people. In view of the emerging scenario in Iraq, there is, however, no hope of improvement in the situation. On the contrary there is fear of more bloodshed in the war battered country, as the Iraqi people are putting up fierce resistance against the US occupation of their motherland.
Widespread protests are being held at Tokyo and Seoul against the Japanese and South Korean troops’ involvement in Iraq and calling for their instant withdrawal. It’s hoped that their leadership too will also respond to the popular call of their respective people.
The fact is that the situation in Iraq is very grim. Not to talk of others, even the US President and his top aides and colleagues have admitted that the situation is getting tough for the US troops in Iraq as fighting between coalition forces and Iraqi fighters is raging across the country. The US is bringing in 20,000 additional troops to crush Iraqis’ resistance.
With such a scenario, Iraq is, however, emerging as another Vietnam for the United States.
It’s, therefore, hoped that the Bush administration will eschew such an outlook and would, instead act upon the lessons learnt by Washington after ignominy in Vietnam and quit Iraq as early as possible–”if not in its own interest, at least in the interest of the globe at large and the US people in meticulous–”some of whom are having fidgety and insomniac nights.