The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Winning hearts and minds with bulldozers

Sowing the Land with Salt Watch

It is my distinct displeasure to bring you this story today. I found it reported by two independent sources (neither American, of course) and so I reluctantly conclude that it may, in fact, be true, my horrified disbelief notwithstanding.

I should point out here that American soldiers in Iraq have been put in a horrible position. They are trying to "keep the peace" or "create the peace" or do something having to do with peace. Yet every day they have to walk a thin line between blowing away innocent people who give them a cockeyed look to preserve their own survival, or being killed or maimed themselves by a populace which engulfs them, in which they cannot know who to trust. I would hate hate hate to be put into that position, and I hate the people who have put our troops in that situation for no good reason.

Yet when faced with such a difficult situation, some people seem more than happy to abandon their humanity and go directly to becoming evil, power abusing monsters.

These reports have to do with American soldiers bulldozing groves of fruit trees in Baghdad. In the arid climate of Iraq, trees grow very slowly, and may take almost a lifetime from planting to ever bear fruit. And yet, our troops are knocking them down and killing them.

Here is the first report, " US soldiers bulldoze farmers' crops: Americans accused of brutal 'punishment' tactics against villagers, while British are condemned as too soft". An excerpt:

US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.

I'm no expert on the Geneva Convention, but I believe that it outlaws this kind of "mass punishment" and also the retaliatory destruction of farms, etc. (also: "jazz"?) From the story you'll note that at least one of our soldiers still seems to have both a soul and a functioning conscience. Note also the terrific freedom of the press we are promoting there:

They said that one American soldier broke down and cried during the operation. When a reporter from the newspaper Iraq Today attempted to take a photograph of the bulldozers at work a soldier grabbed his camera and tried to smash it.

Think about any war movie you've ever seen (hopefully that is as close to actual war any of us will ever have to be). Whenever there is a scene where an occupying force is terrorizing a group of locals because they won't talk about the resistance, are the occupiers ever the good guys? Ever? Do the occupiers ever win over the people by burning their crops? Ever? That's us now. We are the evil empire. What's next for us? Are we going to wipe out whole villages like the Nazis did?

And what kind of asshats are we that we would kill trees that take decades to grow and fruit? These would be trees you would have to plant for your grandchildren. All dead in a matter of minutes.

The second report of this event comes from Islam Online and includes some pictures of the former orchards. You'll note how well this policy is working from the tone of the headline "To Avenge Their Trees, Iraqi Farmers Threaten Resistance".

This version gives a slightly different stated version for the destruction: "Claiming his lush date and orange groves provide camouflage for resistance fighters, the U.S. occupation forces leveled Khalil's plantations". However, what I think is the true tone of the action is reflected by this quote "But all they said was: 'When the resistance will stop, we will stop destroying the fields,'" said Saleh.

Way to go, US troops! I pray that neither our soldiers nor American citizens will reap what has been sown there. The only way to describe it is evil.

Conservative Idiots Watch

This week's is here. Lot's of fun with the vulgar pigboy himself, Rush the druggie.

Sparky Watch

DO NOT miss this week's This Modern World if you are a fan of the old Batman TV series (and let's face it, who among us isn't?). Read it here. It would be even funnier if it weren't about real life treason.

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