Already, the US and British military has been notified that they will invade Iraq on March 17, after four days of bombings before that. They are planning to drop more bombs than in any war before this, to completely neutralize the Iraqis. Of course they have been bombed weekly since 1991, and last summer the US bombed the Baghdad airport to prepare for the oncoming war.
Israel is already ready to counter-attack if needed, since they have missiles aimed at Iraq. During the last Gulf War, Iraq launched some Scud missiles at Israel, but the US ordered Israel not to fire back. Unfortunately, they're using the Iraq situation as an excuse to do further operations in Palestine, since they know Iraq is making bigger headlines on tv right now and they're being ignored. Already, a pregnant woman and a young student were killed in crossfire a few days ago, unfortunately I didn't see it get headlines. Also, all the Palestinian universities were closed down a few months ago under Israeli orders.
Meanwhile, Israel has retaliated for the latest suicide bombing, by killing 11 more palestinians with tanks. An Israeli tank fired a shell at a group of Palestinian firefighters putting out a fire and bystanders. The shell hit the burning building, killing 8 and injuring 60. Witnesses said they used a Fletchette shell, which breaks apart into 1,000 miniature arrows and sprays the area with shrapnel. The UN has considered banning them as they are known to do collateral damage to bystanders. There's even video footage on CNN, the firefighters dropping to the ground.
What really gets me upset is how CNN removed a story they were running on tv about how Israeli soldiers were shooting at Palestinian red crescent ambulances. After playing the story three times, one of CNN's managers ordered the story to be removed from TV, because "Israel never gave an explanation or a reason for why they did that [to the ambulances]." All I've found since they removed the story was how ambulance drivers in Palestine were pulled over and arrested.
The World Bank just finished a study and found that almost 2 Million Palestinians are living below the poverty line of $2 a day. Over half the Palestinians are unemployed and their economy has gone from $1.5Billion in 1999 to just $140Million last year. The UN did a study that says Palestinians are turning to growing their own crops for survival now. They fault the Israelis for closing Palestinian businesses and not allowing Palestinians in becuase of checkpoints.
Also, look at this graph comparing the death tolls. At least 2,100 Palestinians have died since 2000 and 700 Israelis have been killed during the same amount of time.
What do you think the Arab world is doing about this? It pains me to say this, but they're pathetic. I'm not only mad that there were only 600 anti-War protestors in Cairo as opposed to the hundreds of thousands in Rome, Paris, NY, London, Beijing, LA, Chicago. There were 2,000 protestors in Tel Aviv against an Iraq war. Cairo's protestors were surrounded by 3,000 Police officers to make sure no riots happened. Update:Now that the war started, Egypt is protesting, and the military turned fire hoses on them. Rioting and Flag-burning in South Asia too.
No, the reason I'm mad is because the governments are all useless. Yesterday, the Organization of Islamic Conference was held in Qatar by all the Arab countries. What got done there? Nothing. It ended in a Shouting match. Iraq's vice chairman told the Kuwaiti foreign minister "Shut up, you monkey" and then said an Arab curse "Curse be upon your mustache, you traitor." The Kuwaiti minister called the Iraqi a hypocrite, which is a major insult in Arab culture, and his other minister jumped up waving a Kuwaiti flag. At the same time, the article mentions that UAE ordered 80 f-16 fighter jets from the US, paying $6.5Billion, the largest order for airplanes ever.
This is all upsetting to me, it means that the Arab governments can't deal with what's going on. Once Iraq falls, the US will put a puppet government in power, who will almost give away all their oil, which means we could attack Saudi Arabia if we can get Oil from somewhere else. Because of the sudden demand for SUVs and big cars these last few years, we require over 280,000 extra barrels of oil per day for the SUVs. Bush broke his campaign promise and is drilling for Oil in alaska because it can give us 580,000 barrels of oil a day. That's enough for everyone to go and buy even more SUVs.
Sharon said that after we finish attacking Iraq, then we should go for Iran next. Iran hasn't bothered us, they've only been threatening to Israel, but I can imagine in a few months that Bush will say they are also dangerous for some reason. What I am more worried about is how the Saudi government, to me, looks like the next target. Nobody really likes the Saudi government. It's a kingdom that the people don't support, but we keep our troops there because any revolution that occurs would interrupt our flow of oil. 19 of the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, and recently one of the Saudi Royal family is suspected of writing checks to the hijackers. I have a strong feeling that once Iraq is finished, the US is going to blame Saudi Arabia for helping Al Qaeda, and will have even better evidence than they did for Iraq. Now here's where things get dangerous, if the US attacks Saudi Arabia in any way, I can imagine the princes and leaders fleeing into Mecca and Medina. If the US government goes anywhere near them at all, Muslims around the world will fight back.
Or there's another alternative, Iraq could launch a scud missile with Anthrax or Uranium at Israel. Israel would almost definately counterattack, probably using one of their 200 nuclear missiles. If they nuke baghdad, the Arab world would all protest to declare war on Israel and the US. It's not hard to see the Taliban rise back up again, and Karzai and Musharraf getting assasinated and more radical Islamic governments replacing them. The problem is that if that happens then they might go to war with India over Kashmir, with nuclear missiles. Someone already drew all this out on a map, called it World War 2.5.
Let's not forget local events:The mall shopper who was arrested in nearby Albany's Crossgates Mall for wearing a "Give Peace A Chance" t-shirt that he purchased in the same mall. When interviewed on CNN, he said he was sitting in the food court eating when a security guard ordered him to take the shirt off. There was no obscenity on the shirt, nobody was complaining, and he was quietly eating. This story hit international news, one more reason for the rest of the world to hate us.
Of course, we're going to "spread democracy" to Iraq. Check out the US' timeline of how we spread democracy(!) thus far.
The US diplomat who publicly quit his job certainly thinks so. After 20 years of service in places like Tel Aviv and Yemen, he wrote an open letter to his boss Colin Powell. He can't bear to see the US ruin a century of good foreign relations and trust that built up between the US and the international community. Now we're making France and Germany hate us.
France and Germany publicly said they don't support war, they want to let the inspections work. That's good, because the inspection team destroys any weapons they come accross as well as look for WMDs to report. That same day, pro-Bush supporters condemned France, saying they're cowards, idiots, fools, smelly, prissy, and too ready to surrender. It's amazing how fast everyone suddenly turned around and said they hate France. Weren't they our friend last month? No no no, you see, apparently we've always hated them. Isn't it scary how fast people will believe things? Already a diner just changed their name of "french fries" on the menu to "Freedom Fries."
The death of 2 afghan prisoners in US custody, ruled a Homicide from "blunt force trauma"[Beating] by the Army investigators. This is the first kind of fatality in US custody, since the US government officially states it does not "torture" people. However, they've been following Israel's methods known as "Stress and Duress" which involves non-evidence, non-lethal, but definately painful methods of collecting information from people. The Washington Post released a shocking report, but nobody really wanted to talk about it over Christmas season. Now that Sheikh Muhammad has been captured, the newspapers are debating the ethics over whether it should be legal to torture him for information. Israel's and our official policy is to not torture anyone, even if there's a hidden ticking bomb somewhere. However, this doesn't stop them from getting shipped-- I mean "rendered" to the custody of Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, and Pakistan, who do perform that.
Such efforts were successful in the past; in 1995 an Al Qaeda agent was arrested in the Phillipenes. They knew he was in on a major operation, but they didn't know what. So they tortured him the old fashioned way, breaking his ribs and burning his testicles. After two weeks he broke, and revealed the plan to hijack 11 planes. Of course, a poll on AOL's front page voted 70% Yes to using some form of torture. Editorials aren't so rosy either, one says we should kill terrorists and smear them with pig fat so they won't get into heaven somehow.
I seem to remember the philosopher Nietzche who said "Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster." That means we shouldn't sink to their level or worse. Who would be the barbarian then? We seem to be ignoring the "innocent until proven guilty" law, even though it's better to let ten guilty men walk free than let one innocent one suffer. The US will never officially condone any cruel or unusual punishment, but Israel taught them that sleep deprivation, chaining in uncomfortable positions, harsh lights, and interrogation by women will usually yield results.
May I remind you that Saddam tortures children in front of their fathers to make them confess. That's horrible. However, I'm a bit worried about Sheikh Muhammad's two young sons, 9 and 7, being arrested by the CIA and flown to America to help pressure their father to confess. Of course, the US won't deny that the man himself is being subject to "Stress and duress" right now. "Let's just say we are not averse to a little smacky face. After all, if you don't violate a prisoner's human rights some of the time then you aren't doing your job?" said a CIA officer, admitting they honed their interrogation techniques since Vietnam.
Of course, the fact that Mr. Bin Laden called Saddam an "infidel" (though that english translation is incorrect, since that word doesn't exist outside Christianity) doesn't change the fact that Bush still links Saddam to Al Qaeda. I mean, North Korea launched a test missile that landed in Alaska. Let me repeat that, since it needs repeating. North Korea fired a test missile that landed in Alaska. How is Iraq our top priority?
It still confuses many Americans that, in a world full of vicious slimeballs, we're about to bomb one that didn't attack us on 9/11 (like Osama); that isn't intercepting our planes (like North Korea); that isn't financing Al Qaeda (like Saudi Arabia); that isn't home to Osama and his lieutenants (like Pakistan); that isn't a host body for terrorists (like Iran, Lebanon and Syria).
I would have loved to see Bush debate Saddam publicly. I get the feeling that the US would lose the arguement if that ever happened.
I don't really know what to do. All I can say is pray. God willing, things will improve.