On the surface it looks like President Obama is delivering on his pledge to withdraw troops from Iraq. With U.S. troops finally drawing down, many families here at home can finally sleep better at night knowing that their loved ones are out of harms way. There is also hope that the scaling down of U.S. forces will lead to a safer, less violent Iraq, as suggested in an editorial at the Seattle Times by Diane Shaughnessy of Auburn, CA:
This week, the last combat convoy left Iraq. By the end of the month, the remaining combat forces will also leave the country. This puts the Obama administration on track to reduce the U.S. troop level to 50,000 by Aug. 31.
This is an important step, but does not by itself end the occupation of Iraq. The administration vowed to completely withdraw from Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011. That is a deadline we must meet.
Millions of Iraqis have been killed, injured, traumatized, displaced or forced to flee and live as refugees. Breaking our promises and prolonging the occupation will not help solve any of the challenges the war-worn country is facing. In fact, our continued presence would exacerbate the Iraqisâ€™ woes.
Though it may have made President Obama look like he is finally meeting one of his campaign promises, what Ms. Shaughnessy and most Americans may not realize is that the media coverage surrounding the withdrawal of 4,000 U.S. troops last week was mere hype, which failed to give us the whole story (as usual).
For one, the mainstream media ignored a recent Army Times report which suggests that, like other information disseminated by our government, not everything is as it seems:
As the final convoy of the Armyâ€™s 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Lewis, Wash., entered Kuwait early Thursday, a different Stryker brigade remained in Iraq.
Soldiers from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division are deployed in Iraq as members of an Advise and Assist Brigade, the Armyâ€™s designation for brigades selected to conduct security force assistance.
So while the â€œlast full U.S. combat brigadeâ€ have left Iraq, just under 50,000 soldiers from specially trained heavy, infantry and Stryker brigades will stay, as well as two combat aviation brigades.
There are seven Advise and Assist Brigades in Iraq, as well as two additional National Guard infantry brigades â€œfor security,â€ said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Craig Ratcliff.
Thus, it looks like we are not necessarily removing our “Combat” brigades from Iraq, but simply renaming them. Did the Army just pull a fast one on the American people?
Had we not read 1984 back in high school, we might never know that we just witnessed an Orwellian Newspeak distortion.
On the topic of the 4,000 service members withdrawn from Iraq last week, it is important to note that insofar as manpower on the ground is concerned, we actually doubled our presence. Another Orwellian trick actively in use, it seems, is to simply disregard facts and fail to report that which may be damning to the underlying theme, and the people will assume that there is nothing else to the story but what they’ve been told.
It turns out that, while 4,000 of our troops are headed home, 7,000 private contractors were sent in to replace them:
Earlier this weekÂ the Pentagon proclaimed that the last U.S. combat forces had left Iraq.Â This after an armored unit drove out of the country and crossed the border into Kuwait.Â However, there’ll still be 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.Â An Iraq veteran turned war critic, Camillo Mejia, said that 4,000 U.S. troops who are leaving Iraq will be replaced by 7,000 employees of private military contractors. Other observers say the U.S. has long outsourced the Iraq occupation to troops from some of the world’s poor nations, such as Uganda, Angola, India, and Bangladesh, and that many of the mercenaries due to replace other U.S. troops will also come from those countries, especially from Uganda.
source: Excerpted from KPFA 94.1 Berkley, CA ; Listen at Youtube
Had the contractors been ex-US military personnel, we could argue that the cost of maintaining a presence in Iraq is actually doubling or tripling, but it turns out that rather than paying Western based contractors $1000 per day for the work, we can hire internally displaced persons (i.e. people living in refugee camps in Africa) to do the work for a 75% discount.
The contractors are recruited from refugee camps in Africa, trained by US military contracting firms, and then deployed for policing actions in the middle east.
Perhaps this time the training and military experience we provide recruits from third-world countries will end on a more positive note than, say, those we trained in Central America and Afghanistan in the 1980’s.
As to the somewhat unrelated question of how the US government intends to deploy militarily trained personnel who would be willing to overlook the U.S. Constitution while engaged in policing actions during a SHTF scenario in the United States, we suggest we may have just found our answer.
Editor’s Note: Patriot One contributed to the information provided in this report.