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 Post subject: CHRIS HEDGES: WAR OF SHADOWS
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:51 am 
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Chris Hedges: War of Shadows

Jan 14, 2007

Image
U.S. troops on a Bradley fighting vehicle watch
thousands of pensioners in Baghdad as they
wait to claim
U.S. $40 emergency payments in 2003.

By Chris Hedges

I have spent most of my adult life as a reporter covering insurgencies, from the five years I covered the wars in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala to seven years in the Middle East and nearby regions, where I covered the two Palestinian uprisings and the civil wars in Algeria and Sudan, and finally to the three years I reported on the wars in the Balkans, including the rebellion in the Serbian province of Kosovo by the Kosovo Liberation Army. Some of these wars were fought with skill, such as the U.S.-led counterinsurgency campaign in El Salvador and the French-backed counterinsurgency in Algeria; others were not, such as the war in Kosovo, fought by a Serbian government whose stupidity and brutality rivaled our own in Iraq.

The plan to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq will be accompanied by a subtle, but disastrous, change in the way the war is fought—a change that will almost assuredly increase the monthly tallies of American dead and wounded. The president warned that “deadly acts of violence will continue, and we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties.” In his version of the war, these losses will allow us to climb from the sinkhole we have dug for ourselves to the sunlight of victory. Unfortunately, for Iraqis and for us, what the president proposes is a mistake of catastrophic proportions. It defies basic counterinsurgency doctrine and will leave American troops more vulnerable, more exposed and in greater danger in this war of shadows.


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