Occupation Watch


Troops Losing Confidence in Bush’s War
George Bush is still trying to gloss over events in Iraq. But Sergeant M’Kesha Clayton, an U.S. soldier who has just returned from Iraq, told the British Daily Mirror (3/30/04) about the real experiences of the troops over there.
“We are making the worst enemy we could ever have right now,” she said. “We’re breeding a whole generation of kids raised in the middle of an incredible amount of bloodshed and brutality, which is all they know … They are going to be implacable foes…”

“We are not there as a peacekeeping force. We went in there as an invading and overthrowing force.” She explained how soldiers were “pretty bitter” about the real reasons for war – “oil and politics.”

One in ten evacuations from the war to an army hospital is for mental problems. Official suicide rates among U.S. forces who have been in Iraq are much higher than for the army as a whole, and not all suicides are included in the official figures.

“There is no morale there,” she explained. “A two-star grade general would come out and say, ‘All you guys know why you are here, don’t you?’ We’d say ‘Oil’ and they’d say ‘No, wrong answer.'”

Only 2% of Iraqis Support Coalition
A recent opinion poll, commissioned by the former U.S.-led occupation body, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), dramatically illustrates the Iraqi mood embittered by the occupation, and also, the country’s economic and social chaos.

Only 2% of Iraqis see coalition troops as liberators, 92% as occupiers; while only 3% expressed support for Saddam.

54% believe all U.S. troops behave like the guards at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison. 55% of Iraqis want U.S. troops to leave immediately, as against 28% in January 2004.

Looking at Iraqi leaders, 67% support or strongly support Muqtada al-Sadr, the second most popular person after Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, but only 2% want al-Sadr as president.