The U.S. occupation of Iraq continues on a somewhat smaller scale, with 50,000 troops. These are combat troops, “re-missioned” by the Pentagon with new tasks, but even Secretary of Defense Gates admits they will have continuing combat capability and will continue counter-terrorism operations. The 4500 Special Forces among them will continue their "capture or kill" raids while building up the Iraqi Special Operations Forces as an El Salvador-style death squad.
The only transition underway is not from U.S. to Iraqi control, but from Pentagon to State Department deployment. Thousands of new military contractors, armored transport, planes, “rapid response” forces and other military resources will all be shifted from Pentagon to State Dept control, thus remaining within the terms of the U.S.-Iraqi Status of forces Agreement that calls for all U.S. troops and Pentagon-controlled mercenaries to leave by the end of 2011.
President Obama’s speech will not use any terms remotely close to “mission accomplished” – because with violence up, sectarianism rampant, the government paralyzed, corruption sky-high and rising, oil contracts creating more violence instead of national wealth, there is no victory to claim.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers wants mail delivered to Gaza.
Following an announcement by Canada Post that Israel Post has suspended mail delivery to Gaza, the union is encouraging people who wish to send mail to Gaza to get their mail onto the Canadian boat bound for the blockaded Palestinian territory.
"As postal workers, we know very well that cutting off mail creates suffering and hardship for people, who are isolated from their loved ones," said Denis Lemelin, National President of CUPW. "How many more abuses will the people of Gaza have to endure?"
Numerous organizations are working together to endorse a Canadian boat to Gaza in the autumn. Others, including Independent Jewish Voices, have supported the idea of getting mail onto the boat.
"We are heartened by the growing international response to Israel's cruel treatment of the Palestinian people," said Lemelin, whose union has been at the forefront of condemning human rights abuses in the occupied territories. "We stand in solidarity with all efforts to break the blockade and end the indignities imposed on the Palestinian people by the state of Israel."
What should you do if you want to send a letter to Gaza? Lemelin suggests contacting organizers at the website http://canadaboatgaza.org/
-thanks to rabble.ca