Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Madeline Albright had this to say about Iraq in regards to “sanctions” that were supposed to “punish the Hussein regime”.

Here is what former Congressman Ron Paul had to say about the impeachment process of Bill Clinton and the asinine bombings of Iraq, Sudan, and Afghanistan.

Notice how Ron Paul said that waging “unchecked war” like this invites attacks on the United States?  Here’s George W. Bush.

Bush, Jr. admits that Iraq had nothing to do with September 11, 2001.

Iraqi testimony in Congress.

Iraq seems like a distant memory, doesn’t it?  The “Mission Complete” banner that hung above the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln as President Bush called an end to combat operations in Iraq sort of immortalized his presidency.  Then all hell broke loose.

But, then again, what was “Mission Complete”?  Saddam Hussein’s poorly assembled military barely put up a fight as U.S.-led forces marched their way to Baghdad.  It didn’t take long for the American people (or at least those who didn’t need neocons inside the Bush White House and Fox News to tell them what to think) to see that the Bush administration had thought as far as the invasion and nothing more.  No clear defined enemy.  No clear defined victory.  No objective.  Just “stay the course”.  Horrors stories from Abu Graib that smeared the name of the United States.

So what have we learned from our experiences in Iraq?  I like to think nothing.  The left’s attacks during the Bush administration’s handling of the war was all for posturing.  They have their own wars they’d like to fight.  You know those untold millions the Obama administration is giving to the rebels is Syria?  The U.S. taxpayer will be paying that back.  How does a rebel pay back money that they don’t have?

In 1997, a neoconservative think-tank was created – The Project for the New American Century.  Comprising of Bush insiders such as Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush, and Dick Cheney – to make a long story short – the goal of PNAC was to lead the world militarily.  From the outset, Saddam Hussein’s regime seemed to be in the cross hairs of the PNAC members and attached conservatives.  (Please click the hyperlink to learn more.)

On September 20,2001, PNAC sent a letter to President Bush urging regime change in Iraq.

…even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.

What’s the meaning?  The United States was invading Iraq regardless.  A quote from PNAC’s manifesto that draws more questions than answers was this:

Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor.

That “new Pearl Harbor” came on September 11, 2001.  And with it, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden, who seems until recently, was forgotten.

In serving their own interests, the neoconservatives have placed both the sanctity and security of the United States in jeopardy.  I hope we have learned our lesson.  But I doubt it.

‘Treason doth never prosper’, wrote an English poet.  What’s the reason?  If it prosper then none dare call it treason.
– Kevin Costner, JFK

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I’ve been called just about everything in the book – un-patriotic, anti-American, liberal, conservative, and anti-military.  It never seems to amaze me that those who lack enough argument would stoop to levels of political name calling.  However, I would like to comment on one of these – anti-military.

Every nation needs a military, of this there are no doubts.  And every has the right to the military of its choosing.

It seems more and more everyday news is coming to light of soldiers suffering from amputated limbs, brain damage, or the subject of the following article – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The longer our nation engages in unchecked conflicts and entanglements, the more men we create with wounds we cannot see; but according to some, these wounds are worse than dying.

So I will say this: If I were an impressionable young man or woman seeking employment in the service of our nation, I would delve deep into our nation’s history of caring for its veterans.

Now to the news.

USA Today

A leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder is guilt that troops experience because of moral dilemmas faced in combat, according to preliminary findings of a study of active-duty Marines.

The conflicts that servicemembers feel may include “survivor’s guilt,” from living through an attack in which other servicemembers died, and witnessing or participating in the unintentional killing of women or children, researchers involved in the study say.

“How do they come to terms with that? They have to forgive themselves for pulling the trigger,” says retired Navy captain Bill Nash, a psychiatrist and study co-author.

The idea of “moral injury” as a cause of PTSD is new to psychiatry. The American Psychiatric Association is only now considering new diagnostic criteria for the disorder that would include feelings of shame and guilt, says David Spiegel, a member of the working group rewriting the PTSD section.

Traditionally, PTSD symptoms such as nightmares or numbness to the world have been linked to combat violence, fear of being killed or loss of friends.

Half of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans treated by the Department of Veterans Affairs have been diagnosed with mental health issues and the most common is PTSD, which is experienced by nearly 200,000 of these veterans, according to the VA.

PTSD caused by moral injury can lead to more severe reactions such as family violence or even suicide, says Jonathan Shay, a psychiatrist who has worked on military mental health policies.

The Marine Corps study helps expand the knowledge of the relationship between moral injury and PTSD, says Shira Maguen, a psychologist and VA researcher who has studied links between killing and the disorder among Vietnam War, Gulf War and Iraq War veterans.

“This (Marine Corps) study is important because so little work has been done to understand moral injury in a scientific context,” Maguen says.

The ongoing research involves about 2,600 Marines and sailors examined before and after combat tours.

The preliminary findings on moral injury were gleaned from 208 Marines involved in severe combat in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010. It showed that three months after coming home, 7% of the Marines likely had PTSD. Their condition was more closely linked to an inner conflict rather than threats to their lives, the sight of bodies or blood or family problems, the study said.

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
February 5, 2011

Rep. Ron Paul read the text below into the Congressional Record earlier this year. Paul’s statement provides additional evidence to the established fact the globalist, bonesman, and former CIA director George Bush Senior duped Saddam Hussein, exploited his dispute with Kuwait – accusing Kuwait of slant drilling its oil – and gave Hussein a green light to attack Kuwait

From the Congressional Record, January 26, 2011, Page H503. It was posted on the Veterans Today website.

The SPEAKER pro tempore.

Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, how did the 20-year war get started?

It had been long assumed that the United States Government, shortly before Iraq invaded Kuwait in August of 1990, gave Saddam Hussein a green light to attack. A State Department cable recently published by WikiLeaks confirmed that U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie did indeed have a conversation with Saddam Hussein one week prior to Iraq’s August 1, 1990, invasion of Kuwait.

Amazingly, the released cable was entitled,

Saddam’s Message of Friendship to President Bush.” (published below)

In it, Ambassador Glaspie affirmed to Saddam that “the President had instructed her to broaden and deepen our relations with Iraq.” As Saddam Hussein outlined Iraq’s ongoing border dispute with Kuwait, Ambassador Glaspie was quite clear that, “we took no position on these Arab affairs.”

There would have been no reason for Saddam Hussein not to take this assurance at face value. The U.S. was quite supportive of his invasion and war of aggression against Iran in the 1980s. With this approval from the U.S. Government, it wasn’t surprising that the invasion occurred. The shock and surprise was how quickly the tables were turned and our friend, Saddam Hussein, all of a sudden became Hitler personified.

The document was classified, supposedly to protect national security, yet this information in no way jeopardized our security. Instead, it served to keep the truth from the American people about an event leading up to our initial military involvement in Iraq and the region that continues to today.

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The secrecy of the memo was designed to hide the truth from the American people and keep our government from being embarrassed. This was the initial event that had led to so much death and destruction–not to mention the financial costs–these past 20 years.

Our response and persistent militarism toward Iraq was directly related to 9/11, as our presence on the Arabian Peninsula–and in particular Saudi Arabia–was listed by al Qaeda as a major grievance that outraged the radicals (sic) who carried out the heinous attacks against New York and Washington on that fateful day.

Today, the conflict has spread through the Middle East and Central Asia with no end in sight.

The reason this information is so important is that if Congress and the American people had known about this green light incident 20 years ago, they would have been a lot more reluctant to give a green light to our government to pursue the current war–a war that is ongoing and expanding to this very day.

The tough question that remains is was this done deliberately to create the justification to redesign the Middle East, as many neo- conservatives desired, and to secure oil supplies for the West; or was it just a diplomatic blunder followed up by many more strategic military blunders? Regardless, we have blundered into a war that no one seems willing to end.

Julian Assange, the publisher of the WikiLeaks memo, is now considered an enemy of the state. Politicians are calling for drastic punishment and even assassination; and, sadly, the majority of the American people seem to support such moves.

But why should we so fear the truth? Why should our government’s lies and mistakes be hidden from the American people in the name of patriotism? Once it becomes acceptable to equate truth with treason, we can no longer call ourselves a free society.”

Historian Mark Zepezauer notes that the equipment to slant drill Iraq’s oil illegally was bought from National Security Council chief Brent Scowcroft’s old company. Kuwait was pumping out around $14-billion worth of oil from beneath Iraqi territory. “Even the territory they were drilling from had originally been Iraq’s. Slant-drilling is enough to get you shot in Texas, and it’s certainly enough to start a war in the Mideast,” writes Zepezauer.

Iraq invaded Kuwait after it broke off negotiations.

Bush and the United Nations ordered the systematic destruction of facilities essential to civilian life and economic productivity throughout Iraq on January 16, 1991, at 6:30 p.m. EST.

Bush ordered 110,000 air sorties against Iraq, dropping 88,000 tons of bombs, nearly seven times the equivalent of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, according to a report sent to the Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal.

“The intention and effort of the bombing of civilian life and facilities was to systematically destroy Iraq’s infrastructure leaving it in a preindustrial condition. Iraq’s civilian population was dependent on industrial capacities,” Ramsey Clarke and others wrote in 1992. “The U.S. assault left Iraq in a near apocalyptic condition as reported by the first United Nations observers after the war.”

The invasion, enforced blockade of Iraq and the international sanctions which decimated the war-ravaged country for over a decade prepared the people of Iraq for the transformation their modern state into a hellhole now wracked by sectarian violence.

Over 500,000 people were slaughtered in Bush’s war. Between 1991 and 1998, there were 500,000 deaths among Iraqi children under five years of age due to brutal sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations. “If you include adults, the figure is now almost certainly well over a million,” Hans Von Sponeck said. Sponeck was a UN Assistant Secretary-General and UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.

George Bush Senior announces his invasion of Iraq in 1991. The war was not declared by Congress as stipulated by the Constitution. It was an executive action by Bush and the globalists with the participation of the United Nations.

Bush’s son re-invaded Iraq under completely bogus circumstances. George Bush Junior killed or contributed to the death of more than 1.4 million human beings, according to Just Foreign Policy. “Iraq deaths. The number is shocking and sobering. It is at least 10 times greater than most estimates cited in the US media, yet it is based on a scientific study of violent Iraqi deaths caused by the U.S.-led invasion of March 2003,” they write.

The Lancet, estimated that over 600,000 Iraqis had been killed as a result of the invasion as of July 2006. Iraqis have continued to be killed since then. The death counter provides a rough daily update of this number based on a rate of increase derived from the Iraq Body Count… The estimate that over a million Iraqis have died received independent confirmation from a prestigious British polling agency in September 2007. Opinion Research Business estimated that 1.2 million Iraqis have been killed violently since the US-led invasion. This devastating human toll demands greater recognition. It eclipses the Rwandan genocide and our leaders are directly responsible. Little wonder they do not publicly cite it.

And yet Bush and his son are considered by the establishment and millions of Americans to be esteemed elder statesmen, not war criminals.

Okay, fine, so I wasn’t right about the possibility of a false-flag attack before the November elections, but the “threats” or scares were pretty damn close.  And as far as I have seen, there hasn’t been any like it since.

Just like the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) calling for a “new Pearl Harbor”in order for war in the Middle East, primarily Iraq, here recently Obama and Obamanites have come out with “new Pearl Harbor” style predictions.

Most recently former Clintonite and Obamanite, Mark Penn, said that since Oklahoma City helped Clinton reconnect to the American people, Obama needs the same event.  Was this comment just made in jest?  Or was it something else entirely?

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Senator Lindsey Graham spoke the same fearmonger/warmonger propaganda recently, urging President Obama to strike Iran and cripple “their ability to wage war.”  He even said that we are probably past that point.  This speech of stopping their ability to “wage war” sounds a lot like the rhetoric that we’ve heard from then-President George W. Bush, when he urged the American people to support his backtrack of foreign policy and used the same excuse.

“Instead of a surgical strike on their nuclear infrastructure, I think we’re to the point now that you have to really neuter the regime’s ability to wage war against us and our allies. And that’s a different military scenario. It’s not a ground invasion but it certainly destroys the ability of the regime to strike back.”

As far as I know, Iran hasn’t lobbed one weapon towards the continental United States or Iraq, or Afghanistan.  It’s not a “ground invasion”, but an invasion just the same.  And for the President to order such an attack without a Declaration of War from Congress is illegal.

Speaking on terms of retaliation on Iran’s part, Graham said:

“You can expect that,” he said. “You can expect, for a period of time, all hell to break loose. You must have to almost plan for that. And weigh that against the idea of a nuclear-armed Iran and what that means to the future of the world.”

Well, it’s finally time that someone admittted the obvious.

Graham said the current sanctions on Iran are not “crippling”.  Now by what he means by “crippling”, he didn’t elaborate, and, furthermore, I don’t think that even he knows.  Sanctions are an act of war and aggression, and they don’t work.  Before WWII, sanctions created Hitler.  During the ’90s, sanctions killed more that 500,000 people in Iraq.

Iran has said that if we attack (and they have a right to) they will retaliate on our forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and most certainly Israel.  War begetts more war and brings no resemblance of peace.

Our current state in the Middle East is precarious at best.  Iraq and Afghanistan are complete failures, and we are told that bin Laden is in Pakistan; adding more fuel to the military industrial complex’s war machine.  In an attempt to “fight terrorism” the United States government is trying to buy Pakistan’s alliegance, which by most reports, isn’t working.

Broadening our war machine to Iran will invigorate al-Qaeda and we will be fighting a well-armed military.  Blood will be shed for a conflict that has no end in sight.  By the end, the American people will be asking the most obvious of questions, “why did we do this for?”  But this may come at a time when it is too late for the United States to realize the fact.

In his article, David S. Broder, covers the issues such as the economy, Obama’s run in 2012, and what he can do to save it.  Can you guess what one of those things is?  War with Iran.  He says:

What else might affect the economy? The answer is obvious, but its implications are frightening. War and peace influence the economy.

Look back at FDR and the Great Depression. What finally resolved that economic crisis? World War II.

Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected. But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century. If he can confront this threat and contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he will have made the world safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in history.

Broder may not be saying that we “need to incite war with Iran”, but it is either by his ignorance or maybe something else, but “inciting” is what the government does best.  We’ve heard the excuse that Iran is a threat to peace in the region and the world, and that they are in the process of getting WMDs.  But where did we hear this before?  Oh yes, Iraq.

During the 90s, Saddam Hussien’s Iraq was broke, and in the process of sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations; a destitute Iraq was put into an already perilous situation made worse by the warmonger foreign policy.  Sanctions don’t kill dictators, just the innocent. 

Broder’s opinion that Obama could make this world safer is a fallacy.  Case in point; there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq before 9/11 or invasion; it was only when we went there that they came to fight us.  So spreading the “war on terrorism” to Iran would only broaden al-Qaeda’s reach and its reason to fight us.  Not to mention what Iran’s allies (China and Russia) would do.  In short: I think that an attack on Iran would launch the Mid-East into a WWIII.

America may support this conflict, but Americans need to know that any such action taken on part of the United States would merit vicious attacks from al-Qaeda.  And the machinery of the military industrial complex moves on.

Hillary Clinton: Pioneer, Hero, Winner

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President John F. Kennedy once said that “the word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society.”  Hillary Clinton has said that we “should condemn in the most clear terms” any “disclosure” of classified documents.

I can about bet the Obama administration is hoping the American people, while they are worried about making their bills, will let this go over their heads.  In the meantime; anti-war Patriots like myself; hope that Wikileaks brings the Empire down.

In my mind; I don’t see how anyone can ignore the atrocious history the United States has had with Iraq.  The CIA gave Saddam Hussein biological weapons, Bush Sr. encouraged the deaths of thousands, sanctions killed 500,000 innocent people, and now torture.  What’s terrifying the most is that we are doing it all over again.

DUBAI (AFP) – Al-Jazeera on Friday released what it called “startling new information” from US documents obtained by WikiLeaks, alleging state-sanctioned Iraqi torture and the killing of hundreds of civilians at US military checkpoints.

It said that the major findings included a US military cover-up of Iraqi state-sanctioned torture and “hundreds” of civilians deaths at manned American checkpoints after the US-led invasion of 2003 that ousted Saddam Hussein.

The Qatar-based satellite broadcaster also said the leaked papers, dating from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2009, show the United States kept a death count throughout the war, despite US denials.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned “in the most clear terms” the leaks of any documents putting Americans at risk.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, she declined to discuss the specifics of the WikiLeaks disclosures.

“But I do have a strong opinion that we should condemn in the most clear terms the disclosure of any information by individuals and or organisations which puts the lives of United States and its partners’ servicemembers and civilians at risk,” she said.

Al-Jazeera’s English channel told AFP in a statement that from 2100 GMT on Friday it would broadcast a series of programmes “that reveal startling new information about the operations of US forces during the Iraq War.”

It said the programmes are based on files from WikiLeaks “who gained access to over 400,000 documents regarding the War in Iraq making it the largest document leak in US history.

“The secret materials are more than four times larger then Wikileak?s Afghanistan files,” the broadcaster said in a statement issued in English.

WikiLeaks infuriated the Pentagon in July by publishing 77,000 classified US military documents on the war in Afghanistan.

“Although one of the stated aims of the Iraq War was to close down Saddam Hussein?s torture chambers, the Wikileaks documents show many cases of torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners by Iraqi police and soldiers,” Al-Jazeera said.

“In addition, the documents reveal the US knew about the state sanctioned torture but ordered its troops not to intervene.”

It said “hundreds of civilians” were killed at US manned checkpoints.

“According to the documents, many Iraqi civilians were killed during the war at checkpoints in contrast to the official US position,” the channel said.

Al-Jazeera said the leaked documents also provide new information on the killing of civilians by US private security firm Blackwater.

“The secret US files reveal new cases of Blackwater (a company now known as XE) opening fire on civilians. No charges were ever brought,” the statement said.

The broadcaster’s Arabic-language service reported that the civilian death toll in Iraq was “much higher than officially announced.”

It reported that at least 109,000 people were killed, 63 percent of them civilians, between the invasion in March 2003 and the end of 2009.

“The confidential documents obtained by WikiLeaks reveal that the American forces had compiled a register of dead and wounded Iraqis, even if they deny it publicly,” it said.

“They show 285,000 victims of the conflict, of whom at least 109,000 were killed” between 2003 and the end of last year, it said, adding that 63 percent of the dead were civilians.

Al-Jazeera said that included in the papers obtained by WikiLeaks was information on what the station’s statement in English called the “secret involvement” of Iran in financing Shiite militias in Iraq.

“The files detail Iran?s secret war in Iraq and discuss Iran?s Revolutionary Guard acting as an alleged supplier of arms to Shia insurgents,” it said.

It said the papers also included US Army reports about Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki “and allegations of his association with death squads” in Iraq.

The Pentagon warned on Friday that releasing secret military documents could endanger US troops and Iraqi civilians.

“By disclosing such sensitive information, WikiLeaks continues to put at risk the lives of our troops, their coalition partners and those Iraqis and Afghans working with us,” Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said.

He said the documents were “essentially snapshots of events, both tragic and mundane, and do not tell the whole story.”

Amnesty International urged Washington to investigate how much US officials knew about ill-treatment of detainees in Iraq.

“We have not yet had an opportunity to study the leaked files in detail but they add to our concern that the US authorities committed a serious breach of international law when they summarily handed over thousands of detainees to Iraqi security forces who, they knew, were continuing to torture and abuse detainees on a truly shocking scale,” Malcolm Smart, Amnesty?s Middle East director, said in a statement.