Tag: Iraq Occupation

Obama’s “New Dawn” in Iraq

Phyllis Bennis is a Senior Analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC, and is the author of Before and After: US Foreign Policy and the September 11 Crisis, of Challenging Empire: How People, Governments, and the UN Defy US Power, and of Understanding the US-Iran Crisis: A Primer.

Bennis has in the past argued for US reparations to be paid to Iraq for the years of US occupation and the destruction and damage inflicted on Iraq and the country’s peoples by the 2003 invasion and the occupation.

In an interview recorded Tuesday with Real News CEO Paul Jay, Bennis analyses Obama’s Oval Office Address on Iraq, August 31, 2010, talks about how Obama has adopted the Bush narrative about Iraq, and touches a bit on Iraq’s future and on the future of US foreign policies in the region, as well as somewhat about how those policies affect Iran and Afghanistan.

Real News Network – September 1, 2010

Transcript below

The Permanent U.S. Bases in the Iraq the U.S. Is Supposedly Leaving

Hat tip to David Swanson.

George Orwell’s Iraq

“Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today challenged the notion that removing ‘combat brigades’ but leaving 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq constitutes an end to combat operations, let alone an end to the war”, a press release issued by Kucinich datelined Washington, Aug 19, 2010 and published on the Congressman’s house website stated. The release continued with:

“Who is in charge of our operations in Iraq, now? George Orwell? A war based on lies continues to be a war based on lies. Today, we have a war that is not a war, with combat troops who are not combat troops. In 2003, President Bush said ‘Mission Accomplished’. In 2010, the White House says combat operations are over in Iraq, but will leave 50,000 troops, many of whom will inevitably be involved in combat-related activities.”

“Just seven days ago, General Babaker Shawkat Zebari, the commander of Iraq’s military, said that Iraq’s security forces will not be trained and ready to take over security for another 10 years. One story is being told to the military on the ground in Iraq and another story is being told to their families back home.”

“You can’t be in and out at the same time.”

“This is not the end of the war; this is simply a new stage in the campaign to lull the American people into accepting an open-ended presence in Iraq. This is not an honest accounting to the American people and it diminishes the role of the troops who will put their lives on the line. This is not fair to the troops, their families or the American people.”

“The Administration and the Pentagon would be wise to level with the American people about our long-term commitment to Iraq.”

“The cost of the wars has been estimated to be around $1 million per soldier per year. Each year the troop levels stay at 50,000 means another $50 billion is wasted. I object to spending billions of dollars to maintain a charade in Iraq while our own economy is failing and over 15 million Americans are out of work. I object to keeping any level troops in Iraq to maintain a war based on lies. It is time that Congress sees through the manipulation and finally acts to truly end the war by stopping its funding,” said Kucinich.

Washington ‘Protecting’ Iraq From…Washington

Crossposted from Antemedius

In a perhaps unintentional and obtuse twist of sardonic wit and possibly complete unawareness of the irony of his own words, Commander of United States Forces – Iraq (USF-I) General Ray Odierno said on Sunday in an interview with ABC’s Christiane Amanpour that the 50,000 US troops that will remain in Iraq along with “a significant civilian presence” after the US ‘withdraws’, will help Iraq thwart “interference from outside countries”.

Really. You can’t make this stuff up. If fiction it wouldn’t qualify as humor.

United States forces under President George W. Bush invaded Iraq in an unprovoked attack in 2003 and have occupied the country since. By some counts more than a million Iraqis have died as a direct result of the US invasion and occupation.

Odierno was former primary military advisor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from November 2004 to May 2006, and has long argued against withdrawal of all US forces from Iraq. He assumed command of USF-I’s predecessor, Multi-National Force – Iraq on September 16, 2008 and took the reins as Commander of U.S. Forces Iraq on January 1, 2010, under President Barack Obama.

Odierno’s ironic comments in the interview followed only a few days after President Obama publicly backtracked on his 2009 pledge to withdraw all US combat troops from Iraq by September 1, 2010:

“Whoa Nelly!”, Australian Iraq War Inquiry? {Brit Inquiry}

Catching this, not much up yet, gives me a chance to catch up on the Brit Iraq War Inquiry, still ongoing.

First the Brits with theirs, next the Dutch and theirs and now some very prominent Aussie’s are calling for their own! Could the pressure start mounting on the Power that controlled the whole extremely failed policies of the previous decade? Time will tell but most residents of this country are apathetic and arrogant as to most everything especially baring their guilt and guilty in mass, as the The pitbull in lipstick said at the no American Flags tea gathering, “We don’t want to look back'”!

Tony Blair:

Tony, like our own leaders?, have found their excuses and justifications, they sound an awful lot like those of the bin Ladens and Saddam’s of this world!

“Iraq War was right even if there were no WMDs”

British Inquiry Into Iraq War

This is what this Country, the United States, should be doing now or had already done during the previous administration, investigating towards Impeachment and possible Indictments, depending on what evidence of crimes and lies surfaced. Especially if we really are what we like to think and demand others to believe we are and if our Constitution still exist as the leading Representative Democracy on this planet. But leave it up to ‘Old Europe’, hopefully, to seek answers that should be in the light of day and a part of the physical history added to the already known.

But it’s never to late for us to try and minimize the blowback from our extremely destructive policies, or is it!

Baghdad, City of Walls – Video Documentary

Crossposted from Antemedius

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad is an award-winning photographer and journalist from Iraq.

He began documenting life on the streets of Baghdad in 2001 and, when the Iraq war started two years later, he reported for The Guardian newspaper on those parts of the Iraqi capital that were simply too dangerous for outsiders to cover. But growing violence forced him to leave the city.

In Baghdad, City of Walls Ghaith returns to the streets of a Baghdad now divided by security walls separating the city’s Sunni and Shia residents.

Thousands of homeless roam the streets, children grow up hating Americans, the dead are buried in improvised cemeteries and there is electricity for only three hours a day.

Ghaith’s ability to move around the city despite the dangers, gives us a unique insight into this Baghdad and to a story so far untold.

Baghdad, City of Walls aired in England in early April 2009. View the program in 4 parts below.

Baghdad, City of Walls, Part I:

The Bill For the Iraq Invasion And Occupation Is Due

Phyllis Bennis is a Senior Analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington DC, and the author of Before and After: US Foreign Policy and the September 11 Crisis, Challenging Empire: How People, Governments, and the UN Defy US Power,  and Understanding the US-Iran Crisis: A Primer.

In an interview with Real News CEO Paul Jay, Bennis talks about the impact of US presence and the eventual departure from Iraq, and notes that although at some point US Troops will have to be withdrawn from Iraq and Iraqis are going to have a right to determine their own future, after years of occupation and the destruction and damage inflicted on Iraq and the country’s peoples the US owes reparations and more, but this can only be acted on after military occupation is ended.

Real News – March 13, 2009

Don’t cut and run, but get out of Iraq now

By most estimates, more than a million Iraqis have been killed as a direct consequence of the invasion and occupation, and many millions have been displaced and become refugees.

Is there any amount of reparation that can make up for what has been done to Iraqis? Has anyone thought to ask Iraqis that question? Would reparations equaling the more than a trillion dollars spent to kill them and destroy their country be enough?

Obama’s Plan For Not Leaving Iraq

Crossposted from Antemedius

Real News – March 03, 2009 – 12 min 36 sec

Gareth Porter asks: Why is Obama leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq?

Why, indeed?

They aren’t staying to guard day care centers while Iraqi troops leave their children behind to fight to preserve US dominance over Iraqi oil reserves, I’m fairly sure.

I suppose once you’re elected and you have an overwhelming approval rating no matter what you do and don’t do, regardless of what you said you would do, there is no motivation left to live up to campaign statements.

(Update II )Mccain Supports Obama Plan, Pelosi and Reid now more anti-war than many Kossaks.

(Cross posted from Daily Kos.  http://www.dailykos.com/story/…

It speaks to more than just Daily Kos, though.  It speaks to what the netroots are, a cheerleading group for Obama on all decisions or a progressive movement.  When Pelosi and Reid are to the left of the “progressive blogosphere, something is truly screwed up!)

What has happened?  I opposed the invasion of Iraq back in 2002 and 2003.  When I came to Daily Kos in October 2006, the vast majority wanted withdrawal from Iraq ASAP.  Yet in some diaries this week, I saw many kossaks defending leaving 50,000 troops in Iraq after 2010.

Well, I never thought I would see it.  Pelosi and Reid now are more antiwar than many who like to see themselves as crashing the gates.  Yes, Pelosi and Reid now are more antiwar than many on Dkos

After  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) complained that the level of troops — 50,000 — who would remain in Iraq is too high, other senior Democrats voiced similar concerns. Not one member of the Democratic leadership, except for  Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), defended the new Obama plan, which will take three months longer than he promised and still leave a significant force structure on the ground.

WAPo: Democrats Assail Plan For Pulling Out Troops?

More, after the fold.  (Updated with “The Silence of the Liberals”)

No victory in Iraq, says Petraeus

Original article via the BBC:

The outgoing commander of US troops in Iraq, Gen David Petraeus, has said that he will never declare victory there.

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