Tag: Paul Bremer

Iraq War Inquiry, Day 13

Iraq – Phase Four, Fissiparous and Catastrophic Success!!

Blair’s critics are asking the wrong questions

Iraq War Inquiry, Day 12

First a few commentaries as this Inquiry moves along and the information and charges drip, drip, drip…………..out.


Leader: Our craven calculations in Iraq must not infect Afghanistan

The Iraq war was a ruinous mistake. The lessons from it have not yet been learned.

Two hundred and thirty-seven British troops have died in Afghanistan since the start of the war in 2001 – but the name of Lance Corporal Adam Drane should never be forgotten. The 23-year-old soldier from the 1st Battalion the Royal AnglianRegiment became the 100th UK casualty this year when he was shot dead near Nad e-Ali on 7 December. It is the first time that 100 or more British soldiers have been killed in a single year since the Falklands conflict in 1982, when 255 servicemen died and, as Sir David Richards, the British army chief, has acknowledged, it reopens the debate as to whether “the sacrifice of another British soldier is worth it”. The sacrifices are not over. The number of the British dead will continue to rise. We have argued that the Afghan conflict, though its origins may have been just and necessary in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks, has since become unwinnable and counterproductive, and the government should set a date for a strategic withdrawal…>>>>>

Iraq War Inquiry, Day 11

Today the British Military goes after the civilian government ministers sent in or making decisions after the invasion to try and apparently bring order to chaos building another government or to keep the country functioning so it wouldn’t completely fall into an Insurgency, I mean after all the U.S. expected throngs of people throwing flowers and kisses. Oh ya, even Bremer is mentioned, he apparently isn’t to great in the social circles, or war theaters, as to making friends with his counterparts.

It’s always just a few bad apples…


“It’s such a disservice to everyone else, that a few bad apples can create some large problems for everybody.” – Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, May 4, 2004.

The war in Iraq has brought much shame and dishonor to the United States. The Bush administration, for example, blamed the prisoner abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib on a “few bad apples”. While the evidence shows that senior officials in the Bush White House planned and authorized the use of torture, only those “few bad apples” have been held accountable.

Another such alleged “bad apple” is now on trial in Portland, Oregon. This time the trial is for theft.

The Oregonian reports U.S. Army Capt. Michael Dung Nguyen is accused of stealing more than $690,000 in cash from the Commander’s Emergency Response Program while stationed in Iraq between April 2007 and June 2008. Nguyen is 28 years old and a 2004 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

How is it that our government is able to hold men and women lower down on the chain of command responsible for their actions, but not hold accountable the men and women who are responsible for sending more than $690,000 in cash to Iraq in the first place?

Food as a Weapon – The Rape of Iraq

In 1948 George Kennan, who at the time was a senior US State Department planning official, wrote:

We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security.

To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction.

Later on, in April of 1974 President Gerald Ford, who had replaced Nixon, issued National Security Study Memorandum 200. The title was Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for US Security and Overseas Interests. President Ford signed an Executive Order making NSSM 200 official US Government Policy. It dealt with food policy, population growth and strategic raw materials. The NSSM was the work of Henry Kissinger and was secret at the time it was issued.

F. William Engdahl, has written an excellent, though somewhat obscure, book with the title Seeds of Destruction. This diary is based largely on Engdahl’s book. Quotes are from his book unless noted otherwise.

National Security Study Memo 200, issued in 1974, promoted population control in raw materials-rich developing countries. Thirteen developing countries were named as being threats to future US exploitation of their resources unless drastic measures were taken to reduce their population growth. In the NSSM Kissinger put it this way:

The world is increasingly dependent on mineral supplies from developing countries, and if rapid population growth frustrates their prospects for economic development and social progress, the resulting instability may undermine the conditions for expanded output and sustained flows of resources…

Blackwater is Special

At first, it sounds like a step in the right direction. And maybe it is. A very small step. According to the New York Times:

The American military has charged a contractor with assault in a case that may emerge as a major test of the military’s legal jurisdiction over civilians who accompany the armed forces into the field, military officials and legal experts said Friday.

And it’s about time. Because, as Jeremy Scahill wrote in Salon, almost a year ago:

Before Paul Bremer, Bush’s viceroy in Baghdad, left Iraq in 2004, he issued an edict, known as Order 17. It immunized contractors from prosecution in Iraq, which, today, is like the wild West, full of roaming Iraqi death squads and scores of unaccountable, heavily armed mercenaries, ex-military men from around the world, working for the occupation. For the community of contractors in Iraq, immunity and impunity are welded together.

And as the Washington Post reported, in November:

That ruling remains in effect.

And as reported in Time Magazine, in February, the State Department and the Pentagon are fighting over whether or not to demand that the supposedly sovereign government of Iraq extend the immunity:

Contractor immunity may be unique to Iraq and difficult to demand of Baghdad, but the Pentagon still wants it. In interagency discussions arranged in preparation for the start of negotiations, the Department of Defense has said it want to ask the Iraqis to maintain status quo. The State Department, however, has argued strongly against that position. “We are just still internally discussing this, and still haven’t really come out with a position,” says the senior Administration official. A State Department official says discussions are underway. Says Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell, “Don’t confuse interagency discussions with disagreement. We’re all trying to achieve a single U.S. position on the way ahead in Iraq.”

Because nothing is greater proof of a nation’s sovereignty than allowing foreign corporations from an occupying foreign power to be immune from local laws. Laws against things like mass murder. So, it’s a good thing that a contractor is finally being charged for an act of violence. As today’s Times report continues: