Tag: Iraq War

World in Free Fall: Thanks George!

A number of economists predicted that the Iraq War would cause a financial crisis for the United States, even before it began.

In November of 2002, Yale University professor William Nordhaus was quoted in the Independent as warning that:

“A war in Iraq could cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars, play havoc with an already depressed economy and tip the world into recession because of the adverse effect on oil prices, inflation and interest rates.”

On the day that Bush began his bombing of Baghdad, a.k.a “Shock and Awe,” March 20, 2003, CBS Market Watch predicted that,

“If war with Iraq drags on longer than a few weeks or months most are predicting, corporate revenues will be flat for the coming year and will put the U.S. economy at risk of recession, according to a poll of chief financial officers.”

GWB & deregulation: a lethal cocktail. It has brought us to this point as only he can spend over $12,000,000,000 every month on democratizing Iraq. The rest of us will have to pay for the rest of our lives before our kids take over the debts, as will the next generation.

Cross-posted on the Big Orange & La Vida Locavore.

Constitutional Doublecross


Constitutional Doublecross ©2008 Emily Duffy Photo by Sibila Savage

Dimensions: 58.75″ x 41.25″ x 4.50″.

Description: Paper cross mounted on maroon velvet in gold wood frame.

Materials: Wood, shredded of reproductions the U.S. Constitution and relevant newspaper clippings (woven together), velvet, gold paint, GOP logo, glass beads.

The new Iraqi prison system

The White House and Iraqi Prime Minister are trying to finalize the details on Iraq’s new prison system.  How many prisons, prisoners, and how long these prisoners will be incarcerated are yet to be determined.

Do you want to learn more?

Onward… through the fog…

AIG refuses to pay off policy of veteran

Once again, Raw Story shows why it is quickly becoming my blog of choice for news.

In Charleston, WV, it is reported by the Charleston Gazette that AIG is refusing to pay off a $50,000 life insurance policy taken out by a veteran.

This just makes me sick and it should provoke a huge boycott of AIG.

When is a withdrawal not a withdrawal?

When the Democratic Presidential candidate, Barack Obama, declares:

A Responsible, Phased Withdrawal

Barack Obama believes we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. Immediately upon taking office, Obama will give his Secretary of Defense and military commanders a new mission in Iraq: ending the war. The removal of our troops will be responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010, more than 7 years after the war began.

Oh, you don’t see a problem here?  

Well… onward, through the fog…

Airline fees and our military

By now I’m sure most everyone has heard how American Airlines is charging our military men and women baggage fees (overweight and extra bag).  The airlines are justifying this practice by claiming that the military reimburses the members.

Let me explain to you why this is wrong…

Let’s not and say we did

Original article, sub-headed A “flexible timeline” is not a timetable, and continuing the occupation is not ending it by Anthony Arnove via socialistworker.org.

THE WALL Street Journal reports that the “The Bush administration’s embrace of a flexible timeline for pulling U.S. troops from Iraq has accelerated negotiations between Washington and Baghdad over a long-term security pact.”

What’s Goin’ On? Is there really a War on?

The Iraq War, for it or against it, justified or unjustified, has not been reported fairly. On this point, everyone agrees.  That the good news has not been shown is just as true as that the bad news has not been shown.  The truth about just what has been reported is in question here.

The ACLU recently reported the extent to which the Pentagon has tightly controlled the flow of information that is available to the American Public.  There are no photos of caskets, no battle field footage that hasn’t been re-run thousands of times, no images of dead people.  Read that last one again… no photos, videos or even realistic reporting about DEAD people.  It’s almost as if the war has been sanitized to the point that even the “official” casualty lists do not sound real.  What’s goin’ on?

With all due respect to both sides of the debate, the American people have not ever yet truly participated in the experience of the war.  We haven’t seen dead soldiers return in flag draped coffins and we haven’t been able to mourn them or truly honor their sacrifice.  We haven’t seen the extent of the human casualties both civilian and military, enemy and ally to truly appreciate the horror of what has been accomplished.  We’ve only seen the scrubbed version of the war, the sanitized version that the Pentagon has gone to great lengths and considerable expense to present to us.

   “At every step of the way, the Bush administration and Defense Department have gone to unprecedented lengths to control and suppress information about the human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Nasrina Bargzie, an attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. “Our democracy depends on an informed public and that is why it is so important that the American people see these documents. These documents will help to fill the information void around the issue of civilian casualties in Iraq and will lead to a more complete understanding of the prosecution of the war.”

When the real sights and sounds, horror and bloodshed of the reality in Iraq finally become known, will history treat our government harshly or will it be regarded as a necessary component of modern war?  Did the military truly learn the lesson of Vietnam in that the bloodshed, violence, and mayhem of war be hidden from the citizenry at all cost?  We’re there, we’re not leaving, and we the people are ignorant of the true cost in blood and sacrifice.

Yes, we do not hear the good news, but neither do we hear the bad. I fear that the war WILL go on forever, as long as the official Pentagon version of the events in Iraq is all we hear.  I fear that the citizens of this country will not be stirred to truly rise up against it, because we’ve been anesthetized to it’s horror.  I fear that the horrible reality of war has been transformed into glorious conquest in a cruel attempt to justify it’s fearful cost.

Taking A Stand: Sergeant Matthis Chiroux

Warning: Run on sentence ahead

Do you know how much courage it takes to join the military after the events of September 11, 2001 have affected you and your patriotic feelings to HELP any way you can the country you love, then ship out to Iraq, work your way to the rank of Sergeant, find out that both yourself and your comrades in arms come to learn that this war you are fighting with your life on the line to be nothing more than contrived BullShit, then come home (thankfully not in a coffin that Americans can’t see on TV) and then be told you have to go back?

I sure as hell don’t!  I have absolutely NO Friggin’ Idea what that would be like.

The Embed War Dividend

Editor and Publisher gave note to a study recently by sociologist Andrew M Lindner about the impact of how embedded reporters framed the initial invasion and ultimately provided significant positive angles for the public to consume.

The study analyzed content from articles written by both embedded reporters and other sources ( ie reporters who were independent from the process) and found this direct conclusion.

Lidner found that journalists embedded with American troops emphasized military successes more often than they covered consequences for Iraqi citizens

I would argue that this initial framework has continued to influence coverage to this day. While the struggles and horrors Iraqi citizens face do get coverage, even much of the moderate anti war sentiment in this country tends to focus on getting our troops home ( and rightly so ) and their ongoing struggles with getting appropriate health care for physical and emotional damage. We still don’t talk much about how badly we fucked up the daily lives of citizens there. Even if we packed up and left today, the humanitarian crisis would spiral for years to come, an argument often manipulated by hawks to justify staying in a military role. Instead of a Marshall Plan, we got a nice big trough for contractors. And we haven’t been very generous with offering a place for refugees.

Few western countries have accepted Iraqis. Sweden has been the most welcoming, granting asylum to almost 9,000 Iraqis in 2006, almost 20 times more than the United States and about half the total for all of Europe that year

According to the Center For American Progress there have been

More than 4 million: Estimated number of Iraqis displaced since the 2003 invasion

Many have been displaced in their own country.

Since the start of the war…. the United States has admitted

5,742: Total number of Iraqis resettled to the United States as of January 24 (2008)

Our lofty goal for 2008?

12,000: Target for Iraqi refugee admittance in 2008 fiscal year. A goal that will be impossible to meet at the current admittance levels.

Imagine a brave and foolish political candidate trying to campaign on the issue of trying to admit more than the target number during these tenuous economic times. Of course that would speak to our desire as a nation for accountability and we don’t want to talk about that.

Imagine what would have happened if reporters got embedded with Iraqi citizens or humanitarian organizations. How many reporters, or for that matter any of us could tolerate the conditions necessary to do that? But we couldn’t have that. Too many perspectives add complexities. Complexities could undermine victories. For whom I am not certain.  

Supreme Court Slaps Bush, Congress on Habeas Corpus

By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional the provision of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that suspended the use of habeas corpus by detainees in Bush’s “war on terror.” The MCA was pushed by Bush, and overwhelmingly approved by Congress, including both supposed anti-torture politician John McCain and many Democrats.

From Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion:

Security depends upon a sophisticated intelligence apparatus and the ability of our Armed Forces to act and to interdict. There are further considerations, however. Security subsists, too, in fidelity to freedom’s first principles. Chief among these are freedom from arbitrary and unlawful restraint and the personal liberty that is secured by adherence to the separation of powers. It is from these principles that the judicial authority to consider petitions for habeas corpus relief derives….

The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times. Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law. The Framers decided that habeas corpus, a right of first importance, must be a part of that framework, a part of that law….

Congress has enacted a statute, the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (DTA), 119 Stat. 2739, that provides certain procedures for review of the detainees’ status. We hold that those procedures are not an adequate and effective substitute for habeas corpus. Therefore §7 of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), 28 U. S. C. A. §2241(e) (Supp. 2007), operates as an unconstitutional suspension of the writ. (Thanks to Phil at Daily Kos for the quotes)

UPDATED: Just when you thought that perhaps Bush really was telling the truth…..

YEAH, I know!  Fooled you, huh?  NOT!  Bush telling the truth is akin to Sky = ruby red, Water = dry, Republicans = compassionate conservatives, etc.

In ANOTHER telling tale of BushCo malfeasance, former White House spokesman Scott McClellan writes in his soon to be released book that Bush and his advisers used pure propaganda on the run up to the war with Iraq and that they spent the first week of the Hurricane Katrina tragedy in complete denial.

From CNN:

The spokesman who defended President Bush’s policies through Hurricane Katrina and the early years of the Iraq war is now blasting his former employers, saying the Bush administration became mired in propaganda and political spin and at times played loose with the truth.

AT TIMES played loose with the truth, Scottie? That may be the understatement of our new century!  

In excerpts from a 341-page book to be released Monday, Scott McClellan writes on Iraq that Bush “and his advisers confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war.”

“[I]n this regard, he was terribly ill-served by his top advisers, especially those involved directly in national security,” McClellan wrote.

McClellan also sharply criticizes the administration on its handling of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

“One of the worst disasters in our nation’s history became one of the biggest disasters in Bush’s presidency,” he wrote. “Katrina and the botched federal response to it would largely come to define Bush’s second term.”

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