Tag: Iraq War

If you think there is a humanitarian crisis in Iraq now…

There has been a lot of talk over the past few months and even past couple of years with respect to the refugee crisis in Iraq – the flight of much of the professional class from Iraq, the displacement of millions of Iraqis and the sectarian cleansing are just some of the things that jump to mind.  Couple that with the high unemployment rate, the lack of electricity, the ongoing violence and rampant corruption, and the outlook has been pretty bleak for quite some time.

However, the recent events and fighting in Sadr City that created a shortage of food, water and medicine for tens of thousands of Iraqis (including up to 75,000 children) is just the tip of the iceberg.

How can that be, you may ask.  

Misery Accomplished

May 1, 2003, is another day of infamy for the Bush administration and America. In the kind of staged bravado dictators relish, George W. Bush donned a flight suit, pretended to fly, and then used an aircraft carrier as the backdrop for a speech to declare the mission in Iraq accomplished. Every cable news channel carried the event live as if history were somehow being made. It is time to look back at five years of accomplishments in Iraq.


US troop deaths highest since September, 2007 in April

Remember what McCain, GW Bush, David Petraeus, Vlad Cheney, Bill Kristol, Rush Limpbaugh and a whole slough of Right Wing comedians keep telling us!

The Splurge Is Working!

It is working SO well, that so far in April, 47 more US Soldiers have been killed in Iraq, the most since September of 2007.

From AP:

The killings of three U.S. soldiers in separate attacks in Baghdad pushed the American death toll for April up to 47, making it the deadliest month since September.

One soldier died when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. The other died of wounds sustained when he was attacked by small-arms fire, the military said Wednesday. Both incidents occurred Tuesday in northwestern Baghdad.

A third soldier died in a roadside bombing Tuesday night in the east of the capital, the military said.

Lawsuit Reveals Massive Suicide Rate Among U.S. Soldiers

Mistah Kurtz — he dead.

A class action lawsuit filed against the Veterans Administration by Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth has reaped an unusual harvest, in the form of an email from Ira Katz, head of mental health at the VA, to Brigadier General Michael J. Kussman, undersecretary for health at the VA. The email, dated last December, threatens to blow the lid off the scandal of insufficient veterans health treatment, and the lies that have kept this scandal from heretofore getting the traction it deserves.

Here’s Jason Leopold at Online Journal reporting:

Tell Me How This Ends

Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher recalls a time when General David Petraeus was still capable of honesty. Referring to a New York Times Op-Ed by Boston University professor of history and international relations Andrew J. Bacevich, Mitchell writes:

What will end up being the most famous quote of the Iraq war? Remember, President Bush did not actually say “Mission Accomplished.” Perhaps Vice President Cheney’s “final throes” will take the prize. But increasingly, as the significance of Gen. David Petraeus grows (seemingly by the minute), it seems possible that it might up being his once-obscure 2003 remark to a well-known newspaper reporter: “Tell me how this ends.”

The quote was cited by Bacevich, who wrote:

The United States today finds itself with too much war for too few warriors. With the “surge” now giving way to a “pause,” the Iraq war has become an open-ended enterprise. American combat operations in Iraq could easily drag on for 10 more years, and a large-scale military presence might be required for decades, which may well break the Army while bankrupting the country. The pretense that there is a near-term solution to Iraq has become a pretext for ignoring the long-term disparity between military commitments and military capacity.

Bacevich wants an answer to Petraeus’s question. And no one else seems to be even asking it. Bacevich would also like Petraeus to explain approximately when the war ends, and how long our exhausted troops can continue to meet the demands being made of them, and how their strain will be alleviated.

But back to that old Petraeus quote, Mitchell writes:

Still No Oil Revenue-Sharing Deal in Iraq

I was reminded of something during Senator Carl Levin’s opening statement at the Armed Services committee hearing on Tuesday:

“During my recent trip to Iraq, just before the latest outbreak of violence, a senior U.S. military officer told me that when he asked an Iraqi official, “Why is it that we’re using our U.S. dollars to pay your people to clean up your towns, instead of you using your funds?” that the Iraqi replied, “As long as you are willing to pay for the cleanup, why should we do it?”

This story crystallizes the fundamental problem of our policy in Iraq. It highlights the need to change our current course in order to shift responsibility from our troops and our taxpayers to the Iraqi government, to force that government to take responsibility for their own future, politically, economically and militarily.


But the major political steps that they need to take have not yet been taken by the Iraqis, including establishment of a framework for controlling and sharing oil revenue…”

What ever happened to the “big breakthrough” on Iraq’s oil-revenue sharing that was announced last year?

Tell me again, who are the terrorists?

I’ve been struggling a bit. With role assignments. Because I’m confused. Are the Iraqis themselves the terrorists? Or do Iraqis harbor terrorists? No. Wait. Terrorists infiltrate Iraq. And we are there to get rid of terrorists, right? Wait, or was it to get rid of the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WsMD)? Or was it the threat of terrorism? Who are the insurgents btw? Are they related to the terrorists? Wait. Iran is involved in this, right? It’s terrorists [being paid by Iran to infiltrate Iraq] who are killing Iraqis, right? Or are the Iranian people themselves terrorists? Or do they just harbor terrorists? I know… maybe they outsource their terrorism. Anybody? Do they also have WsMD? Wait.

Tell me again, who are the terrorists?

      The Historic Basis of … Prosperity

The main expansionist strategy of the European business classes during the 19th century was colonialism; that is, each country would try to carve out areas of control in the third world, using its technological superiority translated into military terms. The raw materials and labor and markets of these colonies were for the exclusive exploitation of businesses centered in the home country. The inherent weakness of this colonialist strategy, from a capitalist point of view, is that the bulk of the populace remained in poverty and therefore provided not much of a market for the goods of the home country.

McCain Croons Bombing of Iran, While Baghdad Burns

The obscenity that is American politics, circa 2008.

This is funny, and the Reverend Wright’s comments are outrageous? What planet am I living on?

“Unbelievable” Abuse Reigns in Iraqi Jails

Released yesterday by Wikileaks, and seen for the first time (links within quoted material, and bolded emphases, are added):

Confidential memo from Maj. Gen. Kelly, commander of US forces in western Iraq (MNF-W, or Multi-National Force – West), written in late February 2008. Privately verified by Wikileaks staff and not denied or contradicted by MNF-W when questioned by UPI’s national security editor, Shaun Waterman.

Typed up version follows:

Iraq, the Candidates, and the Netroots

One of the reasons I have a hard time getting enthused about either of the Democratic candidates is that I find both of their Iraq withdrawal plans lacking. I am enthused about ending the Bush era, and I’m enthused about preventing the election of another Republican who doesn’t even seem to realize we have a problem in Iraq, but neither of the Democrats offers a plan that I consider to be complete.

Reading such is usually particularly galling to Obama supporters, because he gave such a pretty speech in 2002, and is therefore supposed to be vastly superior to Clinton, on Iraq. Some of the more deranged Obama supporters even go so far as to try to pin the war on Clinton, as if her having voted no on the AUMF would have changed anything other than her present political fortunes. It was a terrible vote, but she is demonized for it even by many of the same people who now lionize John Kerry, because he supports Obama, and despite his having made the same terrible vote made by Clinton. And, of course, most of these Obama supporters ignore the reality that despite the very pretty speech, when Obama was not in the position of actually having to vote on the resolution, his voting record has been nearly identical to Clinton’s, since he has been in the position of having to vote. That’s one of the reasons I find this particular argument for Obama and against Clinton to be, at best, specious. But the main reason is their withdrawal plans. I have said it many times: what happened in 2002 and 2003 is now irrelevant; the only thing that matters is what begins to happen in 2009. Which candidate will do the best job of most expeditiously getting us out of Iraq? And that doesn’t even begin to address the question of reparations, which isn’t even a topic of discussion.

Naomi Klein recently published what I consider to be the best book on politics in at least a generation. I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, and I will undoubtedly do so again. Many times. It should be required reading for anyone who claims to be politically informed. So, I also want everyone to click over to Huffington Post, and read her new article, with Jeremy Scahill:

Sixty-four per cent of Americans tell pollsters they oppose the war, but you’d never know it from the thin turnout at recent anniversary rallies and vigils.

When asked why they aren’t expressing their anti-war opinions through the anti-war movement, many say they have simply lost faith in the power of protest. They marched against the war before it began, marched on the first, second and third anniversaries. And yet five years on, U.S. leaders are still shrugging: “So?”

There is no question that the Bush administration has proven impervious to public pressure. That’s why it’s time for the anti-war movement to change tactics. We should direct our energy where it can still have an impact: the leading Democratic contenders.

Because Klein and Scahill also understand that although both Democratic candidates are much more honest and realistic than John McCain, when discussing Iraq, neither is coming close to being honest and realistic enough.

A must-read article on theWar On Iraq-An Iraqi Perspective

This diary is written in response to Pam In Calif’s comment to my comment to BarbinMD’s front page article, over at the Big Orange, George Bush’s Foundation of Peace.

Raed Jarrar (Iraq Consultant to the American Friends Service Committee. He blogs at Raed in the Middle.) wrote an article today titled “The Iraqi Civil War Bush and the Media Don’t Tell You About” which presents an Iraqi’s perspective on the civil war in Iraq that I have never heard before. Raed is one of the few bloggers that our beloved Riverbend (MIA since 10-22-07-I wish we’d hear from her) links to on her site. (I like that Alternet.org titles their section on Iraq “War on Iraq” as compared to the usual “War in Iraq.”)

For my take on Raed’s article, hop in a barrel and follow me over the f-a-a-a-alls

No End In Sight (photo essay)

Cross posted at SilencedMajorityPortal

Today, one day after newspapers announced a grim milestone of 4000 U.S. deaths in Iraq, a protest occured in front of Senator Norm Coleman’s office in St Paul, Minnesota.  But this photo essay isn’t just about today’s protest. It’s about 5 years of the U.S. government funding killing and calling it freedom.

Shortly after the war began, 5 years ago, we couldn’t imagine that the public would let this war continue for so long.

Back then, we could write all of the U.S. deaths on one sign (note the modified “bus stop” sign).

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