Tag Archives: Saddam Hussein

Iraq: All Is in Ruins and Mourning, by Eric Margolis

The US has laid waste to Iraq. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

Victor Hugo said of the devastated Balkans in the 19th century:  ‘The Turks have passed by here. All is in ruins or mourning.’

Welcome to modern Iraq.

The British were always masters of efficient imperialism.  In the 19th century, they managed to rule a quarter of the Earth’s surface with only a relatively small army supported by a great fleet.

Many of their imperial subjects were so overawed by the pomp and circumstance of British rule that they often willingly cooperated, or at least bent the knee.

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On The Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion, Bush Press Secretary Claims Bush Didn’t Lie, by Caitlin Johnstone

Caitlin Johnstone demolishes Ari Fleischer. From Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

On the sixteenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, as the US government threatens punitive action against International Criminal Court investigators for attempting to look into US war crimes, former George W Bush administration Press Secretary Ari Fleischer has decided to publish a Twitter thread claiming that Bush did not lie to the world about Iraq.

Here is a transcript of the full thread by Fleischer:

The Iraq war began sixteen years ago tomorrow. There is a myth about the war that I have been meaning to set straight for years. After no WMDs were found, the left claimed “Bush lied. People died.” This accusation itself is a lie. It’s time to put it to rest.

The fact is that President Bush (and I as press secretary) faithfully and accurately reported to the public what the intelligence community concluded. The CIA, along with the intelligence services of Egypt, France, Israel and others concluded that Saddam had WMD. We all turned out to be wrong. That is very different from lying.

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Still No Peace On Earth, by David Stockman

The United States blew the best opportunity for peace in several generations. From David Stockman at antiwar.com:

Read part 1, part 2, and part 3

When the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989 and the death of the Soviet Union was confirmed two years later as Boris Yeltsin courageously stood down the red army tanks in front of Moscow’s White House, a dark era in human history came to an end.

As we have seen, the world had descended into what was in effect an unbroken global war, incepting with the mobilization of the armies of old Europe in August 1914. The “77 Years War” is the appropriate name for it.

If you want to count bodies, 150 million were killed by all the depredations which germinated in the Great War, its foolish aftermath at Versailles, and the march of history into the second world war and cold war which followed inexorably thereupon.

To wit, upwards of 8% of the human race was wiped-out during that span. The toll encompassed the madness of trench warfare during 1914-1918; the murderous regimes of Soviet and Nazi totalitarianism that rose from the ashes of the Great War and Versailles; and then the carnage of WWII and all the lesser (unnecessary) wars and invasions of the Cold War including Korea and Vietnam.

So the seminal point cannot be gainsaid. The end of the cold war meant the chance for a new start toward world peace was finally at hand. Yet 27 years later there is still no peace because Imperial Washington confounds it.

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More Idiocy From Neocons, by Mike

From Mike, at theburningplatform.com:

There seems to be great Republican resistance to the idea that their interventions in Iraq and the Muslim world are the main cause of both the mess in Iraq and the growing and increasingly powerful worldwide Islamist movement. To the extent that Hillary Clinton and other Democratic senators and congressmen joined the Republicans in illegally delegating the war-declaring power to George W. Bush there is a point to the Republicans’ resistance. The correct formulation of the statement is that both parties are equally responsible for the mess in Iraq and for the formidable Islamist foe that now exists. Also a correct statement is that the bulk of both parties now want the United States to become an even stronger motivator of and recruiter for the Islamists by expanding the military re-intervention in Iraq that began in the summer of 2014. Before that occurs it would be best to review a few facts:
–The 2003 invasion of Iraq was approved by both parties and driven by the Neoconservatives in both parties. There was no need for a war in Iraq. Even if Saddam Hussein had WMD he was not a threat to the United States, and because we have none but parasitic allies in the Middle East, we needed to let them fend for themselves. (NB: We need to do this now.)

–Saddam Hussein was our best ally in the war against the Sunni Islamists, an ally that we did not have to cajole, pay, or urge to act against the Sunni militants. That he diddled around with and funded the Palestinian fighters is true, but he was reliably lethal — for his government’s own interests — when it came to killing mujahedin trying to transit or set up shop in Iraq. Without Saddam to hold the center of the Arab world and block the insurgents’ easy east-west movement, we now have a mujahedin theater of operations that extends from Morocco on the Atlantic, to Jakarta in the Pacific, and from the North Caucasus in the north, to Nigeria in the south.

–The U.S. military and its allies were defeated in Iraq. They were all shackled by political constraints and by suicidal rules-of-engagement, but U.S. generals dutifully played the role of toadies by telling the public there was “no military solution” in Iraq. There is always a military solution to war and, if it is not implemented, defeat is certain. (NB: This is equally true of the Afghan War.)

–All U.S. military personnel killed, wounded, or maimed in Iraq were a waste of our most precious assets. They were led to defeat by two presidents, myriad generals, and congresses that clearly never had any intention of winning the wars they started. (NB:(a) This is equally true of the Afghan War; (b) The cost of not winning either war has been the shredding of the 4th Amendment, and will be further constraints on civil liberty in the future.)

–U.S. Iraq policy in the Bush and Obama administrations was made by men and women who either cannot tell the difference between theory and reality, or were cursed with the feckless Ivy League educations that in the last four administrations have marched this country at quick step to the rim of hell. Saddam’s rule was brutal not only because he was brutal but because authoritarian government is the only way to keep Iraq united and the country’s Sunnis and Shias away from each other’s throat. The constant refrain by Obama, Cameron, Hollande, and other NATO leaders that there will be an “inclusive government” in Iraq — that is, Sunnis, Shia, Kurds, and Sufis amiably working together — is witness to either their deceit or stupidity. From March, 2003, until today there was never a chance of creating an inclusive regime in Iraq. It will not happen in the future.

–The now canonized “Surge” achieved a temporary halt in the mujahedin’s progress in Iraq, slowed the pace of U.S. casualties, and — as planned — got the Iraq war minimized on the agenda of the 2008 McCain-Obama presidential debates. But the most important long term result of the surge was that it pushed the mujahedin out of Iraq into Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon and so allowed them to regroup, rearm, and — as we now see in the Levant, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere — live to fight and win another day. At bottom, the surge was a cynical political scheme and tactical military act concocted by a political general. It was not meant to defeat the enemy, only to buy time for the politicians.

–The current call by most Republicans and many Democrats to return 10,000 or 20,000 U.S. ground troops to Iraq will not change the situation there except to make it worse; what more than 100,000 troops could not do, will not be done by a fifth or tenth of that total, especially when the foe is four times larger than it was a decade ago and the Iraqi regime’s forces will not fight. In addition, the Sunni-Shia bloodletting that has occurred in the last 30 months all but ensures a full-scale and perhaps regional sectarian war. This is the best possible outcome for a bankrupt and militarily worn out United States, and hopefully one that even supreme bumblers like Obama, Kerry, McCain, Graham, and multiple retired U.S. generals cannot prevent.

–The political demand for those troops is driven by U.S. politicians who refuse to recognize that they have warred and spent the United States into something akin to an over-the-hill Madam — John McCain in drag comes to mind — who deludes herself into believing that her now sagging attributes are as powerful as ever. We command no respect among the Islamists who see the U.S. government as afraid to kill them and their supporters; afraid to suffer casualties; and relatively indifferent to the reality that it is a superpower that regularly losses wars to insurgent forces with no air cover and limited heavy weaponry.

–The political demand also comes from the Israel-First-owned Neoconservatives in both parties who caused the 2003 invasion of Iraq believing that it would enhance the security of their country of first allegiance — Israel. They now realize that the Iraq war has likely signed Israel’s death warrant and so are desperate to undo the damage done to Israel for which they alone are responsible. Grasping at straws, for example, Neocon Charles Krauthammer last week said the answer in Iraq was to directly arm the Kurds and Sunni tribes to fight the Islamic State. This sophomoric strategy was applauded by other Neocons, not one of whom asked why the Kurds and Sunni tribes would fight and die to reestablish the power of the Iran-backed Shia tyranny in Baghdad that the U.S. government and its allies knowingly installed and then silently watched persecute Iraq’s Sunnis.

The bottom line in all of this is the uncontestable fact that there would be no ISIS today if there had not been a U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. There is no question that the Neocons’ Iraq war afforded the Islamists opportunities to successfully internationalize their movement, expand their manpower and financial resources, and seize and hold large tracts of territory. None of these achievements would have been even remotely possible for the mujahedin if Saddam’s regime still governed Iraq. The voices now calling for more U.S. troops in Iraq are not American voices; they are the voices of panic-stricken agents of a foreign power who have no qualms about driving the United States deeper into debt and wasting the lives and limbs of more of America’s soldier-children. Though oracular sounding, these are alien, anti-American voices that must not be heeded.

The Media Is Focusing On the WRONG Senate Torture Report, from Zero Hedge

Two stories were told to justify US involvement in Iraq. The first was that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which were never found. The second was an alleged link between al Qaeda and Iraq, which was also never found. The link story was dubious to begin with. Al Qaeda are Sunni fundamentalists, while Hussein’s government was secular, and the two despised each other. One story has been told to justify what its defenders call “harsh interrogation techniques,” and its critics call “torture”: that it led to high value intelligence that prevented loss of American lives. However, this report from contributor George Washington at Zero Hedge makes clear that whatever they are called, the tactics were also used to get detainees to tell their “interrogators” what they wanted to hear: that there was in fact an al Qaeda-Iraqi link. There were some coerced confessions to that effect, all subsequently disavowed or debunked. The Zero Hedge article examines a 2009 Senate Armed Services Committee report which details how tactics used by Communist China during the Korean War were used to elicit false confessions of an al Qaeda-Iraqi link.