Department of Research


WAR ON IRAQ

Understanding America's War on Iraq - Oil, Dollars and Israel, written by Freydis

2003
Dead or Alive?
Saddam's Secrets
Oil & Dollar Economy
The Israel Factor
Russian Convoy Ambush
It ain't over
$900m update
More Questions update II
The Wall of Shame
Curtains for Saddam

2004
Who really caught Saddam?

2005
The Contractor Scandals

Civil War

2006
Zarqawi Assassinated
From Bad to Worse
Vietnam Without the Water
Why Stay in Iraq?
Lack of Imagination

'Rebuilding' Iraq Scam
Lack of Responsibility
Gangland Iraq

Genocide for Dollars
Why is the U.S. still in Iraq?

A Most Ambitious Failure
Saddam's Execution

2007
Death Squads Return
Crime Incorporated

More of the Same
The Embassy
Fooled Again?
Inconvenient Facts
Why War on Iraq?

2008
Various Updates
Lies and more Lies
Who Cares About Iraqis?
A War for Oil?
A War for Genocide
Surge Success Scam

2009
Pacifying Sunni Iraq
Kill Zone: Iraq
Saddam & al Qaeda 'Linked'
Saddam Revisited
Babylon Wrecked
Bloody Blackwater

2010
Use of Chemical Weapons

2011
Where did the money go?

References
News
Resources

Dead or Alive? (April, 2003)

... and the question is of course about Saddam Hussein. According to a video released, Saddam appears to have been alive and well as late as April 9th, 2003. [1] This would be immediately before Iraq fell and after several bombing attempts by American forces intending to kill him and his ranking staff.

The suddenness of the fall of the Iraqi government despite repeated rhetoric of eternal resistance has surprised many, especially the Arab world itself. Comparisons between Lebanon and Iraq were common. Although Israel invaded Lebanon and remained badly mired for some 18 years and the large city of Beirut delivering massive resistance, Iraq turned out to be nothing like Lebanon. Except for the first part of the war the military resistance to American forces in Iraq was both scattered and inconsistent. This is not to say it wasn't intense at times or that Iraq as a whole under the despotic authority of Saddam could have lasted much longer, even prolonging the conflict into a Vietnam of sorts given the proper motivation. Basra for instance in the south, about the first city that coalition forces encountered on their drive north from Kuwait proved surprisingly stubborn in its resistance to invasion forces and steadily escalating number of American and British casualties. Keep in mind that this was the first theater of combat to ever see M1A1 main battle tanks destroyed and knocked out in combat by Iraqi forces. Marines were in constant gun battles with unknown, shifting guerilla style enemies. Sandstorms and high-winds were slowing down allied advances and creating accidents. Meanwhile poor communications and sleep deprivation led to a rapid series of fratricide incidents, mistaken targeting and other 'accidents'. It's a good thing the heavy combat did not last any longer than it did because it was not going to be a pretty war for the Americans. Hundred of pan-Arab volunteers were streaming into Iraq by bus from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, all over, just to fight the American forces in Iraq but the game was over before they could even play!

Yet despite the frenetic pace of victories presented to the American public by their biased mass-media, stumbling over themselves to prove which network is more 'patriotic' in its lack of objectivity, the war did not even put a dent into Iraq's military forces. The vaunted Republican Guard was not even scratched, most of their equipment remained because they learned to hide them and scatter them around instead of doing the opposite and seeing them get obliterated as during the first Gulf War.

Joseph Stalin was Saddam Hussein's role model

But the fact remains that this war was less of a nationalist, collective effort to resist imperialist invaders as it was about Saddam's own skin - keeping it safe and fairly wealthy in this case. And this is where the speculation begins because a remarkable confluence of personal interests can be seen to emerge at this point.

Saddam knew that Iraq could hold out and prolong the conflict into another Vietnam for America or at least another Somalia. Somalia as typified by the Hollywood movie 'Black Hawk Down' was Saddam's blueprint for resistance. Around a year ago he ordered hundreds of light trucks, the kind that drive around Somalia with machine guns on the back, for use by the Fedayeen guerrilla forces in Iraq. This sort of scattered, opportunistic attacking proved fairly effective in Somalia and it was looking to be at least that in Iraq. So why did Baghdad not turn into another bloody urban-warfare scene even bigger than Basra? Why did all the command and leadership elements simply vanish at the exact same time and where did they go? Why were none of the bridges into Baghdad ever destroyed? And if Saddam had chemical weapons why didn't he use them?

Another big question right now is all the brand new Federal Reserve money in the form of huge bails of unopened $100 dollar bills popping up all over Baghdad. This is not just in banks but even in private houses in upscale neighborhoods; the total so far is in the billions! Another billion in gold bullion was found in a Baghdad bank and the Marines had to sized it even as the looters were about to do so themselves. Tariq Aziz's house was looted and it seems that most of his valued possessions, the kind you'd want to take with you like photographs, were still there. All of this points to a very rapid egress on the part of the Saddam clique.

Saddam's Secrets

I think all of these questions can be answered if we look at it from the perspective of Saddam half-expecting to leave from day one. Every wily dictator has a Plan B in the back of their mind whether they tell others or not. This is one reason why they last so long - they always play it safe. Saddam had already barely escaped with his life at least two bombing attacks directly targeting him from the Americans, some have said these attacks missed by only three hours! Saddam knew it was only a matter of time before they got a lucky shot and his ran out. By early April it was fairly clear to him that Plan B needed to be invoked. At some point a deal was brokered for his safe escape from Iraq likely along with his family and some of his ranking government. This likely occurred very late in 'the game' hence the rapid exit and near instantaneous vanishing of the military leadership. Baghdad fell without a fight because no one was left to give any orders!

It's very likely that even before the war began Saudi Arabia had already sent out tentative appeals for Saddam to step-down and save the Middle East from the social and political turmoil that would inevitably ensue from such an egregious and discretionary war as this one on the part of the Bush administration. Saudi Arabia was probably the most at risk from the likely public revolts and riots that would come from war on Iraq as their government is already weak enough and public sentiment near boiling to begin with. Saudi Arabia had a significant interest in seeing this war either not happen or end as quickly as possible and the surprisingly robust resistance in Iraq at the beginning of the shooting was very bad news for the Saudi government in that regard. Bush even said as much that to see Saddam go rather than fight would be acceptable if not preferable. And this is where the confluence of interests arises. About April 9th it seems Saddam decide to take up Saudi Arabia with their offer of exile rather than face the next 2000 pound bomb falling from the sky. He may have gone through Syria first probably in single, unpretentious cars. It's know that all his important staff already had multiple passports and documents to get them anywhere and money was not an issue. Yemen has been talked about as another very safe place for him to hide among the sympathetic.

But now the heat is on Syria and even if Saddam was still there he couldn't stay much longer. Yemen is very remote and the government has been trying to crack down on rebel groups already. Saudi Arabia is the safest place because they are already aligned with the Bush administration. And there is precedent for this. Saudi Arabia provided and still provides sanctuary to Uganda's notorious dictator Idi Amin, a true pillar of Islamic faith there! If Saddam is anywhere he's probably in Saudi but the terms of his escape deal no doubt stipulate that he remain invisible for at least the remainder of Bush's term in office.

At Fort Hood, Bush was asked for an update on the status of Saddam Hussein and replied, "I would suggest he not pop his head up." [6] Politicians often make inscrutable or simply incoherent comments; interpret the previous one as you wish.

This is why the Bush administration and its handful of lackeys in the intelligence departments are so desperately trying to convince everyone that Saddam is really dead despite the dearth of compelling evidence. The last thing Bush needs is another Osama running around causing trouble. Meanwhile to make things look nice for the public a token number of small fish and second bananas will be picked up every so often to make it look like America is in hot pursuit of Saddam himself.

Joyous liberated looters scavenge through Saddam City in the flaming aftermath of American attacks.

But in Iraq right now Saddam's secular Ba'ath party remnants are already consolidating their power. They may even re-emerge in slightly altered form as part of the new government, it wouldn't surprise me. Besides that, the religious fervor gripping Iraq is definitely worth noting - remember Saddam is not Islamic but tribal in roots and his politics are secular-socialist. Religion was suppressed in Iraq until shortly after the first Gulf War in a frantic bid to re-glue Saddam's country and his power back together. It worked but at the price of de-centralizing some control and placing it in the hands of local chiefs and tribal bosses as well as some religious leaders. Today this effect is re-emerging as a renewed interest in creating an Islamic state and kicking out the American military occupiers but to American interests this is like going out of the frying pan and into the fire! [4]

Whatever the case, this war has confounded the 'experts' and had several surprising twists to it already and it's not even over yet. Now, on to the money trail.

Oil and the Dollar Economy

First off the American economy is only competitive in the world today due to cheap energy prices, it's not labor costs, it's not even worker productivity really. America has cheap gasoline, low electricity costs and low energy taxes as compared to most any other industrialized country. This advantage means that American products can be transported and fabricated at lower cost than many other places. Needless to say the economic health of America is dependent upon cheap and plentiful energy while oil or natural gas form the basis for most of this energy. Very high prices or interruptions in power supplies are poison to the American economy. This fact alone is justification enough to economic authorities for a country to go to war, especially during a recession.

So, low energy costs are a huge competitive advantage but this in itself is not enough to make American the number one economy that it is. The second even more crucial factor is called Dollar hegemony. This means that the Federal Reserve notes are so widely used around the world that they have assumed a de facto authority as the dominant currency. Most of the world's commodities are denominated in Dollars when they trade and just about all oil is traded in Dollars too. And if that weren't enough American control, oil trades are done through New York's NYMEX exchange. The advantages of Dollar hegemony are astounding and easily explain the mysteries of American exceptionism in economics like why the United States can continue to run up massive trade and budget deficits that would cripple any other country. The secret of Dollar hegemony is that all those Greenbacks are what's called fiat currency meaning they have no backing in any substance like gold, just a promise of repayment upon demand. American Dollars are just IOU's, they are just debt, and they can be printed in any amount needed to suit political or economic interests of their government.

Normally printing money wildly without any concern for inflation would quickly drive the economy into a tailspin as the currency rapidly devalued but America can export its inflationary money and trade them for basic commodities like bananas from Ecuador or oil from Saudi Arabia. This is the equivalent of you or me going to the grocery store and paying for it with Monopoly game money! And guess who gets stuck holding the bag so to speak? The store does, or Ecuador or Argentina or Saudi Arabia, etc. Some countries quickly build up a surplus of Dollars and have to convert them because America doesn't want their own Monopoly money back. Sometimes this takes the form of them buying American government bonds by the multiple billions like in the case of Japan or expensive American weapons systems as in Saudi Arabia.

Other countries can't get enough dollars in trade from selling their raw commodities to meet basic national needs and are forced to borrow to stay afloat. Usually the only way they can get funding is from very large American banks such as CitiGroup or Chase Manhattan or through American government agencies. These debts are of course in Dollars and many countries soon end up bankrupt or just implode like Argentina or Ecuador. The United States can always pay off it's own debts or buy more commodities by simply printing more Dollar bills but no other country has that loophole. So places experiencing economic instability like Turkey or Brazil, they get International Monetary Fund (IMF) bail outs denominated in, guess what? Federal Reserve Dollars of course! And who owns them after that? Take a guess. Not surprisingly the IMF is based right in the middle of Washington DC; it masquerades as an objective developing world assistance agency but is really a shameless tool of the government powers just a few blocks away. Note that Russia was in the same situation a few years ago but they figured out the scam and paid off nearly all their Dollar IMF loans with oil cash even before paying off any other loans. Smart move.

In a few cases such as Ecuador the entire economy has been 'stabilized' by eliminating the native currency and replacing it with Federal Reserve greenbacks. But by doing so the country loses all control over their own economy because it can no longer deficit finance (print money) to pay for anything. This is good in the sense they cannot over-spend but bad in the sense they are completely at the mercy of the loan holders in the United States, essentially reduced to economic slavery necessitating increased natural resource extraction to deliver the commodities to America for a token payment in Dollars.

So obviously, all the little countries would love to pay for everything with Monopoly money too but they lack the economic and political clout to do it. They don't have a New York or a Chicago to serve as commodity trading hubs, they can only fight for scraps. This is the primary reason behind the advent of the Euro economic system itself, to get a piece of that hegemony action for Europe! And now we know why Bush administration multi-millionaire plutocrats like Donald Rumsfled go off on bizarre tangents attacking longtime allies like Germany and France calling them wimps, cowards, 'old-Europe' etc. but simultaneously building up England as heroes. England does not use the Euro but France and Germany do! Even Iraq figured this out and in 2002 started to denominate what little oil they could sell legally in Euros (€) switching away from Dollars ($).

Iraq is now being intentionally flooded with millions in Dollar bills, surprised? [2] The stated reason is to jump-start the Iraqi economy with payments to 'civil servants' or for the more likely but unstated reason as bribes to hush-up rebellious elements. Even though this is supposed to be temporary it's very likely to be permanent. No way are the American authorities going to give up the power that goes along with a Dollar denominated Iraqi economy! Even if a new Iraqi currency is eventually circulated it will almost undoubtedly be pegged to the U.S. Dollar.

Another reason the Bush administration initiated war on Iraq is that by controlling Iraqi oil, even if it is not directly being piped to American cars and power plants, it can still be used as a bargaining tool against the other countries of the world that do rely heavily on Mideast oil. Unlike America which gets much from Alaska and Venezuela, Japan is very reliant on Mideast oil, about 80% of their imports, and helps to explain their government's wildly enthusiastic support of this latest foray into Iraq. Australia may well be in the same situation for oil and could also explain their government's pro-war enthusiasm too. The American government can now use Iraq as a powerful tool of economic and political leverage throughout the world, rewarding allies and punishing dissenters just on the basis of allocating Iraqi oil. Finally one of the most convincing incentives for war against Iraq is to placate the powerful Israel lobby.

The Israel Factor

One simply cannot understand American foreign policy without Israel in the equation and this war plan unfolding today is about Israel at least as much as it is about oil. The military threats to Israel come primarily from Iraq which was an ulterior motive for the first Gulf War by W. Bush's father. However even after bombing them into the ground then, Iraq still has missiles like the Scuds which directly threaten Israel but absolutely nothing that could possible reach any fortress or strike American interests, just Israeli ones. The Israeli government headed by ex-General Ariel Sharon and a panoply of zealously pro-military Likud party members are adamant in their anti-Iraq stance. Direct American control of Iraq eliminates Saddam's support to the Palestinian cause and removes the direct missile threat too.

The second direct military threat to Israel is Syria and lo' and behold this is exactly the target Bush & Associates have latched onto in the Iraq war's aftermath, trumping up charges of chemical weapons and anything else that they can use as pretext for war. The number three threat to Israel is Iran and now not only does the U$ have a military base in the heart of west-Asia but Iran is nearly surrounded with nominally American controlled Afghanistan on the other side, Syria is nearly surrounded with Israel on the other flank. All these enemies of Israel can be either kept in line through fear or more likely directly targeted through economic warfare such as the sanctions about to be slapped on a 'non-compliant' Syria and the oil deprivation against Syria and Lebanon of more limited effect. Of further direct benefit to Israel is the fact that they are set to get a direct pipeline of Iraqi oil through Jordan and terminating at the Israeli port of Haifa. [7] This plan was originally envisioned in 1975 under Kissinger and promoted by a then much younger bureaucrat known as Donald Rumsfeld. The construction contract was to go to none other than Bechtel, primary contract winner to rebuild the important (oil) parts of Iraq now in 2003.

So now we have a pretty good idea of why this war was started and maybe even where it will lead in the short-term. But several key questions still remain to be answered such as where are the chemical weapons that were endlessly trumpeted by Bush & Associates as an imperative threat to world stability justifying immediate military action? It would only seem logical that if Saddam really had these things and was obviously aware of the corner he was locked into that using them on American troops would be a given. Yet this did not happen. Intense UN inspections prior to the war failed to find any credible evidence of chemical weapons or indeed any banned weapons wroth mention. They found a small remotely controlled plane that was made from slapped together spare parts that couldn't even fly. They found some harmless aluminum tubes that Colin Powell of the State Department blatantly lied about to the world as being useful for making nuclear materials. During the war multiple reports of white powder and mysterious chemicals all turned out to be innocuous - pesticides, flour, etc.

'Damn! No chemical weapons here either, sir. Only anti-tank mines.'

So Saddam may have had chemical or biological weapons but if he did they were small amounts and either very well hidden or destroyed with little if any intent to actually employ them in combat. Further, it's fairly clear that President Bush's whole pretext for war was a sham; the threat to America was a lie and the threat of spreading Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) were vastly blown out of proportion.

The Mysterious Case of the Ambushed Russian Diplomatic Convoy

Despite protests from the Bush regime the Russian embassy remained occupied and functional for most of the shooting war, monitoring the conflict around them. As American ground forces closed in on Baghdad and bombs began to fall uncomfortably close to their building the Russians decided it was time to leave, shredded documents as all embassy staff are trained to do and packed up what they needed onto a convoy to head for Syria. The Russian embassy team fully coordinated with the American military on their planned exit route to ensure their safety. However upon leaving they were attacked in Baghdad by American forces. The actual damage was limited and could have been worse but it still succeed in slowing the Russians down and forcing them to leave some vehicles, apparently. Whatever the case, this event was highly inconvenient for Condi Rice who happened to be starting a semi-covert diplomatic mission in Russia at this exact moment.

So basically the American's say they were shooting back at Iraqi soldiers but their excuses couldn't fly and they just decide to cover it up as much as possible. The question is why did this happen? This sort of egregious 'accident' is reminiscent of the American bombing of the Chinese embassy in Serbia during that Clinton war (see report: Just Say NO to NATO). Keep in mind that Russia has been a consistent benefactor and sponsor of Iraq just like to Serbia. It is known that the Iraqis captured at least one (maybe more) completely intact AH-64D Longbows, arguably the most advanced attack helicopter in the world. The Serbians shot down an F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter and very likely scooped up the parts and sent them off to Mother Russia. A Longbow is not quite as good a catch but the radar is worth the weight in gold, at least. Similarly the Iraqi archives are mostly missing and speculation resides on where they could have gone to. Some think the Russians funneled out incriminating documents via the diplomatic convoy and that the Americans knew of this and that's why they tried to ambush them. Whatever the case something is going on behind the scenes and it doesn't smell nice.

It ain't over 'till its over

Famous last words from Generals and Presidents aside this conflict is far from being over. Sporadic fighting both between ethnic groups and between occupying American military forces and disgruntled Iraqi factions will continue for the foreseeable future. The state of Iraq's vast oil resources have yet to be determined and so have the equally huge foreign debts [3] accumulated by the former Iraq government. Indeed, whatever long term plans the Bush administration has for Iraq besides permanent control of at least four key military bases may be open for debate but their immediate priorities in Iraq remain completely transparent. The Oil Ministry building not only survived the bombing campaign unscathed but is now one of the few buildings in Baghdad to be thoroughly guarded by American military forces.

"We have a lot of experience with coups d'etat and this one is the worst," he said. "Any colonel in the Iraqi army will tell you that when he does a coup he goes to the broadcasting station with five announcements.
"The first one is long live this, down with that. The second one is your new government is this and that. The third is the list of the people to go on retirement. The fourth one, every other official is to report back to work tomorrow morning. The fifth is the curfew."
This is usually done within one hour, he added. "Now we are waiting more than a week and still we hear nothing from them."
- Useful commentary from the new/old director general of Iraq's Oil Ministry who refuses to give a name! [5]

So far United States funds to rebuild a bombed-out and sanction-impoverished country have been appallingly low. The stated reason is so that other countries will kick-in more funds! But as far as American interests are concerned this is winning the battle and losing the war. If the Iraqi's are not on America's side then the whole effort is just taking a fairly stable, centrally controlled minor threat and turning it into a decentralized, ethnically and religiously charged polyglot with a white-hot grudge against America.

America can win any military battle but the war is not won with military might alone. Americans are set to pay a very high price for their military victory unless their political leadership quickly wakes up to this fact.


The $900 Million Dollar Update (July, 2003)

One of the most astonishing anomalies emerging from the smoking remnants of Baghdad has to do with the multi-million dollar bundles of Federal Reserve bills found stashed in safe-houses. When I first mentioned this it was too early to form any adequate picture of what it meant but now details have filtered out which seem to suggest a concerted effort by Saddam and his sons to organize a resistance movement in the wake of a predictable American military victory in Iraq.

The story goes that immediately before the ground war began Saddam's son(s) went to the Central bank in Baghdad and ordered $900 million dollars removed. [8] This would likely have necessitated two to three large trucks to haul it all away! Some speculate it was sent to Syria but if it was instead dispersed around Baghdad it would very neatly explain the bundles of cash being found (see above). These bunches had all the hallmarks of being directly from a bank as they were wrapped in plastic still with the official seals and kept in neat metal boxes.

Why did the Iraqi central bank have over a billion dollars in American money just sitting in back of the bank vault? This is not standard banking procedure and it makes even worse business sense. Granted this was not a typical bank trying to make a profit by investing their funds but rather a government entity and also one rarely bothered or molested by Saddam. The Iraqi central bank was an independent entity, or at least as much as was possible in Saddam's Iraq. Still the fact remains Iraq was a heavily sanctioned and impoverished country that got most of its funding from illegal fuel trucks driving to Syria for cash and operating outside of the UN food for oil program. Was this accumulation over ten years enough to explain the money? But why would Saddam keep it in the local bank instead of in his own private Swiss bank account? Why did Saddam not take the money with him?

So although his plan to fund a resistance movement may have met some snags with the loss of two thirds of the cash, Saddam's other plan for resurrection ala Osama bin Laden seems to be on track. An audio tape has been released exhorting Iraqis to rise up against the occupation forces in Iraq. [9]

At this point one thing is clear - Saddam is not defeated yet and much like a bad summer movie sequel he will be back in one form or another and President Bush has already bought everyone a ticket courtesy of the American taxpayer. 07.05.03

Saddam may be gone but his supporters remain, leaving friendly reminders in the form of graffiti.

***

Admitting they don't know where Saddam is or even if he's deal or alive, the United States government now offers a $25 million reward for his capture or proof of death. $25 million is the same amount still offered for catching Osama bin Laden. Would be bounty hunters may also be interested to know that $15 million is offered for information leading to the capture of Saddam's two sons, Odai and Qusai. 03.07.03

***

Like a clichéd ending to a bad gangster movie both of Saddam Hussein's sons, Odai and Qusai, were shot dead in a lengthy firefight while barricaded inside a house in the northern Iraq town of Mosul after overstaying their welcome and being turned in. Further, Saddam's own power network was dealt a significant hit as his two sons were about the only people he trusted and could use to carry out orders.

Although it's widely hoped attacks on American forces will decrease with the death of these two, this may be more wishful thinking than fact as many of the insurgents in Iraq have come in from outside the country. Iraq is now a giant playground for anyone in the Arab world with a grudge against America to visit and try and exact revenge. 23.07.03


Where is everybody? - A Few Questions on Iraq (October, 2003)

Why can’t the Occupation Forces find Saddam Hussein?
This seems especially odd since he’s most likely still in Iraq, hiding in a small corner of the country and probably in one town! Maybe if he’d left a forwarding address for his magazine subscriptions the Americans could have found him!

What happened to the rumored Saddam body doubles?
Supposedly Saddam had several people surgically altered to look exactly like himself and they would wander around Iraq and soak up the bullets of assassins or something like that. It seems odd that none have been spotted or arrested. And how would the American forces identify the real Saddam from a double, DNA, and intense interrogation?

And another thing, why have the old Saddam leadership clique not been arrested and tried?
Catch and release! Many have been found and arrested but almost immediately they are released and sent home! Why? Is that smart given the guerrilla warfare going on?

So, absolutely NO weapons of mass destruction found at all in Iraq?
You read right. Some fighter planes were found wrapped in plastic and buried in shallow sand. This lead to thought of finding actual WMD buried someplace but nothing has been found and couldn’t have been of any use to Saddam in that capacity anyhow. Conclusion: Saddam, if he ever had any WMD, destroyed, lost, sold, got rid of them after the first Gulf War. No WMD, indeed this has to rank as one of the biggest Presidential blunders of recent history. This pretext for war against Iraq was completely fabricated from day one; it was all built on one lie after another and as of yet no one in the Bush administration has been held accountable even as American soldiers continue to die in Iraq on a daily basis! Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and the rest of the profligate posse thought that the lies wouldn’t matter because they’d win and write the history books. How much did you wager? All of it! Oooh, so sorry!

***

It needs to be reiterated that the American public DID NOT want to invade Iraq, however a sizeable portion of them did SUPPORT the Presidential decision made to do so. OK, this is not democracy! The decision to invade Iraq did not originate in heartland America and rise up as a unified chorus until Congress and the President responded, no this was more like monarchism – all hail King George II of Texas!

The public supports a King and his decisions not because they necessarily think his decisions wise and benevolent but because openly opposing him serves no useful benefit to their own lives. Unfortunately this is what America has descended into, a low-grade plutocratic dictatorship where the Executive authority can start any war anywhere he wants to, concoct and implement (through executive order) any policy he wishes all regardless of public opinion. Indeed now public opinion is just an extension of the Kings anyway and so are the people just an extension of his own property. 28.10.03


The Wall of Shame: Lying Liars and the pro-Israel NeoCons who love them


George W. Bush
President – permanently residing in state of denial.

What? Me worry?!

Vice President - permanently residing at undisclosed location.

What conflict of interest?


Dick Cheney

Donald Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defense - ol' funny face.

Don’t worry, it’s all under control.

Deputy Defense Secretary - war on Iraq mastermind.

Misread tea-leaves


Paul Wolfowitz

Richard Perle
Under-Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon (appointed civilian).

Not just another ‘beady-eyed bastard'


Curtains for Saddam (December, 2003)

December 13th, American soldiers on another mission to find Saddam were busy scouring Ad Dawr on a tip-off from an informant. After nearly giving up, closer inspection revealed a tomb-like secret underground hiding place just barely large enough for one person to fit into, then a disheveled and defeated Saddam emerged from his ‘spider hole’. The only possession of any value discovered nearby was a suitcase with $750,000.

Although at this point the Red Cross has not had been allowed to see him and indeed the whole story lacks independent, outside verification, it does nonetheless appear that the Saddam Hussein, and not just a body-double, is now in the custody of American military forces in Iraq.

Questions still unresolved at this point include, who if anyone gets to collect the $25 million reward for Saddam’s capture, what will happen to Saddam, and what effect will all of this have on events inside Iraq? Things we do know: Saddam was too busy running to coordinate rebellion operations in Iraq and his capture will not materially change the scale or intensity of guerrilla warfare on the ground in the country. In the long run the effect is more problematic since Saddam on trial could create a martyr for the resistance, albeit an unlikely one. It could also give a boost to the rebel fighter leaders inside Iraq because they have the potential to assume to the role and authority of Saddam now that he’s out of the picture!

Ironically Iraq is becoming exactly what Saddam was placed in and maintained in power by the United States to prevent: the rise of religious fundamentalism. [Preventing the rise of the Communist party in Iraq was another aim.] Remember, Iraq is essentially an artificial state, it's a colonial vestige of the British Empire composed of vastly disparate and antagonistic ethnic and religious factions.

Although the bipolar geopolitical situation was slightly more complicated amid the crumbling Cold War, Bush Sr. still had enough sense to recognize the magnitude of the situation and allow Saddam to stay after Gulf War I. Of course Bush Sr. also worked for the same organization (CIA) that helped to put Saddam in power in the first place. The fact remains that tyrant and military strongman Saddam was the only thread holding the precarious but secular Iraqi state together. Unless your Dubya Bush or you’ve got your head in a paper bag, it’s plain to see that civil war in Iraq is practically inevitable. More so than even Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion, Iraq is becoming an incubator for Islamic radicals to train, test weapons and tactics and then spill out into other parts of the world. The American invasion of Iraq has made the Middle East a much more dangerous place than it already was and by extension made the world a much more dangerous place as well. Further, without any credible exit strategy or means of establishing a viable replacement government to Saddam’s deposed regime it is clear that the United States is in it all very deep. 19.12.03


Who Really Caught Saddam Hussein?

This has been a deep background story since just before Saddam’s capture but it is increasingly likely that the Kurds did capture Saddam and that they held him for two weeks or so prior to the official announcement / staged capture by the Americans. The Kurds certainly had every reason to go after Saddam and the inside intelligence to do the job. This was convenient for both sides because the Kurds could use the time to bargain with the Americans for the concessions they really want and also allowed Bush to gain the political points from Saddam's capture to be timed exactly the way he wanted it for domestic consumption. The most intriguing twist of events that this presents is the fact that the Kurds now will start to gain the political and economic authority they have long sought, and long been denied by all the regional powers from Turkey to Jordan and beyond. And because the autonomy and control over the oil rich north is already happening this leads me to conclude that the Kurds really did catch Saddam and it's not just an idle rumor. Certainly it has not been disproved and not even denied by any of the parties involved.

Problem is, a win for the Kurds will be seen unequivocally as a loss for everyone else in the region because in the game of musical chairs that is Middle East geography the Kurds have always been like the seventh player in a six-chair game. This makes civil war inside Iraq and probably spilling over into nearby countries too, very likely. If the Bush administration follows through on its as yet unstated concessions to the Kurds it will invariably worsen the social and ethnic unrest in the region. Iraq is now for all practical purposes an intractable dilemma because no matter how many times one analyzes it, it always loops back to the same thing - the only way to hold this polyglot of conflicting groups together is a feared and ruthless strongman, a Saddam Hussein. The only other option is to conclude that holding old Iraq together is simply unrealistic and devolve power into separate regional authorities and hope that the ensuing fracas will eventually burn out and a new balance of power will emerge. The nearest comparison I can think of is the Balkans in southeast Europe that finally broke apart after the dictator Tito fell from power, but we should also be aware of what happened afterwards! Anyone remember Kosovo?

Clearly if short-term regional stability in Iraq is a goal of the Bush administration, for instance to extract the oil, this is impossible for all practical purposes no matter how the cake is sliced.10.01.04


Bags of Money: The Contractor Scandal in Iraq

Waste, fraud and corruption amongst the contractors hired to work in Iraq is not a new story but news of the funding used to pay the contractors has added a novel twist. It appears that the Bush administration tapped Iraq’s Oil For Food program account, taking something like 8 billion dollars, in order to provide the financial liquidity necessary for operating the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq. The CPA was the interim government established by the Bush Administration to setup reconstruction contracts, disburse money, organize services and basically run Iraq before an elected government could be formed.

The anti-corruption organization Transparency International recently rated the financial fraud and mismanagement in Iraq as exceptionally serious: If urgent steps are not taken, Iraq ... will become the biggest corruption scandal in history." Details of this scandal are still emerging but so far it places great doubt upon the ethical superiority of the Bush administration as compared to Saddam’s since both parties have now been implicated in the gross misuse of money from the same UN program! The Bush administration's argument is that they appropriated the cash to rebuild Iraq yet they did not allow competitive bidding and instead spent billions on favored American contractors, most of which were either crooks to begin with or soon became corrupt because of the disbursement mechanism, in this case literally nothing more than bags of hundred dollar bills! Now it emerges that the records and accounting of the CPA’s financial disbursements are missing, forged, or even nonexistent in the first place.

Since the Iraqis had no input on how their own oil earnings were being spent the Bush administration perpetrated theft on a massive scale against the Iraqi people in order to fund their imposed regime on that country. This is even more ironic when considering the level of criticism that was directed at the United Nations over allegations of fraud and corruption in the management of Iraq’s Oil-For-Food funds, yet when the independent inquiry run by Paul Volcker was released recently it cleared United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan of wrongdoing. The ball is back in Bush’s court now.

In other news, Iraqis are increasingly disappointed and disaffected by the continuing inability of their elected leadership to move the country forward or indeed to agree on much of anything besides the need to get the United States, excuse me, Coalition forces out of their country. And speaking of the ‘coalition’ many of these countries such as Spain, Italy, the Ukraine, all want out and are looking for the nearest and quickest exit. For example, Burlusconi may still be a Bush supporter but the Italian public never wanted to get stuck in Iraq and definitely want out now that a car full of their people, a released hostage and an intelligence agent, were shot-up by shoot-first-ask-questions-later American soldiers. This means that by the end of 2005 it will not be much of a coalition effort, if indeed it ever was.

Insurgents continue to attack the fuel infrastructure in Iraq and that is depriving the country of both electrical power and funding from oil exports. Heading into the hot summer months Iraq is woefully unprepared to meet electrical energy demands. Over the course of this conflict, the American forces have managed to lose any sense of legitimacy in the eyes of the Iraqi people that they may have had initially through a lengthy series of events such as random arrests, detention without charges, prison abuse, financial mismanagement, and so on. If the elected Iraqi government remains unable to progress in any meaningful fashion they will soon lose legitimacy in the view of the Iraqi people as well. At that point the Bush administration will be left without any overt and remotely legitimate tools with which to control the situation in Iraq. Islamic fundamentalists remain the only element in Iraqi society that has any legitimacy and means of influencing the situation. 03.04.05

For details on the contractor corruption in Iraq and the theft of Iraqi money read these two articles:

The Great ‘Rebuilding of Iraq’ Scam

Congress has declared their intent to investigate allegations of fraud and waste by the contractors hired by the Bush administration to rebuild Iraq after credible evidence has emerged that such criminal actions were widespread, and indeed likely continue now. If the final conclusion of this investigation is anything but ‘massive corruption and financial fraud’ we will know the investigation is itself a fraud. Indeed it is clear by now that the whole intent of Bush & Associates' rebuilding of Iraq scheme was to be as wasteful and inefficient as possible. They ignored public complaints about allocating open ended contracts to disreputable or underqualified companies and undermined or underfunded financial oversight agencies so they could not adequately monitor to whom or to what purpose the money was going to!

At the same time the Bush administration has charged the United Nations and its own contractors with fraud and the misallocation of funds in the Oil-for-Food (OFF) program that was intended to provide Iraq with much needed food and supplies with its controlled oil sales while under sanctions. The hypocrisy of Bush & Associates is especially glaring in light of their own fraud perpetrated in Iraq that dwarfs in scale the allegations against the UN. Consequently, allegations of corruption by the UN in OFF are very unlikely to ever go beyond rhetoric from the Bush administration and the Neo-con schemers. The allegations are just a calculated effort to redirect blame away from the actual culprits.

The real intent of Bush & Associates was not to rebuild Iraq, it was to steal Iraq’s money, billions of dollars worth, being held in the Oil for Food fund. The could not do this directly because it would be obvious theft and the paper trail would be damning so they had to cook up some kind of scheme to make it look legitimate. This scheme took the form of ‘rebuilding’ Iraq, even though in further irony the damage was inflicted by a military invasion, punitive sanctions, and years of aerial bombing by United States and the UK as they enforced the ‘No-Fly-Zones’ over two thirds of Iraq. Now that we recognize this plan everything else makes sense, now we can see why certain contracting companies were favored over others and why there was an intentional effort to avoid oversight and accounting standards, even going so far as to pay with bags of cash despite the dangers of transporting it amidst a raging insurgency! 13.08.06


Civil War in Iraq 

Regardless of the smokescreen being thrown up from heated rhetoric and car bombs, Iraq has essentially split into three mini-countries. The Shiite’s control the southern third, the Sunnis have nominal control over the central third, and the Kurds the northern third.

The Shiite section of Iraq in the south is aligned with Iran because of ethnic and historic connections; they also have access to the Persian Gulf and major oil production capacity. So far, the Shiites for the most part have shown a surprising unwillingness to get involved in the civil war strife that is wracking Iraq. It seems doubtful this situation can be sustained given the increasing pace of the carnage bleeding out into the south.

The Sunni section in the middle of Iraq has suffered a major defeat having lost the exclusive control over the country they enjoyed under Saddam Hussein. Their chunk of real estate does not have the oil resources and their closest neighbor Syria, still in Ba’ath party control, is economically weak and politically marginalized. The Sunni of Iraq have little left to lose, consequently revolt and violence are widely seen as the only means left of rectifying the situation. Taking advantage of this situation is the cryptic and extremely militant Jordanian Abu Musab Zarqawi, acting for Al Qaeda in Iraq. Zarqawi doesn’t represent Iraqi Sunni interests but he knows how to exploit their disenfranchisement in conjunction with a steady influx of foreign fighters to build a formidable insurgency with the aim of forming a country run on the strict interpretation of Islamic law that can then be used as a base to do the same thing to neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia.

Flag of KurdistanOf the three groups the Kurds are the most advanced in their quest for independent statehood. The Kurds now have their own international airport, flag, government and militia forces, as well as grand ambitions to reclaim a big chunk of Iran and Turkey that they claim is also Kurdish territory. Not only that, now the Kurds are pushing for a ‘no fly zone’ over northern Iran in a crass attempt to gain that land for Kurdistan by mimicking the low-level air-war campaign over Iraq for a decade after the first Gulf War. This situation is exactly why a disintegrating Iraq was so feared by Iraq’s neighboring countries because, in the game of ethnic musical chairs the characterizes the land distribution in West Asia, the Kurds were the group without a seat and now that they do have a ‘chair’ they are pushing someone else out in the process.

The Kurds and Shiites have no reason to compromise with the Sunnis, so even constructing a confederated Iraq is a long shot and realistically the only possibility is a loose association of disjointed states. Iraq has effectively become a giant Yugoslavia in heart of the middle east. The next phase in this torturous development will be ethnic cleansing as each group struggles to assert control over important portions of land. The city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq is already experiencing this process as the Kurds move people in and force others out. The Kurds know that lines on the map are meaningless without the demographic facts on the ground to back them up.

American and coalition forces are caught in the middle of all of this. The grand notions of reconstructing Iraq have stalled as the security situation continues to deteriorate. Most of the military effort is focused on a shell game of reclaiming villages and towns from insurgents, leaving to retake another town, and then coming back to do it all over again. For all practical purposes the Army is locked in stalemate and without a viable and functional pro-American government in Iraq that can defend itself, United States forces have no way of getting out of the bloody mess they’re trapped in. What the civilian planners of this foolish conflict had to learn the hard way is that the only way to hold Iraq together, being a tenuous multi-ethnic agglomeration, is through a Stalin-like dictator i.e. Saddam Hussein. Saddam was the keystone that held the structure together and no practical way exists to put humpty dumpty Iraq back together again without that keystone.

The most pathetic result from this fracas is that all of the elements of civil society that America tried to impart to the new Iraq such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law, have all been discredited because they are intricately associated with the weak and corrupt regime imposed upon the country through force. None of the three groups in Iraq want to be a part of the American regime just as they don’t want to be a part of a federal Iraq, all of the parties involved are just exploiting it for their near-term gain. Equally pathetic is that the process of drafting a constitution has not brought Iraqis together in mutual cooperation as promised but instead has driven them apart as it has exposed the deep divisions between the separate parties! 

The Consequences Come Home

The official statistics for the United States' economy indicate around a 3% national growth rate. Unfortunately, this economic growth is quite narrowly distributed, mostly in construction thanks to the speculative real estate bubbles in markets across the country, with more popping up at an increasingly rapid pace. The other growth sector is of course the defense and related infrastructure/support contracting industry. Most every other sector of the American economy is stagnant or declining, but since a few are getting rich while real estate values are rising it is just enough to present the illusion of a moderately healthy economy.

Actually the United States’ economy is far from healthy. High oil prices and chronic, record setting trade deficits are draining Dollars out of the country as fast as they can be printed. Offsetting this to a small extent, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq provide an initial boost to specific sectors of the economy due to the direct federal, debt-funded, spending. The problem is that since the infrastructure being built is in another country, the direct benefit to the American taxpayer is dubious at best but of significant benefit to the corporations, CEOs and shareholders benefiting from the contracts. Besides that most of the reconstruction in Iraq is being demolished as fast as it can be built by a frenetic insurgency that shows no signs of abating. Anymore these reconstruction projects are simply getting put on indefinite hold because so much of the funding has to be diverted to security! [10]

Funding the ongoing war on terrorism is now approaching $7 billion dollars per month, and that’s just money needed to continue operations not the cost of equipment that will need to be replaced. The price tag of Bush’s war is actually higher on a monthly basis than the war in Vietnam even after adjusting for inflation! [12] Meanwhile, the Hurricane Katrina relief and reconstruction program is costing around $1 billion per day.

Bush & Associates continue to spend billions of Dollars with the national credit card to such an extent that the ballooning national debt and rapidly widening gap between federal income and federal spending is starting to make Wall Street investors very nervous. Not too surprisingly, gold is now at a 17 year high in price, a level not seen since 1987, the year of the New York stock market crash! Bottom line: a rising gold price is a solid indicator that the national economy is not on the right track.

An erosion of economic well being isn’t the only consequence of the escapades in Iraq, Afghanistan and everywhere else in the universe through the ill-defined ‘war on terrorism’. United States ground combat forces, the Army and Marines, are getting badly mangled in more ways than one through the ongoing, grueling combat in theater. Equipment lost through wear and tear or through combat will be costly to replace but it is the loss of personnel that really concerns the military planners. Recruitment shortfalls are only the most obvious indicator of trouble ahead. The modern military relies on advanced technology but especially upon highly skilled personnel for the critical advantage on the battlefield and once those people are gone, either through combat death or injury or simply because they are fed up with multiple back to back tours of duty, they are difficult, costly and time consuming to replace; the people with leadership skills that are lost will take years, even decades.

The real reason that America had to pull out of South Vietnam 30 years ago was because the Army had ceased to be an effective fighting force. Officer fragging, rampant drug abuse, and miniscule morale simply devastated the capacity of the Army to continue fighting in Vietnam. If the funding to pay for the military doesn’t dry up the Army will simply collapse from the pressure in Iraq and cease to be an effective force on the ground. The ground forces will not emerge from Iraq in the same condition that they entered. Armed conflict involving the United States over the next decade at least will see a return to the Clinton era policy of using Navy cruise missiles and air-launched precision strikes in place of ground combat. 

The Thief in Chief and the Great Giveaway

The similarities already emerging from the reconstruction of Hurricane damaged New Orleans indicate that the crony capitalism, corruption and general financial malfeasance characteristic of the Bush administration is not an aberration but part of an intentional plan. [11] Only Congress, not the President, can allocate money from the budget but Bush & Associates have found a novel means of getting around this barrier. By using the pretext of a disaster, be it artificial like Iraq or natural like Hurricane Katrina, they can exploit the imperative necessity of quick reaction to the situation to extract multi-billion dollar supplemental budgets from Congress with few, if any, limitations restricting how to spend the money or who to give it to - it’s an emergency after all! Once the funding is in the pipeline then all the people at the head of federal departments, the people that were appointed by President Bush & Associates, use their influence to divert the billions of dollars to the people and corporations that they favor.

The Bush administration is playing the public like a fiddle while they burn the Empire and have their associates act as the private, for-profit fire department. From carpet-baggers to war profiteers, opportunism is just the American way, right?! 16.09.05


Zarqawi Assassinated

On June 8, 2006 the Bush administration announced they had successfully killed public enemy number one, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, near Baghdad Iraq using two 500lb bombs delivered via F-16.

Zarqawi had practically every bombing and nefarious deed in Iraq pinned on him by the Bush administration, and the Pentagon even admitted they had intentionally exaggerated the threat from him in a calculated propaganda effort. Now that he is out of the picture, assuming his death isn’t just more Pentagon propaganda, then a new public enemy number one will have to be concocted since Osama bin Laden is, apparently, not important anymore.

So despite the barely concealed excitement in the rhetoric from the Bush administration’s mouthpieces and the American media outlets, the outcome is unlikely to slow the pace of killing and insurgent attacks in Iraq or elsewhere. Is the war over now? Can all the troops finally come home?! Yeah right. What has the killing of Zarqawi really changed?! Has either side lost the desire to continue the conflict? Hardly. Iraq now holds the distinction of being the most violent place on the planet.

Zarqawi had a frenetic run and it’s surprising how long he did last against the most powerful military empire in history, but his days were clearly numbered. Besides the multiple death sentences charged against him, from the Jordanian government for instance, Zarqawi had managed to alienate, or kill, nearly every potential ally in the region from tribal leaders to Shiite and even Sunni Iraqis with his ultra-violent tactics and singular and exclusionary version of Islamic law. Nonetheless he did not seem to lack for weapons, tactical allies, foot soldiers and suicide martyrs to conduct his campaign against the occupational regime in Iraq and the coalition military forces operating there.

Zarqawi knew the rules of the game he was playing. He was living by the sword and was undoubtedly aware that he would eventually die by it, yet others just like him are more than willing to take his place.

Many American’s probably aren’t aware of the massive effort that went into this operation. Thousands of people toiling for years, millions of collective hours, while burning through billions of dollars - all that effort just to find and assassinate one man! Something is seriously wrong with the United States, the national leadership isn’t even just treating the symptoms by attacking terrorism, now they’re an active participant in the sickness. The Bush administration is trying to use terrorism to defeat terrorism!

So considering the enormous resources required to kill just one threat, imagine what will be required when it’s not just one Zarqawi in a small region of a small country in a far corner of the planet, but ten Zarqawi’s all over the world. This is where we are headed because as long as persistent injustice and pervasive violence are prevalent terrorism will follow when people are given no other option to resolve their grievances. 08.06.06


Iraq in 2006: From Bad to Worse

Iraq is now characterized by a pervasive, low level civil war featuring refugees fleeing the country en masse and ethnic cleansing against the ones who don’t have the money to buy or forge the documents to get out. The south of Iraq, focused on the critical city of Basra, is run by criminal gangs that siphon-off resources to benefit their cliques while their violent militias kidnap, torture and extort opponents. The north of Iraq is under nominal Kurdish control, with the city of Mosul at the center, but the two political groups running the show, the Kurdish Democrat Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), are increasingly at odds with each other. The oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk is an inter-ethnic battleground for an ethnic cleansing tug-of-war. The center remainder of Iraq, with Baghdad in the middle, is a collage of internecine hot spots with Ramadi being the latest Fallujah full of pitched battles between American soldiers and a very brazen and surprisingly strong insurgency.

So not only is the, mostly Sunni, insurgency still raging in Iraq but the now the, mostly Shiite, militia groups are also running amok. These militias originally emerged as a protection force for ethnic groups in the power and security vacuum of the post Saddam era. Nonetheless these militias now create more trouble then they are supposed to be stopping. Militia groups are illegal according to Iraqi law but no on is powerful enough to enforce the law and shut them down, and indeed their influence has continued to expand. Now Shiite militias have even taken over Iraq's entire prison system "from Basra to Baghdad"! [15]

The water and electricity supply to Iraq has continued to fall below demand and most areas of the country only have power and water for a few hours a day. Although it’s true that a few remote regions of Iraq remain virtually unaffected by the conflict, in the major population centers most every element of organized society such as centralized government, sewer services, garbage collection, and even regular civil commerce, have broken down. Indeed the situation is so appalling it simply defies comprehension by a western audience.

It seems reasonable that at some point in the not too distant future Iraq will have to hit bottom and plateau, forming some semblance of stasis to the violence. If this does happen look for the Bush administration to immediately exploit the flat-lined numbers to show the world and the skeptics that finally Iraq is stable and getting better, see we told you so! Unfortunately, at that bleak point there probably won’t be anything left of Iraq to save.

In the meantime the formation of another Iraqi government has been finished, with great fanfare. Yet just like the previous occupational regimes put in power through the military and political influence of the United States, this one has no more legitimacy in the eyes of the Iraqis than previous provisional governments. Further, the influence of the Iraqi government is weak at best and barely extends beyond the heavily fortified walls of the Green Zone in Baghdad that they are forced to reside in due to the intense violence going on outside.

If a weak, illegitimate and chronically partisan government was not bad enough for Iraq’s future, there is a looming budget problem that threatens to derail what little that has been accomplished in the way of unification of the country. US soldiers walk from a burning gas pipeline bombed by insurgents in Iraq, January 2006.Since oil production, distribution, and exporting levels are at or below pre-war Saddam Hussein era levels, and since the majority of Iraq’s national income is derived from petroleum sales, the result is a perpetual struggle to get enough oil to exchange for cash to pay the bills. Record high prices for oil, now around $70 per barrel, have greatly assisted Iraq because even though they sell volumes far below their capacity the higher prices have offset the loss. If oil prices fall, as an increasing number of economic analysts are predicting, then the Iraqi government is going to find a progressive agenda even more difficult to accomplish. Iraq, already a corrupt kleptocracy, will further descend into outright partisan war over the dwindling resources. Not too surprisingly reconstruction funding has begun to dry up amidst donor fatigue and massive corruption; more funding is not expected. Further exacerbating the budget problem are the onerous IMF budgetary restrictions and regulations that Iraq was forced to agree to follow as part and parcel of the Bush administration’s neo-liberal, privatize-everything-to-benefit-big-business agenda. Not a promising mixture is it?

It’s important to note that even three years into the war in Iraq, with most things still going from bad to worse, the mass media in the United States has yet to start asking tough questions about the war or about the Bush administrator’s handling of it. This despite multiple opportunities and an American public increasingly disenchanted and even angry with the course of the conflict as well as the disingenuous and fraudulent justifications used by the Bush administration to get involved in this discretionary war in the first place. Both parties, Republican and Democrat, are continuing to underestimate the level of public outrage over the flailing execution of the War on Terrorism, and are actively trying to suppress arguments that don’t support the establishment myth that the war is winnable and America must stay militarily involved in Iraq. This is a bizarre position when considering the political benefits that would go to a party that adopted a genuine opposition platform to the continuation of the war on Iraq that is burning up $8,000,000,000 every month! [13] What does this mean politically? It's a general rule in the United States that if both political parties agree on an issue, or despite idle arguments they still act in a manner that is effectively the same as agreement, it means one of two things: either massive public support exists for the issue or the Israel lobby is flexing their muscles and has cowed Congress into submissive support.

When the truth becomes unpatriotic national disaster soon follows. 009600i9ug000
May
2005

On June 15th the House and the Senate both held a debate to determine the future course of America's involvement in Iraq. Predictably, debate circled around the same tired arguments about letting the terrorists win and 'cutting and running'. Congress is not even questioning the fundamental, flawed assumptions used to prosecute the 'War on Terrorism', consequently everything that emerges from their pseudo-debate will be incapable of solving the real problems that created the insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the September 11 attacks in New York and the Pentagon. Only six senators dared to vote for a troop withdrawal by the end of 2006. [13] Congress is locked on a one-way rail line but a few mainstream voices can see things clear enough to spell out the truth, like this commentary article in the Washington Post newspaper. [14] Unfortunately, these voices of sanity aren’t reaching the policy makers.

The Geopolitical Consequences of America trapped in Iraq

America as a country, and as an empire in denial, now finds itself in a situation of staggering geopolitical magnitude, being sucked ever deeper into the hot and bloody sands of Iraq. Japanese ground forces are leaving, Italian troops are leaving Iraq by the end of 2006, Australian troops are ready to bail out, and British troops are headed for the door in the near future. The domestic political cost from widespread public resistance to participating in the war on Iraq is just too strong for these governments to continue to defy.

Iraqi boy carries his wounded sister to a hospital in Baghdad, 2006.America is like an insect impaled on a display board with a pin, its legs flailing wildly in a vain effort at movement yet going nowhere. America the insect can’t solve its painful problem because it cannot see outside of itself; it can’t see things through the eyes of others. But if it could America would realize how angry and humiliated the Iraqis feel and that no nation, no people want to be invaded and occupied no matter how benevolent and righteous the invaders claim to be in their endeavor. That should seem obvious, as should the fact that much of the anger directed against Saddam is not due to his thuggish behavior while in power, that was expected, but rather his failure to repel foreign invaders and keep Iraq a proud and independent country as part of the social bargain implicitly promised to the Iraqi people!

America can’t leave Iraq without a de facto admission of military defeat, yet the longer it stays the worse things get for both Iraq and America. Even ignoring the fact that the military occupation itself is generating most of the animosity that fuels the insurgency, the only logical solution is to accept the wisdom in the economic principle of sunk losses and just leave Iraq immediately, cutting the losses and stopping them from continuing. But since America is now an empire that justifies its supremacy through the application of its superior military power it cannot leave without undermining the very basis of its justification, becoming a barking dog without any teeth! Iraq has also taken on an irrational, emotional aspect because many in the Bush administration have personalized the conflict and are struggling to declare a victory in order to strike back at the rising cacophony of critics that say otherwise.

The United States is trapped in a philosophical paradox by refusing to ‘let the terrorists win’ in Iraq yet at the same time refusing to rescind the military occupation that is fueling insurgency and terrorism to begin with! This is like a fool complaining of a headache while continually banging their head against the wall.

What is the solution for the Iraqi crisis? A happy ending is probably impossible at this stage but at least one lesson is clear, Iraq should never have been disassembled by external military force to begin with. So at this point it is, in a practical sense, an intractable dilemma for America. But any real solutions will have to come from thinking that is a radical departure from the circular, reactionary, and self-defeating pool of ideas that has gone into making Iraq the mess it is now.

America can still win in Iraq but it will have to sacrifice something in order to get there. One plan is this: officially apologize to the Iraqi people and to Saddam Hussein, stop the show-trial that is rigged to convict Saddam of crimes that, for sheer brutality, pale in comparison to the widespread carnage that is currently being perpetrated on the Iraqi people from all sides. Give Saddam whatever support he needs to retake control of Iraq and crush the resistance groups. Is this a crazy idea? If you objectively study the situation and look past all the biased rhetoric and propaganda Saddam Hussein provided everything that is currently needed in Iraq – stability, centralized authority, domestic political legitimacy and a bulwark against terrorist groups like Al Qaeda. Again, ironically, many Iraqis would actually welcome him back into power because his reign of power was much more appealing than the random carnage they are currently enduring.

Another option is to pull out non-Iraqi forces entirely and let the place totally blow apart. From the smoking ruins the Iraqi people will sort it out and rebuild on their own. The product will have natural legitimacy because it will be self-created, not imposed from invaders. Of course the process will be extremely ugly and violent and the final outcome will most likely displease the Bush administration.

You the reader can invent your own solution too, but it really doesn’t matter much because the influential decision-making is still in the hands of the Bush administration and, as incredible as it seems, they are still only listening to the advice of the same Neo-con-artists that planned and pushed for an American invasion of Iraq years ago. Winston Churchill once stated, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing but only after they've exhausted every other possibility.” It appears that America will be deeply involved in Iraq, exhausting every other possibility, for many years to come. 16.06.06

Quick Look: Hypothetically, Who Wins, Who Loses?
(Green = gain, Red = loss)

Event in Iraq ->

Country / Group
Spreading Civil War Peace Balkanization
Al Qaeda + - -
Iran - - +
Iraq - + -
Israel + + +
Kurd - + +
Shiite - + +
Sunni + + -
United States - + +

Vietnam Without the Water

The war in Baghdad is getting more ugly by the day, with the fighting reaching right up to the blast walls of the Green Zone. Sunni, Shiite, militia, Iraqi government forces, Americans, everyone is fighting everyone else and no one really seems to know who is who anymore. [16]

The Prime Minister reiterated the state of emergency in the city (serious this time!), and extended it further, now even banning pedestrian traffic! But in just one week of June, 12 American soldiers have been killed, two being captured and tortured first. It’s clearly not working.

The Few, the Proud, the Pre-Meditated Murderers

The war atrocities are beginning to get notice in the domestic American mass media, with the Haditha massacre the most widely reported. [17] Another incident features the abduction and pre-meditated murder of a disabled Iraqi man in a wheelchair, known as Hashim the lame, by seven Marines and one Navy corpsman in the town of Hamdania. [18]

Combat in Iraq is undeniably brutal and people are bound to snap under the stress of the situation. The source of the problem is not so much the Marine that gets carried away with the job he was trained to do, to kill the ‘enemy’, but with the politicians, lobbyists and warmongering jingoists that put him in the Iraqi bloodbath to begin with. Nonetheless, expect the Marine Corps, just like the other military commands, to come down hard on a few low ranking kids that get caught committing a war atrocity that leaks out and gets picked up by the major media outlets. The picture packaged and delivered to the naive public will always be that this is just a ‘few bad apples’ in an otherwise stellar cast of noble warriors. But it’s not a wonderful system being marred by a few criminals; the whole damn thing is rotten, that’s why these incidents keep happening over and over, every war everywhere. The weakest will be sacrificed as scapegoats to protect the integrity of a rotten system.

Combat in Iraq is now so similar to America’s previous occupational military escapade that many Vietnam veterans are having flashbacks triggered by the TV coverage in Iraq!People flee Saigon, Vietnam via helicopter, 1975 Iraq is Vietnam without the water. Put two and tow together: if you want to know how the America’s war on Iraq will conclude, just remember the fall of Saigon in Vietnam, 1975.

Remember people lining up in a desperate attempt to flee the country, fighting each other to grab on to the last departing helicopter, and then when the helicopters reach the aircraft carrier they are pushed off the deck into the ocean to make room for more!

If you expect a graceful exit from the Iraqi quagmire then you underestimate how badly the people driving the Bush administration want control of Iraq and its resources. 24.06.06


Why is America still in Iraq?

What is the Bush administration gaining from this war in Iraq that they want so badly to continue it? I can see some political calculus going on up through the congressional elections. The Republican party calculates that standing tough on the war is a smarter move than trying to climb down now and admit errors since that would undermine their, diminished but still believing, support base and give more ammunition to Democratic opponents. But the planners in the Pentagon and White House, meaning Cheney, Bush and Rumsfeld, have to know by now this war is unwinnable. Assassinating Zarqawi was clearly a major effort on their part to turn the tide but it has actually backfired rather badly. Zarqawi’s death has empowered the resistance fighters in Iraq because it removed a polarizing factor and now they are better coordinated and motivated!

Since the reconstruction funding has dried up the corrupt contractors hired by Bush & Associates aren’t taking home the loot, except for a few crumbs that are left. So what’s left to gain from it? Anymore the country is so dangerous that leaving the Green Zone is practically a death sentence for westerners.

Look past the rhetoric and study the actions. This whole war is so fanatical in its execution it’s almost as if the brain of Israel had been put into America’s head. If the only real goal is hatred, and a feverish desire to inflict as much suffering on the Arab, specifically Iraqi, people as possible, then this pogrom begins to form an element of consistency and begins to make sense. Remember that Saddam Hussein was the guy that had the audacity to attack Israel with his (ineffective) Scud missiles during the first Gulf War. Do you really think Israel would forget that?

Genocide

What was the effect of the ten years of heavy sanctions and sporadic bombing attacks that occurred under the no-flay zone campaign between the two Gulf Wars? It starved and malnourished thousands if not millions of Iraqi children, the depleted uranium weapons remnants sickened and deformed many more, and the loss of national income led to the erosion of civil infrastructure. Admittedly Saddam Hussein and his sons were contributing factors to this humanitarian disaster, but they certainly were not the cause for Iraq was a prosperous nation before!

Is the war on Iraq a pogrom of genocide against the Iraqi people, and perhaps even a prelude to a wider genocide against Arabs and Persians in Iran - all the main enemies of Israel? It seems to be having that effect, but even if it isn’t that still leaves the question of why the Bush administration and most of Congress are so adamant about continuing the war on Iraq without any signs of preparing the public for a shift in tactics or strategy in the face of a losing conflict. 25.06.06


Lack of Imagination


Paul Wolfowitz

“[I]t is hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam’s security forces and his army - hard to imagine."
 - Paul Wolfowitz to a Congressional committee in 2003 as Deputy Defense Secretary.

Paul Wolfowitz currently  employs his vast lack of imagination as president of the World Bank.


Lack of Responsibility


Donald Rumsfeld

Bob Woodward interviews Rumsfeld

At the end of the second of two interviews, I quoted former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara: "Any military commander who is honest with you will say he's made mistakes that have cost lives."

"Um hmm," Rumsfeld said.

"Is that correct?"

"I don't know. I suppose that a military commander …”

"Which you are," I interrupted.

"No I'm not," the secretary of defense said.

"Yes, sir," I said.

"No, no. Well ..."

"Yes. Yes," I said, raising my hand in the air and ticking off the hierarchy. "It's commander in chief, secretary of defense, combatant commander."

"I can see a military commander in a uniform who is engaged in a conflict having to make decisions that result in people living or dying and that that would be a truth. And certainly if you go up the chain to the civilian side to the president and to me, you could by indirection, two or three steps removed, make the case.”

From: Newsweek, ‘Denial’ and Disaster, by Bob Woodward, page 42, October 9, 2006.


Gangland Iraq

Along with the increasing pace of ethnic cleansing based on religious affiliation occuring in Iraq recent reporting now describes Shiite militias battling each other for control of neighborhoods and what basically amounts to gang warfare breaking out across the country. [19] After publicly calling for restraint atop massive public resentment of American and British military occupation as well as blatant support for Israel in their recent war against Hezbollah and Lebanon, the official leadership, like Muqtada al-Sadr, has apparently lost control over their militias in Iraq. No longer is the internecine conflict limited to Sunni versus Shiite, it has now descended further into intra-Shiite and intra-Sunni conflict. This October the southern city of Amarah was briefly taken over by Shiite militias before it could be retaken by Iraqi national army forces. But all indicators point to the fact that these kinds of uprisings will only become more common and more fierce in the near future.

Multiple reasons exist to explain the widespread and ongoing violence in Iraq. A patriarchal authoritarian history and a culture that responds to grievances using revenge set the basic standard for behavior. Moderating social forces are lacking, most of Iraq’s middle class has left Iraq due to obvious reasons, and life in general is just miserable for Iraqis amidst chronic stress, a lack of power, open sewers and garbage piling up everywhere. Although the violence may be fueled by revenge the ultimate aim is power. The ethnic-religious cleansing of towns and regions is intended to create a cohesive group as a political power base and to protect against influence of outside groups. The struggle for power is necessary because the coalition military forces consistently attack and dismantle any authority that develops and attempts to operate outside of their control being exerted through the central government in the Green Zone of Baghdad. The lack of any functional and legitimate central authority in Iraq, a country and culture that is traditionally based on the strongman dictator capable of holding everything together using intimidation and violence, means that if the Iraqis want security and prosperity they will have to achieve it on their own.

The appearance of gang warfare is an extremely serious development because it means very little, if any, legitimate authority remains with which to reconstitute the political power structure in Iraq. Iraq is rapidly being turned into another Afghanistan with tribes battling in the countryside and gangs at war in the cities. The fact that the power struggle in Iraq has descended so far down that independent neighborhood gangs are battling to carve out a security zone are startling indications that, after three and a half years of war, the United States has delivered essentially nothing that benefits the Iraqi people, and in fact is the source of most of their misery.

Independence Not Allowed / Israel's Lawn Mower

A consistent pattern is revealed by the military and political actions of the United States in Iraq. Every authority they can't control or influence, from Saddam Hussein to Zarqawi, is systematically undermined and eventually crushed. This is the same ‘lawn mower’ strategy that Israel has used against her Arab neighbors for decades. As soon as any independent leadership grows they move in and cut it down using diplomatic isolation tactics or military force. Hamas in Palestine is a classic example of this strategy in action. Hamas was popularly elected into power in the Palestinian territory, angering Israel and the White House. The predictable response features the U.S. government isolating Hamas and the Israeli military kidnapping and killing Hamas’ elected leaders.

The obvious weakness to the ‘lawn mower’ strategy is that by dismantling a cohesive authority that is contained, like Saddam Hussein was, it only generates multiple uncontained authorities that may be individually weaker but are much more difficult to contain collectively. It’s like putting out a blaze with a sledgehammer, it may stop the big fire but it sends burning embers flying in all directions only to start many more conflagrations! Israel has always assumed that the subsequent fires could just as easily be extinguished using the same tactic but their 2006 war against Hezbollah demonstrated this is not always the case. Change is blowing in the wind and so are a lot of burning embers.

Out of (Politically Acceptable) Options

It is widely agreed that Baghdad is now the epicenter of the conflict in Iraq and getting it under control is crucial. Consequently American troops have been pulled out of other unstable parts of Iraq and sent into Baghdad but without any notable successes to show for it. Talk of sending even more soldiers into Baghdad only highlights the lack of politically acceptable options open to war planners at this stage. Military commanders and now even the Bush administration are being forced to face the fact that everything they have tried so far to control the violence in Iraq has not succeeded. What they still refuse to accept, at least in public statements, is that the very presence of their armed forces in Iraq is fueling the majority of widespread public resentment.

The Generals get in front of the camera and say the same thing over and over, ‘we’re turning the corner’, ‘the latest violence is just a spike on the chart’, it only looks bad now because of an expected rise due to [insert Muslim holiday here]’, etc. They may as well just stand in front of a map of Vietnam and a calendar from 1969! How does someone sleep at night knowing their career is to be a lying shill for a criminally corrupt political leadership just to get another star on their collar?

Chronic lying and self-delusion directly lead to the current situation where, despite the lack of any major military offensives, the month of October has set a record for the most U.S. soldiers killed for the year of 2006. The other comparable numbers were related to major military assaults on the city of Fallujah in years past. The carnage in Iraq is clearly getting worse not better. And that’s just the heavily armed and heavily protected American troops. The Iraqi people are getting killed at an incredible pace with western news reports typically describing 50 people being killed by bombs or extra-judicial torture and execution every day. The most recent and authoritative study on the number of Iraqis killed since the start of the war done by Johns Hopkins University and published in the British medical journal Lancet puts the estimated total at 655,000. [20] The White House immediately denounced the study without providing any evidence to support their own numerical claim that still stands at 30,000, a figure that George W. Bush made up when put on the spot at a press conference. [23]

Meanwhile more contractor scandals continue to leak out. The New York Times reported that in some cases more money was being spent on overhead costs, like security and paperwork, than on the actual construction projects in Iraq.

The highest proportion of overhead was incurred in oil-facility contracts won by KBR Inc., the Halliburton subsidiary formerly known as Kellogg Brown & Root, which has frequently been challenged by critics in Congress and elsewhere.
The actual costs for many projects could be even higher than the estimates, the report said, because the United States has not properly tracked how much such expenses have taken from the $18.4 billion of taxpayer-financed reconstruction approved by Congress two years ago.
[21]

But, as I’ve already explained this kind of behavior is completely in line with the true reason behind the great Iraq reconstruction scam – to funnel as much taxpayer cash into the hands of private American corporations as possible using the rebuilding of Iraq as the pretext.

It gets worse. Investigative reporting and former employees reveal that the massive U.S. embassy being built in Baghdad, expected to be the world’s largest, is using large-scale worker abuse bordering on slavery. [22] The embassy is unlikely to be the only construction project being built this way either.

Genocide for Dollars

The situation in Iraq has gotten so bleak, and it’s not anywhere near the bottom yet, that there’s really not anything positive to report! Eventually the internal instability in Iraq will become so pronounced that neighboring states like Syria, Turkey, and Iran will be forced to become involved to preserve their own interests or simply to keep Iraq from exploding all over everyone. Bush & Associates, the Dick Cheney war hawks, and the rest of the neo-conservative architects of war for dominance have clearly miscalculated on a cosmic scale and then shamelessly refused to take responsibility for any of it! "This is not a civil war", 0101012x0900Elections in the United States are only about a week away as I write this and the public is expected to punish the Republican Party by voting against them for their fiasco in Iraq, the only question being how severely. Nonetheless it is also expected that the Democratic Party will not offer any substantive alternative to correct the situation in Iraq.

Adding it all up and taking out the rhetoric the operation in Iraq is nothing short of genocide for dollars, and Iraq represents everything that the neo-cons and war hawks believe in: self-supremacy through the calculated exploitation and suffering of everyone else. And what’s even more pathetic about it all, even regardless of the moral arguments against this kind of behavior, is the totally counter-predictive outcome of their short-sighted arrogance and greed! They will only reap unlimited hatred of themselves and their despised policies while creating authority vacuums and instability they cannot control and that will inevitably engulf them and the American public as well. 28.10.06

Genocide for Dollars: The Great Gun Give-Away

If you think I’m exaggerating then think about this: a federal report commissioned by Senator Warner investigating arms shipments to Iraq was released on Sunday October 29. What did the Inspector General discover?

The American military did not even take the elementary step of recording the serial numbers of nearly half a million weapons provided to Iraqis, the inspector general found, making it impossible to track or identify any that might be in the wrong hands.

In its assessment of Iraqi weaponry, the inspector general concluded that of the 505,093 weapons that have been given to the Ministries of Interior and Defense over the last several years, serial numbers for only 12,128 were properly recorded. The weapons include rocket-propelled grenade launchers, assault rifles, machine guns, shotguns, semiautomatic pistols and sniper rifles.

Of those weapons, 370,000 were purchased with American taxpayer money under what is called the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund, or I.R.R.F., and therefore fell within the inspector general’s mandate.

The inspector general’s report said that when asked why so many weapons went to Iraq with no record of serial numbers, American military officials in Baghdad replied that they did not believe the regulations applied to them. [24]

So Bush & Associates use government funds paid to private American corporations to buy a gun show’s worth of firearms, they then ship the weapons to Iraq to try and prop up an unstable and corrupt puppet regime while making essentially no attempt to track any of the weapons because 'the regulations don’t apply'. At the same time Iraq descends into a religious civil war of the worst sort and these same weapons intended for official use are undoubtedly being employed by the very same people that the U.S. military is trying to defeat! If this isn’t genocide for dollars, then what is? 30.10.06


State of Iraq - 2006

The Iraqi education system is in tatters; the medical system in ruins; basic social and urban services almost undeliverable; oil production barely up to pathetic prewar levels (if present-day figures are even real, which is in doubt); the position of women now disastrous; child malnutrition on the rise; and well over a million Iraqis have fled their homes in a country of only 26 million people.

In addition, national sovereignty has been destroyed; the national police system is on its last legs, its ranks well stocked with men loyal to various murderous Shi'ite militias; a Sunni insurgency rages ever more violently; a Kurdish form of independence seems ever more likely (though inconceivable to neighboring states); corruption is rampant; and a central government, whose sway doesn't reach most streets in its capital, is now considered "the least accountable and least transparent regime in the Middle East". (The Interior Ministry alone "reportedly employs at least 1,000 ghost employees, whose wages amount to more than $1 million a month".)

From: The danger of a 'dignified' exit from Iraq, by Tom Engelhardt, November 21, 2006.


Now Hiring

Now Hiring, 0104018vo400
November 2006

Why is the United States still in Iraq?

Former Vice President Gore recently called America’s war on Iraq, "the worst strategic mistake in the entire history of the United States." He’s almost correct but he can’t explain why America got into this mess to begin with. The greatest mistake in US history was becoming ‘till death do us part’ allies with the state of Israel. That decision is what started it all and what powers America’s absurd, self-defeating foreign policy like a heavily armed, psychotic Energizer bunny. America's current situation is the product of a specific chain of events that follows from that initial proposition. If it wasn’t for the United States government’s overt support for the state of Israel there wouldn’t have been an Arab oil embargo and there wouldn’t be OPEC, America wouldn’t be in Iraq today, and everything connected to those parameters in between. Iraq would be stable and relatively prosperous and Saddam Hussein would be just another petty dictator in a far corner of the world happy to sell oil to the United States at market rates because he isn’t being assaulted by American values at the tip of a bayonet!

Codeword: Democracy

“Our goal remains a free and democratic Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself and is an ally in the war on terror.” – President George W. Bush, December 2006

When President George W. Bush and his administration, people like Bolton and Rice, talk about creating democracy in Iraq and the Middle East they really mean creating compliant puppet regimes that officially approve of Israel, hence the emphasis on turning Iraq into  an 'ally in the war on terror.' This is why when real democracy elected Hamas in the Palestinian territories the Bush administration and the neo-cons went ballistic because a political authority was about to assume power in the region that did not approve of Israel and associated policy. This is why the Bush administration, Congress, and the neo-conservatives cannot allow the voice of the Iraqi people to support the political parties they really want because that would mean a win for every group that doesn’t like Israel. That’s the litmus test, that’s what differentiates a ‘good’ Arab from a ‘bad’ Arab in the eyes of those in power in Washington DC and Israel. Egypt? They officially like Israel so they can be on the American team. Jordan, Morocco, Turkey? They like Israel, so they can play too. Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah? They don’t like Israel and consequently are inflated into worldwide threat numero uno and get excluded from playing with America. There's simply no other way to express the true nature of the situation in an honest manner without factoring in Zionism.

This is the true reason why the Bush administration, with the support of the neo-cons, can’t leave Iraq, because they will lose the chance to achieve their true goals. They need to stay in Iraq to build ‘democracy’ meaning they want to influence the political landscape to form a pliant regime that officially approves of Israel. Bush & Associates need to stay in Iraq in order to keep the military bases necessary to intimidate neighboring countries into, you guessed it, liking Israel and to sell large volumes of affordable oil on the world market thereby breaking the influence of the OPEC oil cartel.

“I want the enemy to understand that this is a tough task, but they can’t run us out of the Middle East, that they can’t intimidate America.” – President George W. Bush, December 2006

Tragically for the well being of America as a whole Congress is just as deeply influenced by this skewed view of the Middle East that is focused on the demands of Israel as the President is. Recently this December Democrat Silvester Reyes, the soon-to-be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who is promoting the idea of sending 20,000-30,000 more troops into Iraq, stated: “I don’t want Iraq to become the next Afghanistan. We could not allow Iraq to become a safe haven for Al Qaeda, for Hamas, for Hizbullah, or anybody else. We cannot allow Iran or Syria to have a free hand in there to further destabilize the Middle East.” [26] Isn’t this interesting? Why would he use Hamas and Hezbollah as critical examples to make his point for the need to stay in Iraq? Both are completely different organizations than the international al Qaeda and neither Hamas nor Hezbollah threaten the United States. This guy is going to be chairman of the Intelligence Committee and he can't even tell the difference between Hezbollah and al Qaeda?!

But Reyes, through his personal ignorance and Congressional devotion to blank-check support for Israel, demonstrates the fundamental conundrum of the U.S. government position in Iraq. Military force cannot be withdrawn because the power vacuum will undoubtedly elevate political authorities hostile to the presence of the United States military and hostile to the state of Israel. Yet everything that the United States has done to Iraq has had the unambiguous effect of spreading misery and creating enemies!

What Congress, the Bush administration and the neo-conservatives want out of Iraq fundamentally contradicts the needs of the Iraqi people.

There is more at stake here than a battle of wills over who will rule various cities in Iraq. The ferocious resistance against American rule derives from the original goals of the American-led invasion: installing a regime in Iraq that, minimally, would embrace a military alliance with the United States, a foreign policy actively hostile to Iran (and Syria), and an economic policy that replaced state-delivered food and oil subsidies with a "free market" dominated by American multinational companies.

From the beginning, the various factions that are contending for control of Iraq-on-the-ground have resisted elements of this program. The Shi'ites detested the American insistence on antagonism to Iran; the Sunni rebelled against the de-Ba'athification policies instituted by our viceroy in Baghdad, L Paul Bremer III, the dismantling of state-run enterprises, and the disbanding of the military; the oil workers struck against the contracts that allowed American oil companies to dominate the marketing of Iraqi oil; and virtually everyone resisted the elimination of fuel and food subsidies. [25]

The military occupation of Iraq is not the solution to the violence and instability, it is the source of the problem!

This primary commitment - to subdue the forces that oppose the American occupation - ultimately translates into a perverse formula in which more American forces generate further sectarian violence.

American patrols in Shi'ite neighborhoods immobilize the local defenses and make the community vulnerable to jihadist attack; while American invasions of Sunni communities are even more damaging. They not only immobilize the local defense forces, but almost always involve the introduction of Iraqi Army units, made up mainly of Shi'ite soldiers (since the army being stood up by the Americans is largely a Shi'ite one). What results is violence in the form of battles between a Shi'ite military (as well as militia-infiltrated Shi'ite police forces) and Sunni resistance fighters defending their communities.

These attacks generate immense bitterness among Sunni, who see them as part of a Shi'ite attempt to use the American military to conquer and pacify Sunni cities. The result is a wealth of new jihadists anxious to retaliate by sacrificing their lives in terrorist or death-squad-style attacks on Shi'ite communities - which, in their turn, energize the Shi'ite death squads in an escalating cycle of brutalizing violence. [25]

This is why I call the fiasco in Iraq ‘genocide for Dollars’ because the only functional purpose it currently serves is to kill as many Iraqis as possible for as long as possible while enriching weapons manufactures and defense support contractors. The Bush administration justifies this on a moral basis through the belief that the more that die in Iraq the fewer bad guys they will have to fight. Once again they are looking at the situation through the wrong end of the telescope.

The ISG

The Iraq Study Group, made up of Democrat and Republican Party veterans, concluded its lengthy study to determine how to rescue America from the quagmire in the Middle East. Disappointment was inevitable considering the media hype that preceded the release of the final document. The main recommendation is to raise the level of diplomacy to include neighboring countries in an effort to collectively work out some kind of solution. Diplomacy is a reasonable enough suggestion but after nearly four years of brutal conflict that has generated a nightmarish religious civil war the time is a bit late. The major criticism against the ISG is the lack of a military path to victory outlined in the report; however that criticism assumes that a military path to victory actually exists.

More important, it ignores the fact that the Iraqi government is weak as much because of US action as because of Iraq's inherent problems. The US destroyed the secular core of the country by disbanding the Ba'ath Party. The US created a constitutional process long before Iraq was ready, and created an intensely divisive document with more than 50 key areas of "clarification", including federation, control of oil resources and money, control of security, the role of religion, the nature of the legal system, etc.

The US created an electoral system that almost forced Iraqis to vote to be Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds and divided the nation on sectarian and ethnic lines. The US in effect sent a bull in to liberate a china shop, and the ISG now called on the US to threaten to remove the bull if the shop doesn't fix the china. [27]

It also appears that a political path to a victory amenable to the U.S. government does not exist either. 09&30.12.06


Iraq: The Most Ambitious Failure in American History

The Los Angeles Times newspaper ran an article today that very neatly encapsulated the current mindset of the Bush administration and the top level military planners in the Pentagon concerning the war in Iraq and how to win it. What grand strategy for success do they have in mind? Well, just pick some of the worst choices possible and you’re on the right track!

As President Bush weighs new policy options for Iraq, strong support has coalesced in the Pentagon behind a military plan to "double down" in the country with a substantial buildup in American troops, an increase in industrial aid and a major combat offensive against Muqtada Sadr, the radical Shiite leader impeding development of the Iraqi government. [28]

So instead of walking away from the table poorer but wiser, the plan is to increase the wager on a losing bet and hope for a big payout at the end. Double down, yeah, come on big money - roll them dice! That would make perfect sense to me … if I was insane! The plan to go after Sadr's security force is especially inspired. The absurdity of this thinking in a war is hilarious except for the fact that thousands of people are being killed because of it.  Nonetheless, an internal logic does exist to these plans but in order to understand that we have to go deep into the brains of the Bush administration and the Pentagon’s top war planners.

Some military officers believe that Iraq has become a test of wills, and that the U.S. needs to show insurgents and sectarian militias that it is willing to stay and fight. "I've come to the realization we need to go in, in a big way," said an Army officer. "You have to have an increase in troops…. We have to convince the enemy we are serious and we are coming in harder." [28]

Despite the obvious foolishness of trying to scare a growing insurgency into submission this late in a lost cause the true meaning of statements like these are that the reputation and credibility of the United States’ war machine are on the line. Another loss like Vietnam will shut the door to further military adventurism and, in the view of paranoid war hawks and neo-conservatives, increase the morale of international opponents.

"It is essential for the president to couple any recommendation of a significant surge in Iraq with the announcement that he will increase permanently the size of the Army and the Marines," Kagan said. [28]

This is an unambiguous message: in order for the Army and Marine Corps to stretch their neck out even further they want a payback in the form of permanent enlargement. A bigger ground military means a bigger budget and not just through tenuous supplemental allotments but through permanently expanded funding. The militarization of American society is continuing unabated because a ready excuse is present to expand and no braking force has the authority, or desire, to slow it down.

Some outside experts — notably Frederick W. Kagan of the conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank in Washington — have suggested that the Army should grow annually by one division, about 20,000 people, until it reaches 750,000 soldiers.

Kagan said that from 1979 to 1991, America had an all-volunteer active-duty force of 780,000. "I do not believe we cannot find a way to recruit to a higher level," he said. "The president is going to have to call on the young people of this nation to come out and support this effort." [31]

Hey kids, now you know who to send your thank-you notes to when the draft gets reinstated in order to inflate the military and replace the casualties!

Some officers argue that the U.S. needs to show substantial progress in decreasing the violence and instability in Iraq before the 2008 presidential election. [28]

The political needs of the Bush administration are strongly factored into the decision to escalate the military conflict in Iraq. Bush has little in political capital left to lose as the situation currently stands – he already has lost the vote of public confidence as indicated by the Democrat Party’s success in November’s election. The Bush administration hopes that they can possibly pull of some kind of victory to minimize, or even reverse, the Republican Party’s losses by election season 2008.

Intelligence Chief Found to be Lacking Intelligence

Looks like I’m not the only one that noticed the new Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee’s startling ignorance. When asked the simple question, is al Qaeda a Sunni organization, or Shi'ite? Reyes answered, "Predominantly -- probably Shi'ite." Reyes had a fifty-fifty shot and he still missed! But then,

Asked to describe the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Congressional Quarterly said Reyes responded: "Hezbollah. Uh, Hezbollah," and then said, "Why do you ask me these questions at five o'clock?" [29]

Still on script Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi returns to AIPAC for another speech in March of 2007.Oh well, nobody said you had to be smart to be in Congress, all you have to do is wear a fancy suit, get the right haircut, talk a lot and read the script AIPAC hands you –just like the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. In 2005, she told a meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that "the greatest threat to Israel's right to exist ... now comes from Iran". [30] She’s not preaching to the choir she’s trying out for the part - reading her lines in front of the casting directors to get the official kosher stamp of approval necessary to keep her career in Washington D.C.

WWZD?

I don't think there has ever been a greater disconnect between what the elite in power want and what the public wants than in America today. The most recent election is a case in point. Having sent the message that the public is sick of war in Iraq and demanding a swift conclusion the leaders do everything they can, not just to prolong the occupation, but to expand it!

That’s a little snapshot of this former Constitutional Republic called the United States of America distorted into an Imperial insane asylum sickened by a military industrial machine that grows like a cancer and inspirited by a Zionist brain transplant. It has never been more true than now: to predict America’s future just ask yourself, what would Zionism do?  13&18.12.06


Saddam's Execution

Saddam Hussein, age 69, has been reportedly executed by hanging at dawn on December 30, 2006 inside the American controlled compound called ‘Camp Justice’ in the suburb of Khadimeya in north Baghdad.

Loved by few, feared by many, Saddam was the despotic force that held Iraq together for decades, a country that even in the twentyfirst century is primarily based on tribal affiliations. He was the classic embodiment of my dictum in Disconcerting Wall-Mounted Aphorism #19, “They hate the brutality … but they love the winners.” Most Iraqis respected him as a powerful despot within a patriarchal culture that values strong autocratic authority figures, but when he failed to stop or defeat a foreign invasion he broke the contract with the people of Iraq and was discredited as national leader.

Disconcerting Wall-Mounted Aphorism #19, 010301f67c00
November 2006

The execution was a triumph for Maliki, whose grip on his fragile national unity coalition has been questioned.

After complaints of political interference in the trial, however, the speed of the execution may fuel further unease about the fairness of the U.S.-sponsored process. [32]

Clearly the Shiite government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was in a rush to have Saddam eliminated, his trial over the killing of Kurds in the 1988 Anfal campaign was not even complete! Instead of being executed for genocide Saddam Hussein was executed for killing 148 Shias in the town of Dujail in reaction to a failed assassination attempt.

By nearly any standard the legal process that yielded Saddam’s conviction was the product of a show trial with little, if any, legitimate legal merit within widely accepted international standards. Witnesses were intimidated, lawyers were assassinated, sources were anonymous, and it was all instigated by a nominal puppet regime sponsored and established by a foreign occupational force from the United States. Hanging After Flawed Trial Undermines Rule of Law is the apt subtitle to a Human Rights Watch article on the topic detailing the multitude of  serious flaws in the legal process.

There never seemed to be any demand for remorse on the part of Saddam Hussein for his actions, as is expected in Western culture, because condemning what he did wasn’t really the intent of the trial. Saddam’s execution is an act of revenge not a condemnation of the values and the culture he acted within. The Shiite tribe in power now is just as likely to commit atrocities and mass-murder to enforce their rule as Saddam’s was. Now we see why the civil strife within Iraq is so brutal, it’s a zero-sum game where the one winner takes it all, and why Bush’s pronouncements sound increasingly absurd being so far removed from reality:

“[Executing Saddam] is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain and defend itself, and be an ally in the war on terror.'' – President George W. Bush  

Although the location was intentionally left unclear, supposedly for security reasons, the trial was undoubtedly within a United States military compound. The eventual conviction was never in doubt; Saddam in court made the Nuremberg trials look fair and unbiased in comparison. If legal legitimacy was the aim then Saddam Hussein should have been handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. The ICC was made expressly for the very purpose of trying people who are otherwise above the law for mass-murder and war crimes. But the Bush administration couldn’t afford to do that, they had to retain full physical and informational control over the trial of Saddam. If Saddam had been taken to the Hague the ensuing debate would have revealed many embarrassing events and associations that the Bush administration could not afford to have leak out. Saddam Hussein shaking hands with a smiling Donald Rumsfeld would have been just the opening act.

An execution at the start of Eid is highly symbolic. The feast marks the sacrifice the prophet Abraham was prepared to make when God ordered him to kill his son and many Shi'ites could regard Saddam's death as a gift from God. Such symbolism could further anger Sunnis, resentful of new Shi'ite power. [32]

The unusual timing of Saddam’s execution and the triumphant attitude of much of the Shiite population are very likely to increase the polarized political atmosphere in Iraq and will only exaggerate the damaging effects of the bloody religious civil war raging in Iraq. 30.12.06


Death Squads Return in Iraq

The same characters responsible for the infamous CIA sponsored death squads of Central America have rebuilt them in Iraq, specifically John Negroponte who is moving from being Director of National Intelligence to the position of deputy secretary of state. 13.01.07

It is Negroponte who oversaw the implementation of the "Salvador Option" in Iraq, as it was referred to in Newsweek in January 2005.

Under the "Salvador Option", Negroponte had assistance from his colleague from his days in Central America during the 1980s, retired Colonel James Steele. Steel, whose title in Baghdad was counselor for Iraqi security forces, supervised the selection and training of members of the Badr Organization and Mehdi Army, the two largest Shi'ite militias in Iraq, to target the leadership and support networks of a primarily Sunni resistance.

Planned or not, these death squads promptly spiraled out of control to become the leading cause of death in Iraq. Intentional or not, the scores of tortured, mutilated bodies that turn up on the streets of Baghdad each day are generated by the death squads whose impetus was Negroponte. And it is this US-backed sectarian violence that largely led to the hell-disaster that Iraq is today.

The human-rights violations carried out by Negroponte were described as "systematic".

Negroponte has been described as an "old-fashioned imperialist" and got his start during the Vietnam War in the CIA's Phoenix Program, which was responsible for the assassination of some 40,000 Vietnamese.

Obviously it is better for Iraqi militias and resistance groups to be fighting one another instead of uniting to battle occupation forces. The age-old strategy of divide and conquer applied yet again. [33]


Thanks for the help America, sucker!

"We in the Middle East have been following the American policy in Iraq for a long time, and we are very much impressed and encouraged by the stability that the war in Iraq has brought to the Middle East." - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert December, 2006.

Iraqis die by the thousands while the U.S.A. spends billions of dollars to pacify Iraq, and who gains?

Is this any way to run a [criminal] enterprise?
You bet it is!

Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III February 6, 2007.This week, we were treated to the spectacle of the former U.S. civilian overlord of Iraq, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, squirming in the hot seat as he attempted with little success to explain what he did with 363 TONS of newly printed, shrink-wrapped $100 bills he had flown to Baghdad.

That's $12 billion in cold, hard American cash, and no one, especially Bremer, seems to know where it went.

After all, the former czar told the representatives, it wasn't really our money anyway. It was Iraqi money - oil earnings and bank accounts seized from Saddam Hussein's government - that we were holding in trust.

Perhaps we should let a no-bid cost-plus contract to Halliburton to construct large additions to the country club federal prisons to accommodate a population explosion in the years ahead. Or, for convenience sake, maybe we could just add a prison wing to the $500 million George W. Bush Presidential Library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. [34] 08.02.07

Bagman
(appropriate uses for this icon include: CIA, Enron, etc.)
Created: May 2003

Bush administration impedes war-profiteering and fraud investigations, 24.06.07

The Justice Department has opted out of at least 10 whistle-blower lawsuits alleging fraud and corruption in government reconstruction and security contracts in Iraq, and has spent years investigating additional fraud cases but has yet to try to recover any money. ...

"In our fifth year in the war in Iraq, the Bush administration has not litigated a single case against any war profiteer under the False Claims Act," Grayson said. ...

"Basically, they have done nothing , and it is hard to explain what is going on there, other than direct orders from the very top of government," said Patrick Burns , director of communications for Taxpayers Against Fraud, a center that advises whistle-blowers on filing suits to recover government funds. "It can no longer be explained by incompetence alone." ...

Besides the two cases that were settled for $6.1 million, the Justice Department has declined to join in 10 other cases. One was against Custer Battles, a politically connected military contractor in Iraq that was accused of supplying the military with trucks that didn't work and overcharging the US government by as much as $50 million. When the government chose not to participate, the whistle - blower went on with the suit anyway, and a federal jury ordered Custer Battles to pay $10 million in damages.

That judgment, however, was overturned. The case is currently on appeal.

A second, new whistle - blower lawsuit alleges that the company was renamed and sold to former acting Navy secretary Hansford T. Johnson and former acting Navy undersecretary Douglas Combs . It is unclear if it is still doing business.

From: Justice Dept. opts out of whistle-blower suits, by Farah Stockman, Boston Globe,  June 20, 2007.


Saddam / al-Qaeda Fiction by Feith

A declassified report done by the Inspector General of the Department of Defense has found that, as everyone should already know by now, neo-con Douglas Feith exaggerated and manipulated information to concoct a convincing link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda in order to create the justification needed to launch a war on Iraq. The full report is available to read here: Review of the Pre-Iraqi War Activities of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. 07.04.07


More of the Same

The so called ‘surge’ effort to put over 30,000 new soldiers in Iraq and concentrate military efforts on the city of Baghdad has been a complete failure, another colossal fiasco that is self-evident to anyone not working for the Bush administration. Violence in Baghdad has increased in direct contravention to the outcome predicted by occupational authorities. Once again it’s quite clear that more military force only leads to greater public resentment, resistance and greater civilian, and even military, casualties. Even the U.S. military has been forced to admit this.Major General William B. Caldwell, official military mouthpiece for the Bush administration in Iraq, 2007.

From February, when the security plan was launched, to March, the total number of deaths -- civilians, Iraqi security forces and U.S. troops -- rose by 10 percent, he said. "What does this mean? It means that we still have a lot of work to do," [Maj. Gen William B.] Caldwell said. [36]

And so the military spokesman for operations in Iraq, Major General William B. Caldwell, official mouthpiece for the Bush administration, concludes that Iraq needs more of exactly what is generating the violence and carnage in the first place. And so the United States, under the rule of Bush and Cheney, continues for a fifth year to militarily occupy Iraq despite the widespread agreement of the Iraqi people (and the world) that the United States must leave Iraq immediately. In response Caldwell has this to say to:

“The death and violence in Iraq are bad enough without this outside interference. Iran and all of Iraq's neighbors really need to respect Iraq's sovereignty and allow the people of this country the time and the space to choose their own future."

Demonstrators in Najaf, Iraq protest the ongoing U.S. military occupation of their country, April 2007.Instead of recognizing and rectifying the internal flaws of their own plans occupational authorities deflect their problems onto neighboring countries, with particular focus on (surprise!) Iran. Yet even if foreign involvement in Iraq was a major source of the problem and even if it wasn’t an obviously hypocritical allegation to be making, if the Iraqi people aren’t supporting the presence of the U.S. military in their country then what does anything else matter? Without popular support how can the United States government ever achieve any sustainable gains from this endeavor? Obviously they can’t, yet the needs and concerns of the Iraqi people do not seem to ever be anything but the most fleeting of concerns for the occupation forces. Indeed the Red Cross recently announced that as difficult as it is to imagine the everyday situation for the people in Iraq continues to get even worse!

The ICRC also sees no sign that the US-led security "surge" in Baghdad is bringing relief to the capital, while hospitals struggle to cope with mass casualties as malnutrition as well as power and water shortages become more frequent across the country.

"Every day dozens of people are killed and many more wounded," it says. "The plight of Iraqi civilians is a daily reminder of the fact that there has long been a failure to respect their lives and dignity." [35]

Whatever the Bush-Cheney administration wants out of Iraq they can only acquire it through the continual application of brute military force and that means that the violence and armed resistance will continue in Iraq and will eventually bleed out and destabilize the entire region. 12.04.07


The Greatest Game Show on Earth!

The Greatest Game Show on Earth!, 011101mn1900
April 2007

U.S. government builds its largest embassy in Baghdad's 'Green Zone' - 31.05.07

When completed, it will indeed be the perfect folly, as well as the perfect embassy, for a country that finds it absolutely normal to build vast base-worlds across the planet; that considers it just a regular day's work to send its aircraft-carrier "strike forces" and various battleships through the Strait of Hormuz in daylight as a visible warning to a "neighboring" regional power; and whose CIA operatives feel free to organize and launch Balochi tribal warriors from Pakistan into the Balochi areas of Iran to commit acts of terror and mayhem.

In addition, the United States' commander-in-chief president can sign a "non-lethal presidential finding" that commits the US to a "soft power" version of the economic destabilization of Iran, involving, according to one report, "a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions". The vice president, meanwhile, can appear on the deck of the USS John C Stennis to address a "rally for the troops", while that aircraft carrier is on station in the Persian Gulf, readying itself to pass through those straits, and can insist to the world: "With two carrier strike groups in the Gulf, we're sending clear messages to friends and adversaries alike. We'll keep the sea lanes open. We'll stand with our friends in opposing extremism and strategic threats. We'll disrupt attacks on our own forces ... And we'll stand with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating this region"; whose military men can refer to Iraqi insurgents as "anti-Iraqi forces". ...

To recognize such imperial impunity and its symbols for what they are, all you really need to do is try to reverse any of these examples. In most cases, that's in essence inconceivable. Imagine any country building the equivalent Mother Ship "embassy" on the equivalent of two-thirds of the Washington Mall; or sailing its warships into the Gulf of Mexico and putting its second-in-command aboard the flagship of the fleet to insist on keeping the sea lanes "open"; or sending Caribbean terrorists into Florida to blow up local buses and police stations; or signing a "finding" to destabilize economically the US government; or planning the future shape of the US from a foreign capital. But you get the idea. Most of these actions, if aimed against the United States, would be treated as tantamount to acts of war and dealt with accordingly, with unbelievable hue and cry.

When it's a matter of other countries halfway across the planet, however, Americans largely consider such things, even if revealed in the news, at worst tactical errors or miscalculations. The imperial mindset goes deep. It also thinks unbearably well of itself and so, naturally, wants to memorialize itself, to give itself the surroundings that only the great, the super, the hyper deserves.
[37]


Fooled Again?

Did you have any doubts about the U.S. invasion of Iraq back in 2003? The U$ mass-media sure didn’t - read what they had to say!

"We don't want to destroy the infrastructure of Iraq, because in a few days we're gonna own that country." —NBC's Tom Brokaw March 19, 2003

"We're all neo-cons now." —MSNBC's Chris Matthews April 9, 2003

“As far as I'm concerned, we do not need to find any weapons of mass destruction to justify this war.... Mr. Bush doesn't owe the world any explanation for missing chemical weapons (even if it turns out that the White House hyped this issue)." —New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman April 27, 2003

"It ended quickly with few civilian casualties and with little damage to Iraq's cities, towns or infrastructure. It ended without the Arab world rising up against us, as the war's critics feared, without the quagmire they predicted, without the heavy losses in house-to-house fighting they warned us to expect." —Richard Perle, "Relax, Celebrate Victory," USA Today op-ed May 1, 2003.

Quotes from: Transmission Accomplished, by Peter Hart, EXTRA! May/June 2007.


A Few More Inconvenient Facts

War Costs Skyrocket

The report points out that the costs of the Iraq war in particular have been increasing rapidly with this year's expected tally of $135 billion amounting to a 40 percent increase over 2006. It notes that the average cost of a single U.S. soldier in Iraq last year was $390,000, up 22 percent from the $320,000 it cost in 2003.

From: Congressional Agency Predicts War Costs Will Climb, by Walter Pincus, Washington Post, July 11, 2007.

Most Foreign Militants in Iraq Come From Saudi Arabia

If US foreign policy were at all consistent, the White House and the Pentagon would be condemning Riyadh and demanding action to halt the flow of Saudi fighters. Stories would be appearing in the American media exposing autocratic Saudi rule, its repression of women and savage application of Sharia law. Grave fears would have been raised by the State Department over the announcement last year that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States were launching a civilian nuclear program. The most strident US militarists would be demanding regime change and Bush would be declaring that “all options were on the table”—including the bombing of Riyadh.

That none of this is happening, or is likely to happen, again demonstrates that the US accusations against Tehran are simply pretexts used to justify possible military action against Iran. The threats against Iran are not motivated by concerns about the lives of US troops but the Bush administration’s ambitions to establish American dominance over the Middle East and its huge energy reserves. Far from publicly remonstrating with Riyadh, the White House has in recent months been seeking to line up Saudi Arabia and other “moderate” Arab states, including Egypt and Jordan, in an anti-Iranian alliance.

From: An unpalatable truth for Bush: most foreign insurgents in Iraq are Saudis, by Peter Symonds, WSWS, July 17, 2007.

Iraqis Healthier Under Saddam than Under U.S. Occupation

"Children today are much worse off than they were a year ago, and they certainly are worse off than they were three years ago," said Dan Toole, director of emergency programs for the United Nations Children's Fund. He said Iraqis no longer have safe access to a government-funded food basket, established under Saddam Hussein to deal with international sanctions.

From: UN: Iraqi Children Worse Off, by Frank Jordans, AP via Washington Post, July 16, 2007.


Keep Pokin' the Hornet's Nest, Keep Makin' New Enemies

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush has been able to deflect criticism of his counterterrorism policy by repeatedly noting the absence of any new domestic attacks and by citing the continuing threat that terrorists in Iraq pose to U.S. interests.

But this line of defense seemed to unravel a bit yesterday with the release of a new National Intelligence Estimate that concludes that al-Qaeda "has protected or regenerated key elements of its Homeland attack capability" by reestablishing a haven in Pakistan and reconstituting its top leadership. The report also notes that al-Qaeda has been able "to recruit and indoctrinate operatives, including for Homeland attacks," by associating itself with an Iraqi subsidiary. ...

Although only a portion of the instability in Iraq is attributed to al-Qaeda and the group had no substantial power base there before the U.S. invasion, Bush again cast the war as a battle against its members, whom his aides have described as key provocateurs there.

Frances Fragos Townsend, July 2007.

"The fact is, we were harassing them in Afghanistan, we're harassing them in Iraq, we're harassing them in other ways, non-militarily, around the world. And the answer is, every time you poke the hornet's nest, they are bound to come back and push back on you. That doesn't suggest to me that we shouldn't be doing it." - Frances Fragos Townsend, Homeland Security Adviser for the Bush/Cheney administration, July 2007.

Paul R. Pillar, a former CIA analyst who has been involved in previous intelligence estimates, said that the administration has correctly identified the danger posed by al-Qaeda in Iraq and that there are indeed links between the Iraq group and the larger international terrorist network. But he said the White House is drawing the wrong conclusion, and argued instead that it is the U.S. presence in Iraq that is fueling the terrorists' cause.

"Iraq matters because it has become a cause celebre and because groups like al-Qaeda in Iraq and al-Qaeda central exploit the image of the United States being out to occupy Muslim lands," Pillar said.

Referring to al-Qaeda in Iraq, Clinton administration official Daniel S. Benjamin, who has written books and articles on international terrorism, said: "These are bad guys. These are jihadists." He added: "That doesn't mean we [should] stay in Iraq the way we have been, because we are not making the situation any better. We're creating terrorists in Iraq, we are creating terrorists outside of Iraq who are inspired by what's going on in Iraq. . . . The longer we stay, the more terrorists we create."

From: Intelligence Puts Rationale For War on Shakier Ground, by Michael Abramowitz, Washington Post, July 18, 2007.


Flashback

U.S. authorities, failing in their stated effort to rebuild Iraq, continue to blame Saddam Hussein for that countries decrepit infrastructure and the difficulties in repairing and restoring necessities like power and water services. Yet this blame conveniently ignores the fact that Iraq was a nation under severe international sanctions, demanded by the United States government, for over ten years prior to the 2003 military invasion.

In 1990 the United Nations imposed economic sanctions on Iraq, administered mainly by the United States and Britain. These sanctions which continued through President Clinton and into Bush II, are perhaps the sorriest legacy of U.S. policy toward Iraq.

No Westerners know Iraq better than Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, who served successively as UN humanitarian coordinators there from 1997 to 2000. Both resigned in protest of the sanctions regime, which Halliday has characterized as "genocidal." As Halliday, von Sponeck, and others had pointed out for years, the sanctions devastated the Iraqi population while strengthening Saddam and his clique, increasing the people's dependency on the tyrant for their survival.

"We have sustained [the Saddam regime] and denied the opportunities for change," Halliday said in 2002. I believe if the Iraqis had their economy, had their lives back, and had their way of life restored, they would take care of the form of governance that they want, that they believe is suitable to their country.” From: Interventions, by Noam Chomsky, page 59, 2007.


 Inside Cheney's Brain: Why War on Iraq?

It’s clear by now that the whole War on Terrorism ploy and the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan are not products from the mind of President George W. Bush since, as near as anyone can tell, it takes the collective sum of his intellectual powers just to get his socks to match every morning. Conversely, Vice President Dick Cheney has all the hallmarks of being a rather shrewd political insider with a noticeable manipulative streak, someone that's smart enough to recognize the implications of his decisions – in other words Cheney isn’t a completed idiot and therefore has to be making decisions based on some kind of semi-rational thought process. And all the evidence we have points to the fact that the White House decision-making process, at least as far as the wars go, revolves around Cheney like a wheel revolves around its axle. So, the main question becomes: why did Cheney decide to attack Iraq and risk destabilizing the Middle East?

Activist Cindy Sheehan's shirt: 'Arrest Cheney First'Cheney must have known that the people responsible for planning and executing the 9-11 attack were not from Iraq, or really even from Afghanistan, but were actually from Saudi Arabia. Yet Saudi Arabia, being a wealthy and influential ally to the United States and particularly to the Bush clan, was obviously off limits as far as a direct attack. Nonetheless Saudi Arabia, in Cheney’s mind, was gaining so much power from oil wealth that something had to be done to stop them and with OPEC being the source of that great oil wealth, OPEC must be the focus of the attack. What better way to ruin OPEC then to attack Saddam’s Iraq, a weak and heavily sanctioned country with few allies, and acquire some of the cheapest and most plentiful oil supplies on the planet. With Iraq under new management, American friendly management, they would pump as much oil as America wants and thereby break the OPEC oil cartel once and for all while Cheney’s Halliburton incorporated could make a fortune rebuilding Iraq’s oil infrastructure. Considering the political and economic benefits the decision was a no-brainer for Cheney even at the risk of destabilizing the entire region if something went wrong. But how could anything go wrong? The first Gulf War against Saddam after he invaded Kuwait was so easy! This war will probably be even easier.

Attacking Iraq was easy, but taking control of Iraq’s oil supplies has turned out to be impossible. Now Cheney has no allies anywhere except the gang of unscrupulous Israel-imported neo-cons that he made the original bargain with and they love the Arab genocide that’s going on in Iraq now. So, even if Cheney wanted to stop the show he really has little choice but to keep pushing a war that can’t be won, hence Bush’s pronouncements that war on Iraq will last at least as long as he is in office as President. 26.08.07


Iraq Killing Rate Worse Than Rwanda

On average, at least 56 Iraqis — civilians and security forces — have died each day so far in 2007, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.

* * *

In September 2007 ORB made public its finding that an estimated 1.2 million violent deaths had taken place in Iraq since March 2003. The agency commented at the time that US-occupied Iraq had “a murder rate that now exceeds the Rwanda genocide from 1994 (800,000 murdered),” with another one million wounded and millions more driven from their homes into exile, either internal or foreign. ...

The ORB findings vindicated the study published in the Lancet, the British medical journal, in October 2006, which put the Iraqi death toll then at approximately 655,000.
[38]


Wars on Iraq and Afghanistan Spreading Deadly Bacteria

Soon to arrive at a hospital near you is a deadly drug-resistant bacteria courtesy of the ongoing wars on Iraq and Afghanistan.

An Army infectious disease physician says the germ has spread rapidly since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began. "Prior to the war, we were seeing one to two cases of acinetobacter infection per year," remembers Lt. Col. Kimberly Moran, deputy director for tropical public health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.

"Now that's much different. We've had hundreds of positive cultures over the last four years."

And the toll has been serious, observes Army Col. Glenn Wortmann, acting chief of infectious disease at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. "Of the infectious disease problems that have come out of the conflict," notes Dr. Wortmann, "it is the most important complication we've seen."
...

In 2006, doctors at Walter Reed began successfully curbing acinetobacter infections using an antibiotic called imipenem. Soon thereafter, Endy recalls, frontline surgeons began using imipenem as a prophylactic antibiotic-infusing it into injured service members even when it was not clear the bacteria had colonized on the patients' skin or invaded their wounds. The result, he says: "We started to see increasing resistance to this antibiotic, resulting in the use of the more toxic drug, colistin." [39]


Latest Cost Estimate for Bush/Cheney Terror Wars: $3,000,000,000,000

Why doesn't the public understand the staggering scale of our expenditures? In part because the administration talks only about the upfront costs, which are mostly handled by emergency appropriations. (Iraq funding is apparently still an emergency five years after the war began.) These costs, by our calculations, are now running at $12 billion a month -- $16 billion if you include Afghanistan. By the time you add in the costs hidden in the defense budget, the money we'll have to spend to help future veterans, and money to refurbish a military whose equipment and materiel have been greatly depleted, the total tab to the federal government will almost surely exceed $1.5 trillion. ...

The long-term burden of paying for the conflicts will curtail the country's ability to tackle other urgent problems, no matter who wins the presidency in November. Our vast and growing indebtedness inevitably makes it harder to afford new health-care plans, make large-scale repairs to crumbling roads and bridges, or build better-equipped schools. Already, the escalating cost of the wars has crowded out spending on virtually all other discretionary federal programs, including the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and federal aid to states and cities, all of which have been scaled back significantly since the invasion of Iraq. [40]


Lies and More Lies

Believe me when I lie, (graphic, no catalog #)Surprise, surprise, the British and U.S. government lied, and continue to lie about events in Iraq. In the latest revelation the British government lied about their warship being in Iraqi waters when it was captured by Iran - they repeatedly and emphatically stated that Iran had violated an internationally recognized boundary when in reality the US/UK military 'coalition' had defined a new boundary and never informed Iran of the change! In other words it was a setup: Iran was framed; British and American military provocations were intended to force a high-profile response from Iran in order to inflate that country into an imperative threat thereby justifying further US/UK military actions in the region.

Fifteen British sailors and Marines were seized by Iran in internationally disputed waters and not in Iraq’s maritime territory as Parliament was told, according to new official documents released to The Times.

The Britons were seized because the US-led coalition designated a sea boundary for Iran’s territorial waters without telling the Iranians where it was, internal Ministry of Defence briefing papers reveal. ...

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ coastal protection vessels were crossing this invisible line at a rate of three times a week; It was the British who apparently raised their weapons first before the Iranian gunboats came alongside;

Iran always claimed that it had arrested the Britons for violating its territorial integrity.

Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, repeatedly told the Commons that the personnel were seized in Iraqi waters.
[41]

Nearly 1,000 official lies on just the one claim that Iraq had weapons of mass-destruction have been catalogued and documented in The War Card, a report produced by the journalism research organization Center for Public Integrity (CPI). These false statements were not accidental but were part of an orchestrated campaign to generate public support for an unprovoked war on Iraq. Having lied about Saddam having WMD to justify the invasion of Iraq and then having subsequently lied about most every major aspect of the conflict the real question at this point is why anyone would believe any of the claims emanating from the US/UK governments and their mass-media cheerleaders concerning events in Iraq, Iran, or anywhere else in  the ‘War on Terrorism’? 23.04.08

That rising body count has, after all, taken away the last metric by which to measure "success" in Iraq. Even the small explanations (and, these days, those are just about the only ones left) seem increasingly bizarre. Take, for instance, the convoluted explanation of who exactly is responsible for the devastation in Sadr City. Here's how military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Steve Stover put it recently:

"The sole burden of responsibility lies on the shoulders of the militants who care nothing for the Iraqi people ..." He said the militiamen purposely attack from buildings and alleyways in densely populated areas, hoping to protect themselves by hiding among civilians. "What does that say about the enemy? ... He is heartless and evil."

Mind you, this comes from the representative of a military that now claims to grasp the true nature of counterinsurgency warfare (and so of a guerrilla war); and you're talking about a militia largely from Sadr City, fighting "a war of survival" for its own families, its own people, against foreign soldiers who have hopped continents to attack them. The Sadrist militiamen are defending their homes and, of course, with Predator drones and American helicopters constantly over their neighborhoods, it's quite obvious what would happen to them if they "came out and fought" like typical good-hearted types. They would simply be blown away. (Out of curiosity, what descriptive adjectives would Stover use to capture the style of fighting of the Predator pilots who "fly" their drones from an air base outside of Las Vegas?). From: The last war and the next one, by Tom Engelhardt, May 6, 2008, ATO.

The Senate Select Intelligence Committee produced the first official study of the truthfulness of pre-war claims used to justify launching the war on Iraq. As we already know, and now this report demonstrates, the President and Vice President lied extensively.

Just a few of the reports conclusions in plain English:

  • Claim that former dictator Saddam Hussein was in league with Osama bin Laden – complete lie.

  • Contention that Saddam was going to give terrorists weapons of mass destruction to attack the United States – total fabrication.

  • Cheney's claim that Mohammad Atta met with an Iraqi spy in Prague – crazy lie.

  • Adamant claims by officials that Saddam had stockpiled chemical and biological weapons in violation of U.N. resolutions – cynically concocted fantasy to serve political purposes.

  • Bold assertion by Bush and Cheney that Iraqis would welcome U.S. troops as liberators – deluded fantasy that defied known facts[48]


Here Comes the [Pentagon Propaganda] Circus!

The United States Government under the command of President Bush and Vice President Cheney along with the complicit support of both political parties, Republican and Democrat, continues to perpetrate an orchestrated campaign of psychological warfare upon the citizens of the United States, and not just the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Psychological warfare campaigns, deemed critical by the Pentagon for winning on the battlefield, are no longer restricted to the traditional regions of ground combat. Official Psychological Operations (PsyOps) now extend outward to include United States domestic opinion, and indeed even the entire world, perhaps because this new ‘war on terrorism’ is reasoned to have no traditional political state boundaries.

More startling evidence of this mind-warfare campaign has emerged with the New York Times revealing in April 2008 that numerous retired military leaders were employed as stealth TV and radio propagandists who falsely presented themselves to the public, and the news networks, as independent military analysts. These supposedly independent experts were cited over 4,500 times by the U.S. mass-media and had personal connections to defense corporations directly profiting from the war on Iraq, yet none of the media outlets revealed these enormous conflicts of interest! [49]

Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks. [42]

As a consequence of these tricks mass-media credibility in the United States, already at an abysmal low, is declining further because a boundary no longer exists to distinguish between objective journalism and official statements of state propaganda designed to elicit public support for a brutal and largely pointless conflict that otherwise would have none.

Internal Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as “message force multipliers” or “surrogates” who could be counted on to deliver administration “themes and messages” to millions of Americans “in the form of their own opinions." [42]

These covert maneuvers intended to warp public opinion only serve to magnify the illegitimacy of establishment authorities that act only to profit the interests of a small oligarchy, with both political parties being willing, if not enthusiastic, participants having both supported and aided the launch and expansion of foolish perpetual wars on terrorism, drugs, Islam, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, and so on. May & June 2008


Who Cares About the Iraqis?

Although according to officials the war on Iraq was launched as an effort intended to directly benefit the Iraqi people (by ‘liberating’ them from Saddam Hussein and delivering freedom and democracy) those same officials as well as the complicit mass-media are Another Iraqi made homeless in Fallujah by the U.S. war on Iraq.practically silent when it comes to describing the staggering scale of the humanitarian crisis facing the Iraqi people today. Indeed to do so would undoubtedly undercut the dwindling patriotic enthusiasm for perpetuating the war on Iraq that can only be charitably described as criminal and more accurately characterized as genocidal. To describe the humanitarian disaster spilling out of Iraq would  illuminate troubling contradictions between official rhetoric and brutal reality that officials prefer left unstated.

Here's a typical example of average Iraqis struggling to survive sanctions and war imposed upon them by outside forces:

Mohammad Saleem ran a successful supermarket in Baghdad. "I was leading a comfortable life with my family, despite the 13 years of UN sanctions. My four sons worked together to keep our supermarket running, and so we passed the dark sanctions period successfully. The big suffering started with the 2003 occupation that brought closed roads and reduced income for people."

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates there are 1.5 million Iraqis in Syria. But the economy of Syria itself is struggling under U.S. sanctions. Jobs for refugees on the black market bring no more than 100 dollars a month.

And expenses have risen. "I paid 300 dollars rent when I came here in early 2005," said Dr. Shakir Awad. "In 2006 I had to rent a smaller flat for the same amount of money because rent went up after more Iraqis fled for Syria when sectarian evictions escalated in Iraq.”

The Syrian government does not allow Iraqis in Syria to work legally, and an increasing number of refugees have taken to prostitution. While there are no precise figures, refugees speak of many cases of families who left their belongings back home, and now have no means to support themselves – and whose women have taken to prostitution. [43]

When President Bush and Vice President Cheney are put on trial for war-crimes one can only hope that every mass-media news editor that ash-canned interviews with Iraqi refugees in favor of more smarmy pieces on ‘rebuilding Iraq’ or on how many 15 year-old ‘terrorists’ the Army killed inside Sadr City are included as co-conspirators knowing full-well that their decisions mean that thousands of innocent Iraqi moms are turning to prostitution for food money, millions of Iraqis have been forced to flee their homes, and countless thousands are unemployed, homeless, hungry, or dying. 05.05.08


A War for Oil?

The Pentagon spent $15 billion dollars in 2007 just for fuel, and for every dollar oil goes up in price an extra $130 million has to be added to the Pentagon's budget. Getting burned by high gas prices? The Bush/Cheney wars and a massive fuel-guzzling Pentagon deserve much of the blame.Indeed the U.S. Department of Defense is the largest single user of fuel in the world, consuming more than the entire country of Sweden every day, and this is one major reason for high gasoline prices --- the very fact that so much oil is being diverted towards feeding the insatiable appetite of the Pentagon’s war machine consisting of fleets of aircraft, swarms of tanks and trucks, and a multitude of ships.

Every day, the average GI in Iraq uses approximately 27 gallons of petroleum-based fuels. With some 160,000 American troops in Iraq, that amounts to 4.37 million gallons in daily oil usage, including gasoline for vans and light vehicles, diesel for trucks and armored vehicles, and aviation fuel for helicopters, drones, and fixed-wing aircraft. With US forces paying, as of late April, an average of $3.23 per gallon for these fuels, the Pentagon is already spending approximately $14 million per day on oil ($98 million per week, $5.1 billion per year) to stay in Iraq. [44]

Crude oil is currently at $128 per barrel and continues to rise daily. If the war on Iraq was really launched solely as an unstated effort to secure the Middle East’s oil supplies, as claimed by many ideologically biased critics, then the war has been a catastrophic and self-defeating failure for the United States and its massive oil-driven military, one showing no signs of being corrected any time soon. 18.05.08

It’s clear with objective analysis that the war on Iraq is not about oil despite the superficial veracity and repetitiveness of claims to the contrary, and indeed these false assertions are highly convenient fiction for authorities precisely because they mask fundamental truths they would prefer remain unrecognized. And now, finally, someone else is making the same contentions that I have (for instance read December 2006’s Oil or Security - What Happened?), and with greater eloquence and lengthier detail.

[T]here is strong evidence that, in fact, oil companies did not welcome the war because they prefer stability and predictability to periodic oil spikes that follow war and political convulsion: "Looking back over the last 20 years, there is plenty of evidence showing the industry's push for stability and cooperation with Middle Eastern countries and leaders, and the US government's drive for hegemony works against the oil industry."

The real top-force manipulating U.S. foreign policy is not ‘Big Oil’, it’s the Israel Lobby and we know this because U.S. oil loses on many counts from Middle East turmoil while Israel and the lobby gain from it. Here is just one example of legislation passed that punishes U.S. oil while rewarding Zionism:

It is no secret that the major force behind the Iran-Libya Sanction Act was the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the main Zionist lobby in Washington. The success of AIPAC in passing ILSA through both the Congress and the White House over the opposition of the major US oil companies is testament to the fact that, in the context of US policy in the Middle East, even the influence of the oil industry pales vis-a-vis the influence of the Zionist lobby.

The author of Are they really oil wars?, Hossein-sadeh, also attacks the fraudulent ‘theory’ of Peak Oil that is being used as another convenient fiction by multiple factions,

The Peak Oil thesis serves as a powerful trap and a clever manipulation in that it lets the real forces of war and militarism (the military-industrial complex and the pro-Israel lobby) "off the hook; it is a fabulous redirection. All evils are blamed on a commodity upon which we are all utterly dependent”.

Finally, and perhaps more importantly, claims of "peaked and dwindling" oil are refuted by the available facts and figures on global oil supply. Statistical evidence shows that there is absolutely no supply-demand imbalance in global oil markets. Contrary to the claims of the proponents of Peak Oil and champions of war and militarism, the current oil price shocks are a direct consequence of the destabilizing wars and geopolitical insecurity in the Middle East, not oil shortages.

So why do these myths persist? 

But the major reason for the persistence of this pervasive myth seems to stem from certain deliberate efforts that are designed to perpetuate the legend in order to camouflage some real economic and geopolitical special interests that drive US military adventures in the Middle East. There is evidence that both the military-industrial complex and hard-line Zionist proponents of "greater Israel" disingenuously use oil (as an issue of national interest) in order to disguise their own nefarious special interests and objectives: justification of continued expansion of military spending, extension of sales markets for military hardware, and recasting the geopolitical map of the Middle East in favor of Israel.

There is also evidence that for every dollar's worth of oil imported from the Persian Gulf region the Pentagon takes $5 out of the Federal budget to "secure" the flow of that oil. This is a clear indication that the claim that the US military presence in the Middle East is due to oil consideration is a fraud. [50]


A War for Genocide

The US/UK Bush/Cheney war on Iraq is a campaign of genocide against the people of Iraq disguised with hollow moral platitudes and specious rhetoric. After all, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq did not pose any threat to the United States and indeed he was a valuable ally for many years, Saddam and Iraq were however perceived as a serious threat by Israel. Hussein was entirely willing to sell his oil on the world market even under the punitive sanctions program imposed on his country after the Gulf War, thereby benefiting the United States, but the Bush-Cheney team invaded Iraq anyway despite massive worldwide resistance and solid support only emanating from portions of the UK government and Israel.

Invading and occupying Iraq under the pretext of a preemptive war, a country already decimated by Dessert Storm, sanctions and no-fly-zones, represents the quintessential tragedy and hypocrisy of American foreign policy. [45]

By all measures George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney have been the most supportive and useful executive leaders Israel has ever had helping them in the White House. Bush even praised Israel during a special speech in May 2008 at the Israeli Knesset as a "homeland for the chosen people" while proclaiming the US as Israel’s "closest ally and best friend in the world". Bush delivered this speech on the day that Palestinians commemorate as the Nakba catastrophe of 1948 when Israel seized 78 percent of Palestine. Bush subsequently toured the Arab states and excoriated them for numerous perceived failings then demanded that Saudi Arabia pump more oil to lower the price!

Whether or not the administrations of Bush Senior, Clinton, and Bush Junior intended to commit genocide in Iraq is irrelevant because the consequences of the bombings and sanctions could have been predicted by any reasonable person.  The actions of these administrations clearly resulted in mass killing, serious bodily and mental harm, and the infliction of conditions calculated to bring about Iraq’s physical destruction in whole or in part.  Iraq is a clear-cut case of genocide. [45]

The bottom line is that the war on Iraq is not a war for oil, it's a war of genocide for Israel and for Bush, Cheney, and the Israeli government it must continue until completed. 21.05.08

U.S. soldiers describe the brutality of military occupation in Iraq:

"I was in Husaiba with a sniper platoon right on the Syrian border and we would basically go out on the town and search for people to shoot," Kochergin said. "The rules of engagement (ROE) got more lenient the longer we were there. So if anyone had a bag and a shovel, we were to shoot them. We were allowed to take our shots at anything that looked suspicious. And at that point in time, everything looked suspicious."

Kochergin added, "Later on, we had no ROE at all. If you see something that doesn't seem right, take them out." He concluded by saying, "Enough is enough, it's time to get out of there."

Doug Connor was a first lieutenant in the army and worked as a surgical nurse in Iraq. While there he worked as part of a combat support unit, and said most of the patients he treated were Iraqi civilians.

"There were so many people that needed treatment we couldn't take all of them," he said. "When a bombing happened and 45 patients were brought to us, it was always Americans treated first, then Kurds, then the Arabs."

Connor added quietly, "It got to the point where we started calling the Iraqi patients 'range balls' because, just like on the driving range (in golf), you don't care about losing them." [46]

Human remains from a mass grave near Karbala, Iraq in late 2006.The true Iraqi death toll from military occupation and religious civil war is far higher than official authorities are willing to admit.

"I lived in Gatoon district, the volatile stronghold of the militants in Baquba," Yasir al-Azawi, a 37-year-old truck driver told IPS. "Everyday I saw vehicles dropping bodies in the river. Everyone in my district knows this truth; that the river contained an extraordinary number of bodies to the extent that living in that place became impossible." [47]

Unmarked mass graves litter the Iraqi countryside and the rivers are clogged with dead bodies. "New burial grounds are found often, and the dead are usually not recorded. Many residents told IPS that farmers commonly find bones in their fields." [47]


The Surge Success Scam

Adding more U.S. soldiers to Iraq has long been treated by politicians and the mass-media as the solution that reduced violence and managed to turn Iraq from a downward-spiraling fiasco into a stable nation, all due to the supposed brilliance of General Petraeus’ plan. Completely missing is the fact that Iraq is still a formidable disaster with inadequate power, unsafe water, a widespread lack of safety and security, and a general paucity of every other basic element of civilization. Indeed it’s easy to punch holes in the myth of the successful ‘Surge’ but due to the need for a politically pleasing storyline that reassures a nervous public the myth will remain in circulation.

What’s more, that decrease in the level of violence that “surge” supporters point to seems to have virtually no connection to the increase in troop levels. Mideast scholar Juan Cole (Informed Comment, 7/21/08, 7/24/08) wrote that the decline occurred primarily in Al-Anbar, which saw little troop increase, and in Basra, where British forces had already largely withdrawn. Cole argued that if the escalation contributed to decreased levels of violence, it was because it “allowed the ethnic cleansing of the Sunnis of Baghdad and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis from the country.”

Given that the total number of occupation troops at the height of the surge—about 183,000—was the same as the number present in November/December 2005, it is unlikely that the escalation by itself did much to fundamentally change the situation in Iraq. [51]

Yet, the underlying contradiction still remains -- if the ‘Surge’ has succeeded and violence in Iraq is no longer a problem then why are thousands of U.S. troops still militarily occupying Iraq? This is why authorities must constantly raise the possibility of everything falling apart again if the troops even so much as think about stepping back and leaving. By manipulating the myth of a successful Surge strategy they can gain exactly what they want: the perpetual military occupation of Iraq. 13.10.08

The Empire’s Visionary Leader

The Empire's Visionary Leader, 0125014j2s000
August 2008

Pacifying Sunni Iraq

Although the ‘surge’ of troops into Iraq has been proclaimed as a brilliant success in reducing violence in Iraq by Bush-Cheney and Associates, as well as the supposed architect General Petraeus, Dahr Jamail, who has actually been into Fallujah more than once, describes what’s really going on. The real business of pacifying Sunni Iraq for continued US occupation has much more to do with bribes to crooks and pallet-loads of Dollar bills than the presence of US soldiers and ‘rebuilding’ the war-ruined country. 14.02.09

The reasons - and they are indeed plural - why the tribal leaders were so willing to collaborate with the occupiers of their country are, at least in retrospect, relatively clear. Those in al-Anbar who had once supported, and had been supported by, Saddam, and then had initially supported the resistance became far keener to work with occupation forces as they saw their power eroded by al-Qaeda-in-Iraq.

AQI proved a threat to the sheiks, many of whom had initially worked directly with it, when it began to try to embed its own fierce, extremist Sunni ideology in the region - and perhaps even more significantly, when it began to infringe on the cross-border smuggling trade that had kept many tribal sheiks rich. As AQI grew larger and threatened their financial and power bases, they had little choice but to throw in their lot with the Americans.

As a result, these men obtained backing for their private militias, renamed Awakening groups, and in addition, signed "construction" contracts with the Americans who put millions of dollars in their pockets, even if not always into actual construction sites. As early as April 2006, the Rand Corporation released a report, "The Anbar Awakening", identifying America's potential new allies as a group of sheiks who used to control smuggling rings and organized crime in the area. [52]


Kill Zone: Iraq

15.03.09 In March 2009 Iraq remains a disaster zone, and although the bombings are more sporadic than during the peak of the religious civil war, attacks continue with incredible violence.

The assailant, dressed in a camouflage police uniform, struck at noon, rushing the armored car of police Maj. Gen. Maarid Abdel-Hassan, who had been touring the market with tribal leaders before the meeting. Abdel-Hassan was unhurt, but he said a colleague lost a leg in the blast. The bomber's body was smeared on the car's glass, as the general sped away amid bursts of gunfire.

The bombing unleashed chaos in the ramshackle vegetable market that lines the street near the municipal buildings of Abu Ghraib, on Baghdad's western outskirts. Metal pellets sliced indiscriminately through men, women and children shopping before lunch, and the force of the blast hurtled body parts into streets strewn with trash and roamed by packs of feral dogs. In vain, policemen chased one of the animals as it ran with the severed leg of a victim clamped in its jaw. [53]

We can’t even imagine the psychological trauma that witnesses experience surviving an event like this. It’s no wonder that violence becomes a self-perpetuating cycle in this kind of environment. It even turns out that the police added to the casualties by spraying gunfire in all directions immediately after the bomb attack. "Ahmad al-Zobaie, a doctor at the hospital, said most of the wounded Tuesday were injured by police gunfire, an account corroborated by several patients in the ward." [53]

Adding barricades to roads and using giant walls to slice-up neighborhoods has added to the siege-mentality of the residents while making everyday life even more difficult, but has little impact in deterring the assaults of motivated attackers.

After the bombing Tuesday, insurgents paraded through the al-Amarat neighborhood of Abu Ghraib in their cars, brandishing machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, an official at the National Security Ministry said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Iraq remains a remarkably violent place. In addition to the market blast, a roadside bombing in the disputed city of Kirkuk killed two policemen. Near the northern city of Mosul, where the insurgency remains fiercest, a booby-trapped car exploded near the office of the mayor in Hamdaniyah, killing the mayor's son and two other people. ... Both attacks this week happened in locales that are fortified even by the standards of the capital, where virtually every street is lined with blast walls. And in each attack, Iraqi security forces seemed undisciplined in the immediate aftermath. [53]


Torture Used to Concoct Link Between Saddam's Iraq and al Qaeda

27.06.09 As official documents have slowly leaked out, or been released under legal pressure from public-interest groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), we’ve learned that the torture and abuse of captives under the guidance of Vice President Dick Cheney was part of an effort to generate evidence linking Saddam Hussein with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda in order to justify launching war on Iraq. In other words, proceeding from a fundamentally false premise, captives were tortured to reveal facts that did not exist because Saddam never had any ties to al Qaeda!

So, it turns out that the infamous lie about al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein working together was extracted through torture in Egypt, a notoriously brutal dictatorship jointly sponsored by Israel and the U.S. government with billions of dollars of American taxpayer money.

which, incidentally, should be hurled in the face of former Vice President Cheney, every time he is invited onto a TV show to repeat his claims that torture saved the US from further terrorist attacks — and to ignore the crucial role he played in actually using torture to launch an illegal war. [54]

Even more outrageous, the torture and abuse of captives in the 'War on Terror', or whatever the latest bogus title is that’s being officially used, continues under the Obama administration. This kind of official behavior has now been institutionalized but it still operates using erroneous beliefs in non-existent ‘facts’, searching for information that doesn’t exist in order to justify pre-existing plans and ruining the lives of thousands of innocent people in the process, wrecking the prestige of America, and directly endangering the safety of American’s everywhere through the inevitable retributive counter-attacks.

In the end, though, what is most significant about al-Libi’s torture tour through US proxy prisons and prisons run by the CIA is the realization that, throughout his long ordeal, US interrogators or their proxies were persistently using torture to secure information from him about other prisoners and other suspects — either in the presence of these men, or through the use of photographs — that was just as unreliable as his “confession” about the connections between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, and that these other “confessions” must, in turn, have led to further arrests and further torture, with a cumulative effect that is truly mind-boggling in its scale. [54]

The use of torture to elicit false information that subsequently implicates other innocent people, who are then captured and interrogated forming a chain-reaction, is primarily why the Obama administration is still having so much difficulty shutting down Bush-Cheney’s showcase concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay Cuba. They have no valid evidence to put anyone on trial, but they can’t release them without effectively admitting that the captives were innocent to begin with and the whole thing is a sick fraud!


Iraqis Celebrate as U.S. Military Forces Officially Banned from their Cities

Iraqi forces assumed formal control of Baghdad and other cities Tuesday after American troops handed over security in urban areas in a defining step toward ending the U.S. combat role in the country. A countdown clock broadcast on Iraqi TV ticked to zero as the midnight deadline passed for U.S. combat troops to finish their pullback to bases outside cities.

Fireworks, not bombings, colored the Baghdad skyline late Monday, and thousands attended a party in a park where singers performed patriotic songs. Loudspeakers at police stations and military checkpoints played recordings of similar tunes throughout the day, as Iraqi military vehicles decorated with flowers and national flags patrolled the capital.

"All of us are happy — Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds on this day," Waleed al-Bahadili said as he celebrated at the park. "The Americans harmed and insulted us too much."

Al-Maliki declared a public holiday and proclaimed June 30 as "National Sovereignty Day." [56]


Saddam Hussein Revisited

11.07.09 The FBI was forced, through a Freedom of Information Act request, to release the documents from interviews with Saddam Hussein while he was in US captivity from February to May 2004. After reading the interviews it’s clear why the US government was reluctant to release them for public viewing – they substantiate the known reasons not to invade Iraq before Bush and Cheney launched their war.

Saddam improved the well-being of the Iraqi people:

"Saddam stated he has served the Iraqi people for a very long time. He considers his greatest accomplishments to be the social programs for the citizens of Iraq and improvements in other sectors of the economy including enhancements to education, the healthcare system, industry, agriculture, and other areas that generally enhanced the way of life for Iraqis. In 1968, Iraqi people "barely had anything". The Iraqi economy depended entirely on oil production, with most being exported from Iraq by foreign companies. Iraq manufactured very few products; most goods had to be imported. The healthcare system was "primitive" and the mortality rate was very high, particularly among the poor. The literacy rate was around 27 per cent. Roads were almost non-existent in rural areas and "very bad" in the cities of Iraq. Limited educational opportunities existed at university level, even in Baghdad. [55]

Saddam repeatedly denied that he used ‘body-doubles’ to elude assassinations.

When questioned whether he had ever used "doubles" or those resembling him as has often been discussed in books and other publications, he laughed and stated: "This is movie magic, not reality. It is very difficult to impersonate another individual." [55]

But he was nonetheless very concerned about a US assassination attempt against him.

Saddam stated he only recalled using the telephone on two occasions since March 1990 because he feared the US's ability to eavesdrop on him. Additionally, Saddam did not stay at the same location for more than a day. He communicated primarily through the use of couriers to communicate or would personally meet with government officials to discuss issues. [55]

Saddam originally had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) as a deterrent against hostile enemies, particularly Iran. However all the WMD were destroyed long before the war that forced him from power.

Saddam acknowledged Iraq had made a mistake in destroying some weapons without UN supervision. In Saddam's view UN inspectors wanted all their expenses, including their accommodations, travel and other costs, paid for by Iraq. Instead of waiting for the inspectors and bearing these expenses, Iraq commenced destruction of the weapons. Iraq did not hide these weapons. Regarding destruction of weapons, Saddam stated, "We destroyed them. We told you, with documents. [55]

UN inspections were especially onerous and intrusive, to such an extent that to accept them without reservation was to relinquish national sovereignty to a hostile foreign power, treason in other words.

Saddam said the US used prohibited weapons in Vietnam. He asked whether America would accept Iraqis inspecting the White House for such weapons. Such a search would likely find nothing he said, adding: "A country that accepts being violated will bring dishonour to its people." [55]

The full interviews can be read at George Washington University’s National Security Archive website.


They Came, They Saw, They Wrecked Babylon

We already know that the US military and allied invasion/occupation has been terribly destructive to Iraq. One of the most egregious incidents of senseless damage to Iraqi culture, and indeed world history, has to do with Camp Alpha, a U.S. military base built right atop the remnants of the 4,000 year-old of city of Babylon, south of Baghdad. The unique remains of temples, palaces, and sculptures were irreparably harmed.

After five years of investigation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has published a report detailing the damage done to Babylon. US forces bulldozed hills and covered them with gravel to make parking lots, soldiers and contractors filled sandbags with archeological fragments, trenches were dug, and of course relics were looted as well.

The use of Babylon as a military base was a grave encroachment on this internationally known archeological site. During their presence in Babylon, the MNF-I and contractors employed by them, mainly KBR, directly caused major damage to the city by digging, cutting, scraping, and leveling. Key structures that were damaged include the Ishtar Gate and the Processional Way. [57]

UNESCO is working with the Iraqi government to stabilize and protect what's left of the Babylonian historical site.


Bloody Blackwater

Fitting perfectly with the attitudes and actions already observed on display in the military occupation of Iraq are revelations about the the founder of the infamous mercenary company Blackwater, now called Xe Services LLC. Sworn statements by witnesses implicate Erik Prince in a racist-religious campaign to kill as many Muslims as possible in Iraq.

The former employee also alleges that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince's companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life." ...

To that end, Mr. Prince intentionally deployed to Iraq certain men who shared his vision of Christian supremacy, knowing and wanting these men to take every available opportunity to murder Iraqis. Many of these men used call signs based on the Knights of the Templar, the warriors who fought the Crusades.

Mr. Prince operated his companies in a manner that encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life. For example, Mr. Prince's executives would openly speak about going over to Iraq to "lay Hajiis out on cardboard." Going to Iraq to shoot and kill Iraqis was viewed as a sport or game. Mr. Prince's employees openly and consistently used racist and derogatory terms for Iraqis and other Arabs, such as "ragheads" or "hajiis."

Among the additional allegations made by Doe #1 is that "Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq." He states that he personally witnessed weapons being "pulled out" from dog food bags. Doe #2 alleges that "Prince and his employees arranged for the weapons to be polywrapped and smuggled into Iraq on Mr. Prince's private planes, which operated under the name Presidential Airlines," adding that Prince "generated substantial revenues from participating in the illegal arms trade." ...

Prince "obtained illegal ammunition from an American company called LeMas. This company sold ammunition designed to explode after penetrating within the human body. Mr. Prince's employees repeatedly used this illegal ammunition in Iraq to inflict maximum damage on Iraqis." [58]

Halliburton, another war contractor, also has a sordid history. Here are a few examples:

Halliburton and KBR, its former subsidiary, were the largest defence department contractors in Iraq. Critics allege that huge contracts were won in part because of ties to George Bush's government, particularly to his vice-president, Dick Cheney, a former Halliburton chief executive who left the company during the 2000 presidential campaign with a $36m pay-off.

The Texas-based firm has a controversial history. In the early 1990s it was fined $3.8m for breaking trade embargoes on Iraq and Libya. Last year, a former KBR president, Albert "Jack" Stanley, pleaded guilty to overseeing the payment of $182m in bribes to win engineering contracts in Nigeria.

Critics allege that Halliburton/KBR won a contract to plan oil-well firefighting in the Iraq invasion because no other firm was permitted to bid.

The Pentagon's auditor found Halliburton/KBR was linked to "the vast majority" of fraud cases investigated by the defence department in Iraq. Furthermore, a civil servant who oversaw contracts accused Halliburton of unlawfully receiving preferential treatment over contracts for work in Iraq, Kuwait and the Balkans. The firm reportedly severely overcharged the Pentagon for fuel deliveries to Iraq. Halliburton is headquartered in Houston, Texas but has recently opened a new joint head office in Dubai.
[59]

Blackwater Update 2010: State Dep't Helps

By now the 2007 Nisour Square shooting rampage, done by Blackwater Worldwide ‘security’ guards, has become an infamous icon of the American occupation of Iraq.  Even from the very beginning witnesses were  consistent in portraying the Backwater shooting, that killed 17 bystanders, as unjustified murder, and the more information trickles out the more egregious the event becomes. Even worse, the U.S. State Department assisted in the cover-up to shield Blackwater Inc. through evidence tampering and obstruction of justice.

Mr. Farrington had said he was in meetings where diplomatic security agents said that after they had gone to the scene and picked up casings and other evidence, “They [State Department] said we’ve got enough to get these guys off now.”

The documents made public on Tuesday show that before the December dismissal [of the charges against Blackwater], prosecutors and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents working on the Nisour Square case took the stand in October to argue that they had plenty of untainted evidence. In a closed-door hearing, they also contended that they had evidence that, in the immediate aftermath of the shootings, there had been a concerted effort to make the case go away, both by Blackwater and by at least some embassy officials. 

In fact, prosecutors were told that the embassy had never conducted any significant investigation of any of the numerous shooting episodes in Iraq involving Blackwater before the Nisour Square case, according to the documents. [60]


I had always idealized the military, like we were going out to fight the Nazis, and had real moral high ground. When I got over [to Iraq], I was shocked by the brutality. My whole first tour, I can honestly say I never saw an Iraqi guy who deserved to die, who had weapons or was attacking us or anything. In many instances American soldiers took really bad decisions that killed innocent Iraqis. I had a hard time reconciling that with what I had thought I would be doing. By the time my second tour was over, I had morphed into a killer. A lot of people don't understand what war actually is. I don't know what's worse: being charged with felony or having a head full of insanity.US Army Specialist Michael St Clair, 2009


Chemical Weapons Found Used in Iraq

10.04.10 In a twisted irony that shouldn’t be overlooked, although Saddam’s Iraq was repeatedly accused of having stockpiles of chemical weapons and a willingness to use them, widespread chemical weapon use actually came from the United States military! White phosphorous was used on the siege of Fallujah (and probably elsewhere as well) and depleted uranium from shells has saturated the ground (and probably the drinking water too) throughout southern Iraq.

“The US government does not want it known that it was using chemicals on human beings in a country whose leader it overthrew ostensibly because he retained the capacity to do the same thing.” – Charles Glass

In the case of Fallujah, U.S. troops fired ‘shake and bake’ missions to smoke and burn opponents in the city, as reported in 'Field Artillery Magazine', a U. S. Army publication, and by freelance journalist Dahr Jamail from the site of the battle. [61]

Depleted Uranium was used during the Gulf War, and again during the occupation of Iraq even after the health hazards were well known. The rise in birth defects in southern Iraq has direct parallels to the continuing wave of deformities resulting from the tons of deadly dioxin dumped over Vietnam in the form of the Agent Orange defoliant.


Where did the money go?

16.06.11 & 21.06.11 Twenty billion dollars was flown into Iraq in 2004 by the US authorities. This was money taken from the UN's oil-for-food program, as well as seized and sold Iraqi assets. But officials in the US and Iraq still can't determine exactly who got the money or what they did with it. [62]

Now, after years of effort to find multiple billions of dollars gone missing during the Bush-Cheney war on Iraq, federal auditors have finally given up and labeled it as theft. Even back in 2005, according to House Government Reform Committee investigators, the officials in charge of the money "used virtually no financial controls to account for these enormous cash withdrawals once they arrived in Iraq," [63] and given the consistency and refusal to heed warnings even at the time, it can only be described as intentional.

Pentagon officials determined that one giant C-130 Hercules cargo plane could carry $2.4 billion in shrink-wrapped bricks of $100 bills. They sent an initial full planeload of cash, followed by 20 other flights to Iraq by May 2004 in a $12-billion haul that U.S. officials believe to be the biggest international cash airlift of all time. [63]

As I've written before, the main purpose of the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan wasn't for oil or imperialism, as most shallow and ideological critics contend. Although oil and imperial control were certainly potential benefits in the minds of the architects and implementers of the wars, their main goal has always been to benefit Israel and Zionism, and to drain as much money as possible from the public coffers and put it into the sweaty hands of private commercial enterprise. And in this regard the Bush-Cheney money scam worked very well. The global wars continue and private companies are making more money than ever, providing everything from armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and other weapons, to food and supplies.

The Pentagon has always maintained that they could find where the billions went if given enough time to track down receipts, so to speak, but have yet to produce any results. Indeed, the Pentagon's own accounting books haven't been balanced or successfully audited in years. Literally trillions of dollars are unaccounted for; not necessarily as intentional crime but most of it probably due simply to the vastness of the Pentagon that spends an annual budget of well over half a trillion every year.


References

1. Was Saddam still alive as statue toppled?, by Julian Borger, The Guardian, April 19, 2003.

2. U.S. Flies in Millions of Dollars for Iraq, Reuters, April 17, 2003.

3. Iraq Left With Billions in Debt . by Hans Greimel, AP, April 18, 2003.

4. Muslims demand US leaves Iraq,  by Tim Cornwell & Lara Marlowe in Najaf, The Scotsman, April 19, 200

5. Confusion over who is in charge of Iraq's oil, by Charles Clover, Financial Times, April 20 2003.

6. Bush: Saddam Shouldn't 'Pop His Head Up' If Alive, FOX News, April 20, 2003.

7. Israel seeks pipeline for Iraqi oil, by Ed Vuillamy, The Guardian, April 20, 2003.

8. Hussein's Sons Took $1 Billion Just Before War, Bank Aide Says, by Dexter Filkins, NYT, May 6, 2003.

9. Purported Saddam tape urges Iraq to fight, by Salah NasrawiI, Associated Press May 7, 2003.

10. As funds dwindle, U.S. halts work on Iraq water, power plant projects - Security costs have cut into infrastructure money, by T. Christian Miller, Los Angeles Times, September 11, 2005.

11. The reconstruction of New Oraq, by Tom Engelhardt and Nick Turse, ATO, September 15, 2005.

12. Iraq war costs more per month than Vietnam, by Alan Elsner, Reuters, August 31,2005.

13. Troop pullout from Iraq rejected by Senate, by Christina Bellantoni, Washington Times, June 16, 2006.

14. Stay the Course? What Course?, by Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, June 16, 2006.

15. Shiite Militias Control Prisons, Official Says, by Jonathan Finer and Ellen Knickmeyer, Washington Post, June 16, 2006.

16. Iraqis call state of emergency in Baghdad, by Kim Gamel, June 23, 2006, AP.

17. List of Military Accusations Gets Longer, by Robert Tanner, AP via Forbes, June 23, 2006.

18. U.S. soldiers charged with murder in Iraq, Disabled man shot in face, by Tim Harper, Toronto Star, June 22, 2006.

19. Militias Splintering Into Radicalized Cells, Washington Post, October 19, 2006.

20. Study Claims Iraq's 'Excess' Death Toll Has Reached 655,000, by David Brown, Washington Post, October 11, 2006.

21. Idle Contractors Add Millions to Iraq Rebuilding, by James Glantz, New York Times, October 25th, 200

22. A U.S. Fortress Rises in Baghdad: Asian Workers Trafficked to Build World's Largest Embassy, by David Phinney, Special to CorpWatch, October 17th, 2006.

23. Playing the numbers game with death, by Tom Engelhardt, ATO October 26, 2006.

24. U.S. Is Said to Fail in Tracking Arms Shipped to Iraqis, by James Glanz, New York Times, October 30, 2006.

25. The myth of more in Iraq, by Michael Schwartz, ATO,

26. 'We Can’t Afford to Leave', by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, Newsweek, December 5, 2006.  

27. The elephant gives birth to a mouse, by Anthony Cordesman, ATO, December 8, 2006.

28. Pentagon's plan: More U.S. troops in Iraq, by Julian E. Barnes, LA Times, December 13, 2006.

29. House intelligence chair calls al Qaeda Shi'ite, (unattributed), Reuters, December 11, 2006.

30. Democrat dilemma over Iran, by Conn Hallinan, Foreign Policy in Focus via ATO, Dec. 14, 2006.

31. Army is stretched too thin, by Julian E. Barnes, LA Times, December 15, 2006.

32. Saddam hanged at dawn, by Mariam Karouny, Reuters, December 30, 2006.

33. Negroponte and the escalation of death, by Dahr Jamail, ATO, January 11, 2007.

34. Billions and billions of dollars just disappear in Iraq, by Joseph L. Galloway, McClatchy Newspapers, February, 07, 2007.

35. Red Cross details 'unbearable suffering' of Iraqi civilians, by Ian Black, Guardian (UK), April 11, 2007.

36. Iran Giving Arms To Iraq's Sunnis, U.S. Military Says, by Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post, April 12, 2007.

37. The colossus of Baghdad, by Tom Engelhardt, ATO, May 31, 2007.

38. British-Iraqi survey confirms one million deaths as a result of US invasion, by David Walsh, WSWS, February 1, 2008.

39. Insurgents in the Bloodstream, by Capt. Chas Henry (Ret.), Proceedings, February 21, 2008.

40. The Iraq War Will Cost Us $3 Trillion, and Much More, by Bilmes and Stiglitz, Washington Post, March 9, 2008.

41. Report reveals Iran seized British sailors in disputed waters, by Dominic Kennedy, The Times (UK), April 17, 2008. 

42. Message Machine: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand, By David Barstow, New York Times, April 20, 2008.

43. IRAQ: Poverty Gets the Survivors, by Maki al-Nazzal and Dahr Jamail, IPS news, April 26, 2008.

44.  An oil-addicted ex-superpower, by Michael T Klare, ATO, May 10, 2008.

45. Genocide in Iraq?, by David Model, Counterpunch magazine, May 21, 2008.

46. US/IRAQ: "Enough Is Enough, It's Time to Get Out", by Dahr Jamail, IPS, June 2, 2008.

47. IRAQ: Death Toll 'Above Highest Estimates', by Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail, IPS, June 2, 2008.

48. Senate committee: Bush knew Iraq claims weren't true, by Nancy A. Youssef and Mark Seibel, McClatchy, June 5, 2008.

49. Network News Blackout on Pentagon Pundits, by Isabel Macdonald, Extra! Update, June 4, 2008.

50. Are they really oil wars?, by Ismael Hossein-zadeh, Asia Times, June 25, 2008.

51. Spinning the Surge, by Peter Hart, Extra!, September/October 2008.

52.  The new Fallujah up close and ugly, by Dahr Jamail, Asia Times, February 14, 2009.

53. Blast Kills Dozens in Iraqi Market, by Anthony Shadid, Washington Post, March 11, 2009.

54. New Revelations About The Torture and Alleged Suicide Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, by Andy Worthington, The Public Record, June 19, 2009.

55. The Saddam Files: His final interviews, The Independent, July 5, 2009.

56. Fireworks over Baghdad as Iraqis take over cities, by Kim Gamel and Patrick Quinn, AP, June 29, 2009.

57. Final Report on Damage Assessment in Babylon, UNESCO, June 26, 2009.

58. Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder, by Jeremy Scahill, The Nation, August 4, 2009.

59. Rape case to force US defence firms into the open, by Chris McGreal, The Guardian, October 15, 2009.

60. Interference Seen in Blackwater Inquiry, by James Risen, New York Times, March 2, 2010.

61. Covering up American War Crimes, From Baghdad to New York, by Charles Glass, March 22, 2010.

62. Missing Iraq cash 'as high as $18bn' , Al Jazeera , June 19, 2011.

63. Missing Iraq money may have been stolen, auditors say, by Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times, June 13, 2011.


News

Resources

  • The Saddam Hussein Interviews are at George Washington University’s National Security Archive website.

  • Holology Special Report: Neo-Conned: The Neo-Conservative Connection

  • Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers (2006) DVD, directed by Robert Greenwald. This revealing documentary details the main unstated objective of the Bush administration’s war in Iraq: to shift as much public money as possible into private corporate hands; shows how many war contractors go to outrageous lengths to pad their bill to the government, for instance by burning slightly broken trucks so they can bill for the entire cost of the vehicle! The film slams Halliburton, but Titan and many companies are equally lambasted for corruption and waste.

Content & Design © Freydis
Updated: March, 2013
Created: 2003