You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Iraq’ tag.

Great mysteries of empire are always shrouded in mystery.  One idea that I have lifted from terrible military fiction is the concept of the 6P’s.

They are:

Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

Can you guess which imperialistic nation didn’t do their homework?

“Sky said the United States led the invasion of Iraq in 2003 to oust a dictator, Saddam Hussein, and to help establish a democratic beachhead in the Middle East. But after the invasion, it was the military that was left with the job of trying to keep the country together.

“They had been told to go in and take care of Saddam and that was it. They were completely unaware of the situation there. They had to make the best of the situation they found themselves in.”

According to Sky, the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush believed that democracy would take hold on its own; they had no roadmap for how to make that happen.”

Yah.  You would think after a grand statue toppling the rest of the piece of the ‘nation-building’ exercise would just fall into place.  What could go wrong?

“These plans drawn up in Washington were all wishful thinking,” she said.

At one point, Sky recounts in the book, Donald Rumsfeld showed up for a military briefing in northern Iraq, and didn’t know where neighbouring Iran was on the map.”

Yep, the US had the smartest guys in the room in on this one.  Predictably, they royally screwed the country up, destroying vital civilian infrastructure, murdering a bunch of civilians and of course setting the state for the next terrorist flavour of the month, ISIL.   You’d think there would be some questions of accountability being asked as to who laid the foundation of this megalith of stupidity.

“No one has ever been held accountable for the decisions, for the false intelligence that led them to invade Iraq,” she says. “They should be. The people at the top should be held accountable for what went wrong.”

Sky was blunt in her assessment to General Odierno, telling him that America’s blundering in Iraq was the, “worst strategic failure since the foundation of the United States.”

iraqcartoon   I’m guessing that if you arbitrarily declare victory at some point during the shit-show it somehow allows the drivers of the clown-car to be exculpated for all their sins.  Of course having the biggest war machine on earth allows you to do pretty much as you please – Nuremberg and Geneva Conventions be damned.

But let’s not focus too much on the big picture yet, more cock-ups are yet to happen:

“But the biggest missed opportunity happened following the first national elections in 2010, when the sitting Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, failed to gain a majority.

“Iraqis had become convinced that politics, not violence, was the way forward.” she says. “All the various groups came out to vote, and the bloc that won ran on a platform of ‘no to sectarianism.’

“Sky believes this presented an opportunity to oust Nouri al-Maliki, a man who was consolidating his own power base, in favour of a true – or at least fledgling – democracy.

“But it was a close result. Maliki refused to accept the results,” she said. 

The U.S. decided that backing al-Maliki, even with his faults, was the best chance for stability. This wasn’t something the military supported.

“The ambassador at the time, Chris Hill, had no experience of Iraq and didn’t really want to be there.”

Sky writes that Hill spent most of his time trying to make the embassy in Baghdad “normal.” He even brought in rolls of sod to make a lawn where he could practise lacrosse.

“General Odierno was adamant that the U.S. should protect the political process, allow the winning group 30 days to form the government. Hill didn’t have the same feel for Iraq and he said ‘Maliki is our man, the strong man the country needs.’ In the end Biden went with the ambassador’s recommendation.”

Sky believes it was a huge mistake.

“Maliki’s politics were poisonous,” she said.”

Well he looked like Saddam Hussein 2.0 ( the one we liked and actively supported, economically and militarily)and that was a good thing!  Oh wait…

“Sky was disheartened as she watched the Iraqi people lose confidence in the country’s leaders, especially groups such as Sunni Muslims, who felt there was no place for them and no chance to be part of the government.

“If you were Sunni, you made the unfortunate decision that supporting ISIS was a better option than supporting the central government in Baghdad,” she says.

Current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has been trying to reform the government. This week he cut the cabinet in an attempt to oust some of the old guard, and dropped quotas for government positions that were based on ethnicity.

Sky is cautiously hopeful that the new government may help turn things around, but says it will not be easy.”

Well and that brings us up to today – Can we get a ‘Mission Accomplished’ ?!  Anyone?  Anyone?? 

 

Is this thing even on?

[Source: cbc.ca]

 

 

A brief note.  I think that this essay should be required reading for all those who consider joining the armed forces and participating in the cycle of terrorism and destruction that currently dominates our foreign policy and geo-political goals here in the West.   Many thanks to Tom’s Dispatch for hosting the essay.

“Why The War on Terror Shouldn’t Be Your Battle.”

[…]

Let’s start that unpacking process with racism: That was the first and one of the last times I heard the word “enemy” in battalion. The usual word in my unit was “Hajji.”  Now, Hajji is a word of honor among Muslims, referring to someone who has successfully completed a pilgrimage to the Holy Site of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. In the U.S. military, however, it was a slur that implied something so much bigger.

The soldiers in my unit just assumed that the mission of the small band of people who took down the Twin Towers and put a hole in the Pentagon could be applied to any religious person among the more than 1.6 billion Muslims on this planet.  The platoon sergeant would soon help usher me into group-blame mode with that “enemy.”  I was to be taught instrumental aggression. The pain caused by 9/11 was to be tied to the everyday group dynamics of our unit. This is how they would get me to fight effectively. I was about to be cut off from my previous life and psychological manipulation of a radical sort would be involved.  This is something you should prepare yourself for.

When you start hearing the same type of language from your chain-of-command in its attempt to dehumanize the people you are off to fight, remember that 93% of all Muslims condemned the attacks on 9/11.  And those who sympathized claimed they feared a U.S. occupation and cited political not religious reasons for their support.

But, to be blunt, as George W. Bush said early on (and then never repeated), the war on terror was indeed imagined in the highest of places as a “crusade.” When I was in the Rangers, that was a given.  The formula was simple enough: al-Qaeda and the Taliban represented all of Islam, which was our enemy. Now, in that group-blame game, ISIS, with its mini-terror state in Iraq and Syria, has taken over the role. Be clear again that nearly all Muslims reject its tactics. Even Sunnis in the region where ISIS is operating are increasingly rejecting the group. And it is those Sunnis who may indeed take down ISIS when the time is right.

“If you want to be true to yourself, don’t be swept up in the racism of the moment. Your job should be to end war, not perpetuate it. Never forget that.

The second stop in that unpacking process should be poverty: After a few months, I was finally shipped off to Afghanistan.  We landed in the middle of the night.  As the doors on our C-5 opened, the smell of dust, clay, and old fruit rolled into the belly of that transport plane. I was expecting the bullets to start whizzing by me as I left it, but we were at Bagram Air Base, a largely secure place in 2002.

Jump ahead two weeks and a three-hour helicopter ride and we were at our forward operating base. The morning after we arrived I noticed an Afghan woman pounding at the hard yellow dirt with a shovel, trying to dig up a gaunt little shrub just outside the stone walls of the base. Through the eye-slit of her burqa I could just catch a hint of her aged face. My unit took off from that base, marching along a road, hoping (I suspect) to stir up a little trouble. We were presenting ourselves as bait, but there were no bites.

When we returned a few hours later, that woman was still digging and gathering firewood, undoubtedly to cook her family’s dinner that night. We had our grenade launchers, our M242 machine guns that fired 200 rounds a minute, our night-vision goggles, and plenty of food — all vacuum-sealed and all of it tasting the same.  We were so much better equipped to deal with the mountains of Afghanistan than that woman — or so it seemed to us then.  But it was, of course, her country, not ours, and its poverty, like that of so many places you may find yourself in, will, I assure you, be unlike anything you have ever seen. You will be part of the most technologically advanced military on Earth and you will be greeted by the poorest of the poor. Your weaponry in such an impoverished society will feel obscene on many levels. Personally, I felt like a bully much of my time in Afghanistan.

Now, it’s the moment to unpack “the enemy”: Most of my time in Afghanistan was quiet and calm.  Yes, rockets occasionally landed in our bases, but most of the Taliban had surrendered by the time I entered the country. I didn’t know it then, but as Anand Gopal has reported in his groundbreaking book, No Good Men Among the Living, our war on terror warriors weren’t satisfied with reports of the unconditional surrender of the Taliban.  So units like mine were sent out looking for “the enemy.”  Our job was to draw the Taliban — or anyone really — back into the fight.

Believe me, it was ugly. We were often enough targeting innocent people based on bad intelligence and in some cases even seizing Afghans who had actually pledged allegiance to the U.S. mission. For many former Taliban members, it became an obvious choice: fight or starve, take up arms again or be randomly seized and possibly killed anyway.  Eventually the Taliban did regroup and today they are resurgent.  I know now that if our country’s leadership had truly had peace on its mind, it could have all been over in Afghanistan in early 2002.

If you are shipped off to Iraq for our latest war there, remember that the Sunni population you will be targeting is reacting to a U.S.-backed Shia regime in Baghdad that’s done them dirty for years. ISIS exists to a significant degree because the largely secular members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party were labeled the enemy as they tried to surrender after the U.S. invasion of 2003. Many of them had the urge to be reincorporated into a functioning society, but no such luck; and then, of course, the key official the Bush administration sent to Baghdad simply disbanded Saddam Hussein’s army and tossed its 400,000 troops out onto the streets at a time of mass unemployment.

It was a remarkable formula for creating resistance in another country where surrender wasn’t good enough. The Americans of that moment wanted to control Iraq (and its oil reserves).  To this end, in 2006, they backed the Shia autocrat Nouri al-Maliki for prime minister in a situation where Shia militias were increasingly intent on ethnically cleansing the Sunni population of the Iraqi capital.

Given the reign of terror that followed, it’s hardly surprising to find former Baathist army officers in key positions in ISIS and the Sunnis choosing that grim outfit as the lesser of the two evils in its world.  Again, the enemy you are being shipped off to fight is, at least in part, a product of your chain-of-command’s meddling in a sovereign country. And remember that, whatever its grim acts, this enemy presents no existential threat to American security, at least so says Vice President Joe Biden. Let that sink in for a while and then ask yourself whether you really can take your marching orders seriously.

Next, in that unpacking process, consider noncombatants: When unidentified Afghans would shoot at our tents with old Russian rocket launchers, we would guesstimate where the rockets had come from and then call in air strikes. You’re talking 500-pound bombs. And so civilians would die. Believe me, that’s really what’s at the heart of our ongoing war.  Any American like you heading into a war zone in any of these years was likely to witness what we call “collateral damage.” That’s dead civilians.

The number of non-combatants killed since 9/11 across the Greater Middle East in our ongoing war has been breathtaking and horrifying. Be prepared, when you fight, to take out more civilians than actual gun-toting or bomb-wielding “militants.” At the least, an estimated 174,000 civilians died violent deaths as a result of U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan between 2001 and April 2014. In Iraq, over 70% of those who died are estimated to have been civilians. So get ready to contend with needless deaths and think about all those who have lost friends and family members in these wars, and themselves are now scarred for life. A lot of people who once would never have thought about fighting any type of war or attacking Americans now entertain the idea. In other words, you will be perpetuating war, handing it off to the future.”

CF18Canada has sent CF-18’s to participate in the bombing of ISIS.  I think this is a very bad idea and I need to tell you a story from my childhood to illustrate why.

This whole sending planes overseas to bomb people reminds me of one Christmas I had the pleasure of spending in Hawaii.  Oh let me assure you gentle readers, it was a very merry Mele Kalikimaka for my Mom and I.  We saw many wonderful sights, swam on many beaches, drove around for the first couple of days in a standard car that my dear Mum couldn’t reliably drive (which I nearly fell out of on the highway), turned my back on the ocean and was promptly slammed by a monster-wave that sent me cartwheeling underwater up a thirty-foot sandy incline losing my glasses and nearly my life in the process.  Like I said, good times.  But there was a side story that went along with our little Hawaii get-away and it involves attempting to acquire a certain toy that I reeeeeeeealy wanted.

You see, back at the time I happened to be young and had a certain proclivity toward the latest and greatest toys available at the time – Transformers.  Specifically for some reason lost to me now I wanted to get Soundwave – an evil Decepticon robot that could transform into a tape deck.  Witness (If you’re really curious, you can see Soundwave in action on youtube):

Soundwave-alternate

Whoa! So tricky, hiding as a radio/cassette player. My 10 year old mind didn’t do physics at the time, but how does a 12 foot multiple tonne robot “transform” into a human sized, human portable – boom box?

Soundwaveboxart

Daaaamn, Soundwave was cool. In the cartoon he spoke in a heavily vocoded monotone voice.

As I recall, our dynamic mother and son team spent a good deal of time on our vacation looking for the authentic Soundwave toy.  Now being that Tranformers were all shiny and new back then, they had not made it to the Big Island yet; and if they did the branded toys were snapped up by savvy Hawaiian  shoppers before the likes of our pasty Canadian tourists had even thought about buying them.

What was available were many imitation toys that mimicked the brand name toy precisely.  The knock-offs where everywhere in the Hawaiian toy stores.  And yes, in retrospect, I’m completely embarrassed at how spoiled I was for dragging my mother to so many malls in Hawaii looking for Mr.Soundwave – only child – I had no choice in the matter :)

Anyhow, we eventually had to settle on getting the very good Soundwave knock-off.  It was under the Christmas lamp and promptly opened and played with on that sunny tropical Christmas morning.  I remember though, that as much fun as I had with said toy it just wasn’t quite right.   It was almost everything I wanted, yet there was a keen edge of disappointment because we had to settle for something wasn’t exactly what I wanted.  It was a gift that involved a settlement – the best we could do at the time.

I’m sure we’ve all been in that situation in one form or another.  We’ve all wanted “X” soooo bad for so long but then “Y” comes along and we jump at the opportunity to get what we almost wanted because we figure it will do and make us just as happy.

Hint:  Settling doesn’t make us as happy.

So why is Canada going in with the Royal Canadian Air Force, when we know that bombing is not the solution to the ISIS problem?

“Air strikes alone are really not enough to defeat Isis in Kobani,” said Idris Nassan, a senior spokesman for the Kurdish fighters desperately trying to defend the important strategic redoubt from the advancing militants. “They are besieging the city on three sides, and fighter jets simply cannot hit each and every Isis fighter on the ground.”

He said Isis had adapted its tactics to military strikes from the air. “Each time a jet approaches, they leave their open positions, they scatter and hide. What we really need is ground support. We need heavy weapons and ammunition in order to fend them off and defeat them.”

Hmm…consider the words of US Army officer who sees a slightly different picture.

“For example, what would happen if the President took Mr. Kristol’s advice and bombed targets “for a few weeks” and then waited just to “see what happens”?  The first few iterations of air sorties would have a good chance of taking out numerous ISIS vehicles and personnel.  But in short order ISIS would adjust its methods of operation to disguise vehicle movements, reposition troops and embed command and control centers more deeply into civilian areas, becoming indistinguishable from the civil population.  

Now, despite having successfully destroyed a few targets, we would have pushed the enemy deeper underground, hardened his resolve, and seen his troops burrow in like ticks among the innocent residents of the cities he occupies. Further targeting from the air becomes next to impossible without killing noncombatants or sending in ground troops to flush the fighters out. Unless the President will entertain deepening American engagement by deploying ground combat units to root ISIS members out of their dug-in positions, house-by-house – decidedly not recommended – those successful bombing runs will have led to dismal failure.”

So our goal is stop the massacre of innocents and the spread of radical islamic notions. It would seem that given our tactics, neither of those goals would be accomplished. So here we are at that fateful time do we get the knock off toy – we have to do something to stop ISIS – and get not quite the result we’re looking for or do we wait for what we authentically want and commit to to bring that ideal to fruition?

Here is a strategy I think that Canada could actually play a role in; specifically point 3,4, and especially 5.  Canada’s role in the world used to be synonymous with Peacekeeping as opposed to the murderous imperialistic role that our current PM thinks is a-fucking-okay.

“To protect American and allied interests in and around ISIS, the United States would design and lead an aggressive regional diplomatic campaign to first isolate, and over time defeat this group of thugs; the military would play a supporting role.  To accomplish this objective, the United States would isolate ISIS economically, financially, and geographically, while eroding its support from within.   

To accomplish this strategic objective, the U.S. should: 

1) Work with the states around and near ISIS territory for the purpose of closing the borders leading into and out of ISIS areas including those in Syria as well as Iraq, thus depriving the jihadists of materiel that could support military operations;

2) use aggressive border control to pin ISIS to its current positions;

3) at the same time, separate ISIS from its external financial and material support;

4) conduct a social media campaign that truthfully exposes the grotesque nature of ISIS ideology in ++terms that would-be jihadists can understand;

5) conduct a sustained humanitarian aid effort to ensure the people currently under ISIS bondage will survive; and

6) institute a coalition-supported “no-go zone” between ISIS territory and that of friendly nations.  If ISIS vehicles or ground personnel venture into this zone, they will be destroyed. 

In short, we would make it clear to the world and the potential recruits that ISIS has fatally overstepped its capabilities. Faced with the stark reality that they have isolated themselves physically, diplomatically, and morally from the rest of their own region, unable to repair broken equipment, provide fuel for their vehicles, unable to replace expended ammunition, and incapable of performing even the basic functions of a state, it will be clear to all both inside and outside the blockade: ISIS is a regime of losers whose singular accomplishment has been butchering the defenseless, and the impoverishment of the civil populations under its domination.”

Jesus-fuck! Isn’t it nice when someone with a whit of sense speaks clearly to the issue at hand. Full marks go out to this individual and his thoughtful take on what needs to be with ISIS.  For a handy compare and contrast lets hear our twit of a PM on why Canada should go bomb people

“If Canada wants to keep its voice in the world…and we should since so many of our challenges are global…being a free rider means you are not taken seriously. Left unchecked, this terrorist threat can only grow and grow quickly.”

Ah, so not participating in breeding more terror and terrorists in Iraq mean that you are “free rider” and are not going to be taken seriously.  All I can say is:

Seriously?

Is France not being taken seriously for not contributing to the airstrikes that will serve only to push our goal further way?  But wait, there is more apparently bombing people in Iraq is all about saving Canadian Families…

“As a Government, we know our ultimate responsibility… Is to protect Canadians, and to defend our citizens from those who would do harm to us and to our families.”

*sigh*  Ratchet up fear and we’ll our darnedest overseas to protect the homeland.  You’d think by now we would understand this most basic of propaganda principles.  Baa..sorry for the tangent folks, but Steven Harper and the rest of his merry conservative crew of the RCN Clueless forced me to scribe about their relentless vapidity.

So, back on message – Let’s not be disappointed Christmas morning with a knockoff toy, but rather let us have Canada act in the way she knows best – humanitarian aid and assistance – and get the real toy and the real results that will bring us the ending we are anxiously hoping and expecting.

Harper wants Canada to go on airstrikes on Iraq. That’s right. Canada. The nice ones, the peace keepers, the polite people, the bastion of warm-gooey-joy-joy feelings, the “we’re awesome because we can solve problems without bombing people” great white north.  He wants us conducting air strikes.  We have to tell him ‘No.’

Elizabeth May of the Green Party spoke against the airstrikes (video below) and I think she did a good job. There’s a big part of me that wishes she didn’t tread so softly, that she went for the jugular and tore them a new one. That said, I recognize that her overly tactful and diplomatic manor probably has a much better chance of being considered than the enraged reaming I figure Harper needs. In any event, May has one seat while Harper has a majority government. We citizens need to help out on this one.

I have drafted a template letter anyone is free to copy, paste, edit, amend, and send to their MP. Please share it, send it in, or even write your own. Spread the word. Say ‘No’ to airstrikes.

 

Dear [your MP’s name] ,

My name is [your name] and I am a resident of [your riding], a voice you are supposed to represent. I cannot express strongly enough how much I am against Mr. Harper’s proposal to join in the airstrikes in Iraq against ISIS. My opposition to the airstrikes can be summarized in three points:
1) It’s un-Canadian. We are, first and foremost, peace keepers and have a history of peace keeping and are supposed to be the good, nice country. Nice people don’t go on airstrikes.
2) It’s ineffective. The U.S has been running airstrikes against the region for who knows how long and terrorism persists. It doesn’t work.
3) However much we might hurt terrorist organizations with airstrikes (again, history shows it won’t be much) we will hurt innocent civilians much more.
For the good of the people of the world and for the integrity of our nation I ask you to do all you can to convince Mr. Harper that this is the wrong course of action and, at the very least, vote against joining in the airstrikes.
Sincerely,
[your name]
[your address]
[your phone number]

The chickens of western colonialism are coming home to roost.

Excerpt from “The Guns of August” – by Matthew Stevenson via Counterpunch

 

“Doubts about the sincerity of Americans in Iraq probably began when President Ronald Reagan dispatched his former national security advisor Robert C. “Bud” McFarlane to Tehran in 1986 with a cake and a Bible and proposed swapping arms for American hostages in Lebanon.

 

Until that moment, in the long war between Iran and Iraq, Saddam was our man, a bulwark against Shiite expansion in the Gulf, a non-fundamental (i.e., someone not adverse to girls or gin) Muslim willing to do the West’s bidding.

 

Bud’s cake and Bible alerted Saddam to the fickleness of Western support, and he repaid the favor in 1990 when he invaded Kuwait and let his troops drive all those looted Mercedes back to Baghdad.

 

The Iraqi occupation of Kuwait led to the first Gulf War and Saddam’s alleged death threat against President George H.W. Bush, cited in 2003 when his son, President George W. Bush, decided to overthrow Saddam’s regime.

 

Driving Saddam into a hole near Tikrit (where he was captured and later hanged) wasn’t the hard part of the blitzkrieg. The biggest challenge was deciding who should run Iraq once Saddam was swinging from the gallows.

 

Remembering the Mesopotamia, Churchill had faced the same conundrum in 1921, and at the Cairo Conference he went with an invented, cereal-box monarchy, an air campaign to subdue rebels, and a cadre of loyal Sunnis to keep the majority Shiite population on their knees.

 

In one form or another, that unholy coalition lasted until the 2003 American invasion, when the Bush administration decided to turn the country over to the Shiite majority.

 

Never mind that such a government would align Iraq more closely with Antichrists in Tehran.

 

*   *   *

 

By suppressing the Sunnis, the U.S. hoped to keep al-Qaida sympathizers in Iraq away from the oil fields. Under this partition, Shiites would get the government, the U.S. would get the oil, and Sunnis, especially those with Osama bin Laden posters on their kitchen walls, would get the shaft.

 

The problem with this division of Iraqi spoils is that it required the Bush administration to disband the Iraqi army and Saddam’s Baathist party infrastructure, two centers of power not solely identified with either Sunni or Shiite interests.

 

At the same time (mid-2000s) the U.S. army withdrew its forces into frontier stockades.  Iraq fell into anarchy until Gen. David Petraeus took time out from his amorous counter-insurgencies and paid Sunni warlords, especially in western Iraq, some $300 million to fight on the American side.

 

The rent-an-army surge worked until the Obama administration stopped payment on the Petraeus incentive compensation and left it to the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to explain to the opposition the fine print of the American victory, what in the Vietnam War President Nixon called “peace with honor.”

 

Speaking of peace with honour; the IS is bringing neither to the region as this Vice News clip illustrates.

 

   Media Lens does fantastic, if grim work, in describing the system we live in.  We are insulated from other narratives other ideas, other peoples sufferings.  How can a public become informed with no other sources to cross reference?  You cannot triangulate with only one point.  Media Lens, Al-Jazeera and other alternative news sources provide those points for those who have the resources to find out.

The Statistics of Western State Terror (click title for link to full article)

“Ten years later, the violent consequences of the invasion of Afghanistan are truly appalling. A Stop the War video, ‘What is the true cost of the Afghanistan war?’ details some of the appalling statistics:

9,300 Afghan civilians have been killed by International Security Assistance Forces, i.e. Nato.

380 British soldiers are dead.

£18 billion of UK taxpayer’s money has been spent.

The war is costing Britain £12 million per day. The same amount could employ 100,000 nurses (at £21,000 annually) and 150,000 care workers (£15,000).

A study by Brown University in the United States estimates an unimaginable combined sum of up to $4 trillion to fight the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In Afghanistan, ‘cautious estimates’ of the total civilian death toll exceed 40,000 people, of which:

25.6%  killed by ISAF forces.

15.4%  killed by anti-government forces.

60%  killed by poverty, disease and starvation.

In particular, the horrendous killing of Afghan children in US air strikes and night raids gets scant coverage, if any, before the Western media swiftly looks away.

There are now three million refugees from Afghanistan: 30.7% of the world’s total, exceeding the figures of 16.9% from Iraq, 7.7% from Somalia and 4.8% from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

74% of the British public want the occupation to end either ‘immediately’ or ‘soon’.

Very little of this reality made it into the largely uncritical coverage of the ten-year anniversary of the West’s aggression against Afghanistan.

In the conclusion to a new report for Stop the War, David Swanson provides a stunning example of the media’s systematic bias:

‘On August 6, 2011, numerous US media outlets reported “the deadliest day of the war” because 38 soldiers, including 30 U.S. troops, had been killed when their helicopter was shot down.

‘But compare that with the day of May 4, 2009, discussed in this report, on which 140 people, including 93 children, were killed in U.S. airstrikes. We are denying to each other through silence and misdirection every day that the children of Afghanistan exist. But their deaths are rising.’

But the deaths of Afghan children, and the suffering of the people of Afghanistan, are seemingly of little consequence for most Western journalists who would rather focus on the ‘progress’ and ‘achievements’ of the Nato ‘campaign’. “

No accountability, No Problem!

Iraq is a free for all.  Although a glimpse of accountability has been reported.

“The private security contractor previously known as Blackwater, has agreed to pay $42m in fines for hundreds of violations of US export rules, according to the New York Times.”

Not particularly surprising given the ethical free fall that has characterized the mercenary forces hired by the US government in Iraq.

“The violations included illegal weapons exports to Afghanistan, making unauthorized proposals to train troops in southern Sudan, and providing sniper training for police in Taiwan, the newspaper said on Friday”

Whoops!  But is anyone going to jail for this?  Or course not.  The status quo will be maintained after a fine is payed.

“The New York Times reported that by reaching the agreement with the US state department to pay the fines, the company avoids criminal charges over the violations of US export control regulations.”

Export control violations.  I suppose this is a limping stride toward justice.

‘Paying the fines will allow Xe to continue to compete for government contracts, the New York Times said.  US export rules mandate government approval for the export of certain types of US military technology or knowledge.  But Xe “began to seek training contracts from foreign governments and other foreign organisations without adhering closely to American regulations”, the newspaper reported.

War is a profitable business.

It “also shipped automatic weapons and other military equipment for use by its personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan in violation of export controls, and in some cases sought to hide its actions”, the New York Times said.

Again, rather unsurprising given the lack of oversight and murky chain of command that mercenaries follow.  I mean, they are not bound by military regulations or even the Geneva Conventions.  They are there to ‘get’er done’.  And usually by any means necessary.

Wrist thoroughly slapped, Blackwater Ex, can continue on its merry way, making the world safe for democracy and freedom.

Update:    I’m not sure about RT, but they do get more voices on the air that represent dissident opinion.   Their piece on the US ‘Withdrawal” in Iraq.

This Blog best viewed with Ad-Block and Firefox!

What is ad block? It is an application that, at your discretion blocks out advertising so you can browse the internet for content as opposed to ads. If you do not have it, get it here so you can enjoy my blog without the insidious advertising.

Like Privacy?

Change your Browser to Duck Duck Go.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 952 other followers

Progressive Bloggers

Categories

December 2019
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Archives

Blogs I Follow

The DWR Community

one lonely feminist ⚢

words & woes from a radical feminist writer.

Unpolished XX

No product, no face paint. I am enough.

Volunteer petunia

Observations and analysis on survival, love and struggle

femlab

the feminist exhibition space at the university of alberta

Raising Orlando

About gender, identity, parenting and containing multitudes

REAL for women

Reflecting Equality in Australian Legislation for women

The Feminist Kitanu

Spreading the dangerous disease of radical feminism

Double Plus Good

The Evolution Will Not BeTelevised

la scapigliata

writer, doctor, wearer of many hats

Teach The Change

Teaching Artist/ Progressive Educator

Female Personhood

Identifying as female since the dawn of time.

Radfem Resources | Radical Feminist Literature

A virtual library for those interested in radical feminist literature and resources.

Not The News in Briefs

A blog by Helen Saxby

SOLIDARITY WITH HELEN STEEL

A blog in support of Helen Steel

thenationalsentinel.wordpress.com/

Blasting Left-wing BS with Right-wing truth bombs

BigBooButch

Memoirs of a Butch Lesbian

RadFemSpiraling

Radical Feminism Discourse

a sledge and crowbar

deconstructing identity and culture

The Radical Pen

Fighting For Female Liberation from Patriarchy

Emma

Politics, things that make you think, and recreational breaks

Easilyriled's Blog

cranky. joyful. radical. funny. feminist.

Nordic Model Now!

Movement for the Abolition of Prostitution

The WordPress C(h)ronicle

These are the best links shared by people working with WordPress

HANDS ACROSS THE AISLE

Gender is the Problem, Not the Solution

fmnst

Peak Trans and other feminist topics

There Are So Many Things Wrong With This

if you don't like the news, make some of your own

Gentle Curiosity

Musing over important things. More questions than answers.

violetwisp

short commentaries, pretty pictures and strong opinions

Revive the Second Wave

gender-critical sex-negative intersectional radical feminism

Trans Animal Farm

The Trans Trend is Orwellian

Princess Henry of Wales

Priestess Belisama

miss guts.

just a girl on a journey

writing by renee

Trigger warning: feminism, women's rights

RANCOM!

Happily Retired

freer lives

A socialist critique of gender ideology

Centering Women

A radical feminist page made for women only

radicalkitten

radical Elemental feminism

%d bloggers like this: