The current situation between Iraq and the US is quite revealing. In 2003, when the US illegally invaded Iraq, it initially pretended it was doing so to protect the world from Saddam Hussein’s WMD. When it became clear that he never had any WMD (as many Iraq analysts had already been saying before the invasion), the US pivoted to argue they were invading to remove Saddam and bring the gift of democracy to the Iraqi people.
Now we see the democratically-elected government of Iraq requesting the US remove all of its troops from their country – and the US is flatly refusing. We can infer from this that the US has no respect for democracy, or the government of Iraq or the Iraqi people or, by extension, any other government or people whose interests are in disagreement with those of the United States.
In essence, the US is forcing its military presence upon the Iraqi people – again. I’m pretty sure that’s tantamount to a declaration of war. But this time, there is no Saddam, no WMD mirage. The US’ interests are laid bare. They want a military presence in the world’s third oil-producing nations and they don’t give a flying fuck what the Iraq people think about it. And they don’t give a flying fuck about democracy, either. That’s always been a ruse.
Do you know what kind of person doesn’t care about the rights of others? Psychopaths.
When the government of a country doesn’t care about the rights of others, it is a psychopathic government.
According to Sourcewatch, Physicians For Social Responsibility was founded in 1961 and “is a non-profit advocacy organization that is the medical and public health voice for policies to stop nuclear war and proliferation and to slow, stop and reverse global warming and toxic degradation of the environment.”
This investigation comes to the conclusion that the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, i.e. a total of around 1.3 million. Not included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen. The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware of and propagated by the media and major NGOs. And this is only a conservative estimate. The total number of deaths in the three countries named above could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely.
PSR cautions us to be careful of accepting the estimates from Western governments and media:
Unfortunately, the media often portray passively collected figures as the most realistic aggregate number of war casualties. Valuable as they may be for gaining a preliminary impression on the extent of violence, they can only serve as minimum numbers. And unsurprisingly, the numbers supplied by the involved Western governments and the organizations close to them also do not produce a complete picture, since they mainly publish what is absolutely undeniable. Whoever wants to trace the actual number of war casualties will have to look for them actively, as was done, for instance, in the 2006 study in Iraq published by the renowned medical journal Lancet.
Further to my recent post on the same subject, it’s worth remembering this number when you hear the media and governments talking about what the brutality of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.
When their side kill civilians, it’s brutality and they are terrorists and a death cult.
When our side does it, it’s “regime change” or “spreading democracy” or “collateral damage”.
When you’re reading the news about ISIL’s bloody campaign to get political control of Iraq, it’s worth keeping in mind another bloody campaign to get political control of Iraq that started 12 years ago, lead by the US, with coalition partners including Australia and the UK.
According to the Iraq Body Count project, the current death toll of the ISIL insurgency since 2011 stands at around 38,000. That’s about 13,000 a year (although the annual number is growing steeply).
This is a pretty powerful post by Dan Crimmins (aka /u/mopecore), a former American soldier who says he was deployed in “11B from 2002 to 2008. Iraq in 2005, then again in 2007-08, during the Surge. Both tours, we were at distant outposts, (Fob Wilson in 2005, PB Eagle, COP Cahill, and COP Carver in 2007-8)”.
You grew up wanting so bad to be Luke Skywalker, but you realize that you were basically a Stormtrooper, a faceless, nameless rifleman, carrying a spear for empire, and you start to accept the startlingly obvious truth that these are people like you.
It didn’t occur to me, at the time, that maybe some of their grievances might be legitimate, that they were acting out of fear and a sense of powerlessness as much or than out of hatred. That I bought into the narrative without applying really any critical thought, by giving over to emotional outrage masquerading as righteousness, by assuming the cartoonish media that I consumed had any relation to the real world, I made a mistake, and people died because of it. I’m painfully aware of the man’s tendency towards tribalism, what you describe as the hivemind, the tendency to view everything as my team against your team.
If I said something like this on Facebook, I know for a fact certain folks (you know who you are) would attack me with comments like “oh here we go again, everything is always American’s fault”.
Well it looks like Obama agrees with those of us who have been saying for the last year that the US-lead invasion of Iraq in 2003 indirectly lead to the creation of Daesh. In this VICE NEWS interview, he says (at 11’50”):
“Two things: One is, ISIL is a direct outgrowth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion, which is an example of unintended consequences, which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.”
That’s pretty bold for a sitting American President to admit. He continues to make sense:
What I’m worried about” he said, “is even if ISIL is defeated, the underlying problem of disaffected Sunnis around the world – but particularly in some of these areas including Libya, including Yemen – where a young man who’s growing up has no education, has no prospects for the future, is looking around and the one way he can get validation, power, respect, is if he’s a fighter.”
“That’s a problem we’re going to have, generally. And we can’t keep on thinking about counterterrorism and security as entirely separate from diplomacy, development, education.”
He goes on to talk about why it is in the best self-interests of the US to fund education in the Middle East. I agree. Unfortunately he didn’t go the final step and connect the US’ desire to control to oil of the Middle East, and it’s long history of interfering in the politics of the region to control that oil, with the rise if Sunni and Wahhabist extremism – but it was a good and surprising start.
But then he says legalisation of marijuana shouldn’t be young people’s top priority. Really? When the US has the world’s largest prison population and much of that is being driven by the drug laws? I definitely think legalisation of all drugs, not just marijuana, should be a top priority of American’s youth.
If you want an alternative perspective on what’s happening in Syria to the one you’ve been getting on the MSM, try this one by Lebanese-American writer and activist Joyce Chediac. Is Syria another Operation Ajax?
At least since 1953 (and probably before that) it has been a tried-and-true tactic of the CIA to finance and conduct (either directly or indirectly) “false flag” civil unrest in a country they want to overthrow. They will then blame escalations of violence on the person running the government (the target of the operation) and use his perceived abuses to justify political or military intervention (directly or indirectly).
The list of countries where they have carried on this kind of operation is lengthy (I counted 53 in Tim Weiner’s book “Legacy Of Ashes”). Here’s a short list:
Democratic Republic of the Congo (1960)
Dominican Republic (1961)
South Vietnam (1963)
So when you see something similar happen in Syria, you’d be naïve not to wonder if the version of events we are getting from the corporate media isn’t the same bunch of fabricated bullshit that we’ve seen so many times before. Assad may be the antichrist – like so many were before him – or maybe he’s being set up. Since Washington has been funneling money to a right-wing Syrian opposition group since at least 2005, there is obviously more to the story than the one we are being told.