Category Archives: Iraq

UPDATED (1/16): NEW COLUMN: Should The U.S. Be The Globe’s Judge, Jury & Executioner?

Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Ron Paul, War

NEW COLUMN is: “Should The U.S. Be The Globe’s Judge, Jury & Executioner?” It’s currently on The Unz Review, WND and “The Ludwig von Mises Centre for Property & Freedom.”

An excerpt:

Qassim Soleimani, an Iranian major general, was assassinated by a U.S. drone air strike, at the Baghdad International Airport (BIAP). Soleimani was traveling with one Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Al-Muhandis was an Iraqi, born and bred. He was even elected to the Iraqi Parliament, in 2005, until the U.S. intervened. (Yes, we intervene in other nations’ elections.)

Iraq’s caretaker prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, was furious, denouncing “What happened [as] a political assassination.” Unanimously, Iraqi lawmakers “responded to the Soleimani assassination by passing a nonbinding resolution calling on the government to end foreign-troop presence in Iraq.”

Yes, it’s a complicated region. And America, sad to say, still doesn’t know Shia from Shinola.

The consensus in our country is that “Soleimani deserved to die.” That’s the party-line on Fox News—and beyond. It’s how assorted commentators on all networks prefaced their “positions” on the Jan. 3 killing of this Iraqi-born, Iranian general.

Even Tucker Carlson—the only mainstream hope for Old Right, anti-war, America-First columns like this one—framed the taking out of Soleimani as the killing of a bad guy by good guys:

“There are an awful lot of bad people in this world. We can’t kill them all, it’s not our job.”

However you finesse it, the premise of Tucker’s assertion is that the American government, and the smart set who live in symbiosis with it, gets to adjudicate who’s bad and who’s good in the world.

The debate is only ever over whether the U.S. government should or shouldn’t act on its divine rights as transnational judge, jury and executioner, never over what’s right and what’s wrong.

Stateside, the only inquiry permissible is a cost-benefit calculus. Will the assassination of Soleimani, a military official of a sovereign state, and an avid and effective slayer of Islamic State terrorists—pay strategic dividends for America in the long run?

This is crass pragmatism bereft of principle. It’s currently on display everywhere, even surfacing on BBC News, where a female analyst, an American, was deploying the childish “bad man” meme to outline America’s Disneyfied foreign policy.

This angels-and-demons production always starts with the prototypical evil dictator who was alleged to be messing with his noble people, until the avenging, angelic empire sent a drone to the rescue.

Again, even Tucker, whose antiwar credentials in recent years have been impeccable, conceded that this Soleimani guy probably needed killing, which is the same thing Iraqis old enough to remember America’s destruction of Iraq, circa 2003, would say about President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and Ms. Rice.

So, who’s right? Or, is blind patriotism predicated on accepting that it is up to the U.S. government and its ruling elites to determine who lives and who dies around the world? …

… READ The Rest. The complete column, “Should The U.S. Be The Globe’s Judge, Jury & Executioner?“, is currently on The Unz Review, WND and “The Ludwig von Mises Centre for Property & Freedom.”

UPDATED I (1/16):Mercer has written one of her best and most well balanced …” on Soleimani and US foreign policy.”

UPDATE II: 

“The reverend name is Ibrahim Naseir. His church in Aleppo was destroyed by NATO-sponsored fundamental Jihadists. The same terrorists who almost ethnically cleansed Syrian Christians from their towns and cities. General Soleimani crushed those Jihadists.”

Suleimani: America Is Judge, Jury And Executioner; Decides Who Lives, Who Dies

America, Argument, Conservatism, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Republicans

“Suleimani deserved to die.” That’s the consensus on Fox News. It’s also how assorted commentators on the channel prefaced their “positions” on the killing of this Iranian.

Major General Qassim Suleimani was assassinated by a US drone air strike at the Baghdad International Airport (BIAP).

Even the great Tucker Carlson—the only mainstream hope for us Old Right, America First, anti-war sorts—framed the taking out of Suleimani as the killing of a bad guy by good guys:

“There are an awful lot of bad people in this world. We can’t kill them all, it’s not our job.”

However you finesse it, the premise of Tucker’s statement is that the American government, and the cognoscenti who live in symbiosis with it, get to adjudicate who’s bad and who’s good in the world. The debate is never over right or wrong, but over whether our universal American Judges should or shouldn’t act on their immutably just moral calls.

Even Tucker, whose antiwar sentiments are laudable, conceded that this Suleimani guy probably needed killing, which is the same thing Iraqis old enough to remember America’s destruction of Iraq, circa 2003, would say about President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld.

So who’s right? Or must we accept that it is up to the United States government and its ruling elites to determine who lives and who dies around the world.

The atavistic argument—“Suleimani deserved to die”—made on Fox News holds true only if you believe that the US is the repository of an international and universal code of law and is deputized to uphold this code of law.

This primitive argument is true ONLY if you believe the US government is universal judge, jury and executioner, deciding who may live and who must die the world over.

As to whether the US government has a right to eliminate a state actor by declaring him a “terrorist”:

Like it or not, Suleimani was an Iranian state actor, the equivalent of our Special Operations Commander.

We would not tolerate Iranians designating America’s Special Operations Commander, Gen. Richard D. Clarke, as a terrorist, although they may have plenty reasons to do so.

Our Special Operations forces and their command encroach on the Iranian neighborhood much more so than Iranians and their special forces encroach on American territory.

If Iranians took out America’s Special Operations Commander somewhere in North America—we would definitely consider it an act of war by Iran.

* Image courtesy BBC News.

Trump To Military: ‘The Democrats Don’t Want To Fight For The Border Of Our Country’

Democrats, Donald Trump, Homeland Security, Iraq, Military, War

Truer words were never said by an American president to American troops:

“You’re fighting for borders in other countries, and they don’t want to fight, the Democrats, for the border of our country.”

That was President Donald Trump to the men STILL in Iraq.

Naturally, there was no coverage of the December 2019, presidential visit to Iraq.

Also of interest:

… the highly educated officer corps dislikes Mr Trump, while 47% of the enlisted ranks, largely without college degrees, back him. But as the military services draw from an ever-narrower demographic pool—southern recruitment has soared over the past 40 years, while that from the north-east has plummeted—its attitudes could grow more unrepresentative.

MORE.

Why President Trump Has Struggled To Interest Voters In Ending America’s Futile Wars

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Middle East, War

“The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost most Americans nothing.” says The Economist. Relatively few Americans have been personally touched. “That is why they continue.”

For once, the left-liberal magazine credits President Trump for trying to bring an end to what are “unproductive conflicts” [to put it mildly].

… [the] country has been remarkably unscathed by two decades at war. Iraq and Afghanistan vets represent much less than 1% of the population. America lost eight times as many soldiers in Vietnam, in less than half the time, when its population was two-thirds the current size. The number of recent wounded is correspondingly modest and most have been looked after with immense skill and no expense spared, as is right. Otherwise, few Americans have been touched by the conflicts at all.
… the wars have been funded by debt. Most Americans have had little reason to think their country is even at war. And lucky them because war is hell. But this disconnect helps explain why the country’s civil-military relations are as distant as they are. It also helps explain how America came to be locked in such long and largely unproductive conflicts in the first place. Its voters started to reckon with the rights and wrongs of the Vietnam war—then demand accountability for it—only after they felt its sting. By contrast Donald Trump, who almost alone among national politicians decries the latest conflicts, has struggled to interest voters in them—or indeed end them.

Though mostly wrong on the details, the president raises an important question of the long wars. What have they achieved? After thanking Mr Butler and Mr Dwyer for their service on Veterans Day (a ritual neither wounded man greatly enjoys, incidentally), their well-wishers might want to ponder that.?

MORE.

* Image courtesy The Economist.