Category Archives: Iraq

Wages Of War Waged By A ‘Good Country’

Foreign Policy, Iraq, War

As was pointed out in “Where’s America’s Right To Referendum, Secession?,” military intervention by the US is considered a good thing by the Bill-O’Reilly school of “thought,” because the US is “a good country.”

Naturally, the American media are not chronicling the wages of a war waged by their “good country,” but Al Jazeera is. Here’s what Iraqi’s must endure daily thanks to the war waged by Bush (who is surely not a “thug” like Putin):

“According to the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq [UNAMI], a total of 703 Iraqis were killed and another 1,381 were injured in February. These figures do not include those killed and injured in Anbar province, where 189 were killed and 550 were injured in Ramadi and 109 were killed and 648 were injured in Fallujah.”

A series of deadly attacks in Iraq have killed about 50 people and injured 80, police officials have said.

In one of Friday’s incidents, an explosive-laden tanker was driven into the federal police headquarters in the village of Injanah, 55km north of Baquba, killing 12 people and wounding five, including the head of the federal police, Brigadier General Raghib al-Umairi, and his assistant.

In Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, an attack killed 10 people and injured 27.

AFP news agency reported that a suicide bomber blew himself up at a funeral inside a mosque. Anbar has been the scene of protracted fighting between anti-government fighters and security forces, leading to months of bloodshed and the internal displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.

In the Sarha region of Salaheddin, clashes early on Friday led to a series of explosions, including one near an army base, that killed 12 people and injured 13.

In separate incidents, police said gunmen opened fire on an army checkpoint near the city of Samarra, killing two people, while car bombings killed nine and injured 25 in Dibis, a town located near Kirkuk.

Medical officials confirmed the casualties from Friday’s attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media, according to Associated Press news agency.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.


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Who’s The Biggest Liar Of Them All?

Barack Obama, Bush, Iraq, Morality, WMD

In this scribe’s opinion, “Obama’s assurances of keeping your insurance plan if you like it” is on par only with Genghis Bush’s deceit about the imperative of going to war with Iraq. Pat Buchanan thinks that Obama’s rank lie “now enters presidential history alongside George H.W. Bush’s ‘Read my lips! No new taxes,’ Bill Clinton’s ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,’ and George W. Bush’s tales of yellow cake in Niger and hidden arsenals of WMDs.”

Judge Andrew Napolitano begs to differ:

… According to Napolitano, President Obama’s lie is the most egregious. “Richard Nixon told a lie about his personal knowledge of a third-rate break-in, burglary. Bill Clinton told a lie about a personal sexual liaison. Barack Obama has told a lie repeatedly, readily, consistently, systematically, over and over again that will affect the wealth, the health of millions of innocent Americans. The first two […] are so insignificant compared to these lies.”
On today’s Your World, Neil Cavuto drew a comparison between Bill Clinton’s denial that he had a relationship with Monica Lewinsky to President Obama’s assertion to the American public that they could keep their health care plans.

Judge Napolitano weighed in saying that the president “doesn’t have to worry legally about lying.”

“Even though the president and the Justice Department can prosecute people, Americans, who lie to the government, the president and the whole governmental apparatus are free to lie to us,” the judge said.

In terms of sheer economic destruction, I suspect that Obama and Bush are tied in ignominy. Christopher Conover of Duke University estimates that “129 million, or 68 percent of Americans, may not be able to keep their current health care plans once ObamaCare is fully implemented. The study also suggests that 18 to 50 million people will lose their plans altogether.”

More on how Conover arrived at these figures, at The Daily Caller.

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UPDATE II: His Highness’s Collateral Damage

Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Just War, libertarianism, Middle East, Neoconservatism, Republicans

“… And if you’re so dead-set against the killing of children that you are willing to send us into yet another conflict, will you guarantee that the 1000-pound Tomahawk missiles that you will heap on Syria won’t kill children—or are they simply your collateral damage?”

These powerful words were delivered by Judge Jeanine (written, no doubt, by her show’s writers), five minutes and 28 seconds into her weekly Opening Statement.

Judge Jeanine was speaking about the thing no Republican cared about during Iraq: collateral damage.

Let us hope that this wonderful, country wide awakening is no brief jaunt, but a return to an America-First, do-no-harm foreign policy.

Photos: Nine Years of War in Iraq.

UPDATED I (9/8): And “Will the murders of those children be less significant than those we go to avenge?” I failed to transcribe Jeanine’s last clincher. This is the sort of sharp logic missing from most tele-commentary.

UPDATE II: In reply to the thread on Facebook: Other than as an economist, Thomas Sowell is unpersuasive. No serious libertarian should take him seriously on issues of just war. Sowell was full-throttle for the war against Iraq.

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Arab Neoconservatives For The Missionary Position In Middle-East

Anti-Semitism, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Israel, Middle East, Neoconservatism

There are plenty Arab neoconservatives who want to see the US adopt the missionary position vis-a-vis the countries in the Middle East, on top, of course. Some of these neoconservatives were once close to Bush, but have reinvented themselves as perfectly legitimate (because not Jewish) agitators for US intervention in that part of the world.

Today the affable Zhudi Jassar, a Syrian Arab, was on “Money With Mellisa Francis” (a smart lady who, nevertheless, posts nothing but silly banter on Facebook) to shout down all opposition to striking Syria. Zhudi, understandably, wants to improve the lot of people he cares about back home (home, being Syria).

Fouad Ajami, another Arab neocon, once even called for a Marshal Plan for the Arab countries. Now he contends himself with advocating (eloquently) that the US lead from above, behind, on top; who knows?

The local chalabies, if you will.

Ahmed Chalabi agitated on American TV for American intervention in Iraq. In the ramp-up to war, Chalabi fed Judith Miller,the New York Times’ birdbrain now perching at FoxNews, with the pro-invasion “intelligence” she presented to the public.

When American Jews advocate for Israel by erroneously and cunningly conflating American and Israeli interests—the usual suspects are ready with derogatory comments implicating the Zionist lobby, treason, disloyalty, etc.

The same libertarians, so obsessed with the Jewish lobby, don’t seem as eager to convict influential Arab neoconservatives of similar “sinister” motives when these Arabs urge intervention in the Middle East.

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‘Are We Rome?’ Was A Question Asked and Answered Long Ago

Ancient History, Government, Iraq, libertarianism, Military, Taxation, The State, War

To the hackneyed question, ‘Are We Rome?’, John Stossel replies, “Not yet.” He is completely wrong, just as he was wrong to dismiss the “National Security Administration tracking patterns in our emails and phone calls,” to quote.

Mr. Stossel takes comfort in the fact that “we don’t kill people for sport. When we go to war, misguided or not, we don’t conquer or plunder. And when we win, we usually leave.” (July 18, 2013)

Who is he kidding? The US hunts down and kills very many innocents abroad by drone. It’s a bit of a sport—so much so that decadent New Rome has even established a “new medal that honors drone pilots and computer experts” for their long-distance killing prowess.

Courtesy of Uncle Sam, war-time slaughter has just been industrialized, streamlined, made more efficient in our times.

Compare the demographic and economic indices of countries the US has invaded—for their own good, of course, but without their consent—before and after the “merciful” intervention. You’ll get a better idea of the carnage than John Stossel allows.

Libya is no longer. Ditto Iraq. Afghanistan is not doing much better since Rome set up camp there.

Read “Casualties of the Iraq War.”

Read “Civilian casualties in the War in Afghanistan (2001–present).”

Read “Deaths caused by Coalition forces” in Libya.

Again, contrary to the Stossel assertion, the latter-day Rome has mechanized the warfare-state’s killing and has refined its propaganda wing to an art—so fine an art that John Stossel has bought it hook, line, and sinker.

No-one attempting to tackle the ‘Are We Rome?’ question should be allowed to get away with failing to mention Cullen Murphy’s book by that name. This is a question that was asked and answered already. Superbly.

A 2010 column I wrote highlighted “the unflattering parallels between the imperial rule of ancient Rome and that of modern America,” as illustrated in Murphy’s book, “Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of Rome.”

The federal payroll in Washington Murphy pegs at 360,000 (BO: Before Obama), calling this estimate a “convenient deceit,” as an “even larger number of people in the Washington area — about 400,000 — work for private companies that are doing government work.” Add to the above a quarter million people who live in the vicinity and feed off the government directly or indirectly; the lawyers and lobbyist, the wonks and accountants, the reporters and caterers and limousine drivers and panegyrists, and all the aides and associates whose job it is to functions as someone else’s brain.”
Don’t forget that the D.C. hood is home to your favorite oh-so gritty media personalities, who gather inside or near the Bubble to reap “the benefits of being at the center of the Imperium.” Back to their role model, Rome:
The biggest component of [Rome's] prodigious intake was something called the annona, an in-kind tax levied by Rome on everyplace else, and collected in the form of grain, which was used to provide free bread for most of Rome’s inhabitants. … Eventually, the annona was expanded beyond grain to include olive oil and wine. If you think of the annona as tax revenue, which it was, then the revenue not only accomplished its stated purpose of feeding the city; it also supported large swaths of private-sector activity, from shipping to baking to crime. Some of this activity was encouraged with tax breaks and grants of citizenship. There was great wealth to be had off government contracts. … the annona remained [the Empire's] essential lifeline, preserved at all costs.
“All life in Washington today derives ultimately from the capitals’ own version of Rome’s annona — the continuous infusion not of grain and olive oil but of tax revenue and borrowed money. Instead of ships and barges there are banks, 10,000 of them designated for this purpose, which funnel the nations’ tax payments to the city. This ‘never-ending flow of revenue creates a broad level of affluence that has no real counterpart anywhere in America.” Says Murphy: “Washington simply doesn’t look like the rest of America.” But its residents “fail to view this as bizarre.”

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UPDATE II: The Meta Deal On The Monster Twister & The Media (BBC Headline News, In Case CNN’s Interested)

Britain, Critique, Iraq, Journalism, Left-Liberalism, Media

A “monster tornado” has hit Oklahoma City suburbs causing great misery but, oddly enough, serving media purposes. From blatantly ignoring the stories of the day, as CNN has been doing for the past few days, media outlets like it can comfortably shift into pictorial mode.

Wall-to-wall coverage of a natural disaster (or massacre or crime)—and of every related utterance on the issue since, official or other—quickly replaces the imperative to provide viewers with “newsworthy material.”

Join the conversation on my Facebook Page.

UPDATE I: The Headlines, In Case CNN’s Interested. Here are some of the headlines you should have been informed about but were not:

* The Gitmo hunger strike.

* At least 95 dead, dozens wounded in Iraq bombings.

CNN has retreated like a tortoise in its shell from the AP and IRS stories, telling you only what you need to know: “Most of you still like Obama.”

Here are the disgraceful CNN’s headlines for the day:


The Doors’ Ray Manzarek dies
Teen featured in viral video dies
Hear his goodbye song Hear his goodbye song
Senators: Apple ducks billions in taxes
Most of you still like Obama
IRS controversy: New details emerge
Yahoo buys Tumblr; what to know
Dallas firefighter gets trapped, dies
N. Korea keeps firing stuff, but what?
Hot air balloons collide in Turkey Hot air balloons collide in Turkey
Christie takes heat for role in tourism ad
Mourinho leaving Real Madrid

UPDATE II: BBC NEWS HEADLINES. CNN no longer seems to offer a half-hour headlines broadcast, the way it once did. BBC News, on the other hand, does. This succinct but comprehensive report of the facts on the ground is so much better at getting “the story” out, than freezing the frame on one event, almost statically, as our cable and news networks seem to do.

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