Category Archives: Iraq

Ask #Bush Why The #IraqiMilitary Won’t Fight

Federalism, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Nationhood, Neoconservatism, Pseudo-history

“Ask Bush Why The Iraqi Military Won’t Fight” is the current column, now on Praag.org. An excerpt:

… The ineptness of the reconstituted Iraqi Army is nothing new. In 2006, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton demanded to know when the “Iraqi government and the Iraqi Army would step up to the task.” “I have heard over and over again, that the government must do this, the Iraqi Army must do that,” griped Clinton to Gen. John P. Abizaid, then top American military commander in the Middle East. “Can you offer us more than the hope that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Army will step up to the task?”

Indeed, the War Party is in the habit of thrashing about in an ahistorical void—or creating its own reality, as warbot Karl Rove, George Bush’s muse, is notorious for saying. The neoconservative creed as disgorged by Rove deserves repeating:

“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

The lowly “you” Rove reserved for “the reality-based community” (guilty).

Curiously, a military that has done nothing but flee before the opposition ever since the Americans commandeered Iraq, had fought and won a protracted war against Iran, under Saddam Hussein. The thing we currently call the Iraqi military has been unable and unwilling to fight the wars America commands it to fight.

Why?

For one, Bush’s envoy to Iraq, Paul Bremer, made the decision to dissolve the Iraqi Army and civil service, early in 2003, with the blessing of Bush at whose pleasure Bremer served. Bush’s minions viewed the dissolution of the Iraqi Army as part of the “De-Ba’thification” process. …

… Another dynamic is at play in the region besides the Sunni-Shia divide. It is that between the forces of centralization and the forces of decentralization. …

Read the rest. “Ask Bush Why The Iraqi Military Won’t Fight” is now on Praag.org


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#TulsiGabbard Is Not A Total Ass

Democrats, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Military

Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is an Iraq War veteran, who serves on Armed Services Committee. She is also a Democrat, which usually comes with the presumption of asininity. This woman, however, is not a complete ass. Here she touches on some of the themes of my current WND column as to why the Iraqi military would not fight, although she eventually stalls:

WOLF BLITZER: Because you make a good point. There’s – the Kurdish fighters, they have their own separate militia. The Sunni – Iraqi Sunni fighters, they have their own separate militia. There’s the Iraqi Shia. They’re largely backed by Iran. They have their own separate militia. They’re all pretty – pretty dedicated. The weakest link seems to be the central Iraqi army, which the defense secretary of the United States says simply has the – lacks the will to fight, yet the United States keeps supporting that weakest link, the central military of Iraq. That’s a problem from your perspective, isn’t it?

REP. TULSI GABBARD (D), HAWAII:: Yes, Wolf, it is a problem for a few different reasons. One is, this is a strategy that’s proven to have failed, not only recently, but really even through the Bush administration when we had Maliki in charge, we were providing weapons and money and resources to this Shiite-led government that persecuted the Sunnis, completely left them out, and really created the situation that we see today where you have ISIS taking advantage of the oxygen that this policy has created where the Sunni tribes essentially have been driven into the arms of ISIS for protection. This is the problem that I see with the current offensive that’s happening right now heading into Ramadi. This is being led by the Shia militia who named this offensive attack a name that is extremely incendiary and offensive specifically to the Sunni tribes. So this is only going to make the sectarian divides deepen. This will make matters worse. And ultimately, again, this will push the Sunni tribes closer and closer into ISIS’ arms, at the end of the day strengthening ISIS rather than defeating them.

For the rest, she’s an energetic interventionist, so a bit of an ass after all. But then so are most Republicans.

(Source: CNN.)


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Defense Secretary #AshtonCarter’s #Iraq No-Brainer

Iran, Iraq, John McCain, Military, Nationhood, Pseudo-history, Republicans

John McCain will be rising on his hind legs when he hears what US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has just said. The rest of the War Party will be irate too–even more so than the Iraqi prime minister was (who is he these days? Ah: Haider al-AbadiIt)

What Defense Secretary Carter said is a no-brainer, really; such observations were routine when Bush 43 began swinging the wrecking ball in Iraq. But the War Party is ahistoric—the War party-line is to continue duping ditto-heads into believing that the sorry state of Iraq is Obama’s doing. Not on my watch (having been in the position to witness and document the last 13 years, summed up last week in “Iraq Liars & Deniers: we knew then what we know now”).

So what did Carter say this Memorial Day weekend (a timing armchair warrior Mark Levin is sure to mention)?

Carter said “the rout of Iraqi forces at the city of Ramadi showed they lacked the will to fight against Islamic State. Mr Carter told CNN’s State of the Union the Iraqis ‘vastly outnumbered’ the IS forces but chose to withdraw.” Via BBC News

“What apparently happened is the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force.”
Describing the situation as “very concerning”, he added: “We can give them training, we can give them equipment – we obviously can’t give them the will to fight.”

In 2006 , the Hildebeest demanded to know when the “Iraqi government and the Iraqi Army would step up to the task?” “I have heard over and over again, ‘the government must do this, the Iraqi Army must do that’,” warbot Clinton complained (and I documented) to Gen. John P. Abizaid, then top American military commander in the Middle East. “Can you offer us more than the hope that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Army will step up to the task?”

Watch Mrs. Clinton feign amnesia about that TODAY.

Since the 2003 invasion, the Iraqi military has fled before the opposition, whoever that was. The thing we call the Iraqi military has been unable and/or unwilling to fight the wars America wishes it to fight. It did, however, fight and win a war against Iran under Saddam.


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#IraqWar Liars: We Knew Then What We Know Now

Bush, Iraq, Journalism, Just War, Media, Republicans, WMD

“Iraq Liars & Deniers: We Knew Then What We Know Now” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

“If we knew what we know today, we would not have gone into Iraq”: This is as good an apology Republicans vying for the highest office are willing to offer, 12 years after launching a war that was immoral and unjust from the inception—as some of us pointed out from the inception—cost trillions in treasure, tens of thousands of lives (American and Iraqi), and flouted America’s national interests.

The big reveal began with Jeb Bush, who told anchor Megyn Kelly that knowing what we know now about Iraq, he would absolutely still have invaded Iraq. Broadcaster Laura Ingraham was having none of it. With the benefit of hindsight, she had arrived at the belated conclusion that the invasion was wrong. Ingraham suggested that Bush III was insane for sticking to his guns about Iraq.

Next to disgrace was Sen. Marco Rubio, also in the running. Six weeks back, Rubio had been unrepentant about the catastrophic invasion. After The Shaming of Jeb, Rubio changed his tune.

The title of Judith Chalabi Miller’s “rehab book tour” is, “If we knew what we now know … .” Over the pages of the New York Times, Miller, the Gray Lady’s prized reporter had shilled for the Iraq war like there was no tomorrow. In her reporting, she channeled Ahmad Chalabi, an Iraqi conman who fed the moronic Miller with misinformation and lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The other conman was Bush II, president at the time. His administration assisted Miller—a woman already prone to seeing faces in the clouds—to tune-out and become turned-on and hot for war (also the title of a January 2003, “Return To Reason” column). No tale was too tall for our Judith; no fabrication too fantastic.

Miller’s “mistakes,” and those of America’s news cartel, are no laughing matter. But it took a Comedy Central icon to deconstruct her national bid for redemption. The fact that others were on board, Republicans and Democrats, is not exculpatory. Idiocy is bipartisan. Not everybody got it wrong. Miller and her ilk chose not to consult those who got it right.

Miller had company. The Fox News war harpies were certainly a dream come true for many American men. Who cared about honest reporting or basic fact-checking when a heaving bosom is yelling from the screen, “Sock it to Saddam, Dubya!”?

In any event, the meme, “If we knew what we know now, we would not have gone to war in Iraq,” is false; a lie. We most certainly knew what we know now as far back as 2002, which was when this column wrote:

Iraq is a secular dictatorship profoundly at odds with Islamic fundamentalism. No less an authority than the former head of the CIA’s counterterrorism office, Vincent Cannistraro, stated categorically that there was no evidence of Iraq’s links to al-Qaeda. Even the putative Prague meeting between Mohamed Atta, the ringleader of Sept. 11, and Iraqi intelligence, turned out to be bogus. … Iraq has been 95-percent disarmed and has no weapons of mass destruction, an assessment backed by many experts in strategic studies.

The column excerpted was published on September 19, 2002, in Canada’s national newspaper. On that day, the flirty notes and the gracious dinner invitations from America’s leading neoconservatives ceased.

Indeed, there were many experts, credible ones, who categorically rejected the contention that there were WMD in Iraq. But they were silenced …

Read the rest. “Iraq Liars & Deniers: We Knew Then What We Know Now” is now on WND.


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#JonStewart Shames The Shameless #JudithMiller

Foreign Policy, History, Iraq, Journalism, War, WMD

Jon Stewart makes short work of Judith Miller, who is on a “rehab tour,” concerning her role in the ramp-up to war on Iraq. He dismantles her mindless lies, methodically. The fact that others were on board is not exculpatory, he tells her. Idiocy is bipartisan. Not everybody got it wrong, he tutors her (your truly and like-minded libertarians never count to these two).

Now if only Stewart applied the same rigor to gratuitous wars waged by the Obama-Hillary posse.

Miller is one of those disgusting specters American journalism spits out ever so often, as are her Fox News cheerleaders.


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UPDATE II: Rotten #Rubio (Rubio Has Stiff Competition: #MitchMcConnell)

Constitution, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Just War, Neoconservatism, Republicans

When he is not marshaling “Jeffersonian” lines from crap movies like “Taken” with Liam Neeson, presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is demonstrating that only if shamed and embarrassed will he and his Republican rivals shy away from wars that are immoral from the inception, unjust, cost trillions in treasure and tens of thousands of precious lives, and flout American national interests.

CHRIS WALLACE TO SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA: This brings us back to Iraq and the question of the week, which is, given what we know now, would you have invaded Iraq back in 2003?
As we all know, Jeb Bush had a tough time answering that this week. Here’s what you’ve had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

RUBIO: Oh, I don’t believe it was — the world is a better place because Saddam Hussein doesn’t run Iraq.

MODERATOR: After finding that there were no weapons of mass destruction, would you, if you knew that, have been in favor of the Iraqi invasion?

RUBIO: Well, not only would I have not been in favor of it, President Bush would not have been in favor of it. And he said so.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

WALLACE: Senator, isn’t that a flip? Six weeks ago, it made sense to invade Iraq in 2003. Now you say it was a mistake.

RUBIO: No, they’re two different questions. It was not a mistake. The president, based on — this is the way the real world works. The president, based on the information that was provided to him —

[SNIP]

“We will look for you. We will find you. And we will kill you” is the atavistic line from “Taken,” repeated by Rubio in his many interviews.

UPDATE I (5/18): In The Rotten Department, Rubio Has Stiff Competition: Mitch McConnell. Via ABC:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell underscored his support today for the controversial NSA program for bulk collection of domestic phone records, arguing it is essential to protecting the homeland.

“This has been a very important part of our effort to defend the homeland since 9/11,” McConnell said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s ‘This Week.’ “We know that the terrorists overseas are trying to recruit people in our country to commit atrocities in our country.”

“Thank You For Your Service, Mr. Snowden.” F-ck Rubio, McConnell & Twitterers who unFollow me for loving liberty.

UPDATE II: Don’t let any Republican present you with this false choice. Republicans always say, “But what would you have done about Iraq?” That’s something of a non sequitur, an assertion intended to make you ASSUME something had to be done about Iraq. “The burden of proof is on he who proposes the existence of something, not on he who claims that it does not exist.” That was written 12 years ago.


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