Category Archives: Iraq

NEW COLUMN: No Pardons For Neocon War Crimes (Part 2)

Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Iraq, Just War, Morality, Neoconservatism, The State, War

NEW COLUMN, “No Pardons For Neocon War Crimes” (Part 2), is on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

An excerpt:

“HOW does America change if our intelligence agencies were more accurate in their assessment of Saddam Hussein’s chemical and nuclear weapons programs?”

The question was posed, just the other day, in “Make America Competent Again,” by David French, at the Dispatch, a neoconservative website. The tract is an agony aunt’s meander that calls on shoring-up competency in state and civil society.

But first: Dissecting, deconstructing and exposing the neoconservative mindset and machinations matters. The reason is this:

Thanks to President Trump, neoconservatives are not exactly having a moment—they’re down in the doldrums. But they’ll be back. For neoconservatives and liberal interventionists make up the Permanent State. The ideology the likes of David French, formerly of National Review, and his ilk promote—foreign-policy bellicosity, endless immigration, mindless consumerism, racial shaming, “canceling” of deviationists and conformity to an American identity that’s been melted away in vats of multiculturalism—is in our country’s bone marrow, by now.

Therefore, the fighting words in response to French’s framing of the invasion of Iraq as a mere glitch in intelligence are these:

Oh no you don’t, you so-and-so!!

No creedal neoconservative should be able to get away with the claim that a problem of criminality is really just a problem of competency.

You’d think that a military man like Mr. French would know that fixing problems rests on defining them with precision. Recasting state corruption and war crimes as incompetence cures neither state crimes nor incompetence.

America’s war on Iraq was a war crime, plain and simple. It was a reflexive collaboration between elements in a vast, by now familiar, intelligence bureaucracy, comprised of neoconservative and liberal interventionists, whose aim was to help The Powers that Be pulverize a country, Iraq, for the purpose of making it over in the image of America.

Contra Mr. French, the war on Iraq cannot be reduced to systemic incompetence. Anyone who doggedly tracked and documented the ramp up to war, as this column did, can attest that the United States bullied its way to war, monomaniacally. …

… READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN, “No Pardons For Neocon War Crimes” (Part 2), is on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

UPDATED (2/10): NEW COLUMN: What Americans Can Learn From F. W. de Klerk’s Great Betrayal Of South Africa

Africa, Democracy, Federalism, History, Iraq, Racism, Secession, South-Africa

NEW COLUMN IS “What Americans Can Learn From F. W. de Klerk’s Great Betrayal Of South Africa.” It’s on American Greatness NOW. The column also appeared on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

Excerpt:

In what should serve as a lesson for Americans today, recall that 30 years ago, on February 2, 1990, F. W. de Klerk, South Africa’s last white president, turned the screws on his constituents, betraying the confidence we had placed in him.

I say “we,” because, prior to becoming president in 1989, Mr. de Klerk was my representative, in the greater Vereeniging region of Southern Transvaal, where I resided. (Our family subsequently moved to Cape Town.)

A constellation of circumstances had aligned to catapult de Klerk to a position of great power. A severe stroke forced the “The Crocodile,” President P. W. Botha, from power in 1989. Nothing in the background of his successor, President, F. W. de Klerk, indicated the revolutionary policies he would pursue.

To a 1992 referendum asking white voters if they favored de Klerk’s proposed reforms, we returned a resounding “yes.” Sixty-eight percent of respondents said “yes” to the proposed reforms of a man who sold his constituents out for a chance to frolic on the world stage with Nelson Mandela.

For it was in surrendering South Africa to the ANC that de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela.

Why was de Klerk trusted to negotiate on behalf of a vulnerable racial minority? For good reason: De Klerk had made his views abundantly clear to constituents. “Negotiations would only be about power-sharing,” he promised. At the time, referendum respondents generally trusted de Klerk, who had specifically condemned crude majority rule. Such elections, in Africa, have traditionally amounted to one man, one vote, one time. Typically, elections across Africa have followed a familiar pattern: Radical black nationalist movements take power everywhere, then elections cease. Or, if they take place, they’re rigged.

Among much else, de Klerk’s loyal constituents agreed to his scrapping of the ban on the Communist-sympathizing ANC. Freeing Nelson Mandela from incarceration was also viewed as long overdue as was acceding to Namibia’s independence, and junking nuclear weapons. Botha, before de Klerk, had, by and large, already dismantled the most egregious aspects of apartheid.

What de Klerk’s constituents were not prepared for was to be legislated into a permanent position of political subordination. President de Klerk, the man entrusted to stand up for crucial structural liberties, went along with the great centralizers. He caved to ANC demands, forgoing all checks and balances for South Africa’s Boer, British and Zulu minorities.

By the time the average “yes” voter discerned the fact that de Klerk had no intention of maintaining this opposition when push came to shove, it was too late.

… READ THE REST. What Americans Can Learn From F. W. de Klerk’s Great Betrayal Of South Africa” is on American Greatness NOW. The column also appeared on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

* Image is of President F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela (Photo by © Louise Gubb/CORBIS SABA/Corbis via Getty Images)

UPDATE (2/10):  Nevertheless, we are honored to have a response from Jeffrey Sachs. It generated quite the thread.

My book is not “an attack on the end of apartheid,” @JeffDSachs. That’s a distortion. A principled critique of dominant-party rule in South Africa doesn’t amount to an approval of apartheid, of which the book offers a detailed critique, too.

Heck, I came out FOR Quebec’s secession (2000), @GerardHarbison & @JeffreyASachs . That’s the libertarian position. Political divorce is completely kosher, so long as individual rights are preserved.

 

 

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.