"The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant
state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of
international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action
inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the
media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate
American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading
- as a last resort - all other justifications having failed to justify
themselves - as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force
responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of
innocent people. We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted
uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and
death to the Iraqi people and call it 'bringing freedom and democracy
to the Middle East'."
Harold Pinter, the 2005 Nobel Prize Lecture in Literature.
Iraq under Bremer was the logical conclusion of Chicago
School theory: a public sector reduced to a minimal number of
employees, mostly contract workers, living in a Halliburton city state,
tasked with signing corporate friendly laws drafted by KPMG and handing
out duffle bags of cash to Western contractors protected by mercenary
soldiers, themselves shielded by full legal immunity. All around them
were furious people, increasingly turning to religious fundamentalism
because it’s the only source of power in a hollowed-out state. Like
Russia’s gangsterism and Bush’s cronyism, contemporary Iraq is a
creation of the fifty-year crusade to privatize the world. Rather than
being disowned by its creators, it deserves to be seen as the purest
incarnation yet of the ideology that gave it birth. From Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine pg
"Empires are costly. Running Iraq is not cheap.
Somebody's paying. Somebody's paying the corporations that destroyed
the corporations that are rebuilding it. In both cases, they're getting
paid by the U.S. taxpayer. Those are gifts from U.S. taxpayers to U.S.
"The Iraqi blunder has accelerated America's comparative
decline by at least a generation." (from Geoffrey Perret's book 'Commander
[The U.S. invasion of Iraq was] ...an open act of agression as there
has been in modern history, a major war crime. This is the crime for which the Nazis were hanged at Nuremberg,
the act of aggression." Noam Chomsky: Imperial Ambitions pg 35
We can only speculate about the real motives for
the war, but we spend hundreds of billions of dollars on
"intelligence", so that we can have honest, unbiased assessments of the
intentions of others in the world. With the (s)election of Bush as p(R)esident we got an inarticulate,
undistinguished, religious zealot, who clearly had promised to do what
his corporate sponsors had paid him for. In this light, the unordered
but likely reasons (all bad) we are at war in Iraq are :
to retaliate for 9/11 ? There was no evidence that the
Iraqis had any
role in 9/11. Bush minions spun the evidence, with the help of Fox
News, to make a false pretext for war.
to remove WMD's ? Not likely. Weapons inspectors were on
for war profit. VIDEO | Iraq for Sale:
As Not Seen on TV
"Iraq for Sale," the latest
documentary from Robert Greenwald, tells a depressingly familiar tale
of corporate corruption and war-profiteering in Iraq. Focusing on
companies like Halliburton, CACI International and Blackwater Security
Consulting, it recites a litany of rapacity and exploitation that ought
to have American citizens swarming Congress, demanding heads on pikes.
It was about oil... and profit.
for democracy ? This was one of the stated reasons, but
since we are
having difficulty at home maintaining any democracy
this reason is a very bad joke.
By a large majority Iraqi's want US troops to leave, but, as everyone
knows, democracy is not operative there. As with the other changing
justifications for war, Americans were misinformed.
Since the Bush regime has been an insult to democracy
in the US, there is no reason to consider 'democracy' as justification
for the War in Iraq.
So in the balance between expensive "intelligence" paid for
hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, and, on the other hand,
political lightweight incompetents who are also war-profiteering,
revenge seeking, religious crusaders, empire-builders, torturers, human
rights abusing, political hacks. The hacks thumbed their noses at international law and went to war in
Iraq. Like Nazi Germans who also made a case for pre-emptive war, they
are war criminals. At Nuremberg unprovoked war was judged a war crime.
One of the most likely reasons, is this one: "That
military budget exceeds what the rest of the world’s nations combined
spend on defense. Nor can it be justified as militarily necessary to
counter terrorists, who used primitive $10 box cutters to commandeer
civilian aircraft on 9/11. It only makes sense as a field of dreams for
defense contractors and their allies in Washington who seized upon the
9/11 tragedy to invent a new Cold War. Imagine their panic at the end
of the old one and their glee at this newfound opportunity.
Ike was right: Robert Scheer"
The US did not learn the lesson of Vietnam:
If people do not
want an occupying army, you cannot "win".
Nice Little War to Fill the Coffers by Antonia Juhasz The
Los Angeles Times
October 14th, 2004: President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are
correct when they say things are not all bad in Iraq. It just depends
on your perspective. Although the military campaign is in chaos, the
economic campaign is moving along quite nicely, at least for U.S.
corporations and the Republican Party.
"has been involved in opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning. The
Democracy Rising peace project seeks to bring the troops home and end
the occupation of Iraq by empowering activists so they cannot be
ignored by decision makers in Washington, DC.
Torture has been the single most widely publicized
aspect of the American occupation of Iraq, and it has done more to
besmirch the reputation of America throughout the world than any other
single set of actions....On December 2, 2002 the secretary of defense
gave written authorization for -indeed, issued instructions ordering -
the use of procedures banned by the U.S. Army Field Manual as
violations of Common Article 3, which is repeated in each of the four
Geneva Conventions outlawing torture and cruel treatment. Many people,
both American and foreign, now consider that torture is "American". ...
As the former general counsel of the U.S. Navy, Alberto J. Mora, who
struggled to stop the policy of torture, said to New Yorker
correspondent Jane Mayer, "If cruelty is no longer declared unlawful,
but instead is applied as a matter of policy, it alters the fundamental
relationship of man to government. It destroys the whole notion of
individual rights...If you make this exception, the Constitution
crumbles. It's a transformative issue." From Out of Iraq by
George McGovern and William R. Polk. Pg 86. See this Harpers Magazine
Just as the appointment of industry lobbyists to key
positions in agencies that oversee their former employers results in a
kind of institutionalized corruption and the abandonment of law
enforcement and regulations at home, the outrageous decision to
brazenly grant sole-source no-bid contracts worth $10 billion to Vice
President Cheney's former company Halliburton -- which paid him
$150,000 annually until 2005 - has convinced many observers that
incompetence, cronyism, and corruption have played a significant role
in undermining U.S. policy in Iraq. From Al Gore's Assault on Reason.
The three trillion dollar war --The cost
of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have grown to staggering
proportions By Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes 23 Feb 2008 The
cost of direct US military operations - not even including long-term
costs such as taking care of wounded veterans - already exceeds the
cost of the 12-year war in Vietnam and is more than double the cost of
the Korean War. And, even in the best case scenario, these costs are
projected to be almost ten times the cost of the first Gulf War, almost
a third more than the cost of the Vietnam War, and twice that of the
First World War
...what they claim as the cost of the Iraq war in the budget
is not the full cost. There are the operational costs that everybody
understands, but then there are costs hidden elsewhere in the defense
budget. But then there are really some very big costs hidden elsewhere,
like contractors that have been the subject of such concern. We pay
their insurance through the Labor Department.
But the most important cost, budgetary cost, that we haven’t
talked about publicly, that haven’t been talked about, are the costs of
veterans—their disability, veterans’ healthcare—that will total
hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decades. This war has had
a huge number of injuries, and that will mount, the cost of caring for
them, disability. 39 percent of the people fighting, the 1.6 million
who have already fought, and if we continue, it will of course be more
than that, are estimated will be—wind up with some form of disability.
Then you go beyond that budgetary cost to the cost of the
economy. For instance, when somebody gets disabled, the disability pay
is just a fraction of what the loss to their family, to the income that
they could have otherwise earned. And then you go beyond that to the
macroeconomic cost—the fact that the war has been associated with an
increasing price of oil. We’re spending money on oil exports, Saudi
Arabia, other oil-exporting countries. It’s money that’s not being
spent here at home. There are a whole set of macroeconomic costs, which
have depressed the economy. What’s happened is, to offset those costs,
the Federal Reserve has flooded the economy with liquidity, looked the
other way when you needed tighter regulation, and that’s what led to
the housing bubble, the consumption boom. And we were living off of
borrowed money. The war was totally financed by deficits. And
eventually, a day of reckoning had to come, and now it’s come. (Stiglitz
comments on Democracy Now!)
Inside the world of war profiteers --From
prostitutes to Super bowl tickets, a federal probe reveals how
contractors in Iraq cheated the U.S. 21 Feb 2008 (IL) A common
thread runs through these cases and other KBR scandals in Iraq, from
allegations the firm failed to protect employees sexually assaulted by
co-workers to findings that it charged $45 per can of soda: The
Pentagon has outsourced crucial troop support jobs while slashing the
number of government contract watchdogs. The dollar value of Army
contracts quadrupled from $23.3 billion in 1992 to $100.6 billion in 2006, according to a
recent report by a Pentagon panel.
Iraq deaths put at 655,000 11 Oct 2006 American
and Iraqi public health experts have calculated that about 655,000
Iraqis have died as a result of the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion and
subsequent violence, far above previous estimates.
reported 650,000 war-related Iraqi civilian deaths as of October, 2006.
Nearly two years later, a reasonable projection of the conservative
Lancet estimate would place war-related Iraqi civilian deaths at least
In 2004, the esteemed Lancet medical journal published a
study showing that 98,000 Iraqis had most likely died following the
US-led invasion (http://www.thelancet.com/webfiles/images/journals/lancet/s0140673606694919.pdf).
John Rentoul, chief political correspondent of the Independent on
Sunday, responded with sarcasm when we challenged him about his
dismissal of the peer-reviewed science:
"Oh no. You have found me out. I am in fact a neocon agent in the pay
of the third morpork of the teleogens of Tharg." (Email, September 15,
We know (from Paul
O'neills book with Ron Suskind ) that from the earliest days of the
administration, Bush was determined
to invade Iraq. Intelligence was twisted to make a case that 9/11 somehow justified the war in Iraq, but
there was little evidence
for it. Colin Powell has since apologized for his complicity in
presenting the case for war to the UN. Twisting 'intelligence' should
be a high crime.
None of the pretexts for the Iraq war have turned out to be true.
Pre-emptive war was also deemed to be a crime at Nuremburg.
Wilson found that it was unlikely that yellowcake had been obtained
from Niger, and, as he carefully documented in his book,
his wife was smeared.
A former CIA analyst claims that falsified documents which
were meant to show that Iraq's Saddam Hussein regime had been trying to
procure yellowcake uranium from Niger can be traced back to Vice
President Dick Cheney. Appearing on MSNBC's Tucker Carlson Show, Ray
McGovern who served in the CIA for twenty-seven years, said, "the
[forged] memo leads right back to the doorstep of the Vice President of
the United States." http://prisonplanet.com/articles/may2007/010507analyst.htm
Ritter, an on-the-ground , weapons inspector questioned the
official line and he too was smeared. Generally The Bush administration
smeared anyone who disagreed, and the result was that the most capable
professionals left government service leaving party hacks. That's why
they are so incompetent.
Thomas Ricks describes the
result in his book: Fiasco.
Sell-Out Democrats Walked into a Bush Trap on Iraq
By Dave Lindorff
They took what they thought was the easy road, condemning not
the criminal policies themselves, but only the administration's
handling of the wars. This led some to call not for an end to the wars,
but for more troops. http://tinyurl.com/vhcgo
Stand up against the surge
"We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day,
every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to
help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the
ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we're for them and
trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush's
proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march.... We need people in
the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, "Stop it, now!" Molly
From Iraq, Avoiding the Next War By
William D. Hartung, New America Foundation with Miriam Pemberton,
Research Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies Paradigm Publishers May
2008 160 pp. | ISSN: 1594514992