Category Archives: Iraq

Iraq Lives On, And So Does Crime!

It recently dawned upon me that five percent of my life was spent during World War II was being fought while ten ten percent of my life has been spent while wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been going on and on and on. World War II concluded with those who caused the wars to be tried in an International Court of Justice. The crimes and brutality of Hitler and Japanese leaders have no resemblance to the crimes committed during wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Terrible things were done by both sides during the Afghan conflict and fighting in Iraq, but neither is an example of the Holocaust nor incredible murders committed by Japanese forces in Asia. However, crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan must be confronted in order to make clear that those who engage in brutality may one day face consequences for their actions. The European Council for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) is pushing for criminal action against those in the British armed forces who served in the Iraq war and inflicted terror and brutality. They are drawing upon evidence that is in “The Responsibility of UK Officers for War Crimes Involving Systematic Detainee Abuse In Iraq From 2003-2008.”

The report discusses how members of the British armed forces engaged in illegal acts against prisoners. It describes how “thousands of allegations of mistreatment amounting to war crimes of torture or cruel inhuman or degrading “treatment were conducted by British soldiers against Iraq prisoners. They hooded prisoners, used electric shock treatment, sexually assaulted and compelled prisoners to undergo physical stress situations which inflicted terrible pain. Prisoners were threatened with death or rape or violation of their dignity as humans. These actions were done with the full knowledge of officers.

The International Criminal Court will hear these charges and officials may face the prospect of punishment. We doubt if former Prime Minister Tony Blair will ever be sent to jail, anymore than George Bush or Don Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney will ever be charged with any crimes. President Obama denied the American people of the truth. Such is the way of American politics.

Broken Iraq Still Broken

We just concluded the tenth anniversary of our invasion of Iraq by the gold dust trio of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld who promised the American people the end of Saddam Hussein, the end of his threats to blast the American nation to pieces, and the arrival of peace, prosperity and democracy to the people of Iraq. Enough has been written concerning how the dynamic trio lied through their teeth about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) so there is no need to repeat what others already have made clear, no such things existed except in the minds of our Republican masters in Washington. Today, Republicans in Congress argue that wars in the Middle East were caused by the black dude from Kenya, one Barack Obama. At this moment, al-Qaida, the organization initially destroyed by General Petraeus and then by President Obama are in control of the Iraq city of Fallujah. Check with veterans of the Iraq war who fought or were wounded, to capture that city from al-Qaida. Sorry, you can not check with the four thousand Americans who died fighting in Iraq.

Saddam Hussein is dead. Half of the 900,000 Christians in Iraq have fled for their lives after Christian American leaders installed a fundamentalist Muslim government in power and drove out the secular forces of Saddam Hussein. Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to work with Sunni Muslims which allowed al-Qaida to return. Now Maliki asks Sunni Muslims to drive out al-Qaida. I trust Americans understand what I have just written. The leader who destroyed cooperation with Sunni Muslims is asking the people he hates to do his job of bringing stability to Iraq!!

Another “Surge” Needed?

Most Americans have forgotten the famous George Bush “surge” that was led by the great General David Petraeus. President Bush was informed by General Shinseki, PRIOR to the invasion of Iraq that more troops were needed, and was forced to resign because he dared to contradict our Supreme authority on Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld who insisted we did not need more troops. So, Bush provided General David Petraeus an additional 25,000 troops and they, according to Bush and Petreaus, informed the American people, that al-Qaeda was defeated and life would be normal. Of course, General Petraeus sort of left out of this narrative a major factor in defeat of al-Qaeda came from Sunni tribal leaders who provided support to American forces. Fast forward nearly a decade and what has happened? Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, unleashed a campaign against the same Sunni tribal leaders and — al-Qaeda returned!! These Islamic militants are now fighting in the same areas of Iraq that supposedly were cleared of Islamic militants.!

Iraq General Rasheed Fleih(the Iraq version of Petreaeus) assured the people of Iraq that reports of al-Qaeda sort of controlling the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi are sort of accurate. Maliki has arrested and discriminated against Sunni leaders and they, this time, are aiding al-Qaeda. In other words, it was Sunni cooperation that was a key factor in the so called “success” of the “surge.” This was not reported to the American people. Back to square one in Iraq!

Iraq Scorecard – Get One

One expects historians to eventually write books which explain American policy in what we term, the Middle East. The twisted road of American policy toward Iraq is baffling to any sane individual. Let me explain:

1. Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who hated fundamentalist Muslim groups such as al-Qaeda and imprisoned Islamic clerics in his jails. He created a secular society in which women had equal rights.
2. Thus, the administration of the dynamic trio-Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld– wiped him out and led to his death.
3. The United States then created a fundamentalist Islamic government in Iraq which has forced over half the Christian population to flee in terror.
4. Yesterday in Iraq, they arrested Wathiq al Battat, a leader of the Iraq al-Mukhtar militia who was responsible for bombing sites in Saudi Arabia, which is Sunni.
5. Iran, which has been the enemy of America for over thirty years exerts power in fellow Shiite Iraq which we freed from the rule of secular people.

In other words, the US has driven from power secular leaders in the Middle East in order to empower fundamentalist Islamics which we fight in Afghanistan. Fundamentalist Saudi Arabia which funds fellow fundamentalists in the Middle East which seek to kill American soldiers is our “ally.”

Get your scorecard on who is our friend in the Middle East– and WHY?

Iraq Redeux

The war in Iraq is now part of our mysterious past, it happened so long, long ago, that memories of what was being told the American people have vanished into thin air. Ah, the famous “surge”led by the great General David Petraeus once filled our media with tales of defeating al-Qaeda and bringing peace and prosperity to the people of Iraq after their long nightmare under the tyrannical rule of Saddam Hussein. Remember how George and Dick and Don promised the people of America that once our forces had ended this cruel dictatorship then, somehow, democracy would emerge in the sad land of Iraq? There was certainty in their words,an aura of assurance they understood how to restore stability to the people of Iraq.

Yesterday, the current Shiite government of Maliki sent troops to arrest still another Sunni Iraq leader, Ahmad al Alawi and in the ensuing shoot out he died along with his bodyguards. This came after the former Sunni Finance minister and his bodyguards died at the hands of the government. And this came after the former Sunni Vice President, Tariq al-Hashemi was forced to flee the country for his life. The dictatorship of Saddam Hussein was replaced by the dictatorship of Maliki and his Shiite followers. Such was what we Americans brought to Iraq in the guise of “democracy.”

Madness Of Iraq

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, the president of the United States of America gathered around him some nice men who termed themselves “neo conservatives” and they desired to bring to the backward people of Iraq a “democratic government” which would bring peace, prosperity and health to one and all. It took several months,but finally the Bush man decided to dispatch a savior for the people of Iraq. The great General David Petraeus marshaled his forces and “defeated” the great army led by Osama bin Laden which had at least five thousand warriors. Once the great General had defeated the hordes of five thousand, peace and prosperity returned the land. There is scant doubt the Great General Petraeus who defeated the great armies of Osama bin Laden will go down in history with the American army which defeated the millions of German soldiers.

American soldiers departed Iraq and the great incompetent Prime Minister Maliki emerged to end any possible compromise with Sunni leaders and once again bring death, destruction and terrorism to the people of Iraq. Yesterday’s news was of another mass jail break. Nothing new. It was the Thursday jail break. Just wait to the mass one planned for Monday.

Oh where is David Petraeus now that we need him!

Nelson Mandela

Each day of my life is filled with stories about conflicts and anger and hate, learned men and women debate great issues of humankind. Senator Ted Cruz, graduate of Harvard rants about lazy poor people or Sarah Palin offers words of hate about single poor women attempting to raise her children in a slum apartment. Rarely, do I encounter from members of the Tea Party a word of compassion for those who survive under horrible conditions of life that only those who are poor understand. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuses to offer a compromise but insists that ALL Palestinians are terrorists while Iraq Prime Minister Maliki terrorizes the Sunni Muslims in the name of God. The word, “compromise,” the word, “compassion” is a stranger to the lips of all too many of our world leaders. Vladimir Putin abuses a mother whose crime is to mock God in a church, and a moment later he is concocting a secret deal with business leaders to abuse his office as president. “Love” is not a word that will be uttered by Putin or Mugabe in Africa or the head of the Ukraine.

Therefore, my days are always filled with joy reading about Nelson Mandela. Why does he possess the capacity to extend love and compassion to those who tortured and abused him? He is such an unusual person, he had the capacity to reach beyond the moment and link with the totality of life. He understood that if we humans can not be concerned about our fellow humans, then we are NOT truly human. The Tea Party spews words of hatred and anger towards a family seeking an opportunity to work, NOT to get government handouts! Nelson Mandela taught all humans the beauty and power of unlimited love and compassion to friend and enemy.

The cliche is that he was “a man for the ages.” No, he simply was “a man.” He simply was a man who actually believed in God and what God represents. That, we all are linked together as fellow humans-forever!

Price Of Sectarianism

American troops swept through Iraq and brought in their wake a new government for the people of Iraq. Under control of the Baath party for decades, Shiite Muslims were denied their rights to be equally involved in the government of their nation. Americans believed removal of Saddam Hussein would result in the formation of a government that would unite the nation and lead to creation of a democratic society. This goal could only arrive if booth Shiites and Sunnis were united and willing to share power. Alas, the United States supported the regime of Nouri al Maliki, among the most corrupt, incompetent and sectarian leaders in the country. He turned away from any collaboration with Sunni leaders, and, even worse, attempted to arrest Sunni leaders who were working in his government. Most eventually fled for their lives.

Muqtada al-Sadr, who played an important role during early months of the new regime now believes that sectarianism has destroyed the new country. He blames Prime Minister Maliki for the breakdown in efforts to form a government that includes all major groups. The result is non-stop death. This is simply another example of how the Bush administration destroyed any opportunity for a stable government.

Death Resides In Iraq

For some unknown reason, Death apparently enjoys life in Iraq since it is clear that he will not depart the ancient land which has witnessed for thousands of years the pleasure of his company. Since this spring about 5,000 people have been killed by terrorists and killings continue without halt. Naturally, since terorrists murder, it is the duty of the government to kill in retaliation. The government announded that it had killed eleven terrorists in order to make clear to al-Qaeda the response to their bloody campaign of terror was an invitation to Death to return for another visit. About 162 terrorsts have been executed for high crimes.

Perhaps, the first step to persuade Death to leave Iraq would be formation of a coalition government consisting of Sunnis and Shiites. It is time to bring people together rather than killing people together.

Death In Baghdad

Another day, another death, or should I say, 45 more deaths and a few dozen more wounded people in the city of Baghdad. A suicide bomber drove his car into a cafe and murdered the innocent whose only crime was to seek a cup of coffee and a bite to eat. So far this month nearly 400 innocent people are dead and hundreds wounded in violence that knows no end. In a village north of the capital, someone killed a policeman and his family, all in the name of some object of anger and hate. The goal is clear, kill everyone other than yourself and you have Baghdad to yourself.

No one claims responsibility, they just kill and maim. No one knows how to end these murders, but they certainly know how to murder. The beat goes on and on. One can only wonder if there is some end process?