Category Archives: Iraq

Iraq Failed, Not US

As we all recall,it was in 2003 that American forces plunged into the mess in Iraq in order to bring the gift of democracy to people who had been living under one form or another of dictatorship since given their independence from England. There is no need to once again go into the ignorance of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld fiasco. Few in leadership positions in the American government had the slightest grasp of Iraq politics, let alone the difference between Shiite and Sunni religious enemies. Actually, at one point during the famous, Surge, Americans got it right and supported Sunni “Awakening Councils” which played a major role in defeating al-Qaeda. In other words, the US DID get it right.

So, Americans allowed an election, and since Shiites are the majority faction in Iraq, a Shiite became prime minister. Prime Minister Maliki was urged to create a coalition government that included Sunni leaders, especially those who were in the Awakening Council and hated al-Qaeda. So, what did Maliki do? He launched an attack on Sunni leaders, and the end result is that those who were ready to work with him, now work with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL.

Yesterday, ISIL seized control of a college near Ramadi and dozens of students are hostages. This entire mess is the fault of Iraqis, it is the fault of Shiite leaders. So, for once, please don’t blame George Bush, he made enough mistakes to last a lifetime.

An American–British Tragedy

There is an old expression that each and every person, at one time or another in life, has stated: we all make mistakes. Yes, we all do. But, for most humans, the “mistake” we made impacted our lives more than any innocent bystander. For several years the British government has allowed the Chilcot Inquiry to dig into the record of why the war in Iraq. It has examined thousands of documents and had people like former Prime Minister Tony Blair appear and explain their actions. For some strange reason, their conclusions are not yet completely available to the public. However, it now appears at least some of the documents will be made public along with conversations between President Bush and Prime Minister Blair. We, of course, can expect many important documents will remain secret and many comments made by former President Bush will not be revealed. But, at least, we can gain access to some.

Among the mistakes made by President Obama was failure to appoint a bipartisan group to dig into the Iraq war and issue a conclusion. Five thousand Americans died and over 40,000 were wounded. They deserve to have their families know why this happened.

I assume, as far as Fox News is concerned, the real issue is Benghazi and the death of FOUR people.

Obama -The Clueless President

It increasingly is apparent that President Barack Obama has never devoted his intellectual focus upon developing a foreign policy theory. After World War II, the Containment Policy, initially developed by George Kennan, became the basis of how American foreign policy was conducted. The premise of this theory was to AVOID war with the Soviet Union and allow time to slowly, but surely, cripple that nation and lead to the arrival of a new group of leaders who understood the economic weaknesses of Communism. The war in Vietnam was a mistake because instead of containment, it was aggressive. Actually, from 1945 until its collapse the only war engaged in by the Soviet Union was the war in Afghanistan. Today in 2014, what is the foreign policy theory of Barack Obama? The answer is he lacks any guiding theory of acton.

Example, Iraq. Upon assuming office, President Obama made clear he wanted American forces to leave Iraq. That was a strategy, but that was not part of a theory of foreign policy. Prior to leaving the Obama administration allowed Nouri al-Maliki to gain power. In the hurry to depart, we left behind a man who hated Sunnis, drove any Sunni leader from power, and left Iraq to become the scene of a sectarian civil war in which Sunnis and Shiites killed one another. One result of lack of policy was allowing al-Qaeda to return to power as the defender of Sunnis against Shiites.

Ironically, due to lack of an Iraq policy, Iran stepped in to become the champion of their fellow Iraq Shiites. Yes, American troops are gone and now Iran is the main ally of Iraq due to its Maliki connection. Yes, it was important to depart, the issue was–when and how? President Obama never grasped the importance of those questions and today Iraq increasingly is becoming a failed state.

Tragedy of Iraq

The people of Iraq are in the process of holding an election. The people of Iraq are in the process of a civil war which has cost the lives of thousands. The people of Iraq are divided, angry, and attempting to grasp what went wrong from the hopes of a decade ago when supposedly, the American invasion would result in a birth of democracy. So, what went wrong? Of course, there is no doubt electing Nouri al-Maliki to any public office was a guarantee of war and violence. Instead of reaching out to Sunni leaders and forming a coalition government committed to ending sectarian violence, Maliki began a war of terror upon Sunnis which has resulted in the growth of al-Qaeda. So, what went wrong?

1. The Bush administration from day one in March, 2003 never understood the importance of ensuring that Sunni and Shiite worked together to create an independent Iraq.

2. The Bush administration never grasped the depth of religious hatred due to the fact that Saddam Hussein was a Sunni who persecuted the majority Shiite population. This meant Shiites harbored deep feelings of revenge. There was no program, no thought, no commitment to coalition government.

3. The Bush administration never considered that establishing a Shiite government led by religious fanatics would result in persecution of the one million Christians. It is now estimated that over half the Christian population has fled in terror from Iraq.

So, there is an election today. Nour al-Maliki will win. He will continue his policies of revenge toward Sunnis, and within a few years all the Christians will be gone from Iraq. Chalk up another victory for the incompetent dynamic trio of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld!

Baghdad Blasts Blast Forever

There are moments in time when reading about events in the Middle East that my mind suddenly becomes locked in a confused look of ‘what the heck am I reading?’ In 2003, when General Bush initiated the invasion of Iraq in search of the Weapons of Mass Destruction, I was informed by the Dynamic Duo of Rumsfeld and Cheney, the enemy were those MUSLIMS! Of course, sometimes the Dynamic Duo got a bit confused about these “Muslims” and it turned out there were Sunni and Shiite Muslims and they hated one another more than they hated Jews or Christians of the Dynamic Duo. So, today, Sheik /Qais al-Khazali, who was placed in prison by the infidel Americans, was giving a pep talk to fellow Shiites, some Sunni folk who belong to al-Qaida decided it was time to murder those who work with the Americans. Wait a second. This Sheik was put in prison by the Americans so he must be a friend of al-Qaida.

Anyway, Sunni al-Qaida set off some bombs in the rally and killed 33 people who were cheering a Sheik who hates Americans. One of the guys blew himself up because he hated the Americans in order to kill people who supported the guy who hates Americans. I trust one and all understand this gibberish.

Legacy Of George Bush Lives On And On

Ah, the glory days of March, 2003 when beloved President George Bush proclaimed his desire to lead America on a great crusade to end tyranny in the Middle East and bring democracy to the people of Iraq.
At this time in Iraq, women enjoyed equal rights with men and served in business roles as well as doctors and lawyers. Along came George with his warriors to bring “democracy” to the women of Iraq. America assisted in the rise to power of Nouri Maliki who became prime minister. Now, this prime minister of democracy is pushing through a new law, Jaarafi Status Law which assists Iraq females. Among its provisions are”

1. Forced sex by husband is Kosher.

2. Marry off 9 year old daughter is OK.

3. Dad gets kids in divorce. Who else?

4. Beat the hell out of your wife–why not, you are upset?

5. Don’t leave house you females unless male says you can!

According to the Maliki government: “there are those who disagree with this law and we don’t care about them because they are against Islam.” Safia al Fahail, in Parliament: “this law is humiliating to women.”

Thanks so much, George.

Another Day In Iraq

It was just another day in the nation of Iraq. Sun was shining in the southern Iraq city of Hilla, people were going about their daily lives, working in a shop or going shopping. Cars moved slowly along the street until they came to a checkpoint. A minivan halted for a second, the a policeman asked the driver to go off to the side to be checked out. The driver nodded his head, turned the ignition key and suddenly, without warning there was an explosion which ripped through a dozen cars which, in turn, burst into flames. Cries of anguished people trapped inside burning cars could be heard. Children shouted in fear as their bodies were consumed by flames of angry fire. Cars attempted to back out of the blazing inferno, some made it, others did not. Within a few moments 32 people had burned to death and over 140 were wounded.

Police had to use crow bars to open the doors of cars that had become burned wrecks. They found charred bodies. Just another day in the Muslim nation of Iraq. Just another day of violence. Does anyone, anymore know who are the good or the bad guys?

US Repeats Mistakes In Iraq

As I recall, former President George Bush was happy when the famous “surge” in Iraq led by General David Petraeus “defeated insurgents” and restored peace and prosperity to the people of Iraq. After all, from day one of the Bush initiated invasion of Iraq prevailing wisdom was all one needed was a powerful armed force and terrorists would be driven into surrender. Almost a decade later, there are still terrorists in Iraq and they are growing more powerful than ever before. Why? Mr. Maliki was elected as Prime Minister and, instead of reaching out to the Sunni minority in Iraq, he initiated a campaign of terror against its leaders. Instead of focusing on economic development and offering the people of Iraq and honest and efficient government, all they received was the same old conflict over the spoils of office.

Iraq needs more than ever a government which comprises those of all political beliefs.(Just check with Tunisia which just has created such a government). Step two is ensuring that Sunni leaders possess power in government. Step three is allowing loyal Sunni leaders to create fighting groups which will clear out terrorists who belong to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant(ISIL).

So, how does the Obama administration respond? The US will provide new Boeing made Apache attack helicopters, hundreds more Lockheed Martin Hellfire missiles and fifty new Drones. The US did NOT receive any guarantee from the Maliki government that in exchange for these weapons of war, it would work for compromises and create a government that represents the entire Iraqi population.

Shades of George Bush!!

Iraq, Democracy’s Child

It is truly painful that people in the world do not recognize America’s contribution to the spread of democracy in the Middle East. Prior to arrival of US troops in Iraq, those backward people lacked any knowledge as to how a democracy functioned, particular its police and judiciary. OK, so Iraqis under the regime of Saddam Hussein did know something about torture and execution for crimes. OK, so they understood if you possess power than the judiciary does what you say and when you say, kill the guy, it kills the guy. Standing next to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made clear that he DID understand the meaning of democracy and the rule of law. For some reason, the UN guy told the Iraqi prime minister, “I have urged the prime minister and Iraqi government to put a moratorium on the death penalty.” Maliki was sort of insulted. “We respect UN decisions and human rights, but we do not believe someone who kills people must be respected.”

The UN Secretary General apparently does not grasp that Maliki was trained in democracy by George Bush, former governor of the great state of Texas which leads the entire world in executing people. Governor George Bush never granted pardons even when shown evidence the prisoner might be innocent because to do so would violate the right of Texans to kill whoever they damn well please. The DNA does not rule in Texas, nor should it rule in Iraq!

Oh, 169 were executed in Iraq which places that nation third in the world in terms of executing people behind China and Iran. With a teacher like George Bush, the only surprise is why isn’t Iraq, number one!

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.