Tag Archives: Iraq War

Cost Of Folly– Military Tries Explaining To Bush

Behind the Pentagon’s closed doors, militay leaders met with President Bush in an effort to get him to grasp the human implications and consequences of his war in Iraq.
Wednesday’s 90 minute session held in a secure coference room kown as “the Tank” was arranged by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Military leaders discussed how the war impacted the private lives of soldiers and the total effect on an armed force which is stretched thin to the point of exhaustion. Pentagon press secretary Geogg Morrell, said the discussion roamed over topics like the escalation of fighting in Afghanistan and what may lie ahead. “Armed with all that,” said Morrell, “the president must now decide the way ahead in Iraq.”

George Bush rushed into a war that need not have been fought. He quickly proclaimed, “Mission Accomplished” in order to get some nice photos for the daily newspapers. He never meets the bodies of those who died, he rarely discusses losses, but he does not hestitate one minute to cut taxes when a war is raging. He holds the record of being the first president in American history who is more concerned about taxes than about those who are fighting. He refuses to come before the American people and explain if the war goes on, there must be some form of draft. We can not continue placing the burden on the shoulders of 1,500,000 Americans while the remaining 300,000,000 continue their normal lives. How many conservatives who support the war are willing to see their children drafted?

British Foreign Minister-We Won In Iraq Or Did We?

David Miliband, Great Britain’s foreign minister said creation of a peaceful and stable Iraqdid not follow the path desired by those initiating the conflict. He claimed “the war itself wasd a remarkable victory. It went beter thn most people expected, but the truth is that buiilding the peace after the war has been much more dififcult than people expected.” However, he feels encouraged by developments in Iraq over the past year. His optimism was seconded by General Barney White-Spunnder who believes the situation in Basra is “getting better all the time.” However, Lord Boyce, Britain’s senior military officeer at the time the war began expressed “dismay” at what subsequently happened and blamed it on the inept American “de-Ba’athification” program which disbanded the Iraq army.

Jonathan Powell, chief of staff for Tony Blair, was told by General Richard Dannatt in October, 2006, he questioned the usefulness of Britain’s continuing military presence in Iraq. He said Britain should withdraw “soon” and noted planning for the postwar phase was “poor.”

It is strange for a foreign minister to claim the war was a remarkable victory but the postwar phase just didn’t add up right. The purpose of the war in Iraq, according to President Bush, was to create a stable, democratic nation. If the goal was not accomplished then the war was not remarkable at all, but a failure.

The Numbers About War In Iraq

Following are some numbers related to the war in Iraq that recently were published in the Stars & Stripes:

1,827 Number of days of war as of March 19, 2003.

3,988 US servicemen who have been killed.

29,320 Number of servicemen who have been wounded.

806,964 Number of US Army and Guard and Reservists who have served in Iraq

194,401 Number of Marines who have served in Iraq

30,868 Navy personnel who have served in Iraq

70,136 Air Force members who have served in Iraq

1,190 Coast Guard members who have served in Iraq

72 Number of joint security stations and combat outposts

1,676 Number of multiple-fatality bombings from July, 2003 to March 9, 2008

6,956 Number of weapons caches found and cleared in 2007

2,662 Number of weapons caches found and cleared in 2006

23,000 Number of people held in US prisons in Iraq

127 Number of journalists killed in Iraq

105 Number of these journalists who were Iraqis.

425,0000 Number of Iraq security forces as of March 2008

US Led Iraq Invasion Strengthened Iran

Cihan Clik, writing in the Turkish Daily News, argues “five years in the continuing U.S. led war in Iraq, America” remains far from achieving its goals. He believes if American goals were to rip asunder the nation of Iraq then it has been a successful war. He quotes Omit Ozdag, head of the Eurasia Strategic Study Center who points out, a “surprise consequence” for the United States was Iran’s increased influence throughout the region. “Iran played more widely and cannily than had been predicted. It expanded its influence by turning its allies (in Iraq) into U.S. allies also. As a result, the Tehran regime has become an unseen force which is, virtually an occupier in Iraq today.”

Another unforseen consequence of the Iraq invasion was creation of virtually an independent Kurdish state which now is the center of attention from both Turkey and Iran. The Bush adminsitration most probably never grasped implications of the invasion in terms of increasing sectarian conflict nor of upsetting the balance of power in the Middle East. They just stumbled into an invasion without any semblance of strategic thinking.

Is America humbled by the experience asks Celik? Perhaps, the election tis November will provide an answer.

What Lies Ahead For Post-War Iraq?

Olivia Ward, writing in the Toronto Star, says two images stick vividly in her mind. One is the sight of a hooded crucifixion-style photo of an Iraqi prisoner, his arms outstretched, electrical wires dangling from his fingers, the other is a smiling George Bush on the deck of an aircraft carrier, one thumb raised in triumph beneath a banner reading, “Mission Accomplished.” Over the years thousands have died, miliions have fled and Muslim groups have killed one another as well as any innocent civilians who have gotten in their way. She notes that Canada never got caught up in the fight for Iraq but stood aside with a detached air of concern and wonderment at what was going on in that far off land.

However, Ms. Ward points out pror to the invasion Iraqi women enjoyed access to a modern existence in which they could work at any job and in their own homes, people enjoyed an exciting intellectual existence. Now, religious fundamentalism has compelled women to wear the hijab and they are afraid to engage in many business enterprises that once provided them with a decent income. “The Iraq that is emerging will not be a woman friendly place, and it won’t be oblivious to differences of faith” since most Christians have fled.

War Begun In Lies And Fought With Lies

Writing on the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Patrick Cockburn bluntly stated: “It has been a war of lies from the start. All govenments lie in wartime, but American and British propaganda in Iraq over the past five years has been more untruthful than in any conflict since the First World War.” He points out from day one of the war, both governments have been telling their nations one lie after another in order to justify a war whose goals were fraudulent. There never were any WMD so reasons advanced for invading Iraq were a pack of lies from the beginning.

The original heavy bombing of Saddam Hussein residences were aimed at killing the Iraqi ruler. On April 7 the US aAir Force dropped massive bombs on a house in which Saddam allegedly was hiding. Vice President Cheney insisted that day:”I think we did get Saddam Husseing. He was seen being dug out of the ruble and wasn’t able to breathe.” It was a lie since Saddam was never in the house but 18 Iraqi civilians died.

Cockburn charges during the period 2006-2007 a civil war raged between Sunni and Shiite in which about 3,000 people died each month, but neither the US or the UK admitted such a war was going on. He cites the February 1st suicide bombing that killed about 99 people which was blamed on a woman who supposedly had Down’s syndrome. British media echoed the official Iraqi government account even thoough there was no way anyone knew if she had such an ailment or not. All they had was a head. The Iraqi police began arresting mental patients on the theory they represened potential suicide bombers.

His comments describe examples of lies being told. Each example in itself may be interpreted by supporters of the Iraq war as quibbling over minor incidents, but they reflect the ongoing lies and deceit of American, British, and Iraqi government sources who are unable to confront the reality of a war begun in the shameful use of lies and continued with ongoing lies.

Iraq– The Coming Forgotten War?

In the summer of 1953, I returned home from service during the Korean War. One day, shortly after being home, I chanced to meet someone I knew from school, he asked where I had been, and I responded, serving in the Army. There was a look of confusion on his face, and he mumbled, “Oh, Korea, I’ve been busy in my new job.” The Iraq War is slowly entering the twilight zone of American interest. It was the most avidly followed news story for most of the first half of 2007, but it has not been the most closely watched story in any week since mid-October according to a Pew survey. The portion of news stories on the war has dropped in recent months as concern about the economy increasingly absorbs interest of the American public.

After several weeks of declining casualties, eight soldiers died on Monday, one on Tuesday and three yesterday. Few Americans have any idea as to the number of men and women who have died fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan and only a handful could offer anything resembling the accurate figure as to the number who have been wounded. Bush has sold many the view things are improving due to the famous “surge” even as evidence increases of Iraq government inefficiency and corrpution. A recesion most probably will go even further in pushing Iraq out of front page news.

The war in Iraq is slowly fading from the conciousness of many Americans because only a milliion and a half serve in the armed forces. Ninety-nine percent of Americans have no direct connection to the war. Will this attitude change?

The Cost Of War In 2008-$150 Billion And Still Counting

The casualty list in Iraq has been declining over the past seveal months, but the flow of money to pay for fighting continues to rise in ever larger amounts. Nobel-prize winner Joseph Stiglitz and co-author Linda Blimes, claim in a new book the total cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan is between $1.7 trillion and $2.7 trillion in current dollars. The Congressional Budget Office projections are considerably lower and estimate the cost is between $1.2 triliion and $1.7 trillion. Of course, the GAO did tell Congress the cost of war will not end when the last troop leaves those areas since medical expenses and pensions will continue on for the coming fifty years. The Congressional Research Center estimates the cost of the war in Vietnam was $607 billion– in current dollars.

Some people still recall claims by Bush officials the cost of the war in Iraq would be covered by the Iraq war through money it obtained from oil sales. Of course, the oil industry of Iraq has yet to reach pre-war figures and there is no expectation the Iraq government will ever be able to use that money to assist the United States. Actually, the United States will be supplying money to Iraq for many years to come. One can only wonder what President Bush meant when he shouted: “Mission Accomplished.” It certainly wasn’t the mission of money.

Unforseen Casualties Of Iraq War!

Thee is increasing evidence of an unforseen consequence for members of the military who are fighting in Iraq. Soldiers and Marines caught in rodside bombings and fiefights are coming home in epidemic numbers with permanent hearing loss and ringing in their ears. Hearing damage has now become the number one disability in the fight against terrorism. The Veterans Affairs administration and hearing experts say the true toll of this disability may require decades before final figures are in. Nearly 70,000 of the more than 1.3 million troops who have served in the two war zones are collecting dsability for tinnitus, a potential debilitating ringing in the ears and more than 58,000 are on disability for hearing loss.

Theresa Schulz, author of “Troops Return With Alarming Rates of Hearing Loss,” says “the numbers are staggering” for those returning with these problems. Blasts from roadside bombs cause violent changes in air pressure and can rupture the eardrum and break bones inside the ear. A common problem is refusal on the part of many soldiers to wear earplugs.

The loss of hearing is just one of the many unforseen consequences of an invasion that lack coherent planning for the safety of American fighting men and women. There was a rush to judgment by the Bush administration who never explored all potential consequences of a war and how it might physically impact those doing the fighting. Experts estimate 60% of those exposed to roadside blasts may suffer from permanent hearing loss. That cost is not listed in any budget for Iraq war expenses.

Good News For Bush-A European Leader Backs Him!

The vast majority of European leaders have been expressing negative feelings toward the Iraq war and the Bush administration, but Denmark’s prime minister expressed support for Bush policies and urged Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to adhere to the wisdom of their beloved president. Prime Minister Anders Fogh Ramussen spoke out against the attitudes of Obama and Clinton during a visit to Washington D.C. He cautioned against their comments to pull out of Iraq. “These type of comments are what candidates say during an election campaign. But the reality is something which a new president will have to accept the rsponsibilities.” He defended both the US and Denmark participation in the conflict raging in Iraq. “It is the right and moral thing to do in sticking with the job.”

It is one thing for Denmark to send a thousand troops to Iraq, it is another thing for America to confront the reality nearly 4,000 of their sons and daughters have died in a war begun with lies, conducted with lies and incompetence, and lacking an overall plan for resolution. Americans support Danish rights to a free press regardless of whether it assists our military interests, we hope Denmark will support the right of Americans to achieve peace.