Tag Archives: Iraq

British Flag Lowered In Iraq

Six years ago, British Prime Minister Tony Blair allowed himself to buy into the hysteria of George Bush and send thousands of UK soldiers into combat in Iraq in order to destroy WMD that never existed. Six years have passed during which terrorism has grown in power due to mistakes made by Blair and his American buddy. Iraq never posed any threat to world security by Blair played a role in creating large numbers of terrorists in Iraq and later in Afghanistan. Prime Minister Gordon Brown who played a role in the fatal decision to invade Iraq, hailed the closing of the venture by saying, “Today, Iraq is a success story… Our mission has not always been an easy one, many have said that we would fail.”

Gordon Brown never addressed the issue that he was part of a government which lied to the people of Great Britain and sent hundreds of men to their death based on lies. Iraq was never a threat to the UK and it is not yet clear whether Saddam Hussein could have been removed by other means. A lie can never end as being a success.

Just Following Orders – So Who Is At Fault?

Right wing pundits are blasting President Obama for releasing Bush administration memos in which top level officials outline the process of torture. However, these same individuals were quite silent when lower level soldiers were placed on trial for abusing prisoners. Col. Janis Karpinski, who was demoted for prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib, said the memos show clearly those at the prison were following orders from their superiors. “From the beginning, I’ve been saying these soldiers did not design the techniques on their own, and the soldiers said in their own court martials that ‘we didn’t do this on our own. We were following orders.’”

Colonel Karpinski is clear that what was done at Abu Ghraib shows clearly those responsible were both the soldiers implementing orders and Bush administration officials who gave the orders. We have placed on trial the soldiers, when are Bush and his subordinates placed on trial?

Children Of Al-Qaeda Arrested In Iraq

Iraqi security forces have arrested four children they claim were recruited by al-Qaeda to carry out suicide attacks in and around the city of Kirkuk. General Abdelamir al-Zaidi said; “Special forces units have arrested in organization of children consisting of four individual under the age of 14 who call themselves the Birds of Paradise.” He claimed children are recruited to assist in suicide bombing and help set roadside bombs. The use of children is but one of many examples of how al-Qaeda reaches into the fabric of a society and seizes control of youth. The real question to ask is–why is youth attracted to al-Qaeda? Which aspects of its philosophy of violence appeal to young minds?

In the end, the conflict with al-Qaeda is centered in ideas, not just military action. It is up to Muslim societies to deal with this conflict, not the west.

Will US Leave Iraq On Time?

Genereal Raymond Odierno, who heads American forces in Iraq insists that overall violence in the country had dramatically declined from levels that were common a few years ago. But, he admitted there “are still some elements” in Iraq who are committed to violence and disruption of the government. When questioned as to the need for a continued American presence in the country, he responded: “if we believe we ned troops to maintain a presence in some of the cities, we’ll recommend that, but ultimately, it will be a decision of Prime Minister Maliki.” However he does not see any need to alter current programs in operation.

General Odierno may be accurate in one sense by claiming the ultimate decision as to whether American troops remain is up to Prime Minister Maliki, but the real decision rests in the hands of President Obama.

An Egyptian Reviews Six Years Of Iraq War

Six years ago, the dynamic trio of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld announced to a cheering neo-conservative media that Mission Accomplished and Iraq was now a free nation and America no longer had to worry about being destroyed by WMD from Saddam Hussein. Salah Hemeid, writing in Al Ahram, surveys the past six years for the people of Iraq. There was hope six years ago that getting rid of Saddam Hussein might usher in a new era of national reconciliation, peace and stability. “Sadly, the sounds and the sights of a war-torn Iraq are as much in evidence as ever,” writes Hemeid. Bombs, ambushes and kidnappings have returned with a vengeance to baghdad and other Iraq cities although they do not approach the levels of two years ago. Six years ago, George Bush promised freedom to Iraqis, but the sounds of ambulances echo through cities carrying bodies of those blown to pieces or wounded in the latest episode of violence.

The Obama announcement that American troops would withdraw within a year has been met with renewed violence by al-Qaeda and other militants. Hemeid notes the Awakening Councils which played a key role in diminishing violence are disintegrating and some Sunnis are rejoining insurgent forces. The Iraq government failed to hire Sunnis into the army and the result is more violence. The country’s rival factions have yet to resolve the conflict over power and the goodies that come with power.

“The anniversary could serve to remind Iraqis of the need to end their national political drama and, equally important, that the solution to their national crisis rests in their own hands.” No more accurate words could be written. The fault lies not in the stars but in themselves.

Iraq Wars Continue Among Iraqis

The mantra about the success of the famous “surge” has become part of what people believe is the conventional truth concerning Iraq– al-Qaeda has been beaten and things are on the mend and headed for democracy. Unfortunately, the truth is not always what it sounds like on Fox News. Sunni groups which cooperated with American forces in order to deal with al-Qaeda now fear the Iraqi Shiite government is cracking down on their groups in order to destroy Sunni power within the nation. Sunni groups began a two day protest against arrest of one of its leaders and US backed Iraqi troops crushed the Sunni attempt at protesting what they viewed as an injustice.

The Iraq government is attempting to prove that Sunni forces are trying to bring back Saddam military forces. Sunni forces wonder why charges against their leader, Adel l-Maashhadani were never raised when he was working with US troops to crush al-Qaeda. Leaders of Sunni councils are becoming angry at failure to incorporate their forces within the Iraqi army.

If American forces leave and things don’t change there is a high probability that Sunni-Shiite fighting will resume.

Kurdish Rebels Reject Peace Agreement

Among the longest fights that has been present in the Middle East is the struggle by Kurdish rebels to obtain a separate nation by carving out a piece of Turkey that claim is really Kurdish. Iraq President Jalal Talabani while meeting with Turkish President Gul urged members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to lay down their arms and work for peace. Iraq is concerned the presence of an armed rebel group on its territory just adds one more complication to their efforts at ending violence in the country. Of course, the PKK believes it represents the interests of Kurdish people and the only way is the use of force.

The people of Iraq have known nothing but violence for over twenty years. During Saddam Hussein’s rule, Kurdish people were oppressed, but now there is an opportunity to work for peace. The path to peace is not easy, but the path to war only results in death and destruction.

Violence Escalates In Iraq

During the past several months, the media has been filled with stories concerning how the famous “surge” has resulted in a dramatic “victory” in Iraq. Lost in this euphoria is the reality that al-Qaeda, which arrived in Iraq courtesy of George Bush, is still active and may be laying low awaiting further reductions in US military personnel. Suicide bombers blew themselves up throughout Iraq yesterday as Kurdish areas were hit in anticipation of the arrival of the Turkish president who has led the fight against Kurdish rebels. Al-Qadea may be targeting Kurds because they collaborate with Americans, and there may be Kurdish rebels who are attacking any fellow Kurds who seek to work with Turks. In a word, this is one mess after another.

The situation appears to suggest there might be an escalation in fighting in northern areas of Iraq as both Kurdish rebels and al-Qaeda share a common animosity toward Kurds who collaborate with Americans or with Turkish authorities. Further south in Iraq there were other suicide bombers.

When all is said and done, President Obama has inherited a rather complicated situation and all talk about “victories” may well be a bit premature.

Turkish President–We’ll Solve Kurdish Problem!

President Abdullah Gul said he was working to resolve problems with Turkey’s Kurdish minority and urged the European Union or other outside groups to remain out of the issue. “There are already good things happening. We are resolving our own internal problems.” He emphasized his government was trying to cooperate with the Iraqi Kurdish government in order to clamp down on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Gul is expected to meet with President Barzani of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq. There is some speculation that Gul is contemplating a general amnesty for Kurdish militants who have been fighting for years.

Perhaps, this is another example of the United States distancing itself from a regional conflict since there are signs progress is being made to resolve this issue. The United States does not always have to go charging in and impose its will to end disputes. In most cases, that attitude results in making the situation worse.

Will Iraq Ask US Troops To Remain After Deadline?

President Obama has established a deadline for the departure of American troops from Iraq which in theory has a firm deadline of 2011, but in reality there is considerable flexibility regarding when the last American soldier leaves Iraq. Geneeral Ray Odierno insists “I think that Iraq leadership is focused on that this ends in 2011.” Even as he spoke, there was a continuation of bombings in Iraq which apparently is escalating over the past few weeks. Odierno believes during the ensuing 18 months of a large scale American presence, the last remnants of al-Qaida will be destroyed either by American or Iraq forces. But, General Odierno did admit, “In a few key areas, Iraq will have to make a decision on whether they are ready to control the entire operations areas.”

A major unanswered question is what happens if Iraqi forces are still struggling to contain al-Qaida in 2011? Does that mean American troops will be compelled to remain? In reality, the real date for departure has yet to be clearly determined.