Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Refugees Fleeing ISIS Offensive Pour Into Kurdistan

 

US proxy wars, financed and armed by extremist Persian Gulf regimes and “friends” have taken Iraq from the 20th century back to the 8th century. Heckuva job, Barry and Shrub.

If anyone thinks the ghouls in Washington DC give a slightest fuck about the lives of any foreign civilians, anywhere, ever, they are completely deluded.

ISIS was aided and abetted by US allies — for years — in order to attack Syria. Now they are aided and abetted.

Genital mutilation of 4 million Iraq women ordered by militants, UN says

 

 UPDATE:

Some reporters are calling it a hoax, but a UN spokesperson says there are “current reports.”

 

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ISIS: The unsurprising surprise that is sweeping Iraq

The brilliant battlefield maneuvers trace back to an ethnic CHECHEN who served in the US puppet GEORGIAN regime military. Article waits until the very last paragraph:

While there are clear indications that Iraq’s security forces simply buckled under pressure from ISIS, closer examination reveals that Iraqi security forces were also significantly out-strategized. Indeed, ISIS’ military commander in Iraq was trained by the United States. Umar al-Shishani—an ethnic Chechen from the “Kist” sub-group who grew up in Georgia and later served in its US-funded Army—is commander of ISIS’ northern sector, which is now leading ISIS forces in northern Iraq. According to Hahn, the north Caucasus jihadi expert, Shishani’s military background includes training in the US-sponsored Georgian Train and Equip Program (GTEP), an effort aimed at enhancing Georgia’s “counter-terrorism capabilities and [addressing] the situation in the Pankisi Gorge” area of that country. Because he was trained by the United States, Hahn says, Shishani “probably has a good understanding of the Iraqi Army’s strategy.”

 

mujahid02Your tax dollars at work: Umar al-Shishani (left)

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Putin offers Iraq’s Maliki ‘complete support’ against jihadists

The extent of military aid is not specified in the article, but this is now escalating toward a world war scenario.  Just thought you should know, in between video games, porn and cat videos…

 

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US-Sponsored Terrorism in Iraq and “Constructive Chaos” in the Middle East

Some will argue that US foreign policy in the Middle East is a “failure”, that policymakers are “stupid”. It’s not a failure and they’re not stupid. That’s what they want you to think because they think you’re stupid.

 

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Posted: June 16, 2014 in -
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George W. Bush

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“I was shocked by our military’s complicity in the corruption of that [Iraqi] election.”

“The embedded reporter program, which continues in Afghanistan and wherever the United States sends troops, is deeply informed by the military’s experience of how media coverage shifted public opinion during the Vietnam War. The gatekeepers in public affairs have too much power: Reporters naturally fear having their access terminated, so they tend to avoid controversial reporting that could raise red flags.

The existing program forces journalists to compete against one another for “special access” to vital matters of foreign and domestic policy. Too often, this creates reporting that flatters senior decision makers. A result is that the American public’s access to the facts is gutted, which leaves them with no way to evaluate the conduct of American officials.”

The Fog Machine of War

Chelsea Manning on the U.S. Military and Media Freedom

 

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — WHEN I chose to disclose classified information in 2010, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others. I’m now serving a sentence of 35 years in prison for these unauthorized disclosures. I understand that my actions violated the law.

However, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved. As Iraqerupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan. I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance.

If you were following the news during the March 2010 elections in Iraq, you might remember that the American press was flooded with stories declaring the elections a success, complete with upbeat anecdotes and photographs of Iraqi women proudly displaying their ink-stained fingers. The subtext was that United States military operations had succeeded in creating a stable and democratic Iraq.

Those of us stationed there were acutely aware of a more complicated reality.

Military and diplomatic reports coming across my desk detailed a brutal crackdown against political dissidents by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior and federal police, on behalf of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. Detainees were often tortured, or even killed.

Early that year, I received orders to investigate 15 individuals whom the federal police had arrested on suspicion of printing “anti-Iraqi literature.” I learned that these individuals had absolutely no ties to terrorism; they were publishing a scholarly critique of Mr. Maliki’s administration. I forwarded this finding to the officer in command in eastern Baghdad. He responded that he didn’t need this information; instead, I should assist the federal police in locating more “anti-Iraqi” print shops.

I was shocked by our military’s complicity in the corruption of that election. Yet these deeply troubling details flew under the American media’s radar.

It was not the first (or the last) time I felt compelled to question the way we conducted our mission in Iraq. We intelligence analysts, and the officers to whom we reported, had access to a comprehensive overview of the war that few others had. How could top-level decision makers say that the American public, or even Congress, supported the conflict when they didn’t have half the story?

Among the many daily reports I received via email while working in Iraq in 2009 and 2010 was an internal public affairs briefing that listed recently published news articles about the American mission in Iraq. One of my regular tasks was to provide, for the public affairs summary read by the command in eastern Baghdad, a single-sentence description of each issue covered, complementing our analysis with local intelligence.

The more I made these daily comparisons between the news back in the States and the military and diplomatic reports available to me as an analyst, the more aware I became of the disparity. In contrast to the solid, nuanced briefings we created on the ground, the news available to the public was flooded with foggy speculation and simplifications.

One clue to this disjunction lay in the public affairs reports. Near the top of each briefing was the number of embedded journalists attached to American military units in a combat zone. Throughout my deployment, I never saw that tally go above 12. In other words, in all of Iraq, which contained 31 million people and 117,000 United States troops, no more than a dozen American journalists were covering military operations.

The process of limiting press access to a conflict begins when a reporter applies for embed status. All reporters are carefully vetted by military public affairs officials. This system is far from unbiased. Unsurprisingly, reporters who have established relationships with the military are more likely to be granted access.

Less well known is that journalists whom military contractors rate as likely to produce “favorable” coverage, based on their past reporting, also get preference. This outsourced “favorability” rating assigned to each applicant is used to screen out those judged likely to produce critical coverage.

Reporters who succeeded in obtaining embed status in Iraq were then required to sign a media “ground rules” agreement. Army public affairs officials said this was to protect operational security, but it also allowed them to terminate a reporter’s embed without appeal.

There have been numerous cases of reporters’ having their access terminated following controversial reporting. In 2010, the late Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings had his access pulled after reporting criticism of the Obama administration by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and his staff in Afghanistan. A Pentagon spokesman said, “Embeds are a privilege, not a right.”

If a reporter’s embed status is terminated, typically she or he is blacklisted. This program of limiting press access was challenged in court in 2013 by a freelance reporter, Wayne Anderson, who claimed to have followed his agreement but to have been terminated after publishing adverse reports about the conflict in Afghanistan. The ruling on his case upheld the military’s position that there was no constitutionally protected right to be an embedded journalist.

The embedded reporter program, which continues in Afghanistan and wherever the United States sends troops, is deeply informed by the military’s experience of how media coverage shifted public opinion during the Vietnam War. The gatekeepers in public affairs have too much power: Reporters naturally fear having their access terminated, so they tend to avoid controversial reporting that could raise red flags.

The existing program forces journalists to compete against one another for “special access” to vital matters of foreign and domestic policy. Too often, this creates reporting that flatters senior decision makers. A result is that the American public’s access to the facts is gutted, which leaves them with no way to evaluate the conduct of American officials.

Journalists have an important role to play in calling for reforms to the embedding system. The favorability of a journalist’s previous reporting should not be a factor. Transparency, guaranteed by a body not under the control of public affairs officials, should govern the credentialing process. An independent board made up of military staff members, veterans, Pentagon civilians and journalists could balance the public’s need for information with the military’s need for operational security.

Reporters should have timely access to information. The military could do far more to enable the rapid declassification of information that does not jeopardize military missions. The military’s Significant Activity Reports, for example, provide quick overviews of events like attacks and casualties. Often classified by default, these could help journalists report the facts accurately.

Opinion polls indicate that Americans’ confidence in their elected representatives is at a record low. Improving media access to this crucial aspect of our national life — where America has committed the men and women of its armed services — would be a powerful step toward re-establishing trust between voters and officials.

Mideast Iraq

 

From the “no shit” department…

 

Sunni caliphate has been bankrolled by Saudi Arabia

From Aleppo in northern Syria almost to the Iraqi-Iranian border, the jihadists of Isis and sundry other groupuscules paid by the Saudi Wahhabis – and by Kuwaiti oligarchs – now rule thousands of square miles.

Now a little reality check.

For many years little old me has been writing on the US deals with the devils, from the Saudis to dictators all around the earth. The debacle in Syria, next door to Iraq, has been one of the most glaring and despicable events in modern history.

Under Bush the “redirection” decided to partner up with Sunni regimes in the Middle East in order to finish off the allies of Russia and Iran and to some degree China as well. Empire games. Grand chessboard.  Death squads.

Libya was bombed. Arms and money poured in to rile up the so-called “Arab Spring” and to guide it in directions that the US and its partners preferred (main partner with the deep pockets being Saudi). That meant anyone who would go kill or blow themselves up near America’s targeted enemies was no longer considered a “terrorist,” and that the long-hyped “war on terror” was a fraud, a gimmick, a sham for the uninformed.

In Libya America became “Al Qaeda’s Air Force” according to Representative Kucinich, and the Al Qaeda flag wound up flying over the court house in Benghazi.

Syria would be many times worse than the carnage in Libya. America’s allies: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and many others, had Syria surrounded on all sides. They trained, armed, funded, coordinated thousands upon thousands in terrorist militias to take over the Syrian countryside, and to create fake pretexts for sending in even more direct military aid.  The Syrian terror brigades had their own public relations arm, known to the western media world as “activists,” but in reality these were the propagandists of that illegal war, a foreign-sponsored war and “Jihad.”

Thousands of civilians were killed in order to take pictures of their bodies and to claim that Assad had done it, when in reality it was the terrorists themselves.  The criminal complicity of western media, repeating bald lies with flimsy evidence, actually ENCOURAGED more war crimes, massacres of children with nerve gas, etc.

The western media could be relied upon to spin just one story: everything bad was Assad’s fault, no matter what the facts were.

But you know, it’s pointless trying to tell you people the truth.  You don’t give a flying fuck. No one is blowing up your neighborhoods, and you have the morality of an insect nest.

Heck of a job there in Iraq.  Let’s all cry patriotic tears staring at the national rag…

 

 PS

To the entire political and media class: Fuck you.

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Water War? Turkey Cuts Water Supply to Syria – Euphrates Shut Down

In another glaring act of war, the Euphrates river has been blocked and Aleppo’s 7 million residents wait desperately for the water to run out.

NATO member and US partner Turkey has hosted Jihadist terrorist brigades on its territory since 2011.  It has been accused of providing chemical weapons to the Al Nusrah brigades, and its president was exposed for concocting a false flag attack against the Syrians.

This latest act of war will lead to even more dire consequences, as the jackals continue to rip at what is left of Syria.  All concepts of the laws of war and the fight against terrorism have been thrown out the window in order to further western interests in the Middle East.

 

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The US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison.

Seymour Hersh, one of America’s all-time most respected investigative journalists, addressed the ACLU in 2004:

“Some of the worst things that happened that you don’t know about. OK? Videos. There are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at [Abu Ghraib], which is about 30 miles from Baghdad — 30 kilometers, maybe, just 20 miles, I’m not sure whether it’s — anyway. The women were passing messages out saying please come and kill me because of what’s happened. And basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children, in cases that have been recorded, the boys were sodomized, with the cameras rolling, and the worst above all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking. That your government has, and they’re in total terror it’s going to come out. It’s impossible to say to yourself, how did we get there, who are we, who are these people that sent us there.”

Now you can understand why the CIA spies on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.  Now you can understand why their year long comprehensive torture investigation and report remains top secret.  Now you can understand the motivations and the utter depravity of these Caligulas operating in the shadows with impunity.

More:

The “Big Secret” Behind the CIA Spying on the Congress: America’s “Rogue Government” Controlled by US Intelligence
Senator: Government Used Communist Torture Techniques Aimed at Extracting FALSE Confessions

 

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ORDER HERE

I need to get this DVD.  Trailer:

 

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Collateral Murder”: Evidence of Genocide

by Kieran Kelly

In Iraq, you can’t put pink gloves on Apache helicopter pilots and send them into the Ultimate Fighting ring and ask them to take a knee. These are attack pilots wearing gloves of steel, and they go into the ring throwing powerful punches of explosive steel. They are there to win, and they will win.” Lt. Col. Chris Wallach

The video known as “Collateral Murder” is strong evidence of genocide being carried out by the US against the people of Iraq. Hidden in the horrors of its brutality is a rich historical record revealing an armed force which systematically targets and kills non-combatants. The events shown are war crimes violating the principle of non-combatant immunity in numerous clearly illegal ways including attacking those rendering aid to the wounded. They are also evidence of genocide because there are clear indications that these war crimes are representative of enshrined procedures. They indicate that the ambiguities of the US Rules of Engagement mandate the systematic mass murder of civilians when applied by US personnel. They indicate something of a tactical, strategic and doctrinal approach that radically violates the fundamental obligations to distinguish between civilians and enemy personnel and the combatant status of enemies. Finally they indicate something about the way in which the US indoctrinates its personnel in a way guaranteed to create murderers.

Lt. Col. Wallach was the commander of the aircrew. He recently said: “Ultimately, my combat pilots at the scene did the best they could under extreme and surreal conditions.” However, we now know that the only incident to occur before we are able to see what is occurring was a report of small arms fire being heard. If there is a surreal aspect to any of this it comes from the minds of the aircrew and those who command both air and ground forces. I am going to go through exactly what it is that the gun camera footage shows. It shows a massacre of non-combatants, followed by the murder of rescuers, and finally a more obscure sequence which definitely involves another murder of rescuers.

Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said of this footage: “You’re looking at a situation through a soda straw, and you have no context or perspective.” Therefore, after describing exactly what is shown, taking into account exactly what is known and exactly what is not known from the footage, I will provide that context that Gates calls for. But the context does not, or should not, counter what our eyes and ears reveal to us. On the contrary, the very evidence that apologists like Gates and Wallach produce to show that the aircrew were legitimate in their actions is in fact evidence that their behaviours are not isolated. This is very strong evidence that by the manner in which, in practice, the US defines “hostile intent”; the manner in which it practices its doctrine of “force protection”; and the manner in which it indoctrinates and situates its forces, the US was systematically murdering non-combatants. In this case killing non-combatants inextricably means killing civilians. Placed in the context of more than two decades of direct and indirect destruction of Iraq in social, political, biological, economic, cultural, ecological, and physical terms, this systematic killing is clear and compelling evidence of genocide. Those who insist that this is merely warfare join the vast ranks of genocide perpetrators, deniers and apologists who insist that other genocides were warfare with inevitable, if regrettable, instances of civilian death.

As I have written elsewhere, all of the common claims of genocide deniers are regularly applied to US “military” actions, but they tend to be overlooked as they are so pervasive that they are seldom examined or challenged. Ultimately denial of US genocide relies on people having a vague notion that genocide involves actions like the mass gassings at Nazi death camps. But the word genocide was coined by someone who did not know at that time about the mass gassings and who applied the word to far more that the Nazi project to exterminate Europe’s Jews.

Genocide??

So, what exactly is genocide? The man who coined the term, Raph>äel Lemkin, was a Polish Jew and a legal scholar. Impelled by knowledge of the Armenian Holocaust as well as the history of state sanctioned or controlled pogroms against Jews, Lemkin devoted much of his life to understanding mass violence against ethnic populations. In 1933 he proposed that there be an international law which, among other acts, prohibited acts of “barbarity” and “vandalism”. “Barbarity” was conceived as violence against members of a “collectivity” on the basis that they were of that “collectivity” and “with the goal of its extermination”. “Vandalism” was the destruction of the “cultural or artistic heritage” of a “collectivity … with the goal of its extermination”.

The German occupation of most of Europe was the horrific crucible in which Lemkin synthesised “vandalism” and “barbarity”. He recognised a greater process of which they were both part – the process he called “genocide”. Genocide was “a war not merely against states and their armies but against peoples.” Extermination, or the intent to exterminate, was no longer a requisite. The occupant could impose a “national pattern” onto the land, once it was cleansed by killing or forced migration, or onto the people themselves. And despite knowing that Europe’s Jews were slated for complete annihilation, Lemkin’s examples of genocide included such things as forcing the people of Luxembourg to take German names. His most common exemplar of genocide was the treatment of Poland – a comprehensive and systematic genocide in which killing people was only one of many forms of genocidal destruction.

I think it is important that we realise that the fluidity of identity does not allow for actual extermination to be undertaken as a project. Genocide is a schizophrenic undertaking full of bizarre contradictions such that it cannot truly be said that the Germans attempted to exterminate the Jews, or even Europe’s Jews. The Germans had immense difficulties in even defining who was Jewish for a start. They said Jews were a “race” but ultimately they relied on confessional identification to define them. As Yehuda Bauer wrote: “One can see how confused Nazi racism was when Jewish grandparents were defined by religion rather than so-called racial criteria.”(1) As well as the fact that many with Jewish heritage would inevitably successfully evade detection, in the Nuremburg Laws (and later when deciding who to kill at Wannsee), exemptions were made on various criteria, such as being a decorated war hero. However defined, there were Jews in the German military(2) and there were Jewish civilians living unincarcerated in Berlin when Soviet troops arrived.(3)

So, as the Genocide Convention outlines, genocide is an attack on people, rather than states, with the “intent to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such….” Lemkin referred to these collectivities as having a “biological structure”. There is a genetic interconnection involved here, but that does not mean that Lemkin believed in Nazi racial theories or any racist or racialist notions. The most evident proof of this is the inclusion in both his own work and in the Genocide Convention the practice of “transferring the children of the group to another group”. If genocides were truly about racial hygiene and racial hatred that would hardly be a recognised component, would it?

If it is not about race, then what is it about? Though he never articulated it, the answer stared Lemkin right in the face and he obviously grasped it at an unconscious or intuitive level. If we refer to one of these collectivities as a genos, what ties the genos together is not “biological interrelation” but rather personal interconnection and, most particularly, familial interrelation.

Genocide is about Power not Hatred

I want to outline a simplified cartoon narrative, just to illustrate a point: In feudal Europe mass violence was used in acts of war or banditry which were only distinguishable from each other by scale and the rank of participants. A Baron might conquer the demesne of another Baron just as one King might conquer the realm of another King. In relative terms the peasants of the demesne or the realm might have had very little concern over who exactly ruled. The change in rulers would not be akin to a foreign occupation as we would currently understand it. By the time of Napoleon, however, it was beginning to be a little different. People had started to develop a national consciousness. The national genos associated itself with a territory of land and aspired to a nation-state polity based on that (often rather generous) sense of territorial entitlement. By 1871, the inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine were quite unhappy at being made German. Nationalism would become the dominant political ideology for the entire twentieth century. The multinational and largely interchangeable feudal ruling class was gone. This was not an unprecedented situation, but it was something that Europe had not faced for since the times of Charlemagne (well, in reality it had, but I’m still in cartoon generalisation mode here, so bear with me).

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