Posts Tagged ‘Iraq War’

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George H.W. Bush: War Criminal, CIA Spy, Oil Tycoon, Embodiment of US Elite

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I also discuss Star Wars as American war propaganda in my short book on allegory and metaphor (free).

NY Times:

‘Star Wars’ and the Fantasy of American Violence

The bloody track of American history, from slavery to genocide to empire, is plain for all to see. But reckoning with the violence itself was the appeal: I thought I could confront our dark side, just like Luke Skywalker, and come away enlightened.

 

The most frustrating reality of all, American youth who join the military despite knowing they are agents of immoral empire. They do it anyway, like mercenaries, content with swallowing any and all bullshit myths, even those from popular movies.

And that’s why this blog is here.

 

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We’ve pretty much known this for years. Why is nothing ever done about it?

Smoking gun emails reveal Blair’s ‘deal in blood’ with George Bush over Iraq war

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The feature-length film, “We are Many,” tells the story of the biggest protest in history and its enduring legacy.

‘We are Many’: anti-Iraq War documentary showered with plaudits

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Max Blumenthal:

Chris Hedges:

Killing Ragheads for Jesus

“American Sniper,” like the big-budget feature films pumped out in Germany during the Nazi era to exalt deformed values of militarism, racial self-glorification and state violence, is a piece of propaganda, a tawdry commercial for the crimes of empire.

Michael Moore:

Michael Moore pours gas on his ‘American Sniper’ firestorm

“Well, who would know better about hating our troops than those who supported sending them into a senseless war Iraq in the first place? And, for 4,482 of them, a senseless, unnecessary and regrettable death,” he wrote.

“If you supported that invasion, if you voted for George W. Bush and the Republicans and Democrats who backed this war, then you are the ones who have some ‘splainin’ to do. Not me. You.”

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By Chris Driscoll |  Stranger in a Strange Land 

A Tale of Two Snipers

“Eastwood does not fit that mould; his specialty, at least in the area of military flicks, is to produce pseudo-serious melodramas that leave out as much of the truth as necessary to end up with a hagiographic image of the chosen heroes.”

Chris Kyle, the sniper upon whose life the new Clint Eastwood movie, “American Sniper” is based, worked for a while as Sarah Palin’s body guard. Enough said? Well, yes, probably for most of you, that one fact tells you all you need to know about this dubious American hero being glorified in Eastwood’s latest cinematic endeavor. But there’s more, much much more, to tell.

First though, allow me to introduce the other hero of this contrast and comparison in sniper films, the other famous sniper upon whose life a movie was based: Vasily Grigoryevich Zaitsev.

Vasily was a sharpshooter in the Battle of Stalingrad, the most horrendous conflagration during the entire Second World War. He was played by Jude Law in the 2001 movie “Enemy at the Gates.”

chrisKyle-R.I.P. Chris Kyle, “The Devil of Ramadi” NAVY SEAL (1974-2013)-Benjamin-flickr

These sniper movies make for a stark contrast between two wars, one a desperate defensive struggle against Nazi occupation and genocide, the other, an aggressive war of imperial plunder based on hypocrisy,  taking the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, and turning to rubble a whole  ancient civilization. I guess we should not be surprised that the morals or lack of morals in the two men neatly reflect the morality or lack of morality in the two wars, the Soviets’ Great Patriotic War (World War II) and the U.S. War on the People of Iraq.

After the war, Zaitsev, unlike Kyle, did not go into politics–or reality TV shows–but rather, he settled in Kiev where he took correspondence courses to become an engineer, and worked his way up to become the director in a textile factory. During the war, after being wounded, he wrote two books on sniper tactics which militaries around the world, including the U.S. military, still use today in sniper training.

Kyle, who tragically lost his life in Dec. 2013 when a post-traumatically stressed Iraq War vet went berserk on him at a shooting range in West Texas, was a notorious and well-exposed public liar. So, little about Eastwood’s movie—based on Kyle’s book, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History“—can be relied upon.

Gov. Jesse Ventura at the podium. (2008). Via Cory Barnes/flickr.

A couple of specific post-war events in Kyle’s life reveal his penchant for tall tales. At a fundraiser for Navy SEALs the former Minnesota Governor, Jesse Ventura, like Kyle, a veteran of the elite Navy special forces group now called the SEALs, had a fainting spell due to some medications he was on. But in Kyle’s book, Ventura’s faint turned into a confrontation that never happened, and ended with Kyle decking the older man.

But at the end of the day such shams could be inconsequential when weighed against other aspects of his personality. For if true, the acts that Kyle lays claim to would cast him at least in the role of a monumental jerk,  or, at worst, a mass murdering criminal. Still, one wonders what kind of person actually would risk being identified with these deceptions? Ventura, to his credit, when the lie was brought to his attention sued Kyle and won a Minnesota court award of $1.8 million. Kyle claimed that Ventura had said he thought the SEALs should lose a few in Iraq because the war was wrong. To anyone who’s followed Ventura over the years, it’s hard to believe he would ever say anything like that; for one thing, he’s too damn intelligent to say something so dumb. It’s more likely that Ventura’s political opposition to the U.S. War on Iraq was behind Kyle’s lie aimed at discrediting Ventura to fellow SEALs. Kyle’s widow is appealing the $1.8 million award.

After the court ruling, on the Sarah Palin Channel, Palin came to Kyle’s defense and slammed Ventura: So you turn around and sue, expecting $2 million from a military widow and her fatherless children? Yeah, like that is going to help your reputation, jackass.”

“Chris Kyle was a true American patriot–the soldier who stood up for his country and saved so many lives by doing the job his Commander-in-chief gave him, taking out the bad guys. For his extraordinary work, Chris was known as “The American Sniper.” He was senselessly murdered on our own soil while helping a military brother. His widow and young children will forever feel a lot more “hurt” than you will, Jesse, after a sad verdict in your ridiculous lawsuit against Chris. . .”

In another adventure of dubious validity, a profile in the June 2013 issue of “The New Yorker” has Kyle claim he went to New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina and he and a friend stationed themselves on top of the Superdome where they proceeded to “take out” about 30 armed looters. A U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) spokesman told The New Yorker, “To the best of anyone’s knowledge at SOCOM, there were no West Coast SEALs deployed to Katrina.” He said Kyle’s story, “defies the imagination.” And, of course, there were no reports at the time of 30-some extra dead bodies laying around New Orleans with sniper bullets in their bodies.

As a New Republic headline proclaimed in the magazine’s obituary of the fallen sniper, “If Chris Kyle Had Been a Muslim, We’d Call him an Extremist.” After all, the New Republic opined, he had a “crusader’s cross” tattooed on his arm. In his book, Kyle wrote, “On the front of my arm, I had a crusader cross inked in. . . I wanted everyone to know I was a Christian. I had it put in red, for blood. I hated the damned savages I’d been fighting. I always will. They’ve taken so much from me.”

Kyle also liked to regale his friends with a story about being attacked at a gas station at gunpoint by two assailants, whom he claimed to have shot dead. But again, there were no witnesses, police say they found no bodies, and in general, the story sounds about as accurate as the New Orleans tale.

Reality show star

In 2012 Kyle co-starred in the reality TV show, Stars Earn Stripes, produced by Mark Burnett, in which celebrities supposedly competed in war games on behalf of charities.

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For more than two centuries it was understood that torture corrupts everything it touches. It allows sadistic psychopaths to coerce false testimony, getting “suspects” to say whatever they want said. That’s why this abomination is banned right in the US Constitution, 8th Amendment. It is a serious crime, one of the most serious there is, and not to be misunderstood or casually dismissed.

This conspiracy has broken the Republic, perhaps beyond repair.

“The vice president was recklessly disregarding the truth, and he did so in a way calculated to maintain support for the administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq.” -Sen. Carl Levin

Not just torture: Senator says CIA stalling over bogus intelligence that led to Iraq war

In the draft of his remarks, Levin asserted that there was other “critically relevant information” in the cable that had been “denied to the public in order to protect those in the Bush White House who are responsible” for “playing games with intelligence.”