Friday, April 06, 2007

Iraq is Lost; Bush War Crimes Continue

I never liked the term "war of choice". The better term, the legal term, is "war crime". War crimes resulting in death are capital crimes under US criminal codes. Check out Section 2441. Also check out the Nuremberg Principles. That Bush committed capital offenses by treasonously committing his nation to a war of naked aggression in Iraq is old news.

In his rush to unleash the dogs of war, George W. Bush knowingly lied about the situation in Iraq, discounting out of hand information countering his various pretexts for war. Indeed, Valerie Plame would not be a household name if the lies Bush told about Iraq had not been deliberate. Indeed, there would have been no reason to retaliate against Ambassador Joe Wilson for daring to tell the truth, for daring to expose the Bush administration's treasonous fraud.

Confident that he had hoodwinked a gullible nation, Bush said:
In any conflict, your fate will depend on your action. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people. War crimes will be prosecuted. War criminals will be punished. And it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders."

-George W. Bush, March 2003

If war criminals are to be held to account, then the prosecution must begin with the Bush administration. I would hope that someone, presumably at the Hague, is drafting indictments against George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, and Alberto Gonzales. If the concept of International Law is to have any validity, all war criminals must be held to account.

That Bush has lost the very war he started is a fact often lost on the mass media, Fox kiss ups, and the terminally stupid. Bush has, in fact, lost all the wars he started. His administration has not merely failed, it has done so catastrophically. At least three of the criminals -Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld -should one day stand trial for high treason and capital crimes, having committed this nation to a catastrophic war upon a pack of deliberate, malicious lies. There are some 650,000 counts of murder to be included in the indictment.
The survey was done by Iraqi physicians and overseen by epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. The findings are being published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet.

The same group in 2004 published an estimate of roughly 100,000 deaths in the first 18 months after the invasion. That figure was much higher than expected, and was controversial. The new study estimates that about 500,000 more Iraqis, both civilian and military, have died since then -- a finding likely to be equally controversial.

-Washington Post, Study Claims Iraq's 'Excess' Death Toll Has Reached 655,000

Bush partisans have tried to downplay Iraqi civilian deaths while debunking more credible estimates. An early example was the number of Iraqis killed in the Shock and Awe campaign. "Official" numbers were in the range of 2,000 to 3,000, as I recall. But it was Jude Wanniski, a supply side economist with the Wall Street Journal, who reported the more credible number: 40,000. Wanniski's report was conducted by Iraqis in Baghdad and consisted of actual, verifiable body counts in the various neighborhoods. Each city, town and region was broken out and tabulated. It was the best available information until Lancet.

Bushy numbers -at the time -were mere estimates, wishful thinking, propaganda. The US, we were told, didn't do body counts. By the time the administration warmed up to the 40,000 figure, credible estimates had risen. To some 650,000, as we have seen. For Bushies, a mere 40,000 dead civilians sounded good by comparison. It is not surprising that Fox news -in reality a right wing lie machine -tried to debunk credible claims that Iraqi civilian deaths exceeded 650,000. Fox was and is dead wrong. And perhaps deliberately so.

In the end, however, it is Fox that looks stupid and utterly lacking credibility. The Lancet study is sound.

A monstrous war crime

With more than 650,000 civilians dead in Iraq, our government must take responsibility for its lies

Richard Horton
Wednesday March 28, 2007
The Guardian

Our collective failure has been to take our political leaders at their word. This week the BBC reported that the government's own scientists advised ministers that the Johns Hopkins study on Iraq civilian mortality was accurate and reliable, following a freedom of information request by the reporter Owen Bennett-Jones. This paper was published in the Lancet last October. It estimated that 650,000 Iraqi civilians had died since the American and British led invasion in March 2003.

Consider Iraq. Several years ago, I asked my Congressman a pointed question: which side would Bush take when the Iraqi Civil War breaks out? Instead of an answer, I was lectured to about patriotism, about how Bush was the commander-in-chief, about how much better it was to fight terrorism "there" than "here", about how the US is exempt from international laws having to do with war crimes. It was all nonsense and bullshit and I told them that. I also told my congressman that the GOP was not a political party. It is a crime syndicate, I said. And still say.

In the meantime, the civil war has broken out between Sunnis and Shias and Bush has taken sides. He has bet the farm on the Shi'ite regime of Nouri Kamel Mohammed Hassan al-Maliki. By taking sides, Bush loses the role of "honest broker", our only hope for peace. By taking sides, Bush embroils the US in a sectarian struggle all but impossible to confine inside the borders of Iraq. Neighboring states are not only worried, they have already absorbed at least 2 million Iraqi refugees at great cost to local economies. The Iraqi civil war threatens to destabilize the Middle East.

But Lancet is not the only under-reported study. Some six months ago, Foreign Policy asked more than 100 US foreign policy experts if Bush was, in fact, winning the so-called "war on terrorism". FP reports that the answer was a resounding --NO! Since that time, FP surveyed them again. The news is still not good. The chaotic civil war in Iraq continues to deteriorate, the death count continues to rise, and, on several fronts FP reports, the Bush strategy has failed utterly. The report directly refutes and contradicts Bush's various claims. In fact, the US occupation of Iraq has made us less safe; another attack may be imminent; and that "...the United States may be distracted from the threats that matter most."

Bush has lost his war against Iraq because he lost the battle for Iraqi "hearts and minds". He lost that battle because no one in administration bothered to inform themselves. It was deliberate. There are, obviously, informed people in the apparatus of US government. Valerie Plame was just such a person, an operative with the CIA. For her trouble and because her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson dared to tell the truth, she was "outed". Those in the Bush administration who ordered her cover blown are guilty of treason.

"Insurgent attacks", likewise, grow stronger and more deadly despite or because of the "surge". I don't like the term "insurgent". It implies an illegitimate opposition to a legitimate authority. But, in Iraq, it is the US occupation that is illegitimate, in fact, illegal. Iraqis claim the right to defend themselves, to oppose an illegitimate occupation by arms, if necessary. They are absolutely correct. This should not come as news to the dead heads in Bush's irresponsible and incompetent administration. Perhaps they never bothered to attend a high school history class. It was William Pitt who, in 1778, told Parliament:
"My lords, if I were an American as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country I would never lay down my arms- never, never, never".
Pitt was approaching 70 at the time he made those remarks and, as the story goes, he collapsed before ending his speech denouncing British policies in America. He died a month later, a statesman -not a politician.

Bush insists on victory but he cannot define it. He is stuck on flypaper, repeating the same tired slogans, the same bullshit about fighting "terrorists" there instead of here. In the meantime, US casualties, already far higher than anyone imagined, continue to climb. Deaths of Iraqi civilians, likewise, exceed all early estimates.

In retrospect, Bush was altogether too eager for dictatorship. He gave himself away. He said "This would be a whole lot easier if this was a dictatorship...heh heh heh ...just as long as I'm the dictator." But in his analysis of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, W. H. Auden cautions would be dictators that they must not appear too eager for power and glory. Even Caesar, Auden points out, denied the crown not once...but three times.







11 comments:

Eric Dondero said...

Hey idiot. We won the War in Iraq, the very day we captured Saddam Hussein.

3,200 War Dead? You know how many died in one single day on Iowa Jima or during the Normany invasion?

Are you a Vet? If not, than shut your trap.

Of course, you need to play this up as a failure. You Lefty America-haters have too much at stake here.

Can't have a Military Victory for Republicans. No, no, no. Wouldn't be prudent. Wouldn't be good for the ole' poll numbers.

Eric Dondero, Chairman
Libertarian Defense Caucus
www.libertarianrepublican.blogspot.com

daveawayfromhome said...

I love the idea that one must be a soldier in order to recognize a military disaster. I'm not a doctor, but I can recognize medical malpractice. I'm not a chef, but I can recognize bad food.
This is a bad war. Comparisons to WWII fall flat. Nazism was a palpable menace, an aggressive foe waging a war of invasion (never mind the mass-killings of Jews, homosexuals, gypsys, the mentally ill and the mentally retarded, which was not fully understood until after). Fighting against the Axis was a defensive war. Fighting against the "Axis of Evil" is our aggressive action, and only a nice juicy rationalization can make it anything else.
9-11 was not an act of war. It was a terrorist attack carried out by a criminal gang. It was massive and terrible crime, but it was not war.
$414 billion dollars, and over 3000 soldiers later (I'll skip the dead Iraqis since you'll probably dispute the numbers anyway) we've had no justice against that gang, but instead a misdirected war where the only winners have been Oil companies, oil producing countries (except Iraq), Halliburton, and a private army dressed in black (a war crime that Len forgot to mention).

What exactly do "Lefty-America-Haters" have at stake, anyway? America's world reputation? Lost civil rights? Tax money spent on citizens rather than corporations and ammunition? Yes, I suppose that's true.
The Left doesnt hate America, the Left hates the Right and its culture of Death-dealing, its expectations of privilege, and it's winner-take-all bad sportsmanship.

Republicans are welcome to a military victory, but they show no signs of being able to pull one off.

And lest you dismiss all I've said as a pile of Lefty crap, let me add one more thing. I'd just as soon stay in Iraq. We made a god-awful mess there, and have a moral obligation to clean it up (though it appears that we were more interested in cleaning them out). But to win will take The Draft, Higher Taxes, Gasoline Rationing, and sacrifices that Republicans as well as Democrats have no stomach for.

The Bush Administration did everything they could to soft-pedal this war to the public, selling it like snake oil. Lies, deceit and bad planning have been the hallmarks of this entire affair, and we should all be ashamed, both Republicans who supported the War in Iraq, and Democrats who sat by and let it happen with barely a word of objection. (Just so you know I'm not finger-pointing at you, Len, I'm talking collectively here, not personally.)

Len Hart said...

Hey idiot. We won the War in Iraq, the very day we captured Saddam Hussein.

No...we lost.

Bush lost.

You lose.

Bush is an incompetent lying bastard, in fact, a traitor who cannot define victory, let alone achieve it.

Capturing Saddam didn't win the war. Executing him following the verdict of an illegitimate, Kangaroo court was certainly one milestone on the way to utter and ignominious defeat.

I would have supported a real trial of Saddam, by a real court, with real evidence. But this stupid show trial proved nothing. It was a travesty of justice, a betrayal of REAL American ideals.

Even Speer, Goering, Hess, Jodl, et al were given a fair trial. And, by doing so, the allies made a point. The US had insisted upon a trial; Churchill would have just taken them out and shot them. Democracy is not defended when its principles are abandoned arbitrarily. Likewise, Bush is no position to decree the fate of would be dictators.

He has forever lost the moral high ground and has betrayed his nation by knowingly lying to the sovereign people.

George W. Bush lied through through his stupid teeth about EVERY reason for the war. It was and remains a war crime prosecutable in US courts. A first year law student can make the case. And, in fact, I wish to hell he would.

Don't presume to lecture me about WWII. I have forgotten more about WWII than you and your sorry ilk will ever know.

Next time you come on this blog show a little respect, or get your sorry ass kicked off.

Are you a Vet? If not, than shut your trap.

I was drafted during Viet Nam -not that it is relevant. In fact, your ad hominem attack discredits your post. For too long in America, crap like yours passed for debate, one of many things totally screwed up in America. You, the idiots of the GOP, and the "conservative" movement of liars and idiots are to be held to account for having run roughshod over the Constitution and the American environment. Bush and the idiots who support him have much to answer for.

In the meantime, I would suggest that Bush get himself a good lawyer. Even war criminals like Hermann Goering, and now Bush, are entitled to a good defense.

However, I suspect that Bush would be beyond even the help of legendary Odessa, TX attorney, Warren Burnett were he still living. It'll take a genius to get Bush off the hook for the deaths of some 650,000 people.

In the meantime, it will take a helluva lot better man than you and the idiot who stole the White House to shut me up. In the meantime, you just keep on posting. It proves everything that I have ever said about Bush and the blithering idiots who continue to support him and his policies of failure and defeat.

Len Hart said...

Dave, your comments are right on target.

The next blithering idiot who calls me a leftie, America hater gets his stupid, sorry ass kicked. Enough of that crap. That is the mentality of the people who have, in fact, destroyed America and made it safe for the likes of George w. Bush --not a real Texan, but a carpet bagger, a mass murderer, a cretin, an idiot, a failure and a liar.

But, judging from dondero's reaction, I drew blood with this post.

Carl Jung said that as much as thirty percent of any population is certifiably psychotic. Interestingly, Bush's support is down to that 30 percent.

We are dealing with the hard core psychos, Mel Gibson wannabes, and other idiots for whom reality is just a child hood memory.

Len Hart said...

In the meantime, dondero's hero, George W. Bush, is responsible for deploying medically unfit troops:

‘Strangely Quiet’ Scene As Bush Visits Base Where Medically-Unfit Troops Were Deployed

Troops should refuse orders from Bush en masse. To call Bush --a coke head draft dodger and ne'er do well --commander-in-chief, is a travesty.

Len Hart said...

A final shot.

It was Bill Maher who said it best:

"Traitors don't get to question my patriotism."

BenMerc said...

Great post Len,

As usual, you have raised the bar on truth to power, something only an honest patriot is capable of doing, and I thank you for your sharing of the knowledge you possess. Your effort is I am sure, time and energy consuming, so it goes with out saying it is much appreciated.

I don't know how much MSM you take in, but Chris Matthews had two vets on this past Friday afternoon, and they were discussing the absolute mis-managed quagmire the Bush administration has gotten us into. The reason I mention all of this, is that they have touched on many points you have raised here, and on other posts you have made.

They spoke about how this administration has dropped the ball from the beginning when it really comes to troop support, on several levels. Then Matthews took it in another direction, and mentioned that this kind of military action could constitutionally be labeled as war crimes, if in fact the administration has lied as to the threat Iraq actually posed, as in the false flag syndrome. Which of course at this point in time is very evident, even as it has been known by many for some time. Nevertheless, I was amazed that they are finely using this kind of language in main stream media outlets. Maybe they have been reading your post, and/or others like it, we can only hope so.

I will say , you have wasted your time trying to communicate with the first poster..."libertarianrepublican" would be enough to key me, debating these types is similar to pissing into the wind. There are few "libertarians" that I have met over the years that I had any respect, from the right or left. It has something to with their self centered myopic world views, or the hypocritical one-way street attitude most seem to foster. As to the Republican half, well there is not enough space or time for that one. Besides, all of that label bullshit, ( I noticed this person has a box for everyone to fit in) anyone who starts out a comment by name calling, and then follows up with slander by depicting a man of knowledge and integrity as a "Lefty America hater" deserves no response at all. This person, sadly does not even know what America really stands for, and probably never will.

damien said...

The internal strife in Iraq is a direct result of the lack of any plan by Rumsfeld for the US occupation. This failure constitutes a war crime. The US is a signatory of the Geneva Convention which explicitly requires that an invading military force is required to provide sufficient manpower to ensure the maintenance of civil order and the safety of citizens. Any deaths that result from the failure to provide such security constitutes a war crime. US military leaders know this and are expected to explicitly plan for it.

Here is an extract from an interview by Orin Kerr of Brigadier General Mark Scheid, chief of the US Logistics War Plans Division. Shortly after the invasion of Afghanistan, he says, Donald Rumsfeld told his team to start planning for war in Iraq, but not to bother planning for a long stay:

"The secretary of defense continued to push on us ... that everything we write in our plan has to be the idea that we are going to go in, we're going to take out the regime, and then we're going to leave," Scheid said. "We won't stay."

Gen. Scheid said the planners continued to try "to write what was called Phase 4," or the piece of the plan that included post-invasion operations like occupation. Even if the troops didn't stay, "at least we have to plan for it," Scheid said.

"I remember the secretary of defense saying that he would fire the next person that said that," Scheid said.

"We would not do planning for Phase 4 operations, which would require all those additional troops that people talk about today."

"He said we will not do that because the American public will not back us if they think we are going over there for a long war."

"...In his own mind he thought we could go in and fight and take out the regime and come out. But a lot of us planners were having a real hard time with it because we were also thinking we can't do this. Once you tear up a country you have to stay and rebuild it. It was very challenging." (link)

Formal advice from senior US military leaders (and specifically, Gen. Anthony Zinni) to President Bush prior to the invasion was that he would need at least 400,000 troops to stabilize Iraq. In fact, they had specifically war-gamed the occupation of Iraq in 1999 in an exercise called "Desert Crossing" and 400,000 troops was the figure they came up with. That advice was ignored. 160,000 troops were sent in. The result was the looting of Iraq cultural and economic resources and the preventable deaths of over 655,000 people. Following the Iraq invasion, the Iraq army - which could have served to maintain order - was disbanded. Scores of Saddam's known weapons sites were left unattended by US forces. The result: hundreds of tonnes of explosives, bombs, grenades, rockets and other arms were stolen and later formed the basis of the civilian chaos occuring in Iraq today.

What kind of military and political leadership refuses to plan for the aftermath of a military invasion? Rumsfeld is either grossly negligent, or he wanted the carnage to ensue. His orders to Gen. Scheid stand in marked contrast to the US efforts to build 14 large, heavily fortified US bases in Iraq. Why build permanent military bases if you have no intention of occupying the country? And, now, with the recently announced Iraqi oil production laws giving 60% of the oil directly to foreign oil companies - and effective control over a further 20% - a 20% economic rump is left to an Iraq government that is a government in name only.(link)

I guess if you want to steal a country's assets then you should defeat any semblance of ordered government that might stand in your way. A civil war will do nicely. And if someone like Gen.Jay Garner actually has a plan for producing peace in Iraq - and allow the Iraqis to keep their oil in the process - then sack him fast and send in a reliable Paul Bremmer. (link)

Iraq has been nothing more than organized pillage, a series of rolling war crimes from day one.

hizzoner said...

Actually we lost the moment we invaded.

True enough...the US military rolled into Baghdad in record time...primarily because the Iraqi army melted into the populace to fight the OCCUPIERS in an insurgency

But we lost because these Bush and his Neocon buddies had absolutely no clue how to deal with Iraq after the defeat of the armed forces....they tried to create the Neocon wet dream of a "pure capitalist society" ignoring a couple thousand years of culture and hundreds of years of sectarian rivalry.....

they were and remain arrogant and ignorant.

hizzhoner

Len Hart said...

bemerc said...

you have raised the bar on truth to power, something only an honest patriot is capable of doing, and I thank you for your sharing of the knowledge you possess. Your effort is I am sure, time and energy consuming, so it goes with out saying it is much appreciated.

Thanks, benmerc. If the "Cowboy" is a good blog, it is because of the "regulars" who post here. It was Fuzzflash, I believe, who likened it to the "Baghdad Cafe", a kind of existentialist hang out. Certainly, it would not be the same without the comments of regulars like yourself.

The reason I mention all of this, is that they have touched on many points you have raised here, and on other posts you have made.

Indeed, the MSM was slow to catch on. And still is. Still, I believe, the tied has turned. I doubt that there will be a "Cronkite moment", however. Cronkite, as you know, almost single handedly changed the paradigm with regard to Viet Nam. He did it with a single commentary in which he declared that the US must leave Viet Nam. About a year ago, Cronkite added his voice to those urging a US withdrawal from Iraq. The best time, he said, would have been immediately after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. But, alas, Bush has abandoned the people the of the US just as he left New Orleans to its fate.

Then Matthews took it in another direction, and mentioned that this kind of military action could constitutionally be labeled as war crimes, if in fact the administration has lied as to the threat Iraq actually posed, as in the false flag syndrome.

It is rare to hear the MSM talk about war crimes. I suspect that the media has been under extraordinary pressure to keep quiet on this issue. But, if the American pretext for war was fraudulent, then EVERY American act from Shock and Awe to the occupation amounts to a war of aggression. The lies told to justify it amount to high treason. The campaign of torture is yet another issue, involving those who ordered the torture (Rumsfeld?) and those who carried it out.

There is enough criminality throughout the Bush administration and the rank and file to keep many courts very busy for years, possibly decades. I wish they would just get on with it.

I will say , you have wasted your time trying to communicate with the first poster..."libertarianrepublican" would be enough to key me, debating these types is similar to pissing into the wind.

You are absolutely correct. I will say that I have completely lost patience with that ilk. Sadly, you will find that mentality shot through American society --a pity. As I have said recently, there are still many good things about American "culture". But none of them are consistent with the values of some 30 percent of the population. A large percentage of Bush's base are fundamentalist, bigoted, militaristic, jingoistic and willfully ignorant. Bertolt Brecht may have had that mentality in mind when he said:

A man who does not know the truth is just an idiot but a man who knows the truth and calls it a lie is a crook.

That is one of many reasons that I have said: The GOP is not a political party, it is a crime syndicate, a criminal conspiracy.

Admittedly, the more odious and overt bigots have gone underground. But that doesn't mean that they are not still there. It does explain why the GOP communicates throughout its ranks via "code words" --family values, merit (inherited wealth), class warfare (OK if goppers do it, but 'class warfare' if poor people do it), commpassionate conservatism, et al. Compassionate conservatism deserves special mention. It is apparently the latest version of the much earlier "dynamic conservative", also an oxymoron.

These labels came into being around 1980, when the conservative wing of the increasingly one wing party began to realize that they could not win if they simply told the truth. Sadly, I have lost my GOP campaign manual of that era.

But what is to be said of a party that not only cannot win if it tells the truth? What is to be said of such a party if it KNOWS that it cannot win if it tells the truth? And, what if it decides it wants to win anyway?

hizzoner said...

Actually we lost the moment we invaded. ....primarily because the Iraqi army melted into the populace to fight the OCCUPIERS in an insurgency

You are correct. The "invasion" itself was called "brilliant" by embedded war correspondents. But what is "brilliant" about mustering on the border and driving north? The real brilliance lay in the Iraqi "defense". There wasn't one. The US fell into the trap and that we are still there -stuck on flypaper -is the proof of it. The most subtle aspect of the Iraq "strategy" was the knowledge that when the Civil War broke out, the US would be forced to defend a government of one side or the other. The "surge" is simply Bush's latest failed gambit. He has, in fact, sided with a Shi'ite regime against Sunni "insurgents". Bush cannot win. The war is lost. There is nothing to do but just leave and face the war crimes trials.

Len Hart said...

damien said...

The internal strife in Iraq is a direct result of the lack of any plan by Rumsfeld for the US occupation. This failure constitutes a war crime. The US is a signatory of the Geneva Convention which explicitly requires that an invading military force is required to provide sufficient manpower to ensure the maintenance of civil order and the safety of citizens. Any deaths that result from the failure to provide such security constitutes a war crime. US military leaders know this and are expected to explicitly plan for it.

Indeed. My own Congressman tried to tell me that the US was not bound to Geneva. Nonsense. Also, the US is bound to the Nuremberg Principles. In fact, we helped draft them. Additionally, US Codes, Section 2441 not only binds the US to Nuremberg, it prescribes penalties for violations.

...advice was ignored. 160,000 troops were sent in. The result was the looting of Iraq cultural and economic resources and the preventable deaths of over 655,000 people. Following the Iraq invasion, the Iraq army - which could have served to maintain order - was disbanded.

This is one of the reasons Bush is stuck on flypaper. There were never any good options. The media had, as I recall, warned of a civil war if Rumsfeld et al had not. Clearly, certain "views" were discouraged inside the Bush White House. If that had not been the case, Colin Powell et al might still be around. Leaving has not redeemed Powell who managed to sell his soul before departing.

This also illustrates the fatal weakness of the "authoritarian" mentality. No one near Hitler dared tell the bastard the truth. In the end, authoritarians must fail because they operate upon ignorance, lousy intelligence, and, worst of all, outright lies.

Bush will fall...eventually. It is the price of utter failure. But, unless he is impeached and removed quickly and in an orderly, lawful manner, the collapse of his regime will be ugly.