Friday, June 29, 2007

The Heritage Foundation Picks a Fight with the Cowboy

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

The web site of the new right think tank, The Heritage Foundation, has taken aim at one of my previous articles with a fusillade of fallacy, distortion and regurgitated Bush propaganda. I am disappointed. Consigning this drivel to the intellectual dustbin is light work.
Len Hart of [The Existentialist Cowboy, published in] wrote a scathing piece this yesterday entitled "Terrorism is Worse Under GOP Regimes," in which he claims that terrorism rates are worse under Republican Administrations. Hart states:
    "So much so that one would think GOP regimes cause terrorism. According to FBI stats, terrorism has been worse under GOP regimes at least since 1980. Reagan's "War on Terrorism" caused terrorism, or at least, made it worse. During a period of two years, terrorist attacks against the United States very nearly tripled."
First a Sourcewatch precis about Heritage.
Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a New Right think tank. Its stated mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of "free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense." It is widely considered one of the world's most influential public policy research institutes.

I will address the Heritage Foundation's "refutation" point by point.
Measuring success or failure by the number of attacks makes little sense.
You may indulge ideological nonsense, if you prefer, but I will insist upon an accounting based upon whether attacks against the US increase (policy failure) or decrease (policy success)! My approach is fact-based. Yours, it would appear, is biased upon idelogy and/or a misstatement, perhaps deliberate, of the situation 'on the ground'. Much of the confusion rests upon the Orwellian term: "insurgent", a politically charged word, a word that may very well have been tested by a focus group.

You also tried to change the subject and ignored an historical background to the article that you lamely presume to refute:
By the time Reagan would reprise Eisenhower's invasion of 1958, things had changed in Lebanon. For one thing, Israel had just invaded Lebanon amid "a besieged set of Palestinian fighters". A Syrian expeditionary force and separate armed Lebanese factions had been embroiled in active warfare for a period of seven years. It's fair to conclude that Reagan had no idea what he was getting into.

The American decision to invade may have been opportunistic as well as reactive. Like Bush today, Reagan had no clear objectives, no definition of victory, no way to "win". Like Iraq today, the Lebanon Reagan invaded became a magnet for various "terrorist groups". They grew more active over the duration of the American occupation. Armed and dangerous, they tested Reagan's resolve and eventually won. Like Bush today, Reagan's definition of victory was defined with meaningless slogans -like "you can run but you can't hide". They did both and then counter-attacked. Reagan lost his war against "terrorism".

Terrorism, in fact, grew worse over the two years that he waged it. The trend did not abate until Bill Clinton became President. There were about three times as many terrorist attacks against US interests during the Reagan regime than against US interests under Bill Clinton. --Terrorism is Worse Under GOP Regimes
I suspect GOP candidates would trumpet a decline in terrorism, had there been one! But --alas --there is none under GOP regimes! The GOP is left with a tired old tactic: numbers don't tell the whole story! Well --what DOES tell the whole story? Heritage hasn't a clue.Are you prepared to tell me that when terrorist attacks agianst the US increase three-fold that is to be considered a success?? Don't be absurd!
Consider Iraq?the location of the majority of terrorist attacks against Americans. Does the volume of attacks mean we are losing the war on terrorism? No, it means the United States freed 25 million people, and some of the Baathistts and other insurgents who keep them terrorized don't appreciate our efforts.
Evidence that you failed to read my article which addressed "terrorist incidents" from the Ronald Reagan administration though the administration of Bill Clinton, a period of time under study by the FBI. If you factor out current Iraq violence, not reflected in the FBI study cited, I daresay none of the attacks could have been attributed to Iraq. Even so, calling insurgent attacks against an aggressor nation 'terrorism' is absurd and must be called what it is: extremist right wing propaganda!

Secondly, your statement that the "United States freed 25 million people" is so vague as to be ludicrous. Where? When? And what is the methodology? Did you interview all 25 million and pose the question: are you now free? Some methodology please! In fact, most Iraqis say they were better off under Saddam. [See: Iraqis Say They Were Better Off Under Hussein]
They [Baathists] want to be in charge again, and both American and Iraqi soldiers stand in their way.
Certainly not the Iraqi soldiers who were disbanded by Paul Bremer. Besides, what right have we to be in charge? We are not Iraqi. It is not our country! The US attack and invasion of Iraq violated every principle of international law and US criminal codes. The US attack and invasion of Iraq is more properly called an act of terrorism than 'insurgent violence' against the invading, aggressing nation!

I rather think Heritage, with this kind of "logic", is making my case for me. When the US behaves irresponsibly, when it flouts every principle of law, it cannot expect passivity from conquered states, territories or races. There is a perfectly logical reason that incidents of terrorism increase during GOP regimes. GOP imperial policies cause terrorism!

Finally, your use of the term "insurgent" is loaded and emotional, and one suspects that that is deliberately the case. The term "insurgent", likewise, implies an illegitimate resistance. It's loaded. Even so, you cannot possibly know that to be the case with any methodology in use.

Even more can be said of your incorrect use of the term "Baathist". You seem to use that term as if it were synonymous with "terrorist". That is blatantly misleading. You neglect to mention the fact that remnants of Saddam Hussein's army, largely Baathist, were pro-US military until Paul Bremer issued the infamous "de-Baathification" order! At that point former "Baathists" and former Iraqi military personnel literally went underground. We made of them an enemy. Was it done deliberately?

You stated:
Baathistts and other insurgents who keep them terrorized don't appreciate our efforts.
Evidence that you failed to read my article which addressed "terrorist incidents" from the Ronald Reagan administration though the administration of Bill Clinton, a period of time under study by the FBI. If you factor out current Iraq violence, not reflected in the FBI study cited, I daresay none of the attacks could have been attributed to Iraq. Even so, calling insurgent attacks against an aggressor nation 'terrorism' is absurd and must be called what it is: extremist right wing propaganda! The Bush adventure in Iraq failed utterly for numerous reasons but that it was falsely advertised must certainly rank among the most important.

Secondly, your statement that the "United States freed 25 million people" is so vague as to be ludicrous. Where? When? And what is the methodology? Did you interview all 25 million and pose the question: are you now free? Some methodology please! In fact, most Iraqis say they were better off under Saddam. [See: Iraqis Say They Were Better Off Under Hussein]
They [Baathists] want to be in charge again, and both American and Iraqi soldiers stand in their way.
Certainly not the Iraqi soldiers who were disbanded by Paul Bremer. Besides, what right have we to be in charge? We are not Iraqi. It is not our country! The US attack and invasion of Iraq violated every principle of international law and US criminal codes. The US attack and invasion of Iraq is more properly called an act of terrorism than 'insurgent violence' against the invading, aggressor nation!!

Report blasts US for failures in fighting terrorism.

A just-released report slams the federal government for failing to coordinate the work of US law enforcement agencies overseas to fight terrorism. The Government Accountability Office found that in one country a lack of clarity about the roles and responsibilities of the FBI and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency may have compromised several investigations intended to identify and disrupt potential terrorist activities. The GAO did not name the country in its report.
Let's consider the effect of Bush/US policy in Iraq. Clearly, there was no "insurgency" --legitimate or otherwise --prior to the US attack an invasion, a violation of the Nuremberg Principles and, likewise, US Code: Title 18: Section 2441. US policy, GOP policy, is the root cause of the current violence in Iraq. We have succeeded only in further radicalizing the Middle East!

How does that make us safer? It doesn't! Just as Ronald Reagan who threatened "terrorists": " can run but you can't hide!", Bush has made terrorism worse:

Last time I checked, effects always follow causes. It was Conan Doyle's character, Sherlock Holmes, who said: "When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." I would add that the burden of proof is upon those GOP regimes most notable for their exploitation of terrorism to put forward some credible evidence that GOP/US policies of imperialism and aggression have made the world safer in any way. Otherwise, we have only the numbers of dead to support the common sense conclusion that GOP policies have never worked and are not working now. In fact, those policies are at the very root cause of terrorism and anti-American sentiment in general.

Significantly, the Heritage Foundation dare not use its own best defense: terrorism is worse under GOP regimes because GOP regimes exploit terrorism and the fear it causes. They literally cook the books by loosely defining "terrorism" itself. If it is done, it is done to alarm the public and justify numerous abrogations of civil liberties and due process of law. But would the Heritage Foundation dare admit this?


Congressman Ron Paul makes a valid point: the GOP has lost its way. What he says about the GOP having opposed "entangling alliances" may have been true in the past. The GOP under Bush/Cheney, however, has literally auctioned off the government of the US to large corporations whose imperial behavior has earned our country several lifetimes of enmity and terrorism. The CIA would call this "blowback". If the Heritage Foundation cannot see the facts for its ideology, then it is just being naive or worse --uninformed. And it dares call itself a "think tank"! Whatever do they sit around and think about?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Grand Theft Country: How George W. Bush Looted Iraq

George W. Bush invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein would have lowered the price of oil and would have insisted upon payment in Euros. It had nothing to do with fighting "terrorism" in Iraq where, in fact, there had been none. It had nothing to do with WMD in Iraq where, in fact, there had been none. It had nothing to do with bringing Democracy to Iraq where, in fact, there is none still.

It had everything to do with protecting the interests of the big oil corporations who supported George W. Bush from the start. George W. Bush, therefore, completes the transformation of the US to fascism. Bush auctioned off America, sold it out to Big Oil.

The Bushies, who think themselves clever dicks, gave the game away with an adolescent inside joke. The attack and invasion of Iraq was originally called "Operation Iraqi Liberation", or, OIL! One can envision Rove and Bush snickering. In a concession to the "intelligence" of a US population held in contempt by Bush, Rove and the other criminal conspirators, the acronym OIL was changed to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Try burning OIF in your SUV! We weren't suppose to conclude, however, that oil men would invade an oil producing country for oil reasons. The US planned to privatize Iraq's oil and it's other assets from the start.

One theory gained currency: the oil industry didn’t go along with a plan that would have resulted in lower oil prices and thus lower profits. I don't buy that theory. It assumes "facts" not in evidence. Who says Bush wanted lower oil prices? Who but naive consumers thought that invading Iraq would bring about lower gasoline prices at the pump? One cannot imagine Bush, himself a failed oil man, ever supporting lower oil prices.

Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force literally carved up the Middle East, Iraq in particular. Is it reasonable to assume upon no evidence whatsoever, that this gang, having gone to extraordinary lengths to keep their meeting secret, would want to invade Iraq because they wanted the people of the US to enjoy the blessings of cheap oil? What utter bullshit!

The fact that the Bush family and the US oil industry in general support not lower, but higher prices for oil can be found in the transcript of US Ambassador April Glaspie's interview with Saddam Hussein on the very eve of Persian Gulf I. Before Glaspie literally entrapped Hussein, the conversation went like this:

Mr. President, not only do I want to say that President Bush wanted better and deeper relations with Iraq, but he also wants an Iraqi contribution to peace and prosperity in the Middle East. President Bush is an intelligent man. He is not going to declare an economic war against Iraq.

You are right. It is true what you say that we do not want higher prices for oil. But I would ask you to examine the possibility of not charging too high a price for oil.

HUSSEIN: We do not want too high prices for oil. And I remind you that in 1974 I gave Tariq Aziz the idea for an article he wrote which criticized the policy of keeping oil prices high. It was the first Arab article which expressed this view.

TARIQ AZIZ: Our policy in OPEC opposes sudden jumps in oil prices.

HUSSEIN: Twenty-five dollars a barrel is not a high price.

GLASPIE: We have many Americans who would like to see the price go above $25 because they come from oil-producing states.

HUSSEIN: The price at one stage had dropped to $12 a barrel and a reduction in the modest Iraqi budget of $6 billion to $7 billion is a disaster.

--The April Glaspie Transcript

It was not about oil per se. It's always been about the price of oil. As several authors, including Greg Palast, have pointed out, since Bush's attack and invasion of Iraq, the price of oil has soared. At the time of this writing, the spot market price is 69.23.

Clearly, as the transcript proves, Saddam had wanted to lower the price of oil. The administration of Bush Sr., predictably, did not. That the US would wage war on Iraq upon a mere pretext in order to keep prices high is proven by the following exchange, in which Ambassador Glaspie literally set Saddam Hussein up.
Saddam Hussein - If we could keep the whole of the Shatt al Arab - our strategic goal in our war with Iran - we will make concessions (to the Kuwaitis). But, if we are forced to choose between keeping half of the Shatt and the whole of Iraq (i.e., in Saddam s view, including Kuwait ) then we will give up all of the Shatt to defend our claims on Kuwait to keep the whole of Iraq in the shape we wish it to be. (pause) What is the United States' opinion on this?

US Ambassador Glaspie - We have no opinion on your Arab - Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary (of State James) Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960's, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America. (Saddam smiles)

GLASPIE: I think I understand this. I have lived here for years. I admire your extraordinary efforts to rebuild your country. I know you need funds. We understand that and our opinion is that you should have the opportunity to rebuild your country. But we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.

--Transcript of US Ambassador April Glaspie's Interview with Saddam Hussein,

On August 2, 1990, Saddam's massed troops invade and occupy Kuwait. One month later, the transcript of Glaspie's meeting with Saddam became public when British journalists obtained a tape and a transcript. Glaspie's meeting of July 29, 1990 astounded the British press who confronted Glaspie as she left the US embassy in Baghdad.
Baghdad, September 2, 1990, US Embassy

Journalist 1 - Are the transcripts (holding them up) correct, Madam Ambassador?(Ambassador Glaspie does not respond)

Journalist 2 - You knew Saddam was going to invade (Kuwait ) but you didn't warn him not to. You didn't tell him America would defend Kuwait. You told him the opposite - that America was not associated with Kuwait.

Journalist 1 - You encouraged this aggression - his invasi on. What were you thinking?

US Ambassador Glaspie - Obviously, I didn't think, and nobody else did, that the Iraqis were going to take all of Kuwait.

Journalist 1 - You thought he was just going to take some of it? But, how could you? Saddam told you that, if negotiations failed , he would give up his Iran (Shatt al Arab waterway) goal for the Whole of Iraq, in the shape we wish it to be. You know that includes Kuwait, which the Iraqis have always viewed as an historic part of their country!

Journalist 1 - American green-lighted the invasion. At a minimum, you admit signaling Saddam that some aggression was okay - that the US would not oppose a grab of the al-Rumeilah oil field, the disputed border strip and the Gulf Islands (including Bubiyan) - the territories claimed by Iraq?

(Ambassador Glaspie says nothing as a limousine door closed behind her and the car drives off.)
One of the reporters had asked: what were you thinking? I have a theory. Glaspie had been instructed by the administration of Bush Sr. to lure Saddam into invading Kuwait. In fact, the invasion gave the senior Bush the pre-text he needed to wage a neat little war against Saddam, a limited war in which much would be promised and little delivered except to the senior Bush's cabal of big oil backers and robber barons who, alone, benefit by keeping the world addicted to high priced oil.

Had Saddam remained in power, his policy would have remained as he described it to US Ambassador Glaspie i.e., he would have supported lower prices for oil. Had there been no Persian Gulf II, he would have required that he be paid for oil in Euros --not US dollars. Imagine for a moment the effect on the dollar, the US economy! $30 a barrel? Clearly --this is the real reason for the US attack. But it was not a reason that Bush could have sold to the American people, the UN, or to the world. He would need a juicy pretext and would lie one into existence.

A decline in oil prices might have been a good thing for car markers and the SUV addicted but it would not have been a good thing for the big oil companies. It would not have been a good thing for Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia always had a motive for involving itself in some way with pulling off 911.

Gregory Gause III, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Vermont, is the author of Oil Monarchies. He wrote an essay for the May/June issues of Foreign Affairs magazine entitled, "Saudi Arabia: Over a Barrel.
A key reason for today's skyrocketing oil prices is the behavior of one of America's closest allies: Saudi Arabia. The world's largest oil exporter was the driving force behind the deal that turned off the spigots. Riyadh is risking a crisis with Washington because the once-flush kingdom has gone broke sustaining a vast welfare state for an exploding population. America must push the Saudis toward privatization and fiscal reform. The House of Saud must get its house in order.
Other academics, likewise, link oil prices to the health of the Saudi welfare state. In a 2004 article for the same magazine, Michael Scott Doran, an Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University and Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations wrote:
Saudi Arabia is in the throes of a crisis. The economy cannot keep pace with population growth, the welfare state is rapidly deteriorating, and regional and sectarian resentments are rising to the fore.

--The Saudi Paradox, Foreign Affairs
Former CIA operative, Robert Baer notes in a May 2003 article that was published in The Atlantic Monthly and based on his book, "The Fall of the House of Saud" that "per capita income in Saudi Arabia fell from $28,600 in 1981 to $6,800 in 2001".

Over several decades now, the American people have been lied to, exploited and duped. Respected TV journalist, Bill Moyers, analyzes the threats to constitutional government posed by an illegitimate network of "superpatriots", spies, profiteers, mercenaries and ex-generals. His documentary gives a fascinating overview of what this Secret Government has done to this country over the last fifty years or so. It is a story of the Cold and hot wars, US sponsored coups d'etat, and the state suppression of popular struggles for freedom. US intervention has subverted governments and financed mercenaries in Iran, Guatamala, Cuba, Vietnam and Chile.

Bush told numerous "stories" about Iraq, many of which conflicted with one another. In one instance, Bush implied that Iraq was behind the 911 attacks and and, in yet another, he said that it was not. Here are both videos of the liar at work:

A growing number of Iraqis, meanwhile, say that life was better under Saddam Hussein.

Following the first Gulf war, Saddam remained a "loose canon". The lesser Bush had personal reasons, made public, for wanting Saddam Hussein dead. One of them was ego. The lesser Bush would succeed where the elder Bush had failed. He would beat his chest and crow that he had removed Saddam from power. Secondly, he would put the American oligarchs in complete control of the price of Iraqi oil. It would not be done, as many naive Americans believed, in order to lower the price of oil. It would be done to maintain higher prices for oil. For this, the lesser Bush would commit war crimes and atrocities against the Iraqi people. He would lie to and betray the American people. He would endanger the lives of US military personnel. He would outsource the very sovereignty of the United States. The term for all this is high treason.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Four Biggest Myths about the US War Against the People of Iraq

Lies about Iraq are easily disproved. The myths die harder. Bush lied about Iraq in order to attack and invade. The many myths, however, have to do with the geo-political significance of Iraq, US motives and incompetence, and the nature of the resistance to the illegal US occupation.

Myth: Iraq is a failed State.

Iraq is not a failed state, it is a state all but destroyed by the US occupation.

The Failed States Index 2007 published by The Fund for Peace and FOREIGN POLICY magazine states that not all "failed states" "suffer from international neglect", citing the attention that has been given Iraq and Afghanistan. FP stops short of the obvious conclusion: both states cannot be said to have failed but are prevented from succeeding because of the nature of the "international attention" with which both states have been afflicted. Both nations are described as the two main fronts in a global war on terror but, in both instances, terrorism is said to have increased as the wars have lost focus.

In both cases, the US went to war upon bogus evidence, in the case of Iraq, a pack of blackhearted lies. As the PBS Frontline documentary so accurately points out, there was no "insurgency" in Iraq until the US occupation disbanded the Iraqi army and drove the Baathist party underground with a de-baathification order. Until that time, the Iraq military had been overtly pro-US.
De-Baathification didn't really pay attention to the lessons of de-Nazification. The Army War College actually had studied this in the fall of '02 and made the point in a study that de-Nazification was very carefully done from the very bottom up. They went into each village, and they talked to anti-Nazi people about who the Nazis had been, and they compiled information at the village level.

L. Paul Bremer did the opposite. He comes in at the very top and issues a sweeping rule that really doesn't even have information about who are Baathists, why they were Baathists, and who wasn't a Baathist. It's really just almost a casual imposition on the society that's not particularly informed about the nature of Iraqi society. I think the occupation of Germany was much more an excuse than real analogy. …

--Thomas E. Ricks, Author, Fiasco
Paul Bremer, meanwhile, takes the rap for the de-Baathification order.
The mistake I made was turning it over to the Governing Council. I should have turned it over instead to a judicial body of some kind. The Governing Council, in turn, turned it over to Chalabi. I did not turn it over to Chalabi. It is true that once the Governing Council took it over, they started interpreting the policy, implementing the policy much more broadly, and we had to walk the cat back in the spring of 2004.

--L. Paul Bremer

There was reason to believe that the US had achieved its objectives in Iraq and US forces could come home.
So I said, "Well, Charlie, what do you think?" To the best of my memory, Charlie said, "Well, if you do this, you're going to drive 40,000 to 50,000 Baathists underground by nightfall. The number is closer to 50,000 than it is [to] 30,000."

--Lt. Gen. Jay Garner (Ret.)

That was, indeed, the expectation among troops on the ground and on the streets of Baghdad. But, typically, a dispatch by Arab News itself was no closer to understanding the long term effect of "de-baathification" than the US media.
AAmir Taheri (Arab News-Saudi Arabia): The US-led coalition has achieved all its principal objectives in Iraq: The Baathist regime has been dismantled. Democracy seems to be flourishing after several local elections, a constitutional referendum, and two general elections. A one-party system has been replaced with a pluralist one with more than 200 political groups and parties.
It is a mistake, therefore, to conclude that Iraq, since the fall of Saddam, has always been dominated by Iran-linked fundamentalist Shia parties, though The Existentialist Cowboy was critical of that outcome. US ineptitude created the "insurgency" more properly characterized as a guerilla war against a foreign occupation.
No consensus was ever reached, and no clear plan ever devised. Hovering over this entire process was the figure--seldom acknowledged, almost never mentioned--of Ahmad Chalabi. Time and again, during the months leading up to the invasion and for months thereafter, the representatives of the Vice President and Pentagon officials would introduce ideas that were thinly veiled efforts to put Chalabi in charge of post-invasion Iraq. Immediately before the invasion, the effort took the form of a proposal, put forward insistently and repeatedly, to form an Iraqi "government in exile," comprised of exiles and Kurdish leaders. These exiles would then be installed as a new government once Baghdad fell. My CIA colleagues were aghast. It was as though Defense and the Vice President's staff wanted to invite comparison with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, when Russian troops deposed the existing government and installed Babrak Karmal, whom they had brought with them from Moscow.

--'A Slow-Motion Car Crash', Time

But for the utter incompetence of the Bush administration, it need not have been that way. Billions of dollars in development and security have already been wasted because the bucks were not backed up with a functioning government, leaders with the support of the Iraqi people, viable plans to address the basic needs of Iraqi citizens. Running water, electricity and other demands on infrastructure were sorely lacking. The US occupation did not merely break a nation, it's continuing omni-presence most certainly militated against Iraqi progress toward independent and productive state-hood.

But Bremer's side of the story doesn't really help his case.
...any thought of using the old army was undercut by conditions on the ground. Before the 2003 war, the army had consisted of about 315,000 miserable draftees, almost all Shiite, serving under a largely Sunni officer corps of about 80,000. The Shiite conscripts were regularly brutalized and abused by their Sunni officers. When the draftees saw which way the war was going, they deserted and, like their officers, went back home. But before the soldiers left, they looted the army's bases right down to the foundations.

So by the time I arrived in Iraq, there was no Iraqi army to disband. Some in the US military and the CIA's Baghdad station suggested that we try to recall Hussein's army. We refused, for overwhelming practical, political and military reasons.

--Paul Bremer

It must be pointed out, however, that there "...was no thought of using the old army" primarily because of Bremer's order. Moreover, the timeline of events clearly shows that the first "attacks" did not occur until after the De-Bathification order and the army dismantled.
"Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error."

—Cicero [1]
Had the US intended to rehabilitate Iraq, one would have thought that the Bush administration would have had a plan. We must conclude, therefore, that rehabilitating Iraq had never been planned because it was never high on the Bush agenda. The theft of Iraqi oil most surely was.

That brings up another myth:

Myth: Bush failed in Iraq because he never defined what it meant to win.

I've almost fallen for that one myself. In fact, Bush, or, perhaps Dick Cheney, most certainly defined success in Iraq but neither man dare reveal it to the world. It is nothing less than the grand theft of Iraqi oil. It is highly doubtful that the meeting of Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force was brushing up their geography with the detailed maps of Iraqi oil fields.
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said today that documents turned over by the Commerce Department, under court order as a result of Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as 2 charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.” The documents, which are dated March 2001, are available on the Internet at:

-Cheney Energy Task Force Documents Feature Map of Iraqi Oil Fields, Commerce & State Department Reports to Task Force Detail Oilfield & Gas Projects, Contracts & Exploration, Saudi Arabian & UAE Oil Facilities Profiled As Well

Cheney met with his energy sponsor in 2001. The meeting was attended by executives from the oil and gas industries, including Anadarko Petroleum’s Robert Allison and then-Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay. It is fair to conclude that Bush had been assigned the task of waging war on Iraq, indeed, the Middle East, on behalf of the energy giants which supported this presidency. That brings up Another myth.

Myth: Iraqis are better off without Saddam, an evil dictator.

They are worse off under Bush, an evil dictator. Two words -Abu Ghraib -have shut up Bush's "rape room" rhetoic.

"The Iraqi people are now free. And they do not have to worry about the secret police coming after them in the middle of the night, and they don't have to worry about their husbands and brothers being taken off and shot, or their wives being taken to rape rooms. Those days are over."

--Paul Bremer, Administrator, [Iraq] Coalition Provisional Authority, Sept. 2, 2003

"Iraq is free of rape rooms and torture chambers."

--President Bush, remarks to 2003 Republican National Committee Presidential Gala, Oct. 8, 2003

"There was an announcement by the Iraqi Governing Council earlier this week about the tribunal that they have set up to hold accountable members of the former regime who were responsible for three decades of brutality and atrocities. We know about the mass graves and the rape rooms and the torture chambers of Saddam Hussein's regime. We welcome their decision to move forward on a tribunal to hold people accountable for those atrocities."

-Bush Press Secretary Scott McClellan, White House press briefing, Dec. 10, 2003

Evil is a word I used never to use. Evil is found in the most selfish motives of humankind, motives strong and utterly devoid of empathy. Evil is found in Hitler's boast that he had waged war against the Jew in full view of the world. It is likewise found in the sordid deals cut between Dick Cheney and the robber barons of big oil to whom he auctioned off the United States of America. If Bush had better intentions ever, he compromised them for oil and vainglorious conquest, truly a Faustian pact.

Myth: The US is opposed by a terrorist insurgency!

Evil is the only word to describe the conditions of Abu Ghraib which the US began to fill following the infamous "be-Baathification Order" and the dismantling of the Iraqi army. The US theft of Iraqi resources and the high-handed dismantling of Iraq's very nationhood inspired a legitimate Iraqi resistance. For their efforts the resistance was labeled "terrorist" though there had been no such resistance prior to US missteps, US crimes, US ineptitude.

The cells of Abu Ghraib were filled again --not by Saddam but by the foreign occupiers. There is no need to recount the horrors save to say that the illegitimate regime of George W. Bush bears the responsibility. George, you had best run and hide. When your term is over, an international movement is afoot and organized to track you down and bring you to justice for war crimes.

Bush was caught flat-footed with the very first "insurgent" attack. Having gone to the well so many times, it is not surprising that Bush would do so again. The attack was a "terrorist" attack, it was said, when, in fact, it was the guerilla resistance to an illegal occupation throwing down the gauntlet. The word "terrorist" was chosen by Bushies because it implies illegitimacy. Bush dared not called them "guerillas". A guerilla, on his own homeland, opposing an illegal occupancy is not merely legitimate, he has the moral high ground. He has as much moral legitimacy as did George Washington. In fact, most of the resistance to the US is neither terrorist nor an insurgency.
“If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms -- never! never! never!”

-William Pitt the elder, (British Statesman 1st Earl of Chatham, Viscount Pitt of Burton-Pynsent, by name The Great Commoner, 1708-1778)
Iraq did not ask to be occupied and the US occupation cannot be justified after-the-fact, though many have tried. Saddam was a bad man, they say. If the US occupation had been benign, that argument would still have been fallacious though more palatable. The brutal nature of the US occupation subverts the idea that the US is somehow absolved ex post facto! There was hope among Bush die hards that a good outcome might counter-balance a failed and evil beginning. That did not happen. Until Bush orders a complete pullout of US troops, the failed war against Iraq is his tar baby. Tragically, Bush's reasons for staying in Iraq are as evil as his reasons for invading. Don't expect a happy ending. There isn't one.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Iraq: Only Losers Get Charged with War Crimes

As the sun sets on America's would-be Middle Eastern empire, it is clear that this war was wrong and immoral. This war was and remains a crime. No doubt, Bush had hoped that a victory on the ground would have kept the architects of this crime against humanity off the gallows. He was wrong. Again.

The Media Failed America

It's no secret that the period of time between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq represents one of the greatest collapses in the history of the American media. Every branch of the media failed, from daily newspapers, magazines and Web sites to television networks, cable channels and radio. I'm not going to go into chapter and verse about the media's specific failures, its credulousness about aluminum tubes and mushroom clouds and failure to make clear that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 -- they're too well known to repeat. In any case, the real failing was not in any one area; it was across the board. Bush administration lies and distortions went unchallenged, or were actively promoted. Fundamental and problematic assumptions about terrorism and the "war on terror" were rarely debated or even discussed. Vital historical context was almost never provided. And it wasn't just a failure of analysis. With some honorable exceptions, good old-fashioned reporting was also absent. ...

Bush Failed the Generals


Washington, DC

Today, two retired Generals who led troops in Iraq expressed outrage at the President's veto of the US Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act.

The President vetoed our troops and the American people. His stubborn commitment to a failed strategy in Iraq is incomprehensible. He committed our great military to a failed strategy in violation of basic principles of war. His failure to mobilize the nation to defeat world wide Islamic extremism is tragic. We deserve more from our commander-in-chief and his administration.

--Maj. Gen. John Batiste, USA, Ret.

US 'failed to control' Iraq oil

A United Nations panel has found that the US-led occupation authority failed to exercise proper controls over Iraq's oil industry and could not say how much oil had gone missing since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

The International Advisory and Monitoring Board report also said there were "important weaknesses" in the management by occupation officials of up to $20bn in Iraqi funds, mostly from oil sales.

US politicians have often accused the UN of incompetence and, perhaps, corruption in its handling of the oil-for-food programme, a scheme to alleviate Iraqi suffering under sanctions before the war. Now the boot is on the other foot. ...

US Failed to Foresee the Resistance to Occupation

American and Iraqi efforts to improve security in Baghdad have failed to reduce bloodshed in the increasingly violent Iraqi capital, the senior US military spokesman in Iraq acknowledged on Thursday.

In an uncharacteristically gloomy admission, Major General William Caldwell said the recent surge in violence was “disheartening”. He said US and Iraqi forces would have to “refocus” security measures. The review was demanded by General George Casey, who commands the 140,000 US troops in Iraq.

Gen Caldwell did not specify how security methods might be refocused, but the unusually grim assessment seems in part intended to put pressure on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to take political steps that US officers have long said need to accompany military operations. ...

The US Failed the Wider War

For the United States, Afghanistan is the sideshow. Iraq is the main event. The staying power of the United States in Afghanistan will largely be determined by what happens in Iraq. If Americans---elites and the people alike---decide that Iraq is a lost cause, they will soon decide the same thing about Afghanistan. An American troop withdrawal from Iraq will be quickly be followed by a withdrawal from Afghanistan. When Canadians consider the future of their Afghan mission, they need to keep an eye on Iraq. What happens there will determine the geo-strategic outlook for Afghanistan.
The following videos are best viewed in order. Three videos made up what was originally broadcast on PBS Frontline in the US. However, since posting this article, someone complained and DailyMotion "pulled" the first episode. I wonder which part of Bush's criminal administration had been offended by the truth? Since that time, I have found a good selection of excerpts of the entire documentary with which to lead. I really don't know if these excerpts replace the offending portion of episode number one.

The videos are still best viewed in order, stopping the completed vid before moving on.

The US failed in Iraq because the Bush administration is ideological, not pragmatic. They went to war upon a pack of lies, conclusions in search of premises.

When things didn't work according to preconceived notions, Bush vowed to stay a course that had already failed. Vainly hoping for success but never capable of defining it, Bush fell victim to his own inflexibility, right-wing ideology and visions of vainglorious conquest.

Why Conservatives Hate America

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