Lies Make The War

Lies are a large part of the political sphere here in the good old U.S. of A. but no more so than when it comes to war.  Most Americans do not like a history lesson for it usually bites their dicks off and they have to come up with some lame excuse for why it was done….

I recently helped a professor friend over the Summer by teaching a lesson on the first Gulf War….I was amazed at how little is known about a war people think we won.  About the only incident they remember is first that Saddam invaded Kuwait and second that his army raided a hospital and stripped it bear even leaving a baby behind after they stole its incubator…..this story was told by a young woman as an eye witnessed the problem was she was a diplomats daughter who had been in Kuwait only for her first five years and has never been back.

The war had its moments when it possibly could have been avoided….I wrote an article for my fiends at Ace News Room on this subject…..

I have been writing about the Middle East for decades….I hit my stride back in 1990 with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.  Most of my saved writings were lost in Katrina…the winds took out a window in the room where I did my research and writing, my office, if you will……I had files upon files of saved material that was lost to wet damage….or so I thought…..I was doing some spring cleaning and found 5 plastic storage bins that I had no idea what is within…after a thorough search I located all my saved articles and stuff from the Desert Storm days…..a eureka moment!

Source: 1991: Operation Desert Storm: A Look Back

Just a bit of negotiation could have saved lives….but nope war was on the bill and it was going to happen no matter what….

Now about the “incubator baby” thing……

Many Americans whose memories reach back to the Dark Ages of Gulf War 1 remember the “incubator babies” story: according to a weepy testimony of a Kuwaiti “nurse,” Saddam Hussein’s soldiers threw newborn babies out of incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital and left them to die. The “discovery” so outraged the American public, it helped generate public support for turning “Desert Shield” (originally sold as protection of Saudi Arabia from a phantom Iraqi attack) into “Desert Storm.”

There was only one problem with the story: none of it was true.

Source: Gray Falcon: The Real Incubator Baby

Ah the power of propaganda……is it possible that they would be lying to the people now?

“Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”  George Orwell

Now You See ‘Em….Now You Don’t

I would like to state something that I have been saying for several years….that the American care little about the plight of our troops fighting these useless wars…..last week I posted a piece about the recent combat death of a US soldier in Afghanistan….sadly very few read it or commented on the post….it was disappointing but it kinda proved my point……I had to get that off my chest.

We have been up to our fat ass in the Middle East for 13 years….and there is NO evidence that it will ever be over…..EVER!

Stuff sent to Iraq has a tendency to disappear down some rabbit hole……like after our invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq the Pentagon sent millions of dollars to Iraq to pay for the “reconstruction” on palettes and somewhere down the line some of it disappeared…..and now news has come out that we are sending weapons to Iraq to help arm the Iraqi military…..and other allies……

The Pentagon has spent billions of dollars since 2001 funneling roughly more than a million assault rifles, pistols, shotguns, and machine guns into Iraq and Afghanistan, helping to fuel lasting conflict there, according to a new report by a London-based nonprofit research and advocacy group Action on Armed Violence.

At least 949,582 of these small arms were given to security forces in Iraq, and at least 503,328 small arms were given to local forces in Afghanistan, the group said. They called this an “under-estimate” based on the information they were able to acquire.

Source: The Pentagon has shipped more than a million small arms to Iraq and Afghanistan’s defense forces | Center for Public Integrity

To be fair some of these weapons are bound for Afghanistan as well….

But now news has come out that some of these weapons are missing in action (sorry for the pun)…….

More than 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols distributed to Iraqi forces by the US are missing, feared fallen into the hands of insurgents, a congressional watchdog warned today.

The highest previous estimate of missing weapons was 14,000, but a new report from the government accountability office (GAO) said US military officials did not know what had happened to 30% of the weapons the US had given to Iraqi forces since 2004.

“They really have no idea where they are,” Rachel Stohl, a senior analyst at the Centre for Defence Information, told the Washington Post, which reported the GAO’s findings. “It likely means that the United States is unintentionally providing weapons to bad actors.”

Source: 190,000 US weapons reported missing in Iraq | World news | The Guardian

All this is NOTHING new….the US is notorious for their shoddy practices….

Should not the people, the taxpayer, demand more accountability in our practices?

This government keeps pissing money away and keeps slicing budgets…….does anyone else see the stupidity in all this?

The people that worry about the so-called “fraud” of welfare recipients should be more worried about the sloppy practices of the Pentagon….don’t you think?

The Real Iraq SITREP

I recently reconnected with a friend in Iraq that I met in 1979 when I was in Iraq just after Saddam had taken control…….he is sending me info that the Western media seems to be shy about printing….

All the news we get from Iraq centers around the battle with ISIS and the US attempt to keep the government in power…..plus we keep sending small amounts of troops back to the country to assist in the fight…..but there is an issue that is not reported by many sources here in the West….

It seems that an old nemesis of the US has raised his head again…….

On July 22, Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stated that the United States brought the Islamic State to Iraq, and would now “seek to be the savior of the people.” Al-Sadr referred to any American presence as “unacceptable” and sees U.S. troops as “occupiers of our land.”

On July 22, Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr claimed that his reform movement does not seek to stage a coup d’etat. Al-Sadr claimed that though “a large number of politicians and analysts” are capable of effecting a coup, the goal of the movement is “not Iraqi blood nor the acquisition of power”; rather, it is about “self determination and ridding the government of corruption.” On July 26, the cleric claimed that the time had not yet come for civil disobedience.

On July 22, Shia Cleric Sadr al-Din Qabbanji spoke out against the establishment of any American military bases in Kurdistan.

On July 24, Al Monitor reported that the Peace Brigades, a PMU loyal to Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, made this claim in an interview: “We will target the U.S. forces anywhere they are in Iraq. We are not only keen on targeting them, but (are) thirsty for their blood.” Last week, ISHM reported that al-Sadr identified U.S. troops as a valid target for Shia militias when asked about how to respond to the recent deployment of 560 U.S. troops to Iraq.

(Education for Peace In Iraq Center)

Appears that US troops are once again in more cross-hairs then before…..how will this end?  Or will it ever end?

I hope to get regular updates from EPIC….as I do I shall pass them on to my readers……

Remember– it is NEVER as simple as they say……..

ISIS area of control keeps shrinking…….

The problem is once ISIS is run of of a region then the militias start taking revenge on the locals….especially it they are Sunni….

Solve on problem and create 2 more…..problems that the US will be tasked at solving……more troops…more money…..more problems…..

Iraq And The World Of Tomorrow

This is an op-ed that I put together for my friends at Ace News Room…please stop by their site if it is news you look for then there is few better….

We do not hear much about Iraq these days unless it is all about the fight with ISIS over control of some city or region…..

Iraq has a future regardless of what the nose pickers have to say and there needs to be an understanding of the make-up of the country…..especially if we want the future to be successful that will keep us from having to repeat the last 13 years…….

In the fateful year of 2003 the US and its friends, especially the United kingdom, decided that they would bring democracy to a Middle East by force…..it was a year or choice….and we ch…

Source: Iraq And The World Of Tomorrow

There will be more op-eds to come…..please watch for them…..

What The “Experts” Get Wrong

Ever noticed that many of the “experts” on the Middle East have Anglo-Saxon surnames?  Most could not find the Middle East on a map……

When in my younger years I was employed by a Spanish newspaper and spent much of my time in North Africa and the Middle East……for 2 years I worked in Iraq beginning just after Saddam came to power and I got to know the people and the region as well as a Westerner could in that amount of time.

I have tried to tell my story about the people and region but usually I am met with the ignorance that most Westerners show…..most seem to think they are experts and that they get the expertise from people with names like Smith, Jones, Strickland and Schmidt and most have never set foot in the region to get this false expertise…

It is not that these people are stupid…..but rather they just do not want to hear or believe that the info they have on the Middle East is flawed….it minds me of one of my fave quotes….”Stupidity Is The Deliberate Cultivation Of Ignorance”….

A very good site, War On The Rocks, has a great 2 part series and then a rebuttal, if you will,  about what is happening in the Middle East written by someone who is there….on the ground…..

If you read Western media outlets, includingWaronthe Rocks, you might think that most of the problems in the Middle East can be traced to Sunni disenfranchisement, especially in Syria and Iraq. The broader Western debate about the ongoing civil wars in the Middle East is plagued by a false understanding of sectarian identities. Washington elites imagine a broader Sunni sense of identity that does not exist outside the confines of Saudi Arabia and territories held by jihadist groups. This has the malign effect of encouraging polices that add fuel to the fires consuming Syria and parts of Iraq. Alongside this narrative exists another that portrays Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces as bloodthirsty sectarian militias engaged in constant abuses against Iraq’s Sunni Arabs — but this is simply not the case.

Source: Washington’s Sunni Myth and the Civil Wars in Syria and Iraq

And the second part of the series……

I was not surprised to see my first article greeted with so much outrage by those who adhere to the conventional Western narrative of the civil wars in Iraq and Syria as well as the larger tumult of the Middle East. In truth, these conflicts are not so easily defined by the easy sectarian narrative offered in the Western press.  I argued that Western elites were surrendering to and even embracing the Saudi definition of what Sunni identity should mean. And I provided accounts of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq that do not comport with what you likely have been reading in the newspapers.

Source: Washington’s Sunni Myth and the Middle East Undone

This will probably fall on deaf ears….but that is okay….for those same deaf ears are the reason that we are destined to fight in Iraq for a generation….maybe longer….all because of ignorance and stupidity….and sadly it could have been avoided….

To be fair….War On The Rocks published a rebuttal to this series…..

The smug implication, of course, was that Syria under the Assad regime was different: Contrary to the fractured polities of Lebanon and Iraq, it had achieved a superior sense of national belonging and purpose, a genuine supra-confessional identity. Sectarianism was not an issue, I was told. Syria was no democracy, to be sure, but Bashar Al-Assad had married a Sunni woman who wore stylish Western clothes, women could walk around unveiled, and alcohol was available (that’s a lifestyle liberalism of the kind that appeals to Western audiences but actually obscures more than it reveals). Many Sunnis populated the high spheres of business, politics, and the military, and minorities could worship at will as long as they remained loyal to the Assads. No wonder that this image of Syria, marketed ad nauseam, partially hid the country’s unraveling during the previous 15 years. While admitting it was not perfect, many of those who bemoan the Syria of yesterday cannot seem to find the link between this romanticized narrative and the current catastrophe.

Source: “Assad or We Burn the Country”: Misreading Sectarianism and the Regime in Syria

It is always best to have both sides of an argument…..that is if one wants the whole picture and not just a corner……

Slowly We Turn

Yesterday was Purple Heart Day, an unofficial holiday, and hardly any of the massive flag wavers even noticed…..typical!

Purple Heart Day

Step by step….inch by inch….we are returning to a full compliment of US troops in Iraq…..we are returning combat troops to “assist” the Iraqi army handle the day against ISIS….recently word came down that as many as 750 American troops would be returning to Iraq……and if you thought that was the end of the build-up…..think again!

Adding to the ever-growing number of US ground troops in the “no boots on the ground” war in Iraq, Army officials announced yet another significant deployment from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division, from which some 400 troops will be sent to Qayara, just south of Mosul.

The idea is that the troops will be part of the logistics effort to prop up the Iraqi military in Nineveh Province, with an eye toward them eventually attacking Mosul, though there is no timeline for when such an offensive will begin, and Pentagon officials have gone on record doubting Iraq’s military is anywhere near ready for such an attack.

Officials at Fort Campbell say the troops were part of a “Strike Ready Force” which had been pre-trained and prepared to go to Iraq “at a moment’s notice,” suggesting that the continued escalation of the US ground force in Iraq is being planned well ahead of actually announced deployments.

Last month, President Obama raised the “cap” on the number of ground troops in Iraq to 4,647. This cap has become something of a running joke, as the Pentagon has repeatedly admitted to having well more troops than that. Most recent estimates have over 6,000 US ground troops in Iraq already, before this new deployment. The Pentagon has argued that only “permanent” troops count toward the cap, and that open-ended deployments that aren’t officially labeled permanent let them send more or less unlimited troops into Iraq without “violating the cap.”

(antiwar.com)

Most Americans could care less since only about 1% of population is even effected by a troop deployment….instead the idiots worry about something that has not happened and may well never happen…..

I worry that this factor is far from over and that this will be a continuing thing until we are once again ass deep in a situation that we created and have NO idea how to solve…..

Something Nice About Saddam Hussein?

Last week in the news the media was all choked up on something that Mr. Trump said.  The MSM got lots of speculation in over his words.  Did he really say something nice about Saddam?

Trump’s stupid comments reveal a larger problem with how we talk about Iraq.

It’s possible that playing a game of gotcha with Donald Trump for the sin of saying that Saddam Hussein was good at killing terrorists is the most boring thing ever. Over 250 Iraqis were killed in Baghdad on Sunday when a lorry exploded in a busy shopping area of the city. The area is mostly Shiite and the Sunni extremist group Islamic State took responsibility. Believe it or not, this was the single worst loss of life since the invasion in 2003. Here’s how Jermey Bowen of the BBC put it:

Saddam Hussein’s regime was harsh, and it could be murderous. He led the country into a series of disastrous wars and brought crippling international sanctions down on their heads.

But with the benefit of 13 years of hindsight, the world that existed before 9 April 2003 seems to be a calmer, more secure place. They have not had a proper day of peace since the old regime fell.

As for democracy, many I have spoken to believe the hopelessly sectarian political system is broken. At least, they say, law and order existed under Saddam.

We need to reckon with this reality. It does no good to keep going back to the old rhetoric about what a tyrant Saddam Hussein was to his own people. What Trump is trying to say in his own awkward way is that Hussein kept the lid on and what we’ve gotten in his place is far worse. And, if he stuck to making that limited point, he’d be on solid footing, which means that it’s just a perpetuation of our national stupidity and infinite capacity to avoid self-reflection to go out and say, “Ooh, ooh, Trump said something halfway complimentary about Saddam Hussein!”

Source: Washington Monthly | Did Trump Say Something Nice About Saddam Hussein?

I may not agree with Mr. Trump on too much but I too believe that Iraq was a safer more secure nation when Saddam was its ruler…..

What is amazing is that all this debate, the back and forth, and not once has anyone in the media asked the Iraqi people what they think…..especially about Saddam….why is that?

BAGHDAD: The Iraqi man who was filmed attacking Saddam Hussein’s statue with a sledgehammer when US troops stormed into Baghdad in 2003 said Iraq was in a better shape under his rule and George W. Bush and Tony Blair should be put on trial “for ruining” it.Kadhim Hassan Al-Jabouri was speaking on Wednesday as British former civil servant John Chilcot released a long-awaited report criticizing Britain’s role in the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Source: Iraqi who hammered Saddam statue: ‘I wish he would return’ | Arab News

I still have a couple of friends in Iraq and they confirm that this is a popular talking point that is when people can actually go out and schmooze with their neighbors…..