Archive for the Iraq Category

Remember Iraq?

Posted in Iraq, Politics on October 24, 2010 by lylede

Dylan T. Reid, 24, of Springfield, MO, died on October 16 in Amarah, Iraq. He was a Private First Class in the Army’s Fourth Infantry Division. He unfortunately joins 55 other US soldiers who have also died in Iraq this year (see icasualties.org.)

It’s been seven years since two draft dodgers named George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, along with the misguided and grossly incompetent members of the 107th Congress, started the completely unnecessary war in Iraq.

Al-Qaeda, the real enemy previously based in Afghanistan, must have celebrated wildly when they heard Bush was invading Iraq. Al-Qaeda had no presence in Iraq prior to the war. Al-Qaeda also knew if we invaded Iraq a large part of our military would be used there and not against them. And that is exactly what happened. In 2008, Bush’s last year in office, we had 150,000 troops in Iraq. As for Afghanistan, bin Laden’s (remember him?) former sanctuary and the country where he plotted and launched the 9-11 attacks, we had 22,000 soldiers.

Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11. And for the 29 years Saddam Hussein was in power he never attacked America once. But he was sitting on millions of barrels of oil, which was more important to Bush, Cheney and the US government than capturing or killing the real bastards behind 9-11.

For further evidence of why we should have never invaded Iraq consider what George Tenet, CIA chief during 9-11, told 60 Minutes (see Tenet interview.) He said he was “astonished” that on September 12, 2001 the administration was talking about invading Iraq. He also says he knew Iraq was not involved with 9-11.

So now, seven long years after the completely unnecessary “shock and awe” campaign, a 24-year old kid from Missouri and 55 other US soldiers (along with over 4,400 total) are dead. I wonder if, while Bush and Cheney are most likely reaping the benefits of backroom Big Oil and military-industrial-complex deals regarding Iraq, they’re even remotely aware they are still murdering US soldiers in Iraq.

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Drill Baby, Drill

Posted in Uncategorized on May 7, 2010 by lylede

I hope all the morons who enthusiastically chanted “Drill baby, drill!” before a literally (and stomach-churning, pun intended) gushing Sarah Palin at the 2008 Republican National Convention are watching the environmental disaster unfold in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to Amount of Spill Could Escalate, Company Admits – NY Times, 5/4/10, “a senior BP executive conceded Tuesday that the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico could conceivably spill as much as 60,000 barrels a day of oil, more than 10 times the estimate of the current flow.”

Yup, that’s right, 60,000 barrels a day. And to see how clueless BP officials are (they even considered a “broad advertising campaign” – I wonder how that could rehabilitate the Gulf?) read the above-referenced article.

And here’s a note to everyone who chanted that idiotic slogan two years ago: THE LAST THING WE NEED TO DO IS DRILL FOR MORE OIL AND THEN BURN IT!

We now have so many options, including solar, wind and hydrokinetics, that we can finally stop using so much oil. The problem though is that Big Oil (along with Big Coal and Big Nuclear) has been bribing politicians with campaign contributions for decades and as a result Washington, DC does the bidding of its financial backers instead of doing something sensible for America and the environment.

Tax the 107th Congress, Bush Supporters and Halliburton to pay for the War on Terror

Posted in Iraq, Politics on December 4, 2009 by lylede

In his Afghanistan war speech the other night President Obama said the 30,000 additional troops he was sending to that violence-plagued country would cost about $30 billion. He also pledged to work with Congress “openly and honestly” to figure out how to pay for this costly deployment.

That was an extremely lame comment. The President and Congress know they have two options when it comes to paying for the war on terror: borrow more money (and dramatically increase our already massive deficit) or raise taxes.

I favor the tax option, but a selective one. To pay for the war on terror we should raise taxes on three entities:

  1. Every idiotic member of the 107th Congress who voted for the Iraq war
  2. Every citizen who voted for and supported Bush in 2004, along with every corporate campaign contributor
  3. Every politically-connected company that received a fat, Iraq war-related contract from the Bush administration

1. We should first quadruple the taxes of every idiot of the 107th Congress who voted to invade Iraq. Keep in mind Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 and Saddam Hussein was in power for 29 years and never attacked America once. Congress, Bush and Cheney knew all of this on September 12, 2001. 

Remember the infamous report titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.” Condoleezza Rice had the nerve to call an “historical document?” Our government and then-President Bush had that report in the summer of 2001, before the 9-11 attacks. And the report doesn’t mention Iraq as being a threat to America.

To pay for the Iraq war our government bankrupted the country and borrowed trillions of dollars from China, which now firmly owns America. It would be a miracle if our debt to China is paid off in fifty years. And if you think Bush and Cheney kept America safe by invading Iraq and borrowing all that cash from China think again. China owns us and that does not bode well at all for our future.

2. I would then triple the taxes of every American citizen who voted for or gave campaign contributions to George W. Bush in 2004, along with all of Bush’s corporate contributors. No offense but if you couldn’t tell what a corrupt, inept and arrogant moron Bush is by the end of his first term then tough, you lose.

The scariest thing about Bush is how well he hides his past. Bush and his disgusting, heinous father conducted business with the Saudi Royal Family for decades. The Saudi Royal Family is Islamic radicals who have supported terrorism for decades, including the Saudi-born Osama bin Laden. The Saudi Royal Family was also one of only three countries on the entire planet who officially recognized the Taliban as the legitimate rulers of Afghanistan when those Islamic radicals took over that country in the late 1990s.

George H.W. Bush worked as a lobbyist for the Saudis, flew around the globe and told governments everywhere what wonderful people the Saudis were and they should do business with them. His equally corrupt, power-hungry son allowed three planeloads of Saudi citizens to flee the country two days after 9-11, when most flights were still grounded, so W. wouldn’t be embarrassed by his ties to these radical, bloodthirsty animals (15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers were Saudi citizens.)

W. and his father have both constantly called the Saudi Royal Family our “friends and allies.” With friends like the Saudis we don’t need enemies. For an excellent account of the Bush-Saudi relationship see the book House of Bush House of Saud by Craig Unger. The photograph on the cover, of George W. Bush holding hands with a member of the Saudi Royal Family, should be enough to make you lose your lunch.

If you voted for or supported W. in 2004 you should be paying extra for the war on terror. W. invaded Iraq for all the wrong reasons. W. and his friends made billions off the invasion of Iraq while the real enemies, the Taliban and al-Qaeda, escaped our military and set up shop in Pakistan. And again, and it’s so sad, W. knew along with our government that Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11.

We lost eight long years in the war on terror because W. and Cheney were more interested in profiting off of Iraqi oil than going after the real bastards who attacked us. Bush also ignored Afghanistan so much that in January of 2008, when his last year in office began, there were only 27,000 American soldiers in the country that harbored bin Laden and launched the 9-11 attacks (see The Afghanistan Speech, NY Times editorial, 12-2-09.)

It is absolutely criminal and disgusting we haven’t captured or killed Osama bin Laden by now. And most Americans don’t even know who two of the other real bastards are (who were also ignored by W. and Cheney because they weren’t sitting on billions of barrels of oil), al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri and former Taliban leader Mullah Omar, who we also haven’t captured or killed yet.

3. Quadruple the taxes on every politically-connected company that received a fat, Iraq war contract. The Iraq war is the most outsourced war ever fought by America. It marks the epitome of how our government, intelligence agencies and military-industrial-complex manipulate people, events and information to profit from war. Watch the trailer for the great documentary Why We Fight and listen to what an ex-CIA agent says about war profiteering.

Prior to becoming vice president Dick Cheney ran the world’s biggest oil services company, Halliburton. As vice president he gave his friends at Halliburton a $10 billion no-bid contract to provide several services to both our military and the Iraqi oil fields. It was also a massive conflict of interest. To see just how heinous (and what a chicken-hawk) he is read Why Dick Cheney Should be put on a Spaceship and Launched Into Outer Space. Here’s a guy who is so pathetic that when he ran Halliburton he not only did business with the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, but actually lobbied Congress to lift sanctions on that country so his company could do more business with the corrupt, religious extremists who run Iran.

But raising taxes on Halliburton is going to be tough, given how good the company is at not paying them in the first place. See: Top Iraq Contractor Skirts US Taxes Offshore, The Boston Globe, 3-6-08 or Halliburton’s Tax Haven Explained, Halliburton Watch, or Washington Watch; Halliburton’s Libyan Taxes, NY Times, 5-5-86 or – I think you get the picture.

Halliburton could also contribute better financially to the war on terror if it stopped overcharging the government (really us taxpayers) on everything from importing gasoline into Iraq (see High Payments to Halliburton for fuel in Iraq, NY Times, 12-10-03) to meals for our troops (see Halliburton Will Repay U.S. Excess Charges for Troops’ Meals, NY Times, 2-3-04).

Unfortunately there are far too many other Iraq war contractors who also avoided paying taxes and overcharged for their “patriotic” services.

Let’s finally make them pay for the war on terror, too.

Defeating Two Empires Simultaneously – But Not al-Qaeda

Posted in Iraq on June 13, 2009 by lylede

Here’s a pathetic analogy of our war on terror versus our war against European fascism in the 1940s: during WW II America and our allies simultaneously defeated two empires, the Third Reich and Imperial Japan, in less time than its taken us to defeat al-Qaeda.

Hitler controlled most of Europe, from Madrid to practically Moscow, the first (and only) ruler to do that since Napoleon in the early 1800s. Japan went on a tear in the 1930s, taking over several Asian countries and large parts of China. But by the fall of 1945 the guns “were silent” to paraphrase General Douglas MacArthur.

America has been bogged down in the unnecessary war in Iraq for six years now. It’s also been eight years since the tragic events of 9-11 and we still haven’t captured or killed Osama bin-Laden (or Mullah Omar, another real enemy and unknown to most Americans because of their own ignorance, a pathetic corporate media and Bush/Cheney/Rove manipulations).

The Taliban and al-Qaeda are thriving. The Taliban, based in Afghanistan and not Iraq, harbored bin-Laden and his crew. Iraq never attacked America in its history. But Iraq is awash in oil, something that obviously concerned George W. Bush and Dick Cheney more than seeking justice or eliminating the real threat to America.

Today in Afghanistan – eight years after we invaded without nearly enough troops or equipment because it doesn’t have any oil – this CNN headline reads: Taliban storm strategic Afghan city – CNN.com 5-12-09. And while more troops are being sent to Afghanistan if the proper amount were sent there after that country launched the 9-11 attacks there’s a good chance we would have already defeated the Taliban and al-Qaeda and captured or killed the real bastards who attacked us.

The Taliban also set up shop in Pakistan and control large parts of that country. The Pakistani Army, or actually the non-Taliban elements of the Pakistani Army, is finally engaging the Taliban and serious fighting is occurring there. If the Taliban are not defeated in Pakistan we are looking at several more years of terrorist attacks and warfare.

It’s a shame the Democrats in our government are just as corrupt, ignorant and inept as the Republicans and in the same pockets of their campaign contributors. Because if they weren’t they might not have voted for Bush’s war. And if ever a president (and V.P.) should have been impeached and then sent to jail for blatantly selling a war on a pack of lies it’s George W. Bush.

Why the Taliban loves George W. Bush (and Dick Cheney)

Posted in Iraq on May 17, 2009 by lylede

The Taliban probably say a prayer or two for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney every day. Since the terrible events of 9-11 America invaded two countries: Afghanistan, the country once ruled by the Taliban and whose leaders gave sanctuary to Osama bin Laden, and Iraq, the country that had nothing to do with 9-11 and never attacked America in its history.

It’s been eight years since 9-11. While the Taliban did suffer some initial setbacks in Afghanistan when America invaded in late 2001 they were never defeated. And today they control several areas of Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. We initially invaded Afghanistan with 1,300 troops and that level has risen to about 60,000 today. In 2003 we invaded Iraq with thousands more than the initial Afghanistan incursion and currently have close to 125,000 soldiers still there. Unfortunately the Taliban are still extremely dangerous, and flexing their muscles more than ever in Pakistan, thanks to Bush and Cheney’s unnecessary war in Iraq.

W. and Dick (both draft-dodgers by the way) obviously didn’t care about seeking justice or doing the right thing. They were more concerned with making profits and giving a no-bid $10 billion contract to Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, so it could get its hands on Iraqi oil fields. Other friends of the administration, like the private security firm Blackwater, got close to $1 billion in Iraq-war related contracts.

And speaking of Blackwater, in the wake of having six former employees facing manslaughter charges for the shooting deaths of 17 civilians in Baghdad, the company changed its name to Xe (pronounced like the letter Z). That sure makes everything better.

Meanwhile as Bush’s second term wound down he signed off on the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the Iraqi government. This treaty determines several things, including a three-year deadline for U.S. troops to leave Iraq. Its most-troubling clause, and further proof of how Iraq, regardless of what the right-wingers claim, is not our ally, states that U.S. forces based inside Iraq will not attack any of Iraq’s neighbors (see Deal on Iraq Withdrawal Poses a Pentagon Challenge – Time Magazine 11-18-08).

So why did W. sign off on the SOFA? Simple. He invaded Iraq for all the wrong reasons. And by agreeing not to attack Iraq’s neighbors he really tied the hands of our forces in Iraq and this only further proves what a mistake the war is. But W., cocky on the outside, incredibly insecure on the inside, also had to show America and the world what a tough, strong, “decider” leader he was. Oh yeah, and then there’s the billions of dollars of war-related contracts his friends and campaign contributors got.

Iraq, by demanding and getting us to not attack its neighbors, is obviously more concerned with protecting its new best friend, Iran, than showing any gratitude toward us. By putting the Shiites in power in Iraq with our invasion the Iraqis are now allied with their Shiite brethren in Iran, a truly frightening thought. Remember the first Persian Gulf War? The Saudi Royal Family practically begged Poppy Bush not to get rid of Saddam Hussein because they knew the balance of power in the region would be tipped toward a Shiite-based Iraq-Iran alliance, which is exactly what W. created with his war.

The Pakistani Army, or actually the non-Taliban elements of the Pakistani Army, is now engaging the Taliban in fighting in Pakistan. But Bush and Cheney had to have their Iraq war, and now we’re in for a hell of a lot more warfare for years to come.

Iraq – our ally?

Posted in Iraq on January 18, 2009 by lylede

Charles Krauthammer wrote in his 1-16-09 syndicated column, The sincerest form of flattery: Barack Obama is following in George Bush’s footsteps, that Iraq is now “an emerging democracy openly allied with the United States.” Really? Some ally. The Iraqi government demanded, and received from the Bush administration in the Status of Forces Agreement, that the U.S. will not use Iraqi territory to launch attacks on Iraq’s neighbors. (The agreement, also called SOFA, went into effect on 1-1-09. Article 27, Deterrence of Security Threats, states that “Iraqi land, sea, and air shall not be used as a launching or transit point for attacks against other countries.”) Did France, a real ally of ours during WW II, ban us from attacking its neighbors? The only new allies we created in the Middle East with this disastrous war is the Shiite alliance between Iraq and Iran. Iran is now the dominant power, allied with Iraq. The Shiites we put in power in Iraq are not our allies. If they were they wouldn’t have banned us from attacking their neighbors. And we are going to have to deal with the Iran-Iraq alliance for years to come, a frightening thought.

Mr. Krauthammer then peered into his crystal ball and closed the column by claiming the Iraq war will serve this country well in the coming years. Let’s consider a more realistic future: A) our troops leave in three years, there’s a coup and the next Saddam takes over. Should we invade again? B) Al-Maliki becomes our guy, cancels elections and rules Iraq with an iron fist. We’ve seen this game before in the likes of the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos, etc. C) Iraq finally gets its elusive WMDs – from its real ally, Iran.