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Quercki : iraq   21

Declassified CIA Document Reveals Iraq War Had Zero Justification - News Punch
The justification for going to war in Iraq thirteen years ago, was based on a 93-page classified document that allegedly contained “specific information” on former Iraqi leader President Saddam Hussein and the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs he was apparently running.

Now that document has been declassified and it reveals that there was virtually zero justification for the Iraq war. The document reveals that there was “no operational tie between Saddam and al Qaeda” and no WMD programs.

The report reveals that the intelligence community and the US Department of Energy did not think Saddam was pursuing any type of WMD program, and was instead developing rocket motors.
Iraq  war  lies  CIA 
11 weeks ago by Quercki
Most Veterans Say America’s Wars Are a Waste. No One’s Listening to Them. | The New Republic
Among veterans, 64% say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting considering the costs versus the benefits to the United States, while 33% say it was. The general public’s views are nearly identical: 62% of Americans overall say the Iraq War wasn’t worth it and 32% say it was. Similarly, majorities of both veterans (58%) and the public (59%) say the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting. About four-in-ten or fewer say it was worth fighting.

Veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan are no more supportive of those engagements than those who did not serve in these wars. And views do not differ based on rank or combat experience.
veterans  oppose  war  Iran  Iraq  Afghanistan 
july 2019 by Quercki
Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Implicated in Murder | The Nation
A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”

In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting “illegal” or “unlawful” weapons into the country on Prince’s private planes.
Iraq  Blackwater  murder  Erik_Prince  smuggling  Christian  military  law  intelligence 
march 2018 by Quercki
Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel - The Washington Post
Prince and his family were major GOP donors in 2016. The Center for Responsive Politics reported that the family gave more than $10 million to GOP candidates and super PACs, including about $2.7 million from his sister, DeVos, and her husband.

Prince’s father, Edgar Prince, built his fortune through an auto-parts company. Betsy married Richard DeVos Jr., heir to the Amway fortune.

Erik Prince has had lucrative contracts with the UAE government, which at one point paid his firm a reported $529 million to help bring in foreign fighters to help assemble an internal paramilitary force capable of carrying out secret operations and protecting Emirati installations from terrorist attacks.

Focus on Iran
The Trump administration and the UAE appear to share a similar preoccupation with Iran. Current and former officials said that Trump advisers were focused throughout the transition period on exploring ways to get Moscow to break ranks with Tehran.

“Separating Russia from Iran was a common theme,” said a former intelligence official in the Obama administration who met with Trump transition officials. “It didn’t seem very well thought out. It seemed a little premature. They clearly had a very specific policy position, which I found odd given that they hadn’t even taken the reins and explored with experts in the U.S. government the pros and cons of that approach.”
Erik_Prince  Blackwater  Iran  Russia  Trump  Iraq  abuse 
december 2017 by Quercki
Barack Obama Releases First Statement Since Leaving Office » Second Nexus
Fact checkers, such as Jon Finer, the Chief of Staff to former Secretary of State John Kerry and the director of policy planning at the State Department, noted several differences between Obama’s policy and Trump’s order:

That Obama’s 2011 policy, as Jon Finer, the former Chief of Staff to John Kerry, notes, did not “ban visas for refugees from Iraq for six months,” as refugees do not travel on visas and “while the flow of Iraqi refugees slowed significantly during the Obama administration’s review, refugees continued to be admitted to the United States during that time, and there was not a single month in which no Iraqis arrived here.”
That the Obama administration’s decision applied solely to citizens of Iraq and only to refugees and applicants for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), created by Congress to help Iraqis (and later Afghans) who supported the United States in their conflicts overseas.
That the review was a response to information regarding a specific threat, specifically the arrest in Kentucky of two Iraqi refugees, which are “still the only terrorism-related arrests out of about 130,000 Iraqi refugees and SIV holders admitted to the United States.”
That the Obama administration’s review was an “orderly, organized process” with, Finer notes, “over roughly a dozen deputies and principals committee meetings, involving Cabinet and deputy Cabinet-level officials from all of the relevant departments and agencies — including the State, Homeland Security and Justice Departments — and the intelligence community.
That the purpose of the Obama administration’s review “was to enhance the already stringent vetting to which refugees and SIV applicants were subjected.” Iraqi and Syrian refugees wait 18-24 months for approval to enter the United States and are subject to repeated review from interagency officials.
Trump  muslim  ban  Obama  Iraq 
january 2017 by Quercki
Former Head Of U.S. Special Forces: ISIS Would Not Exist If Bush Hadn’t Invaded Iraq | Deep Left Field
The hawks on the right love to claim that the invasion of Iraq during the George W. Bush Administration was a good thing for Iraq, the United States, and the long-term security of the Middle East, even though it has been proven time and time again to be a bigger myth than unicorns.

Now the former commander of American special forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, says the Iraqi invasion actually helped create newer, more lethal terrorists such as ISIS.

General Flynn told a German newspaper:

“We were too dumb. We didn’t understand who we had there at that moment. When 9/11 occurred, all the emotions took over, and our response was, ‘Where did those bastards come from? Let’s go kill them. Let’s go get them.’ Instead of asking why they attacked us, we asked where they came from. Then we strategically marched in the wrong direction.”

Iraq and Afghanistan were never connected in anyway whatsoever, despite protestations to the contrary by Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice in the runup to the Iraq war. Our invasion merely created a gigantic vacuum which was first filled by al-Qaeda in Iraq and then by ISIS.

Flynn also remarked:

“First we went to Afghanistan, where al-Qaeda was based, then we went to Iraq. Instead of asking ourselves why the phenomenon of terror occurred, we were looking for locations. This is a major lesson we must learn in order not to make the same mistakes again.”

And the retired general also said that he deeply regrets his role in the war against Iraq which has given rise to ISIS and other extremist terror groups:

“It was huge error. As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him. The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision.”
9/11  terrorism  Iraq  ISIL 
august 2016 by Quercki
Stonekettle Station: The Narrow Gate
We have to do it, they said, Iraq poses an imminent threat to the rest of the world.

You all remember how that worked out, right?

Turns out, Iraq wasn’t much of threat to anybody – and don’t try to tell me otherwise, because I was there.

The UN sanctions were working.

Iraq had no real weapons programs and no usable stocks of WMDs.

Oh certainly, our troops and the inspectors who followed found bits and pieces, a few old chemical rounds, rusting, unusable, leaking, more a danger to Iraqis than anybody else. There was no nuclear program and no biological one either.

A decade plus later and people like Muravchik dance around the morality of that preemptive war, and whether it was a violation of our own and international law.  Experts and politicians and jingoistic partisans still argue both sides of the issue and history has yet to provide a definitive verdict and likely never will – not because there is any real question but more because history is written by the winners and there’s nobody left in the ruins of Iraq to protest.

A decade of preemptive war, we got rid of Saddam Hussein and got something worse in his place and the consequences of that are all around us for even the most dimwitted to see, and Muravchilk is still rattling the saber and urging us into yet another war.
war  Israel  Iraq  Iran  Netanyahu 
march 2015 by Quercki
Stonekettle Station: Absolutely Nothing
So, what was it again that we were fighting for?

They had no idea what we were fighting for, those saber-rattling Chicken Hawks, the cowardly connected wealthy weasels who’d managed to avoid serving in their own war, who kept their children out of uniform, but just couldn’t wait to send us into one of their own making. They sent us off with parades and marching bands and cheering crowds … and brought the bodies home in secret, hidden away from the TV cameras and the public.

They had no plan and no idea what we were dying for, but they assured us what the war wasn’t  about – it wasn’t about religion.

Oh no, sir, we weren’t fighting to eradicate Muslims, it wasn’t about Islam. 

The Evangelical Christian religious extremists who started this war told us it wasn’t about religion.

Heh heh, riiiiiight. And Vietnam was really about containing communism. Sure.
Iraq  war  facts 
june 2014 by Quercki
Is Iran out of the US War Queue? The Twilight of the Hawks | Informed Comment
Washington hawks always have a war queue, knowing that their campaign supporters in the war industries expect it of them. Iraq was in the war queue in the 1990s. Since the fall of Baghdad in 2003, Iran has been the number one state in the war queue. This is so even though Iran is not a superpower or even a regional power. It hasn’t invaded another country in at least a century and a half. Its annual military budget is on the order of Singapore and Norway. It has a population slightly larger than France.

The point of having an enemies’ list is only in part in order to curb an enemy. It serves to scare the public and rally them around the politicians and make them willing to give up personal liberties or forget about being upset at being ruled on behalf of a handful of large corporations.

Putting a country in the war queue requires demonizing its leader, twisting his words to make him seem aggressive, and exaggerating his capabilities versus the US. Even Nikita Khrushchev, who denounced Stalin’s crimes, was depicted in the US as a menace who pledged, “We will bury you!” What Khrushchev actually had said was, “We’ll still be here when your capitalist system is dead and buried.” He was wrong but he wasn’t threatening to bury anyone. The Soviet Union’s economy was never more than half that of the US, and its military was no match for the American, but Americans were taught to be mortally afraid of the Soviets, what with their challenge to … gasp … the supremacy of private property.
war  solutions  MiddleEast  Iraq 
september 2013 by Quercki
Obama DOJ Asks Court to Grant Immunity to George W. Bush For Iraq War | War Is A Crime .org
In court papers filed today (PDF), the United States Department of Justice requested that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz be granted procedural immunity in a case alleging that they planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law.

Plaintiff Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now living in Jordan, filed a complaint in March 2013 in San Francisco federal court alleging that the planning and waging of the war constituted a “crime of aggression” against Iraq, a legal theory that was used by the Nuremberg Tribunal to convict Nazi war criminals after World War II.
Iraq  war  Bush  Cheney  Rice  crime 
august 2013 by Quercki
Eric Fair - An Iraq Interrogator's Nightmare
American authorities continue to insist that the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib was an isolated incident in an otherwise well-run detention system. That insistence, however, stands in sharp contrast to my own experiences as an interrogator in Iraq. I watched as detainees were forced to stand naked all night, shivering in their cold cells and pleading with their captors for help. Others were subjected to long periods of isolation in pitch-black rooms. Food and sleep deprivation were common, along with a variety of physical abuse, including punching and kicking. Aggressive, and in many ways abusive, techniques were used daily in Iraq, all in the name of acquiring the intelligence necessary to bring an end to the insurgency. The violence raging there today is evidence that those tactics never worked. My memories are evidence that those tactics were terribly wrong.

While I was appalled by the conduct of my friends and colleagues, I lacked the courage to challenge the status quo. That was a failure of character and in many ways made me complicit in what went on. I'm ashamed of that failure, but as time passes, and as the memories of what I saw in Iraq continue to infect my every thought, I'm becoming more ashamed of my silence.
torture  iraq  Abu_Ghraib  *** 
june 2011 by Quercki
Engaged Public Space and Shameless Plugs » ThickCulture
U.S. Soldiers - 2009. Committed suicide : 304
Killed in Iraq : 138
war  iraq  suicide 
december 2010 by Quercki
COSTOFWAR.COM - The Cost of War
Cost of War counter--changes. Can do by place, say Oakland.
war  cost  economics  military  Afghanistan  iraq 
november 2010 by Quercki
Auld Lang Syne: Farewell to another decade of "liberal media bias" | Media Matters for America
That Bush had decided to invade Iraq in July 2002. That Bush would justify the war with a WMD argument. That the intelligence to make that case was being "fixed around the policy." That the administration didn't much care what the United Nations thought.

But boy, the "liberal" media sure ran away from that messy story.

In the weeks after the Times of London published the Downing Street memo on May 1, 2005, White House spokesman Scott McClellan held 19 daily briefings and fielded approximately 940 questions from reporters. Exactly two of those queries were about the Downing Street memo and the White House's reported effort to fix prewar intelligence.
media  bias  politics  iraq 
december 2009 by Quercki
Feministe » “This is a farewell kiss, you dog”
The Iraqi journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi, 28, a correspondent for Al Baghdadia, an independent Iraqi television station, stood up about 12 feet from Mr. Bush and shouted in Arabic: “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!” He then threw a shoe at Mr. Bush, who ducked and narrowly avoided it.

As stunned security agents and guards, officials and journalists watched, Mr. Zaidi then threw his other shoe, shouting in Arabic, “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!”

And because U.S.-occupied Iraq is such a free society, the man was beaten, dragged outside, and is currently jailed.

Mr. Maliki’s security agents jumped on the man, wrestled him to the floor and hustled him out of the room. They kicked him and beat him until “he was crying like a woman,” said Mohammed Taher, a reporter for Afaq, a television station owned by the Dawa Party, which is led by Mr. Maliki. Mr. Zaidi was then detained on unspecified charges.
bush  iraq  war  politics 
december 2008 by Quercki
Shakesville: Lies, Cover-Ups, and the Culture of Protecting Our Boys
Col. Ann Wright has written a powerful piece about the murders of US military women being disguised as suicides. Several of these women were obviously assaulted and murdered by unknown assailants, mirroring the murders of military women at Fort Bragg by men they were involved with in some way; two of those murder victims were pregnant.
sexism  military  iraq  murder  california 
september 2008 by Quercki
U.S. Military Is Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers' 'Suicides' | War on Iraq | AlterNet
The deaths of 14 U.S. military (13 Army and one Navy) women and one British military woman who served in Iraq, Kuwait or Afghanistan have been classified as suicides.

Two Army women in Iraq (Pfc. Hannah Gunterman McKinney, a victim of vehicular homicide, and Pfc. Kamisha Block, who was shot five times by a fellow soldier who then killed himself) and two Navy women in Bahrain (MASN Anamarie Camacho and MASN Genesia Gresham, both shot by a male sailor who then shot, but did not kill, himself) have died at the hands of fellow military personnel.

Several more military women have died with unexplained "noncombat" gunshot wounds (U.S. Army Sgt. Melissa Valles, July 9, 2003: gunshot to the abdomen; Marine Lance Cpl. Juana Arellano, April 8, 2006: gunshot wound to the head while in a "defensive position"). Most of the deaths of women who have died of noncombat gunshot wounds have been classified as suicides, rather than homicides.
war  sexism  iraq  politics  military 
september 2008 by Quercki
Once Upon a Time...: A Choice of War Criminals
We can tell Republicans and independents, as well as Democrats, exactly why our nation so badly needs a change from the approach of Bush, Cheney and McCain.

After they wrecked our economy, it is time for a change.

After they abandoned the search for the terrorists who attacked us and redeployed the troops to invade a nation that did not attack us, it's time for a change.
war  Iraq 
september 2008 by Quercki
Effect Measure
Average Daily casulaties in Iraq
Iraq  war 
october 2007 by Quercki

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