Tag Archive: Iraq War

Apr 15 2016

The Global War On Terror Hoax

It has long been suspected that the Saudi Arabian government was involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the  United States and that are supporting Sunni terrorism throughout the Middle East. Yet, the US government has continued to support them with billions of dollars in military aid. Now, on the heels of President Barack Obama’s …

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May 20 2015

The Iraq Invasion Was Based on Lies & The MSM Knew It. (Up Date)

There are those of who knew that the Bush administration was lying about the intelligence that led up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. As Rolling Stones‘s Matt Taibbi put it, the invasion was as much a joke then as it is now and he calls out the media for their hypocritical “hounding of Jeb Bush” over his really stupid answers about his brother’s war. They seem to have forgotten their own complicity in the banging of the war drums.

So presidential hopeful Jeb Bush is taking a pounding for face-planting a question about his brother’s invasion of Iraq. Apparently, our national media priests want accountability from leaders on this issue. [..]

We can call this the “None of us pundits would have been wrong about Iraq if it wasn’t for Judith Miller” line of questioning. This rhetoric goes something like this: since we invaded, the war has gone epically FUBAR, so it’s obvious now that it was a mistake, and so we can mock you for not admitting as much.

But because of Judith Miller, it wasn’t obvious even to all of us geniuses back then, which is why virtually every media outlet to the right of Democracy Now! (MSNBC included, as old friend Alex Pareene wittily pointed out) got it wrong for years on end, back when this issue actually mattered.

Go back up a few paragraphs and look at that list of media outlets. All of them – the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times obviously, the Chicago Tribune – they were all card-carrying Iraq war cheerleaders.

I get that many of the individual writers involved in bashing Jeb this week were not the same writers who whored for the Bush administration back in the day. [..]

But the individuals aren’t the issue. It’s the general notion that the Iraq War issue was some kind of tough intellectual call that we all needed hindsight to sort out. It wasn’t, and we didn’t.

It was obvious even back then, to anyone who made the faintest effort to look at the situation honestly, that the invasion was doomed, wrong, and a joke. [..]

The Iraq invasion was always an insane exercise in brainless jingoism that could only be intellectually justified after accepting a series of ludicrous suppositions. [..]

That’s why the lambasting of Jeb Bush by all of these media voices grinds a little. At least plenty of Republicans sincerely thought the war was a good idea. But I know a lot of my colleagues in the media saw through the war from day one.

The bulk of them hid behind the morons in our business, people like Tom Friedman and David Brooks and Jeffrey “I trusted the Germans” Goldberg, frontline pundits who were pushed forward to do the dirty work, the hardcore pom-pom stuff.

Many others, particularly the editors, quietly sat by and let lie after lie spill onto their papers’ pages, telling themselves that this wasn’t wrong or a mistake until years later, when we found out for sure the WMD thing was a canard.

Hundred of thousands of people have died because none of these people in the media had the courage to stand up to the Bush administration’s lies.  Thousands are still dying and will continue to die at the hands of the militants the Iraq war unleashed and at the hands of the Obama and future US administrations under the guise of another lie, the Global War on Terror. The MSM continues to justify the invasion and this slaughter with the parade of pundits, both neo-con and neo-liberal, who refuse to mention their own complicity.

Up Date: 5/22/2015 19:30 EDT In an exclusive web interview with Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman and Nareem Shaikh, Matt Taibbi discussed his article and the complicity of journalists and the mainstream media in the run up to the Iraq war.



Transcript can be read here

Mar 26 2013

The Death of TV News

In the aftermath of 9/11 and the run up to the invasion of Iraq, the world was glued to television news, especially cable. Here in the US the news is dominated by three networks. CBS, ABC, and NBC and three major cable channels, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Most of the them spewed the Bush administration spin that Sadaam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, was building a nuclear weapon and had ties to Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda and 9/11, all lies and they knew it. This war was about the control of the oil reserves in Iraq, it always from the moment that the neocons got their hooks into the White House with Ronald Reagan’s election. It was under Reagan that the free press started to die with the end of the Fairness Doctrine and the loosening of regulation that allowed the likes of Rupert Murdoch to gobble up the airways, Fox news, and print media. It culminated in the 90’s with the corporate acquisition of NBC by General Electric and CBS by Viacom and CNN by Time Warner.

During the lead up to Iraq there was one voice on the airways that stood out against the hype, Phil Donahue, whose liberal voice focused on issues that divide liberals and conservatives in the United States, such as abortion, consumer protection, civil rights and war issues. His feud with another MSNBC host, Chris Matthews over the Iraq War led to the cancellation of Donahue’s popular show. Matthew’s involvement in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame is never mentioned.

The Day That TV News Died

by Chris Hedges, Truthdig

I am not sure exactly when the death of television news took place. The descent was gradual-a slide into the tawdry, the trivial and the inane, into the charade on cable news channels such as Fox and MSNBC in which hosts hold up corporate political puppets to laud or ridicule, and treat celebrity foibles as legitimate news. But if I had to pick a date when commercial television decided amassing corporate money and providing entertainment were its central mission, when it consciously chose to become a carnival act, it would probably be Feb. 25, 2003, when MSNBC took Phil Donahue off the air because of his opposition to the calls for war in Iraq.

Donahue and Bill Moyers, the last honest men on national television, were the only two major TV news personalities who presented the viewpoints of those of us who challenged the rush to war in Iraq. General Electric and Microsoft-MSNBC’s founders and defense contractors that went on to make tremendous profits from the war-were not about to tolerate a dissenting voice. Donahue was fired, and at PBS Moyers was subjected to tremendous pressure. An internal MSNBC memo leaked to the press stated that Donahue was hurting the image of the network. He would be a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war,” the memo read. Donahue never returned to the airwaves.

Phil Donahue on His 2003 Firing from MSNBC, When Liberal Network Couldn’t Tolerate Antiwar Voices

In 2003, the legendary television host Phil Donahue was fired from his prime-time MSNBC talk show during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The problem was not Donahue’s ratings, but rather his views: An internal MSNBC memo warned Donahue was a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war,” providing “a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.” Donahue joins us to look back on his firing 10 years later. “They were terrified of the antiwar voice,” Donahue says.

Transcript here

Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman confronted Matthews on Donahue’s firing outside NBC headquarters in New York City on the 10th anniversary of the invasion.

Buzzfeed unearthed the videos of the vitriolic exchanges between Matthew and Donahue revealing how much they despised each other. Matthews was the driving force that got Donahue fired and MSNBC was not eager to promote the anti-war point of view. Thank the internet for You Tube, here are the videos of the episode from Donahue’s show with guest Matthews:

Mar 21 2013

They Weren’t Wrong; They Lied

On MSNBC’s the “Last Word, Lawrence O’Donnell looked back at many of the voices who where for and against the invasion of Iraq. He said that those who were advocating for the war got it “wrong.” Well, Lawrence O’Donnell got it wrong because Pres. George W. Bush, Vice Pres. Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, at the time National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell weren’t “wrong,” they lied. They lied to Congress, the press, the world and us.

They knew they were lying. They knew there were no weapons of mass destruction, no nuclear program, no connection to 9/11, Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda. They exposed a CIA agent and her operation that was tracking Iran’s nuclear program in order to discredit her husband who said there was no evidence of a nuclear program. We will never know what happened to the people who were working with her in that operation.

They have gotten away with the worst war crime of the 21st century and, perhaps, in the history of this country. Shame on them, shame on Congress and the Justice Department for not doing its due diligence and shame on us for not demanding they be held accountable.

I’m not ready to make nice

Mar 21 2013

The Legacy of the US in Iraq

Warning: The video below the fold in this article contains very disturbing pictures that may be difficult for many to watch.

It is now ten years since the the United States launched its illegal invasion of Iraq based on a string of lies about non-existent weapons of mass destruction and wild accusations of Sadaam Hussein’s connection to Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and 9/11, all for control of Iraq’s oil riches by one evil man, Richard “Dick” Cheney. What the US has left behind is a devastated country:

Ten years ago, Iraqis, even if they had originally opposed them, hoped that the US invasion and occupation would at least bring an end to the suffering they had endured under UN sanctions and other disasters stemming from defeat in the first Gulf War in 1991. Today, people in Baghdad complain that they still live in a permanent state of crisis because of sectarian and criminal violence, pervasive corruption, a broken infrastructure and a dysfunctional government. Many Iraqis say that what they want in 2013 is the same as what they wanted in 2003, which is a visa enabling them to move to another country, where they can get a job.

But even worse, the US left a health care crisis that will last for generations, not just the lack of care and hospitals but a legacy of horrific birth defects and cancer that has been caused by depleted uranium (DU) contamination. DU, along with lead and mercury, was contained in the armor plating and ammunition used in attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan. The high rates of double and triple cancers, as well as miscarriages, still births and bizarre birth defects, in the cities of Basra and Falluja, have been blamed on DU by researchers. A study published in the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (pdf) that focused on maternity hospitals in the cities of Basra and Fallujah opens with this stunning paragraph:

Between October 1994 and October 1995, the number of birth defects per 1,000 live births in Al Basrah Maternity Hospital was 1.37. In 2003, the number of birth defects in Al Basrah Maternity Hospital was 23 per 1,000 livebirths. Within less than a decade, the occurrence of congenital birth defects increased by an astonishing 17-fold in the same hospital.  A yearly account of the occurrence and types of birth defects, between 2003 and 2011, in Al Basrah Maternity Hospital, was reported. Metal levels in hair, toe-nail, and tooth samples of residents of Al Basrah were also provided. The enamel portion of the deciduous tooth from a child with birth defects from Al Basrah (4.19 lg/g) had nearly three times higher lead than the whole teeth of children living in unimpacted areas. Lead was 1.4 times higher in the tooth enamel of parents of children with birth defects (2,497± 1,400 lg/g, mean±SD) compared to parents of

normal children (1,826± 1,819 lg/g).

The article concludes:

Present knowledge on the effects of prenatal exposure to metals, combined with our results, suggests that the bombardment of Al Basrah and Fallujah may have exacerbated public exposure to metals, possibly culminating in the current epidemic of birth defects. Large-scale epidemiological studies are necessary to identify at-risk populations in Iraq. The recognition that birth defects reported from Iraq are mainly folate-dependent offers possible treatment options to protect at-risk populations.

From Mike Ludwig at Truthout, there are currently over 300 contaminated sites that are in need of decontamination.

In 2012, European researchers visited a scrap metal site in Al Zubayr, an area near Basrah in southern Iraq. A local police officer told them that the site had at one time held military scrap metal from the bloody battles waged during the American invasion. A local guard told the researchers that children had been seen playing on the scrap during that time, and both adults and children had worked disassembling the military leftovers. At one point, the guard said, members of an international organization with equipment and white suits showed up, told guards that the site was very dangerous and “quickly ran off.” [..]

There are between 300 and 365 sites where depleted uranium contamination was identified by Iraqi authorities the years following the 2003 US invasion, with an estimated cleanup cost of $30 million to $45 million, according to a report recently released by IKV Pax Christi. Iraqi authorities are currently cleaning up the sites, mostly located in the Basrah region, and 30 to 35 sites still need to be decontaminated.

Feb 21 2013

The Media’s Hubris In Selling the Iraq War

The enraging thing is that it was all transparent bullshit at the time. They gaslighted the nation. ~Atrios~

On March 19, it will be ten years since President George W. Bush launched the Iraq War that was based wholly on lies at the cost of thousands of lives to the United States and Iraqis and well over three trillion dollars. The overthrow of Sadaam Hussein opened the “can of worms” of decades long animosity of the religious factions in the region that will contribute to the instability of the region for the unforeseeable future, not to mention, the increased animosity towards the United States that breeds more terrorists determines to seek revenge.

Based on the book Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War by David Corn and Michael Isikoff with updates of recently declassified documents, the hour long documentary, “Hubris: Selling of the Iraq War” narrated by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, is an accurate accounting of the web of lies and bad actors who entangled the US an illegal war, except, there is no mention of the MSNBC’s own complicity in selling the lie. David Swanson, author and one of the co-founders of War Is A Crime.org, notes that hubris isn’t the half of it:

As our government was making a fraudulent case to attack Iraq in 2002-2003, the MSNBC television network was doing everything it could to help, including booting Phil Donahue and Jeff Cohen off the air.  The Donahue Show was deemed likely to be insufficiently war-boosting and was thus removed 10 years ago next week, and 10 days after the largest antiwar (or anything else) demonstrations in the history of the world, as a preemptive strike against the voices of honest peaceful people.

From there, MSNBC proceeded to support the war with mild critiques around the edges, and to white-out the idea of impeachment or accountability.

But now MSNBC has seen its way clear to airing a documentary about the fraudulent case it assisted in, a documentary titled Hubris.  This short film (which aired between 9 and 10 p.m. ET Monday night, but with roughly half of those minutes occupied by commercials) pointed out the role of the New York Times in defrauding the public, but not MSNBC’s role. [..]

Despite this omission and the glossing over of any accountability for the lies then, and now about Iran, Mr. Swanson goes on to praise the all too short film (just short of 44 minutes minus commercials). He praises MSNBC and Ms. Maddow in hopes that American awareness about the lies that destroyed Iraq in hopes that it will stop an invasion of Iran.

At FDL‘s The Dissenter, Kevin Gosztola also reports the traditional MSM’s complicity and the refusal of Congress to hold anyone in the Bush – Cheney administration accountable, as well as, the MSM’s cooperation with the Obama administration to withhold information:

Eighty-two Democrats in the House of Representatives voted for the Iraq War resolution. Twenty-nine Democrats in the Senate, including Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, voted for the resolution. Jones has developed into an anti-war voice in Congress, but isn’t it remarkable that he is the one who gives the mea culpa in the documentary? Where is the Senate Democrat or House Democrat atoning for his or her role in making war possible?

Given the criminality of what the Bush administration did, it is shameful that none of the players involved have suffered consequences and David Corn makes this point, “A lot of people who purposely used extreme rhetoric to gin up populous support for the war, there have been no consequences for them.” [..]

Ten years on, it is appropriate to recount what happened, to remind Americans that what happened was wrong and there are criminals from the Bush administration who should have been held accountable in some way. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama and Congress, led by Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, shied away from accountability.

Between now and March 19, the tenth anniversary of the invasion, there should be reflection because it could happen again; maybe not a full-scale occupation but another military operation, perhaps, one involving drones. The media has not questioned Obama’s decision to wage conflict in Pakistan, Somalia or Yemen. Both the Washington Post and New York Times agreed to comply with requests from the Obama administration to not report on a drone base in Saudi Arabia. Now, there’s talk of Iran and “round magnets.” There is no US war or national security operation the US media has not collectively been willing to sell and it would not be surprising to see a presidential administration successfully manipulate the media again.

Hubris : Selling the Iraq War

There is no statute of limitations for war crimes.  

Jan 09 2013

The Hagel Haggle

Chuck HagelThe controversy over President Barack Obama’s nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense are, as Republicans say, he is anti-military, anti-Israel and soft on Iran. The gay Log Cabin Republicans, and a few others from the left, object because of his stand against the 1998 appointment of James Hormel as Ambassador to Luxembourg, who is openly gay. The problem on the left is he’s another Republican. Most of these objections won’t prevent Sen. Hagel from being confirmed.

At The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald discusses the concerns of the GLBT community and the objections of the left in his article:

When it comes to LGBT equality, 1998 is a different universe. Virtually no prominent Democrats (let alone Republicans) supported marriage equality back then, or even equal rights for LGBT citizens. In fact, Hagel’s comment came only two years after the overwhelming majority of Democratic Senators voted in favor of the truly odious and discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act – including Joe Biden, Patty Murray, Pat Leahy and Paul Wellstone – which was then signed into law by Bill Clinton. That law not only defined marriage as between a man and a woman, but barred the federal government from issuing any spousal benefits – immigration, tax, death benefits – to same-sex couples. If you’re going to judge politicians by how they felt about LGBT issues 15 years ago, be prepared to scorn almost every national Democratic Party hero you have as a bigot. [..]

So yes: like virtually every prominent politician in both parties, Chuck Hagel had primitive and ugly views on gay issues back in 1998. But shouldn’t the question be: does he still hold these views or, like huge numbers of Americans, have his viewed evolved since then? Hagel has apologized for what he said, an apology which Hormel accepted, graciously noting: “I can’t remember a time when a potential presidential nominee apologized for anything . . . .Since 1998, fourteen years have passed, and public attitudes have shifted–perhaps Senator Hagel has progressed with the times, too.” Moreover, Hagel last week also vowed that he is “fully supportive of ‘open service’ and committed to LGBT military families.” [..]

Then there’s the issue of Hagel’s party affiliation. The perception that Republicans are more trustworthy than Democrats on military issues – and that Democratic presidents thus had to rely on Republicans to run the Pentagon – was indeed both pervasive and baseless. But that, too, has changed: the outgoing Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, is as loyal and partisan a Democrat as it gets, and nobody objected to his selection.

But much more importantly: when it comes to issues such as war, militarism, defense spending and Middle East policy, isn’t substance much more significant than whether someone has an “R” or “D” after their name? As Obama himself proves – and as Biden and Clinton before him proved – the fact that someone has a “D” after their name is hardly a guarantor that they will oppose policies of aggression and militarism. Indeed, as Clemons said Friday night on MSNBC, most Democrats in the Pentagon are so afraid of being cast as “soft on defense” that they hug policies of militarism far more eagerly and unquestioningly than Chuck Hagel ever would. Is partisan identity so all-consuming that it completely trumps substance, so that a hawkish Democrat is preferable to a war-skeptic Republican?

Just as a reminder, although Sen. Hagel objected to the authorization to invade Iraq in 2002, he still voted for it. So have the feral children of the right turned on him? It would seem that Sen. Hagel did the unthinkable, he told he truth about the real reason for the invasion, oil. He then committed a second “cardinal sin” when he voted for withdrawal.

Then according to the neocon’s he is soft on Iran and not sufficiently pro-Israel and has even been called antisemitic. Those objections are based on Sen. Hagel’s refusal to sign onto a number of AIPAC’s policy pronouncements and objections to military intervention with Iran over a non-existant nuclear weapons program.  Since most of those allegations are exaggerated or just false, the opposition is losing “steam” according to Josh Marshall at TPM:

Nominations lose steam or gain steam. Campaigns against nominations lose steam or gain steam. And at the moment, the campaign against Chuck Hagel’s nomination is losing steam. AIPAC and the ADL have both signaled they do not plan to make a fight of it. Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister is giving Hagel the thumbs up. Now even the Washington Post editorial page has signaled it’s backing off its opposition.

As I noted on Sunday, the prospect of a five seat Democratic majority denying a reelected President the nomination of a former Senator who is blandly unobjectionable anywhere outside the hothouse of DC was always quite unlikely. And these tells are consequential precisely because they signal that the parties in question don’t think it’s a winnable fight.

This is all a tempest in a teapot and ridiculous on its face just as the complaints that Pres. Obama isn’t sufficiently bipartisan. Sen. Hagel is just another in a long succession of right of center nominees, appointments and hold overs from the Bush administration that have been part of Pres. Obama’s neoliberal agenda.  

Dec 05 2010

The Wikileaks Debate

Democracy Now hosted a debate about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. The guests were Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional law attorney and legal blogger for Salon and Steven Aftergood, senior research analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. He directs the Project on Government Secrecy and runs Secrecy News. The transcript is in this link to Democracy Now.

Is WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange a Hero? Glenn Greenwald Debates Steven Aftergood of Secrecy News

Nov 14 2010

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Misremembering George W. Bush

Crossposted at Daily Kos and Docudharma



Bush Memoir by Rob Rogers, see reader comments in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Buy this cartoon

George W. Bush is on a book tour with his new autobiography.  According to critics, there isn’t a lot of new or revealing material here.  W still believes the war in Iraq, tax cuts for the rich and torture were all good ideas.  He didn’t really need to publish a non-reflective memoir to tell us that.

Oct 29 2010

Wikileaks War Log: How the Rest of the World Views the US

The Real Story the NYT’s ignored while instead engaging in a smear campaign on Julian Assange.

Salon media critic Glenn Greenwald hammers at a point we mentioned in our first read of the WikiLeaks coverage on Friday afternoon. That is, that as with the Afghanistan dump, there was an obvious disparity between the way that the Times reported out and framed its Iraq War Logs package and the way that Der Spiegel, Le Monde, and particularly The Guardian did. . . .

Reading the Times report next to its European counterparts is in many ways an illustration in the differences between mainstream American newspaper reporting and that of more partisan presses like Britain’s. Across the pond, the language is stronger, more inflammatory, and the reports plainly more hard-hitting. It’s a style that often doesn’t work for our sensibilities, and a non-partisan, scrupulously fair press is something to applaud.

But it feels that in its presentation of both WikiLeaks war dumps the Times has been tame to a fault; as if afraid of the material that it has been given by a man and organization they’ve sought to greatly distance themselves from, while working with both. As Greenwald says, the reporting seems a bit whitewashed.  

BBC:

Huge Wikileaks release shows US ‘ignored Iraq torture’

Wikileaks has released almost 400,000 secret US military logs, which suggest US commanders ignored evidence of torture by the Iraqi authorities.

The Guardian:

Iraq war logs: secret files show how US ignored torture

• Massive leak reveals serial detainee abuse

• 15,000 unknown civilian deaths in war

Al Jazeera:

US turned blind eye to torture

Leaked documents on Iraq war contain thousands of allegations of abuse, but a Pentagon order told troops to ignore them.

These are but a few of the headlines and reports about US and coalitions war crimes. Where is the investigation? Where are the NYT and the Washington Post who were so instrumental in exposing the fraud of the Viet Nam War and the crimes of the White House? Not in the US but in Great Britain, the US partner in the crime.

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