Posts tagged Iraq
Is the War on Terror a Lost Cause?
Published by NextNewsNetwork
Published on Jan 7, 2014
WASHINGTON—As the second session of the 113th Congress began at noon Jan. 6, Rep. Howard McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), released a news bulletin bemoaning the loss of the city of Fallujah to al-Qaeda forces in Iraq.
In his press release, McKeon limited criticism about what critics call the Fallujah folly to Secretary of State John Kerry, the former Massachusetts senator. Kerry is saying Iraq’s own government now has the responsibility to pick up the pieces on Fallujah.
McKeon noted, “I am dismayed by Secretary Kerry’s dismissal of the threat from al-Qaeda as ‘Iraq’s battle to fight.’ It took two bloody battles to liberate Fallujah. Many U.S., British, and Iraqi forces—Sunni and Shia—lost their lives to secure that city.”
But was Fallujah, a strategic city west of Baghdad, really “liberated” by U.S. Marines in 2004? Critics say the U.S. liberation amounted to a brutal assault, which included the use of white phosphorus weapons on scores of civilians who were among the claimed enemy “insurgents.” Yet all of that fighting appears to have been futile.
Al-Qaeda, once “masterminded” by notorious 9-11 arch-villain Osama bin Laden, is, of course, the enemy organization blamed for the 9-11 attacks. And those attacks were used to justify an Iraq war that just passed the 10-year mark, and an Afghanistan quagmire that is America’s longest-ever war.
McKeon also cited Iran when he added: “When our allies fight al-Qaeda for us, and the United States sits on the sidelines, not only do our allies notice, but so do our adversaries. I note that Iran has already jumped in with offers of assistance. When terrorism is allowed to flourish abroad, when the specter of insurgency haunts democratic nations, our own security suffers.”
McKeon added that Sec. Kerry and the Obama Administration should realize that in spite of their desire to wish the threat away, al-Qaeda has evolved and remains “a shared threat.” And citing a rationale for more U.S. military involvement, McKeon stated: “I urge the Administration to demonstrate a full commitment in support of an ally fighting a common enemy.”
Is this the same old song from legislators obsessed with the idea that the U.S. must be both an empire and an umpire and continually police the world? Will the current war on terror ever end, given breaking news that more and more U.S. weapons shipments are bound for Iraq?
Of course, real terrorists do exist, especially closer to home. Missing among members of perhaps the most unpopular Congress in U.S. history are sustained, constructive concerns about loose immigration laws that help enable Mexican drug cartels to set up networks in various U.S. cities, both in border towns and in inland towns.
Meanwhile, eyewitnesses are saying that even Iraq’s government itself has lost control of Fallujah. Al-Qaeda-linked militants now are said to control southern Fallujah, while tribesmen allied with al-Qaeda hold the rest of it. Therefore, the purpose of the U.S. sack of Fallujah—indeed the purpose of the overall war on terror—is getting increasingly harder to understand.
Download your free Next News “Heroes & Villains” Poster here: http://nextnewsnetwork.com/the-2013-h…
By Ron Paul
Iraq: The ‘Liberation’ Neocons Would Rather Forget
Remember Fallujah? Shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the US military fired on unarmed protestors, killing as many as 20 and wounding dozens. In retaliation, local Iraqis attacked a convoy of US military contractors, killing four. The US then launched a full attack on Fallujah to regain control, which left perhaps 700 Iraqis dead and the city virtually destroyed.
According to press reports last weekend, Fallujah is now under the control of al-Qaeda affiliates. The Anbar province, where Fallujah is located, is under siege by al-Qaeda. During the 2007 “surge,” more than 1,000 US troops were killed “pacifying” the Anbar province. Although al-Qaeda was not in Iraq before the US invasion, it is now conducting its own surge in Anbar.
For Iraq, the US “liberation” is proving far worse than the authoritarianism of Saddam Hussein, and it keeps getting worse. Last year was Iraq’s deadliest in five years. In 2013, fighting and bomb blasts claimed the lives of 7,818 civilians and 1,050 members of the security forces. In December alone nearly a thousand people were killed.
I remember sitting through many hearings in the House International Relations Committee praising the “surge,” which we were told secured a US victory in Iraq. They also praised the so-called “Awakening,” which was really an agreement by insurgents to stop fighting in exchange for US dollars. I always wondered what would happen when those dollars stopped coming.
Where are the surge and awakening cheerleaders now?
One of them, Richard Perle, was interviewed last year on NPR and asked whether the Iraq invasion that he pushed was worth it. He replied:
I’ve got to say I think that is not a reasonable question. What we did at the time was done in the belief that it was necessary to protect this nation. You can’t a decade later go back and say, well, we shouldn’t have done that.
Many of us were saying all along that we shouldn’t have done that – before we did it. Unfortunately the Bush Administration took the advice of the neocons pushing for war and promising it would be a “cakewalk.” We continue to see the results of that terrible mistake, and it is only getting worse.
Last month the US shipped nearly a hundred air-to-ground missiles to the Iraqi air force to help combat the surging al-Qaeda. Ironically, the same al-Qaeda groups the US is helping the Iraqis combat are benefiting from the US covert and overt war to overthrow Assad next door in Syria. Why can’t the US government learn from its mistakes?
The neocons may be on the run from their earlier positions on Iraq, but that does not mean they have given up. They were the ones pushing for an attack on Syria this summer. Thankfully they were not successful. They are now making every effort to derail President Obama’s efforts to negotiate with the Iranians. Just last week William Kristol urged Israel to attack Iran with the hope we would then get involved. Neoconservative Senators from both parties recently introduced the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, which would also bring us back on war-footing with Iran.
Next time the neocons tell us we must attack, just think “Iraq.”
By Ron Paul
What Was Not Said About Iraq
October was Iraq’s deadliest month since April, 2008. In those five and a half years, not only has there been no improvement in Iraq’s security situation, but things have gotten much worse. More than 1,000 people were killed in Iraq last month, the vast majority of them civilians. Another 1,600 were wounded, as car bombs, shootings, and other attacks continue to maim and murder.
As post-“liberation” Iraq spirals steadily downward, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was in Washington last week to plead for more assistance from the United States to help restore order to a society demolished by the 2003 US invasion. Al-Qaeda has made significant recent gains, Maliki told President Obama at their meeting last Friday, and Iraq needs more US military aid to combat its growing influence.
Obama pledged to work together with Iraq to address al-Qaeda’s growing presence, but what was not said was that before the US attack there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq. The appearance of al-Qaeda in Iraq coincided with the US attack. They claimed we had to fight terror in Iraq, but the US invasion resulted in the creation of terrorist networks where before there were none. What a disaster.
Maliki also told President Obama last week that the war in next-door Syria was spilling over into Iraq, with the anti-Assad fighters setting off bombs and destabilizing the country. Already more than 5,000 people have been killed throughout Iraq this year, and cross-border attacks from Syrian rebels into Iraq are increasing those numbers. Again, what was not said was that the US government had supported these anti-Assad fighters both in secret and in the open for the past two years.
Earlier in the week a group of Senators – all of whom had supported the 2003 US invasion of Iraq – sent a strongly-worded letter to Obama complaining that Maliki was far too close to the Iranian government next door. What was not said was that this new closeness between the Iraqi and Iranian governments developed under the US-installed government after the US invasion of Iraq.
Surely there is plenty of blame that can be placed on Maliki and the various no-doubt corrupt politicians running Iraq these days. But how was it they came to power? Were we not promised by those promoting the war that it would create a beach-head of democracy in the Middle East and a pro-American government?
According to former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, in early 2001 as the new Bush administration was discussing an attack on Iraq, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, “Imagine what the region would look like without Saddam and with a regime that’s allied with US interests. It would change everything in the region and beyond it. It would demonstrate what US policy is all about.”
We see all these years later now how ridiculous this idea was.
I have long advocated the idea that since we just marched in, we should just march out. That goes for US troops and also for US efforts to remake Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and everywhere the neocon wars of “liberation” have produced nothing but chaos, destruction, and more US enemies overseas. We can best improve the situation by just leaving them alone.
The interventionists have unfortunately neither learned their lesson from the Iraq debacle nor have they changed their tune. They are still agitating for regime change in Syria, even as they blame the Iraqi government for the destabilization that spills over. They are still agitating for a US attack on Iran, with Members of Congress introducing legislation recently that would actually authorize US force against Iran.
It looks like a very slow learning curve for our bipartisan leaders in Washington. It’s time for a change
After a couple days I finally had a chance to see this video from September 1st which I had open in a few browser tabs waiting for me. Hillary Mann Leverett was included in a panel discussion regarding the buildup to yet more warmongering, this time for Syria, held on the quickly fading mainstream media station MSNBC. A classic study of intelligence verses msm spin in which Hillary Mann Leverett shinned using tactics basically extinct in today’s lapdog media, honesty, facts and logic. Enjoy!
Written by Daniel McAdams
Lapdog Regime Journalists versus a Bona Fide Expert: Watch the Sparks Fly!
RPI Academic Board Member Hillary Mann Leverett absolutely destroys the conventional wisdom-mongering and regime lapdog “journalists” on Obama’s march to war on Syria. Watch the smug bootlickers discount the sole voice of reason — an expert on the region rather than a talking head:
Thanks to Travis Holte for link.
Posted by Robert Wenzel
Kerry Caught Using Fake Photo to Fuel Syrian War
Secretary of State John Kerry opened his speech Friday by describing the horrors victims of the chemical weapon attack suffered, including twitching, spasms and difficulty breathing.
Attempting to drive the point home, Kerry referenced a photograph used by the BBC illustrating a child jumping over hundreds of dead bodies covered in white shrouds. The photo was meant to depict victims who allegedly succumbed to the effects of chemical weapons via Assad’s regime.
However, it was later exposed the photograph used had been taken in 2003 in Iraq. It was not related to Syrian deaths whatsoever and was later retracted.
Newly Discovered Eighth Grade Exam From 1912 Shows How Dumbed Down America Has Become
Have you ever seen the movie “Idiocracy”? It is a movie about an “average American” that wakes up 500 years in the future only to discover that he is the most intelligent person by far in the “dumbed down” society that is surrounding him. Unfortunately, that film is a very accurate metaphor for what has happened to American society today. We have become so “dumbed down” that we don’t even realize what has happened to us. But once in a while something comes along that reminds us of how far we have fallen. In Kentucky, an eighth grade exam from 1912 was recently donated to the Bullitt County History Museum. When I read this exam over, I was shocked at how difficult it was.
Could most eighth grade students pass such an exam today? Of course not. In fact, I don’t even think that I could pass it. Sadly, this is even more evidence of “the deliberate dumbing down of America” that former Department of Education official Charlotte Iserbyt is constantly warning us about. The American people are not nearly as mentally sharp as they once were, and with each passing generation it gets even worse.
Just check out some of the questions from the eighth grade exam that was discovered. Do you think that you could correctly answer these?…
-Through which waters would a vessel pass in going from England through the Suez Canal to Manila?
-How does the liver compare in size with other glands in the human body?
-How long of a rope is required to reach from the top of a building 40 feet high to the ground 30 feet from the base of a building?
-Compare arteries and veins as to function. Where is the blood carried to be purified?
-During which wars were the following battles fought: Brandywine, Great Meadows, Lundy’s Lane, Antietam, Buena Vista?
A copy of the exam is posted below. Today, it would be a real challenge for many college students to correctly answer most of these questions correctly…
If you would like to know what the correct answers to these questions are, you can find them right here.
One of the areas that Americans are horribly deficient in today is geography. If you give them a blank world map, most Americans can only identify a very limited number of countries. In fact, according to a survey that was conducted by the National Geographic Society several years ago, only 37 percent of all Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 could find the nation of Iraq on a map of the world even though the United States was actively fighting a war there at the time.
Our young people are also horribly deficient when it comes to math and science. At this point, 15-year-olds in the United States do not even rank in the top half of all industrialized nations when it comes to math and science literacy.
How do we expect to thrive as a nation with these kinds of results?
In a previous article entitled “Dumb As A Rock: You Will Be Absolutely Amazed At The Things That U.S. High School Students Do Not Know“, I discussed some more survey results that show how dumb our high school students have become…
*Only 43 percent of all U.S. high school students knew that the Civil War was fought some time between 1850 and 1900.
*More than a quarter of all U.S. high school students thought that Christopher Columbus made his famous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean after the year 1750.
*Approximately a third of all U.S. high school students did not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
*Only 60 percent of all U.S. students knew that World War I was fought some time between 1900 and 1950.
Even more shocking were the results of a survey of Oklahoma high school students conducted back in 2009. The following is a list of the questions that were asked and the percentage of students that answered correctly….
What is the supreme law of the land? 28 percent
What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution? 26 percent
What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress? 27 percent
How many justices are there on the Supreme Court? 10 percent
Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? 14 percent
What ocean is on the east coast of the United States? 61 percent
What are the two major political parties in the United States? 43 percent
We elect a U.S. senator for how many years? 11 percent
Who was the first President of the United States? 23 percent
Who is in charge of the executive branch? 29 percent
So why is this happening?
Well, for one thing, our system of public education is a complete and total joke. We have millions of kids “graduating from high school” that can barely read, that have almost no ability to speak in public, that cannot write a decent essay and that cannot balance a checkbook.
It also doesn’t help that Americans (especially young Americans) are absolutely addicted to entertainment. Americans spend an average of 153 hours watching television each month, and when we aren’t watching television we are watching movies, playing video games, surfing the Internet, etc.
When is the last time that you saw a young person actually reading a book that was not required for school? Yes, it does happen once in a while, but it is so rare that it is kind of startling when you spot it happening.
But it is not just our young people that have been “dumbed down”. Even our presidents have been “dumbed down”. If you doubt this, just check out this amazing graphic which shows how the reading level of State of the Union addresses has steadily declined since the beginning of our nation.
Personally, I have an awareness that I should be able to think much more clearly than I am able to right now. I can feel the effect that our society has had on my own mental abilities, and it frustrates me.
A lot has been written about the decline of our health here in America, but very little gets written about our mental decline. That is a shame, because our ability to think clearly and rationally is so very critical to our future.
So what do you think about all of this?
Do you agree that America has been “dumbed down”?
Please feel free to share your opinion by posting a comment here…
Image credit: http://endoftheamericandream.com
Posted by Judy Morris
The Crazy Neocon Newtster is Channeling Ron and Rand Paul on Foreign Policy
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a leading neoconservative hawk and staunch supporter of Israel, says the U.S. military interventions he has long supported to promote democracy in the Middle East and elsewhere have backfired and need to be re-evaluated.
“I am a neoconservative. But at some point, even if you are a neoconservative, you need to take a deep breath to ask if our strategies in the Middle East have succeeded,” the 2012 Republican presidential hopeful said in an interview.
Mr. Gingrich supported the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, but he said he has increasingly doubted the strategy of attempting to export democracy by force to countries where the religion and culture are not hospitable to Western values.
“It may be that our capacity to export democracy is a lot more limited than we thought,” he said.
Mr. Gingrich at times has expressed doubts about the U.S. capacity for nation-building, but he said he now has formed his own conclusions about their failures in light of the experiences of the past decade.
“My worry about all this is not new,” Mr. Gingrich said. “But my willingness to reach a conclusion is new.”
Mr. Gingrich said it is time for Republicans to heed some of the anti-interventionist ideas offered by the libertarian-minded Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, and Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, tea party favorite and foreign policy skeptic.
ON LOCATION: Manning Trial Aftermath Ft Meade
Published by NextNewsNetwork
Gary Franchi of Next News Network interviews Kevin Gosztola, writer for FireDogLake, who is on location of the Bradley Manning trial in Ft. Meade, MD. Gosztola has been covering the Manning trial on a daily basis.
The Biggest Oil Discovery In 50 Years?
In a virtually uninhabitable section of South Australia, a discovery has been made which could rock the world. Some are calling it the biggest discovery of oil in 50 years. Earlier this year, a company called Linc Energy announced that tests had revealed that there was a minimum of 3.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent sitting under more than 65,000 square kilometres of land that it owns in the Arckaringa Basin. But that is the minimum number. It has been projected that there could ultimately be up to 233 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the area. If that turns out to be accurate, the oil sitting under that land is worth approximately 20 trillion dollars, and it would be roughly equivalent to the total amount of oil sitting under the sands of Saudi Arabia. In essence, it would be a massive game changer.
If the 233 billion barrel figure is accurate (and some have even suggested that the true number could actually be 400 billion barrels), that would make it nearly 10 times larger than the Bakken formation, 17 times larger than the Marcellus discovery and 80 times larger than the Eagle Ford deposit down in Texas.
It would also mean that Australia now has more “black gold” than the nations of Iran, Iraq, Canada and Venezuela.
The closest town to this oil discovery, Coober Pedy, is in the process of being totally transformed. It normally only has about 1,700 inhabitants, but news of this discovery has drawn in 20,000 additional people already and real estate prices in the town are absolutely skyrocketing.
So does all of this mean that gas prices will go down soon?
Well, unfortunately that is not likely to be the case.
First of all, the oil in this formation in Australia is going to be quite expensive to extract. It has been estimated that it is going to cost up to 300 million dollars just to get this site ready for production.
In addition, many of our politicians are absolutely determined to greatly punish the use of oil because they believe that it is the primary cause of global warming. So they continue to raise taxes on gasoline consumption.
Today, motorists in the United States pay an average of 49.5 cents of taxes per gallon of gasoline, and in the state of California motorists pay an average of 71.9 cents of taxes per gallon of gasoline.
Hopefully the price of gasoline will come down a bit over the next few years, but even if it does I would not expect it to come down too much.
But what we can be sure of is that the world is not going to run out of oil any time soon. Those that have been predicting that we are are on the verge of an “energy doomsday” can take a rest for a while.
Sometimes it is funny to look back and remember some of the ridiculous things that our politicians were saying about oil in the old days. For example, U.S. President Jimmy Carter made the following statement back in 1977….
“Unless profound changes are made to lower oil consumption, we now believe that early in the 1980s the world will be demanding more oil than it can produce”.
That prediction didn’t exactly work out for him did it?
It is time that the American people were told the truth about our energy situation, and the truth is that we have plenty of energy resources. The following stats have been updated from one of my previous articles…
#1 Back in 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey told the American people that the Bakken Shale formation in western North Dakota and eastern Montana only held 151 million barrels of oil. Today, government officials are admitting that it holds 7.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil, and some analysts believe that the actual number could be closer to 24 billion barrels of oil.
#2 It is estimated that there are 19 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the tar sands of Utah.
#3 It is estimated that there are 86 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the Outer Continental Shelf.
#4 It is believed that there are 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the Green River formation in Wyoming.
#5 Overall, the United States is sitting on approximately 1.442 trillion barrels of recoverable oil.
#6 According to the Institute of Energy Research, the United States has an 88 year supply of natural gas.
#7 According to the Institute of Energy Research, the United States has a 169 year supply of oil.
#8 According to the Institute of Energy Research, the United States has a 465 year supply of coal.
#9 Goldman Sachs is predicting that the United States will be the number one oil producing country in the world by the year 2017.
So the bottom line is that we have plenty of energy resources. We do not need to be importing oil from OPEC or anyone else.
But just because we are not going to run out of oil, natural gas or coal any time soon does not mean that we should not be developing alternative energy resources. We should definitely be seeking ways to produce energy more cheaply, more cleanly and more efficiently.
If America does not end up leading the world in developing new forms of energy, we should be ashamed of ourselves. And right now, the Chinese appear to be way ahead of us as far as thorium energy is concerned, and Italian scientists appear to be ahead of our own scientists in developing “cold fusion” technology.
So yes, let’s be glad that we are not going to be facing a crippling energy crisis in this generation, but let’s also not be complacent. There are lots of new technologies out there just waiting to be developed, and the rewards are going to go to those that are able to develop them first.
Read more articles like this at: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Posted by Judy Morris
What REALLY Caused the Coup Against the Egyptian President
The protests in Egypt against president Mohammed Morsi were – according to the BBC – the largest in history.
The Egyptian military threw Morsi out in a coup today.
(The U.S. backed Egypt’s previous dictator, as well).
Support of Western intervention in Syria was also one of the main causes of the recent enormous protests in Turkey … which came close to toppling the Turkish leadership.
Indeed, the American government has been providing arms, money and logistical support to Al Qaeda in Syria,Libya, Mali, Bosnia and other countries – and related Muslim terrorists in Chechnya, Iran, and many other countries. So moderate Arabs all over the Middle East and North Africa are becoming furious at U.S. interventionist policies.
Note: The coup is a set-back for the U.S., because Egypt – unlike Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran – isn’t on the 20-year-old list of countries targeted for regime change.
Read the rest at Zero Hedge, here.
Image added to original post.