Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Will the U.S. Ever Leave Iraq?

Withdrawal Won't Happen: Peel back the political theatrics, and the plain truth about the U.S. conquest of Iraq is easy to see. The Democratic majority elected to Congress on a withdraw-from-Iraq platform, has made all the necessary back room deals and sniveling public excuses necessary to assure the continued and expanded U.S. occupation of Iraq. It seems the weapons and petroleum industries bought their way in before the election, and are now pumping serious bribe money into the Democratic campaign coffers.

Let's take a look at what the U.S. has been doing inside Iraq, to help the Iraqi people prepare for independent self government.

The United States is nearing completion of 14 fortified military bases in Iraq; the Pentagon has called them "enduring bases". They include four Air Force bases, strategically sited to dominate and control Baghdad, Iraq's major oil pipelines, and its largest oil port. Smaller bases follow pipelines like Crusader forts along pilgramage routes in days of yore.

The new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, scheduled for completion this year but delayed due to incompetent construction work by a corrupt Halliburton subsidiary, is a heavily armed and fortified command compound with independent water and power facilities, built to house over 1500 full time residents and accommodate 4000 workers.

The United States declared Iraq a sovereign State in June of 2004. Compare the basic definition of sovereignty, "supreme authority within a territory", with the sovereign rights asserted by the United States over Iraq, including 97 so-called binding instructions controlling Iraqi law and internal affairs. The U.S. has asserted its authority to attack sovereign Iraqi territory and kill Iraqi citizens regardless of Iraqi government objections. By U.S. decree, American military personnel, American mercenaries, and American oil companies shall be immune from prosecution in Iraqi courts for crimes committed inside Iraq against Iraqi citizens.

Propaganda ceremonies and diplomatic lies aside, Iraq is not a sovereign nation, it is an occupied territory. This has all happened before: The British set up a "sovereign" puppet government in Iraq in the 1920s. The Iraqi people eventually revolted, threw the occupying power out, and the end result of this violent and disorderly process was... the Saddam Hussein regime.

The so-called sectarian civil war in Iraq began under highly suspicious circumstances. In September of 2005, two British SAS soldiers disguised as Arab civilians were arrested by Iraqi police, in a car loaded with weapons and explosives. The British Army used tanks to break into the jail where these unlawful combatants were being held, to retrieve them before they could be interrogated. Reports suggesting a pattern of staged terrorism designed to incite violence between Iraqi militias and religious groups may gain credibility in light of open U.S. proposals to use terrorism against "the insurgents".

The Salvador option is a name given to a proposal to recruit and train death squads in Iraq, to carry out terrorist attacks against opponents of U.S. policy. John Negroponte, the first U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, coordinated U.S. support for right-wing death squads in Central America during the Regan administration. Special Police Commandos, secret police trained by veterans of U.S. terrorist programs in El Salvador and Columbia, kidnap, torture, and murder at will. This is what U.S. taxpayers get for the $3 billion approved by Congress to recruit and train Iraqi paramilitary units.

Dozens of dead bodies are dumped daily in Baghdad, bearing mute testimony to a consistent pattern of torture and execution. Five hundred mutilated bodies dumped into the River Tigris have been washed up in two years. Corporate press reports pointedly ignore the massive scale and consistent pattern of this reign of terror; editorial policy from On High seems to be "blame the Iraqi people and move on".

190 Iraqi academics and 224 health care professionals were murdered between April 2003 and April 2006. This long term program appears to be aimed at removing Iraq's brain - the teachers and educated professional class. These people, essential to the establishment and functioning of a democratic self-governing Iraq, were initially killed by snipers at long range - no motive, no suspects. The assassins do not discriminate on the basis of religious sect or political affiliation. Today the same targeted professionals are being kidnapped and murdered by paramilitary death squads. 106 reporters and 39 journalistic support staff have also been murdered, the ultimate form of press censorship.

Saddam Hussein's last public statement before the fall of Baghdad included a threat to use a secret super-weapon against the Americans. That secret weapon was the ungovernable Iraqi people, and he lived long enough to see the any hope of a U.S. military victory fade away. Recent polls indicate that over half the Iraqi people now approve of killing "coalition forces", a.k.a. the U.S. military and its mercenary counterparts.

As Major Thomas Neemeyer, the head American intelligence officer for the 1st Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division said, "The only way to stomp out the insurgency of the mind would be to kill the entire population."

The United States can not get out of Iraq without arming the Iraqi government adequately to assure real Iraqi sovereignty in the form of secure borders. Nor can the United States get out of Iraq without letting go of the oil industry it came to take. Given real freedom of choice, the Iraqi people would most likely reconstruct the functional aspects of the Saddam era State Socialist economy. None of the above are acceptable to any U.S. industrial interests, or to any viable faction within the DemoPublican Party. But the American people want out, and are growing increasingly impatient.

Somebody's gonna catch hell.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Alberto Gonzales, War Criminal

The reasons why Bush won't ax Gonzales, are not restricted to the ones given in the recent Time article of that name. Gonzales is indeed all that stands between the White House and special prosecutors. But the rest of Mr. Calibresi's article falls flat. A "non-partisan" replacement? Worries about legal bills? Not hardly.

Alberto Gonzales is a war criminal
, a capital felon under U.S. law, punishable by death in the United States, or by life in prison if tried in the International Criminal Court. By perverting the law to excuse and advocate torture as public policy, our Attorney General made himself guilty, on the public record, of aiding, abetting, and enabling one of the most heinous crimes in the human experience. And Gonzales "got results".

Promoting Gonzales to Attorney General was a brilliant maneuver by the Bush regime, because Mr. Gonzales' crimes are in the public record, which only needs to be verified as accurate in a court of law to convict him and send him to death row. Lesser criminal violations against the American people come easily under these circumstances. As Mr. Gonzales fights for his masters, he is fighting for his life: The perfect human guard dog.

For the record:

"The following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever [...] (a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; (b) taking of hostages; (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment"
- Geneva Convention of 1949

"Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death. [...] the term “war crime” means any conduct defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party.
- War Crimes Act of 1996

"No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."
- U.N. Resolution 3452, Part I Article II.

Smoking gun: The Gonzales memo (PDF format).


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Writer's Guild Slams TV News

In the Writer's Guild report Broadcast Newswriters Speak About News Quality, industry insiders echo what "the internet" has been saying about TV news for years: Television news is not fit to watch, much less tap for serious information about the real world. Among problems cited by TV news professionals are staff cutbacks, non-existent journalistic standards, and a flood of video news releases.

Video news releases or VNRs, are propaganda tapes and feeds provided by corporate and government PR agencies, and broadcast as straight news. Local stations look on VNRs as a way to fill airtime without spending a dime, and rarely if ever bother to ask whether the stories are true.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Iraq has no unions?

Iraq's oil minister said Iraq's oil unions are not legitimate and have no more standing in the debate over the oil law than an ordinary citizen. Meanwhile, back in the real world, the Iraqi oil workers union represents 26,000 people who down their tools and walk out when a strike is called.

United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard: " ...the labor movement in Iraq is one of the few organizations capable of playing a significant role in lessening and hopefully ending the sectarian strife plaguing their country." This, because Iraq's labor unions unite Iraqi workers as Iraqis, without regard to religious or ethnic loyalties.

The Iraqi oil workers' present complaint is one shared by many Iraqi workers, who object to the sale of their country's national assets to foreign investors at pennies on the dollar. That was the entire Bush strategy for rebuilding Iraq. It failed, because the Iraqi people will not tolerate the literal theft of their entire country. So why are we still paying the full cost every month in both dollars and lives to keep pounding away at this dead horse?

Maybe the whole point is for our rulers to make a few more million dollars before their terms expire and other criminals take over the process of looting the Treasury.

Monday, July 23, 2007

As Not Seen On TV

I read the instantly infamous Bush Executive Order that supposedly "outlaws protest", and I can see no change from public policy established under Clinton. Amazing how fast this empty propaganda got broadcast through the blogsphere as a "be afraid, very afraid to march on Washington" story. Score one for the Bushites.

This, on the other hand, is a Scary Story:

A Congressman with full clearance and need-to-know, was just denied access to White House "post terrorist attack" contingency planning documents. Evidently something in these plans is criminal enough, or bizarre enough, that Congress can not be allowed to see it.

U.S. Immigrant Visas have been requested, for all Iraqi collaborators working for the occupying armed forces. I take this as a sign that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad is getting ready for a fast U.S. withdrawal on short notice, only as a contingency plan of course...

The Axis of Malpractice responds to SICKO by spraying toxins into the Internet. A fine example of information warfare at work in the world of U.S. domestic policy, under the noble Hippocratic banner of "First, post higher earnings this quarter".

Harper's Magazine on criminal abuse of so-called Executive Privelige: There is no such thing as Executive Privelige. Or more to the point, executive privelige is the power of a President to break the law with impunity until or unless impeached.