Iraq

Strange Fruit: The Poisonous Legacy of Iraq's "Liberation"

by Chris Floyd

 In a remarkable piece of reportage, the Guardian's Ghaith Abdul-Ahad details the glorious fruits of the "liberation" that America has so generously and selflessly gifted to the people of Iraq:

Um Hussein had six children. Her eldest son was killed by Sunni insurgents in 2005, when they took control of the neighbourhood. Three of her remaining sons were kidnapped by a Shia militia group when they left the neighbourhood to find work. They were never seen again.

[Her last surviving son] Yassir was detained in 2007. For three years she heard nothing of him and assumed he was dead like his brothers. Then one day she took a phone call from an officer who said she could go to visit him if she paid a bribe. She borrowed the money from her neighbour and set off for the prison.

"We waited until they brought him," she said. "His hands and legs were tied in metal chains like a criminal. I didn't know him from the torture. He wasn't my son, he was someone else. I cried: 'Your mother dies for you, my dear son.' I picked dirt from the floor and smacked it on my head. They dragged me out and wouldn't let me see him again. I have lost four. I told them I wouldn't lose this one."

Afterwards, the officers called from prison demanding hefty bribes to let him go while telling the family he was being tortured. ... "We had to send [the security men] phone cards so they could call us. They said: 'Your son is being tortured – he will die if you don't pay.' So we paid and paid. What could I do? He is the last I have.

Yassir's case is part of a growing body of evidence collected by the Guardian that shows Iraqi state security officers are systematically arresting people on trumped-up charges, torturing them and extorting bribes from their families for their release. Endemic corruption in Iraq has created a new industry in which senior security service officers buy their authority over particular neighbourhoods by bribing politicians, junior officers pay their seniors monthly stipends and everyone gets a return on their investment by extorting money from the families of detainees. ...

This is the system that was installed, financed, armed and maintained at every step by the American invaders.

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The U.S. in Iraq - An Enduring Atrocity

by Chris Floyd 

Wise man William Blum has spent decades shredding the tired pieties of empire to reveal the rotten reality of the American war-and-domination machine, as it churns its way back and forth across the world, chewing up individual lives and whole countries.

And so, as you might imagine, he has a few choice words to say about the bogus "end" to the American war crime in Iraq, recently praised to the highest heavens by our presidential Peace Laureate as "an extraordinary achievement, nearly nine years in the making." 

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Moral Blindness and Willful Ignorance: American War Crime Rolls on in Iraq

by Chris Floyd 

I had much to say about the recent terror bombings in Baghdad, which were framed almost universally in the American media as the result of the withdrawal of the steadying, beneficent hand of the U.S. military. For example, the New York Times spoke of "a country reeling from political and sectarian turmoil that erupted after the departure of the American military."

It is hard to fathom the level of moral blindness -- not to mention the wilful ignorance -- required to write such a statement. To pretend to oneself, much less the rest of the world, that political and sectarian strife has only now "erupted" in Iraq, out of the blue, or more likely, due to the inherent savagery of those poor primitives we liberated -- think what a pathetic, self-deluded wretch you would have to be to hold such an belief. Think what it must be like to lose so much of your humanity and to have your intellect so stunted and diminished.

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War Without End, Amen: The Reality of America's Aggression Against Iraq

by Chris Floyd 

In March 2003, the United States of America launched an entirely unprovoked act of military aggression against a nation which had not attacked it and posed no threat to it. This act led directly to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. It drove millions more from their homes, and plunged the entire conquered nation into suffering, fear, hatred and deprivation.

This is the reality of what actually happened in Iraq: aggression, slaughter, atrocity, ruin. It is the only reality; there is no other. And it was done deliberately, knowingly, willingly. Indeed, the bipartisan American power structure spent more than $1 trillion to make it happen. It is a record of unspeakable savagery, an abomination, an outpouring of the most profound and filthy moral evil.

Line up the bodies of the children, the thousands of children --  the infants, the toddlers, the schoolkids -- whose bodies were torn to pieces, burned alive or riddled with bullets during the American invasion and occupation of Iraq. Line them up in the desert sand, walk past them, mile after mile, all those twisted corpses, those scraps of torn flesh and seeping viscera, those blank faces, those staring eyes fixed forever on nothingness.

This is the reality of what happened in Iraq; there is no other reality.

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One Million + Dead & Displaced in Iraq for This?

By Debra Sweet

I can’t tell you any more than this: The Bush regime’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, based on lies, was illegitimate, unjust, and immoral from the start.  Barack Obama’s announcement yesterday that the “war is over” is wrong on so many levels.  For those on the ground, the millions in Iraq, and the one million US military sent there, it won’t end.

The wealthiest country and military in the world leaves behind billions of dollars worth of trashed equipment, and civil and physical society in shambles.

Aftermath of U.S. Marine killing of civilians, Haditha, Iraq, 2006

A young soldier, Bradley Manning, formerly stationed in Iraq, will begin a court martial Friday at Ft. Meade, because the U.S. military claims he released classified information about the war to Wikileaks.

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So Much Blood

These interviews with U.S. military members and contractors sent to Iraq were compiled by CNN 

 'I don't know if it was all worth it'

Emily Trageser, 31, joined the Army in 2000 and deployed to Iraq for the 2003 invasion with the 101st Airborne Division. She returned to the United States in early 2004.

I don't think that the gravity of what we were doing ever really hit me. I was just a silly 23-year-old, excited to be a part of something big with one of the best-known units in the United States Army.

I was like a little kid on a family trip with my nose pressed against the window, not wanting to miss anything on this grand adventure.

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Fallujah: The Deadly Aftermath of Operation "Phantom Fury"

by Hannah Gurman  

Seven years after the U.S. invasion of Fallujah, there are reports of an alarming rise in the rates of birth defects and cancer. But the crisis, and its possible connection to weapons deployed by the United States during the war, remains woefully under-examined.

On November 8, 2004, U.S. military forces launched Operation Phantom Fury 50 miles west of Baghdad in Fallujah, a city of 350,000 people known for its opposition to the Saddam regime.

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War Criminals

by Margaret Kimberley  

We live in a world ruled by people who call evil good and good evil. They designate people, the powerful ones, as being worthy of respect and admiration.

The presidents and prime ministers are given a pass, no matter how awful their actions, as long as they do their dirty deeds in the names of certain countries.

Institutions such as the United Nations and the International Criminal Court are indispensable to them as they cut a swath of terror throughout the world. So great and seemingly untouchable are they that very few people will bother to look at what they really do, and to whom they are beholden.

 

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Fallujah Remembered by a US Marine who Helped Destroy it in 2004

by Ross Caputi  

It has been seven years since the 2nd siege of Fallujah -- the American assault that left the city in ruins, killed thousands of civilians, and displaced hundreds-of-thousands more -- the assault that poisoned a generation, plaguing the people who live there with cancers and their children with birth defects.

It has been seven years and the lies that justified the assault still perpetuate false beliefs about what we did.

The American veterans who fought there still do not understand who they fought against, or what they were fighting for.

I know, because I am one of those American veterans.

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U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Iraq

An Imperialist War of Lies and Horrendous Crimes Against the Iraqi People 

 
On Friday, October 21, President Barack Obama announced that all 40,000 remaining U.S. military forces would be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of this year: "After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over," he said.
 
Obama presented the end of the war as the fulfillment of a campaign promise, and a proud moment for the U.S. in fulfilling a noble mission: "The last American soldier[s] will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops...This December will be a time to reflect on all that we've been through in this war. I'll join the American people in paying tribute to the more than 1 million Americans who have served in Iraq. We'll honor our many wounded warriors and the nearly 4,500 American patriots—and their Iraqi and coalition partners—who gave their lives to this effort."
 

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Iraq: The World Still Waiting for US Withdrawal

by Debra Sweet 

Despite the Obama administration’s announcement Friday that U.S. combat troops are finally leaving Iraq — giving rise to the popular perception that “Iraq war is over”–  I ask those who are celebrating to consider: where is the joy coming from?
 
It’s been ten years now since Donald Rumsfeld’s brain went “9/11 = attack Iraq,” apparently minutes after the WTC was hit by airliners.  From that moment, when the world’s largest military machine began planning it, through today, after over a million Iraqi deaths, this war and occupation has never been legitimate, just or moral!

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.