Friday, October 22, 2010

Iraq Map of Death

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A Grim Portrait of Civilian Deaths in Iraq

The reports in the archive disclosed by WikiLeaks offer an incomplete, yet startlingly graphic portrait of one of the most contentious issues in the Iraq war — how many Iraqi civilians have been killed and by whom.

The reports make it clear that most civilians, by far, were killed by other Iraqis. Two of the worst days of the war came on Aug. 31, 2005, when a stampede on a bridge in Baghdad killed more than 950 people after several earlier attacks panicked a huge crowd, and on Aug. 14, 2007, when truck bombs killed more than 500 people in a rural area near the border with Syria.

But it was systematic sectarian cleansing that drove the killing to its most frenzied point, making December 2006 the worst month of the war, according to the reports, with about 3,800 civilians killed, roughly equal to the past seven years of murders in New York City. A total of about 1,300 police officers, insurgents and coalition soldiers were also killed in that month.

The documents also reveal many previously unreported instances in which American soldiers killed civilians — at checkpoints, from helicopters, in operations. Such killings are a central reason Iraqis turned against the American presence in their country, a situation that is now being repeated in Afghanistan.

158 comments:

Petes said...

Zeyad, good to see you posting again.

I know you linked the Guardian in your article, but here's a repeat of my direct link from the previous thread to their "data blog":

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/oct/23/wikileaks-iraq-data-journalism

Petes said...

Some of the revelations are interesting and disturbing. Interesting that it turns out that the Americans did do body counts, despite General Tommy Franks famous assertion to the contrary.

The data about checkpoint killings is as depressing as expected, as the Guardian reports:

"The relentless drumbeat of civilian deaths illustrates the nature of 21st century warfare and key differences from the way the Americans conducted themselves in their eight-year war in Vietnam. Suicide attacks were unknown in America's last major foreign conflict before Iraq. There was no expectation that anything on wheels or indeed any pedestrian could be a moving bomb. The second difference is a change in western military doctrine, common to other Nato armies during counter-insurgencies. Known since 2001 as force protection, it puts a high premium on minimising all conceivable risk by permitting troops to bypass traditional methods of detecting friend from foe in favour of extreme pre-emptive action."

Also disturbing (but not especially surprising) are various articles about official attitudes to torture.

Petes said...

I don't think I agree with the NYT's assessment that checkpoint killings were "a central reason Iraqis turned against the American presence in their country". I could be wrong, since the biggest cause of deaths is not necessarily the biggest cause of resentment -- plenty of evidence of that from Northern Ireland. But I would have thought -- based on reports, vox pops, etc. over the years -- that the biggest source of resentment was the failure to restore order to the country, starting almost on day one with the looting immediately after the invasion, and eventually culminating with the sectarian meltdown. The apparent lack of a plan in this regard by the coalition has to be the biggest failure of the entire invasion.

Freddie Starr said...

Petes ate my hamster!

Petes said...

Youch! Out-hamstered.

Anonymous said...

Baby monkey wuz here 2010. lolz.

Don Cox said...

It will take years for these documents to be fully analysed.

It would be good to have figures for how many Iraqis were killed by Americans (including mercenaries), and how many by Iraqis or others from the region.

I think it is now clear that the very large figures such as "two million deaths" which some commentators use are way off the mark, and that the peak period for violent deaths in Iraq in recent decades was the Iran-Iraq war.

It is probably true that Bremer made the violence worse by prolonging the occupation government; but one of the biggest mistakes made by the coalition was not guessing that Saddam would plan a full scale guerilla war in case of successful invasion. It was the obvious tactic for him to adopt.

If Saddam had been a more sober man, more like Mubarak, none of these disasters would have happened.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Zeyad,

Nice to see you again. I hope all is well with you.

I haven't read the links yet, but will shortly. I just wanted to comment first on your excerpt.

The problem with these documents is that they give only surface facts. I remember the bridge tragedy very clearly. And I don't use the word tragedy loosely. It was a horrible thing. The stampede was caused by someone calling out something that caused a panic. It is an event that hightlights how fragile any peace was at that time. I also remember how Iraqis on the scene tried to help those on the bridge or in the water, regardless of what sect they might have been. I would hate for it to take another tragedy for Iraqis to remember that they are foremost all Iraqi.

Bruno,

You will think me a total slug I am sure, but I haven't actually got around to reading Bremer's book yet. I know, I know, I bought it ages ago, but I tend to get distracted by others. Currently I am reading War and Decision by Douglas Feith. I felt it had languished long enough in my pile and somehow I wanted to read it before Obama's Wars by Bob Woodward, which is also nestled on my bookshelf.

PeteS,

I understand predictions don't always pan out. In the case of "The World in 2050" there are so many things that could happen to change the future's outcome. But I thought it would be interesting to look at "what if"?

I probably won't get to it for a little while as I have just started a rather long book and may read another along the same lines while it is all fresh in my mind (if you read my comment to Bruno). Lately it seems I never have enough time to read, what with various projects that crop up. *sigh* But I will let you know what I think. :)

All,

I just finished The Good Soldiers by David Finkel. A very good book. It puts a face to our soldiers who fought in this war and fills out the other side of the story that the WikiLeaks Idiot's documents leave out.

Before rushing to judgement in any situation every viewpoint should be looked at to understand what went on. Despite what some people may imply (you know who you are) it is something I do try to do. "The Good Soldiers" includes a little more background and nuance on the helicopter incident where we shot the Reuter's photographer.

Bruno said...

[petes] "I don't think I agree with the NYT's assessment that checkpoint killings were "a central reason Iraqis turned against the American presence in their country"."

Myself, I find it interesting to note that ZEYAD ended his post right there. It implies a certain something, I think.

Of course, he's just an Iraqi and what does he know, eh?

Bruno said...

[cox] "If Saddam had been a more sober man, more like Mubarak, none of these disasters would have happened."

If only victims of rape wouldn't resist, then they wouldn't get beaten up, either.

Bruno said...

:|

Bruno said...

NEWS:

Torture, torture, torture:

The documents reveal how torture was organized in Iraqi jails under the cover provided by the US and its allies and how ordinary civilians paid the price. Raids, searches, roadside bombings, arrests, killing of innocent people at checkpoints — everything happened with US approval or because the US wanted it. Now the British and US media are shedding crocodile tears for a British aid worker who was killed in a bungled rescue operation in Afghanistan. Not a word of sympathy for the countless number of Iraqi civilians killed by them.

http://arabnews.com/opinion/letters/article169057.ece?comments=all

The leaks are important because they prove much of what was previously only suspected but never admitted by the US army or explained in detail. It was obvious from 2004 that US forces almost always ignored cases of torture by Iraqi government forces, but this is now shown to have been official policy.
[...]
Iraqi leaders whispered that the Americans were involved in the training of what were in fact death squads in official guise. It was said that US actions were modelled on counter-insurgency methods pioneered in El Salvador by US-trained Salvadoran government units. It was no secret that torture of prisoners had become the norm in Iraqi government prisons as it established its own security services from 2004.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/patrick-cockburn-echoes-of-el-salvador-in-tales-of-usapproved-death-squads-2114410.html


"The documents appear to show that US commanders passed detainees over to the “Wolf Brigade”, a feared unit controlled by the ministry of the interior. In files seen by The New York Times, a US interrogator told the prisoner that: “He would be subject to all the pain and agony that the Wolf battalion is known to exact upon its detainees.”

In Samarra, 75 miles north of Baghdad, log entries in 2004 and 2005 describe repeated raids by US soldiers, who then handed their captives over to the Wolf Brigade for “further questioning”. New York Times writer Peter Maass, who was in Samarra at the time, told The Guardian that "US soldiers, US advisers, were standing aside and doing nothing," while members of the Wolf Brigade beat and tortured prisoners. Mr Maass interviewed the Wolf Brigade's American military adviser, Col James Steele, at the unit's improvised detention centre in Samarra, housed inside an old library.

The reporter claims that the 2005 interview was interupted by screams from a prisoner. Wikileaks files released over the weekend showed that the US military gave a secret order not to investigate torture by Iraqi authorities.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/8084720/Wikileaks-Americans-handed-over-captives-to-Iraq-torture-squads.html

An Iraqi friend tells me the rape of girls, women, boys and men was widespread, a tool used both to intimidate and punish. Apparently, there are images from Abu Ghraib prison of these sadistic "punishments"; they were never released because of the feelings they could arouse in Muslim countries. So morally deformed are these men of war that they care more about inconvenient outrage than they do about crimes against the people they supposedly went to save.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/yasmin-alibhai-brown/yasmin-alibhaibrown-a-worse-record-than-saddams-2115666.html

Bruno said...

NEWS:

Torture, torture, torture:

The documents reveal how torture was organized in Iraqi jails under the cover provided by the US and its allies and how ordinary civilians paid the price. Raids, searches, roadside bombings, arrests, killing of innocent people at checkpoints — everything happened with US approval or because the US wanted it. Now the British and US media are shedding crocodile tears for a British aid worker who was killed in a bungled rescue operation in Afghanistan. Not a word of sympathy for the countless number of Iraqi civilians killed by them.

http://arabnews.com/opinion/letters/article169057.ece?comments=all

The leaks are important because they prove much of what was previously only suspected but never admitted by the US army or explained in detail. It was obvious from 2004 that US forces almost always ignored cases of torture by Iraqi government forces, but this is now shown to have been official policy.
[...]
Iraqi leaders whispered that the Americans were involved in the training of what were in fact death squads in official guise. It was said that US actions were modelled on counter-insurgency methods pioneered in El Salvador by US-trained Salvadoran government units. It was no secret that torture of prisoners had become the norm in Iraqi government prisons as it established its own security services from 2004.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/patrick-cockburn-echoes-of-el-salvador-in-tales-of-usapproved-death-squads-2114410.html


"The documents appear to show that US commanders passed detainees over to the “Wolf Brigade”, a feared unit controlled by the ministry of the interior. In files seen by The New York Times, a US interrogator told the prisoner that: “He would be subject to all the pain and agony that the Wolf battalion is known to exact upon its detainees.”

In Samarra, 75 miles north of Baghdad, log entries in 2004 and 2005 describe repeated raids by US soldiers, who then handed their captives over to the Wolf Brigade for “further questioning”. New York Times writer Peter Maass, who was in Samarra at the time, told The Guardian that "US soldiers, US advisers, were standing aside and doing nothing," while members of the Wolf Brigade beat and tortured prisoners. Mr Maass interviewed the Wolf Brigade's American military adviser, Col James Steele, at the unit's improvised detention centre in Samarra, housed inside an old library.

The reporter claims that the 2005 interview was interupted by screams from a prisoner. Wikileaks files released over the weekend showed that the US military gave a secret order not to investigate torture by Iraqi authorities.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/8084720/Wikileaks-Americans-handed-over-captives-to-Iraq-torture-squads.html

Bruno said...

An Iraqi friend tells me the rape of girls, women, boys and men was widespread, a tool used both to intimidate and punish. Apparently, there are images from Abu Ghraib prison of these sadistic "punishments"; they were never released because of the feelings they could arouse in Muslim countries. So morally deformed are these men of war that they care more about inconvenient outrage than they do about crimes against the people they supposedly went to save.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/yasmin-alibhai-brown/yasmin-alibhaibrown-a-worse-record-than-saddams-2115666.html

In many of the 142 cases in which Public Interest Lawyers acts, UK forces are alleged to have handed over detainees to the Iraqi authorities. This was despite the clear indications that many Iraqi police stations were effectively torture chambers that the national authorities were free to run with impunity. Their cover was provided by Fragmented Order 242, which not only allowed but required coalition forces to turn a blind eye where their own forces were not "responsible".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/oct/24/iraq-war-logs-hanaan-hamood-matrood

"The trove of nearly 400,000 WikiLeaks papers details US military reports of alleged abuse by Iraqi security forces — some of which happened after Maliki became prime minister in May 2006. They were released as Maliki scrambles to keep his job, nearly seven months after national elections failed to produce a clear winner. In a statement, Maliki’s office lashed out at WikiLeaks, accusing it of creating a national uproar by releasing documents that it said were being used “against national parties and leaders, especially against the prime minister.’’"

http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2010/10/24/wikileaks_data_prompt_maliki_doubts/

Petes said...

[bruno]: "Myself, I find it interesting to note that ZEYAD ended his post right there. It implies a certain something, I think. Of course, he's just an Iraqi and what does he know, eh?"

It depends. Can there be more than one "central reason" for something? If not, then the general lack of law and order surely outranks checkpoint killings as a source of resentment. Checkpoint killings numbered in the hundreds. While that's horrible, in a country of 28 million people most people never came close to one, or were directly affected by one. On the other hand, if we remember your beloved Lancet survey, most people reported being affected by violent death in one shape or another.

However, as I acknowledged, I could be wrong. In Northern Ireland there was an incident in 1972 in which British government forces murdered thirteen unarmed and fleeing civilians -- it could possibly be said to be central to the subsequent twenty-five years of conflict in which orders of magnitude more people were killed by non-government paramilitary forces. Although I still think with the benefit of hindsight, most people from that country were much more directly affected by the subsequent unrest, not by the events that historians of the conflict might point to as "central".

Petes said...

[bruno]: "So morally deformed are these men of war that they care more about inconvenient outrage than they do about crimes against the people they supposedly went to save."

I doubt if you know much about Yasmin Alibhai Brown, although if you watched the BBC World "Dateline" program you'd see her as a regular panelist for God knows what reason. She makes Um Ayad look like a careful forensic investigator. Just one quote from her ridiculous article: "Revealed are countless atrocities and the deaths of 66,000 Iraqi civilians at the hands of US and British soldiers and Iraqi personnel who had joined the allies".

FFS. Like Um Ayad, you wonder if she even reads her own bullshit.

Petes said...

[bruno]: "The documents reveal how torture was organized in Iraqi jails under the cover provided by the US and its allies and how ordinary civilians paid the price. Raids, searches, roadside bombings, arrests, killing of innocent people at checkpoints — everything happened with US approval or because the US wanted it. Now the British and US media are shedding crocodile tears for a British aid worker who was killed in a bungled rescue operation in Afghanistan. Not a word of sympathy for the countless number of Iraqi civilians killed by them."

There really must be a whole separate media for Bruno, maybe one that does 24-hour rolling news in his head but isn't accessible to other mere mortals. I haven't seen any crocodile tears for Linda Norgrove. Nor do I see Bruno bothering to mention that three Afghan workers kidnapped along with her were freed unharmed.

Roadside bombings were done with US approval? Catch a grip.

Some more stuff that Bruno conveniently forgets:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/britishtrained-police-in-iraq-killed-prisoners-with-drills-516158.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6423691.stm


You know what, these new Wikileaks do raise a lot of genuine concerns. It's pretty tragic that Bruno has to trawl the dregs of loony reporting instead of some actual reasoned analysis.

Bruno said...

[bruno]: "So morally deformed are these men of war that they care more about inconvenient outrage than they do about crimes against the people they supposedly went to save."
[petes] I doubt if you know much about Yasmin Alibhai Brown"

Oh, well, that's interesting. No doubt there are people that can work up a fine froth of outrage. However, what relation does that have with the fact that 'ye olde warmongers' are more concerned with the repercussions of the publicity of their crimes than the actual crimes themselves?

[petes] "Roadside bombings were done with US approval? Catch a grip."

You're telling me that the US military never blew up innocent Iraqis? Catch a grip.

If only all this could have been kept under wraps. Gosh, that would have solved a lot of problems, eh?

:|

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
      "If only all this could have been kept under
      wraps. Gosh, that would have solved a lot of
      problems, eh?
"

The new WikiLeaks disclosures promise to create serious problems for several hundred Iraqi civilians who are identified, or can easily be identified from the documentation.  (I think the Pentagon numbers around 300.)  Other than that, there's not much new in there, not going to be much of a problem for anybody else.
We'll be treated to a little hyperventilating from the likes of you and Um Ahab and some wingut press, and, of course, there'll be the usual hyperventilating in the radical Arab press, but nothin’ much gonna come of any of it. 

Petes said...

[bruno]: "If only all this could have been kept under wraps. Gosh, that would have solved a lot of problems, eh?"

As I said right back in comment #2 above ...

* They did do body counts after all -- interesting.

* Checkpoint killings -- depressing, but we knew about them already. I said YEARS ago on here, that the Yanks weren't much good at being police. (That said, UN-style peace-keeping along the lines of Bosnia or Kosovo would hardly have fit the requirement back in 2006).

* Official attitude to torture -- no surprises, given the contortions the Bush administration went through to defend the indefensible. But again, there is no suggestion of encouraging Iraqi-on-Iraqi torture, see the two news articles I linked in my last post. I just think any protestations would have been more credible had the idiot Yanks not been caught torturing themselves (which, of course, was always the pragmatic argument against torture, quite apart from the obvious moral one).

All in all, I'd say we've got more details (which to me is a good thing), but nothing radically new that I have heard of yet.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

...the fact that 'ye olde warmongers' are more concerned with the repercussions of the publicity of their crimes than the actual crimes themselves?

Ignoring the terms "olde" and "warmonger", both Lee C and PeteS have answered this quite well, I think.

An interesting piece of information that was suspected and subsequently confirmed by the release of these documents was the location of the hikers when Iran snatched them. Perhaps geography is not an Iranian strong suit.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
      "* They did do body counts after all --
      interesting.
"

They always did body counts on individual incidents.  Ask them, at the time, how many people died in any particular incident, and they could tell ya (or provide a close estimate).  What they denied doing was compiling and keeping a tally of the running total.  That's what they were talkin’ ‘bout when they said ‘we don't do body counts’.  Perhaps they weren't being truthful about that.  Or, perhaps, somewhere along the line, after folks quit pestering them for a running total, somebody quietly decided to add them all up.  Either is a possibility.

Indigo said...

Iraqi blogger "Zappy" was interviewed on British domestic radio last weekend about this. He said that there may now be some court cases, as these logs provide families with the names of the people who killed their relatives.

Zeyad, I have e-mailed you and Mohammed about teaching on-line.

Petes said...

That's interesting Indigo -- were these Iraqi-on-Iraqi incidents, or coalition-on-Iraqi incidents. Without using the pejorative term "war crimes", there's unfortunately no doubt that some of the incidents detailed involved acts that are illegal under international law.

(P.S. long time no read... are you happy about the hammering of the US economy, or more worried about the state of the UK one? :-)

Bruno said...

[petes] "there's unfortunately no doubt that some of the incidents detailed involved acts that are illegal under international law."

Never fear! International law doesn't apply to the US and its allies. They're all quite safe.

Indigo said...

Petes - you'll have to ask Zappy.

US economy - not hit the bottom yet.

UK economy - it is going to get worse.

Bruno said...

“If there needs to be an accounting, first and foremost there needs to be an accounting by the Iraqi government itself, and how it treated its own citizens,” Crowley added. Under Frago 242, US soldiers were ordered not to investigate any abuse by Iraqi government officials. The State Department stance is surprising, as when the Saddam Hussein government in Iraq was accused of the same abuse the department insisted it was the international community’s duty to intervene. Now that it is a US-installed government, the abuse is a completely internal matter.

http://news.antiwar.com/2010/10/25/state-dept-iraqi-detainee-abuse-not-americas-problem/

That new information about the Karbala operation confirms earlier evidence that in 2007 a political axis linking Iran, Sadr, and Maliki was working to foil Petraeus’s assault on the Mahdi Army and to hasten the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. That political alignment is a reflection not of Iranian dominance over Iraqi politics but of a convergence of interests among Shi’ite actors in the Iraq conflict. The same political alignment has now resurfaced as a pivotal development in the formation of a new Iraqi government. Maliki and Sadr have agreed to form a new Shi’ite-dominated government, and Maliki traveled to Iran last week to meet Sadr and publicly thanked Iran for its help in bringing Sadr into his bloc of deputies."

http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2010/10/25/leaked-report-new-iraqi-alignment/

Bruno said...

From the summer of 2004 Iraq slipped into a sectarian civil war of great ferocity as al-Qa'ida launched attacks on the Shia who increasingly dominated the government. From late in 2004 Interior Ministry troops trained by the Americans were taking part in savage raids on Sunni or suspected Baathist districts. People prominent in Saddam Hussein's regime were arrested and disappeared for few days until their tortured bodies were dumped beside the roads.

Iraqi leaders whispered that the Americans were involved in the training of what were in fact death squads in official guise. It was said that US actions were modelled on counter-insurgency methods pioneered in El Salvador by US-trained Salvadoran government units.

It was no secret that torture of prisoners had become the norm in Iraqi government prisons as it established its own security services from 2004. Men who were clearly the victims of torture were often put on television where they would confess to murder, torture and rape. But after a time it was noticed that many of those whom they claimed to have killed were still alive.

The Sunni community at this time were terrified of mass sweeps by the US forces, sometimes accompanied by Iraqi government units, in which all young men of military age were arrested. Tribal elders would often rush to the American to demand that the prisoners not be handed over to the Iraqi army or police who were likely to torture or murder them. The power drill was a favourite measure of torture. It is clear that the US military knew all about this.

http://www.counterpunch.org/patrick10252010.html

Desert Pig said...

Um Ayad's buddy Tariq Aziz sentenced to death.

Bruno said...

Iraq and Afghanistan on Tuesday came near the top of a closely watched global list of countries perceived to be the most corrupt, despite efforts to stamp out graft in the war-torn nations.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iSFyBa_bvr2mo7eNrgsCwk4bPwSg?docId=CNG.50b44b0aea4ba2dbadb9d1c647bbd4bc.d1

Pathetic:

"Iraq's high tribunal on Tuesday passed a death sentence on Tareq Aziz, once the international face of dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, over the persecution of Islamic parties, the court said. The death sentence was the first to be handed down to Aziz, who was well known in foreign capitals and at the United Nations before Saddam's downfall. He rose to prominence at the time of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the 1991 Gulf War, when he was foreign minister."

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE69P12620101026

If Aziz deserves the death sentence, then for sure so do Maliki and friends, Bush and friends and so forth.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

Iraqi leaders whispered that the Americans were involved in the training of what were in fact death squads in official guise. It was said that US actions were modelled on counter-insurgency methods pioneered in El Salvador by US-trained Salvadoran government units.

Foolish thoughts. What need to train people who were already well versed in such things?

It was no secret that torture of prisoners had become the norm in Iraqi government prisons as it established its own security services from 2004.

Had become? Again, something that was already practiced in Saddam's Iraq.

The State Department stance is surprising, as when the Saddam Hussein government in Iraq was accused of the same abuse the department insisted it was the international community’s duty to intervene.

And what was the international community's response?

Now that it is a US-installed government, the abuse is a completely internal matter.

You wanted us to give the Iraqis back their sovereignty. Now they have it. You should be quite happy, Bruno.

Rachel,

UK economy - it is going to get worse.

Never fear, Rachel, Tanzania awaits.

Petes said...

[Lynnette]: "And what was the international community's response?"

Oh, helpful stuff such as: "Nous surrenderons. Passez le fromage".

Truth Seeker said...

^

You love the idea of other people going to fight and die, don't you? Fucking coward.

Truth Seeker said...

Outrageous.


"No Apology - The recently released memoir by Tony Blair has done very little to quell British resentment for their former prime minister. Rather than presenting hesitation over his decision to go to war, the book is largely an endorsement of his endeavors as Britain’s former leader."


http://www.majalla.com/en/geopolitics/article170833.ece

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[PeteS] Oh, helpful stuff such as: "Nous surrenderons. Passez le fromage".

lol! And wine.

I'm not too far into "War and Decision", but from what he is saying it is obvious that what many people may have assumed was merely a catch phrase, "War on Terror", was literally the Bush Administration's intent. It wasn't just to punish Bin Laden or Al Qaida. It was to neutralize terrororism by going after not only those who used the tactic, but those who sponsored it. And while the military part of that has gotten the most publicity, for obvious reasons, it was not the only weapon being used. Nor were our actions as unilateral as the press implied. An interesting book that might become a valuable historical record.

*sigh* I know that for various reasons both Zeyad and you seem to be okay with the release of the WikiLeaks documents. But, for me, I see nothing but harm coming to innocent people who may have tried to help bring about a better world for their children through cooperation with us. I just wanted to say that while I may disagree with both of you at times, I do hope you don't extrapolate my calling the WikiLeaks idiot "an idiot" to mean that I feel the same way about either of you. I do respect both of your opinions.

It's been horribly windy here for the past day or so. Lucky for us it hasn't been really cold or we'd have piles of snow to navigate right about now, because it's finally decided to rain again. Also lucky for us that most of the trees have lost a lot of their leaves, or we'd have downed trees to navigate too!

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Speaking of memoirs, I am sure everyone would like to know that George W. Bush's is coming out in early November. ;)

Petes said...

Against my better judgement, I'll entertain the troll this once:

[Truth-my-ass]: "You love the idea of other people going to fight and die, don't you? Fucking coward."

If there had been more international solidarity when it mattered, so that Saddam realised the writing was on the wall ( - how ironic that phrase is, given the connection to Babylon and Saddam), maybe nobody would have had to fight and die.

Plenty of people, though, who will happily equate appeasement with peace. Fucking hypocrite.

Truth Seeker said...

You haven't demonstrated hypocrisy on my part, only idiocy on your own.

Is everybody who disagrees with you a troll? lol

John said...

Shameous: "Plenty of people, though, who will happily equate appeasement with peace. ????"

Sic.

As I stated previously 'Shame of All', your world view is deserving of some consideration for registration on a depravity scale.

Your longing for world solidarity (i.e. acquiescing to America's willingness to invade country's and murder their civilians) would surely lead to the complete destruction of 'civilization' as we might both know it!!

Red Avenger said...

Depravity scale, Hoser John?

Where would those who tortured and butchered unknown thousands of First Nations children be situated on such a scale?

What's that, you don't have an answer?

Die screaming, worthless Canadian scum.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] But, for me, I see nothing but harm coming to innocent people who may have tried to help bring about a better world for their children through cooperation with us.

Let me see:

[bruno] "Iraqi leaders whispered that the Americans were involved in the training of what were in fact death squads in official guise."
[lynnette] "Foolish thoughts. What need to train people who were already well versed in such things?"

[bruno] It was no secret that torture of prisoners had become the norm in Iraqi government prisons as it established its own security services from 2004.
[lynnette] Had become? Again, something that was already practiced

In other words - and using her own posts - it's clear that Lynnette is upset that there may be some sort of harm coming to her trained death squads and trained torturers ...

[bruno] Now that it is a US-installed government, the abuse is a completely internal matter.
[lynnette] You wanted us to give the Iraqis back their sovereignty. Now they have it.

... and all arguments about morality and saving Iraqis from the warmongering Americans are null and void, because, well, it's THEIR friends doing the killing and torturing now.

Well done, Lynnette, that's the clearest display of your depravity yet.

You're a worthy specimen of the nut fringe.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

[Bruno] Well done, Lynnette, that's the clearest display of your depravity yet.

And your cut and pasting commentary is the clearest display of your ability to spin ideas yet. I have to give you credit for creativity.

As my comments alluded to, Saddam's Iraq was fully capable of any type of dark practices in relation to the treatment of its citizens or any prisoners in its jails. To imply, as does your anti-war site, that it was at our hands that this was taught is laughable to say the least.

The transferring of sovereignty means that Iraqis will have to step up and govern. If they choose to go down the road previously traveled it is very difficult to step in after the fact. Having said that, that doesn't mean that I personally approve of their behavior.

As to how the current Iraqi government may or may not be treating its citizens, our influence over them wanes with each withdrawal of our forces. If you wanted us to ride herd on their behavior, then perhaps you should have not worked so hard to encourage their withdrawal. And as you pointed out elsewhere, there are others in the region who are happy to step in when we leave.

[Bruno] You're a worthy specimen of the nut fringe.

And you, my dear, are worthy of the anti-American propagandist fringe.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Thus, we must take serously the incitement to hatred that creates the intellectual atmosphere in which terrorism can flourish. If we seek the "root cause" of terrorism, this is where we'll find it. Douglas J. Feith April 2002

Marcus said...

I don't agree with everything but this winners-losers list is an interesting read:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LJ29Ak01.html

Oh, and did I see John the anarchist Canadian talking about 'civilization'?

HAAAAHAHAHAHA!!!

John, you live OFF civilisation, not IN it. You are a tick on the ass of a sow. Nothing more.

Get sober, for once, will ya?

John said...

So, lifted with prophetic pride,
Lyingette raised her conquering hands to heaven and cried:

"All hail the Stars and Stripes!" and died.

Phantom of the Blog said...

Who died?

Petes said...

Rhuslancia? Were you phantom of the blog before? My memory is deserting me.

Truth Seeker said...

Get a life Petes.

Petes said...

LOL. Careful with that ulcer.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "To imply, as does your anti-war site, that it was at our hands that this was taught is laughable to say the least. "

1: I notice that you remain silent over my highlighting of your basic stance. Namely, that you're outraged over the possibility that Wikileaks might expose some of the killers and drillers the US worked with. Torturers and killers by your own admission.

2a: I note that the US has itself employed torture in Iraq and elsewhere.

2b: I note that the US has been caught out elsewhere in the past teaching torture techniques to its military vassals. Your squeals of denial will be met with examples.

2c: I note that, in fact, torture by US trained militaries and paramilitary forces is the rule rather than the exception.

2d: I note that members of the US military threatened detainees with being handed over to its Iraqi vassals for, precisely, torture.

2e: I add to this the secret order passed to US forces, not to investigate torture or murder by its Iraqi vassals. This despite there being copious evidence available of these military and paramilitary forces being engaged in such practices, including the loathsome programme "Terror in the grip of Justice" whereby these sick fucks paraded their wrongdoing on national Iraqi television.

ERGO: the US condoned such practices, and used them, and on the balance of evidence, probably did train the Iraqi vassals it had in those practices.

[lynnette] " As to how the current Iraqi government may or may not be treating its citizens, our influence over them wanes with each withdrawal of our forces. If you wanted us to"

Straight off, I notice that there are far less tortured and mangled corpses now, than before. This may have something to do with your "waning influence". Secondly, I notice that American outrage over evil torturers and killers doesn't apply when its own (supposed) allies are the guilty parties. This base hypocrisy is the departure point for US foreign policy, and the assorted rats and weasels that support it.

[lynnette] "Thus, we must take serously the incitement to hatred that creates the intellectual atmosphere in which terrorism can flourish. If we seek the "root cause" of terrorism, this is where we'll find it. Douglas J. Feith April 2002"

1: If Feith was brought to Nuremberg, he's be hung,
2: I agree with him. The monotonous drumbeat to war that pervades the US and allows maggots like him to provide his intellectual incitement to hatred is indeed the root cause of American terrorism.

Bruno said...

An Italian? Is that you?

"An Italian prosecutor has asked for a stiffer sentence for a CIA station chief convicted in the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in Milan.

Twenty-three Americans, including Robert Seldon Lady, then a CIA station chief in Milan, and two Italians were convicted in November for the kidnapping. It was the first conviction anywhere in the world involving the CIA's extraordinary renditions program. All Americans were tried in absentia.

During the appeals trial, prosecutor Piero De Petris asked on Thursday that Lady's initial eight year sentence be increased to 10 years in prison. He also requested the court overrule the previous decision to acquit two other officials: Jeffrey Castelli, the former Rome CIA station chief, and Nicolo Pollari, the former head of the Italian military intelligence."

http://wire.antiwar.com/2010/10/28/italy-seeks-stiffer-sentence-for-ex-cia-official/

Bruno said...

A U.S. armored patrol came under attack as it was driving along a street in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Two explosive devices planted on the side of the road went off when as the patrol was driving in the Sinaa Neighborhood, an anti-U.S. garrison in Mosul.

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2010-10-27\kurd.htm

The Tigris River which bisects Baghdad and several other major Iraqi cities has about one billion cubic meters of polluted materials dumped into it, according to a senior environment expert. Kamel al-Saadi, Baghdad Province’s expert on environment, said pollution was surging in the river “at an alarming scale” and called for immediate measure to put a halt.

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2010-10-28\kurd.htm

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

PeteS,

No, the Phantom was moi.

Bruno,

[Lynnette] But, for me, I see nothing but harm coming to innocent people who may have tried to help bring about a better world for their children through cooperation with us.

1. Namely, that you're outraged over the possibility that Wikileaks might expose some of the killers and drillers the US worked with. Torturers and killers by your own admission.

Huh? You interpret the term "innocent" to mean torturers and killers? I understand you live in a convoluted dimension, Bruno, but that's a little over the top, don't you think?

2a: I note that the US has itself employed torture in Iraq and elsewhere.

I note that it was the US who started investigations pertaining to such practices.

2b: I note that the US has been caught out elsewhere in the past teaching torture techniques to its military vassals. Your squeals of denial will be met with examples.

You may refer to any examples you please, as long as they are credible sources. Antiwar.com is not.

2c: I note that, in fact, torture by US trained militaries and paramilitary forces is the rule rather than the exception.

Evidence?

2d: I note that members of the US military threatened detainees with being handed over to its Iraqi vassals for, precisely, torture.

Threats are not torture.

2e: I add to this the secret order passed to US forces, not to investigate torture or murder by its Iraqi vassals. This despite there being copious evidence available of these military and paramilitary forces being engaged in such practices, including the loathsome programme "Terror in the grip of Justice" whereby these sick fucks paraded their wrongdoing on national Iraqi television.

Timeline? While we may have been able do something while we were administering Iraq, there is less we are able to do once sovereignty has been transferred. If your so called "secret order" occurred during our administration then, yes, we should be investigating what our commanders were doing at that time.

ERGO: the US condoned such practices, and used them, and on the balance of evidence,...

Your statements do not evidence make.

Straight off, I notice that there are far less tortured and mangled corpses now, than before. This may have something to do with your "waning influence".

Or it may have something to do with what we tried to teach Iraqi forces before we left. Or, last but not least, it may actually have something to do with some Iraqis having the integrity to behave honorably. I note you don't seem to consider that to be an option.

Secondly, I notice that American outrage over evil torturers and killers doesn't apply when its own (supposed) allies are the guilty parties.

On the contrary, I am just as outraged by any current torture or murder as I was in the past. Would you like me to lobby for the re-invasion of Iraq?

[lynnette] "Thus, we must take serously the incitement to hatred that creates the intellectual atmosphere in which terrorism can flourish. If we seek the "root cause" of terrorism, this is where we'll find it. Douglas J. Feith April 2002"

2: I agree with him.

Yet you continue to incite.

Petes said...

Good answers Lynnette, although I fancy this is one of those occasions when Bruno is so far out on the fringe that there's not much point entertaining him.

Regarding Wikileaks, I take your point about protecting certain innocents, but on balance I'm in favour of getting to see as much detail about events as possible. That includes secret government/military documents if available. Left to their own devices, governments are going to conceal as much as possible -- it's the nature of the beast. I consider it in the public interest to make government divulge as much as possible.

Ok, for some people ( - Bruno ;-) that will be a stick to beat America with. And in some cases that'll actually be right and proper. To take a more historical and therefore less contentious example, the American 7th army who liberated Dachau committed war crimes there. Yes, it was on a small scale (a dozen or two Nazis killed compared to several hundred taken as POWs and 32,000 prisoners liberated), yes they were outraged by seeing inmates shot in front of their eyes, and emaciated corpses piled in their hundreds in a rail car that the Germans hadn't time to clean up. But still, why shouldn't we know the truth of it instead of some amiable fiction?

American Jarab said...

Petes has the hots for Lynnette. Cute.

Petes said...

Just watched an interview with the parents of Linda Norgrove (the British aid worker kidnapped in Afghanistan and killed during a rescue attempt). They thought it was very creditable to the Americans to own up about the likely accidental cause of death when they could have easily have plausibly denied it. And they bore no ill will about the operation which, in their words, could so easily have turned out to be a complete success.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

PeteS,

Regarding Wikileaks, I take your point about protecting certain innocents, but on balance I'm in favour of getting to see as much detail about events as possible.

I understand your position. And, really, despite Bruno's insinuations, it is only those documents that might be harmful to innoceent people or those that reveal too much about our current operational tactics that are of concern to me(and, no, I don't mean torture, Bruno). Documents describing past events aren't what I am concerned about. And, by all means, if there are those pertaining to incidents of wrongdoing by our forces then they should be of public record. Having paged through a few of the WikiLeaks documents, I find most to be more revealing of our forces brevity in describing events, though, then actually getting to the heart of the matters involved. Acronyms should be banished.

Happy Halloween all! :)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

innoceent = innocent

*sigh*

Bruno said...

[Lynnette] But, for me, I see nothing but harm coming to innocent people who may have tried to help bring about a better world for their children through cooperation with us.
[bruno] Namely, that you're outraged over the possibility that Wikileaks might expose some of the killers and drillers the US worked with. Torturers and killers by your own admission.
[lynnette] Huh? You interpret the term "innocent" to mean torturers and killers?

We all know what "guilty" and "innocent" mean in the lexicon of an American warmonger. Substitute "pro-US" or "anti-US" and we arrive at your actual meaning. But look on the bright side ... there's a good chance that the drillers and killers that y'all supported might be brought to book. Surely that is worth celebrating?

[bruno] I note that the US has itself employed torture in Iraq and elsewhere.
[lynnette] I note that it was the US who started investigations pertaining to such practices.

Many of those "investigations" go precisely nowhere, or end up with slaps on the wrist. For example, these pieces of shit:

The death of the prisoner, Manadel al-Jamadi (search), became known last year when the Abu Ghraib scandal broke. The U.S. military said back then that it had been ruled a homicide. But the exact circumstances of the death were not disclosed at the time. The prisoner died in a position known as "Palestinian hanging," the documents reviewed by The AP show. It is unclear whether that position — which human rights groups condemn as torture — was approved by the Bush administration for use in CIA interrogations.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,147957,00.html

The SEALs, accompanied by a CIA interrogator and translator, brought al-Jamadi to the prison with a green plastic bag over his head and his wrists tightly bound. He died in a prison shower room during a half-hour interrogation, according to the documents obtained by AP, which consist of statements from Army prison guards to investigators with the military and the CIA’s Inspector General’s office. Army guards had been called to the shower room to reposition the prisoner, after an interrogator reported that he had not been “cooperating.” According to a summary of an interview with Sgt. Jeffery Frost, one of the guards, al-Jamadi’s arms were stretched out behind him in such a way that he was surprised they “didn’t pop out of their sockets.” According to the AP story: “As the guards released the shackles and lowered al-Jamadi, blood gushed from his mouth ‘as if a faucet had been turned on,’ according to the interview summary.” A military pathologist found several broken ribs and concluded the prisoner died from pressure to the chest and difficulty breathing, and ruled the death a homicide.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/feb2005/tort-f23.shtml

Associated Press correspondent Seth Hettena reported that 30 minutes after beginning his questioning of the prisoner, the CIA interrogator Mark Swanner called for guards to reposition al-Jamadi, who he believed was "playing possum" as he slouched with his arms stretched behind him.

[and American justice:]

Navy SEAL Lieutenant Andrew Ledford [...] was acquitted of all responsibility[...]
Eight members of Ledford's platoon received administrative punishment [...]
Another lieutenant received a career-killing punitive letter of reprimand [...]
Mark Swanner, the CIA interrogator, has faced no charges.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manadel_al-Jamadi

Bruno said...

[bruno] I note that members of the US military threatened detainees with being handed over to its Iraqi vassals for, precisely, torture.
[lynnette] Threats are not torture.

Until they get handed over. THEN, it is complicity in torture. You're a little dim today, eh?

[bruno] ERGO: the US condoned such practices, and used them, and on the balance of evidence,...
[lynnette] Your statements do not evidence make.

It is a chain of logic. It should be clear enough even for the most helpless waif to follow.

[lynnette] "While we may have been able do something while we were administering Iraq, there is less we are able to do"

I note that alleged torture and human rights abuses forms part of the casus belli the Americans later barfed up when all the "official" reasons were proved lies. Yet again, we are confronted with the mountain of stinking hypocrisy that is US foreign policy, whereby a sovereign government is fair game for invasion based on such rationale, but a dependent government - a vassal government - is untouchable if it does the same things! Naturally, this is all ++good for Lynnette.

[bruno] Secondly, I notice that American outrage over evil torturers and killers doesn't apply when its own (supposed) allies are the guilty parties.
[lynnette] "On the contrary, I am just as outraged by any current torture or murder as I was in the past. Would you like me to lobby for the re-invasion of Iraq?"

If I were a warmonger with any moral fibre, and if I truly believed in "the mission", that is precisely what I would be doing. But the truth is far simpler: "He may be an S.O.B.," said FDR, "but he's our S.O.B."

Bruno said...

#^*%$*^ haloscan ate the rest of my post.

Marcus said...

I don't think the wikileaks documents revealed much news at all. The most "damning news" according to a documentary I saw yesterday was:

* Proof that AQ was not in Iraq prior to the war and only grew to a potent force under the occupation. A total of 7 mentionings of AQI in the documents from 2004, and more than 8000 references in 2008.

We knew that already.

* That more civvies than insurgents were shot by coalition forces at checkpoints.

We might not have had proof but we pretty much knew that too, or at least suspected it strongly based on lots of reported cases.

* That Iraqi security forces and militias in and out of uniform tortured prisoners on a large scale.

We definetly knew that.

* That coalition forces handed off prisoners to said security forces or looked the other way when prisoners were abused.

We knew that too. There was video evidence years ago.

* That the death toll was higher than initially reported.

We knew that. In fact I believe the documented figures in the wikileaks papers add up to but a portion of the actual figures. I hardly think they've counted all casualties.

So, not much news, but I guess that for historical records and to have something solid to whack the denyers over the head with, the leaked documents are a good thing.

Marcus said...

Good mornin' Bruno. I just found something completely freaky out. Waterboardiong is torture. And Americans did that. Can you believe it?!

Bruno said...

[petes] "Bruno is so far out on the fringe that"

You deny anything I said? Specifics?

Bruno said...

Marcus, I could hardly believe it! I'm shocked anew. I mean, I thought that they had really, really stopped doing this kind of thing.

Every time I hear that they're doing this, I'm devastated again.

Bruno said...

Some people might say there is some sort of pattern. But its just a few bad apples, I say.

Bruno said...

Here's a PROUD MURKIN agitating for the next round of GLORIOUS FREEDOM:

" Look back at FDR and the Great Depression. What finally resolved that economic crisis? World War II.
Story continues below...

Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran's ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

"I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected," Broder qualifies. "But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century.""

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/washpost-war-iran-rescue-economy/

Bruno said...

[bruno] 2b: I note that the US has been caught out elsewhere in the past teaching torture techniques to its military vassals. Your squeals of denial will be met with examples.

[lynnette] You may refer to any examples you please, as long as they are credible sources. Antiwar.com is not.

[bruno] 2c: I note that, in fact, torture by US trained militaries and paramilitary forces is the rule rather than the exception.

[lynnette] Evidence?

As follows:

Bruno said...

IRAN

SAVAK (Persian: ساواک, short for سازمان اطلاعات و امنیت کشور Sazeman-e Ettela'at va Amniyat-e Keshvar, National Intelligence and Security Organization) was the domestic security and intelligence service established by Iran's Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi by recommendation of Government of the United Kingdom and with the help of the United States' Central Intelligence Agency and Israel's Mossad. SAVAK operated beginning in 1957 and ending in 1979 when Pahlavi was overthrown. SAVAK has been described as Iran's "most hated and feared institution" prior to the revolution of 1979 because of its practice of torturing and executing opponents of the Pahlavi regime.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAVAK

According to Iranian political historian Ervand Abrahamian, after this attack SAVAK interrogators were sent abroad for "scientific training to prevent unwanted deaths from 'brute force.' Brute force was supplemented with the bastinado; sleep deprivation; extensive solitary confinement; glaring searchlights; standing in one place for hours on end; nail extractions; snakes (favored for use with women); electrical shocks with cattle prods, often into the rectum; cigarette burns; sitting on hot grills; acid dripped into nostrils; near-drownings; mock executions; and an electric chair with a large metal mask to muffle screams while amplifying them for the victim. This latter contraption was dubbed the Apollo—an allusion to the American space capsules. Prisoners were also humiliated by being raped, urinated on, and forced to stand naked.
[...]
According to a former CIA analyst on Iran,2627 Jesse J. Leaf, SAVAK was trained in torture techniques by the CIA.

http://www.washington-seattle.info/SAVAK

Bruno said...

The respected American journalist, William Worthy, visiting Iran, wrote in his journal on February 10, 1980: Two months ago, Kurt Waldheim was badly shaken when introduced in Tehran to five-year-old Abolfazi Safayi, who at the age of three, had been tortured by SAVAK in the presence of his father, to make the father reveal who had given him a taperecording of a Khomeini speech. Both the boy's arms were cut off. The father still wouldn't talk. Two of Abolfazi's brothers, one six months old, were then tortured to death in the father's presence. He still refused to talk.

On January 9, 1979, the New York Times reported: "Jesse J. Leaf . . . had been chief CIA analyst on Iran before resigning from the agency in 1973. . . . Mr. Leaf said a senior CIA official was involved in instructing officials in SAVAK on torture techniques. . . . The CIA torture seminars, Mr. Leaf said, 'were based on German torture techniques from World War II. . . . I know that the torture rooms were toured (by Americans) and it was all paid for by the USA'."

http://www.iranaffairs.com/iran_affairs/2008/01/index.html

Bruno said...

URUGUAY

However, in surprising interview given to a leading Brazilian newspaper in 1970, the former Uruguayan Chief of Police Intelligence, Alejandro Otero, declared that US advisers, and in particular Mitrione, had instituted torture as a more routine measure; to the means of inflicting pain they had added scientific refinement; and to that a psychology to create despair, such as playing a tape in the next room of women and children screaming and telling the prisoners that it was his family being tortured.
[...]
Otero had been a willing agent of the CIA, a student at their International Police Services school in Washington, a recipient of their cash over the years, but he was not a torturer. What finally drove him to speak out was perhaps the torture of a woman who, while a Tupamaro sympathizer, was also a friend of his. When she told him that Mitrione had watched and assisted in her torture, Otero complained to him, about this particular incident as well as his general methods of extracting information. The only outcome of the encounter was Otero's demotion. William Cantrell was a CIA operations officer stationed in Montevideo and ostensibly a member of the OPS team. In the mid-1960s he was instrumental in setting up a Department of Information and Intelligence (DII), and providing it with funds and equipment. Some the equipment, innovated by the CIA's Technical Services Division, was for the purpose torture, for this was one of the functions carried out by the DII. "One of the pieces of equipment that was found useful," former New York Times correspondent A. J. Langguth learned, "was a wire so very thin that it could be fitted into the mouth between the teeth and by pressing against the gum increase the electrical charge. it was through the diplomatic pouch that Mitrione got some of the equipment he needed in interrogations, including these fine wires.''

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/Uruguay_KH.html

Bruno said...

Mr. Hevia had served the C.I.A. in Uruguay’s police program. In 1970, his duties brought him in contact with Dan Mitrione, the United States policy adviser who was kidnapped by the Tupamaro revolutionaries later that year and shot to death when the Uruguayan Government refused to save him by yielding up politician prisoners.

Mr. Mitrione has become notorious throughout Latin America. But few men ever had the chance to sit with him and discuss his rationale for torture. Mr. Hevia had once.

Now, reading Mr. Hevia’s version, which I believe to be accurate, I see that I too had resisted acknowledging how drastically a man’s career can deform him. I was aware that Mr. Mitrione knew of the tortures and condoned them. That was bad enough. I could not believe even worse of a family man. A Midwesterner. An American.

Thanks to Mr. Hevia, I was finally hearing Mr. Mitrione’s true voice:

"When you receive a subject, the first thing to do is to determine his physical state, his degree of resistance, through a medical examination. A premature death means a failure by the technician.

"Another important thing to know is exactly how far you can go given the political situation and the personality of the prisoner. It is very important to know beforehand whether we have the luxury of letting the subject die…

"Before all else, you must be efficient. You must cause only the damage that is strictly necessary, not a bit more. We must control our tempers in any case. You have to act with the efficiency and cleanliness of a surgeon and with the perfection of an artist…

http://chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/langguthleaf.html

Bruno said...

NICARAGUA

"The CIA used two secret manuals during Terry Ward’s career to train Latin American militaries and security services in interrogating suspects, one titled “KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation - July 1963,” and a updated version titled “Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual -1983.” These two documents were declassified in January 1997 in response to a 1994 Freedom of Information Act request by the Baltimore Sun, and the Sun’s threat of a lawsuit under FOIA. The Sun headlined its report on the documents (27 January 1997, by Gary Cohn, Ginger Thompson, and Mark Matthews) as “Torture was taught by CIA.” The Sun’s story noted the admonition on page 46 of the 1963 manual that when planning an interrogation room, “the electric current should be known in advance, so that transformers or other modifying devices will be on hand if needed.” The Sun reported that “...this referred to the application of electric shocks to interrogation suspects.”

The 1963 manual included a 22-page section titled “The Coercive Counterintelligence Interrogation of Resistant Sources,” which on page 100 admonishes that “drugs (and the other aids discussed in this section) should not be used persistently to facilitate the interrogative debriefing that follows capitulation. Their function is to cause capitulation, to aid in the shift from resistance to cooperation. Once this shift has been accomplished, coercive techniques should be abandoned both for moral reasons and because they are unnecessary and even counter-productive.”

The 1983 manual as declassified included numerous revisions made by CIA apparently in July 1984 in the wake of public revelations about a CIA “assassination” manual used by the Nicaraguan contras."

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB27/index.html

Bruno said...

"A key role in the development of the Contra alliance was played by the United States following Ronald Reagan's assumption of the presidency in January 1981. Reagan accused the Sandinistas of importing Cuban-style socialism and aiding leftist guerrillas in El Salvador. On January 4, 1982, Reagan signed the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17),[20] giving the CIA the authority to recruit and support the Contras with $19 million in military aid. [...] The Reagan administration's support for the Contras continued to stir controversy well into the 1990s. In August 1996, San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb published a series titled Dark Alliance, alleging that the contras contributed to the rise of crack cocaine in California.
[...]
A Sandinista militiaman interviewed by The Guardian stated that Contra rebels committed these atrocities against Sandinista prisoners after a battle at a Sandinista rural outpost: "Rosa had her breasts cut off. Then they cut into her chest and took out her heart. The men had their arms broken, their testicles cut off. They were killed by slitting their throats and pulling the tongue out through the slit.[15]"

Americas Watch - which subsequently became part of Human Rights Watch - stated that "the Contras systematically engage in violent abuses... so prevalent that these may be said to be their principal means of waging war."[16] It accused the Contras of:

* targeting health care clinics and health care workers for assassination.
* kidnapping civilians.
* torturing civilians.
* executing civilians, including children, who were captured in combat.
* raping women.
* indiscriminately attacking civilians and civilian houses.
* seizing civilian property.
* burning civilian houses in captured towns.[17]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contras

Bruno said...

The invasion of Iraq keeps dropping its fruits:

"Fifty-two hostages and police officers were killed when security forces raided a Baghdad church to free more than 100 Iraqi Catholics held by al Qaeda-linked gunmen, a deputy interior minister said on Monday.

Lieutenant General Hussein Kamal said 67 people were also wounded in the raid on the church, which was seized by guerrillas during Sunday mass in the bloodiest attack in Iraq since August. The death toll was many times higher than that given overnight in the hours after the raid.

The gunmen took hostages at the Our Lady of Salvation Church, one of Baghdad's largest and demanded the release of al Qaeda prisoners in Iraq and Egypt."

http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFLDE6A00B720101101

... maybe the merkins should ask some of their "ex" Al Qaeda members who was behind this?

Bruno said...

Iraq's Shiite alliance has turned down an offer extended by Saudi Arabia to host an all-party talks involving Iraqi political leaders for ending the months-long political deadlock that has prevented formation of a coalition government in that war-ravaged country after the indecisive March elections.

The National Alliance, a coalition of the Shiite-led political blocs in Iraq, said they were rejecting the Saudi offer as a deal that would lead to the formation of a coalition government appeared to be imminent after the country's highest court ordered Parliament to resume sessions last week.

"Though we express our appreciation to Saudi Arabia for its concern about the situation in Iraq and its willingness to provide support, we would like to confirm that Iraqi leaders are continuing their meetings to reach a national consensus," the Shiite alliance said in a joint statement issued on Sunday."

http://www.rttnews.com/ArticleView.aspx?Id=1463545

Um Ayad said...

I've been away for a while so I have not caught up with all the comments. Pleased to see Zeyad has posted again. Whilst I am glad about Wikileaks to enlighten some people in the West but for Iraqis still in Iraq and those with families there it is nothing new....

Iraqis Unmoved by Wikileaks

"Iraqis know all about the findings in these documents,” the political science lecturer said. “The brutality of American and Iraqi forces was hidden from Americans and Europeans, but not for Iraqis who lived through the war and its aftermath. Iraqis are totally aware of what happened to them."
The leaked reports, revealed earlier this week by the controversial whistle-blowing website, disclosed alleged intelligence on torture, false body counts and sectarian bloodshed, amongst other revelations.
Washington and Baghdad have both condemned Wikileaks, but for many Iraqis the reports have only fuelled a culture of suspicion that already views governments and armies with open distrust and derision.
The leaked field reports reveal claims of multiple kidnappings, torture of detainees and some 15,000 undocumented civilian deaths over the last seven years. Among the other findings are alleged links between Iran and militant Shia groups and allegations of a possible US cover-up concerning abuses committed by Iraqi forces.

As shocking as the leaks may have been in the West, Iraqi parliamentarian Mahmoud Uthman said the information is really nothing new in Iraq.

“Iraqis don’t care,” he said. “They don’t believe what’s written from outside Iraq anyway. For two or three years, victims’ families and organisations such as Human Rights Watch have been questioning the death count and disappearances, but nothing has happened. As far as Iran’s intervention in Iraq, people have known about that for decades.”

“We have our own lives to deal with here and with no security, jobs or electricity things are bad enough.”

http://iwpr.net/report-news/iraqis-unmoved-wikileaks

The curious incident of the John in the nightdress said...

^

An opinion is like an asshole, everyone has one.

WikiLeaks Revelations Resonate with Iraqis

Um Ayad said...

Baghdad church siege survivors speak of taunts, killings and explosions
Attack prompts worldwide condemnation and leaves Iraq's beleaguered Christian community in despair.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/01/baghdad-church-siege-survivors-speak

Iraq TV station taken off air after deadly church raid

Al-Baghdadia, the TV station in Baghdad that said it was contacted by gunmen during Sunday's church hostage drama, has been taken off air.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11668634

Eyewitness: Baghdad church siege
One of the Christian worshippers caught in the deadly Baghdad church siege has told the BBC World Service of her ordeal.

At least 52 people were killed before Iraqi troops managed to overcome the attackers and free the surviving hostages.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11666557

ttv said...

will! that's horrible.

Bruno said...

American complicity in brutality, torture against Iraqis:

"The strategy of using primarily Shi’a and Kurdish military and police commando units to suppress Sunni insurgents was adopted after a key turning point in the war in April 2004, when Civil Defense Corps units throughout the Sunni region essentially disappeared overnight during an insurgent offensive.

Two months later, the U.S. military command issued “FRAGO [fragmentary order] 242,” which provided that no investigation of detainee abuse by Iraqis was to be conducted unless directed by the headquarters of the command, according to references to the order in the WikiLeaks documents.

The order came immediately after Gen. Petraeus took command of the new Multi-National Security Transition Command in Iraq (MNSTC-I). It was a clear signal that the U.S. command expected torture of prisoners to be a central feature of Iraqi military and police operations against Sunni insurgents.
[...]
Petraeus embraced the first clearly sectarian Shi’a militia unit – the 2,000-man Shi’a “Wolf Brigade,” as a key element of his police commando strategy, giving it two months of training with U.S. forces.
[...]
It did not take long for the Wolf Brigade to acquire its reputation for torture of Sunni detainees. The Associated Press reported the case of a female detainee in Wolf Brigade custody in Mosul who was whipped with electric cables in order to get her to sign a false confession that she was a high-ranking local leader of the insurgency.
[...]
The Wolf Brigade was also deployed to other Sunni cities, including Ramadi and Samarra, always in close cooperation with U.S. military units.
[...]
Gen. Martin Dempsey, who succeeded Petraeus as the commander responsible for training Iraqi security forces in September 2005, hinted strongly in an interview with Elizabeth Vargas of ABC News three months later that the U.S. command accepted the Wolf Brigade’s harsh interrogation methods as a necessary feature of using Iraqi counterinsurgency forces.

Dempsey said, “We are fighting through a very harsh environment… these guys are not fighting on the streets of Bayonne, New Jersey.” Contrary to the Western notion of “innocent until proven guilty,” he said the view in Iraq was “close” to the “opposite.”

http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2010/11/01/torture-orders-were-part-of/

Bruno said...

LOL, somehow I don't think that this is what the murkins had in mind when trying to get Afghans to "change sides":

"It didn’t take long for Police Chief Mohammed Yasin to figure out what had happened. “The Taliban and the police made a deal.” All 19 officers had left, taking their guns, vehicles and uniforms with them to join the Taliban fighters in the countryside. They burned the police station and other buildings on their way out of town."

http://news.antiwar.com/2010/11/01/afghan-police-defect-to-taliban-in-secret-deal/

Bruno said...

Aha! Haloscan (aided by them black ops guys no doubt) just tried to eat my post again. But this time, I was ready!

Bruno said...

Support for invading Iraq becomes a personal problem for MP:

"A muslim woman tried to stab a Labour MP to death in his office for backing the war in Iraq, a jury heard yesterday. Roshonara Choudhry, 21, knifed Stephen Timms twice at his regular Friday afternoon surgery. Mr Timms was saved when two of his aides pulled Choudhry away. The Old Bailey heard she later told police it was because Mr Timms had voted in Parliament for the war."

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/11/02/i-knifed-mp-in-revenge-for-iraq-115875-22683517/

Bruno said...

American complicity in brutality, torture against Iraqis:

"The strategy of using primarily Shi’a and Kurdish military and police commando units to suppress Sunni insurgents was adopted after a key turning point in the war in April 2004, when Civil Defense Corps units throughout the Sunni region essentially disappeared overnight during an insurgent offensive.

Two months later, the U.S. military command issued “FRAGO [fragmentary order] 242,” which provided that no investigation of detainee abuse by Iraqis was to be conducted unless directed by the headquarters of the command, according to references to the order in the WikiLeaks documents.

The order came immediately after Gen. Petraeus took command of the new Multi-National Security Transition Command in Iraq (MNSTC-I). It was a clear signal that the U.S. command expected torture of prisoners to be a central feature of Iraqi military and police operations against Sunni insurgents.
[...]
Petraeus embraced the first clearly sectarian Shi’a militia unit – the 2,000-man Shi’a “Wolf Brigade,” as a key element of his police commando strategy, giving it two months of training with U.S. forces.
[...]
It did not take long for the Wolf Brigade to acquire its reputation for torture of Sunni detainees. The Associated Press reported the case of a female detainee in Wolf Brigade custody in Mosul who was whipped with electric cables in order to get her to sign a false confession that she was a high-ranking local leader of the insurgency.
[...]
The Wolf Brigade was also deployed to other Sunni cities, including Ramadi and Samarra, always in close cooperation with U.S. military units.
[...]
Gen. Martin Dempsey, [...] hinted strongly in an interview with Elizabeth Vargas of ABC News three months later that the U.S. command accepted the Wolf Brigade’s harsh interrogation methods as a necessary feature of using Iraqi counterinsurgency forces.

Dempsey said, “We are fighting through a very harsh environment… these guys are not fighting on the streets of Bayonne, New Jersey.” Contrary to the Western notion of “innocent until proven guilty,” he said the view in Iraq was “close” to the “opposite.”

http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2010/11/01/torture-orders-were-part-of/

Bruno said...

American complicity in brutality, torture against Iraqis:

"The strategy of using primarily Shi’a and Kurdish military and police commando units to suppress Sunni insurgents was adopted after a key turning point in the war in April 2004, when Civil Defense Corps units throughout the Sunni region essentially disappeared overnight during an insurgent offensive.

Two months later, the U.S. military command issued “FRAGO [fragmentary order] 242,” which provided that no investigation of detainee abuse by Iraqis was to be conducted unless directed by the headquarters of the command, according to references to the order in the WikiLeaks documents.

The order came immediately after Gen. Petraeus took command of the new Multi-National Security Transition Command in Iraq (MNSTC-I). It was a clear signal that the U.S. command expected torture of prisoners to be a central feature of Iraqi military and police operations against Sunni insurgents.

Bruno said...

[...]
Petraeus embraced the first clearly sectarian Shi’a militia unit – the 2,000-man Shi’a “Wolf Brigade,” as a key element of his police commando strategy, giving it two months of training with U.S. forces.
[...]
It did not take long for the Wolf Brigade to acquire its reputation for torture of Sunni detainees. The Associated Press reported the case of a female detainee in Wolf Brigade custody in Mosul who was whipped with electric cables in order to get her to sign a false confession that she was a high-ranking local leader of the insurgency.
[...]
The Wolf Brigade was also deployed to other Sunni cities, including Ramadi and Samarra, always in close cooperation with U.S. military units.
[...]
Gen. Martin Dempsey, [...] hinted strongly in an interview with Elizabeth Vargas of ABC News three months later that the U.S. command accepted the Wolf Brigade’s harsh interrogation methods as a necessary feature of using Iraqi counterinsurgency forces.

Dempsey said, “We are fighting through a very harsh environment… these guys are not fighting on the streets of Bayonne, New Jersey.” Contrary to the Western notion of “innocent until proven guilty,” he said the view in Iraq was “close” to the “opposite.”

http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2010/11/01/torture-orders-were-part-of/

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

[bruno] I note that members of the US military threatened detainees with being handed over to its Iraqi vassals for, precisely, torture.
[lynnette] Threats are not torture.
[Bruno] Until they get handed over. THEN, it is complicity in torture. You're a little dim today, eh?


Threats are not action, Bruno.

[bruno] ERGO: the US condoned such practices, and used them, and on the balance of evidence,...
[lynnette] Your statements do not evidence make.
[Bruno]It is a chain of logic.


And therefore you are here to try to prevent us from doing it again? Right?

[Bruno]I note that alleged torture and human rights abuses forms part of the casus belli the Americans later barfed up when all the "official" reasons were proved lies.

There were no lies, Bruno. The Bush Administration's reasons for desiring the removal of Saddam were based on his past actions, any future threat he posed to the stability of the region, and his support for terrorists.

I note you have provided various links and excerpts of samples of possible US wrongdoing. Yet you give Saddam a pass. Your outrage at torture would be more believable if it were applied to all who may have committed it.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

    
      "It is a chain of logic."
      Bruno @ 10:49 AM

Bruno making a claim to the application of logic.  That got a laugh here.  (I missed that the first time ‘round, one can miss some laughs when one is in scroll through mode.)

Bruno said...

[bruno] I note that members of the US military threatened detainees with being handed over to its Iraqi vassals for, precisely, torture.
[lynnette] Threats are not torture.
[Bruno] Until they get handed over. THEN, it is complicity in torture. You're a little dim today, eh?
[lynnette] "Threats are not action, Bruno.

So you are now denying the Americans have tortured people?

[Bruno]I note that alleged torture and human rights abuses forms part of the casus belli the Americans later barfed up when all the "official" reasons were proved lies.
[lynnette] There were no lies, Bruno.

EXCELLENT! Then please use your evident knowledge of where "Saddam's WMD" are stashed, and pass the information on to the State Department. I guarantee you they will be overjoyed. While you're at it, feel free on elaborating on those spurious "connections to Al Qaeda" that the murkins were screeching about in 2003.

[lynnette] The Bush Administration's reasons for desiring the removal of Saddam were based on his past actions"

HUH? What are you on about? Did you miss the "AQ & WMD" dog-and-pony show?

[lynnette] "any future threat he posed to the stability of the region"

The only threat to the "stability of the region" is the presence of the United States there, which has directly and indirectly caused incredible bloodshed, destruction and loss. It's time to pack up the bases and head on home.

[lynnette] "and his support for terrorists."

Coming from the a murkin, supporting murkin policies, that's a pretty rich statement.

BTW, lots of people consider the Palestinians to be 'freedom fighters' and not 'terrorists'.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "Yet you give Saddam a pass."

Quotes.

Bruno said...

Al Qaeda still in business. American plan to attract them to Iraq a great success:

Sixteen bombs struck Baghdad on Tuesday, exploding near crowded coffee shops and a Shiite mosque and bringing a city still reeling from a major attack Sunday to a standstill. Iraqi officials said at least 63 people were killed and almost 250 wounded in what security officials said were car bombs and roadside bombs – most of them detonated over the space of less than 90 minutes.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/1102/Baghdad-grinds-to-halt-as-bomb-attacks-blanket-a-reeling-city

Americans still don't want to leave:

A new audit from the US State Department is condemning the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) requirement that all US military forces be out of Iraq by the end of 2011, insisting that Iraq will continue to need to have US soldiers for stabilization. Indeed, the report cautioned against ever setting any date for an end to the war in Iraq, saying that stability could still be many years away for Iraq, already seven and a half years into its US occupation."

http://news.antiwar.com/2010/11/02/state-dept-audit-warns-against-2011-withdrawal-from-iraq/

Money well spent?

"The National Intelligence Program, run by the CIA and other agencies that report to the Director of National Intelligence, cost $53.1 billion in fiscal 2010, which ended Sept. 30, while the Military Intelligence Program cost an additional $27 billion."

http://www.independent.org/blog/index.php?p=8352

Bruno said...

MARCUS might be interested in this radio interview with Gary Brecher aka The War Nerd aka John Dolan:

http://antiwar.com/radio/2010/11/02/gary-brecher/

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

[Bruno]I note that alleged torture and human rights abuses forms part of the casus belli the Americans later barfed up when all the "official" reasons were proved lies.
[lynnette] There were no lies, Bruno.
[Bruno]EXCELLENT! Then please use your evident knowledge of where "Saddam's WMD" are stashed, and pass the information on to the State Department.


There is no need to do that, Bruno, as stockpiles of WMD was not the main reason the Bush Administration was looking at Saddam's removal. Yes, Powell used that in his speech at the UN. However, that was his mistake in giving such a narrow focus to our reasons. As to the missing stockpiles of WMD, that was an intelligence error (assuming they were not transfered elsewhere) on the part of various agencies, not only the CIA. As to any connection between Saddam and AQ in the 9/11 attacks, there was never any thought that that was the case. It was other connections he had that concerned us. It was the knowledge base in Iraq and the possible transfer of that knowledge to others that concerned us. It was the possible reconstitution of his WMD programs that concerned us. It was the fact that he was a brutal man who terrorized his own people for his own gain that concerned us.

In looking at our reasoning I think they hit the nail on the head about his being dangerous. What they seemed to have missed was how he would react to various pressure points. A better knowledge of his psychological make up would have helped in that regard. Although even with that it is questionable if war could have been averted. Saddam wasn't the kind to go quietly into that good night. And he, in turn, wasn't really knowledgable enough about the United States or George W. Bush to understand how we felt after 9/11.

So you are now denying the Americans have tortured people?

I do not deny anything, Bruno. I am denying your assumption that a threat to turn someone over to an agency that employs torture as a technique is in fact torture. That is a scare tactic. Far from the real thing.

BTW, lots of people consider the Palestinians to be 'freedom fighters' and not 'terrorists'.

Someone who straps a bomb on and blows himself up in the middle of a crowd of civilians is a terrorist. I don't care if he is a little green man from Mars. And Saddam rewarded those who did that. But, that is not the only group I was referring to.

[lynnette] "Yet you give Saddam a pass."
[Bruno] Quotes.


Impossible, as you are quite silent on Saddam's crimes. If you were as upset by them as you were about anything we have done, you would be screaming to high heaven. I have known you long enough to know you are not the silent kind.

Um Ayad said...

Another terrible day of carnage in Baghdad.

At least 113 killed in series of Baghdad attacks

Militants unleashed a wave of deadly attacks in Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 113 people in Shiite neighborhoods in an apparent bid to provoke a new sectarian war in the country.
Seventeen car bombs and other blasts shook the city at sunset in one of the bloodiest days this year. The coordinated attacks, which bore the earmark of the Sunni Arab militant group Al Qaeda in Iraq, came just 48 hours after 58 people were killed after armed men seized a Baghdad church.

"The new Qaeda has started its work again in Iraq," a senior Iraqi security commander warned, speaking on condition of anonymity. "The situation is very bad."

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iraq-bombings-20101103,0,202463.story

Lizard Labs said...

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Bruno said...

[Bruno]I note that alleged torture and human rights abuses forms part of the casus belli the Americans later barfed up when all the "official" reasons were proved lies.
[lynnette] There were no lies, Bruno.
[Bruno]EXCELLENT! Then please use your evident knowledge of where "Saddam's WMD" are stashed, and pass the information on to the State Department.

[lynnette] There is no need to do that, Bruno, as stockpiles of WMD was not the main reason the Bush Administration was looking at Saddam's removal."

REALLY? Then what was? The secret weapons labs hidden down the bottom of lead-lined wells? I assure you that the State Dept will be equally interested to hear about those.

[lynnette] "Yes, Powell used that in his speech at the UN."

Yes, those would be the lies I was referring to.

[lynnette] "As to the missing stockpiles of WMD, that was an intelligence error"

Nonsense. Everybody and his cat knew that there would be nothing to be found. The UN was on the ground, inspecting. Iraq was going out of its way to prove that it no longer possessed any WMD. It was deliberate deception.

[lynnette] "assuming they were not transfered elsewhere"

Ah, Lynnette, you're the last of the true believers, eh? (And some people say I'm the conspiracy theorist) Maybe you should contact Bill Tierney and ask him where Jesus told him the WMD's were stahsed again? ;)

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "As to any connection between Saddam and AQ in the 9/11 attacks, there was never any thought that that was the case."

*cough*cough*

Poll: 70% believe Saddam, 9-11 link

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe it is likely that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, says a poll out almost two years after the terrorists' strike against this country.
[...]
President Bush and members of his administration suggested a link between the two in the months before the war in Iraq. Claims of possible links have never been proven, however."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-09-06-poll-iraq_x.htm

[lynnette] "It was the knowledge base in Iraq and the possible transfer of that knowledge to others that concerned us."

So ... people should attack America if they're worried about possible transfers of its WMD knowledge to others?

[lynnette] "It was the possible reconstitution of his WMD programs that concerned us."

So ... people should attack America if they're worried about American WMD programmes?

[lynnette] "It was the fact that he was a brutal man who terrorized his own people for his own gain that concerned us. "

So ... people should attack America because it is run by brutal people who terrorize other nations for gain?

[lynnette] "In looking at our reasoning I think they hit the nail on the head about his being dangerous."

So? There are lots of 'dangerous' people around. Of course they're only truly dangerous if they're against America. Lest we forget: "He may be an S.O.B.," said FDR, "but he's our S.O.B."

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "Saddam wasn't the kind to go quietly into that good night."

*cough*cough*

"In the few weeks before its fall, Iraq's Ba'athist regime made a series of increasingly desperate peace offers to Washington, promising to hold elections and even to allow US troops to search for banned weapons. But the advances were all rejected by the Bush administration, according to intermediaries involved in the talks.
[...]
When Mr Obeidi recovered, he urged Mr Hage to tell his Washington contacts Iraq was ready to talk about anything, including oil concessions, the Middle East peace process, and banned weapons. The Iraqi official said the "Americans could send 2,000 FBI agents to look wherever they wanted", according to Mr Hage. A week later Mr Hage travelled to Baghdad and talked to Gen Habbush himself. The general repeated the invitation to allow Americans to search for weapons and added an offer to hand over a suspected terrorist, Abdul Rahman Yasin, who had been convicted in the US for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Centre. The regime would hold elections within two years, and the intelligence chief even offered to fly to London to discuss the issue in person.
[...]
A US intelligence source insisted that the decision not to negotiate came from the White House, which was demanding complete surrender. "

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/nov/07/iraq.brianwhitaker

FURTHERMORE:

"Saddam Hussein offered to go into exile for $1 billion (£500 million) one month before the invasion of Iraq, it has been claimed. The revelation is contained in a previously unpublished transcript of talks between President George W Bush and the then Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar in February 2003 at the US leader's Texas ranch. According to a report by the Spanish daily El Pais, Mr Bush told his Spanish counterpart that the Iraqi dictator had made the offer to leave through the Egyptian government, but added: "We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March." "

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1564405/Saddam-Hussein-wanted-1bn-exile-deal.html

IN CONCLUSION:

The invasion of Iraq was entirely avoidable, EVEN IF one was a true believer in the whole WMD / AQ / democracy smokescreen. Iraq, and Saddam, did pretty much everything reasonable to avoid the war.

The war WAS THE CHOICE OF AMERICA.

Bruno said...

FURTHERMORE:

"Saddam Hussein offered to go into exile for $1 billion (£500 million) one month before the invasion of Iraq, it has been claimed. The revelation is contained in a previously unpublished transcript of talks between President George W Bush and the then Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar in February 2003 at the US leader's Texas ranch. According to a report by the Spanish daily El Pais, Mr Bush told his Spanish counterpart that the Iraqi dictator had made the offer to leave through the Egyptian government, but added: "We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March." "

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1564405/Saddam-Hussein-wanted-1bn-exile-deal.html

IN CONCLUSION:

The invasion of Iraq was entirely avoidable, EVEN IF one was a true believer in the whole WMD / AQ / democracy smokescreen. Iraq, and Saddam, did pretty much everything reasonable to avoid the war.

The war WAS THE CHOICE OF AMERICA.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "I am denying your assumption that a threat to turn someone over to an agency that employs torture as a technique is in fact torture."

Where did I claim that? To refresh your memory:

[Bruno]It is a chain of logic.

That was a single step within a series of steps showing American complicity in the torture employed by its Iraqi sidekicks.

[bruno] BTW, lots of people consider the Palestinians to be 'freedom fighters' and not 'terrorists'.
[lynnette] Someone who straps a bomb on and blows himself up in the middle of a crowd of civilians is a terrorist.

Cool beans. How about somebody sitting in Kansas, firing a drone's missile into the middle of a crowd of civilians? Is he a terrorist?

[lynnette] "Yet you give Saddam a pass."
[Bruno] Quotes.
[lynnette] Impossible, as you are quite silent on Saddam's crimes.

Unfortunately for you, that is incorrect. I know what sort of a person he was. I also know that his crimes were aided and abetted by the United States, and that the invasion of Iraq would be far worse than the alternative of leaving him in power.

(Which, as it turns out, was not even necessary)

And I was right.

Bruno said...

Yeah, uh, "Katie", I think you need to work on your English before touching a dissertation.

Bruno said...

More Antiwar radio goodness on the Wolf Brigade, torture, the death squads and the American intentions to partition Iraq:

http://antiwar.com/radio/2010/11/03/gareth-porter-97/

Bruno said...

"We were at home that night," Shehab recalled this week. "We were three brothers sleeping above my ice-cream shop. We were woken by soldiers entering our house by force. They came with Americans. They said we were wanted and produced a document. The Americans took our pictures, then the soldiers we now knew were the Wolf Brigade took us to the Seventh Division camp [of the Iraqi army]."
[...]

"We were tortured all the time, he said. "We were never investigated, just tortured. The commander of the Wolf Brigade, Abu al-Walid was one of the torturers. My brother had a kidney problem and they continued to torture him without giving him medicine. "He died after a month and the doctor wrote 'kidney failure' as a cause of death, despite his body being covered with torture marks. When he died, they let me and my other brother out.
[...]
"The Americans were there," said Shehab. "They weren't just witnesses. They were part of the operation against us."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/28/iraq-war-logs-iraq

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

"The new Qaeda has started its work again in Iraq," a senior Iraqi security commander warned, speaking on condition of anonymity. "The situation is very bad."

Then get rid of those wands that don't work and do proper security checks. You have already determined they don't work, which we have been saying for some time. The man that was in charge of purchasing them was either a charlatan or a moron. Fire him and don't let him have a position of authority again. I don't care how many back door monetary deals were done, he put everyone in Iraq, including himself, at risk.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

[Lynnette] There is no need to do that, Bruno, as stockpiles of WMD was not the main reason the Bush Administration was looking at Saddam's removal."
[Bruno] REALLY? Then what was?


Go back and read my earlier comment more closely.

[lynnette] "Yes, Powell used that in his speech at the UN."
[Bruno] Yes, those would be the lies I was referring to.


Lies are deliberate fabrications. There was none of that. They, and others, honestly believed that Saddam was diddling with the inspections because he had something to hide. If we had understood better his mindset we might have questioned that.

[lynnette] "As to the missing stockpiles of WMD, that was an intelligence error"
[Bruno] Nonsense. Everybody and his cat knew that there would be nothing to be found.


Untrue. Or, one might say, a lie.

[lynnette] "assuming they were not transfered elsewhere"
[Bruno] Ah, Lynnette, you're the last of the true believers, eh?


Nope. I just like to try to cover all of my bases.

Okay, gotta run for now. I have work to do. I'll try to be back a little later with the rest of my reply.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

[lynnette] "As to any connection between Saddam and AQ in the 9/11 attacks, there was never any thought that that was the case."
[Bruno] *cough*cough*

President Bush and members of his administration suggested a link between the two in the months before the war in Iraq.


A link between Iraq and AQ? Not, Saddam was directly involved in 9/11? There is a difference between the two.

[Bruno] So ... people should attack America if...

It's not something I would advise. As you are ceaselessly pointing out, there is no telling what our reaction would be.

[lynnette] "In looking at our reasoning I think they hit the nail on the head about his being dangerous."
[Bruno] So? There are lots of 'dangerous' people around.


Yes, we are aware of that.

"Saddam Hussein offered to go into exile for $1 billion (£500 million) one month before the invasion of Iraq, it has been claimed.

ROTFL! Oh yeah, right. First of all, anyone can claim anything. Second of all, if true, do you really believe we would give Saddam $1 billion and allow him to sit back and fund whatever little anti-American project came down the pike?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

That was a single step within a series of steps showing American complicity in the torture employed by its Iraqi sidekicks.

For us to try to eliminate abuse committed by the Iraqis we would have to have full control over them. Personally, I am not happy about ignoring obvious signs of torture or abuse. But it was a case of damned if we did and damned if we didn't. Do we give Iraqis full sovereignty and satisfy critics like you, or do we continue an occupation?

Iraqis learned these practices under Saddam and it will take a strong leadership to eradicate this kind of behavior. As you continually point out, we too have fallen into the muck of using reprehensible tactics against possbile enemies. And these are not the values our country was formed on.

[lynnette] Someone who straps a bomb on and blows himself up in the middle of a crowd of civilians is a terrorist.
[Bruno] Cool beans. How about somebody sitting in Kansas, firing a drone's missile into the middle of a crowd of civilians? Is he a terrorist?


Is he deliberately targeting civilians?

[Bruno] I know what sort of a person he was. regarding Saddam

Yet you would have left him in power. While I may believe that we made errors in the aftermath of the invasion. I never will believe it was best to have left Saddam in power.

Um Ayad said...

Protect Iraq’s Christians

Thus, the question today is: What has been done since 2008, rather than 2003, by the Iraqi government to protect an Iraqi component from repression and organized violence? Unfortunately, the answer is nothing! It is easy to accuse al-Qaeda, an organization which never hesitates to commit massacres and atrocities. However, Iraqi Christians remain targets in public, and are outspoken in their demand for government protection, so what has Nuri al-Maliki’s government done for them?

We can only return to what we said in 2008; that the targeting of minorities, including Iraqi Christians, means the disintegration of Iraq, and is an infringement upon its cultural and political composition. We must ensure that minorities are not excluded on sectarian or ethnic grounds, for this will open the gates of hell.

http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=2&id=22895

Um Ayad said...

Church killings may put end to Christianity in Iraq

The killing of more than 50 Iraqi Christians among them two priests in a single incident as they celebrated mass on Sunday could empty the country of its dwindling Christian minority, a senior Christian official said.
Abdullah al-Nawfali, head of the department representing different Christian denominations in the country, said the incident, the deadliest against Iraqi Christians since the 2003-U.S.-led invasion, has sent the wrong message to those opting to stay.

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2010-11-03\kurd.htm

Um Ayad said...

I feel sick every time his name is mentioned. I will not be buying his book for sure.

Ex-President Bush 'Feels Sick About Iraq'

Former US president George W Bush says he still feels sick when he thinks about Iraq and the fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/George-Bush-Former-US-President-Still-Feels-Sick-When-He-Thinks-About-Iraq-And-The-WMD/Article/201011115793004?f=rss

JG said...

"Two events that took place during last week reveal that Shiite religious politicians and Sunni radicals embroiled in the struggle over Iraq are determined to wipe out the “old Iraq”, the tolerant, nationalist country that once was at the heart of the eastern Arab world."

Bruno said...

Thanks, JG

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "Yes, Powell used that in his speech at the UN."
[Bruno] Yes, those would be the lies I was referring to.
[lynnette] Lies are deliberate fabrications.

Quite right. Deliberate fabrications about Iraqi WMD capability were created by the US and its allies, and then used to justify war against Iraq. Even at the time, it was patently obvious that some of the claims were utter garbage, such as the "aluminium tubes" supposedly to be used by Iraq for "enrichment" in some contorted and impractical way, which in fact had a perfectly plausible explanation as rocket bodies for the Medusa missile system, since they fit those specs perfectly. Or the supposed "WMD truck" which was in fact exactly what Iraq said it was - a mobile filling station for helium weather balloons. As I recall, Iraq even had the invoices for these made-in-Britain items.

Let's not even go into the lies that Americans commissioned some of its quislings to cook up, which were part of a self-feeding loop of deceit powered by Feith, Chalabi and his cronies.

[lynnette] "They, and others, honestly believed that Saddam was diddling with the inspections"

Nonsense. They could have put even more inspectors on the ground, if they believed if that was the case.

In fact, Iraq even agreed to America flooding the place with thousands of FBI agents if it agreed to come to terms to avoid war. This was rejected. This was because the inspections were a means to an end - invasion.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "As to the missing stockpiles of WMD, that was an intelligence error"
[Bruno] Nonsense. Everybody and his cat knew that there would be nothing to be found.
[lynnette] Untrue. Or, one might say, a lie.

I notice, however, that America did not allow the Inspectors to finish their job and provide that answer.

I couldn't imagine WHY the AMericans suddenly lost faith in the existence of their sure-fire WMD stockpiles. LOL

[lynnette] "As to any connection between Saddam and AQ in the 9/11 attacks, there was never any thought that that was the case."
[Bruno] *cough*cough* Poll: 70% believe Saddam, 9-11 link [...] President Bush and members of his administration suggested a link between the two in the months before the war in Iraq.
[lynnette] A link between Iraq and AQ? Not, Saddam was directly involved in 9/11?"

Americans must be even more stupid than they say, since 70% of them understood there to be a link between Saddam and the 911 attacks at the time. Evidently the average American must be as dumb as a turd not to understand your finely parsed disembling, whereby Bush presenting anything less than video footage of Saddam personally shaking the hand of Mohammed Atta means that there was no attempt to link SH and 911.

[Bruno] So ... people should attack America if...
[lynnete] It's not something I would advise.

Oops. Looks like you tried to be deliberately obtuse again. I take it as a given, therefore, that you admit the following arguments you presented consist of unmitigated bullshit in respect of a casus belli:

[lynnette] "It was the knowledge base in Iraq and the possible transfer of that knowledge to others that concerned us."
[lynnette] "It was the possible reconstitution of his WMD programs that concerned us."
[lynnette] "It was the fact that he was a brutal man who terrorized his own people for his own gain that concerned us. "

Bruno said...

[bruno] "Saddam Hussein offered to go into exile for $1 billion (£500 million) one month before the invasion of Iraq, it has been claimed.
[lynnette] ROTFL! Oh yeah, right. First of all, anyone can claim anything.

So, the Spanish Prime Minister is a liar, now. Allow me to propose that Jose Maria Aznar might - just might - be a slightly more credible source than Chalabi or "curveball" or the other assorted clowns whose word was good enough for you to support an illegal war against a sovereign country with.

[lynnette] "do you really believe we would give Saddam $1 billion and allow him to sit back "

Oh! You misunderstand. Saddam was going to take a billion dollars of his own money. But nevermind that!

I'm just glad to see that you have stayed true to form in your warmongering ways - that you would rather see an invasion costing a trillion or two of dollars, see a country destroyed, see thousands of your troops killed and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed ... rather than compromise a single inch.

You are a true amreeki believer, Lynnette. Years ago I would have expressed my contempt and disgust for people like yourself. Nowadays I just laugh and ponder the complex psychological processes and imbalances that spawn such inane conclusions.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "But it was a case of damned if we did and damned if we didn't."

What a pity the Underpants Gnomes forced y'all to invade Iraq and put you in such a nasty position, eh?

[lynnette] "Iraqis learned these practices under Saddam"

Them poor natives. Them ones know not better. Great white chief bring light to poor natives. But chief not can fix all. Great chief patient with dumb natives. Later dumb natives learn light also. From chief.

[lynnette] Someone who straps a bomb on and blows himself up in the middle of a crowd of civilians is a terrorist.

Is he deliberately targeting civilians?

[Bruno] I know what sort of a person he was."
[lynnette] Yet you would have left him in power.

Yeah, sorry, maybe you're right.

Better to destroy the country, kill a million Iraqis.

:|

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I've printed out and will read your comments later. No chance to reply today. Gotta run.

Zeyad Kasim said...

I was thinking of posting again, maybe somewhat semi-regularly as I'm still going to school. Are there any specific topics you would prefer me to cover?

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
      "Are there any specific topics you would
      prefer me to cover?
"
      Zeyad

Write what you know, or what you think you know, even if the only thing you know for sure is what your opinions are.

Zeyad said...

sure but would appreciate some ideas

Marcus said...

@Zeyad: IMO the most interesting topic today is the political situation in Iraq. Which political parties are lining up to cooperate, which parties will be left out, and what kind of government is in the making? What outside powers (the US, Iran, the other neighbors) will be angling for what? And once a government is eventually formed, how does it meet the demands of the population as a whole?

Bridget said...

Z, you are an Iraqi living in the US. You have lived through some unprecedented times in both countries. Knowing your perceptive, observant, insightful, and humorous self as I do, there's not a doubt in my mind that you could tell both Iraqis and Americans things they really ought to understand about each other but haven't a clue.

Also, have you found a girlfriend yet? :)

Michigander said...

"sure but would appreciate some ideas"

1) How is the general populace faring economically?
2) How safe is it?
3) Are any agricultural regions productive?
4) What major natural resources might be important in future economic growth and recovery?
5) What kind of government is in the making?

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

  
      "…would appreciate some ideas

You've been here long enough to get an idea of what would be the average American's major misconceptions of Iraq, her culture, politics, people, etc.  What is it that most Americans, most westerners, have figured wrong?  And, do the western governments generally share the same mistaken impressions?

Petes said...

Zeyad, I'd like to see the same style as your early blog -- some of the boring minutiae about life in Iraq (yes, I know you don't live there now, but presumably you are in close contact with some people who do; that stuff was as informative as anything else for us foreigners), plus as much of your own random opinions as possible. Just looking back, some of your random opinions turned out to be very prescient, such as the "Bring Back the Army!" post whose seventh anniversary has just passed:

"I think that now is the time CPA should start to seriously consider reinstating the Iraqi Army. I do have my concerns about that process. Since Iraqis know that high ranking generals were all benefitors from the fascist regime. And that the Republican Guard was involved in massacres against the Kurds and the Shi'ites during the eighties and the early nineties. Six months ago I thought dissolving the Iraqi army was a wise decision. Now I'm not so sure. I didn't expect that 'freedom fighters' would start pouring in from behind the borders. I didn't expect that hardcore Saddam loyalists from the army would start a guerilla war. I thought everyone would settle down and start building. Of course I'm ashamed now to admit I was naive."

"Coming to think of it now, I realize that the army didn't actually defend Saddam. The heaviest resistance during the war was carried out by Fedayeen, and party members. The bulk of the army simply vanished. This was a good sign. They should have been rewarded for that action not put out of work. We need them now. Just like the IP shattered their previous image under Saddam and turned out to be effective and has been a great help to the coalition, the same would apply to the army. After all the coalition forces can't control the whole of Iraq. The army can speak the local language, can recognize foreigners, knows the country, and there wouldn't be any cultural sensitivities involved..."


Speaking of cultural sensitivities, I'd also appreciate the odd post about your experience of the bizarro Yank culture of your adoption :-)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Hi Zeyad,

It's wonderful that you're thinking of posting again. For me, I think I'd really enjoy hearing about what you've been up to. I understand you may not want to go into detail, but a little bit can't hurt. :)

I'd also find it interesting to hear your thoughts on the new culture you find yourself in. What's your favorite TV show? What do you like to do in your free time? Bridget's already asked the all important, do you have a girlfriend? :)

Of course, your opinions and thoughts on what's happening in Iraq would be nice as well.

PeteS mentions your post about disbanding the Iraq Army. I've been reading Douglas Feith's book "War and Decsion". I think it's a very telling inside story of what was going on in Washington and their thinking on things. There were arguments for and against the disbanding. If you'd like me to recap them I will. But let me say for the moment that they had decided against disbanding it, but events on the ground precluded that.

Anyway, I'll look forward to you posting again. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

[lynnette] "As to the missing stockpiles of WMD, that was an intelligence error"
[Bruno] Nonsense. Everybody and his cat knew that there would be nothing to be found.
[lynnette] Untrue. Or, one might say, a lie.
[Bruno]I notice, however, that America did not allow the Inspectors to finish their job and provide that answer.


Here is Hans Blix's testimony on January 27, 2003 before the Security Council. Everyone may make their own judgement.

Americans must be even more stupid than they say, since 70% of them understood there to be a link between Saddam and the 911 attacks at the time.

Fear may do all sorts of things, Bruno.

[Bruno] So ... people should attack America if...
[lynnete] It's not something I would advise.
[Bruno]Oops. Looks like you tried to be deliberately obtuse again.


Oh no, actually, since you put that on the table, I thought I would take the oppportunity to slip in a gentle warning.

[Bruno]I take it as a given, therefore, that you admit the following arguments you presented consist of unmitigated bullshit in respect of a casus belli:
[lynnette] "It was the knowledge base in Iraq and the possible transfer of that knowledge to others that concerned us."
[lynnette] "It was the possible reconstitution of his WMD programs that concerned us."
[lynnette] "It was the fact that he was a brutal man who terrorized his own people for his own gain that concerned us."


Nope, not at all. Please refer to the Blix report.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

Deliberate fabrications about Iraqi WMD capability were created by the US and its allies, and then used to justify war against Iraq.

We did not fabricate dead Iranians or what happened at Halabja, Bruno. Nor did we fabricate Saddam's shell game.

...the inspections were a means to an end - invasion.

The inspections were designed to disarm Saddam and make sure that Iraq was no longer a threat to its neighbors or anyone else. However, by his own admission, Saddam would not have given up his desire for WMD.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

So, the Spanish Prime Minister is a liar, now.

The Spanish Prime Minister is a politician. And if you were to watch how politicians pull numbers out of thin air you might question his figures or his sources. A recent example in our country is Michelle Bachman's claim on CNN that Obama's recent trip to India is costing $200 million a day. I may not have voted for the guy, but even I would question that figure. That falls under the category of garbage in and garbage out. If the Republicans elect her to a leadership position in Congress they will be shooting themselves in the foot, just like the Democrats will if they elect Pelosi as minority leader.

[lynnette] "do you really believe we would give Saddam $1 billion and allow him to sit back "
[Bruno] Oh! You misunderstand. Saddam was going to take a billion dollars of his own money.


ROTFL! His own money? Don't you mean the people of Iraq's money?

I'm just glad to see that you have stayed true to form in your warmongering ways - that you would rather see an invasion costing a trillion or two of dollars, see a country destroyed, see thousands of your troops killed and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed ... rather than compromise a single inch.

On the contrary, my compromise was to have conducted the war differently, starting with reigning in the massive egos of many of our people in Washington. It does appear that some of our difficulty lay with the inability of people within the administration to work together supporting a unified policy.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

What a pity the Underpants Gnomes forced y'all to invade Iraq and put you in such a nasty position, eh?

Hmmm...I've heard Saddam referred to in many different ways, but an Underpants Gnome is a new one. ;)

Them poor natives. Them ones know not better. Great white chief bring light to poor natives. But chief not can fix all. Great chief patient with dumb natives. Later dumb natives learn light also. From chief.

From that sarcasm I see you do believe that we should butt out of internal Iraqi matters. So you do understand why, after transferring sovereignty to the Iraqis, we wanted to let them do their own investigations of possible prisoner abuse by their own forces. It is, after all, their responsibility to correct their internal problems.

Better to destroy the country, kill a million Iraqis.

Indeed not. Better to understand that Saddam and his thugs would be more difficult to get rid of then we assumed.

Bruno said...

Zeyad, if I may throw in my two cents, the sort of posts that would most interest me are how people known to yourself are doing in the "new" Iraq. How are they coping, what are the differences to individuals before and after the invasion? Also I find the Iraqi rumour-mill to be fascinating. Sometimes there are wild and crazy tales making the rounds, and sometimes those same wild tales turn out to be the truth or part truth.

Maybe you could also translate interesting snippets of Arabic-based news. I'm always game for that! :) I'm also interested in knowing if sectarian tensions are simmering down or if we need to worry.

Thanks for asking! :)

Bruno said...

[Bruno]I notice, however, that America did not allow the Inspectors to finish their job and provide that answer.
[lynnette] Here is Hans Blix's testimony on January 27, 2003 before the Security Council.

Indeed.

And these are the most important excerpts, illustrating Iraqi compliance with inspections:

"Iraq declared on 16 September last year that it would again accept inspections without conditions.
[...]
Resolution 1441 was adopted on 8 November last year [...] The unanimity by which it was adopted sent a powerful signal that the council was of one mind in creating a last opportunity for peaceful disarmament in Iraq through inspection.
[...]
Iraq has, on the whole, cooperated rather well so far with UNMOVIC in this field. The most important point to make is that access has been provided to all sites we have wanted to inspect.
[...]
The Iraqi side committed itself at our recent talks to encourage persons to accept access also to private sites. There can be no sanctuaries for proscribed items, activities or documents.

http://articles.cnn.com/2003-01-27/us/sprj.irq.transcript.blix_1_genuine-acceptance-chief-un-weapons-inspector-unmovic/13?_s=PM:US

Bruno said...

But, that was not the only report Hans Blix filed. There is also this one, the last one:

Inspections in Iraq resumed on 27 November 2002. In matters relating to process, notably prompt access to sites, we have faced relatively few difficulties and certainly much less than those that were faced by UNSCOM in the period 1991 to 1998.
[...]
This is not to say that the operation of inspections is free from frictions, but at this juncture we are able to perform professional no-notice inspections all over Iraq and to increase aerial surveillance.
[...]
No evidence of proscribed activities have so far been found. Iraq is expected to assist in the development of credible ways to conduct random checks of ground transportation.
[...]
During inspections of declared or undeclared facilities, inspection teams have examined building structures for any possible underground facilities. In addition, ground penetrating radar equipment was used in several specific locations. No underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found so far.
[...]
Iraq has since accepted that these missiles and associated items be destroyed and has started the process of destruction under our supervision.
[...]
There is a significant Iraqi effort underway to clarify a major source of uncertainty as to the quantities of biological and chemical weapons, which were unilaterally destroyed in 1991.
[...]
Even with a proactive Iraqi attitude, induced by continued outside pressure, it would still take some time to verify sites and items, analyse documents, interview relevant persons, and draw conclusions.

It would not take years, nor weeks, but months."

http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/SC7asdelivered.htm

Gosh, it looks like the murkin casus belli would be eliminated in mere months! Time to act, and damn the consequences, eh, Lynnette?

Bruno said...

[Bruno] So ... people should attack America if...
[lynnete] It's not something I would advise.
[Bruno] Oops. Looks like you tried to be deliberately obtuse again.
[lynnette] I thought I would take the oppportunity to slip in a gentle warning.

Argumentum ad consequentiam (Latin for argument to the consequences), is an argument that concludes a premise (typically a belief) to be either true or false based on whether the premise leads to desirable or undesirable consequences. This is based on an appeal to emotion and is a form of logical fallacy, since the desirability of a consequence does not address the truth value of the premise.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_consequences

Bruno said...

[Bruno]I take it as a given, therefore, that you admit the following arguments you presented consist of unmitigated bullshit in respect of a casus belli:

[lynnette] "It was the knowledge base in Iraq and the possible transfer of that knowledge to others that

concerned us."
[lynnette] "It was the possible reconstitution of his WMD programs that concerned us."
[lynnette] "It was the fact that he was a brutal man who terrorized his own people for his own gain that concerned us."
[lynnette] Nope, not at all. Please refer to the Blix report.

I notice that the Blix report(s) in no way:

(a) Are legal basis for an invasion
(b) Constitute anything more than updates on Iraqi cooperation and non-finding of WMD
(c) Advocate invading Iraq, ANYwhere.

and I'd also like to add that your gross hypocrisy on the validity or not of a casus belli (which appears to rest upon the identity of the country involved) is duly noted.

Bruno said...

FURTHERMORE, I AGREE substantially with Mr Blix's position as stated here:

"Mr. Blix, the Swedish diplomat who led the United Nations body that scoured Iraq for traces of Saddam Hussein’s banned weapons program, used the word “absurd” on several occasions to describe American arguments for going to war. He also described Britain, the United States’ main ally in the invasion, as “a prisoner on the American train.” Mr. Blix concluded three hours of testimony by saying that Iraqis had suffered worse from the “anarchy” that followed the invasion in March 2003 than it had under the Hussein dictatorship.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/world/europe/28blix.html?_r=1

I think I can rest my case on this.

Bruno said...

[bruno] Americans must be even more stupid than they say, since 70% of them understood there to be a link between Saddam and the 911 attacks at the time.
[lynnette] Fear may do all sorts of things, Bruno.

ergo [lynnette] "As to any connection between Saddam and AQ in the 9/11 attacks, there was never any thought that that was the case." is incorrect.

Bruno said...

[bruno] Deliberate fabrications about Iraqi WMD capability were created by the US and its allies, and then used to justify war against Iraq.
[lynnette] We did not fabricate dead Iranians or what happened at Halabja, Bruno.

1: More deliberate obtuseness. You know very well that I'm talking about WMD capability in 2003.
2: I furthermore note that America helped Saddam out to achieve the objective of those dead Iranians and that America helped cover up what happened at Halabja by blaming Iran.
3: American double-dealing and hypocrisy at its finest, yet again.

[bruno] ...the inspections were a means to an end - invasion.
[lynnette] The inspections were designed to disarm Saddam

1: I note that YOU YOURSELF refer to the Blix reports when trying to justify the invasion
2: I note that when there was a possibility of their succeeding in proving Iraq right, the US invaded.

[lynnette] by his own admission, Saddam would not have given up his desire for WMD.

Yeah, and I always wanted a Tiger tank. Gosh, I hope that murika doesn't bomb my house.

[bruno] So, the Spanish Prime Minister is a liar, now.
[lynnette] The Spanish Prime Minister is a politician. And if you were to watch how politicians pull numbers out of thin air you might question his figures or his sources."

His source for the admission that Saddam would have gone into exile for a billion dollars was GW BUSH. (I agree that the chimpanzee is probably questionable, but there you go)

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "do you really believe we would give Saddam $1 billion and allow him to sit back "
[Bruno] Oh! You misunderstand. Saddam was going to take a billion dollars of his own money.
[lynnette] ROTFL! His own money? Don't you mean the people of Iraq's money?

Sure, as it may be. The point stands that:

1: It was not Amewican dollars he would take
2: It would have been far cheaper for America (and Iraq) to get rid of him like this
3: and kinder to the people of Iraq (and US soldiers)
4: not to mention a horrific, ILLEGAL and ruinous war would have been avoided.
5: ... although America had no qualms in helping itself to NINE BILLION IRAQI DOLLARS ...

It just goes to show yet again that the murderous treachery of the warmongers runs deeper than merely getting rid of a dictator. That was not enough. No, Iraq had to be crushed, and consumed, and regurgitated whole in the image that America wanted, the wishes and wellbeing of Iraqis themselves be damned. THAT is the depth of evil we are dealing with here.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "So you do understand why, after transferring sovereignty to the Iraqis, we wanted to let them do their own investigations of possible prisoner abuse by their own forces."

... but when it comes to the selection of the Iraqi government America feels it has the right to

meddle in a "sovereign" Iraq? Suuuuuuuuuure, Lynnette. A five year old child could point out these double standards.

[bruno] Better to destroy the country, kill a million Iraqis.
[lynnette] Indeed not. Better to understand that Saddam and his thugs would be more difficult to get rid of then we assumed."

THIS, when we've just finished discussing the fact that Hussein offered to go in exile, essentially (for the US) for free? Either you have a very low opinion of my intelligence, or I am starting to develop that opinion of yours.

Um Ayad said...

Hi Zeyad,

Many thanks for asking about the topics your readers would prefer you to cover. I noticed that some of the regulars have said what topics they would like, I agree with many of them.

I would like to hear how life in the US is for you. Are you in good health and happy there? I think you are coping. Well done for carrying on with your education.
However, I know from many Iraqis that things are not so good for them. Educated Iraqis are finding it difficult to find work or having to take menial jobs. It is the same here in the UK. I know that is understandable due to the recession.
For me, knowing Baghdad as well as I do, I would like to hear about how people are coping in the different areas. Is it true the hotels in the Karrada area, behind the National Theatre, have now been taken over by foreign "security" companies as a new "Green Zone" and you need a pass to enter that area?

Another subject close to my heart are Iraqi women and children. So many women are now widows and orphans are living in the streets. From my own experiences, during sanctions, I know how tough it was for families. But women had more freedom and equality before the invasion, I now see TV programmes and pictures in the media of women dressed in the abaya (as in your last post) or having to wear the hijab. I guess that is the least of their problems now. Before women were free to dress the way they wanted.... and they did! None of the women in my husband's family wore the abaya/hijab. Another problem, women are finding it nearly impossible to find decent work.
Also I would like you to post about life in Iraq before the invasion, Yes, Saddam was a Dictator, but people felt more secure, they could go out and lead a normal life without the fears of them or their loved ones being blown up, shot, or kidnapped. People knew they could avoid problems by simply not criticising Saddam. Please explain to people in the "West" how Iraqis lived before. Such a shame that the majority of educated Iraqis have had to leave to live in exile. Don't know about you, but everyone I knew couldn't care less what religion or sect anyone was from, inter-marriages were quite common.
I feel sorry for the younger generations, born in the last 20 years, and still in Iraq, they don't know what life in Iraq was like before, they have been through hell and they are the future of Iraq.

Petes said...

[bruno]: "Hussein offered to go in exile, essentially (for the US) for free?"

I suppose, if you ignore a little concept called "justice". What about the families of those on the receiving end of Saddam's ravages, seeing him make off with a billion of their cash to live it up?

Of course, the argument could be made that such a cosy arrangement would have been worth it in the interests of an easier transition to the post-Saddam Iraq. But many of the same conundrums would have remained, and the same political vacuum would have existed.

As an aside, you haven't held back in expressing your contempt for cosy arrangements when it comes to Americans dealing with back-pedalling former Iraqi and Afghan insurgents, much smaller players than Saddam.

[bruno]: "A five year old child could point out these double standards."

Quite.

John said...

Shameous: "the argument could be made that such a cosy arrangement would have been worth it in the interests of an easier transition to the post-Saddam Iraq."

Do you mean 'worth it' because it could have potentially saved the lives of thousands of Iraqis who's death was a direct consequence of the American invasion?

I'd say that might reasonably offset your concern for justice, not that you've ever expressed such a concern since the Americans dropped their first bombs on Baghdad.

Double standard indeed.

Red Avenger said...

Double standards, Hoser John?

What of your own double standards: professing symmpathy with Iraqis while refusing to apologize for the evil visited upon unknown thousands of First Nations children.

You digust me.

Die screaming, worthless Canadian drunk.

Bruno said...

[bruno]: "Hussein offered to go in exile, essentially (for the US) for free?"
[petes] "I suppose, if you ignore a little concept called "justice". What about the families"

*cough*cough*

http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ICC?lan=en-GB
http://www.icty.org/sections/AbouttheICTY

(I'm aware that you regard nobody except for the grand murkins as being able or worthy of dispensing justice. This stands to reason, given the attitude of the murkins themselves regarding organs of international justice - ie it's a fraud and doesn't apply to them. Nevertheless, others are not of that opinion.)

[petes] "the argument could be made that such a cosy arrangement would have been worth it"

Could be made? I think that it is fairly obvious. You do know that Iraq offered to open up the borders to thousands of US investigative officers to find WMD, as well as agreeing to hold democratic elections, in addition to Hussein's exile offer, in a bid to stave off invasion? It's a no-brainer.

Well, unless you're an Amreeki warmonger bent on invading no matter what, that is.

[petes] "As an aside, you haven't held back in expressing your contempt for cosy arrangements when it comes to Americans dealing with back-pedalling former Iraqi and Afghan insurgents"

My contempt is for the useful idiots and assorted patsies who truly believe in "the mission" to fight the Taliban and bring in "fweedom 'n democracy". It is fairly obvious that America merely uses grand ideological statements as a smokescreen for its actual geopolitical aims, which include making good with the (formerly super-evil) Taliban and Al Qaedists if the situation demands it, despite previous statements to the contrary.

Bruno said...

America wouldn't dream of interfering with Iraqi 'sovereignty' in order to investigate the piddling matter of its own US-trained-and-equipped death squads torturing Iraqi citizens ... but telling the Iraqi president he needs to bugger off is another matter:

""We've been under tremendous pressure by the Americans in ... clearly asking President Talabani to step down," said a Kurdish source close to the talks. He said both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have asked Talabani to step aside in recent phone calls."

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/11/08/103383/us-calls-for-iraqi-president-to.html

Bruno said...

This could be Lynnette:

"He said he doesn't believe he owes an apology for invading Iraq when there were not illicit weapons but instead was committed to determining why the intelligence was wrong.

"Apologising would basically say the decision was a wrong decision. And I don't believe it was the wrong decision," he told Lauer. "I thought the best way to handle this was to find out why. And what went wrong. And to remedy it." "

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/Bush-defends-Iraq-invasion/articleshow/6893378.cms

Bruno said...

Time to kill Americans without trial:

The Obama Administration’s Justice Department today argued that the court system has absolutely no legal authority to be “looking over the shoulder” of President Obama when he decides to assassinate American citizens, insisting those are “the very core powers of the president as commander in chief.”

http://news.antiwar.com/2010/11/08/justice-dept-no-legal-authority-for-court-to-oversee-obamas-assassinations/

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

*whispers softly*

For those who may be copying and pasting this comments section, Zeyad has put up a new post. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

Either you have a very low opinion of my intelligence, or I am starting to develop that opinion of yours.

A low opinion of your intelligence? Hmmm...well, low intelligence is a possibility, but I rather think there is another reason for your behavior. Anyway, since Zeyad has put up a new post, I am only going to recap my argument rather than do the cut and paste response thingy.

The Blix testimony on January 27, 2003 should be read carefully in its entirety by those who really have a desire to understand our reasoning for the invasion. It is a piece of the puzzle that helped in our decision, I think. And I can well understand Blix's horror that he might have been a part of causing us to invade Iraq. But he did his job without prejudice and there is no shame in that. He should understand that his was only a piece of the puzzle.

The offer of exile that you mentioned, Bruno, whether or not it was information passed on by President Bush to the Spanish PM or not, is questionable in its seriousness. If Saddam actually passed that offer to us via a third party, it was done to screw with us. I note that part of that so called offer was that Saddam be allowed to retain his information on WMD. Saddam wasn't stupid, he would have known that was a deal breaker, even if we would have let him sit back with enough funds to stir up trouble. Does no one remember Napolean Bonaparte? Please, be serious.

Feith's account of what was taking place in Washington regarding the decison to go to war and, yes, the reasons for the problems that occurred, is very plausible, given my understanding of my fellow countrymen. There was no war for oil, or for empire. There is only a war of self-defense. That is the "War on Terror" in a nutshell. And it was that environment that influenced our evaluation of the threat posed by Saddam and his regime.

And that makes this statement understandable:

"He said he doesn't believe he owes an apology for invading Iraq when there were not illicit weapons but instead was committed to determining why the intelligence was wrong.

"Apologising would basically say the decision was a wrong decision. And I don't believe it was the wrong decision," he told Lauer. "I thought the best way to handle this was to find out why. And what went wrong. And to remedy it."

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "The Blix testimony on January 27, 2003 should be read carefully in its entirety by those who really have a desire to understand our reasoning for the invasion."

Which is what I did. Clearly, there are no reasons for invading anybody on that basis, only reasons for further inspections. I furthermore note that his last, most relevant report consists of a long list of Iraqi cooperation with the UN, as well as a statement that inspections would be finished shortly. Months, not years.

[lynnette] "The offer of exile [...] is questionable in its seriousness."

That being your opinion, Lynnette.

The truth is, such an offer should be taken at face value and be acted upon, if the United States was serious about "getting rid of Saddam". If Saddam was bluffing, that would come out soon enough. If he was not, then he would be "gotten rid of", as per American aims. The truth is, as I stated earlier, otherwise. Removing Saddam wasn't the aim, per se. The subsuming and remoulding and control of Iraq was.

THAT required invasion. THAT was why the invasion took place.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "Does no one remember Napolean Bonaparte? Please, be serious."

Are you seriously comparing the leader of the most powerful country in the world at the time, and a military genius ... to Saddam Hussein??? ROTFLMAO! 'tis not I that requires a dose of gravitas, my dear.

[lynnette] "There was no war for oil, or for empire. There is only a war of self-defense"

Utter bullshit and crap. America had no more need for "self defense" against an impoverished country thousands of miles away than I need from a five year old child. Such arguments may work on the ignorant, inbred hillbillies that American fearmongering targets, but not when in the company of reasoning adults.

[lynnette] "And that makes this statement understandable: "He said he doesn't believe he owes an apology for invading Iraq"

That about sums murika up.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

[lynnette] "The Blix testimony on January 27, 2003 should be read carefully in its entirety by those who really have a desire to understand our reasoning for the invasion."
[Bruno]Which is what I did.

*sigh* And copied and pasted those portions you felt supported your contention that we had no reason to invade Iraq. I understand.

[lynnette] "The offer of exile [...] is questionable in its seriousness."
[Bruno] That being your opinion, Lynnette.

The truth is, such an offer should be taken at face value and be acted upon, if the United States was serious about "getting rid of Saddam".


If it was for real then the answer was, obviously, no. And we were, just as obviously, serious about neutralizing any ability Saddam had to support terrorists. That offer, if accepted, would not have done that.

Are you seriously comparing the leader of the most powerful country in the world at the time, and a military genius ... to Saddam Hussein??? ROTFLMAO!

Certainly. Because that leader was allowed to go into exile only to return. A distinct possibility in the case of Saddam as well.

America had no more need for "self defense" against an impoverished country thousands of miles away than I need from a five year old child.

An impoverished country? Not if Iraq's revenue had been used to improve the lives of the people of Iraq instead of supporting Saddam's ambitions.

Bruno said...

[lynnette] "And we were, just as obviously, serious about neutralizing any ability Saddam had to support terrorists."

What you mean is, America wanted a compliant and Israel-friendly government at all costs. Terrorism isn't an issue. Since:

1: The 'terrorists' in question are Palestinian fighters and
2: The Americans supported and protected the MEK, same as Saddam, and since the Americans went so far as to cosy up to Al Qaedists when it proved expedient.

[bruno] Are you seriously comparing the leader of the most powerful country in the world at the time, and a military genius ... to Saddam Hussein??? ROTFLMAO!
[lynnette] Certainly.

ROTFL!

[bruno] "America had no more need for "self defense" against an impoverished country thousands of miles away than I need from a five year old child.
[lynnette] An impoverished country? Not if Iraq's revenue had"

1: More deliberate obtuseness. I notice that you avoided the question of self defence entirely, and well you should, since it is self-evident that this tack of yours is bogus.
2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_sanctions

Bruno said...

I'd just like to add, (after wiping tears of laughter from my eyes) in case Lynnette thinks I'm playing the same obtuse game she plays with me, about "Saddam returning":

1: It's not the business of the US in the first place to decide who does or doesn't rule Iraq.
2: Ergo, Saddam ruling Iraq does not a casus belli make
3: IF "Saddam returned" in the guise of a legitimate candidate in legitimate free elections, I'd say that was fine. What better way to prove (or disprove) allegations that the majority of Iraq's populace hated him?
4: That's assuming that he didn't get apprehended by the organs of International justice first, a possibility that you are studiously ignoring
5: Most importantly, "Saddam returning" could be dealt with on an ad hoc basis, and would be far easier than invading and occupying a country.

... this all assuming that the US was honest about its motive to "get rid of a brutal dictator", which I don't believe it was, and which your own comments underline.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Bruno,

What you mean is, America wanted a compliant and Israel-friendly government at all costs.

Playing the Israel card, eh? I noticed when AQ started to do that too. It's a sure fire manipulation tool...used when one's position gets desperate. ;)

Terrorism isn't an issue. Since:

1: The 'terrorists' in question are Palestinian fighters


Not all terrorists are Palestinian. And not all Palestinians are terrorists.

2: The Americans supported and protected the MEK,

Are those the people who are fighting Iran?

...the Americans went so far as to cosy up to Al Qaedists when it proved expedient.

You mean with 500lb bombs?

[bruno] Are you seriously comparing the leader of the most powerful country in the world at the time, and a military genius ... to Saddam Hussein??? ROTFLMAO!
[lynnette] Certainly.
[Bruno]ROTFL!


Classic cut and paste tactic to reinforce your erroneous position. :) Getting stale, dear. Even the most casual reader will be able to figure out your bias.

[bruno] "America had no more need for "self defense" against an impoverished country thousands of miles away than I need from a five year old child.

Since you did not like my first reply, which was quite accurate btw, I will try again. :) Sometimes an "impoverished" country can be the most dangerous. They can be breeding grounds for the most extreme types of terrorists. Even those who prey on their own people.

I would note that the sanctions applied to Iraq did not stop Saddam from building numerous palaces with gilded bathroom fixtures. :(

1: It's not the business of the US in the first place to decide who does or doesn't rule Iraq.

Saddam would not necessarily have to "rule" Iraq to "return".

Bruno said...

[bruno] What you mean is, America wanted a compliant and Israel-friendly government at all costs.
[lynnette] Playing the Israel card, eh?

"The authors argue that although "the boundaries of the Israel lobby cannot be identified precisely", it "has a core consisting of organizations whose declared purpose is to encourage the U.S. government and the American public to provide material aid to Israel and to support its government's policies, as well as influential individuals for whom these goals are also a top priority""

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Israel_Lobby_and_U.S._Foreign_Policy


[bruno] 2: The Americans supported and protected the MEK,
[lynnette] Are those the people who are fighting Iran?

I take it you concede this.

[bruno] ...the Americans went so far as to cosy up to Al Qaedists when it proved expedient.
[lynnette] You mean with 500lb bombs?

I mean with money and aid. You seem to forget that America gave a lot of these people money and equipment in Afghanistan, Kosovo and so forth.

[bruno] "America had no more need for "self defense" against an impoverished country thousands of miles away than I need from a five year old child.
[lynnette] Sometimes an "impoverished" country can be the most dangerous. They can be breeding grounds for the most extreme types of terrorists."

Quick question: how many "terrorists" from Iraq killed Americans BEFORE the invasion?
How many "terrorists" from Iraq killed Americans AFTER the invasion?

It seems pretty evident that America is adept at creating "terrorists".

[lynnette] "sanctions applied to Iraq did not stop Saddam from building numerous palaces"

Yes, clearly a threat to the US. Gosh, what should we do?