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An Iraqi woman passes by the scene of a car bomb attack in Kamaliyah neighborhood, a predominantly Shiite area of eastern Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, May 20, 2013. A wave of car bombings across Baghdad's Shiite neighborhoods and in the southern city of Basra killed and wounded dozens of people, police said. (AP Photo/ Hadi Mizban)
In 1946, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg stated the following, in language that was introduced by Judge Robert Jackson, the lead American prosecutor of Axis war criminals:
To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
This means that those who launch a war of aggression are responsible for far more than just the initial death and destruction caused by the war. They should be held responsible for all of the "accumulated evil" that follows and that would not have otherwise occurred. This is a very succinct and intuitive ethical precept that is virtually impossible to argue against. But while this injunction can't seriously be disputed, it can be ignored, and, in fact, often is by powerful states. Unfortunately, Jackson's own government has never taken his words seriously, and this has never been more evident than in the case of Iraq.

The United States launched a preventive - not preemptive, contrary to what we often read - war against Iraq in March of 2003. This is now considered old news. Most people are aware that the attack resulted in death and misery on a massive scale - millions of refugees, well over 100,000 dead civilians, an exponential increase in terrorism, and so on. Nevertheless, talk about Iraq has all but disappeared in the mainstream, following the U.S.'s much-ballyhooed "withdrawal" from the country in 2011. The general feeling seems to be that Iraq was a tragic episode, one of the worst "blunders" in the annals of American foreign policy, but is now thankfully behind us. No American service member has been killed in Iraq since November of 2011.

However, the war is far from over for the people of Iraq. They are living with the consequences of the war every day, and will be for quite some time. The country is, to this day, terrorized by suicide bombings, which, crucially, did not exist in Iraq prior to the American invasion. In early 2008, Robert Fisk called the acute reality of suicide terrorism in Iraq "perhaps the most ghoulish and frightening legacy of George Bush's invasion." Now, more than five years later, the "perhaps" can safely be removed from that sentence. On Tuesday, 16 more Iraqis were pointlessly killed in several bombings and shootings. The previous day was even more deadly, with a "wave" of bombings killing 58 and wounding 187. The death toll from sectarian violence has just passed 500 for this month alone. Iraq is, by any measure, one of the most dangerous countries in the world, far more dangerous than it was under Saddam. The United States and its allies have direct moral culpability for this state of sheer hell in which millions of Iraqis are living.

Shockingly little attention has been paid to the "evil" that is still very much "accumulating" in Iraq. It's virtually impossible to imagine that any of the individuals responsible for carrying out this massive war crime will ever be brought to justice. In fact, the person more responsible than any other just had a fancy new library built in his name, and was the subject of lavish praise from his fellow American statesmen at the opening ceremony. It was a day for Bush to "bask in the sun," according to the New York Times report on the celebration. Naturally, "Iraq" was one word that "never passed Bush's lips, or those of the other four presidents who spoke." That would have been such a buzz-kill.

Judge Jackson's morally eloquent words are destined to be ignored, because powerful actors generally do as they please, and turning themselves in for war crimes is typically not high on the agenda. At the very least, though, as responsible citizens, we can express, in a variety of ways, outrage and disapproval at our political class pushing the unconscionable horrors the U.S. has inflicted on the Iraqi people under the rug. Minimal standards of compassion and solidarity demand that much.

(Originally posted at www.justindoolittle.net)

Originally posted to Justin Doolittle on Tue May 28, 2013 at 04:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East and More and Better Democracies.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Millions of orphans. An epidemic of cancer (13+ / 0-)

    due to depleted uranium used in population centers. Millions of displaced and refugees. Cholera. Malnutrition.

    "They were at the forefront", he said, referring to health care just before the 1991 Persian Gulf War. "Now they're looking more and more like a country in sub-Saharan Africa."
    See Humanitarian crises of the Iraq War: http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    "Accumulated evil" is a great phrase. Iraq is America's ugliest, deepest and most permanent stain, and no one should ever forget it.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Tue May 28, 2013 at 04:15:29 PM PDT

    •  Yes, depleted uranium (10+ / 0-)

      and who knows what else. I urge everyone who can stand it to watch this Democracy Now video about the birth defects in Fallujah, which reportedly surpass those in Nagasaki and Hiroshima after WWII. It's extremely hard to watch but important to see.

    •  Leave out depleted uranium crap and you (0+ / 0-)

      have some really good points!

      •  There are hundreds of source I can cite, but (5+ / 0-)

        here's one:

        Science Daily: Cancer and Birth Defects in Iraq: The Nuclear Legacy, May 21, 2013:
        — Ten years after the Iraq war of 2003 a team of scientists based in Mosul, northern Iraq, have detected high levels of uranium contamination in soil samples at three sites in the province of Nineveh which, coupled with dramatically increasing rates of childhood cancers and birth defects at local hospitals, highlight the ongoing legacy of modern warfare to civilians in conflict zones.
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/...
        Teh Google is your friend. Use it.

        "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

        by Bob Love on Tue May 28, 2013 at 06:03:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Reading your links can also be your friend (0+ / 0-)

          for example, the first Wikipedia link you give - it mentions many other things other than DU for the current health issues in Iraq.

          Further, from your link, a bit more about the 3 sites you mention:

          The focal point of their scientific study was three sites near Mosul: Adayah, a landfill for radioactive waste; Rihanyah, a former research centre for nuclear munitions (disused since 1991); and Damerchy, a small village on the Tigris River (about 10km north of Mosel), which was a scene of fighting in the 2003 conflict. Particularly high levels of uranium were found at Rihanyah where storage ponds of liquid and solid waste from uranium processing are still a source of radioactive pollution. The accumulation of uranium in wild plants (principally the shrub Lagonychium farctum) was noted in Damerchy, where it is thought to have entered the food chain and is linked to the death of numerous head of cattle.
          Note that only one out of the three is linked to DU.

          Besides

          The team acknowledge that there are numerous other factors that impact on the data for cancer rates in the wider Iraqi population,
          another article linked on the link you give elaborates on that:
          The researchers now seek to understand the cause of Iraq's increased rate of child leukemia by conducting a case-control study to compare children who got leukemia with those who did not. That sort of study allows researchers to see if there were differences in exposures between the cases and the controls. Some increased exposures related to child leukemia could include the byproducts of regional petroleum fires and benzene, which comes from gasoline sold by children at the side of the road as a result of disrupted fuel supplies, war-related nerve agents and pesticides, and the widespread use of depleted uranium munitions.
          Again, DU is a possible culprit, but there is equally or more compelling evidence that other factors are at fault.

          In any event, here's a more nuanced and comprehensive view of the situation: Birth defects in Iraq and the plausibility of environmental exposure: A review

          •  So DU isn't a factor at all (4+ / 0-)

            even though you admit that one out of the three cited cases has been linked to it?

            We used it.  It ain't candy.  It can and does cause defects.  What parts of that are you disagreeing with?

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Tue May 28, 2013 at 06:52:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It probably isn't a factor (0+ / 0-)

              based on precedent from the Balkans war and the first Iraq War.

              It is difficult to see how the basic biology of humans would have changed so much in the short time since then that it would be doing all this shit this time around.   Especially since there are 8 to 15 more likely culprits.

              This issue is important because it benefits nobody (except those who like to engage in internet rants) healthwise to mis-identify the cause of the increased birth defects in Iraq.

              •  This assumes that the usage and distribution (0+ / 0-)

                was the same in all cases.  Evidence?

                Tell you what: Try living with some DU in your yard and let us know how that works for you.

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Wed May 29, 2013 at 05:43:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I do, I have (0+ / 0-)

                  several kilograms in my backyard (btw, everybody does - U-238 is ubiquitous - although about 10x higher in places like Pittsburgh and Denver than Florida).

                  The main danger is its decay into radon, a gas, which can accumulate in the basement and be inhaled

                  As far as battlefield use, the previous wars showed that people who received high enough doses to be harmed are those in vehicles hit by DU munitions (but they'd have been blown up, so later health effects are not very salient) or people who initially clean up and/or dismantle such vehicles.  Definitely some (in the dozens) of US troops fall into the latter category and no doubt Iraqi civilians have also scavenged / salvaged these materials.   So there are a few people out there who might be suffering from uranium toxicity from weapons use.  

                  Other than that, it is difficult to envision how either human biology, or the physical/chemical properties of DU, could change sufficiently in a decade (they haven't!) to invalidate the earlier studies.

          •  Read it and weep. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            truong son traveler

            From the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health:

            Uranium and other contaminants in hair from the parents of children with congenital anomalies in Fallujah, Iraq.
            Conclusions: Whilst caution must be exercised about ruling out other possibilities, because none of the elements found in excess are reported to cause congenital diseases and cancer except Uranium, these findings suggest the enriched Uranium exposure is either a primary cause or related to the cause of the congenital anomaly and cancer increases. Questions are thus raised about the characteristics and composition of weapons now being deployed in modern battlefields.
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...
            The above findings are also directly quoted in the link you provided, if you got that far: "The study suggested that exposure to Uranium is either a primary cause or related to the cause of the congenital anomaly and cancer increases." {Alaani S, Tafash M, Busby C, Hamdan M, Blaurock-Busch E: Uranium and other contaminants in hair from the parents of children with congenital anomalies in Fallujah. Iraq. Confl Health 2011, 5:15.} Do read the section on Depleted Uranium, if you have time.

            The study you dwell on looked at 3 sites around Mosul, which has toxic waste sites in its vicinity which cloud the issue for anyone who likes their issues clouded. Fallujah is a much more logical site for study, since widespread reports indicate DU was used extensively there. And it's over 300 km south of Mosul.

            But if you don't like the findings of the Environmental Contamination and Toxicology bulletin, just wait for the WHO report, which can't be postponed indefinitely, at which time your nuanced approach will very likely evaporate unless it's revised by Washington and London, neither of whom are especially willing to take responsibility for the ongoing medical crises in Fallujah and Basra.

            Obviously this needs more study to be wholly conclusive; any moron knows that. But the birth defects in Fallujah are reported to exceed those after Hiroshima. Nuance that.

            "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

            by Bob Love on Tue May 28, 2013 at 11:54:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  and things aren't that much better in Libya (6+ / 0-)

    and God only knows what Syria will be like once the "pro-democratic freedom-fighters" (drawn mostly from Al Qaeda) that we are supporting take over...

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Tue May 28, 2013 at 04:19:31 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for pointing out what too often... (12+ / 0-)

    ...is not pointed out regarding "preemptive" vs. "preventive" war, the former considered by nearly everyone as self-defense, the latter a war of aggression and the bedrock of the Bush Doctrine.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Tue May 28, 2013 at 04:27:23 PM PDT

    •  To a pacifist there's no difference (3+ / 0-)

      between "preemptive" and "preventive."  And when was the USA last involved in a "preemptive" war anyway?

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Tue May 28, 2013 at 06:53:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My Dad Used To Teach At The Army War College (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gordon20024, ybruti

    Not a liberal. He hates war. Thinks we are fighting war when we don't need to. Pull him aside and he will laugh that we are at war nor need to drone somebody.

  •  Yes, thanks (8+ / 0-)

    George Bush and Dick Cheney killed another 19 people today.

  •  Agreed on Iraq war being that of aggression. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ctexrep, PatriciaVa

    People blasting each other because they have differences in tribes or sect of their religion is a bit of a stretch to be anyone's fault but their own, imo.

    I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

    by GoGoGoEverton on Tue May 28, 2013 at 04:40:10 PM PDT

    •  Syria is no different (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gordon20024, joanneleon
      Fighters, Flowing to Syria, Guard Shiites

      Battling Beside Assad Forces, Iraqis and Lebanese Answer Calls to Protect Shrines and Counter Sunnis

      http://online.wsj.com/...

      May 23, 2013

      Shiite fighters, primarily from Lebanon, Iran and Iraq, are now flowing into Syria in greater numbers to bolster government forces, say Syrians familiar with them. They are arriving to defend Mr. Assad's regime, but more fundamentally to protect the Shiite faith from what they see as a regional Sunni onslaught, say people in Seyda Zeinab and the fighters' hometowns.

      The influx provides more concrete illustration of how Syria's conflict, long viewed as a civil war fought largely along sectarian lines, is now a full-fledged religious conflagration drawing its oxygen from across the region.

      ......................

      The religious fervor extends to fighters' communities as far away as Kuwait, Libya, Iran and Saudi Arabia—on dueling satellite channels, online chat forums and social-media websites. Some Shiite clerics are propagating the idea that the war in Syria is laying a foundation for the imminent return of the Messiah-like Imam Mahdi, who Shiites broadly believe will wage an end-times battle against evil on Syrian soil.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Tue May 28, 2013 at 04:51:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Accept that the American Invasion, Occupation and (14+ / 0-)

      Retreat from Iraq, left the country in much worse shape and more violent than prior to the American invasion. So to say that the current situation there is "their own" fault, ignores the actions of the US that caused much of the current instability. Whether one thinks that causing the instability was by design, or not, the causation cannot be ignored.

      Don't trust anyone over 84414

      by BentLiberal on Tue May 28, 2013 at 05:13:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that the causes of the current violence (0+ / 0-)

        was always there but was held in check by an oppressive minority regime.

        I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

        by GoGoGoEverton on Tue May 28, 2013 at 05:48:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No it was not (0+ / 0-)

          and ask me why if you really want to know the truth and not repeating an empty cliché

          Your cream of the crop in pet-sitting in Washington State is: MyNeighborhoodBuddy

          by dibsa on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:21:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would very much like to know why, (0+ / 0-)

            instead of 'because the dictator will stop paying you and/or kill you, that the Shia and Sunni did not blast each other prior to Saddam's regime falling.

            Don't forget that Saddam gassed the Kurds and that the Shia set up their own governances in the South when the no-fly zone went into affect post-Kuwait, before you respond.

            I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

            by GoGoGoEverton on Wed May 29, 2013 at 09:24:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  from your reply (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BentLiberal

              I can tell that you are obsessed with what you 've been hearing over and over again for years and not willing to hear or read the truth. One thing I would like to tell you is that I am Iraqi, born and raised in Iraq before moving to US. Hence I know what I am talking about not  like others reading rubbish reports or false analysis that was written by those who claim to be expert. Besides, and for your information, there was no such a thing  "Shia set up their own governances in the South post Kuwait invasion".

              Your cream of the crop in pet-sitting in Washington State is: MyNeighborhoodBuddy

              by dibsa on Wed May 29, 2013 at 10:45:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Yes it has nothing to do with (7+ / 0-)

      their subjugation by forces both interior and exterior -- they're savages.

    •  It depends (6+ / 0-)

      on whether or not you take the Nuremberg principles seriously. If you do, you would have to start with the U.S., which launched the attack from which all of this other violence has flowed. Remember, this stuff was simply not happening in Iraq before the U.S. got there.

      •  It wasn't because they were oppressed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Love

        Saddam Hussein was a minority Sunni from a powerful tribe that violently oppressed the majority Shia population. I happen to think Biden was right on when he suggested that perhaps Iraq was a false state.

        I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

        by GoGoGoEverton on Tue May 28, 2013 at 05:50:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It was* because they were oppressed, sorry. (0+ / 0-)

        The US invasion absolute loosed the controls though.

        I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

        by GoGoGoEverton on Tue May 28, 2013 at 05:55:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Saddam protected people from that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoGoGoEverton

      by killing everyone on both sides.....

      In 1988, the Hussein regime began a campaign of extermination against the Kurdish people living in Northern Iraq. This is known as the Anfal campaign. The campaign was mostly directed at Shiite Kurds (Faili Kurds) who sided with Iranians during the Iraq-Iran War. The attacks resulted in the death of at least 50,000 to as many as 182,000 people, many of them women and children. A team of Human Rights Watch investigators determined, after analyzing eighteen tons of captured Iraqi documents, testing soil samples and carrying out interviews with more than 350 witnesses, that the attacks on the Kurdish people were characterized by gross violations of human rights, including mass executions and disappearances of many tens of thousands of noncombatants, widespread use of chemical weapons including Sarin, mustard gas and nerve agents that killed thousands, the arbitrary imprisoning of tens of thousands of women, children, and elderly people for months in conditions of extreme deprivation, forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of villagers after the demolition of their homes, and the wholesale destruction of nearly two thousand villages along with their schools, mosques, farms and power stations.

      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ctexrep on Tue May 28, 2013 at 06:31:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What did they call the "Iraq War" in in Iraq? (8+ / 0-)

    The American invasion.

    I've been taking to calling that war the American-Iraqi War.

    Don't trust anyone over 84414

    by BentLiberal on Tue May 28, 2013 at 05:05:38 PM PDT

  •  I posted this photo last week but thought it (11+ / 0-)

    might fit in here as well.

    Every time I look at this it makes me cry.

     photo iraqichild_zps2ac39241.jpg

    What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce. Mark Twain

    by Gordon20024 on Tue May 28, 2013 at 05:35:59 PM PDT

  •  The biggest legacy of the Bush Administration (6+ / 0-)

    I remember how the Republicans were calling people traitors for even questioning the war.
       Where are those people now?

    “Wall Street had been doing business with pieces of paper; and now someone asked for a dollar, and it was discovered that the dollar had been mislaid.” ― Upton Sinclair

    by gjohnsit on Tue May 28, 2013 at 05:40:03 PM PDT

  •  The people of Iraq (11+ / 0-)

    I see very little coverage or concern for the people of Iraq on the Daily Kos or other progressive site.  
    The focus has been on the deaths or injuries of American troops instead.  
    What about the Iraqis mental and physical trauma?  
    How many Iraqis  have lost their parents? Their children?
    Their homes?  Their hope?
    There is no draft,* no one was forced to join the military,
    they had a choice, where as the citizens had absolutely no choice.  The whole support the troops and calling everyone who served over their heroes is nauseating.  

    Face it, for most people, American lives take priority over the Iraqi people. They are the Other, the scary brown Muslim, people who should be nuked into the stone age.

     http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

    *Aside from the backdoor draft which is a whole other post.

    "A chicken for every pot, a firearm for every tot" New NRA slogan credit to Ploughandstars.on the Raw Story 5.5.13

    by pitbullgirl65 on Tue May 28, 2013 at 05:41:05 PM PDT

    •  Could not (10+ / 0-)

      agree more. The first thing one usually hears when the war comes up in conversation is the 4,000 or so American deaths. Which is just an amazing expression of contempt for Iraqis, considering the relative death tolls. I remember a few years ago, a GOP congressman actually demanded reparations be paid for the war..... to the United States. I'm not kidding......

      http://www.justindoolittle.net/...

      There is just a general feeling that American lives are intrinsically more valuable than the lives of Other People, particularly when their skin is a different color and they have a different religion. It's really sad and just so contrary to the kind of universal humanism we need to build a global society.

    •  So you blame the deaths on our soldiers? (0+ / 0-)

      Isn't that nice of you.

      I love this line....

      Face it, for most people, American lives take priority over the Iraqi people. They are the Other, the scary brown Muslim, people who should be nuked into the stone age.
      I'd request a link but I know you can't link something you pulled out of your ass.....

      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ctexrep on Tue May 28, 2013 at 06:24:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  uh, American soldiers were sent to Iraq (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pitbullgirl65

        to kill Iraqis, were they not ?

        generally they tried not to kill those that were not "causing trouble", but a lot of times they did.

        that's what happens when you drop bombs.

        so yes, our soldiers killed Iraqi's, and yes Americans intrinsically value American lives more than Iraqi lives.

        so I understand pitbullgirl's point.

        but, what exactly, is your point ?

        big badda boom : GRB 090423

        by squarewheel on Tue May 28, 2013 at 07:37:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Recollections from the winter soldier (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pitbullgirl65, BentLiberal

          gathering of Iraqi vets and one of them recounting how the word came down from up the chain of command to "just shoot people, the officers will take care of us."

          I remember one woman walking by," said Jason Washburn, a corporal in the US Marines who served three tours in Iraq. He told the audience at the Winter Soldier hearings that took place March 13-16, 2008, in Silver Spring, Maryland, "She was carrying a huge bag, and she looked like she was heading toward us, so we lit her up with the Mark 19, which is an automatic grenade launcher, and when the dust settled, we realized that the bag was full of groceries. She had been trying to bring us food and we blew her to pieces."
          More incidents discussed at this link.

          Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

          by truong son traveler on Wed May 29, 2013 at 03:53:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Dont' fall into a tactic favored by neo-cons and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        417els, truong son traveler

        keyboard commandos -- who attempt to label any anti-war sentiment as anti-soldier or not "supporting the troops."

        The blame for this war lies with the government of the United States. Soldiers are trained to follow orders and for the most part, serve as ordered.

        Don't trust anyone over 84414

        by BentLiberal on Tue May 28, 2013 at 08:02:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here is one link (0+ / 0-)

        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/...
        And yes, they do bear responsibility too. Why don't they?
         The old "I was just following orders" is a cop out.
        And you haven't people say we should just nuke the s**t out of them?  There are plenty of links on right wing sites demonizing the people of the Middle East, you're being disingenuous if you think it's something I pulled out of thin air.

        "A chicken for every pot, a firearm for every tot" New NRA slogan credit to Ploughandstars.on the Raw Story 5.5.13

        by pitbullgirl65 on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:49:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tell This to the "Democrats" in congress (6+ / 0-)

    who voted in favor of the AUMF.

    "The 1% don't want SOLUTIONS; they've worked very hard the last four decades to get conditions the way they are now".

    by Superpole on Tue May 28, 2013 at 05:52:11 PM PDT

  •  True but you don't give Saddan credit (0+ / 0-)
    According to The New York Times, "he [Saddam] murdered as many as a million of his people, many with poison gas. He tortured, maimed and imprisoned countless more. His unprovoked invasion of Iran is estimated to have left another million people dead. His seizure of Kuwait threw the Middle East into crisis. More insidious, arguably, was the psychological damage he inflicted on his own land. Hussein created a nation of informants — friends on friends, circles within circles — making an entire population complicit in his rule". Other estimates as to the number of Iraqis killed by Saddam's regime vary from roughly a quarter to half a million,including 50,000 to 182,000 Kurds and 25,000 to 280,000 killed during the repression of the 1991 rebellion. Estimates for the number of dead in the Iran-Iraq war range upwards from 300,000here credit is due:
    Saddam was a monster - not saying we had the right to invade Iraq but Saddam needed to go.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Tue May 28, 2013 at 06:15:46 PM PDT

    •  No Saddam (6+ / 0-)

      fan here. But there is a big leap from saying he "needed to go" to saying "the United States has to invade." A lot of rotten dictators "need to go."

      •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

        but as violent as Iraq is today - Saddam inflicted much worse on his people - he ruled with an iron grip - now that grip is gone so maybe this will be a period of conflict that will eventually end...I don't know but hope so.

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Tue May 28, 2013 at 06:36:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, you "hope so." (3+ / 0-)

          That's really reassuring.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Tue May 28, 2013 at 06:56:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Saddam's brutality -- and playing ethnic/religious (0+ / 0-)

          groups against each other, made it likely that a civil war between Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds would break out after his regime dissolved, however that happened.  Many people tried to tell this to the Bush/Cheney administration before the invasion.  If the US had seriously tried to work with and support Iraqis who favored internal reconciliation, things might have gone differently.  There were chances for it to be different, as there was a significant part of the population that was NOT severely ethnically polarized.  For instance, it used to be a joke in Iraq that they couldn't have a civil war, because so many Sunni and Shia were married to each other....  Within a few years, many of those marriages had dissolved under the pressure of growing ethnic/religious strife.

          The Bush/CHeney regime had no intelligent grasp of the internal realities of IRaq, nor did they care.  They were out to establish permanent bases and pass the "Oil Law" that would let US corporations dominate Iraqi oil.

          So, it's fair to say that the US didn't cause all of the violence in Iraq.  Part of the fault lies with the universal human capacity for division and hatred even among groups who are closest in history and culture.  WHen Sunni extremists decided to ethnically cleanse certain neighborhoods by killing Shia men and leaving their savagely mutilated bodies as a warning to their neighbors  -- or when similar things happened to Sunnis -- that's not all on the US.  BUT.  THe US walked into an explosive situation, where it had no right to be, and acted with arrogant disregard for the realities there.  They ignorantly enabled the worst that was possible; the best that was possible was often trampled under the blind march of war.  And there were atrocities by some American troops; and some officers enabled or ordered war-crimes.

          So yes, the US bears a huge load of responsibility for the continued violence in Iraq, not to mention the destruction of much of the country's infratructure, the shattering of families and communities, and the impoverishment of the people.

          The lack of ongoing concern for the IRaqi people is appalling.  The way Iraq seems to have been wiped off the nation's memory-screen is an indictment of both our politics and our media. THere seems to be little we can do about it at this point.  BUt we have to at least keep memory alive.

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Wed May 29, 2013 at 03:03:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Don't fall into the tactic (3+ / 0-)

      favored by neo-cons and war hawks for justifying the American invasion of Iraq.

      Don't trust anyone over 84414

      by BentLiberal on Tue May 28, 2013 at 08:04:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Husseins, the Ghaddafis and the Assads were (4+ / 0-)

    rotten bastards.

    But at least they were secularist bastards, kept the lid on sectarian and tribal strife and under their rule there was the beginning of civic life, very significant increases in welfare, education, medical care and the emancipation of women - moreover the average person was able to walk at night the streets of Baghdad, Tripoli and Damascus in perfect society

    Now, after violent "liberation" by the West (starting with the US of course) all these place are wrecked, infrastructure destroyed, decline in civic life which has been taken over by interminable sectarian and tribal wars, women increasingly repressed, and the average person walking by days the streets of Baghdad, Tripoli and Damascaus runs a very high chance of being blown to smithereens.

    But the Big Oil corporations are delighted.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Tue May 28, 2013 at 06:55:03 PM PDT

  •  What's far worse than the crime (3+ / 0-)

    is the complicity of so many both at home and abroad.  I don't just mean the alleged "Democrats" who voted for a war of aggression (among them Hillary Clinton, who remains unrepentant): Generally speaking, it's hard to find people or countries who weren't complicit in some way.  

    The numbers of American soldiers who refused illegal orders to deploy to Iraq were shockingly low, almost nonexistent, and of the few who did many only reached that decision after already fighting in Iraq.  How did they not understand what they were doing?  We ourselves just kind of sat around and passively bemoaned cruel fate when protests didn't work, and worst of all actually believed that once troops were deployed we were supposed to shut up to show "solidarity" with them.  It was insane.  

    Civil war would have been morally justified at that point, but we got the opposite - silence beneath a banner of fascism for fear of being called unpatriotic.  The irony is that our obedience proved we were unpatriotic: We were willing to let our own people die for a mad dictator - willing to let him use them to murder countless innocent people trying to set up some psychotic fantasy Empire that could never exist in the real world of this century.  We were willing to let that happen rather than put ourselves on the line to stop it, because it was easier.

    Meanwhile, countries that preened as moral authorities for merely refusing to openly back the war - e.g., France - did nothing whatsoever to actually stop it.  The people of France condemned it as loudly as we should have, but they and everyone else seemed as powerless as we to make their government do anything.  There were no resolutions of condemnation passed anywhere in the democratic world, no economic sanctions against the United States, and to this day no other remotely legitimate, credible government has tried to see the perpetrators of the war brought to justice.  

    It seems like everyone but the victims forced to perpetually endure the consequences wants to forget.  I want to see a world capable of proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that humanity is better than the butchers responsible for that war - not merely "less evil," but actually morally superior.  But until even foreign democratic governments who rhetorically opposed the war are willing to stand up and demand justice, I don't see how that's ever going to happen.

    Process defines product.

    by Troubadour on Tue May 28, 2013 at 11:52:38 PM PDT

  •  Guess who is paying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pitbullgirl65

    reparations to whom. Iraq is footing the bill for its own destruction.

    Many Iraqis consider themselves victims of both Saddam's regime and the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and wonder why they should pay money for wrongs committed by the ousted dictator.

    Lawmakers approved the settlement by a majority after listening to the foreign and finance ministers as well as the head of the central bank describe why it was necessary, said Abbas al-Bayati of the State of Law political bloc.

    Another lawmaker, Mahmoud Othman, said by approving the settlement, Iraq would be protecting itself from more lawsuits in the future that could have been well above the $400 million that was agreed to.

    USA Today

    And believe it or not, Vietnam is also paying the US 145 million in order to "resume normal economic ties". The payments are for loans to the former Government of South Vietnam which was deposed by the current government in 1975. The payments will continue until 2019.

    War is a racket. Who benefits and who are the victims?

    Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

    by truong son traveler on Wed May 29, 2013 at 04:16:58 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Justin. n/t (3+ / 0-)

    The Americas greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

    by catilinus on Wed May 29, 2013 at 04:41:47 AM PDT

  •  Contrary to Neo-Con dogma (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pitbullgirl65

    you cannot spread Democracy and Human Rights at the point of a gun. (Neo-Cons do not know what either Democracy or Human Rights is. To them a Free and Fair Election is one that their candidate won, and human rights apply mostly to corporations.)

    What if we had invested a fraction of the money we put into wars on education and health for our citizens, our immigrants, and all of the peoples of the world? Why, it turns out that the cost of the Iraq War is more than enough to fully fund the end of poverty and all of its associated ills, that is, to get developing countries to the takeoff point where they can fund further development out of their own economies, including an adequate tax base. Oxfam has one version of the calculation, and I published another at the invitation of UNESCO. See also the UN Millennium Development Goals.

    Similarly, as Sen. Bernie Sanders pointed out here on dKos, we could do as Denmark does for our own people if we could get past the kneejerk Republican loathing for everybody, including themselves. That would cost more than the Iraq war, but would return many trillions of dollars in economic growth in addition to liberating much of our population from poverty and oppression. Certainly we have the tax base to support it, and then look at all the new taxpayers such a policy would generate. Isn't that what Republicans say they want? ^_^

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Wed May 29, 2013 at 06:35:35 AM PDT

  •  Only 36 recommends (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justin Doolittle

    on a site that supports  humanistic values. :/  

    "A chicken for every pot, a firearm for every tot" New NRA slogan credit to Ploughandstars.on the Raw Story 5.5.13

    by pitbullgirl65 on Wed May 29, 2013 at 09:13:25 AM PDT

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