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Old 2014-08-09, 15:23   #1
kladner
 
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Default Nightmare Mid-East Theatre, Empire of Chaos edition

U.S. “Humanitarian” Bombing of Iraq: A Redundant Presidential Ritual
By Glenn Greenwald
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2...ential-ritual/

This piece is a long series of Iraq-related headlines going back to at least 1990. Repeated invocation of Godwin's Law will be necessary to make it through.

Quote:
This above-documented parade of “Saddam-is-worse-than-Hitler” campaigns was surrounded by stints of U.S. arming and funding of the very same Saddam (the same, of course, was true of the Taliban precursors, Gadhaffi, Iran, Manuel Noriega, and virtually every other Latest Villain who needed to be bombed; the US was roughly allied with ISIS allies in Syria and American allies fund ISIS itself). The propaganda has gone from “pulling babies from incubators: as bad as Hitler” to “rape rooms: worse than Hitler” to the new slogan: “worse than al-Qaeda!” What’s left?
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Old 2014-08-09, 16:57   #2
tha
 
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We worked with Stalin to defeat Hitler. At the time there also was a viable option to work with Hitler to defeat Stalin. And of course we could have forced Stalin and Hitler to cooperate to surely defeat us. (Remember Molotov-von Ribbentrop?)

There is a good alternative to supporting lesser evil against a bigger evil. That is a bigger, stronger and more versatile army of our own doing the job itself.

It is my opinion by the way that the bombardments on ISIS must be constructed in such a way that Assad in Syria is eliminated as well. We don't want to work with Assad and his Iranian paymaster and have to defeat them later.
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Old 2014-08-09, 21:42   #3
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"The bombings will continue until morale improves".

The essence of a morally and intellectually bankrupt foreign policy.
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Old 2014-08-10, 18:07   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tha View Post
We worked with Stalin to defeat Hitler. At the time there also was a viable option to work with Hitler to defeat Stalin. And of course we could have forced Stalin and Hitler to cooperate to surely defeat us. (Remember Molotov-von Ribbentrop?)
Who is this "we" kemosabe?
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Old 2014-08-10, 20:47   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tha View Post
It is my opinion by the way that the bombardments on ISIS must be constructed in such a way that Assad in Syria is eliminated as well. We don't want to work with Assad and his Iranian paymaster and have to defeat them later.
You do appreciate that there are highly nontrivial connections between the "moderate pro-Western rebels" the US has been actively aiding in Syria and the "genocidal ISIS extremists" now running amok in Iraq, yes?

Related:

o Obama Calls Iraq "Long Term Project"; US Bombs Its Own Weapons; "These People Are Coming Here" Says Senator Graham (Mish)

o The War Photo No One Would Publish

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2014-08-10 at 20:51
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Old 2014-08-10, 22:09   #6
tha
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
You do appreciate that there are highly nontrivial connections between the "moderate pro-Western rebels" the US has been actively aiding in Syria and the "genocidal ISIS extremists" now running amok in Iraq, yes?
The main conflict going on in the Middle East is still Sunni-Shi'i (Saudi-Arabia vs. Iran). Syria is currently the main battlefield together with Iraq. The current Obama administration has been very appeasing towards Iran, but with nothing to show for in return.

Some of the Gulf states have provided backing for what is now ISIS. (or IS or ISIL). When the Obama administration turned down requests for help as he failed to see the existential threat from Teheran they organized it themselves, as simple as that. We don't want Iran to use Syria as a staging ground for terror on scales never seen before and we don't want ISIS to do that. So, my suggestion is we get into the game ourselves. Next best is to work with the guys available that best suit our interests and views. If that support is mediocre at best these guys will be forced to cooperate at some level with the guys we don't like at all.

The fact that the invasion in Iraq backfired was not because of George Bush moving into Iraq. It was because of not taking into account that Iran would feel threatened by the prospect of a free people next door and botched the whole operation.

As far as the photo from the 'highway of death' is concerned, I saw plenty of pictures of it at that time, taken both at the scene and from above and with the statistics in the texts under them. No one at that time had any illusions about the fate of the people involved.
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Old 2014-08-10, 23:23   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
You do appreciate that there are highly nontrivial connections between the "moderate pro-Western rebels" the US has been actively aiding in Syria and the "genocidal ISIS extremists" now running amok in Iraq, yes?
The same issue of the Atlantic carries an article on Hillary Clinton in which she says the same about our lack of support for the rebellion against Assad that is now breaking us up in having ISIS jumping in the hole we created.
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Old 2014-08-11, 01:09   #8
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Quote:
The fact that the invasion in Iraq backfired was not because of George Bush moving into Iraq. It was because of not taking into account that Iran would feel threatened by the prospect of a free people next door and botched the whole operation.
Am I to take from this statement that, absent Iran, everything would have gone swimmingly in Iraq?
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Old 2014-08-11, 01:51   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tha View Post
The same issue of the Atlantic carries an article on Hillary Clinton in which she says the same about our lack of support for the rebellion against Assad that is now breaking us up in having ISIS jumping in the hole we created.
Hillary is just being a shameless political opportunist, desperately trying to put as much faux-distance between herself and her erstwhile boss as she can without resorting to out-and-out lies. The fact that you cite her as a 'credible source' is telling. And if you'd actually bothered to read the "long term project" link I posted, you'd have seen that the - actually news-sourced, not just pulled out of thin air as you like to do - details there put the lie to your claims of the U.S. not being involved with the anti-Assad (and proto-ISIS) militias:
Quote:
Syrian rebels who would later join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or Isis, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials.

The officials said dozens of future Isis members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The officials said the training was not meant to be used for any future campaign in Iraq.

In February 2012, WND was first to report the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country’s northern desert region.
Seymour Hersh's outstanding April expose' The Red Line and the Rat Line: Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian Rebels has much more on the role of the U.S. and its allies in the region, most notably Turkey, in arming radical factions in Syria, especially the now-notorious al-Nusra front, which turned out to be the group that actually carried out last year's sarin gas attack in in Syria, in an attempt (which came ever-so-close to working) to draw the U.S. into an active "hot war" role there. I find the stuff about what was really going on at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya to be especially telling. (Remember that? And your precious Hillary's hemming-and-hawing about it in front of congress? Which was of course partisan Kabuki: As Hersh notes, the 8 ranking members of congress all had access to the secret intelligence-report annex which laid out the embassy's role in the weapons-smuggling rat line, but were of course sworn to secrecy, as they are with details of NSA spying):
Quote:
The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida. (The DNI spokesperson said: ‘The idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false.’)

In January, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the assault by a local militia in September 2012 on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others. The report’s criticism of the State Department for not providing adequate security at the consulate, and of the intelligence community for not alerting the US military to the presence of a CIA outpost in the area, received front-page coverage and revived animosities in Washington, with Republicans accusing Obama and Hillary Clinton of a cover-up. A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)

The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official explained that for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.

The annex didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in Benghazi before the attack, nor did it explain why the American consulate was attacked. ‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’


Washington abruptly ended the CIA’s role in the transfer of arms from Libya after the attack on the consulate, but the rat line kept going. ‘The United States was no longer in control of what the Turks were relaying to the jihadists,’ the former intelligence official said. Within weeks, as many as forty portable surface-to-air missile launchers, commonly known as manpads, were in the hands of Syrian rebels. On 28 November 2012, Joby Warrick of the Washington Post reported that the previous day rebels near Aleppo had used what was almost certainly a manpad to shoot down a Syrian transport helicopter. ‘The Obama administration,’ Warrick wrote, ‘has steadfastly opposed arming Syrian opposition forces with such missiles, warning that the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists and be used to shoot down commercial aircraft.’ Two Middle Eastern intelligence officials fingered Qatar as the source, and a former US intelligence analyst speculated that the manpads could have been obtained from Syrian military outposts overrun by the rebels. There was no indication that the rebels’ possession of manpads was likely the unintended consequence of a covert US programme that was no longer under US control.
But hey, keep torturing both logic and facts to try to justify serial policy failures whose root cause is ceaseless U.S. meddling, much of which is belated attempts to deal with monsters created by earlier rounds of U.S./CIA meddling. Welcome to the wrong side of history.
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Old 2014-08-14, 00:47   #10
kladner
 
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Default Quiz: Who Said This? Hillary Clinton or Benjamin Netanyahu?

by Glenn Greenwald

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2...aim-netanyahu/

Edit: Hat Tip to Reader Supported News for publishing this article.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2014-08-14 at 00:49
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Old 2014-08-15, 03:15   #11
ewmayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
by Glenn Greenwald

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2...aim-netanyahu/

Edit: Hat Tip to Reader Supported News for publishing this article.
Yeah, appalling, ain't it?

Note that many of those claims are out-and-out lies as the links I just posted in the neighboring "slaughter in Gaza" thread show. Especially laughable is the claim that despite AIPAC's disproportionate influence on both the US government and media, that somehow "Hamas is winning the media-perception battle."

But who cares about facts when one can - and does - simply smear any critics as "anti-semites"?
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