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For Once, Let’s Just Leave Iraq Alone

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Posted on Jan 5, 2012
U.S. Air Force / Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth

By Barry Lando

I get the feeling, with the flurry of bloody new terrorist attacks in Iraq, that we’re watching the smoldering shell of a tanker carrying high-octane fuel that’s just run off the road—waiting for the climactic explosion that will perhaps finally blow the country apart.

The temptation is to blame it all on the Iraqis themselves—those corrupt, grasping politicians and sectarian leaders, those perverse, bloody-minded peoples—they deserve what they get. Enough American lives have been lost. If, after all the U.S. sacrifice, the Iraqis still want to slaughter one another, so be it. We’re out of there.

But the fact is that we in the West, and particularly the U.S., are more responsible for Iraq’s tragic plight and its foreboding future than the Iraqis themselves. 

I’m not just talking about the past few years, but, as most commentators refuse to acknowledge, Iraq’s entire, sorry history.

Case in point: One of the most chilling reports about Iraq was produced by a group of Harvard medical researchers who found that the children of Iraq were “the most traumatized children of war ever described.” 

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The experts concluded that “a majority of Iraq’s children would suffer from severe psychological problems throughout their lives.”

Particularly appalling, that report was published more than 20 years ago, in May 1991—almost 12 years before America’s disastrous invasion that resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 Iraqis.

From the very beginning, Iraq was an unstable, totally artificial creation. It was cobbled together out of disparate remnants of the Ottoman Empire by the British and French, as the Americans looked on with approval.

Now, fast-forward through 60 years of political turmoil, military coups, constant foreign meddling, Saddam Hussein and his ill-fated decision to invade Iran. 

From September 1980 to August 1988, more than a million Iraqis and Iranians died in what was the longest war of the 20th century. As that conflict raged, Saddam also launched his genocidal attacks against the Kurds, which Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush—then Saddam’s de facto allies against Iran—did their best to ignore.

Next came Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 (there again the U.S. played a hand), followed by an abortive popular uprising against Saddam. That revolt, which George H.W. Bush had called for, ended with Saddam’s slaughter of tens of thousands of Shiites—as U.S. troops stood by.

At the same time, the United Nations Security Council was implementing a draconian embargo on all trade with Iraq. Indeed, when the Harvard study cited above was carried out, those sanctions had been in effect for only seven months. They cut off all trade between Iraq and the rest of the world. That meant everything, from food and electric generators to vaccines, hospital equipment—even medical journals. Since Iraq imported 70 percent of its food, and its principal revenues were derived from the export of petroleum, the sanctions had an immediate and catastrophic impact.

Enforced primarily by the United States and Britain, they remained in place for almost 13 years and were, in their own way, a weapon of mass destruction far more deadly than anything Saddam had developed. Two U.N. administrators who oversaw humanitarian relief in Iraq during that period, and resigned in protest, consider the embargo to have been a “crime against humanity.”

Early on, it became evident that for the United States and England, the real objective of the sanctions was not the elimination of Saddam Hussein’s WMD but of Saddam Hussein himself, though that goal went far beyond anything authorized by the Security Council.

The effect of the sanctions was magnified by the wide-scale destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure—power plants, sewage treatment facilities, telephone exchanges, irrigation systems—wrought by the air and rocket attacks preceding the war. Iraq’s contaminated waters became a biological killer as lethal as anything Saddam had attempted to produce.

There were massive outbreaks of severe child and infant dysentery. Typhoid and cholera, which had been virtually eradicated in Iraq, also packed the hospital wards.

Added to that was a disastrous shortage of food, which meant malnutrition for some, starvation and death for others. At the same time, the medical system, once the country’s pride, was careening toward total collapse. Iraq would soon have the worst child mortality rate of all 188 countries measured by UNICEF.

There is no question that U.S. planners knew what the awful impact of the sanctions would be. The health calamity was first predicted and then carefully tracked by the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency. Its first study was entitled “Iraq’s Water Treatment Vulnerabilities.”

Indeed, from the beginning, the intent of U.S. officials was to create such a catastrophic situation that the people of Iraq—civilians, but particularly the military—would be forced to react. As Denis Halliday, the former U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, put it to me, “the U.S. theory behind the sanctions was that if you hurt the people of Iraq and kill the children particularly, they’ll rise up with anger and overthrow Saddam.”

But rather than weakening Saddam, the sanctions only consolidated his hold on power. The government’s rationing system became vital to the survival of the people, even though it provided less than a third of a person’s nutritional requirements. Iraqis were so obsessed with simply keeping their families alive that there was little interest or energy to plot the overthrow of one of the most ruthless dictatorships on the planet. “The people didn’t hold Saddam responsible for their plight,” Halliday said. “They blamed the U.S. and the U.N. for these sanctions and the pain and anger that these sanctions brought to their lives.”

But rather than ending the sanctions or modifying them to target those items truly crucial to building WMD, the Clinton administration continued the futile policy, decimating an entire nation in order to destroy one leader.

Neither for the first nor the last time, the people of Iraq were victims of failed U.S. policy.


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By gerard, January 10, 2012 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

A poem for purplewolf:—quite sad, but I think you will understand. (It was printed last year in an environmental publication.)

The wolf that is not there, howls still.
On barren slopes dusted with snow
he stands, nose windward, tasting the chill
air and wondering where to go

now that his wilderness is shorn of trees.
Where once he chased deer and wild hogs
he hears the busy saw whine in the breeze
and sees huge piles of logs.

In hungry rage he runs to temple ground
to find a mate and sheltered place to breed,
yet even there his traces will be found
He will be driven out, his end decreed

by farmers’ traps, or poison, or a gun.
When all have joined the spirit world but one,
then he alone must roam the shadows on the hill
and hide behind a reed, and howl still.

So farmers wake to listen to his cry,
or dream in sleep they see his yellow eye.

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By Bill, January 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not the longest war!  Why don’t people do math anymore?  Vietnam 1961-1975 equals 14 years to me.

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By FRTothus, January 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

@Purplewolf

Well said, brother, well said.

Respect.

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By balkas, January 8, 2012 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

about iraqi kurds? in ‘19, european empires gave them an independent country
in that arab empire.
however, in ‘22, they abrogated it.
according a book about mesopotamia or arab empire called iraq, kurds only
wanted an autonomy.
however, i recall that saddam had once said that iraq is willing to hold talks
with iraqi kurds only on condition that the talks would be about autonomy only!
seems we have a contradiction here! or was saddam lying?
============
it should be noted that 3 or 4 k years ago mesopotamians; such as akkadians,
chaldeans, sumerians, assyrians were not shemitic to any degree and, thus not
arabs, either.
but by, say, ca. 3 k years ago all mesopotamians were shemitized to quite a
degree and eventually ‘completely’.
they, thus, differ genetically and culturally much from other shemites. this may
shed light on why syria was at war with iraq ‘91 and why nearly all shemites
turned against it. tnx

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By balkas, January 8, 2012 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

i expect that if shias—which at this time appear as predominant faction in iraq—would be cognizant of what
would/could happen in iraq, if they would ally selves to any degree with the shias of iran, they’d occlude iran
from iraqi affairs.
i expect that nato and most muslims would turn against iraqi shias if they only feared iran’s interference in
iraqi business let alone if that would be an actuality.
however, it is horribly easy—and especially in usa—to manufacture any to-them-desirable ‘truth’ regarding
iranian influence in iraq and off we go on another war.
and whatever ‘truth’ MSM, congress, cia, army, w.h. would manufacture, 90% + americans would just yawn.
tnx

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By Rehmat, January 8, 2012 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

The Zionist warmongers who fooled Americans to invade Iraq for Israel - are now fear that the American occupation gap will be filled with Iran which is a nightmare for the Zionist entity.

The bloody riots have always been the work of CIA and Mossad with the help of their phony Al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia and the Jewish-dominated Iraqi Kurd rebels.

On December 16, 2011 – Former British Foreign Secretary David Owen, wrote in daily Mirror, entitled Is Iran the winner of Iraq War?. In the article, Owen admitted: “The negatives are, however, immense. Iran, which was ready to sue for peace negotiations with America over nuclear weapons in May 2003, when they thought the invasion would be successful, has gained massively from the insurgency inside Iraq and is left as the most powerful country in the region” .....

http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/lord-owen-iran-is-the-most-powerful-country-in-the-region/

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By blogdog, January 7, 2012 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

payback - “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” - Dylan

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By pult, January 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Agreed. Of course, we bear some responsibility for breaking it, but they have to live there. It’s up to them to fix it.

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By purplewolf, January 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

thanks Gerard, I don’t believe that most of the world that the news tries to tell us is bad, really is. There are good and bad in everything, but I hope there is more good out there and I think there is, it is the bad ones who seem to get the publicity and a lie told enough times is often thought of as being true. You’re right about then governmental fear thing holds most of us back from doing what right for fear they might do to our friends and family, after all they can only kill us 1 time,unless they bring us back and do it again and again.

That fear thing that they love to push, doesn’t work as well as some of them think. Right after 9-11 my aunt and uncle, who have gone to N.Y.C. for decades saw the armed military right after the attack and she asked one of these soldiers if they were “for real” and the man answered her yes,my relatives are in their late 70’s and early 80’s and grew up during the Depression and in the time of WW2. I asked my aunt in 2001 when they got back if people were really that afraid of everything that the media was putting out at the time and she said that they were not. Yes, there are always a few who swallow the koolaid, but my A&U have traveled all over America and several other countries, so I would sooner believe than that the news.

Between dumbing down the sheeple and promoting the lies to control the masses, they can control a certain part of the people, but some people are starting to wake up to the “cry wolf” one too many times and it is beginning to “not work.” I hope it’s not too late.

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By gerard, January 7, 2012 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

purplewolf: I think I understand (to the best of my ability) your feelings and comments based on historical experiences. I don’t believe, however, that all “Westerners” (so-called) are cruel and evil.
I do believe they (we) are weak and reluctant to take responsibiity for action against evil.
  I believe this cowardice is partly inate (in all humans) but also can be easily stimulated and manipulated by structures of government (whether tribal or national) who use fear to hold onto power and repel reform.
  First step in this repelling process is to incite fears of any and all kinds, particularly fear of “the others.”
  Second step is to refuse access to power sources.
  Third step is to punish intrusions (whistle-blowing, protests etc.)
  Nonviolent resistance small scale has been going on without stopping, by minorities everywhere, for years.  It is now growing rapidly. It is refusing to be governed by its fears.  It is trying every nonviolent way to gain access, and to some extent succeeding.  It is trying to prevent punishment and withstand it when necessary.
  We have some things to be thankful for and hopeful about, and much to do—everyone.

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By purplewolf, January 7, 2012 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

FRTothus: When I wrote wasted, I meant that this money spent, whether here or elsewhere, could have been used for a more positive reason other than destruction. Yes, the mega corps and the others who benefited from this got paid. Too bad it was, in my opinion, for the wrong reasons. I am tired of all the destruction I have seen this country inflicts on others in the name of greed and power.The majority of the money we spent went to the very top less than 2% of the already rich who make their money off of wars. I wish it were illegal to profit from such atrocities, but it isn’t.

No, I am not pleased to know that the Iraqi people didn’t received any benefits. I am appalled by what this country has done to the people in Iraq. We destroyed a country where people did have jobs, businesses,hospitals,a future they seemed to function as well as they could, as do many other people in other countries around the world. We took that away and have left the people without homes,jobs, medical care and catastrophic injuries, not to mention all of the babies now starting to be born with severe birth defects, which will continue to rise percentage wise the longer the people live in the chemicals left from all the bombs the U.S. has used in the lied for war of G.W. There will be illnesses among those exposed to the poisons our military used for decades if not centuries to come. Uranium half lifes are extremely long.These poisons will eventually work their way across the earth through the air currents, waterways, through food and other items that are transported from one country to another. We really do not know the final outcomes just from all the chemicals used in the Iraq war, but it is not pretty.

All of our soldiers, or the vast majority of them will also be plagued with illnesses, cancers and their children will also suffer as will the people we did this do.My neighbors son was in Nam and exposed to a lot of Agent Orange, thank you Monsanto, and all three of his children had several medical defects, some problems noted at birth and others appeared as the children aged.The government finally admitted that some of the problems “might” be a result from the A.O.

Living more to the Native Indian way of life, I know full, perhaps well better than most people, that the war loving Europeans and their invasion into this country and their endless blood lust for conquering and destroying other peoples in other lands. It is never ending. Greed rules out above all else. I would really love to see a day when there were no more wars and people could actually live in harmony with each other and with Mother Earth instead of thinking of more ways to destroy everything just to accumulate more money they will never ever be able to spend in a 100 live times. 

If we worked as hard at working together and getting along and resolving any problems in an adult, mature manner instead of using destruction as a first and only answer, we might just have a nice place to live on while we are on earth. In the thinking of the Indians,” We belong to the Earth, the Earth does not belong to us.”

No I was never a hippie with all the free love and peace and flowers, missed that era by a few years.
Give Peace A Chance.You just might like it better.

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By FRTothus, January 7, 2012 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

@purplewolf

That money was not “wasted”.  First we paid American
corporations to destroy Iraq, then we paid American
corporations to re-build it.  Gifts from the American
taxpayer to the American corporations.  You might be
pleased to know Iraq received no benefit at all from
these billions in gifts, and in fact will be paying
for the damage we inflicted on them for many decades
to come.  Spend the money here in the US?  Just where
did you think it was spent?

If you wish to talk about people fighting amongst
themselves for centuries, what about the 500-plus
years of European warfare, a tradition the
transplanted Europeans of the US has seen fit to
continue and expand?  If it were not for war, America
wouldn’t have a foreign policy Here’s an idea for a
country that loves war:  A war on war!  Wouldn’t that
be something?  We could bomb ourselves!

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By balkas, January 7, 2012 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

i too said many years ago that the allied ‘03. 03.19 invasion of
iraq was a success.
what about about 5 k slain soldiers in the evil empire?
yes, what about it?? haven’t you heard what usa—oops cheney
had said about it?
and even the evil empire, set up by other evil empires in ‘22, is
more evil than ever before.
so, chalk up another success for american war lords and
masters of the universe and lesser-valued americans. tnx

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By purplewolf, January 6, 2012 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment

At one time the bush administration admitted to spending 4 billion dollars each and every week in Iraq alone, this is not counting all the other wars and the spending on them. So if they admit to that much, just how much money did they really spend on this wasted patch of land ?

These people have been fighting for centuries and they will not stop until they are all gone and it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon.

Just think of what condition America would be in today if we had instead taken all the war monies and fixed the problems here. You do not see other countries other then Israel-who turns to us every time to fight their battles for them, have this blood lust for wart as America does. Though they deny it, this country has been involved in over 200 wars since becoming America. We spend more on war every year than all then other countries in then world combined. Every year!
Now that we have some of our people home, bring back the rest and get every last American citizen out of there. If they want to stay, denounce their citizenship.

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By artofthefirstpeople, January 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

The Devil exists - and it is US!

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By FRTothus, January 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

So many half-truths…

1.  The invasion was not a disaster.  The right corporations and defense contractors made money, the right people got promotions, the threat of a good example was destroyed, democracy was crushed, collective punishment was inflicted, the Godfather had his way.  Mission accomplished.

2.  “Saddam also launched his genocidal attacks against the Kurds, which Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush—then Saddam’s de facto allies against Iran—did their best to ignore.”  The US didn’t “ignore” these attacks, it encouraged them, as well as the attack in Iran, and on Kuwait, armed Saddam, provided intelligence and supported him through the entire process.  They didn’t sit idly by, they were active participants.

3.  The “WMDs” were provided to Saddam by the US.  This is why US officials were so certain Saddam had them.  The US had the receipts.

4.  The US policies did not “fail” (see #1, above), they were a stunning success.

5.  “It is also they, as the months pass, who will be increasingly blamed—along with Obama’s willingness to withdraw all U.S. troops—for the next, and perhaps final, cataclysm that awaits their country. along with Obama’s willingness to withdraw all U.S. troops”  Perhaps the biggest lie of all.  There are still mercenaries there equal to the number of “troops” that were removed, the bases are still in place, the Bush/Obama drone wars and collective punishment, use of WMDs and DU weaponry, support for brutal dictators and torture policies and unconstitutional and illegal wars of aggression for corporate profit and dominance still firmly in place, and expanding.  Blaming Iraq’s leaders is certainly misplaced, being as they were doing the bidding of the US/UK warlords, but it is absolutely correct to hold Bush/Blair/Obama responsible for the consequences of aggressive war, for which they, and their advisers and generals should all be hung under the principles set out at Nuremberg.

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By Textynn, January 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For Once leave Iraq alone.  Amen

And Once and for all let’s actually define what this arrangement “whose pentameters must not be spoken” with Israel actually is.

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By ardee, January 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Do we not owe these people a debt? Partial repayment might be the prosecution of Bush and Cheney for crimes against humanity.

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By balkas, January 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

i do not expect that u.s and other empires would ever leave iraq alone or ever let baathists rule
iraq as they did for decades.
the baathists in iraq [and syria] are too democratic, too just for the poor people in comparison to
clero-noble class’ rule of iraq now and that cannot ever do and especially for asocialists in u.s.
the one-percent in iraq [clero-nobility] and the one-percent in usa have been demonizing
socialists and socialism for a century now and i do not expect them to let up or allow baathists
much of a say how iraq should be ‘governed’. tnx

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By objective observer, January 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

excellent article and excellent comments.  the only thing to add is a missing piece, that is the coming religious reckoning between shiites (backed by iran and led by al Sadr) and the sunnis (backed by saudi arabia).  it had started after sadam’s downfall but squelched by US troops.  they have been waiting for the US to pull out to continue/finish what was started in 2003-2004.

again, it will be the children who will suffer from a hatred and fight they hardly understand but will feel driven by honor, etc to continue…

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By gerard, January 6, 2012 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

thecrow:  I wonder what the payback for the payback will be?  Etc.+ Etc.+ Etc. ad infinitum?

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By gerard, January 6, 2012 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

DarrellTheSpambot: Just be sure the “ghosts” have
the integrity of angels!

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By caped amigo, January 6, 2012 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

America is a nation in decline, a nation falling of its own weight. The governance
driven by greed and power-lust deserves the firing squad. The tragedy in Iraq and
other American “targets” is Shakespearian in scope.
Don’t misunderstand me, I am ecstatic that I got to “play” on my terms and cope
by accepting the fact that life is meaningless.
In the words of David Hume, “Life is an accident…one damn thing after another.”

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By denk, January 6, 2012 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

rip

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By SarcastiCanuck, January 6, 2012 at 7:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lets hope that these multitudes of traumatized children don’t grow up to seek out vengence on us.Some will I fear.

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By Marian Griffith, January 6, 2012 at 7:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@thecrow

Except for the fact that the people or the country of Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of 2001.
Quite the contrary, Iraq was the number two target of Bin Laden’s Al Queda (the number one target being Saudi Arabia I might add).
Not to mention that there were no Iraqi’s involved in the attack, and very few involved in Al Queda at all. If you want to point fingers try Saudi Arabia, most of the terrorist hailed from that country, and today still a lot of the funding for the terrorist organisation comes from there as well (though likely many of the contributors are unaware and not looking very hard were their charity money is going).

And I would also like to point out that it is callous in the extreme (not to mention outright evil) to blame an entire nation of millions of people for the acts of two dozen fanatics?
Should we condemn all 350 million americans to a horrible death for all the many atrocities that were committed by a few of them throughout the years? I am sure the Native Americans have something to say about the genocide waged against them that far far exceeds the few thousand victims of Bin Laden. And that is just one group.

So please keep in mind that Fox News is a horribly unreliable source of ‘news’ and that very little that came out of the Bush administrations (nor the ones preceding or succeding it, I might add) can be trusted at face value.

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By thecrow, January 6, 2012 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

“Doctors in Iraq’s war-ravaged enclave of Falluja are dealing with up to 15 times as many chronic deformities in infants and a spike in early life cancers that may be linked to toxic materials left over from the fighting.

The extraordinary rise in birth defects has crystallised over recent months as specialists working in Falluja’s over-stretched health system have started compiling detailed clinical records of all babies born.

Neurologists and obstetricians in the city interviewed by the Guardian say the rise in birth defects – which include a baby born with two heads, babies with multiple tumours, and others with nervous system problems – are unprecedented and at present unexplainable.”

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/circle-ix/

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By thecrow, January 6, 2012 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

“There’s a picture of the World Trade Center hanging up by my bed and I keep one in my Kevlar [flak jacket]. Every time I feel sorry for these people I look at that. I think, ‘They hit us at home and, now, it’s our turn.’ I don’t want to say payback but, you know, it’s pretty much payback.”

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/payback/

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By thecrow, January 6, 2012 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

Because something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

- Bob Dylan

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/memory-against-forgetting/

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By Blueokie, January 6, 2012 at 12:59 am Link to this comment

Excellent column from Mr. Lando, as was the one from Mr. Scheer.  A very nice break from the Obama cheerleading, Republican horse racing, and bashing a non-Dimocrat for doing their rhetoric more earnestly than they have for decades.

Unfortunately in this election year Obamanation is gearing up the prepackaged marketing of the Empire to move on to Iran, this will mean more misery for the Iraqis as they will be reoccupied “for their own good”.  A vote for Obama is a vote to continue the terrorism of the Empire. 

Just as Glass-Steagall should be revisited for the economy’s sake, maybe its time to rethink Harry Truman’s National Security Act of 1947, the cradle of the Empire.  Nationalism is a disease as pernicious as any other false religion.

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By prisnersdilema, January 5, 2012 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

Except that its not over, Iraqi’s will still be dying of what we did there until the end of
time…Dying of depleted Uranium munitions…just as our servicemen will be peeing
radioactive urine, until they die….

It it’s any consolation to the Iraqi’s Americas children are also traumatized by the same
corporations that made billions turning Iraq upside down..

Each day millions of American children at younger and younger ages are poisoned and
die of childhood cancers, by the herbicides, GMO’s, anti psychotic medications, and
TCD’s, PBB’s, hormones, antibiotics, Cell Phone Tower Radiation, and HFC’s that they
unknowingly ingest in their food. Not to mention scores of sugary cereals causing Type
2 Diabetis, and hamburgers containing the meat of cattle that has bee largely untested
for NVCJD, thanks to USDA.

That this country behaves in an irrational manner is no wonder, considering all that we
are exposed to from the cradle to the grave…That we invade contries to blow them up,
like a small boy sticking fire crackers on the neighbors cat just to watch it suffer,
provides direct evidence of our sanity and moral fiber….

Yet we are only what our corporate masters have ordered…So it’s not our fault, but
someone else’s..

Above all else beware the reasons a madman gives for his actions…

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By California Ray, January 5, 2012 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment

http://www.gp.org/press/pr_09_20_02.html
(the fourth bullet point down said it all)
(but nobody listened)

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By gerard, January 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

There’s really nothing that can be said about such an atrocious assault on innocents.  Maybe some of our right wing defense fanatics will want to contradict me and defend this vile behavior of the Amercan Establishment by telling me (and themselves) that it was all justified because ... or we were forced into it because ... or hand me some craven version of the Albright canard that “it was worth it
because ...”

As for me and for unknown millions of others who protested and would have voted NO! and stopped it if we could, it’s a crying shame, and we owe it to the world never to allow it to happen again. That means we are going to have to speak out, however. The people promoting such actions are already at work on the next one. 

Who are they? They are our own brothers and sisters, cousins, uncles and aunts—not some vicious aliens.  They are “only doing their duty, or doing a job, or protecting the nation, or ...” anything they can grasp to use as a reason or justification for something they know in the hearts is wrong.

We can reach them in time if we really try. Why don’t we?

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