This is the video that is keeping Assange imprisoned at the Ecuadorian embassy. The US and British governments want to continue doing their dirty business of war in secrecy. Assange believed that we all should see this. Who’s the hero? Not the faceless inane pathetic hypocrite politicians who claim to represent us. Our leaders should know once and for all that we do not want wars!By the way, why aren’t those involved in this crime against humanity not in a court of law facing charges?
Wikileaks has obtained and decrypted this previously unreleased video footage from a US Apache helicopter in 2007. It shows Reuters journalist Namir Noor-Eldeen, driver Saeed Chmagh, and several others as the Apache shoots and kills them in a public square in Eastern Baghdad. They are apparently assumed to be insurgents. After the initial shooting, an unarmed group of adults and children in a minivan arrives on the scene and attempts to transport the wounded. They are fired upon as well. The official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths occurred. Wikileaks released this video with transcripts and a package of supporting documents on April 5th 2010 on http://collateralmurder.com
This Bush is a mere garden snake variety war criminal. Millions died because of this global village idiot’s decisions to go to war. These decisions were not his own, as he was told what to do by those who control the US government.
With permission from
Paul Craig Roberts
May 16, 2017
Does Bush Have Afterthoughts?
Recently I learned from a feature article in a print magazine that George W. Bush, as Jimmy Carter and Winston Churchill did, has taken up painting. Among Bush’s subjects are 98 war veterans from Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq who suffered traumatic injuries. Some of the portraits were reproduced in the magazine, and they are good. Three months ago 98 portraits were published in a coffee table book, Portraits of Courage, the proceeds from which are donated to the Bush Center.
I have wondered if Bush feels responsibility and remorse for the deaths and injuries of so many people. I have wondered if he knew at the time or even now that he was fighting wars for Israel.
Israel’s efforts to annex southern Lebanon have been blocked by Hezbollah, a militia supplied by Syria, Iran, and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. This is why these countries were on the list of countries to be invaded prepared by the Zionist neoconservatives who controlled George W. Bush’s administration.
It is certainly conceivable that Bush was manipulated by his neocon National Security Council, neocon Department of Defense, neocon State Department, and his vice president. Presidents only know what their advisors tell them. I have wondered if afterward when Bush admitted that there were no weapons of mass destruction he thought he had been manipulated.
I have also wondered if Bush was part of what many believe to be the 9/11 inside job pulled off by Dick Cheney, Israel, and the neoconservatives occupying the government’s high offices. I don’t think he was for these reasons: (1) his expression when told by the Secret Service of the attack does not show any pre-awareness, (2) he had been moved far out of the way on 9/11 to a distant children’s school and was not present on the scene to issue orders inconsistent with the plan, (3) had he been part of the plot, he would have been present to show presidential leadership during the crisis, and (4) he was not allowed to testify alone or under oath before the 9/11 Commission. He had to be chaperoned by Dick Cheney.
I suspect that Bush has wondered if it was just a coincidence that he was scheduled to be out of Washington on 9/11. Nevertheless, it would require a lot of inner strength for Bush to conclude that he was a pawn in a game of death. Even if he came to such a conclusion, to express it publicly would shake the public’s confidence in their government. I doubt anyone who has served as president could bring himself to do that. We will never know from Bush himself whether my suspicions are on the mark.
With permission from
The details were horrific. Outside the besieged city of Mosul, 13,000 wounded civilians are today waiting for reconstructive surgery – from just this one seven-month battle. Another 5,000 Iraqi police militiamen are waiting for the same surgery from recent military offensives, in their case to be cared for by the Iraqi ministry of interior. But the health infrastructure that exists in the whole of Iraq cannot look after these wounded. As a result, some are turning up in Damascus – amid the frightfulness of the Syrian war – for the surgery they cannot obtain at home. A new graft in Damascus costs $200.
In the balmy early summer of Beirut this week came these detailed new horrors of Middle East war. For beside the state-of-the-art American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) in the city, doctors from across the region, from Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Palestine – along with the International Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres – came to discuss their fears for the wounded and the sick and their conviction that drug-resistant bacteria are growing in hospitals in the Middle East. Just how to deal with this may be within the knowledge of the military medical authorities – but not within the hands of civilian doctors.
Did this start in Bosnia, as one doctor suspects, where civilian and military casualties merged into each other – it was, after all, a war where a civilian turned into a soldier and then re-emerged as a civilian the moment he entered a hospital? Or do the clues lie much further back, in the vicious sanctions which the UN imposed on Saddam’s Iraq, at America’s urging, in the aftermath of the dictator’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990? The first Global Conflict Medicine Congress, arranged by Glasgow-trained Professor Ghassan Abu-Sittah, head of plastic and reconstructive surgery at AUBMC, raised these questions in stark and painful ways.
Drug resistance, he said, did not exist in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war – when 150 Iraqi soldiers were wounded each day during the Fao peninsula battles alone – so what happened during the post-1990 sanctions period? “Iraqis were allowed to use only three antibiotics for 12 years,” he says. “These were the only ones allowed in by the UN. Heavy metals had been used in the 1991 [liberation of Kuwait] war. You found celinium [present in the smashed concrete of destroyed houses], tungsten and mercury in the casing of penetrating bombs. What are the long-term effects of these metals on the human body?”
A Medecins Sans Frontieres analysis – presented at the conference by Abu-Sitta and Dr Omar Dewachi who co-direct a newly created Conflict Medicine Programme at the AUB supported by Jonathan Whittall of Medecins sans Frontieres – said that multidrug resistant [MDR] bacteria now accounts for most war wound infections across the Middle East, yet most medical facilities in the region do not even have the laboratory capacity to diagnose MDR, leading to significant delays and clinical mismanagement of festering wounds. Beyond the physical damage caused by weaponry, Whittall added, “destroyed or degraded sanitation facilitates the microbiological seeding of wounds. The body, weakened by the wound, is reinjured when it interacts with the harsh, physically degraded environment.”
Iraqi-trained and Harvard-educated Dewachi, the American University of Beirut’s assistant professor of medical anthropology, spoke at length of Iraq’s cavalry of war victims and quotes an Iraqi patient waiting for treatment in Beirut. “Most of the good doctors have left the country,” the man told Dewachi, “and those who remain have lost their humanity”. Dewachi’s forthcoming book, Ungovernable Life: Mandatory Medicine and Statecraft in Iraq, which traces Iraq’s medical history from the First World War to 2003, will reveal that successive post-2003 Iraqi governments have been sending civilians, military and security forces personnel, parliamentarians – and even militia and political party members – to hospitals in Beirut.
So dangerous is life for physicians in Iraq itself – where the families of wounded patients often want revenge for perceived poor treatment by doctors – that the Baghdad government recently allowed doctors to carry guns to their hospitals and surgeries. About half the medical force in Iraq has fled over the past 20 Saddam and post-Saddam years and the British National Health Service, where many Iraqis were trained, “hosts one of the largest populations of Iraqi medical doctors outside Iraq”, according to Dewachi. The post-World War One British mandate created UK medical training and standards in Iraq and this cooperation continued long after independence.
The MSF analysis not only raised questions about the long-term effects of the 1990 UN sanctions regime, but also the reversal of medical advances in the treatment of cancer and diabetes. “This is often due to the inability of healthcare systems and technology to provide the same level of care in harsh and complex war environments. Kidney failure patients can no longer access dialysis units and the delivery of chemotherapy to cancer patients is severely compromised…”
Dewachi is fearful of the way in which the nature of illness has changed in Middle East wars, where “the change in the base line of cancers has become very aggressive”. As he puts it, “when a young woman of 30, with no family history of cancer, has two different primary cancers – in the breast and in the oesophagus – you have to ask what is happening. You have to know what is happening.” Dewachi is overwhelmed by the sheer number of wounded patients in the Middle East. “There was a nine-year old girl with shrapnel wounds to the face. She was wounded in Baghdad in a 2007 car bombing. Her mother who was caring for her had a glass eye from a wound. Her father had a prosthetic arm after amputation surgery in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. We found an Iraqi policeman injured in a car bombing who was being looked after by his brother who had lost three fingers in the Iran-Iraq war.”
In Iraq, patients wounded in Saddam’s wars were initially treated as heroes – they had fought for their country against non-Arab Iran. But after the US invasion of 2003, they became an embarrassment. “The value of their wounds’ ‘capital’ changes from hero to zero,” Abu-Sitta says. “And this means that their ability to access medical care also changes. We are now reading the history of the region through the wounds. War’s wounds carry with them the narrative of the wounding which becomes political capital.” Abu Sitta believes that the building – and deconstruction – of medical care goes hand-in-hand with state-building and state-destruction. “Today, it’s about dismembering nations rather than building them.”
For Abu-Sittah, “there is no such thing as wars that end – we call all this in medicine as ‘a chronic condition with acute flare-ups!’” In other words, war wounds continue to cause pain – and kill – long after wars have ended and restarted. “A wounded body ages differently,” he says. In Gaza, for example, a bullet wound effects a patient for decades after the wound is inflicted. “We have found that Israeli snipers fire at the back of the knee of the person they are shooting at – the back of the knee and the lower third of the thigh. This does not necessarily kill – but it almost always requires amputation. This is the junction of the sciatic nerve, the popliteal artery and the knee joint – with one bullet you manage to do all three. That’s why the IRA used to do knee-capping in Northern Ireland.”
An Italian professor of genetics says that tissue samples from the three-week 2008-2009 Israeli-Hamas Gaza war shows remnants of heavy metals in the wounds of Palestinians, both carcinogenic and teratogenic – which, she said, can lead to cancers and deformed children. Other physicians noted that Hezbollah’s medical corps had transformed the treatment of its wounded in the Syrian war. Speakers in Beirut included even those foreign doctors who witnessed the 1982 Sabra and Chatila Palestinian camps massacre at the hands of Israel’s Lebanese Christian militia allies.
All of the horrific developments in the medical history of the Middle East’s wars has prompted both the American University of Beirut Medical Centre and MSF to create a research and training partnership in conflict medicine – Abu-Sitta, Dewachi and Whittall are on its steering committee – which means that no-one expects the five major wars in the region to end soon. All in all, I guess, a sobering reflection on all the wars on “terror” which the West and Russia and its friendly dictators claim to be fighting in the Middle East – where the cancer of national and international power is just as fatal as the cancers which afflict the bodies of the victims.
Condoleezza Rice admits that the illegal Iraq war had nothing to do with democracy.
Yeah, you went in to steal the oil. We all know this by now Condo.
May 12, 2017
“We didn’t go to Iraq to bring democracy to Iraq we went to Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein… It was a security problem”.
She also stated,
“I would never have said to President Bush (to) use military force to bring democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan”.
The truth is that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was never a financier or exporter of terrorism, it was actually on the front line against al-Qaeda and other Salifist groups which have subsequently taken over large parts of Iraqi territory. Furthermore, Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction of 2003.
Therefore, what is Miss. Rice talking about? When she calls Iraq a threat to security, the only question that follows is, to whom?
Iraq threatened the ability to American financial institutions and arms dealers to expand with impunity because Iraq by 2003 had been cut off from the western financial and corporate apparatus. Iraq didn’t threaten anyone’s security, but it did threaten the expansion of certain western interests in the region. Could this be the ‘security’ about which Miss. Rice spoke?
Source: The Losing Warfare State
With permission from
May 12, 2017
The USA is still bogged down in Afghanistan (the 16 year-old occupation is the longest in American history) and in Iraq (since the unconstitutional, illegal invasion of the country 14 years ago).
With about 30,000 poorly equipped fighters, the Taliban has held down a US equipped and trained Afghan army eight times larger in soldiers, plus the US forces – fluctuating from 100,000 at its peak to 8,500 now, plus contractors – with advanced air, sea and land weaponry that is second to none.
Moreover, the Taliban has been advancing, controlling 30 to 40 percent of the country and a third of the population, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In Iraq, the US had hundreds of thousands of soldiers and contractors during the Bush years. Yet today the country is still in the throes of a civil war, where a previously nonexistent threat – ISIS – with less than 15,000 fighters, has been successfully resisting a huge Iraqi army backed by US trainers and air force.
How can this be? “We are vulnerable,” writes military author William Grieder, “because our presumption of unconquerable superiority leads us deeper and deeper into unwinnable military conflicts.”
Jim Fallows, asserts in The Atlantic, that our military “is the best-equipped fighting force in history…also better trained, motivated, and disciplined than during the draft-army years.” Nonetheless he concludes: “Yet, repeatedly this force has been defeated by less modern, worse-equipped, barely funded foes. Or it has won skirmishes and battles only to lose or get bogged down in a larger war.”
It gets worse. Less than 3,000 ISIS fighters took sudden control in 2013 of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city with over a million residents. Notwithstanding being vastly outnumbered by the Iraqi military and police – who fled – ISIS went on to control over a third of Iraq’s land area. Iraqis and US forces are now destroying West Mosul in order to save it from a few hundred remaining ISIS fighters.
Fallows quotes former military intelligence officer, Jim Gourley, as saying “it is incontrovertibly evident that the US military failed to achieve any of its strategic goals in Iraq.”
Setting aside the fundamental questions about why we invaded Iraq and continued to occupy Afghanistan long after 9/11, Americans are entitled to question how continued American occupations across the Middle East serve any kind of vital national interest and why they continue to fail.
In his analysis, military historian Thomas Ricks writes that “an important factor in the failure” is that no one gets “relieved by the military brass for combat ineffectiveness.” But there are other reasons all the way up the chain of command. Cargo planes ship $100 bills in bulk to Kabul airport as part of an extensive bribery/extortion system that weakens the opposition to the Taliban, whose appeal to the masses, despite their harsh rule over them, is to drive out the foreign invaders. That is a very powerful motivation, one that is lacking among Afghan forces and politicians whom the people of Afghanistan view as puppets of the US and its western allies.
Retired Admiral Mike Mullen makes another point concerning “the growing disconnect between the American people and our military.” He observes that, “fewer and fewer [American citizens] know anyone in the military. It’s become just too easy to go to war.”
The ease at which we embrace military interventions is in large part due to a gross dereliction of duty on the part of the Congress, which allows the White House to commence wars, large and small, without legal authority. Congress is the only branch of government constitutionally authorized to declare war and appropriate funds for war. The Libyan war, which was pushed by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (and opposed by Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates) was waged without seeking either legal authority or funds from the legislative branch. The Obama administration took monies from the unauditable Pentagon budget to start that continuing disaster in Libya and neighboring African countries.
Listening to the House and Senate Armed Services Committee hearings, one finds a sycophancy and level of questioning by the lawmakers of Pentagon officials that would embarrass a mediocre high school student.
But the Senators and Representatives have their reasons. They simply do not want the responsibility for military action except to provide a virtual blank check from taxpayers for the Department and its avaricious, wasteful contractors who fund their campaigns. Second, members of Congress see the military expenditures as a jobs program back in their states and districts. Finally, members of Congress are not getting any heat from the detached, indifferent voters (with few exceptions), either during or between elections. Notice there is never a debate by candidates on the military budget – how it is used or misused financially and strategically (yet candidates regularly pledge ever increasing dollars for the Defense budget).
As a final cruel insult to our children and grandchildren, Congress, by refusing to fund the wars as they persist, has built up a huge deficit for future generations of Americans to pay.
Retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich has written, “A people untouched (or seemingly untouched) by war are far less likely to care about it. Persuaded that they have no skin in the game, they will permit the state to do whatever it wishes to do.”
But, collectively, we all have skin in the game. Look at the unmet needs in our country, crumbling infrastructure, toxic environments and the corrosive costs of corporatism escaping law enforcement that would protect consumers and workers.
It is the members of Congress who have no skin in the game. Very few of their children are in the armed forces. Were the American people to demand enactment of a one page bill that requires drafting all able-bodied children and grandchildren of members of Congress anytime they or the White House plunges our country into war, you would see a very attentive Congress that pays attention to its Constitutional duties and responsibilities.
Why not ask your Senators or Representatives to put such a bill in the hopper?
If I hear an American mentioning God again I will puke. Deluded hypocrites.
May 8, 2017
While the sanctions placed on Iraq by the United Nations Security Council in the 1990s may be a distant memory for some, it’s critical to remember the shameful aftermath as the Trump administration undertakes the sanctioning of certain specific individuals in Syria. No matter the position one might take on the issue of sanctions, the fact remains that they caused a decade of tremendous suffering and widespread deaths of Iraqi civilians, many of them children.
Iraq Sanctions Led to Grievous Death Toll
The United States Security Council Resolution 661 was adopted in August of 1990 following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, “imposing comprehensive multilateral international sanctions on Iraq and freezing all its foreign assets. Iraq was no longer free to import anything not expressly permitted by the United Nations, and companies were forbidden from doing business with Iraq, with very limited exceptions,” according to David Rieff writing for The New York Times in 2003.
“Government assets abroad were frozen and financial transactions with Iraq were prohibited. The country’s economy collapsed immediately and Saddam blamed the United States. He made himself a hero across the Arab world by defying Washington and refusing to quit Kuwait, even as U.S.-led forces began attacking Iraq by air on January 17, 1991,” Sudetic noted.
“Oil For Food”: Corruption Disguised as Benevolence
In 1995, the U.N. proposed the Oil For Food Program which sought to ease some of the burdens caused by the sanctions by allowing Iraq to sell more oil to pay for humanitarian necessities like food and medicine. While first resisted by Saddam Hussein, who initially claimed that the program violated sovereignty, the program was later initiated and Hussein used the program to his advantage. Slate’s Michael Crowley wrote that Hussein took advantage of the program in three ways: first, by ignoring stipulations and selling oil illegally to Syria, Turkey, and Jordan among others to the one of about $13.6 billion; utilizing “pricing schemes, surcharges, and kickbacks to milk another $7 billion or more from oil buyers and sellers of humanitarian supplies”; and engaging in bribery via “a list of people who were given vouchers to buy Iraqi oil at below-market price—essentially, multimillion-dollar buy-offs.” The program ended abruptly and “subsequent investigations show the program was poorly managed and riddled with fraud,” according to PBS.
“The failure of the program wasn’t just in providing food, medicine, and comfort to the Iraqi people; the failure of the program was also not having strong oversight and checks and balances that would have prevented a small group of people and nations from raping billions — billions — of dollars from the people of Iraq,” former Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) told PBS.
Worrisome New Sanctions In Syria
The sanctions imposed on Iraq have been inarguably disastrous, and Oil for Food was known to be an overall failure rampant with corruption that did little to ease the suffering of Iraqi civilians. Syria is no stranger to American-led sanctions, as they have been imposed in the past by the Bush and Obama administrations. But is the United States headed toward repeating history in its newest sanctions on Syrian scientists?
On April 24th, the Trump administration placed sanctions on 271 Syrian government employees in response to the sarin gas attack that killed 80 civilians. “The United States is sending a strong message with this action that we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons by any actor, and we intend to hold the Assad regime accountable for its unacceptable behavior,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.” The New York Times noted that the sanctions are targeted toward “highly educated Syrian officials with deep expertise in chemistry who were thought to have the ability to travel extensively and possibly to use the American financial system.”
The Associated Press states that “any property or interest in property of the individuals’ sanctioned must be blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.” Also according to AP, “Three U.S. officials said that the sanctions are part of a broader effort to cut off funding and other support to Syria’s President Bashar Assad and his government amid the country’s escalating civil war. The U.S. blames Assad for a recent chemical attack on Syrian civilians, and responded earlier this month by launching missiles against a Syrian airfield.”
“In the case of Syria, the ‘no doubt’ standard Mattis has employed does not meet the ‘reasonable man’ standard. Given the consequences that are attached to his every word, Secretary Mattis would be well advised not to commit to a “no doubt” standard until there is, literally, no doubt.” — Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
While the newest issue of sanctions on Syrian government workers is not nearly as extensive as those placed on Iraq in the 90’s, the American people are being told the same story about the Assad regime as they were told about the Hussein regime: that dictators are in possession of dangerous weapons and must be stopped. But what must be stopped are hurried military retaliations and intensified meddling in foreign affairs that pose no imminent threat to the United States. As deplorable as some actions overseas have been, the U.S. government is once again indicating its eagerness to participate in the further battle to weaken Assad- an eerily familiar mission, and one that President Trump once promised the public that he would avoid.