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11.16 Scotland was first Industrialized Country to Run wholly on Wind in October

11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]

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11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]

11.16 Trump’s latest interview shows a president who’s in way over his head

11.16 Why the political fight in Georgia is far from over

11.16 Florida judge sides with Democrats, giving thousands a second chance to fix their ballots

11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]

11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]

11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]

11.15 Big Oil v the planet is the fight of our lives. Democrats must choose a side

11.14 The Real Florida Recount Fraud

11.14 Telling NRA #ThisIsOurLane, Doctors' Photos Show Blood-Soaked Reality of America's Gun Madness

11.14 At Freshman Orientation, Young and Growing Progressive Caucus Makes Clear It Will 'Fight Like Hell' for Bold Democratic Agenda

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11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

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11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]

11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

11.14 Brexit: May tells her cabinet, this is the deal – now back me

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11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]

11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]

11.14 Israel and Hamas launch hundreds of attacks in Gaza clash

11.14 Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says

11.13 Austin's Fix for Homelessness: Tiny Houses, and Lots of Neighbors

11.13 Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

11.13 Caravan marks one month on the road: ‘We keep on going, laughing or crying’

11.13 Letter Shows Einstein’s Prescient Concerns About ‘Dark Times’ in Germany

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  Invisible Blood: Willful Blindness and American War Crime
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ON WHAT WE'VE BECOME...

Invisible Blood: Willful Blindness and American War Crime

4.5 million displaced, 1-2 million widows, 5 million orphans, about 1 million dead.....

by Chris Floyd
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
When our leaders gather in solemn conclave to debate "the issues" -- or yuk it up together at sumptuous bipartisan banquets -- they tread in this blood, they sit in this blood. Yet it is obvious now that nothing on earth will ever make this blood visible.
In The Nation (and at alternet.org), John Tirman provides some pertinent statistics on the now almost entirely ignored war in Iraq -- a "victory" which Barack Obama is now being warned by his generals not to "squander" with his plans for pulling out some troops and leaving behind tens of thousands of others:

The United Nations estimates that there are about 4.5 million displaced Iraqis -- more than half of them refugees -- or about one in every six citizens. Only 5 percent have chosen to return to their homes over the past year, a period of reduced violence from the high levels of 2005-07. The availability of healthcare, clean water, functioning schools, jobs and so forth remains elusive. According to Unicef, many provinces report that less than 40 percent of households have access to clean water. More than 40 percent of children in Basra, and more than 70 percent in Baghdad, cannot attend school.

The mortality caused by the war is also high. Several household surveys were conducted between 2004 and 2007. While there are differences among them, the range suggests a congruence of estimates. But none have been conducted for eighteen months, and the two most reliable surveys were completed in mid-2006. The higher of those found 650,000 "excess deaths" (mortality attributable to war); the other yielded 400,000. The war remained ferocious for twelve to fifteen months after those surveys were finished and then began to subside.

...[Thus, based on] much more reliable and sophisticated method[s] for estimates that draws on long experience in epidemiology...we have, at present, between 800,000 and 1.3 million "excess deaths" as we approach the six-year anniversary of this war.

This gruesome figure makes sense when reading of claims by Iraqi officials that there are 1-2 million war widows and 5 million orphans. This constitutes direct empirical evidence of total excess mortality and indirect, though confirming, evidence of the displaced and the bereaved and of general insecurity.

The overall figures are stunning: 4.5 million displaced, 1-2 million widows, 5 million orphans, about 1 million dead -- in one way or another, affecting nearly one in two Iraqis.

Arthur Silber puts these statistics in context, after noting Obama's lauding of the recent Iraqi elections, which according to the U.S. president showed that America can now "start putting more responsibility on the Iraqis." To this, Silber replies [see original for links]:

At the time of the initial invasion, Iraq posed no threat of any significance whatsoever to the United States. This blindingly obvious conclusion was clear to millions of people throughout the world -- "ordinary" people who examined the publicly available evidence, and who did not rely on "secret" knowledge, which goes by the viciously misnamed designation "intelligence," which "intelligence" is almost always wrong and which is never the basis for major policy decisions in any event.

The U.S. ruling class also knew that Iraq represented no threat of any consequence. They didn't care. They had entirely different objectives and concerns: the expansion and consolidation of American global hegemony. The world is the U.S. ruling class's oyster, and they will devour it. And you, and over a million innocent Iraqis, and whoever else proves troublesome. As a general rule, it is advisable not to place yourself in the path of a dangerously delusional homicidal maniac.

Thus, the United States government and almost all members of the ruling class -- with only two or three honorable exceptions -- embarked on a lengthy series of brutal, horrifying, profoundly immoral war crimes, and on a world historical genocide. Thus, all those members of the ruling class who have voted to continue and fund these crimes are war criminals. Barack Obama is a war criminal. Don't bother to argue with me: argue with the Nuremberg Principles.

This is the excellent foppery of our times: to pretend that what we are dealing with in Washington is some variant of "politics as usual" -- who's in, who's out, the state of play in the political game, the ordinary meshing and thrashing of policy and partisanship in a normal democracy. But all the while, this monstrous crime rages in the background. The blood of a million innocent people killed by the machinations of the America elite flows out of Iraqi soil and permeates every inch of the imperial capital. When our leaders gather in solemn conclave to debate "the issues" -- or yuk it up together at sumptuous bipartisan banquets -- they tread in this blood, they sit in this blood. Yet it is obvious now that nothing on earth will ever make this blood visible, not only to the ones who have perpetrated or abetted its shedding, but also to the people at large, in whose name it has been shed, and who will bear the long-reverberating brunt of the blowback -- financial, political, "asymmetrical" -- from this atrocity.


Chris Floyd at his deskChris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at cfloyd72@gmail.com.

This column is republished here with the permission of the author.



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This story was published on February 4, 2009.

 



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