Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]
07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]
07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]
07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]
07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]
07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn
07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]
06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]
07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]
07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]
07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]
07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]
07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]
07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]
07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]
07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]
07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]
07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]
07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]
INVADING COUNTRIES — WHY?
Brits Sound Final Retreat From Iraq -- But the U.S. Beat Goes On
Friday, 1 May 2009
What sort of country has Britain's noble endeavor in Iraq helped to make? Well, in just six short years, the Anglo-American crusade has managed to turn one of the region's most secular states in the Arab world into a seething cauldron of extremist, sectarian militias.This week we saw a huge milestone reached in the greatest conflict of our day: yet it passed with scarcely more than a murmur in the American press -- and with deathly silence on the part of the primary architects of the occasion.
We speak of course of the final bug-out of British forces from Iraq, where this week, after six years of slavish service to America's war of aggression, Her Majesty's military gave up their last remaining base in the conquered land. But as the Guardian astutely points out, the Brits did not turn the base over to the completey liberated totally sovereign Iraqi goverment, but to the tender care of Pentagon, which is pouring thousands of American troops into Basra to guard the occupation's supply lines out of Kuwait -- and keep a watchful eye over the oil-rich region.
Of course, British troops had pulled in their horns in Iraq long ago, having essentially —retreated to a few key bases while letting sectarian militias and criminal gangs battle it out on the streets. And indeed, in some cases, the Brits were literally driven out of their bases by Iraqi resistance, as we reported here way back in 2006:
The shebang's final toppling was a low-key affair. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was a no-show, despite being in the general vicinity this week out on the other Terror War frontier, Afghanistan (where he is upping the Anglo troop level to bolster Barack Obama's "surge"). His predecessor, Tony Blair, was likewise absent, and silent, at the end of an action that will forever stain his legacy with its monstrous, murderous folly.
He was in the news, however, after the UK government was forced to release memos from 2004, detailing Blair's frantic, mendacious attempts to suppress word of the rising death count among civilians in the war that he and George W. Bush engineered on the basis of knowingly false and deliberately manipulated information. In October 2004, the world's leading medical journal, The Lancet, released a careful study showing that an estimated 98,000 people had died from war-related causes in the first 18 months of the aggression and occupation. Blair first tried to stop publication of the figures, and then later told Parliament, "We do not accept these figures at all," the BBC reports. The memos show various ministries trying to pass off responsibility for dealing with study; no one wanted the impossible task of squaring Blair's blatant lies to Parliament with the scientific fact of the study.
This same farce was repeated -- on both sides of the Atlantic -- two years later, when The Lancet reported a further study, using the same methodology, showing that a minimum of 650,000 people had died as a result of the conflict. As we noted here last year:
But of course, as we noted at the time, "it doesn't really matter how you count the dead....when the dead don't count."
Neither did we hear from George W. Bush, now keeping a demure silence in his ritzy Dallas digs. (Ole George don't cut no more brush down on that fake ranch of his in Crawford, now that there ain't no PR value in it.) No word for his "gallant allies," who lost 179 men and women -- while dishing out thousands of more deaths, and atrocities of their own, as Robert Fisk reports in his piece on the pullout:
Fisk takes special note of Britain's first long-term intervention in Iraq, beginning in the First World War, and continuing on, in bloodsoaked "counterinsurgency operations" and repression by client governments, for many years thereafter:
What sort of country has Britain's noble endeavor in Iraq helped to make? Well, in just six short years, the Anglo-American crusade has managed to turn one of the region's most secular states in the Arab world into a seething cauldron of extremist, sectarian militias -- including the sectarian militia that Bush, Blair, Brown and Obama have installed and maintained in power: the increasingly authoritarian Dawa Party of Prime Minister Nour al-Maliki.
Reuters reports on the plight of women in Iraq, whose women once had enjoyed more cultural and professional freedom than any others in the Arab world:
How did this pandemic of oppression arise? Reuters again:
We should note that a large portion of the sectarians in the "Sunni Islamist insurgency" were subsequently put on the American payroll and given large swathes of territory to rule as they saw fit. Many of the Shiite militias, of course, were already working directly for the American-installed Iraqi government.
But what about Kurdistan, where American power has allowed two powerful and repressive factions to hold sway independently since the first Gulf War? (Do recall that Saddam's writ did not run in Kurdish Iraq -- which was, curiously enough, the only place in Iraq that had any kind of "al Qaeda" associates before the American invasion of 2003. For more, see "Hubub in HibHib: The Timely Death of al-Zarqawi.") Reuters reports:
Oh well. You can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs, can you? Or as that other breaker and maker of nations, Joe Stalin, used to say: When wood is chopped, chips fly. Surely the mutilation, murder and subjegation of a few million women here and there is an acceptable price to pay for what our wise new president calls "the extraordinary achievement" of the Anglo-American military action in Iraq.
But what next in Iraq, now that the Brits are gone? Surely the Americans will follow them out shortly, right? After all, we know that Barack Obama is committed to "ending the war." One of the most astute observers of the American war machine, Jeremy Scahill, has a few thoughts on that subject:
Scahill points to a remarkable story in the New York Times, which has passed almost without notice. In it, we find that thousands of American "combat troops" (a distinction without a difference that is key to the Obama plan) will actually remain in Iraqi cities after the June 30 deadline "mandated" by the soft, fluffy SOFA for the withdrawal of fighting troops to bases outside urban areas. How can this be? Simple: American and Iraqi authorities are simply, arbitrarily declaring U.S. bases inside Baghdad's city limits to be suddenly, magically outside the city limits! The NYT:
As Scahill notes, America just has to ask nicely, and their Iraqi partners are happy to oblige. He goes on:
[Just as an aside, imagine invading a country, planting two military bases in its capital named "Striker" and "Slayer" -- and then having the gall to pass yourself off as an altruistic, peace-loving liberator. The self-revealing unselfconsciousness of this brutal nomenclature is almost sublime.]
So: thousands of troops -- combat troops, "trained to fight" -- in sprawling, growing, permanent bases, inside Iraq's cities, augmented by hordes of private mercenaries, "supporting" missions against an unvanquished insurgency with ground forces and airstrikes (which, as a new study shows, kill mostly women and children). Once again, we see the hallmark of the new administration's Terror War policies: continuity -- continuity with a vengeance.
Chris 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column is republished here with the permission of the author.
Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.
This story was published on May 4, 2009.
Public Service Ads: