Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education

12.11 This For-Profit College Is Leaving Students With Lots of Debt and No Degrees [It's a Trump University World]

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

12.12 In Early Holiday 'Gift to Polluters,' Trump Guts Protections for 60 Percent of Nation's Streams, Wetlands, and Waterways

12.12 An Indication of What's Coming': Melting at North and South Poles Worse Than Previously Thought [4:47 video]

12.11 The will of the people is to halt climate change, what about politicians? [Excellent!]

12.11 'We live in a lobstocracy': Maine town is feeling the effects of climate change [Do you care?]

12.11 Protesters disrupt pro-fossil fuel event at COP24 – video [Do you care?]

12.11 'It's a sad reality': a troubling trend sees a 97% decline in monarch butterflies [Do you care?]

12.10 The new abnormal: why fires like Paradise will happen again and again

12.10 Extinction Rebellion goes global in run-up to week of international civil disobedience [13:38 video]

12.08 The Planet Has Seen Sudden Warming Before. It Wiped Out Almost Everything.

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

12.12 Trump reportedly flicked a folder and scattered papers in anger after his fiery debate with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer [His obsession for a $6 billion border wall is childish, considering all the better uses for such investment.]

12.12 How the IRS Was Gutted

12.12 Here's a map showing how Trump's approval ratings in each state have changed since he took office

12.12 'We Can't Enact Our Agenda Without Seats at the Table': Tens of Thousands Sign Petition Demanding Powerful Ways and Means Committee Seat for Ocasio-Cortez

12.12 In Major Victory for Progressives, Democratic Leadership Abandons Tax Rule That Would Have Made Bold Agenda Impossible

12.12 The Sanders Institute's Gathering Was About Saving the World, But It Was Not About Bernie Sanders [a more detailed account]

12.11 There’s a great anti-poverty bill in the Senate. Why haven’t we heard more about it?

12.11 Trump’s Inner Circle Shrinks But Grows Even More Corrupt with Kelly Exit

12.11 2018 was by far the worst year on record for gun violence in schools [obviously, most politicians only care about "donations"]

12.11 Trump’s controversial “public charge” proposal that could change the face of legal immigration, explained

12.11 'We Gonna Rise Up, Rise Up 'Til It's Won!': 140+ Arrested at Pelosi and Hoyer Offices as Youth-Led Protests Demand Green New Deal on Capitol Hill [Political Inaction or Citizen Rebellion, take your pick]

12.10 John Kelly, the White House Chief of Staff, Is Finally Leaving “Crazytown”

12.10 Paul Ryan’s long con

Justice Matters

12.08 Mob mentality: how Mueller is working to turn Trump's troops

12.08 Mueller’s sentencing memo for Michael Cohen is very ominous for Trump

12.08 Read: Mueller’s new filing accusing Paul Manafort of lying to the government

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

12.10 Tackle climate or face financial crash, say world's biggest investors

12.10 Group led by Thomas Piketty presents plan for ‘a fairer Europe’

12.08 America’s Rigged Tax Collection System

International & Futurism

12.12 Why women have better sex under socialism, according to an anthropologist

12.10 Smaller Democracies Grapple with the Threat of Russian Interference

12.10 US and Russia ally with Saudi Arabia to water down climate pledge [The Oil Mafias lobby for more insanity]

12.08 'I don't want to go back': what's next for the Central American migrant caravan?

12.08 Paris on lockdown for gilets jaunes protests - live updates

12.07 How US billionaires are fuelling the hard-right cause in Britain

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Print view: Blood on His Hands
COMMENTARY:

Blood on His Hands

Bush has disgraced the country, but don’t expect him to be asked to account for himself.

by Sheldon Richman
Monday, 22 November 2010
In Iraq, the U.S. government under George W. Bush was only doing what it used to do in Latin America: train and equip death squads to eradicate undesirables.

As George W. Bush hawks his memoir, Decision Points, he seems especially driven to justify his decision to invade and occupy Iraq. He emphasizes how sickened he was at learning that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, though not too sick to kid about it at the White House correspondents’ dinner. While he refuses to say whether he would have ordered the invasion had he known the truth—and there’s good reason to suspect that he did know the truth—Bush insists that 25 million Iraqis are better off without Saddam in power.

Unfortunately, the deferential interviewers are unwilling to ask tough questions. (Why do former presidents, secretaries of state, and their ilk get this free pass?) One need not have been a fan of Saddam to see that the invasion/occupation has been a catastrophe for the Iraqi people. Large numbers of them are not better off because of Bush’s illegal actions—millions are either dead, victims of torture, or refugees. After analyzing various studies and methods of estimating war deaths, John Tirman, executive director of MIT’s Center for International Studies, concludes, “The evidence, then, is rather clear and compelling. Something like 700,000 or more Iraqis have been killed either through direct or ‘structural’ violence in the period since the U.S. invaded more than seven years ago. The number could easily be as high as a million. Most were killed by other Iraqis, or the deplorable conditions that wars wreak and persist in Iraq.”

Are those people better off, Mr. President? How about the three million driven from their homes? But, Bush apologists will counter, Tirman says, “Most were killed by other Iraqis.” Doesn’t that get Bush off the hook? Not by a long shot.

The recent WikiLeaks revelations document that American forces were ordered not to investigate Iraqi-on-Iraqi killings and torture. Moreover, U.S. troops turned prisoners over to the Iraqis knowing that they would be tortured. But it’s even worse than that.

“[The] deeper significance of the order, which has been missed by the news media, is that it was part of a larger U.S. strategy of exploiting Shi’a sectarian hatred against Sunnis to help suppress the Sunni insurgency when Sunnis had rejected the U.S. war,” writes Gareth Porter of the Inter Press News Service, a reporter with extensive knowledge of the conflict. “The strategy [developed by Gen. David Petraeus] involved the deliberate deployment of Shi’a and Kurdish police commandos in areas of Sunni insurgency in the full knowledge that they were torturing Sunni detainees, as the reports released by WikiLeaks show.”

The U.S. government was only doing what it used to do in Latin America: train and equip death squads to eradicate undesirables. This was the period when Sunni resistance to the U.S. occupation and sectarian violence were at their height. Every day large number of tortured bodies were found on Baghdad streets as vengeful Shi’a Muslims, backed by America and Iran, engaged in sectarian cleansing of the city. Porter elaborates that the Bush-Cheney-Petraeus strategy was “a major contributing factor to the rise of al-Qaeda’s influence in the Sunni areas. The escalating Sunni-Shi’a violence it produced led to the massive sectarian warfare of 2006 in Baghdad in which tens of thousands of civilians—mainly Sunnis—were killed.”

As Porter recounts events, two years earlier the Civil Defense Corps in Sunni areas of Iraq “essentially disappeared overnight during an insurgent offensive” and the U.S. command turned to Shi’a and Kurdish police and military units to put down the resistance. Soon the U.S. order not to intervene in the abuse of prisoners was issued. “It was a clear signal that the U.S. command expected torture of prisoners to be a central feature of Iraqi military and police operations against Sunni insurgents,” Porter writes. From there the American force established and trained sectarian paramilitary squads for the dirty work, the first being the Wolf Brigade. “It did not take long for the Wolf Brigade to acquire its reputation for torture of Sunni detainees,” Porter writes.

Are we to believe “the decider”—the man who boasts of approving torture for American prisoners—was unaware of that U.S./Iran-supported bloodletting? Bush has disgraced the country, but don’t expect him to be asked to account for himself.


Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation and editor of The Freeman magazine.



Copyright © 2010 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 November 22, 2010.
 

Public Service Ads: