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Health Care & Environment
02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]
02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]
02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]
02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]
02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]
News Media Matters
02.16 We Shouldn't Stick Our Heads In The Sand, But We Do It Anyway [26:46 audio; Fear like Trump & Fox News incite makes us avoid unpleasant information we need to know]
02.15 Samantha Bee: Fox News 'soiling themselves over the Green New Deal' [video clips from Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert]
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
02.18 Dictator Trump
02.16 ‘A Parkland every five days’: project tells stories of the children lost to gun violence [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]
02.16 Rambling Trump calls an emergency in speech that goes on and on and on [1:42 video; an incoherent president just paraphrases lies and distortion from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh...]
02.16 Calling Emergency Declaration a 'Patently Illegal Power Grab,' ACLU Sues Trump [Empathy and fairness are scarce when your President is a psychopath]
02.15 Jayapal Says Medicare for All Bill Coming in Two Weeks as Expert Calls Plan 'Astonishingly Strong' [Corporate control of government and media must be limited to allow efficient programs for the public good]
Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism
02.13 The Green New Deal offers radical environmental and economic change [For the survival of life on earth, capitalism must be effectively regulated or banned]
02.12 Climate and economic risks 'threaten 2008-style systemic collapse' [Willfull ignorance of Trump, Republicans, corporate-media and corporate-Democrats is steadfast, if not worsening]
02.11 Trump offers socialism for the rich, capitalism for everyone else [and the poor will die out like the insects]
International & Futurism
02.18 Hate-Fest in Warsaw
02.15 Who Is Really A Socialist? [Who is really a Republican, etc.?]
02.14 House passes bill to end US support for Saudi war in Yemen [Congress does something good again!]
02.14 Millions Flowed From Venezuelan Oil Firm to Small Bulgarian Bank [Transactions like Manafort performed for Trump. Which Venezuelan political leader is likely behind this—Maduro or Trump-supported Guaidó?]
Blood on His Hands
Bush has disgraced the country, but don’t expect him to be asked to account for himself.
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.
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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.