Saturday, October 23, 2010

Iraq War Grinds On, Ignored By Mainstream Media


Remember the Iraq War? That bloody conflict disappeared off the American public's radar screen a long time ago.

Americans got weary of the endless stories of violence and bombings and turned their attention elsewhere. We've now gone back to our usual MSM diet of stories about Paris Hilton's latest hairstyle and Britney Spears' latest tabloid escapades.

Unfortunately, someone forget to tell the Iraqi people the war is over. And that's a shame, because it's the Iraqi people who have to live with the continuing horrific violence that continues to plague the nation.

All told, George W. Bush's Iraq War is probably one of the great tragedies of human history. It's an illegal, immoral war that cost the American people $3 trillion. And it has thus far cost 1.4 million Iraqi people their lives.

What's worse is that the Iraq War continues to grind on, day after day----all but ignored by the U.S. media. Sure, the MSM will devote coverage to the occasional spectacular bombings that periodically kills dozens. But the day-to-day horrific violence, which still continues, has long ago disappeared off the MSM's radar screens.

Consider the violence that occurred in Iraq just this past week (a very ordinary week that was no bloodier than any other week). Just in the past seven days, Iraq was hit by the following violent attacks:

1. News Item: On Oct. 19, a roadside bomb hit the convoy of the top U.N. official, Ad Melkert, in Iraq after a meeting with Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf. Melkert was unhurt, but the blast killed an Iraqi policeman and wounded three others.

That same day, three explosions targeted the houses of police officers in Tikrit city north of Baghdad on Tuesday morning. 11 people from one family were killed in the first explosion and two members of another family were wounded in the second explosion.

2. News Item: On Oct. 18, a roadside bomb detonated targeting the convoy of Jasim Ali Mahmoud, Baghdad provincial council member in downtown Baghdad. Jasim was killed and three of his guards and five civilians were wounded.

3. News Item: On Oct. 17, gunmen stormed several goldsmiths' shops in Baghdad, killing three shop owners. A citizen ran to inform the nearby police patrols and police clashed with gunmen as they left the building. Gunmen used grenades and machine guns killing two policemen and the citizen that informed the police. Police returned fire and killed two of the gunmen.

4. News Item: On Oct. 15, a magnetic bomb that was stuck to the car of a college professor, Saad Abdulwahab, detonated in Baghdad, late Thursday, killing the professor and seriously injuring two civilian passers by.

The preceding just included some of the highlights of daily violent attacks that continue in Iraq, day after day, week after week, month after month. As horrific as the violence was during the past week, the fact is, it was just another typical week of bloody mayhem in a country that remains very much at war.

True, few U.S. troops are dying in Iraq these days (mainly because most troops are confined to their bases). But the fact is, U.S. soldiers are still dying in Iraq. The latest casualty, Pfc. Dylan T. Reid, 24, of Springfield, Mo., died Oct. 16 in Amarah, Iraq.

Just how bleak is it in Iraq these days? One telling indication is the ongoing humanitarian crisis of millions of Iraqis who have fled their country and are afraid to return home. Over 2 million Iraqis continue to live in neighboring Syria. Another million have fled to Jordan. And those few who've been brave enough to venture back home are regretting their decision, a recent poll indicates.

Although Americans don't pay much attention to the Iraq War these days, it's still costing us plenty. After all, 50,000 troops remain in the country. The Congressional Research Service reports that the Pentagon continues to spend $5.4 billion per month in Iraq (and another $8.6 billion per month in Afghanistan).

Much has been made of President Obama's decision to reduce the number of troops in Iraq. But less attention has been paid to the fact that the U.S. has greatly expanded the number of private contractors working in the country. As the Nation has pointed out, "using private forces is a backdoor way of continuing a substantial US presence under the cover of 'diplomatic security.'"

There have been many losers in the ongoing Iraq War fiasco. The Iraq people. The American people. U.S. troops, who suffered in a war based on lies. The moral standing of America, which has now been shattered forever.

But for all the mayhem and violence, there has been at least one winner in the Iraq War: the multinational oil corporations. After all, as Alan Greenspan noted in his 2007 book, the Iraq War really was about oil.

ExxonMobil and Shell are among those who've lined up to reap the massive reward of Iraq's oil fields. And Halliburton, of course, hasn't been left out either. On Oct. 14, Dick Cheney's old outfit was awarded a nice, fat contract by ExxonMobil Iraq Ltd.


Jack Jodell said...

Thank you for spotlighting this, Marc. The war in Iraq is the worst war crime and biggest foreign policy debacle in our history. Our MSM deserves complicit blame for its misreporting the whole time. No wonder the rest of the world has a hard time taking us seriously!

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Jack, thanks for your comment.
>> Our MSM deserves complicit
>> blame for its misreporting the
>> whole time

Yes, definitely. And the likes of Judith Miller really did a disservice to the American people. It was one thing for Fox News to sell Bush's case for war, it was quite another for the NYT to sell Bush's B.S.

Anonymous said...

Marc...maybe this is where Bush's case for war came from...

“One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line." - President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." - President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." - Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." - Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb 18,1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the US Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." - Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI), Tom Daschle (D-SD), John Kerry (D - MA), and others Oct. 9,1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." - Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

"Hussein has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies." - Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has invigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." - Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, December 5, 2001

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." - Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." - Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." - Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..." - Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-- if necessary-- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9,2002

Anonymous said...

...and aside from the violence there is the Iraq infrastructure that the US destroyed: electricity remains a couple of hour per day phenomena in that hottest of all environments, hospitals destroyed, bridges, etc. The US invasion truly was a massive crime against humanity. the entire top tier of the bush regime should be in prison as should obama for protecting them.

Anonymous said...

" was quite another for the NYT to sell Bush's B.S."

And what did the NYT gain for that? To this very day, they are still considered by the conservative community to be some kind of "bastion of liberalism". Same with the Washington Post and MSNBC.

Yep, their services in the cause of incipient fascism are conveniently forgotten when those same fascists find they need a "whipping boy" to rally their simple-minded synchophants against. It should be a warning to all who think they can deal with these people on a rational basis. They will use you and use you and use you, until you no longer have anything more to offer them, at which time they will recast you as a "traitor" and pitch you under the bus.

I wish there was some way I could transmit to the Iraqi people my utter horror and shame at what "my country" has done to them. I use the quotes because I really don't recognize this as my country anymore. It no longer stands for anything but pure unbridled greed and selfishness. I neither supported nor condoned this war, and made sure that every one of my elected "representatives" who did support it understood my extreme displeasure in their having done so.

Jack Jodell said...

"I wish there was some way I could transmit to the Iraqi people my utter horror and shame at what 'my country' has done to them. I use the quotes because I really don't recognize this as my country anymore. It no longer stands for anything but pure unbridled greed and selfishness. I neither supported nor condoned this war, and made sure that every one of my elected 'representatives' who did support it understood my extreme displeasure in their having done so."

My sentiments exactly, Anonymous.

Marc McDonald said...

>>>...I really don't recognize
>>>this as my country anymore. It
>>>no longer stands for anything
>>>but pure unbridled greed and

My thoughts exactly. I feel like I was born in the wrong country. I should have been born in some place like Europe, a place with community values that are much more in line with my views.