13 Jun Responding to some recent articles of interest…
JO’D response to article: “Ninety Percent of Captured ‘Taliban’ Were Civilians” by IPS News, 6/12/11
This story should surprise no one who has closely followed Petraeus’ career. He’s ALWAYS been more of a political operative than a military one.
He first caught the media’s eye when he was just a colonel in Iraq, responsible for training the Iraqi National Police in 2006 (sold to the press as “The Year of the Police”). How’d he do? In 2007, the GAO and Gen. James Jones reported that the National Police was so rife with death squads (many beholden to Iran) that it should be disbanded outright.
In 2007, after the Republicans’ midterm drubbing, Bush needed a perception shift, something dramatic. Ignoring the advice of his commanding officer in Iraq, Bush went with the AEI’s plan: SURGE!
Bush fished downstream until he could find an officer willing to deliver a POLITICAL victory: David Petraeus. Gen. Casey was out, and Petraeus was in.
Petraeus paid the entire insurgency to chill out for a while (100,000 insurgents at $300/month each), and used the death squad-ridden police to conduct the ethnosectarian cleansing of Baghdad’s Sunnis (Baghdad went from 65% Sunni to 85% Shiite, and a million new refugees were created).
Billed as “reducing” civilian casualties, the Surge delivered the deadliest year of the war for Iraqi civilians and the U.S. military, too!
But it was a POLITICAL success, as was Petraeus. The fawning media put the icing on the cake when they essentially quit covering the war.
Thus, was a “hero” born.
JO’D response to HuffPo article (6/10/11) regarding Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s proposal that IRAQ pay us for everything we’ve done “for” them:
Rohrabacher wouldn’t dare utter such nonsense if the media functioned as anything other than a Neoconservative propaganda machine. But the truth is the MSM has basically glossed over the historic crimes America perpetrated in Iraq.
REALITY: It’s very likely that over a MILLION Iraqis are dead as a result of Washington’s recklessness and greed. That figure is based on the Johns Hopkins/MIT study, its methodology praised by many experts, including the top science official in Tony Blair’s government. (Rather than disputed, that study has simply been ignored. That’s the kind of “free press” America enjoys these days.)
But these are realities we must confront if we’re ever to defeat al Qaeda, whose cause has been well served by U.S. atrocities (a profound insult to those killed on 9/11):
– We looted Iraq for billions, destroyed a functioning power grid, and made fuel, sanitation, and potable water inaccessible to millions;
– America and our Iranian-backed allies tortured thousands of Iraqis, primarily Sunnis (more than 80% of whom were innocent, per quietly released Pentagon reports);
– The “Surge” employed sectarian death squads and air strikes to transform Baghdad, a city of five million, 65% Sunni, into a city 85% populated by Shiites (in the process, creating a million NEW refugees in addition to the four million we’d already created).
To much of the world America has become the very face of Evil. It’s high time WE began to make amends.
Any other arrangement would be perverse.