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War & Iraq
Those opposing Hitler were certainly justified in opposing him. Even so the world still reverberates from his dirty work that left some fifty million dead. So also for the Japanese who raped Nanking (now Nanjing) not to mention similar atrocities everywhere they went. So WWII, to any reasonable mind, began as a justified war--on the defender's part.
Week of 04 June 2008

A letter was signed by thirty-one Iraqi legislators representing a majority of the Parliament and was delivered this week to Representative Delahunt, the Chairman of a House Foreign Affairs Oversight Subcommittee. The variously published excerpt follows:
On 31 Jan 1968, shortly after midnight, sirens wailed. GIs and Marines tumbled out of bed responding to yet another supposed exercise in readiness. Instead it was a devastating surprise. Hue was being over-run; Saigon was under attack with key installations already in the hands of insurgent forces. That long night of losses took nearly a month to reverse in a dramatic and significant military victory.

There was just one little problem--we were fighting the wrong war. We lost the only battle that counted--the political one.
A History of Insurgency, Terrorism & Guerilla War, From the American Revolution to Iraq
William Polk

Extended Book Review by Harry Rosenberg.

William Polk, as a historian of terrorism has few, if any, peers. He is also a brilliant and gifted writer; Polk makes each page come alive. At once dispassionate and compassionate, he leads his readers through the waves of history climaxing in our day where Mr. Bush has committed the US to a "Long War," courtesy of the Neocons. To deny that is to deny the very existence of 737 US military and air bases throughout the world along with instituting new legal structures that immunize American counterinsurgency forces from prosecution by local authorities everywhere on earth. This grand plan for world dominance must be thoughtfully reviewed and reversed before our great nation drowns in an apocalyptic tsunami of hatred and bloodshed, with 15 trillion dollars wasted in the process. William Polk makes just this historic case.
Senate Committee Report. Approved for Release: Apr 2007

Conclusions, paraphrased for brevity, summarized with [Commentary]:

Democracy in Iraq
  • Establishing a democracy in postwar Iraq would be a long, difficult, and probably turbulent challenge.
    • Iraqi tradition is authoritarianism.
    • Establishing a representative political system would be the greatest challenge.
    • Iraqi culture did not foster liberalism or democracy.
Basra, the port city next to Kuwait, was once peaceful and metropolitan. It was vacated by the British in September leaving Shiite militias vying for power. The Mahdi army militiamen won control and began the hunt for collaborators. The Sadr militia quickly set up office.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Sunday, November 25, 2007

"JOHN DONOGHUE considers private armies and the public good, past and present, and sees America losing its way." And we see the same potential.
An act of Congress is summarily dismissed by this unitary president.

Dec. 30, 2005; pertinent section of law passed by Congress:

"US interrogators cannot torture prisoners or otherwise subject them to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment."
16 Aug 2007

It was from the start, but something happened on the way to the store. Countering his own disclaimer, that Iraq is not about oil, Bush is now pressuring the Maliki government to adopt a law that will allow the US to control 115 billion barrels--the Iraqi reserves. Many Middle Easterners see through the scam.
25 May 2007

This excerpted article is being posted at the special request of an interested and valuable critic. It turned out to have complexities arising from the ever present Neocon movement. Our comments adjoin.

"Yes, it is central to the fight against Islamic radicalism."

BY BOB KERREY - in the Opinion Journal from the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
Updated 10 July 2008

In one result, the surge could well catalyze a cataclysm in the end.

Another possibility is that it could maintain enough order over enough time for the three warring factions to complete a de-facto segregation as a precursor to three new nations, providing interested neighboring states lay off.

In yet another result, the Iraqi people could realize their own future by becoming assertive in finding their own solutions. This third possibility now seems a bit more likely. However, this result came about much more from Iraqis taking control and opposing al Qa'ida than it did from The Surge.
27 April 2007

Fallujah, 31 Mar 2004. Four fully-armed men in uniform, driving a US Army jeep are gunned down in an ambush. Their bodies are mutilated and hung from a bridge over the Euphrates river. Americans? Yes, of course. Soldiers or Marines? Neither. They were ostensibly civilians. But this humiliation created a backlash against the townspeople that tipped the scales irrevocably into the chaos that reigns today.

25 Mar 2007

Who remembers our last days in Saigon? Iraq is even more hopeless. American interests are best served by making friends, not enemies, and certainly not enemies of former friends. Yet that is exactly what we are (and have been) doing in Iraq for nearly four years now.
Arms producing countries trading in arms seems natural enough, after all business is business. Sellers make money, buyers can defend themselves, or agress against neighbors. US business interests benefit. But does peace? We doubt it, especially when arms selling is indiscriminate--which amounts to "We will arm both of you, so you and him can fight." As we laugh all the way to the bank.
No Graceful Exit

James Fearon, in the Mar-Apr Foreign Affairs issue, provides a cogent and realistic assessment of options. His wisdom underlies this page. See Full Article, and James Fearon for more on this remarkable man.
The Truth About the White House's Plans for Regime Change.
Scott Ritter
Book Review With Commentary

This is Iraq all over again with some twists. One highly significant twist is that Iran is admittedly pursuing technology prerequisite for either power generation or WMD. A second twist could logically be to lead Islam back to the prominence it enjoyed a millennium ago. Yet a third twist could be to turn the tables on the Sunni states.
Updated: 07 May '07

Never in US history has our military spoken out loudly against our civilian leadership -- until now. This may surprise many Americans. Just as surely, the military remains loyal to the concept of civilian control. But it is equally clear that many in the military are in uncommon dissent, especially over Iraq and Iran. Iran looks like a replay of Iraq. Neither American nor any European intelligence agency has turned up the slightest evidence of clandestine nuclear activity.
Book Review With Commentary
Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservatve Legacy
Francis Fukuyama

This book deserves a careful read by anyone wanting to understand US policies since 2000. Fukuyama fairly describes the Neocon history and from there, the dynamics that led to the present situation where the US is bogged down in an unwinnable war, has alienated allies, and enhanced terrorism while giving it a new base of operations. Fukuyama then offers prescriptions for the future that are more sensible than those employed by the Administration, but still leave much to be desired.
13 March 2006 -- What a difference a week can make. Additional information: the low-level ethnic cleansing conducted by Shiites (many trained by the US) before the mosque attack; Al Sistani's directive that Shiite shrines and personalities be guarded by tribal militias; the fact that 87% of all Iraqis want the US to leave; the fact that nearly half of all Iraqis now support attacks on US personnel, all add up to a tipping point toward civil war. Only the Kurds seem to have played it smart. See Addendum.
Oct 2003; Nov 2003; Jan 2006

A wise man or woman once said:
"If we cannot learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it"

Never could that be more true. The Bush Administration, acting on its own, has bitten off a lot more than it can chew in Iraq. And is now looking for regime change in Iran, in all the wrong places.
The Coming October War in Iraq

By William Rivers Pitt

Excerpted Oct 31, 2003
Excised, edited and revised in places.
Wednesday, 24 July, 2002.
Humor; but not so humorous in our times!

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time
and your government when it deserves it.
Mark Twain
23 Oct 2006 Update

Researchers at John Hopkins along with Iraqi physicians have conducted two surveys of the death toll in Iraq. The first one, eighteen months after the invasion, was repeated with this one with the same result as before, about 100,000. This year, 2006, they found some 600,000 deaths that were war related. This is 20 times more than the official White House line of 30,000.

Those overseeing the study feel it is valid because not only was it conducted scientifically, it validated their earlier results.
Iraq Occupation & "Reconstruction"

Excerpted from New York Times
Saudi Warns U.S. Iraq May Face Disintegration

By JOEL BRINKLEY Published: September 23, 2005
Cost of War in Iraq

Human Costs

Each American life lost has an estimated value of $1,000,000 according to insurance calculations. The dollar value of human capital consumed in Iraq is now over a billion dollars. For specific names of those sacrificed see
"Today every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman and child lives under a sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or madness."
John F Kennedy
"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword.
America has not fought a moral and just war since the Korean War. All the wars had imperial overtones in an age where imperialism was thought to be obsolete.
Updated 3 June 2007

In forcing the Russians to withdraw in 1989, the Afghans became the heroes of many in Islam. The subsequent civil war saw the fundamentalist Taliban emerge and take power. They viewed their victory as a triumph of fundamentalism and Allah's will.
These are the terrorist equivalents to "theaters" in a world war.

There are many just now. Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Chechnya are all prominent in the news.
"Organized power can be opposed only by organized power. Much as I regret this, there is no other way." -- Albert Einstein

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953

An Islamic philosopher, Sayyid Qutb, set the stage counterpoint to the Neocons. It was in prison that Sayyid Qutb created a philosophical vision where death, piety, wisdom, and immortality are one and the same. Qutb's vision guides radical Islam today by providing life-everlasting to martyrs. Of course the crusading popes made the same promise.
Excerpts From Various Sources:

It remains to be seen how Palestine and Iraq turn out. Meanwhile, we can move forward one day at a time and support our soldiers.


"War is at best barbarism...Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot, nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation." --General WIlliam T. Sherman--