Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

The Lie That Won’t Die, And The Latest Liar Lying
March 27, 2014

 

Published on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 by Common Dreams

Anger, Disbelief as Obama Defends US Invasion of Iraq
‘In order to not appear hypocritical, Obama rewrites history around Iraq War while denouncing Russia’
– Jon Queally, staff writer

President Barack Obama delivers a speech Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels. (Reuters)

President Obama is on the receiving end of scorn for remarks made during a high-profile speech in Brussels on Wednesday in which he defended the U.S. invasion of Iraq in an attempt to chastise Russia for recent developments in Crimea and Ukraine.

Speaking to the international community about the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and fending off repeated accusations that the U.S. has lost its moral authority given the invasion of Iraq and other breaches of international law in recent years, Obama said:

    “Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true that the Iraq war was a subject of vigorous debate, not just around the world but in the United States, as well. I participated in that debate, and I opposed our military intervention there.

    “But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.”

But instead of tamping down accusations of hypocrisy, Obama inflamed it.

Responding to the speech on FireDogLake, DSWright shot back: "Worked within the international system? So if Russia had gone to the UN to get a resolution, failed, then annexed Crimea it would have been OK?"

Reaction on Twitter was swift—and among those with a seemingly better memory of the devastation caused by the U.S. invasion of Iraq than the president—fierce:

Ross Caputi and Matt Howard, members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War, spoke with Common Dreams by phone and said that President Obama’s argument was both weak factually and morally. As it happens, both IVAW members were together in Washington, DC on Wednesday, organizing an evening event focused on the devastating impacts of the Iraq War—both for veterans like themselves and the Iraqi civilian population—when they heard news about what the president had said.

"What President Obama said is false," said Caputi. "The U.S. did not attempt to work within the international system. We acted unilaterally, without the approval of the UN Security Council."

Howard said the president’s narrative on the events that led up to the Iraq invasion, inside or outside the context of Ukraine, was simply "not grounded in reality."

"We went from one lie, which was weapons of mass destruction, to another lie which was liberation and freedom," said Howard. Citing the devastation cited by Iraqi civil society allies, especially women in the country, he continued, "This idea that Iraq is somehow better off or that the U.S. waged a so-called ‘Good War’ is ridiculous."

In addition, argued Caputi, the U.S. did make very real and successful attempts to gain access to Iraqi resources, namely through the writing of the new Iraqi Constitution and aspects of the so-called "Bremer Orders," referring to Paul Bremer who was the U.S.-appointed Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq during the aftermath of the 2003 invasion. Those efforts "privatived Iraq’s formally nationalized energy resources," paving the way for foreign oil companies, including those from U.S., to gain coveted access to Iraq oil and gas fields.

The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim also made note of this false assertion by Obama regarding Iraqi "resources," writing:

  • In fact, the U.S. forced Iraq to privatize its oil industry, which had previously been under the control of the state, and further required that it accept foreign ownership of the industry. The effort to transfer the resources to the control of multinational, largely U.S.-based oil companies has been hampered in part by the decade of violence unleashed by the invasion.

    Obama’s assertion also hinges on how broadly one construes the word "our." Taxpayers on the one hand are worse off, as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have added $2 trillion to the national debt, according to one study. But contractors reaped tremendous gains, and Halliburton — a company often associated with the invasion, of which former Vice President Dick Cheney served as CEO — saw its stock price surge from under $10 a share to over $50, before falling along with the rest of the market in 2008. (It has since recovered.)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

NB: The original article at CD contains a video of Obama’s speech.

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Richard Holbrooke, Diplomatic Giant: Not So Much, Not So Much
December 14, 2010

Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and military intelligence officer, doesn’t agree with all the praise being heaped on the freshly dead Richard Holbrooke. He’s got quite another point of view, expressed at the site Consortium News.

A couple of bits:

And, in the curious standards of Official Washington, Holbrooke’s circumspection and silence – even as countless “small” people get wounded and killed – is cause for lionizing him in death.

And…

And the American troops? It is hard to escape the conclusion that Holbrooke shared the view of Henry Kissinger, another devotee of Realpolitik diplomacy who had little regard for the humanity and value of common soldiers.

In the book Kiss the Boys Goodbye: How the United States Betrayed its Own POWs in Vietnam, Kissinger is quoted as saying: “Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”

Not the hero our politicos and media pretty boys are making him out to be.

Worth reading.

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Beck And Gingrich Gin Up The Hate And It Comes To The Lion’s Town
September 3, 2010

A friend stopped by this morning on her way to work and told The Lion what happened at the gas station a few moments earlier.

The Lion notes that most of the gas stations in town are owned by a fellow who is either Middle Eastern or of Middle Eastern descent. Many of his workers have similar backgrounds.

The woman was filling her gas tank when a fellow drove up, grumped out of his car and went inside, apparently to prepay. She said he seemed in a bad mood.

Moments later he came out muttering angrily, and then the clerk ran out and shouted at the guy, “You’re a racist,” and then they jawed at each other angrily, with the customer at one point telling the clerk to go back to the country he came from.

Even at second hand it’s ugly.

But this is what Newt Gingrich and Glen Beck, both ugly, ugly personalities, and the Republican/Tea Party have brought to just about every town in America. Those two and their compatriots in the hate-wins-power movement are doing their best to destroy the United States in order to satisfy their voracious, narcissistic egos and win political power. The Republican Party/Tea Party are doing their damndest to ride their ginned-up hatred back into power, where they promise to shut down the government.

Of course it does make perfect sense that they would shut down the government if they got into power. They’re not competent, not capable of governing. They just want power so they can destroy the social fabric that holds the country together, based on some ignorant and thoughtless idea of what they call ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom’.

These are evil people. They are soulless and murderous.

Gingrich is stumbling all over himself over the Islamic center planned for Lower Manhattan, a couple of blocks from the construction at the World Trade Center.  His latest plan calls for the Federal Government to make the WTC a ‘national battlefield memorial’ so that the government can deny the Islamic project.

From TPM:

"I think the Congress has the ability to declare the area a national battlefield memorial because I think we should think of the World Trade Center as a battlefield site; this is a war," he said, apparently thinking that if Ground Zero was a national park, Park51 would be restricted from building near it.

Just for the record, the WTC was not a battlefield. It was the scene of a vicious and clever mass murder carried out by a determined band of religiopolitical thugs under the noses of a Republican administration that deliberately and arrogantly ignored the warnings of experienced anti-terrorist experts that a terrorist attack was going to happen soon. ‘The war’ was what followed, when the American political and military establishment, aided and abetted by a compromised press, initiated two wars of choice, carried out by an arrogant, bumbling, ignorant bunch of Republican ideologues whose emotional and intellectual development stopped when they were twelve years old. Two countries have been destroyed, millions of people displaced, and untold tens or hundreds of thousands of innocents killed. By American arrogance. By American stupidity. By American lust for power.

But Gingrich, the anti-government maven, doesn’t care about that. He wants American government to commit suicide.

And if that fails, he said, the state government should step in and use its considerable power to stymie the development.

"The Attorney General of New York, Andrew Cuomo, could intervene because frankly he has the ability to slow it down for decades if he wants to."

Remember that Gingrich is a fellow who once shut down the government, and who believes government should stay out of people’s lives and business and religion.

But here he is, not only cheering the movement to shut down the government if the Republicans regain the House this Fall, but insisting that all levels of government should stop a peaceful religious project for the basest of reasons: that ‘those people’ are different.

There are no legitimate moral, ethical, or legal grounds for stopping or objecting to the project. The Gingrichian motives are base and evil, stemming from nothing more than a sociopathic attempt on the part of the fear-crazed, power-hungry Republican/Tea Party to gain political power and use it against the majority of Americans and to favor their corporate masters, who take taxpayer money and rake in consumer money and lavish the wealth of princes and kings on themselves while they rip apart the country and the people that made their success possible.

The great evil is not Islam (or Judaism or Catholicism or Hinduism or whichever Protestant sect the other Protestant sects disagree with). The great evil comprises those who proclaim their patriotism and love of country while they do their best to shred the foundations of democracy and freedom. The great evils are named Gingrich, Beck, Limbaugh, the Koch brothers, and others among the nation’s wealthy, the princes of Wall Street, the vampires and bloodsuckers in their mansions and limousines.

They have sown the seeds of hatred and violence, even here in a small local gas station, in search of personal aggrandizement.

If they succeed, The Lion fervently hopes they reap what they sow, in spades.

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Corrective Rape: The Best People Do It
April 8, 2010

The United States Department of State reports in today’s Globe, in an AP article, that gays in the broken and destitute nation of Zimbabwe ‘face widespread harassment’.  Homosexual acts are illegal in Zimbabwe.

Not only has Zimbabwe stepped back into medieval ignorance and brutality on just about every front imaginable, it has sunk to new depths of stupidity too.

Gay men were forced into heterosexual acts and lesbian women were raped, sometimes by male relatives, to teach them to change their ways, said Amanda Porter, political officer at the US Embassy in Harare and compiler of the report.

“Some families reportedly subjected men and women to corrective rape and forced marriages to encourage heterosexual conduct,’’ she [State Department political officer Amanda Porter in Harare] said Tuesday.

Corrective rape. Think about that for a minute. Let it work around your consciousness for a while. Corrective rape.

If someone doesn’t agree with your rules, your style of living, well, rape them. Brutalize them, and that will turn them into good little conformists, that will bring them around to your way of thinking.

Corrective rape.

But what can you expect from a country driven back into primitive times by a psychotic dictator who is no better than a common thug informed by witch doctors?

Right?

One could argue that the best people, the best governments, do the same thing. The United States did it in Iraq, and Afghanistan. Iraq didn’t fit into George W. Bush and his bunch of neocon witch doctors’ world view, so that country had to be correctively raped. Of course, the gays in Zimbabwe are real gays, and the stuff Bush used to justify raping Iraq had to be made up, but rape is rape. Iraq now stands corrected. If we listen hard we can hear explosions of joy almost every day now in Iraq.

And Afghanistan continues to receive its therapy of corrective rape, begun under Bush and continuing under Obama, who is apparently under the spell of Democratic witch doctors. The Taliban, who never attacked the United States, and who are out of power, or would be if the United States wasn’t supporting a corrupt and apparently addled fellow who may or may not be in control of Kabul, the Taliban are the current recipients of corrective rape as applied by Obama and the United States government and the United States military.

The Taliban are not, of course, the nicest people, and they disagree with the United States and do not want to follow the dictates of the United States. So they should be raped. Correctively. By bombs. By rockets fired from anonymous drones. By American soldiers eager to prove their own ignorance and brutality by killing as many women and children as possible, knowing that the military brass will brush off such murder as ‘collateral damage’. The difference between ‘collateral damage’ and corrective rape? None if you’re the one taking the damage, the one getting raped.

So, the difference between the putatively most technologically advanced nation on earth and one of the most backward nations on earth? None, really.

And Obama and his political shamans brought that home with even more force with the recent revelation that he had ordered the killing of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, a loudmouth jihadi born in New Mexico, operating overseas, linked to the Fort Hood killings and the Christmas airline bomb plot.  Like it or not, the man is an American citizen, entitled to the protections of the Constitution and laws. That means dragging him into court and proving the case against him and then sentencing him to death if warranted. Like it or not, the United States claims to be a nation of laws. There is no middle ground. You cannot be a nation of laws sometimes, and not at other times when it may be inconvenient or may not suit the particular neurosis of the crew in power.

If an American President can order the murder of this American citizen, then he, or the next one, or the one after that, can order the killing of any American who disagrees with the crew in power. There is no middle ground.

And given the actions of the United States government under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, it has become apparent that the United States is no longer a nation of laws, but has become a nation that justifies the application of corrective rape not only to nations that disagree with it, but to its own citizens.

The virulent right will cheer the application of corrective rape, whether in the United States or overseas. The left will cluck-cluck powerlessly. The middle will continue on in ignorance, letting it happen while they worry about bills and jobs and school bullying, not understanding the significance of the matter because for the most part they understand nothing about the republic in which they live. The ironic thing is that all of them, no matter their persuasion, can now be considered suitable, by some crew in power, for corrective rape.

Not quite what the Founders had in mind, though they were well aware of the difficulty. As Ben Franklin said, “[We’ve given you] a Republic, if you can keep it.” Apparently, the Republic has been correctively raped by its people and its government. Old Ben must be rolling about in his grave with both hands over his ass.

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Great Quotes For Today… And Tomorrow… And Yesterday
December 14, 2009

“They don’t hate us because we are free,” Gravel said of the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. “They hate us because we are killing them.”

– Former Senator Mike Gravel, quoted by Chris Hedges at Common Dreams.

 

In The Woods In Afghanistan For Christmas – Double Bogey
December 8, 2009

Tiger Woods…

Apparently he played the wrong club several times.

The Globe reports today, second-hand, that his wife has had enough and moved out.

Tiger himself is reported to be in seclusion. Hiding because of the hiding he’s taking in the press.

One or two women, he might have played through, taking a penalty shot on a bogey fairway. But ten? So far? Unless Tiger’s got a bit of the sociopath in him, he’s got to go a long way to repair his career and his reputation.

Too bad. All the money and the adulation got to him. He let it happen. And he played the squeaky clean athlete all the while. Kind of like the baseball liars pushing their faux heroism while jamming drugs into themselves. It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.

He should have stayed single. He could have banged all the dames he wanted, and been admired for it by millions of fawning males. But with a wife and kids? That puts him down in the moral pits with United States Senators of the Republican and Conservative persuasion (and yes, the occasional Democrat, but at least the Democrats don’t lecture us on morality and virtue while they’re banging their mistresses).

Afghanistan…

The big argument today is whether to call the increased troop commitment a surge or an escalation.

Doesn’t matter what you call it. It’s just bullshit to cover Washington’s political asses and get more people killed and put more money into the pockets of profiteering contractors and corporations.

According to a recent CNN poll 64 percent of Americans agree ‘that Afghanistan is a linchpin for the nation’s security’ and that the ‘safety and security’ of the United States are at stake.

The Lion doubts that five percent of the population could provide an intelligent and informed account of the situation there.

And maybe one percent have asked the question of what would happen if Afghanistan were transformed into a somewhat stable nation next Tuesday. Would the U.S. be safer and more secure?

Hardly. Eight years after the casus belli we’re not fighting anyone responsible for attacking New York and Washington then. To say that Afghanistan attacked us is fatuous in the extreme; we might as well say Boston and New York attacked us – that’s where the weapons came from, that’s where the operatives operated from. That their parent organization had camps in Afghanistan is irrelevant.

Instead the American government keeps cooking up new reasons to fight a scruffy bunch of religious nationalists who won’t ever quit and whose numbers grow as the presence of foreign forces acts as an efficient and effective recruitment tool.  Recruitment is furthered by the Afghan government, which is broadly and profoundly corrupt, from the very top to the very bottom.

It could be said that the Americans are killing for religion and dying for corruption.

It’s the Big Fool and the Big Muddy all over again.

Oh, and that successful surge in Iraq? Five bombs in Baghdad killed over a hundred people yesterday and injured two hundred, and those are just the latest in a long line of post-surge violent acts. Elections are being put off. The same factions are at each other’s throats. And one hundred twenty thousand American troops are still there, still mired in the sandpit of an illegal, immoral, unjust, plain flat out wrong war.

Happy Holidays.

[Christmas present… lookee here…]

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Iraqistan All Over Again. When Will They Ever Learn…
September 11, 2009

There’s a long story on page two of the Globe today about Congress demanding to see a plan for victory in Afghanistan or they’ll vote against any further troop escalations.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman John Murtha say there’s limited support for sending more troops, and not enough money to do it anyway.

Experience should tell them that to gain anything that might pass for victory would require, as in Iraq, several hundred thousand troops, in theatre, for a long, long time.

But in point of fact it’s not going to matter what Congress does or doesn’t do. They refuse to deal with reality. Everybody seems to have gone so far off track that they’ve forgotten what the track was.

Consider this from today’s Globe, the final paragraph in the story:

But Ike Skelton, a Missouri Democrat who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, urged his colleagues to “give our forces the time and resources they need to show progress in the fight against the enemies responsible for the attacks of 9/11.’’

We can’t tell who he’s talking about, and it’s obvious that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Consider:

The people who carried out the attack are dead.

Most of the people who planned the attack are, according to the government, dead or in custody.

The two top men in al Qaeda are still at large, but we can’t find them, primarily because we’re spending our resources and money on big military forces stomping around Southwest Asia.

The Taliban government of Afghanistan at the time did not participate in the attacks, and were not fond of al Qaeda.

The current Taliban movement did not take part in the attack, and should more correctly be considered a nationalist religious movement which is not a threat to the United States.

We have no more reason to fight the Taliban than we have to fight any other nationalist or religious movement in any other country around the world.

Just as Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, Afghanistan has nothing to do with 9/11. Neither war is about 9/11, not now.

And yet here we are, throwing away twelve billion dollars a month on these wars, wasting the lives and talents of thousands of our military personnel, and behaving pretty much like barbarians while our own country suffers massive problems at home.

And Congress, that bastion of reasoned and civil debate, that tower of intellect and intelligence, can’t figure out what in hell is going on but wants to base its decisions on fallacies and lies and myths.

When will they ever learn?

They won’t.

The Dying Marine: America Revels In Its Disconnection From Reality
September 7, 2009

The Associated Press published a picture its embedded photographer took of a mortally injured Marine in Afghanistan, and America’s inner idiot exploded.

Professional opiners opined that it was disgraceful to publish such a picture: it disgraced the military, it dishonored the dying soldier, it was an evil plot by the socialists, it’s time to shoot Obama. And so on.

To quote Barney Frank, what planet have these people been living on?

What do they think this kid was doing over there? He was a goddammed Marine. His job was to rip people open with bullets, grenades, knives, his bare hands if need be. And the American soldiers have been very good at doing just that. Men, women, children, bloodied, smashed, shattered, turned to bloody paste and shattered bone by Americans wielding American weapons.

And American soldiers have been ripped in turn by Afghans and Iraqis and other fighters joining in what to them is the good fight to defend their beliefs and their lands.

Do Americans think that people die in war zones like they died in John Wayne movies, in war and crime movies of the Forties and Fifties? Fall down, don’t bleed, lay still. Maybe a dramatic, breathless little speech about something noble?

Do Americans think it’s okay to watch the violence on television and in Hollywood movies, where the deaths most nearly approximate reality, and then protest when the real thing shows up on their doorstep in the form of a photograph in the news? Do they think the people who created the stunningly realistic opening scenes from Saving Private Ryan were kidding?

Americans are responsible for the bloodbaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. Americans are responsible for their out-of-control leaders who invaded these countries, one an invasion based on stupidity, the other an invasion based on lies. Americans are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths over there, for the torture and murder of prisoners and detainees, for the destruction of two nations.

But the only hue and cry they raise is about an honest and not particularly brutal photograph of a dying American soldier whose job it was to implement the brutality of American policy.

What in hell do these people think war is about? Are they stuck on John Wayne’s vision of war? He was a piece-of-crap actor who hid out in Hollywood making what amounted to propaganda movies for the government, getting rich and fat off the deaths of American soldiers.

The Marine in that photograph got blown up for a reason and there was nothing noble or pretty or uplifting about it. His death was as ugly as George Bush’s shriveled soul. He died for an illusion, for a delusion, for a pound of lies.

What is truly disgusting, truly dishonoring, truly nauseating, is for the airheads on television news to treat this controversy with empty-headed politeness and ignore the truth of the photograph, to ignore the reality of the wars.

The so-called news programs should be required, and should have been required for the past eight years, to show five minutes of photographs during every newscast of American soldiers and Iraqi and Afghani civilians torn up by weapons from both sides. No commentary from the dumb-as-rocks on-air ‘personalities’. Just photographs and silence. Five minutes an hour. No commercials on either side of that slot. Five minutes of the real war, or as close to real as tens of millions of pathetic, childish Americans can get. They should get a good look at what twelve billion dollars a month can buy. They should get a good look at what morally corrupt, power-hungry American politicians can do to children. They should have their faces shoved in the gore and death that they support and condone.

As for those who say the family’s privacy should be respected, fine, respect the family’s privacy. But that Marine signed up for the war. He belongs to the people of the United States. His death belongs to the people of the United States, and those people should get a good look at what they own.

His name was Joshua M. Bernard. He was a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps, and he deserves better than to be fought over like a piece of meat tossed into a pit of politicians, pundits, and media personalities. But what happened to him should not be hidden from the people who are responsible, from ordinary Americans, and from the politicians, pundits, and media personalities who put him in harm’s way.

Here’s What’s Worth American Lives In Afghanistan
August 14, 2009

Well, ladies of America, here’s what your husbands, sons, fathers, and boyfriends are suffering and dying for in Afghanistan. And lest it be forgotten, it’s what some of you are dying for over there too.

Afghanistan has quietly passed a law permitting Shia men to deny their wives food and sustenance if they refuse to obey their husbands’ sexual demands, despite international outrage over an earlier version of the legislation which President Hamid Karzai had promised to review.

The new final draft of the legislation also grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers, and requires women to get permission from their husbands to work.

“It also effectively allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying ‘blood money’ to a girl who was injured when he raped her,” the US charity Human Rights Watch said.

Try to remember that the next time you’re out there cheering for the dumbass war the United States is carrying on over there.

And while you’re at it, take another look at Iraq, another phony democracy where freedom of the press is trampled at the whim of their latest tinhorn dictator, Nouri al Maliki.

Do some digging, do some research before you let out a cheer and raise your arm in salute. Remember it when you visit the graves in Arlington or down the road.

The wars have been nothing but a dog-and-pony show to satisfy the adolescent egos of politicians in Washington, and across the country, and the teenaged gamer mentality of the military establishment, as well as the financial greed that drives the defense industry to bloodlust – as long as it’s your kin and friends doing the bleeding.

And if you think it’s coming to an end, you aren’t listening to the big boys in Washington who want to keep playing with their toys while they toy with your lives.

There is no patriotism to be found in supporting these wars. The wars, the adolescent minds behind them, and the military and defense corporations are bleeding you, your family, and the country dry for no good reason. To think otherwise is not to think, but is simply to engage in mindless agreement with propaganda, lies, and wishful thinking.

Welcome to idiot America.

Iraq Dictator Cements America’s Reputation As The World’s Fool
July 12, 2009

If there were ever any doubt that the United States was on a fool’s mission in Iraq, the ascension of current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to dictator should settle the issue. From a Washington Post story by Anthony Shadid in today’s Globe:

To allies, he is what Iraq needs, a proponent of law in a state still without order.

“Is al-Maliki a strongman, personally and through the constitution? Or is he a dictator?’’ asked Sami al-Askari, an aide to the prime minister. The former, he answered.

It’s instructive to note the Globe’s choice of headline for this story: it reads ‘Maliki’s tenacity, brash style of leadership alarm Iraqi opposition’.

Makes him out to be a nice guy, doesn’t it, doing a tough job in a tough situation, hey?

In Diyala province he sent eight Army humvees (paid for by whom?) to arrest a legally elected council member who ‘had run afoul of Nouri al-Maliki.’ He’s been in custody since May 18.

From Diyala, where men under Maliki’s command have arrested and threatened to detain a host of his rivals, to Basra, where security forces have swept up scores of his opponents since January, the message is: cooperate or risk his wrath.

The backstory is familiar:

Since then [2006], he has concentrated power in the hands of what critics call “the impenetrable circle’’ and taken command of military units that delivered him and his Dawa party what they had lacked since 2003: men with guns.

And there’s this:

Another group, known as Sahwa or Awakening, filled by former Sunni fighters and long backed by the US military, is hopelessly divided. Maliki has cracked down on some of its leaders, especially in Baghdad.

An Iraqi official said Maliki had ordered the arrests of at least six of the party’s candidates a week before the January elections. The official said he was stopped only after General Ray Odierno, the commander of US forces in Iraq, personally intervened.

Of course everyone remembers the Awakening, right? Those are the guys the United States paid to fight so-called al-Qaeda in Iraq. The Awakening was the primary reason the phony surge had any success at all.

Al-Maliki is threatening and arresting, and most likely killing, the people who disagree with him politically, who pose any sort of threat to his continuance in power.

That’s what American soldiers died for. That’s what American soldiers got crippled for. That’s what American taxpayers shelled out hundreds of billions of dollars for. That’s why every time an American politician or Pentagon bullshit artist talks about democracy in Iraq, every single time, he’s lying.

Not that the entire war wasn’t a lie and a fraud committed by the United States government. It was, and it continues to be a lie and a fraud. But every excuse, every reason the United States offers to justify its criminal aggression in that country, every change in that ever-changing flow of sewage from the mouths of American politicians and generals, has proven false. And now Iraq is pretty much right back where it was before the arrogant fools in Washington decided to start killing hundreds of thousands of people. In the hands of a piece-of-crap dictator.

And the spice in the stew of sewage? Afghanistan, ruled by a corrupt government and corrupt warlords. More of the same mindless justifications, more of the same waste of lives and money.

The Americans can’t handle the problems they have at home, but they’re going all out to prop up a corrupt, intractable government in Afghanistan (and Iraq) for no good reason. Oh, they try to make the current reason sound rational – to deny the terrorists a base from which to plot attacks on the United States.

Nonsense.

If they need a base they can choose from probably a dozen countries. The s0-called terrorists, whoever they are this week, are perfectly happy to see the Americans waste their armies and their money in the plains and mountains of that ancient country. They are thrilled beyond measure to see the United States economy and infrastructure crumble at home in good part because the Americans are wasting their resources fighting bogeymen of their own creation. And they will dance in glee if the Americans decide to follow them from broken country to broken country in a foolish attempt to deny terrorists a base. And one thing is sure: more countries will be broken because of the global economic meltdown caused by the greed and arrogance of the Americans.

There is no honor, no victory to be had in Afghanistan. Only more bloody stupidity and fool’s errands lie in those hills. But the fools creating the fools’ errands don’t want to hear, don’t know how to listen, cannot see what lies in the harsh daylight in front of them.

And the fools who will do the useless fighting and dying at the bidding of the fools in Washington, the ones who haven’t been sucked into the military machine yet, those fools are mourning the death of a drug-ridden, pathetic rock star. That’s the center of their world. That’s the center of America. Blind fools hurling stupid fools into the maelstrom created by a society that has checked its brains at the door of the asylum.

You go, America!