Monday, September 29, 2014

Welcome Back to Sunny Iraq

President Obama finally got his wish: he dragged the US back into war in Iraq. Of course that isn’t what the president who promised “if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it” says. The Associated Press quotes the president, “‘As commander in chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq,’ Obama said.”
But that’s exactly what he did. Every news report goes out of its way to pretend Obama is reluctant to go back to war in Iraq. This is another Big Lie that’s become the common narrative. CNN provides an example, “President Barack Obama's decision to authorize airstrikes escalated American military involvement in Iraq, a country he tried to get out of more than two years ago.”
But Obama didn’t try to get us out of Iraq. In 2011, while he crowed about getting us out of Iraq, he was quietly negotiating to extend the war. Stars and Stripes reported, “Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Friday that Iraq has agreed to negotiate an extension of noncombat U.S. forces there beyond 2011.” While the press characterized the forces the US wanted to leave behind as non-combat trainers, Stars and Stripes highlighted Panetta’s frustration was over not leaving combat troops, “‘We will fulfill the commitment that we are going to take all of the combat forces out of Iraq.’” Iraqis forced US combat troops out of Iraq on the deadline negotiated by Bush the Younger against Obama’s wishes.
The AP story explains Obama has to lie because Americans don’t want this war. “Mindful of the public's aversion to another lengthy war, Obama acknowledged that the prospect of a new round of U.S. military action would be a cause for concern among many Americans,” it continued.
Obama’s lies about his aspirations for extending the war in Iraq don’t stop there. In January, The The Chicago Tribune reported, “Pointedly, Secretary of State John Kerry, currently occupied in the Middle East fanning the embers of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, says there will be no American ‘boots on the ground’ in Iraq. ‘This is a fight that belongs to the Iraqis,’ he said Sunday. ‘We are not contemplating returning. We will help them in the fight, but this fight, in the end, they will have to win, and I am confident they can.’” The help Kerry alluded to was weapons and equipment including drones, but not fighter jets.
But now Obama has sent both fighter jets and boots on the ground. Besides the well publicized air strikes, documented, “It hasn’t been so long since President Obama announced his intention to send ‘up to 300’ US troops to Iraq as ‘advisers,’ and the Pentagon now says there are 500 on the ground, with more coming. Only about 180 of the 500 are actually the ‘advisers,’ with other troops part of anti-terrorism security team, and still others manning the new Joint Operations Center in Baghdad.” As we learned in Vietnam, ‘advisers’ is code for combat troops. Obama is marching the US back into war in Iraq one step at a time.
And what goes unmentioned in every mainstream media story is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants ravaging Iraq were funded, equipped and armed by the US when they were Syrian rebels. At first the CIA did this secretly, smuggling weapons from Libya through Turkey into Syria. That’s why the US ambassador was killed in Benghazi. Then Obama made arming them public. Now ISIS is using weapons given to them by the US in Syria to attack Iraqi and US forces in Iraq. Some say nothing is made in the USA any more, but this disastrous war was wholly made in Washington, D.C.
As bad as this sounds, it gets worse. The CIA and US special forces trained the Syrian rebels, some of whom joined ISIS in their invasion of Iraq. Last year The Daily Mail reported, “It is not known how many of the rebels have passed through the US base [in Jordan], but it is understood 20 to 45 at a time have been attending two-week courses since December – and are being trained with Russian-designed 14.5mm anti-tank rifles and 23mm anti-aircraft weapons.” Those are the weapons ISIS is now using against Americans.
Talk about blowback. Obama had US troops train and arm jihadists, and now he’s ordered US troops to fight them.
Worse yet, a leaked memo from private US intelligence company Stratfor claims that NATO special forces are secretly fighting alongside rebels in Syria. This creates the potential for US forces in Iraq to attack NATO forces fighting on the side of ISIS.
This insanity is a consequence of never-ending US wars. It’s a war profiteer’s dream. The US is arming and training both sides, so the war profiteers enjoy double the profit. It’s a formula for perpetual war and war profiteering. As with every government aggression, our rulers win and everybody else loses.

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