• Iraq: Worth Dying For

    December 12, 2012 // 11 Comments »

    Hey, anybody remember we had a war in Iraq that turned out kinda poorly? I know everyone is all caught up in Christmas shopping and planning intervention in Syria, but once in awhile it’s also cool to look back. In this case, about a month ago.

    Thumbnail history: U.S. invaded Iraq in March 2003 to free it from the evil dictator. Iraq was to be a democratic ally of the U.S. in the fight against terrorism. Fast forward to November 2012, and Iraq has freed Musa Ali Daqduq, the senior Hezbollah commander who was tasked by Iran’s Qods Force in Iraq to mold Shia terror groups into a Hezbollah-like entity. Daqduq was directly involved in the murder of five American soldiers in 2007. The U.S. government moved Daqduq to Iraqi custody in December 2011.

    Daqduq was freed by Iraqi authorities and transferred to Lebanon where there is no chance whatsoever that he will rejoin Qods or have anything to do with Hezbollah.

    The release is seen as a barometer of U.S. versus Iranian influence in Iraq. In June, the U.S. requested that Iraq extradite Daqduq so he could be tried in an American federal court. In August, an Iraqi court blocked his extradition to the U.S. Iraqi officials had previously assured the U.S. they would prosecute Daqduq. Instead, under pressure from Iran, Daqdug was sprung.

    So, in summation: U.S. invasion fails to achieve our national goals at the cost of some 4900 American lives, ally Iraq releases a known killer under Iranian pressure and the U.S. is left with the grisly option of droning his ass to death because that’s all we really can do anymore, lash out like some giant of a kid frustrated at his own failings.

    It’s a Christmas story!

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    Posted in Democracy, Iran, Iraq

    Iran Guilty of 9/11; State Department Guilty of Blocking Victims’ Compensation

    August 6, 2012 // 2 Comments »

    Bet you didn’t know that it was Iran that attacked the US on 9/11? It’s true.

    Manhattan Federal Magistrate Judge Frank Maas in late July ruled in favor of the 110 survivors and 47 victims’ estates that are parties to the lawsuit. The ruling orders not just the Taliban and al Qaeda, but also the current Iranian regime, to pay $6 billion to the victims of the 9/11 attacks. In December, Federal Judge George Daniels concluded that the heinous acts of Sept. 11, 2001 were also aided by Grand Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei and, why not throw them in, Hezbollah.

    Readers are forgiven any confusion. Many may remember that George W. Bush tried very, very hard to convince people that it was actually Saddam of Iraq that committed 9/11. Clever citizens noted that most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. Yet despite all this, apparently it was Iran all along. Sneaks! And this information is finally coming to light only coincidentally now that the US is preparing for some sort of October surprise Persian Gulf War-a-Polooza.

    The so-called evidence of Iranian 9/11-ism is that Federal Judge George Daniels found that Iran, its Grand Ayatollah Khamenei and Hezbollah aided the attacks. According to the unimpeachable New York Daily News, Iran concealed hijackers’ travel through the country and “could have prevented them from entering the U.S.,” while an Iranian government memo not actually cited suggested Khamenei knew of the plot in May 2001. Investigators also believe that Iran helped Al Qaeda members escape Afghanistan after 9/11.

    Collecting One’s Winnings

    Now about that $6 billion al Qaeda, the Taliban and Iran now owe the 9/11 victims’ families. There is actually a long history of victims seeking cash compensation from despots. Families of victims of Iraqi, Iranian, and Libyan terrorism spent much of the ’80s and ’90s in pursuit of justice, until Congress finally opened the courtroom door by waiving sovereign immunity for countries that sponsor terrorism (list courtesy of the State Department). The victims’ families–because of Congress’ help–started winning default judgments against the likes of Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein back in 1997. But when they went to collect on their judgments–by tapping the frozen US assets of dictators– the State Department turned around and fought the families.

    Since sponsors of terrorism tend not to respect the findings of American courts, their frozen national assets held by the U.S. government are only chance the families have to collect on the court judgments. The “compromise” position offered by State is that the families be compensated by the U.S. government, not by the regimes responsible for the terrorist attacks. Why is State so desperate to hoard the frozen assets all for itself? In a letter to the Senate, then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage (the same guy who leaked the identity of CIA NOC officer Valerie Plame and was never punished for it) wrote, “There is no better example [of protecting national security] than the critical role blocked assets played in obtaining the release of the U.S. hostages in Tehran in 1981.” In other words, bribe money.

    The State Department also is always atwitter of the possible affect of actually helping Americans get compensation on bilateral relations. While demanding 9/11 blood money sound good when the sap is current bad guy Iran, the 9/11 families should not expect to get any money out of a Foggy Bottom ATM.

    State Department Also Blocked Victims’ Compensation to Aid Iraq Reconstruction

    State has a long, sordid history of protecting bad guys over American victims. By mid-2002, 180 persons who had been used as “human shields” by Saddam during the first Gulf War had obtained judgments totaling $94 million. On the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom, George W. authorized their payment from blocked Iraqi accounts. But the administration then transferred all remaining Iraqi funds to the Coalition Authority in Iraq instead. The Bush administration promised to “make sure that people who secure judgments find some satisfaction,” and Secretary of State Colin Powell assured Congress that his State Department would lead that effort. But for four years, the Department did nothing. Powell left office under the shame of yet another lie.

    In December 2007 Congress stepped up, passing a defense bill which contained a provision that would have enabled American victims of Saddam to obtain compensation from Iraqi money still in U.S. banks. Bush vetoed that mammoth defense bill just before the New Year and demanded that Congress re-enact it without the offending compensation language, all based on advice from the State Department that granting the compensation would hold back the reconstruction effort by draining Iraqi money.

    Bush Administration Blocked American POW’s Saddam Compensation

    Not the State Department this time, but in 2005 the Bush administration fought former U.S. prisoners of war in court, trying to prevent them from collecting nearly $1 billion from Iraq that a federal judge awarded them as compensation for their torture at the hands of Saddam Hussein’s regime. The case — Acree v. Iraq and the United States, named after then-Marine Lt. Col. Clifford Acree, happily pitted the U.S. government against its own war heroes.

    “No amount of money can truly compensate these brave men and women for the suffering that they went through at the hands of this very brutal regime and at the hands of Saddam Hussein,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters when he was asked about the case in November 2003. Government lawyers insisted, literally, on “no amount of money” going to the Gulf War POWs. “These resources are required for the urgent national-security needs of rebuilding Iraq,” McClellan said.

    And thanks for your service, suckers!

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    Posted in Democracy, Iran, Iraq

    Future of Iraq: Troops Face Dangers in South

    May 23, 2011 // Comments Off on Future of Iraq: Troops Face Dangers in South

    Care for a preview of 2012 in Iraq?

    Magic 8 Ball predicts… Iraq agrees to allow US forces to remain in-country under some sort of flimsy cover, I don’t know, protecting something something freedom, with a semi-secret side agreement that the US will be free to hunt terrorists while staying out of “internal politics,” meaning we won’t intervene when Shias gun down Sunnis to keep the Sadrists semi-happy. US troops in central Iraq will be reasonably safe, as long as they avoid the wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time syndrome. That said, the working out of the details of this arrangement will hurt; two Americans were killed just yesterday in Baghdad, victims of a car bomb attack on their convoy.

    Northern Iraq? OK, Joe! The Kurds will mostly ignore the soldiers as long as they plop themselves down between the Kurds and the Arabs and keep the two from a cat fight over oil revenues. Not much different than what we’re doing up there today. Likely going to be the easy duty in Iraq. Again, the ground settling will be a bumpy process– last week’s bombings killed dozens right in Kirkuk.

    Which leaves… the south. A Shia area neatly cleansed of Sunnis, Iranian influence remains as important as Baghdad’s. Have a look at a recent Army Times article for a preview of what dangerous duty in Iraq will look like.

    The buffet selection down south include mortars, IEDs, EFPs and more. The groups serving up such delicacies include Kataib Hezbollah, which has links to the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group; League of the Righteous, also known by its Arabic name, Asaib Ahl al-Haq; and the Promised Day Brigade, affiliated with anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. All are believed to get financing and support from Iran.

    Army Times quotes Michael Knights, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, as saying “Though effective attacks are still rare, the deaths of five US troops in one month is a warning that more determined Iranian-backed attacks could continue if the United States pushes its present initiative to keep a residual force in Iraq.”

    The US-Iran proxy war will continue. Soldiers in Iraq in 2012 and beyond will continue to take casualties long into the future down south. It will be a very poor legacy of eight years of war without a point.

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    Posted in Democracy, Iran, Iraq

    US v Iran, Revisted

    April 25, 2011 // Comments Off on US v Iran, Revisted

    iran-us handshake Another round in the Proxy War, as valiant US underdog and lickspittal Bahrain claims that Iranian-friended Hezbollah is actively plotting to overthrow the country’s ruling family. CNN reports that “Evidence confirms that Bahraini elements are being trained in Hezbollah camps specifically established to train assets from the Gulf.”

    Bahrain will no doubt respond by democratically killing more demonstrators, for their freedom, which is definitely not about oil or US naval bases, no sir.

    See below for more on the US-Iran Proxy War

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    Posted in Democracy, Iran, Iraq