• A Child’s Glossary for the War of Terror

    May 30, 2012 // 6 Comments »

    Learning is fun! and knowing how to understand grownup language in the War of Terror is a duty for all children, just as it is important to brush your teeth each evening and report suspicious activity by your parents. Your Government wants you to do these things so it can protect you from scary terrorists.

    Bad men (many are gay– ask dad to explain) and women (most have had abortions) in the “media” will try and hurt your mind with words. You have to be strong to fight back against this “word terrorism.” We’ll help!

    People killed by US Drones = Militants or Terrorists (suspected terrorist is OK if liberal media, for now)

    People killed by Terrorists = Innocent Victims

    Innocent Victims Killed by US Drones = Accidents, Suspected Terrorist or Collateral Damage

    Innocent Victims Killed by Terrorists = Innocent Victims

    Bad Terrorists = Enemies, Mad Dogs

    Good Terrorists = Freedom Fighters (need help determining who is who? The State Department keeps a list of terrorist organizations. Check back frequently on the status of MEK.)

    Afghan Soldiers Who Kill American Soldiers = Terrorists wearing Afghan Army uniforms

    Iraqi Police Who Killed American Soldiers = Terrorists wearing Iraqi Police uniforms

    American Soldiers Who Sacrifice Themselves = Heroes

    Terrorists Who Sacrifice Themselves = Fanatics

    Powerful Belief in God = Righteous City on a Hill

    Powerful Belief in Allah = Fanatic

    People Who Touch Your Private Parts in the Airport = TSA Patriots

    People Who Touch Your Private Parts at School = Pedophiles

    Empowering Women in America = Socialism

    Empowering Women in Afghanistan = Foreign Policy

    Killing People in Yemen = Defending America

    Killing People in US = Terrorism

    Massacre in Afghanistan = Random act of deranged individual soldier

    Massacre in Syria = Proof of whatever it is we think is wrong in Syria

    Weapons for One Side = Dangerous Escalation

    Weapons for the Other Side = Freedom

    Illegal Prisons, Wiretapping, Torture = Bush

    Illegal Prisons, Wiretapping, Torture = Obama

    And a few bonus items kids:

    Reasons Ambassadors and General Quit Early = Spend more time with family, health, give back to society

    “Militant” = all military-age males we kill

    America’s Most Important Foreign Policy Objective = Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, aw, just remember “We Have Always Been at War with Eastasia.”

    If you’re caught unaware of the right answer to a hard, hard question, just remember “If we do it, it is right and if they do it, it is wrong.” You’ll be right every time, just like America!

    BONUS: For those who think this is satire, much of Obama’s “success limiting civilian deaths in drone strikes is, in part, due to a disputed method for counting civilian casualties embraced by Obama. According to the New York Times, the White House considers ‘all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants … unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.'” Hah, because dead men tell no tales.

    We’ve come full circle now in America. The Obama policy is nearly identical to tying a suspected witch to a stone and throwing her in the river. If she drowned, then the old Salem inquisitors had their “posthumous proof” that she wasn’t a witch.




    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

    Posted in Afghanistan, Democracy, Iran, Iraq, Military

    MEK Location Called “Concentration Camp”

    March 5, 2012 // 1 Comment »

    Once again, the MEK people adrift in Iraq re-surface in the news. You’ll recall that resettling the MEK into the former Camp Liberty became a State Department task, and the World’s Largest Embassy was assigned to commit “robust observation” of the facility to ensure proper treatment. State apparently did not robustly observe anything, as the Camp Liberty site is a dump, without water or sewage.

    “This is not a relocation camp. I have seen relocation camps. I know what relocation camps look like. And I know what jails look like. This isn’t a jail. This is a concentration camp. That’s what it is. This is a concentration camp. Let’s call it what it is,” Rudi Giuliani said after his own personal robust visit.

    Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz agreed with Giuliani’s take on the conditions at Camp Liberty. “This is a scandal. This is a fraud; a fraud not involving money, but a fraud involving threats to human life. What we need immediately is a commission of inquiry to determine how this fraud was perpetrated,” Dershowitz said. “Who certified, who approved that hell hole, that garbage dump?”

    Hah hah, State did.

    State Department stenographer Josh Rogin, over at Foreign Policy’s The Cable blog, chimed in with a snarky “Neither man (Giuliani and Dershowitz) ever called Camp Liberty a ‘concentration camp’ or a ‘garbage dump’ when it housed hundreds of U.S. soldiers for years during the Iraq war.”

    You’re a funny guy Josh. Ignorant, but funny. During the war, Camp Liberty was a paradise, home to Iraq’s largest PX and all the amenities. As the Occupation ended, the Camp was abandoned by the US, and the Iraqis promptly and efficiently looted it into its present state.

    The MEK-Camp Liberty dilemma is yet another example of US desires hitting reality head on in Iraq. After hoping the MEK issue would just go away for the nine years of Occupation, the State Department threw together an expedient policy, appointed an Ambassador to give it all gravitas and then made false promises of oversight. When the problem actually persisted, all State can do is enlist its loyal media trolls to make fun of any critics.

    Maybe the State Department can just issue the MEK medical visas for the US? That’s the best strategy they could come up with for Yemen’s fave dictator Saleh.



    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

    Posted in Afghanistan, Democracy, Iran, Iraq, Military

    State Department Fibs About Camp Liberty and MEK

    February 24, 2012 // 1 Comment »

    The problem of the MEK people in Iraq has a long and complex history. You can read a bit about it here if you are unfamiliar with the mess the US has gotten themselves into vis-vis the MEK in Iraq.

    Short version is that the US and the UN brokered a deal to move the MEK people from their unsafe and politically volatile Camp Ashraf location to the old US Camp Liberty, where the UN would supposedly process them as refugees. As part of the deal, the US would monitor conditions at Camp Liberty to ensure the MEK were treated well.

    In fact, back in December, Ambassador Daniel Fried, Special Advisor for Camp Ashraf for the State Department, made this exact promise:

    Embassy Baghdad will visit former Camp Liberty on a frequent basis to provide robust observation. The US seeks a safe, secure, humane resolution. Our interest is humanitarian.

    It seemed reasonable for diplomats to make the 45 minutes trip out to Camp Liberty once in awhile, in that the World’s Largest Embassy (c) comes with the World’s Largest price tag, some $3.8 billion (about $2.5 billion of that is for security) a year in operating costs, about a fourth of all State’s yearly costs. The idea of US diplomats visiting MEK completes the circle: the US Dips will be surrounded by massive security to protect them from the Iraqis the US liberated while at the same time using their own presence to protect the MEKs from the liberated Iraqis. It all added up to freedom somehow.

    It seems however that the State Department fibbed about those visits. Here instead are the conditions out there at Camp Liberty as described by Allan Gerson, former Counsel to the US Delegation to the United Nations:

    Camp Liberty has no serviceable water supply let alone drinking water.

    The trailers in which new arrivals are to be housed are worn-out and extremely dirty to the point of being un-inhabitable. There are only 80 trailers and most of them lack electrical wiring and thus there is no light and no heating.

    The sewage system is not functioning and thus the lack of hygienic facilities is likely to cause serious health problems, with raw sewage in open areas of the residential quarters.

    The police headquarters is situated northwest of the camp, next to section where the residents are located. In addition there are four other police stations and checkpoints with one situated on the pathway to the dining facility so that every resident going to the dining facility must pass the police checkpoint. More ominously, the police commander in charge of the camp appears to be the same commander responsible for incursions into Camp Ashraf which on two occasions left a total of more than 40 unarmed civilians dead and hundreds wounded.


    Apparently 16,000 State Department staffers at the cost of $3.8 billion at the World’s Largest Embassy in Baghdad does not buy too many “robust” inspections, as was promised to assure the safety of the MEK. That money also does not buy much credibility.



    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

    Posted in Afghanistan, Democracy, Iran, Iraq, Military

    Robust Briefing on Camp Ashraf and the Robust MEK

    December 31, 2011 // Comments Off on Robust Briefing on Camp Ashraf and the Robust MEK

    Holding what might be the worst job at the State Department other than whatever is in store for me in 2012, Ambassador Daniel Fried is the Special Advisor for Camp Ashraf. He is tasked with overseeing a nice ending to a problem the US (and Iraq) have conveniently put off for almost nine years during the Occupation.

    The MEK people are still living in Iraq, at a place called Camp Ashraf, and Iraq would generally prefer that they all die, or disappear or die and disappear. The US has run the gamut of emotions and policy positions on MEK (it’s complicated), but prefer that they just disappear without the being massacred by Iraqis part. That would upset the whole illusion of democracy thing for sure.

    The UN has come up with a solution that might work. The MEK people will move from distant, tainted and often rocketed Camp Ashraf into the recently-abandoned Camp Liberty. Once the home of Iraq’s largest PX store during the Occupation, Liberty now has lots of openings for new residents. The nice thing is that Liberty is pretty close to the World’s Largest Embassy (c) and so the US can play a “monitoring” role, basically visiting once in a while to deter the Iraqis from just rolling in and killing everyone one night. The UN is later supposed to arrange something for the 3,200 MEK folks– refugee status, immigration, Publisher’s Clearing House prize, anything to get them out of Iraq before they all are ground into sausage meat by the democracy there.

    There will be “bumps” in the road. On the day the MEK agreement was signed, rockets hit Camp Ashraf. The attacks repeated on the following nights. A statement by people in Camp Ashraf said that as a first step, a group of 400 are ready “to move to Camp Liberty with their vehicles and moveable belongings on December 30.” The transfer, however, did not happen as the Iraqi government stepped in to require that people did not carry more than a travel bag to the new looted camp which now lacks basic infrastructure and drinking water.

    Ambassador Fried (his real name) held a briefing at the State Department that was quite informative, with a transcript now online. Among the many complications, he reveals that there are at least two (Iranian-) Americans among the Camp Ashraf residents. The briefing sidesteps the messy question of MEK’s status on the US terrorist list and keeps the focus on the humanitarian side, which is probably the best way out.

    Sorry but minus three points for the Ambassador for using the word “robust” three times, twice in the same paragraph, to describe the planned State Department monitoring of the MEK people at Liberty. Can you find another adjective in the New Year, please?

    Here are some suggestions:

    healthy, strong, able-bodied, athletic, boisterous, booming, brawny, built, concentrated, fit, full-bodied, hale, hardy, hearty, hefty, husky, live, lusty, muscular, peppy, potent, powerful, powerhouse, prospering, prosperous, roaring, rugged, sinewy, snappy, sound, stout, strapping, sturdy, thriving, tiger, tough, vigorous, vital, well, zappy, zippy

    (P.S. Go with “zippy” or “brawny.”)



    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

    Posted in Afghanistan, Democracy, Iran, Iraq, Military

    Biden to Iraq, MEK to Burger King

    December 27, 2011 // Comments Off on Biden to Iraq, MEK to Burger King

    Iraqiya bloc MP Mudhir al-Janabi told Aswat al-Iraq that Joe Biden will soon visit Iraq to try and bring the warring political parties to the table. It will be a tough sell, as Maliki has pretty much blown Biden off in recent days.

    Biden is the latest in a parade of “best hits of the Iraq War” celebs to go to Iraq, following Odierno and Petraeus. It is also rumored that the World’s Largest Embassy (c) still exists and thus must be playing some role in all this negotiating.

    Thanks to the UN (also not the State Department), residents of the anti-Tehran Mujahedin E-Khalq (MEK) Organization Asrah Camp in northeast Iraq shall move to what used to be Camp Liberty in Baghdad, in response to a Memo of Understanding, signed between Iraq and the United Nations. Once there, the UN will begin processing the MEKs for resettlement outside Iraq. Liberty was known during the American Occupation has having the largest PX in Iraq, a Burger King, Pizza Hut and a KFC, plus a large “mall” with over seventy Iraqi national vendors. Perhaps the MEK people will inherit the franchise rights to tide them over while waiting to be processed out as refugees?

    Oh wait, here’s something State can do: “US Embassy officials in Baghdad shall carry out organized and repeated visits to the new MEK location, whilst we support the Iraqi government’s readiness to postpone the final closure of Ashraf Camp, in order to give enough time to implement this plan,” SecState Clinton said. At least she did not say “robust.” Seems reasonable in that the World’s Largest Embassy (c) comes with the World’s Largest price tag, some $3.8 billion (about $2.5 billion of that is for security) a year in operating costs, about a fourth of all State’s yearly costs.

    The idea of US diplomats visiting MEK completes the circle: the US Dips will be surrounded by massive security to protect them from the Iraqis the US liberated while at the same time using their own presence to protect the MEKs from the liberated Iraqis. It all adds up to freedom somehow.

    And as usual, Musings on Iraq has the final word on political events in Mesopotamia:

    Whether the confessions were true or not, they point to Iraq’s dysfunctional government. Since Hashemi and the Iraqi Islamic Party have been implicated in using violence in the past, the arrest warrant could be based upon fact. That would just be the latest indictment against the country’s major parties almost all of which have relied upon militias at one time or another. At the same time, the prime minister could be manipulating the security forces and justice system to carry out his latest vendetta against his rivals. He has done similar things before, using the state apparatus to further his own political agenda. The truth of this story is likely never to be revealed, but it shows why Baghdad doesn’t work.




    Related Articles:




    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

    Posted in Afghanistan, Democracy, Iran, Iraq, Military