Working at home today, and MSNBC is all atwitter about this:
“In the area of security cooperation, the [U.S.]
president and the [Iraqi] prime minister agreed that improving
conditions should allow for the agreements now under negotiation to
include a general time horizon for meeting aspirational goals,” the
statement said. It said those goals include turning over more control
to Iraqi security forces and “the further reduction of U.S. combat
forces from Iraq.”
A “general time horizon for meeting aspirational goals.” Have you ever seen so many fucking qualifiers?
It is endlessly amusing that the Iraqis continue to believe the Dear
Leader and the Dark Lord will give them back their country. Or their
Another in our series of letters to the Iraq War architects and cheerleaders
to ask them whether they’ve sent some of the money they’ve made off the
war to help the families of the soldiers and innocent Iraqis they
helped to kill. Today, David Broder.
Dear Mr. Broder:
You’ve been a supporter of the Iraq War
since the beginning. As even you will admit, it now looks like the
whole thing was a waste of time - Saddam’s Iraq turned out to be a
third-rate military power with no WMD and no nuke program.
Unfortunately, the war has cost the
lives of thousands of our soldiers and resulted in the deaths of
hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. Sure Saddam was a brutal
dictator, but there would have been a lot less death and destruction
had we left him in power.
could have predicted that two sociopathic former oil executives, when
put in charge of the only superpower in the world, would invade a
sovereign oil-rich Middle Eastern nation for the benefit of oil companies:
BAGHDAD — Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power.
Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron
and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil
Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields,
according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American
BAGHDAD — Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al
Maliki raised the possibility that his country won’t sign a status of
forces agreement with the United States and will ask U.S. troops to go
home when their U.N. mandate to be in Iraq expires at the end of the
Maliki made the comment after weeks of
complaints from Shiite Muslim lawmakers that U.S. proposals that would
govern a continued troop presence in Iraq would infringe on Iraq’s
Silly Prime Minister! Careful what you say, or Uncle Dick will shoot you in the face.
The goal is to contact all the Iraq War architects and cheerleaders
to ask them to consider sending some of the money they’ve made off the
war to help the families of the soldiers and innocent Iraqis they
helped kill. For no particular reason, we start with Richard Cohen of
the Washington Post.
Dear Mr. Cohen:
You’ve been a supporter of the Iraq War since before it started. You even described our killing of innocent Iraqis as “therapeutic” as recently as November of 2006.
At this point we can all pretty much agree that the war was sold to
(most of) the nation by a pack of lies promulgated by the Bush
Administration. Sadly, you fell for it and helped start and sustain the
I’m guessing you’ve made some money (salary, speaking fees, perhaps
more) writing about and discussing the Iraq War. Have you donated any
of this money to the families of the soldiers and innocent Iraqis whose
lives you helped end?
Please let me know: email is email@example.com. Thanks.
Of course, I’ll let you know what happens. Please feel free to suggest others I should contact.
Five years, or 10 F.U.s, ago today, America’s leading foreign affairs public intellectual explained the Iraq war to us.
Once again I ask - when will the the Tom Friedmans, Doug Feiths,
Scott McClellands, and John Boltons of the world send some of the money
they’ve made writing about the Iraq War to the families of the soldiers
and Iraqis they helped kill?
Some explosive testimony this afternoon from a panel of whistleblowers testifying before a Senate committee on contractor abuse in Iraq.
A contractor died when a DynCorp manager used an employee’s armored car to transport prostitutes, according to Barry Halley, a Worldwide Network Services employee working under a DynCorp subcontract.
“DynCorp’s site manager was involved in bringing prostitutes into hotels operated by DynCorp. A co-worker unrelated to the ring was killed when he was travelling in an unsecure car and shot performing a high-risk mission. I believe that my co-worker could have survived if he had been riding in an armored car. At the time, the armored car that he would otherwise have been riding in was being used by the contractor’s manager to transport prostitutes from Kuwait to Baghdad.“
Five years and a month ago George W. Bush launched a war to get rid of Saddam and make the Iraqi people’s lives better. How’s that working out?
— Even as American and Iraqi troops are fighting to establish control
of the Sadr City section of this capital, the Iraqi government’s
program to restore basic services like electricity, sewage and trash
collection is lagging, jeopardizing the effort to win over the area’s
For weeks, there have been reports that
Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is preparing to move ahead with a
multimillion-dollar program to rebuild the southern swath of Sadr City,
which is currently occupied by Iraqi and American troops.
But almost a month after American and
Iraqi forces pushed into the area, there are no signs of
reconstruction. Instead, the streets are filled with mounds of trash
and bubbling pools of sewage. Many neighborhoods are still without
electricity, and many residents are too afraid to brave the cross-fire
to seek medical care. Iraqi public works officials, apparently fearful
of the fighting, rarely seem to show up at work, and the Iraqi
government insists the area is not safe enough for repairs to begin.
No one could have predicted ….
And now Condi’s gone and called Muqtada al Sadr a coward.
things tempt bloggers. Each day, we face dilemmas - you can Google
“Republican”, “hooker”, and “diaper” or “pastor”, “dildo”, and
“wetsuit” and come up with an easy post. Or, you can blog on what’s
rapidly becoming a forgotten war:
Iraqi soldiers found the mass grave in Mahmoudiya on
Thursday, and military authorities believe the bodies have been there
for more than a year.
Troops — who initially found 33 bodies — have been excavating the site since it was discovered.
Oh pish, you say, that’s so last year … isn’t The Surge™ working?
Shiite militias fought U.S. and Iraqi forces in Sadr
City, Baghdad, for a seventh day Saturday and a vehicle ban continued
to frustrate residents, driven indoors for a week by the battles.
Rocket or mortar fire also struck the Green Zone, the
heavily secured neighborhood that is the U.S. seat of power, but no
casualities were reported, the U.S. Embassy said.
You have made lots of money
spouting your pro-Iraq-War wankery. Have you given any cash to the
hundreds of thousands of Iraqi families whose relatives you helped kill
and whose lives you helped destroy?
I wonder what the answer would be? More wankery after the jump.
It appears that Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s ultimatum
to Shiite Muslim militiamen to surrender to the Iraqi government might
not be working precisely as he had intended.
When nobody had turned up by Friday, Maliki gave members of radical
Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia 10 more days to turn in
their weapons and renounce violence.
Instead, about 40 members of the Shiite-dominated Iraqi army
and National Police offered to surrender their AK-47s and other weapons
this morning to Sadr’s representatives in the cleric’s east Baghdad
stronghold of Sadr City.
BBC Radio said this morning that the heavy fighting in Baghdad and other cities in Iraq has people cowering in their homes with no food and sporadic water. Looks like the insurgents declined al-Maliki’s generous offer to relieve them of their weapons:
Heavy fighting has continued for a third day between Shia militias and the Iraqi security forces in southern Iraq.
There are reports of extensive exchanges of fire between the Iraqi army and militiamen in Basra and in the town of Hilla, just south of Baghdad.
More than 70 people have died and hundreds have been injured in days of violence sparked by an Iraqi crackdown on Shia militias in Basra.
More signs that freedom is on the march after the jump.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Clashes between Iraqi security forces and militia fighters spread across southern Iraq's Shiite heartland Wednesday, with the death toll rising past 100 after two days of fighting.
Fighting spread from the key oil city of Basra and parts of Baghdad to other predominantly Shiite cities.
Iraq's prime minister Wednesday gave Shiite militants battling security forces in Basra a 72-hour deadline to surrender their weapons as the fighting threatened to unravel a delicate cease-fire.
And after that he'll send them to their rooms with no supper? Please.
BASRA, Iraq - Iraqi security forces fought fierce
gunbattles with powerful Shiite militias in the southern oil hub of
Basra on Tuesday in a major operation aimed at bringing the southern
oil city under government control.
Gunmen also patrolled several Baghdad neighborhoods as followers of
Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered a nationwide civil disobedience
campaign to demand an end to the crackdown on their Mahdi Army movement.
BAGHDAD - Rockets and
mortars pounded Baghdad’s U.S.-protected Green Zone yesterday and a
suicide car bomber struck an Iraqi army post in the northern city of
Mosul amid attacks that killed at least 57 people nationwide.
George W. Bush says the Iraq war is going just dandy. The Dark Lord says The SurgeTM is working just fine thank you, and he doesn't give a flying fuck if a majority of Americans think otherwise. Given this, you probably don't need proof that the exact opposite it true, but here it is anyway:
In an investigation carried out by GuardianFilms for Channel 4, we uncover how thousands of Iraqis employed at $10 a day by the US to take on al-Qaida are threatening to go on strike because they say they have been used by the 'Americans to do their dirty work' and haven't been paid.
You'll recall that the real reason the violence was reduced is because we basically paid our enemies not to shoot at us. Now that we've armed them and then pissed them off, everything should work out real well.
Oh, and the Mahdi Army has started shooting at us again. Heckuva job Bushie!
In November, the U.S. Navy held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a military installation on top of Iraq's Khor al Amaya oil terminal in the northern Persian Gulf. Along with its neighboring Basra terminal, the platform is crucial to the global economy; together, the two terminals are theoretically capable of holding nearly 10 percent of the world's daily oil demand.
Pentagon officials insist that those fearing a permanent U.S. military presence needn't worry. Not only will the facility house British and Australian sailors as well as Americans but the U.S. military will hand the base over to the marines of the Iraqi Navy as soon as they are ready. Nevermind that, as the Wall Street Journal reported, their patrol boats today consist of "rusting hulks," and the Iraqis currently stationed on the terminal only recently trained with live ammunition for the first time. If a U.S. military withdrawal must wait for a seaworthy Iraqi Navy, the United States may be in Iraq longer than anyone has guessed.
Maybe they can hire Blackwater to be Iraq's Navy until they get their shit together in twenty years or so. Audio for NPR's take on these 10 stories is here (scroll down).
The Iraqi government announced on Wednesday that it has decided to formally revoke the immunity from prosecution granted to private security companies operating in the war-ravaged country.
"The cabinet held a meeting yesterday and decided to scrap the article pertaining to security companies operating in Iraq that was issued by the CPA (Coalition Provision Authority) in 2004," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement.
Dick Cheney will now replace the Iraqi government in 5, 4, 3, 2 ...
The nerve! Like they can run their own country! Please gentlemen, there are profits to be made and civilians to be killed. If you get my drift.
Every American should pay attention and analyze General Petraeus's words as to the situation in Iraq:
...18 months after entering Iraq, I see tangible progress. Iraqi security elements are being rebuilt from the ground up... ...And Iraqi leaders are stepping forward, leading their country and their security forces courageously in the face of an enemy that has shown a willingness to do anything to disrupt the establishment of the new Iraq... ...Equipment is being delivered. Training is on track and increasing in capacity. Infrastructure is being repaired. Command and control structures and institutions are being reestablished... ...Progress has also been made in police training. In the past week alone, some 1,100 graduated from the basic policing course and five specialty courses... ...Considerable progress is also being made in the reconstruction and refurbishing of infrastructure for Iraq's security forces... ...Iraq's security forces are, however, developing steadily and they are in the fight. Momentum has gathered in recent months...
No, these words are not part of the report that Petraeus will deliver to Congress this week. They were all taken from an Op-Ed he wrote for the Washington Post on September 26, 2004. Petraeus was dead wrong in his assessment of the situation then, so what makes us think that he'll be doing any better this time around? The police force is corrupt and virtually useless. Sectarian militias rule the street. The Iraqi army is still not ready to take over its own security. A drop in sectarian killings in one area of the country is wiped out by rises in another. Most damning of all, there's still no political progress among the Iraqi's themselves.
In other Friedman Day news, the Last Honest Man Joe Lieberman wanks in (where else?) the WSJ, whining that this time the Dear Leader will get it right ... honest! Meanwhile, the dead pile up.