01 March, 2015





"ISIS militants had overrun much of the town of al-Baghdadi. One local Iraqi official told Reuters that, "Ninety percent of al-Baghdadi district has fallen under the control of the insurgents."
Fox News First Daily Politics 2/13/2015

Bombers make it onto Iraq base used by U.S. troops

ISIS seizes Iraq town near US forces: Pentagon

 AP Photo, FILE - In this file photo taken Monday, June 23, 2014, militants from the Islamic State parade in a commandeered Iraqi security forces armored vehicle on a main street in Mosul, Iraq. Iraqi security forces on Friday repelled an attack by Islamic State insurgents against an air base in Anbar province where U.S. Marines are training Iraqi troops.   © AP Photo, File FILE - In this file photo taken Monday, June 23, 2014, militants from the Islamic State parade in a commandeered Iraqi security forces armored vehicle on a main street in Mosul, Iraq. Iraqi security forces on Friday repelled an attack by Islamic State…

Bombs on Cambodia-failed

On December 9, 1970, US President Richard Nixon telephoned his national-security adviser, Henry Kissinger, to discuss the ongoing bombing of Cambodia. This sideshow to the war in Vietnam, begun in 1965 under the Johnson administration, had already seen 475,515 tons of ordnance dropped on Cambodia, which had been a neutral kingdom until nine months before the phone call, when pro-US General Lon Nol seized power. The first intense series of bombings, the Menu campaign on Vietnamese targets in Cambodia’s border areas — which American commanders labeled Breakfast, Lunch, Supper, Dinner, Dessert, and Snack — had concluded in May, 1970 shortly after the coup.


Bombs on Vietnam – failed

During 1965, over 200,000 American soldiers were sent to South Vietnam, and in 1966, 200,000 more. By early 1968, there were more than 500,000 American troops there, and the US Air Force was dropping bombs at a rate unequalled in history. Tiny glimmerings of the massive human suffering under this bombardment came to the outside world. On June 5, 1965, the New York Times carried a dispatch from Saigon:



To get a full scope of American violence in the world, it is worth asking a broader question: how many countries in the Islamic world has the U.S. bombed or occupied since 1980? That answer was provided in a recent Washington Post op-ed by the military historian and former U.S. Army Col. Andrew Bacevich:

As America’s efforts to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State militants extent into Syria, Iraq War III has seamlessly morphed into Greater Middle East Battlefield XIV. That is, Syria has become at least the 14th country in the Islamic world that U.S. forces have invaded or occupied or bombed, and in which American soldiers have killed or been killed. And that’s just since 1980.

"Let’s tick them off: Iran (1980, 1987-1988), Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011), Lebanon (1983), Kuwait (1991), Iraq (1991-2011, 2014-), Somalia (1992-1993, 2007-), Bosnia (1995), Saudi Arabia (1991, 1996), Afghanistan (1998, 2001-), Sudan (1998), Kosovo (1999), Yemen (2000, 2002-), Pakistan (2004-) and now Syria. Whew."

Some common themes can be seen in many of these U.S. military interventions.

First, they were explained to the U.S. public as defending the lives and rights of 

civilian populations. Yet the military tactics employed often left behind massive civilian 

"collateral damage." War planners made little distinction between rebels and the civilians 

who lived in rebel zones of control, or between military assets and civilian 

infrastructure, such as train lines, water plants, agricultural factories, medicine 

supplies, etc. The U.S. public always believe that in the next war, new military 

technologies will avoid civilian casualties on the other side. Yet when the inevitable 

civilian deaths occur, they are always explained away as "accidental" or "unavoidable."

Second, although nearly all the post-World War II interventions were carried out in the 

name of "freedom" and "democracy," nearly all of them in fact defended dictatorships 

controlled by pro-U.S. elites. Whether in Vietnam, Central America, or the Persian Gulf, 

the U.S. was not defending "freedom" but an ideological agenda (such as defending 

capitalism) or an economic agenda (such as protecting oil company investments). In the few 

cases when U.S. military forces toppled a dictatorship--such as in Grenada or Panama--they 

did so in a way that prevented the country's people from overthrowing their own dictator 

first, and installing a new democratic government more to their liking.

Third, the U.S. always attacked violence by its opponents as "terrorism," "atrocities 

against civilians," or "ethnic cleansing," but minimized or defended the same actions by 

the U.S. or its allies. If a country has the right to "end" a state that trains or harbors 

terrorists, would Cuba or Nicaragua have had the right to launch defensive bombing raids 

on U.S. targets to take out exile terrorists? Washington's double standard maintains that 

an U.S. ally's action by definition "defensive," but that an enemy's retaliation is by 

definition "offensive."

Fourth, the U.S. often portrays itself as a neutral peacekeeper, with nothing but the 

purest humanitarian motives. After deploying forces in a country, however, it quickly 

divides the country or region into "friends" and "foes," and takes one side against 

another. This strategy tends to enflame rather than dampen a war or civil conflict, as 

shown in the cases of Somalia and Bosnia, and deepens resentment of the U.S. role.

Fifth, U.S. military intervention is often counterproductive even if one accepts U.S. 

goals and rationales. Rather than solving the root political or economic roots of the 

conflict, it tends to polarize factions and further destabilize the country. The same 

countries tend to reappear again and again on the list of 20th century interventions.

Sixth, U.S. demonization of an enemy leader, or military action against him, tends to 

strengthen rather than weaken his hold on power. Take the list of current regimes most 

singled out for U.S. attack, and put it alongside of the list of regimes that have had the 

longest hold on power, and you will find they have the same names. Qaddafi, Castro, 

Saddam, Kim, and others may have faced greater internal criticism if they could not 

portray themselves as Davids standing up to the American Goliath, and (accurately) blaming 

many of their countries' internal problems on U.S. economic sanctions.

One of the most dangerous ideas of the 20th century was that "people like us" could not 

commit atrocities against civilians.

German and Japanese citizens believed it, but their militaries slaughtered millions of 

British and French citizens believed it, but their militaries fought brutal colonial wars 

in Africa and Asia.
Russian citizens believed it, but their armies murdered civilians in Afghanistan, 

Chechnya, and elsewhere.
Israeli citizens believed it, but their army mowed down Palestinians and Lebanese.
Arabs believed it, but suicide bombers and hijackers targeted U.S. and Israeli civilians.
U.S. citizens believed it, but their military killed hundreds of thousands in Vietnam, 

Iraq, and elsewhere.
Every country, every ethnicity, every religion, contains within it the capability for 

extreme violence. Every group contains a faction that is intolerant of other groups, and 

actively seeks to exclude or even kill them. War fever tends to encourage the intolerant 

faction, but the faction only succeeds in its goals if the rest of the group acquiesces or 

remains silent. The attacks of September 11 were not only a test for U.S. citizens 

attitudes' toward minority ethnic/racial groups in their own country, but a test for our 

relationship with the rest of the world. We must begin not by lashing out at civilians in 

Muslim countries, but by taking responsibility for our own history and our own actions, 

and how they have fed the cycle of violence."


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