Sunday, May 15, 2011

And the war drags on . . .

On March 17, 2003, two days before U.S. warplanes launched their attack on Baghdad, prime minister Jean Chretien told the House of Commons that Canadian forces would not be joining what the administration of then U.S. president George W. Bush dubbed the "coalition of the willing."
Chretien's apparent refusal to back the Bush administration's invasion, purportedly launched to seize weapons of mass destruction possessed by Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein (which were never found), was hugely popular in Canada, widely hailed as nothing less than a defining moment of national sovereignty.
But even as Chretien told the Commons that Canada wouldn't participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Canadian diplomats were secretly telling their U.S. counterparts something entirely different.

The above is from Greg Weston's report for the CBC. Oh, Canada. And all the grand standing and pretending to be so pure on the Iraq War. James Wright is the Canadian diplomat who conveyed that the US could use "Canadian naval and air forces" as long as they did so "discreetly." Oh, Canada.

War is big business. It's big bucks. And very hard for many to say no to. Despite all the posturing of the last years, Canada was ready to take part in the Iraq War . . . "discreetly." Someone's recent comical denial that he helped with the Iraq War just got a whole lot less believable.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Last Sunday, the number of US military people killed in the Iraq War since the start of the illegal war was 4455. Tonight? PDF format warning, DoD still lists the the number of Americans killed serving in Iraq at 4455.

Meanwhile Reuters notes a Baghdad rocket attack killed 1 person and left 9 injured, a Baghdad roadside bombing left three people injured, a Mosul roadside bombing left one police officer injured and, dropping back to Saturday for the next two, a Tuz Khurmato roadside bombing yesterday left five police officers injured and 1 suspect was shot dead in Mosul yesterday. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports on a Baghdad home invasion in which "three Shiite family members" were shot dead by assailants in "police uniforms". Xinhua adds, "In Salahudin province, director of Iraqi tax office and a female employee were killed when a sticky bomb attached to their government vehicle detonated in the afternoon in al-Qadsiyah district in northern the city of Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity." And they also note a headless, female corpse was discovered in al-Shirqat and "an explosive expert" was injured in a Tirkit bombing.

As the violence continues under Nouri's 'leadership,' Faith Abdulsalam (Azzaman) notes how chancy it is that Nouri will remain in power without the US military: "The prime minister understands that the sinking of the ship in the mud that will be left in the aftermath of U.S. troops withdrawal will lead to damages worse than those inflicted on the country by the occupation itself. He now senses that almost everybody is his enemy, even those within his closest circle working for him under the political or factional banner. This is the kind of characteristic that breeds dictators in the course of time." Sounding a similar note is an editorial in the Pensacola News Journal: "New reports say Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is 'open' to the possibility that U.S. combat troops will remain in Iraq beyond the scheduled Dec. 31 departure date. Big surprise. If he can get U.S. taxpayers to keep shelling out billions of dollars to support his efforts to consolidate power, I'm sure he'll count it as a feather in his hat."

New content at Third:

And Pru notes this from Great Britain's Socialist Worker:

The ever changing explanation of Osama Bin Laden’s death

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Everything was clear. Osama Bin Laden was shot dead in a battle with US Navy Seals at his luxury mansion in Pakistan while president Barack Obama watched on live video.

He went down in a hail of bullets while firing an AK-47—too fanatical to capture.

No, wait a minute. He died a coward, using his wife as a human shield and causing her death.

But actually, Obama wasn’t watching live and Bin Laden’s wife wasn’t killed.

And perhaps there wasn’t a battle. But there probably was—why else would the Navy Seals have had to shoot so much ammunition?

And Bin Laden wasn’t living in luxury. He was a non-entity reduced to watching videos of his “glory days”.

The US government’s ever shifting narrative shows that, for them, there is no truth beyond what it can get away with.

Remember this the next time it denies a drone has wiped out a wedding party elsewhere in Pakistan.

So much misinformation makes it difficult to remember what few facts have been revealed.

But this was clearly an extra-judicial execution.

It further exposes the hypocrisy of leaders who demand that others follow international laws while they ignore or redefine them as is convenient.

It goes alongside attempts to redefine the invasion of Afghanistan as a success, and to present Obama as a “war president”—something he was once very keen to avoid.

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