Today, the US Defense Dept announced:
Strikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Qaim, five strikes struck two ISIL weapons caches, an ISIL finance distribution center and two ISIL communication facilities.
-- Near Rutbah, a strike struck an ISIL vehicle bomb facility.
-- Near Fallujah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL vehicle bomb and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Mosul, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicles and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Qayyarah, five strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, two ISIL bunkers, four ISIL rocket rails, two ISIL rocket systems, an ISIL excavator, an ISIL rocket propelled grenade system and ISIL-used engineering equipment.
-- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.
The US government bombs Iraq daily and has since August of 2014.
One reason is because war is big business.
That was made clear again today.
UPI wrote it up like this:
The U.S. will extend a $2.7 billion foreign military finance credit facility to Iraq under a deal announced by the U.S. Embassy in Iraq Wednesday.
The deal, signed by U.S. Ambassador Stuart Jones and Iraqi Minister of Finance Hoshyar Zebari, will allow Iraqi security forces to defer payment for the purchase of ammunition and maintenance of its F-16 aircraft and M1A1 Abrams tanks.
REUTERS went with this:
Iraq secured a $2.7 billion loan from the United States on Wednesday to fund ammunition and maintenance of fighter jets, tanks and other military equipment for use in the war against Islamic State.
Baghdad will have eight and a half years, including a one-year grace period, to repay the loan, which carries a 6.45 percent interest rate, a U.S. embassy statement said.
There are many other ways to write it up.
You could lead with something like:
Despite being a bad credit risk, as evidenced by the recent IMF structure loan, the White House has decided to hand over $2.7 billion US tax dollars as a line of credit -- a line of credit that will most likely never be repaid.
Or you might go with:
The White House today made a gift of $2.7 billion to the US weapons industry -- a gift made with US tax dollars.
It's welfare, plain and simple.
It's corporate welfare.
How many helicopters does the Islamic State have?
That's right: zero.
How many planes:
But the absurd amount of $2.7 billion -- billion -- is being tossed across the globe to enrich the weapons industry -- on the tax payers' dime.
How many members of the Islamic State are currently in Iraq?
And 2.7 billion is what's thrown out.
At SALON, Patrick Cockburn notes, "The Iraqi army and security forces, for example, had 350,000 soldiers and 660,000 police on the books in June 2014 when a few thousand Islamic State fighters captured Mosul, the country’s second largest city, which they still hold. Today the Iraqi army, security services, and about 20,000 Shia paramilitaries backed by the massive firepower of the United States and allied air forces have fought their way into the city of Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, against the resistance of IS fighters who may have numbered as few as 900."
There's a refugee crisis in Iraq.
This month, the White House also gave money to that issue.
How many billions?
Here's the press release on that:
June 21, 2016
Office of the Spokesperson
In light of recent events in Iraq, and in response to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ recent appeals for emergency needs in Fallujah, the United States is announcing an additional $20 million in humanitarian aid to UNHCR’s Iraq response. This will be part of a larger package of humanitarian assistance that will be announced later this year. More than 3.3 million Iraqis have been internally displaced since 2014 and more are expected to flee in the coming days and weeks. The UN estimates that about 85,000 people have already fled Fallujah. UNHCR has identified camp coordination and camp management, as well as protection, as its most urgent priorities in the Fallujah response. Other immediate needs include water and sanitation, shelter, and food. Humanitarian agencies are responding to the crisis, but more funding is urgently needed. We urge other governments to contribute generously to the UN’s Iraq appeals.
Over 3.3 million refugees.
And any serious attempt at 'liberating' Mosul is expected to create thousands more refugees.
But $20 million is the ideal number.
Again, war enriches many.
Not the person on the ground.
Not the civilian caught there or the soldier sent there.
But it is big business for many.
Today, UNICEF released a report entitled [pdf format warning] "A HEAVY PRICE FOR CHILDREN: VIOLENCE DESTROYS CHILDHOODS IN IRAQ" which opens:
Iraq is now one of the most dangerous places in the world for children.
Four decades of conflict, sanctions, violence, insecurity and economic stagnation have brought development in the country to its knees.
At the end of 2015, Iraq had missed all, bar one, of its eight Millennium Development Goals including targets for increasing school enrolment, reducing child deaths before their fifth birthday and improving access to safe drinking water.
The intensification of conflict since 2014 has had a catastrophic impact on children in the country. UNICEF estimates that 4.7 million children across Iraq are in need of assistance - that’s around one-third of all children in the country. Since the war began in Syria in 2011, Iraq has also been hosting more than 245,000 Syrian refugees, nearly a quarter of whom are children. Almost two thirds of Iraqi children in need are in areas beyond the control of the Government of Iraq.
Multiple armed factions are waging war throughout the country, putting people of every ethnicity and background in danger - killing and injuring thousands, trapping civilians in cities under siege and forcing families to flee their homes.
Massive movements of people who have been forced from their homes by fighting - many from areas cut off from aid like Fallujah - characterise the ongoing crisis. Almost ten per cent of the country’s children – more than 1.5 million – have been forced to flee their homes due to violence since the beginning of 2014, often moving multiple times to seek safety.
According to UNICEF, 3.6 million children – one in five of all Iraqi children – are at a great risk of death, injury, sexual violence, recruitment into the fighting and abduction. This number has increased by 1.3 million in just 18 months.
Since 2014, UNICEF has verified 838 child deaths, and 794 injuries in Iraq. The actual number is likely to be much higher. In the last year alone, 455 incidents affected more than 1,200 children.
The large increase in the number of violations against children is largely due to the intensification of violence in the Anbar area, in the west of the country. From the first to the second half of 2015, the number of child victims of grave violations in Iraq shot up by more than five times, from 202 children in the period between January to June, to 1,020 between July and December.
The reported abduction of thousands of children, particularly in 2014, is one of Iraq’s greatest concerns. Since the beginning of 2014, UNICEF has verified the abduction of 1,496 children in Iraq. On average, 50 children per month. Abducted girls are most at risk of sexual abuse, particularly those from religious and ethnic communities. The use of sexual violence and the brutalization of women and girls, has been well documented, with many abducted on a mass scale, held captive for months, sold into sexual slavery and subjected to rape, torture and abuse.
A $2.7 billion line of credit could have been used to provide pre-fab school buildings or structures to Iraq.
A $2.7 billion line of credit could have been used to provide food.
Those are just two possibilities.
It still would have been welfare -- government welfare -- but it would have enriched something other than the defense (war) industry.
Of today's welfare announcement, Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) explains, "The deal is part of the US Foreign Military Finance (FMF). The same program provided Iraq with upwards of $4 billion during the previous US occupation of Iraq, though in that case the money was in grant form, and not to be paid back." And, as Ditz points out, this 'loan' will likely be forgiven or paid with US tax payer money later given to Iraq as a grant.
Corporate welfare exists because so many pigs are in government.
Take Senator Dianne Feinstein giving contracts to her husband. I know that not because THE NATION printed the report. They didn't. They killed it. Had to protect Dianne. Dianne was more important than telling their readers the truth.
So the journalist had to get the report printed elsewhere.
Click here for Peter Byrne's "Senator Feinstein's Iraq Conflict" -- the piece THE NATION didn't want you to read.
Not everyone was as against the truth as Katrina vanden Heuvel (the person who's ruined THE NATION magazine). For example, here's David R. Baker (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE) reporting in 2003 on the $600 million contract that Dianne's husband was awarded.
Here's Ken Silverstein (HARPER'S MAGAZINE), in 2009, highlighting Dianne's steering $25 billion tax payer dollars to a firm awarding her husband business.
Here's PROJECT CENSORED on continued efforts on Dianne's part to enrich her husband (and herself -- California is a community property state).
And, of course, War Hawk Hillary Clinton's been happy to dole out corporate welfare as well as to dole out favors to those who donate to The Clinton Foundation.
BRussells Tribunal remains one of the finest outlet for news on Iraq and other wars. They recently noted War Hawk Hillary.
@ASatyanarayanan Hillary Clinton.. out of touch with AMERICA and the World