LA Times: Lies Before the First Sentence

I read this article and failed to find a satisfactory explanation of the statement in the synopsis that “the U.S. troop buildup has brought down violence.” I see where Sunni groups have decided that al-Qaeda was — for now — a worse foe than the US occupation. I see how Sadr has ordered his men to stand down — for now. I see that Iraqi cities and provinces are almost completely ethnically cleansed into sectarian districts — the violence of the past few years has achieved its objective and is now mostly unnecessary. I do not see what any of this has to do with the “surge,” and the LA Times doesn’t even seem to be able to invent something to help me see that. Even if we do assume the “surge” is responsible for all this calm, the calm has not brought about its intended result — that the government would suddenly assert itself over the land, as if by magic commanding the respect of all Iraqis.

As William Lind might tell you, they are not making states anymore: if you destroy one, the nature of Fourth Generation warfare (and the ubiquity of ever-cheaper military technology for guerrilla types) makes it so that it will be nearly impossible to resurrect a new one in its place.

The state ruled by Baghdad is finished. A new era of city states will erupt over the next decade, and it’s probably the best possible outcome on the road to peace in the region of statelets and kingdoms and ungoverned wilds formerly called Iraq.

The “surge” had no positive effect in Iraq. The fact that the media parrots over and over that its first step has gotten results does not make it so. In fact, in this media-as-Pentagon mouthpiece paradigm, it almost guarantees it’s not.

31 thoughts on “LA Times: Lies Before the First Sentence”

  1. Observers who understood from the beginning that the war in Iraq was futile and deception-based were at a loss to understand its ultimate goal, but we see clearly now that the ultimate goal throughout southwest Asia is chaos and “statelets and kingdoms and ungoverned wilds.”

    Americans think wars are for some uplifting purpose, and have a difficult time seeing when they are used purely for destructive purposes. A close reading of the Book of Joshua might remind us of how this goes.

    But consider. Palestine is now two states (Gaza & West Bank). Lebanon was easily bisected into a northern portion and a southern portion last year even though the plan didn’t go to completion that time around. Iraw will be at least three statelets in two or three years with an over-awing US consulate in the former capital city.

    It’s one thing to pull one’s beard pontificating about oil or nation building or destruction of weapons of mass destruction. And it is another to promote a war for chaos while calling it a war for anything else. Welcome to a world where a key “weapon of mass destruction” is the organized deceptions of media-supported war-mongers masquerading as anything and everything else.

  2. Actually, the casualty numbers, both military and civilian, did not start to decrease until September; shortly after Muqutada as-Sadr ordered his militia to stand down for six months. I suspect that was the principal factor in cutting the violence rather than the surge which had already been going on without any noticeable success for months by then.

  3. How soon you forget gentlemen that these statelets, fiefdoms and ungoverned wilds that are the intended results of the chaos nurtured by American design were just a few years ago united as a viable, vibrant nation-state under the iron will and ruthless intolerance of Saddam Husein. Its infrastructures were second to none in the area, including Israel. Its medical facilities, electrical grid, highways and agricultural irrigation system were well integrated and most advanced in the region.

    Then came the horrific bombing in 1991 by Bush the first whose purpose was clearly stated as “bombing them back to the Stone Age”. And that it did. This was followed by 12 years of an unrelenting criminal economic blockade that stunted all attempts at reconstruction and in the process killed over 500,000.00 children by the most conservative estimates. When Iraq was then judged weak, demoralized and devastated enough to offer little or no resistance, it was brutally invaded, its political and intellectual leaders eliminated, its heritage pillaged (museums and libraries) in an attempt to even erase its history.

    But no amount of LA Times print or the vile regurgitations of the neocolonialist talking heads can destroy seven thousand years of being an entity. You gentlemen seem to forget that it was a great unified nation five thousand years before it even saw its first caliphate. Saddam Hussein never compared himself to any Islamic hero, not even the great Saladin of Tikrit, but to the enlightened Hammurabi who gave humanity the first code of law in recorded history and Nabuchadnezer who built the first great astronomical observatories of recorded history.

    I will dare to guess that, sooner or later, another great man or woman of Mesopotamia will rise again to expel the American Barbarians and reunify this great land where civilization was born.

    1. It escapes me why no country or force was strong enough to protect Iraq from the constant assault of the US since 1991. American Barbarians we are indeed.

  4. The plan was to destroy Iraq as a nation and people,and break up into so many easy mangeable fifdomes fighting each other ,divide and conquer.Iraqis are still dying!

  5. Breaking Iraq up into multiple pieces in a civil war also ties into the oil theory as it predictably makes the oil producers who are still operating more money.

  6. “The “surge” had no positive effect in Iraq. The fact that the media parrots over and over that its first step has gotten results does not make it so. In fact, in this media-as-Pentagon mouthpiece paradigm, it almost guarantees it’s not.”

    thank you, thank you, thank you.

  7. Hey now. The surge had something to do with it. Less the surge of 30k extra troops than the surge of $30k American taxpayer money a week to local government heads. Tack on $2500 cash “microgrants” for any Iraqi who places a few things for sale in their home and calls it a shop.

    They threaten to lay off Americans if they don’t get their money to keep Iraq in a constant state of welfare, hardly a conservative notion. Couple that with the most invasive and expensive government in US history and I think we’re seeing the birth of a new political beast, the “neo-liberal.”

  8. If Bush’s ‘war of terror’ on Iraq is a success, and the “surge” is a success, and the renditions/detentions/tortures are a success, then why does the madness continue? Doesn’t “success” at some point automatically birth success? Certainly the Bush regime has successfully alienated the world. Admittedly, the Bush regime has “killed” a boat load of fine young American service boys and girls. Plainly, the Bush regime has gutted America’s national treasury and enslaved all Americans to a bankrupt future. Yup, there’s loads of “success” here. Why, America will reap the benefits of the Bush regime “success” far into the future. What an absolutely ‘dark’ future awaits.

  9. who cares if it’s had an effect or not? If it helps us get out of Iraq sooner I’m happy to go along with the surge as causal factor myth. surge is working, iran has no WMD. the case for leaving has never been stronger.

    1. Lester, I guess you missed the understanding recently reached between al-Maliki and US wherein he promises to allow the occupation to continue indefinitely in exchange for the “security” we provide. Indeed, I suspect he would be killed on the spot without the security we provide him.

      The only way this occupation will EVER end is if the Iraqis continue to make it extremely painful to US in American lives and dollars. That’s why I believe this is just a lull. The only question is how long it will last. I’m guessing until our Presidential campaign gets truly geared up next spring.

  10. The L.A. Times lying, through omission, error, or half-truth? Why, that’s even more shocking than the revelation that the sun rises in the East.

    As for the newfound “calm” allegedly permeating Iraq, “temporary” is too kind and optimistic of a word to describe it. Anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of the Arab World in general and Iraq in particular will tell you (and probably did attempt to tell our willfully deaf leadership beforehand) that Iraq as a modern nation-state was unworkable when created by the British colonialists in the early twentieth century and became impossible to recreate once our invasion in March of 2003 dissolved the glue (Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath Party) that held it together. Having established provisional regional governments along sectarian lines, the current powers-that-be in Iraq (Sadr, the Sunni tribal chieftains of the center and west, and the Kurdish leaders of the north) have tasted power and are not about to cede it to a central government that will only empower one group at the expense of the others. The best that can be hoped for in what is now Iraq is that once it splits into three separate autonomous states along sectarian and ethnic lines (an inevitability, no matter what the U.S. or the regional powers may do to try to stop it), that there will be relative piece between the tribes that inhabit each state. This will never occur as long as a foreign power (U.S. or otherwise) maintains a presence.

    1. liberranter,

      you write: ” The best that can be hoped for in what is now Iraq is that once it splits into three separate autonomous states along sectarian and ethnic lines (an inevitability, no matter what the U.S. or the regional powers may do to try to stop it)…” But the dismembering of Iraq into ethnic, weak and malleable principalities was and still is the ultimate agenda of the US. The myth of the US trying to maintain a unified, strong Iraq is propaganda for the consumption of the gullible. No Iraqi has bought into that crap!

  11. Wasn’t this the plan all along; A weak state or series of weak states dependant on the US for security and a permenant place for for US occupation?

  12. micahel scheuer was closer to the mark a few weeks ago when he said that Al queda have made their point and are not going to throw themselves against the surge when it’s only a matter of time before we leave. They see the iraq war as essentially over

  13. You know in the old days, there was a time when Americans actually WANTED their country to win when they were involved in wars overseas. Adlai Stevenson was a great liberal. And like many great liberals of years gone by, he was a patriotic American. He believed that politics should stop at the waters edge, as the adage goes. I mean it really seems like some liberals today actually are supporting the enemy and wishing for America to lose a war. Why not be happy that the surge is working? Why not be thankful that our soldiers are doing a good job, and that less Americans AND less Iraqi civilians are being killed.

    Article III. Section III of the United States Constituion defines treason as giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Well, some people seem to be lending them at the very least, moral support and encouragement. Maybe my beliefs are antiquated but I think people who are upset when our country is winning a war but only too happy when we lose, are traitors. Yes, that is a harsh word but that is what they are. And I think the great liberals of years past, such as Adlai Stevenson for example, would agree with me.

    1. A sad, sad contribution. All I can suggest is that you go to the local main library, get out the history books, and read your nation’s history of overseas conquests, starting with the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Philipino citizens in the 1890s. From there move forward in a series of overseas conquests, and count the dead. And then read Bush Srs opening words for the 1991 Presidential Directive, which began the attack on Iraq. “Security of oil supplies and access to Persian Gulf oil are vital to America’s strategic interests.” And as the retired Federal Bank chief Greenspan and many others now retired have admitted. Iraq is all about oil.

    2. Tim R

      We have sworn to protect the Constitution of these United States from enemies both from outside our borders and from within. For the moment, the only perfidious enemies that have insidiously and perniciously waged a war of attrition against our beloved constitution and everything else Jefferson, Adams, Franklin , Madison and all our founding fathers heralded were the traitors who sat in the bowels of the Pentagon in the Office of Special Intelligence disseminating deception and their acolytes in the Justice Department who assailed it with illegal wiretaps, the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act.

      It is people like you who try to cover up any odious and criminal act by a sitting president, such as the invasions of Cambodia or Iraq, with the spurious adage “politics ends at the water’s edge”. No Mr. Tim R, justice, the universal declaration of human rights and crimes against humanity do not stop at the water’s edge!! Remember Nuremberg and what we did to the Reich’s foreign minister even though he never touched a gun in his life or gave an order to the army.? Shouldn’t the same fate be reserved for the murderous cabal termed the neocons that have surpassed even Dr. Goebbels in the art of deception?

      Those Americans who would defend any crime committed by their president are the greatest danger to our democracy, to our republic, to our constitution. They become even more dangerous when they accuse true patriots of being traitors. Such people in Nazi Germany were called the Brown Shirts.

      1. Mr. Laham writes: ” For the moment, the only perfidious enemies that have insidiously and perniciously waged a war of attrition against our beloved constitution and everything else Jefferson, Adams, Franklin , Madison and all our founding fathers heralded were the traitors who sat in the bowels of the Pentagon in the Office of Special Intelligence disseminating deception and their acolytes in the Justice Department who assailed it with illegal wiretaps, the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act.”

        John Adams? Ever heard of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798? How about President Lincoln who suspended Habeas Corpus, without the consent of Congress I might add? President Woodrow Wilson was never impeached, nor was his Attorney General, A. Mitchell Palmer, famous for the notorious “Palmer Raids.” FDR rounded up US citizens of Japanese ancestry and his actions were upheld by the Supreme Court who said that “the Constitution is not a suicide pact.” If you know your history you know that the Patriot Act, the wiretaps, etc., and whatever else Bush has done, has been very mild in comparison to what was done by former Presidents.

        1. Lincoln, Wilson et al were tyrants all, but they haven’t done what Bush has done. Bush hasn’t merely suspended Habeas Corpus; he’s abrogated it entirely under far less duress than the past presidents you listed, replacing the normal legal circuits with secret military tribunals, with the full approval of the Democrats.

        2. Kenneth’s reply is to the point Tim R. “Liberty is not given, it must be constantly fought for”.

        3. People on this site really need to get their facts in order if they want a logical discourse on a subject. You are cetainly entitled to your own opinon but you are not entitled to make up your own facts. And this happens again and again on this site, some people mean well but they just don’t know the facts.

          Can someone please explain to me how President Bush has “suspended and abrogated” the right of a citzen to habaus corpus? Please enlighten me and point me to the specific title and section of the United States Code or to some Executive Order that does this.

          The right of Habeus Corpus has in fact not been abrogated by Bush. So if your refering to US Citizens not having Habeus, you really should get your facts in order. The right of Habeas Corpus has never, I repeat, never, been extended to prisoners of war or enemy combatants (in case your refering to Guantanimo). Actually, instead of blaming Bush for everything, if you want to find a President who tried to limit and DID limit Habeaus Corpus in a substantial way, do a little research and find out what Bill Clinton signed into law regarding it!

        4. Can someone please explain to me how President Bush has “suspended and abrogated” the right of a citzen to habaus corpus? Please enlighten me and point me to the specific title and section of the United States Code or to some Executive Order that does this.

          Three words: Military Commissions Act. Not only does it overturn Habeas Corpus but the rule of law as well. It suspends the right to challenge detention- i.e., Habeas Corpus, for those declared to be “enemy combatants” by a military tribunal set up “under the authority of the president or secretary of defense”. In short, it gives Bush the power to play judge, jury, and executioner. Also included in this power package is the Defense Authorization Act, which enables the president to declare martial law in the wake of any “emergency” with very little to no congressional oversight.

    3. One’s government, even one’s country, commands no automatic allegiance, a fact that the Soviet Union and the Third Reich illustrated. If “victory” consists of the success of imperial wars that serve only to extend Washington’s suzerainty, then we should most certainly oppose it. In fact, I’d go even further. Since the legitimacy of the State itself is by no means a given, it is proper in some cases to wish for the dissolution of one’s country. If “patriotism” requires that we suspend our moral judgement simply for the sake of perpetuating the “national interest” (whatever that has come to mean), then we should roundly reject it.

      1. Patriotism requires at least a modicum of loyalty and support for one’s government and elected leaders, even if you disagree with their policies. Of course you can strongly diagree with their policies but you still should be loyal. If you voluntarily choose to live in country you have an obligation to have some loyalty towards it. Socrates can teach us a lot about patriotism and loyalty to country. Read in the Phaedo and the Crito how Socrates was loyal to Athens, the polis of his birth and his life, even as they were about to kill him.

        1. Patriotism requires at least a modicum of loyalty and support for one’s government and elected leaders, even if you disagree with their policies.

          Then I guess I’m not a patriot. My only allegiance is to morality.

          If you voluntarily choose to live in country you have an obligation to have some loyalty towards it.

          By what right? I didn’t “choose” a world dominated by oppressive political entities who only serve the interests of the well-connected. I didn’t make the world the way it is. I’ve no obligation to sanction a parasitic killing machine like the State simply because I live under its jurisdiction.

          Socrates can teach us a lot about patriotism and loyalty to country. Read in the Phaedo and the Crito how Socrates was loyal to Athens, the polis of his birth and his life, even as they were about to kill him.

          The old argumentum ad verecundiam always works when logic fails, doesn’t it Tim?

  14. Dear Tim,

    A trillion US dollars wasted in a foreign land and nearly 4000 Americans dead in Iraq aside….

    Being a patriot yourself, what do you say to the fact—yes, fact–that you and the rest of the American nation were lied to and misled by George Bush and company about WMD in Iraq in the first place?

    What do you say to over 100,000 Iraqis, men, women and children, killed during the invasion and occupation? (Some put that number at closer to a million.)

    What do you say to over 2 millions Iraqis chased from their homes and now refugees in other countries?

    And what do you say to the fact that the country of Iraq, innocent of any international crime, has been brought to its knees by our callous invasion and has become a dysfunctional entity?

    Who has really won—and who might ever do so?

    And who else might we all consider a traitor in the midest of this fiasco?

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