responsibility. accountability. humanity and sanity

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the atlantic: The Short, Violent Life of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
During my time in Jordan, I asked a number of officials what they considered to be the most curious aspect of the relationship between the U.S. and al-Zarqawi, other than the fact that the Bush administration had inflated him.

One of them said, “The six times you could have killed Zarqawi, and you didn’t.”

When Powell addressed the United Nations, he discussed the Ansar al-Islam camp([search]) near Khurmal, in northern Kurdistan, which he claimed was producing ricin and where al-Zarqawi was then based. On at least three occasions, between mid-2002 and the invasion of Iraq the following March, the Pentagon presented plans to the White House to destroy the Khurmal camp, according to a report published by TheWall Street Journal in October 2004. The White House either declined or simply ignored the request.

More recently, three times during the past year, the Jordanian intelligence service, which has a close liaison relationship with the CIA, provided the United States with information on al-Zarqawi’s whereabouts—first in Mosul, then in Ramadi. Each time, the Americans arrived too late.

bob herbert: Other People's Blood
Here are the facts: The war so recklessly launched by the amateurs in the Bush White House has already taken scores of thousands of lives, and will ultimately cost the United States $1 trillion to $2 trillion.

No one has been held accountable for this. While Mr. Bush's approval ratings are low, the public has been largely indifferent to the profound suffering in Iraq. This is primarily for two reasons: Because most Americans have no immediate personal stake in the war, and because the administration and the news media keep the worst of the suffering at a safe distance from the U.S. population.

The killing of American troops is usually kissed off with a paragraph or two in the major papers, and a sentence or two, at best, on national newscasts.
(Imagine if someone in your office, sitting at a desk across from you, were suddenly blown to bits, splattering you with his or her blood. You wouldn't get over it for the rest of your life. This is what happens daily in Iraq.)

The many thousands of Iraqis who are killed - including babies and children who are shot to death, blown up, or incinerated - remain completely unknown to the American public. So not only is there very little empathy for the suffering of Iraqis, there is virtually no sense among ordinary Americans of a shared responsibility for that suffering.

Despite the frequently expressed fantasies expressed by President Bush and some of the leading politicians of both parties, the idea of a U.S. victory in Iraq is an illusion. The nightmarish violence is rising, not receding. Iraq is not being pacified.

ehsan ahrari: A death, and a flicker of hope in Iraq
The immediate question is how the death of the al-Qaeda leader in Iraq at the hands of US security forces will affect the insurgency in the country. There is understandably and justifiably a considerable amount of euphoria in Iraq and in Washington over this news. But don't expect the development to have any lasting effect on the insurgency. If the past has any pattern, the insurgency is likely to pick up its pace after a short respite. In the final analysis, the real reason for the insurgency is the continued presence of US forces in Iraq.

a.k. gupta: Why Zarqawi's Death Will Strengthen the Iraqi Resistance
His death will again offer a chance for the Iraqi-based resistance to re-emphasize the struggle as one of national liberation (even if under a theocratic medievalism), rather than a global jihad.

The fact that in just weeks ago the Pentagon announced that it was sending more troops to Iraq (to the resistance hotbed of Ramadi) indicates that the war is long since lost. If the U.S. is increasing its presence after three years of increasingly destructive warfare, more than $10 billion spent on barely operational Iraqi security forces, perhaps 200,000 Iraq civilian deaths and 2,700 foreign troops, then why would one man’s death change anything?

Even though the mainstream media has lost interest in reporting it, U.S. deaths are averaging close to 60 a month this year, essentially the same rate as the last two years. In other words, despite the fact that the Pentagon has used almost every weapon and tactic in its arsenal, the resistance remains as resilient as ever.

Like the killing of Uday and Qusay Hussein three years ago, Zarqawi’s death will become one more forgotten way station on the road to Iraq’s destruction.


michel chossudovsky: Who is Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi?


Ehren Watada interviewed by Sarah Olson: The Courage to Resist
WATADA: I realized that to go to war, I needed to educate myself in every way possible. Why were we going to this particular war? What were the effects of war? What were the consequences for soldiers coming home? I began reading everything I could.

One of many books I read was James Bamford’s Pretext for War. As I read about the level of deception the Bush Administration used to initiate and process this war, I was shocked. I became ashamed of wearing the uniform.
How can we wear something with such a time-honored tradition, knowing we waged war based on a misrepresentation and lies? It was a betrayal of the trust of the American people. And these lies were a betrayal of the trust of the military and the soldiers.

My mind was in turmoil. Do I follow orders and participate in something that I believe to be wrong? When you join the Army you learn to follow orders without question. Soldiers are apolitical and you don’t voice your opinion out loud.

I started asking: why are we dying? Why are we losing limbs? For what? I listened to the President and his deputies say we were fighting for democracy; we were fighting for a better Iraq. I just started to think about those things. Are those things the real reasons why we are there, the real reasons we are dying? But I felt there was nothing to be done and this administration was just continually violating the law to serve their purpose and there was nothing to stop them.

The deciding moment for me was in January of 2006. I watched clips of military funerals. I saw the photos of these families. The children. The mothers and the fathers as they sat by the grave, or as they came out of the funerals. One really hard picture for me was a little boy leaving his father’s funeral. He couldn’t face the camera so he was covering his eyes.
I felt like I couldn’t watch that anymore. I couldn’t be silent anymore and condone something that I felt was deeply wrong.

"Thank You 1st Lt Ehren Watada for resisting an illegal war"


Re: responsibility. accountability. humanity and sanity

Slinsing Wi ... You're not sayng anything. You're only posting random news stories. Oh well, I should have known better than to to try and enagage a dialogue with an arm-chair lawyer.

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An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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