Tag Archives: Iraq

They’ve learned nothing. The media cheers Trump’s “decisiveness” on “beautiful” missile strikes.

Launching a few missiles is all it took. Now, much of the American media is rooting for the “shock and awe” show they most love to cover.

Example A: Brian Williams, gushing about “beautiful pictures” of missiles being launched from ships, obliviously quoting Leonard Cohen on “the beauty of our weapons”:

In his speech announcing the airstrikes, Trump said he was prompted to act by the sight of of “beautiful babies” killed in the attack. He said “No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”

Example B: The New York Times wrote an article:

On Syria Attack, Trump’s Heart Came First

On Thursday, an emotional President Trump took the greatest risk of his young presidency, ordering a retaliatory missile strike on Syria for its latest chemical weapons attack.

The Times changed the headline eventually.

They must be suffering from amnesia, because the article doesn’t mention any of the dozens of “beautiful babies” who died in bombings or raids over the past month in Idlib, Raqqa, Mosul and Yemen. Bombings facilitated by Trump’s decision to loosen the Obama administration’s rules meant to reduce civilian casualties. Among those killed by our bombs was there no “child of “god” who suffered? Why didn’t Trump ever find a podium to speak of their suffering? He wouldn’t even have to launch missiles to ensure that doesn’t happen again, he can just sign an executive order strengthening US rules. Today again, there are early reports of a US airstrike killing 15 civilians, including 4 children.

Example C: Fareed Zakaria has decided launching missiles and weeping crocodile tears makes Trump finally seem Presidential.

I understand why Republicans who opposed any military action against Syria during Obama’s presidency are suddenly very supportive of airstrikes to bolster up Trump’s approval ratings. What excuse does the media have?

On Fox and Friends they were talking about how “cool” it was that Trump ordered missile strikes over “creme brulee” with the Chinese “politburo” at Mar-A-Lago.

The financial networks noticed this:

I guess the infrastructure stimulus plan won’t involve modernizing our infrastructure. The plan is to stimulate our economy by bombing someone else’s infrastructure to smithereens. It’s good for Trump too, he likely still owns Raytheon stock.

“Liberal” MSNBC wasn’t immune:

Know who else is cheering the bombing? Our “allies” in the region:

— Cross-posted at DailyKos | @subirgrewal

Why didn’t we demand justice and vengeance for last month’s Syrian dead?

The Assad regime, in alliance with the Russians has forced various factions towards Idlib, this includes ISIS and other rebel forces. This week, we learned that dozens of civilians died there, struck by a chemical weapons attack. The Assad regime is most likely responsible.

Dozens of people, including children, died — some writhing, choking, gasping or foaming at the mouth — after breathing in poison that possibly contained a nerve agent or other banned chemicals, according to witnesses, doctors and rescue workers. They said the toxic substance spread after warplanes dropped bombs in the early morning hours. Some rescue workers grew ill and collapsed from proximity to the dead.

The opposition-run Health Department in Idlib Province, where the attack took place, said 69 people had died, providing a list of their names. The dead were still being identified, and some humanitarian groups said as many as 100 had died. — NY Times

There was almost universal outrage and an outpouring of sympathy for the victims of this atrocity. US media provided wall to wall coverage, as is appropriate for such an atrocity. During an interview earlier today, Hillary Clinton said she had long advocated air-strikes against Assad’s air force and thought they were still a good idea.

President Trump has now ordered these strikes and over 50 missiles appear to have struck a Syrian air-base. I’ve seen numerous comments in support of this bombing on DKos. Several segments of the “Resistance” have rallied to the war-cry of President Trump in the name of dead Syrian children.

Well, that reminds me of something that happened last month involving Trump and dead Syrian children:

Iraqi rescue workers on Friday pulled dozens of bodies from the ruins of a building in Mosul, where residents allege a U.S.-led coalition strike killed 137 people a week ago. — Washington Post

So, where was everybody last month when OUR bombs buried dozens of Syrian children under rubble of our making? Why didn’t you ask that the runways our jets and drones take off from be pock-marked?

And this wasn’t the only US strike last month to kill large number of civilians. On March 16, US forces bombed Idlib, Syria, apparently targeting an Al Qaeda meeting. Almost immediately after the strike, human rights organizations on the ground said roughly 50 civilians had died in the strike and it had demolished a mosque during prayers while 300 people were inside. Yes, that’s the same Idlib Assad struck. Everyone is bombing the same town.

There are other reports that US led airstrikes in Raqqa hit a school sheltering refugees, leading to 33 deaths. And then before that, we had a US ground mission in Yemen that led to the death of 9 young children under the age of 12 and more than a dozen other civilians. The White House called it a “winning, successful mission”.

So why aren’t you asking for the US Air Force, which dropped the bombs that killed these people to be grounded? Why weren’t you outraged last month at what OUR government had done? Why do you only get incensed when it’s some other son of a bitch doing it?

“The use of chemical weapons against innocent Syrian men, women, and children is a clear violation of international law. The Syrian regime must be held accountable for this horrific act, and its actions underscore why the United States should embrace innocent people who are fleeing in terror.

But the Constitution gives the power to authorize the use of military force to the legislative branch. Expanded military intervention in Syria requires action by Congress. If President Trump expects such an authorization, he owes the American people an explanation of his strategy to bring an end to the violence in Syria. We should not escalate this conflict without clear goals and a plan to achieve them.” — Elizabeth Warren’s statement

— Cross-posted at DailyKos | @subirgrewal

The Six Trillion Dollar Mistake

When someone asks me why I’m for Bernie rather than Hillary, I say it has to do with the Six Trillion Dollar Mistake.

It’s difficult to understand a figure as large as $6,000,000,000,000.

6 Trillion would buy us one of these four nice things:

  1. 50 years of tuition-free public college and 50 years of free universal pre-K.
  2. 7 years of free health-care for 100 million Americans.
  3. $20,000 as a gift to every man, woman and child in America.
  4. Bullet trains connecting every major city,  85 Nuclear-powered Aircraft Carriers, 10 Space Stations, 10 manned missions to Mars, ten million homes for the homeless plus the Starship Enterprise.

But instead of getting these nice things, we got one shitty thing. The war in Iraq. Which was followed by other shitty things like ISIS.

The war was dreamt up and executed by Bush/Cheney. It is their fault. But others acted as enablers:

  • 48 Republicans and 29 Democrats in the senate enabled the war.
  • 215 Republicans and 85 Democrats in the House enabled the war.

And some tried to stop them:

  • 21 Democrats, 1 Republican and 1 Independent in the Senate tried to stop them.
  • 126 Democrats, 6 Republicans and 1 Independent in the House tried to stop them.

The independent in the House was Bernie Sanders.

One little known Illinois state senator knew it was a mistakeand tried to stop it.

Among the 29 Democratic Senators who enabled Bush/Cheney was Hillary Clinton.

What a colossal mistake.

  • A 6 Trillion Dollar Mistake.
  • 500,000 Iraqis dead  mistake.
  • A 4,425 dead American soldiers mistake.

Hillary defended that decision for 13 years. Only admitting it was a mistake in 2015. Biden said he made a mistake in 2005, ten years sooner.

All that experience and it took 13 years to admit it was a mistake. How can you learn from your mistakes if you won’t admit them for three terms and you only get two?

I’ll take the politician who doesn’t enable such mistakes over the one who does.

That’s what’s at stake in this primary, and why you should be working you butt off to make Bernie the Democratic nominee and the next president of the United States.

KBR/Halliburton employees can sue in court for sexual assaults

This story has been raising eyebrows for a while, but it took a new turn this week. It seems KBR/Halliburton (of Dick Cheney fame) may have tried to cover up repeated incidents of sexual assault amongst employees serving in Iraq (perhaps because it affected recruiting adversely). Many employees had unknowingly signed binding arbitration agreements that the company claims covers assault and criminal cases as well. One of the women who says she was assaulted sued KBR and the Fifth circuit heard her case. Her story ispretty harrowing, especially the bit where KBR investigators locked her up for 24 hours after she reported the assault. Apparently this wasn’t an isolated case and the non-disclosure and binding arbitration agreements had been used to keep the other cases out of the news. No doubt many of the women working for KBR would have reconsidered tours in Iraq if they’d known of the various assault cases.

So, Al Franken introduced an amendment to the defense appropriations bill to prevent any defense contracts being awarded to companies requiring binding arbitration for sexual assault cases. Here’s the surprising bit 30 senators voted against the bill! All of them Republican, all of them men. Jeff Sessions rambled on about why the government shouldn’t meddle in contracts, but he also said “It is a political amendment, really at bottom, representing sort of a political attack directed at Halliburton, which is politically a matter of sensitivity.” He’s right, it probably is shrewd politics for the Democrats, though god knows KBR/Halliburton has been pretty good at getting its way in Washington ever since Brown & Root started handing envelopes stuffed in cash to LBJ and the rest of the Southern delegation.  Still, even if you admit Halliburton needs to be protected from the likes of Al Franken, the female employees of KBR probably deserve some assistance from judiciary while they’re out serving on battlefields. BTW, David Vitter (R, AL)who frequented brothels in D.C. and New Orleans voted against it.