Home > News and Commentary > 2,666 Days. The 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Crossed The Kuwait Border Last In Symbolic End To Combat Operations.

2,666 Days. The 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Crossed The Kuwait Border Last In Symbolic End To Combat Operations.

2,666 days after the previous administration declared “mission accomplished” and boldly told a gullible American people that major combat operations in Iraq had ended, the 4th Styker Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division represented the last combat brigade to cross back over into Kuwait leaving Iraq on August 18th. Under the cover of darkness and military secrecy, NBC and MSNBC presented the only live coverage by American media. All the other corporate news organizations that helped the Bush administration sell the lies that led to war were not. The difference in tone was striking, especially given the circus like atmosphere of flag waving Fox News inspired propaganda of “shock and awe” in a war that was deemed illegal by the international community and now even in the country of Bush’s “poodle” as Blair came to be called. In the US, there is a refusal to deal with the underlying facts of the launching of an unprovoked aggressive war against another country and its illegalities in both domestic and international law (and impeachable offenses). Another thing that was striking is that our men and women in service are A+ people even if the government that sent them there was not and we are well served.

The coverage by MSNBC was done by Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and NBC’s Richard Engel. Engel, when the war started, was with the international press community staying at the Palestine Hotel when U.S. tanks fired on them and journalists were killed. The message from the Pentagon was clear. If media was not embedded with US forces, and thus the message control that entails, they would be subject to being fired upon.

Lingering lies and unaddressed issues

Just as soon as the last stryker vehicle’s tires crossed into Kuwait, one of the Bush Administration’s grandest liars, Former Undersecretary for Policy for the DoD under Rumsfeld Doug Feith was on television telling the lie that the CIA gave faulty intelligence that led to war (WMD’s etc.). You see, Feith was in charge of Rumfeld’s Office of Special Plans, the group charged with creating false intelligence because the CIA wouldn’t do it. It became the emphasis of what the Downing Street memos were all about, fixing the intelligence around policy instead of policy being determined by intelligence. Besides the administration relying on unreliable persons such as “curveball”, Chalabi, and the exiled Iraqi National Congress, it relied on the false torture (illegal) produced confessions of Abu Zubaydah and Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (later found dead in a Libyan jail cell), the Niger yellow cake document forgeries of Valerie Plame Wilson fame (soon to be a must watch movie) and the Habbush letter forgery among other things. By now you are familiar with the lies such as Saddam had operational weapons of mass destruction, had a nuclear weapons program, was involved with al Qaeda and 9/11, etc., and many on the right still believe them. And can this really be the end with 50,000 troops remaining and a large imperial footprint in place?

And what were the real reasons for invading Iraq?

If they were lying, then what were the real reasons over 4,000 American service members lost their lives, over 30,000 injured, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians lost their lives and millions made refugees? The answer can be found in the original name before Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Iraqi Liberation or oil. It can be seen revealed in the FOIA request by Judicial Watch into the secret Cheney Energy Task Force before the war showing Iraqi oil fields and a multi-national corporate suitors list (oil fields map, corporate suitors for Iraqi oilfield contracts list 1, corporate suitors for Iraqi oilfield contracts list 2). It can also be seen in the Bremer Orders

Order 1-deBathification , Order 2- Dissolve the Iraqi military and intelligence apparatus, Order 12 and Order 54- Trade Liberalization, Order 14 –Prohibited media activity, Order17 -Contractor and military immunity from Iraqi laws, Order 37 and 49- Replace progressive tax system with flat tax system, Order 40 and 94- Iraqi banking open to foreign ownership, Order 62 -Bremer to determine who could run for office, Order 65 Iraqi Communications and Media Commission appointed by Bremer, Order 57 and 77-place American representatives in key decision making positions in the government ministries, Order 80, 81, and 83 Rewrote Iraq’s patent, trademark, and copyright laws. But the most obvious is Order 39. Provision-1, privatization, Provision 2-100 percent Foreign Ownership of Iraqi Businesses, Provision 3 National treatment of foreign investment, Provision-4 Unrestricted Repatriation of Profits for Foreign Investors, Provision 5-Forty Year Leases of Iraqi Real Estate by Foreign Entities and Provision 6 Disputes could be settled in international tribunals instead of Iraqi Courts.

So isn’t Iraq better off?

Well let’s look at some comparisons of pre-war Iraq to post-war Iraq. In a report written by Adil E. Shamoo, former born and raised in Baghdad, and now a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in a piece titled, “U.S. Occupation of Iraq More Than Doubles Poverty, Sickness — Leaves Country a Total Disaster” does just that using a report from UN-HABITAT, an agency of the United Nations. Some of the highlights include unemployment between 20 and 50 percent, continual sporadic violence that did not occur before the invasion, a dysfunctional parliament, and they no longer are in control of their oil assets. The population living in slums pre-war was under 20 percent, even during the period of severe economic sanctions imposed by the United States and a no fly zone (and an Iraq without a navy or air force). The population now living in slums is reported to be 53 percent and electricity is sporadic, maybe totalling only a few hours a day. The equivalency in the US would be around 121 million in slums for a comparison.

Republicans thought Obama should have given Bush more credit in his speech for this success.

Give it to him. America has gone from international leader and a creator of international law through the rule of law and the Nuremberg priniciples to international beligerent and violator of international law with “pre-emptive war” and torture prisons outside the rule of law. By all means, if they want this disgrace, let him have it. Or maybe I just have a pre 9/11 mindset, eh?

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