Re-starting Iraq war helps ISIS terrorism


This video from the USA says about itself:

“Insanity”: CodePink‘s Medea Benjamin on Obama Plan to Bomb Syria, Expand Iraq Attacks

12 September 2014

The Pentagon has announced it will soon start flying bombing missions out of the Kurdish region of northern Iraq as part of an expanded U.S.-led military campaign against militants from the Islamic State. But it remains unclear when the U.S. will begin launching airstrikes in Syria. According to McClatchy, President Obama has not yet authorized the U.S. Central Command to conduct offensive combat operations in Syria as many questions over U.S. strategy remain unresolved. To talk more about President Obama’s plans to expand U.S. military operations in Iraq and to bomb Syria, we are joined by one of the nation’s leading peace activists, Medea Benjamin, founder of CodePink which held a protest outside the White House on Wednesday during President Obama’s speech. She is the author of “Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.”

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Another western war won’t end terror in Iraq or Syria. It will only spread it

Bombing and more intervention can’t destroy Isis. The US is at the heart of the crisis in the Middle East

Seumas Milne

Thursday 18 September 2014

Barely a month into the latest American bombing campaign in Iraq, and they’re already talking escalation. Last week Barack Obama promised that his plans to destroy the so-called Islamic State (Isis) would “not involve American combat troops”. This week General Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said that’s exactly what he would be “recommending” if air power didn’t work.

If “work” means destroy Isis’s grip on western Iraq and eastern Syria, it won’t. So expect the new war that Chuck Hagel, the US defence secretary, says will last several years to ramp up in the months ahead. Yesterday Obama stuck to his formula. But there are already 1,600 US military “advisers” on the ground. Special forces will no doubt be back in serious numbers before long.

The final cue was given by the repulsive video beheading of US and British journalists and aid workers by the sectarian fundamentalist group. Their Isis executioner declared that the atrocities were in retaliation for 160-odd American air attacks since early August, and Britain’s arming of their Kurdish opponents.

Forget the sobering fact that the western-backed Saudi regime has beheaded dozens in public in recent months, including for “sorcery”, or that British troops infamously had themselves photographed with the severed heads of guerrillas during the Malayan war in the 1950s.

Such calculated acts of gruesome cyberterror softened up the US public for the renewed bout of western warmaking in the Middle East they have until now resisted – which appears to have been exactly Isis’s aim. Now the US president has bowed to relentless pressure to go back to war in Iraq – the country he was elected to withdraw from. Of course, it’s supposed to be different this time: “surgical strikes” and covert forces in support of Iraqi and Kurdish troops instead of invasion and occupation.

But Isis’s main base is in Syria, not Iraq. So Obama is also gearing up for an illegal bombing campaign in Syria and the training of an extra 5,000 “moderate rebels” – who US officials privately concede “don’t really exist”. Naturally, it’s all been nodded through by another coalition of the more-or-less willing to bypass the UN security council.

So a year after the US and its allies planned to bomb Bashar al-Assad’s forces, they’re now planning to bomb his enemies. David Cameron is preparing to ratchet up Britain’s role in the campaign as soon as the Scottish referendum is out of the way – with the Australians and French chafing to join up too. There’s even talk of setting up new UK military bases in Gulf states such as the UAE, Oman and Bahrain to bolster the war against Isis.

What has been launched by the US and its allies this week is in effect their third Iraq war in a generation. It follows the US-led war to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1991 and the cataclysmic US-British invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. Now Obama has launched yet another intervention to rid the country of the direct consequences of the last one.

It doesn’t take a strategic mastermind to grasp that it is energy wealth that has made Iraq the object of such unparalleled military force. But the results haven’t been disastrous in terms of carnage and destruction only.

Even in its own terms, western warmaking has failed. Bush and Blair’s invasion demonstrated the limits, rather than the extent, of US power. Obama’s war on Isis looks more like the Afghanistan war launched in 2001, supposedly to destroy al-Qaida and the Taliban. The result spread al-Qaida across the region and turned the Taliban into a guerrilla army of resistance.

Thirteen years later, the Taliban controls large parts of Afghanistan and most Nato troops are on their way out. Al-Qaida has been eclipsed by the even more extreme Isis, which mushroomed out of the western-sponsored destruction of the Iraqi and Syrian states. Something similar is happening in the chaos bequeathed by Nato intervention in Libya three years ago.

We’re now witnessing a replay of the war on terror, more than a decade after it was demonstrated to fuel terrorism rather than fight it. Since 9/11 the US has launched 94,000 air strikes: most against Iraq and Afghanistan, but also Libya, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians in the process.

Obama refers approvingly to the drone and special-forces campaigns in Yemen and Somalia as a model for his new war in Iraq. But they haven’t just killed large numbers of civilians. They have been a recruiting machine for al-Qaida and al-Shabab, and fanned civil war. And that’s what’s happening in Iraq, where US-backed attacks by government forces this month killed 31 civilians, including 24 children, in a school near Tikrit.

Right now Isis is a threat to Iraqis and Syrians and offers them no viable future. But as Obama has conceded, a group that’s more interested in controlling territory as a fantasy caliphate than al-Qaida-style global jihad poses no direct threat to the US, or Britain for that matter. As a result of renewed intervention, however, it could become one.

The crisis in the Arab world doesn’t just reflect the Shia-Sunni schism inflamed by the Iraq occupation, but the continuing western-backed rule of dictators in both the Gulf and north Africa, from Egypt to Saudi Arabia. Last year’s bloody US-indulged coup against Egypt’s elected Islamist president has paved the way for Isis-style violence.

The alternative to Obama’s new Middle East war is concerted pressure for UN-backed agreement between the main regional powers, including Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia, to wind down the Syria conflict and back a genuine unity government in Iraq. An end to western support for the Egyptian dictatorship would also help.

Bombing will not destroy Isis, but win it sympathy – or even cause it to mutate into something worse. Only Iraqis and Syrians can defeat Isis. But the US remains determined to keep control of the Middle East, while being unable to find a stable way of doing it. So its response to every failure of intervention is more intervention. The US and its allies are at the heart of the problem in the Middle East, not the solution.

France had wanted Iran to attend an international conference in Paris aimed at co-ordinating actions in Iraq, but the US vetoed its presence: here.

Iraq war re-start cartoon


Iraq war cartoon by Brian McFadden

This is a cartoon by Brian McFadden from the USA.

It is about the United States re-starting war in Iraq; a war expanding into Syria as well.

THE US’ top military commander General Dempsey has broken ranks with President Obama by telling the Senate Armed Services Committee that US troops may become involved in ground attacks against the Islamic State, and that he may recommend it, despite the repeated pledges to the contrary from President Obama: here.

The House passed measures to arm Syrian rebels in the fight against ISIS, and the vote moves to the Senate today. And President Obama walked back General Dempsey’s comments about boots on the ground in Iraq. [WSJ]

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi yesterday declared that foreign ground troops are neither necessary nor wanted in the battle against the Islamic State (Isis) group. He flatly rejected the idea after US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin Dempsey on Tuesday said that US ground troops may be needed if current efforts to combat Isis fail: here.

Re-starting Iraq war helps, doesn’t stop, ISIS


This video from the USA says about itself:

11 September 2014

For more on the issues affecting the Middle East, CCTV America spoke to Kate Gould. She’s a Middle East Policy expert and a peace advocate with the lobbying group “Friends Committee on National Legislation“.

Kate Gould quote, on Twitter:

“Every new US bomb dropped in Iraq & potentially in Syria is a recruitment bonanza for the Islamic State“.

Why Congress should vote “no” on airstrikes: here.

Russell Brand: Will Obama’s bombs stop ISIS beheadings? See here.

ISIS Draws a Steady Stream of Recruits From Turkey: here.

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris yesterday to rubber-stamp a coalition hurriedly assembled to face Islamic State (Isis) in Iraq and Syria: here.

Western leaders gathered in Paris yesterday to agree action against the so-called Islamic State (Isis) are still ignoring the roots of the crisis engulfing the Middle East: here.

The anti-Isis offensive is another war to rearrange the Middle East dressed up as humanitarian action, says Ramzy Baroud: here.

At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey set the stage for a massive and protracted expansion of US military operations in Iraq and Syria: here.

‘The campaign formerly called “the War on Terror” has only proven to perpetuate both war and terror': here.

British airstrikes on Syria may be illegal


This video from Parliament in London, England says about itself:

Nick Clegg during the PMQ’s on 21st July [2010] whilst standing in for David Cameron … calls the Iraq War Illegal…. Well done Nick for saying what many of us think.

George W Bush and Tony Blair starting the Iraq war in 2003 was illegal; as most people in the world think, including the Deputy Prime Minister in the British David Cameron administration, Nick Clegg.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Andrew Grice, political editor

Monday 15 September 2014

David Cameron has been warned that UK air strikes against Isis in Syria could be illegal under international law.

Officials in the House of Commons Library have cast doubt on the Prime Minister’s view that Isis targets could be bombed in Syria as well as Iraq on the grounds that the Assad regime in Syria is “illegitimate.”

In a briefing paper for MPs, officials said: “Action in Syria will be difficult to justify legally without a request for assistance from the Assad government, and it is unlikely that the West could be seen to be responding to such a request.

“The British Government has said that any action in Syria will comply with international law, and the most likely way to achieve this would be to claim that military action is for humanitarian purposes, using the Responsibility to Protect doctrine. This remains controversial, however, without a United Nations Security Council resolution to authorise it.” …

Downing Street said the Prime Minister’s view had not changed since his previous comments. It denied that a decision on military action had been delayed until after Thursday’s referendum in Scotland to avoid alienating voters who opposed the 2003 Iraq war. …

The Commons Library report warns: “Given that the full-scale invasion and occupation for several years from 2003 onwards struggled to pacify Iraq, air strikes alone are not likely to succeed. Isis controls large amounts of territory, population and natural resources and is consequently far better funded than the Sunni resistance which so troubled US forces after the 2003 invasion.

“What is more, air strikes are likely to result in civilian casualties as Isis forces hide among the civilian population. This is conceivably their aim – to provoke the West into military action which hurts Muslim civilians, thus supporting their narrative of the West’s ‘war on Islam’.”

Pentagon: US ground troops may join Iraqis in combat against Isis: here.

Chelsea E Manning writes from Fort Leavenworth jail in the USA:

How to make Isis fall on its own sword

Degrade and destroy? The west should try to disrupt the canny militants into self-destruction, because bombs will only backfire