Bush’s Iraq invasion, 15 years later

This 20 March 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

“It Was A Crime”: 15 Years After U.S. Invasion, Iraqis Still Face Trauma, Destruction & Violence

It was 15 years ago today when the U.S. invaded Iraq on the false pretense that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction.

The attack came despite worldwide protest and a lack of authorization from the United Nations Security Council. At around 5:30 a.m. in Baghdad on March 20, 2003, air raid sirens were heard as the U.S. invasion began.

The fighting has yet to end, and the death toll may never be known. Conservative estimates put the Iraqi civilian death toll at 200,000. But some counts range as high as 2 million.

In 2006, the British medical journal Lancet estimated 600,000 Iraqis died in just the first 40 months of the war. The U.S. has also lost about 4,500 soldiers in Iraq. Just last week, seven U.S. servicemembers died in a helicopter crash in western Iraq near the Syrian border.

The war in Iraq has also destabilized much of the Middle East. Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and others have directly blamed the U.S. invasion of Iraq for the rise of ISIS.

We speak to the Iraqi-French sociologist Zahra Ali, who teaches at Rutgers University; Matt Howard, co-director of About Face: Veterans Against the War, the organization formerly known as Iraq Veterans Against the War; and Sami Rasouli, founder and director of the Muslim Peacemaker Teams in Iraq.

This 20 March 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

15 Years of Mass Destruction in Iraq

On the 15th anniversary of “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, CODEPINK‘s Medea Benjamin and scholar Sabah Alnasseri discuss the war that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and more than 4,500 American troops–and that changed Iraq and the Middle East forever.

‘HOW DECADES OF U.S. WAR IN IRAQ SHAPED — AND SCATTERED — ONE FAMILY’ “‘I used to be okay,’ said Hilda Simonian, who regularly suffers from paranoia and flashbacks 20 years after reaching safety in Canada.” [HuffPost]

By a margin of 2 to 1, Americans now say 15 years after the Iraq War that it was a mistake.

Fifteen years ago today, on the night of March 20-21, 2003, the armed forces of the United States and Great Britain began an illegal and unprovoked invasion of Iraq, a country of 26 million people. As bombs and missiles began to rain down on Iraq’s cities, and tanks and armored vehicles crossed the border from Kuwait, US President George W. Bush set in motion a war of aggression whose catastrophic consequences now shape world politics: here.

10 thoughts on “Bush’s Iraq invasion, 15 years later

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  5. June 27, 1993: The US military unleashed 23 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq, in what President Bill Clinton intended as a show of “toughness” against the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. At least eight civilians were killed when three of the cruise missiles slammed into a residential neighborhood in the early hours of the morning.

    Among the dead were Layla al-Attar, a museum curator and well-known Iraqi painter, and most of her family. The missile struck her sister’s house, where al-Attar was living while her own home, badly damaged by US bombs in the Persian Gulf war of 1990-91, was being repaired.

    The missiles were fired by two US destroyers, the USS Peterson, operating in the Red Sea, and the USS Chancellorsville, operating in the Persian Gulf. Most of the missiles struck a building identified as the headquarters of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.

    The pretext for the raid was a claim by CIA officials that the Iraqi intelligence Service was responsible for an alleged assassination plot against former president George H. W. Bush during his visit to Kuwait in April 1993, which was broken up ahead of time by Kuwaiti security forces. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh subsequently reported that the explosive devices “found” by the Kuwaitis were of commonplace design and probably not even manufactured in Iraq. Newsweek magazine devoted its cover story to the decision-making process inside the White House which led to the murderous assault, glorifying the role of Clinton, his chief military adviser Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Vice President Gore. The magazine was given unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to chronicle the seven days that led up to the attack.

    Clinton gave a television address on the raid, then slept for eight hours, pronouncing it “the best sleep I’ve had in months.” The International Workers Bulletin commented, “For Clinton, the former antiwar protester, killing Iraqis is all in a day’s work, barely interrupting his late-night snacks. Murdering civilians in their sleep only makes his own sleep more sound.” The IWB noted that Clinton carried out the raid largely for domestic political reasons, after weeks in which he had been ridiculed for “weakness” and “indecision” in the media.



  6. Searching for Steele:

    Sparked by Wikileaks’ release of classified US military documents, this investigation uncovers how the Pentagon sent James Steele, a US veteran of the “dirty wars” in Central America, to oversee sectarian police commando units in Iraq that set up secret detention and torture centres to get information from fighters.

    Composed of violent Shia militias, these commandos evolved into death squads and eventually numbered over 17,000 men.

    General David Petraeus is also implicated in the chain of command in this abuse of human rights. Colonel James Coffman, another special forces veteran drafted in to oversee the operation, describes himself as Petraeus’ “eyes and ears out on the ground” in Iraq.

    “They knew everything that was going on there, the most horrible kinds of torture,” says General Muntadher al-Samari, speaking for the first time about the US role in the interrogation units. Ten years on from the invasion, the long-term effect this paramilitary force has unleashed is a deadly sectarian militia that has helped germinate a civil war claiming tens of thousands of lives.



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