United States war in Iraq, continued


This video from the USA says about itself:

Professor Noam Chomsky discusses why the U.S. went to war with Iraq. Recorded on November 4, 2002.

By Representative Alan Grayson in the USA today:

Rep. Grayson: Stay out of Mosul

Haven’t we learned anything?

In 1899, Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem called The White Man’s Burden, urging America to bring “civilization” to the Philippines. The results were 250,000 deaths, war crimes, and denial of Philippine independence for half a century.

Haven’t we learned anything?

U.S. forces occupied Iraq for nine years, until the Iraqis insisted that we leave. The results were more than 600,000 deaths, a cost of $4 trillion (8% of our national net worth), and a Sunni vacuum that the Islamic State [ISIS] terror group has filled.

Haven’t we learned anything?

I’ve been to every country in the world recognized by the United Nations. There are a few universals. Everywhere, people want to fall in love; they love children and pets; they’re acquisitive. And everywhere, people don’t want to see foreigners with guns. They’d prefer a local dictatorship to a foreign military occupation. So please don’t tell me that sending U.S. troops back to Iraq would be “for their own good.”

Some argue that we must send U.S. troops to Mosul for our sake, regardless of what the Iraqis want or need. That’s called “colonialism.” It pits us against one of the great narratives of our times, world decolonization. It invites the hatred not only of more than 1 billion Muslims but the entire world. They will see us not as liberators but as the enemy.

It is a bizarre misconception to think that sending U.S. troops 8,000 miles from home somehow makes us safer. It doesn’t. And it is a great disservice to our troops to fight in a place where they don’t understand the language, the religion or the customs.

As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I asked 10 nearby Sunni Muslim countries whether they would send ground forces to fight ISIL [ISIS]. Four said yes. Then I asked Secretary of State John Kerry whether he had asked the same question. He said no.

If Iraq actually is a thing, then it should be capable of defending itself. If it can’t or won’t, then fighters who look and sound like locals should do the job.

It isn’t the white man’s burden. It never was.

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Nuclear weapons for Germany?


This 2010 video is called Wikileaks News: European countries that host US nuclear weapons.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

Right-wing German daily and Christian Democratic politicians call for nuclear weapons

30 November 2016

German militarism is assuming ever more openly aggressive forms. Following the German parliament’s (Bundestag) decision on Friday to massively increase the military budget, a discussion has now been launched about providing the German army (Bundeswehr) with nuclear weapons.

In Monday’s edition of the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, co-editor Berthold Kohler called in a piece headlined “The utterly unimaginable” for the new foreign minister to “subject German foreign policy to an overhaul, particularly with regard to its security policy aspects.” A “simple ‘same as before’ along the well-worn path” could not be permitted.

The new “path” advocated by Kohler consists of “higher spending on defence,” the “revival of compulsory military service,” and something which was for “German minds completely inconceivable, the question of our own nuclear deterrent.”

Kohler’s demand reveals what has been intensively discussed and prepared behind the backs of the population. Just a few days earlier, Christian Democratic Union (CDU) security policy expert Roderich Kiesewetter called in an interview with Reuters for the construction of a European nuclear deterrent, focusing above all on the expansion of the French and British nuclear programmes.

The FAZ is now going one step further. According to Kohler, the “French and British arsenals [are] too weak in their current condition.” Like Der Spiegel prior to the US election, he raised the demand for Germany’s own nuclear weapons and justified this by citing the alleged “withdrawal of America from the world,” which would continue under a future President Trump and further encourage China and Russia “to expand their areas of domination and spheres of influence.”

In truth, it is German imperialism which is seeking, 75 years after the Second World War, once again to expand its areas of dominance and spheres of influence.

In an interview with the Welt am Sonntag, President Joachim Gauck, who introduced the foreign policy shift with his speech on German Unification Day in 2013, praised the current rearmament drive as “worthwhile.” Germany had to deal with the question of “What happens if America is focused above all on itself,” Gauck stated.

Answering the question as to “who will assume the role of leading power in the free Western world,” the former pastor responded, “This will place more responsibility on Europe and therefore on Germany. By the way: In almost every country I have travelled to over the past four years, I was confronted with the wish that Germany play a greater role in the world.” Therefore, it was “good if we say ‘yes’ to this role.”

The last time the German ruling class said “yes” to “a greater role for Germany in the world” it committed the worst crimes in human history. If they are now dreaming of their own nuclear weapons—weapons capable of destroying the entire planet—it must be taken seriously.

Already in the 1950s under the conservative government of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (CDU) and Defence Minister Franz-Josef Strauß (Christian Social Union) nuclear weapons for the army were supported,

Franz-Josef Strauß said: ‘If Germany won’t be allowed to have nuclear weapons, then another Fuehrer like Hitler will come’. Which led to a cartoon in a Dutch daily, in which Strauß said: ‘We want a Fuehrer … err, no … we want nuclear weapons’.

but the government had to back down in the face of mass protests.

When Adenauer provocatively declared on April 5, 1957, that tactical nuclear weapons amounted to “nothing more than the further development of the artillery,” significant opposition developed that was joined by influential academics. On April 12 of that year, the famous Göttingen Manifesto was issued against the nuclear arming of the army, signatories of which included Otto Hahn, Max Born and Werner Heisenberg.

“Believe you me,” stated Adenauer quietly a few weeks later at a CDU national executive meeting. “The fear of the nuclear bomb is something emotional, and to master this emotion, after the German people had to endure this last war, will be very difficult.”

Since then, the opposition to militarism and war has grown still further. Whereas 67 percent of German citizens were against nuclear weapons in 1957, today it is almost everyone. In April, a poll conducted by Forza on behalf of the IPPNW found that 93 percent of the population thought nuclear weapons, like chemical and biological weapons, should be banned under international law.

But unlike in the past, there is no group of prominent academics prepared to protest against German rearmament. The struggle against war must be led by the working class, which as the only revolutionary force in society unites behind it all other progressive tendencies in the population.

Rape rampant in Canadian army


This video says about itself:

13 November 2015

Canada’s Sikh Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has faced racial abuse from his own soldier for being Indian. Apparently, a non-commissioned officer from the Canadian Forces Base commented on Sajjan making a racist reference on social media.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Hundreds of Canadian soldiers assaulted by colleagues

Today, 18:04

Nearly one thousand Canadian soldiers during the last twelve months have been victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment. More than a quarter of the female soldiers have been assaulted during their careers, says the Canadian Statistical Office.

The office examined the situation, because the Canadian army has had for long time a reputation of hostility and aggression against women and homosexuals.

The army top brass began last year a campaign to put an end to harassment and sexual violence, but the Canadian Chief of Staff General Jonathan Vance acknowledges that the campaign appears to have had little effect. He calls the outcome of the investigation “sobering, but not surprising.”

Ban

Vance thinks the sexual mores are substantial problem for the Canadian Forces. “We know about it and try to address it. These new figures make me more motivated than ever to eradicate this behavior and ban the perpetrators from the army.”

The statistical office calculated that sexual assault and sexual harassment in the armed forces appear almost twice as much as in other work environments. 840 soldiers say they had to do last year with “unwanted sexual touching”, 150 soldiers have assaulted people and 110 soldiers complained about other unwanted sexual acts.

Higher rank

About 15 percent of the Canadian Forces are women and most of the complaints came from women soldiers. 49 percent said the perpetrator was a man with a higher rank.

Statistically, for soldiers one may expect that far less than 49% of other soldiers are of higher rank. I have no Canadian army figures on this; but in most armies the higher the rank, the less soldiers with that rank. So it looks like the higher the rank, the worse the sexual abuse.

Among men who reported sexual violence or intimidation, the perpetrators were primarily soldiers in the same rank.

The report does not mention any case of a soldier with a lower rank assaulting or harassing someone of higher rank.

Eight out of ten surveyed Canadian soldiers have also witnessed or have been targets last year of inappropriate sexual comments, innuendo, insults and jokes, the researchers say.

Men in Canadian army are at ‘significantly’ greater risk of suicide after deployment, study finds: here.