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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 03:05 PM
Number of posts: 15,741

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"Dick Cheney Should be Rotting in The Hague, Not Writing Editorials"

...But Cheney’s hypocrisy on Iraq is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the reasons why he’s probably the worst person ever to listen to for advice on, well, everything. Remember, Cheney was the guy who almost bankrupted Halliburton by exposing it to asbestos liabilities and then used his position as Vice President of the United States to bail the company out with no-bid contracts during the Iraq War, all while owning millions in Halliburton stock options.

Remember, Cheney was the guy who played a key role in the Bush administration’s illegal torture program. You know - the illegal torture program that was based on tactics invented by Maoist China and turned our country into a pariah state. And remember, Cheney was the guy who was supposed be on the lookout for terrorist attacks in the summer of 2001, but was too busy plotting out ways to attack Iraq to listen to warning after warning about how Al Qaeda was about to kill thousands of Americans.

Cheney let 9/11 happen on his watch.

American history has had its share of villains - J. Edgar Hoover, Joe McCarthy, and Richard Nixon come to mind as some of the worst - but there is no one in recent history who has disgraced our country quite like Dick Cheney has. He lied his way into an illegal war, profited off that war, and shredded the Constitution. He’s a war criminal and has the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent people on his hands.

Dick Cheney should be rotting in a prison cell at The Hague, not writing editorials for the Wall Street Journal.

- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2014/06/dick-cheney-should-be-rotting-hague-not-writing-editorials#sthash.n3Fow1og.dpuf

Here's Who Is Fighting in Iraq and Why (VICE)

Team Sunni

The big name on the Sunni side is ISIS. The insurgent group originally started in the mid-2000s during the Iraq War, where the group developed a lot of close relationships and affiliated closely with local al Qaeda franchises. But ISIS really hit its stride in the Syrian Civil War, gaining some notoriety as the folks who were so psycho that they got dumped by al Qaeda. It’s not entirely clear whether psychopathy was actually the reason for the split, or whether it was an administrative and bureaucratic turf fight that got of hand, but you’re likely to hear both claims in the coming days.


Team Shia

Maliki has been beating on the Sunni and the Kurds in much the same way that Saddam was beating on the Shia and the Kurds, except for two things. One, Maliki hasn’t been putting a non-sectarian, nationalist political frosting over the top of it. Two, Saddam was only broadly known and understood to be a proxy for the Saudis and Gulf Arab States; Maliki and has been a lot more open about getting in bed with his benefactors, the Iranians, relying on them for things like delivering key voting blocks to maintain his grip on power.


Team Kurd

One potential winner in all of this might be the Kurds, an ethnic minority in northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, northeastern Syria, and easternmost Turkey. Without their own state, they’ve been under the heel of the central government in just about every country they’re found in. However, one of the consequences of turmoil in Iraq in recent decades has been the establishment of a fairly autonomous Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq. Then, during the ongoing Syrian conflict, Syrian Kurds have also taken the opportunity to carve out their own chunk of territory, effectively managing a Syrian Kurdistan which has been able to protect its borders and largely avoid being drawn into the main fighting.


The only thing they left out was Team Corporate Oil (that would be us)

Obama can't declare a new Iraq war without approval. Even Bush knew that. Isis is not al-Qaida:

New war, you ask? Hasn't the United States already decided to use the military option to counter al-Qaida, and isn't the threat posed by Isis just a new version of the battle that Congress already authorized Bush and Obama to fight? The answer – contrary to what many have suggested – is very clearly no.

Sending drones to fight Isis isn't simply some new front on a disappearing border. Congress has only authorized, in the wake of 9/11 and before Reaper drones were even introduced, the use of force against al-Qaida – and potentially groups working in direct association with it. But Isis is very clearly not one of them.


But if you ask legal scholars and independent terrorism experts, you find a completely different reality – one that should give Obama pause before acting on any air strikes, even if the time to send in the drones is running short. Because there is minimizing civilian casualties before Isis reaches Baghdad, and then there is rushing into war with a public so badly misinformed by parts of the media and its own government.

On various legal blogs, academics such as Deborah Pearlstein and Jennifer Daskal have been at pains to show how Isis is not associated with al-Qaida – far from it. Fissures grew between the two groups last year when Isis "repeatedly refused" instructions and advice from the head of al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and outright opposed his goals and directives. This year, Zawahiri officially gave up and announced that al-Qaida would have nothing to do with Isis. Al-Qaida's senior leadership stated that it has "no connection" with Isis, and that Isis is "not an affiliate with the al-Qaida group and has no organizational relation with it."

So what about that black flag? As Professor Pearlstein notes:

[T]errorist experts have regularly pointed out the popularity of the black flag with the white lettering among a range of Islamist groups across the region.

Of course, most Americans don't read legal blogs or research reports. Most Americans believe what they see on cable news. But the American public needs to understand from President Obama the choices ahead – and the enemy we are now apparently prepared to fight. And the president shouldn't just consult Congress on this one. He needs to receive our backing, too.


OMG! I just realized; it won't be Iraq War II, it'll be Iraq War III !!! Think about it,

how many times do we need to attack these poor people, burn their children?

How much hatred are we spreading?

Maliki tortured protesters, we tortured in Abu Ghraib!

What kind of evil is making these decisions that will foster generations of bloodshed.

No fucking Iraq War III. Isn't 2 enough already?

And this time, we're going to partner with the country they called the axis of evil, Iran, who people argued we needed to bomb just a year or so ago!

Sorry, just a little vent. OP yours people!

OK! I've thought of 1 positive thing if Obama maniacally starts Iraq War II -

Bernie Sanders will crush all pro-war chickenhawk challengers in any party in 2016.

Hillary will fold unless she comes out against the new war (unlikely).

And the R's will die as they elect Cheney or some other nut bag.

Spoiler: anti-war libertarian.

Can anyone give a positive reason to escalate in Iraq? Anyone?

Attack Iraq Again??? Why don't we bomb Vietnam again while we're at it!!! (sarcasm) nt

Escalating in Iraq means we can kiss 2014 goodbye. NT

Poll: should we re-engage militarily in Iraq, yes or no?

This would include air or drone strikes.

Flashpoint: Maliki's Violent Crackdown on Iraq Protesters 1 year ago:

From the Wall Street Journal April 23, 2013:

BAGHDAD—Iraq's security forces killed 38 people in clashes with mostly Sunni demonstrators and antigovernment insurgents in the northern city of al-Hawijah, as a raid on a protest camp transformed months of sectarian tensions into an armed conflict.

The clashes, on top of recent attacks on Shiite civilians by Sunni-aligned militants, risk fueling an outbreak of violence that has echoes in sectarian conflicts across the region.

Antiriot forces raided the al-Hawijah protest camp in Kirkuk province early Tuesday after protesters refused to hand over militants suspected in the killing of an Iraqi soldier several days earlier. Security forces, battling protesters with guns, killed 25 people, arrested 75 and recovered a large cache of weapons, according to the Ministry of Defense. Three soldiers were killed.
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Sunni militants in Iraq's western provinces, responding to the raid, seized police checkpoints in Riyadh and Rashad for several hours, until military reinforcements launched counterattacks, killing 13 gunmen, according to Iraqi security officials.

Soldiers cut road access to Kirkuk—long a flash point for Iraq's ethnic and religious tensions—on top of a curfew in regions to the south and west.

The protests in al-Hawijah and similar camps mark a powerful confluence of opposition groups that include reconstituted remnants of Saddam Hussein's ousted regime, al Qaeda-connected militants and Sunni tribal leaders.

The Sunni movement, in Kirkuk and the Sunni-dominated region to its southwest, has sought since late last year to undermine the Shiite-dominated national government in Baghdad. The Sunni opposition says they have been marginalized by the country's national power-sharing system.

Sunni religious leaders who had counseled peaceful protests for months were calling on their followers to take up arms against the Baghdad government on Tuesday.

Ten years after Saddam Hussein's overthrow, some of his associates and followers have banded together with other Sunni groups in the most substantial bid for Sunni power since his downfall. WSJ's Sam Dagher reports from Al-Hawijah, Iraq.

"We were always telling the protesters not to carry a gun or start attacking the armed forces," said cleric Abdul Malik al-Sa'adi on his official website. "Now self-defense has become a religious and legal duty, so defend yourselves and he who will be killed defending his money, family or country will be considered a martyr."

The movement has been supported by Iraq's Kurds. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, said he had temporarily dismissed Kurdish Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, after warning that he would replace Kurdish cabinet ministers unless they ended a boycott of cabinet meetings. The boycott began in early March after parliament held a budget vote without Kurdish members present.

"What you're seeing Maliki essentially saying to anyone who wants to listen is that I don't need any of you," said Crispin Hawes, the director of the Middle East and North Africa program at New York-based Eurasia Group, of the move against the Kurdish ministers.

Iraq saw destructive sectarian conflict during the height of the U.S. engagement in the country in 2006 and 2007, and the so-called Arab Spring political uprisings in Iraq's neighbors have contributed to a resurgence of sectarian volatility here.

The Sunni movement in Iraq is fueled in part by the uprising against a Shiite-linked, Iranian-backed regime in neighboring Syria, where Sunni extremists allied with Iraqi militants have grown in strength.

Some Iraqis expect a chain reaction after the raid on Tuesday. "I think it will be the beginning of a civil war and the beginning of the country falling apart," said Nada Ibrahim Aljubori, a member of the Sunni-backed al-Iraqiya List political coalition. "It won't fall apart in an easy way, it will be thousands of people dying."

Protests in Iraq's western provinces flared late last year when security forces under Mr. Maliki arrested bodyguards for a prominent Sunni cabinet member, accusing them of participating in an anti-Shiite militia.

Sunni protesters say Sunnis have been pushed aside by Mr. Maliki's Shiite-backed government and victimized by antiterrorism laws. More than 10,000 Sunni youth are in jail under the laws.

Mr. Maliki's cabinet forbade the Sunni-majority provinces of Anbar and Nineveh from voting in provincial elections on Saturday due to security concerns related to the protests. The cabinet said Tuesday that the vote would be held in July. Mr. Maliki's critics said the vote's delay was a political move.

Mr. Maliki said he would convene a committee to investigate Tuesday's violence that would include mostly of Mr. Maliki's Shiite coreligionists and Saleh al-Mutlaq, a Sunni ally of Mr. Maliki's.

Despite his loyalties to Mr. Maliki, Mr. Mutlaq walked out of a cabinet meeting Tuesday to protest the al-Hawijah killings. Two of his fellow Sunni cabinet members resigned.

In what appeared to be a separate incident, two bombs killed four people on Tuesday morning near a mosque in Dawra, in southern Baghdad.

Tuesday's violence in the Sunni regions grew out of a protest by anti-Maliki Sunni activists, who marched to a military checkpoint following Friday's afternoon prayers. A fight with military forces ensued that left one soldier and one protester dead. Protesters stole some of the military's weapons, according to Iraqi security forces.

The military responded by barricading the nearby al-Hawijah camp, preventing protesters from entering or leaving. After the protesters refused to turn in those who the military suspected had killed the soldier before a Sunday deadline, the military invaded the camp on Tuesday morning.


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