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OBAMA ALL HAIL OUR CIC

underdawg 2011/12/15 17:07:00

Obama at Fort Bragg: A hypocritical embrace of a Criminal War

15 December 2011

President
Barack Obama used his speech to US troops at Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Wednesday to embrace the nine-year war in Iraq that he had ostensibly
opposed and to declare the destruction of the country a “success.”

Obama
exploited a captive audience of 3,000 soldiers assembled at the largest
US Army base in the world as part of a cynical attempt to use the
withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, which is to be completed by the end
of this month, to promote his own reelection campaign.

The speech
appeared to have been written by someone who threw out Abraham
Lincoln’s famous adage and adopted the view that you can “fool all of
the people all of the time.”

The Democratic president presented
the complete withdrawal of American forces as an “extraordinary
achievement” for his administration, while telling the troops that it
was necessary to “remember everything that you did to make it possible.”

The
reality is that the withdrawal of America’s armed forces from Iraq is
not the deliberate outcome of US policy, but rather the unavoidable
result of Washington’s failure to negotiate a new Status of Forces
agreement to permit the administration’s favored plan, which was to
leave behind as many as 20,000 troops.

That failure was based on
the refusal of the Iraqi government, and indeed all of the major
political forces in the country, to accede to Washington’s demand for
blanket immunity for US troops from Iraqi law. Mass popular opposition,
based on the bitter experiences of the Iraqi people over nearly nine
years of US occupation, with all of its death and brutality, made any
such agreement impossible.

Even as Obama used the Fort Bragg
speech to wrap himself in the American flag and associate himself with
the US military—he referred to himself as “commander-in-chief” three
times
, while his wife Michelle introduced him to the military audience
by that title—he sought to promote the illusion among his liberal
Democratic base that the withdrawal represents the fulfillment of a 2008
campaign pledge.

This is a bare-faced lie. Obama won the 2008
election in large measure due to the deep-going hostility among the
American electorate to the wars begun under the Bush administration. He
pledged to end the war in Iraq within 16 months of coming to office.
Once in the White House, however, he retained Bush’s secretary of
defense, Robert Gates, and largely ceded policy decisions to the
Pentagon brass.

The December 31, 2011 deadline for completing
troop withdrawals was set not by Obama, but was rather part of the
Status of Forces Agreement reached between Bush and the Iraqi regime in
2008. Bush, like Obama, had fully intended to renegotiate this pact to
allow permanent stationing of US troops in the country.

As it is,
Washington is doing its best to maintain its grip on Iraq, replacing
uniformed troops with an army of up to 17,000 under the nominal
direction of the US State Department. It is to include a force of 5,500
private mercenary security contractors, a massive CIA station, and
Special Operations troops operating covertly out of uniform. Tens of
thousands of US troops are being kept in place across Iraq’s border in
Kuwait and elsewhere in the Persian Gulf, while the US Navy and the US
Air Force remain in control of the country’s coastlines and airspace
.

US
imperialism remains poised to intervene once again in the country, even
as it engages in unceasing saber-rattling against its neighbor, Iran.
Obama’s hailing of “the end of the war in Iraq” may prove decidedly
premature.

Obama’s speech, which included no hint of his own
supposed opposition to the Iraq war, was filled with empty rhetoric—such
as, “there is something profound about the end of a war that has lasted
so long”—meant to obscure and falsify what the war was all about. He
sought to portray it as a crusade for democracy and the liberation of
the Iraqi people.

“We remember the early days—the American units
that streaked across the sands and skies of Iraq: the battles from
Karbala to Baghdad,” said Obama, as if recounting some heroic exploit.
In reality, the “early days” were the days of “shock and awe,” when
massive US bombardments killed civilians and largely defenseless Iraqi
troops alike in an unprovoked attack on an oppressed and impoverished
country.

“We remember the grind of the insurgency,” he added,
declaring that the will of the troops “proved stronger than the terror
of those who tried to break it.” Here one has the inevitable and
time-worn rhetoric of colonialism. Those resisting the foreign
occupation of their country are “terrorists,” while occupiers are
endowed with the supreme right to impose their will.

“We remember
the specter of sectarian violence,” he continued, telling the troops,
“in the face of ancient divisions, you stood firm to help those Iraqis
who put their faith in the future.” One would never guess that the
bloody carnage and ethnic cleansing had itself been unleashed by the US
invasion, the destruction of the Iraqi state, and the deliberate
promotion by Washington of sectarian divisions as a means of conquering
the country.

Obama referred to the “heavy cost of this war,”
citing the nearly 4,500 US troops killed and the more than 30,000
wounded. Yet, he suggested, it was worth it, because nearly nine years
of war had led to a “moment of success.”

“Now Iraq is not a
perfect place,” he said. “It has many challenges ahead. But we’re
leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a
representative government that was elected by its people.”

Missing
from this narrative was any reference to the cost that the US war
imposed on its unwilling victims, the Iraqi people. According to
credible estimates, these costs include a million Iraqi lives. Some four
million people were driven from their homes, forced to flee the country
or become internal refugees. Basic infrastructure was smashed, leaving
masses of the population without adequate access to electricity, clean
water and other basic necessities of life.

A country of 30
million has been left with 4.5 million orphans, some 600,000 of them
living in the streets. There are an estimated 1.5 million widows in the
country, 10 percent of Iraq’s female population
.

The poverty rate
has risen from 15 percent before the war and occupation to 55 percent
today, with a quarter of the population living in extreme poverty. The
United Nations gives the unemployment rate at 28 percent, while others
suggest that the share of the population without real jobs is closer to
50 percent.

Meanwhile, lethal violence continues, with an average
of 243 Iraqi civilians killed in each of the first six months of this
year.
On the day Obama delivered his speech at Fort Bragg, just the
initially reported incidents of bombings in Baghdad and Ishaqi and
shootings in Mosul and Fallujah killed at least 11 people, leaving many
more wounded.

Nine years of US war and occupation have indeed left Iraq less than “a perfect place.”

What
is perhaps most stunning about what is being billed as Obama’s keynote
speech on the end of the Iraq war is his complete inability to present
even the semblance of a coherent explanation of why the US went to war
in the first place.

“Because you sacrificed so much for a people
that you had never met, Iraqis have a chance to forge their own
destiny,” he said. “That’s part of what makes us special as Americans.
Unlike the old empires, we don’t make these sacrifices for territory or
for resources. We do it because it’s right.”

In another passage,
he told the assembled soldiers: “Never forget that you are part of an
unbroken line of heroes spanning two centuries—from the colonists who
overthrew an empire, to your grandparents and parents who faced down
fascism and communism, to you—men and women who fought for the same
principles in Fallujah and Kandahar, and delivered justice to those who
attacked us on 9/11.”

This is all nonsense and lies. Do the White
House speechwriters really expect anyone to believe that 170,000
American troops were deployed in Iraq to give Iraqis “a chance to forge
their own destiny” with no thought for the 112 billion barrels of oil
within the country—the second largest proven reserves in the world?

People
in Iraq had been forging their own destiny for thousands of years
without the help of American bombs, missiles and bullets. Far from an
unbroken line from the colonists who overthrew an empire in the 18th
century, America’s ruling elite in the 21st century embarked upon naked
colonial-style wars aimed at imposing US hegemony over the world’s key
energy producing regions of the Persian Gulf and Central Asia.

As
for delivering “justice” to those who attacked the US on September 11,
2001, there is no record of anyone allegedly involved in these attacks
having come from Fallujah or Basra, where Al Qaeda had never been heard
of before the US military invaded Iraq.

Obama merely recycles
some of the old lies of the Bush administration, while wisely skipping
over the principal pretext given to the American people for the war: an
imminent threat from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that did not, in
fact, exist.

As Obama gave his speech at Fort Bragg, thousands of
Iraqis demonstrated in the streets of Fallujah, scene of the bloodiest
US sieges of the war in 2004 and 2005, which claimed thousands of lives
and left virtually the entire city of half a million people in rubble.

The
demonstration was called as a “festival to celebrate the role of the
resistance” in forcing an end to the US occupation. Demonstrators
carried photographs of friends and relatives killed in the American
offensive as well as placards bearing slogans such as “Now we are free”
and “Fallujah is the flame of the resistance.” Others burned US flags.

“I’m
glad to see the Americans are leaving Iraq,” a taxi driver, Ahmed
Jassim, told Reuters. “It’s only now we truly feel the taste of freedom
and independence. We will not see American forces anymore. They remind
us of strife and destruction.”

In his cynicism, Obama may think
that the American people do not remember how the US got into Iraq. He
may reassure himself that they have no alternative in any case, given
that both Democrats and Republicans are fully implicated in this
criminal war of aggression.

The lying and glorification of the
Iraq war—which gave the world the horrors of Abu Ghraib, the siege of
Fallujah, the massacre in Haditha and countless other war crimes—is not
just a matter of electoral calculations. Obama is compelled to defend
this war because its original aims—the use of military might to offset
the decline of American capitalism through the armed occupation of the
world’s key energy producing regions—are still pursued by the US ruling
elite.

With all the talk about the ending of a decade of war, the
downward spiral of US and world capitalism is creating the conditions
for global military conflagrations that will eclipse the crimes
committed by American militarism in Iraq.

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Opinions

  • The Ele... JuneGagnon 2011/12/16 06:30:16
    The Electrician
    +1
    What "fraud" ?
  • underdawg The Ele... 2011/12/16 16:35:29
    underdawg
    some people still believe the warmongering Commies version of 9-11 being a Muslim op
  • underdawg JuneGagnon 2011/12/16 06:55:23
    underdawg
    +1
    THE WARMONGERING Commie Jesuits tyrants who run the US make me sick.

    Communism is defined by the Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto. ALL Ten Planks,
    except for a portion of one of them (abolition of private property – now well on its way to
    enforcement with Agenda 21), have been installed in the U.S. Government. The United States, At this time in history, has a Communist government, whether we want to believe it or not.
  • The Ele... underdawg 2011/12/16 17:46:26
    The Electrician
    What planet do you come from ?
  • underdawg The Ele... 2011/12/16 17:53:20
  • BoomLover 2011/12/16 06:24:24
    BoomLover
    +2
    Thanks for the empty rhetoric, oh great CIC, (Criminal in Chief)........does anyone catch the irony of his speech being given to our Army Troops, after having declared the Fort Hood Massacre an "incident of workplace violence"....Not only is he our Criminal in Chief, he is also our Muslim in Chief...
  • underdawg BoomLover 2011/12/16 06:58:50
    underdawg
    +1
    OBAMA gets readers, (Criminal in Chief). no doubt, Commie in command

    seww
  • DJL 2011/12/16 06:03:42
    DJL
    +2
    The Big Story today: The war is over — right? The remaining 5,500 u.s. troops in Iraq are packing up — and that’s good news. They’re ready to hand full control over to the Iraqis by Christmas of this year, nine years after the U.S.-led invasion.

    But after they come home, 16,000 U.S. contractors on our tax payroll and personnel will stay behind in Baghdad wearing our identity and doing our work. In fact, Baghdad will be the largest U.S. embassy on the planet for the United States. President Obama today at Ft. Bragg admitted the Iraq we leave behind is not perfect by his view, and that success was never a guarantee


    http://www.dylanratigan.com/2...
  • underdawg DJL 2011/12/16 07:00:24
    underdawg
    article states..

    Washington is doing its best to maintain its grip on Iraq, replacing
    uniformed troops with an army of up to 17,000 under the nominal
    direction of the US State Department. It is to include a force of 5,500
    private mercenary security contractors, a massive CIA station, and
    Special Operations troops operating covertly out of uniform. Tens of
    thousands of US troops are being kept in place across Iraq’s border in
    Kuwait and elsewhere in the Persian Gulf, while the US Navy and the US
    Air Force remain in control of the country’s coastlines and airspace.

    US imperialism remains poised to intervene once again in the country, even
    as it engages in unceasing saber-rattling against its neighbor, Iran.
    Obama’s hailing of “the end of the war in Iraq” may prove decidedly
    premature.
  • DJL underdawg 2011/12/17 04:17:33
    DJL
    What Obama is saying is a lie just like most of the other times he has opened his mouth.
  • Bill ~PWCM~JLA 2011/12/15 21:10:22
    Bill ~PWCM~JLA
    +4
    Obama's doing the best he can.....

    .... on the golf course.
    obama golfing
  • underdawg Bill ~P... 2011/12/16 07:03:26
  • The Gip... Bill ~P... 2011/12/16 16:00:37
    The Gipper~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    From what I've heard, that's not very good either!

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