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I decided to write this blog topic after #standingrock
After Two Wars, Standing Rock is the First Time I Served the American People by Will Griffin Published on
Sunday, October 30, 2016 by Common Dreams commondreams.org
‘I’ve been on the wrong side of history’
“…I was in Iraq when President Bush announced the “surge” in January 2007. I was in Afghanistan when President Obama announced the “surge” in December 2009. But it wasn’t until I visited Standing Rock in October 2016 when I actually served the American people. This time, instead of fighting for corporate interests, I was fighting for the people.
I traveled to Standing Rock with a small group of members from Veterans For Peace (VFP). VFP has had a continued presence at Standing Rock for months now, rotating members in and out. Two VFP members, Tarak Kauff and Matthew Hoh, were arrested on Oct. 10, Indigenous People’s Day, while peacefully protecting (not protesting) the water. We were also joined by VFP members Ellen Davidson, Sam Adams, Richard Gilchrist, Martin Bates, Michael Sullivan, Ann Wright, and drone whistleblower Cian Westmoreland.
Fellow veteran Matt Hoh and I agreed the camp was a reminder of Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) in Iraq and Afghanistan, without the mortars or rockets blowing up everywhere…
Matt and I also agreed that after our military “service” and multiple deployments to two wars, this was the first time we served the American people. After going to a few nonviolent direct action protests against the Black Snake, we realized what it actually meant to stand by the American people and fight in their interests. We suddenly had this feeling of honor, something we never had from our deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan.
We agreed that the only “people” we served overseas fighting were the likes of Halliburton, KBR, AECOM, DynCorp, Raytheon, Environmental Chemical, and so many more. We know that our own government lied to us. We know that the world is not a safer place than it was before the United States illegally occupied Iraq and Afghanistan; we understand that militaries don’t bring peace. Looking into the eyes of the police at Standing Rock, we saw ourselves.
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Peace is not merely the absence of war but the presence of justice.” That’s what we were fighting for at Standing Rock, peace and justice.
The militarized police forces on the ground weren’t keeping the peace or protecting justice, they were protecting corporate interests. The police were blocking peace and obstructing justice on behalf of corporations, greedy bankers and investors. During my 11 days there, I saw local law enforcement, out-of-jurisdiction police forces, private security forces, and the North Dakota National Guard—all on behalf of the corporations and the state, not the people. They arrested the people and protected the construction equipment.
We saw journalists being attacked and warrants issued for their arrests just for holding a microphone and interviewing people. We saw police forces using military-grade equipment that Matt and I used in combat zones overseas. We saw the infringement of constitutional rights such as the right to assemble. But most important, we saw Native Americans courageously continue to defend their land and people from a genocidal 500-year war against the state and corporations alike…
That’s why I joined the military; to provide a selfless service to my country. That myth has been shattered. After two wars, PTSD and moral injury, I’ve come to realize I’ve been on the wrong side of history.”
Below are other sides of this still on-going debate able topic..
John Howard defends Iraq war, saying it was ‘justified at the time’ Ben Doherty @bendohertycorro Thursday 7 July 2016 01.32 EDT theguardian.com
Former PM says claims Australia went to war on a lie are untrue: ‘There were errors in intelligence but there was no lie’
“..The Chilcot report was excoriating in its assessment of the British government’s decision-making process over going to war, saying that the threat posed by dictator Saddam Hussein was overplayed, intelligence was flawed, and the legal basis for the war was unsatisfactory…”
5 Reasons the Iraq War Was Not a Mistake by Joel B. Pollak19 May 2015 breitbart.com
“..2. An American force in the Middle East would increase pressure on Iran. Removing Saddam Hussain meant removing a threat to the Iranian regime. But putting hundreds of thousands of American troops on Iran’s western border–along with those already in Afghanistan to the east–meant posing a much more potent threat to the regime. That is why Iran temporarily slowed its nuclear program after 2003–and why the Iranian people found the courage to rise in 2009.
3. Freeing the people of Iraq was, and is, a worthy goal. Just a few years ago, with American and allied troops still in Iraq in significant numbers, the sectarian violence and terrorism that had plagued the country for years had begun to slow down. The Iraqi people began to enjoy some semblance of order, of democracy, and of liberty. Instead of staying in Iraq to guide and protect that process–as Obama had promised to do in 2008–Obama abandoned the Iraqi people.
4. International law means nothing unless it is backed up by the will to enforce it. Saddam Hussein defied international law repeatedly: He used WMD against his own people; he invaded his neighbors; he sponsored terrorism. And he did it because he had no fear of facing the consequences. International law, flawed though it is, is a necessary and stabilizing institution–and needs enforcement, even (especially) when global institutions are too corrupt to enforce it.
5. There is potential for freedom in the region–with American leadership. The fall of Saddam Hussein inspired the Lebanese people to rise up against Syrian occupation, and planted the seeds of what later became the Arab Spring. If American leadership had remained strong, that process might have been a positive one. (Certainly Syria would not have become a killing field.) The Middle East may never be fertile soil for democracy, but it can certainly be freer than it is today.
There are, of course, excellent arguments against the war. The best is that it was carried out in crisis management mode, without any real attempt to grapple with the strategic challenge of Iran (or extremism in other nations, such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan).
That argument still stands. But it has nothing to do with the question of whether Iraq had WMD…”
The CIA Just Declassified the Document That Supposedly Justified the Iraq Invasion By Jason Leopold March 19, 2015 | 12:10 pm news.vice.com
“..The NIE also restores another previously unknown piece of “intelligence”: a suggestion that Iraq was possibly behind the letters laced with anthrax sent to news organizations and senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy a week after the 9/11 attacks. The attacks killed five people and sickened 17 others…
According to the latest figures compiled by Iraq Body Count, to date more than 200,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed, although other sources say the casualties are twice as high. More than 4,000 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq, and tens of thousands more have been injured and maimed. The war has cost US taxpayers more than $800 billion.
In an interview with VICE founder Shane Smith, Obama said the rise of the Islamic State was a direct result of the disastrous invasion.
“ISIL is a direct outgrowth of al Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion,” Obama said. “Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.”..”
Tom Cotton Thinks The Iraq War Was Justified from youtube.com
“Published on May 23, 2015
Several prominent Republicans have recently backed off from full support of the Iraq war, which is certainly a change of pace from just a few years ago. Do not get tricked into believing that all Republicans no longer support that disastrous war.
John Iadarola (Think Tank) and Ben Mankiewicz (What The Flick) discuss the details of the story. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
Read more here: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/tom…
“Tom Cotton, the Iraq war veteran from Arkansas turned Republican senator, has a message to fellow soldiers: ‘We should not be ashamed of the war we conducted in Iraq.’
Leading Republicans are sticking by the Iraq war, declining to follow the Democrats into full retreat and regret.
Cotton, while conceding that there are lessons to be learned from the conflict and that it might have been handled differently in retrospect, maintains that President George W. Bush made the best decision he could at the time based on the available intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s presumed stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.””
Christopher Hitchens on Reasons for the Iraq War, Justifications, Military, and Media (2005) , youtube.com
“Published on Oct 14, 2013
The rationale for the Iraq War (i.e. the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent hostilities) has been a contentious issue since the Bush administration began actively pressing for military intervention in Iraq in late 2001. The primary rationalization for the Iraq War was articulated by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress known as the Iraq Resolution.
The U.S. stated that the intent was to remove “a regime that developed and used weapons of mass destruction, that harbored and supported terrorists, committed outrageous human rights abuses, and defied the just demands of the United Nations and the world”. Additional reasons have been suggested: “to change the Middle East so as to deny support for militant Islam by pressuring or transforming the nations and transnational systems that support it.” For the invasion of Iraq the rationale was “the United States relied on the authority of UN Security Council Resolutions 678 and 687 to use all necessary means to compel Iraq to comply with its international obligations”.
In the lead-up to the invasion, the U.S. and UK emphasized the argument that Saddam Hussein was developing “weapons of mass destruction” and thus presented a threat to his neighbors, to the U.S., and to the world community. The U.S. stated “on November 8, 2002, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1441. All fifteen members of the Security Council agreed to give Iraq a final opportunity to comply with its obligations and disarm or face the serious consequences of failing to disarm. The resolution strengthened the mandate of the UN Monitoring and Verification Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), giving them authority to go anywhere, at any time and talk to anyone in order to verify Iraq’s disarmament.” Throughout late 2001, 2002, and early 2003, the Bush Administration worked to build a case for invading Iraq, culminating in then Secretary of State Colin Powell’s February 2003 address to the Security Council. Shortly after the invasion, the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence agencies largely discredited evidence related to Iraqi weapons as well as links to Al-Qaeda, and at this point the Bush and Blair Administrations began to shift to secondary rationales for the war, such as the Hussein government’s human rights record and promoting democracy in Iraq. Opinion polls showed that the population of nearly all countries opposed a war without UN mandate, and that the view of the United States as a danger to world peace had significantly increased. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan described the war as illegal, saying in a September 2004 interview that it was “not in conformity with the Security Council.”
Accusations of faulty evidence and alleged shifting rationales became the focal point for critics of the war, who charge that the Bush Administration purposely fabricated evidence to justify an invasion it long planned to launch. Supporters of the war claim that the threat from Iraq and Saddam Hussein was real and that this has later been established. The U.S. led the effort for “the redirection of former Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) scientists, technicians and engineers to civilian employment and discourage emigration of this community from Iraq.”
Other critics have noted that the Iraq War has several similarities with the Korean War and Vietnam War.
The United States officially declared its combat role in Iraq over on August 31, 2010, although several thousand troops remained in the country until all American troops were withdrawn from Iraq by December 2011; between that time American troops also engaged in combat with Iraqi insurgents…”
Paul Schiffer interviews Jayna Davis on Terrorism and Middle East Connection to Oklahoma City-first , from youtube.com
The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing Paperback – July 27, 2008 by Jayna Davis .amazon.com
“..In this alarming book, reporter Jayna Davis tells of her amazing journey leading from the smoking rubble of the Murrah Federal Building to the sleazy haunts of John Doe #2, the mysterious Middle East suspect who the Justice Department was at first desperate to find?then insisted never existed.
With a reporter’s practiced skill, Jayna Davis unscrambles the convoluted and distorted facts of the Oklahoma City bombing to present a compelling case that proves Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols did not act alone and in fact worked in tandem with Middle East connections that lead directly to Saddam Hussein’s personal army.
Ten years after the tragic April 19 bombing, this revised edition of the controversial book that captured the attention of the 9/11 Commission offers new information and a new afterword that covers the Iraq War, the verdict in the Nichols state murder trial, and recent confirmation of Al-Qaeda General Al-Zawahiri’s visit to OKC to approve the bombing…”
1995 Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was a Muslim sympathizer Posted on November 23, 2015 by Dr. Eowyn fellowshipoftheminds.com
“..In her bestseller, The Third Terrorist, investigative journalist Jayna Davis presents the evidence showing that Timothy McVeigh was a front man for Middle Eastern terrorists, and that a third co-conspirator was an Iraqi — the mysterious “John Doe” who was never found. Davis says the evidence was ignored and dismissed because the Clinton Administration didn’t want to go to war with Iraq, the likely culprit, and wanted to blame the attack on domestic right-wingers for political reasons. ..”
Homeless Muslim Arrest Revisits OK City Bombing Islam Connection March 11, 2011, – 2:15 pm By Debbie Schlussel debbieschlussel.com
“…An FBI spokesman in Boston, Greg Comcowich, said Thursday night that a man named Hussain Al-Hussaini was “thoroughly investigated” in connection with the Oklahoma City bombing and “was found to not have any role whatsoever in the attack on the Murrah Federal Building in 1995.”..”
BILL OREILLY •Taken Down• BY U S IRAQ WAR VET from youtube.com
Uploaded on Mar 22, 2009
->Is an armament sickening U.S. soldiers updated 8/12/2006 10:43:50 PM ET nbcnews.com
“…Depleted uranium is the garbage left from producing enriched uranium for nuclear weapons and energy plants. It is 60 percent as radioactive as natural uranium. The U.S. has an estimated 1.5 billion pounds of it, sitting in hazardous waste storage sites across the country. Meaning it is plentiful and cheap as well as highly effective.
Reed says he unknowingly breathed DU dust while living with his unit in Samawah, Iraq. He was med-evaced out in July 2003, nearly unable to walk because of lightning-strike pains from herniated discs in his spine. Then began a strange series of symptoms he’d never experienced in his previously healthy life.
Then the medic from their unit showed up. He too, was suffering. That made eight sick soldiers from the 442nd Military Police, an Army National Guard unit made up of mostly cops and correctional officers from the New York area.
Tests come up positive, but …
Reed, Gerard Matthew, Raymond Ramos, Hector Vega, Augustin Matos, Anthony Yonnone, Jerry Ojeda and Anthony Phillip all have depleted uranium in their urine, according to tests done in December 2003, while they bounced for months between Walter Reed and New Jersey’s Fort Dix medical center, seeking relief that never came…
The veterans, using their positive results as evidence, have sued the U.S. Army, claiming officials knew the hazards of depleted uranium, but concealed the risks.
The Department of Defense says depleted uranium is powerful and safe, and not that worrisome…
Echoes of Agent Orange
It took more than 25 years for the Pentagon to acknowledge that Agent Orange — a corrosive defoliant used to melt the jungles of Vietnam and flush out the enemy — was linked to those sufferings.
It took 40 years for the military to compensate sick World War II vets exposed to massive blasts of radiation during tests of the atomic bomb.
In 2002, Congress voted to not let that happen again..”
Saddam Hussein should have been left to run Iraq, says CIA officer who interrogated him By Ishaan Tharoor December 16 at 12:44 PM washingtonpost.com
“Both President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump believe the United States never should have invaded Iraq in 2o03 (or, at least, Trump claims he now does). The war in Iraq and its chaotic aftermath in many ways prefigure the present moment in the Middle East; it triggered a sectarian unraveling that now haunts both Iraq and Syria and looms large in the minds of an Obama administration wary of further intervention in the region’s conflicts.
In a new book coming out this month, John Nixon, a former CIA officer who interrogated Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein after he was captured by coalition forces in December 2003, details his encounter with the toppled despot and the varied discussions that followed. Early on, Hussein warned that the occupation of Iraq wouldn’t be as much of a “cakewalk” as Washington’s neoconservatives assumed at the time. From an excerpt published on Time magazine’s website:
Nixon now reckons Hussein had a point and that a ruthless strongman like him was necessary to “maintain Iraq’s multi-ethnic state” and keep both Sunni extremism and the power of Shiite-led Iran, a Hussein foe, at bay…”
When I interrogated Saddam, he told me: “You are going to fail. You are going to find that it is not so easy to govern Iraq.” When I told him I was curious why he felt that way, he replied: “You are going to fail in Iraq because you do not know the language, the history, and you do not understand the Arab mind.”..”
Bush, Blair and the Lies That Justified the Illegal Iraq War Jul 6 2016 By Robin Andersen fair.org
‘..Of three possible justifications, two were dismissed. Self-defense was not plausible, as British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw argued: “The case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capacity was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.” Nor would humanitarian intervention make the case: Saddam was not engaged in genocide. The foreign secretary solved the puzzle when he said: “We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.”…
This case illustrates that what journalists know and understand is something quite different from what they actually report. For the most part, the known and the reported are two very different narratives. With a “nothing new” defense, reporters and editors are making astonishing admissions of complicity and redefining the role of journalism. Admitting to understanding at the time that justifications for war were a ruse, yet not challenging such claims, leaves them not only complicit, but compelling actors in promoting war…
Untold Story of the Iraq War ~ Commandos, Dirty Wars and Col. James Steele
“Published on Mar 22, 2013
Shocking information for many!!
Col. James Steele: America’s mystery man in Iraq – Full Documentary
Iraq war: 10 years on
A 15-month investigation by the Guardian and BBC Arabic reveals how retired US colonel James Steele, a veteran of American proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, played a key role in training and overseeing US-funded special police commandos who ran a network of torture centers in Iraq. Another special forces veteran, Colonel James Coffman, worked with Steele and reported directly to General David Petraeus, who had been sent into Iraq to organize the Iraqi security services.
The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases
The Global Deployment of US Military Personnel
Iraq War Media Propaganda – Al Jazeera Perspective 1 of 2
Iraq War Media Propaganda – Al Jazeera Perspective 2 of 2
“..Uploaded on Jan 26, 2008
Al-Jazeera perspective on the propaganda during the Iraq war. The full documentary “Control Room – Propaganda of the Iraq War” goes for 1Hr 24 Minutes and can be downloaded from google video.
The link for playing from google video is :
Phil Donahue on His 2003 Firing From MSNBC, When Liberal Network Couldn’t Tolerate Antiwar Voices
Published on Mar 21, 2013
http://www.democracynow.org — In 2003, the legendary television host Phil Donahue was fired from his prime-time MSNBC talk show during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The problem was not Donahue’s ratings, but rather his views: An internal MSNBC memo warned Donahue was a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war,” providing “a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.” Donahue joins us to look back on his firing 10 years later. “They were terrified of the antiwar voice,” Donahue says.
Take a moment to view our interactive Iraq War timeline at http://owl.li/jd2ur.
Visit the Democracy Now! news archive to see 10 years of reports on the Iraq War at
To watch the entire weekday independent news hour, read the transcript, download the podcast, search our vast archive, or to find more information about Democracy Now! and Amy Goodman, visit http://www.democracynow.org.
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Breaking The Silence: Truth And Lies In The War On Terror johnpilger.com
“…Damning archive footage shows contradictory speeches by US Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice. In a lengthy address to the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003, Powell solemnly declares that Iraq is in possession of vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and is involved in an elaborate campaign to conceal weapons materials and manufacturing facilities. However, two years earlier Powell and Condoleeza Rice claim the opposite. Speaking in Cairo on February 24, 2001, seven months before 9/11, Powell categorically declares: “He [Saddam Hussein] has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours.” Rice repeats this in July 2001 when she tells US television that the Iraqi military has not been rebuilt since the 1991 conflict.
Pentagon paid UK PR firm $540mn to make fake terrorist videos during Iraq war
“Published on Oct 4, 2016
The Pentagon paid a UK PR firm half a billion dollars to create fake terrorist videos in Iraq in a secret propaganda campaign exposed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/7quh
Why Everything You Hear About Aleppo Is Wrong Daniel McAdams Posted on September 29, 2016 antiwar.com
“..The mainstream media portrays the fight for Aleppo as one between Syrian President Assad and the people, painting Assad as someone killing his citizens for the fun of it. In other words, as they did with Iraq and Libya, etc. the mainstream media again happily takes up the role of mouthpiece of the US government. The reality is quite different, in fact. Today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report speaks with independent journalist Vanessa Beeley, who has recently returned from an investigative trip to Syria including in Aleppo. What’s really going on there? Tune in!..”
*see Now you know: Who are “mercenaries”?
James Le Mesurier – Syria Civil Defense maydayrescue.org
“..James has spent 20 years working in fragile states as a United Nations staff member, a consultant for private companies and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and as a British Army Officer. Much of his experience has involved delivering stabilisation activities through security sector and democratisation programmes. Since 2012, James has been working on the Syria crisis where he started the Syrian White Helmets programme in March 2013. In 2014, he founded Mayday Rescue, and is dedicated to strengthening local communities in countries that are entering, enduring or emerging from conflict…”
Brother of airport shooting suspect says US gov’t failed him
DANICA COTO,Associated Press 3 hours ago (1.7.16)
“…Esteban Santiago, 26, had trouble controlling his anger after serving in Iraq and told his brother that he felt he was being chased and controlled by the CIA through secret online messages. When he told agents at an FBI field office his paranoid thoughts in November, he was evaluated for four days, then released without any follow-up medication or therapy.
“The FBI failed there,” Bryan Santiago told The Associated Press. “We’re not talking about someone who emerged from anonymity to do something like this.”
Bryan Santiago said his brother had requested psychological help but barely received any.
“I told him to go to church or to seek professional help,” he said.
Pray for Iraq War vets and Iraqi (many various tribes, ethnic groups, Muslim sects, etc..)..
Is there any other topics on either side that I didn’t share yet? Feel free to share below…thanks and God bless!!