ISIS is facing growing criticism for its use of cluster monitions in its ongoing war in Iraq and Syria. The complaints, interestingly enough, began with allegations that Syria’s government was the one using the “banned” munitions, and was treated in a similar negative light.
Both ISIS and the Assad government are “bad guys” and so predictably their use of the munitions was going to be treated as beyond the pale. Yet the problem of cluster munition use is much older and wider-spread than just Syria/ISIS, and rarely gets treated as an important situation, or even a problem.
The US military heavily used cluster bombs during both the Iraq and Afghan wars, causing massive civilian casualties. The Israeli military littered southern Lebanon with munitions during their most recent war there, with unexploded ordinance continuing to kill Lebanese civilians to this day.
The US has similarly ignored the “ban” on cluster munitions use with a massive export of such bombs to Saudi Arabia only last year.
Cluster munitions have proven a huge humanitarian problem, killing civilians years after the war they were used in is over. Yet the ISIS use of such weapons is hardly out of keeping with international norms, and the problem of cluster bombs spans the globe. It is a mistake to treat ISIS as unusually bad for using such weapons when the US does so casually and with impunity, and has a stockpile of such weapons that far, far exceeds anything ISIS could ever dream of looting from what warehouses it has.
MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Ukraine and NATO
We the undersigned are longtime veterans of U.S. intelligence. We take the unusual step of writing this open letter to you to ensure that you have an opportunity to be briefed on our views prior to the NATO summit on September 4-5.
You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian "invasion" of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the "intelligence" seems to be of the same dubious, politically "fixed" kind used 12 years ago to "justify" the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then; we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now. Twelve years ago, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, mindful of the flimsiness of the evidence on Iraqi WMD, refused to join in the attack on Iraq. In our view, you should be appropriately suspicions of charges made by the US State Department and NATO officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
President Barack Obama tried yesterday to cool the rhetoric of his own senior diplomats and the corporate media, when he publicly described recent activity in the Ukraine, as "a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now … it’s not really a shift."
The maintenance of superpower prestige above all obligates the Obama Administration to launch a full scale air war against the against the well organized, well supplied and so far victorious barbaric Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria (formerly ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria).
After 13 years of stalemated wars against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Washington is in no position to ignore the much more powerful IS that now controls a third of the territory in two countries – larger than Great Britain and inhabited by 6 million people. This most powerful jihadist organization is the unanticipated byproduct of America’s ill-conceived imperial misadventures in the Islamic world.
Step by Step since IS’s startling early June takeover of Mosul, Iraq’s second city, President Obama has been incrementally increasing US involvement while awaiting sufficient political backing at home and broad international support to launch a war on the IS.
Just weeks ago President Obama requested an extra $500 million dollars for Syrian rebels. Now with the ISIS rebels having spread across northern Iraq, European sources tell us that the U.S. is passing intelligence on to the Syrian army to target rebels in Syria.
The elective Bush war in Iraq for WMDs that never were is a good case history in the folly of U.S. interventionism. But the rise of ISIS is an even more compact representation of interventionism’s contradictions and failures.
This week Dr. Paul and Charles Goyette talk about ISIS, Syria, and U.S. foreign policy follies.
Charles Goyette is New York Times Bestselling Author of The Dollar Meltdown and Red and Blue and Broke All Over: Restoring America’s Free Economy. Check out Goyette and Paul’s national radio commentary: Ron Paul’s America and the Ron Paul and Charles Goyette Weekly Podcast. Goyette also edits The Freedom and Prosperity Letter.
As the world marks the centennial of World War I, the guns of August are again being oiled by comfortable politicians and the fawning corporate media, both bereft of any sense of history. And that includes much more recent history, namely the deceitful campaign that ended up bringing destruction to Iraq and widened conflict throughout the Middle East. That campaign went into high gear 12 years ago today.
On August 26, 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney – who remains something of a folk hero on Fox News – formally launched the lies leading to the U.S.-UK attack on Iraq seven months later. And on August 30, 2013, Syria was 20 hours away from a similar fate after Secretary of State John Kerry claimed falsely – no fewer than 35 times – to "know" that the government of Syria was responsible for using sarin nerve gas in an attack outside Damascus on August 21, 2013.
Unlike twelve years ago, when the Pentagon was run by Field Marshal Donald Rumsfeld and the military martinets who called themselves generals but danced to his tune, war with Syria was averted last year when Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey talked sense into a young President who was on the verge of making a terrible mistake by bending to the Cheneyesque hawks now perched atop the State Department.
The Obama Admniistration has for months been railing against Russian “interference” because the Russian Federation has been advocating a federal system in Ukraine as a way of increasing regional autonomy in the face of secessionist rebellions.
Never let it be said they won’t be openly hypocritical.
Vice President Joe Biden penned an entire op-ed today in which he pushed for a federal system to be declared in Iraq, and that the US would “help” Iraq in implementing it.
The US efforts is the mirror of the Russian effort, trying to satisfy its allied factions in the nation while tamping down a civil war that those factions are likely to lose.