Antiwar.com Director Eric Garris spoke yesterday with Alan Colmes on Fox Radio about the rapid mission creep in Iraq (10 minutes):


After over a decade of war, President Obama sent 200 troops to Iraq this summer to act as aids to the Iraqi government in their ongoing battle with ISIS. The President’s actions, of course, completely contradict the vow he made to the American people to end the War in Iraq back in 2008, but that’s no matter now. The President is dead set on spending more taxpayer dollars and sending more American troops into an endless battle that, so far, has proven fruitless.

Yet, the futility of the mission does not preclude individual actors from acting bravely. Since taking office, President Obama has rewarded eleven Medals of Honor – twice as much as his predecessor. In the media, the American public is subject to a barrage of tales and images describing the glory of war and heroism under fire. America’s "brave men and women in uniform" are constantly heralded in ads, parades, sporting events, and on yellow ribbon bumper stickers urging fellow Americans to "Support The Troops." This hero worship has even gone so far as to use wounded soldiers as a political ploy, as President Obama did in showcasing army ranger Cory Remsburg during his State of the Union address this year. Sgt. First Class Remsburg was hit with an improvised explosive device on his tenth deployment into battle. Nobody doubts that Sgt. Remsburg is a real American hero, but should he had to become one in the first place?

There is an untold secret in our nation’s proud military. Stated bluntly, the majority of America’s armed forces are not heroes and don’t want that title themselves. In fact, I spoke with three military men and heard this theme emerge repeatedly. When asked, in his opinion, what the biggest misconception civilians have about the military, one of the three – Senior Airman Micheal Worton – claimed that being in the military is more like being a "guy in movie ‘Office Space,’ but you’re wearing camo instead of a suit." Many Americans fail to realize that the majority of service member work normal jobs like administration, accounting, and engineering without seeing combat.

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It has been one year since the August 14, 2013 Rab’a Square massacre in Egypt, when the Egyptian police and army opened fire on demonstrators opposed to the military’s July 3 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. Using tanks, bulldozers, ground forces, helicopters and snipers, police and army personnel mercilessly attacked the makeshift protest encampment, where demonstrators, including women and children, had been camped out for over 45 days. The result was the worst mass killing in Egypt’s modern history.

The government’s systematic effort to obscure what took place, beginning with sealing off the square the next day, has made it difficult to come up with an accurate death toll. But a just-released Human Rights Watch report, based on a meticulous yearlong investigation, found that at least 817 and likely well over 1,000 people were killed in Rab’a Square on August 14.

The report contains horrific firsthand accounts. One protester recalled carrying the dead, piles of them. "We found limbs that were totally crushed. There were dead people with no arms, obviously a tank ran over them. Imagine you are carrying piles of bodies, it is something you can’t imagine. Even the bodies that you are carrying, you carry an arm of a person, alongside the leg of another person."

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John Rizzo, the CIA’s former Acting Counsel General, is feeling the heat for his role in blessing what President Barack Obama has now admitted was “torture” during the Bush/Cheney administration. Rizzo went on friendly Fox News to charge that the (still withheld) Senate Intelligence Committee investigation report on torture reflects a “Star Chamber proceeding” and accused some lawmakers of “craven backtracking,” claiming that they had been briefed on the interrogation program years ago.

Rizzo also revealed that he and other former CIA officials implicated in the torture scandal have found an ally of sorts in current CIA Director John Brennan, who was a senior aide to CIA Director George Tenet when the torture practices were implemented and who is now leading the rear-guard defense against the Senate report.

“He’s been with us ‘formers’ during this period. He has been the honest broker,” Rizzo told Fox News. “He has done the best he can. He is in an extraordinarily difficult position.”

Rizzo’s audacity in defending torture should have prompted some kind of reaction like the one that finally called Sen. Joe McCarthy to account: “Have they no sense of decency, at long last? Have they left no sense of decency?” But Rizzo, like other defenders of the “war on terror” torture policies, have yet to face any meaningful accountability. Rather, some like Rizzo remain respectable figures.

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According to Hillary Clinton, the Obama administration’s guiding maxim for foreign policy was “Don’t do stupid shit.”

But if that was their lodestar, why did they ever hire Hillary as Secretary of State? Hillary would also have been disqualified for that job if the Obama team relied on Google’s (former) motto: “Don’t be evil.”

If the Obama administration had actually followed the “stupid shit” maxim, they would have avoided almost all the disastrous interventions that have occurred since 2009.  Karzai would not have been propped up in Afghanistan, Maliki would not have been supported in Iraq, and the U.S. would not have bombed Libya. Nor would it have provided aid to Syrian rebels that was used to propel ISIS – the group that Obama began bombing last week.

Hillary offered a different diagnosis for the latest debacle” “I know that the failure to help build up a credible fighting force [in Syria] . . . left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.”  Some experts predicted this would be the result as soon as the U.S. began propping up the opposition in the Syrian civil war.   Hillary has thus far avoided the castigation she deserves for pushing U.S. intervention in Syria.

Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles nicely captured the stupidity of U.S. Mideast policy.   The Post editorial page would be vastly improved if this guy was writing their editorials, as opposed to their usual “bombing cures all” line.

cartoon toles color version arms stolen tt140812

Thanks to Daily Paul