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Bush lies“We will bring to the Iraqi people food, and medicines, and supplies…and freedom.”– President George W. Bush
State of the Union Address
January 2003

No End in Sight

Three months before major combat operations in Iraq began, President Bush continued misdirecting the American citizenry away from his administration’s agendas. A scant five months later, Bush proclaimed those same major combat operations had ended and the U.S. had prevailed – “Mission Accomplished.”

You can find these and other Bush quotes on “The Rights and Aspirations of the Iraqi People” on the White House website. Interestingly, the page hasn’t had an update since June 2004, and as we re-enter another illegal war, it’s easy to see why – with the Iraqi civilian death toll reaching Over One Million Iraqi Deaths Caused by US Occupation (that’s one million) people, pouring over presidential promises can only exacerbate the tragedy and high crime of the Iraq war. A presumed sense of patriotism and our bend for “rubbernecking” has the American media focusing on American casualty figures (over 6,000). No small number in itself, yet overall this is less than 1% than the number of Iraqi civilians that have died since the invasion began…

…unless, of course, you wish to add the 2,955 American fatalities the Bush administration willfully created in its attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. (Oh, no wild conspiracy theories for you, eh? Three buildings collapse in a 10 second freefall because of a fire…enjoy your Kool-Aid.)

Dick Cheney Has Long Planned To Loot Iraqi Oil

So in MARCH 2001, six months before September 11, Dick Cheney was hawking maps of Iraq’s oil fields as part of an American energy policy. One year later, using the September 11 terrorist attacks as a catalyst, the Bush administration was rushing headlong into an Iraq invasion. But the American people would never accept the idea that Iraq should be invaded so their oil fields could be divided up among energy companies, so therefore “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” And thanks to the numb-nuts media, more than 50% of Bush voters still believe that somehow, Saddam Hussein was responsible for the September 11 attacks.

Maps and Charts of Iraqi Oil FieldsIn the summer of 2003, Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said that documents turned over by the Commerce Department, under court order as a result of Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY) concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain Maps and Charts of Iraqi Oil Fields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as two charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.”

The Documents, dated March 2001 (before 9/11), also feature maps of Saudi ArabiaUnited Arab Emirates (UAE) documents likewise feature a map of each country’s oilfields, pipelines, refineries and tanker terminals. There are supporting charts with details of the major oil and gas development projects in each country that provide information on the projects, costs, capacity, oil company and status or completion date.

Medics try unsuccessfully to revive Ali Hussein, the victim of an overnight raid by US forces in Sadr City, Baghdad on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>US forces killed 49 people, 'criminals' as the US military called them.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Clouds of black smoke rose from Sadr City, as heavy gunfire continued on Sunday morning with US attack helicopters overhead, Reuters news agency reported.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Many women and children were killed.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>'We were waking in the morning and all of a sudden rockets landed in the house and the children were screaming,' a woman relative is quoted as saying.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>'Most of those killed and wounded were women, children and elderly men which shows the indiscriminate monstrosity of the attacks on this crowded area,' Abdul-Mehdi al-Muteyri told Reuters news agency.</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Photo: Kareem Raheem/ReutersOur agenda … is freedom and independence, security and prosperity for the Iraqi people.
President Bush
United States Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
May 2004

For everything Bush proposes to bring to the Iraqi people, death rarely gets a mention.

The Bush administration’s first major gaffe was the National Security Presidential Directives [NSPD] 24. Despite all other pre-invasion planning, “Post-War Iraq Reconstruction” is issued in January 2003, less than sixty days before the invasion. More controversially, the directive places reconstruction control in the hands of the Defense Department. The Pentagon created the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA).

Much has been written about the months following the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, when the optimists saw their hopes for a new democracy dashed by violence and chaos. First to founder was the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (OECD), led by Jay Garner, retired Army colonel Paul Hughes (Director of Strategic Policy), and Barbara Bodine (Ambassador for Central Iraq/Baghdad) who lacked staff, resources, and authority. Then, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) failed.

 Ambassador Bremer's arrived in An Nasiriyah to visit with sheiks, council members, the Women's Civil Society, the Governor and other Dhi Qar officials during Operation IRAQI FREEDOMOccupying Iraq: A History of the Coalition Provisional Authority; Liberate and Leave: Fatal Flaws in the Early Strategy for Postwar Iraq

Headed by Paul Bremer, the CPA was far better endowed than ORHA, but it so alienated the Iraqis that after six months it had to work as quickly as possible to hand power back to an Iraqi government. Neither organization got good press. Although they made their own mistakes, ORHA and the CPA were both victims of the Pentagon’s cavalier attitude toward postwar responsibilities. There were no coherent plans for establishing governance, providing security, or restoring public services.

liberateandleave195Although they observe that the U.S. experience in Iraq had many hopefully unique features, they draw a basic lesson: do not try anything comparable in the future without serious preparation.

Unfortunately, none of these key personnel would remain with ORHA after 2003, and suspicions arose that their departure had more to do with their reticence to implement near-sighted and detached policy decisions than anything else.

Baghdad celebratory momentsTroop levels and troop armament were given due consideration for the invasion, but at best a scant whiff when it came to occupation and reconstruction efforts. While the Iraqi people initially celebrated the liberation from Saddam Hussein (Baghdad footage shows a variety of celebratory moments during early 2003), the lack of post-war planning handcuff the ORHA’s Baghdad personnel, and with little or no troop support, widespread looting and plundering begins. No martial law is implemented, the Baghdad Museum and the Baghdad Library.

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard MyersThe formation of the Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003 which takes over sovereign control of Iraq and replaces ORHA.

Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice– and their various minions – are the people “making the decisions.”

Few, if any, even visited Iraq, and they continually ignored all the planning and assistance offered them by the Chiefs of Staff and the State Department. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Rice are each responsible in the catastrophic policy choice and their devastating effects laid bare.

Impeachment of George W. BushPresident Bush? You see him every now and then in his speech-ifying postures and pithy quotes, but his absence during the policy discussions and determinations is only as a talking head, not a head of state.

Paul Bremer enacts sweeping, uninformed decisions regarding post-war Iraq despite his isolated visits and, even after he arrived in Baghdad, his “rule by fiat” from within the highly protected Green Zone.

iraq-warThe lawlessness and looting continue unabated, with no troops to offer security. The search for WMD succeeds only in angering more Iraqis. Kidnappings (almost 100 a day, motivated by money for food), arrests, and a swelling insurgency cause the Iraqi people to lose confidence in their new-found “liberators” and seeking alternative solutions to the promise of democracy that exists only in vaporware.

Electricity is intermittent, with most of the capital in darkness every night. Rubbish is piling up in the alleys and main streets, many shops are still shuttered, sanitation generally is poor, and the provision of public services is patchy. Only a few people had returned to their jobs.

cultural devastationOnly the oil ministry was given protection while Iraq’s national archives and heritage in libraries and museums burned or disappeared. “That was the day we lost the Iraqis,” remarked former ambassador to Iraq Barbara Bodine, who was later fired.

Unemployed men turned to insurgency; Muqtada al-Sadr raised his Mahdi Army. Unguarded ammunition dumps provided the wherewithal to fight. Author Samantha Power reported hearing an Iraqi say: “I see bullets in their eyes.”

The most interesting exchange, demonstrating the disconnect within the administration over policy and performance, occurs between Col Paul Hughes, director of strategic policy in the CPA, who claims their were more than 100,000 Iraqis in the Independent Military Gathering ready to serve as needed, and his superior in Washington, Walter B. Slocombe, who says that the Iraqi forces had completely melted away. Hughes notes that while he was in Baghdad and had contact with Iraqi officers, Slocombe was in Washington and made only a brief four-day tour of Iraq before returning home. Almost everyone outside of the inner circle, including military commanders, was astonished and dismayed by the order to disband the Iraqi army.

In July IEDs began exploding across Iraq, killing American troops and Iraqi civilians. President Bush said: Bring ‘Em On!” Bremer referred to the resistance as “bitter enders”; Rumsfeld denied the existence of guerrilla warfare. The CPA built a concrete compound in the capital called the Green Zone.

The citizenry begin to turn to the Islamic mosques for answers and assistance. Interviews with American military personnel and journalists in Baghdad repeatedly cite a want to do what’s right, but an inability to execute based on choices made back in Washington.

De-BaathificationDestroying the Iraqi state

The three catastrophic decisions by Bremer and the CPA which foment conditions in Baghdad.

First, the choice to halt the formation of an interim Iraqi government allows the lawlessness to continue and escalate.

Taking orders from Washington where decisions were being made by a select group in secret without significant debate or discussion over the possible consequences, Bremer acted precipitously, excluding not only the Iraqis but also his staff from knowing in advance, with  “De-Ba’athification” (putting Ahmed Chalabi in charge), purging 50,000 bureaucrats, teachers, librarians, etc., from their jobs and then disbanding of the military and the intelligence services, affecting half a million men.

Bremer’s disbanding of the Iraqi army made matters worse. Few average Americans, it could be supposed, had a genuine appreciation for this choice which, again, was made by those in Washington and not by those in Baghdad. Not only did this remove 300,000 potential safety/security personnel from potential employ – personnel who were standing there, waiting and wanting to lend a hand (the Americans made a point during the invasion to discourage fighting, offering them sanctuary and employment during the occupation) but it also disenfranchised those same 300,000 trained military personnel, negated their value, and put them on the streets, unemployed.

These same trained military personnel, now unemployed, knew where all the weapon and ammunition dumps were located in Baghdad – the same dumps that the American occupational force, woefully undermanned, were unable to guard. Ambassador Bremer made the choice to disband the Iraqi army on May 23, 2003.

“I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”
Vice President Dick Cheney
Larry King Live, May 30, 2005

UN Iraq war

***

The U.N.‘s Role in PostWar Iraq

The U.N. was brought in to post-war Iraq to create an “Anti-Green Zone” to offer a point of hope for the Iraqi citizens. The U.N. sent their High Commissioner for Human rights, Sérgio Vieira de Mello, into Baghdad in May 2003. de Mello went to the streets of Baghdad, trying to foster communication and hope. The U.N.’s Dennis McNamara referred to him as “one of the bright stars, maybe the brightest. He was the master magician, mediator, manager of egos.”

First Phase DigitalAfter failing to obtain a Security Council resolution authorizing the 2003 war on Iraq, Washington turned away from the United Nations, insisting on full control of the occupied country. But a hostile Iraqi population and mounting resistance forced the occupiers to seek international assistance and legitimization from the UN.

Ambassador Bremer met with de Mello only once on the destruction of the U.N. building in September 2003, resulting in de Mello’s death and the twenty-two people who lost their lives, and the approximately 150 who were wounded.

UN bombing**

Future of Iraq

The facts can speak for themselves.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience.
The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government.
We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications.
Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence,
whether sought or unsought,
by the military industrial complex.
The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.
We should take nothing for granted.
Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry
can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense
with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Farewell Address
January 1961

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Related:

“Mother” of all IRAQ Map Links! (Must See!)

Iraq Map Collection

Country Maps

  • Iraq (Political) 1999 (323K) and pdf format (199K)
  • Iraq (Political) 1996 (295K)
  • Iraq (Shaded Relief) 1999 (323K) and pdf format (221K)
  • Iraq (Shaded Relief) 1996 (307K)
  • Iraq (Shaded Relief) From the CIA Atlas of the Middle East, 1993 (580k)
  • Iraq (Shaded Relief) 1991 (377K)
  • Iraq (Small Map) 2002 (14K)
  • Iraq (Special Reference Graphic) NIMA 2003 (608K)
  • Iraq (Special Reference Graphic) NIMA 2003 (608K) with gradient tints
  • Iraq (Wall Map) (632K) From Iraq: Country Profile, 2003 and Entire Map with insets (1.2MB)
  • Middle East Graphic (Special Reference Graphic) NIMA 2003 (1MB)

City Maps

Detailed Maps

Thematic Maps

Historical Maps

  • Babylon From Iraq and the Persian Gulf, Great Britain. Naval Intelligence Division, 1944 (173K)
  • Baghdad 1849 (176K) Part of “The River Euphrates From Hit to the Kuthah River and The River Tigris from Sammara to the Abu Hitti Canal…” from Maps volume, sheet VII of The Expedition for the Survey of the Rivers Euphrates and Tigris, Carried on by Order of the British Government in the years 1835, 1836, and 1837… by Francis Rawdon Chesney. London, Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1850.
  • Baghdad 1944 From Iraq and the Persian Gulf, Great Britain. Naval Intelligence Division, 1944 (346K)
  • Baghdad 1961 Baghdad Bus Map (708K) and map cover and route information (291K)
  • Basra Area 1942 (423K) map key and scale (185K) Part of sheet H-38 L Basra. Edition June 1942. Original scale 1:253,440 Compiled and Reproduced by India Field Survey Company, December 1942. Published by the U.S. Army Map Service, May 1943.
  • Erbil 1944 From Iraq and the Persian Gulf, Great Britain. Naval Intelligence Division, 1944 (238K)
  • Iraq – Northern and map legend from Iraq Tourist Map, Iraq Tourism Administration, ca. 1970 (935K)
  • Iraq Oil Industry Operations 1953 From Iraq Today, Directorate-General of Propaganda, Baghdad, 1953
  • Karbala 1944 From Iraq and the Persian Gulf, Great Britain. Naval Intelligence Division, 1944 (243K)
  • Kuwait Historical Maps 1987-1991
  • Mosul 1944 From Iraq and the Persian Gulf, Great Britain. Naval Intelligence Division, 1944 (317K)
  • Tigris and Euphrates Near Baghdad, Ancient and Modern Courses From Iraq and the Persian Gulf, Great Britain. Naval Intelligence Division, 1944 (209K)
  • Other Middle East Historical Maps

Iraq Maps on Other Web Sites

Maps on Other Web Sites [1990-1991]:

Gulf War Maps on Other Web Sites [1998]:

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Must see documentary!

No End In Sight | Charles Ferguson | Representational

“No End in Sight” reaches no conclusions and makes no accusations – Ferguson leaves the facts to speak for themselves. He makes no suggestions for further action, intending for viewers to take for themselves what might be done. He makes no mention of Dick Cheney’s Energy Task Force meetings in early 2001, nor of the extensive pressure placed upon the newly formed Iraqi government to complete its efforts to award 75% of Iraqi’s oil revenues to Big Oil’s major players. He makes non mention of the permanent military bases being built by the U.S. in Iraq. He makes very little mention of the private contractors like Blackwater and their role in encouraging the insurgency (Blackwater having no fussy Geneva Convention to define its activities), beyond the disregard they had for the Iraqi population. You witness footage of Blackwater personnel driving along and opening fire for no apparent reason, and the capture of four Blackwater personnel in Fallujah – charred human carcasses being dragged through the streets, followed shortly thereafter by the wholesale leveling of the city. As the film nears the end, though, it does make a clear point to illustrate the $1.2 trillion dollar cost of the war.

Charles Ferguson doesn’t spend a whole lot of time on 9/11 or Bush’s polished rhetoric in his feature film documentary, “No End in Sight.” A 2007 Sundance Special Jury Prize winner, the film makes no effort to spin or cajole the audience to a particular viewpoint – Ferguson as writer/producer/director attempts to inform, not persuade. “No End in Sight” tells the story of the creation and prosecution of the Iraq war, interspersing interviews with the top administration officials responsible for the reconstruction with footage from the streets of Baghdad – more footage than you’ve ever seen on any television or news channel here in the States.

The film’s impact depends mostly on how much prior knowledge viewers have regarding the administration’s motivations and policy choices for the war and for Iraq. Given that this is likely very low for most, watching the film becomes a chilling, sobering experience. There’s no chance to roll your eyes while liberal wonks rail against the neocon windmill – the only opinions offered come from the mouths of those the Bush administration placed in charge of the Iraqi reconstruction. The film focuses on the timeline of the war and the reconstruction, the decisions made during this time, and the people that made those decisions. The interview subjects speak to the impact of those decisions, and the footage of life in Baghdad reveals their results.

no-end-in-sight

You can also watch this awesome documentary on NetFlix

No End in SightNetflix

Also -Movie suggestion:

HBO – Sergio Vieira de Mello

http://www.sergiothemovie.com/M

A must watch documentary. I chose it as one of the 2010 best movies.  “This is an outstanding documentary. Sérgio was/ is one of my personal heroes. A Brazilian diplomat, Sérgio was an intelligent, gentle man who wanted to change the world into a better place. He truly believed that. And for this he suffered a terrible fate. There’s no way not to shed one or two tears seeing all the footage showing what happened in Iraq. He should be always remembered and praised.”

Click Here to hear Samantha Power, John Prendergast and Greg Barker discuss the film.

Samantha Power‘s biography (“Chasing the Flame“)

 

 

Resources:

Homeland Security Act of 2002 | Homeland Security

Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts

Investigative Bulletin | Judicial Watch

Maps and Charts of Iraqi Oil Fields | Judicial Watch

The Rights and Aspirations of the Iraqi People – the White .

Bush’s “FREEDOM” for Irarqis = Civil War 10 years later.

9-11 Research: The Homeland Security Act

One Perspective

Iraq Project – The George Washington University

Americas | State of the Union address: Full text

Iraq divided and in crisis

8. Secrets of Cheney’s Energy Task Force Come to Light

Hard Lessons: the Iraq Reconstruction Experience

Iraqi Deaths Caused by US Occupation

Iraq Reconstruction Cost U.S. $60 Billion, Left Behind

The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)

PostWar Iraq

National Security Presidential Directives

Blair legacy — Downing Street Memo — How War Criminals ..

Occupying Iraq: A History of the Coalition Provisional Authority

Planning Post-conflict Reconstruction in IraqRAND

Iraq | RAND

United Nations Department of Political Affairs – Iraq

Management Handbook for UN Field Missions

Slav: War on Iraq, part II. – Network54

stan van houcke: 16-4-06

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