Saturday, March 22, 2008

Irak Boohoohoo on SBS

last 2 images:
1. Saddam's mass graves near Milla, Irak
2. Japanese Hostage with Michael fat pig Moore's friendly freedom fighters.

Watched SBS’s short round up after 5 years of US presence in Irak. Pathetically bad journalism and reflexive anti-americanism. Interview of one or two women who’lost loved ones (this happened all the time under Saddam, but you couldn’t interview the women), Inference that all the killing since the invasion has been the US’s fault (ever heard of Al-quaeda’s attempted take over of Irak, with mass public bombings, journos ?). All very cursory and dismissive- I think many Irakis would be pretty disgusted at watching their new nation being dissed of as “a mistake”.

check this article out if you think the US Abu Graib scandal was "torture" (rather than maltreatment), and for an idea of what went on under Saddam on a weekly basis, including on teenagers

Among the most horrific objects retrieved by Mr Badawi and his team from the notorious torture rooms of the mukhabarat, and now included in the museum, is a wooden table covered in a worn strip of leather and with a domestic iron placed at one end.
"This is an electrocution table," he said.
"The naked prisoner was bound to the table with a steel bar strapped to his shoulder to ensure maximum immobility as his torturers electrocuted him or used the iron to inflict burns.
"Electric shocks were delivered via electrodes attached to a plastic syringe, the needle of which was inserted into the urethra of the victim's sexual organ. The pain was atrocious.


East Timor is still unstable, 10 yrs after the Australian intervention to stop the Indonesian Genocide, so I guess that’s a mistake as well…

If saddam had not been removed, we would have more mass graves, mass torture and misery in Irak, and outside – Civilians and soldiers being blown up in terrorist bombings, funded by Saddam (he was funding terrorist orgs. In Somalia, the Palestinian territories, and elsewhere). Also Iraks’ 5 million refugees and dissidents living overseas would still be living in fear of murder or worse by the Mukhabarat, (Saddam’s secret service).
Not to mention the global emboldening of al-quaeda versus the civilized world: “look the US can’t face up to Saddam”. And even the emboldening of tyrants worldwide from Syria to Serbia and Russia…
Would we then have newspapers running headlines and body counts: “the cost of NOT going to war in Irak” ?
Don’t count on it. Much easier for the small brains and resentful minds of journos to zero in on the casualties due to the war, than the more subtle and complex job of counting casualties due to NOT facing up to tyrants like him.
Let’s get beyond: “War Bad” , “UN Good”:
mmmm. Ask the Kosovars or the Irakis or the Tibetans what the UN ever did for them. Sending in Observers or so-called “Peace”-keeping forces to watch old ladies and teenagers being shot by serb snipers in Sarajevo and then issuing “strong condemnations” of Milosevic. Words are Not gonna work guys… It takes Military action or the threat of it to make tyrants take notice.

What about this Lebanese fellow on Irak:

Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt explained to David Ignatius of the Washington Post. "I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world. The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."

And a true comment, valid also for Tibet right now:

Those now waxing rhapsodic about the courage of the natives and the beauty of people power need to ask themselves the obvious question: Why now? It is easy to get sentimental about people power. But people power does not always prevail. Indeed, it rarely prevails. It was crushed in Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968, Tiananmen Square 1989--and Iraq 1991. Matched against tyranny at its point of maximum cruelty, people power is useless.
In the 1991 uprising, tens of thousands of Shi'ites and Kurds were killed by the raw power of Saddam's helicopters and tanks and secret police. What was different this time (recent Irak elections) ? No Saddam.

And what do the Irakis think ?:
A teacher in Basra put it well:
life under Saddam was a living- death.

Oct 2006:

Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani yesterday predicted on a visit to Australia that Iraqi forces would be able to look after their own security within 12-18 months. But he expected the international community to stay the course with Iraq in the struggle against terrorism. “The Iraqi people are committed to win this battle, but they do need help,” he said. “They do need time to build their own forces.” Dr Shahristani, a nuclear scientist, was tortured by Saddam Hussein’s security forces and spent 11 years in prison for refusing to work on a nuclear weapons program for Saddam.
Iraq’s deputy prime minister Barham Saleh speaks out against the Beazleys and other defeatists:

It has become traditional, apparently, in Washington to start any speech on Iraq with an acknowledgement of mistakes made and regrets for errors past. Apparently, we live in a world of perfection, and Iraq is required to be the perfect forum. Democracies do make mistakes, and their mistakes are visible. There are mistakes that have been made in that difficult venture of the liberation of Iraq that need to be commented on. It is true, and I have said this before as well, missteps and many missteps have taken place, some of them with disastrous consequences, by the Coalition as well as by the Iraqis.
What we must aim for, however, is far less imperfection that has been the case in these tough years of transition. Unlike dictatorships, however, we must learn from our mistakes because we have open debate. We can also put them in a context. No error in Iraq should detract from our progress. Quibble the rationale for our liberation as much as some people may, nobody who has seen the mass graves, and as we discover more of them almost every month, nobody who has met the victims, nobody who knows of our decades of suffering can look the Iraqis in the eye and tell us that we would have been better off with Saddam Hussein still in power.

Journos: Uh-duh ? ever heard of al-quadea trying to take over the country, kidnapping aid workers such as CARE’s Margaret Hassan, journalists, including French ones, bombing crowded public places such as Mosques, and disgusting even the sunnis who were trying to re-instate a Batthist regime. So much so that they are now fighting al-q with militias of their own.
US forces are “part of the problem” UHH? That’s like saying the Sicilian mafia in the 80s was killing and intimidating solelly because of the presence of tough Italian judges. So I guess Al-quaeda will just melt away and leave the Irakis alone if the US leaves ? what kind of western-self-flagellating bullshit it that ?

Remember the elation on the faces of men and women cheering on the US tanks in the first weeks of the war ? uh – memory gap maybe ? How could they be cheering if life was “OK” under Saddam ? And a country of 30 million that had 5 million refugees overseas must have been pretty awful to live in.

Journalists seem to get lobotomised at journo school – their knowledge of history and thinking skills are so poor. Ever heard of WW2 ? – 400 000 US deaths – getting rid of a nazi regime and an imperialist Japan came at a high price.
Do they remember what Irak was before 2003 ? with Saddam’s minions killing, abducting and torturing horribly, eg feeding people feet first into shredders.
And Saddam’s sons cynically reselling the pharmaceuticals destined for Irak’s millions (in the oil-for-food program) to Jordan… or Saddam cynically throwing apples at starving young kids ? All of this was changed with american deaths equal to one month in 1968 Vietnam.

The cost of action is visible – what about the cost of not acting in Irak – life was so horrendous there that Bernard Kouchner, head of Doctors without Borders, was pro-armed intervention (he got fired from the Socialist party for his heresy).
Before 2003, Kurds to the North and Shiites to the south protected by Anglo-US no-fly zones, which had to engage the Irakis weekly – it was already a war zone before the war. How long was that supposed to go on for, and at what cost ? How long could the sanctions have gone on, when Saddam clearly didn’t give a fuck about the suffering of his people ?

So people are killed in wars and when terrorists try to take over (as the FIS did in Algeria in the 90s) ??? noooo really ? so if terrorists try to take over Sydney, we should just wave the white flag then ?
Hello ? welcome to the real world guys – fighting terrorists who have no limits or scruples , kidnap, torture, mutilate, bomb crowded public places – is hard and bloody. And letting them win results in a hell on earth wherever they are (just read accounts of life under the Taliban) – so neither choice is “Peaceful”. Peace doesn’t exist unless thugs are warded off on a regular basis.
All the finger waving at the US ignores the consequences of the alternative – leaving Saddam in power would have sent many 10 of thousands of people to mass graves and torture rooms, as he did in his years leading up to the war – killing 100 000 Shiites when they tried to topple him.
Quite apart from the emboldening effect on terrorists and tyrants all over the world if the US had not taken on Saddam and his army of psychopaths.

Positive outcomes of the Iraki war:

Libya was so scared, it gave up its quite advanced program of WMD over to UN inspections.
Ukraine successfully held up against Russian intervention (maybe they wouldn’t have if the US was perceived as weak)
Kosovo had the confidence to declare their independence despite neibouring Serbia.(as above. Note the profusion of “thank you America” signs and USA flags in Kosovo, shown on SBS, but interestingly no such images on German TV we get on SBS….too embarassing for the Euros to acknowledge that people know the US means business and the EU means waffle.)

Municipal elections in Saudi Arabia, men only, but still a first. In Egypt, demonstrations for democracy--unheard of in decades--prompting the dictator to announce free contested presidential elections, a historic first.
The Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, in which unarmed civilians, Christian and Muslim alike, brought down the puppet government installed by Syria. There is even the beginning of a breeze in Damascus. More than 140 Syrian intellectuals have signed a public statement defying their government by opposing its occupation of Lebanon.
The Middle East witnessed the first free elections in that region, and the first fair public trial with prosecutor and defence [Saddam] (both of these, revolutionary for arabs, used to the rule of tyrants.)
The Irakis came out of a circus of horrors under Saddam, with no end in sight, to a sel-determined future, admittedly made tough by al-quaeda’s attempted takeover

In a long list of living standards improvements, Iraki schools now have toilets (!), Irakis own more cars and appliances than ever before, and salaries have gone up several fold.
But the most important thing is that Irakis now have hope and the possibility of improvement– something journos seem to stupid and ignornant about what life is like under a bloody tyranny to understand.

The Iraki blog “irak the model” explained it all quite well, from a Iraki's point of view. And a cursory read of books on Saddam’s reign is enough to make you have nightmares.
Freedom is not free… that is so very true.

History will show Irak’s democratisation to have been a major pivot point in getting the middle east out of it’s no-hope sordid tyrannies. Irak may even have real Uni-verse-ities where people actually debate ideas and truly think, in the near future (contrary to the extreme-left group-think/dictatorship campuses we have now in the West). As with countries like Slovakia, Irak has actually known tyranny and is unlikely to be seduced by some crackpot nihilist or marxist European philosopher into the virtues of tyrannies or terrorists (as French educated mass murderer Pol pot and scores of others were). I may even end up teaching outdoor ed there…

Mark Steyn wrote a good article on the subject in 2006:

In Donald Rumsfeld's words, weakness is a provocation. So the immediate objective was to show neighboring thugs that the price of catching America's eye was too high. The long term strategic goal was to begin the difficult but necessary transformation of the region that the British funked when they cobbled together the modern Middle East in 1922.

The jury will be out on that for a decade or three yet. But in Iraq today the glass is seven-ninths full. That's to say, in 14 out of 18 provinces life is better than it's been in living memory. In December, 70% of Iraqis said that "life is good" and 69% were optimistic it would get even better in the next year. (Comparable figures in a similar poll of French and Germans: 29% and 15%.)

Il faut lire et relire l’un des rares esprits libres de ce côté-ci de l’Atlantique, Guy Millière:
Nous sommes dans une guerre planétaire déclarée au monde libre par l’islam radical. Le commencement de cette guerre (qui dépasse l’Irak), se situe bien plus tôt. Certains font remonter les choses au premier attentat contre les Twin Towers en 1993, d’autres vont jusqu’à la prise du pouvoir par Khomeyni en 1979.

Cette guerre marquera le xxie siècle. Si (ce que je n’ose imaginer), elle ne devait pas se solder par la victoire de la liberté, cela signifierait la fin de la civilisation dans laquelle nous vivons. Les dirigeants américains le discernent, tout comme les penseurs les plus éclairés des contrées musulmanes. La gauche américaine, en proie aux fantasmes venus du temps du Vietnam, ne discerne rien. La gauche, les gaullistes et l’extrême-droite en Europe ne discernent rien non plus, cachent leur mépris pour les populations arabes derrière des propos veules, dissimulent leur lâcheté derrière l’illusion que l’apaisement peut fonctionner, et préparent, en fait, consciemment ou non, une soumission globale à l’islam radical qu’ils semblent trouver préférable à une victoire d’un monde libre conduit par les États-Unis.

On sait depuis longtemps que l’alternative à la libération de l’Irak eût été le maintien d’une situation intenable de sanctions, de charniers et de corruptions qu’il n’était possible de lever, hors recours à la guerre, qu’en permettant au régime irakien de redevenir pleinement nuisible. Et on sait aussi que la « décision sage » de Chirac devait tout aux corruptions et à la peur.

(partial translation:
the left, Chirac etc hide their contempt for the arabs, hide their cowardice behind the illusion that appeasment can work, and prepare, consciously or not, a global submission to Radical Islam which they seem to think is preferable to the victory of a free world led by the USA).


Marcus said...

I read the article by jcdurbant which included the article by Anjou?? (I don't remember his exact name, and I can't access the website anymore for some reason)...

Anjou's article was very enlightening and well thought out. I think I am in consensus with him that General Petreus is probably the best guy the Americans have put in the field since the Iraq war started; and that no matter what the media depict, the Iraqis are a darn sight better off than they were under Saddam...


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Anonymous said...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel