Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Baghdad’

Erie Times E-Edition Article-Rockets target US Embassy in Baghdad

Posted by M. C. on February 23, 2021

18 years later the safe zone in Baghdad is anything but. An armed convoy is needed to get from the US embassy to the airport.

Don’t worry, the military is promised to get more US troops, more US money, more US bombs, more US body bags.


BAGHDAD – Three rockets were fired at Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone on Monday without causing any casualties, Iraq’s army said. Security officials said the U.S. Embassy was the target.

Two Iraqi security officials said that one rocket fell within the perimeter of the vast U.S. Embassy complex, and another fell in the residential neighborhood of Harthiya, outside the Green Zone.

The rockets were launched from the Salam area of Baghdad, and an investigation was ongoing, a statement from the military said.

It said there were no casualties but noted minor property damage, including a damaged vehicle. The Green Zone houses foreign embassies and is the seat of Iraq’s government.

It was the third attack to target the American presence in Iraq in a week. A U.S.-led coalition contractor was killed and other civilians were wounded in a rocket attack outside Irbil’s international airport Feb.16. On Saturday, rockets wounded personnel working for a U.S. defense company at Balad airbase in Salahaddin province.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Protesters Return to Baghdad a Year Later, Say Demands Still Unmet

Posted by M. C. on October 27, 2020

Eighteen years and it takes an armed convoy with chopper cover to get from the US embassy to the airport.

With results like that it shouldn’t be a surprise there are protests.

Written by Jason Ditz

The one-year anniversary of some of the last major protests in Baghdad saw thousands take to the streets in Tahrir Square, insisting that their demands are still generally unmet after all this time, and that the promises which were supposed to placate them generally didn’t pan out.

As with the last protests, the government sought to handle this rally by sending police out en masse to fire tear gas and put up barricades. Past history suggests this will not work, and will just rile up more people.

The demands have been straightforward for the protesters, who want a break form historic corruption, and free elections in which the candidates are loyal to the Iraqi voters first and foremost, instead of being aligned to either the US or Iran.

This has downed several internal governments, which haven’t been able to get the election laws ready, keep protesters placated, and avoid anger from either the US or the Iranians. Navigating all of that is a lot of work for the election, though the current government has expressed confidence that a June vote will take place.

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An Embarrassment of Embassies – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 11, 2020

The playwright Arthur Miller observed, “A little man makes a mistake and they hang him by the thumbs; the big ones become ambassadors.” With their hands deep into our pockets.


“Protesters broke into the heavily guarded compound of the United States Embassy in Baghdad on [Dec. 31, 2019] and set fires inside … The men … demand[ed] that the United States withdraw its forces from Iraq.”

YAWN. Old news: mobs in the Middle East have been bawling such objections for decades, though I grant that they’re hard to hear over the windows they shatter and their Molotov cocktails. And of course patriots who revere liberty agree wholeheartedly that Washington should recall its hired killers. In that spirit, I offer a friendly amendment to the militants: how about the US withdraws its ambassador and worthless diplomats, too?

The embassy lately attacked in Baghdad, America’s “biggest and most expensive in the world,” robbed us serfs of $750 million when it was built during George the Pea-brain’s reign; were I the editor of a dictionary, I’d illustrate “boondoggle” with its picture.

Actually, I’d feature the whole of Iraq under “boondoggle.” As of 2012, Our Rulers’ largesse there held the infuriating distinction of “the most ambitious American aid effort since the Marshall Plan”—and that’s on top of the $5-$12 trillion for DC’s wars in and around Iraq. Why we pay to destroy a place and then “restore” it is a conundrum only the military-industrial complex and their bought-and-paid-for politicians can fathom. Rational folks with even a speck of prudence or humanity will never comprehend such evil.

Ergo, by 2012, repairing Iraq had “already cost $500 million, including $343 million worth of construction projects around the country” and $100 million on the “Iraqi Police College.” Though said college is a bargain compared to the embassy, it’s also a more damnable waste of our money than usual: not only did “Iraqi officials…say they never wanted it in the first place,” but the facility was “turned over to the Iraqis at year’s end because [the US Dept of] State”—under whose aegis all “diplomatic missions” fall—”didn’t get land rights use for more than one year.” Clearly, State’s criminals aren’t nearly as rapacious with foreigners as they are with America’s peons.

But I digress. The Feds’ “compound” in Baghdad comprises 104 acres, making it “larger than Vatican City.” And though the Vatican beats the compound all hollow for magnificent architecture, Pope Marx–sorry, Francis must envy the diplomats’ “food court and a shopping mall where embassy staff can spend their hazard pay” (yep, those are more of your taxes at work, subsidizing the compound’s 1350 federal sponges. That figure was current in 2013; given government’s propensity for growth, the sponges have probably multiplied a few dozen times by now), “a six-lane swimming pool…fitness center…a regulation-size basketball court… There’s even an irrigation system, which makes [a] regulation-size soccer field possible.” Après-exercise, the leeches can feast in a “palatial dining room” offering “burgers, sushi, ‘Mexican Fiesta,’ Thai beef, grilled shrimp salad, sandwiches and more.” Don’t forget the extravagant piles of fresh fruit and “a wide variety of desserts… The Embassy generates its own power, has wells for water, as well as treatment and sewage plants.”

What else could the bloodsuckers in Baghdad want? Plenty: “…three and a half years after American diplomats moved into the massive $700 million facility,” they lavished an additional  $115 million on “upgrade[s],” the “most interesting” of which “is the construction of a data hall in an existing classified embassy annex building…” Hmmm. The NSA East?

Sic transit gloria. Last week’s protests “scorched” the entrance to this staggeringly sumptuous fortress.

But of course building and maintaining such an enclave merely inaugurated the overspending—and apply only to this embassy: the US boasts another 167 of these money-pits. We also foot the bills for securing them. Then there are the salaries for the ambassadors, assorted diplomats, staff, etc. Your Intrepid Reporter tried to discover exactly how much of our wealth Leviathan squanders on “diplomacy,” but the State Department’s bureaucratic complexity and overlapping “duties” and definitions thwarted this quest. My best estimate is half of the Deparment’s budget, or $20 billion. (Tragically, State’s forty billion bucks are barely worth discussing: Medicare, Social Security, “National Defence,” and “Health” plunder us of trillions, plural.)

And what do we get for that $20 billion? Nothing. Zero, zilch, nada…

More likely, you visited a consulate. It’s easy to confuse consulates and embassies, because the State Department spawns both, and they’re both varieties of “diplomacy.” But expecting a bureaucratic office to fulfill more than one function would limit government’s size, you see. And so a consulate sticks to “helping” Americans abroad in the same way that the DMV back home does: by selling us documents we neither want nor need so bureaucrats can track and control us…

Meanwhile, an embassy has just two goals: to massage its potentates’ egos and glorify their government. Embassies and ambassadors amplify their state’s pomp and self-importance in the hopes of wowing the international political class…

You and I as mere citizens aren’t even a blip on their radar, until the bills from the butcher, the baker and the caterers arrive. Debt is all an embassy ever gives its patsies…

The playwright Arthur Miller observed, “A little man makes a mistake and they hang him by the thumbs; the big ones become ambassadors.” With their hands deep into our pockets.

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Are All the World’s Problems Ours? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on May 10, 2019

Query: How successful was Operation Iraqi Freedom, which cost 4,500 U.S. lives, 40,000 wounded and $1 trillion, if, 15 years after our victory, our secretary of state must, for his own security, sneak into the Iraqi capital?


In 2003, George W. Bush took us to war to liberate Iraq from the despotism of Saddam Hussein and convert that nation into a beacon of freedom and prosperity in the Middle East.

Tuesday, Mike Pompeo flew clandestinely into Baghdad, met with the prime minister and flew out in four hours. The visit was kept secret, to prevent an attack on the Americans or the secretary of state.

Query: How successful was Operation Iraqi Freedom, which cost 4,500 U.S. lives, 40,000 wounded and $1 trillion, if, 15 years after our victory, our secretary of state must, for his own security, sneak into the Iraqi capital?

Topic of discussion between Pompeo and the prime minister:

In the event of a U.S. war with Iran, Iraqis would ensure the protection of the 5,000 U.S. troops in country, from the scores of thousands of Iranian-trained and Iranian-armed Shiite militia…

Wednesday, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, for the second time in a week, test-fired two missiles, 260 miles, into the Sea of Japan. Purpose: To signal Washington that Kim’s patience is running out.

Kim rejects the U.S. demand that he surrender all nuclear weapons and dismantle the facilities that produce them before any sanctions are lifted. He wants sanctions relief to go hand in hand with disposal of his arsenal. Few believe Kim will surrender all of his nukes or his ability to replicate them.

The clash with Kim comes days after the failed U.S.-backed coup in Caracas, which was followed by Pompeo-Bolton threats of military intervention in Venezuela, a country 100 times the size of Puerto Rico with 10 times the population and a large well-equipped army.

This week also, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford told Congress that the U.S. will have to keep counter-terrorism forces in Afghanistan “until there is no insurgency left in the country.”

Which sounds like forever, as in “forever war.”

Before flying to Baghdad, Pompeo was in Finland. There, he warned the eight-nation Arctic Council about Russian aggression in the region, suggested China’s claim to be a “near-Arctic” nation was absurd, and told Canada’s its claim to the Northwest Passage was “illegitimate.”

Our Canadian friends were stunned. “Those waterways are part of the internal waters of Canada,” said the government in Ottawa.

After an exhausting two weeks, one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, “Why is this our problem?”..

If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Iran has no nukes or ICBMs. It wants no war with us. It does not threaten us. Why is Iran then our problem to solve rather than a problem for Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and the Sunni Arabs?

Nor does Russia’s annexation of Crimea threaten us. When Ronald Reagan strolled through Red Square with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1988, all of Ukraine was ruled by Moscow.

The Venezuelan regime of Nicolas Maduro was established decades ago by his mentor, Hugo Chavez. When did that regime become so grave a threat that the U.S. should consider an invasion to remove it?

During the uprising in Caracas, Bolton cited the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. But according to President James Monroe, and Mike Pompeo’s predecessor John Quincy Adams, who wrote the message to Congress, under the Doctrine, while European powers were to keep their hands off our hemisphere — we would reciprocate and stay out of Europe’s quarrels and wars.

Wise folks, those Founding Fathers.

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russia wants war




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