Iraq: Began with Big Lies; Ending with Big Lies; Never Forget

Does Mr. Obama, the Peace Laureate, believe the words that come out of his mouth?

By William Blum

iraq1"Most people don't understand what they have been part of here," said Command Sgt. Major Ron Kelley as he and other American troops prepared to leave Iraq in mid-December. "We have done a great thing as a nation. We freed a people and gave their country back to them."

"It is pretty exciting," said another young American soldier in Iraq. "We are going down in the history books, you might say." (Washington Post, December 18, 2011)

Ah yes, the history books, the multi-volume leather-bound set of "The Greatest Destructions of One Country by Another." The newest volume can relate, with numerous graphic photos, how the modern, educated, advanced nation of Iraq was reduced to a quasi failed state; how the Americans, beginning in 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one dubious excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, tortured without inhibition, killed wantonly, ... how the people of that unhappy land lost everything — their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women's rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives ... More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile ... The air, soil, water, blood, and genes drenched with depleted uranium ... the most awful birth defects ... unexploded cluster bombs lying anywhere in wait for children to pick them up ... a river of blood running alongside the Euphrates and Tigris ... through a country that may never be put back together again.

"It is a common refrain among war-weary Iraqis that things were better before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003," reported the Washington Post on May 5, 2007.

No matter ... drum roll, please ... Stand tall American GI hero! And don't even think of ever apologizing or paying any reparations. Iraq is forced by Washington to continue paying reparations to Kuwait for Iraq's invasion in 1990 (an invasion instigated in no small measure by the United States). And — deep breath here! — Vietnam has been compensating the United States. Since 1997 Hanoi has been paying off about $145 million in debts left by the defeated South Vietnamese government for American food and infrastructure aid. Thus, Hanoi is reimbursing the United States for part of the cost of the war waged against it. (William Blum, Rogue State, p.304) How much will the United States pay the people of Iraq?


On December 14, at the Fort Bragg, North Carolina military base, Barack Obama stood before an audience of soldiers to speak about the Iraq war. It was a moment in which the president of the United States found it within his heart and soul — as well as within his oft-praised (supposed) intellect — to proclaim:

This is an extraordinary achievement, nearly nine years in the making. And today, we remember everything that you did to make it possible. ... Years from now, your legacy will endure. In the names of your fallen comrades etched on headstones at Arlington, and the quiet memorials across our country. In the whispered words of admiration as you march in parades, and in the freedom of our children and grandchildren. ... So God bless you all, God bless your families, and God bless the United States of America. ... You have earned your place in history because you sacrificed so much for people you have never met.

Does Mr. Obama, the Peace Laureate, believe the words that come out of his mouth?

Barack H. Obama believes only in being the President of the United States. It is the only strong belief the man holds.

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William Blum is an American, historian, and critic of United States foreign policy.He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military & CIA Interventions Since World War II. He has described his life's mission as: "If not ending, at least slowing down the American Empire. At least injuring the beast. It's causing so much suffering around the world."Mr. Blum can be reached through his website .

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  1. I wrote this comment as a response to the TomDispatch story on the end of American Exceptionalism and it’s superpower status, but it’s equally sppropriate here:

    Folding our tents and stealing away like Bedouins in the night. For me, the comparisons to Germany could not be more stark. The fall of Vietnam was our gates of Moscow. the withdrawl from Iraq our Stalingrad and Afghanistan is our Kursk. Now with the sabre rattlers demonizing Iran, the Iranian Military has just basically told us, “You don’t have a hair on your ass.” They’ve done this because they know that the US is largely a paper tiger whose military threats can be discounted. If an Attack on Iran occurs, the embassy in Baghdad will be under siege like the bunkers of Berlin in a New York minute while any fleet we send into the Persian gulf will be reduced to flaming hulks sinking in the waters off the Hormuz Straits. When that happens, the corporate right spin machine will go into overtime with it’s new Stabbed-in-the-back narrative as the police state iron fist is ungloved upon the citizenry to justify the Rule of Austerity and the imposition of the Economics of Scarcity. AS the dispossession of the american people from the land accelerates, HUD wants to resell them en Masse to foreign sovereign wealth funds while the big story out of Iowa is about shadowy groups driving up the prices of prime Iowa Farmland as the climate-change induced drought belt Dust Bowl moves ever northward out of Texas into Oklahoma and Kansas. Meanwhile, when Ron Paul, whose faults are legion, is the only Presidential Candidate who mentions a return to strict neutrality, an end to entangling foreign alliances and non-intervention, he’s treated by the media and the rest of the Delusional Repubs like he just took a big, smelly shit on the floor that NO ONE wants to acknowledge. All this happens as our increasingly desperate corporate media ends it’s Rose Parade coverage 5 minutes early to prevent any shots of OWS from intruding on their delusional narrative of Military & Corporate Triumphalism and the fetishization of our brave soldaten.

  2. There he stands. the peace prez. mister constitution. the blood of the assassin. commander IC of cognitive dissonance, head one side to the other locked by machine to rote, his words flattening the fields of everywhere the last vestiges of hope and love and even future with bland exceptionalist god words, the bullets of hypocrisy . god this. god that. god bless and rat-a-tat.

  3. :)peace

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