Happy Veterans Day, America!
Today is Veterans Day, a federal holiday. It used to be called Armistice Day, but for some reason that changed in 1954. Maybe it’s because the war to end all wars didn’t end all wars, so a broader remembrance of all veterans created by US imperial ambitions became necessary.
The Middle East has been rendered a clusterfuck of chaos, death and destruction from decades of war. The US is directly responsible. Obama has sent 1,500 more troops to Iraq and now Congress is stirring, blearily recalling a distant time when Congressional Approval was necessary for war. From the link:
A senior Democratic senator said Monday that Congress should vote on whether U.S. troops should be fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), calling the previous Iraq War a “terrible mistake.”
“We are going to have to have a vote on this. We know what a terrible mistake the first Iraq War was,” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on NBC.
“It cost us close to $3 trillion, thousands of lives to go after weapons of mass destruction, which never existed in the first place. And if we’re going to go into this, how many other places are we going to? We should have a full debate on it,” he added.
Yeah, let’s have a full debate. And how about including in that full debate facts, like our ally, Turkey, helping ISIS:
Until recently, it was speculated that Turkey had provided indirect support to Daesh; there did not appear to be evidence showing direct Turkish assistance to ISIS fascists. New evidence leads to the latter conclusion.
On 7 November, Newsweek published “’ISIS Sees Turkey as Its Ally’: Former Islamic State Member Reveals Turkish Army Cooperation.” The piece is based on testimonies by a former ISIS communications technician who goes by the pseudonym Sherko Omer. Omer traveled to Syria to fight against the bloody Assad regime — a regime with brutal state terrorist campaigns of mass bombing, torture, starvation, and rape of civilians, including children — yet soon “found himself caught up in a horrifying sectarian war, unable to escape.” He never planned on joining ISIS; he was not a Salafi extremist. Omer was trapped in a terrifying snare — a sectarian, international proxy war — and feared for his life, knowing full well that Daesh murders defectors.
Omer managed to escape by surrendering to Kurdish forces (ISIS extremists would not have spared his life after such a surrender), and subsequently detailed to Newsweek what he saw in his time working for the fascist group.
He notes that Turkey allowed trucks from the Daesh stronghold in Raqqa to cross the “border, through Turkey and then back across the border to attack Syrian Kurds in the city of Serekaniye in northern Syria in February.” He later adds that, not only did they travel “through Turkey in a convoy of trucks,” they even stayed “at safehouses along the way.”
As a communication technician, Omer recalls “connect[ing] ISIS field captains and commanders from Syria with people in Turkey on innumerable occasions,” reporting that he “rarely heard them speak in Arabic, and that was only when they talked to their own recruiters, otherwise, they mostly spoke in Turkish because the people they talked to were Turkish officials.”
“ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all because there was full cooperation with the Turks,” Omer says.
Another facet of this full debate should include Libya. Glenn Greenwald, in a piece at The Intercept, asks what I’ve been asking—What Happened to the Humanitarians Who Wanted to Save Libyans with Bombs and Drones? The answer is they scuttled away to the shadows, unwilling to acknowledge that the critics were correct. Libya has descended into abject chaos, and now features the first city outside Syria and Iraq to pledge fealty to ISIS:
On a chilly night, bearded militants gathered at a stage strung with colorful lights in Darna, a Mediterranean coastal city long notorious as Libya’s center for jihadi radicals. With a roaring chant, they pledged their allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State group.
With that meeting 10 days ago, the militants dragged Darna into becoming the first city outside of Iraq and Syria to join the “caliphate” announced by the extremist group. Already, the city has seen religious courts ordering killings in public, floggings of residents accused of violating Shariah law, as well as enforced segregation of male and female students. Opponents of the militants have gone into hiding or fled, terrorized by a string of slayings aimed at silencing them.
ISIS should come with a Made in America label.
It’s pretty impressive that US troops are back on the ground in Iraq fighting the consequences of America’s insanely reckless foreign policy with nary a peep from the somnambulist American populace. I have stopped wondering what it would take to jar Americans out of their slumber.
So enjoy the federal holiday, dear citizens! War will remain on our horizon for the foreseeable future because there is no anti-war movement mobilizing against the insanity, another unfortunate byproduct of Democrats failing to distinguish themselves from their Republican counterparts.