Photographer: Jean-Marc Bouju
Organization / Publication: The Associated Press
Caption: An Iraqi man comforts his four-year-old son at a holding center for prisoners of war, in the base camp of the US Army 101st Airborne Division near An Najaf. The boy had become terrified when, according to orders, his father was hooded and handcuffed. A soldier later severed the plastic handcuffs so that the man could comfort his child. Hoods were placed over detainees’ heads because they were quicker to apply than blindfolds. The military said the bags were used to disorient prisoners and protect their identities. It is not known what happened to the man or the boy.
socialismartnature: To this day, not a single soul among the US political elite has been brought to justice for the crime against humanity that was the invasion, war, and occupation of Iraq. (via: ihatepeacocks)
“…I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.
I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences…”
The war lasted years longer and cost 100 times as much as the Bush administration’s estimates.
JM Ashby: It should be reiterated that President Bush kept the cost of the Iraq war off the books while he was in office, and when Republicans make the claim that President Obama dramatically increased the national debt upon taking office, the only reason they are able to make that claim is because the president decided we should begin taking responsibly for the cost of the war by adding it to routine budgets rather than paying for it with emergency authorization bills.
A Decade Of Mistakes: Timeline Of The Iraq War (3 selections):
MAY 1, 2003: Mission Accomplished. [M]y fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. [Bush, 5/1/03]
MAY 12, 2007: Billions in oil missing in Iraq. “Between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels a day of Iraq’s declared oil production over the past four years is unaccounted for and could have been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling, according to a draft American government report. Using an average of $50 a barrel, the report said the discrepancy was valued at $5 million to $15 million daily.” [New York Times, 5/12/2007]
JUNE 13, 2011: Department of Defense announces that $6.6 billion dollars earmarked for Iraq has been lost with no explanation. [It was] enough to run the Los Angeles Unified School District or the Chicago Public Schools for a year, among many other things. For the first time, federal auditors are suggesting that some or all of the cash may have been stolen, not just mislaid in an accounting error. [LA Times, 6/13/11]