by Justina

Major General Smedley D. Butler warned us War Is a Racket

In 1935, US General Smedley Butler detailed, in his War is a Racket, the World War I racket he had served. It is now much, much worse.

Vice-President Richard Cheney and his fellow Neo-Cons originally lit the barn fires with their factually unjustified invasion of Iraq in 2003. Bush-Cheney then torched the secular but Sunni-based ruling Baathist Party and applauded the decapitation of its brutal, but anti-al Qaeda leader Saddam Hussein. (Saddam himself had originally been put in place by the US CIA in a coup, but thereafter fell out of favor with the US government because he dared to assert exclusive control of Iraq’s oil industry.)

Up to his ouster, Saddam had successfully kept the radical jihadists out of Iraq, which even the US intelligence agencies have admitted:

There was no al Qaeda-Iraq connection until the war; our invasion made it so. We have known this for nearly a decade, well before the murderous ISIS even appeared. In a September 2006 New York Times article headlined ‘Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat,’ reporter Mark Mazetti informed readers of a classified National Intelligence Estimate representing the consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government. Titled ‘Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States,’ the analysis cited the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology: ‘The Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,’ said one American intelligence official.’

Now jihadis even more extreme than Al Qaeda, the ISIS, are an hour outside of Baghdad, threatening the capitol city and its Shia sect residents. Its Sunni sect population, a minority in Baghdad, is seemingly terrified of the reaction of the Shiite majority as well as the blatantly brutal, although Sunni ISIS. Likely everyone there is arming. (The NRA must be delighted.)

Upon dissolving Saddam’s army, the US then paid its private defense industry contractors billions to build a new Iraqi army in addition to building all the infra-structures for the US’s own army in Iraq, along with providing both all their attendant services. (Chaney’s Halliburton company did very, very well.)

But we went into Iraq to stop its “weapons of mass destruction” build-up (of which they had none) and end its supposed connection to Al Qaeda (which didn’t exist), right?

The oil and military industries, having lost their main justification for charging US tax payers for armaments and related oil profits with the dissolution of the USSR, then turned for solace to the independently bellicose neoconservatives within the Bush-Cheney administration to sever its connection with al Qaeda terrorists (which did not exist) cheer-leading for their disastrous (for human beings) invasion of Iraq. After all, Iraq had the oil that their industries coveted.

(Did Cheney and the other oil and armaments profiteers have the malevolent foresight to see that the invasion of Iraq could set the stage for continuing war among the mid-east’s religious and political sectarians for their further enrichment in the endless future? Or was that merely a lucky coincidence?)

Idle Hands Holding Guns and Bombs.

The disbanded Sunni military members left their jobs taking their arms, ammunition and bomb-building skills with them. A portion of these now unemployed Sunnis, put their skills to work blowing up Iraqi civilians in market places in Shiite neighborhoods as well as US soldiers in their multiple new and expensively constructed bases for the next few years.

In between insurrectionist explosions, a Shiite majority was elected to the Iraqi Parliament and Iraq’s current Shiite Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, was put in office in 2006. He was the US’s approved selection. But he has since been much too friendly with Iran and so defiantly independent of US policy as to dare to publicly blame US ally, Saudi Arabia, for funding the radical Sunni jihadist organizations they accused of carrying out genocide.

After several years of mayhem for the Iraqi’s population, millions of whom went into exile, were killed or locally displaced, these unemployed Sunnis, then called “insurgents,” managed to subdue the US army’s onslaught by agreeing to take huge quantities (still unaccounted) of US taxpayers’ cash to quiet down. The US military surge was actually a surge of US money to the various groups and tribes of the “insurgency.” Likely they used the US money to further arm themselves, adding to the profits of the US armaments industry.

But the US’s chosen puppet, Maliki, has since committed the unpardonable sin of acting like he heads an independent nation, thus making himself a candidate for removal. Maliki has failed to obey the US’s command to play nicely with the Sunni population and include its members, at least decoratively, in his government.

Maliki is thus now blamed for the success of the Sunni ISIS invasion in gaining the support of Iraqi Sunni populations. This week, Maliki was expressly put on the US’s “to be ousted” list. In related news, and following the US’s announcement of its desire to depose Maliki, Iran, Russia, China and Syria have now officially put Maliki on their “to be supported list.” So Maliki may yet survive, even in face of US efforts to replace him with a more malleable puppet.

On the short list for “more malleable puppet” is Vice-President Cheney’s old friend, Ahmed Chalabi. Remember Chalabi? He was one of the chief fabricators of the baseless “Saddam is building a nuclear bomb” and similar myths that the Bush-Cheney administration used to justify its invasion of Iraq in the first place. After the invasion he was rewarded by being put in charge of the “De-Baathification” program and other high positions in the Iraqi’s government.

The US wants a malleable pawn in Iraq, and Chalabi certainly has the smarmy credentials, but he was in charge of firing all the Sunnis from government in the first place, so a new face might be preferable. But the US’s neo-cons might simply not know one. They never knew or cared much about the reality on the ground in Iraq. After all, they were convinced that they could make their own reality on whim. (Hat tip to Karl Rove for enunciating that principle.)

The neo-cons’ aim was to create a capitalist paradise in Iraq, with companies freed of state control or even basic regulations, a model country for the “New World Order” or a model of capitalist corruption and greed? It has been suggested by a few commentators that the US is using the Sunni ISIS group it helped to create in Syria to set the stage for the removal of the Maliki government it originally ensconced in Iraq.

Facing an invasion by radical Sunni jihadists originally based in Syria but now joined up with various Iraqi contingents (remember the guys with guns the US summarily fired from Saddam’s Iraqi army?), they are now an hour away from Baghdad, having taken most of the territory to the north and west of Iraq.

Prime Minister Maliki has appealed to the US for military support. The US has responded with a few special forces troops and an ultimatum that Maliki must leave. Iran has responded with support for Maliki and strong opposition to a US intervention.

The recent developments of the ISIS Jihadists’ spread in Syria and northern Iraq provides the penultimate orgasm of delight among U.S. “defense” contractors. The U.S. taxpayers’ money is now being spent to send armaments to Syria’s supposed “moderate” Sunni jihadists to oust Syria’s president, Assad. Part of the money – and the armaments and equipment it purchased – has summarily migrated into the hands of the “radical” Jihadists, SISI. Which recently broke with their former Al Qaeda brethren. because SISI found Al Qaeda too “moderate”. No doubt these progeny still give obeisance to their common predecessor, Al Qaeda’s Bin Laden, himself originally armed and supported by the US CIA.

ISIS, not faring so well at ousting Assad in Syria, took the money and arms they snatched from the US’s somewhat more moderate proxies in Syria, as well as their ample funding from Saudi Arabia’s princes, and moved onto northern Iraq, where they could expect to have an easier time of making their dream of an Islamic caliphate come true, given that northern Iraq is filled with their Sunni co-religonists.

Now they threaten the walls of Iraq’s capitol, Baghdad. Baghdad, which has a majority Shiite population since the US’s 2003 invasion trashed its formerly Sunni government, led by the Baathist Saddam Husain, who also was originally put in power by the US’s CIA.

In Iraq, the ISIS have allied with former Sunni Baathist military groups Sunni, with the goal of dethroning the Shiite government of Maliki. Maliki was put in power by US neo-cons, who are still running the State Department (and likely the CIA) following the reign of US proto-tsar, Paul Brennan. Brennan, you will remember, was the US guy who brought “democracy” to Iraq, in the guise of ushering in a trillion dollar free-for-all for US military contractors.

The US army withdrew from Iraq in 2011 pursuant to a treaty signed by President George Bush, the younger, as he was leaving office in 2011. President Obama carried out the terms of that withdrawal. President Obama, encouraged by the Bush-Cheney neo-cons he left in government office after his election, then re-oriented the war machine to Syria. Obama was on the verge of launching outright war on Syria in 2013 to depose its leader, Assad, when Russia’s President Putin pulled the rug out from under Obama’s threatened bombing by gaining agreement from Assad to demolish all Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles.

The air munitions industries must have been enraged at that loss of their anticipated bombing profits, while the chemical weapons companies gloated, knowing they would be called upon to replace the destroyed chemicals.) Now it appears Russia’s support for Maliki may defeat Obama’s “Maliki Must Go” ultimatum.

But, from the perspective of the war contracting companies, the more potential warring factionsin the game, the better. The US government appears ready to fund whichever radical group is most conducive to its given local objectives. It is no matter to the neo-cons that US taxpayers are potentially funding all sides in the Middle East conflicts. What a win for capitalism!

As US General, Smedley Butler, said in 1935: War is a Racket, a very, very profitable one, but not for the majority of citizens of any country, only for the corporations.