US marks first month with no troop deaths in Iraq
BAGHDAD (AP) – August marked the first month since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that no American forces have died, according to an Associated Press tally.
Figures compiled by the AP show that no American forces died in Iraq in August either in combat or non-combat related situations, a significant achievement in a conflict that has claimed the lives of 4,474 American service members since it began.
All American forces are supposed to leave Iraq by December of this year, but U.S. and Iraqi officials have been discussing whether to have a long-term American military presence in the country.
There have been previous months during which there were no combat related deaths, but during which some people died in non-combat related situations.
Full Story Here:
US marks first month with no troop deaths in Iraq
This is one of the best NEWS reports to come out of Iraq since, well, since we got there basically.
Don’t think I am anti-War, I am NOT, but I believe that if we go to war we go for good reasons, we get the job done and over with and we bring the troops home. That’s not the way America fights any more.
I have never made ANY secret of the fact that I have been against the Iraqi operation in since it’s inception. I have never believed Iraq had the weapons of mass destruction that was claimed and I never believed that Saddam Hussein was an integral part of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. My opinions were later confirmed by Senatorial investigations conducted by a GOP majority Senate and House.
The Senate Report on Iraqi WMD Intelligence (formally, the “Report of the Select Committee on Intelligence on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq”) was the report by the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concerning the U.S. intelligence community’s assessments of Iraq during the time leading up to the 2003 U.S. invasion. The report, which was released on July 9, 2004, identified numerous failures in the intelligence-gathering and -analysis process. The report found that these failures led to the creation of inaccurate materials that misled both government policy makers and the American public.
The Committee’s Republican majority and Democratic minority agreed on the report’s major conclusions and unanimously endorsed its findings. They disagreed, though, on the impact that statements on Iraq by senior members of the Bush administration had on the intelligence process. The second phase of the investigation, addressing the way senior policymakers used the intelligence, was published on May 25, 2007. Portions of the phase II report not released at that time include the review of public statements by U.S. government leaders prior to the war, and the assessment of the activities of Douglas Feith and the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans. SOURCE
Additional reports and sources further verified that Saddam Hussein did NOT have the WMDs that he claimed to possess. The following is, at least to me, quite interesting.
WASHINGTON – Saddam Hussein feared Iran’s arsenal more than a U.S. attack and even considered asking ex-President George W. Bush “to protect” Iraq from its neighbor, once secret FBI files show.
The FBI interrogations of the toppled tyrant – codename “Desert Spider” – were declassified after a Freedom of Information Act request.
The records show Saddam happily boasted of duping the world about stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. And he consistently denied cooperating with Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda.
Of all his enemies, Iraq’s ex-president – who insisted he still held office during captivity – hated Iran most. SOURCE
Another report that I find particularly interesting follows below:
It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to Al Qaeda. This was the conclusion of numerous bipartisan government investigations, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2004 and 2006), the 9/11 Commission, and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, whose “Duelfer Report” established that Saddam Hussein had terminated Iraq’s nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to restart it.
In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003. Not surprisingly, the officials with the most opportunities to make speeches, grant media interviews, and otherwise frame the public debate also made the most false statements, according to this first-ever analysis of the entire body of prewar rhetoric. SOURCE
There were many in the Intelligence community that were feeding Pres. Bush false data, skewed information and outright LIES!
There were also a great number of Intel Officers, Agents, operatives and the like that were trying in every way possible to get the true message to Bush, and in a few cases they were able to actually present the opposing side of the story, but that was NOT the story Bush wanted to hear.
We’ve all seen the news articles like this: Bush statement on WMD in Iraq based on intelligence that was later debunked this: CIA’s final report: No WMD found in Iraq and this: Rove Admits: No WMD Found In Iraq.
There were some 155mm Howitzer shells found that had chemical warheads, those warheads were filled with liquid Sarin.
Sarin, or GB, is an organophosphorus compound with the formula [(CH3)2CHO]CH3P(O)F. It is a colorless, odorless liquid, which is used as a chemical weapon. It has been classified as a weapon of mass destruction in UN Resolution 687. Production and stockpiling of sarin was outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 where it is classified as a Schedule 1 substance. SOURCE
As bad as all that sounds, it was also reported by *classified* sources that this liquid Sarin was OLD, totally depleted. It was, in fact, so depleted that it could have been poured directly on the skin with NO ill effects. It was said that the only way this Sarin could have harmed a human being would be if it was ingested by drinking it.
Then we have to wonder about the threat level these 155mm rounds presented to the American people. It’s several thousand miles from anywhere in the USA to anywhere in Iraq, the maximum effective range of a 155 Howitzer is approximately 16,000 yards… We were NEVER in range of this weapon system.
I also know the stories about yellowcake uranium being found in Iraq. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that he DID have yellowcake in it’s RAW form. In that form it is NOT a WMD.
While yellowcake alone is not considered potent enough for a so-called “dirty bomb” — a conventional explosive that disperses radioactive material — it could stir widespread panic if incorporated in a blast. Yellowcake also can be enriched for use in reactors and, at higher levels, nuclear weapons using sophisticated equipment. SOURCE
It CAN be enriched, but it wasn’t, it was just there, in raw form, but Saddam was accused of having a WMD because of it.
If you follow along those same lines, he had the yellowcake, and that DID give him the potential to actually create enriched uranium, for whatever purpose, shouldn’t every male on earth be charged with RAPE?
We DO, after all, possess the equipment to carry out the act.
Look, I am NOT a supporter of Saddam Hussein, he was a very bad person and he needed to be taken OUT, but he needed to be taken out for the RIGHT reasons, not via false pretenses. I have said this before on this blog, in the past when Iraq was a HOT combat zone, we did NOT need to be there fighting, had George Bush been a tactical person he would have cultivated Saddam as an ally, not a FRIEND, not an ally to be even REMOTELY trusted, but Saddam had an *ego from hell*, if he had been cultivated he would have been a lot more useful in a fight against al-Qaida, the Taliban and Iran than ANY so-called *leader* (war lord) in Afghanistan.
Some folks tried to tell Bush that, but HIS ego wasn’t listening.
I am very happy to know that NO U.S. casualties were sustained in August of 2011, but I mourn the 4,474 American service members that have been lost in Iraq.
I also have to wonder; had we not gone into Iraq on what is best described as *Bush’s Faux Pas*, would the American economy be any better off today? I can’t help but believe it would.