The phrase “Never Forget” is often associated with the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But what does this phrase mean for U.S. students who are too young to remember? What are they being asked to never forget? As education researchers in curriculum and instruction, we have studied since 2002 how the events of 9/11 and the global war on terror are integrated into secondary level U.S. classrooms and curricula. What we have found is a relatively consistent narrative that focuses on 9/11 as an unprecedented and shocking attack, the heroism of the firefighters and other first responders and a global community that stood behind the U.S. in its pursuit of terrorists.
On Wednesday, July 26, scores of Iraqis protested in front of the country’s central bank in the capital Baghdad following a massive fall in the value of the Iraqi dinar that is attributed to the recent US ban on 14 private banks. The market rate of the Iraqi dinar in exchange for one US dollar has climbed up to 1,570 from 1,470 in the last two days. The US Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve imposed the bans this month, accusing the banks of money laundering and transferring funds to Iran. The banks insist that they “have nothing to do with political tensions and are independent financial institutions” willing to face an audit to dispel any notion of wrongdoing or criminal activity.
The playbook the pimps of war use to lure us into one military fiasco after another, including Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and now Ukraine, does not change. Freedom and democracy are threatened. Evil must be vanquished. Human rights must be protected. The fate of Europe and NATO, along with a “rules based international order” is at stake. Victory is assured. The results are also the same. The justifications and narratives are exposed as lies. The cheery prognosis is false. Those on whose behalf we are supposedly fighting are as venal as those we are fighting against.
Former Reuters journalist Dean Yates’ career has taken him around the world and up-close-and-personal with some of the century’s worst tragedies and atrocities. From the 2002 Bali bombings and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, to the frontlines of war in Lebanon and Iraq—Yates’ experiences have taken a deeply personal toll. The killing of two Iraqi journalist colleagues by a US Apache gunship finally pushed him over the edge. After years of dealing with PTSD, substance abuse, and psychiatric hospitalization, Yates has written a new memoir about his journey, Line in the Sand. Dean Yates joins The Chris Hedges Report to discuss his new book, his career, and his healing journey.
Iraq’s Resistance Coordination Committee issued an ultimatum to the government of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, demanding immediate action against “US violations” in the country, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported on 26 June. The committee expressed its “unwavering commitment to prioritizing the interests of the Iraqi people, particularly in light of the significant political, security, and economic challenges facing the nation.” It also said that a temporary halt on military operations against the US occupation army “should not be misconstrued as acceptance of the ongoing presence of US forces, which we consider illegal and unconstitutional.”
Five victims of chemical attacks launched by the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war are suing two Dutch companies for providing chemical materials that allowed Baghdad to manufacture mustard gas. The two companies — Otjiaha and Forafina Beleggingen — provided Iraq with chemicals between 1982 and 1984 during the Iraqi invasion of Iran. According to the lawsuit filed at The Hague, the Dutch companies were aware at the time that their products were being used to produce chemical weapons used against civilians. However, Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant says the corporations dispute the accusations and maintain that the chemicals were meant for use as agricultural pesticides.
Adil Abdul-Mahdi, prime minister of Iraq from October 2018 to May 2020, emerged as a significant figure during one of the most tumultuous periods in the country’s recent history. Caught between navigating relations with Washington and Tehran, and a worsening economic crisis, he ultimately resigned in the face of popular protests and the state’s violent crackdown. In a rare media interview with The Cradle, Abdul-Mahdi candidly discloses details of those harrowing days and the foreign interests – particularly American and British – that played a hand in the chaos, terrorism, sectarianism, and economic dependencies that continue to beset Iraq today.
Sir Halford John Mackinder, one of Britain’s most prominent theorists in the field of geopolitics, discusses the significance of land connectivity between nations in his 1904 essay called The Geographical Pivot of History. Besides introducing his notable Heartland Theory, Mackinder argued that advancements in transportation technology, such as the development of railways, have altered the balance of power in international politics by enabling a powerful state or group of states to expand its influence along transport routes. The establishment of blocs, like the EU or BRICS, for instance, aims to enhance communication between member states. This objective has positive implications for the economy and helps reduce the risk of tensions among them.
This commentary really should be part two from the piece I wrote last week in the run-up to the anti-war mobilization that took place March 18th which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. In that article I made a similar argument about why the U.S. should be seen as the greatest threat to the survival of collective humanity on our planet. That point, however, needs to be reinforced because in typical arrogance, on the eve of that mobilization and the official March 20th date of the U.S. invasion, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Russia President Vladimir Putin while Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Barack Obama, responsible for horrific crimes against humanity and literally millions of deaths combined in Serbia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria, walk around as free individuals.
On the night of 19-20 March, 2003, the US air force began bombing the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. The EU and NATO were deeply divided on whether to join the aggression: While newer NATO members from Central and Eastern Europe were in favor of the war, European heavyweights Paris and Berlin opposed it. The Iraq war also marked the onset of diplomatic coordination between Moscow and Beijing at the UN Security Council (UNSC). The two countries began in 2003 to apply similar voting patterns in the Council, first on Iraq, then on Libya in 2011, and over Syria in several key votes. That early Russia-China UN coordination has, 20 years later, transformed into a determined joint policy toward “guarding a new world order based on international law.”
United States troops began the invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003 under the direction of president George W. Bush. The death toll estimates for Iraqi civilians vary between 275,000 and 654,000 as a direct result of warfare, with one study estimating as many as 1 million deaths . If even the lowest figure is correct, the U.S. committed a horrific war crime, a deliberate attack on a civilian population. In 2003 thousands of people massed in protest across the country. On February 15, 2003 , millions gathered around the world in the largest protests since the Vietnam war. While public opinion was divided, the corporate media firmly sided with the Bush administration.
A New York Times Magazine article in July 2020 focused on then Secretary of State Powell and his U.N. speech of Feb. 5, 2003 and the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) upon which it is largely based. A lot of the detail in the article may have been new to many readers, but not to Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, which had been established a month before. VIPS watched the speech, dissected it, and sent their verdict to President George W. Bush before close of business that same afternoon We gave Powell a charitable grade of “C”, faulting him for, inter alia, not providing needed context and perspective. We should have flunked him outright.
The Arab and International Campaign to Break Siege on Syria announced plans on 24 February to launch a popular, pan-Arab campaign to confront the western-led blockade against Syria through an aid convoy in light of the devastating earthquake that killed over 50,000 people in Turkiye and Syria. On Saturday, the Syrian news agency SANA reported that the preparations to participate in the Arab Youth Forum in Solidarity with Syria in March are already underway. The campaign, titled “The Arab Unity Convoy to Break the Embargo Imposed on Syria,” is headed by Magdi al Masrawi, former secretary-general of the Arab National Congress, and draws an example from the “Convoy of Arab Unity, Maryam” to break the siege on Iraq in the early 2000s.
As Iranians and Iraqis commemorate the three-year anniversary of Washington’s illegal assassination of Iran’s Quds Force Commander General Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, scores of people have, over the last few days, rallied in the streets of both countries. On 3 January, people from all over the Islamic Republic, and particularly in Soleimani’s hometown of Qanat-e Malek in Kerman province, gathered to remember the fallen commander. At Tehran’s main prayer hall, a national congress to commemorate the assassination was held and attended by several senior officials. The following day, a scholarly congress under the title “The Global Hero of Resistance” will also be held and attended by a number of officials and figures from abroad.
This October marks the third anniversary of the 2019 popular protests in Iraq. On Tuesday, October 25, a large number of people gathered in the Tahrir square in capital Baghdad and paid homage to the people who were killed in the protests. They raised slogans in support of what has been termed by the protesters as the Tishreen movement. The countrywide protests in 2019, rooted in the long-term grievances of people against successive governments, went on for months. Before the global COVID-19 outbreak forced them to end, the protests were successful in forcing the then government led by Adil Abdul Mahdi to resign, putting the ruling classes on the defensive and pressing for reforms.