Tag Archives: Iraq

Take Out Your iPhone!

Take Out Your iPhone!

By Paula Rogovin, MFSO, Bergen County NJ

When I spoke at the Cranford, NJ Peace Fair on August 6, I started by telling about my distress during my son’s two deployments to Iraq, my friend, John Fenton’s, distress when he watched his son’s head shrink before he died in the hospital after being struck by an IED in Iraq, my friends, Kevin and Joyce Lucey’ distress when their son, Jeffrey, hung himself after he was told to return to the VA for help after he dealt with his alcohol abuse, and my friend, Marcia Westbrook’s distress, when she received the call that her son in the Special Forces, Tyler, had died by suicide.

I asked people in the crowd, “Why did the U.S. intervene in Iraq?” People shouted, “Oil!” Then I asked people to take out their iphones and hold them up high. So, why is the U.S. involved in Afghanistan and why is President Trump considering sending 3,000-5,000 additional troops to Afghanistan? Several people shouted, “Minerals!” This was a Peace Fair and many of the people read recent articles in the news. Yup, President Trump is concerned that we hadn’t really secured the oil contracts in Iraq and the mineral rights in Afghanistan during the time of Cheney/Bush. Now, he’s talking about securing the mineral contracts in Afghanistan.

If you read excerpts from the articles below, you will see that there is lots of lithium – which used in iPhones and other devices. We know that it’s not OUR oil or OUR minerals. To sacrifice the lives and well-being of U.S. service members and their families for profit, for greed, is totally unacceptable!

I told the crowd at the Cranford Peace Fair that Military Families Speak Out says: NO military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan! Bring the troops home NOW!

The crowd agreed and shouted: Bring the troops home NOW!

Trump Finds Reason for the U.S. to Remain in Afghanistan: Minerals (New York Times). (By MARK LANDLER and JAMES RISENJULY 25, 2017
“The lure of Afghanistan as a war-torn Klondike is well established: In 2006, the George W. Bush administration conducted aerial surveys of the country to map its mineral resources. Under President Barack Obama, the Pentagon set up a task force to try to build a mining industry in Afghanistan — a challenge that was stymied by rampant corruption, as well as security problems and the lack of roads, bridges or railroads.

None of these hurdles has been removed in the last eight years, according to former officials, and some have worsened. They warn that the Trump administration is fooling itself if it believes that extracting minerals is a panacea for Afghanistan’s myriad ills…..

But for Mr. Trump, as a businessman, it is arguably the only appealing thing about Afghanistan. Officials said he viewed mining as a “win-win” that could boost that country’s economy, generate jobs for Americans and give the United States a valuable new beachhead in the market for rare-earth minerals, which has been all but monopolized by China….. Mr. Silver, the chemical executive, may head an effort to maximize the rights for American companies to extract these minerals, according to a senior official.”

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, March 25, 2017
“Here is part of the list: “gold, copper, lithium,uranium, iron ore, cobalt, natural gas and oil. Afghanistan’s resources could make it one of the richest mining regions in the world.

According to a joint report by the Pentagon, the US Geological Survey (USGS) and USAID, Afghanistan is now said to possess “previously unknown” and untapped mineral reserves, estimated authoritatively to be of the order of one trillion dollars (New York Times, U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan – NYTimes.com, June 14, 2010, See also BBC, 14 June 2010).
“The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.
An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys…..

“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said… “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”

The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan’s existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the United States and other industrialized countries. Afghanistan’s gross domestic product is only about $12 billion.

“This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy,” said Jalil Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines. (New York Times, op. cit.)
Afghanistan could become, according to The New York Times “the Saudi Arabia of lithium”. “Lithium is an increasingly vital resource, used in batteries for everything from mobile phones to laptops and key to the future of the electric car.” At present Chile, Australia, China and Argentina are the main suppliers of lithium to the world market. Bolivia and Chile are the countries with the largest known reserves of lithium. “The Pentagon has been conducting ground surveys in western Afghanistan. “Pentagon officials said that their initial analysis at one location in Ghazni province showed the potential for lithium deposits as large as those of Bolivia” (U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan – NYTimes.com, June 14, 2010, see also Lithium – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

In the News: CIA Torture Psychologists Compare Themselves to Nazi Poison Gas Manufacturer as Defense

Psychologists James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen were the architects of the CIA’s torture program. Now, in a groundbreaking lawsuit, three survivors and victims of the torture program are seeking to hold Mitchell and Jessen accountable.

This Friday in federal court in Spokane, Washington, Mitchell and Jessen’s lawyers will argue that they can’t be held responsible for their actions. In an extraordinary legal filing, Mitchell and Jessen claim they aren’t legally responsible to the people hurt by their methods because they “simply did business with the CIA pursuant to their contracts.”

A key part of Mitchell and Jessen’s argument hinges on the claim that poison gas manufacturers weren’t held responsible by a British military tribunal for providing the Nazis with the gas because the Nazi government, not contractors, had final say on whether to use it. They argue that they are like a corporate gassing technician who was charged with and acquitted of assisting the Nazis because “even if [Mitchell and Jessen] played an integral part of the supply and use of” torture methods, they had no “influence” over the CIA’s decision to use them and can’t be accountable.

Military Families Oppose Continuation of Endless War

On July 6, 2016 President Obama announced his intention to maintain 8,400 troops on the ground and in harms way in Afghanistan.

That announcement was followed by news that the President had authorized an additional 500 troops for Iraq, bringing the total authorized US force in Iraq to over 4,600. There are reportedly hundreds, if not thousands, of further US troops in Iraq in Syria on ‘rotational’ deployments and non-disclosed missions.

Miiltary Families Speak Out [MFSO] opposes this continuation of ENDLESS WAR that has neither reduced incidences of terrorism throughout the world, nor made life safer for the people of Afghanistan or here at home. After nearly 15 years, it is time to end, not prolong, the war in Afghanistan. This has to stop.

Bring Home Our Troops, Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

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First American Killed in 4 Years in Ground Combat in Iraq

We are very sad to hear that that since the recent influx of troops and airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, the first US soldier was killed today. This soldier’s is the first American to die in combat in Iraq in four years. And so another American has died in this administrations futile attempt to stabilize a country that we never should have attacked in the first place.

Before more troops and airstrikes were sent to Iraq last year, MFSO warned this administration that if more troops were killed in Iraq, it would likely cause us to slide down that “slippery slope” of deepening our involvement in Iraq. And although Press Secretary Peter Cook called the raid “unique” and said, “US forces are not in an active combat mission in Iraq”, they actually are in combat and we believe this could be the beginning of further involvement. This brings the total of US troops that have been killed in Iraq to 4,494.

Sadly, all this comes on the heels of President Obama’s recent announcement, one we had all been dreading, that he was extending American troops presence in Afghanistan- a decision that looks more and more like we will have our troops there beyond the Obama administration. Please take a moment to read MFSO member Larry Seyverson’s interview, which he conducted  the day after Pres. Obama’s announcement. Larry speaks for all of us when he describes how military families feel about keeping our troops  in Afghanistan and he expresses our despair of being dragged deeper and ever closer into “endless wars”.