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In 1998, former President George Bush and Brent Scowcroft, National Security Advisor during the Bush administration, collaborated on the book A World Transformed, a political history covering significant world events which occurred during the first three years of Bush's presidency (1989-1991): the collapse of the Soviet empire, the unification of Germany, Tiananmen Square, and the Gulf War.

In Chapter 19, which discusses the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War (also known as "Desert Storm," the military operation to liberate Kuwait from occupation by invading Iraqi forces), they wrote:

Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in "mission creep," and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under the circumstances, there was no viable "exit strategy" we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different — and perhaps barren — outcome.

Who Are the Iraqis?

1. Twelve-thousand years ago, they invented irrigated farming. They got to be so good at it that, today, they can still produce all the food they need even when "sanctions" are imposed.

2. They invented writing.

3. They figured out how to tell time.

4. They founded modern mathematics.

5. In the Code of Hammurabi, they invented the first legal system that protects the weak, the widow and the orphan.

6. Five-thousand years ago, they had philosophers who attempted to list every known thing in the world.

7. They were using Pythagoras' theorem 1,700 years before Pythagoras.

8. They invented artificial building materials, some kind of pre-fab-crete stuff used to construct high-rise towers.

9. Ur, in southeast Iraq, is assumed to be the place we're all descended from.

10. They were the first people to build cities and live in them.

11. For thousands of years, they wrote the greatest poetry, history and "sagas" in the world.

12. Because they were great horse breeders, they invented the cavalry in war.

13. The Iraq Museum in Baghdad contains some of the most outstanding stone, metal and clay sculptures and inscriptions created in the history of the world. Some of them are more than 7,000 years old.

14. The first school for astronomers was established by Iraqis.This is how the "wise men" got to be so wise. They knew how to follow the star.

15. Beginning around 800 A.D., the Iraqis founded universities that imported teachers from throughout the civilized world to teach medicine, mathematics, philosophy, theology, literature and poetry.

16. For the first 1,200 years of its existence, Baghdad was regarded as one of the most refined, civilized and festive cities in the world.

17. Abraham, the father of Israel, was from Iraq.

18. Abraham, the father of Islam, was from Iraq.

19. Abraham, the father and "model" of Christian faith, was from Iraq.

20. Iraq , is the second largest reserve of oil.

21. Before 1980, Iraq has the largest number of date palm trees in the world.

22. Iraqi wheat, rice, and meat are considered from the finest types in the world.

23. Iraq, has the biggest soft water/population ratio in the world , seven rivers.

24. Iraqis, once considered as the Germans of Arabs with highest percent of highly educated people.

25. Iraq, is one of the world's richest territories in historical sites and holy shrines.

Saddam Hussein doesn't regard himself as the heir of Abraham, or even as the heir of Muhammad. He regards himself, first and foremost, as the heir of Nebuchadnezzar. He identifies, in other words, with the enslaver, not the enslaved.

Everything we know about the rest of Iraq tells us that Saddam is the exception, not the Iraqis.

Ten Things to Know About Terrorism Ten Things

You Can Do to Prevent War

Ten Things You Should Know about U.S. Policy in the Middle East

100 Questions & Answers about Arab-Americans : A Journalist's Guide

Advice to Arab-American Parents : Helping Children Cope

Advice to Educators : from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (UCCR) has established a hotline for reports of hate crimes against Arab American, Muslim and South Asian American victims of violent incidents following the hijacking attacks on September 11.

The hotline number is 800-552-6843

Cost of Iraq War to Michigan

Taxpayers in Michigan will pay $24.1 billion for total Iraq & Afghanistan war spending since 2001. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:
  • 9,064,808 People with Health Care for One Year OR
  • 33,883,915 Homes with Renewable Electricity for One Year OR
  • 500,315 Public Safety Officers for One year OR
  • 436,361 Music and Arts Teachers for One Year OR
  • 2,479,324 Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR
  • 4,506,345 Students receiving Pell Grants of $5350 OR
  • 194,346 Affordable Housing Units OR
  • 18,027,535 Children with Health Care for One Year OR
  • 3,644,587 Head Start Places for Children for One Year OR
  • 340,582 Elementary School Teachers for One Year OR
  • 351,635 Port Container Inspectors for One year


The Ticking Time Bomb of Soldiers' Traumatic Brain Injuries
Studies have estimated that about 20 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury while deployed. Of those, anywhere between 5 percent to nearly 50 percent may suffer both PTSD and lingering problems from traumatic brain injuries. It is an epidemic so new that doctors aren't even sure what to call it, let alone how best to diagnose and treat it.

Why I Threw My Shoes At Bush
The Iraqi who went to jail for shoe-tossing at Bush has been released from prison and speaks out. "Here I am, free. But my country is still a prisoner of war."

Iraq declines offer of US help with reconciliation
Iraq has been forcefully asserting a newfound sovereignty in the week U.S. combat troops pulled out of city centres, a milestone that was feted by flowers and dancing. While many Iraqis credit the U.S. troops for helping to restore order at the height of the sectarian fighting, most want an end to the foreign occupation of their country.

Iraqi Leaders Applaud US Pullout Plan
28 February 2009—Iraqi leaders are welcoming U.S. plans to pull American combat troops out of Iraq by the end of August 2010. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says his country's security forces have proven they are ready to take over. He also said Saturday that the U.S. has agreed on the need to provide Iraq with more weapons and other military equipment.

Just as Bush Lied About the Justification for War on Iraq, American's Were Duped Again by the Credit Crises Lie
When I went on Rachel Maddow's show on Tuesday, she asked a question about the bailout that is really the question of our time: Did we get punk'd? As progressive bailout critics have been saying since the current Wall Street bailout was first proposed, the answer is yes. As the Minneapolis Federal Reserve reports, the major claims about a credit crisis that justified Congress cutting a trillion-dollar blank check to Wall Street were demonstrably false. And new data and reports show they remain demonstrably false.

Toxic Chemicals to Blame for Gulf War Illness
Gulf War illness, dismissed by some as a psychosomatic disorder, is a very real illness that affects at least 25 percent of the 700,000 U.S. veterans who took part in the 1991 Gulf War. It's likely cause was exposure to toxic chemicals that included pesticides that were often overused during the war, as well as a drug given to U.S. troops to protect them from nerve gas, a frequent weapon of choice of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. And no effective treatments have been devised for the disorder. Gulf War illness is frequently described as a collection of symptoms that includes memory and concentration problems, chronic headaches, fatigue and widespread pain. Other symptoms can include persistent digestive problems, respiratory symptoms and skin rashes.

Iraq Insists On Withdrawal Timetable For US Troops
Iraq’s national security adviser said Tuesday his country will not accept any security deal with the United States unless it contains specific dates for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces.0708 12 The comments by Mouwaffak al-Rubaie were the strongest yet by an Iraqi official about the deal now under negotiation with U.S. officials. It came a day after Iraq’s prime minister first said publicly that he expects the pending troop deal with the United States to have some type of timetable for withdrawal. President Bush [and McCain] has said he opposes a timetable.

The War in Iraq Is Pure Murder
We have embarked on an occupation that is as damaging to our souls as to our prestige and power and security.

The Iraq War Was About Oil, All Along
Oh, no, they told us, Iraq isn't a war about oil. That's cynical and simplistic, they said. It's about terror and al-Qaeda and toppling a dictator.

A Blank Check to Continue the War
They were elected in 2006 to end the war, but House Democrats helped continue it last week with $162 billion in extra funding. "The president basically gets a blank check to dump this war on the next president," says Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern, who voted against letting Bush off the hook – and against setting up a situation where the next commander-in-chief, be he Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain, will be "a war president."

Secret Plan to Keep Iraq Under U.S. Control
Bush wants fifty military bases, control of Iraqi airspace and legal immunity for all American soldiers and contractors. A secret deal being negotiated in Baghdad would perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely, regardless of the outcome of the U.S. presidential election in November. The terms of the impending deal, details of which have been leaked to The Independent, are likely to have an explosive political effect in Iraq. Iraqi officials fear that the accord, under which US troops would occupy permanent bases, conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilize Iraq's position in the Middle East and lay the basis for unending conflict in their country. America currently has 151,000 troops in Iraq and, even after projected withdrawals next month, troop levels will stand at more than 142,000 - 10 000 more than when the military "surge" began in January 2007. The precise nature of the American demands has been kept secret until now. The leaks are certain to generate an angry backlash in Iraq. "It is a terrible breach of our sovereignty," said one Iraqi politician, adding that if the security deal was signed it would delegitimize the government in Baghdad which will be seen as an American pawn.

River of Resistance
How the American Imperial Dream Foundered in Iraq by Michael Schwartz On February 15, 2003, ordinary citizens around the world poured into the streets to protest George W. Bush’s onrushing invasion of Iraq. Demonstrations took place in large cities and small towns globally, including a small but spirited protest at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Up to 30 million people, who sensed impending catastrophe, participated in what Rebecca Solnit, that apostle of popular hope, has called “the biggest and most widespread collective protest the world has ever seen.” The first glancing assessment of history branded this remarkable planetary protest a record-breaking failure, since the Bush administration, less than one month later, ordered U.S. troops across the Kuwaiti border and on to Baghdad. And it has since largely been forgotten, or perhaps better put, obliterated from official and media memory. Yet popular protest is more like a river than a storm; it keeps flowing into new areas, carrying pieces of its earlier life into other realms.

Winter Soldiers Hit the Streets
In a clear change of strategy to energise public anti-war sentiment, Iraq veterans led a determined demonstration of hundreds through the streets last Saturday, following regional Winter Soldier hearings at the Seattle Town Hall. A late April poll conducted by CNN/Opinion Research Corp. found that nearly three-quarters (68 percent) of respondents opposed the Iraq war. The strategy of the regional IVAW groups is clearly meant to capitalise on the growing opposition to the occupation of Iraq among the U.S. public. Christopher Diggins, a psychotherapist who attended the demonstration, reflected the feelings of many -- that this strategy is important. "This tactic is better because you have to get the community involved," Diggins told IPS. "You have to have community awareness and support."

Senate Panel Accuses Bush of Iraq Exaggerations
WASHINGTON — A long-delayed Senate report endorsed by Democrats and some Republicans has concluded that President Bush and his aides built the public case for war against Iraq by exaggerating available intelligence and by ignoring disagreements among spy agencies. The 170-page report accuses Mr. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other top officials of repeatedly overstating the Iraqi threat in the emotional aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Iraq War Increased Energy Costs Worldwide
The Iraq War means oil costs three times more than it should. How are our lives going to change with oil heading toward $200 a barrel? The invasion of Iraq by Britain and the US has trebled the price of oil, according to a leading expert, costing the world a staggering $6 trillion in higher energy prices alone. The oil economist Dr Mamdouh Salameh, who advises both the World Bank and the UN Industrial Development Organisation (Unido), told The Independent on Sunday that the price of oil would now be no more than $40 a barrel, less than a third of the record $135 a barrel reached last week, if it had not been for the Iraq war. Iraq had offered the United States a deal, three years before the war, that would have opened up 10 new giant oil fields on "generous" terms in return for the lifting of sanctions. "This would certainly have prevented the steep rise of the oil price," he said. "But the US had a different idea. It planned to occupy Iraq and annex its oil."

Shocking Bush 'Pep Talk' to His War Cabinet on Iraq: 'We Are Going to Wipe Them out!'
"Kill them." Gen. Ricardo Sanchez's memoirs contain a transcript from a bloodthirsty and over the top private speech by Bush.

Where Is the Outrage?
Are we Americans truly savages or merely tone-deaf in matters of morality, and therefore more guilty of terminal indifference than venality? It’s a question demanding an answer in response to the publication of the detailed 370-page report on U.S. complicity in torture, issued last week by the Justice Department’s inspector general. Because the report was widely cited in the media and easily accessed as a pdf file on the Internet, it is fair to assume that those of our citizens who remain ignorant of the extent of their government’s commitment to torture as an official policy have made a choice not to be informed.

Want Cheaper Gas and Oil? End the Damned Wars!
A professor of economics at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, has a different explanation for the price rise, and American motorists and homeowners should pay close attention. "Oil prices have gone from the mid $20 range in the fall of 2002 to $127 yesterday -- a rise of $100/barrel in just over five years," he says. "And the bulk of that increase can be attributed to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to the threats of war against Iran." "Neoconservative forces in and around the Bush administration and beneficiaries of war dividends -- wishing to deflect attention away from war as the main culprit for the skyrocketing energy prices -- tend to blame secondary or marginally relevant factors: OPEC, China and India for their increased demand for energy, or supply-demand imbalances in global markets. Whatever the contributory role of these factors, the fact remains that the current oil price hikes started with the beginning of the Bush administration's wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. Furthermore, a closer examination of these factors reveals that their roles in the current price inflation of oil have been negligible." If you want to see gasoline drop back below $3.89/gal, get Congress to end the war! It's that simple.

An Expanding Military Budget Taxpayers Can’t Afford
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.” -President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953. During the next few weeks Congress will consider hundreds of billions of dollars in military spending, yet this legislation will receive relatively little review and scrutiny. Spending by Pentagon officials continues to grow at an incredible rate and it is time for Congress to determine whether this level of funding makes sense. President Eisenhower, the five-star Army general who was the military commander of the European theater during World War II, laid out stark choices that he and the country faced during his first year in the White House. Fast-forward 48 years to the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency, and it is remarkable how prescient Eisenhower was. Not only did Eisenhower vigorously fight against misplaced national priorities and overspending on the military, he also understood why that happened. In a 1961 speech, as he was leaving office, he said, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” Bush’s military budget is $515 billion, more than half of all discretionary spending. This is in addition to the $200 billion a year being spent on the war in Iraq, and another $16 billion spent on nuclear weapons.

What FBI agents saw during U.S. interrogations
Does this sound familiar? Muslim men are stripped in front of female guards and sexually humiliated. A prisoner is made to wear a dog's collar and leash, another is hooded with women's underwear. Others are shackled in stress positions for hours, held in isolation for months, and threatened with attack dogs. You might think we are talking about that one cell block in Abu Ghraib, where President George W. Bush wants the world to believe a few rogue soldiers dreamed up a sadistic nightmare. These atrocities were committed in the interrogation centers in American military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. And they were not revealed by Red Cross officials, human rights activists or others the administration writes off as soft-on-terror. They were described in a painful report by the Justice Department's inspector general, based on the accounts of hundreds of FBI agents who saw American interrogators repeatedly mistreat prisoners in ways that the agents considered violations of American law and the Geneva Conventions. According to the report, some of the agents began keeping a "war crimes file" - until they were ordered to stop. These were not random acts. It is clear from the inspector general's report that this was organized behavior by both civilian and military interrogators following the specific orders of top officials.

Children and the 'War on Terror'
Surely nothing that President Bush has done in his two wretched terms of office -- not the invasion and destruction of Iraq, not the overturning of the five-centuries-old tradition of habeas corpus, not his authorization and encouragement of torture, not his campaign of domestic spying -- nothing can compare in its ugliness as his approval, as commander in chief, of the imprisoning of over 2,500 children.

Oil Rules!
It's strange that the business and geopolitics of energy takes up so little space on American front pages -- or that we could conduct an oil war in Iraq with hardly a mention of the words "oil" and "war" in the same paragraph in those same papers over the years. Strange indeed. And yet, oil rules our world and energy lies behind so many of the headlines that might seem to be about other matters entirely. Take the food riots now spreading across the planet because the prices of staples are soaring, while stocks of basics are falling. In the last year, wheat (think flour) has risen by 130%, rice by 74%, soya by 87%, and corn by 31%, while there are now only eight to 12 weeks of cereal stocks left globally. Governments across the planetary map are shuddering.

The House of Representatives just voted 149 to 141 to cut off funding for the war in Iraq
This was followed by votes to put significant restrictions on President Bush's war policy, including a timeline for withdrawal, and creating a new GI Bill to help returning veterans.1 Make no mistake, your efforts were a key factor in this decision. In the past two weeks, you placed over 2,300 calls to House members in targeted districts, demanding they bring a responsible end to the war and then calling for the exact vote result that happened today. This is the strongest vote by the House since the war began in opposition to the President's war. But, this is just the first step.

Iraq spending ignored rules, Pentagon says
A Pentagon audit of $8.2 billion in American taxpayer money spent by the United States Army on contractors in Iraq has found that almost none of the payments followed federal rules and that in some cases, contracts worth millions of dollars were paid for despite little or no record of what, if anything, was received. The new report is especially significant because while other federal auditors have severely criticized the way the United States has handled payments to contractors in Iraq, this is the first time that the Pentagon itself has acknowledged the mismanagement on anything resembling this scale. [EDITOR: These loses are your taxes being squandered unaccountably.]

How-to Guide for Using Religious Warfare to Destroy Iraq
April 15, 2008—Using a mixture of cultural ignorance, incompetence and a touch of cronyism, the U.S has turned a patriotic nation against itself. Here's a thought exercise. Imagine if the greatest minds this country has to offer were assembled in a conference room and tasked with drawing up a post-invasion plan that would lead to sectarian bloodshed in a country like Iraq -- where different groups had long lived side-by-side, intermarried and thought of themselves first and foremost as Iraqis, rather than as Shiites and Sunnis.

Why Leaving Iraq Is the Only Sane Thing to Do
Can there be any question that, since the invasion of 2003, Iraq has been unraveling? And here's the curious thing: Despite a lack of decent information and analysis on crucial aspects of the Iraqi catastrophe, despite the way much of the Iraq story fell off newspaper front pages and out of the TV news in the last year, despite so many reports on the "success" of the President's surge strategy, Americans sense this perfectly well. In the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, 56% of Americans "say the United States should withdraw its military forces to avoid further casualties" and this has, as the Post notes, been a majority position since January 2007, the month that the surge was first announced. Imagine what might happen if the American public knew more about the actual state of affairs in Iraq -- and of thinking in Washington.

Chain of Command
The Abu Ghraib scandal's leadership lattice. Prosecute them.

U.S Death Toll in Iraq: 4,000
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Four U.S. soldiers died Sunday night in a roadside bombing in Iraq, military officials reported, bringing the American toll in the 5-year-old war to 4,000 deaths. art.bomb.site.ap.jpg Iraqi soldiers Monday stand at the spot where a roadside bomb killed four U.S. soldiers a day earlier in Baghdad. Click to view previous image 1 of 3 Click to view next image The four were killed when a homemade bomb hit their vehicle as they patrolled in a southern Baghdad neighborhood, the U.S. military headquarters in Iraq said. A fifth soldier was wounded. The grim milestone comes less than a week after the fifth anniversary of the start of the war.

The Iraq War Is Killing Our Economy
There is no longer any doubt that the Iraq War is a moral and strategic disaster for the United States. But what has not yet been fully recognized is that it has also been an economic disaster. To date, the government has spent more than $522 billion on the war, with another $70 billion already allocated for 2008. With just the amount of the Iraq budget of 2007, $138 billion, the government could instead have provided Medicaid-level health insurance for all 45 million Americans who are uninsured. What's more, we could have added 30,000 elementary and secondary schoolteachers and built 400 schools in which they could teach. And we could have provided basic home weatherization for about 1.6 million existing homes, reducing energy consumption in these homes by 30 percent.

Christian Right's Emerging Deadly Worldview: Kill Muslims to Purify the Earth
Walid Shoebat, Kamal Saleem and Zachariah Anani are the three stooges of the Christian right. These self-described former Muslim terrorists are regularly trotted out at Christian colleges -- a few days ago they were at the Air Force Academy -- to spew racist filth about Islam on behalf of groups such as Focus on the Family. It is a clever tactic. Curly, Larry and Mo, who all say they are born-again Christians, engage in hate speech and assure us it comes from personal experience. They tell their audiences that the only way to deal with one-fifth of the world's population is by converting or eradicating all Muslims. These men are frauds, but this is not the point. They are part of a dark and frightening war by the Christian right against tolerance that, in the moment of another catastrophic terrorist attack on American soil, would make it acceptable to target and persecute all Muslims, including the some 6 million Muslims who live in the United States.

Why are these Strapping Lads Not Serving in Iraq?
In March of 2007, BuzzFlash ran a commentary about how not one member of the extended Bush family of fit and firm youth was serving or had served in Iraq, Afghanistan or combat anywhere, yet Bush remains an enthusiast for sacrificing the lives of other people's children -- mostly poor and rural. Here's the photo we ran, along with the commentary "Not ONE Member of the Bush Extended Family Has Served in Iraq! Not One! Take a Look":

The Price Tag to Michigan for the War On Iraq and Bush's Tax Cuts for the Wealthy PDF
As the economy falters, President Bush’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2009 would ignore the needs of Americans by cutting basic services, increasing tax cuts for the wealthy and pushing military spending to historical highs. It would allow billions more for the war in Iraq at the expense of investments in Michigan's future.

55% if Military family members feel Bush war on Iraq is wrong
Close family members of U.S. troops are split on whether the Iraq invasion was a mistake, and 55% disapprove of President Bush's job performance, according to USA TODAY/Gallup Polls focusing on immediate relatives of servicemembers. "They've maxed out on the troops. You've got guys who are over there on their fourth or fifth tours. It's ridiculous," says Jeanette Knowles, 40, of Mountain Home, Idaho, whose brother, Jeff, served a tour in Iraq with the Oregon National Guard.

Cheney in Response to the fact that Two-Thirds Of The American Public Oppose his War on Iraq: “So?”
This morning, on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, ABC’s Good Morning America aired an interview with Vice President Cheney on the war. During the segment, Cheney flatly told White House correspondent Martha Raddatz that he doesn’t care about the American public’s views on the war... (Editor: It would have to happen on Easter Sunday, wouldn't it, that the 4,000th American soldier would die in Iraq. Unofficial estimates are that there may be up to 100,000 wounded, injured, or mentally ruined by this war. And there could be up to a million Iraqi dead. We will pay the consequences of this for a long, long time. God will keep blessing America. And where is Darth Vader in all this? A reporter from ABC News this week told Dick Cheney, in regards to Iraq, "two-thirds of Americans say it's not worth fighting." Cheney cut her off with a one word answer: "So?" )

Water makes US troops in Iraq sick (Dick Cheney is still on the payroll of this former company owned by him )
WASHINGTON - Dozens of U.S. troops in Iraq fell sick at bases using "unmonitored and potentially unsafe" water supplied by the military and a contractor once owned by Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, the Pentagon's internal watchdog says. A report obtained by The Associated Press said soldiers experienced skin abscesses, cellulitis, skin infections, diarrhea and other illnesses after using discolored, smelly water for personal hygiene and laundry at five U.S. military sites in Iraq.

Bush, Maliki Break Iraqi Law to Renew Mandate for Occupation
On Tuesday, the Bush administration and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pushed a resolution through the U.N. Security Council extending the mandate that provides legal cover for foreign troops to operate in Iraq for another year. The move violated both the Iraqi constitution and a law passed earlier this year by the Iraqi parliament -- the only body directly elected by all those purple-finger-waving Iraqis in 2005 -- and it defied the will of around 80 percent of the Iraqi population. This move speaks to the degree to which Bush and Maliki run roughshod over the Iraqi legislature (not to mention the U.S. Congress), sacrificing opportunities for political reconciliation along the way, in order to maintain an almost universally despised American military presence in the country.

Iraq Death Toll Rivals Rwanda Genocide, Cambodian Killing Fields
A new study estimates that 1.2 million Iraqis have met violent deaths since Bush and Cheney chose to invade.

Kissinger: Oil Drives U.S. in Iraq, Iran
Alan Greenspan had acknowledged what is blindingly obvious to those who live in the reality-based world: The Iraq War was largely about oil. Meanwhile, Henry Kissinger says in an op-ed in Sunday’s Washington Post that control over oil is the key issue that should determine whether the U.S. undertakes military action against Iran. These statements would not be remarkable, but for the effort of a broad swath of the U.S. political establishment to deny the central role of oil in U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Greenspan’s remarks, appearing first in his just-published memoirs, are eyebrow-raising for their directness

The Great Iraq Swindle
How is it done? How do you screw the taxpayer for millions, get away with it and then ride off into the sunset with one middle finger extended, the other wrapped around a chilled martini? Ask Earnest O. Robbins -- he knows all about being a successful contractor in Iraq.

Where is the National Guard (by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson)
The war in Iraq is a complete disaster and that we need to get our troops out now (www.getourtroopsout.com), I look at the natural disaster in California and feel compelled to also ask President Bush and every candidate who thinks it is okay for our troops to remain in Iraq until 2013 or longer - where is our National Guard? It is a sad irony that yesterday, the very day I sent fire crews to California, 300 more New Mexico National Guard members were sent to Iraq. Just when we need them most at home, more of our brave men and women, true public servants, are sent away to a war we cannot win.

Big Lies Surround the Iraq "Surge"
A Government Accounting Office report has found that the Iraqi government has not met 13 of 18 benchmarks set by the US Congress. The report was leaked before it could be doctored by the Bush administration, which promptly denounced it and pledged to . . . doctor it. Another thing that could be said is that of the 18 congressional benchmarks some are frankly trivial. The trivial ones are the only ones met.

Report Reveals Corruption in Iraqi Government
State Department investigators in Iraq have concluded that the government of Nouri al-Maliki is not capable of even rudimentary enforcement of anti-corruption laws. The investigators also say that corrupt civil servants with connections to the government are seen as untouchable, and that employees of Iraq's watchdog Commission on Public Integrity have been murdered in the line of duty.

General Sir Mike Says U.S. Fouled Up in Iraq
Yet another general has added his voice to the crew who have taken the Cheney-Bush regime to task for botching postwar operations in Iraq? Yep. This time, it's not American generals like Wes Clark, Greg Newbold, Paul Eaton, John Riggs, Paul Van Riper, Charles Swannack or John Batiste doing the pounding. It's "Macho Jacko," General Sir Michael Jackson, who ran the British Army in March 2003 when Iraq was invaded.

U.S. Secret Air War Pulverizes Afghanistan and Iraq
The U.S. military is increasingly relying on deadly air strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan as the ground occupations fall apart, killing untold numbers of civilians.

Iraq War Worsens Terrorism
A highly classified report issued by all 16 US intelligence agencies has concluded that the Iraq War has increased the threat of international terrorism facing the American nation. Although the Bush White House has always hyped the Iraq War as vital to the international fight against extreme Islamic terrorism, critics have long disagreed. The Republicans in Congress and the Senate have largely repeated the false claims and talking points being pushed by the Bush White House. They are likely to pay a huge political price at the polls this November. The Iraq War is simply a failure of political leadership and political vision. Like Vietnam, the failure is not really a military one. Our military is almost always victorious in military terms. The real failure is that the Bush Republicans are inclined to use military force to solve problems where military force are not the most appropriate means.

How the American Imperial Dream Foundered in Iraq
On February 15, 2003, ordinary citizens around the world poured into the streets to protest George W. Bush's onrushing invasion of Iraq. Demonstrations took place in large cities and small towns globally, including a small but spirited protest at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Up to 30 million people, who sensed impending catastrophe, participated in what Rebecca Solnit, that apostle of popular hope, has called "the biggest and most widespread collective protest the world has ever seen." It's hard now even to recall the original vision George W. Bush and his top officials had of how the conquest of Iraq would unfold as an episode in the President's Global War on Terror. In their minds, the invasion was sure to yield a quick victory, to be followed by the creation of a client state that would house crucial "enduring" U.S. military bases from which Washington would project power throughout what they liked to term "the Greater Middle East." In addition, Iraq was quickly going to become a free-market paradise, replete with privatized oil flowing at record rates onto the world market. Like falling dominos, Syria and Iran, cowed by such a demonstration of American might, would follow suit, either from additional military thrusts or because their regimes -- and those of up to 60 countries worldwide -- would appreciate the futility of resisting Washington's demands. Eventually, the "unipolar moment" of U.S. global hegemony that the collapse of the Soviet Union had initiated would be extended into a "New American Century" (along with a generational Pax Republicana at home). This vision is now, of course, long gone, largely thanks to unexpected and tenacious resistance of every sort within Iraq.

Iraq's Civil Resistance
Although it is eclipsed from the headlines by the ongoing carnage, there is an active civil resistance in Iraq that opposes the occupation, the torture regime it protects and the Islamist and Baathist insurgencies alike. This besieged opposition--under threat of repression and assassination--is fighting to keep alive elementary freedoms for women, leading labor struggles against Halliburton and other contractors, opposing the privatization of the country's oil and other resources and seeking a secular future for Iraq. There has been a huge problem since the beginning of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, that the only resistance we hear about is the military resistance. Key sectoral organizations--oil workers, women, human rights defenders and many others--have all continued their work to oppose the occupation, at great risk to their own safety. Many of them operate in local areas, and almost all function outside the US-controlled Green Zone.

Mesopotamia. Babylon. The Tigris and Euphrates
On the steel torsos of their missiles, adolescent American soldiers scrawl colourful messages in childish handwriting: For Saddam, from the Fat Boy Posse. A building goes down. A marketplace. A home. A girl who loves a boy. A child who only ever wanted to play with his older brother's marbles. On March 21, the day after American and British troops began their illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, an "embedded" CNN correspondent interviewed an American soldier. "I wanna get in there and get my nose dirty," Private AJ said. "I wanna take revenge for 9/11." ... Despite the pall of gloom that hangs over us today, I’d like to file a cautious plea for hope: in times of war, one wants one’s weakest enemy at the helm of his forces. And President George W Bush is certainly that. Any other even averagely intelligent US president would have probably done the very same things, but would have managed to smoke-up the glass and confuse the opposition. Perhaps even carry the UN with him. Bush’s tactless imprudence and his brazen belief that he can run the world with his riot squad, has done the opposite. He has achieved what writers, activists and scholars have striven to achieve for decades. He has exposed the ducts. He has placed on full public view the working parts, the nuts and bolts of the apocalyptic apparatus of the American empire.

Iraq Is the New Korea
President Bush's modeling America's presence in Iraq upon the 54-year-old stationing of U.S. troops in South Korea is as outlandish as it is alarming.

Iraq's displacement crisis PDF
The countries of the Middle East are now host to the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world. Violence has displaced two million inside Iraq and over two million have crossed its borders. Most refugees are in Syria and Jordan – which host the largest number of refugees per capita of any country on earth. The vast majority are surviving with little or no assistance from the international community. Few, if any, enjoy their rights as refugees.

Lincoln's Example for Iraq
In his only term in Congress, Abraham Lincoln was an ardent opponent of the Mexican War. He introduced a series of resolutions that challenged President James Polk to show the "spot" of American soil on which Mexicans had spilled American blood, and he voted for an amendment stating that the war was "unnecessarily and unconstitutionally begun by the President." But when the question of funding for the troops fighting that war came, Lincoln voted their supplies without hesitation. Today, some of us are facing the same dilemma that Lincoln faced: Do you fund the troops fighting a war that you oppose

U.S. Arming Sunnis in Iraq
After months of criticizing Iran for arming Shiites in Iraq, U.S. commanders are turning to a strategy they acknowledge is risky: arming Sunni Arab groups that promise to fight militants linked to al Qaeda.

This War is Lost
"This is the message I took to the president," Reid told reporters in a press conference Thursday. "Now I believe myself ... that this war is lost, and that the surge is not accomplishing anything, as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday," Reid said, referring to Wednesday's bombings in Baghdad that killed close to 200 people. " I told him [Bush] what he needed to hear, not what he wanted to hear," he added. In Reid's view, the continuation of combat operations will not achieve success for US interests because "I believe the war at this stage can only be won diplomatically, politically and economically, and the president needs to come to that realization.”

Can You Believe This War Is Still Going On?
  * 3,300 American troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead.
  * Rumsfeld said the Iraq attack would cost $50 billion. The tab so far exceeds $600 billion and ticking...
  * Almost two million Iraqis have fled the country and only 30% of kids can go to school.
On Easter Morning, George W. made another of his periodic shows of Standing With The Troops. He attended church services in the chapel at Fort Hood in Kileen, Texas, after which he offered to the assembled media this pious little announcement: "I had a chance to reflect on the great sacrifice that our military and their families are making. I prayed for their safety. I prayed for their strength and comfort. And I pray for peace." He prayed for our troops' safety? How clueless is he? George, you have the troops stuck in another country's vicious civil war. They're under attack from every direction by every faction, every hour of every day, hit by car bombs, roadside bombs, chlorine bombs, IEDs, suicide bombs, rocket fire, mortar rounds, snipers, and assassins. There is no safety in Iraq.

Scott Ritter: Calling Out Idiot America
The ongoing hand-wringing in Congress by the newly empowered Democrats over what to do about the war in Iraq speaks volumes about the level of concern (or lack thereof) these “representatives of the people” have toward the men and women who honor us all by serving in the armed forces of the United States of America. The inability to reach consensus concerning the level of funding required or how to exercise effective oversight of the war, both constitutionally mandated responsibilities, is more a reflection of congressional cowardice and impotence than a byproduct of any heartfelt introspection over troop welfare and national security. The issues that prompt the congressional collective to behave in such an egregious manner have more to do with a reflexive tendency to avoid any controversy that might disrupt the status quo ante regarding representative-constituent relations (i.e., re-election) than with any intellectual debate about doing the right thing.

Lily-Livered Democrats Lose Game of Chicken
The bill is the current version of the Iraq spending bill, which many Democrats, let alone those of us who voted for them, believed should include a timetable for withdrawal of the troops. It doesn't. Oh yes, there is some mush-headed language written by the Republicans that creates 18 "benchmarks" for political and legislative change in Iraq, and asks the president to report on progress beginning in late July. After all, why rush when things are going so well? And if the Iraqis fail to meet the benchmarks, what happens? How about nothing. Under the terms of the deal, the president is free to waive the benchmarks anyway, which means that the language might as well be sent over on toilet paper so it won't clog the plumbing when the president flushes it. Who made this deal? Who do you think? The Democrats who were elected to end the war did, because they were afraid to take on the President in a real showdown. I might also point out that the reason Congress has sunk below even the president in terms of public approval (although still above Dick Cheney, who is almost down to his immediate family) is because of the correct perception that they aren't doing what they were sent to Washington to accomplish.

Warnings Ignored by Bush/Cheney
An impending report from the Senate intelligence committee is likely to revive questions about whether President Bush was so consumed with invading Iraq and overthrowing Saddam Hussein that he didn't care about the disastrous consequences that could -- and did -- ensue. Mr. President, a new Senate report . . . contends that your administration was warned before the war that by invading Iraq you would actually give Iran and al Qaeda a golden opportunity to expand their influence, the kind of influence you were talking about with al Qaeda yesterday, and with Iran this morning. Why did you ignore those warnings, sir?

Editorial: Two Wrongs Don't Make It Right
Recently the Democrats who ran on a platform of ending the U.S. war on the world, buckled under, as they played politics as usual. Unfortunately, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan have been essential to maintaining the status quo in gas and oil (as global oil companies continue to reap obscene record profits year after year). What has not been part of the public dialog however, is the fact that had we invested these same hundreds of Billions of your tax dollars in developing solar, wind and other "clean" energy resources in the United States, we would no longer need foreign oil. Of course the capitalists, politicians, and oil barons oppose this solution, but who's country is this anyway? In Michigan this year Taxpayers in Michigan will pay $3.7 billion for the cost of the Iraq War in FY 2007. Let's for a moment examine what else we could benefit with from these funds...

U.S. Cluster F*cks Iraqi Civilians
Since the major combat phase of the war ended in April 2003, the U.S. military has dropped at least 59,787 pounds of air-delivered cluster bombs in Iraq -- the very type of weapon that Marc Garlasco, the senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch (HRW) calls, "the single greatest risk civilians face with regard to a current weapon that is in use." We also know that, according to expert opinion, rockets and cannon fire from U.S. aircraft may account for most U.S. and coalition-attributed Iraqi civilian deaths and that the Pentagon has restocked hundreds of millions of dollars worth of these weapons in recent years.

U.S. Imperial Ambitions Thwart Iraqis' Peace Plans
Iraq's resistance groups have offered a series of peace plans that might put an end to the country's sectarian violence, but they've been ignored by the U.S.-led coalition because they're opposed to foreign occupation and privatization of oil. [Editor: And the Bush Administration continues to say it isn't about oil. It is. And it always has been! Over a million lives have been lost because the oilmen who rule the United States just now want to make obscene profits. ]

Hard to Deny: Iraq Is All About the Oil
In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2002-2003, oil was seldom mentioned. Yes, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz did describe the country as afloat "on a sea of oil" (which might fund any American war and reconstruction program there); and, yes, on rare occasions, the President did speak reverentially of preserving "the patrimony of the people of Iraq" -- by which he meant not cuneiform tablets or ancient statues in the National Museum in Baghdad, but the country's vast oil reserves, known and suspected. The struggle over Iraqi oil has been going on for a long, long time. One could date it back to 1980 when President Jimmy Carter -- before his Habitat for Humanity days -- declared that Persian Gulf oil was "vital" to American national interests. So vital was it, he announced, that the U.S. would use "any means necessary, including military force" to sustain access to it.

Bush's new strategy
Mission accomplished. Wasn't that the refrain almost four years ago, on that lonely aircraft carrier off California, Bush striding the deck in his flying suit? And only a few months later, the President had a message for Osama bin Laden and the insurgents of Iraq. "Bring 'em on!" he shouted. And on they came. Few paid attention late last year when the Islamist leadership of this most ferocious of Arab rebellions proclaimed Bush a war criminal but asked him not to withdraw his troops. "We haven't yet killed enough of them," their videotaped statement announced. Well, they will have their chance now. How ironic that it was the ghastly Saddam, dignified amid his lynch mob, who dared on the scaffold to tell the truth which Bush and Blair would not utter: that Iraq has become "hell" .

The Madness of the War Profiteering in Iraq
"Iraq for Sale" director Robert Greenwald explains to Congress that the billions that defense contractors and war profiteers are making out of the Iraq war is a madhouse run amuck. Our taxpayer dollars are being spent, abused, mis-used, and wasted on profiteers. It is a true tragedy, and it is costing the lives of Americans and Iraqis. Please let me introduce you to a few of these people and their stories.

Majority of Iraqi Lawmakers Reject U.S. Occupation
More than half of the members of Iraq's parliament rejected for the first time on Tuesday the continuing occupation of their country. The U.S. media ignored the story. On Tuesday, without note in the U.S. media, more than half of the members of Iraq's parliament rejected the continuing occupation of their country. 144 lawmakers signed onto a legislative petition calling on the United States to set a timetable for withdrawal, according to Nassar Al-Rubaie, a spokesman for the Al Sadr movement, the nationalist Shia group that sponsored the petition. [Editor: The American people want their sons and daughters home. The Iraqi people want the American soldiers and mercenaries out. Why does pResident (oilman) Bush (oil) insist on the continued occupation that is killing our families? Perhaps we should be investing those hundreds of billions of dollars in new energy development, rather than propping up oil (a fuel with no future).]

Rebuilt Iraq Projects Found Crumbling
The United States has admitted, sometimes under pressure from federal inspectors, that some of its reconstruction projects have been abandoned, delayed or poorly constructed. But this is the first time inspectors have found that projects officially declared a success — in some cases, as little as six months before the latest inspections — were no longer working properly. The inspections ranged geographically from northern to southern Iraq and covered projects as varied as a maternity hospital, barracks for an Iraqi special forces unit and a power station for Baghdad International Airport.

Self-deception proves itself to be more powerful than deception
The war in Iraq is now four years old. It has cost more than 3,000 American lives and has run up a tab of $200 million a day, or $73 billion a year, since it began. That's a substantial investment. No wonder most members of Congress from both parties, along with President George W. Bush, believe that we have to "stay the course" and not just "cut and run." As Bush explained in a speech delivered on July 4, 2006, at Fort Bragg, N.C.: "I'm not going to allow the sacrifice of 2,527 troops who have died in Iraq to be in vain by pulling out before the job is done." We all make similarly irrational arguments about decisions in our lives: we hang on to losing stocks, unprofitable investments, failing businesses and unsuccessful relationships. If we were rational, we would just compute the odds of succeeding from this point forward and then decide if the investment warrants the potential payoff. But we are not rational--not in love or war or business--and this particular irrationality is what economists call the "sunk-cost fallacy." For as a wise man once said, "An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it."

Another Worthless Bushism?
The hottest term in post-veto Washington is suddenly "benchmarks." If you had a dollar for every time it's been bandied about his week, you could outbid Rupert Murdoch for the Journal -- or, at least, pay for all the Valium being downed by Deborah Jean Palfrey's clients. But amidst all the benchmark babble, there has been precious little clarity on whether they represent an acceptable compromise position -- or are just another Bush mirage shimmering in the Iraqi desert.

Digging In
The omnipresence of the giant defense contractor KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown & Root), the shipments of concrete and other construction materials, and the transformation of decrepit Iraqi military bases into fortified American enclaves—complete with Pizza Huts and DVD stores—are just the most obvious signs that the United States has been digging in for the long haul. It's a far cry from administration assurances after the invasion that the troops could start withdrawing from Iraq as early as the fall of 2003. And it is hardly consistent with a prediction by Richard Perle, the former chairman of the Defense Policy Board, that the troops would be out of Iraq within months, or with Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi's guess that the U.S. occupation would last two years.

Retired General: Bush should sign Iraq bill
President Bush should sign legislation starting the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq on Oct. 1, retired Army Lt. Gen. William Odom said Saturday. "I hope the president seizes this moment for a basic change in course and signs the bill Congress has sent him," Odom said. Odom, an outspoken critic of the war who served as the Army's top intelligence officer and headed the National Security Agency during the Reagan administration, delivered the address at the request of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. He said he has never been a Democrat or a Republican.

Scott Ritter in Conversation With Robert Scheer [Movie]
The former U.N. weapons inspector, who was scorned for saying there were no WMD in Iraq, speaks with Robert Scheer about American ignorance, the lies that led us to war, Iran’s nuclear program and more.

A Soldiers Story from Iraq
George Bush keeps saying that he's the one who supports the troops and those of us who want to end the war don't. Listen to soldiers stories from 'real' soldiers who have fought in Iraq.

Who Will Get the Oil?
War and corruption have decimated Iraq's oil supply, and Western companies are angling for a cut of what's left. Iraq's postwar oil bonanza remains a mirage. The country has the second- or third-largest reserves in the world, making petroleum the heart and vast bulk of its economy. Thus in March 2003 did Paul Wolfowitz assure Congress that Iraq would "finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon." American planners predicted that Iraq's oil production would triple to a feverish 6 million barrels per day by 2010. Instead war, corruption, sectarian slaughter and a massive crime wave have reduced the country's once mighty petroleum sector to an industrial zombie: still ambulatory, functional but essentially dead.

Saudi King Slams ‘Illegitimate Occupation’ of Iraq
Saudi King Abdullah, whose country is a close US ally, on Wednesday slammed the “illegitimate foreign occupation” of Iraq in an opening speech to the annual Arab summit in Riyadh. Abdullah said. He also said that Arab nations, which are planning to revive a five-year-old Middle East peace plan at the summit, would not allow any foreign force to decide the future of the region. [Editor: Well, there goes the Saudi's and the oil the U.S. covets.]

Building an Embassy Fit for an Empire
The United States is building a massive embassy complex in the heart of Baghdad that is already becoming a symbol of America's imperial ambitions in the Middle East.

How to Get Out of Iraq
Bush's ineptitude has made a regional war in the Middle East a real possibility. Can diplomacy find a way out?

Huge Protest in Iraq Demands U.S. Withdraw
Tens of thousands of protesters loyal to Moktada al-Sadr, the Shiite cleric, took to the streets of the holy city of Najaf on Monday in an extraordinarily disciplined rally to demand an end to the American military presence in Iraq, burning American flags and chanting “Death to America!”

Large anti-US rally held in Iraq
Iraqi protesters burn a US flag Iraqi protesters burn a US flag Large crowds of men, women and children, holding flags and anti-US banners, gathered in Najaf and the nearby twin city of Kufa for the protest which is also seen as a show of strength for the cleric who himself has been in self-exile for more than two months. A day earlier, the fundamentalist cleric issued a statement ordering his militiamen to redouble their battle to oust American forces and argued that Iraq's army and police should join him in defeating "your archenemy." [Editor: Everybody except for team Bush wants the United States out of Iraq. The most sensible solution is to remove Bush/Cheney and move the world closer to peace.]

How Analysts in the Arab World View the Occupation of Iraq
Policymakers and strategic analysts in the Arab world have little confidence that current US troop surge in Iraq will do much more than - at best - postpone a complete political-security breakdown in Iraq, which, they fear, could then spread across the Middle East. I heard a lot about how Iraq's collapse has been affecting Arab societies. If the U.S. would leave not, it would concentrate the minds of our countrymen on the need to find a workable reconciliation. "But if the Americans stay, we can expect the situation to remain bad,"... the broad deployment of US troops in Iraq has been transformed from an American asset in the region into a liability that erodes US power and standing.

Arabs Fear the U.S. and Israel, Not Iran
Despite Condi Rice's talk of a "Sunni Crescent," a l
arge poll conducted across the Middle East shows that 80 percent of Arabs consider Israel and the U.S. the two biggest external threats to their security.

Misreading the 'Enemy'
President Bush's escalation of the Iraq War is premised on a profound misunderstanding of who the enemies are, how to deal with them and what the limits are of U.S. power. The president cannot seem to let go of his fixation on Al-Qaida, a minor actor in Iraq, and his determination to confront Iran and Syria. He still assumes that the insurgents are outsiders to their neighborhoods and that U.S. troops can chase away the miscreants and keep them out, acting as a sort of neighborhood watch in khaki. In fact, Iraq's Sunni Arab elite is playing the spoiler, and until a deal is negotiated with its members, no one will be allowed to enjoy the new Iraq. This oversight by the Bush administration will cause the death of thousands more American soldiers and innocent civilians.

A Hard Look at Iraq Sanctions
The humanitarian disaster resulting from sanctions against Iraq has been frequently cited as a factor that motivated the September 11 terrorist attacks. Osama bin Laden himself mentioned the Iraq sanctions in a recent tirade against the United States. Critics of US policy in Iraq claim that sanctions have killed more than a million people, many of them children. Saddam Hussein puts the death toll at one and a half million.

The Rats Are Jumping Ship from Iraq
In 2005, former U.S. Sen. John Edwards said about his vote for war in Iraq: "I was wrong [and] I take responsibility." This statement, so simple, has been all too rare from politicians and leading media voices. Instead, as the war rages on -- a war itself originally based on lies -- our political arena still teems with icons more interested in hiding the truth. That's no small matter. As the saying goes, the first step to recovery is admitting the problem. Sadly, though, the flip side is also true -- refusing to admit a problem will perpetuate that problem indefinitely.

No exit strategy, no vision — no reason to stay in Iraq
Someone frozen in time for the past two years could have listened to President Bush outline his new Iraq policy in the State of the Union address Tuesday and wondered what the fuss was about. That's because there is no "new” policy. Today, the road ahead looks just like the road behind — stay the course. Only this time there will be about 20,000 more American troops in harm's way. Before we know it, we'll be at 4,000 American dead and 30,000 wounded and nothing will have changed.

Active Duty Soldiers Call for An End to the Occupation of Iraq
For the first time since Vietnam, an organized, robust movement of active-duty US military personnel has publicly surfaced to oppose a war in which they are serving. Those involved plan to petition Congress to withdraw American troops from Iraq.

Pentagon Office Produced 'Alternative' Intelligence on Iraq
A special unit run by former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld's top policy aide inappropriately produced "alternative" intelligence reports that wrongly concluded that Saddam Hussein's regime had cooperated with al-Qaida, a Pentagon investigation has determined. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., requested an investigation, calling the findings "devastating" because senior administration officials, particularly Vice President Dick Cheney, used deceptive work to help make their case for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Starve the Beast
With President Bush poised to announce a surge in US troops in Iraq this week, antiwar activists in the Democratic Party are stepping up demands that their party's leaders cut off funding for the war -- a dramatic step that would force the president to quickly end American involvement in the war. Antiwar activists held banners last week and set up paper lanterns in front of the White House with photographs and names of some of the US service members killed in Iraq. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Calls for Congress to use the power of the purse to shape war policy are coming from the party's base of vocal war opponents, as well as a growing number of rank-and-file Democratic lawmakers who view November's midterm congressional elections as a demand from the public for Democrats to force the president to end the war. Today, Representative Dennis Kucinich, a liberal Ohio Democrat, plans to outline a proposal for Congress to deny Bush any more funds for the war and have the United Nations lead a security force to stabilize Iraq.

How the World Will See the Surge
There has been much press commentary in recent days concerning the administration’s planned surge of American soldiers in Iraq. According to The New York Times, this “rapid influx of forces … could add as many as 20,000 American combat troops to Baghdad.” The domestic consequences of what some media are calling a military escalation have been widely analyzed. Any “superpower” that thinks it can “win” a universally condemned war with an additional 20,000 troops is certainly not a model to follow. Forget about the made-in-Hollywood American “dream.” America is now producing one nightmare after another. It’s become a mortal danger, not a universal hope.

The Surge to Nowhere: Traveling the Planet Neocon Road to Baghdad (Again)
Tom Donnelly, an American Enterprise Institute neocon, a co-chairman of the Project for a New American Century, telling a reporter sagely that the surge is in. "I think the debate is really coming down to: Surge large. Surge small. Surge short. Surge longer. I think the smart money would say that the range of options is fairly narrow." (Donnelly, of course, forgot: Surge out.) His colleague, Frederick Kagan of AEI, the chief architect of the Surge Theory for Iraq, has made it clear that the only kind of surge that would work is a big, fat one. Nearly pornographic in his fondling of the surge, Kagan, another of the neocon crew of armchair strategists and militarists, makes it clear that size does matter. "Of all the 'surge' options out there, short ones are the most dangerous," he wrote in the Washington Post last week, adding lasciviously, "The size of the surge matters as much as the length. … The only 'surge' option that makes sense is both long and large." Ooh - that is, indeed, a manly surge. For Kagan, a man-sized surge must involve at least 30,000 more troops funneled into the killing grounds of Baghdad and al-Anbar Province for at least 18 months. What's astonishing about the debate over Iraq is that the President - or anyone else, for that matter, including the media - is paying the slightest attention to the neoconservative strategists who got us into this mess in the first place. Having been egregiously wrong about every single Iraqi thing for five consecutive years, by all rights the neocons ought to be consigned to some dusty basement exhibit hall in the American Museum of Natural History, where, like so many triceratops, their reassembled bones would stand mutely by to send a chill of fear through touring schoolchildren. Indeed, the neocons are the dodos of Washington, simply too dumb to know when they are extinct.

On Guantanamo Prison Camp's Fifth Birthday
An international delegation arrived in Cuba this week to call for the closure of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay. The protest is part of the January 11 International Day to Shut Down Guantanamo, during which many groups in the United States and abroad are expected to rally thousands of human rights activists. Detainees in orange jumpsuits sit in a holding area at Camp X-Ray at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2003. A total of 30 incidents of detainee mistreatment were reported by agents of the FBI in an internal 2004 poll on possible abuse witnessed at the US Navy prison facility at Guantanamo, Cuba. Photo:Shane T. McCoy/AFP January 11 is the 5-year anniversary of the first prisoners being sent to the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. "From the beginning this was a prison that was set up without any kind of due process," Medea Benjamin of the women-for-peace group Code Pink told OneWorld from Havana. "People in prison have no access to see their family members. It took a long time for them to even have lawyers and those lawyers don't even have access to their clients."

90% Iraqis say life was better before US/UK invasion
BAGHDAD, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- About 90 percent of Iraqis feel the situation in the country was better before the U.S.-led invasion than it is today, according to a new ICRSS poll. The findings emerged after house-to-house interviews conducted by the ICRSS during the third week of November. About 2,000 people from Baghdad (82 percent), Anbar and Najaf (9 percent each) were randomly asked to express their opinion. Twenty-four percent of the respondents were women. Only five percent of those questioned said Iraq is better today than in 2003. While 89 percent of the people said the political situation had deteriorated, 79 percent saw a decline in the economic situation; 12 percent felt things had improved and 9 percent said there was no change. Predictably, 95 percent felt the security situation was worse than before. The results of the poll conducted by the Iraq Centre for Research and Strategic Studies and shared with the Gulf Research Center.

The real Iraq Study Group
Hawks gathered in the plush, carpeted suites of the conservative American Enterprise Institute on Friday to discuss a new course in Iraq they say should be spearheaded by tens of thousands of new troops camped out in Baghdad neighborhoods in active combat roles well into 2008. The plan is not to be dismissed. Unlike the much ballyhooed Iraq Study Group, these are the people President Bush listens to...

Launching the 2008 Presidential Campaign With Ethnic Cleansing in Iraq
Politically, the coming escalation by 20,000 U.S. troops in Iraq is best understood as the comeback strategy of the neoconservative Republicans rallying around Sen. John McCain's presidential banner. Sen. McCain was touring Baghdad with his potential running mate Sen. Joe Lieberman, promoting the plan to escalate, although supported by only 20 percent of Republicans, 11 percent of independent voters, and a statistically-insignificant 4 percent of Democrats (L.A. Times/Bloomberg, Dec. 11, 2006).

Stopping the surge
President Bush is expected to reveal a boldly controversial new plan for the war in Iraq as soon as next week. The much-anticipated announcement, which was postponed from before Christmas, comes after weeks of meetings among top White House advisors. Bush has said that all options are on the table, but by most reports he favors a "surge and accelerate" proposal that would send 20,000 to 40,000 more American soldiers to Baghdad. The so-called surge has earned serious consideration from some of the top U.S. commanders in Iraq, but the Joint Chiefs of Staff reportedly oppose it. The surge also pits the president against a majority of the American public; more troops in Iraq is presumably not what that public thought it was getting when it gave the Democrats control of both houses of Congress in November.

The real Iraq Study Group
The neocon hawks who sold the war, joined by John McCain and Joe Lieberman, unveiled their new plan for "victory": At least 25,000 new troops in combat roles well into 2008

Just how evil was Saddam Hussein?
In Hussein's 30 year hold on power he has launched two attacks on the neighbouring states of Iran and Kuwait. That, however, merely puts Iraq in the same category with Israel which has acted likewise in the '67 War and again in 1982 with the invasion of Lebanon. Despite the advertisements of the Israeli government, Israel was never seriously threatened in either case.

Saddam Execution Will Destabilise Iraq Further
The execution of former dictator Saddam Hussein Saturday could bring more instability in an increasingly violent and chaotic occupation. Video from Iraqi state television showed a noose being placed around Saddam Hussein’s neck before his hanging early Saturday. (Iraqi Television, via Associated Press) The execution followed a decision by a court of appeal Dec. 26 to uphold the death sentence for Saddam. Chief judge Aref Shahin said following confirmation of the death sentence: "From tomorrow, any day could be the day of implementation." Saddam was executed on the morning of the Muslim festival Eid.

A dictator created then destroyed by America
Saddam to the gallows. It was an easy equation. Who could be more deserving of that last walk to the scaffold - that crack of the neck at the end of a rope - than the Beast of Baghdad, the Hitler of the Tigris, the man who murdered untold hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis while spraying chemical weapons over his enemies? Our masters will tell us in a few hours that it is a "great day" for Iraqis and will hope that the Muslim world will forget that his death sentence was signed - by the Iraqi "government", but on behalf of the Americans - on the very eve of the Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, the moment of greatest forgiveness in the Arab world. Who encouraged Saddam to invade Iran in 1980, which was the greatest war crime he has committed for it led to the deaths of a million and a half souls? And who sold him the components for the chemical weapons with which he drenched Iran and the Kurds? We did. No wonder the Americans, who controlled Saddam's weird trial, forbad any mention of this, his most obscene atrocity, in the charges against him. Could he not have been handed over to the Iranians for sentencing for this massive war crime? Of course not. Because that would also expose our culpability. And the mass killings we perpetrated in 2003 with our depleted uranium shells and our "bunker buster" bombs and our phosphorous, the murderous post-invasion sieges of Fallujah and Najaf, the hell-disaster of anarchy we unleashed on the Iraqi population in the aftermath of our "victory" - our "mission accomplished" - who will be found guilty of this?

The questions that will live on
So why did George Bush decide to invade Iraq? Nearly four years and hundreds of thousands of casualties later, the reasons appear both as obvious and as elusive as they were in the spring of 2003.

The Consequences of Killing Saddam
Since the US invasion of Iraq, by one widely reported estimate, as many as 655,000 Iraqis have been killed, in air strikes, by bombs, in death-squad executions and generalized civil strife. Now, add one by hanging: the kangaroo-court trial and execution of Saddam Hussein. In life, even in prison, he inspired many loyalists to fight for his legacy; but his death is certain to spark even fiercer violence, not just from his remaining lieutenants and senior Baath party officials but throughout the broader Sunni Arab community in Iraq. It pushes any hope of Sunni-Shiite reconciliation farther away, inflames passions on both sides and solidifies the image of the United States in Iraq as a bloodthirsty occupier. Convicted of war crimes by a puppet Iraqi regime that dispensed with niceties such as evidence and rebuttal, Saddam Hussein was blamed by his fiercest critics--such as Kanan Makiya, author of Republic of Fear, and others with strong motive to inflate the scale of Saddam's crimes--of killing 300,000 Iraqis during his thirty-five-year rule (1968-2003). In less than four years, George W. Bush has more than doubled that, with no end in sight. As war criminals go, Bush wins hands down. The 655,000 US victims in Iraq do not include the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, mostly children, who died during a twelve-year era of US-imposed sanctions on Iraq from 1991 to 2003, but those deaths, at least, were obscured by a fig leaf of legality, since the sanctions had been approved by the UN Security Council. Bush's Iraq War had no such cover: It was deemed "illegal" by Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary general.

ACTION: The 3,000th U.S. Fatality in Iraq
The American Friends Service Committee is joining with local peace and justice groups worldwide to commemorate the lives lost in Iraq on the occasion of the 3,000th U.S. military fatality in Iraq. On the day after the 3,000th death is announced, we will hold local events in communities worldwide, mourning all the lives lost in this war and calling for U.S. troops to come home. The AFSC has designed an online event system to help you find and list events near you. For local organizers, the AFSC offers web tools to invite your neighbors and build an opt-in mailing list for your grassroots efforts. For those looking to join a nearby event, this web site offers you a private and secure way to find and register to attend an event. AFSC is suggesting that vigils and other events to start between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the day after the 3,000th death is announced. If your community picks a different date/time, the AFSC is flexible to your needs. Please see the ideas and resources page for event ideas, or come up with something creative in your hometown.

Negotiation is the Very Best Way Out of Iraq
What deserves far greater attention in the Iraq Study Group report is its conclusion that there is no military solution to the American dilemma in Iraq, and that the only way out is negotiation.

Diplomat's Suppressed Document Lays Bare the Lies behind Iraq War
The Government's case for going to war in Iraq has been torn apart. In the testimony revealed today it is clear that Mr Blair knew Saddam Hussein possessed no weapons of mass destruction. He said that during his posting to the UN, "at no time did HMG [Her Majesty's Government] assess that Iraq's WMD (or any other capability) posed a threat to the UK or its interests." Mr Ross revealed it was a commonly held view among British officials dealing with Iraq that any threat by Saddam Hussein had been "effectively contained". His hitherto secret evidence threatens to reopen the row over the legality of the conflict, putting U.S. president George Bush in a very bad light. Impeach the Bush Administration Now!

Bush and Blair have forfeited the moral authority to hang Saddam
The verdict on the former Iraqi dictator is just, but everything stinks about the process by which it has been reached. There can be no doubt about the moral justice of yesterday's Baghdad tribunal judgment on Saddam Hussein. He was directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, chiefly Kurds and Shias, and arguably for many more killed in the Iran-Iraq war. Yet it is quite another matter whether it is right or politically prudent to execute him, after the shambles of a trial that he has undergone. George Bush's handling of this issue restores one's respect for Pontius Pilate. The president has achieved the almost impossible feat of generating some sympathy for Saddam, at least in Muslim societies. The Iraqi judicial system is incapable of conducting a plausible hearing. Instead it staged a farce: judges changed, defence lawyers murdered, interminable rambling orations from prosecutors and defendants. Bush should have got some old Soviets to advise the locals about how to run a proper show trial.

American Robber Baron Corporations Create the Next Big Casualty in Iraq
"Iraq got the foreign investment rules long sought by U.S. corporations," says Antonia Juhasz, a visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington. Juhasz said the new laws, which were a part of the 100 'Bremer Orders' instituted by former U.S. administrator Paul Bremer when he headed the Coalition Provisional Authority during the first year of the occupation, provided a flood of benefits for U.S. companies. These included "100 percent repatriation of profits earned in Iraq by foreign companies; 100 percent foreign ownership of Iraqi businesses, including banks; privatisation of Iraq's state owned enterprises; 100 percent immunity for U.S. contractors and soldiers from Iraq's laws; and 'national treatment' which allowed for Iraqis to be all but excluded from the reconstruction for years while the U.S. government paid 50 billion dollars to some 150 U.S. corporations for work in Iraq."

Bush and Blair have forfeited the moral authority to hang Saddam
The verdict on the former Iraqi dictator is just, but everything stinks about the process by which it has been reached. There can be no doubt about the moral justice of yesterday's Baghdad tribunal judgment on Saddam Hussein. He was directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, chiefly Kurds and Shias, and arguably for many more killed in the Iran-Iraq war. Yet it is quite another matter whether it is right or politically prudent to execute him, after the shambles of a trial that he has undergone. George Bush's handling of this issue restores one's respect for Pontius Pilate. The president has achieved the almost impossible feat of generating some sympathy for Saddam, at least in Muslim societies. The Iraqi judicial system is incapable of conducting a plausible hearing. Instead it staged a farce: judges changed, defence lawyers murdered, interminable rambling orations from prosecutors and defendants. Bush should have got some old Soviets to advise the locals about how to run a proper show trial.

This was a guilty verdict on America as well
So America's one-time ally has been sentenced to death for war crimes he committed when he was Washington's best friend in the Arab world. America knew all about his atrocities and even supplied the gas - along with the British, of course - yet there we were yesterday declaring it to be, in the White House's words, another "great day for Iraq". That's what Tony Blair announced when Saddam Hussein was pulled from his hole in the ground on 13 December 2003. And now we're going to string him up, and it's another great day. Of course, it couldn't happen to a better man. Nor a worse. It couldn't be a more just verdict - nor a more hypocritical one.

The Uncovered War: Salvaging American "Dignity"
So far, what have the American invasion and occupation of Iraq led to -- other than a staggering bloodbath, killing fields galore, and a secret landscape of detention centers and torture chambers? As a start, an already badly battered Iraqi economy was turned into a looting ground for Bush administration crony corporations and thoroughly wrecked. (Tall Afar, for instance, is considered an American "success" story when it comes to security, though part of the city is now a "ghost town" of rubble and unemployment there is estimated at almost 70%.) The Iraqi education system is in tatters; the medical system in ruins; basic social and urban services almost undeliverable; oil production barely up to pathetic prewar levels (if present-day figures are even real, which is in doubt); the position of women now disastrous; child malnutrition on the rise; and well over a million Iraqis have fled their homes in a country of only 26 million people.

Torture in Iraq, Intimidation at Home
Dogged by serious allegations of human rights abuses in Iraq, a leading profiteer from the Iraq war engages in intimidation campaigns against journalists in America who seek to expose its practices.

Evidence suggests Iraq killings by U.S. troops deliberate
Evidence collected in the deaths of 24 Iraqis in Haditha supports accusations U.S. Marines deliberately shot the civilians, including unarmed women and children, a Pentagon official said today.

"The Hell with Red/Blue; People Want Out of Iraq and Solutions"
Criss-crossing the country, I've learned most people are over the red-state/blue-state talk and are aching for politics that matter to them.

Blackwater Shot Down in Federal Court
A federal appeals court has ruled a wrongful death lawsuit can proceed against Blackwater USA: Families claim the firm cut corners in pursuit of profit in Iraq, leading to the brutal deaths of four employees in Fallujah in 2004.

How Jesus Endorsed Bush's Invasion of Iraq
In the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, Bush needed the approval of religious leaders to shore up his religious base and a group of Catholic theoconservatives were happy to help him do just that.

Retired Officer Says Flawed Policy Turned Iraqis against US
Senior military leaders instituted such a flawed strategy from the outset of the Iraq war that there no longer are any circumstances under which U.S. troops can pull out without seeing the situation deteriorate more, a retired Army general said Monday. Retired Lt. Gen. Robert G. Gard Jr. said the military turned Iraqis irreversibly against the U.S. because of policies that tolerated civilian casualties.

Has Iraq become the new Vietnam?
George W Bush has conceded for the first time that there are parallels between the fighting in Iraq and the beginning of the end of the Vietnam War. Amid a steep spike in US deaths in Iraq, Mr Bush recognised comparisons between the current bloodshed and the 1968 Tet Offensive, considered a key turning point in the US war in Vietnam. Do you agree that Iraq has become a second Vietnam – an unwinnable, costly and politically damaging conflict?

Take America BackBush's newest deceptions and the tragedy of Iraq: A message from (former) Attorney General Ramsey Clark
If fear is the ultimate enemy of freedom, Iraq is the least free society on earth." First one thing, then another: weapons of mass destruction, ties to Al Qaeda, to rid the country of a tyrant, to establish democracy and freedom in the Middle East, to destroy international terrorism at center stage. All were fabricated and known to be false by the President and the principal “civil officers of the United States” whose purpose led us down this garden path to genocide and the enmity of friend and foe alike. Today, as the Congressional mid-term elections approach, the Bush Administration is desperate to lay blame elsewhere for its failure to stabilize the country

Bush's Petro-Cartel Almost Has Iraq's Oil
With 140,000 U.S. troops on the ground, the largest U.S. embassy in the world sequestered in Baghdad's fortified "Green Zone" and an economy designed by a consulting firm in McLean, Va., post-invasion Iraq was well on its way to becoming a bonanza for foreign investors. But Big Oil had its sights set on a specific arrangement -- the lucrative production sharing agreements that lock in multinationals' control for long terms and are virtually unheard of in countries as rich in easily accessible oil as Iraq.

Rumsfeld's Fake News Flop in Iraq
The Pentagon hired some amateurs to create the fake news operation in Iraq that they've dreamed of having in the United States. The danger of negative news, according to President Bush, is that it may undermine morale and support for the war, as Americans "look at the violence they see each night on their television screens and they wonder how I can remain so optimistic about the prospects of success in Iraq." But propaganda itself is a danger to the nation, as the United States has long recognized, both in theory and in law.

Seven Hair-Raising Realities About the Iraq War
With a tenuous cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon holding, the ever-hotter war in Iraq is once again creeping back onto newspaper front pages and towards the top of the evening news. Before being fully immersed in daily reports of bomb blasts, sectarian violence, and casualties, however, it might be worth considering some of the just-under-the-radar-screen realities of the situation in that country. Here, then, is a little guide to understanding what is likely to be a flood of new Iraqi developments -- a few enduring, but seldom commented upon, patterns central to the dynamics of the Iraq war, as well as to the fate of the American occupation and Iraqi society.

Iraq: the world's first Suicide State
Iraq looks like a country committing suicide rather than aspiring to independence and liberty. It is striking, for example, that the bombers seem always to lash out against Iraqi civilians, including civilians who have signed up for Iraq’s ragbag police force, rather than against America and Britain’s occupying armies. Iraq takes today’s ‘cult of the suicide bomber’ a stage further: we could say that Iraq is the world’s first Suicide State, responding to war and occupation not by mobilising the masses in opposition or organising resistance armies, but rather by destroying itself, by committing suicide in front of the world’s cameras. As strange and unsettling as this may seem, it requires an explanation. It strikes me that the new Suicide State of Iraq is not quite as foreign or ‘evil’ as commentators and officials would have us believe. Rather, it seems to have been shaped by some very contemporary political trends, and by the denigration of international politics over the past decade.

Bush's Church Urges Pull-out of US Troops from Iraq
President George W. Bush's own church has called for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and is urging direct action to end the war. Writes Mark Schoeff Jr: United Methodist Church leaders helped launch a week of protest and civil disobedience against the war in Iraq by signing a declaration of peace in the capital, urging President Bush to pull US troops out of the country. The Declaration of Peace, signed on 21 September 2006, is described as a call for nonviolent action to end the war in Iraq. The Washington DC event was one of 350 staged nationwide to promote the peace initiative. More than 500 groups, almost half of them faith organizations, are involved in the declaration of peace effort, which recently retired Bishop Susan Morrison said includes "acts of moral witness to seek a new course for our country."

The Best War Ever Bush Ignored Urgent Warning on Iraq
The White House ignored an urgent warning in September 2003 from a top Iraq adviser who said that thousands of additional American troops were desperately needed to quell the insurgency there, according to a new book by Bob Woodward, the Washington Post reporter and author. The book describes a White House riven by dysfunction and division over the war. The warning is described in “State of Denial,” scheduled for publication on Monday by Simon & Schuster. The book says President Bush’s top advisers were often at odds among themselves, and sometimes were barely on speaking terms, but shared a tendency to dismiss as too pessimistic assessments from American commanders and others about the situation in Iraq.

Opposition to Iraq War at All Time High
Almost two-thirds of Americans in each of three major polls say that they oppose the war, the highest totals since pollsters starting asking Americans the question three years ago.

Civilian Deaths Soar to Record High in Iraq
Nearly 7,000 civilians were killed in Iraq in the past two months, according to a UN report just released - a record high that is far greater than initial estimates had suggested. The report from the UN assistance mission in Iraq's human rights office reported evidence of torture, unlawful detentions, the growth of sectarian militias and death squads, and a rise in "honour killings" of women. ... "worse now than under Saddam Hussein." [Iraqis blame the U.S. occupation of their sovereign nation for much of the sectarian violence]

Iraq Government Wants U.S. Out
You might have seen polls showing that the majority of Iraqis and Americans want to see a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. But did you know that when Bush visited Iraq on June 13, Iraq's President and Vice President asked him to set a timeline? Iraq's National Security Adviser Mowaffik Al-Rubaie admitted that Iraqis now see foreign troops as occupiers rather than the liberators; yet the Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress refuse to set a timeline for withdrawal, saying U.S. troops need to stay to protect Iraqis until there is stability. But when the Iraqi people were asked who they trust to protect their personal safety, only 1 percent said the coalition forces!

Facing Up to the Ground Truth in Iraq
"The biggest mythology in American culture about war is that if you sign up for the military, you'll be taken care of. And I think many soldiers believe that. Even as they've watched someone they know -- a brother or a father who was in Vietnam who came back messed up and never spoke about it, and never got help-- they think somehow it will be different. "

In Cold Blood: Iraqi Tells of Massacre at Farmhouse
A cousin describes finding the shot and shattered bodies. A U.S. soldier is in custody. "Never in my mind could I have imagined such a gruesome sight," Abu Firas Janabi said of the day in March when his cousin, Fakhriya Taha Muhsen; her husband, Kasim Hamza Rasheed; and their two daughters were slain and their farmhouse set ablaze. At least four American soldiers from a nearby checkpoint are the prime suspects. The case, which includes the alleged rape of the older daughter, has caused a firestorm in the United States and Iraq. And the soldiers, including one charged Monday with rape and murder, have become lurid symbols of the American military at its worst.

A Wave of Sexual Terrorism In Iraq
Behind the rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and her family lies a far larger story of what's happened to women in Iraq since they were 'liberated' by the Bush administration.

Our Descent Into Hell Has Begun
Begin paying attention, to stories from Iraq like the very recent one about U.S. Marines killing a group of civilians near Baghdad. This is the next step in the Iraq war as frustration among our soldiers grows -- especially with multiple tours.

The Civil War in Iraq Has Begun
My God, what have we done? What have we unleashed? There is no way we, or anybody else, is going to get this genie back in the bottle. Through our arrogance, carelessness and even malice, we started a sectarian battle between the different ethnicities of Iraq. And that battle has now blossomed into an absolute war.

Rep. Murtha On Iraq: "It's Worse Than It Was Prewar"...
This morning, Jack Murtha appeared on CBS' The Early Show to talk about the Iraq war. Murtha offered a sobering assessment: [T]here's not only no progress, it's worse than it was prewar. this thing has been mishandled so badly. The American people needed to hear. we're spending $450 billion on this war by the end of the year, $9 billion a month, and so we need to change course.

The Great Iraq Oil Grab
War on Iraq: The official reasons the U.S. invaded Iraq don't hold water. So, as the man said, follow the money ... straight to the oil fields. People like Dick Cheney, George Schultz and Henry Kissinger (L. Paul Bremer was a protégé of Kissinger's) warned that American energy firms were at a competitive disadvantage as long as Saddam Hussein remained in power. While more than a third of Iraq's oil ended up in the United States during the years of sanctions against the Hussein regime, it mostly came through foreign middlemen -- Saddam gave few contracts directly to American firms, and that was intolerable to the U.S. business community. Saying that Iraq's vast oil reserves -- projected by some analysts to be the largest in the world, greater than Saudi Arabia's -- was the sole motivation for the U.S. invasion of Iraq simplifies a complex issue. Opening Iraq's economy has the potential to reward the Bush administration's corporate allies with enormous windfalls as the country rebuilds after 25 years of war. Oil is the cherry on the sundae.

Critics of the Iraq War Put Rumsfeld on the Defensive
When Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld goes on the road to deliver a speech, it's usually in front of a relatively respectful audience: U.S. troops stationed overseas, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation dinner have been among his appearances this year. An audience in Atlanta on Thursday turned out to be a bit different. In a Q&A, a former CIA analyst calls him a liar.

The War in Iraq : A Mother's View on Why We Need to Set the Record Straight
Three years have passed since Bush landed on an aircraft carrier and proclaimed "Mission accomplished." We are now entering into our fourth year of war in Iraq and here at home the war of words and platitudes that justify this war continues for our consumption. What role can someone like me, a mother currently staying home to care for a small infant, do to end this war? The other day I had the opportunity to go to an event (sponsored by a multi-faith peace and justice group) that included a contingent of Iraqi women who are currently touring the U.S. presenting an alternative view on the war in Iraq from the one that dominates in the mainstream media. I wanted to hear an alternative view on this war— why not from an Iraqi woman?

Iraq, Afghanistan Among Top Ten Failed States
Despite receiving some eight billion dollars a month in economic aid and military support over the past year, Iraq and Afghanistan rank among the world's 10 weakest states, along with much of Central Africa, according to the "Failed States Index" for 2006 released here Tuesday. Iraq ranks number four -- the same rating it received in the 2005 index -- behind the top-ranked country, Sudan; the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); and Cote D'Ivoire, according to the new index, which was released by the Washington-based Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy magazine.

Torture "Widespread" under U.S. Custody: Amnesty
Torture and inhumane treatment are "widespread" in U.S.-run detention centers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba and elsewhere despite Washington's denials, Amnesty International said on Wednesday. Protesters from the organization "Clergy & Laity Concerned About Iraq," take part in a protest demanding the shutdown of the U.S. operated prison at Guantanamo, Cuba, in front of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, in New York, May 1, 2006. On May 3, Amnesty International said torture and inhumane treatment are "widespread" in U.S.-run detention centers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba and elsewhere despite Washington's denials. In a report for the United Nations' Committee against Torture, the London-based human rights group also alleged abuses within the U.S. domestic law enforcement system, including use of excessive force by police and degrading conditions of isolation for inmates in high security prisons.

Iraq: Worse Than Reports

Despite administration complaints about bad press, conditions in Iraq are even worse, not better, than the media reports. 'Bombings, executions, killings, kidnappings, shootings and intimidation are a daily occurrence throughout all regions and sectors of Iraqi society. An illustrative list of these attacks could scarcely reflect the broad dimension of the violence.' This is from Condoleezza Rice's State Department's March report on the condition of human rights in Iraq. It reflects a situation far more serious than the American media has reflected, because the media has not been able to leave the Green Zone to cover it. U.S. military statistics show that nearly eight times as many Iraqis died last month in execution-style sectarian killings as in terrorist bombings by insurgents, and tens of thousands of civilians have fled from their homes in mixed ethnic areas, while funds run out for medical clinics and other unfinished rebuilding projects. Meanwhile, another memo shows Bush had decided to invade Iraq early on.

Situation in Iraq Could Not be Worse
A cruel and bloody civil war has started in Iraq, a country that President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair promised to free from fear and establish democracy. I have been visiting Iraq since 1978, but for the first time, I am becoming convinced that the country will not survive. The savage attack, the worst in months, came almost exactly on the third anniversary of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by American and British armies on April 9, 2003. The war was portrayed at the time as freeing Iraqis from fear, but Iraqi officials have told The Independent that at least 100 people are being killed in Baghdad every day.

US Firms Suspected of Bilking Iraq Funds
American contractors swindled hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraqi funds, but so far there is no way for Iraq's government to recoup the money, according to US investigators and civil attorneys tracking fraud claims against contractors. Courts in the United States are beginning to force contractors to repay reconstruction funds stolen from the American government. But legal roadblocks have prevented Iraq from recovering funds that were seized from the Iraqi government by the US-led coalition and then paid to contractors who failed to do the work.

Iraqi Women Under Siege PDF
From 1958 to the 1990s, Iraq provided more rights and freedoms for women and girls than most of its neighbors. Though Saddam Hussein’s dictatorial government and 12 years of severe sanctions reduced these opportunities, Iraqi women, before the occupation, were still active in many aspects of their society. Now that situation has dramatically changed. While women in Iraqi Kurdistan have made gains since the U.S. invasion, in the rest of the country, women today face violence, hardship and fear daily, and their futures are more uncertain than ever. Since the U.S. invasion, vital infrastructure, already deteriorating, has almost collapsed. Iraqis face a lack of medicine, food, shelter, clean water, electricity and other basic services. Women trying to raise families in the midst of this chaos find themselves beset by skyrocketing unemployment, poverty and malnutrition, and a dearth of social services like decent schools and health care.

The Tethered Goat Strategy
Since the Iraqi elections in January, US foreign service officers at the Baghdad embassy have been writing a steady stream of disturbing cables describing drastically worsening conditions. Violence from incipient communal civil war is rapidly rising. Last month there were eight times as many assassinations committed by Shia militias as terrorist murders by Sunni insurgents. The insurgency, according to the reports, also continues to mutate. Meanwhile, President Bush's strategy of training Iraqi police and army to take over from coalition forces - "when they stand up, we'll stand down" - is perversely and portentously accelerating the strife. State department officials in the field are reporting that Shia militias use training as cover to infiltrate key positions. Thus the strategy to create institutions of order and security is fuelling civil war. Rather than being received as invaluable intelligence, the messages are discarded or, worse, considered signs of disloyalty to the Bush administration.

So Far, No Good
As Rep. John Murtha put it, 'The only people who want us in Iraq are Iran and al-Qaida.'

Sexuality kept from captors
Fears that James Loney's Iraqi captors might harm the peace activist if they knew he was gay forced his partner to remain silent as his loved ones called for an end to the hostage ordeal, Christian Peacemaker Teams co-director Doug Pritchard said Monday. "It's a sad fact that around the world gays and lesbians are more vulnerable to attack than straights," Pritchard said. "When Jim was already in a vulnerable position we didn't, nor did his family, want him exposed to further danger."

Get Out of Iraq
As Iraq descends into chaos and the nascent Iraqi state implodes even before it is born, support for a continued U.S. military presence in the region is plummeting: a new poll shows a whopping 62 percent of Americans think the war is going badly. The really shocking news for the administration, however, is that a Zogby poll, shows 72 percent of U.S. troops serving in Iraq believe we ought to get out by the end of the year; almost 25 percent want out right now. These poll numbers give a whole new meaning to the oft-repeated phrase "Support our troops." What we in the antiwar movement have been saying all along – "Support our troops: bring them home now" – is now being said by those who are actually doing the fighting.

More Abu Ghraib images
A vehicle waits within eyesight of a guard tower at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad. (CNN) -- More grisly photographs and videos have emerged that appear to show US soldiers abusing prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

Most Troops Want Swift US Pull-Out from Iraq
Seventy-two per cent of troops said the US should withdraw within 12 months; 29 per cent said they should pull out immediately. Meanwhile a CBS News poll recorded another record low for the president this week: only 30 per cent of respondents approved of Mr Bush’s handling of Iraq.

US launches Iraq air offensive
The US military said it had launched its biggest air offensive in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. A military statement on Thursday said the operation, involving more than 50 aircraft and 1500 Iraqi and US troops.

The Abu Ghraib files
Never-published photos, and an internal Army report, show more Iraqi prisoner abuse -- evidence the government is fighting to hide.

A gallery of Abu Ghraib photos
Why we're publishing the new Abu Ghraib photos. America -- and the world -- has the right to know what was done in our name

New Images of Abu Ghraib Torture Scandal Surface
The details of the Abu Ghraib scandal, which held the focus of world public opinion in 2003 with shocking images of torture committed by American troops on Iraqi captives, still continue to hunt the international community. In the new images, Iraqi detainees are seen being forced by military troops to masturbate, while in another scene, the heads of the prisoners were smashed against the wall. The US administration has voiced it opposition to the broadcasting of the images, containing nearly 100 photos and four videotapes, on the grounds that anti-Americanism will increase worldwide. [Editor: Perhaps the U.S. government ought to consider acting in a humane manner that would favor a less hate-filled response by the world community toward American's.]

Iraq seethes after new prisoner abuse footage
New images of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison prompted Iraq's president to condemn his close ally the United States on Thursday, demanding harsh punishment for "savage crimes" as Iraqis seethed over more humiliation. "We have condemned these savage crimes. We reject that a civilized country allow its soldiers to commit these ugly and terrible crimes," Talabani told reporters. "We demand very harsh punishments against the perpetrators."

Ex-CIA Official Faults Use of Data on Iraq
The former CIA official who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year has accused the Bush administration of "cherry-picking" intelligence on Iraq to justify a decision it had already reached to go to war, and of ignoring warnings that the country could easily fall into violence and chaos after an invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

The Bad News Is the Good News Is Fake
U.S. Congressional leaders who have been touting Iraq’s new "free press" as a sign of progress in the troubled country are upset at the Pentagon’s admission last week that it has been paying for "good news" stories written by the military and placed in Iraqi media by a Washington-based public relations firm. The Pentagon’s devious scheme to place favourable propaganda in Iraqi newspapers speaks volumes about the president’s credibility gap. If Americans were truly welcomed in Iraq as liberators, we wouldn’t have to doctor the news for the Iraqi people.

Sunnis Protest Fraudulent "American Style" Elections
Iraq—Carrying black, white and red Iraqi national flags and clutching posters of Sunni Arab politicians, they strode through a western district of the capital before listening to their leaders denounce the vote as fraudulent. [Sunni Arabs, dominant during Saddam Hussein's rule, are believed to form around 20 percent of Iraq's 26 million people.]

Saddam 'psychologically abused'
Amman - Saddam Hussein's lawyer said on Friday he lodged a complaint over claims that the ousted Iraqi dictator was "severely tortured" by his American jailers who continue to "psychologically" abuse him.

Saddam claims he is tortured
Saddam sat quietly for most of the day's proceedings as a witness testified that his deposed regime killed and tortured people by administering electric shocks and ripping off their skin after pouring molten plastic on it. Saddam Hussein yesterday accused his American guards of beating him.

Democracy and Delusion in Iraq
War on Iraq: Bush's vision that Iraq will become a launching pad for a new era of peace among the nations in the region ignores what is actually taking place on the ground.

The Trial of Saddam Hussein
The trial of Saddam Hussein, which has opened with much international publicity, is a desperate attempt to justify and convey some legitimacy on the criminal U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. It is an effort to demoralize and divide the resistance to the occupation. It has nothing to do with justice or truth. The trial itself is being staged in a U.S. created phony court at the giant U.S. command center called the Green Zone and violates many international laws.

Video Blog Shines Light on Iraq War
Those frustrated with the mainstream media's coverage of the Iraq War have a new source of information on the conflict: raw video footage from the conflict. Video footage from the Alive in Baghdad project has been released on video blogging site blip.tv. The video segments include the aftermath of bombings, Iraqi police actions and interviews with ordinary Iraqis living in the war zone.

Pentagon pays Iraqi papers to print U.S. Propaganda
Faced with suicide bombings, claims of Iraqi death squads, and kidnappings, the Pentagon has come up with an innovative solution to solving the problems in Iraq: buying good news. Using defence contractors or intermediaries posing as freelance reporters, the military has been paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by a military propaganda unit lauding the US mission.

Cheney takes flak for Iraq invasion
US Vice-President Dick Cheney is at the centre of controversy over the decision to invade Iraq and the alleged torture of terrorism suspects

Iraqi women say freedoms are slipping away
Women's rights activists in Iraq blame imported extremist doctrines for restricting their freedom. "Women cannot walk freely out in the street," said activist Ban Jamil, who directs the Rasafa Branch of Assyrian Women Union, a local non-governmental organisation in Baghdad. She blamed "imported extremist doctrines, which were never experienced in the past" for the new restrictions. The tide of Islamisation has risen in Iraq as fundamentalist Shiite parties have come to power following the ouster of former leader Saddam Hussein.

Stuck In Baghdad? Yeah, Right
War on Iraq: Don't believe what you hear from the White House and the Pentagon. We can leave Iraq anytime we please.

"Bush said God told him to invade Iraq, Afghanistan"
The US President George W. Bush told two senior Palestinian officials that God gave him a personal message to invade Iraq and Afghanistan.

'Thousands of Lynndie Englands'
The Pentagon's decision to cover up the crimes of military commanders responsible for torture and blame it all on 'scapegoats' like Private First Class Lynndie England sends a chilling message: that episodes like the abuse and murder at Abu Ghraib are inevitable.

Iraqis furious at 'lenient' Abu Ghraib abuse sentence
Iraqis have reacted furiously to the three-year jail sentence imposed on Lynndie England, the US soldier pictured holding a naked Iraqi inmate on a leash at Abu Ghraib prison, provoking outrage across the world.

US soldier found guilty of Iraqi prisoner abuse
Private Lynndie England, the grinning US soldier captured on film with naked and hooded Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, has been convicted of abuse by a military court. She faces up to 10 years in prison.

The 'Myth' of Foreign Fighters
The US and the Iraqi government have overstated the number of foreign fighters in Iraq, "feeding the myth" that they are the backbone of the insurgency, an American thinktank says in a new report. Foreign militants - mainly from Algeria, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia - account for less than 10% of the estimated 30,000 insurgents, according to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

New Reports Surface About Detainee Abuse
Two soldiers and an officer with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division have told a human rights organization of systemic detainee abuse and human rights violations at U.S. bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, recounting beatings, forced physical exertion and psychological torture of prisoners

Secrets of the morgue - Baghdad's body count
While Saddam's regime visited death by official execution upon its opponents, the scale of anarchy now existing in Baghdad under U.S. occupation is unprecedented. Mortuary officials have been appalled at the sadism visited on the victims. "We have many who have obviously been tortured - mostly men," one said. "They have terrible burn marks on hands and feet and other parts of their bodies. Many have their hands fastened behind their backs with handcuffs and their eyes have been bound with Sellotape. Then they have been shot in the head - in the back of the head, the face, the eyes. These are executions."

Congress shares blame for war mistakes
Years from now when the historians begin analyzing the deadly mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan they will find that the one institution charged with standing guard between the civilian suits and the American troops in uniform that they command and send into harm's way utterly abdicated that vital responsibility. The mistakes of omission and commission that abound in the record of two military operations were made by a president, a vice president and a secretary of defense and his civilian aides. But they would never have been allowed to stand uncorrected and swept under a convenient rock without the complicity of Congress, controlled by the same party that controlled the White House. So when the time comes to point a finger don't forget those who people the marble halls of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives whose first duty seemed to be to protect the Republican Party and their president.

Bush Defies Military, Congress on Torture
After the grotesque torture photographs emerged from Abu Ghraib prison in April 2004, Bush said, "I shared a deep disgust that those prisoners were treated the way they were treated." He vowed the incidents would be investigated and the perpetrators would "be taken care of." Bush seemed shocked to learn of torture committed by US forces. But then someone leaked an explosive Department of Justice memorandum that had been written in August 2002. The memo presented a blueprint explaining how interrogators could torture prisoners and everyone in the chain of command could escape criminal liability for war crimes. It said the President was above the law. That memo set the stage for the torture of prisoners in US custody.

New Abuse Photos Could Spark Riots, US General Warns
August 17, 2005—Civil libertarians and the Pentagon appear headed for yet another trainwreck in the ongoing dispute over the so-called second batch of photos from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. It said that until the first photos of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib were made public in April 2004, the government had consistently denied that any wrongdoing had taken place, despite news reports to the contrary. Since then, the ACLU has obtained, through a court order, more than 60,000 pages of government documents regarding torture and abuse of detainees.

Bush's Economic Invasion of Iraq
One of Bremer's orders denied the Iraqi government the ability to give preference to Iraqis in the reconstruction effort. Instead, more than 150 U.S. companies were awarded contracts totaling more than $50 billion, more than twice the GDP of Iraq. Halliburton has the largest, worth more than $11 billion, while 13 other U.S. companies are earning more than $1.5 billion each. These contractors answer to the U.S. government not the Iraqi people, several thousand of whom in the last few days have protested the failure of U.S. companies to provide accessible water, sanitation and electricity at pre-war levels. Iraqis argue that they have the knowledge, skill and experience to conduct the reconstruction themselves; what they need is the money and decision-making control that they are being denied.

The occupation forces in Iraq suffer "psychological stress"
Fifty-four per cent of the U.S. occupying soldiers in Iraq, questioned as part of an Army survey, stated that morale in their individual units was either "low" or "very low".

Look out for the enemy within
The threat of indiscriminate terror will be with us in any future we can realistically foresee. Terror has causes and it is right that they should be identified. The war in Iraq has given al-Qaeda a major boost, enabling it to link its extremist agenda with grievances that are widely felt in Islamic countries. At the same time, it has resulted in a massive diversion of resources from the real work of counterterrorism and significantly boosted terrorist recruitment. The 'war on terror' suggests terrorism is a global phenomenon but, actually, it remains almost entirely national or regional in its scope and goals. Western governments have helped make al-Qaeda what it is today, but it would be folly to imagine that any shift in their policies can neutralise the threat it now poses. No longer the semi-centralised organisation it was before the destruction of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda has mutated into a brand name that covers an amorphous network of groups.

Bush's self-fulfilling prophecy: Iraq emerges as a terrorist training ground
Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the prime training ground for foreign terrorists who could travel elsewhere across the globe and wreak havoc, according to U.S. counterterrorism officials and classified studies by the CIA and the State Department.

Three Things About Iraq
To have the sober conversation about the war in Iraq that America badly needs, it is vital to acknowledge three facts:...

Dick Cheney's Former Company Halliburton Critizized for Overbilling in Iraq
Legislators stepped up criticism of the Halliburton Company on Monday for what they said was "war profiteering," citing Pentagon audits that question more than $1 billion of the company's bills for work in Iraq. Many of the contracts were awarded without competition and because of allegations that the company, formerly led by Dick Cheney before he became vice president, was aided by political connections.

World Tribunal on Iraq
The Tribunal will consist of three days of hearings investigating various issues related to the war on Iraq, such as the legality of the war, the role of the United Nations, war crimes and the role of the media, as well as the destruction of the cultural sites and the environment. The session in Istanbul is the culminating session of commissions of inquiry and hearings held around the world over the past two years. They have compiled a definitive historical record of evidence about the invasion and the occupation.

Iraq Behind The Script
The American press often discusses the political makeup of the insurgency, but no one until now has suggested that some of the very forces being trained by the United States might be longing for the return of Saddam. To the extent that this is the case—or that these forces are otherwise opposed to the occupation—the United States, far from improving "security," is now training the future resistance to itself. Indeed, the soldiers of Charlie Company told Shadid and Fainaru that 17 of them had quit in recent days. They added that every one of them planned to do the same as soon as possible. Their reasons were simple. They were bitter at the United States. "Look at the homes of the Iraqis," one soldier remarked. "The people have been destroyed." When asked by whom, he answered, "Them"—and pointed to the Americans leading the patrol. The Iraqis had enlisted in the new army only for the salary—$340 per month, an enviable sum in today's ruined Iraq. But the money had come at the price of self-respect. The new recruits had been bought off and hated themselves for it. One said that after they had all quit, "We'll live by God, but we'll have our respect."

Six new British documents detail early plans for invading Iraq
In March 2002, the Bush administration had just begun to publicly raise the possibility of confronting Iraq. But behind the scenes, officials already were deeply engaged in seeking ways to justify an invasion, newly revealed British memos indicate.

The Downing Street Memo
We all thought that Bush was lying when he said that we had to invade Iraq because of 9/11 and Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Well, now we have proof. A British journalist uncovered a memo to Tony Blair from his chief of foreign intelligence written after a series of high-level meetings in Washington back in July of 2002—months before Colin Powell’s famous presentation to the United Nations. This memo shows the Bush administration's determination to invade Iraq even though Iraq posed no threat to us, and its decision to "fix" intelligence data to justify the case for invasion. With more than 100,000 deaths, over $300 billion tax dollars spent, and a severely tarnished international reputation, we, the American people, must now ensure that those in charge are held accountable. The Downing Street memo presents a unique opportunity to do that and we need your help.

Democrat seeks probe of reasons for war
WASHINGTON -- A senior House Democrat urged Congress to launch an official inquiry to determine whether President Bush misled the nation about the reasons for toppling Saddam Hussein

An open letter to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan – on loyalty. I thugged around in eight different places in East Asia, Latin America, and Africa, where I pointed guns at people.  In the course of that career, I heard everything you have heard and felt everything you have felt about “loyalty.” Tricky thing, loyalty.

House Questions Bush on Blair Memo, Iraq Motives
In an open letter to President George W. Bush, ninety congressional Representative politely asked the President to address the question of the revelations recently published in the Sunday London Times. The Sunday London Times recently released an alleged leaked memo, revealing 2002 meetings between Bush and Blair concerning posturing and knowledge regarding Saddam Hussein and Iraq. The memo acknowledges that Bush and Blair knew Saddam was not a threat but would fix intelligence to support the preconceived agenda to go to war.

On the Question of the Iraqi Resistance (excerpts)
Do the people of Iraq have the right to defend themselves against violent foreign invasion and occupation by any means at their disposal against an aggressive and rapacious enemy enjoying overwhelming military superiority? This is a right Americans unquestionably would invoke were their country invaded and occupied by a foreign power.

Generals Offer Sober Outlook on Iraqi War
"I think that this could still fail," the officer said at the briefing, referring to the American enterprise in Iraq. "It's much more likely to succeed, but it could still fail." The officer said much depended on the new government's success in bolstering public confidence among Iraqis. He said recent polls conducted by Baghdad University had shown confidence flagging sharply, to 45 percent, down from an 85 percent rating immediately after the election.

Secret Memo Shows Bush Tampered with Iraq Intelligence
A top secret British memorandum dated 23 July 2002 was leaked in the run-up to parliamentary elections in the UK. Here is the smoking gun: "C [Dearlove] reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

Prewar Findings Worried Analysts
On Jan. 24, 2003, four days before President Bush delivered his State of the Union address presenting the case for war against Iraq, the National Security Council staff put out a call for new intelligence to bolster claims that Saddam Hussein possessed nuclear, chemical and biological weapons or programs. The person receiving the request, Robert Walpole, then the national intelligence officer for strategic and nuclear programs, would later tell investigators that "the NSC believed the nuclear case was weak," according to a 500-page report released last year by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

How long can Bush spin big lies into truth on Iraq war?
As the criminal, sinful war in Iraq enters its third year, the president is in Europe to heal the wounds between the United States and its former allies, on his own terms, of course. The White House propaganda mill hails it as another victory for the president and ignores the fact that most Europeans still consider the war dangerous folly and the president a dangerous fool.

U.S. Can't Account for $100M Spent in Iraq
Auditors have released a shocking report documenting over $100 Million in cash and equipment missing and completely unaccounted for by the contractors to whom the money was paid. While the figure is staggering, it does not begin to take into account the vast waste, overcharging, and outright theft being practiced at all levels by corporations such as Halliburton. All this in light of the recent additional supplemental *$82 Billion* authorized for expenditures in Iraq by our representives in Congress.

Italy rejects US report on shooting
ROME Italy has issued a strongly worded rebuttal to a US report clearing US soldiers of responsibility for the shooting death of an Italian intelligence agent at a roadblock in Iraq.

Aid Worker Uncovered America's Secret Tally of Iraqi Civilian Deaths
Just before her death, Marla Ruzicka wrote about the importance of recording and publicly releasing Iraqi civilian casualty numbers.

Ranks Begin to Thin in Coalition of the Willing
15 March 2005— Nearly two years after the United States led the "coalition of the willing" into Iraq, the alliance of 30 nations that once boasted 25,000 troops serving alongside the dominant American forces is showing signs of unravelling. In a move that is causing concern to the already over-stretched main contributors, particularly the US, Britain and Australia, key allies, such as the Netherlands, Ukraine and Poland, are ordering their forces to return home.

Italy Planning to Start Pullout of Iraq Troops
ROME, March 15 - Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Tuesday that he aimed to begin withdrawing Italy's 3,000 troops from Iraq by September, in a signal that the domestic cost of loyalty to the United States over the war was growing too high.

U.S. Army Captain Convicted In Iraqi Assaults
An Army captain accused of terrorizing an Iraqi town's residents with threats, a pistol and a baseball bat was convicted Wednesday of three counts of assault on Iraqis.

The Abu Ghraib Scandal You Don't Know
American soldiers often have a tough time with Arabic names, so to guards, he was just "Gus.'' To the world outside Abu Ghraib prison, he became an iconic figure, a naked, prostrate Iraqi prisoner crawling on the end of a leash held by Private Lynndie England, the pixyish Army Reserve clerk who posed in several of the infamous photographs that made the name Abu Ghraib synonymous with torture. Now, it emerges, there may be another dimension to Gus' story and certainly to the horrors of Abu Ghraib. In what amounted to a perversion of the traditional doctor's creed of "first, do no harm," the medical system at the prison became an instrument of abuse, by design and by neglect. As uncovered by legal scholars M. Gregg Bloche and Jonathan Marks, who conducted an inquiry published by the New England Journal of Medicine, not only were some military doctors at Abu Ghraib enlisted to help inflict distress on the prisoners, but also the scarcity of basic medical care was at times so severe that it created another kind of torture.

Iraqi Victim Says US Torture Worse That Saddam
A former inmate at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison forced by US guards to masturbate in public and piled onto a pyramid of naked men said on Tuesday even Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein did not do such things.

Jail abuse defendant cast as brutish thug
Prosecutors unveiled new graphic photographs and videos from the Iraqi prison at Abu Ghraib this week as they tried to portray the soldier accused as the ringleader of the abuse scandal as a sadistic thug who punched detainees for sport, posed smiling next to the bloody face of a detainee and bragged about forcing an Iraqi woman to let him photograph her naked.

Odd Happenings in Fallujah
"The soldiers are doing strange things in Fallujah," said one of my contacts in Fallujah who just returned. He was in his city checking on his home and just returned to Baghdad this evening.

Deserters: We Won't Go to Iraq
The Pentagon says more than 5,500 servicemen have deserted since the war started in Iraq. What do these men, who have violated orders and oaths, have to say for themselves? They told Correspondent Scott Pelley that conscience, not cowardice, made them American deserters. "(What) it basically comes down to, is it my right to choose between what I think is right and what I think is wrong?" asks Felushko. "And nobody should make me sign away my ability to choose between right and wrong."

In Iraq, the U.S. Does Eliminate Those Who Dare to Count the Dead
" ...US forces and their Iraqi surrogates are no longer bothering to conceal attacks on civilian targets and are openly eliminating anyone - doctors, clerics, journalists - who dares to count the bodies." Of particular concern was the word "eliminating".

Latest deadly attack in Iraq calls for U.S. reality check
Americans are worried. A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll last weekend showed 58% disapprove of the way the U.S. has handled Iraq during the past few months. For the first time, a majority — 51% — regrets the decision to go to war in the first place.

Is this American?
It is both peculiar and chilling to find oneself discussing the problem of American torture. One's first response to the report by the International Red Cross about torture at our prison at Guantánamo is denial. "I don't want to think about it; I don't want to hear about it; we're the good guys, they're the bad guys; shut up. And besides, they attacked us first." But our country has opposed torture since its founding. One of our founding principles is that cruel and unusual punishment is both illegal and wrong. Every year, our State Department issues a report grading other countries on their support for or violations of human rights.

You Call This Liberation
Pentagon experts have made a discovery: Muslims do not hate America's freedoms, but its policies.

The Ethic of Total Opposition
We've seen hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets in the Ukraine to force a showdown over a questionable election. Yet here in America, after a national election with some 30,000 reported cases of irregularities, there is this odd silence. When a former satellite of the Soviet Union shames the greatest democracy in the history of the world on something as elemental as the right to vote, things are badly out of joint. We've seen 137 American soldiers die in the month of November during the ongoing occupation of Iraq, the deadliest month to date for American forces in this war, combined with God only knows how many civilians killed. Some 200,000 people were forced to flee Fallujah after Bush decided to celebrate the November election by razing much of that city to the ground in a military assault that accomplished exactly nothing. Again, we are greeted with this odd silence.

Humanitarian Law Groups File Rights Petition At Oas Against The United States For Attacks On Hospitals, Clinics
"Attacks on hospitals and medical personnel are truly shocking." The Geneva Conventions prohibit attacks on any medical facility or medical personnel, whether civilian or military. "Imagine the outrage if the opposition in Iraq attacked one of the medical facilities for American wounded. There would be calls for war crimes tribunals," stated Karen Parker, the attorney in this action. "Rather than being "quaint" as administration Attorney-General nominee Gonzales has said, the Geneva Conventions and human rights agreements are meant to prevent acts of barbarity in war. Besides preventing atrocities, they are meant to protect GIs from the psychological damage that afflicts people who carry out this type of action."

'Unusual Weapons' Used in Fallujah
"They used these weird bombs that put up smoke like a mushroom cloud," Abu Sabah, another Fallujah refugee from the Julan area told IPS. "Then small pieces fall from the air with long tails of smoke behind them." He said pieces of these bombs exploded into large fires that burnt the skin even when water was thrown on the burns. Phosphorous weapons as well as napalm are known to cause such effects. "People suffered so much from these," he said. Macabre accounts of killing of civilians are emerging through the cordon U.S. forces are still maintaining around Fallujah. Over 6,000 killed by U.S. lead forces.

Two years before 9/11, candidate Bush was already talking privately about attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer
Houston: Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography.

A War Without Reason
There should no longer be any doubt that the war in Iraq is an exercise in lunacy, launched with a spurious rationale.

Iraq Explosives Story Detonates Under Bush Campaign
President Bush has spent his final push toward Election Day on the defensive over allegations of his mismanagement of the war in Iraq, awkwardly trying to fend off charges that the U.S. military failed to protect huge stockpiles of explosives that have disappeared and are presumed to be in the hands of anti-American insurgents

Iraq's Grim Spiral: Bush Refuses to Acknowledge Dire Situation
On Monday, The New York Times reported that U.S. forces failed to secure 380 tons of high explosives that may have been looted by insurgents. The types of explosives are so potent they can be used to detonate nuclear weapons and have been linked to large-scale terrorist attacks. Two days earlier came news of the massacre of 49 unarmed Iraqi soldiers who had just finished basic training. The killings gave credence to an Iraqi security official's estimation that insurgents have infiltrated up to 5 percent of the country's security forces, and prompted Prime Minister Ayad Allawi to blame the U.S.-led coalition for "great negligence" in failing to protect the recruits. Meanwhile, a militant group called Army of Ansar el-Sunna posted photos on a Web site showing 11 captured Iraqi guardsmen. All of this undermines President Bush's blithe insistence that Iraqi soldiers and police officers are gaining strength and will soon be able to assume security duties from U.S. forces.

Furor Over Missing Explosives
The disappearance of nearly 400 tons of powerful explosives from a known Iraqi arms depot that US troops did not guard became fodder for the presidential campaign Monday. The White House played down the significance of the missing weapons, but Democratic rival John Kerry accused President George W. Bush of "incredible incompetence," and his campaign said the administration "must answer for what may be the most grave and catastrophic mistake in a tragic series of blunders in Iraq."

Wrath runs high in Iraq toward US WMD report
A US report on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which cleared Iraq of possession of such arms, triggered fiery condemnation among the Iraqis on Thursday.

A Failed “Transition”: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War
The most comprehensive accounting of the mounting costs of the Iraq War on the United States, Iraq, and the world.

Iraq and 1,000 Deaths
The price we are paying for George W. Bush's unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq keeps rising: The number of Americans killed in the war has now passed the 1,000 mark. And the price will keep rising until Washington accepts the fact that this is a war we cannot win--and that by trying to win it, we are only further radicalizing the Iraqi people and giving life to Islamic extremists by handing them the cause of Iraqi nationalism.

Iraq, the New Army's Malaise
"We're nothing but human shields." Trained, equipped, and controlled by the Americans, the new Iraqi army brings together former Saddam soldiers, tribal chiefs' proteges, and mostly many poor men simply in search of a salary. Even if they're fighting in the same camp, Iraqi soldiers look on with envy at the American's metal plated bullet-proof vests. They complain about their equipment. About their salary. About their miserable lives. Their neighbors consider them traitors because they collaborate with the Americans and many of their colleagues have been murdered when they went home. Some don't even hide their nostalgia for the Saddam era. To hear them tell it, the only thing different for them since the dictator's fall is the right to wear sun glasses during operations.

Iraqi Teens Abused at Abu Ghraib, Report Finds
An Army investigation into the Abu Ghraib prison scandal has found that military police dogs were used to frighten detained Iraqi teenagers as part of a sadistic game ... something the dog handlers have told investigators was sanctioned by top military intelligence officers there. But the new report, according to Pentagon sources, will show that MPs were using their animals to make juveniles -- as young as 15 years old -- urinate on themselves as part of a competition.

$8.8 Billion in Iraqi Funds Missing
The audit by the Coalition Provisional Authority's own Inspector General blasts the CPA for ``not providing adequate stewardship'' of at least $8.8 billion from the Development Fund for Iraq that was given to Iraqi ministries.The development fund is made up of proceeds from Iraqi oil sales, frozen assets from foreign governments and surplus from the U.N. Oil for Food Program. Its handling has already come under fire in a U.N.-mandated audit released last month. Among the draft audit's findings were that payrolls in Iraqi ministries under Coalition Provisional Authority control were padded with thousands of ghost employees.

U.S. Keeps Winning Battles, Losing Wars
Once again, U.S. armed forces appear on the verge of winning a decisive military victory in Iraq -- this time in the holy city of Najaf. And once again, they appear closer to losing the larger wars for a stable and friendly Iraq and for an Islamic world that will cease producing anti-U.S. terrorism.

Soldiers Ordered to Just Walk Away
The national guardsman peering through the long-range scope of his rifle was startled by what he saw unfolding in the walled compound below. From his post several stories above ground level, he watched as men in plainclothes beat blindfolded and bound prisoners in the enclosed grounds of the Iraqi Interior Ministry. He immediately radioed for help. Soon after, a team of Oregon Army National Guard soldiers swept into the yard and found dozens of Iraqi detainees who said they had been beaten, starved and deprived of water for three days. In a nearby building, the soldiers counted dozens more prisoners and what appeared to be torture devices - metal rods, rubber hoses, electrical wires and bottles of chemicals. Many of the Iraqis, including one identified as a 14-year-old boy, had fresh welts and bruises across their back and legs.

Iraq, A Battleground State
The Bush administration's decision to launch an all-out offensive in Najaf is not motivated by military strategy but by electoral math. To understand this desperate and brutal strategic maneuver by Team Bush, we must review the origins of the new Battle of Najaf...

They Knew...
Despite the whitewash, we now know that the Bush administration was warned before the war that its Iraq claims were weak. But as author Flannery O'Conner noted, "Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." That means no matter how much defensive spin spews from the White House, the Bush administration cannot escape the documented fact that it was clearly warned before the war that its rationale for invading Iraq was weak.

GIs in Iraq Are Asking: Why Are We Here?
"I don't think any of us even care what happens to this country," Goward said, as a half-dozen marines, all stationed here in the capital of the restive Anbar Province, nodded in agreement. "I'm here to make sure these guys get home safely. And they're here to make sure I do."

Najaf Officials Quit in Protest
Sixteen of Najaf's 30-member provincial council resigned in protest at the US-led assault on the Najaf as fighting between the al-Mahdi Army loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr and US occupation forces entered its eighth day. "We have decided to resign due to what has befallen Najaf and all of Iraq from the hasty US invasion and bombardment of Najaf," the council said in a statement to the press.

Iraq Issues Arrest Warrants for Chalabi, Nephew
raq has issued an arrest warrant for Ahmad Chalabi and another for Salem Chalabi. Chalabi, a longtime exile opposition leader, had been a favorite of many in the Pentagon. His nephew, Salem Chalabi, heads the tribunal that is due to try Saddam on war crimes charges.

Abu Ghraib Victims Speak
They say they were subjected to psychological torture, physically abused, sexually humiliated. And three former detainees at Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison told ABC News' Nightline it was at the hands of the U.S. military. Most recent polls show between 80 percent and 90 percent of Iraqis call Americans not liberators, but occupiers. And by a clear majority, Iraqis want Americans to leave the country as soon as possible.

Military Intelligence Ordered Captives Hidden, Court Told
Military intelligence officials at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq ordered military police soldiers to keep several detainees hidden from the International Committee of the Red Cross, leaving a coded message on cell doors to indicate which detainees the visitors were not allowed to see or interview, according to court testimony here Wednesday.

Hundreds of Millions Missing in Iraq
U.S. authorities in Baghdad spent hundreds of millions of Iraqi dollars without keeping good enough records to show whether they got some services and products they paid for.

Iraq's Child Prisoners
A Sunday Herald investigation has discovered that coalition forces are holding more than 100 children in jails such as Abu Ghraib. Witnesses claim that the detainees - some as young as 10 - are also being subjected to rape and torture.

The Secret File of Abu Ghraib
New classified documents implicate U.S. forces in rape and sodomy of Iraqi prisoners. It has been months since the now-infamous photographs from Abu Ghraib revealed that American soldiers tortured Iraqi prisoners - yet the Bush administration has failed to get to the bottom of the abuses. "There are some serious unanswered questions," says Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican on the Armed Services Committee. The Pentagon is stalling on several investigations, and congressional inquiries have ground to a halt. The foot-dragging is astonishing, given that Congress has access to classified documents detailing the abuses outlined by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba in his report on Abu Ghraib.

U.S. Soldiers Abused Iraqis 'For Fun,' Court Told
U.S. troops who abused Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison did it "just for fun," a military investigator testified on Tuesday at a hearing for a female soldier photographed holding a naked Iraqi on a leash.

Can't Blair see that this country is about to explode? Can't Bush?'
The war is a fraud. I'm not talking about the weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist. Nor the links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qa'ida which didn't exist. Nor all the other lies upon which we went to war. I'm talking about the new lies.

Unreported War: U.S. Document Reveals Scale of Conflict
Iraq, we are told is safer. It is not. US military reports clearly show much of the violence in Iraq is not revealed to journalists, and thus goes largely unreported. This account of the insurgency across Iraq over three days last week provides astonishing proof that Iraq under its new, American-appointed Prime Minister, has grown more dangerous and violent.

U.S. General Witnessed Abuses, Iraqi Says
The American general who headed the U.S. military prison at Abu Ghraib personally witnessed abuses there, an Iraqi man alleged in a federal lawsuit protesting his treatment. In a videotaped deposition from Iraq played yesterday, Saddam "Sam" Saleh Aboud said he endured beatings at the prison. During one session, he said, his hood was removed and he saw Army Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski.

Unreported war: US document reveals scale of conflict

Iraq, we are told by Mr Blair, is safer. It is not. US military reports clearly show much of the violence in Iraq is not revealed to journalists, and thus goes largely unreported. This account of the insurgency across Iraq over three days last week provides astonishing proof that Iraq under its new, American-appointed Prime Minister, has grown more dangerous and violent.

The Real Reasons Bush Went to War
WMD was the rationale for invading Iraq. But what was really driving the US were fears over oil and the future of the dollar.Saddam controlled a country at the centre of the Gulf, a region with a quarter of world oil production in 2003, and containing more than 60% of the world's known reserves. With 115bn barrels of oil reserves, and perhaps as much again in the 90% of the country not yet explored, Iraq has capacity second only to Saudi Arabia. The US, in contrast, is the world's largest net importer of oil. Last year the US Department of Energy forecast that imports will cover 70% of domestic demand by 2025.

Iraq Is Not Improving, it's a Disaster
The security situation is calamitous. Two recent attacks killed nine US marines; an attack on the Iraqi minister of justice killed five bodyguards; bombings and attacks on Iraqi security forces have caused multiple deaths; targets in Falluja have been bombed by the US air force; foreigners have been kidnapped or executed with the aim of driving foreign troops and foreign companies out of Iraq. This, however, is the tip of the iceberg...

Death Toll of U.S. Forces in Iraq Reaches 900
Baghdad - A roadside bomb exploded north of Baghdad early Wednesday, killing one U.S. 1st Infantry Division soldier and bringing to 900 the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq since the beginning of military operations in March 2003.The Pentagon's latest casualty update, released Tuesday, put the death toll at 893 service members, plus two civilian Defense Department employees. There have been five military personnel reported killed since the last Pentagon update.

The Handover That Wasn't
Before his departure, CPA chief Paul Bremer issued 100 Orders to dramatically restructure Iraq's economy to fit free-market ideals. And no Iraqi, including future elected officials, can undo them.

Torturing Children
The biggest story of the Iraq war is not about missing weapons of mass destruction, or about deep-cover CIA officers getting their covers blown by vengeful White House agents, or even about 896 dead American soldiers. The biggest story of the Iraq war is about the torture of Iraqi children.

Saddam's People Are Winning the War
The transfer of sovereignty to the new Iraqi government of Iyad Allawi is a charade that will play itself out over the next weeks and months, and with tragic consequences. We will suffer a decade-long nightmare that will lead to the deaths of thousands more Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis. We will witness the creation of a viable and dangerous anti-American movement in Iraq ...

'America is not a Charitable Organisation - They Came to Steal from Iraq'
Outside on Sayed Ayatollah Ahmed Hassani al-Baghdadi's little lawn, the temperature is touching 60C. According to the Sayed, when America invaded Iraq "to start its new Middle Eastern project", Iraq was "like a sheep", exhausted by unjust sanctions and wars. "The Americans came to steal the petrol ... That's why there was a struggle between the Americans and the European powers. But now they have reached a deal by establishing the 'multinational forces'. They changed the name but the occupation still exists."

Arms Suppliers Scramble into Iraq
The Security Council's decision to end military sanctions on Iraq has triggered a rush by the world's weapons dealers to make a grab for a potentially multimillion-dollar new arms market in the already over-armed Middle East.

Secret Film Shows Iraq Prisoners Sodomized
Young male prisoners were filmed being sodomized by American soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, according to the journalist who first revealed the abuses there. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling, and the worst part is the soundtrack, of the boys shrieking. And this is your government at war.

Attorney General Warned Blair on Legality of War
Tony Blair was warned before the Iraq war by the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, that a UN court could rule Britain's invasion unlawful. Fearing that the International Court of Justice could rule it was illegal to go to war without the express authority of the UN Security Council, the Attorney General put senior barristers and international legal experts on standby to help to prepare the Government's defence if needed, legal sources said.

Allawi shot inmates in cold blood, say witnesses
Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government, according to two people who allege they witnessed the killings.

Allies Reel as Abuse Row Grows
New cases of alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers have been uncovered. The news comes three months after US media broadcast photos of detainees being sexually humiliated at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison. A congressional source said the Pentagon was "dragging its feet and intends to postpone any hearing until after" the November 2 presidential election.

Fact of the Matter Is that Facts Didn't Matter
Senate panel's report is a damning indictment of the Bush Doctrine. In an otherwise scathing report on how American intelligence agencies fell for misinformation that touted Iraq as an imminent threat to the United States, the Senate Intelligence Committee went out of its way to endorse the CIA finding that "the intelligence community has no credible information that Baghdad had foreknowledge of the 11 September attacks or any other Al Qaeda strike." This was also the preliminary conclusion of the bipartisan 9/11 commission appointed by the president. Yet Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney still insist that the war against Bin Laden somehow naturally extended to Iraq.

The Fall [in the sense of the sin at the Garden of Eden]
Iraq" Report concerning maltreated children in the torture-prison.

Iraq: An Intelligence Debacle...and Worse
In our various oral and written presentations on Iraq my veteran intelligence officer colleagues and I took no delight in sharply criticizing what we perceived to be the corruption of intelligence analysis at CIA. Nothing would have pleased us more than to have been proven wrong. It turns out we did not know the half of it.

A Report on United States War Crimes Against Iraq to the Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal
"It has never happened in history that a nation that has won a war has been held accountable for atrocities committed in preparing for and waging that war. We intend to make this one different. What took place was the use of technological material to destroy a defenseless country. From 125,000 to 300,000 people were killed... We recognize our role in history is to bring the transgressors to justice." Ramsey Clark [former Attorney General]

US secretly removed Iraqi uranium
The United States has secretly moved out more than 1.7 tonnes of enriched uranium and other radioactive materials from Iraq.The operation involved 20 US nuclear experts from the Energy Department's secret laboratories as well as an undisclosed number of US troops. US personnel packed the low-enriched uranium and roughly 1000 other highly radioactive devices, loaded them on a military plane and hauled them to the US on 23 June.

Resentment Is Festering in 'Little Falloujas'
Harnessing these "little Falloujas" back into the fold of civil Iraqi society is one of the great challenges facing the new government and its U.S. allies. A cycle of violence, distrust and radicalization has festered for a year in Sunni Iraq and will not go away easily.

Rumsfeld Gave Go-Ahead for Abu Ghraib Tactics
The former head of the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad has for the first time accused the American Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, of directly authorising Guantánamo Bay-style interrogation tactics.

U.S. Accused of Depleting Iraq Fund
U.S. officials in charge of the Development Fund for Iraq drained all but $900 million from the $20 billion fund by late last month in what a watchdog group has called an "11th-hour splurge."

Disappearing Prisoners
Are they dead? Are they alive? Where is the media? Does anybody out there care?"The picture that emerges is of a brass-knuckled quest for information . . . in which the traditional lines between right and wrong, legal and inhumane, are evolving and blurred."

At War
With a simple handwritten note, national security advisor Condoleezza Rice made her bid to author one of the biggest and most brazen lies of our lifetimes. No, Iraq is not sovereign, far from it.

Billions of revenue from oil 'missing'
A Christian charity has accused the U.S. coalition authority in Iraq of failing to account for up to $20bn (nearly £11bn) of oil revenues which should have been spent on relief and reconstruction projects.

Iraq is Worse Off Than Before the War Began
In a few key areas - electricity, the judicial system and overall security - the Iraq that America handed back to its residents Monday is worse off than before the war began last year, according to calculations in a new General Accounting Office report released Tuesday.

Sovereignty: Now the games really begin
The lingering question was how independent the interim government was going to be of US pressure and manipulation after it takes charge. Then, some representatives of that body had to go to the UN Security Council and personally assure the doubting permanent members - China, France and Russia - that they will indeed exercise autonomy, and thereby establish legitimacy.

US hands over power in Iraq
BAGHDAD: The US-led coalition handed power back to Iraq yesterday at a low-key ceremony two days earlier than expected. US overseer Paul Bremer flew home after handing over legal documents to Prime Minister Iyad Allawi at the hastily convened event in the capital.

Justice yet to be delivered in Iraq
As the world continues to debate the legitimacy of the war on Iraq and its alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction, little attention is given to the human rights tragedy that has slowly been unfolding there.

Speech Proves Bush & Cheney Lied About Iraq
In a speech given at the Georgetown University Law Center today, former Vice President Al Gore systematically analyzed how the Bush administration deliberately misled the country by claiming before the war that Iraq and al Qaeda were working together. Gore traced how President Bush and Vice President Cheney ignored warnings from officials in their own administration that there was no connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.

Will Iraq's mercenaries be brought to book?
Unaccountable and unregulated, the thousands of mercenaries currently operating in Iraq may not remain untouchable for much longer.

US troops 'suffocated' Iraqi general
The US Army plans to file charges against two military intelligence officers in the suffocation death of an Iraqi general during questioning in Iraq in November.

Saddam's doctor rebutts Iraq's story
Saddam Hussein's doctor says his book, In the Name of Terror, is intended to set the record straight on Iraq's history which he believes has suffered from a great deal of falsification.

Bombings stop oil flow from Iraqi south
Baghdad Saboteurs attacked two key southern oil pipelines for a second day Wednesday, cutting off all crude oil exports from the Gulf

U.S. Trucks Carrying Radioactive Materials Intercepted In Iraq-Kuwait Border
The UAE-based daily Al-Khaleej reported on Monday that Kuwaiti tariff officials have intercepted a truck loaded with heavy radioactive materials in the Iraq-Kuwait border.

Systematic Pattern of Rape by US Forces
Amal Kadham Swadi, an Iraqi attorney representing women detainees, told The Guardian she believes that sexualized violence and abuse committed by US soldiers against female prisoners goes far beyond a few isolated cases. It’s "happening all across Iraq."

Army Ignored Ban On Private Interrogators
The Army hired private interrogators to work in Iraq and Afghanistan despite the service's policy of barring contractors from military intelligence jobs such as interrogating prisoners.

The More Things Change
With the recent court-martial trial of one of the soldiers complicit in the widespread torturing of Iraqis in Abu Ghraib prison having come and gone, Iraqis see the newest promise made by the U.S. -- to clean up their act regarding the treatment of detained Iraqis -- as being yet more empty words

Bush's Five Steps
The U.S. is losing the war in Iraq. The Bush administration has lost the battle for Iraqi hearts and minds; four out of five Iraqis hold a negative view of the U.S. occupation authority and U.S. troops. The U.S. has, with the expose of the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, lost whatever shreds of moral authority it once claimed in Iraq, the Arab world, or the international community.

US Imperial Policing
What is perhaps most surprising about the abuses committed against civilians at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq is the fact that they came as a surprise at all. The ‘sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses’ found by Major General Taguba has a long history within the tradition of US imperial policing of third world nations.

Whose Human Rights is the Occupation Defending?
The disaster that is the occupation of Iraq is much more than the war that plays nightly across U.S. television screens. The violence of grinding poverty, exacerbated by economic sanctions after the first Gulf War, has been deepened by the US invasion. Every day the economic policies of the occupying authorities create more hunger among Iraq's working people, transforming them into a pool of low-wage, semi-employed labor, desperate for jobs at almost any price

The American Legacy in Iraq
Unleash the dogs of war, they say, and this, it seems, our man in Baghdad, L. Paul Bremer, has done. It's been something of a magician's trick -- in the space of weeks, turning widespread inchoate feelings of dissatisfaction, disillusionment, and dislike into something akin to a national resistance movement.

The War On Iraq's Workers
The disaster that is the occupation of Iraq is much more than the suicide bombings and guerilla ambushes of U.S. troops which play nightly across U.S. television screens. The violence of grinding poverty, exacerbated by economic sanctions after the first Gulf War, has been deepened by the latest invasion. Every day the economic policies of the occupying authorities create more hunger among Iraq's working people, transforming them into a pool of low-wage, semi-employed labor, desperate for jobs at almost any price .

Sexual Domination in Uniform: An American Value
The Abu Ghraib portraits of sexual humiliation and submission have exposed the unbelievably tangled strands of racism, misogyny, homophobia, national arrogance and hyper-masculinity that characterize the U.S. military. Militarized sexual domination is neither "contrary to American values" nor simply the work of a few "bad apples." It is, rather, a daily practice.

Torture and Rumors of Torture
"[Hersh] said he had seen all the Abu Ghraib pictures. He said, 'You haven't begun to see evil...' then trailed off. He said, 'horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run.' He looked frightened."

Who is Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi?
The US intelligence apparatus has created it own terrorist organizations. And at the same time, it creates its own terrorist warnings concerning the terrorist organizations which it has itself created. In turn, it has developed a cohesive multibillion dollar counterterrorism program "to go after" these terrorist organizations.

'New Europe' cools to Iraq war after Abu Ghraib scandal
Poles, Hungarians, Czechs question role as U.S. allies. The photos were the last straw. When I saw those pictures, it was a signal to admit that I was wrong.

Iraqi education official killed
The Iraqi people just don't seem to like the government the US has picked for them, do they?

Alcohol, prostitution alleged at Abu Ghraib
Weeks before U.S. military investigators began uncovering evidence of mistreatment of detainees, commanders at Abu Ghraib prison launched a crackdown on alcohol abuse and told intelligence troops that guards were suspected of soliciting sex from Iraqi prostitutes, according to soldiers and officers who worked at the troubled compound.

American fib factory
The White House's Iraq fib factory went into overdrive last week, ballyhooing claims that the new "caretaker government" the UN had supposedly just installed in Baghdad was "fully sovereign" and "totally independent."

You don't know shit about Iraq
Its about time that I sat down and told you this. I was hoping it wouldn't have to be me, but someone needed to finally do it. For quite some time now, you have been going off about what we "need" to do in Iraq. You have been telling us how "things are going" over there, and making suggestions and proclamations about what "we need to do" based on what you seem to believe is a wealth of knowledge about the situation.

US tried to plant WMDs, failed: whistleblower
According to a stunning report posted by a retired Navy Lt Commander and 28-year veteran of the Defense Department (DoD), the Bush administration’s assurance about finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was based on a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plan to “plant” WMDs inside the country. Nelda Rogers, the Pentagon whistleblower, claims the plan failed when the secret mission was mistakenly taken out by “friendly fire”, the Environmentalists Against War report.

Corruption stench as company loses Iraq contract
Morris Corporation, a Queensland catering company that has delivered meals to the armed forces in hot-spots from Somalia to Cambodia, was dumped last year by the giant US military contractor Halliburton, losing a $100 million contract to supply meals to US troops in Iraq.

Some Iraqis Held Outside Control of Top General
The unusual lines of authority in the detainees' handling are part of a tangled network of authority over prisoners in Iraq, in which the military police, military intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, various military commanders and the Pentagon itself have all played a role. Congressional investigators who are looking into the scandal over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners say those arrangements have made it difficult to determine where the final authority lies.

The Roots of Torture
It's not easy to get a member of Congress to stop talking. Much less a room full of them. But as a small group of legislators watched the images flash by in a small, darkened hearing room in the Rayburn Building last week, a sickened silence descended. There were 1,800 slides and several videos, and the show went on for three hours. The nightmarish images showed American soldiers at Abu Ghraib Prison forcing Iraqis to masturbate. American soldiers sexually assaulting Iraqis with chemical light sticks. American soldiers laughing over dead Iraqis whose bodies had been abused and mutilated. There was simply nothing to say. "It was a very subdued walk back to the House floor," said Rep. Jane Harman, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. "People were ashen."

Responsibility for abuse goes to the top
While cries for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld over the Iraqi prisoner abuse embarrassment may be in order, it would be good for the nation to look beyond the Pentagon when affixing responsibility.

Iraq: the DU dust settles
Following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the incidence of radioactive contamination on Iraqi territory is being linked to the use of depleted uranium (DU) in munitions used by Coalition forces. JID's weapons specialist reviews the continuing political fall-out for Washington and its allies.

Worldwide Protests Demand Iraq Pullout
The world's second largest day of protest took place yesterday -- people gathering together to say that pre-emptive unilateral war based on lies is wrong. The largest day of protest was before the U.S. began the mistaken war that many believe has turned into a disaster. These peaceful protests should send a signal to the Bush Administration. However, contrary to common sense, the administration believes that more death, more destruction, and more bombing is a sign of success.

A War's Woeful Results
Although ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction was the administration's major selling point for the war, it is now clear that Hussein's regime no longer possessed those weapons. And European allies, including Poland — which Bush on Friday used as a post-communist model of how Iraq could evolve — feel misled and more worried than ever about their security.

No Skunks Allowed
Why does a Senate intelligence panel refuse to hear from the analysts who were right about Iraq?

Spy Case Casts Fresh Doubt on War Legality
Dramatic new evidence pointing to serious doubts in the government about the legality of the war in Iraq was passed to government lawyers shortly before they abandoned the prosecution of the GCHQ whistleblower Katharine Gun. In an interview with the Guardian she described her reaction when she first saw the US National Security Agency email asking for GCHQ's help in bugging the offices and homes of UN diplomats...

UN Spying and Evasions of American Journalism
Tony Blair and George W. Bush want the issue of spying at the United Nations to go away. That's one of the reasons the Blair government ended its prosecution of whistleblower Katharine Gun on Wednesday. But within 24 hours, the scandal of U.N. spying exploded further when one of Blair's former cabinet ministers said that British spies closely monitored conversations of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan during the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq last year.

New Clues to War
For those still puzzling over the whys and wherefores of Washington's invasion of Iraq 11 months ago, major new, but curiously unnoticed, clues were offered this week by two central players in the events leading up to the war.

Not Everyone Got It Wrong on Iraqi WMDs
"We were all wrong," David Kay, the Bush administration's top weapons sleuth in Iraq, recently told members of Congress after acknowledging that there were probably no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and contradicting President Bush's pre-war claims to the contrary. The Kay remarks appear to be an attempt to spin potentially damaging data in a way that is to the president's political advantage. President Bush's decision to create an "independent commission" to investigate the intelligence failure reinforces this suspicion. The proposed commission's findings would be delayed until late fall, after the November 2004 presidential election.

Iraq Probe Said to be Based on Warren Commission Model
By setting up the investigation himself, Bush, who had resisted a probe, will have greater control over its membership and mandate. The senior White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it would be patterned after the Warren Commission, so named for its chairman Earl Warren, then the chief justice of the Supreme Court, which led a 10-month investigation that concluded in 1964 that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing President Kennedy.

Bush began Iraq plan pre-9/11
President Bush and his senior aides began plotting the invasion of Iraq just days after he took office in January 2001 and not, as the administration has indicated, after terrorists struck against the United States eight months later, according to former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, who was forced from his post in December 2002.

O'Neill, Powell Expose the Iraq Ruse
The credibility of the Bush Administration's Iraq policy took several hits in the last few days. First, there was the "WMD in Iraq" report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which concludes: "Administration officials systematically misrepresented the threat" that Iraq posed.

What does Saddam's POW status mean?
There's been some confusion at the Pentagon about his legal status, but now Saddam Hussein is officially being classified as a "prisoner of war." So what does that mean? ...

Iraq Pipelines, Storage Tanks Set on Fire
The Iraqi people are smarter than most Americans. Most americans still think this war was about weapons of mass destruction and getting Saddam. But the Iraqi people know that this was is and always was about grabbing the oil.

Letters the Troops Have Sent Me
As we approach the holidays, I've been thinking a lot about our kids who are in the armed forces serving in Iraq. I've received hundreds of letters from our troops in Iraq -- and they are telling me something very different from what we are seeing on the evening news.

Saddam’s Capture Means Trouble for U.S.
The US Government armed Saddam, used him as a pawn against Iran, winked at the invasion of Kuwait, then double-crossed him. Payback will be a bitch!

We Finally Got Our Frankenstein... and He Was In a Spider Hole!
Thank God Saddam is finally back in American hands! He must have really missed us. Man, he sure looked bad! But, at least he got a free dental exam today. That's something most Americans can't get. America used to like Saddam. We LOVED Saddam. We funded him. We armed him. We helped him gas Iranian troops.

Made in the USA
At every turn of the war against Iraq, U.S. and British forces faced weapons systems largely developed and supplied to Iraq by American, European, Russian and Chinese companies. Call it globalization at its worst.

More on the connection between the U.S., American corporations and Iraq’s weapons programs
Saddam Hussein got a huge boost from officials in the first Bush presidency — many of whom now work for George W. Bush — who either looked the other way or directly assisted Hussein’s military buildup. Both the Reagan and Bush I administrations routinely ignored evidence that Iraq was using its weapons of mass destruction.

America’s corporate merchants of death in Iraq
In 1983, Rumsfeld, then a private citizen, traveled to Baghdad to meet with the Iraqi dictator. Rumsfeld delivered President Ronald Reagan’s personal message of support to Hussein, who was already three years into his eventual eight-year war with Iran. The American envoy also discussed a proposed joint-venture oil pipeline with the Iraqi leader.

I R A Q G A T E — 1 9 8 0 - 1 9 9 4
Iraqgate: Saddam Hussein, U.S. Policy and the Prelude to the Persian Gulf War, 1980-1994 reproduces on microfiche approximately 1,900 documents representing nearly 10,000 pages of rarely-seen documentation from the highest levels of government. The collection brings together a wealth of materials which trace U.S. policy toward Iraq prior to the Persian Gulf War.

Officers Say U.S. Aided Iraq in War Despite Use of Gas
A covert American program during the Reagan administration provided Iraq with critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence agencies knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war, according to senior military officers with direct knowledge of the program.

U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual Use Exports to Iraq
U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare - Related Dual Use Exports to Iraq and their possible impact on health consequences of the Gulf War. A 1994 Report by the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affiars.

U.S. military items exported or transferred to Iraq
U.S. military items exported or transferred to Iraq in the 1980s. From the United States General Accounting Office, released February 7, 1994.

Anthrax for Export
U.S. companies sold Iraq the ingredients for a witch's brew. Most Americans listening to the President did not know that the United States supplied Iraq with much of the raw material for creating a chemical and biological warfare program. Nor did the media report that U.S. companies sold Iraq more than $1 billion worth of the components needed to build nuclear weapons and diverse types of missiles, including the infamous Scud.

U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq Buildup
High on the Bush administration's list of justifications for war against Iraq are President Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons, nuclear and biological programs, and his contacts with international terrorists. What U.S. officials rarely acknowledge is that these offenses date back to a period when Hussein was seen in Washington as a valued ally.

Stand-off over repayment of Iraqi debts resolved
The US convinced the creditor nations to write off Iraq's debt by holding out the promise that they will be allowed to bid on reconstruction contracts, which are NOT loans to Iraq (per Bush) but outright cash grants from the US taxpayer. The nations that wrote off Iraq's debt will still get their money, just from a different bank account. Yours. What this means is that Bush has moved the Iraqi debt onto the backs of the US Taxpayer.

Saddam's Best Friend
How the C.I.A. made it a lot easier for the Iraqi leader to rearm.

We Caught The Wrong Guy
Saddam Hussein, former employee of the American federal government, was captured near a farmhouse in Tikrit in a raid performed by other employees of the American federal government. That sounds pretty deranged, right? Perhaps, but it is also accurate. The unifying thread binding together everyone assembled at that Tikrit farmhouse is the simple fact that all of them – the soldiers as well as Hussein – have received pay from the United States for services rendered.

Saddam Hussein captured
Having found Saddam, this war has lost its last stated purpose. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Saddam is captured. His sons are dead, his government is destroyed. It is time for our kids to come home.

Cheney oil firm accused of overcharging $61m in Iraq
December 13: A Pentagon audit has found that Halliburton, the company formerly run by the US vice president, Dick Cheney, overcharged the government by $61m (about £35m) for delivering petrol to Iraq.

The same old racket in Iraq
To the victors, the spoils: Bush's colonialism will only deepen resistance

A Quagmire of Confusion
The administration's move to blacklist the very same countries it is asking to forgive Iraq's debt is not a sign of arrogance but hopelessly muddled decision-making.

More Dangerous Every Day The clue may be George Bush's 2-hour top-secret visit
Is the "security situation" in Iraq improving? The best clue may be George Bush's 2-hour, top-secret visit to Iraq on Thanksgiving Day, in which he never left the heavily fortified grounds of the Baghdad International Airport. It's a miracle that Bush's plane even landed. Jordanian commercial planes that flew aid groups and journalists in and out of Baghdad have now ceased serving the airport.

1,700 U.S. soldiers quit Iraq
One thousand and seven hundred U.S. soldiers have deserted their posts in Iraq, with many of them failing to return to military duty after getting permission to go back to the United States, according to the French weekly magazine Le Canard Enchaine.

Iraq Could Produce Another Enron
Scrounging up money for anything Iraq-related has been the Bush administration's most consistent economic policy. And it's been ridiculously easy ever since Congress blessed the first "emergency package" defense budget addendum in April.

Billboard Politics
Wonder why things are going so badly in Iraq, or why President Bush's policies there still maintain a relatively high approval rating back home? A small paragraph, buried in a recent New York Times "News Analysis" can give some insight into both questions.

A Double Standard for Heroes?
Jessica Lynch and Shoshanna Johnson underwent nearly identical ordeals in Iraq. But only the white soldier's face made the cover of Time magazine.

Bush's Iraq Visit a Pre-Election PR Stunt
"Electoral raid on Baghdad" read the headline in the Paris daily Liberation which summed up European newspaper editorial reaction to President George W Bush's Thanksgiving Day visit to US troops in Iraq. The brief visit, arranged in top secrecy, occurred too late for most papers to give it full coverage, and almost all ran the same wire agency photo of Mr Bush, clad in a gray army bomber jacket, carrying a large tray of roast turkey, potatoes and grapes through a crowd of smiling soldiers.

U.S. Plan in Iraq to Shift Control Hits Major Snag
The American plan to turn over power in Iraq more quickly was thrown into disarray on Wednesday when the country's most powerful cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, made public his opposition to a proposal for indirect elections. Spokesmen for Ayatollah Sistani, who exercises strong influence over Iraq's majority Shiites, said he insisted that the election, planned for June, be a direct ballot and not the caucus-style vote called for in the American plan. He also insists that the new Iraqi government have a more overtly Islamic character.

Truth and Other Casualties
Retracted News Stories, Hidden Body Bags, and a Deaf Ear for Experienced Soldiers: No Wonder Morale is Down in Iraq

Latest Iraqi attacks were aided by donkeys
Insurgents Friday answered a week of high-tech assaults by US forces in Iraq with a bit of well-orchestrated, low-tech guerrilla warfare, using donkeys to mount rocket attacks against two hotels and the nation's Oil

Bush's other war
US intelligence is being scapegoated for getting it right on Iraq. In Baghdad, the Bush administration acts as though it is astonished by the postwar carnage. Its feigned shock is a consequence of Washington's intelligence wars. In fact, not only was it warned of the coming struggle and its nature - ignoring a $5m state department report on The Future of Iraq - but Bush himself signed another document in which that predictive information is contained.

Attacks make it hard to see light at end of tunnel
The deaths of 16 US troops in Iraq on Sunday underscored concerns that President Bush's strategy in postwar Iraq is driven more by a wish than a plan.

Shocked and Awed
Iraqi Children Depict "Operation Iraqi Freedom". I was catapulted into the depth of the actual crimes committed against the children of Iraq by the Bush administration's "war on terror." Their minds and hearts will forever be tattooed by the tactics and terrifying weaponry of American-style techno-war. These drawings are a testament to that traumatic imprinting.

Bring 'em On
Remember how they showed a counter every night while US hostages were being held in Iran? Here's the chart I'd like to see on the nightly news these days.

Iraq rebuilding cash 'goes missing'
A NEW Iraq scandal erupted today as a report claimed billions of dollars earmarked for rebuilding the country have vanished after being handed to the United States-controlled governing body in Baghdad.

Iraqi Prisoner Died After Marine Grabbed His Throat, Officials Say
An Iraqi prisoner whose death sparked an investigation into treatment of prisoners by Marines died of a broken neck after being grabbed by the throat by a Marine, officials said Tuesday.

Shiites To Join Armed Resistance
It is high time for Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq to join hands in resisting the U.S.-led occupation of their country and drive out the invaders, a Shiite imam said Tuesday, October 21, echoing similar positions by Shiite figures. "Now that the real intentions of the occupation authorities have surfaced - notably after they have announced that they would stay in Iraq until 2006 and tend to exploit the country's sources - Shiites and Sunnis must act in unison to drive the occupiers out of the country and break the yoke of colonialism."

Six in Ten Iraqis Unemployed, but U. S. Subcontractors Hire Cheap Migrant Laborers
Even though seven million Iraqis are unemployed1, U.S. sub-contractors are rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure with cheap migrant labor from South Asia.

U.S. Selling Off Iraq-Owned Companies
The privatizing of Iraq's government-dominated economy will begin with service companies, such as a taxi-limousine service and an architectural design firm.

Bush’s News War
It started out as a little crowd control in Baghdad. But as U.S. troops entered the streets to restore order earlier this month, the protest turned ugly.

The Truth About Our Good Intentions
The U.S. presence in Iraq looks like one more foreign aid program in which moneyed Americans set up shop in distant villages to teach people how to do things the American way.

Lies about Iraq rise to level of the absurd
Lies beget more lies; a policy built on deception will always require further deception to sustain itself.

Halliburton accused of overcharging for oil
Halliburton has so far received over $1.4 billion to restore Iraq's oil industry. A US Democratic lawmaker has accused Halliburton, the Texas oil services company once run by Vice President Dick Cheney, of overcharging the government for gasoline the firm imports into Iraq.

Iraq oil - the target for years
US policy towards Iraq has always been shaped by the country’s rich oil resources, its strategic location on the Gulf and its regional weight.

An Occupied Country
It has become clear, very quickly, that Iraq is not a liberated country, but an occupied country. We became familiar with the term "occupied country" during World War II. We talked of German-occupied France, German-occupied Europe. And after the war we spoke of Soviet-occupied Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Eastern Europe. It was the Nazis, the Soviets, who occupied other countries.

US Soldiers Bulldoze Farmers' Crops
US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops. [a tactic popular with Zionist troops who destroy Palestinian groves]

No money, no play: US on the brink in Iraq
The US is now forced to turn to the creditor countries, including war opponents France and Germany, and international financial institutions (IFIs) because it has nowhere else to go. The US initially had two options: to turn to the Iraqis or to the American taxpayers.

UN estimate for rebuilding Iraq half that of Bush’s—where’s the money going?
Basic reconstruction in Iraq next year would cost less than half the amount requested by the Bush administration from the US Congress, according to a joint report prepared by the United Nations and World Bank. The report estimates that $9 billion are needed for reconstruction in Iraq in 2004. The report was released the same day that an $18.6 billion reconstruction budget was approved by the House Appropriations Committee. [Iraqis are willing to rebuild their own country for only a fraction of the cost of the UN report]

A Shi'ite warning to America
Iraq's Shi'ites speak with several very influential voices, which Pepe Escobar hears loud and clear, and their message is: Shi'ites are not happy with the situation at present, and unless it changes, so will their passive wait-and-see approach to the US presence in their country.

Questions are Raised on Awarding of Contracts in Iraq
On Wednesday the Iraqi council, in a testy exchange with the occupation administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, challenged an American decision to spend $1.2 billion to train 35,000 Iraqi police officers in Jordan when such training could be done in Iraq for a fraction of the cost. Germany and France have offered to provide such training free. "There is mismanagement right and left, and I think we have to sit with Congress face to face to discuss this. A lot of American money is being wasted, I think. We are victims and the American taxpayers are victims." [while all the time the Bush administration adds to the fortunes of his friends]

Iraq on the auction block
"Most of the Iraqi private sector was put up for sale yesterday." For that startling bit of news you would have had to read The Times of London. Almost nobody took notice in the United States when Iraq's occupation government _ run by U.S.-picked worthies _ enacted laws allowing foreigners to buy 100 percent of Iraqi's non-energy business and finance.

Islamic Nations Call for U.S. Out of Iraq
The world's Islamic nations opened their biggest meeting in three years Saturday with a call for the eviction of U.S. troops from Iraq and the rapid restoration of its sovereignty.

Officials Say Bush Seeks $600 Million to Hunt Iraq Arms
The Bush administration is seeking more than $600 million from Congress to continue the hunt for conclusive evidence that Saddam Hussein's government had an illegal weapons program, officials said Wednesday. Counting the money already spent, the total price tag for the search will approach $1 billion.

One Year Later, the President's Evidence for Going to War remains Illusory
In the year since President Bush began his public campaign to justify attacking Saddam Hussein, launched in an Ohio speech on October 7th, 2002, he has been unable to corroborate the majority of his arguments for going to war. On nearly every count the President's claims about Iraq's weapons program have proven to be unfounded.

A Band of Brothers: The Rebuilding of Iraq
America's Iraq-sticker-shock may turn to anger when taxpayers discover the small group of men and companies reaping the benefits of President Bush's newly found appreciation for nation building.

Bush has misled U.S. and failed American military
Many are realizing, as did the international community, that President Bush misled us about the necessity for war against Iraq. He led us to believe that Saddam Hussein was connected to 9/11, that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, that we knew their location, that Saddam had links with al-Qaida, and that Saddam would pass WMD to terrorists. Can anyone forget the president's assertion that, with Saddam Hussein in power, the next terrorist attack could result in a mushroom cloud over one of our cities? It was a campaign of disinformation and fear.

Halliburton's Iraq sweetheart of a deal rises to $1.4B
The value of Halliburton Co.'s contract to restore Iraq's oilfields has risen to $1.4 billion, according to government data posted Wednesday. This is good news for Vice President Dick Cheney who is still drawing an annual compensation check from Halliburton.

Welcome to Vietnam, Mr. President
The president of the United States decides to go to war against a nation led by a brutal dictator supported by one-party rule. That dictator has made war on his neighbors. The president decides this is a threat to the United States.

Search in Iraq Finds No Banned Weapons
After searching for nearly six months, U.S. forces and CIA experts have found no chemical or biological weapons in Iraq and have determined that Iraq's nuclear program was in only "the very most rudimentary" state, the Bush administration's chief investigator formally told Congress yesterday.

Report Offered Bleak Outlook About Iraq Oil
The findings of a secret government task force established last fall contradicted the Bush administration's assertion that Iraq's oil wealth would pay rebuilding costs.

An Overstretched Army in Iraq
The strain on soldiers is another regrettable consequence of the unilateral way America went to war in Iraq.

92 held after US raids on homes
Violence flared yesterday in the dangerous Euphrates river towns west of Baghdad.

Washington Insiders' New Firm Consults on Contracts in Iraq
Businessmen linked by their close ties to President Bush have set up a firm to advise companies that want to do business in Iraq.

''Corporations are the main victors in Iraq''
Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator of the Iraqi occupation, made that clear back in July when he declared that Iraq needs to accept foreign investment and privatization of its oil before a permanent government is put in charge of the country. In other words, democracy is welcome only after the most important economic decisions regarding the future of Iraqis have been decided for them.

With No Plan Apparent, GIs in Iraq Slowly Becoming Frantic
If retention for the Army National Guard is of any importance, current members need to have faith in our government and our leaders. Right now, where we are, we can't see anyone taking a stand for the soldiers (as it isn't just us being treated this way but many, many soldiers).

"As you may have heard, the U.S. is putting together a constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? Think about it -- it was written by very smart people, it's served us well for over two hundred years, and besides, we're not using it anymore." ~Jay Leno

The Big Lie
An investigation of files and archive film for my TV documentary Breaking The Silence, together with interviews with former intelligence officers and senior Bush officials have revealed that Bush and Blair knew all along that Saddam Hussein was effectively disarmed.

Halliburton Creating Iraqi Secret Police At Your Expense
To explain to the American people why the U.S. is spending more on the “war on terrorism”—some $215 million a day—than it does on education, Congress should audit the profiteers that service the military, starting with the company Dick Cheney headed before he became vice president.

Significant U.S. Forces Expected to Remain in Iraq Through 2004
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said Thursday that "significant forces" from the United States probably will remain in Iraq through the end of next year.

President Bush Reverses Position on Necessity of U.N. Support in Iraq
On Tuesday President Bush took his appeal for aid in the reconstruction of Iraq to the United Nations, the same body he dismissed a year ago as nearly "irrelevant"1 for failing to support his war against Saddam Hussein.

Jumpy U.S. soldiers fire on official, reporters
In the last six days, U.S. troops have shot at Iraqi police, journalists, a wedding party and a top Italian diplomat searching for looted antiquities.

U.S. Soldier Kills Baghdad Tiger
A U.S. soldier shot dead a rare Bengal tiger at Baghdad zoo after the animal injured a colleague who was trying to feed it through the cage bars during an after hours party at the zoo. The night watchman said the soldiers had arrived in military vehicles but were casually dressed and were drinking beer.

Big lie on Iraq comes full circle
Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda chief (director of communications, in the current parlance), once said that if you are going to lie, you should tell a big lie. That may be good advice, but the question remains: What happens when people begin to doubt the big lie? Herr Goebbels never lived to find out. Some members of the Bush administration may be in the process of discovering that, given time, the big lie turns on itself.

"Both Wars were planned in advance before 9/11"
In an Interview with former British Minister Michael Meacher, which will be broadcasted by INN News Report on Friday, 6PM EST on U.S. Television. Meacher explained, that both Wars against Iraq and Afghanistan were planned in Advance before 9/11; he spoke about the role of PNAC, Oil and Cheney's controversial Energy Task Force in 2001.

Americans draw a veil of secrecy as casualties grow
A culture of secrecy has descended upon the occupation authorities in Iraq. They will give no tally of the Iraqi civilian lives lost each day. They will not comment on the killing by an American soldier of one of their own Iraqi interpreters yesterday - he was shot dead in front of the Italian diplomat who was the official adviser to the new Iraqi Ministry of Culture - and they cannot explain how General Sultan Hashim Ahmed, the former Iraqi minister of defence and a potential war criminal, should now be described by one of the most senior US officers in Iraq as "a man of honour and integrity".

Iraq ex-defense chief in custody
Iraq's former defense minister, who by some accounts ran afoul of Saddam Hussein during the war this spring, turned himself in on Friday, according to US Central Command.

Seoul May Send 10,000 Troops to Iraq
South Korea could send up to 10,000 combat troops to Iraq, among them highly trained special forces, in what would be the largest deployment by Seoul on behalf of the United States since the Vietnam War, according to sources here.

It Was the Oil and It Is Like Vietnam
People who only want to hear good news from their own perspective are easily taken in by con men, and the con man this time was Ahmed Chalabi, an Iraqi expatriate facing 22 years at hard labor in Jordan for embezzlement. This is the character upon whom Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz--themselves (neo)con men--relied for insight into Iraq, and who told them they'd be welcomed by cheering, flower-bearing, confetti-slinging crowds.

Across the U.S., Concern Grows About the Course of War in Iraq
These days many people are growing concerned about what is taking place there, unhappy with the mounting costs, disturbed by the casualties and, most of all, wondering how it is all going to end.

Iraqi Leader Says U.S. Troops Mistreat Civilians
A member of Iraq's Governing Council Monday accused U.S. troops of regularly mistreating Iraqi civilians so that the population had come to regard American forces as an army of occupation.

Seeking honesty in U.S. policy
During the gulf war in 1991, when I was in charge of the American Embassy in Baghdad, I placed a copy of Lewis Carroll's ``Alice in Wonderland'' on my office coffee table. I thought it conveyed far better than words ever could the weird world that was Iraq at that time, a world in which nothing was what it seemed. It is clearly time to dust the book off and again display it prominently, only this time because our own government has dragged the country down a rabbit hole, all the while trying to convince the American people that life in newly liberated Iraq is not as distorted as it seems.

The Road Map to Empire
In the war’s sinister aftermath, the entire world knows that the pretext for the invasion of Iraq was based on fabricated evidence and doctored intelligence. The facts regarding Iraq’s alleged WMDs had been carefully manipulated. The lies were known and documented prior to the war, discussed behind closed doors not only at the UN Security Council but also on Capitol Hill.

Killings by US Troops Outrage Iraqis
Thousands of angry residents sprayed an armory's worth of bullets into the air, brandished rocket-propelled grenade launchers and vowed to initiate a new wave of attacks against American forces.

Dubya Lowballs Real Cost of Iraqi Operations
President Bush's $87 billion request for military and reconstruction operations primarily in war-torn Iraq for next year produced some sticker shock among lawmakers and taxpayers, but it's likely to serve as a simple down payment for the ultimate cost.The funds sought by the president -- $51 billion to support the 152,000 troops in Iraq, $21 billion to rebuild the shattered infrastructure, with the rest going to support operations in Afghanistan -- will cover only estimated expenses for next year and comes on the heels of $79 billion that Congress already has approved.

The Neatest Thing about That $87 Billion
Time to follow Alice for another quick trip down Washington's rabbit hole. Just take a look at what's about to happen with President Bush's request for $87 billion to continue U.S. military operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What Can $87 Billion Buy?
On September 7th, President Bush asked Congress for an additional $87 billion for the war in Iraq, acknowledging that the engagement in Iraq is going to cost many hundreds of billions of dollars. This was a surprise considering that prior to the war, the administration dismissed such estimates, and even fired its top economic adviser, Lawrence Lindsey, for suggesting those estimates were correct. To get some perspective, here are some real-life comparisons about what $87 billion means.

The Promise and the Threat
The Myth: Iraqis, prior to occupation, lived in little beige tents set up on the sides of little dirt roads all over Baghdad. The men and boys would ride to school on their camels, donkeys and goats. These schools were larger versions of the home units and for every 100 students, there was one turban-wearing teacher who taught the boys rudimentary math (to count the flock) and reading. Girls and women sat at home, in black burkas, making bread and taking care of 10-12 children.

Walk in my boots, then tell me I'm complaining
I'm tired of reading letters telling soldiers to quit whining and do their job. People who are writing these letters have no clue as to what is going on over here.

Nice War. Here's the Bill.
Let's face it. Rebuilding Iraq is going to be far more expensive than Americans have been led to believe, and the oil isn't going to pay for it.

Facing the truth about Iraq
By most measures of what the Bush administration forecast for its adventure in Iraq, it is already a failure. The war was going to make the Middle East a more peaceful place. It was going to undercut terrorism. It was going to show the evil dictators of the world that American power is not to be resisted. It was going to improve the lives of ordinary Iraqis. It was going to stabilize oil markets. The American army was going to be greeted with flowers. None of that happened.

Who's Losing Iraq?
We're getting into very volatile territory in the Middle East. As Paul Bremer admitted last week, the cost of the Iraq adventure is going to be spectacular: $2 billion for electrical demands and $16 billion to deliver clean water. We're losing one or two American soldiers every day. Saddam and Osama are still lurking and scheming — the "darkness which may be felt."

U.S. Sinking in Iraq Quagmire
Faced with persistent sabotage and an increase in guerrilla violence, the Bush administration faces unpalatable options in Iraq, especially as the country approaches the beginning of the year before the election. Real imperial powers ought not to be distracted by elections.

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