Safia Taleb Al Souhail was recognized by President Bush's SOTU address with this introduction: "Eleven years ago, Safia's father was assassinated by Saddam's intelligence service. Three days ago in Baghdad, Safia was finally able to vote for the leaders of her country -- and we are honored that she is with us tonight." This year's chairwarmer is an interesting person for the President to have chosen to highlight in his speech. Especially considering how much work she's done for the neocon movement, the fact that she hadn't lived in Iraq for 30 years, was an American-placed a member of the Iraqi interim government, and the fact that she's the new Iraqi ambassador to Egypt. You may also remember that she was paraded in front of us back in 2002 as justification for going after Saddam. , It's interesting to note that her sister blames the US for her father's death, saying that the CIA sold him out because they needed Saddam in power at that point. Shades of the incubator story, no? More research ongoing at KOS.
When respected journalist Farnaz Fassihi wrote her friends a letter about the bleakness of trying to live in Iraq as a journalist and a westerner, I doubt she realized it would become public, and that the WSJ would recall her, and place her on a mandated "vacation" until the election is over.
Iraqi women beg to be killed as American soldiers sodomize their children (link is an .rm file, the bit about mothers and children starts about 1:31), according to journalist Seymour Hersh who reports seeing unreleased footage from Abu Ghraib. The question remains unanswered as to why he'll talk about it in a speech, but not publish it in the New Yorker. It's also worth asking, if these allegations are true, who else has seen this footage and why is it not being reported?
That American forces use depleted uranium in our weapons isn't news, but these statistic are a little spooky. According to Bob Nichols at the Dissident Voice, we've unleased 4,000,000 pounds of DU in Iraq. That's the radioactive equivalent of 250,000 Nagasaki bombs (pdf) says Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, former chief of Naval Staff in India. And since it's dust...it travels with the wind, which means Europe will see some fallout. It also turns out that most of the soldiers didn't know they were using DU, didn't know what DU was, and are now suffering reactions to it.
Can it be called war profiteering? The size and scope of the government contracts awarded to Halliburton in connection with the war in Iraq are significantly greater than was previously disclosed and demonstrate the U.S. military's increasing reliance on for-profit corporations to run its logistical operations. Independent experts estimate that as much as one-third of the monthly $3.9 billion cost of keeping U.S. troops in Iraq is going to independent contractors.
"Bring them home now!" is a campaign of military families, veterans, active duty personnel, reservists and others opposed to the ongoing war in Iraq and galvanized to action by George W. Bush's inane and reckless challenge to armed Iraqis resisting occupation to "Bring 'em on." At a news conference yesterday, reported the Washington Post, the organization has stated their goals of returning to their home bases the 150,000 U.S. troops serving in Iraq.
Kidnapping women and children is a justifiable action, says Col. David Hogg, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division when his troops picked up the wife and daughter of an Iraqi lieutenant general. They left a note: "If you want your family released, turn yourself in." A quick glance at the Geneva Conventions and Protocols would suggest that this is illegal. "The ends justifies the means" seems to be the current Conservative meme, but how well will these tactics serve us in the long run?