[news filter]Iraq veteran wins blog prize
"The timing of the award is almost as striking as the writing which it honours. A former American machine gunner's memoir of a year's tour of duty in Iraq based on his blog has just won a major accolade at precisely the moment when the US military high command is clamping down on blogs among the rank and file."
Vet Kills Himself After VA Turns Him Away
Marine veteran Jonathan Schulze survived the war in Iraq but almost two years after he came home, it ended up killing him, reports The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
He had one of the toughest jobs in the war: taming the insurgent hotbed of Ramadi in 2004.
Confessions of an Army Torturer
"...as an army interrogator, he tortured detainees for information he admits they rarely had. Since leaving Iraq he’s taken this story public, doing battle on national television against the war’s architects for giving him the orders he regrets he obeyed...
Saddam"s Iraq and his Execution
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Topics include international press
coverage, how the execution technique was selected, summary executions under Saddam's regime, history of execution pictures, and brief descriptions of several forms of hanging. Also includes background about Saddam's relationship with the United States.
But how did he come to power? Here, a concise history, from beginning to the present
Personality, Ideology and Bush's Terror Wars
[...]Just as disturbing as Al Qaeda's plans and capabilities are the descriptions of the Bush administration's handling of the war on terror and its willful determination to go to war against Iraq. That war, according to the author's sources who attended National Security Council briefings in 2002, was primarily waged "to make an example" of Saddam Hussein, to "create a demonstration model to guide the behavior of anyone with the temerity to acquire destructive weapons or, in any way, flout the authority of the United States."[...]
Majority Leader Boehner’s Confidential Strategy Memo For Thursday’s Iraq Debate
On Thursday, the House of Representatives will hold a debate on the Iraq war. Media reports say Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) “hopes to match the serious, dignified tone of deliberation that preceded the Gulf war, in 1991.”
ThinkProgress has obtained a “Confidential Messaging Memo” from Boehner instructing his caucus to conduct a very different kind of deliberation. Here’s a quick summary:
A Powerful Lobby
The Middle East scholar Martin Kramer takes on the various writers, sites, that proclaim that the American invasion of Iraq is but one more indication of the Jewish/Israeli Lobby influence in America.
One of the nuttiest passages in "The Israel Lobby," the co-production of professors Stephen Walt (Harvard) and John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago), occurs in the very first footnote. (It's in the full version, on the website of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.)...
and, in addtion addresses our involvement in Iraq
, caused, claim some, by "Jewish/Israeli interests." [more]
The Occupation of Iraq
I first went to Iraq in 1978, and I’ve been there I suppose fifty or sixty times. Sometimes for as long as three months, at other times for a fortnight or so. In all I have spent a bit more than half my time in Iraq since the Occupation. I was there before, during and after the invasion...
IRAQ DRAFT BILL OF RIGHTS LEAKED IN ENGLISH
The al-Mada newspaper on June 30 published what is apparently a draft version of the equivalent to the Bill Of Rights that is being worked on by a subcommittee in the Iraqi legislature. Omar from Iraq The Model first reported this on that day and provided his commentary on the document, but ultimately it was too large to translate. Nathan J. Brown of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace provides a valuable public service by translating the entire document, so a big hat tip to him. Let’s take a quick look at some of the features of this bill, as it is very promising although there are some provisions that need much deeper looking into (and others not so much). Nathan also makes thorough observations. You can read it in full here.
Generals Offer Sober Outlook on Iraqi War From the What Do These Guys Know Department: "American military commanders in Baghdad and Washington gave a sobering new assessment on Wednesday of the war in Iraq, adding to the mood of anxiety that prompted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to come to Baghdad last weekend to consult with the new government.
In interviews and briefings this week, some of the generals pulled back from recent suggestions, some by the same officers, that positive trends in Iraq could allow a major drawdown in the 138,000 American troops late this year or early in 2006. One officer suggested Wednesday that American military involvement could last "many years.""
US 'backed illegal Iraqi oil deals'
The United States administration turned a blind eye to extensive sanctions-busting in the prewar sale of Iraqi oil, according to a new Senate investigation.
A report released last night by Democratic staff on a Senate investigations committee presents documentary evidence that the Bush administration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them.
The scale of the shipments involved dwarfs those previously alleged by the Senate committee against UN staff and European politicians like the British MP, George Galloway, and the former French minister, Charles Pasqua.
Lawless Iraq is 'key drug route'
Drug smugglers exploiting internal chaos in Iraq have turned the country into a transit route for Afghan heroin, an influential drug agency says.
The Still Unsolved Stoffel Affair: How Is Known – but Not Who or Why
Iraqi guerrillas calling themselves Rafidan – the Political Committee of the Mujahideen Central Command – have recently woken up and begun releasing a series of communiqués claiming to shed new light on the still unsolved deaths on December 8, 2004, of two Americans, Dale C. Stoffel, 43, whom they describe as “a CIA shadow manager in Iraq, close friend of George Bush,” and his associate Joseph J. Wemple, also 43.
For young deserters, refuge is hard to find
It seemed like a drastic but simple solution: a step over the border into a country that had offered sanctuary before to Americans fleeing their homeland.
Instead, the growing band of US soldiers who have sought political refuge in Canada after defying orders to serve in Iraq have found themselves in a political limbo.
Ex-Marine Says Public Version of Saddam Capture Fiction
A former U.S. Marine who participated in capturing ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said the public version of his capture was fabricated.
Ex-Sgt. Nadim Abou Rabeh, of Lebanese descent, was quoted in the Saudi daily al-Medina Wednesday as saying Saddam was actually captured Friday, Dec. 12, 2003, and not the day after, as announced by the U.S. Army.
"I was among the 20-man unit, including eight of Arab descent, who searched for Saddam for three days in the area of Dour near Tikrit, and we found him in a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as announced," Abou Rabeh said.
Iraq Winners Allied With Iran Are the Opposite of U.S. Vision
biteme] You can't always get what you ask for::
...Yet the top two winning parties -- which together won more than 70 percent of the vote and are expected to name Iraq's new prime minister and president -- are Iran's closest allies in Iraq.
Thousands of members of the United Iraqi Alliance, a Shiite-dominated slate that won almost half of the 8.5 million votes and will name the prime minister, spent decades in exile in Iran. Most of the militia members in its largest faction were trained in Shiite-dominated Iran...
'01 Memo to Rice Warned of Qaeda and Offered Plan
The Right and the Left are busy (see link beneath) attacking or defending Eason Jordan or Jeff Gannon, and meanwhile we learn that our clever, learned, trustworthy new Sec. of State had been given warnings about what might well take place and did nothing, allowing 9/11 to occur.
A strategy document outlining proposals for eliminating the threat from Al Qaeda, given to Condoleezza Rice as she assumed the post of national security adviser in January 2001, warned that the terror network had cells in the United States and 40 other countries and sought unconventional weapons, according to a declassified version of the document"
Radioactive Material Lost By Halliburton Found In Boston Shit hapens
:: "Halliburton Co. (HAL), an oil services company and major military contractor in Iraq and elsewhere, lost track of a shipment of radioactive material in October but didn't alert the government until this week.
Federal authorities mounted an intensive search and found the material Wednesday in Massachusetts.
Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling
Documents obtained by CNN reveal the United States knew about, and even condoned, embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein's regime, and did so to shore up alliances with Iraq's neighbors.
The oil trade with countries such as Turkey and Jordan appears to have been an open secret inside the U.S. government and the United Nations for years.
What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along?
[...]By now, you might have even voted against George Bush -- a second time -- to register your disapproval.
But after watching Sunday's election in Iraq and seeing the first clear sign that freedom really may mean something to the Iraqi people, you have to be asking yourself: What if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong?
It's hard to swallow, isn't it?[...]
Homeless Iraq vets showing up at shelters
U.S. veterans from the war in Iraq are beginning to show up at homeless shelters around the country, and advocates fear they are the leading edge of a new generation of homeless vets not seen since the Vietnam era.
From Guernica to Fallujah
It's difficult to believe that in this day and age, when people are blogging, emailing and communicating at the speed of light, a whole city is being destroyed and genocide is being committed - and the whole world is aware and silent. Darfur, Americans? Take a look at what you've done in Fallujah."
- Female Iraqi blogger Riverbend
Denial Of Water
Water supplies to Tall Afar, Samarra and Fallujah have been cut off during US attacks in the past two months, affecting up to 750,000 civilians. This appears to form part of a deliberate US policy of denying water to the residents of cities under attack. If so, it has been adopted without a public debate, and without consulting Coalition partners. It is a serious breach of international humanitarian law, and is deepening Iraqi opposition to the United States, other Coalition members, and the Iraqi interim government.
Iraq says 'impossible' explosives taken before regime fall
Bush: wrong before. Wrong again..."A top Iraqi science official said it was impossible that 350 tonnes of high explosives could have been smuggled out of a military site south of Baghdad before the regime fell last year...."
Iraqi Indicted for Proposal to Open Talks With Israel
Bringing democracy to the Middle East--let freedom ring. "A court of Iraq's interim government has brought criminal charges against a prominent politician for attending an antiterrorism conference in Israel and publicly suggesting that Iraq should open talks with Israel.
The indictment and arrest warrant, based on a 1969 law promulgated by the Baath Party that bars Iraqis from having contacts with enemy states, are likely to anger the United States government, which has sponsored Iraq's new courts and is a close ally of Israel." So it goes...
Russia To Send Troops To Iraq?
If this takes place, will it impact the forthcoming election in the United States? "Sources close to Russia's Security Council say that Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to the request "in principle" and has directed the Russian General Staff to work up a plan by the end of the month. "
Sounds of silence
You may not support the Bush plan to invade Iraq, but here is how he has helpeed bring democractic values to a country run by a tyrant.
Army to recall former military members It is good to be too old!
"The Army is preparing to notify about 5,600 retired and discharged soldiers who are not members of the National Guard or Reserve that they will be involuntarily recalled to active duty for possible service in Iraq or Afghanistan, Army officials said Tuesday."
Dubya's Dilemma: Daddy Doesn't Support the Iraq War
The Iraqi war that has so divided Americans is also causing a rift in the family of President George W. Bush.
The President’s father, George H.W. Bush – 41st President of the United States – disagrees with his son’s decisions in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, which is why the former President has not commented in public on the war.
“The President and I discuss the war privately,” the elder Bush said in an interview earlier this year. “That is the way it will remain.”
But sources close to the Bush family say the elder Bush thinks his son has mishandled the war in Iraq.
Saddam's daughter: I want to go to Iraq
"...My life is a series of collapses," Raghad Saddam Hussein said in an interview in Friday's edition of Sayidaty magazine. "If age is measured by anguish and sadness, I would have been 80 today."...
Iraqis Paying 5 Cents a Gallon for Gas
While Americans are shelling out record prices for fuel, Iraqis pay only about 5 cents a gallon for gasoline — a benefit of hundreds of millions of dollars subsidies bankrolled by American taxpayers
Iraq's rebel cleric gains surge in popularity
An Iraqi poll to be released next week shows a surge in the popularity of Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical young Shia cleric fighting coalition forces, and suggests nearly nine out of 10 Iraqis see US troops as occupiers and not liberators or peacekeepers.
In policy reversal, US signals possible acceptance of theocracy in Iraq
Bringing democracy to the area...Ladies: do we have some surprises in store for you. Is Iran to be the model? "The United States signaled its readiness to put up with an Islamic theocracy in future sovereign Iraq, with Secretary of State Colin Powell saying the US administration "will have to accept" any government created as a result of free and fair elections there. ..."
U.S. Military Bars Some Iraq Interrogation Methods
...The officials said the decision was made on Thursday by the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, on the same day that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld met with him on a surprise trip to the country and visited the Abu Ghraib facility on the outskirts of Baghdad. ..
Is this a tacit admission that what took place was not simply rogue actions by individuals but rather military folks following orders of some kind? And, then, why do the new ground rules apply just to Iraq and not to other places?
The Scandal's Growing Stain
Time Magazine: "Abuses by U.S. soldiers in Iraq shock the world and roil the Bush Administration. the inside story of what went wrong—and who's to blame"
Let's Make Enemies
...The CPA has also confirmed that after June 30, the $18.4 billion the US government is spending on reconstruction will be administered by the US Embassy in Iraq. The money will be spent over five years and will fundamentally redesign Iraq's most basic infrastructure, including its electricity, water, oil and communications sectors, as well as its courts and police. Iraq's future governments will have no say in the construction of these core sectors of Iraqi society. Retired Rear Adm. David Nash, who heads the Project Management Office, which administers the funds, describes the $18.4 billion as "a gift from the American people to the people of Iraq." He appears to have forgotten the part about gifts being something you actually give up. And in the same eventful week, US engineers began construction on fourteen "enduring bases" in Iraq, capable of housing the 110,000 soldiers who will be posted here for at least two more years. Even though the bases are being built with no mandate from an Iraqi government, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy chief of operations in Iraq, called them "a blueprint for how we could operate in the Middle East." ...
FORMER WHITE HOUSE TERRORISM ADVISOR: BUSH ADMIN WAS DISCUSSING BOMBING IRAQ FOR 9/11 DESPITE KNOWING AL QAEDA WAS TO BLAME
Former White House terrorism advisor Richard Clarke tells Lesley Stahl that on September 11, 2001 and the day after - when it was clear Al Qaeda had carried out the terrorist attacks - the Bush administration was considering bombing Iraq in retaliation. Clarke's exclusive interview will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday March 21 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Clarke was surprised that the attention of administration officials was turning toward Iraq when he expected the focus to be on Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. "They were talking about Iraq on 9/11. They were talking about it on 9/12," says Clarke
Batten down the mosquito netting
In Iraq: "Now a new wave of unexpected horror, leishmaniasis, is arriving at WRAMC – which has the only accredited leishmaniasis lab in the United States – and its dedicated docs are burning the midnight oil to find a treatment. A model predicts that 1 percent to 4 percent of our soldiers in Iraq can expect to be hit by this potentially deadly parasite, delivered by the bite of infected sand flies as common in the Middle East as fleas on a wild dog. "
Stress epidemic strikes American forces in Iraq
Up to one in five of the American military personnel in Iraq will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, say senior forces' medical staff dealing with the psychiatric fallout of the war.
This revelation follows the disclosure last month that more than 600 US servicemen and women have been evacuated from the country for psychiatric reasons since the conflict started last March.
Clinton believes Iraq had weapons of mass destruction: Portugal PM
Ok. The Dems and the GOP. But what did Ralph Nader say about WMD?
France, stung by Libyan WMD deal, admits US policies showing results
Ok. Agreed. You don't like Bush. And the French government does not like Bush. But here is what the French now say about Libya: [...] The media, which have long criticised the US war and invasion of Iraq, grudgingly allowed that that conquest had borne fruit in terms of putting pressure on other countries Washington considers "rogue states" or part of an "axis of evil"[...]
Contractor Halliburton served troops dirty food in dirty kitchens
Well, Bush served up clean turkey and these guys were busy overcharging the Pentagon on energy so they could reap big bucks...Cheney remains in his gopher hole.
No bodies found after Iraq gunfight
"THE US military has said it believes 54 insurgents were killed in intense exchanges in the northern Iraqi town of Samarra on Sunday but commanders admitted they had no bodies.
The only corpses at the city's hospital were those of ordinary civilians, including two elderly Iranian pilgrims and a child.
US Brigadier General Mark Kimmit told a Baghdad press conference 54 militants were killed, 22 wounded and one arrested."
Ok. I am a bit slow. Help me out on this one. How can you count the bodies you are not able to find? Did the G.I.s take them as souvenirs?
CIA Seeks Probe of Iraq-Al Qaeda Memo Leak
The CIA will ask the Justice Department to investigate the leak of a 16-page classified Pentagon memo that listed and briefly described raw agency intelligence on any relationship between Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government and Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network, according to congressional and administration sources...and if this probe is like so many others, that will be the end of this news item
Iraqi official says limited German, French help won't be forgotten
"As far as Germany and France are concerned, really, this was a regrettable position they had," Allawi said. "I don't think the Iraqis are going to forget easily that in the hour of need, those countries wanted to neglect Iraq."
And the money owed France? Pehaps no Perier or VW outlets in Iraq.
Iraqi Daily: Saddam Ordered Training of Al-Qa'ida Members
The White House had claimed a connection between Osama's terror organization and Saddam. No such connection thus far has been established and as a result the anti-Bush folks have accused the White House of fabrication (to put it kindly). This piece, translated from an independent Iraq newspaper, indicates a strong connection between Saddam and Osama Bin Laden.
Britain, US shelve report on Iraq banned weapons: report
We'll keep on looking and we know they will turn up...just you wait and see. And meantime, make sure Congress foots the bill for Iraq needs.
$10,000 for information on attacks in Iraq
Sort of like playing the lottery. If you figure the odds on getting the big fish as in Powerball --Saddam for 25 million--are against you, then play the daily for 25 thousand. Turn in your brother-in-law, for example for some quick bucks. Sounds like a worthwhile way to snag some bad folks and I am surprised it hadn't been used earlier. Good use of my tax bucks.