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January, 2006

The Occupation

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Must Read! A new poll indicates that 70% of Iraqis want a timetable for US withdrawal, but 80% believe the US won't actually withdraw. As a result: Nearly half of Iraqis support attacks on U.S. troops, poll finds. Note that the number supporting attacks on the US is more than twice the entire Sunni population of Iraq. Even 16% of Kurds supported these attacks.

Must Read! Gareth Porter: US Realignment With Sunnis Is Far Advanced. Now that the US lost the elections, they are working to undermine the elected government.

Shi'ite leaders believe the shift in U.S. policy is intended to actually reinstall a Ba'athist government in Baghdad.

The real resistance: Iraqi unions launch united struggle.

Iraqis protest in Basra.

Just a little late: New U.S. Commander to Change Iraq Focus to improving Iraqi quality of life.

Wars and hurricanes are good for business: Exxon adds it all up: $36 billion profit, the largest of any US corporation, ever.

They never do it, but... Talking to Terrorists.

Americans are now engaging in direct sit-down talks with "senior members of the leadership" of the Iraqi insurgency, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials with knowledge of the talks.... The talks are taking place at U.S. military bases in Anbar province, as well as in Jordan and Syria. "Now we have won over the Sunni political leadership. The next step is to win over the insurgents," said U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. The groups include Baathist cells and religious Islamic factions, as well as former Special Republican Guards and members of the security services, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the talks. Iraq's insurgent groups are reaching back. "We want things from the U.S. side, stopping misconduct by U.S. forces, preventing Iranian intervention," said one prominent insurgent leader from a group called Army of the Mujahedin.
Americans and Iraqi insurgent groups share a common fear of undue Iranian influence in Iraq. Contacts between U.S. officials and insurgents have been criticized by Iraq's ruling Shiite leaders, many of whom have longstanding ties to Iran and are deeply resented by Sunnis.

Critics Say Detaining Suspected Terrorists' Wives May Backfire.

As if civil war isn't enough: UN announces bird flu has hit Iraq as 15-year-old Kurdish girl dies.

Iraq’s oil minister set to leave job again.

Sectarian tensions on the rise as Christians flee the country.

Some good news in the Shia south: After years of discord, Najaf enjoys record development.

Murder most foul: U.S. expands 'targeted killing'. Predator airstrikes on suspected terrorists are widening despite international criticism.

Japan rejects Rumsfeld''s idea to join security operations in Iraq.

No one safe, anywhere: NSA Expands, Centralizes Domestic Spying.

Al Qaeda Detainee's Mysterious Release. Moroccan Spoke Of Aiding Bin Laden During 2001 Escape.

We want a few good anyones: Army's Rising Promotion Rate Called Ominous. Experts say the quality of the officer corps is threatened as the service fights to retain leaders during wartime and fill new command slots.

Anti-Occupation al-Sadr a winner: Ballot-box win boosts Iraqi radical. Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc will have about 30 of the Shiite coalition's 128 seats in the new Iraqi parliament.

Students have a reason to oppose the war. They'll pay for it: Students might have to help pay the bill for Iraq and Katrina.

Exercising freedom while it lasts: Artists Deftly Render Iraq's Dark Ironies. Cartoonists emboldened by the fall of Hussein's regime are offering some of the country's most direct political and social critiques.

Population shifts spreading a civil war gets into gear: Iraqis Leaving Religiously Mixed Areas.

The screw-em draft: US Army forces 50,000 soldiers into extended duty.

Religious Shiites want control of Iraqi security services in new government.

Someone worth noting gets hurt. Will media now discover what a hell-hole Iraq is? ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and a cameraman were seriously injured Sunday.

Ex Maoist turned Free-marketer: SCIRI highlights nomination of Abdel Mahdi as Iraq's next Prime Minister.

Stalled Saddam Trial Frustrates Public.

The crooks move in: To live and work in Iraq: Corruption, missing millions and two dead contractors .

A new aid to murderers program: Pentagon Can Now Fund Foreign Militaries.

US shows India its iron fist to get it to support US anti-Iran moves.

Trouble in imperial army: 19,000 fewer young soldiers than in 2001. And: Military doubles bonuses for new recruits.

BBC reports latest installment of US plan for world domination, this time over the internet: US plans to 'fight the net' revealed. The US military seeks the capability to knock out every telephone, every networked computer, every radar system on the planet.

New York Times: Guess Who Likes the G.I.'s in Iraq (Look in Iran's Halls of Power). And Knight Ridder reports: Iran gaining influence, power in Iraq through militia.

Must Read! David Edwards of Media Lens has a brilliant critique of the shortcomings of the Iraq Body Count estimate of civilian casualties in Iraq: Paved With Good Intentions: On Iraq Body Count, Part 1 Part 2

Gilbert Achcar translated these two important articles from Al-Hayat: The AMS: We Are Now Waging Two Battles: Against 'the Occupation' and Against 'the Terrorists'. Sunni Clans Take the Initiative of Launching a Campaign to Expel Zarqawi's Followers and 'Foreigners and Intruders'. And: British Forces Arrest 12 Police Officers in Basrah. The Governorate Council Considers Expelling Them from the City.

British jackboot resented: Iraqi city warns British forces after policemen held.

US audit finds 'spectacular' waste of funds in Iraq. Millions lost in 'chaotic misuse,' while report says many reconstruction projects won't be finished.

Taking hostages is a war crime: Documents Show Army Seized Wives As Tactic.

US plans that Iraq will be unable to protect itself for many years. US military will be needed: Iraqi army may be light and friendly.

But if Iraq is to avoid domination by neighbors - especially Iran - Alani said Baghdad will eventually need a military at least twice as large as planned, armed with weapons that are not in the cards: artillery, attack aircraft and even ballistic missiles.

British Arrests of Police Strain Relations in Basra. Several have been freed, but eight officers remain in custody. Local Iraqi officials demand their release and threaten to sever ties with troops.

Europe feels militant "side-effect" from Iraq.

Violence and threats hamper freedom of expression. Meanwhile: Defamer or dissident? Kurd tests the new Iraq

Is US tilting toward Sunnis politically while butchering them by the thousands on the ground? Eye on Iran as US shapes alliances in Iraq.

President Bush: "A word means what I want it to mean. Nothing more.nothing less.": US does not torture: Bush.

Iraq: Cronyism and Kickbacks.

Auditors who have discovered Iraq’s deepening financial crisis have been ignored. They asked the US ambassador and the US military commander in Iraq for their views. Neither replied. The US State Department was to submit estimates of how much it will cost to complete all American-funded projects in Iraq to the White House Office of Management and Budget. The Office won’t discuss the matter. Earlier this month, Brigadier-General William McCoy told reporters: ‘The US never intended to completely rebuild Iraq . . . This was just supposed to be a jump-start.’

The colonialist claim: 400 British troops in swoop on 'corrupt' Basra police. Gilbert Achcar send this translation from Al-Hayat with an Iraqi anti-colonial view: British Forces Arrest 12 Police Officers in Basrah: The Governorate Council Considers Expelling Them from the City. Then: Bomb explosion sabotages British tank in Basra.

The Unseen War in Iraq. When troops are cut, we'll still be bombing the hell out of the place.

According to an official history: Iraq Rebuilding Badly Hobbled, U.S. Report Finds.

Children's hospital struggling in wake of bombing.

If only... Study: Army Stretched to Breaking Point.

Life for poor gets worse: Ordinary Iraqis feel pinch of free-market reforms. Grocery prices jump as cost of gasoline soars threefold.

At the Agras clothing factory, 600 seamstresses have lost their jobs since the U.S. occupation slashed tariffs in 2003. Unable to compete with the flood of cheap clothes from Asia, Agras turned to importing ready-made clothes from China and whittled its workforce down to a dozen accountants....
It's a fine example of a successful entrepreneur adapting to the global free-market environment. Al-Ameri is doing well under his new arrangement. The nearly 600 workers he had to dismiss, however, are not.

Turkey wins: Iraq Pays $1Billion Debt to Turkish Fuel Companies .

Iraq's Oil Bust. Oil exports were supposed to pay for the reconstruction. Instead they've been stifled. And: Success is elusive in Iraq's oil fields.

However: Iraq increases exports of crude oil back to their previous low level after resumption of pumping in the north.

Empire not always easy: Shiite-Kurd Goals Stymie US. The alliance America helped build appears set to create a religious, federal state, opposite of the secular, united Iraq that Washington seeks. And: US Goals Adapt to New Iraq. Disappointed with vote results, Washington is now focused on keeping security forces out of the hands of religious or nationalist parties.

Professionals Fleeing Iraq As Violence, Threats Persist. Exodus of Educated Elite Puts Rebuilding at Risk.

The war from the grunt's perspective: Soldiers' books show Iraq's front line.

"We all reach a point where we have to assume everyone is friendly, or assume everyone is a potential enemy. It simply becomes too overwhelming to play that line at every single moment. To look at each person and make that choice over and over and over again. So we make one choice: We come to assume the worst about everyone."

Thousands of Veterans struggle to recover from life-altering injuries: Struggling Back From War's Once-Deadly Wounds.

Mercenaries start leaving, to where? American contractors leaving Iraq.

More evidence, as if any more was needed, that the torture at Abu Ghraib was policy ordered at a high level, not the work of a few rogue MPs: Former Abu Ghraib Guard Calls Top Brass Culpable for Abuse. Wife of Jailed Soldier Says Tactics Were in Place From Start. She has set up a web site to defend the MP scapegoats: Show Support for MP Scapegoats.

She described a "roster board" that included which military intelligence "treatment" to give to certain detainees and said trainers from the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, taught the MPs how to put detainees in "stress positions." She said military intelligence officials told them to keep detainees naked, embarrass them or make them exercise until they reached exhaustion....
Members of Other Government Agencies (OGA) -- a euphemism for the CIA -- were all over the hard site, keeping as many as 100 detainees there for interrogations. Once, two men with OGA had finished interrogating a detainee in a shower room and asked her to go get him. "They said it would be funny if I burned him with my cigarette," Ambuhl said, adding that she tossed her cigarette before releasing the detainee, who was shackled to a window.

Tyranny as electoral asset: Delicate Dance for Bush in Depicting Spy Program as Asset.

Al-Qa'eda supporters win seats in local polls.

Halliburton, Supporting Our Troops by Poisoning them! Dick will be proud: Halliburton cited in Iraq contamination.

Troops and civilians at a U.S. military base in Iraq were exposed to contaminated water last year and employees for the responsible contractor, Halliburton, couldn't get their company to inform camp residents, according to interviews and internal company documents....
"It is my opinion that the water source is without question contaminated with numerous micro-organisms, including Coliform bacteria," Carter wrote. "There is little doubt that raw sewage is routinely dumped upstream of intake much less than the required 2 mile distance.

Take that, Bush! Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr says his militia would defend Iran if it is attacked.

Sunday: 13 killed in attacks.

Son Of Iraqi Defense Official Kidnapped.

Saturday: Iraq Shias state coalition terms.

"We'll require them not only to condemn terrorism - as they do normally - but to work with us in combating terrorism and overcoming it," he said.

Oil crisis getting worse: Turkey stops exporting oil products to Iraq due to $1 billion in unpaid debt.

40 British soldiers seriously hurt in Iraq war . And: Soldiers to sue MoD for lives blighted by Iraq . The decision by ministers to publish figures on servicemen injured in Iraq is a gesture too late for many. Now The Observer can reveal 15 soldiers are to take action against the government.

Juan Cole analyzes the election results: Shiites Near Majority in Parliament.

Iraq National Security Adviser Mowaffak Rubaie: Official slams U.S. talks with insurgents.

Brit withdrawal chances boosted after Iraq vote.

Getting ready for the next occupation: Lessons Learned in Iraq Show Up in Army Classes: Culture Shifts to Counterinsurgency.

At last! A CIA-free zone: CIA warned its operatives to stay out of Italy, according to e-mail.

Dahr Jamail and Arkan Hamed: A Town Becomes a Prison.

All six million residents of Baghdad use less fuel than 150,000 occupation troops: Iraq's Oil Shock . As the country's energy nightmare continues, US troops are using nearly 40 times more fuel per day than the average, increasingly angry Iraqi. Registration required at Slate.

The U.S. military's energy consumption in Iraq is soaring. According to recent data from the Defense Department, the U.S. military is now using about 3 million gallons of fuel per day in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Thus, keeping each of the 153,000 American soldiers on the ground in Iraq requires the consumption of about 19.6 gallons of fuel per soldier per day. That's double the amount in January 2005, when each soldier in Iraq was consuming on average about 10 gallons of fuel per day.
Meanwhile, according to a recent New York Times report, the city of Baghdad is now using about 2.4 million gallons of motor fuel per day, so the average Iraqi among the 5.9 million residents of the war-torn capital is using less than a half-gallon of fuel per day. That means that the average American soldier in Iraq is using nearly 40 times more fuel per day than the average Iraqi.

Last US hopes of controlling Iraq's government are shattered: Secular Allawi has poor showing in Iraq.

One neocon gets the slammer: Ex-Pentagon Analyst Sentenced to 12 Years.

Iraq vote results give Shi'ites close to majority.

After 3 years of occupation, the Minority Rights Group International says: Iraq Tops Nations With Minorities at Grave Risk.

In US gulags in Iraq: Officer said interrogation rules not followed on a daily basis.

Retired military ask Bush to ban torture.

"This is unique in American history that a group of retired (military leaders) felt so strongly about the direction the country was taking in this regard that they came together to bring a single voice to the issue," said Rear. Adm. John Hutson, a former Navy chief lawyer. "These rules we have purported so long were not designed to protect the enemy from us, but us from the enemy. The difference between us and the enemy is how we treat the enemy."

Riverbend: A Tribute to Iraqi Ingenuity...

Another fantasy dies: New details blur German antiwar stance. Parliament decides Friday if it will investigate claims that German agents aided US-led invasion of Iraq.

Never too old to kill: US Army raises maximum age for enlistment five years, to 39.

Soldiers' children suffer too: They fear death, don't eat or sleep, but learn to cope.

Italy to End Iraq Mission in 2006, Withdraw 1,000 by July.

Iraq recommends release of female detainees.

Blair knew and Blair lied: Torture flights: what No 10 knew and tried to cover up. Leaked memo reveals strategy to deny knowledge of detention centres .

Human Rights Watch says: Human rights in Iraq 'much worse'. Also, according to Human Rights Watch: US accused of torture policy.

Iraqi groups call for journalist's release.

New worry: Bird flu scare hits Iraq.

Italy to halve its Iraq forces by May - report.

Outlines of new government: Shiites Poised to Dominate First Time in Iraq History. But: Sunnis to get six positions in Cabinet, Iraqi aide says.

Report: Iraqi army to be equipped by Russia.

Iraq president urges moving troubled Saddam court to Kurdistan.

Rome prosecutors to charge U.S. soldier with murdering Italian agent in Iraq .

Thanks to Gilbert Achcar: A Joint Statement Issued by the Iraqi Trade Unions Concerning the Programs of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Iraq.

Protect yourself and lose your benefits: Army Orders Soldiers to Shed Dragon Skin or Lose SGLI Death Benefits.

Iraq captors threaten to kill journalist.

Some Iraq Rebuilding Funds Go Untraced. Investigators Have Yet to Pursue US Contracting Money That May Be Missing

Juan Cole thinks the Egyptians just might agree to send troops to Iraq, and the Iraqi government just might accept them: Will Cairo counter Tehran?

Iraqi Election Board Throws Out Ballots From 227 Voting Centers. But 99% of votes declared valid.

In the new police state, thousands of people investigated every month: Spy Agency Data After Sept. 11 Led F.B.I. to Dead Ends.

F.B.I. officials repeatedly complained to the spy agency that the unfiltered information was swamping investigators. The spy agency was collecting much of the data by eavesdropping on some Americans' international communications and conducting computer searches of phone and Internet traffic. Some F.B.I. officials and prosecutors also thought the checks, which sometimes involved interviews by agents, were pointless intrusions on Americans' privacy.

The Islamists best friend: Islamists gain ground from American push for Mideast democracy.

Chaos everywhere: USAID Paper Details Security Crisis in Iraq.

Iraq's Shi'ites struggling to agree on premier.

US still thinks it controls the colony: US tries to loosen Shiite grip in Iraq. Sunni Arabs gain American backing in negotiations to form a new government.

Sowing terror: AP reporter details night raid in Iraq.

In a fantasy of somehow not totally failing: US Army ramps up training of Iraqi police.

Shortage of fuel resulting in prohibitive prices.

Rice’s Rebuilding Plan Hits Snags.

No new information: Abducted in Iraq: An update on reporter Jill Carroll.

Protests Spread Across Pakistan. Islamic Groups Condemn Fatal U.S. Missile Strike; American Senators Defend Attack.

'Marshall Plan' for Iraq Fades. Once the $18.6 billion for reconstruction is spent, the nation might have to rely on private investment. 'No pain, no gain,' a U.S. official says.

Iraq's future still going up in smoke . The new Iraqi government is looking to raise money this week to fund the reconstruction efforts still required to support a faltering modern economy. Heather Stewart finds that oil, far from a solution, is part of the problem.

Mosque Imam killed in Iraq.

US Faults Saudi Efforts on Terrorism. The kingdom has gotten tough within its borders, but militants are pouring into Iraq, and money is still flowing to Al Qaeda, officials say.

So much for all the antiwar talk: Berlin admits giving US bombing targets in Iraq.

Crocodile tears for public consumption: Pakistanis Condemn Purported CIA Attack.

In the occupation police state: U.S. military frees two Reuters journalists in Iraq after being held for months without charges.

Sex lives suffer: Power cuts turn off Iraqi young couple's sex life.

Action Alert! Please sign: Urgent Appeal to Save Iraq's Academics.

According to reports: Shi'ite bloc short of Iraq parlt majority.

Ignoring Sunni-Shia tensions: U.S. seeking Arab peacekeepers in Iraq. And why would the Shia government admit them?

Saddam trial chief judge to quit.

US troops have virtually no contact with Iraqis, which may be for the better: I'm a door kicker-inner,' one young Marine blurted out - to the dismay of his superiors.

The intensifying violence has only increased the distance between US troops and ordinary Iraqis, with ever-higher walls being built around bases, and US military vehicles warning drivers they will be shot if they come close. Even the Iraqi shops on US bases have closed for fear of rebel infiltration.

Riverbend on journalist Jill Carroll interpreter: Thank You for the Music...

Torture, European style: Europe 'complicit over CIA jails'.

Torture, Pentagon style: Tough Interrogation Tactics Were Opposed. Pentagon Task Force Was Told Not to Use Techniques Approved in 2002, Records Show.

The documents detail several reported incidents of abuse at Guantanamo Bay and at U.S. detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of the alleged abuse included beatings, Koran desecration, death threats and electric shocks.

"Investigations," army style. Presumed innocent, no matter what: Records show Army ended abuse probe early. Investigation into charges ended even though no American was interviewed.

Secret torture unit protected: Documents tie shadowy US unit to inmate abuse case.

"This document suggests that Task Force 6-26 was part of a larger, clandestine program that we think may have links with high-ranking officials, because obviously someone high up had the authority to put this program in place," Singh said in a telephone interview.

The new army get the loot: After Handover, Hussein Palaces Looted: November Transfer Ceremony Was Hailed as Symbol of Progress in Iraq.

The Association of Muslim Scholars raided last Sunday: Another Raid Brings Further Alienation.

Hassan Jumaa Awad of the General Union of Oil Employees in Basra: Speech delivered at the International Peace Conference.

Torture General Miller: General Asserts Right On Self-Incrimination In Iraq Abuse Cases.

Presidential Powers Spark Controversy.

Al-Sadr goes to Saudi Arabia: Saudi king hosts Iraqi Shia leader.

European Women Join Ranks of Jihadis. Authorities confront an unsettling new trend: militants' wives who are suspected of plotting suicide attacks, with their mates or alone.

US: Army Recruiting Goal Falling Short.

German spies deny guiding US bomb raids in Iraq. What else would the government say?

Abdul Aziz Hakim says no changes in Constitution despite pre-vote deal with Sunni party to allow changes: Key Shiite Backs Away From Charter Accord.

In Norway: DNO shares down 10 pct on Iraq worries.

A Sliver of Iraq's Past Feels the Pressures of the Present. A farm tucked amid Baghdad's busy streets reaps meager harvests as government services and handouts have faded amid the prolonged war.

US troops build wall of sand around Iraqi town. Maybe next time they will bury it.

U.S. airstrikes in Iraq could intensify.

For once: No violence reported in Iraq as country celebrates Eid.

Hell No! We Won't Go! US Army to boot reserve soldiers who won't fight.

Shia blaming Sunnis rather than occupiers: Troubling Change of Heart.

Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carroll: Reporter abducted in Iraq. See also: Abduction of American reporter in Iraq blacked out by US news outlets and: A statement from the Monitor.

US raid on Iraq mosque sparks Sunni Arab anger.

Student extremism brings violence and chaos to Iraqi universities.

Iraq's 'PBS' accused of sectarian slant. Shiite control of state-funded TV has critics worried about the independence of Iraq's fledgling free press.

Police: Prominent Islamic scholar killed in US Army action.

Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy: Bremer claims he was used as Iraq ‘fall guy’.

Senior Iraqi official says Cabinet talking directly with militant groups.

Jackboots strike again: US troops seize award-winning Iraqi journalist . firing bullets into the bedroom where he was sleeping. Evidence point to this attack being a warning for a story he was working on for Guardian Films on US/British corruption.

Iraqi widows feel lost in land that cannot provide.

There are few reliable statistics on the number of widows, but the Ministry of Women's Affairs has recorded at least 206,000 in Iraq, outside of Kurdish provinces. There are just over half as many widowed men.

Keeping administration secrets more important than passage ofbill: Intelligence bill's passage not guaranteed in Senate.

Thanks to InformationClearinghouse, the complete text of the Linda Bilmes & Joseph E. Stiglitz study, estimating costs for the war conservatively at $1-$2 trillion is now available: The economic costs of the Iraq war: An appraisal three years after the beginning of the conflict.

What we have come to: Bush Advisor Says President Has Legal Power to Torture Children, including crushing the testicles of a suspect's child. Link to audio of debate.

Americans Said to Meet Rebels, Exploiting Rift.

U.S. troops raid Sunni clerics' Iraq office.

In one room, cupboards used to store the shoes of those attending prayers had what appeared to be Christian crosses scrawled on them.

For returning unit in Iraq, a battle with doubts. Airborne vets see long-term, uncertain mission of training security forces.

Former German hostage in Iraq worked for German secret service.

Dahr Jamail: US Propaganda vs. Iraqi Reality.

Even America's closest ally looking for the exits: Straw: Iraq withdrawal within months.

Number of badly wounded soldiers on rise in Iraq.

A tragedy of errors. It was the largest single loss of life under enemy fire since the Falklands war - six British soldiers murdered in a tumbledown police station in the heat of southern Iraq. In a major investigation, The Observer reveals shocking evidence of the chaos and confusion among senior ranks of the armed forces that left the Red Caps to face their fate alone.

Being the hated occupier, the Americans are blamed for recent deaths: Iraqi Shiites rally in anger at recent killing spree.

US helps cannon fodder to meets their maker: Pentagon Study Links Fatalities to Light Armor.

A secret Pentagon study has found that as many as 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armor. Such armor has been available since 2003, but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials.

Surprise! Developing police state not built on law: Report Questions Legal Basis for Bush's Spying Program .

Iraq: government formation talks remain inconclusive.

The new police state: Thirty-year prison sentence for criticising Kurdish regional president in Internet articles.

Among the losers in the new Iraq: Poverty and fear dominate life for Iraq's Gypsies.

Suspected Iraq insurgent dies in US custody.

Iraq's Largest Refinery Shut By Insurgent Attacks. The ambush saw four tankers destroyed, another 15 damaged and three Iraqi army vehicles blown up.

US says bomb hit wrong house in Iraq: Strike aimed at insurgents killed 6 family members.

Would you trust these buffoons to run your empire? US 'did not anticipate Iraq insurgency'.

Ayman al-Zawahiri says: Al-Qaida: Iraq withdrawal victory for Islam.

NSA whistleblower asks to testify before Congress.

Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes conducted a study estimating the costs of the Iraq war at 1-2 trillion! The Cost of The War.

Anger as Britain admits it was wrong to blame Iran for deaths in Iraq.

Riverbend on the new Year: 2006...

There is talk of major mismanagement and theft in the Oil Ministry. Chalabi took over several days ago and a friend who works in the ministry says the takeover is a joke. “You know how they used to check our handbags when we first walked into the ministry?” She asked the day after Chalabi crowned himself Oil Emperor, “Now WE check our handbags after we leave the ministry- you know- to see if Chalabi stole anything.”

Bush may have personally suggested withholding pain medication from detainees: James Risen Speaks.

Josh Marshall points out that journalist: Christiane Amanpour may have been among those spied on by the NSA

The fitful decline of empire: America's waning clout in Iraq. In 2006, the US is expected to cut troops and spending, leaving it with less sway in Iraq.

What then are America's best hopes for steering Iraq in a direction favorable to US interests? Some analysts say the US may reach out to its erstwhile enemies - the Sunnis. "I wouldn't be the least surprised if the Americans cut a deal with Sunni [political figures with ties to the insurgency] to cut the Shiites down to size," says Dan Plesch, a research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Another day, another lie: UK caught in anti-Iran spin/war hype.

Sunnis Bargain for Iraq Role as Allawi Fades. Ascendant Shiites and Kurds hint that a deal to form a new governing coalition may exclude the U.S.-favored secular politician.

The occupiers and the new ruling elite fight it out: Iraq Wants US Choice Out as Chief Of Brigade.

Jobless Iraqis clash with police.

Not an appropriate punishment, but... Career of General in Charge During Abu Ghraib May End.

White House Told NSA Briefings Broke Law by not following the law requiring notification of the House Intelligence Committee about NSA eavesdropping.

'Marlboro Man' in Iraq War Photo Suffers from PTSD.

If McCain doesn't move to impeach, we'll know the torture ban was just for show, as Bush signals it doesn't apply to him: Bush could bypass new torture ban: Waiver right is reserved.

Iraq leaders set sights on unity government. However: Iraq Vote Results May Take Another 2 Weeks. And: Iraqi V.P. Says No New Gov't Until April.

Women face enormous obstacles in Iraqi politics.

Cautiously, Iraqis open for business. But many of the 24,000 new businesses remain idle due to shortages, security.

Sunni Group Agrees on Iraq Gov't Outline.

Scum rises to the top: Chalabi likely to succeed in new Iraq government, despite controversy.

US Military Still Runs With Dreaded Wolf Brigade.

Iraq oil exports hit post-war low in December.

Honoring Iraq's Unclaimed Dead.

"Every week we bury forty or fifty corpses … 250 corpses a month," Sudani says.

Doctors in the Cross Hairs: Iraq's physicians are increasingly targeted by violence.

According to the Iraqi Doctors Association, at least 65 physicians were killed in 2005—more than double the total for either of the previous two years—while others were kidnapped or threatened with death. Hundreds have fled the country.

What happens when a hurricane hits? SC Guard had to leave vehicles, hundreds of other items in Iraq.

Economy in Iraq Goes in All Directions. Showcase projects and lively entrepreneurs run counter to a bloated public sector and antiquated farming. Violence casts a shadow.

Information Warfare! Equal opportunity bribery. Sunnis get there share: Muslim Scholars Were Paid to Aid U.S. Propaganda.

Must View! Photographs From Iraq: December 2005. View also the destruction from one of the US military's recent successes: Al-Qa'im: US Operation "Steel Curtain" destruction of medical infrastructure and civilian homes.

Sorry folks. We destroyed your country. now deal with it! We'll stay to shoot you or lock you up if you complain: U.S. signaling end to rebuilding Iraq. No oil or clean water? At least Halliburton got paid!

The Americans, said Zaid Saleem, 26, who works at a market in Baghdad, "are the best in destroying things but they are the worst in rebuilding."

Information Warfare! Michael Rubin, a Middle East scholar at the American Enterprise Institute was on the payroll: Buy and Buy: Source in Iraq Payola Story Was Getting Some Himself.

Patrick Cockburn: Bush and Blair Plot Their Exit Strategy, as the Nation Falls Apart at the Seams: The Year in Iraq.

The surveillance state knows no limits: NSA Gave Other U.S. Agencies Information From Surveillance. Fruit of Eavesdropping Was Processed and Cross-Checked With Databases.

Murder for the New Year. Small: Iraq oil protest turns deadly as [in]security forces, either US or Iraqi, shoot at unarmed demonstrators. Watcch the Reuters video and note the small size of the crowd and the extent of the firing. Also, what was the helicopter doing?

Trucks start rolling as Iraq tackles fuel crisis. But: Bomb near Baghdad refinery sets pipeline on fire.

The crook came back, because he wouldn't stay away: Chalabi Named Iraq Oil Minister: Fuel Crisis Spurs Mandatory Leave For Incumbent. Imagine the wisdom of putting a convicted swindler in charge of your nation's most important industry.

Jaafari, Abdul Mahdi compete to be Iraq's Prime Minister.

US to spend £30 million on Iraq prisons to hold insurgents, as they call those 15,000, many picked up in random sweeps.

Australian travels to Iraq to Iraq to marry his cousin, is thrown in Abu Ghraib: US frees Australian prisoner after two years without charges in Abu Ghraib. Australian government did nothing to help him, not even helping him return to Australia when released.

South Korean MPs vote to reduce troops in Iraq.

Some fear security force may need years of help. A US Major says the occupation will last 50 years, at least.

Protest, Resistance, and Civil War

Occupation Resistance Analysis

The latest on a calm couple of days: Three Iraqi soldiers killed in Kirkuk. Bomb kills 11 people in Iraqi sweet shop. Suicide bomber kills 2 policemen in southern Iraq. Four Iraqi security members killed in separate attacks in Iraq. Three gunmen, two U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq violence. Car Bombs Rock 6 Churches in Iraq. And: Bomb Targets Danish-Iraqi Military in Iraq.

Ten bodies found in Iraq.

Sunnis in Iraq Urged to Defend Themselves. Sunni Arab Party Calls on Sunnis in Iraq to Defend Themselves in Wake of Raid.

Why does the US think this is good news for them? It has the prospect of further uniting the Sunni community, allowing them to concentrate on opposition to the occupation: Anti-Qaeda protest in Iraq, local anger mounts.

US troop deaths now so routine, they're no longer the headline: Iraq official: 5 female captives to go free. Two German engineers kidnapped in Iraq; four U.S. troops killed.

Attacks in Iraq jumped in 2005.

Two U-S airmen killed, another wounded by roadside bomb.

36 missing Iraqi police applicants found dead. Group of 50 men was abducted January 16.

Iraqi rebels in western city turn against Qaeda.

US troops kill 3 Iraqi soldiers north of Baghdad.

Linda Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz summarize their recent study on the enormous costs of the war: A careless war of excessive cost -- human and economic.

After eight months imprisonment without charges, the epitome of dictatorship: Third Reuters Iraq journalist freed by US troops. At least two journalists for other international media organizations are still being held.

Two More U.S. Troops Killed In Iraq.

Zarqawi ‘sleeps in suicide belt’.

Yet another helicopter reported down. No casualties reported: One American helicopter crashed in Iraq.

Fugitive militant Zarqawi seeking new Iraq alliances.

Only American deaths matter, evidently: U.S. forces close road, forcing Iraqi drivers onto a killing field.

Michael Georgy of Reuters: Iraq rebels plan bombs, not talks after polls.

"The coming period will witness a military escalation against occupation forces and the Iraqi army. We will focus on planting roadside bombs."

Friday: Attacks In Iraq Kill 19.

In Iraqi Oil City, a Formidable Foe: Airborne Soldiers Struggle to Break Grip of Insurgents.

"They have the place locked down," Kidd said of the insurgents. "We have almost no support from the local people. We talk to 1,000 people and one will come forward."

Bloody Thursday: Bombs kill 22 as Iraq locks down for vote results; 35 police academy aspirants abducted in Iraq; and: Two Blasts Kill, Wound Some 50 People In Iraq.

Two American civilians among dead in Iraq.

Surface-to-Air Missile Downed U.S. Chopper in Iraq. First time US has admitted that this has occurred.

Wednesday: Iraq violence leaves 17 dead: Court picks interim lead judge for Hussein trial. Later: Gunmen, Car Bombs Kill Nearly 50 in Iraq.

US helicopters in Iraq face menace of 'aerial bombs'.

Eight killed in Iraq violence. Also: Two policemen killed, seven corpses found in Baghdad.

U.S. pilots stay busy in Iraq, killing from on high.

The resistance must have new weapons. Third copter down in couple of weeks: U.S. Chopper Goes Down In Iraq; Two Killed.

Monday: Twenty security men killed in Iraq. Six People Killed in Iraq Car Bombing .

Iraq al Qaeda sets up insurgent umbrella body.

Army Helicopter Crashes In Firefight In Iraq. Two killed.

Local Insurgents Tell of Clashes With Al Qaeda's Forces in Iraq.

Thursday: Mortar rounds hit U.S. base in western Iraq.

Wednesday, in Fallujah: Roadside bomb kills three U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

Monday: Bombers kill 14 at Iraqi ministry. Later: Attack on Iraq Interior Ministry Kills 29.

First: Five U-S Marines killed this weekend in Iraq, three near Fallujah. Then: U.S. Black Hawk crashes in Iraq, 12 dead.

Insurgents clash with US troops in Fallujah.

The Polite Insurgents.

Female: US journalist seized in Iraq.

11 U.S. Troops Killed in One Day in Iraq.

A hard dose of reality: 120 Iraqis, 7 U.S. soldiers die in bombings. Other sources put the death toll at "at least 134".

Bloody Thursday follows Bloody Wednesday: Suicide attacks kill 79 in Iraq.

Report: Insurgents burn 19 fuel tankers north of Baghdad.

Wednesday: Iraq bomber attacks Shi'ite funeral, kills 36. A total of 53 are reported killed for the day.

Militants attack fuel convoy just days after country's largest refinery reopens.

Another "public diplomacy" failure: Bush Administration Stops Publishing Magazine Unpopular Among Middle East Arabs.

Interior: Minister's sister abducted.

As usual, Americans claimed they were bombing insurgents caught in the act of placing a bomb: US air strike kills Iraqi family of eight. More from the New York Times: U.S. Airstrike on House Enrages Iraqi Officials. Killed: "the wife of the home's owner, his daughter-in-law and seven children and grandchildren, including one son who worked for the police."

A Bayji police colonel, Sufyan Mustafa, told Reuters that the family members killed in the bombing did not include any insurgents. "There were no terrorists in this house," he said.

Car bomber kills Iraq police recruits.

Mortar attack in western Iraq destroys family, hopes for stable hometown.

On New Years: Three US troops killed as 12 car bombs explode across Iraq. A Dozen Car Bombs Explode Around Iraq: No Civilian Deaths Reported.

Five killed in attack on Iraq Sunni party HQ.

US forces step up Iraq airstrikes.

Latest Violence in Iraq Leaves 18 Dead.

Death toll in Iraq for US troops put at 844 for 2005.

Analysis, Commentary, & Domestic Reaction

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Fearfully Anonymous: A child’s pledge of allegiance to the flag.

John Arquilla, professor of defense analysis at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey: Why we should take Osama's olive branch: It's the first step in winning the peace.

Iraq war turns former Army officer into protester.

Charles Kupchan and Ray Takeyh: American and Iranian interests meet in Iraq.

F William Engdahl on US-Iraq tension: A high-risk game of nuclear chicken.

Larry Johnson: A New Intelligence Failure?

If she is saying that the no one at the CIA, the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research, or the Defense Intelligence Agency had a clue that something like this [Hamas victory] could happen, we should immediately dismantle the intelligence community and start over.

Former US diplomat John Brown: Spreading Bush's Gospel.

Jihad el Khazen in Al-Hayat: Hated American Policy.

Uber-Hawk: Lieberman's war view spurs dissent in party.

The slimiest of the slimy: Clinton defends her Iraq stance in Portland, drawing cheers, boos. And: In S.F., Clinton explains vote for Iraq war.

Jonathan Chait: Rove's 2006 spin cycle.

Anna Quindlen: State of Illusion. Many Americans have this sense of profound malaise. Of course, that's the ailment that dare not speak its name (and not just because it's French).

William O. Beeman: US to Blame for Iranian Nuclear Program.

Supporting attacks on Iran: 57% of Americans need their head examined.

Tom Engelhardt: Gorilla Empire? A Global State of Disunion.

Robert Fisk: The problem with democracy. And now, horror of horrors, the Palestinians have elected the wrong party to power.

Rebels who fought unconstitutional actions were suppressed by friendly fire: Palace Revolt. They were loyal conservatives, and Bush appointees. They fought a quiet battle to rein in the president's power in the war on terror. And they paid a price for it. A NEWSWEEK investigation. The article makes clear the clear and present danger posed by the White House crew who believe the President hasabsolute powers in "wartime".

New York Times Editorial: Spies, Lies and Wiretaps.

A bit over a week ago, President Bush and his men promised to provide the legal, constitutional and moral justifications for the sort of warrantless spying on Americans that has been illegal for nearly 30 years. Instead, we got the familiar mix of political spin, clumsy historical misinformation, contemptuous dismissals of civil liberties concerns, cynical attempts to paint dissents as anti-American and pro-terrorist, and a couple of big, dangerous lies....
The secret program violates the law as currently written. It's that simple.

From Iran, not Nigeria: Do NOT Respond to this Email.

Ayoon Wa Azan in Al-Hayat: Unending Insolence.

Joseph P. Ellis: Finding a Place for 9/11 in American History.

John DeHope: I Don't Support the Troops.

Gareth Porter & Tom Engelhardt: "Maybe they just need to have their civil war": Fueling Sectarian Violence in Ira.

Iraq war leaves mental scars for civilians, US troops alike.

Cidy Sheehan may take on Republicrat Feinstein: Cindy Sheehan Considers Run at Senate.

International Herald Tribune: An Indictment of America for refusing to stop our torture government.

At last someone states the obvious: Bush administration no longer a credible source. Reality-based journalists must stop parroting White House propaganda.

Gilbert Achcar gives us his: First Reflections On The Electoral Victory Of Hamas.

Teacher fired for mentioning peace in classroom: Teacher Awaits Day in Court.

Iran: A rebel against the dialogue of civilisations. Biased from the beginning, conditions should be placed on the dialogue between the Occident and Orient if it is to continue, writes Gamil Mattar*

Ian Bremmer: Iraq will be markedly less stable by year's end.

The war fan goes to Oregon: Vets fault Clinton for fundraiser. And: Hillary & Iraq.

Presidential lawbreaking to continue as stomewalling gains steam: Bush Reasserts Presidential Prerogatives: Eavesdropping, Katrina Probe Cited as Concerns.

A majority believe Shrub lied about WMD: Most think Bush is failing second term. Also: As the State of the Union Draws Near, Two-Thirds of U.S. Adults Rate Current State of the Country as Poor, According to Latest Harris Poll.

Eugene Robinson: Using Our Fear.

Not eating meat now a crime: ACLU Releases Government Photos.

The "I" word makes it into a major news service. Knight Ridder News: More Americans favor impeaching Bush, poll says.

Impeachment bulletin boards to circle Capitol: Taking the People's Demand to Capitol Hill.

LA Times writer defends incendiary Iraq column, Warriors and wusses.

Dilip Hiro: The many faces of political Islam.

Noam Chomsky: Grievances and Consequences: The Terrorist in the Mirror.

Allister Sparks in Qatar on Iran, the: Big winner of Bush's Iraq war.

Some US church leaders step up anti-war moves.

Leon Hadar: Iraq: The End Is Not Near. The Bushies "did Iraq" because they could – and nobody can force them to withdraw yet.

Kevin Zeese: General William Odom Supports the U.S. Empire But Opposes the Iraq War.

Domestic spying succeeds in dividing opposition: The price of domestic spying: Infiltrated by feds, antiwar group turns on photographer.

Peter Baker: The Realities of Exporting Democracy. A Year After Bush Recast Foreign Policy, Progress Remains Mixed.

Proof the administration knew its NSA spying was unconstitutional: A Reasonable Suspicion of Illegality.

Must Read! Paul Krugman: Iraq struggles in power vacuum.

Lack of electricity isn't just an inconvenience. It prevents businesses from operating, destroys jobs, and generates a sense of demoralization and rage that feeds the insurgency.

Vietnam Veterans on Civilian Casualties in Iraq

Stanley A Weiss thinks Iraq needs to be saved from the militias, and has idea how: A farewell to Iraqi arms?

Rami Khouri: Rejecting Bin Laden And Cheney.

Jorge Mariscal, Vietnam veteran and director of the Chicano-Latino Arts and Humanities Program at the University of California, San Diego: Flor de Borinquen: Bush's War Viewed from the South.

Joel Stein, in the LA Times, takes on those who oppose the war and "support our troops": Warriors and wusses.

I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea. All I'm asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health and a safe, immediate return. But, please, no parades

Douglas A. Borer, associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA and author of Superpowers Defeated: Vietnam and Afghanistan Compared: Why not test bin Laden's 'truce' offer?

Juan Cole: Top Ten Mistakes of the Bush Administration in Reacting to Al-Qaeda.

Get out now! Cleveland's council urges U.S. to remove GIs from Iraq.

Anti-war activist sentenced for trespassing at recruiting station.

Arianna Huffington: The Chinks in the 'Hillary's an '08 Lock' CW Armor.

Head of NSA explicitly lies about what the fourth amendment says: General Hayden: Probable Wha...?

Justin Raimondo: Hillary Clinton, War Goddess . She wants permanent bases in Iraq – and threatens war with Iran.

Brownshirts come to UCLA: Witch hunt at UCLA.

So does Juan Cole: Juan Cole Examines Jihadist Groups. Back at UCLA for first of two events, professor and Internet blogger brings sociology of religion to bear on militant Islam's recruiting methods, lending support to view that Iraq invasion revived Al Qaeda.

Washington Post Editorial: The President's End Run.

This interpretation, with its expansive view of the commander in chief's powers, would call into question Congress's ability to prevent the administration from engaging in torture or cruel and inhuman treatment or to establish rules for detainees and military tribunals....
The administration goes on to say that if the AUMF doesn't provide such approval, and if FISA is interpreted to prohibit such wiretapping outside its procedures (the law says it is to be the "exclusive means" for authorizing foreign intelligence surveillance), the statute would be unconstitutional.

Robert Dreyfuss: Civil War-Elect.

Bush's Iran Options Limited by Iraq, Perils of Military Action.

John Freeman reviews Robert Fisk's The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East : The bloody awful consequence of imperial arrogance. Unapologetically, an English journalist sets out Middle East history from an Arab point of view.

Minneapolis Star Tribune Editorial: Al Gore talks turkey, gets a gobble in reply. On wiretapping, "they did it too" won't cut it.

Eventually, terrorism will fade as a threat. But if Bush succeeds with his overweening view of presidential authority, the United States may never recover the careful balance designed by the Constitution's framers.

New York Times Editorial: Judge Alito's Radical Views. Stop him before it's too late!

The real risk for senators lies not in opposing Judge Alito, but in voting for him. If the far right takes over the Supreme Court, American law and life could change dramatically. If that happens, many senators who voted for Judge Alito will no doubt come to regret that they did not insist that Justice O'Connor's seat be filled with someone who shared her cautious, centrist approach to the law.

William Rivers Pitt imagines the spineless get a spine: Democrats: Get Up and Walk Out during the State of the Union speech.

Howard Zinn: After the War. Should we begin to speak about ending war--not just this war or that war, but war itself? Perhaps the time has come to bring an end to war, and turn the human race onto a path of health and healing.

Matthew Rothschild: Bush’s NSA Hubris.

Stating the obvious: Impeachment Would Make Matters Worse.

Roger Cohen: Iraqi politicians face race against U.S. restlessness.

In response to NSA spying: Future charges possible, Dems warn White House: Statute of limitations extends past 2008, congressman says.

Andrew Greeley asks if the security services will become the real government, as they often are in Britain: Police states handcuff elected leaders.

Support Our Troops! Progressive Americans Support Military Recruitment of College and Young Republicans

US accused of spying on those who disagree with Bush policies.

Lawrence S. Wittner, Professor of History at the State University of New York/Albany: Have Peace Activists Ever Stopped a War?

In 1956, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, complained that the atomic bomb had acquired " 'a bad name,' and to such an extent that it seriously inhibits us from using it." Later that year, when the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other administration officials called for greater flexibility in the employment of nuclear weapons, President Eisenhower responded: "The use of nuclear weapons would raise serious political problems in view of the current state of world opinion."

John Brown and Tom Engelhardt: The War on Terror as an Indian War.

Bob Herbert: Who Will Stand Up for the Constitution?

Augustus Richard Norton reviews Robert Fisk's The Great War for Civilisation: Pity the Region.

Arianna Huffington: Iraq: Deconstructing the Reconstruction. Why does Bush still refuse to properly rebuild the country he chose to destroy?

Helen Thomas: Will War Veterans Face Assaults On Campaign Trail? Veterans From Both Parties Run For Congress.

Molly Ivins: I won't support Hillary. Amen!

Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges....
There are times when regular politics will not do, and this is one of those times. There are times a country is so tired of bull that only the truth can provide relief....
Bush, Cheney and Co. will continue to play the patriotic bully card just as long as you let them. I've said it before: War brings out the patriotic bullies. In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were "German dogs." They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds. The MINUTE someone impugns your patriotism for opposing this war, turn on them like a snarling dog and explain what loving your country really means. That, or you could just piss on them elegantly, as Rep. John Murtha did. Or eviscerate them with wit (look up Mark Twain on the war in the Philippines).

Walter Shapiro: Fear of spying. Democratic strategists say opposing Bush on NSA spying makes the party look weak. Of course, that's what they said about Iraq.

Typical was my lunch discussion earlier this week with a ranking Democratic Party official. Midway through the meal, I innocently asked how the "Big Brother is listening" issue would play in November. Judging from his pained reaction, I might as well have announced that Barack Obama was resigning from the Senate to sell vacuum cleaners door-to-door. With exasperation dripping from his voice, my companion said, "The whole thing plays to the Republican caricature of Democrats -- that we're weak on defense and weak on security."

Democratic Senator Reed (RI) wants more active occupation: Senator: Iraq funding, staff crunch looms.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Ominous sign / The president's growing disregard for the law.

Some soldiers trying to get out: Disillusionment with the war cited.

Ted Bohne: New evidence of old chicanery.

New look and feel for a once great paper: The Washington Post Factor.

For all those who praised France before the Iraq war. The state that actively supported the genocide in Rwanda with arms and troops takes another wonderful moral position: France 'would use nuclear arms' against terrorists. I bet Osama's quaking in his boots.

Nancy Pelosi, enemy of peace movement: Those Damn Democrats: To End This War, Don't Ask For What You Don't Want.

Noam Chomsky's January 18th 2006 Amnesty Lecture, hosted by Trinity College Dublin: The War on Terror.

Miriam Pemberton, Peace and Security Editor of Foreign Policy In Focus, on the costs of the war and its effect on the deficit: Fudging The Numbers.

They [Congressional Budget Office] assume the scenario the Defense Department adheres to most often: troop levels in Iraq remaining steady at about 138,000 through the coming year and then declining to about 50,000 for the foreseeable future. If the costs of that deployment are added to the regular military budget, according to the CBO, from 2006 to 2015 the total deficit will rise from $855 billion to $1.4 trillion. And at the end of that period, our public debt will be absorbing a whopping 32 percent of our GDP. That’s like bringing home a $40,000 salary, and spending a third of it paying the interest on your credit card.

Leon Hadar: Guess What? Democracies Are Not Always Peaceful

Be afraid, very afraid of new democracies, as they are more likely than not to be unstable and warlike. The authors provide a mostly "institutional" explanation for this phenomenon, noting that such countries often lack the rule of law, organized political parties, professional news media, and other political and legal institutions that can place constraints on the political leaders. In the period of sweeping political changes and uncertainty that characterizes the transition to democracy, many voters aspire for a sense of identity and security and elect populists and demagogues who promote bellicose nationalism that leads to civil and inter-state wars.

David Isenberg and William Fisher The Iraq Reconstruction: I Want YOU To Pay!

On Gore v. Fascism: David S. Broder: Gore's Challenge. And Justin Raimondo: Gore Channels Taft.

Jim Lobe: Sidelining Human Rights.

Martin Hirst on: That other failed invasion of Iraq after World War I.

Tariq Ali: Crumbling foundations of Western debacle in Iraq.

Could the empire, at stalemate militarily, pull off a political triumph? A break-up of Iraq, which besides Syria was the only state resisting US domination, would mean a victory of sorts. There should be no doubt on this score.

Martin Sieff: Another grim week in Iraq.

Jonathan Morrow says cut a deal for the spoils: Oil — the curse — might also be the answer.

Again: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps.

James Webb, former secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, on the Republican smear campaign again veterans who dissent from Bush's foreign policy: Purple Heartbreakers.

[I]n recent years extremist Republican operatives have inverted a longstanding principle: that our combat veterans be accorded a place of honor in political circles...
Military people past and present have good reason to wonder if the current administration truly values their service beyond its immediate effect on its battlefield of choice. The casting of suspicion and doubt about the actions of veterans who have run against President Bush or opposed his policies has been a constant theme of his career....
A young American now serving in Iraq might rightly wonder whether his or her service will be deliberately misconstrued 20 years from now, in the next rendition of politically motivated spinmeisters who never had the courage to step forward and put their own lives on the line.

Ron Kovic: The Forgotten Wounded of Iraq.

Aaron Belkin views Iraq as: A Nation Ripe For A Coup.

Robert Scheer: What's Up with Osama bin Laden?

Gordon Prather on Iran: What Noncompliance?

Fred Kaplan reviews James Risen's State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration: Beyond the N.S.A. Scoop: A Tale of Intelligence Fiascos.

The C.I.A. had persuaded the exiled relatives of 30 Iraqi weapons scientists to make the risky trip back to their homeland. All of them came back with the same story: Iraq had no nuclear program. This was an amazing treasure trove of intelligence at a time when the C.I.A., which had no spies on the ground, was straining to learn all it could about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. And yet the information was dismissed, ignored....
In November 2003, the Baghdad [CIA] station chief sent a special cable to Langley, warning that an insurgency was stirring and that the U.S. was in danger of losing the war that the President had declared we’d already won. Headquarters started distributing inflammatory memos, accusing the station chief of personal misconduct. He quit the agency in disgust.

David Swanson on Congresswoman Lynn: Woolsey's Way to Peace.

Stefan Simanowitz: Disaster? What Disaster?

The conventional wisdom urges us to believe that an invasion of Iran has become untenable after the ‘failure in Iraq’. This could not be further from the truth.

Marilou Johanek: Bush determined to marginalize his critics.

David Corn: Bush is: Hiding Behind The Troops.

Claude Salhani: Cheney's Sunni safeguard. Related: James Ridgeway: Iran Crisis: Cheney Plays the Egypt Card: Vice president deals Mubarak in on nuclear standoff.

Mathew Maavak & S. Rowan Wolf: A World Lit By Energy Warfare.

Further evidence they knew they were lying: Early doubts about uranium sale to Iraq.

Al Gore on the response to his speech: Gore fires back.

New documentary suggests Ike's farewell warning was prophetic. The arms merchants really do rule.

Froma Harrop: Democrats shouldn't fall for the president's Iraq trap.

Tis better to declare victory and go home than to declare defeat and go home. Either approach has the same result — we go home — but the triumphal withdrawal preserves troop morale and allows a more orderly adjustment....

E. J. Dionne Jr.: Murtha and the Mudslingers.

Uri Avnery on the damage done to Israel and to Jews by the Iraq war: With friends like these... The entire Israeli establishment supported the American invasion. Now it may happen, as so often in history, that those responsible for the disaster will evade responsibility. George Bush will fade from memory in a few years. But the impression that Israel and the Jews dragged the poor US into a despicable adventure will remain.

Bill Gallagher: Bush War Plans Delusional From Start.

Nicolas J S Davies does a good job describing last year's Lancet survey of Iraqi civilian casualties: Epidemiology of mad war.

By now, allowing for a further eighteen months of the air war and other deaths since the completion of the survey, we have to estimate that somewhere between 200,000 and 700,000 people have died as a direct result of the war. The occupation forces have killed anywhere from 70,000 to 500,000 of them, including 30,000 to 275,000 children below the age of fifteen.

Nicolas J S Davies: Epidemiology of mad war.

As Iraq-style resistance picks up: Afghan wary of US Presence in Afghanistan.

Harvey Silverglate: Could Publication of the Domestic-Spying Story Lead to Indictment of the New York Times?

What has received virtually no attention is that the Times and its reporters, editors, and publisher are at serious risk of indictment by a vengeful White House concerned not so much with disclosure of national secrets as with revelation of its own reckless conduct.

Al Gore: 'We the People' Must Save Our Constitution. Watch: here.

Paul Craig Roberts: Bush Crosses the Rubicon: Tyrant in the White House.

In this first decade of the 21st century the United States regards itself as a land of democracy and civil liberty but, in fact, is an incipient dictatorship.

Watch: John Murtha on 60 Minutes.

Bob Cesca: The Party of 'Patriotism And The Military' Smears The Service of Another Military Patriot.

The following comment says it all: "I am a Marine currently serving at 4th Marine Aircraft Wing in New Orleans. Right now my fellow Marines and I are watching as we slowly slouch towards war with Iran. If deployed to the area, I promise you this: we will fight together, and we will fight valiantly. We will fight for those we do not know and for a cause we might not share. But we will fight. And when we come home, we may continue our fight, in the halls of power, the state capitols, and DC, if we so choose. We have earned it in blood and sweat. No one, and I mean no one, has the right to impugn our service, or our credentials without expecting a defense. I am defending Mr. Murtha because he did in Vietnam what others would not do. And I thank God for giving me the chance to make my mark as he has. And when I come home, will you be there to slander me too?"

Skepticism at Home Threatens Bush's Vision. # Americans like the idea of spreading democracy; they just don't believe it will work, polls show.

Philip Giraldi: You Say You Want a Revolution? Promoting democracy in the Middle East.

David G. Mills: Article I, Section 8, and the Law of Nations vs. The Man Who Would Be King.

John M. Crisp: Vietnam and Iraq - risks foretold, ignored.

Juan Cole: 10 Things Martin Luther King Would have Done about Iraq.

Cronkite: Time for U.S. to Leave Iraq.

Alan Block: History's Burden in Iraq . A review of William Polk's Understanding Iraq.

Polk does note something I have not read elsewhere. "Still undeveloped," he writes, "is a vast sea of oil believed to be under what has recently been nicknamed 'the Sunni triangle' around Baghdad." Making a deal with the Sunnis to develop that field, so that Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds will all have independent oil revenues, might be the most constructive thing the United States could do.

Washington Post Editorial on Torture General Miller: A General's Dishonor.

[A]nyone who still accepts the Abu Ghraib cover story peddled by the White House and the Pentagon -- that the abuses portrayed in now-infamous photographs were invented by rogue guards on the night shift -- ought to be asking what this two-star general is afraid of....
Unless charges are forthcoming against Gen. Miller, he could yet escape all responsibility for his actions -- even that of telling the truth.

Geov Parrish interviews Noam Chomsky: 'There Is No War On Terror'.

David Hirst: The Invasion of Iraq: The Greatest Strategic Disaster in US History.

Juan Cole: Bush and the Caliphate.

William Fisher: Bush's New Multilateralism.

New Zogby Poll Shows Majority of Americans Support Impeaching Bush for Wiretapping.

Coming this spring to a campaign near you: How the US will engineer an invasion of Iran.

Rep. John Murtha: Questions About My Record. See also: Iraq Soldiers Speak Out Supporting Murtha; Also: 60 Minutes To Air Murtha Segment... Predicts Large Withdrawal "By The End Of The Year"...; and Arianna Huffington: Jack is Back: Murtha Takes the Fight to Bush -- and Across America.

Swift Boat Liars for War: Web Site Attacks Critic of War: Opponents Question Murtha's Medals.

Tom Engelhardt: Bush v. Reality: War, Trials, Leakers, Investigations, Packed Courts, and a Constitutional Crisis.

Coleen Rowley: Bullying and Threats Can't Smokescreen the Truth.

Ray McGovern: Proof Bush Deceived America.

Risen adds that by the time of this “intelligence summit,” senior CIA officials had concluded that “the quality of the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction didn’t really matter,” since war was inevitable.

Arianna Huffington: Iraq Moves a Step Closer to Civil War; the MSM Yawn.

Rep. John Murtha: Situation in Iraq Is Civil War.

Bob Herbert: The Lawbreaker in the Oval Office.

Half of public supports withdrawal "as soon as possible": Americans Split Over Immediate Iraq Withdrawal.

New film: Caught in the Crossfire: The Untold Story of Falluja: The United States has Destroyed Hundreds of Thousands of Iraqi Lives. A new documentary filmed in Falluja Iraq shows American atrocities, the destruction of an entire Iraqi city and the destruction of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilian lives. The film web site.

Michelle Pilecki: Not a Good Time for Journalists.

Joseph L. Galloway: US won't quickly change a thousand years of tradition in Iraq.

Christopher Dickey: Confidence Game. Iraq has taught us that 'unknown unknowns' make lousy targets. Will Washington heed that lesson when it responds to Tehran breaking its nuclear seals?

Robert Dreyfuss: The Bush Who Cried Wolf takes on Iran.

Anti-War Group Has Documents Proving NSA Spied on Them.

Poll: Iraq won't be governing itself soon. Asked if it was worth going to war, smaller majority says no.

Fewer than one in five, or about 19 percent, of the 1,003 adults quizzed Friday through Sunday, said they believe Iraqis can assemble a sound, democratic government in the next 12 months that is able to maintain order without the assistance of U.S. troops. Seventy-five percent said they didn't believe that would happen.

Saul Landau: The Careless Presidency: Different Americas.

New Demand for Body Armor Politicians "Paydirt".

Cameron Turner: King's Vietnam Criticism Rings True For Iraq.

UK officer lambasts US Iraq warfare. See the complete article by Brigadier Nigel R.F. Aylwin-Foster: Changing the Army for Counterinsurgency Operations.

"US Army personnel were too inclined to consider offensive operations and destruction of the insurgent as the key to a given situation, and conversely failed to understand its downside."

Dahr Jamail and Arkan Hamed: 'Democracy' Brings Bleak Days.

Alexandra Walker: Did Bush Want To Bomb Al Jazeera?

E.J. Dionne: Somalia's sobering lesson.

Bill Hare : Media Snake Oil: Joe Klein Spins a Tale About Sudden Bush Candor.

Michael Schwartz & Tom Engelhardt: A Formula for Slaughter: The American Rules of Engagement from the Air

William M. Arkin: The Army's Buying PR. Word comes from RL that the Army has hired PR firm Hass MS&L of Detroit to offer "exclusive editorial content" to blogs willing to run government propaganda.

Evidently not a joke: Raiding the Icebox: Behind Its Warm Front, the United States Made Cold Calculations to Subdue Canada.

Invading Canada won't be like invading Iraq: When we invade Canada, nobody will be able to grumble that we didn't have a plan.

New (?) film on DVD. Haven't seen it yet. Looking forward to it: Occupation Dreamland.

Will Democrats roll over? Bush Issues Stark Warning on Iraq Debate.

From Australia, Paul Dibb writes of: The decline of American sway.

Gary North on the Republicans who will never accept US defeat: The Republican Guard Take-a-Bathists.

Gershom Gorenberg: Ariel’s Exit. The end of Sharon means big trouble for the Bush administration.

Privacy? US opening some private mail in terror fight.

Gareth Porter: Shi'ites Escalate Conflict with US Over Sunni Strategy .

Joshua Frank: MoveOn.org Surrenders: Silence Is Complicity.

General Sir Michael Rose: Enough of his excuses: Blair must be impeached over Iraq. The only way parliament can regain the trust of disaffected voters is to admit that it was wrong to support the war. See also: When a general strikes.

Andrew Cockburn: How Many Iraqis Have Died Since the US Invasion in 2003? 30,000? No. 100,000? No.

James Carroll on Sharon, antisemitism, WMD, and the need for peace: The Arc of Ariel.

Salman Rushdie on "extraordinary rendition": Ugly Phrase Conceals an Uglier Truth. Behind the US Government's corruption of language lies a far greater perversion.

Gary Leupp: Neocons Considered Planting WMD Evidence in Iraq?

Raymond J. Learsy speculates that Saudi Arabia is aiding the Iraqi insurgency to keep the oil price up: The Head of the Snake: Iraq's Unspoken Risk.

Richard F. Miller: Camp Followers, Contractors, and Carpetbaggers in Iraq.

Martin Garbus is: Angry and Furious at the Collaborationist Democratsfor keeping the NSA wiretapping secret for years.

Zbigniew Brzezinski: The Real Choice in Iraq.

Eric Umansky: McCain Is Not Enough to stop torture.

James Bamford reviews James Risen's State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration: Where Spying Starts and Stops: Tracking an Embattled C.I.A. and a President at War.

In Australia, the Federal Opposition Leader from the Labor Party says: Time to cut and run: Beazley.

Obama sees no military solution in Iraq. Neither does he favor quick withdrawal.

Spine in the British Parliament: MPs leaked Bush plan to hit al-Jazeera. Others have been charged, but not the MPs.

Noam Chomsky: Beyond the Ballot.

Gilbert Achcar interviewed by Bill Weinberg: Iraq: The Case for Immediate Withdrawal.

Michael T. Klare: Losing the War on Terrorism: Our Incompetent Commander-in-Chief.

In Britain: Top armyman wants Blair impeached.

Anthony H. Cordesman: Behind the Iraq Attacks.

Michael D. Langan reviews James Risen's State of War: Delving into war secrets of the Bush administration.

Cheney says Iraq not worth the casualties.

"The question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is not very damned many."

Sheila Samples: You Can't Go Home Again . . .

David Swanson describes one of the 136 antiwar events held Saturday: Forum with Congressmen Moran and Murtha Packs Hall, 500 Turned Away.

Robert Kuttner says if we wish to preserve our rights: Alito may be the worst choice.

Eric Margolis: The 'fin de regime'? An out-of-touch George Bush now presides over a lost foreign war and a morass of influence peddling.

An interview with Michael Scheuer: The Origins of the Rendition Program: Does the CIA Have the Right to Break Any Law?

Ksren Kwiatkowski: He-Said, He-Said, and a 2006 Prediction.

Of course, the real truth is uglier than simple civil war. The destruction of a sovereign Iraq was the primary objective of this war - and that mission has in fact been accomplished. Bush was and remains correct from the moment he famously landed on an aircraft carrier and announced, "Mission Accomplished."

Even the pro-American rightist: Germany's Merkel says Guantanamo should be shut.

another look at: Iraq Unembedded. A new book featuring gripping war photos from four independent photojournalists tells the story an embedded US press corps couldn't tell.

Norman Solomon: Axis of Fanatics -- Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad.

David Isenberg: The Imperious President.

Chastity and the lonely GI: 'Battle Kits' Fight Porn, Adultery in the Military; Biblically Themed Guides Try to Keep Soldiers 'Pure' While Deployed.

Sen. Eugene: McCarthy's observations on Vietnam can apply toward Iraq.

David Sirota: Bush announces radical shift in foreign policy; No U.S. media report it.

Zoltan Grossman: New Challenges for the Antiwar Movement: How Some Arguments Against the War Might be Twisted to Prolong It.

Martin Sieff: Iraq's dark realities.

Attack on the Murtha mutiny: Top US general says Murtha remarks damage military.

In this case it wasn't bad intelligence, but rather, bad motives: 9/11-Iraq link refuted days after attack.

Ray McGovern: J. Edgar Hoover With Supercomputers.

Would you trust a Karl Rove, a Dick Cheney, an Elliot Abrams, a Roberto Gonzales, an I. Lewis Libby, a David Addington or a John Bolton with such information?... What might they be likely to do with it?

Jerome Grossman, chairman of Council for a Livable World; he was the originator of the Vietnam Moratorium: A 'free and fair' election in Iraq.

Charles Pena: Troop Reduction Legerdemain .

Col. Daniel Smith, U.S. Army (Ret.): A Forensic Anatomy of the Strategy for “Victory”.

Bloodied Iraq Cries Out for Leadership. As the slaughter resumes, statesmanship is in short supply, writes former Baghdad correspondent Aparisim Ghosh

And Iraqi political observers warn that the longer they are poorly ruled by “small, ordinary men,” the more their fellow countrymen will long for the return of a Saddam-like tough guy. When statesmen are hard to find, strongmen tend to thrive.

Matthew Rothschild: IMF Occupies Iraq, Riots Follow.

Robert Dreyfuss: The Twin Crises Of 2006.

Gabriel Kolko: The Decline of the American Empire.

Michael Schwartz: The New Iraq War Strategy: More Bombings, More Civilian Deaths, Less Likelihood of Success.

Justin Raimondo: 'Good News' From Iraq. We're losing the war – but don't worry, the neocons are making the bucks…

Tom Engelhardt: The Unrestrained President.

Maureen Dowd: It's Not Personal, Jack, It's Strictly Business.

He [Shrub] left the ranch for a brief visit at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he kidded in a way that again showed his jarring lack of empathy with the amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan: "As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself - not here at the hospital, but in combat with a cedar. I eventually won. The cedar gave me a little scratch. As a matter of fact, the colonel asked if I needed first aid when she first saw me. I was able to avoid any major surgical operations here, but thanks for your compassion, colonel."

Columbia Journalism Review: Drilling Down: How the press can keep the debate about Iraq honest.

Senate GOP plans Iraq PR blitz.

From Newsweek International: The Last Word: Noam Chomsky -- A Tale of Two Quagmires.

Alexander Cockburn: "Old Half-Witted Sheep": A New York Times Editorial Contemplates Iraq.

Patrick J. Buchanan: We need a new foreign policy.

Rupert Cornwell: This won't be the American century.

Katrina vanden Heuvel: The I-Word is Gaining Ground.

Robert Parry: Bush's Long War with the Truth.

Huibin Amee Chew: Why the War is Sexist.

US Troops Draw Up Own Exit Strategy. See also: Editorial: At last, good war coverage.

In a striking rebuke of the assertions of the Pentagon and the White House that a swift exit is neither practical nor possible, soldiers of varying rank have outlined a straightforward plan of immediate disengagement, dubbed "Operation Screw This."

Military Times Poll finds high morale, but less support for Bush, war effort.

Information Warfare! US curbs soldiers' blogs.

Anyone want the junk? Soldiers sell Iraq medals through eBay.

Minhaz Merchant : America’s Iraq gameplan.

LA Times: Iraqi Civil War? Some Experts Say It's Arrived. # The full extent of the conflict is veiled by the presence of U.S. troops, says one, but Americans' premature exit could lead to far worse strife.

Steven Leser: The Fight over the Iraq vote and the strange hypocrisy of the American Right regarding Iraq: The Islamic Republic of Iraq?

Morris County, NJ Daily Record: Insight on Iraq war: 10 provide new ways to think about conflict.

Bush Impeachment Inquiry Has 8 House Co-Sponsors, in addition to sponsor Rep. Conyers.

Simon Jenkins in the London Times: Leave the field now - the Iraqi endgame is about to begin.

Attorney Martin Garbus: Impeachment is Now Real .

James Ridgeway: The Bush Family Coup: Son revisits the sins of the father on America.

Juan Cole makes predictions, just to embarrass himself as the year unfolds: Ten Amazing Predictions for 2006.

Katha Pollitt on 2005: It Wasn't All Bad.

Open Letter From an Iraqi.

Some soldiers trying to get out of Army as conscientious objectors. Others adopt more desperate measures.

In Australia: Voters desert PM on Iraq question: poll.

Overall, 27 per cent of voters across the spectrum said they still supported the invasion.

Jonathan Powers: Behind veil of Iraq war, winds of peace.

The tragedy of war or violence is not that sometimes it does not have positive outcomes. It is that the same goals could have been met without war if the protagonists had been more farsighted and more prepared to be patient and creative in their diplomacy and less bellicose in their confrontation.

Martin Sieff: 2005 Review: The Year in Iraq.

John Zogby: George W. Bush: Winning Battles But Losing the War.

And in our recent year end poll, we find that the president not only gets low marks from Democrats (11%) and Independents (24%), but has now lost support from key groups he needed in his re-election: married voters, gun owners, investors, Catholics, and voters in the so-called Red States (those that he carried in 2004). In fact, Mr. Bush gets only a 52% positive rating among Born-Again Christians and only 71% among conservative, much lower numbers than he needed to win and needs to govern effectively.... Barring anything unforeseen, this president will most likely not see the positive side of 50% again. He banked his presidency and his political capital on the war in Iraq and is now at the mercy of things on the ground that are beyond his control.

New York Times Public Editor tells off paper for withholding NSA eavesdropping story for a year and refusing to say why: Behind the Eavesdropping Story, a Loud Silence.

Steve Martin: Leap Second Lovers Are Traitors Says Bill O'Reilly.

Previous Month Archive: December, 2005
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Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis
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