May, 2003


The Occupation

As time drags on, the situation of the Iraqi populace become more dire: Behind the victory, a power struggle that drains life from a weary people: The untold stories of how no electricity means no water, which means disease

It seems that US troops in Iraq are acting as if they are the LAPD: US gunfire kills three teens at wedding

Following the shooting, the doctor said, several US soldiers with rifles walked into the hospital, seeking the names of those who had been wounded. The sight of armed soldiers, so soon after the shooting, so frightened people in the hospital that some of them fled.
Dr Rahman said: "I was very surprised. I was very afraid." What added to the tension, he said, was that the soldiers seemed "very irritable".

Another day, another scandal. The Pentagon has given a contract to build a (useless) cellphone network in Iraq to one of the largest corpoate criminals in histor: MCI/WorldCom: Another Scandalous No-Bid Contract Makes Us Look Like Fools No doubt, Enron's next. See. also WorldCom's Iraq deal assailed: Critics wonder why MCI got contract after fraud scandal

This item isn't even Humor, which is good because it isn't funny: Bush, Blair Nominated for Nobel Prize for Iraq War

So far, things in Iraq are not getting better for the populace. The guardian (UK) makes it clear that the brilliant Pentagon strtegists bear a good share of the blaim: Gun gangs rule streets as US loses control: Ed Vulliamy in Baghdad reports on aid agencies' struggle to save Iraq from looters, disease and poverty

Since the war, say workers for several aid organisations, the Pentagon's administration has systematically hindered the reconstruction and the distribution of medicines and other supplies....
The US is 'in breach of its obligations under the Geneva Convention,' says Alex Renton, spokesman in Iraq for Oxfam, in failing to prevent the looting, particularly of medical supplies. 'The question of security is fundamental,' says Renton, 'as is the problem of looting. We did actually manage to repair the water system in Nasiriyah, only to see it looted a couple of days later.' 'The Americans say now they could not have foreseen the problem of looting medical supplies,' says MSF's medical co-ordinator, An Willems. 'But we had been telling them about this risk since just after the war....'
Meanwhile, US tanks grind through the streets of Hilla, and the children still wave cheerily. The tank commanders duly wave back, but do not understand what is being shouted at them from behind those mischievous, smiling young faces: 'My father is with your sister!' Or: 'While you are in Iraq, your wife is becoming a rich woman in bed!'

The Observer (UK) reports "The United States is illegally holding thousands of Iraqi prisoners of war and other captives without access to human rights officials" and that the mistreatment, akin to torture, perfected in Afganastan and Guantanomo, is being practiced on them: Red Cross denied access to PoWs: Up to 3,000 Iraqis - some of them civilians - believed to be gagged, bound, hooded and beaten at US camps close to Baghdad airport

Not surprisingly, the thousands of Arabs being forced out of Northern Iraq by the Kurds are not keen on "liberation": Victims of the peace decide Americans are worse than Saddam

Patrick Cockburn sums up the situation so far: The Real Quagmire is the Aftermath:Everywhere There are Signs of Breakdown "The US seems to have fought the war essentially because it wanted a war."

Laurie King-Irani a social anthropologist, founder of Electronic Iraq, and former editor of Middle East Report discusses the meaning of democracy within Iraqi culture: How do you spell democracy in Arabic? D-i-g-n-i-t-y

US uses Heavy Metal to torture Iraqi prisoners: Sesame Street breaks Iraqi POWs

A harrowing account of the new Iraq: For Iraq's children, a new war has begun

Not to be outdone by Iraqi looters, US Troops 'vandalise' ancient city of Ur

The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research has published an extensive and meticulously documented account of the US foreign policy leaders and current occupation government of Iraq. An indispensible resource: Do you want to know who the Americans running Iraq really are? Also available (in one long web page, rather than several separate ones) from Information Clearing House

Now its official policy. "Liberation" means "liberating' unfortunate Iraqis from their life. Not surprising when you appoint a counterterrorism expert and partner of Henry Kissinger to run a country. New Policy in Iraq to Authorize G.I.'s to Shoot Looters " 'They are going to start shooting a few looters so that the word gets around' that assaults on property, the hijacking of automobiles and violent crimes will be dealt with using deadly force." [NOTE: May 18, 2003: The US seems to have backed down on this, for the time being.]

More "liberation. The US wants censorship over Iraqi television news. New Iraqi TV Complains of US Censorship

An analysis of US plans for "liberating" Iraq by occupying it: Kick Their Ass and Take Their Gas: Democracy Comes to Iraq

An alarming picture of the state of health care and the continuing tide of casualties under US occupation: Shia mullahs take charge of hospitals to halt chaos: A new force is emerging on the streets as doctors in Baghdad treat a tide of casualties. Ed Vulliamy reports Especially alarming: reports that the US intends to "privatize" the health system to allow US corporations to profit:

Now a privatised Americanisation of the system would punish the poor, and he [a doctor being interviewed] points out - correctly, according to international medical organisations - how US insurance companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield are waiting in the wings, alongside construction companies, to forge a new Iraq.

Iraq in danger of starvation, says UN says the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation. The US response: "America's efforts to get Iraq's Health Ministry up and running twisted into farce yesterday, when it emerged that the new Minister concerned was a Saddam crony."

National Museum

Yet more evidence that the Americans actively encouraged at least some of the looting, including at the National Museum. By Walter Sommerfeld Professor of Oriental Philology in Marburg, who has toured Iraq for the past 20 years. He was one of the first German scientists to visit Iraq after the war. Plundering of Museums in Baghdad. [ German original] "'Go in Ali Baba! It´s all yours.' - called the Americans"

The Americans are so concerned about both the Iraqi people and WMD, that they allow the former to loot the Iraqi nuclear reactor sites, taking home radioactive material, then give them incorrect information on how to protect themselves: In the wreckage of Saddam's nuclear research centre, villagers take their pick of lethal spoils. The Telegraph (UK) reports that many Iraqis are already suffering radiation sickness from these sites: Villagers suffer radiation sickness after looting nuclear power plants

"The soldiers had promised us they would secure the site but they did not and we wonder why," he said. "Perhaps it was because they always knew there were no real weapons there, despite all their claims. But, nevertheless, these materials represent a major health hazard and before long we may start to see people developing cancer and deformed babies because they did not stop the looting."

As many of us suspected from the beginning and as the Washington Post reports, the US aims to seize control of Iraqi oil, with UN blessing, if possible: U.S. to Propose Broader Control Of Iraqi Oil, Funds

Phil Reeves in The Independent (UK) depicts a situation spiralling out of control: Liberation, one month on: Chaos on the streets, cholera in the city and killings in broad daylight

The Age (Australia) reports the extent of Iraqi disillusionment with the US, this time in Umm Qasr. Iraqi welcome for US turns to fury

Now that General Garner is being replaced by Paul Bremer as ruler of Iraq, its important to know about him. Here's one source detailing his unsavory history: The Real Terror Network: Paul Bremer, the new ‘Gauleiter’ of Iraq Here's another account of the Iraqi Viceroy by Bill Berkowitz Bremer of Iraq.

The BBC is reporting evidence that US troops actively encouraed the post-war looting: US troops 'encouraged' Iraqi looters

'I saw with my own eyes the Americans signal the people to move in and the looters started clapping,' says Mr Khattar. 'The Americans waved bye-bye and the looters were clapping. They started looting quickly and when one man came out with an air conditioner an American said to him 'Good, very good'.

An analysis of US lies about the killing in post-war Iraq, especially the Fallujah killings and the continuing US lies about what happened, from Phil Reeves in Iraq: Iraqi rage grows after Fallujah massacre

Newsday is reporting that the Shia cleric killed by a mob in the early days of the post-Sadam period had been given $13 million by the CIA to buy Shia support for the US: Cleric's Killing Setback to U.S.: CIA lost an ally and $13M

The killing, and the lies, continued in Fallujah: Two Killed In New Iraq Demo Shooting And see: Pictures of massacre at Fallujah, Iraq

The Resistance

Anti-American action picked up steam this week: (from the LA Times) Riot Chases Troops Out of Iraqi Town: 'They were terrifying the women and children,' one protester says after U.S. soldiers search homes for weapons.

Four separate attacks in one day. It looks like the war to eject the Americans may be beginning. And the next morning, two more attacks: Iraq Firefight Leaves 4 Dead, 9 Injured

It appears that a Shia cleric in Baghdad has taken major steps toward the Islamization of the city. Does the US fight him and his ilk, or acceded? 'Iron hand' cleric issues fatwa amid Baghdad chaos

Hassan Fattah in the New Republic reports that the various Iraqi factions are arming for civil war: Beirut Redux. "Iraq's nascent political groups a re forming armed militias and storing weapons as they prepare for a potential civil war for control of the country.... The rise of organized armed factions could turn Iraq's capital into a twenty-first-century version of 1980s Beirut."

What better way to begin this section than Robert Fisk's So he thinks it’s all over...

Analysis, Commentary, & Domestic Reaction

Karen Armstrong, author of Islam: A Short History here argues that there is a long tradition of Shia support for the separation of church and state. Thus, in her view, Sia is not a threat to democratic possibilities in Iraq: Faith and freedom: With a tradition of justice and secularism, there is no reason to fear Iraq's Shia resurgence

A group of correspondents for The Independent (UK) sum up the story so far: Iraq Inc: A joint venture built on broken promises Another article in the same paper lists The allies' broken promises


Complied by Stephen Soldz

Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis
1581 Beacon St.
Brookline, MA 02446
ssoldz@bgsp.edu

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Iraq Antiwar Resources
Where is the US Headed?
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