Interviews with & Writings by Antiwar GIs & Vets

NOTE: Information regarding the WMD lies and other matters directly related to the prior stage of the war is available at Iraq Antiwar Resources. Also there are antiwar songs, poetry, video, statements of famous people, and much more.

May, 2005

The Occupation

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Things are getting better, part 22: Iraq Minister Warns Of Fuel, Power Hikes.

he Iraqi government may decrease subsidies for fuel and electricity, despite a severe shortage of both in the country, the electricity minister said Sunday as he warned Iraqis to prepare for more blackouts this summer....
Before the U.S.-led invasion, residents of Baghdad had about 20 hours of electricity a day. Today, they get about 10, usually broken into two-hour chunks. There are also frequent fuel and drinking water shortages, and only 37 percent of the population has a working sewage system.

Dahr Jamail: Death and Humiliation.

Facing a future no better than the present: Facing Chaos, Iraqi Doctors Are Quitting.

Fillipino in Iraq working for KBR have to strike to get what's owed trhem: Striking Pinoy workers in Iraq go back to work.

The Filipino workers, who were employed by Prime Projects International (PPI) and Kellogg Brown and Root, went on strike to protest against the delayed payment of their wages, inadequate food, and poor accommodations, which were violations of the contract signed by the workers prior to their deployment. Meanwhile, a migrant workers' group said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo must file a diplomatic protest against alleged inhumane treatment by US companies in Iraq of Filipino workers.

More than a year after the torture there became public: Long Jailings Anger Iraqis: A large proportion of inmates at Abu Ghraib and another facility are held months without charges. Critics urge a transfer to Iraqi custody.

Dahr Jamail: "Dogs of the Americans".

Fighting to receive $430 a month after being paralyzed from the waste down. What better indicator of how expendable soldiers are: Injured Marine fights for wounded soldiers' pay.

Another murder: U.S. army investigates shooting of Iraqi prisoner.

Imprisoned for 22 months and tortured by the Coalition after opposing Saddam's regime: Kurd chief who taught mercy to Saddam's men.

Robert Fisk: Mubarak's Goon Squads.

Anti-war sailor lifts foes of Iraq policy: Sentence for defying deployment orders less than expected.

RAF bombing raids tried to goad Saddam into war.

The RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war, new evidence has shown....
The new information, obtained by the Liberal Democrats, shows that the allies dropped twice as many bombs on Iraq in the second half of 2002 as they did during the whole of 2001, and that the RAF increased their attacks even more quickly than the Americans did.

Must Read! A brave group of progressive Iraqi students is organizing to oppose the various disasterous directions their country is headed in, including occupation, Islamization, privatization. They ask for and deserve our help: Baghdad Student Congress.

Winner of most ludicrous article of the hour. It's all ok. After years in Guantanamo Concentration Camp, unidenified prisoner, with NO reason to be afraid, after three more years in hell, and no prospect of getting out, recants account of Koran in toilet! What torture and terror won't accomplish! Inquiry Finds Some Quran 'Mishandling'. Why in the world would anyone take seriously a Pentagon investigation of their Concentration Camp?

[After a TOTALLY impartial investigation by those having absolute power of life, death, and pain over the prisoners they conclude it's all just a misunderstanding:] Lawrence Di Rita, spokesman for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, said at the news conference with Hood that at this point it should be clear that any mishandling of the Quran was largely inadvertent.

Who will they invite? Shi'ites offer Sunnis bigger role in Iraq constitution.

After four months: Kurds Still Without Govt After January Poll.

Things are getting better, part 21: Doctors alert for a possible cholera outbreak in summer season.

Robert Novak reports: Army's recruitment crisis deepens.

As occupation winds down: Britain to bolster troop numbers in Iraq.

Some reaching out. But who will they include? Iraqi MPs agree on Sunni role in constitution drafting.

Life is better, part 20: Baghdad's Polluted Water Makes Children Sick With Cholera.

US adheres to anti-torture treaty, says US. Others who aren't blind, deaf and dumb have doubts: Rights Groups Assail US Govt Torture Report.

The smoking gun, from the Washington Post: Gitmo Guards Accused of Mistreating Koran: Newly Released FBI Documents Detail Allegations. Will the Post put it on page A1 or A26?

Nearly a dozen detainees at the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba told FBI interrogators that guards had mistreated copies of the Koran, including one who said in 2002 that guards "flushed a Koran in the toilet," according to new FBI documents released today....
Amrit Singh, an ACLU attorney, said in a press release that "the United States' own documents show that it has known of numerous allegations of Koran desecration for a significant period of time." "The failure to address these allegations in a timely manner raises grave questions regarding the extent to which such desecration was authorized by high-ranking U.S. officials in the first place."

Guantanamo is "the Gulag of our time" says Amnesty International

: Amnesty Takes Aim at 'Gulag' in Guantanamo. AI Press Release: Report 2005: A dangerous new agenda. Full Report: Amnesty International Report 2005.

he detention facility at Guantánamo Bay has become the gulag of our times, entrenching the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention in violation of international law. Trials by military commissions have made a mockery of justice and due process.

And US ally Kuwait is no slouch where torture is concerned: 'They pulled out my fingernails'.

The Arms Trade Resource Center has issued a new report: U.S. Weapons at War 2005: Promoting Freedom or Fueling Conflict? It details US support for conflicts world-wide.

Perhaps no single policy is more at odds with President Bush’s pledge to "end tyranny in our world" than the United States’ role as the world’s leading arms exporting nation. Although arms sales are often justified on the basis of their purported benefits, from securing access to overseas military facilities to rewarding coalition allies in conflicts such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, these alleged benefits often come at a high price. All too often, U.S. arms transfers end up fueling conflict, arming human rights abusers, or falling into the hands of U.S. adversaries. As in the case of recent decisions to provide new F-16 fighter planes to Pakistan, while pledging comparable high-tech military hardware to its rival India, U.S. arms sometimes go to both sides in long brewing conflicts, ratcheting up tensions and giving both sides better firepower with which to threaten each other. Far from serving as a force for security and stability, U.S. weapons sales frequently serve to empower unstable, undemocratic regimes to the detriment of U.S. and global security.

CIA aids genocidal regime: An Ally From Hell: CIA's close relationship with Sudan's government enables genocide there to continue.

Was it the CIA of the SEALS? CIA man saw detainee abuse.

Let the occupation continue, asks Iraq government: Iraq asks U.N. to let U.S.-led force remain.

Oil! Foreign companies enter the market. Russian: Lukoil to Explore Giant Deposit in Iraq. And Brazilian: Petrobras to Help Iraq Raise Oil Output Above 2 Million Barrels.

Resented when alive: Immigrant U.S. soldiers die as heroes in Iraq.

Southern Iraq pressing for autonomy: Proposal to divide Iraq into semi-autonomous states gains ground.

Some Sunnis already have left because they think the proposed new region excludes them.... "I was told openly by ... Shiite students, `You better look for a place to go before this region becomes a state. You were protected by Saddam, but not anymore.'"

Lies, lies, lies: McClellan Backs Away from Claims that 'Newsweek' Story Cost Afghan Lives. Now that the press understands the message and cowers, Scott McClellan denies he ever said the Newsweek story cost lives.

Throwing more away, or into Halliburton/Bechtel's hands? US House panel backs $45 bln for Iraq, Afghanistan.

Fitting irony. Former US-supported crook Chalabi may lead the investigation into the last batch of US-supported crooks: 521 Prisoners to be Released.

The new government, led by prime minister Ibrahim al-Jafaari has also set up a commission that will investigate cases of administrative corruption registered while Iyad Allawi's interim government was in power. US-funded Radio Sawa reports that the commission may be headed by the Shiite leader Ahmad Chalabi, who is one of the three deputy prime ministers in the new government and is currently embroiled in an ongoing dispute with Jordan over his 1992 conviction by a Jordanian military court for fraud and bankruptcy following the collapse of his bank, Petra Bank, in 1989.

Politics and Violence in Iraq: An Interview with Fareed Sabri, the spokesman of the Iraqi Islamic Party in the United Kingdom.

Slow, very slow: Focus on reconstruction in Fallujah.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) said there were 650 civilian deaths in a report issued in April. However, it has been suggested that the number could be as high as 1,300.

Both Shia and Sunni leaders encouraging accommodation: Shiite Leader: Iraq Civil War Avoidable. And: Sunni Scholars Propose Anti-Sectarian Code of Honor.

Latest on oil: Indonesian oil firm Pertamina to develop oil blocks in Iraq. While: Iraq suspends oil exports to Turkey because of shortage.

As 30 Bosnians march to join the coalition of the bought, the public reels: Those Ungrateful Bosnians: We liberated them. Why are they still against us?

Sl-Sadr continues Sunni-Shia mediation efforts: Sadr Mediates Sunni-Shiite Dispute . [From Juan Cole.]

Shiite cleric to lead panel drafting Iraqi constitution.

Sheik Homam Hamoodi, a relatively moderate cleric from the dominant Shiite political alliance, was named chairman of the constitutional committee under an agreement that put a prominent Kurd, Fuad Masoum, in the vice chairman slot. Both men vowed Monday to reach out to Sunni Arabs, who have only two representatives on the 55-member committee. They plan a series of conferences to tap the ideas of academics, technocrats and politicians from all backgrounds, they said.

War is organized murder. How to decide when a killing is beyond the usual: Soldier's murder trial spurs debate on war zone killings.

Iraq's 'devil-worshippers' seek constitutional rights: Yezidis follow pre-Islamic religion many scholars trace origins to the Zoroastrian of ancient Persia.

Puppet slapped down in public. Has he been fatally undermined in Afghanistan? Bush Rebuffs Karzai's Request on Troops.

"Of course our troops will respond to U.S. commanders," Bush said.... Karzai smiled and nodded as Bush spoke. He invited Bush to visit Afghanistan....
"There's too much poppy cultivation in Afghanistan. And I made it very clear to the president that ... we have got to work together to eradicate (the) poppy crop," Bush said.

Desecration of Quran at US detention centres not rare.

Protest against step toward American-style barbarism: Response to death penalty being used to control violence.

A more detailed reconstruction of the Uzbek uprising and its violent repression: A spark of defiance, and then the slaughter.

Three more journalists murdered by insurgents: Three More Journalists Die in Iraq's Media Nightmare.

Officers getting the hell out, while they can: Officers Plot Exit Strategy Many young lieutenants and captains, key leaders in combat, are deciding against Army careers in light of the open-ended war on terrorism.

Bush lobbied Uzbeck dictator for Enron's human rights: Bush's Fight for Human's Rights in Uzbekistan: The human was Enron's Ken Lay. See also the actual Letter from Ken Lay to "George".

Dahr Jamail's latest: Displaced Iraqis Simmering with Anger in Amman. And: Daily Life in Baghdad, from Afar as the civil war unfolds.

Even United Lackeys has had enough: U.N. condemns alleged U.S. abuse in Afghanistan.

Patrick Graham actually spent considerable time with Sunnis in Ramadi: The Message From the Sunni Heartland.

The New Iraq, Part 19: Black market organ trade is Baghdad's new growth industry.

Summer heat, filthy water, no energy to pump it: Iraqis high and dry as summer inferno nears.

Eventually can be a long time: Commanders Plan Eventual Consolidation of U.S. Bases in Iraq.

Memogate chugs along: Blair faces US probe over secret Iraq invasion plan.

US-EU: Conference to help Iraq draft constitution.

George W. Bush's cousin-in-laws gave $1,294,620 in kickbacks to Saddam: Galloway tongue-lashes Coleman; committee documents show Bush political friends and family paid Oil-for-Food kickbacks to Saddam Hussein. [See very bottom of article.]

The Iraqi Oil-for-Food scandal also involves one of the Bush children—Dorothy "Doro" Bush Koch, sister of George W. Bush and married to Bobby Koch, reportedly a cousin in the oil industry Koch family, the owner of Koch Industries, which is also one of Bush's largest political donors. The minority committee report indicates that Koch Industries was also a major recipient of illegal Iraqi oil and a huge source of kickbacks to Saddam Hussein

Iraqi government brutal commando group declaring war on the entire Sunni population: Wolf Brigade the most loved and feared of Iraqi security forces. See also: Eight members of elite Iraqi force killed in ambush.

Another colony disintegrating: Secret UK troops plan for Afghan crisis.

Morality in recruiting? The military's desperation is showing.

Jandres, who is Salvadoran and has a borderline low IQ, was apparently "befriended" by a local Army recruiter, who invited him to come with him to Arizona for three days to observe basic training. Five days later, his distraught mother (who speaks no English) got a phone call from her son, who told her, hysterically, that he was on a military base in South Carolina. He was in the Army, he said, and wasn't allowed to stay on the phone longer than a minute. Family members' and friends' attempts to get any information from the Army have been fruitless.

The new the Iraq WMD evidence was weak at best, right before pivotal Bush and Powell speeches, reports the Washington Post on p. A1: More Evidence Of Bush Aides' Doubts on Iraq: Analysts Questioned Most Intelligence.

New alliance: Sunni Groups Team Up Politically in Iraq.

Kurdish women don't want the fate of southern Iraqi women: Kurdish women make a stand .

85,000 Iraq War and Afghanistan War veterans have already sought medical care from VA.

Struggles over control of buildings: Sunnis, Shiites struggling for control of mosques in Iraq.

bloodiest in a two-year power struggle that has turned Iraq's holiest places into sectarian battlegrounds. Shiites have seized up to 40 Sunni mosques since Saddam Hussein's regime fell, according to Shiite and Sunni clerics. While Sunnis view the campaign as a land grab, Shiites say they're reclaiming plots that Saddam stole from Shiite landowners.

Puppet wakes up. Shocked, simply shocked: Karzai 'shocked' by abuse report. [What did he think went on in those Concentration Camps where prisoners keep dying and those who get out keep reporting they were tortured?]

Afghanistan (Reuters) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Saturday he was shocked by a U.S. army report on abuse of detainees in Afghanistan, saying his government wanted custody of all Afghan prisoners and control over U.S. military operations.... "No operations inside Afghanistan should take place without the consultation of the Afghan government," he said. "They should not go to our people's homes any more without the knowledge of the Afghan government ... If they want any person suspected in a house, they should let us know and the Afghan government would arrange that...." Karzai said he would also ask for "the return of prisoners to Afghanistan, all of them".

Further evidence that the administration is brazenly lying about the lack of abuse of the Koran at Guantanamo Concentration Camp: Real Gitmo shame? Report U.S. soldier rapped for Koran abuse at lockup. Or as this Scottish headline puts it: 'Young Troops Abused Detainees in U.S. Camp of Death'. Of course, we have to remember that the real Gitmo shame is that the Concentration Camp exists. All else is footnotes.

But two reliable military sources confirmed the previously undisclosed reprimand at the Camp Delta prison - contradicting Bush administration denials of any "credible and specific allegations" about Koran desecration at Gitmo. "That's true," an ex-Army interrogator at Gitmo said. "I am aware of somebody having their hand slapped." The source said a soldier on another interrogation team was punished for "trying to be insulting" of a detainee's Koran.

Details of CIA kidnap-for-torture actions: New Swedish Documents Illuminate CIA Action: Probe Finds 'Rendition' Of Terror Suspects Illegal.

It's quite clear that laws were broken. It is against Swedish law and against international law," said Anna Wigenmark, a lawyer for the Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights....
Zery later complained to his lawyers that the CIA agents tranquilized him by inserting suppositories in his anus during the search and that the two prisoners were forced to wear diapers.... While investigators said they could not prove that the prisoners had been forcibly medicated, such a tactic would have violated Swedish law.

Military intelligence officers under investigation for murdering two Afghans were transferred to Abu Ghraib while under investigation. Is it not possible that they were supposed to import their murderous craft to Iraq? Report implicates top brass in Bagram scandal.

Tensions build. Al-Sadr tries to mediate Shia-Sunni effort to end tension. Further information: Thousands of Shiites, Sunnis Protest US Occupation, Clashes Break Out; Al-Sadr group, guards clash; and: And: Baghdad Sunni protest deepens sectarian tension.

They did such a great job running Iraq last time they tried, they want to tell the puppets how to do it: US Moves to Reassert Itself in Iraq Affairs.

President of 35,000 member Newspaper Guild: U.S. troops killing journalists.

Foley said: "Journalists, by the way, are not just being targeted verbally or … ah, or … ah, politically. They are also being targeted for real, um … in places like Iraq. What outrages me as a representative of journalists is that there's not more outrage about the number, and the brutality, and the cavalier nature of the U.S. military toward the killing of journalists in Iraq."
Foley continued, "They target and kill journalists … uh, from other countries, particularly Arab countries like Al -, like Arab news services like al-Jazeera, for example. They actually target them and blow up their studios with impunity. ..."

More on the multi-billion dollar robbery known as the Coalition Provisional Authority: Rules and Cash Flew Out the Window. Remember, many billions of this money was Iraqi money entrusted to the US from the oil-for-food program.

"We were squandering the money we were entrusted to handle," said Keller, who at the time was a deputy advisor to the ministry. "We were a blind mouse with money." This apparent indifference toward accountability in spending Iraqi money was common among American officials last year as they rushed to sign contracts in the waning days of U.S. control of Iraq, according to interviews and documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times....
"There were lots of examples of bad management because of the chaos around the turnover," said Ginger Cruz, chief of staff for the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, who oversees U.S. spending in Iraq. "There was a greater opportunity for fraud...." U.S. officials are unsure whether billions of dollars dispatched to Iraqi ministries for reconstruction projects ever reached their intended destinations. Schools and hospitals refurbished under hastily issued contracts have again fallen into disrepair. The oil and power industries are in worse shape than during the regime of Saddam Hussein.... There is a pervasive belief among Iraqis that the occupation shifted corruption from cronies of Hussein to cronies of U.S. officials....
E-mails, documents and interviews with officials who worked in Iraq at the time portray a mania to move money.... According to another audit by Bowen, a U.S. official charged with distributing cash payments was given $6.75 million on June 21 and told to hand it out by the end of the month.

US thrilled at peaceful gesture? Iran flexes its 'soft power' in Iraq.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most influential Shiite leader, never meets with American officials. But when Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi arrived in Iraq this week, the revered Iranian-born cleric threw open his doors.

Iraq to send envoys to Syria over insurgents row.

Turkey to triple electricity exports to Iraq.

US-created rules to form basis of new Iraqi constitution, says US official: Iraq constitution will draw heavily from transitional law, says Zoellick. He also says: Iraq war 'can last for years'.

US not doing well, says Christian Science Monitor analysis: US generals say Iraq outlook 'bleak'.

Don't torture as we do: Army Warns Iraqi Forces On Abuse Of Detainees.

In Afghanistan: Karzai angry at US Afghan 'abuse' that led to the murder of two prisoners, including one believed by the torturers to be innocent.

[US investigation suggests that murder is not abuse and is "generally accepted":] The US military initially said there was no indication of abuse in the two men's deaths and that interrogation techniques were methods that were "generally accepted".

Human Rights First: In Their Own Words: Detainees Tell of Degradation of Religious Beliefs at Guantanamo.

Rogue state kidnapping people around the world: US Faces Questions Over 'Kidnappings' in Europe. Will anyone be prosecuted and given stiff sentences? Will the US officials who ordered the kidnappings be prosecuted?

James Meek gives a history of the descent into the ultimate evil of torture: Crossing the pain barrier.

Military Recruiters Lie About Dangers In Iraq.

Recruiter: "You've got more chance of dying over here than you do over there."

Dahr Jamail: “Many people were working with the Americans, so I felt it would be ok”.

Her name is Ahlam Abt Al-Hassan. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of when she was shot twice in the head by member of the Mehdi army while waiting for a taxi to go to her job with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) in Diwaniyah.

Step on US flag, to protest desecration of the Koran: Sadr urges Iraqis to trample on US flag over Koran desecration.

New York Times reports on Afghan horror centers: In U.S. Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths.

Even as the young Afghan man was dying before them, his American jailers continued to torment him.

MEK: Neocons' Pet Iranian Revolutionaries Accused of Torture by Human Rights Watch. See Press release: Iran: Exiled Armed Group Abuses Dissident Members. And Full Report: No Exit: Human Rights Abuses Inside the Mojahedin Khalq Camps.

Dahr Jamail on Living in Two Worlds.

Another kind of invader: Patriarch denounces U.S. evangelicals in Iraq.

Arab League Concerned Over Targeting Iraqi Sunnis.

Already in 2002 and 2003: Red Cross told U.S. of Koran incidents, the ICRC announced Wednesday. As the article makes clear, the US responded with yet new lies about the ICRC complaints.

Alive but not well, according to a New England Journal of Medicine article: A new trauma in Iraq: Severe brain injuries - and soldiers who live through them - increase in this war, creating challenges. And NEJM: Traumatic Brain Injury in the War Zone.

Iraq War Hero Struggling To Get Navy Paychecks: Wounded Soldier Says Payments From Navy Arrive Months Late.

Iraqi sailors in peril off India: An Iraqi captain’s SOS from Gujarat: Ship declared unsafe month ago, crew desperate, hungry.

Robert A. Pape's research shows that suicide bombings are usually a reaction to occupation, not a product of religion: lowing up an assumption.

Understanding that suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation rather than a product of Islamic fundamentalism has important implications for how the United States and its allies should conduct the war on terrorism. Spreading democracy across the Gulf is not likely to be a panacea so long as foreign combat troops remain on the Arabian Peninsula.

Dahr Jamail: "Democracy" in Iraq.

There has been a low-grade civil war going on for quite some time-but now the veil has been ripped off by the statements made by Dhari....
hus, any argument that the US military should remain in Iraq to prevent a civil war can be flushed. Besides, anyone arguing that the US military was there to protect the Iraqi people is either blind, in denial, or knows absolutely nothing about the reality on the ground in occupied Iraq. The US military in Iraq are unable even to protect themselves, let alone civilians....
I conducted an informal interview two days ago with a UN official here in Amman...thus I'll leave his name out of this...for now. He told me that 95% of the reconstruction funds for rebuilding Iraq have been spent outside of Iraq. So the argument of staying in Iraq to help rebuild the country-that too could have been flushed long ago.

Residents report civilian massacres, says Dahr Jamail: U.S. Claims Over Siege Challenged.

UN increases efforts: Relief Efforts Stepped Up After Fighting in Qaim.

An Iraqi family patiently adapts to life in the danger zone.

William Fisher: "Iraq: Real News from the Battlefield": An Eyewitness Account from Iraq

Harpers reports a Koran: Flushed With Enthusiasm down the latrine.

Occupation to last for MANY years, say US generals: US generals skeptical of early Iraq drawdown.

"I think it's going to succeed in the long run, even if it takes years, many years," the senior officer said.

Return to Fallujah Concentration Camp, the ultimate in occupied cities, with a level of control never before created: At home in the rubble: siege city reborn as giant gated community.

Now a tour of Fallujah, once feared by foreigners as the headquarters of the most militant of the Islamic insurgents, is akin to visiting a violent psychiatric patient after a lobotomy....
ach resident must obtain a security pass from the US military. The pass contains the holder’s names, other personal details, a photograph, fingerprints and an iris scan, which is fed into a computer and can be cross-checked with the names of suspected insurgents and former detainees.

What none of those who ordered the torture have done: Abu Ghraib abuser says sorry.

Bush creating permanent colonial occupation bureaucracy, to be deployed to new colonies at a moment's notice: Bush acknowledges problems in post-war Iraq.

Must Read! Riverbend on the atmosphere in Baghdad today, the rumors floating around, and the world-wide protest over he desecration of the Koran: The Dead and the Undead...

The bombs are mysterious. Some of them explode in the midst of National Guard and near American troops or Iraqi Police and others explode near mosques, churches, and shops or in the middle of sougs. One thing that surprises us about the news reports of these bombs is that they are inevitably linked to suicide bombers. The reality is that some of these bombs are not suicide bombs- they are car bombs that are either being remotely detonated or maybe time bombs. All we know is that the techniques differ and apparently so do the intentions. Some will tell you they are resistance. Some say Chalabi and his thugs are responsible for a number of them. Others blame Iran and the SCIRI militia Badir....
We've been watching the protests about the Newsweek article with interest. I?m not surprised at the turnout at these protests- the thousands of Muslims angry at the desecration of the Quran. What did surprise me was the collective shock that seems to have struck the Islamic world like a slap in the face. How is this shocking? It's terrible and disturbing in the extreme- but how is it shocking? After what happened in Abu Ghraib and other Iraqi prisons how is this astonishing? American jailers in Afghanistan and Iraq have shown little respect for human life and dignity- why should they be expected to respect a holy book?...
Now Newsweek have retracted the story- obviously under pressure from the White House. Is it true? Probably? We've seen enough blatant disregard and disrespect for Islam in Iraq the last two years to make this story sound very plausible. On a daily basis, mosques are raided, clerics are dragged away with bags over their heads? Several months ago the world witnessed the execution of an unarmed Iraqi prisoner inside a mosque. Is this latest so very surprising?
Detainees coming back after weeks or months in prison talk of being forced to eat pork, not being allowed to pray, being exposed to dogs, having Islam insulted and generally being treated like animals trapped in a small cage. At the end of the day, it's not about words or holy books or pork or dogs or any of that. It's about what these things symbolize on a personal level. It is infuriating to see objects that we hold sacred degraded and debased by foreigners who felt the need to travel thousands of kilometers to do this.... By doing such things, this war is taken to another level- it is no longer a war against terror or terrorists- it is, quite simply, a war against Islam and even secular Muslims are being forced to take sides.

In Briatin: Iraq Torture: 'Claims Against Soldiers Swept under Carpet' .

Report: Turkey Launches Attacks on Kurdish Bases in Iraq. Related: Kurd violence rises in Turkey, raising fears of renewed war.

Badr Brigade behind killings of Sunnis, alleges head of Muslim Clerics Association: Iraq Sunni cleric blames Shi'ites for killings.

As usual, women suffer: Killing for Honour: Officials and activists voice concern at the number of women being murdered by their own families.

According to a study conducted by the ministry of women’s affairs, more than 400 women have been raped since the fall of the Saddam regime - and more than half were later murdered in honour killings.

Disappearing journalists: U.S. and Iraqi military forces detain journalists, whereabouts unknown.

Bechtel: More powerful than the US Army. By Jeffrey St. Clair.

For what? Soldiers in Iraq get to see kids graduate - on screen.

First Iran, now Syria: 'Syria Takes Measures Against Militant Flee into Iraq'.

New York Post: Brit Fries Senators in Oil.

A university student: blogs about the bombing of her school.

You'd think Iraq was the US. Now Iraqi doctors are to be armed: Gun law in the doctor's surgery.

Friends work together: Iran says will block militants from entering Iraq.

Washington Post [on p. A12, where few will notice]: Desecration of Koran Had Been Reported Before.

But American and international media have widely reported similar allegations from detainees and others of desecration of the Muslim holy book for more than two years....
Dozens of detainees have said in declassified court records that Guantanamo Bay detention officials and military guards engaged in widespread religious and sexual humiliation of detainees. Detainees said the goal was to make them feel impure, shake their faith and try to gain information....
Former detainee Abdallah Tabarak told a Moroccan newspaper in December that he saw guards throw Korans in the toilet, according to a BBC translation of the article. "When I wanted to pray, they would burst into my cell with police dogs to terrorize me and prevent me from praying," he said. "They also would trample the Koran underfoot and throw it in the urine bucket. We staged protests in the prison about the desecrating of the Holy Koran, so the management promised us that they would issue orders to the American soldiers not to touch the copies of the Koran again."

Must Read! Senate jackass out foxed: Briton puts senators on defensive on Iraq. Here's a Transcript of Galloway's Statement. Or: Watch the amazing performance. You've never seen anything like it! Democratic Senator Carl Levin comes across as particularly despicable, to use a kind description.

"As a matter of fact, I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns. I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war, and on the second of the two occasions, I met him to try and persuade him to let Dr Hans Blix and the United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country - a rather better use of two meetings with Saddam Hussein than your own Secretary of State for Defence made of his...."
"I was an opponent of Saddam Hussein when British and Americans governments and businessmen were selling him guns and gas. I used to demonstrate outside the Iraqi embassy when British and American officials were going in and doing commerce. ou will see from the official parliamentary record, Hansard, from the 15th March 1990 onwards, voluminous evidence that I have a rather better record of opposition to Saddam Hussein than you do and than any other member of the British or American governments do...."
"You have my name on lists provided to you by the Duelfer inquiry, provided to him by the convicted bank robber, and fraudster and conman Ahmed Chalabi who many people to their credit in your country now realise played a decisive role in leading your country into the disaster in Iraq. There were 270 names on that list originally. That's somehow been filleted down to the names you chose to deal with in this committee. Some of the names on that committee included the former secretary to his Holiness Pope John Paul II, the former head of the African National Congress Presidential office and many others who had one defining characteristic in common: they all stood against the policy of sanctions and war which you vociferously prosecuted and which has led us to this disaster."

Evidence George Galloway is being framed, again: How they forged the case against Galloway.

Patrick Cockburn sums up the situation: Iraq is a bloody no man's land. America has failed to win the war. But has it lost it?

Villagers in western Iraq apparently asked the Americans for help uprooting jihadists, only to find their villages destroyed by mass terror bombings, by the Americans: Marine-led Campaign Killed Friends and Foes, Iraqi Leaders Say. As a result: Hundreds of displaced from al-Qaim in need of supplies.

"The Americans were bombing whole villages and saying they were only after the foreigners," said Fasal al Goud, a former governor of Anbar province who said he asked U.S. forces for help on behalf of the tribes. "An AK-47 can't distinguish between a terrorist and a tribesman, so how could a missile or tank?..."
When the offensive ended, however, angry residents returned to find blocks of destruction. Men who'd stayed behind to help were found dead in shot-up houses. Tribal leaders haven't counted their dead; several families hadn't yet returned to the area.

In this interview from 2004, Canadian reporter Scott Taylor describes the brutality and callousness of US occupation forces: The Secrets of Occupation.

Unlike the torturers-in-chief, Bush, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, and Sanchez, Specialist Sabrina Harman was a kind, caring woman, assigned to do a monstrous task, who did her duty and suffers remorse. In contrast, the bastards who ordered her into the situation won't suffer a bit, from remorse or the law: Abuse soldier 'known for kindness'. And: Tearful Apology From Abu Ghraib Soldier. On the positive side: Abu Ghraib informant gets award.

US nightmare as old enemies make up: Old enemies Iran-Iraq talk border security.

Dahr Jamail recommends people support the NGO: International Peace Angels in their Iraqi relief efforts.

[Dahr Jamail:] Many people have contacted me asking how they can help to ease the suffering of the Iraqi people. I would like to pass on information about an NGO that has been one of the only international groups who have successfully delivered aid into combat afflicted areas in Iraq such as Fallujah and Samarra. Here is their information, and I strongly urge you to assist them.

Aaron Glantz: Return of the Mahdi.

Now you see them, now you don't: Kazakhstan may pull troops out of Iraq. And Bulgarian: Parliament rules on Iraq deployment.

Remember, everything else they've claimed has proven true: Britons formerly held in US camps allege they saw guards desecrate Koran.

Death squads active, AMS claims: Sunnis Complain of “State Terror” in Iraq.

“The mass killings and the crackdown and detention campaigns in north-eastern Baghdad over the past two days by members of the Iraqi police or by an Interior Ministry special force, known as the ‘Wolf Brigade’, are part of a state terror policy,” Mothana Harith Al-Dari, spokesman of the Association of Muslim Scholars, (AMS) told Monday, May 16. Up to 48 bodies were found slain and mutilated across Iraq Sunday and Monday, Fifteen of them uncovered in a Baghdad’s predominantly Sunni neighborhood after they were shot in the head. “The bodies were of Iraqis detained by the Iraqi security forces during a crackdown operation in the neighborhood on Sunday,” the AMS said in a statement. Two of the victims, who were still alive, said the “Wolf Brigade”, an interior ministry special force, was responsible for their killing. “They arrested us and fired bullets at our heads after having our mouths muzzled and hands tied behind backs,” the statement quoted the survivors as saying.

What took him so long? Sistani calls for Shiite-Sunni peace to prevail in Iraq.

After massive attack lasting days: Iraqi Village Scarred After U.S. Offensive.

Was soldier just convicted for trying to document Abu Ghraib abuse? Defendant wrote she would document Iraq abuse. Followed by: US reservist guilty of Abu Ghraib abuses: Military jury convicts Sabrina Harman on six of seven counts.

Another detailed report: Iraq's Ba'athists rebound on 2 fronts: Battle new leaders with force, politics.

In response to horror: Refugees put Uzbek dead in thousands. US makes mild criticism: Graves indicate toll of Uzbek unrest: New reports cite hundreds more killed in area. See also: Uzbek ruler: a new Saddam Hussein? Critics of the 'tyrant of Tashkent' say US ally makes Hussein look 'like a choir boy'. And: Poverty, crime, and oppression seen as fueling Uzbeks' anger.

[:Refugees:] [I]t seemed likely that when the truth emerges, the massacre in Uzbekistan, an American ally in the fight against terrorism, could become the deadliest assault on civilians since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
[Graves:] This kind of problem is also going to be helped if you can get a more open political system in Uzbekistan. They really need more political reform and we've been saying that to the Uzbeks for some time," Rice said. ''I don't mean that they should tolerate terrorists or terrorist groups. . . . But it is a system that is politically too closed." ''The main preoccupations are now to encourage everybody to forgo any further violence, to help with the refugees that went into Kyrgyzstan out of Uzbekistan, and to try to deal with the consequences right now of this set of issues," she said.

Will the US follow suit? Iraq Government Calls for an End to Mosque Raids.

An important new report, to be officially released Wednesday, by Carl Conetta of the Project on Defense Alternatives: Vicious Circle: The Dynamics of Occupation and Resistance in Iraq Part One. Patterns of Popular Discontent Executive Summary and Full Report.

Will the US press put this in the headlines? US 'backed illegal Iraqi oil deals': Report claims blind eye was turned to sanctions busting by American firms

"The United States was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions," the report said. "On occasion, the United States actually facilitated the illicit oil sales."

Another: Netherlands to withdraw troops from Iraq.

The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Jan Peter Balkenende announced the withdrawal of all Dutch troops from Iraq. All 1350 military personnel are expected to be back home before mid March.

US soldiers want to follow the Dutch, and the Spanish, and the Philippines, and... The deserters: Awol crisis hits the US forces.

But the South African mercenaries are thrilled at the chance to kick ass: Easy money lures SA men to war-torn Iraq.

As the situation deteriorates: Little hope held for Iraq economy.

Dahr Jamail: A Welcome Parade of Seething Anger.

The subject of civil war is broached, and Mohammed, a Shia driver from Sadr City, blurts out, "The occupiers are creating these problems between the Shia and Sunni, but they will not divide us! All occupations only mean destruction and suffering!" I look around the room filled with seething Iraqis and find them nodding once again.

As constitution drafting begins: Iraq's legitimacy at a crucial point. In contrast: Sunni Arabs Ask for Independent Commission.

Not surprisingly: Muslims doubt Quran climbdown.

Al-Sadr apparently demands immediate withdrawal, not just setting a timetable: Sadr Blasts U.S., Saddam in Speech. Another report gives a totally different emphasis: Shiite firebrand Sadr urges restraint over Iraq communal tensions.

[Shiite firebrand:] "Any action targeting unarmed civilians is forbidden under any circumstances...."
"If occupation forces leave Iraq, there will be no ethnic conflict here, and I'm ready to fight terrorists wherever they are if the occupiers leave," he told reporters.

US press, like US government, goes easy of butchers of Tashkent: Uzbek toll rises as unrest spreads. Now there'll be mass arrests, followed, no doubt, by the usual torture: Mass arrests likely after bloody Uzbek uprising. Of course, it's not for nothing: What drives support for this torturer? The former UK Ambassador, who knows first-hand how little the US and UK governments care for the Uzbek people, tells us: Oil and gas ensure that the US backs the Uzbek dictator to the hilt. And remember Human Rights Watch's detailed 2004 report: Creating Enemies of the State: Religious Persecution in Uzbekistan.

[Mass arrests:] According to witnesses interviewed by Reuters in Andizhan, soldiers outside a school gunned down a large crowd, including women, children and 10 police hostages, that was moving away from a main square where the shooting started. "It was a massacre," said a 31-year-old cobbler who witnessed the killing outside School No. 15 from a side-street. "This sickening smell of blood, smashed brains, guts, and blood, blood, everywhere. I could not put my feet on a dry spot. "I saw soldiers killing several wounded with single shots to the head after asking 'are there any wounded around'," he said. He said he saw about 500 corpses. He said he did not want to be named as he had been detained twice by the security services. His statement could not be verified but it corroborated others.

Fawning: Newsweek Apologizes: Inaccurate Report on Koran Led to Riots. Despite "retraction": Newsweek Got Gitmo Right. See, as usual, Juan Cole's commentary: Guantanamo Controversies: The Bible and the Koran who points out that Newsweek did not, in fact, retract.

[Cole quoting a former military officer:] Looking at Gitmo in the 'big picture', you have to wonder why it is still in operation though they know so many are innocent of major charges. A look through history at the various 'experimentation' programs of the DOD gives a ready answer. The camp provides a major opportunity to expose a population to various psychological control techniques. Look at some of the stuff that has become public, and this becomes even more apparent. Especially the sensory deprivation--not only sleep, but there are the photos of inmates in gas masks or sight/hearing/smell deprivation setups. There has already been voluminous research into sensory deprivation, and it seems this is another good opportunity for more. One note is that sensory deprivation is used to some degree in military basic training and to a greater sense in the advanced training courses--Rangers, SEALS, etc. All part of the 'breakdown' process before recruits are 'remade'....
This informed former officer has suggested the real reason for which some in the Pentagon are so angry about the Newsweek story. It may well so focus international outrage on Guantanamo that Rumsfeld will lose his little psych lab.

Juan Cole believes the neo-Baath are behind the "insurgency": Over 30 Bodies Found.

Are they coming back? Hussein's outlawed former party gaining influence in Iraq.

ICRC concerned about the plight of civilians in Iraq.

US makes excuses for the murder of 500 by its torture ally: US concerned terrorists freed in Uzbek jail break. World reaction: Anger as US backs brutal regime.

The US State Department expressed concern on Friday that members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan were freed during the storming of a prison in the eastern part of the country.... He said the United States is looking to all parties involved in the deadly confrontation in Andijan to exercise restraint.

Dahr Jamail: Amman, Iraq, and Al-Qaim.

The new crooks go after the last batch: Ex-ministers wanted on corruption.

Former Transport Minister Louai Hatim Sultan al-Aris and ex-Labour Minister Laila Abd al-Latif have been accused of separate corruption charges... [F]ormer Defence Minister Hazim Shaalan has been prevented from leaving Iraq.

Occupier unhappy with the locals: US military urging Iraq's government to act against the insurgency.

Japan to build thermal power plant in Iraq-Kyodo.

Not going along with the US game plan: Top Iraqi Shiite cleric calls for purge of former Baathists.

Burnin' thru the dough: $50 billion more asked for US Iraq, Afghan, terror wars.

Claim: Italy sent troops to Iraq to secure oil deal.

Derrick Z. Jackson writes of moments in the life of an occupation: Losing hearts and minds.

NPR reporter Philip Reeves followed American soldiers around Mosul. At one point, the soldiers decided to take over a civilian house for two hours as a surveillance post. A lieutenant said to the surprised family of the house, ''Listen to me. Let me make this really clear for you. We need to be in your house for two hours. Everybody in this house will stay here." When the family continue to appear to be ''baffled and unhappy," another soldier stepped in and said (with obscenities bleeped out by NPR): ''Look, check this out. You tell them this. You're not [bleep] leaving. Nobody's [bleep] leaving this house. You're not using the phone. Anybody comes, they're going to [bleep] stay here. OK? You give me a [bleep] hard time, I'll turn you [bleep] guys into the commandos, and they'll [bleep] you up."

It may make sense, but who is the US to tell Iraqis who to have in their government: Bush wants more Sunnis in Iraq's government.

People want action, but: Iraq's ministries struggle to serve: Amid a wave of attacks in Baghdad, the health ministry, like others, grapples with shortages and corruption

Partial victory for conscience: No Jail Time for Sailor's Refusal to Board Ship: Man Gets Reduction in Rank, Hard Labor.

Protest spread throughout Afghanistan: Anti-U.S. Afghan protests: 7 dead.

"America is our enemy and we don't want them in Afghanistan," Shah said as the students ended their protest and returned to classes later Thursday. "When they insult our holy book they have insulted us."

Hosted by Sen. Patrick Leahy: Capitol Hill Event Saturday, May 14, about Iraqi War Victims Fund, Work and Legacy of Marla Ruzicka.

More on the just released UN Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004: Iraqis soldier on without power, water, jobs, sewers. Survey Overview and Links to Full Report.

Patrick Cockburn reports that Iraq is more divided than ever: Diary from Mosul.

US continues long-standing opposition to Shiite power in Iraq: The Coming Shi'ite Showdown.

Human Rights Watch and other organizations say: Global Torture Ban Under Threat: Governments Cannot Hide Behind the Fig Leaf of Diplomatic Assurances as they use "rendition" to get people tortured.

Naomi Klein reports: Torture’s Dirty Secret: It Works, not as an interrogation tool, where it's worthless, but as an instrument of social control.

Another consequence of "liberation": Heroin routed through Iraq.

Drug smugglers are taking advantage of internal chaos in Iraq to route Afghani produced heroin through the Iraq and into Europe, according to the agency that implements UN drug conventions.

Puppets and puppeteer squabble: Security, sovereignty at issue in U.S.-Iraqi dispute over building.

The most recent bombings left the Majlis a shell of its past glory. Mohammed Qassim, an Iraqi architect who has worked on the building, said he toured the Majlis with U.S. contractors who were seeking local help to rebuild it as quickly as possible in the early days of the war. He said they entered the building to find U.S. soldiers camping in filthy halls. The troops had scribbled anti-Muslim graffiti on the marble walls, he said, and they'd smashed the fancy bathroom fixtures imported from Italy. "I was in pain when I saw what had happened to that building," Qassim said. "I said to myself, `Are these really the civilized Americans we hear about?'"

Human rights abandoned under US pressure? Iraq's Flirtation With the ICC.

He's a Colonel, so only a fine for authorizing torture: US colonel fined for Iraq abuse.

Iraqi anger grows as insurgency intensifies.

Three more die as the other colony erupts: Anti-US protests spread in Afghanistan.

Republicans take aim: Galloway to face US hearing: MP to fly to Washington to deny profiting from oil for food scandal.

Another, Spc. Sabrina Harman, takes the rap: US soldier pleads not guilty to wiring Iraqi.

Starting to pierce the US media blackout. the Los Angeles Times: Indignation Grows in U.S. Over British Prewar Documents.

New report: Living conditions in Iraq 'tragic'.

Incompetent, but we send him on: Panel Sends Bolton Nomination to Senate.

Must Read! Democracy Now! Seymour Hersh: Iraq "Moving Towards Open Civil War".

You have some general rules, but in this case, a bunch of kids were going along in three vehicles. One of them got blown up. The other two units -- soldiers ran out, saw some people running, opened up fire. It was a bunch of boys playing soccer. And in the digital videos you see everybody standing around, they pull the bodies together. This is last summer. They pull the bodies together. You see the body parts, the legs and boots of the Americans pulling bodies together. Young kids, I don’t know how old, 13, 15, I guess. And then you see soldiers dropping R.P.G.'s, which are rocket-launched grenades around them. And then they're called in as an insurgent kill. It's a kill of, you know, would-be insurgents or resistance and it goes into the computers, and I'm sure it's briefed....
he idea is to go to major cities. They did Fallujah, they're doing Ramadi right now, take it down, make the people of the Sunni heartland more afraid of the American/Iraqi Mukhabarat than they are of the resistance. That's the idea. And Abizaid, so I have been told, has made it clear that he thinks he can, within a year, he can take down four or five of the major strongholds. And I think the plan is to go from Ramadi to another major city of 300,000 or 400,000 and begin the same kind of operation. No more embedded journalists, only on a rare occasion. We're not there like we were in Fallujah. We don't really know what's going on in Ramadi. It seems like it’s holy hell there, but we don't know.

You have to go to CNN International for this one. Americans don't need to be reminded of smoking gun evidence their President lies: Bush asked to explain UK war memo.

Master-crook gets off again: King of Jordan to pardon Iraq's deputy PM over $300m bank fraud.

Foreign companies to be rewarded, workers loose: Privatisation Plan Drawn Up: Industry ministry hopes to persuade local and international firms to invest in state-owned concerns.

Iraq has around 200 state-owned enterprises, known as SOEs, and the government is looking to partially privatise or completely sell off many of these.

An Interview with Ghazwan al-Mukhtar, an engineer living in what America calls "liberated' Iraq" but what he calls "occupied Baghdad": The Occupation Get More Saddam-like Everyday.

Violence, underfunding threaten Iraq's universities.

So much oil, but no oil: Plenty of Oil But No Petrol: Insurgents blowing up pipelines add to technical hitches that prevent Iraq refining its oil and keep petrol queues long.

“The main problem is the destruction of the oil pipelines that deliver crude oil to the refinery; this sometimes halts work here,” said an engineer at the al-Dora refinery, who asked not to be named.
But the refining industry is also held back by the worn-out technology currently in use, and an inability to replace it with modern equipment. A maintenance engineer at the Iraqi oil ministry told IWPR he believed deteriorating equipment at the refineries was more of a problem than attacks on pipelines. Agreeing with this point, Hassam Shams, an engineering assistant at the low-capacity Thi-Qar refinery in southern, said one reason why things were falling apart was that the funds meant to keep the refining plants running were being stolen. “Corruption and the theft of money allocated to maintain the production process are other reasons why one production line [at Thi-Qar] has ground to a halt,” he said.

Fred Kaplan: Why U.S. troops won't be coming home from Iraq anytime soon.

Colonials restless: Afghans killed in anti-U.S. riots.

At least four people have been killed and 70 injured in violent protests in Jalalabad over reports U.S. interrogators at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base desecrated copies of the Quran during questioning of prisoners held there.

"Moral recruiting"? rmy Recruiters Play Hard Ball.

Unlike "Democratic" Iraq: Kuwait lifts ban on Al-Jazeera TV.

Not one Senator stands up: Unanimous Senate vote approves war funds.

Soon, it will solely be an Anglophone crusade: Japan considering exit strategy from Iraq.

Major reconstruction getting nowhere: Iraq struggles to rebuild.

A sign of hope. Muslim Peacemaker Team counter sectarian divisions: Shi'a Muslims Join Sunni in Fallujah Cleanup. [As reported by hristian Peacemaker Teams.]

"Muslim Peacemaker Teams from Karbala and Najaf is pleased to be in Fallujah in order to assist in the ongoing clean-up efforts. We are among our brothers and sisters in the city of Fallujah to recognize our solidarity with you," read the leaflet passed out by members of the MPT and Christian Peacemaker Teams....
uslim Peacemaker Teams has been in existence for three months and it is their plan to continue to retain a connection with the citizens of Fallujah through direct action. Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq has made working with MPT the number one priority for the team at this time. Both groups are committed to continuing to work to foster nonviolent alternatives to militarization for a free and independent Iraq.

The new Iraq, part 18: Focus on child labour.

Eleven-year-old Mahmoud al-Obaidi walks seven km every morning to get to work at a carpentry factory in Baghdad so he can save his bus fares....
More than a million youngsters work often enduring hazardous conditions, as well as being vulnerable to sexual abuse and violence, according to a report released at the end of 2004.

Yankee go home: Iraqi police vent anger at US after car bombings.

"It's all because you're here," a policeman shouted in Arabic at a group of US soldiers after the latest in a bloody wave of attacks that have rocked Baghdad this month. "Get out of our country and there will be no more explosions," he told the uncomprehending Americans staring at the smouldering wreck of a car bomb.

Nothing but hype: The big catch that wasn't? Pakistan's arrest of Libyan Al Qaeda suspect not as big a breakthrough as first thought.

The Times reports that "the backslapping in Washington and Islamabad has astonished European terrorism experts, who point out that the Libyan was neither on the FBI's most wanted list, nor on that of the State Department 'rewards for justice' program."

US leave? Don't talk crazy: Ex-Mossad chief: U.S. may be in Iraq for years.

The poor things may not get to invade Iran after all. But they're still trying: Two Wars Too Many: Neocons hunt for the right surrogate at the right time to take on Iran.

He strongly suggests that Bush long ago decided to attack Iran and today may only be deterred by military warnings that we can't fight two wars at once. Of course, the neocons might ignore the military warnings and get Bush to sanction an attack anyway.

At last they start: Iraq parliament forms new body to draft constitution.

Although the committee contains only a handful of Sunni Arabs, most of whom are affiliated with Mr Allawi's secular nationalist bloc, representatives from Sunni groups unrepresented in parliament will be able to sit on the committee in an advisory role.

Improved quality of life from occupation? Soaring birth deformities and child cancer rates in Iraq.

More concentration camps for uppity natives, or those who just get in the way: US to Expand Prison Facilities in Iraq. If there's now an Iraqi "government", why is the foreign occupier holding any prisoners, much less thousands upon thousands?

Camp Bucca, which has eight compounds, is adding two, enough to accommodate about 1,400 additional prisoners. Space for another 800 detainees is being built at Abu Ghraib. Camp Cropper is also expanding, from a current capacity of about 120 prisoners to 2,000 by the end of this year. U.S. authorities also plan to turn a Russian-built former Iraqi military barracks near the northern city of Sulaymaniyah into a prison for 2,000 inmates and call it Fort Suse.

Janis Karpinski says they used an old shoplifting charge to demote her: Demoted General Says Army Used Old Case.

US army asked to explain why it is still holding CBS News cameraman after one month.

I guess they won't have elections before then: Italy's Fini sees Iraq troop withdrawal early 2006.

Crooks get reward: Halliburton gets $72 mln bonus.

Reaching out, but will they offer what's needed? Iraq's new government expected to use Sunni members to reach out to insurgents.

Even al-Jiburi, like many Sunni Arabs, thinks there is little chance the homegrown insurgency will stop so long as the U.S. military remains in Iraq. ''Everything depends on the policies of the new government and whether it works for ending the occupation,'' said Nabil Salem, a Sunni Arab academic. ''Only then will the resistance be likely to respond, and give the government the benefit of the doubt.''

Like elsewhere, the new government reneges on its election promise to end the occupation: Talabani: U.S.-led troops to remain.

Robert Fisk decries the American torture machine: America's Shame, Two Years on from "Mission Accomplished".

The real mission, it seems, was to institutionalize the cruelty of Western armies, staining us forever with the depravity of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and Bagram - not to mention the secret prisons which even the Red Cross cannot visit and wherein who knows what vileness is conducted. What, I wonder, is our next "mission"?

Puppets don't get control of master's intelligence service: Amidst doubts, CIA hangs on to control of Iraqi intelligence service.

The Iraqi official said the CIA recruited agents from SCIRI, Dawa, the two main Kurdish factions, and two secular Arab parties: the Iraqi National Congress led by Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Accord led by Ayad Allawi, who later became the interim prime minister. This group, the prototype for an Iraqi intelligence group that represented Iraq's diversity, became CMAD: the Collection, Management and Analysis Directorate.
When the U.S.-led occupation authority ceded power to the semi-sovereign interim government last June, the official said, CMAD was split, with roughly half the agents going to the new interior ministry and the rest to work on military intelligence in the defense ministry. Both ministries' intelligence departments are led by Kurds, the most consistently U.S.-friendly group in Iraq, and report to the Iraqi prime minister.
But an elite corps of CMAD operatives was recruited into the third and most important Iraqi intelligence agency, the secret police force known by its Arabic name: the Mukhabarat. Its Iraqi director is Mohammed Abdullah Shahwani, a Sunni general whose three sons were executed by Saddam in retaliation for his involvement in a botched, CIA-backed coup attempt in the mid-1990s. Shahwani's top deputy in charge of daily operations is said to be a Kurd; Shiites are believed to comprise just 12 percent of the force. Unlike the defense and interior ministries, there is no provision in the Iraqi government's budget for the secret police. The Mukhabarat's money comes straight from the CIA.
Several Shiite politicians in the new government want Shahwani out, saying the Mukhabarat's ranks are filled with Saddam's former officers seeking revenge against the Shiite militias they fought in the 1980s. The Iraqi intelligence official said agents have complained the ex-Baathists use the word "resistance" instead of "terrorists" when describing Sunni insurgents in internal memos, raising serious doubts about the agents' loyalties... The aides privately said Shahwani is firmly in place and that al-Jaafari doesn't have the power to remove him.

Purges spreading: Iraqi Office Weeding Out Ex-Baathists. An interesting comment on the source of "De-Baathification" information: Let the Purge Begin, Part II.

US firm to rebuild Iraqi tanks: Defense Solutions to rebuild T-72 Tanks and Other Military Vehicles for the Iraqi Army.

Reports of a mass "civil rebellion" in Ramadi against US encirclement of town: 8 US Servicemen Killed Over Weekend.

Creative response: Cameras on a Roll in Iraq: Free of Hussein, the TV and film industry is blossoming and testing boundaries.

New Defense Minister: Ex-Iraqi minister ends exile.

Crooks fall out: Former ministers flee as Iraq begins corruption inquiry.

Cabinet almost full: Iraq cabinet deal falters as Sunni rejects post.

Government unity? Iraq is not a federal state – it is official.

For Some in Iraq's Sunni Minority, a Growing Sense of Alienation.

Anti-occupation conference in Iraq: Iraqi Powers Link Dialogue to Pullout Timetable.

Growth industry: Coffin Industry Booming in Iraq.

“The spiraling death rate in the country has definitely reflected positively on undertakers."

Kight-Ridder newspaper chain picks up smoking gun on lie of the century: Memo: Bush made intel fit Iraq policy.

"There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable," the MI-6 chief said at the meeting, according to the memo. "Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD," weapons of mass destruction. The memo said "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy....
The newly disclosed memo, which was first reported by the Sunday Times of London, hasn't been disavowed by the British government. A spokesman for the British Embassy in Washington referred queries to another official, who didn't return calls for comment on Thursday. A former senior U.S. official called it "an absolutely accurate description of what transpired" during the senior British intelligence officer's visit to Washington. He spoke on condition of anonymity....
But the memo quotes British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, a close colleague of then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, as saying that "Bush had made up his mind to take military action." Straw is quoted as having his doubts about the Iraqi threat. "But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran," the memo reported he said.

Three out of four Iraqis say Islam should be source of law according to poll by the International Republican Institute, not known for the accuracy of its polls. See Press Release: Majority of Iraqis Want Human Rights Protected in Constitution: Nearly 68% of Iraqis Want Human Rights Protected; and Powerpoint Report: Survey of Iraqi Public Opinion.

Three out of four Iraqis believe Islam should be the main or only source of law and legislation in their country, according to a poll of 2,700 Iraqis....
Inadequate electricity was "the most important issue requiring a government solution," for some 55 percent of respondents, the poll showed, followed closely by unemployment and national security....
And 67 percent of Iraqis [presumably most Shia and Kurds] now think the country is going in the right direction, the most optimistic response in the last year, the poll showed. Some 22 percent said Iraq was going in the wrong direction.

Another step toward... To the Dismay of Local Sunnis, Shiites Arrive to Police Ramadi.

"There's no doubt that some people feel the commandos won't treat them right," said Maj. Greg Sierra, executive officer of the Army's 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, who spoke with the demonstrators. He said the protest was spurred in part by a few Shiite commandos who posted vengeful signs making statements such as "You crushed us before."

Further evidence that government investigations are worse than useless: US says it upholds U.N. torture rules.

88 members of congress demand answers about British memo proving the WMD excuse was made up after the decision was made to attack Iraq. In a real democracy, impeachment proceedings would be starting: 88 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS CALL FOR IMMEDIATE ANSWERS ABOUT SECRET BUSH/BLAIR PRE-WAR DEAL [pdf].

Old enough to kill, too young to drink: A sip of freedom beer: Latest U.S. deserter drinks up new-found liberty.

Republicans undermine probe: Outrage at leak on oil probe.

Challabi looses the loot: Iraqi Premier Names Oil, Electricity Ministers.

Waiting till those jobs back home come through: Big staff turnover plagues U.S. rebuilding in Iraq.

International court hears anti-war claims:

Islamic prostitution flourishing in the new Islamic state? 'Pleasure marriages' regain popularity in Iraq.

Karpinski takes the fall: Demotion for Abu Ghraib commander.

Many warnings but the daily killing goes on year after year: U.S. Checkpoints Continue to Kill.

The failure of U.S. forces in Iraq to implement basic precautions at checkpoints has led to unnecessary deaths of civilians two years after these inadequacies were identified, Human Rights Watch said today.

Less corruption? Or more recruits for the resistance? Iraq Oil Ministry sacks hundreds.

Independence or cooperation: Divergent views over relationship between NGOs and Coalition.

Hansen pointed to foreign contractors adopting working patterns similar to human rights organisations and NGOs taking funds for projects from the US as factors that have influenced Iraqi perceptions of humanitarian work. "Several US-based organisations became instruments of the occupation by accepting USAID and Coalition funding for so-called humanitarian projects," Hansen said. "Can you blame Iraqis for being thoroughly confused about who is doing what?"

Wunderkind not lost after all: Rice congratulates Chalabi.

They may have a "government", sort of, but: No sign of government strategy for defeating insurgents.

A history of the Falluja horror: Turning Point Fallujah: How US Atrocities Sparked The Iraqi Resistance.

Billions unaccounted for. What's special about this $100 million? U.S. Officials Suspected of Embezzlement in Iraq: Nearly $100 million in reconstruction funds is unaccounted for, investigators say.

Yesterday Japan, today, Bulgaria: Bulgaria to pull troops out of Iraq.

Horror ahead: Basra's intrusive Islamists reject Iran's theocracy as too tolerant.

For the local representative of rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, Iran's theocratic state is far too liberal for his tastes. "Only 5 percent of Iranians abide by real Islamic laws," said al-Basri, who boasts that he and his cohorts already have blown up most of Basra's liquor stores, punished "decadent picnickers" and imposed Islamic dress codes. "The rest of Iranians are corrupt. Look, there are drugs and girls who don't wear hijab (traditional head coverings) properly in Iran....
"They are everywhere," said Dr. Muhammad Nassir, who heads Basra Maternity and Pediatric Hospital. "Some of them recently visited our hospital to try to convince us to forbid male doctors from curing female patients...."
On the streets, fear is palpable. One day three months ago, a female student from Basra University's college of sciences was ordered to cover her hair. She refused to comply. Three days later, she was found dead on the road to her house, said her classmates and professors.

Which spark will set off the conflgration? Student's slaying inflames ethnic tensions at Baghdad University.

What civilization? 'Bring me the head of Bin Laden'.

"Capture Bin Laden, kill him and bring his head back in a box on dry ice," he quoted Cofer Black as saying. As for other leaders of Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan, Mr Black reportedly said: "I want their heads up on pikes."

Cold blooded murder on film is "consistent with the established rules of engagement": No court-martial in Iraq mosque shooting.

Don't be upset! We didn't mean to kill him: Bush tries to cool Italian row over Iraq killing.

One minister in Mr Berlusconi's conservative coalition cabinet said America's account of the killing was "clearly a lie".

Abu Ghraib guilty plea thrown out for Lynndie England.

Iraqi Government Facing Budget Woes with a projected deficit of $4.4 billion.

More on the [old] new butchers at work, for the US this time: Unraveling Iraq's Secret Militias: Ruthless U.S. tactics are propelling the country toward civil war.

Onward to the bad old days: Old brutality among new Iraqi forces.

Jabbar told the Monitor that during a raid he was on in January at a suspected insurgent hideout, three detainees died after being severely beaten by Iraqi security patrols. The Iraqi Association to Defend Journalists is investigating several cases in which security forces allegedly beat or intimidated Iraqi journalists. And in a report issued in January, Human Rights Watch said that torture and abuse by Iraqi authorities had become "routine and commonplace."

Preventing terrorism by providing a new training camp: For jehadis, Iraq the new Afghanistan.

Coalition minus one more: Japan plans to withdraw troops from Iraq in December.

Who got the loot: Audits find flaws in U.S. handling of Iraq funds.

Report: Turkey Is Gathering Troops Along Southern Border With Iraq.

Must Read! Dahr Jamail's Lecture February 27, 2005 - New College, San Francisco. And: Dahr Jamail Interviews Mark Manning. <""Dahr Jamail and Mark Manning were the only two American unembedded journalist inside Fallujah during the two sieges of April and November 2004. Mark Manning spent one week inside Fallujah with a video camera interviewing survivors of the November siege. Hours of video tape documenting the atrocities that occured in Fallujah were stolen the day Mark returned to the US in a well-timed double break-in that was followed by weeks of intimidation and threats.

They call this a government? Ranking Sunnis shun being sworn in: Negotiations fail to fill key positions in nascent Cabinet.

A sobering account of Kurdistan "progress" under the two-party dictatorship: Corruption instead of development in Iraqi Kurdistan.

In the absence of international aid agencies, civil society development in Kurdistan is stagnant, leaving the regional governments to fund projects they deem worthy. Party membership is a requirement for anyone wanting to advance his or her cause....
Another marker of a developing civil society is independent, functioning trade unions. A 22 April article on highlights the struggling trade union movement in Kurdistan. "Kurdish [union] leaders are clearly also officials of, or closely linked to, the two main parties," the reporter observed. "In a session with Imad Ahmed, the PUK leader in the region, he gives the game away by saying, 'the unions are weak: they are dominated by the parties. They need to become stronger and more independent.'" A visiting British trade union delegation wondered "why a union movement that is poor and needs funds as well as training is able to drive [the guests around] in big Toyota Land Cruisers and BMWs," the article noted.

One of the continuing conflicts, ready to explode at any moment: Focus on increasing displacement in Kirkuk.

Killing has a way of sharpening the senses: Berlusconi under pressure on Iraq.

Invader not responsible: US seen as unaccountable in Iraqi civilian deaths.

Disarray as Iraq's new government is sworn in.

Torture ongoing: CPT Iraq Release: Five Detainee Stories.

Note the odd headline. Surely the lack of electricity haunts Iraqis more: Iraqi power grid woes haunt US.

Iraq prime minister expected to ease restrictions on Saddam's party.

Talk of moving toward greater leniency infuriated many Shiites in the new government. At least one lawmaker threatened to resign if al Jaafari goes through with the plan, and another told Knight Ridder, "It's a disgrace for Jaafari to sell the blood of martyrs for his wobbly seat...."
"This government is going to lose the public's trust," said Ali al Lami, part of the United Iraqi Alliance, the powerful Shiite coalition to which al Jaafari belongs. "We're going to have a mass uprising in the Iraqi street. This is American interference through Jaafari's Iraqi-American advisers."

Not quite as subtle as US press control: Iraqi press under attack from authorities in Iraq.

While Iraq's newly elected government says it will look into complaints of press intimidation, local reporters said they've seen little progress since reporting the incidents. Some have quit their jobs after receiving threats - not from insurgents, but from police. Most Iraqi reporters are reluctant to even identify themselves as press when stopped at police checkpoints. Others say they won't report on events that involve Iraqi security forces, which creates a big gap in their local news coverage.

Paul McGeough: New Iraq could become nest of corruption.

"Iraq is like a sick camel," he says. "If it is healthy, no one can kill it. But when it is sick on the ground, the camel dies by a thousand knives." The knives are wielded by corrupt ministers and their cronies - tribal and family - who force local and foreign contractors to inflate tender bids for contracts worth billions of dollars so that they can gouge millions for themselves....
"If you don't pay 5 or 6 per cent of the contract price on the side, you just get told that the ministry wants to work with a different company," Mr Jawad said....
But Mr Jawad, a Shiite with no brief for his former leader, says: "I'd say that about 10 per cent of business was corrupt under Saddam." That's probably an underestimation, but Mr Jawad is making a point: "Now it's about 95 per cent - we used to have one Saddam, now we have 25 of them...."
A section of the report on Iraq by contributor Reinoud Leenders and Justin Alexander begins: "Wednesday 9 April, 2003, was not only the day that most Iraqis rejoiced at the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. In the eyes of many Iraqis, it was also the day that marked the beginning of a new era of intensified theft of state property, corruption and conflicts of interest. "When asked to give their views on the birth of the new Iraq, the probability is high that Iraqis will refer not only to the widespread looting by "Ali Babas" but also to the looting by Iraq's new democratic leaders".

A Promise Unfulfilled: Iraq's Oil Output Is Lagging.

Lynndie England pleads guilty: Abu Ghraib abuse soldier admits indecent act.

From 60 Minutes: More Torture Revelation From Guantanamo.

Italy says US lying: Italians refute U.S. report. A look at differences between the U.S., Italian reports on death of Italian agent in Iraq.

The total disdain for the lives of US troops is amazing: Unprotected in Iraq. Especially when it has consequences: Army Misses Its Recruiting Goal Again.

Fear not just the IEDs and car bombs, but: Rare parasite infection afflicts U.S. troops in Iraq.

Occupation in art: Abu Ghraib prison bars: the new canvas of Iraqi art.

One of his paintings depicts an Iraqi child running away from a US Apache combat helicopter towards his mother. The corner of the canvas where the woman was painted is ripped out, revealing black bars in the structure of the frame....
I would've liked to have made an exhibit with more hope, but I felt it was my duty to do something on the suffering everybody is experiencing," says Thamer, one of the most respected Iraqi painters of his generation.

Tensions as far as the eye can see: Tension between devout Shiites, secular groups threaten Iraq's future.

US considering authorizing WMD attacks around the world. Millions beware! US may allow nuke strikes over WMD. Every country worth its salt will quickly seek nuclear weapons, the only way to deter US attack.

End the occupation, stop privatization: Iraqi Labor Leader: We Will Defend Our Oil

Giuliana Sgrena Killing: The uncensored U.S. report.

Italians to accuse Americans of cover-up: Italy Prepares Riposte to U.S. Report on Iraq Death.

Security sources quoted by the Corriere said the Italian report Monday would accuse the U.S. military of "tampering with the incident scene" and removing forensic evidence. Italy's own investigators believed at least three soldiers, not one, opened fire on Calipari's car, the sources said. The U.S. report said the car ignored warning bursts and did not slow down until bullets began hitting the vehicle. Italians contend that the three-second warning was not enough for the driver to stop before the car was struck by lethal rounds.

Peter Maass, in the New York Times Magazine, writes of the murderous dirty war being fought in Iraq, led by one who "advised" the El Salvador death squads: The Way of the Commandos.

Shiites attack Sunnis, then act surprised that they withdraw from the government: Violence, ethnic tensions undermine Iraq's fledgling government.

The group of prominent Sunni political leaders from the National Dialogue Council withdrew from negotiations and said they wouldn't enter the government after a series of raids and the arrests of three prominent Sunni religious leaders overnight. "From the first day, they want to show their muscles," said Mishaan al-Jubouri, a Sunni assembly member and part of the National Dialogue Council, complaining about the raids. "This is a very dangerous message by the new government ... which may lead to civil war in the future. I'll not feel safe about myself and my people under such a government."

Men allegedly involved in killing Margaret Hassan arrested: Iraq Raids Seize Men Linked to British Woman's Death.

Physicians for Human Rights has issued a new report on the rampant psychological torture at US concentration camps: Abu Ghraib-One Year Later Comprehensive Report Documents Use of Psychological Torture by US Forces [press release]; and Break Them Down: The Systematic Use of Psychological Torture by US Forces [Full report: pdf]

Brits don't want to be cannon fodder for Blair's follies: Iraq war sparks recruitment crisis.

The Army predicts that only 1,400 recruits will join the infantry this year, a fall of 35 per cent. There are also similar shortfalls in the artillery, the cavalry and the Royal Marines, all of which have seen active service in Iraq....
One senior officer said: "We are fighting an unpopular war. A lot of young soldiers have died and parents of 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds are telling their children not to join the Army because of this. The assumption is that the parents of would-be recruits don't trust the Government and they are telling their children not to join up."

Raed Jarrar: Jaafari's Government Falling Apart, Already?!

Cover-up, again: Official report clears US troops.

Pay up: Belgian Doctors Bill U.S. After Treating Wounded Iraqi Girl.

They'll bomb them to hell, literally: Group Details Air Force Academy Religious Bias.

The Sunday Times of London reported a Royal Air Force C-130 Hercules carrying 10 British Special Forces troops that crashed on Jan. 30 was shot down by a volley of missiles. The plane was flying "fast and low" at 150 feet at the time near the town of al-Taji, 25 miles northwest of Baghdad, the paper said... The report's authors were told that cadets who refused to attend chapel after dinner were marched by upperclassmen back to their dorms in a ritual called "heathen flight." They found that teachers introduced themselves as "born again" Christians and invited students to be saved as well. A history instructor ordered students to pray before a final exam, the report said. And a Christmas greeting in the base newspaper said Jesus was the only hope for the world; it was signed by 300 people, including 16 heads or deputy heads of academic departments, nine professors, the dean of faculty and the football coach.

Protest, Resistance, and Civil War

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Nine killed in two aircraft crashes in Iraq.

If they don't know their ass from their elbow, what are they doing occupying another country? Amid Iraq carnage, U.S. mistakenly holds Sunni leader.

On another bloody weekend: Risk of Civil War Spreads Fear Across Nation. And: Many Iraqis See Sectarian Roots in New Killings.

Thursday: Two US soldiers killed in Iraq helicopter crash.

Claim: Zarqawi has ‘fled Iraq with two doctors’.

[T]he statement appeared on another site, where other posters quickly denounced it as untrue and unauthorised by the group.

US military says child killed in Iraq gun fight.

Thursday: Senior industry ministry official killed in Baghdad. And: Car bomb kills 3 in Baghdad; Shi'ite assassinated

Turning Baghdad into who knows what: Iraqi Troops to Lock Down Baghdad, Defense Minister Says.

Hostile-fire deaths rise: Insurgent killings of U.S. soldiers rose in May.

Police chief of northern Iraqi town killed.

Wednesday: US unleashes 'surprise' offensive in western Iraq.

In Iraq, efforts to catch militants fuel rage, fear.

At least 285 suspected insurgents had been detained since Sunday. Bystanders were also apparently caught up in the dragnet, however. Some Iraqis said that while Operation Squeeze Play took some insurgents off the streets, it angered moderate Iraqis while giving insurgents a friendlier environment in which to carry out attacks.... "We have advised" the Americans "that these random attacks on people and houses gives the insurgents a bigger base," said Hadi al Ameri, an Iraqi lawmaker and commander of the Shi'ite Muslim Badr Brigade.

The US is organizing multiple militias, under US command, to tackle resistance: US fights Iraq fire with street fighters

Asia Times Online has learned that the US, instead of training up a regular professional Iraqi army, will create what in effect will be armed militias, acting under US central command, to take the militias of the resistance on at their own game. ...
Recent meetings of the so-called Higher Committee for National Forces (a grouping of Iraqi resistance bodies) and the 16th Arab National Congress held in Algiers played a pivotal role in building consensus among various Iraqi communist, Islamic, Ba'athist and nationalist groups on several issues, such as the right of Iraqis to defend themselves against foreign aggression and imperialism, and the right of Iraq to demand a political process untainted by occupation and which reflects the uninhibited will of the Iraqi people for a pluralistic and democratic Iraq. The groups also condemned the continued occupation of Iraq and the establishment of any permanent US bases in the country, the privatization of the Iraqi economy and foreign corporations' unrestricted access to Iraq's resources....
On this common ground, the central command of the resistance reorganized its activities, a key to which was merging mohallah-level (street-level) Islamic groups scattered in their hundreds across Iraq to work toward a common goal - defeating the occupation. In turn, these militias would co-opt common folk into their struggle, so that, literally, the streets would be alive with resistance.

Is the US "withdrawing" from Anbar province? Insurgents Flourish in Iraq's Wild West.

Demonstrating their sophistication: Insurgents shot down British C-130 in January.

The first few missiles deflected the defensive systems on the aircraft allowing the others to get through, the paper said. Investigators who examined the wreckage found at least five points where missiles hit the aircraft, it said.

Zarqawi wounded, website says .

Monday-Tuesday: Eight U.S. Troops Killed In Separate Attacks In Iraq.

Bullies are us: Cat's chance for new model army.

Bomb Explodes Outside Iraqi Girls' School.

Fear of civil war grows as Shia start to retaliate.

US, Iraq Troops Launch Baghdad Offensive.

Monday: Bloody Monday in Iraq as dozens killed in multiple bombings.

Iraq counter-insurgency chief gunned down.

Monday: Three suicide bombers strike at US base in central Iraq, wound three soldiers. And: More than 50 casualties in restaurant bomb. Also: 5 US soldiers killed in Iraq in four separate attacks.

Romanian hostages freed in Iraq.

Sunday: Top-level Iraqi trade official assassinated.

Friday: 10 Iraqis Killed in US Bungle. And: Two Iraqi soldiers killed, US gunships set house ablaze.

Thursday: Three U.S. Soldiers Die in Baghdad, Ramadi Attacks.

In Brothers, Two Faces of the Iraq Insurgency: Ali was driven by Islam and Khalid by revenge. Their family has paid a price for their choices.

Thursday: Iraqi Oil Ministry official gunned down: Aide to top Shiite cleric also slain.

Saudi Arabis: 300 Bombers in Iraq From My Region alone, Says Informer.

Murder rationalized: Zarqawi justifies killings of civilians in Iraq.

Wednesday: Gunmen kill Iraqi general, driver as campaign against government persists; Bodies of 7 security men found in Iraq; and: Iraqi Islamic group kills two US contractors.

US troops clash with militants in Mosul.

Tuesday: Iraq clerics killed in sectarian strife.

One interpretation: Rebels seem intent on civil war in Iraq.

Monday, names released: Explosion Kills 4 Lejeune Marines In Iraq.

Translated by Juan Cole: Saudi Jihadis Return Disappointed.

According to US accounts: Iraqi rebels better armed than we first thought, say US marines.

Multiple bodies found at each of three sites in Iraq.

US airplanes destroy insurgent command center near Fallujah.

Deadly firefight in a desert town shocks marines.

Its been amazing how little attention has been given to identity of the suicide bombers in Iraq. Now comes this claim: 'Martyrs' In Iraq Mostly Saudis: Web Sites Track Suicide Bombings.

Friday: Gunmen Assassinate Top Iraqi Official.

US fears Iraq's cash economy offers easy funds for insurgents.

Yet again: Blast halts Iraq oil exports to Turkey.

Last week they claimed foreign jihadists were behind it all. Now they claim: Driving force of Iraq insurgency shifting former Baathists. All the sudden the US officials claim they always said al-Zarqawi was taking credit for attacks his group didn't conduct.

"It was a mistake to portray al-Zarqawi as the overall leader of the insurgency," said one of the officials, who has overseen the interrogations of dozens of insurgents. "There are many small militant groups that agree with him ideologically, but they don't necessarily take orders from him."

Apparent civilian massacre in US assault: U.S. Assault Intensifies at Syria Border.

Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, indicated Thursday that the insurgency could last for many more years....
Residents reached by telephone in Saadah and Karabilah said American forces were periodically shelling their villages Friday. "The situation is very bad. ... Most of the people have fled to the desert..." "They destroyed our city, killed our children, destroyed our houses. We have nothing left," one man told APTN in Qaim.

Secretly declassified report says how bad things are going for US: Body Counts: The Pentagon secretly keeps track of many grim statistics in Iraq. The numbers are not encouraging.

The war this time: An Unseen Enemy: Marines find themselves vulnerable as they search for insurgents in desert villages of remote western Iraq. And: Demise of a Hard-Fighting Squad: Marines Who Survived Ambush Are Killed, Wounded in Blast.

Leaks plague battle against Iraqi insurgents.

People flee al-Qaim as fighting continues.

Prohibiting Driving Cars Without a Companion in Tikrit to Confront Terrorists and Bombed Cars.

On the edge of the precipice, reports Newsday: Experts: Iraq verges on civil war.

"It's just political rhetoric to say we are not in a civil war. We've been in a civil war for a long time," said Pat Lang, the former top Middle East intelligence official at the Pentagon....
I think we are really on the edge" of all-out civil war, said Noah Feldman, a New York University law professor who worked for the U.S. coalition in Iraq. He said the insurgency has been "getting stronger every passing day. When the violence recedes, it is a sign that they are regrouping...."
[I]nstead of bringing the country together, the new government seems to have further alienated even moderate Sunnis who believe they have only token representation. "That is a joke," said Sunni politician Saad Jabouri, until recently governor of Diyala Province, in an interview here. "The only people they allowed in the government are ones who think like them," he said of the majority Shia faction, who mostly come from Islamic parties....
The Sunni insurgents could win the battle if they persevere long enough to sour U.S. voters, Feldman said. He said, "There is no evidence whatsoever that they cannot win."

Wednesday, a General a Colonel, 3 US soldiers and at least 19 others killed, at least 70 wounded: Militants kill 2 security officers in Iraq; 3 U.S. soldiers killed in roadside attacks.

Mercenary deaths largely unreported, reducing death count: Outsourcing death in Iraq.

BBC: Analysis: Surge in Iraq violence. and a VOA analysis: Iraq Insurgency United by Opposition to US. Or, are the US-run concentration camps training grounds for insurgents and recruiting stations for suicide bombers: 'Foreigners' behind attacks.

['Foreigners'] However, Colonel Hassan Ahmad from the Salahedin police in Tikrit countered these views. He said: "A small number of suicide attackers are foreigners, while most of them are Iraqis." Ahmad's argued that US prisons formed "the biggest centres" for organising terrorist networks. He said: "The US forces do not distinguish those they arrest, which puts into prison many innocent Iraqis whose psychological state at the time is taken advantage of by these groups. "They give them contact names and numbers to perform operations when they get out."

Wednesday: Four suicide attacks kill at least 71.

In Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, a suicide car bomber blew up his vehicle among a crowd of mainly Shi'ite migrant laborers from southern Iraq who had gathered to look for work. Police said at least 33 people were killed and 80 wounded.

US attack rages a 3rd day in Iraq.

Elusive suicide bombers threaten Iraq's future.

Insurgents Kidnap Iraqi Provincial Governor: Militants Demand U.S. Withdraw 'Operation Matador'.

Tuesday: Seven killed in Baghdad bombings.

Bodies of eight executed civilians found south of Baghdad.

Marines surprised by insurgent's preparation for attack.

Monday: Soldier, three Marines killed in Iraq fighting.

Japanese man reported seized in Iraq.

Zarqawi target of info-ops campaign.

Kuwait jails insurgency recruiters.

Claims of new hearts and minds strategy: U.S. fights Iraq insurgents with tact, candy, guns.

Three US claims: US view of Iraq insurgency shifting: Foreign fighters, jihadists take center stage; Rebels Said to Be Battling One Another in Anbar town of Husayabah. And: US troops kill 75 insurgents in Iraq offensive.

US troops launch attacks against villages along Euphrates.

Sunday: Gunmen kill senior Iraq transport ministry official.

Two Saudi fighters die fighting the US in Iraq.

14 Sunni Arabs shot dead.

Saturday: Car bomb kills 17 in Iraq.

Four American security guards were among the victims of the huge blast, which also left 33 wounded, including several schoolgirls whose bus was caught up in the massive explosion.

Friday: Bombers kill 67 Iraqis, pressuring new cabinet.

Friday: 12 Bodies Found at Baghdad Garbage Dump.

The new army at work: Iraqi commando battalion pulled out of Samarra: US officers say battalion of Iraq's elite commando troops withdrawn from Samarra for looting, torching houses.

Thursday: Insurgents again target Iraqi security forces; three attacks in Baghdad kill 20.

Wednesday: Bomber kills 50 at Iraqi police center. And: Roadside bombs kill two US soldiers in Iraqi capital.

State-owned TV in Iraq and Al-Arabiya television gave even higher casualty figures, saying 60 were killed and as many as 150 wounded.

Is it usual or unusual mayhem? Explosion of violence -- but why? Experts disagree on insurgents' intent.

Tuesday: At least 27 Iraqis killed in fresh violence.

In Ramadi Tuesday: Battle with insurgents kills 15 in Iraq.

US back to stage one in Iraq.

U.S. forces in Iraq two years after occupying the country are losing the most important front in the war -- the intelligence one.

U.S. pilot’s body found after crash in Iraq: Search continues for 2nd F/A-18 involved in apparent collision.

Insurgents Using U.S. Techniques: Iraqis' Borrowing Could Help American Forces' Response.

Two jets missing: U.S. military searching for two jets.

Monday: Iraqi Child Dies in Mosul Bombing, 15 Wounded, Military Says. And: British soldier killed in Iraq.

Monday: Many killed in deadly Baghdad blasts.

Now that stability has been achieved: 4-Day Death Toll Since Iraq Named Gov't: "05 Iraqis and 11 U.S. soldiers have been killed".

New Iraq leaders face violent surge: A burst of weekend attacks in Baghdad following the formation of Iraq's government killed at least 80 people.

Sunday: Suicide bomber kills 25 in northern Iraq, says TV at funeral of a Kurdish official.

Sunday: Nine Killed in Third Day of Iraq Attacks.

Ten U.S. soldiers killed in last 48 hours in Iraq Thursday night through Saturday.

Guerrillas kill three Iraqis in attack on Falluja.

4 U.S. soldiers in Iraq killed by bomb.

Analysis, Commentary, & Domestic Reaction

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Paul Craig Roberts: Bush Opts for Civil War in Iraq.

Gary Leupp: It Really is a Crusade.

In Wisconsin: Editorial: Voting U.S. out of Iraq .

And in Congress: Did Someone Say Withdrawal?

Jeff Gillenkirk: Why I'm joining the GOP: Leaving the left for fun and profit.

Felons for Peace and Justice? "Martha Stewart is Totally Against the War in Iraq," Says Activist Nun Imprisoned With Her

Retired lieutenant colonel gives scathing speech on Iraq policy

Washington Post: Further Abuse at Guantanamo.

Perp offended that crimes pointed out: Cheney offended by Amnesty criticism: Rights group accuses U.S. of violations at Guantanamo Bay

Schulz responded to Cheney's comments: "It doesn't matter whether he takes Amnesty International seriously. "He doesn't take torture seriously; he doesn't take the Geneva Convention seriously; he doesn't take due process rights seriously; and he doesn't take international law seriously.

Even terror war cheerleader Thomas Friedman says of Gunatanamo Concentration Camp [compared this week to Soviet-era Gulags by Amnesty International]: Just Shut It Down.

And it is now obvious from reports in my own paper and others that the abuse at Guantánamo and within the whole U.S. military prison system dealing with terrorism is out of control. Tell me, how is it that over 100 detainees have died in U.S. custody so far? Heart attacks? This is not just deeply immoral, it is strategically dangerous.

Richard Lichtman: We Wuz Framed! The Consolations of George Lakoff.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Editorial: Memorial Day/Praise bravery, seek forgiveness.

[W]e did not prevent the Bush administration from spending their blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. President Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let them. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes. Perhaps it happened because Americans, understandably, don't expect untruths from those in power. But that works better as an explanation than as an excuse.

Army Times reports: Legal scholars call for prisoner-abuse probe.

Jack Ross: The Lesson for the Left in Star Wars.

Salah Hemeid: A nation divided. With increased sectarian tension, the world has finally awakened to the grave dangers unbridled violence poses to Iraq's national unity.

Drew O'Neill in recovery: I Used To Be a Neocon.

William Rivers Pitt says: Exploit the Rift between Republicans to get troops out of Iraq.

St. Petersburg Times: Investigate the abuse.

Just too many: Iraq death toll now too high for artists' project.

Ahmed Amr: Illegally Financing the WMD Hoax.

Interview with intelligence expert James Bamford: Inventing a Pretext for War.

Evan Augustine Peterson III: Is The USA Addicted To War?

Angelique van Engelen: Saddam's Trial Might Turn Out A Curse For The US.

Voting 128 to 300: House Kills First Vote on Iraq Withdrawal.

Paul Rogers: Iraq ablaze . The failure of the United States to rethink its Iraq strategy means endless war in one of the world’s most volatile regions.

Foreign governments should prosecute US torture leaders: Give Rumsfeld the Pinochet Treatment, Says US Amnesty Chief.

William Schulz charged that Washington has become ''a leading purveyor and practitioner'' of torture and ill-treatment and that senior officials should face prosecution by other governments for violations of the Geneva Conventions and the U.N. Convention Against Torture....
''If the U.S. government continues to shirk its responsibility, Amnesty International calls on foreign governments to uphold their obligations under international law by investigating all senior U.S. officials involved in the torture scandal,'' said Schulz, who added that violations of the torture convention, which has been ratified by the United States and some 138 other countries, can be prosecuted in any jurisdiction....
Schulz also called on state bar associations to investigate administration lawyers who helped prepare legal opinions that sought to justify or defend the use of abusive interrogation methods for breach of their professional and ethical responsibilities. He cited, in particular, Vice President Dick Cheney's general counsel, David Addington; Pentagon General Counsel William Haynes; and top officials in the Justice Department's Office of General Counsel, one of whom, Jay Bybee, has since been confirmed as a federal appeals court judge.

Arianna Huffington: Next Dem Battlefront: Iraq.

Audio of George Bush admitting to spreading propaganda.

"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."

A new film: A Letter to the Prime Minister follows the amazing Jo Wilding on her remarkable journey of the last few years, in solidarity with the people of Iraq. Find out about it, buy it, etc.

Russia just got an Iraqi oil contract: Russia backs off from call for foreign troops to leave Iraq.

As Democrats cave on allowing rabidly reactionary judges get lifetime appointments, the public overwhelming support the filibuster of judges and rejects Bush and his agenda: U.S. Voters Back Roe v. Wade 2-1, Support Filibusters, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Bush Approval At Lowest Point Ever

Saad Eddin Ibrahim: Islam can vote, if we let it.

Autocratic regimes in the Middle East have for decades allowed little public space to those who would build civil societies; no freedom of speech, assembly or association. The only space for people to congregate without harassment by the secret police was the mosque. Thus, unwittingly, the autocrats contributed to the growth of the theocrats, who became their mirror images.

Abdullah Iskandar: Problems of Reform.

Bush compares Iraq to the American Revolution, a comparison which David Sarasohn finds ludicrous: Bush's Iraq, quite like old Rhode Island.

Which part of the United States in the 1780s particularly reminds the president of contemporary Iraq? The suicide stagecoach bombings? The Quaker terrorist campaign in Pennsylvania? The musket battles between Baptists and Methodists? True, President Bush proudly declares himself a C-student history major, but was all the grading on a curve?

Camilo Mejia: Peace Does Not Come Easily.

Must Read! Stephen R. Shalom: The Anti-War Movement and Iraq.

Juan Cole sees no solution for 15 years or so, s he supports continued occupation as the least bad alternative: Sometimes You are Just Screwed.

Washington Post buries its page A1 story on the lies that led to war, moving it to page A26 in later editions and giving it an innocuous headline obviously designed to discourage readership: Washington Post Buries Page 1 Sunday Story on Iraq Intel Doubts to Page 26!

The Republican congressman who spearheaded the "Freedom Fries" name change is now a vociferous critic of the war: French fries protester regrets war jibe.

"If we were given misinformation intentionally by people in this administration, to commit the authority to send boys, and in some instances girls, to go into Iraq, that is wrong,"

Derrick Z. Jackson: Shame on the Army for its cover-up of the cause of Pat Tillman's death. Remember, the US military essentially never tells the truth when a lie will do.

Rep. John Conyers concerned: Veteran Democrat raises worries on civil liberties, 2002 Iraq attack plan.

Vets, Students Standing Up Against Recruiters.

International Institute of Strategic Studies says: Peace in Iraq 'will take at least five years to impose'. [Note the impose.]

Norman Solomon: News Media and “the Madness of Militarism”.

When there are appreciable splits within or between the two major political parties, the mainstream news coverage is apt to include some divergent outlooks. But when elites in Washington close ranks for war, the major media are more inclined to shut down real discourse.

Eugene Robinson: Using the Media For a Magic Trick.

Scott Ritter: A base for the corruption of democracy.

In fact, any citizen of the United States or Great Britain (or any democracy governed by the rule of law, for that matter) who accepts an argument based on the ends justifying the means should think long and hard about their commitment to the country they have sworn allegiance to, since their principles are more in line with the sort of fascist and totalitarian regimes that plagued the world in the middle of the last century, and not with those espoused by United States and the UK which fought to rid the world of such blights....
Far from being in the company of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, George Bush and Tony Blair are in league with Adolf Hitler when he fabricated an excuse to invade Poland in 1939, and Saddam Hussein when he violated international law and invaded Kuwait in 1990.

Sump the jerk! G.O.P. Senator Issues Letter Urging Vote Against Bolton.

Labour politician and former UK environment minister Michael Meacher: British lawmaker: Iraq war was for oil:

Listen to Country Joe McDonald: Support the Troops.

Jihad Khazen: Where is Justice?

I didn't go to Iraq during the Saddam Hussein era (I went to Kurdistan as the guest of Massoud Barzani) and I won't go there while it's occupied, with the monstrous violence taking place.
Iraq today faces terrorism, not resistance. The terrorists are trying to spark a civil war, and Iraqis have remained steadfast for two years in the face of this provocation. But the last two weeks have made me fear that the terrorists might succeed in turning Sunnis against Shia and create a situation that would have been impossible under Saddam Hussein.
I hope that I'm wrong. Our duty should be to help Iraqis defeat terrorism, even if that requires cooperating with US forces. Helping the people of Iraq against terror is more important than anything else, including cooperating with the US occupation.

Daily Mail: Iraq's legacy is the arrogant sickness in our Government.

New York Times: Patterns of Abuse.

It now appears that those slight deviations included killing prisoners, and then covering up the reason they died.

Paul Craig Roberts: Is Bush a Sith Lord?

Sending Mental Health Patients into Battle.

Rep. Cynthia McKinney: Sgt. Kevin Benderman, An American Hero.

Kevin Benderman has seen things that none of God's children should have to endure. He was present when his superior ordered his unit to open fire on small children who were throwing rocks at the soldiers of his unit. He chased the hungry dogs from an open mass grave filled with the bodies of young children, old men and women. Kevin saw the burned child, crying in pain, while all around her ignored her injuries.

An Exclusive Interview with George Galloway: How to Build a Successful Progressive Alliance.

Bud Beck: The real enemy in Iraq.

Tillman's Parents Are Critical Of Army for lying to them about the cause of his death.

"The fact that he was the ultimate team player and he watched his own men kill him is absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. The fact that they lied about it afterward is disgusting...."
"After it happened, all the people in positions of authority went out of their way to script this," Patrick Tillman said. "They purposely interfered with the investigation, they covered it up. I think they thought they could control it, and they realized that their recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a handbasket if the truth about his death got out. They blew up their poster boy."

The famous underpants picture.

Robert Parry says forget "mistakes." Bush was systematically lying from the beginning. Believing him now is thus ridiculous: For Bush, Iraq Lies Are Fundamental.

Greg Mitchell: Press Photos Fail to Show True Picture of War.

Nasim Zehra, a Fellow at the Harvard University - Asia Center: Depravity and War on Terrorism.

"Regime Change" not for US allies, no matter how brutal: Karimov escapes regime change as America pursues the ‘great game’.

A rather silly piece attributing US troubles in the Middle East to communication problems, not US policies: US communications strategy put to the test with Newsweek and Saddam flaps.

Wiping out their humiliation: Galloway Senate testimony PDF goes AWOL.

For those who think we have a "free press": Network Viewers Still in the Dark on "Smoking Gun Memo": Print media continue to downplay story.

The Sun reports criticism of its Saddam photos: Bush probes Saddam's pants. See also: Images of Saddam bring new slap at U.S..

David Corn: Pentagon Caught In Fib about Koran-gate?

A tiny victory? White House is Worried About Several More Weeks of Bolton News.

Seymour Hersh on the great (but transparent) Abu Ghraib cover-up: The unknown unknowns of the Abu Ghraib scandal .

I know that the decision was made inside the Pentagon in the first weeks of the Afghanistan war - which seemed "won" by December 2001 - to indefinitely detain scores of prisoners who were accumulating daily at American staging posts throughout the country. At the time, according to a memo, in my possession, addressed to Donald Rumsfeld, there were "800-900 Pakistani boys 13-15 years of age in custody". I could not learn if some or all of them have been released, or if some are still being held....
I was told by a high-level former intelligence official that within days of the first reports the judicial system was programmed to begin prosecuting the enlisted men and women in the photos and to go no further up the chain of command.

Juan Cole gives racist Jeff Jacoby a spanking: Why Jacoby is Wrong .

What world does Jacoby live in? It is a world where it is all right to generalize about a large group of people. Again, there is a word for that. Bigotry.

Jack Robertson: Eloquent Scot reclaims English language - quiet Americans bemused.

British MP George Galloway's masterpiece in controlled anger before a US Senate committee this week should remind everyone that the most damaging censorship of all is the kind we impose only on ourselves....
Hey - why can't all politicians be as straightforward as this? The answer is...there is no answer. They can. If they really want to. They just don't.

Jonathan Steele: Tarnished image abroad fails to register with Americans at home.

Pepe Escobar: The US's gift to al-Qaeda.

As for the non-stop car bombings, the document says that "some [Americans] conceal a bomb in the trunk of a car while they search it in a check point and then detonate it at a distance in the right place and time, or they target certain cars by helicopter gunships so it would look like there was a person [bomber] who detonated a car bomb". Whether any of these claims are verifiable or true is beside the point. The point is that they are written and widely broadcast in Arabic, and they stick. Muslims, especially in the Sunni Arab world, but also all over Islam, tend to believe them in increasing numbers, considering the moral swamp the US put itself in after Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and the virtual leveling of Fallujah.

Reporters Without Borders protest: Police arrest Indymedia contributor and accuse him of assault on police.

Fear in film: Fear and self-loathing in Cannes: The best films at this year's festival seem a guilty response to the Iraq war.

Taking the war to those who profit: Protestors and Shareholders Hammer Halliburton.

Azmi Bishara: Doomed but at what cost? Lebanon is just a pawn in a ruefully naïve American game to get to Syria.

Mark Drolette: Not so endearing enduring U.S. military bases in Iraq.

Joan Vennochi,: Newsweek's flub and Bush's. See also: Overdoing reaction to Newsweek gaffe.

[Overdoing:]The White House ought to have quit while it was ahead on Newsweek’s Quran-in-the-toilet mistake. Yet, it keeps trying to turn the screws and in the process raises the issue of its own credibility in plunging the United States into war in Iraq.s

The only bad dictators are anti-American ones: Dictators and the war on terror.

But isn't the truth that he is prepared to turn a blind eye to dictators who serve American interests and pursue only those that damage them.

Thomas J. Nagy has seen a reenactment of "The Emperor's New Clothes": It's No Fairy Tale: Truth-Teller from Across the Sea Exposes Senators' Lies.

Australian judge argues there's too little torture in the world. He's still a judge! Perhaps Bush will give him a Medal of Freedom: Outcry over tribunal judge's torture stance.

Defendants in the dock at the Ango-American War Crimes Trial of 2010.

Washington High School fights Murder Inc. Garfield volunteers for military recruiting battle.

"Why would you prohibit recruiters from coming to high schools if there are students trying to join up?" he asked, after picking up a giveaway computer game called "Special Forces" from recruiter Porter's freebie table. He has seen the game before. "It's like you go 'round and just kill people basically," said Bowens. That works for him, onscreen or in real life, Iraq -- or whatever. "To me, going overseas and killing people, I would feel happy about myself for that," he said.

American Muslims: Losing Liberties.

U.S. patriots need a reality check.

Narc Cooper thinks that we should expect rapists to be the saviors of their victims: It’s not enough to blame Bush for the bloodshed.

Another poll, further signs of mass dissatisfaction: Voters Dissatisfied with Bush, Congress: NBC/WSJ Poll Reveals 'Angry Electorate'.

Ramzy Baroud: Don Quixote Politics Won't Extinguish the Fire in Iraq.

John J Mearsheimer: Hans Morgenthau and the Iraq war: realism versus neo-conservatism.

In conclusion, neo-conservatives and realists have two very different theories of international politics, which were reflected in their opposing views on the wisdom of invading and occupying Iraq. Actually, the war itself has been a strong test of the two theories. We have been able to see which side's predictions were correct. It seems clear that Iraq has turned into a debacle for the United States, which is powerful evidence -- at least for me -- that the realists were right and the neo-conservatives were wrong.

Fox, the neo-fascist news channel, has lost over half their viewership in the 25-54 age demographic: FNC's 25-54 Prime "Downward Spiral".

Howard Zinn: The Scourge of Nationalism.

Juan Cole on the Downing St. memo: The lies that led to war. "A leaked British memo, and other documents, make it clear that Bush intended all along to invade Iraq -- and lied about it to the American people. The full gravity of his offense has not yet sunk in."

The New York Times assigned Judith Miller, who would never report a truth if it hit her in the face to cover George Galloway's KO of the Senate: NY Times Hides Galloway in "International," and Leaves Out Damning Testimony. She, of course, makes no mention of Galloway's damning indictment of the murderous war.

Only 37% approve of President Bush's handling of Iraq (61% disapprove), a switch of 5% since March: President Bush’s Rating on Handling of Iraq Declines to Lowest Level, According to Latest Harris Poll. And the latest Pew Center poll has Bush's approval at its lowest ever, 43%, with 50% disapproving: President Bush: Job Ratings.

BuzzFlash interview: James Carroll Puts Bush's Religious Crusade Against Terrorism Into Historical Context.

At Christian Calvin College, one third of: Evangelical college professors protest Bush visit.

As Christians, we are called to be peacemakers and to initiate war only as a last resort," the ad will say. "We believe your administration has launched an unjust and unjustified war in Iraq...."
"No single political position should be identified with God's will," says the ad, which also chastises the president for "actions that favor the wealthy of our society and burden the poor." Christians are to be characterized by love and gentleness, it adds, but "we believe that your administration has fostered intolerance and divisiveness and has often failed to listen to those with whom it disagrees...."
"Some think we should be honored to have the president here," religion professor David Crump said. "We're excited by the opportunity to show people that evangelical Christianity is represented by a much broader spectrum of opinion than is depicted by the religious right and the media."

VFW Post 3869 Commander Jim Glaser: There Is Blood On All Our Hands.

Ira Chernus on Wielding the Nuclear Option [both of them].

Librarian's Brush with FBI Shapes her View of the USA Patriot Act.

Alert! The Senate Intelligence Committee's Secret Session: The Plot to Make the PATRIOT Act Even Worse.

In a stunning slap at the democratic legislative process, the Senate Intelligence Committee, headed by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), has suddenly and quietly scheduled a closed-door session for this Thursday to mark up its version of a renewed USA PATRIOT ACT, the frankenstein legacy of former Attorney General John Ashcroft and his then assistant Michael Chertoff (now secretary of Homeland Security).

Bill Clinton: Iraq Changes Good for Region.

Alexander R. Dawoody provides historical background on Iraq's Sunni Islamic groups: The Violent Islamic Groups in Iraq: History and Ideology.

Matthew Clark: Why has 'Downing Street memo' story been a 'dud' in US?

Aint gonna study war no more: Rift over recruiting at public high schools: A Seattle high school bars military solicitation, touching off debate over Iraq war and free speech.

Garfield High School took a decisive step last week with a vote of 25 to 5 to adopt a resolution that says "public schools are not a place for military recruiters...." "The mission of the PTA is to protect and defend kids," says Amy Hagopian, a mother of three whose son is a Garfield senior.

From Congressmen Neil Abercrombie and Dennis J. Kucinich: Time for U.S. to withdraw.

Howard LaFranchi of the Christian Science Monitor applies analogies from Latin America to discuss: Two possible futures for Iraq's struggle. Of course, he ignores that Iraq involves a massive occupation by a totally alien and brutal foreign force.

Mansoor Moaddel: Iraqi opinion poll shows that reassuring Sunnis is vital.

Danish intelligence says stability not in sight in Iraq.

Jim Lobe writes of news and death: A Tale of Two Stories.

Newsweek retracts, but were they set up, asks Keith Olbermann? The resignation of Scott McClellan. And remember: Flashback: The White House’s Single, Anonymous, Unreliable Source.

[The resignation:] Or would somebody rather play politics with this? The way Craig Crawford reconstructed it, this one went similarly to the way the Killian Memos story evolved at the White House. The news organization turns to the administration for a denial. The administration says nothing. The news organization runs the story. The administration jumps on the necks of the news organization with both feet - or has its proxies do it for them.

Sydney H. Schanberg: Not a Pretty Picture: Looking this war in the face proves difficult when the press itself won't even put in an appearance.

World Tribunal on Iraq: Bush and Blair are Called to Justice at Different Embassies Around The World.

Don't hold your breath: Uzbek Opposition Urges U.S. to Stop Supporting President Karimov. See Pepe Escobar: The US and its 'special' dictator.

Unconcerned about morality, but, for a US paper it's something: How much longer can we afford Iraq?

Steven C. Clemons: GOP ranks shaken by Bolton nomination.

After weeks of waiting to see if the US press would nail them ,the White House feels confident enough to lie again: White House challenges UK Iraq memo.

Howard Zinn: The Scourge of Nationalism.

Two local polls show support for the war draining away: Poll finds support eroding for President Bush in Illinois. And, in El Paso: Iraq war not worth it.

The El Paso Times/KVIA-ABC 7 Polls show that support for Bush's handling of the war has dropped from 76 percent in April 2003 to 40 percent a year later and to 33 percent last month. In last month's poll, 59 percent of respondents said they disapproved of the way the president is handling the war. Asked whether the situation in Iraq was worth going to war over, only 32 percent said yes. Nearly two-thirds, 63 percent, said it wasn't worth it.

Laith Saud: Why federalism in Iraq is inconsistent.

A reminder as Bush and Blair talk of fighting the war to free Iraqis, that was furthest from what they told us when they were drumming up war support: Bush Sold the War on WMDs, Not Regime Change.

US readies for nuclear attack: Not Just A Last Resort? A Global Strike Plan, With a Nuclear Option.

Duck! 43% of public thinks press has too much freedom 22% support government censorhsip: New Survey Finds Huge Gap Between Press and Public on Many Issues.

Paul Krugman agonizes as he can't imagine a weaker US: War in Iraq: Staying What Course?

New York Times: Letting nukes happen.

Mark Danner on the British Smoking-Gun Memo.

Milan Rai provides a detailed analysis: Blair's Bloody Nose: Britain's General Election And The Power Of The Anti-War Vote.

This means the Government is vulnerable to the 50 or so Labour rebels who have been re-elected. It would only take 33 of them voting with the Opposition to defeat a Government bill.

At long last: 51 House members call on Gonzales to appoint special counsel on alleged U.S. 'war crimes'

We are writing to request that you appoint a special counsel to investigate whether high-ranking officials within the Bush Administration violated the War Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. 2441, or the Anti-Torture Act, 18 U.S.C. 2340 by allowing the use of torture techniques banned by domestic and international law at recognized and secret detention sites in Iraq, Afghanistan Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.

Interview with High School Counter-Recruitment Activist.

As with Vietnam: War's casualty count blending into background noise.

Mike Whitney: Tom Friedman, the Imperial Chronicler: The Nobility of Slaughter.

Long after the memo's release, and after massive nation-wide protests, the Washington Post finally deigns to let its readers know the existence of a smoking gun showing the war was based on lies. Of course, this major story is on page A18: British Intelligence Warned of Iraq War: Blair Was Told of White House's Determination to Use Military Against Hussein.

Anthony Cordesman again criticizes the US for being such poor imperialists: US policy errors fuel Iraq mess.

Can a US firm be held accountable for Iraqi money it stole from CPA? Judge Considers Whistle-Blowers' Iraq Contracting Suit.

Corporate media don't report news, they create consensus, says William Rivers Pitt: One of These Days.

Free Pablo Paredes and Kevin Benderman! Protesters back pair rejecting duty in Iraq.

Gerald Plessner: Campaign of propaganda, lies, cover-up can't be ignored.

Air Force promoting General involved in promoting religious terror at Air Force Academy, while he is under investigation: Air Force General in Probe Is Nominated for a 2nd Star.

Kaveh Afrasiabi: US media and Iran's nuclear threat.

On May 9, former chief United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix spoke at the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review conference in New York and proposed a Middle East ban on uranium enrichment, covering both Iran and Israel, as a compromised solution to the so-called Iran threat. His comments were completely ignored by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and cited only by the LA Times.

Steve Nash's Brilliant Year: Anti-War Hoopster Wins NBA's MVP.

Damascus: A new 'Mecca of Arabic studies'?

Editorials: Abu Ghraib whitewash: In Army's book, everybody walks but small fry. And: Iraq symbols, scapegoats.

Seattle Times: Iraq, the money pit.

Gabriel Kolko: Lesson From a Total Defeat for the US.

Alexander Dawoody has a thoughtful discussion of: Ayatollah Sistani and Iraqi Politics.

For those who like to dream: Articles of impeachment for shrub.

Charley Reese: Two Years Out.

I think we are adrift in a sea of troubles, and our captain, like the infamous fictional Captain Queeg, is more concerned about who ate the strawberries than saving the ship. If you doubt that, take this little test. The next time the president holds a press conference or makes a speech, turn off the sound and study his face. I'm not saying he isn't there. It's we who are not there in whatever world he is occupying.

Grant M. Nülle: Why the State Celebrates Its Failures.

The Chechen butcher says: Iraq invasion is Bush’s biggest mistake - Putin.

Bells for the dead: At Water Tower, a solitary protest.

As usual, "liberal" Democrats are way to the right of the majority of Americans as Nancy Pelosi proposes a "winning" alternative to the President's strategy: Bush must stabilize Iraq with a strategy for success.

Pro-war "liberal" radio: Al Franken is a Big Fat Phony.

What's it like for a journalist to tell the truth, when that truth goes against his government's propaganda: Home from Iraq: Journalist urges Americans to search for truth, freedom'.

Cindy Sheehan mother of Spc. Casey A. Sheehan, slain in Iraq: An Open-Letter to CEO of Ford Motor Company, Bill Ford, Jr.

Bob Herbert: Lifting the censor's veil on the shame of Iraq.

‘‘At what point,’’ he asked, ‘‘does a series of ‘isolated incidents’ become a pattern of intolerable behavior?’’

Interview with Patrick Resta of Iraq Veterans against the War: Permanent Occupation.

War criminal not welcome: Thousands of Dutch protest ahead of Bush's arrival in The Netherlands.

US planning to stay for a LONG time: We're Not Going Anywhere.

From Muslim India: Neo-Barbarians on the loose in Iraq and Palestine.

Vote places constraints: Blair May Have Tough Time As Ally on Iraq. New Movement to End U.S. Occupation of Iraq Launches National Counting The Cost Event May 15.

Bloomington, Indiana: Bloomington Resolutions Oppose Iraq War, Patriot Act, Seek Higher Minimum Wage. Northern California: Arcata passes resolution opposing Iraq war.

"[A] large majority of Arcata residents oppose the war in Iraq for one or more of the following reasons: The war is ill-advised and unnecessary. The war is based on lies. The war is illegal. The war is immoral. The war does not increase our national security...."
A large majority of those who spoke favored the resolution, which allocates $1,000 per year for a number of activities, including giving information on local services to returning troops, informing Arcata residents about access to free legal advice and counsel if they refuse to go to war and working with local school boards and Humboldt State University to limit military recruiters on campus and asking schools to provide equal time to alternative positions.

London delivers bloody nose as Galloway wins bitter fight.

‘Just Another Night in Baghdad’.

Ibrahim Hamidi: Syria's stability may well be in Kurdish hands.

Andrew Greeley: How long can Bush spin big lies into truth on Iraq war?

The definition of a world menace: US defence budget will equal ROW combined "within 12 months".

Must Read! Naomi Klein: How to End the War.

Basically, Iraq has been turned into a laboratory for the radical free-market policies that the American Enterprise Institute and the Cato Institute dream about in Washington, D.C., but are only able to impose in relative slow motion here at home.... We have to look at the fact that they built enduring military bases and didn’t rebuild the country. Their very first act was to protect the oil ministry leaving the the rest of the country to burn—to which Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld responded: “Stuff happens.” Theirs was an almost apocalyptic glee in allowing Iraq to burn. They let the country be erased, leaving a blank slate that they could rebuild in their image This was the goal of the war....
The lie that the United States invaded Iraq to bring freedom and democracy not just to Iraq but, as it turns out, to the whole world, is tremendously useful—because we can first expose it as a lie and then we can join with Iraqis to try to make it true. So it disturbs me that a lot of progressives are afraid to use the language of democracy now that George W. Bush is using it. We are somehow giving up on the most powerful emancipatory ideas ever created, of self-determination, liberation and democracy. And it’s absolutely crucial not to let Bush get away with stealing and defaming these ideas—they are too important....
In these elections, Iraqis voted for the United Iraqi Alliance. In addition to demanding a timetable for the withdrawal of troops, this coalition party has promised that they would create 100 percent full employment in the public sector—i.e., a total rebuke of the neocons’ privatization agenda. But now they can’t do any of this because their democracy has been shackled. In other words, they have the vote, but no real power to govern....
So what is our role here? We need to support the people of Iraq and their clear demands for an end to both military and corporate occupation. That means being the resistance ourselves in our country, demanding that the troops come home, that U.S. corporations come home, that Iraqis be free of Saddam’s debt and the IMF and World Bank agreements signed under occupation. It doesn’t mean blindly cheerleading for “the resistance.” Because there isn’t just one resistance in Iraq. Some elements of the armed resistance are targeting Iraqi civilians as they pray in Shia mosques—barbaric acts that serve the interests of the Bush administration by feeding the perception that the country is on the brink of civil war and therefore U.S. forces must remain in Iraq. Not everyone fighting the U.S. occupation is fighting for the freedom of all Iraqis; some are fighting for their own elite power. That’s why we need to stay focused on supporting the demands for self-determination, not cheering any setback for U.S. empire.

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich: An Open Letter to Howard Dean.

Perhaps you now believe that an electoral victory for Democrats in 2006 and beyond requires sweeping this war under the rug. If so, you are only the latest in a long line of recent Democratic leaders who chose a strategy of letting "no light show" between Democrats and the President on the war....
Why does failure surely follow from sweeping the war and occupation under the rug? Because the war is one of the most potent political scandals of all time, and it has energized grassroots activity like few others.

New poll: Prisoner Abuse Still Matters To Many In US.

Labor wins, but Iraq costs them: Labour to win, say polls and swings. Poll shows war factor was key issue for many.

Is Iran: Blair's Next War.

Or is Syria next? Is Syria In Danger?

The Economist's analysis of the new government: New team, old terrors.

When the First Lady jokes ring true: Laura's gags too much on the nose?

Gallop poll continues bad news for Bush: Americans' Views of the Iraq War Sour.

Italy: Pundits pan 'face-saving' report on Iraq shooting.

He knees them in the groin, so Democrats work for Bush's poodle: Once Again, Americans Doing Their Bit for Blair: Democratic Strategists Working Behind Scenes.

"Preventing journalists from doing their jobs has become": A New Rumsfeld Rule. And Justin Raimondo on: The War Party's War on the Media.

Ray McGovern: Proof Bush Fixed The Facts.

James Carroll on the desire for revenge and its deadly consequences: America's Mortal Secret.

The misbegotten character of the war in Iraq was crystal clear last fall, yet John Kerry was unable to challenge it. Why? The answer has as much to do with the American unconscious as with his. The nation's war establishment, and those who support it, are driven by a motive they cannot admit, even to themselves. Their critics have mostly fallen mute because they have yet to find the language for what is really at work in this war.

Bernard Weiner: Open Letter to U.S. Troops Serving in Iraq.

Accusation that Iraq war secrets were passed to Israel via the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC: Pentagon analyst accused of passing secrets.

An overwhelming majority say the war wasn't worth it and is going badly. Where is the antiwar movement? New Poll: 57% Now Say Iraq War 'Not Worth It' .

Asked how things are going for the United States in Iraq, 56 percent said "badly" or "very badly," up from 45 percent in March.

Wounded soldier from Blair's district to vote against PM: Fighting mad.

Fear of conscience: Cabinet angst over failure to head off Lib Dems.

Robin Cook on Blair and the elections: Cook backs Brown as logical choice to be PM.

Paul Vitello: US policy fosters abuse.

She [Lynndie England] pleaded guilty yesterday to charges against her, and faces many years in prison. It is ironic that a person such as she, with little education, no authority, and zero training as a prison guard, becomes the poster child for our depravity, while the authors of the American policy toward Iraqi detainees remain virtually untouched by the scandal. The authors are Gonzales, who drafted the policy; President Bush, who approved it; and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who put it into effect.

Danny Schechter details the similarities: The Unreported Vietnam-Iraq Parallel.

A couple of US editorials questioning the war, albeit not because of what it has done to Iraqis: A democracy not worth fighting for. And: Can U.S. bring end to violence in Iraq?

Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute: A Comedy of Errors: U.S.-Turkish Diplomacy and the Iraq War.

At UW-Madison: Air Force ROTC cancels recruiting event in response to student protest.

Bob Herbert reminds us of the racist violence that is an everyday occurrence among US troops in Iraq: From 'Gook' to 'Raghead'.

"Guys in my unit, particularly the younger guys, would drive by in their Humvee and shatter bottles over the heads of Iraqi civilians passing by. They'd keep a bunch of empty Coke bottles in the Humvee to break over people's heads...."
Mr. Delgado said he had witnessed incidents in which an Army sergeant lashed a group of children with a steel Humvee antenna, and a Marine corporal planted a vicious kick in the chest of a kid about 6 years old. There were many occasions, he said, when soldiers or marines would yell and curse and point their guns at Iraqis who had done nothing wrong.

Ron Jacobs asks: If Imperialism is the Cause, Shouldn't the US Anti-War Movement be Anti-Imperialist?

Kevin Zeese argues: Getting Out of Iraq will Prove Tougher Than Getting Out of Vietnam because of oil.

Fool us once: Blair “Less Than Honest” On Iraq, Say Britons.

Contra Costa Times says time for an inquiry: Iraq contract oddities with Halliburton-KBR.

Greg Mitchell: At 30: Iraq and the Vietnam Syndrome.

The Iraq war, of course, is not like Vietnam, in many ways. But in many other, profound, ways they are much alike. Jonah Goldberg, writing in USA Today, finds the comparisons silly. What about the 53% of Americans, according to Gallup, who feel the current war is "not worth it"?

John Prados: A Fig Leaf Of Legality .

The secret Downing Street memo of July 23, 2002 planning the war and how to rally public support around a pretend WMD threat.

reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action....
It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

Medea Benjamin: Withdraw U.S. troops.

The majority of Americans and Iraqis want to end the occupation. We now have to make our elected leaders -- both in the United States and in Iraq -- reflect our will. Our mission will truly be accomplished when our troops come home and Iraqis are given the chance to rebuild their beleaguered nation.

Blair committed to invading Iraq to overthrow the government in summer, 2002, then set out to find some legal fig leaf. The invented a conflict about WMD to provide the fig leaf. New leak definitively proves Blair and Bush lied and Iraqis died: Blair hit by new leak of secret war plan.

“If the political context were right, people would support regime change,” said Blair. He added that the key issues were “whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan space to work”....
Straw suggested they should “work up” an ultimatum about weapons inspectors that would “help with the legal justification”. Blair is recorded as saying that “it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors”....
One reason for the secrecy is that the minutes record discussion of US plans for invasion; another is that at the time Blair had given no indication that plans were so advanced. He had not revealed to MPs or the public that in April 2002 he had told Bush “the UK would support US military action to bring about regime change”, as recorded in the Foreign Office briefing paper. Both before and after the July meeting Blair insisted in public no decision had been made.

British military chief angry at being deceived about the legality of war, vows to take Blair with him if indicted for war crimes: British military chief reveals new legal fears over Iraq war.

'If my soldiers went to jail and I did, some other people would go with me,' said Boyce.... Pressed by The Observer on whether he meant the Prime Minister and the Attorney General, Boyce replied: 'Too bloody right.'

The war at home: Military recruiting center attacked.

Previous Month Archive: April, 2005
Occupation Resistance Analysis

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