Key Documents

June, 2004

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.
My comments written in response to the Nic Berg murder is available on Retribution or Reflection (ZNet) and Information Clearinghouse [The ZNet version contains a few additional edits.]. My commentary on the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison puts it in the context of the dynamics of occupation. I believe it make important points that aren't being made elsewhere. It has been posted on ZNet: Abuse at Abu Ghraib, the Psychodynamics of Occupation, and the Responsibility of Us All. See also my prior piece: Security, Terror, and the Psychodynamics of Empire.

The Occupation

Occupation Resistance Analysis

I asked A., the collator of our Reports from the Arab Press to respond to the recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald announcing a Shia war on Falluja: Shiite tribes gather for war on Falluja, June 28, 2004. What follows are his very interesting comments: Comments On the Situation In Falluja.

Juan Cole analyzes the "transfer of sovereignty": The New and Improved Iraq. Written before Monday's extravaganza.

Untold story! Us ordered the British to prepare a full-scale attack on Iranian positions. Fortunately, the British picked up the phone and talked to the Iranians instead: Attack Iran, US chief ordered British

Our arrogant rulers didn't even consider the possibility they might lose. Now they'll move the torture shop to the most conservative judicial district they can find, perhaps one where their pals, the torture lawyers who said anything is fine as long as you don't call it torture, is on the court: Report: Guantanamo Prisoners May Move to U.S.

Guns everywhere! No, it's not the US: Flood of Small Arms in Iraq Threatens Region-Study

Iraq gets Saddam, sort of: US hands over custody of Saddam to the Iraqis

Must Read! In a new wrinkle that also provides a glimpse of the horrors to come, US MPs violate Iraqi "sovereignty" to raid a building belonging to the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior to stop mass torture of 150 prisoners. How many thousands of others are being tortured already by the new authorities? And why does the first word of this come one day after "sovereignty"? US military police raid Iraqi detention centre to stop abuse of prisoners: Confusion over armed soldiers' intervention.

"The American asked me why we had beaten the prisoners. I said we beat the prisoners because they are all bad people. But I told him we didn't strip them naked, photograph them or fuck them like you did...."
One western police adviser said he had no idea that the ministry itself was being used for questioning suspects. "It sounds rather like the bad old days," he said.

As we go through the underhanded handover, raqi-born novelist and former political prisoner Haifa Zangana reminds us that Iraqis have an intimate acquaintance with phony "sovereignty". Even the current cast of characters are, in many cases, descendants of those from the 1920 betrayal: Iraqis have lived this lie before: The British transfer of sovereignty in the 20s was equally meaningless.

on the August 21 1921 Gertrude Bell, Oriental secretary to the high commissioner, wrote to her father about the transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis. She mentions some of her Iraqi "pals" and enemies, descendants of whom are playing similar roles in Iraq today: "Muzahim Pachachi (the one who made the speech in English at our tea party at Basra). And another barrister whom you don't know, Rauf Beg Chadirji, a pal of mine. And still more splendid was one of the sheikhs of the northern shammar, Ajil al Yawar; I had seen him in 1917 when he came in to us". Then she refers to "Saiyid Muhammad Sadr ... a tall black bearded alim (cleric) with a sinister expression. We tried to arrest him early in August but failed. He escaped from Baghdad and moved about the country like a flame of war, rousing the tribes."

Robert Fisk doesn't think much of the transition: A Pitiful Occasion for the People.

It had already been made clear that Allawi was pondering martial law, the sine qua non of every Arab dictatorship - this time to be imposed on an Arab state, heaven spare us, by a Western army led by an avowedly Christian government. Who was the last man to impose martial law on Iraqis? Wasn't it Saddam?

A new survey of Iraqi opinion, conducted by Oxford Research Associates give interesting perspectives on Iraqi thought. 58% oppose (or strongly oppose) the presence of coalition forces in Iraq, with 35% strongly opposing. 41% said their opinion of the Coalition had become more negative in the last two months, with only 6% becoming more positive. Of those whose opinions have become more negative, the overwhelming reason cited was the prisoner abuse, followed by bad/violent behavior and attacks on Falluja and the holy cities. 53% felt the US was an occupying force while another 19% felt it was a force which exploits Iraq. 34% felt Us/Coalition troops should leave now, 7% in a few months, and another 5% when an interim government is in place. All but 5% felt they should pull back to remote areas and only act if an Iraqi government asked them to. Most Iraqis feel a strong leader is needed at present, but hope for democracy down the road. When asked who they wanted as a leader, the Prime Minister the US appointed wasn't mentioned by anyone: Results from Iraq Surveys. There is a brief mention in: Polls: U.S. Skeptical; Iraqis Pessimistic.

Yet another poll finds that 80% of respondents want US troops to stop patrolling cities: 80% of Iraqis want US to stop patrolling cities. [This is a Guardian article. I have not yet found the actual survey results.]

Amnesty International insists that the US release all its Iraqi detainees, as any further holding of them after the return of "sovereignty" is illegal: Iraq: New report says US must clarify fate of prisoners after handover and stop holding 'ghost' detainees. Report: Iraq: Human rights protection and promotion vital in the transitional period'

The limits of "sovereignty". The US holds anyone they want despite acquittal by "sovereign" US-appointed Iraqi judge: Prisoner 27075 learns limits of sovereignty.

5,600 discharged soldiers to get rude surprise: Army to call up retired, discharged troops.

As usual, Patrick Cockburn provides insights hard to come by in the US press: US abruptly cedes power in attempt to spike guns of insurgents.

In theory, the new government will hold power for only seven months. Under a UN Security Council resolution, there must be elections by 31 January, 2005. But Mr Bremer instituted a special commission to vet candidates for office, with the power to ban those maintaining a militia. Since all parties maintain militias this would enable the commission to decide who will be in an election,/b>. [and hence, who could win it]
How far the Iraqi government will be from full control was underlined on Saturday when Mr Bremer signed an edict giving US and Western contractors immunity from prosecution under Iraqi law while they are working in Iraq. The contractors are unpopular among Iraqis who consider them grossly overpaid. Vital infrastructural power station and oil industry repairs have not been completed, or even begun.

Dahr Jamail leaves Iraq, aware that he's in the class of people who CAN leave: Chapters.

Somber mood, stern talk, at transition. The sound of freedom crashing: Allawi strikes note of alarm as new Iraqi gov't sworn into power. Meanwhile, the future of Iraq becomes clearer -- martial law, repression, and civil war: U.S.-Led Forces Would Back Martial Law, Bush Says.

US soldier-hostage, executed: Arab TV report: U.S. soldier killed by Iraqi militants Tape purports to show shooting of Army soldier; Pentagon analyzing video.

The change, or is it? The dawn of a new Iraq - or a return to secrecy and killing? James Meek in Baghdad on the early, low-key handover of sovereignty.

But an Iraqi government, any Iraqi government, seems to many like the overdue fulfilment of what they wanted from the Americans all along, which was to painlessly extract Saddam and his family from their lives, like a bad tooth, and immediately vanish. Instead, the dentist moved in.

The Guardian cites mixed reviews on the Iraqi street: The view from the Baghdad streets: Iraqis declare optimism, but security is still a prime concern.

Juan Cole analyzes the change: Bremer Flees Iraq Two Days Early.

This entire exercise is a publicity stunt and has almost no substance to it. Gwen Ifill said on US television on Sunday that she had talked to Condaleeza Rice, and that her hope was that when something went wrong in Iraq, the journalists would now grill Allawi about it rather than the Bush administration. (Or words to that effect). Ifill seems to me to have given away the whole Bush show....
Allawi is not popular and was not elected by anyone in Iraq. The Kurds were sullen today. There were no public celebrations in Baghdad. When people in the Arab world are really happy, there is celebratory fire. They are willing to give Allawi a chance, but that is different from wholehearted support.

Nir Rosen writes of the climate in Falluja for the New Yorker: Letter from Falluja: Home Rule.

Tom Malinowsk of Human Rights Watch discusses: The Logic of Torture.

The policymakers apparently tried to have it both ways, approving highly coercive interrogation techniques, but with limits designed to assuage their consciences and satisfy their lawyers.

Former CIA analyst ay McGovern on Anonymous: Asking Anonymous.

Ralph Nader on the: Assault on the Labor Movement in Iraq.

The Underhand! In a surprise development, the Pentagon handed Iraq over to the CIA two days ahead of schedule: US hands over sovereignty in Iraq. Unfortunately, President Bush and Tony Blair missed their photo ops. On the good side, dictator Paul Bremer flew into exile in the United States, traditional retirement haven for dictators world-wide. Key members of Iraq's interim government. Remember, with "sovereignty" US military to to guard Iraq PM after handover.

But the BBC's Dan Damon in Baghdad says the handover will mean little to ordinary Iraqis. Our correspondent says it is not clear how real the transfer of power will seem to the many Iraqis whose backing is needed to defeat insurgents.

"Torture General" defends his war crimes: Key general defends the 'Gitmo' way: In an interview, General Miller defends his command and addresses abuses at Abu Ghraib.

"I'm proud of everything done at Guantánamo."

Europe depopulated to make way for world leader: Bush tours through the deserted streets of Europe.

For Iraqi girls, the present and future look bleak: For Iraqi Girls, Changing Land Narrows Lives. Some Iraqi women cope in ways adopted by desperate women word wide: The Cost of Liberty: In a Chaotic New Iraq, A Young Widow Turns to Prostitution.

A photographer who was in Basra at the start of the war returns to find the people she photographed and see if their lives have improved. to a great degree, they haven't: War zone revisited.

Was billions stolen? Or are the US officials just billion dollar incompetents? Christian Aid report says CPA violated UN resolution and failed to allow auditing of their spending billions of Iraqi money and can't explain where billions went: $20m 'hole' in Iraqi funds held by US-led authority.

Torture on hold, temporarily: CIA Puts Harsh Tactics On Hold: Memo on Methods Of Interrogation Had Wide Review.

Must Read! Life is hell when you're occupying someone else's country: Living in Iraq, U.S. army-style: Insurgent attacks breed paranoia. Troops hunker down in isolation.

The night before this mission, one soldier reflected bitterly on all those months of "cultural training" he received back at Fort Hood, Texas, before deploying in April. "Cultural training takes 10 seconds," he said: "The Iraqis hate us. They want to kill us. That's all you need to know."
The gunslinger soldier then added a surprising afterthought. "This sucks. They call us occupiers and I don't blame them. This is all a waste of time. I joined the National Guard to defend America. We should not be leaving American soil."

Must Read! This Washington Post article makes it clear that "sovereignty" means only freedom to do what the US wants, as the new government has no power: U.S. Edicts Curb Power Of Iraq's Leadership.

In Falluja, the US-trained police fight the American occupiers: New Iraqi police fight US troops who trained them.

Maybe these Iraqi troops should teach the American's a thing or two: Biggest Task for U.S. General Is Training Iraqis to Fight Iraqis.

Cover-up. All in a days work: In Iraq Pentagon inspector general says prisoner abuse in Iraq done by 'bad eggs' in lower ranks. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that the administration's torture memos were written after the fact to justify torture already in progress: Aides Say Memo Backed Coercion for Qaeda Cases.

The new Interim Prime Minister suggests he may extend amnesty to many insurgents: New Iraq PM promises amnesty for insurgents: Allawi sympathy for 'lawful' resistance. Leader rejects US model of democracy. A statement by PM Iyad Allawi: Dr Iyad Allawi: Give us back our dignity. Even before he gets power, Iyad Allawi prepares to cancel the elections: Iraq leader warns of poll delay.

Glen Rangwala, the man who did the most to demolish the WMD claims before the war, turns his attention to the state of Iraq as the underhand [to use Nami Klein's term for what is supposed to happen June 30] approaches: Promises, promises: the true cost of freedom for the people--What kind of country is the 'coalition' handing over to the government of Iyad Allawi? Glen Rangwala analyses the post-war legacy. And Peter Beaumont in the Guardian gives his impression of the challenges facing the new regime: Fearful Iraq sets out on journey to the unknown: Peter Beaumont in Baghdad says the allies are forced to put their trust in the magical powers of semi-democracy to hold back the Islamist insurgents.

Must Read! The Spoils! get the picking while they're hot! The multibillion robbery the US calls reconstruction: The shameless corporate feeding frenzy in Iraq is fuelling the resistance.

.The state department has taken $184m earmarked for drinking water projects and moved it to the budget for the lavish new US embassy in Saddam Hussein's former palace. Short of $1bn for the embassy, Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state, said he might have to "rob from Peter in my fiefdom to pay Paul". In fact, he is robbing Iraq's people....
If the occupation chief Paul Bremer and his staff were capable of embarrassment, they might be a little sheepish about having spent only $3.2bn of the $18.4bn Congress allotted - the reason the reconstruction is so disastrously behind schedule. At first, Bremer said the money would be spent by the time Iraq was sovereign, but apparently someone had a better idea: parcel it out over five years so Ambassador John Negroponte can use it as leverage. With $15bn outstanding, how likely are Iraq's politicians to refuse US demands for military bases and economic "reforms"?

More Indian workers complain of their treatment at US bases in Iraq: Indians carry horror tales from US camps.

Must Watch! The Daily Show: Cheney Lies, Pants On Fire!

Juan Cole recommends this background piece on Iraq's Shia, from the National Geographic: Reaching for Power.

Shell game: Army Replaces Top Abu Ghraib Investigator.

King George can't stand the Irish heat! Angry White House pulls RTE interview. an Irish comment: Carole did us a service by dishing up an Irish grilling for George.

The Irish Independent learned last night that the White House told Ms Coleman that she interrupted the president unnecessarily and was disrespectful.
[The real reason they are angry, other than making the boy king look like the kook that he is:] And it emerged last night that presidential staff suggested to Ms Coleman as she went into the interview that she ask him a question on the outfit that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern wore to the G8 summit.

Humor Ahead! An Irish interview with Aggressor-in-Chief George W. Bush. He repeats all the usual lies but the interviewer doesn't fawn like American reporters: Video & Article. "I don't like death either," he says. He shows he is completely incapable of having a dialog, with give and take. Meanwhile: Irish Batten Down Hatches for Bush: US president's visit expected to provoke big demonstrations. And Amnesty International calls on the EU to "End the EU's embarassing silence on US torture": Open Letter from Amnesty International to the European Union.

Members of Congress say stop the scapegoating, go for the brass: Officials: Abuse probe must hit brass. Appropriately, soldiers testified that the top military intelligence commander at Abu Ghraib was present at the murder of an inmate: Testimony: Leaders knew of abuse.

David Ignatius discusses his experience with the new Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, the new Iraqi strongman: A Tough Iraqi's Strategy.

Allawi's appeal, and also his liability, is that he will govern Iraq as a strongman. His biggest problem these next few months will be staying alive, in the face of death threats. His only real protection will be the support of other Iraqis. In that sense, for all the U.S. troops who will remain after Wednesday's handover, Iraq's fate will really be in the hands of Iraqis once again.

Iraqi sermons anti-American, but not necessarily pro-insurgent: Iraq Sermons Attack U.S. but Urge Unity .

US loosing clout. UN human rights experts wants to see ALL detainees in US custody to see that their rights are being protected: UN seeks 'terror inmates' access

In the statement, the experts said they were motivated by "a number of recent developments that have alarmed the international community with regard to the status, conditions of detention and treatment of prisoners in specific locations".

The More Things Change... New Prime Minister Allawi plans to reconstitute Saddam's army: Allawi plans to reinstate army.

Seymour Hersh on Israel's increasing role in Kurdish Iraq: Plan B. The Israeli paper Haaretz reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is the source of Hersh's story: Report: Turkish FM leaked story of Mossad in Kurd regions. And here's an interview with Hersh on Democracy Now! Seymour Hersh: Israeli Agents Operating in Iraq, Iran and Syria.

"Sovereignty" means more occupation troops: Iraq force may grow by 25,000: Possible mix of U.S. reservists, regulars would bolster security; 'We may need more people,' officer says.

The Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus have issued a new report, Paying the Price: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War, which weighs the costs of the Iraq war to the US, Iraq, and the World: Key Findings; Full Report; one page: Fact Sheet great for distribution! See also commentary by Jim Lobe: Iraq War Analysis Paints Grim Picture.

US abolishes Iraqi "sovereignty" before it starts. Gives total immunity to US troops occupying Iraq. Note: This is NOT the new "government" granting immunity, but the US itself giving its occupiers immunity from any Iraqi sanctions for anything they do: U.S. troops in Iraq granted immunity.

Dahr Jamail provides a few more vignettes illustrating life in "free Iraq": Penalty of Force.

Robert Verkaik, Legal Affairs Correspondent for the Independent says, whatever bush calls it, under international law, the US is engaged in torture: Techniques 'amount to torture'.

"They are designed to destroy a person's belief in their own dignity. They are the same kind of techniques adopted by General Pinochet and the North Vietnamese when they captured American soldiers they accused of spying."

Bush hides most documents Democrats want on prison torture: Democrats push for more documents from White House.

Leahy, the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, last week sponsored a motion to subpoena 23 documents from the administration. Only three were released Tuesday - and two of those had already been posted on the Internet.

US makes it clear, it never intends to surrender control of Iraq to the Iraqis: Iraq ministers told only US can impose martial law.

US advisers... are struggling to check the ambitions of his ministers to rebuild and re-arm Iraq's forces. "Iraq will have a lightly-armed standing army and no heavy field artillery," says Jacinta Caroll, director of defence policy for the Coalition Provisional Authority. If tanks and attack aircraft were needed, Iraq would have to rely on US-led forces, she said. [In other words, the Iraqis will never be able to defend themselves.]
To curb Iraq's access to heavy weapons, observers say the occupation authorities have signed a $259m contract with US company Anham Joint Venture to be sole supplier of arms to Iraq's armed forces for the next two years.

Another neocon learns at Iraqi's expense that fantasies are not necessarily reality: An Educator Learns the Hard Way: Task of Rebuilding Universities Brings Frustration, Doubts and Danger. See the interesting commentary by Lounsbury: Reconstruction Articles: indictments of the CPA.

Must Read! The AP suggests that civil war fears are more a creation of Americans trying to sew discord than a fear of most Iraqis: Iraqis dismiss civil war threat, point to strong tribal bonds, mixed marriages.

U.S. officials have warned that Iraq could slip into religious warfare once the American-led troops leave the country. Not necessarily, say Iraqis. Although they fear chaos and further deterioration in security, they generally dismiss forecasts of civil war between religious sects. They say the Americans are using the specter of religious fighting to frighten people and lay the groundwork for prolonging the occupation....
``They're [the Americans] spreading these rumors to scare us that if they leave, there will be civil war, that Iraqis cannot handle the situation. It's their presence here that is creating divisions,'' said Shatha Shammar....
When an explosion at an elementary school playground killed a child and wounded four others in the Baghdad working class area of Jawadayn, parents chastised a reporter for asking if the neighborhood was Shiite or Sunni. ``Why do you ask?'' shouted the father of one wounded victim. ``You're trying to say if this is a Shiite neighborhood, then Sunnis were behind the blast. We refuse to say that because we and our Sunni brothers are both suffering. Those who are carrying out these attacks are criminals.''

Win one for the side of justice: US war crimes immunity bid fails. Unfortunately, it doesn't mean much as the US has pressured 89 countries into guaranteeing immunity, as it spreads its torture centers around the globe.

Letter sent to the United States Congress regarding recent human rights issues in Iraq [Law Professors' Letter, with signers]

Must Read! War, through an American soldier's eyes: Iraq combat: What it's really like over there

Bush administration releases a "small subset" of their documents and memos regarding how to treat prisoners and concludes: We never torture prisonrrs. Torture is, by definition, things that others do. If we do it, it can't be torture. Memos detail debate on prisoners: Rumsfeld reversed OK of severe interrogations. What's in the documents they're still hiding?

Supporters of Al-Sadr, the second most popular man in Iraq, won't participate in national advisory council, decrying "token role": Sadr's Followers Won't Join Conference.

"We are a popular movement among the Iraqi people yet we are only offered one seat," Ahmed al-Shibani said. "There are some people given a seat who only represent themselves." Masoum, of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, said al-Sadr himself was not invited.

Falluja residents who participated in a demonstration deny that Fallujans had anything to do with killing six Shia truck drivers. They also deny the city harbors alleged terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. They claim this is part of a US "dirty tricks" campaign to foster ethnic strife: Falluja decries 'dirty tricks campaign'.

The only lesson learned by the US from their Abu Ghraib torture scandal is that photos should be banned when "interrogating" [a.k.a., torturing] prisoners. That, and wait for the press and public to grow tired and change the topic. A few minor scapegoats help, too: Abu Ghraib images bring lessons closer to home.

Congress has long been aware of the need for the taping of interrogations, particularly in the military. One thing is certain after Abu Ghraib: If such recording is not made mandatory, the military is likely to put as much effort into preventing future pictures as preventing future abuse. When President Bush told the Arab world that the pictures at Abu Ghraib would not be tolerated in the United States, he was right. Under our current rules, there would be no pictures at all.

"Torture General" Miller got to Guantanamo Concentration Camp and the inmates started attempting suicide: Guantanamo suicides followed arrival of new general. We know what happened after he visited Abu Ghraib! The monster is now in charge of all US prisons in Iraq. Get ready for new horrors once the press attention goes elsewhere.

Between January and March 2003, 14 prisoners at Guantanamo tried to kill themselves, according to Pentagon figures. That's more than 40 percent of the 34 suicide attempts by 21 inmates since the prison was opened in January 2002....
In internal memos, Bush administration lawyers have acknowledged repeatedly that "pushing someone to the brink of suicide" would be torture.

It seems former Governing Council members get in deep trouble when they oppose occupation. Funny how the butchers who support the occupation never get in trouble: Anti-Saddam hero goes on the run after police killing.

The man who fought the old regime from the marshes of southern Iraq for 17 years is no fan of the current regime. He laughs bitterly at the irony that he is again in danger of arrest. "We are now an occupied country," he says. "What is the difference between the dictatorship of Saddam and the dictatorship of [Paul] Bremer [the American viceroy in Iraq?"

Patrick Cockburn writes of: The Pretence of an Independent Iraq: The New Government has a Few Cards in its Hands, but the Resistance to the Occupation is Growing.

'Our soldiers call them the League of Frightened Gentlemen," said an American officer pointing derisively towards the buildings in the so-called green zone in Baghdad, housing the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority which has ruled Iraq for over a year.

War apologists cite the improved condition of Iraqi women as a positive effect of the war effort. But why are they being frozen out of the political process? Where are the Women in the New Iraq?

Unfortunately, myopic US policy over the past year has set a precedent tough for women to overcome. The United States refused to support a mandatory number of female-held seats in the future National Assembly, despite demands by Iraqi women's groups and Sunni statesman Adnan Pachachi (who was Brahimi's and America's top choice for president), because the Bush administration didn't want to contradict its antiaffirmative action policy back home. Paul Bremer, the top US administrator in Iraq, even allowed the creation of a constitutional drafting committee that was all men, although it was clear that the constitution was pivotal to establishing women's rights.

Canadian journalist Scott Taylor provides a first-person account of life in occupied Iraq: The Secrets of Occupation. Here is fascinating video of Taylor's taken inside Falluja in: Fallujah, January 2004 [I was unable to view it in Netscape, but IE worked fine, though it took a while to download].

Firm hired to coordinate security in Iraq for a cool $293 million is a known as the commander of war criminal and is linked to arms smuggling. Fits right in: Security firm's $293m deal under scrutiny. The article refers to the army's "ignorance" of his background. Doubtful. More likely, his background in war crimes is viewed as an asset.

US launches new airstrike in Falluja: US air strike kills four in Fallujah.

The Spoils! UN says US spending of $15 billion of Iraq's oil money was open to fraud, and the CPA did not cooperate in investigating it. Who stole what? UN slams US over spending Iraq funds. No wonder the US has been busy spending what remains of this money.

One Iraqi minister due to take office on June 30 told the FT he and many colleagues felt "let down by how the CPA has controlled resources".

Out of sight, out of mind: Senate endorses ban on war dead coverage.

Another US murder and cover-up? Shooting death angers Iraqi family: US tactics in raid raise concerns.

An hour later, family members recalled, the soldiers led a hooded man from the house and told the family they were arresting Bawi. Only after the soldiers left with what appeared to be a prisoner did Bawi's brother find his bloodied body, shot five times and stuffed behind a refrigerator underneath a pile of mattresses....
Brigadier General Jeffery Hammond, the number two commander of the First Armored Cavalry Division, which patrols Baghdad, said the shooting was unlikely to have occurred as described by the family. ''We have too many lines of supervision on any operation we do," Hammond said. ''It would be hard for me to believe that could happen."
In a terse statement released more than two weeks after Bawi's death, after repeated visits by his relatives to military officers stationed near the slum where his family lives, the military admitted the shooting and said it had officially opened an investigation....
According to his brothers, Bawi, like the rest of the family, welcomed the United States as liberators. ''When Saddam was captured, he hired a band for the neighborhood," Qasim Bawi said.

US-chosen council sees itself as the vanguard of democracy: Death Stalks An Experiment In Democracy: Fearful Baghdad Council Keeps Public Locked Out.

More suggestions a new dictatorship is on its way: Iraq Might Welcome a Strongman: Many appear optimistic that tough-talking homegrown leadership will overcome violence.

Top generals, but NOT civilian leaders, to be questioned for torture scapegoat trials: Prison abuse defendants may hear from generals: Defense wins right to take depositions from senior officers in Abu Ghraib scandal.

Another in a long line of assassinations of university professors: Lecturer and Her Husband Murdered in Iraq - Police.

The al-Mahdi army controls and protects Sadr City, from criminals, and from the Americans: Rebels With a Cause: Armed Militia Say They 'Protect' Baghdad Slum from U.S. Forces.

Rumsfeld redefines torture to mean "anything I haven't yet thought of doing to someone": Pentagon to release Rumsfeld 'torture' memos: Officials insist techniques did not violate international law.

US has been lying for years to justify the horrific conditions at Guantánamo concentration camp. It seems as if the main motive was simply to establish the US right to detain anybody, do anything to anybody they want to, all justified by the elusive "War on Terrorism": U.S. Said to Overstate Value of Guantánamo Detainees.

In interviews, dozens of high-level military, intelligence and law-enforcement officials in the United States, Europe and the Middle East said that contrary to the repeated assertions of senior administration officials, none of the detainees at the United States Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay ranked as leaders or senior operatives of Al Qaeda.

Being a target in Iraq. All in a day's work: Gunmen hunt down reporter on Iraq highway.

It becomes clear why the US insisted that Iyad Allawi become Iraq's prime minister. He has no compunctions about killing or torturing fellow Iraqis. As an ex-Baathist, he knows how to keep the masses in fear: Iraq's new 'iron fist' threatens martial law.

Mr Allawi's government has made clear it wants to take hardline, even repressive, measures to try to prevent violence increasing before planned national elections at the end of January 2005....
A senior Iraqi official said it was important that Mr Allawi showed he was capable of ordering the killing of Iraqis. "We should have killed Sadr last year," he added. "That would have solved the problem."

Reports that Israel is using the Kurds to advance its interests, potentially destabilizing the region: Israelis 'using Kurds to build power base'.

An Iraqi doctor claims British troops mutilated the corpses of several Iraqi insurgents. But another doctor disputes the claim: UK troops accused of mutilating Iraqi bodies: Death certificates by Iraqi doctor claim evidence of torture.

Got Democracy?

US maintains claims about Falluja attack, despite evidence they killed a family, not "terrorists": Officer disputes Fallujah airstrike target. Of course, one has to go to the British Guardian newspaper to find out details of who was killed, "entire family of Mohammed Hamadi, a 65-year-old farmer, married with two wives, were killed. Among the dead where his wives and children": US bombers kill 22 in Falluja raid: Americans claim Iraq target was a terrorist safe house. See Juan Cole's comment calling it a war crime: 22 Guerrillas Die in Fallujah Bombing. In contrast, the US-installed "Prime Minister" welcomed the attack: Iraq's Allawi Welcomes U.S. Strike That Killed 22.

Dictatorship returning to Iraq, as terrorist leader [PM Allawi, who carried out a CIA-organized terrorist campaign against the former regime] says all energies, including emergency measures will be used against anti-occupation "terrorists": Allawi: Iraq to focus on fighting terrorism.

The Washington Post starts a three-part series on blowing it in Iraq: Mistakes Loom Large as Handover Nears: Missed Opportunities Turned High Ideals to Harsh Realities

Kurds reclaiming lands taken by Saddam leads to mass expulsions of Arabs: Kurds Advancing to Reclaim Land in Northern Iraq.

Humor Ahead! An interview with clown-in-chief [a.k.a. "Dictator of Iraq"] Paul bremer: Bremer answers questions.

On the political side ... we've established the concept of representative government here. The governing council was already the most representative government they'd had in half a century....
Secondly, we've established the concept of rule of law governing society, instead of the rule of man — one man. [Of course, for the past year, they have had rule by one man: Paul Bremer]
On the economic side, we've got a much more open economy now.... Free trade, open to foreign direct investment....
And we've given them the concept of good fiscal policy. Instead of just printing money to cover deficits, we've said you've got to have a balanced budget. [Completely controlled by the US.]

Riverbend, in a funk, discusses the new government: Excuses, Excuses....

Now, Yawer is our Karazai. He sits exuding all the outward signs of the stereotypical Arab (almost down to the camel) and yet, he seems to support Bremer et al. in almost every decision. Sure, he gives an interview now and then and says he doesn’t agree with this decision or that one, but the first major meeting he attends, he calls for NATO forces inside of the country- as if Americans, Italians, Brits and the rest aren’t already enough. There are also rumors that he is married to a certain lady who is a personal friend and adamant supporter of none other than Ahmad Chalabi... I'm still looking into that. His image, admittedly, bothers me. I’m getting visions of corrupt Gulf emirs, oil wells, and shady business dealings....
Several of the new government actually have more than one nationality. Now don’t get me wrong- I hold nothing against people with dual or triple or whatever number of nationalities. I do, however, have something against people with dual nationality being a part of government. It makes one wonder how many Americans would actually agree to having a senator or minister with, say, a French or German passport along with the American one....
While I don’t have any definite numbers, I can assure the world that we have *at least* 20 million Iraqis, both inside and outside of Iraq, who have only a single nationality. I can even go further to assure the world that the majority of those Iraqis with a single nationality actually have lived inside of Iraq for most of their lives. However bizarre the statistics may seem, I do believe that out of those millions of Iraqis, 37 competent ones could have been found. True, they might not have CIA alliances, bank accounts in Switzerland, armed militias or multimillion dollar companies in Saudi Arabia… but many of them actually have a sense of national pride and an anxiety for their country and for the future of their children and their children’s children inside of said country.

The far-reaching effects of occupation and civil war: Viagara doing big business in Iraq.

"People are depressed, so they need Viagra and other drugs to give them interest in sex...." "Viagra sales have at least doubled since the war ended. Lives are not good. There's bombs and tension. When you see bodies and destroyed houses, you have psychological disturbances that affect sexual desire."

Whitewash! Rumsfeld announces official cover-up. Obviously, no investigation to be conducted by the Pentagon -- those under him -- is worth a hill of beans: Rumsfeld clears higher-ups in abuse probe. According to the article, Rumsfeld has decided that no higher-ups "ordered" the torture. Of course not. They don't order, they just make clear that it would be fine with them.

Apparent US missile attack kills at least 20 in Falluja, including at least three women and five children: Fallujah Police: U.S. Airstrike Kills 20.

Outraged residents accused the Americans of trying to inflict maximum damaged by firing two strikes - one first to attack and another to kill the rescuers. "The number of casualties is so high because after the first missile we jumped to rescue the victims," said Wissam Ali Hamad. "The second missile killed those trying to carry out the rescue."

Iraqi Kurdish leaders claim that Turkey will accept federalism for Kurds in Iraq: Turkey Accepts Iraqi Kurd Self-Rule: Kurdish Leader.

Britain to send 3,000 more troops to boost the occupation: 3,000 more UK troops for Iraq: Nato force to be deployed to bolster new government. Bloody career of al-Qaida's leader in Gulf.

Patrick Cockburn provides another excellent account of the wholly predictable failure of the CPA, huddled in isolation from Iraq, in the Green Zone: US paranoid and isolated as Green Zone policy fails.

An Iraqi friend, who feared for his life because he was close to the Americans, used to live inside the Green Zone, the heavily protected area in central Baghdad where the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) has its headquarters. One day he fell into conversation with an American soldier guarding one of the gates. The soldier said he was of Iraqi origin and could speak Arabic. He added that security was not quite as tight as it looked since prostitutes were regular visitors to the zone. My friend, a little alarmed, decided to investigate. He went to a house which was being used as a brothel. He says: "In the toilet I found that the women were writing pro-Baath party, anti-American and patriotic slogans with their lipstick on the mirrors." Their clients could not tell what they had written because it was in Arabic.

Raed Jarrar has completed a survey of: IRAQI CIVILIAN WAR CASUALTIES "Covering the period of March 21 - July 31, 2003."

Human Rights First details the thousands being held in secret American gulags: U.S. Holding Prisoners in More Than Two Dozen Secret Detention Facilities Worldwide, New Report Says. Text of Report: Ending Secret Detentions.

White House put intense pressure on interrogator at Abu Ghraib. Of course, they had no idea what would result: Pressure at Iraqi prison detailed.

A new book by embedded journalist Evan Wright details the brutality of the first phase of the war: Humvee Hell.

Must Read! An indispensable interview with Juan Cole from Asia Times Online: Iraq as the 51st state.

The IGC, as you said, was seen as a puppet council by many people. There's much more continuity between the IGC and this government than most people seem to realize. It's pretty much the same cast of characters - either with regard to people who actually sat at the council and persons who represent factions who had a seat in that council....
I discern an unwritten rule among American journalists, that the American public is not interested in places which have their own government. The real significance of the so-called handover of sovereignty is that the Bush administration and its political advisers are hoping that the American press will take this moment as a cue to turn to reporting about Laci Peterson and other nonsense stories, local murder mysteries.

Democracy out! Dictatorship on its way! How brief these fantasies are: Iraqi official says martial law possible.

Interim Defense Minister Hazem Shalan al-Khuzaei said that "in the next few days, we will chase [the insurgents] ... from house to house and from street to street, by all means available." [What means are those? Remember, the people in charge are largely ex-Baathists, with a CIA agent and ex-terrorist at the top.]

Juan Cole is one of many I've seen recently who take the Interior Minister's threats of martial law seriously. It would provide a nice excuse for the Interim Government and its US patrons to cancel the elections. Remember, the Iraqi elections are conveniently scheduled after the US elections: 42 Killed, 138 Wounded in 3 Thursday Bombings: Coalition Soldier Among Dead.

[M]artial law usually involves strict curfews, armed troops in the streets, and shooting suspected miscreants on sight.... Often, as in Pakistan, it substitutes military rule for civilian, and indefinitely postpones elections.

Again, from Juan Cole, another prominent opponent of US occupation has an arrest warrant out against him and his brothers. Coincidence? Prince of the Marshes in Legal Trouble. See also the Reuters story: Iraqi 'Prince of the Marshes' Wanted in Murder Case.

Senate republicans vote to defend the torturers: Republicans defeat effort to subpoena Justice documents on torture.

n interviews, though, some senators said torture may sometimes be acceptable. "I think it is unwise for us to try to announce in concrete the absolute limits of the military in wartime," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who taught refresher courses on the Geneva Convention to military police....
Last June, Pentagon General Counsel William J. Haynes III had written [Senator] Leahy in response to a letter that "it is the policy of the United States to comply with all of its legal obligations prohibiting torture. ... The United States does not permit, tolerate or condone any such torture by its employees under any circumstances." But three months earlier, Haynes ordered a legal analysis that offered a justification for harsh interrogation techniques and concluded that laws or treaties against torture don't bind the president. The analysis drew heavily on the August 2002 memo.

Presumably, he'll now experience all that American democracy, Abu Ghraib style, has to offer: Iraqi man arrested for yelling at American troops.

Two new pieces by Dahr Jamail: Hep E on 'Vietnam Street' and Beirut, Iraq.

Latin American death squad veterans are recruited for Iraq service: Here Come the Death Squad Veterans.

More scapegoating? US army officer charged for murder of Sadr follower.

Human Rights Watch reported on the vast chain of hidden US gulags: Report Says U.S. Has 'Secret' Detention Centers. Meanwhile, Rumsfeld admits he ordered a prisoner held in violation of Geneva Accord. Where is the war crimes trial? Rumsfeld Ordered Secret Arrest in Iraq. How many others are being held in secret? What horrors re being committed upon them?

Bush continues the big lie: Bush Disputes al Qaida-Saddam Conclusion: Bush Disputes 9/11 Panel's Finding That There Was No al Qaida-Saddam 'Collaborative Relationship'.

At last, we know what the would-be rulers of Iraq were doing as the messed things up so royally: Raucous bar scene emerges in Baghdad’s sealed-off ‘green zone’.

The plushest tavern is the CIA’s rattan furnished watering hole, known as the ‘‘OGA bar.’’ OGA stands for ‘‘Other Government Agency,’’ the CIA’s low-key moniker. The OGA bar has a dance floor with a revolving mirrored disco ball and a game room. It is open to outsiders by invitation only. Disgruntled CPA employees who haven’t wangled invites complain that the CIA favors women guests....
One street has been converted into a souk, where Iraqis sell bootleg DVDs, rugs and trinkets. On a recent visit, a boy on a motorbike pulled up and made a hushed offering: ‘‘Hey! Porno?’’ ‘‘I don’t know if they are corrupting us or we’re corrupting them,’’ one CPA official quipped.

Mary Jacoby in Salon provides background on the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI): The Rule of the Turban: Paul Wolfowitz eulogized the fallen Shiite leader as an Iraqi Abraham Lincoln. But his group seems more intent on making Iraq conform to the principles of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

The Spoils! US stealing $2 billion from Iraq oil revenues, before "sovereignty" makes highway robbery more difficult: CPA RUSHES TO GIVE AWAY BILLIONS IN IRAQI OIL REVENUES. Then read the NYT: Auditors Testify About Waste in Iraq Contracts.

New general for US forces in Iraq: General nominated to lead forces in Iraq.

Iraqi artists reflect on Abu Ghraib: Iraqi artists depict anger over Abu Ghraib: Twenty-five artists are displaying sculptures, paintings, and installations at a Baghdad gallery.

A poll of Iraqis conducted for the US, but never released shows the lack of trust Iraqis have for the US and the CPA: U.S. poll of Iraqis finds widespread anger at prison abuse, worry about safety. Actual poll report: Public Opinion In Iraq: First Poll Following Abu Ghraib Revelations (pdf) or (html).

The coalition's confidence rating in May stood at 11 percent, down from 47 percent in November, while coalition forces had just 10 percent support. Nearly half of Iraqis said they felt unsafe in their neighborhoods.
And 55 percent of Iraqis reported to the pollsters they would feel safer if U.S. troops immediately left, nearly double the 28 percent who felt that way in January....
The poll reported that 81 percent of Iraqis said they had an improved opinion of al-Sadr in May from three months earlier, and 64 percent said the acts of his insurgents had made Iraq more unified....
71 percent of Iraqis said they were surprised by the humiliating photos and tales of abuse at the hands of Americans, but 54 percent said they believed all Americans behave like the guards.

Naomi Klein describes what it's like being a Canadian in Iraq, and its implications for Canadian-US relations: Baghdad.

But being Canadian, or more specifically, not being American, did sometimes open up a little window. It gave people who were suffering permission to glimpse the humanity behind our nationality. And the overwhelming majority of Iraqis I met -- even, miraculously, those who had just lost children and spouses to U.S. weapons -- were profoundly grateful for that reprieve, relieved not to have to hate.

Killing of Shia drivers near Falluja increasing sectarian tension: Falluja deaths spark Shia anger.

There's a booming business supplying torturers for the US Iraqi operations. Olliver North, among many others, is in on the act: Torture, Incorporated: Oliver North Joins the Party.

The Spoils! Halliburton steals millions and Republicans provide cover: GOP Refusing to Allow Testimony on Halliburton Spending.

The Interim Iraqi President applauds al-Sadr's move to form a political party: Iraq President Applauds Sadr's 'Smart' Political Move.

General Janis Karpinski, the former general in charge of Abu Ghraib and other Iraqi prisons, says that torture general Geoffrey Miller told her that prisoners are like dogs and should be treated like dogs. Where is the war crimes trial for Miller? Iraq jail chief told to treat inmates "like dogs".

"He said they are like dogs, and if you allow them to believe at any point they are more than a dog then you've lost control of them...."
"But I will say I know my military police personnel ... well enough to know they believed they were following instructions from a person authorised to give them instructions," she said....
Karpinski said Miller told her he planned to "Gitmo-ize" the treatment of detainees, using a colloquial term for Guantanamo.

Claims the Iraqi police handed over Shia truck drivers to Sunni extremists who then murdered them: Iraqi police accused of handing over Shiites for slaughter.

Juan Cole reports that a senior US official, Christopher Ross has requested a direct meeting with Muqtada al-Sadr. This is interpreted as a sign the State Department is taking over at the CPA from the hardline Pentagon neocons. Cole also reports that Sistani is negotiating with the Kurds: Sistani to Consult with Kurds: US Seeks Direct talks with Muqtada.

Meanwhile, US troops apparently try and provoke al-Sadr: U-S troops detain radical cleric follower in Karbala.

Is the guy crazy, or just a pathological liar? Cheney, in Florida visit, claims ties between Hussein, al Qaida.

You'd almost think you were in the US.Poor workers risk their lives for KBR profits: You don't have to be poor to work there, but it helps: Kellogg, Brown and Root is finding no shortage of Americans who want employment in Iraq, despite the heat, dust and danger of death. They could earn up to $100,000 in a year.

Pentagon still withholding key torture documents from Congress, despite several claims to have turned over complete versions: Key documents missing in Congress' abuse probe.

Christopher Allbritton is horrified by what he sees in Iraq, and by the feelings he witnesses being aroused in him: Heart of Darkness.

We’re targets, and when you look very western, like I do, you’ re constantly aware of eyes on you and the hostility. At restaurants, the waiters sullenly clear your table, sometimes being none too careful about keeping chai or food from spilling on you. The kindness I encountered last year is absent; a western face brings a sullen welcome, calibrated to the bare minimum....
I also can’t seem to get excited over stories of abused Iraqis. There are so many and they have a numbing quality. Also, the hostility I encounter from Iraqis makes me — shamefully — less empathetic to their complaints. But nor do I feel much sympathy for Americans who point guns at me. The tragic part of this is that there is no way to blame anyone in this situation. The Iraqis will naturally hate an occupying army. And soldiers will naturally grow to hate a people they think they came to liberate but who continue trying to kill them....
am ashamed of many of the emotions I feel these days. But I care about the truth as best as I can see and tell it. I once believed that telling the truth — or a small part of it — could help the world. It could help people understand things better and thus make the world better. But this war defies comprehension. It’s so stupid and there seems to be no point to anything that happens here. People die on a daily basis in random, terrifying attacks. And for what? Freedom? Stability? Peace? There is none of that here and it’s likely there won’t be after the Americans leave. Iraq has spiraled into a dark place, much worse than where it was a year ago during the war. There is no freedom from the fear that is stoked by mutual hatred, cynicism and an apprehension about the future. So what if one side has superior firepower? Every bullet fired helps kill souls on both sides of this war, whether it hits flesh or lands harmlessly.
We — Iraqis and the Americans here — are caged by fear, and we are all conquered people now.

The latest administration torture memo, the Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales, Counsel to the President from the U.S. Department of Justice (pdf) and the accompanying Washington Post article: Justice Dept. Memo Says Torture 'May Be Justified'. Also, the Text of Ashcroft Comments on Anti-Terror Policy where he refuses to release this memo.

[Washington Post:]The Office of Legal Counsel is the federal government's ultimate legal adviser. The most significant and sensitive topics that the federal government considers are often given to the OLC for review. In this case, the memorandum was signed by Jay S. Bybee, the head of the office at the time. Bybee's signature gives the document additional authority, making it akin to a binding legal opinion on government policy on interrogations. Bybee has since become a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Here are the: Texts of Major Documents on International Humanitarian Law (Law Of War), including the Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War & Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

US wants total immunity for its thousands of mercenaries and private torturers: Contractor Immunity a Divisive Issue: Interim Government Resists U.S. Proposal to Exempt Foreigners From Iraqi Law

US to maintain its Iraqi concentration camps under Iraqi "sovereignty": US to keep 4,000- 5,000 prisoners after June 30

US discovers that another 400 Abu Ghraib inmates did not need to be detained in hell: Detainees leave notorious prison with harsh words for Americans.

The Spoils! In a major deviation from procedures, a political appointee overruled an Army official to award the no-bid Iraq contract to Halliburton.. Then Vice President Cheney's office was notified: Appointee's Role in Halliburton Pact Told: Waxman asks Cheney for facts on the award of a controversial Iraq oil field contract. Sen. Frank Lautenberg wants a Special Counsel to investigate Senator Seeks Halliburton Special Counsel. And Congressman Henry Waxman presents testimony from five former Halliburton employees alleging egregious fraud and abuse: New Evidence of Halliburton Overcharges.

[Appointee's Role:] Contracting experts said that the determination of which companies are able to compete for a contract is usually made by career civil servants to avoid any appearance of political influence in the outcome. "The suggestion that political appointees would be directing that type of investigation does not seem consistent with maintaining the appearance of propriety," said Steven L. Schooner, a government contracting expert at George Washington University's Law School....
Several experts described the pursuit of different legal opinions as out of the ordinary. Defense Secretary Donald H. "Rumsfeld's political lawyers steamrollered the career guys to push through Halliburton's secret deal," said Charles Tiefer, a law professor at the University of Baltimore who recently wrote a book on government contracting. "It creates a disturbing appearance of influence when Cheney's lawyers are told several times Halliburton is getting special deals, and they never say, 'Make sure the career people agree this is being done right.' "

Tom Engelhardt reminds us again that prisoner abuse in Iraq is simply a small part of a "global imprisonment system that stretched from holding cells on aircraft carriers to facilities in Afghanistan to Saddam's old prisons to Guantanamo to military brigs in the United States and unnamed jails in "friendly" foreign countries." George Orwell… meet Franz Kafka.

Finally, having redefined the nature of war, the powers of the president, the nature of captivity, and the places of imprisonment, it was the most natural thing in the world to redefine "information extraction" within such a system so that neither international treaties like the Geneva Conventions, nor congressionally passed laws, nor the Constitution itself was applicable to them. In this sense, from the earliest days after the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration was focused on, above all else, setting up a global torture system by another name.

The New York Times has a valuable list of memoranda known so far on the US policy of torture: Documents Build a Case for Working Outside the Laws in Interrogations.

The International Committee of the Red Cross demands that all Iraqi detainees be released June 30, as is called for by international law: Red Cross calls on U.S. to empty Iraq's prisons.

"In principle all prisoners of war and interned civilians must be released July 1," Kellenberger said.

Dahr Jamail writes of the reason for the saying, common in today's Iraq: “The student is gone; the master has arrived”.

Gary Leupp provides background on the new Iraqi "rulers": Not Really a Puppet Government? Meet the New Iraqi Leaders.

An in-depth view of the brutal treatment accorded Guantanamo detainees. Note the role of Torture General Miller in minimizing Red Cross concerns: A Look Behind the 'Wire' At Guantanamo: Defense Memos Raised Questions About Detainee Treatment as Red Cross Sought Changes

Those "few bad apples" must be geniuses! they recreated classic CIA torture techniques: Iraq Tactics Have Long History With U.S. Interrogators

Al-Sadr to form political party: Sadr plans political party.

John Kerry says "Vote for me! Get the real Bush!" As he condemns the Australian Labor Party for expressing the democratic wish of many Australians to withdraw from participating in the Iraq occupation. John Kerry joins Latham attack. I hereby formally resign from the "Anybody but Bush" camp. If Kerry wants my vote, he'll have to do something to deserve it. Otherwise, we'll get four more years of occupation as Kerry strive to show he's not a wimp.

Private "interrogators" [a.k.a. "torturers"] were hired by Rumsfeld's Pentagon despite explicit rules that forbid this, rules that did not allow any exceptions. Was this just privatizing lunacy, or something more sinister? Interrogators Hired for Iraq Despite Ban

The Telegraph reports that much more damaging documents on the Iraq prisoner torture scandal will come out this week. Purportedly, these documents will prove that top US officials directly authorized the torture: Interrogation abuses were 'approved at highest levels'.

Evidently UN envoy Brahimi didn't like becoming a plaything of the Americans: Brahimi quits post as UN envoy in Iraq.

Life and death: Seven Hostages Released in Iraq, Three Killed.

New accounts of how Americans are viewed in soon-to-be sovereign Iraq. The Washington Post reports on the attitude toward the American occupiers in a middle class Baghdad neighborhood: Iraqis Put Contempt For Troops On Display. Patrick Cockburn in the Independent reports: Baghdad fumes as the Americans seek safety in 'tombstone' forts. And the Associated Press reports: With infrastructure under attack, Iraqis aim their anger at America.

The Washington Post has obtained documents showing that Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez explicitly authorized torture and other violations of the Geneva Conventions at Abu Ghraib, the day after torture general Miller left: General Granted Latitude At Prison: Abu Ghraib Used Aggressive Tactics.

US religious leaders to broadcast an ad on Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya giving the apology for the systematic torture that the government can't give: U.S. Religious Figures Offer Abuse Apology on Arab TV.

New Abu Ghraib photos released by Washington Post. They have thousands of these. They have no right to withhold them, doling them out as they see fit: The Abu Ghraib Prison Photos (updated June 11)/

Pentagon organizes cover-up of Guantanamo torture. Soldiers were instructed not to talk to defense attorneys. So much for a "fair trial" before they're locked up for life: Document warns Guantanamo employees not to talk.

Reports the release of four hostages (3 Italian, 1 polish) earlier this week was actually the result of payment of a $9 million ransom by the Italians, not a US military raid: Ransom: Nine Million Bucks and no Raid.

Iraq's oil minister says he'll kick out US advisers: Iraqi minister unveils proposal to control oil.

The Washington Post is helping rehabilitate vicious torture General Miller, of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib fame. Notice how this puff piece make the guy who directed the Guantanamo Concentration Camp and taught the torturers at Abu Ghraib how to do their job look as if decent treatment for detainees was his number one priority. What's he saying when the reporters and cameras are absent? Remote Facility in Iraq Shows New Face of U.S. Prison System.

Sounds like good old American fun: Use of dogs was OK'd in Iraq: Handlers' statements link intelligence officers to abuse.

U.S. intelligence personnel ordered military dog handlers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq to use unmuzzled dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees during interrogations late last year, a plan approved by the highest-ranking military intelligence officer at the facility....
A military intelligence interrogator also told investigators that two dog handlers at Abu Ghraib were "having a contest" to see how many detainees they could make involuntarily urinate out of fear of the dogs.

By the rule that politicians know exactly what they avoid saying, the only conclusion here is that President Bush approves of and approved torture and that he saw the torture memo he "doesn't recall" seeing: Bush says he doesn't recall seeing memo on conditions of torture.

Torture "contractor" firms are being sued for the torture their employees conducted at Abu Ghraib. The suit alleges the torture was conducted t boost corporate profits: Human Rights Groups Sue Over Iraq Abuses.

Denmark opens an investigation of claims by a Danish translator that he witnessed the torture and murder of prisoners in American custody in Afghanistan: Dane claims he witnessed killing of prisoners: Unnamed individual worked as translator for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Human Rights Watch has released a report claiming Bush Policies Led to Abuse in Iraq. The report "examines how the Bush administration adopted a deliberate policy of permitting illegal interrogation techniques – and then spent two years covering up or ignoring reports of torture and other abuse by U.S. troops." The report is entitled The Road to Abu Ghraib (html version). A pdf version is also available.

A new report from the Center for Economic and Social Rights documents a whole range of "war crimes" and human rights violations in Iraq: New Report Documents Extensive U.S. War Crimes In Iraq: Purported "Transfer of Sovereignty" Condemned as Farce, Despite UN Resolution (press release). The report: Beyond Torture: U.S. Violations of Occupation Law in Iraq (pdf).

According to the report, these crimes are so entrenched in U.S. policies towards Iraq that they will end only when the occupation itself is ended. This would require withdrawal of U.S. troops and an end to U.S. control over Iraq's political, economic and military affairs. Absent these fundamental changes, the purported June 30th "transfer of sovereignty" to Iraqi authorities is "a form of political theatre with no legal effect" on U.S obligations as an occupying power, notwithstanding the diplomatic fig leaf provided by yesterday's UN Security Council resolution.

Things are going so well, the US will increase its troop strength in Iraq: U.S. force in Iraq to grow as Marine deployment pushed up General: Corps badly stretched.

Ashcroft's stonewalling makes it clear that Bush ordered torture: Ashcroft revives the fine art of stonewalling.

Interrogation Rules of Engagement (pdf) posted on walls at Abu Ghraib, Oct. 18, 2003 by Capt. Carolyn A. Wood, the officer in charge of the interrogation center at Abu Ghraib. Remember, 70% to 90% of inmates were completely innocent.

Gen. Sanchez added to those to be potentially sacrificed to protect Bush and Rumsfeld: Pentagon Iraq Abuse Probe to Examine Top Commander.

The US cares so much about Iraqis, it has "lost" innumerable people inside Abu Ghraib. Aren't they all alike anyway? Dozens of missing Iraqis believed to be lost in Abu Ghraib prison.

US has cut those held at Abu Ghraib by 50%. The ICRC cited intelligence officials as saying 70%-90% of those held were innocent. Thus, quite a lot of innocent people [40%-80%] are still held in torture prison: U.S. Halves Prisoner Numbers at Iraq's Abu Ghraib. Think of how many thousands of innocent people were abused and/or tortured. Every one has a family and friends who will know exactly what "US liberation" really means. Then think of all the other torture centers from where photos haven't [yet] appeared.

Guardsman with a conscience, Sgt. Greg Ford, reports that he saw routine horrific brutality by fellow troops towards Iraqis at the police station in Samarra, north of Baghdad, in spring 203. When he reported the abuse to his superiors, he was accused of having delusions and sent to a mental hospital, which found nothing wrong with him. The investigation of his claims by these superior officers, of course, found that nothing had happened. Sounds like your usual military investigation: Guardsman alleges detainee abuse in Iraq. [Note: This is NOT Abu Ghraib. ]

A California National Guardsman says three fellow soldiers brazenly abused detainees during interrogation sessions in an Iraqi police station, threatening them with guns, sticking lit cigarettes in their ears and choking them until they collapsed.

The only thing positive Patrick Cockburn heard about the new government was its not the current one: The street speaks - Iraq's UN-backed government is made up of CIA pawns.

Time for War Crimes trial? Memo on Torture Draws Focus to Bush: Aide Says President Set Guidelines for Interrogations, Not Specific Techniques.

The Washington Post condemns the US attitude toward torture: Legalizing Torture. And the New York Times chimes in with the much weaker: The Roots of Abu Ghraib.

[Washington Post:] There is no justification, legal or moral, for the judgments made by Mr. Bush's political appointees at the Justice and Defense departments. Theirs is the logic of criminal regimes, of dictatorships around the world that sanction torture on grounds of "national security."
[New York Times:] What we have seen, topped by that legalistic treatise on torture, shows clearly that Mr. Bush set the tone for this dreadful situation by pasting a false "war on terrorism" label on the invasion of Iraq.

The White house had a direct interest in the information being obtained from detainees at Abu Ghraib, an interrogator says: Interrogator: White House sought info from Abu Ghraib.

Treatment of Prisoners. Not a Few Bad Apples! The New York Times reports that sexual humiliation through nudity was pervasive and routine. Forced Nudity of Iraqi Prisoners Is Seen as a Pervasive Pattern, Not Isolated Incidents.

The detainees said leaving prisoners naked started as far back as last July, three months before the seven soldiers now charged and their military police company arrived at the prison.... [So much for the "few bad apples"]
When Red Cross monitors expressed alarm about prisoners being left in their cells or forced to move about naked, they said military intelligence officials "confirmed that it was part of the military intelligence process."
"It was not uncommon to see people without clothing," Capt. Donald J. Reese, the warden of the tier where the worst abuses occurred, told investigators in a sworn statement in January. "I only saw males. I was told the `whole nudity thing' was an interrogation procedure used by military intelligence, and never thought much of it...."
Nudity is considered particularly shameful in Muslim culture, a violation of religious principles. While nudity as a disciplinary or coercive tool may be especially objectionable to Muslims, they are hardly the only victims of the practice. Soldiers in Nazi Germany paraded naked prisoners in daylight, and human rights groups have documented the use of nudity during conflicts in Egypt, Chile and Turkey, and in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. Central Intelligence Agency training manuals from the 1960's and 1980's taught the stripping of prisoners as an interrogation tool. Nudity and sexual humiliation have also been reported in American prisons where a number of guards at Abu Ghraib worked in their civilian lives....
Complaints about sexual humiliation have also emerged in Afghanistan. Seven Afghan men who had been held at the main detention center in Bagram, where the deaths of two detainees and accusations of abuse are now under investigation, said in recent interviews that during various periods from December 2002 to April 2004, they had been subjected to repeated rectal exams, and forced to change clothes, shower and go to the bathroom in front of female soldiers.

Must Read! US Appoints Terrorist to Fight "Terrorists". Iyad Allawi organized terrorist raids in Iraq for the CIA, the New York Times reports: Ex-C.I.A. Aides Say Iraq Leader Helped Agency in 90's Attacks.

Kurds considering abstaining from new government and elections: Kurds Hint at Hesitation Over New Rule.

The complete Pentagon Torture Memo is now available: Working Group Report on Defense Interrogations in the Global war on Terrorism: Assessment of Legal, Historical, Policy, and Operational Considerations (pdf).

[this document abolishes the Constitution:] To protect subordinates should they be charged with torture, the memo advised that Mr. Bush issue a "presidential directive or other writing" that could serve as evidence, since authority to set aside the laws is "inherent in the president."

Juan Cole has a useful analysis of the UN resolution, and of the role of Sistani, including a discussion of Sistani's political philosophy: UN Resolution Passes Unanimously: Sistani the Big Winner; Kurds Furious.

Reuters reports are either outraged by or Iraqis couldn't care less about the new UN resolution: Hardships leave Iraqis numb to resolution. As usual, the New York Times finds people more supportive: In Baghdad, Restrained Optimism About the Interim Government.

British Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram is caught "lying" about the number of Iraqi detainee abuse cases that are under investigation. The [current] real number, at 61 them with 14 new cases added, is twice the 33 he claimed a month ago: Minister is Forced Into Humiliating Confessions,

From last summer. An army evaluation of the effectiveness and lethality of US small arms. Among other things, it documents that soldiers were buying material to modify their weapons: PROJECT MANAGER SOLDIER WEAPONS: SOLDIER WEAPONS ASSESSMENT TEAM REPORT 6-03 - OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.

Ashcroft refuses to discuss Torture Memos with Congress: It's none of their business! Who in Congress will call for war crimes trials? Ashcroft Grilled About U.S. Rules on Torture

The UN passed the resolution today: Security council vote backs transfer of Iraq sovereignty. Read the Full Text of Resolution.

Here is Juan Cole on Bremer's latest diktat: Bremer Bars Muqtada from Holding Office. [See next posting.]

Bremer's action in excluding the Sadrists from parliament is one final piece of stupidity to cap all the other moronic things he has done in Iraq. The whole beauty of parliamentary governance is that it can hope to draw off the energies of groups like the Sadrists.... The only hope for dealing with the Sadrists nonviolently was to entice them into civil politics, as well. Now that they have been excluded from the political process and made outlaws in the near to medium term, we may expect them to act like outlaws and to be spoilers in the new Iraq.

A a burst of democratic zeal, Paul Bremer has banned Iraq's second most popular leader [67% approval in a recent poll, compared to <5% for the current PM] from engaging in elections. Obviously, they don't want to take a chance that someone with popular support could win elections: US bans cleric from Iraq elections: Bremer vetoes radical Shia leader in order barring militia members from politics.

I guess this makes it ok? Most U.S. troop deaths so far this month were Guard or Reserve soldiers.

Italian and Polish hostages freed by US special forces: Iraq hostages freed by military operation.

US training counter-insurgency force to fight in Iraq's cities. But Iraq lacks an army that can control its borders, thus requiring US troops indefinitely: US trains proxy to quell resistance.

Six Eastern European soldiers die while disposing of ammunition: Six troops killed in Iraq ammunition explosion.

A day after the Wall Street Journal piece below, the Washington Post reveals that the Justice Department has previously also said torture was ok: Memo Offered Justification for Use of Torture: Justice Dept. Gave Advice in 2002.

"It is by leaps and bounds the worst thing I've seen since this whole Abu Ghraib scandal broke," said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch. "It appears that what they were contemplating was the commission of war crimes and looking for ways to avoid legal accountability. The effect is to throw out years of military doctrine and standards on interrogations."

Must Read! What Have We Become? The President's lawyers argued that he isn't bound by laws against torture, reports the Wall Street Journal Pentagon Report Set Framework For Use of Torture: Security or Legal Factors Could Trump Restrictions, Memo to Rumsfeld Argued.

The president, despite domestic and international laws constraining the use of torture, has the authority as commander in chief to approve almost any physical or psychological actions during interrogation, up to and including torture, the report argued....
According to Bush administration officials, the report was compiled by a working group appointed by the Defense Department's general counsel, William J. Haynes II. Air Force General Counsel Mary Walker headed the group, which comprised top civilian and uniformed lawyers from each military branch and consulted with the Justice Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Defense Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies....
A military lawyer who helped prepare the report said that political appointees heading the working group sought to assign to the president virtually unlimited authority on matters of torture -- to assert "presidential power at its absolute apex," the lawyer said. Although career military lawyers were uncomfortable with that conclusion, the military lawyer said they focused their efforts on reining in the more extreme interrogation methods, rather than challenging the constitutional powers that administration lawyers were saying President Bush could claim....
Critics who have seen the draft report said it undercuts the administration's claims that it recognized a duty to treat prisoners humanely. The "claim that the president's commander-in-chief power includes the authority to use torture should be unheard of in this day and age," said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York advocacy group that has filed lawsuits against U.S. detention policies. "Can one imagine the reaction if those on trial for atrocities in the former Yugoslavia had tried this defense?"...
The Convention Against Torture was proposed in 1984 by the United Nations General Assembly and was ratified by the U.S. in 1994. It states that "no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture," and that orders from superiors "may not be invoked as a justification of torture." That prohibition was reaffirmed after the Sept. 11 attacks by the U.N. panel that oversees the treaty....
"In order to respect the president's inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign ... (the prohibition against torture) must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his commander-in chief authority," the report asserted. [Parenthesis NOT added.]

For Iraqis, security means freedom from crime, more than from insurgency: The rich have been warned to leave Baghdad. But for the poor, there is no escape from crime

Claims agreement reached on UN resolution: Agreement 'reached' on Iraq draft. The Full Text of Resolution.

Sistani rejects any mention of Kurdish autonomy in UN resolution [see next item]: Top Iraq Cleric Offers Caution on U.N. Resolution.

Kurds threaten new government: Kurds Threaten to Pull Out of Iraqi Government.

Monday. Prominent Shia politician killed: Gunmen kill senior official of Iraq's largest Shiite party. US soldier dies: 1 U.S. soldier killed, 2 hurt in convoy attack.

Newsweek reports that the new government is receiving a cautiously optimistic reception from Iraqi, so far: Puppets or Players? It's easy to lampoon Iraq's new interim government. But appearances count for a lot, and its members seem to be making the right impression on many Iraqis--at least for now.

Explosion, possible caused by a rocket, at the Great Mosque in Kufa, where Moqtada Al Sadr gives the sermon: Explosion at mosque in Iraqi holy city.

Is it just talk? Most of the major militias, save Sadr's claim they will disband: Nine Iraqi Militias to Disband.

An account by a brave female Iraqi journalist of what life is like for women in the "holy city" of Najaf: Silence is the dress code for women.

Marines engage in collective punishment, a war crime: Marines suspend aid in Fallujah.

Treatment of Prisoners. Cover-up In Progress! The Senate Armed Services Committee is still missing many key documents in the prison abuse/torture scandal. Of course, its just a LONG series of coincidences: Senate committee still missing key documents in prisoner abuse case.

Dahr Jamail reports that: Pollution Chokes the Tigris, a Main Source of Baghdad’s Drinking Water.

Surprise! The US and the US-installed "Iraqi' PM reach agreement on US troops remaining. US, Iraq Reach Agreement on Military Coordination.

Hundreds more released after being needlessly held at torture center: Prisoners freed from infamous Abu Ghraib jail.

The New York Times reports life is hard for US troops sent to Sadr city. But the article mentions, as an afterthought, that they have killed 912 Iraqis sine May. That's 25 a day. It's their country and home, after all: On a Mission in Sadr City, Waiting Silently for the Expected.

Some in Congress critical of Pentagon cover-up ["investigation'] of prisoner abuse, which is designed to absolve higher ups and blame a few low-ranking soldiers: Wide Gaps Seen in U.S. Inquiries on Prison Abuse. See the next posting for clear evidence that Pentagon reports and investigations are nothing but cover-ups.

In case one had any illusions that the abuse wasn't systemic, Nicholas Kristof reminds us of the case of US MP Specialist Sean Baker, who, for training purposes, was ordered to pretend to be a detainee at Guantanamo concentration camp. His treatment by other soldiers, who weren't in on the pretense, caused permanent brain damage. A military investigation found no misconduct. [Of course not. This is how MPs are trained to act.] When the press got wind of this story, the military lied shamelessly, saying that his medical discharge had nothing to do with his treatment at Guantanamo, despite an official report from the Physical Evaluation Board of the Army making the connection clear. If these bastards can't honestly investigate injuries to US troops, how can they possibly be expected to honestly investigate the treatment of thousands of Iraqis? Beating Specialist Baker.

In the Kurdish areas, the two ruling parties are supreme. No dissent is tolerated, reports Aaron Glantz: Liberated Kurds Find Little Freedom .

Allawi, the new PM, says the US will hand over all "detainees": Allawi says U.S. will hand over detainees, including Saddam after sovereignty.

An arrest warrant has been issued for an American aide to Ahmed Chalabi, who is back in the US. Will they ask for extradition. Can a US colony request extradition from the colonizer? Iraqi judge orders arrest of American aide to Chalabi.

The Liar-In-Chief claims he hardly knows Ahmed Chalabi Bush Pulls a "Hastert" and Pretends Not to Know Chalabi!

Canadian Declan Hill provides snapshots offering perspectives on: What is wrong with the Americans?

CIA's man in Iraq speaks: New leader warns against early US pullout.

Lakhdar Brahimi becomes "diplomatic" again, after telling the truth: UN rep apologises for 'dictator' comment.

Dahr Jamail talks to another family, some of whose members survived Abu Ghraib, and some of whom didn't: “Why are they doing this to us?” See also his: Violence in Baghdad, Wordplay in Fallujah.

[Why:] Maybe you didn’t hear that the lead CIA man who tortured him referred to himself as “Satan.” Or that while he was praying and reading his Koran female soldiers came in and flashed their breasts at him, then sexually humiliated and abused him....
Then there is his aunt....She was detained for four months, in as many prisons: Samarra, Tikrit, one in Baghdad and of course, Abu Ghraib. She was never allowed to sleep through a night, she was interrogated, not given enough food or water, no access to a lawyer or her family. She was abused verbally and psychologically. But that isn’t the worst part. Her 70 year-old husband was detained and beaten to death. But that took 7 months.

UN announces an Electoral Commission, but it's unclear who they are: U.N. Team Picks Iraqi Electoral Commission.

The Fund for Peace has issued a new report describing Iraq as a Failed State: Report #2 -- October 2003 through March 2004. See also: Fund For Peace Study Concludes that Iraq Has Descended Into a Failed State Syndrome.

Jane Mayer, in the New Yorker provides one the most detailed accounts of just who Ahmad Chalabi is: The Manipulator: Ahmad Chalabi pushed a tainted case for war. Can he survive the occupation?

Adnan Pachachi blames Ahmad Chalabi and the US for denying him the Presidency: Candidate who pulled out blames Chalabi plot.

Dr Pachachi, speaking from the United Arab Emirates, said: "Chalabi was gloating and so happy that his candidate won. He has behaved in such a way that he has lost credibility and friends."

Tenet takes the [first] fall: Down Goes Tenet.

Action Alert! A coalition of groups and citizens, the Unsilent Majority, has launched a petition campaign: New Petition asking Kerry and Bush to End the Occupation of Iraq: Two Letters from the Unsilent Majority (Press Release). Sign the Letters Here.

Al-Sistani conditionally supports the new government, but wants Iraq to have full sovereignty: Al-Sistani gives Iraqi government tacit approval: Top Shiite cleric urges new leaders to lobby U.N. for full sovereignty. But the major Shia parties are upset with the new government, though Sistani evidentlt ok'd having a CIA agent as PM: Shiites Disgruntled with Caretaker Government. The highest Sunni religious authority isn't happy either: Iraq Sunni authority blasts government. And the Opposition prepares for what they view as an eventual US withdrawal, when the current politicians will be discredited: Opposition movement positions itself for US exit []reports on the Iraqi National Council].

[Al-Sistani:] "The new government should get a clear resolution from the U.N. Security Council restoring sovereignty to Iraqis -- a full and complete sovereignty in all its political, economic, military and security forms and endeavor to erase all traces of the occupation," al-Sistani's statement said.
[Iraqi Sunni:] He also lashed out at Allawi [new PM], whom he accused of being inclined toward Washington. "He (Allawi) should have established dialogue with those resisting Iraq's occupation instead of describing them as the enemies of Iraq," he said
[Opposition movement:] But like any political movement seeking to win wide support in Iraq today, the Council's platform is opposition to the US occupation, one of the rare issues that can unite religion and ideology, Sunnis and Shias, secular Iraqis and Islamists.

Jonathan Steele, in the Guardian has an account of how Lakhdar Brahimi was defeated by the Americans and the IGC: How honest broker was defeated - and with him hopes of credibility.

The resulting government includes four key former members of the governing council, is dominated by former exiles, and will have as hard a job to win credibility among Iraqis as the council did.
Mr Allawi celebrated his appointment as prime minister by publicly thanking the Americans....
In an undiplomatic flash of anger, the UN envoy told reporters: "I'm sure he doesn't mind me saying that Bremer is the dictator of Iraq. He has the money. He has the signature. Nothing happens without his agreement in this country."

US tries to modify criticism forthcoming in a UN Human Rights Report, due Friday, that allegedly has harsh criticism of US torture in Iraq: US moves to tone down UN prison abuse report.

The offending sentence in the draft says: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions - and some Iraqis have experienced hell inside prisons run by coalition forces."
The draft report also charges US and coalition forces with "systematic gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law" in prisons and elsewhere in Iraq.

He's just figured it out! Not all Iraqi rebels are terrorists says Bush.

Whitewash? The General who did not find any abuse at Abu Ghraib last fall is now in charge of the investigation! I guess they won't be investigating his previous cover-up: Some See Conflicts for General in Iraq Probes.

Dahr Jamail reports that the: New Iraqi President Holds Tentative Grassroots Respect, Little Power.

Australian calculates excess mortality in Iraq, and estimates it as "is 5.2 million since 1950 and 1.5 million for the period 1991–2004." Currently "estimated to be currently of the order of 100,000 per year, or about 300 per day." Iraqi Death Toll Amounts to a Holocaust (pdf).

Slavery in back! Iraq-bound soldiers may stay longer in military, Army rules.

New detail on claim against Ahmed Chalabi: US spy coup 'leaked' by Chalabi

Juan Cole has the Revised text of U.N. draft resolution on Iraq proposed by United States and Britain. As far as I can tell, it gives US troops complete autonomy to do whatever they want. It also continues the charade of calling all resistance fighters "terrorists".

8. Decides that the multinational force shall have the authority to take all necessary measures to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq including by preventing and deterring terrorism...
9. Welcomes that arrangements are being put in place to establish a partnership between the multinational force and the sovereign Interim Government of Iraq and to ensure coordination between the two;

UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi urges reconciliation, but new CIA-connected PM, Allawi, talks of guns and crushing the opposition: U.N. Envoy Urges Iraqis on New Government.

In the Sunni area of Adhamiyeh, a nonviolent resistance complements the armed resistance: Seeds of nonviolent resistance sown in Iraq: A dozen friends have formed a political group to protest the US occupation.

UN will apparently allow US troops to remain in Iraq till 2006 without further authorization. An this is called a climbdown? France secures US climbdown over troops: Draft UN resolution calls for end to coalition mandate by early 2006 as caretaker administration is announced in Baghdad

The New York Times reports on the horrors suffered by the families of the disapeared: Searing Uncertainty for Iraqis Missing Loved Ones.

Gen. Ryder's report on Anu Ghraib, dated Nov. 5, 2003, details violations of international law: AP: Army Saw Prison Violations in Fall.

The AP discusses what will be sacrificed at home to fund the Iraq debacle: Billions for the Iraq war mean less for U.S. spending at home.

Justin Huggler in the Independent provides an interesting view of Iraq on the verge of the transition: The day the stooges bit back: Iraqis win showdown over new President, but Baghdad is rocked by explosions.

Juan Cole discusses the new government on Iraq: New Government Takes Over. And one of his readers provides background on the new President, Ghazi Ajil al-Yawar: More on Ghazi al-Yawar. Further, Juan Cole provides material on al-Yawar's ideas on Iraqi politics: Ghazi al-Yawar on Iraqi Politics.

Iraqi comment on the new government. A cartoon: Ready to Take the Helm?

The new Iraqi government: Interim Iraqi government.

Voices in the Wilderness dissect the arguments of those who claim that, whatever the merits of the war, at this point "we have to stay the course": Against the Occupation.

Not all anti-occupation forces are Islamist. has interviews with members of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq and Worker Communist Party of Iraq (WCPI): Interview: The Civil Opposition In Iraq, Part 1 -- An Interview with Khayal Ibrahim of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq and Samir Noory of the Worker Communist Party of Iraq. They also have an interview with a member of the Union of Unemployed in Iraq, allied with the WCPI: Interview: The Civil Opposition In Iraq, Part 2. All these organizations are fighting for an Iraq not dominated by either the United States or Political Islam.

As the secularists cooperate with the occupation, Sunni clerics gain influence: Uprising Has Increased the Influence of Sunni Clerics.

There are reports the "Iraqi Governing Council" has dissolved itself, after choosing the new "President": Iraqi Governing Council Dissolved, Ex-Member Says.

Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawar named new Interim President, over US/UN objections: Car bomb kills 3 outside 'Green Zone': Interim Iraqi president named. [Also read down to see how the Iraqi police brought into Najaf were treated: Given military meals with pork! And no place to sleep! They all left.]

Reuters reports Najaf has turned against the Americans: Anti-American sentiment grows in Iraq holy city

The story of the famous Iraqi murdered at Abu Ghraib and kept on ice. His family may not even know he's dead. And the US can't be bothered to tell them: How Abu Ghraib torture victim faces final indignity: an unmarked grave.

Iraqi "sovereignty" means the US picks the Prime Minister. Neat trick! UN sidelined in choice of Iraqi leader: White House struggles to defend the selection of candidate who is hardly known in his own country.

Protest, Resistance, and Civil War

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Another bomb and more fighting in Falluja: Witnesses: U.S air strike kills four in Fallujah.

Bad news for Shrub. VP Cheney booed at Yankee Stadium: Lowe allows career-high nine runs.

Cheney was booed when he was shown on the right-field videoboard during the seventh-inning stretch.

Attack on US base near Baghdad Airport: 11 Wounded in Attack on U.S. Base in Iraq.

Bomb kills and wounds "several" marines. Turkish hostages released: Several Marines killed, wounded by roadside bomb: Three Turkish hostages released. Another story reports three marines killed, two wounded: Three marines killed in Baghdad bomb attack.

"I don't care what [President Bush] wants," Nadia McCaffrey said: Mother Encourages Photos of Coffin: To protest Pentagon policy, Nadia McCaffrey invites the media to disseminate images of her slain son's return from Iraq.

The New York Times reports that the insurgency is growing: In Anger, Ordinary Iraqis Are Joining the Insurgency.

Claims that "foreign hands" are behind recent attacks, designed to damage the image of the resistance: 'Foreign Hands' Behind Iraq Blasts: Experts.

This article claims that 40 Southern Shia tribes have demanded that leaders of the Falluja insurgency be turned over to them for execution as punishment for the alleged killing of five Shia truck drivers. I haven't seen confirmation of this story from another source, but it could spell real trouble if true: Shiite tribes gather for war on Falluja.

This Time magazine article, based on meetings with Iraqi resistance, claims that the fundamentalist Islamic factions loyal or sympathetic to Al-Zarqaw are gaining dominance. Meet The New Jihad: A TIME investigation reveals how insurgents in Iraq aim to create an Islamic state and turn the country into a terrorist haven. If true, this development would suggest that the worst fears of many opponents of the Iraq war are now coming to pass. One hopes that the secular and moderate Islamist anti-occupation forces will reassert themselves. This development may also help explain why al-Sadr has recently moderated his opposition to the government.

In a first, insurgents hit Australian RAAF plane, kill one contractor: US contractor dies in RAAF plane attack.

A US marine is evidently being held hostage in Iraq. his abductors are threatening to behead him if Iraqi prisoners aren't released: Iraqi Militants Threaten to Kill Captured U.S. Marine. In some ways, this hostage-taking is one of the most horrific features of the conflict, as it increases the sense of brutalization on all sides.

Italians punish war makers: Italian left looks to defeat Berlusconi in local elections.

Turks speak on the New World Order: 40,000 protest Bush in Turkey.

More blood: Bombs kill dozens near Iraq mosque: Militants threaten to behead 3 Turkish hostages.

Saturday fighting. Update: 27 killed in Iraq violence.

Bush driven from Ireland! Protesters 'drive' Bush from Ireland. Earlier: Irish protest the war makers's visit: Thousands turn out in Ireland to protest war as Bush arrives: Tight security instituted for overnight stay, day of meetings with EU leaders.

[Protesters 'drive":] "There's the smell of blood still," read the banner, on which was painted a gory hand. "All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand."
Other rallies - pointedly anti-Bush, not anti-American - took place in cities across Ireland, including Galway, Waterford, Tralee, Sligo and Dublin, where police estimated that 10,000 gathered in the city center, presided over by the city's new mayor, Michael Conaghan....
"In Ireland, an American president has for the first time become an overwhelming figure of hate."

Saturday fighting: Nine Dead in Spate of Attacks in Iraq.

In the spirit of democracy, the Washington Post [the New York Times has a similar article today] glorifying the Us campaign against the second most popular man in Iraq, Moqtada Sadr. Whatever one thinks of Sadr, as a religious or political leader, it is despicable to feature such an article without making it clear that the US was trying to liquidate a popular leader, because he wasn't going along with US plans to control the country. It is also no victory that 1,500 poor Shia supporters of Sadr were butchered by American firepower. It is rather a sign of the total lack of any morality guiding the world's only superpower and greatest bully: Over 60 Days, Troops Suppressed an Uprising: But Success in South Left Murky Outcome. The article ends with a lament that US troops weren't even more brutal in finally finishing him off.

Attacks on two party offices: Iraq PM party offices attacked: Two guards killed in earlier attack on Shiite party HQ.

The Washington Post reports that anti-occupation leaders, including al-Sadr, have condemned Thursday's attacks: Foes of U.S. in Iraq Criticize Insurgents: Clerics and Militiamen Decry Violence.

"We do not need anyone from outside the borders to stand with us and spill the blood of our sons in Iraq," Ahmed Abdul Ghafour Samarrae, a Sunni cleric with a wide following, declared in his Friday sermon at Umm al Qurra mosque in Baghdad.

[9:30 AM EDT] Fighting continues in Falluja Friday: Explosions, Fighting Rock Fallujah. And a new US airstrike there: U.S. Launches Another Strike on Fallujah.

Patrick Cockburn discusses Thursday resistance actions: Rebels display ability to strike with impunity as handover looms.

Background on bu Musab al-Zarqawi: The man America fears most in Iraq.

Pictures of Thursday's Violence from the BBC.

Dahr Jamail was in Baqouba, during fighting thursday. He witnessed the extraordinary restraint of US troops, who fired at his car: Baqouba Sealed Off as U.S. Forces Lose Control of City.

Seemingly no one was off limits for US soldiers. American troops in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle fired at our car on the outskirts of the city....
Baqouba today stood eerily reminiscent of Fallujah in April.... Scenes on the outskirts of Baqouba seemed transplanted from April's fighting in Fallujah. A car riddled with bullets sat on the median of the main road leading into and out of the town, while a pile of empty bullet casings lay 100 feet away near concrete mangled by tank treads. The lifeless body of the car’s driver lay beside the vehicle draped in a black mourning flag. Sergeant Johnson said that the car had rammed a tank, forcing soldiers to kill the driver. He did not explain why the front of the car appeared to be perfectly intact....
Sgt. Johnson said no US military were in the city, which he said was full of resistance fighters. Asked if he felt the worst was over, Johnson said, "This is just getting warmed up."

A rather irreverent view of the resistance: 'This is the only fun the kids get - shooting at the US sitting ducks'. Nonetheless, they've fought the Americans to a standstill.

Former Baathist Generals, now in the resistance, discuss their plans with Alix de la Grange of Asia Times 'The liberation of Baghdad is not far away'. They claim the resistance was organized before the invasion. They also claim to desire a secular democracy. Of further interest, they deny involvement with the murder of Nic Berg, and the attacks on the UN and the Red Cross.

"We knew that if the United States decided to attack Iraq, we would have no chance faced with their technological and military power. The war was lost in advance, so we prepared the post-war. In other words: the resistance. Contrary to what has been largely said, we did not desert after American troops entered the center of Baghdad on April 5, 2003. We fought a few days for the honor of Iraq - not Saddam Hussein - then we received orders to disperse...."
The objective was "to liberate Iraq and expel the coalition. To recover our sovereignty and install a secular democracy, but not the one imposed by the Americans. Iraq has always been a progressive country, we don't want to go back to the past, we want to move forward. We have very competent people," say the three tacticians....
"There's no more trust, it will be hard to regain it." According to these resistance leaders, "We have reached the point of no return...."
The most efficient weapon remains the Kamikazes. A special unit, composed of 90% Iraqis and 10% foreign fighters, with more than 5,000 solidly-trained men and women, they need no more than a verbal order to drive a vehicle loaded with explosives....
"On this matter, let's be clear, we are not responsible for the death of Nick Berg, the American who was beheaded."

[4:30 PM EDT] Update on mayhem: 100 die in rebel attacks in Iraq.

[7:15 AM EDT] Attacks across Iraq kill at least 75, including three US soldiers, wound hundreds: About 75 Die in Wave of Iraqi Attacks. A Map: where the attacks happened.

[7 AM EDT]Insurgent attacks across Iraq kill at least one US soldier, 16 Iraqi police and an unknown number of insurgents and others. Fighting in the outskirts of Falluja: Dozens Killed As Insurgents Launch Attacks Across Iraq: Marines Involved in Heavy Clashes in Fallujah.

Wednesday casualties: More U.S. casualties in Iraq violence. Two US troops, 20 Iraqis.

Enough, they say: Anger and unrest in South Korea after execution.

Brutality by kidnappers, again! Iraqi Militants Behead Korean Hostage: South Korean Hostage Has Been Beheaded by His Iraqi Militant Kidnappers.

Just as the oil piplines in the south are getting fixed: Saboteurs Blast Oil Pipeline in Iraq.

Children killed by roadside bomb: Car bomb kills two children in western Baghdad.

resolution of dispute between al-Sadr and al-Sistani, Juan Cole reports: Najaf Calming; Police to be Trained in Urban Warfare

Monday, a bloody day for Americans: 10 US Servicemen Die in Iraq, 11 Iraqis

A huge gang of 50 masked Iraqi guerrillas, among the largest paramilitary forces that has operated in the Sunni areas aside from the siege of Fallujah, blew up a police station at Jur Askar, south of Baghdad.

Monday: Four Iraqis killed in bomb blast near Mosul. And Four Americans Killed in Iraq Ambush: Four American Troops Killed in Ambush in Iraq City of Ramadi.

Hundreds protest U.S. air strike on Fallujah.

Another day in the New Iraq: 35 killed in Iraq clashes on Sunday.

Bomb and battles in Samarra: Roadside bomb kills 10 Iraqis, injures 12. Meanwhile, further confirmation that only civilians were killed in the US airstrike in Falluja yesterday: Iraq: US Attack in Fallujah Killed Only Civilians. And the Turkish press reports that a Turkish truck driver was killed by US fire in Falluja: 1 Turk Driver Killed, 1 Other Wounded In U.S. Fire In Falluja.

Attempt to kill Health Minister fails, but battle ensues: Battle after bid to kill minister/

Kurds seize taxi drivers for revenge: Armed Kurds abduct 10 taxi drivers.

al-Sadr supporters continue dying in Sadr City: US troops, militia clash in Sadr City.

Juan Cole reports that al-Sadr supporters have declared East Baghdad a US-Free Zone. Also, a key bridge south of Baghdad was blown up, halting rail traffic: Destruction of Key Bridge Halts Southern Rails. Muqtada Aide Declares East Baghdad an American no-go Zone.

Fighting continues in Baquba, north of Baghdad: Several Iraqis Killed in Clashes South of Baquba

More killed in bloody day: 41 killed in strikes on Iraqi forces.

Stop protest at all costs! Federal prosecution being used when local jury won't convict: State Criminal Charges Dismissed Against Blood Pouring Peace Activists: Federal Prosecutors Step In.

A reported clash between al-Sadr partisans and British troops in Basra: British troops clash with Muqtada al-Sadr's fighters in southern Iraq. but the Financial Times reports that al-Sadr is not popular there: Basra rejects Sadr's Arab nationalism.

Three US soldiers killed in rocket attack: Rocket attack on U.S. base kills three U.S. soldiers, wounds 25.

Massive attack on Iraqi army recruiting center: Baghdad suicide bomber kills 35.

More attacks today: Attacks kill 3 U.S. soldiers, oil security chief.

Nine killed in Ramadi bombing: Nine killed in west Iraq blast: medic.

Second attack in as many days stops all Iraqi oil exports: New Attack on Oil Pipeline in Iraq.

Attackers killed an unknown number of US "contractors": Iraq Contractors Targeted Again: 5 Contractors Were Killed Monday

Attack nearly halts Iraq oil exports: Iraq Oil Terminal at a Halt After Attack.

An Iraqi mob yells anti-American and pro al-Sadr slogans at the site of Monday's bombing: Rage Explodes After Another Baghdad Blast: Bombing in Heart of Capital Kills 8 Iraqis and 5 Foreigners.

In Sadr city slums, the US is hated and resistance fighters are lionized: In Shiite slum's 'heart of darkness,' hatred of U.S. grows: Sadr City's poor take on elevated status of jihad warriors.

Monday bomb: Baghdad car bomb kills at least 13.

Voters vote against the war-makers in Britain, Holland, Portugal, and Italy: European Voters Batter Governing Parties: European Voters Batter Governing Parties Over Widespread Grievances: Iraq, Economies and EU.

Five Iraqis killed in Sadr city fighting: Sadr City clashes kill 5.

Another day. Bomb blast: 12 Iraqis killed, 13 wounded in Baghdad. Assassination of senior official and of Kurdish Sunni cleric: 2nd Iraqi Official Gunned Down In 2 Days: Kurdish Cleric Also Killed In Kirkuk. A professor killed: Iraqi professor gunned down. And a US soldier: One U.S. Soldier Killed, Two Wounded in Iraq.

Juan Cole thinks the media have it all wrong on al-Sadr's supposed embrace of the Interim government. According to Cole, al-Sadr will support the government if (and only if) it demands a firm date for an end to the occupation: Riot at Imam Ali Shrine; Clashes in Sadr City.

Must Read! [Also in Cole's piece:] It has now come out that the US military actually printed up broadsheets announcing thet Muqtada had been killed resisting arrest, and that some GI's jumped the gun and actually put some of those out in early April even though in fact, Muqtada eluded his American would-be murderers. [So the US plans these "accidental" killings!]

Overnight fighting in Sadr City: Clashes overnight in al-Sadr City.

a deputy foreign minister in the new government has been killed: Iraqi minister killed in Baghdad.

First British voters put labor in third place in local elections, out of disgust for the Iraq war: Labour 'given a kicking' as seats tumble. Then Dutch voters spoke in the European elections: Dutch voters punish leaders over Iraq war.

Michael Moore to go after Tony Blair: "Fahrenheit 9/11" director has Blair in sights.

Al-Sadr apparently moderates his attitude toward the Interim Government, hoping for an end to the occupation: Iraq cleric 'calls for new start'.

Police stations under attack: Gunmen raid police station near Baghdad in fourth such attack this week.

Fighting in Najaf: Shi'ite groups clash in Najaf.

In Britain, Tony Blair's Labor Party slipped to 3rd place in local elections, as the public expresses its revulsion at the Iraq war: Labour loses Newcastle · Labour loses 211 council seats.

Fighting in Sadr City overnight: Children killed as Sadr militia, troops clash.

Evidently, the prospect of "sovereignty" doesn't mean much to them: Rebels Launch an Array of Attacks Across Iraq.

Attacks on police stations in Najaf apparently not authorized by al-Sadr. Is this the beginning of a Shia front in the guerilla war? Shiite gunmen seize Najaf police station.

Allegedly, guerilla have attacked Iraqi forces at Falluja: Guerrillas attack Iraqi forces in Falluja. This seems incredible, as many of these forces are ex-insurgents. Aljazeera reports that 12 militia members were killed and 10 wounded. They also report: US tanks poised to enter restive Falluja.

Second attack sabotages Iraq oil pipelines.

Knight Ridder reports that al-Sadr is stronger than ever: Fiery cleric al-Sadr gains political ground among Iraqis. See Juan Cole's comment: Muqtada Emerges Strengthened; Allawi calls for Dialogue.

If elections were held today, polls and interviews on the street suggest, the virulently anti-American al-Sadr would command a big percentage of the vote. [No wonder Paul Bremer, in one of those democratic fits he's so well-known for, has forbidden him from running in elections!]

Claims the insurgents are aiming to disrupt Iraq's infrastructure this summer: Saboteurs May Be Aiming at Electrical and Water Sites as Summer Nears.

Butchery, day by day. Occupiers massacre those resisting occupation: Sadr City's 'daily massacre' rages as death toll soars.

Sadr militia says it will occupy Najaf mosque until a democratic government is in power. Mayor threatens to "slaughter" them: Militia to stay in Najaf shrine until 2005.

Two massive blasts in Baquba and Mosul kill, injure many: Iraq car bombs kill 15.

The Washington Post reports, insurgents still rule Falluja: Despite Agreement, Insurgents Rule Fallujah.

Four Blackwater mercenaries die in ambush on way to Baghdad airport: Four Civilian Contractors Killed in Iraq

Car bomb deaths north of Baghdad kills nine, while 10 policemn killed Saturday in attack South of Baghdad.Evidently, the insurgency is not accepting the new "government" headed by a CIA "asset": Nine killed in Iraqi car bomb.

Internationally, workers protest anti-labor attempts to impose a top-down "union" on Iraq workers, rather than recognize unions created by workers themselves: Agitating for Workers' Rights in Iraq: Where the Livable World Order Begins.

US violated Falluja agreement, sent armored vehicles into the city, which were attacked: Fallujah clashes threaten truce.

Two US soldiers dead. Also, al-Sadr met with al-Sistani for the first time since the uprising started: Roadside Bomb Kills 2 Soldiers in Iraq.

Contractors and soldier die: US soldier among at least six killed as Bush optimistic on UN vote.

Butchers gloat: Sadr's militia defeated: US.

"The Moqtada militia is militarily defeated. We have killed scores of them over the last few weeks, and that is in Najaf alone," Brigadier General Mark Hertling, one of the top US commanders in charge of Najaf, told AFP....
"There is no truce between the coalition forces and the militia ... We have not conceded anything to Sadr. We have told him that when we encounter any armed forces, we will destroy them. We have done just that," Hertling said. "We have not pulled back from anything. We are conducting the same patrols we have already conducted, and we are executing checkpoints in Najaf and Kufa right now."

Bush takes his spanking: Bush finds protest, rebuke in Europe. And 500,000 protest Bush's visit to Rome.

Another attack, while the US finally agrees to curtail patrols into Najaf and Kufa: Blast hits U.S. military convoy.

Sadr city is still dangerous for US troops: 5 U.S. soldiers killed in Baghdad attack.

US kills 30 Sadrists in Kufa on Thursday and fights them in Sadr City on Friday: U.S. troops clash again with al-Sadr fighters.

Thursday, another day of fighting and dying in Kufa: 5 Iraqis dead as U.S. troops, Shiite militants battle in Kufa

However, the Army has retained the right to mount armed patrols, which al-Sadr's militia, the al-Mahdi Army, considers a provocation.

Jo Wilding talks to US military refuser Jeremy Hinzman, seeking asylum in Canada: The man who wouldn't fight: "My life is not that special but it's not expendable either for someone else's business venture or to line their pockets."

Fighting in Sadr City, as well as Kufa: 6 Killed As U.S. Fights Militants in Kufa: 6 Killed As Iraqi Cleric's Loyalists Fight U.S. Forces in Shiite City; 2 Die in Baghdad Blast.

Residents of Najaf and Kufa are weary, though many support al-Sadr: Shiite Holy Cities Paying Price in Iraq. Conflict continues in Kufa: Al-Sadr forces clash with US in Kufa. And there is a new proposal to resolve the situation: New Proposal for Mahdi Army in Najaf.

A new bomb in Baghdad: Four killed in Baghdad bombing.

Evidently, only three or so died in the blast at the Kurdish party [see last posting] headquarters. But many died in another blast up north, and in shelling near the green zone: 15 Killed in Baghdad Shelling.

Kurdish party headquarters in Baghdad attacked: At Least 25 Dead in Blast at Iraqi Kurdish Party HQ.

Analysis, Commentary, & Domestic Reaction

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Arab Press Notes Criticism of the handover of authority continues. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 30, 2004.

Another book for Ashcroft to ban: Nicholoson Baker's Checkpoint: A New Kind of Anger About Bush.

Top two British Archbishops take Blair to task: Archbishops blast Blair on Iraq.

Justin Raimondo of calls for: Negotiations Now! Time to play the Iraqi nationalist card – or lose the game.

Arab Press Notes What does the supposed "handover" mean? Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 29, 2004.

Is Google working overtime to sink Fahrenheit 9/11 and get Bush re-elected? The Google Whip: An investigative look into manipulating public perception.

An interesting take on Fahrenheit 9/11 by Peter Goudinoff by a former Democratic state legislator in Arizona: 'Fahrenheit 9/11' controversy: 'F 9/11' a 'Clinton Chronicles' for the left.

40% of young Canadians see the US as an " evil global force": The 'evil empire' is next door, youth say: Poll finds teens view some U.S. actions as global threat

"Teens have taken (Ronald) Reagan's concept of the Soviet Union as an evil empire and turned it back on the U.S.," says Rudyard Griffiths, director of the Dominion Institute.

New claims about Niger uranium trading: Evidence of Niger uranium trade 'years before war'. Joshua Micah Marshall says this is nonsense, an attempt to protect the guilty: Talking Points Memo: June 28, 2004

Censorship works! 'Fahrenheit 9/11' breaks records.

Remember the criticism of for having a couple of user-created films comparing ush to Hitler? Well, look at this video on the Bush-Cheney Web Site comparing all those who criticize them to Hitler: Where's the republican and media outrage? Kerry's Coalition of the Wild-eyed: This is Not A Time for Pesimism....

Arab Press Notes Resistance violence seen as linked to the occupation. Doubts about the authenticity of 'Zarqawi.' Challenge to US claims about Falluja bombing. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 25, 2004.

Not running for office, Al Gore has the passion none of the Democrats in office has. Here's his recent speech on Bush's lies, calling for an investigation: A Serious Threat to Democracy.

I think it is safe to say that our founders would be genuinely concerned about these recent developments in American democracy and that they would feel that we are now facing a clear and present danger that has the potential to threaten the future of the American experiment.

Something must be going right! Cheney's losing it: Cheney Dismisses Critic With Obscenity: Clash With Leahy About Halliburton. If you can't stand the heat...

Arab Press Notes Reports of the resistance actions today Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 24, 2004.

At last: Majority of Americans Now Call Iraq War a Mistake.

Reform? Advertising for Fahrenheit 9-11 may be banned under campaign finance law: ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ ban? Ads for Moore’s movie could be stopped on July 30.

Karma Nabulsi says the Iraqi resistance, like the popular democratic movements that created democracy in the west, is the harbinger of democratic sovereignty in Iraq, not the enemy of freedom it is usually portrayed as: The struggle for sovereignty: Democracy in Europe grew out of popular action against unrepresentative rule; the resistance in Iraq is part of the same story.

The young men who defended Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank and Rafah refugee camp in Gaza, and who recently won back the Iraqi cities of Falluja and Najaf from the occupying power, are not the terrorists - or the enemies of democracy. They are our own past torchbearers, the founding citizens of popular sovereignty and democratic practice, the very tradition that freed Europe and that we honoured on D-day.

Arab Press Notes New accounts of prison torture and further criticism of the charade of Iraqi sovereignty. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 23, 2004.

Dilip Hiro argues that the situation is past the: Tipping Point in Iraq.

As was also true of the IGC, two-thirds of the 36-member interim government carry foreign passports, chiefly British and American. Of the remaining 12 who have only Iraqi passports, half are women. Remarkably, most of the former exiles of the IGC didn't even bring their families back to Iraq. Within days of his failure to secure the post of president, Adnan Pachachi typically returned to his base in Abu Dhabi with plans to spend the summer with his daughter in London. Now, the former exiles on the interim government are following the same IGC example and keeping their families abroad. This shows just how skin deep their attachment to Iraq is and how little faith they have in its future as a US-dominated "stable, democratic state."

CPA proclaims success! Coalition: Vast Majority of Iraqis Still Alive!

As the Coalition Provisional Authority prepares to hand power over to an Iraqi-led interim government on June 30, CPA administrator L. Paul Bremer publicly touted the success of Operation Iraqi Freedom. "As the Coalition's rule draws to a close, the numbers show that we have an awful lot to be proud of," Bremer said Tuesday. "As anyone who's taken a minute and actually looked at the figures can tell you, the vast majority of Iraqis are still alive—as many as 99 percent. While 10,000 or so Iraqi civilians have been killed, pretty much everyone is not dead...."
Kimmitt said the bulk of the nation's public buildings are still standing. "Throughout the nation, four out of five mosques have not been obliterated," Kimmitt said. "That's way, way, way more than half. Also, 80 percent of the nation's treasures and artifacts have not been destroyed by artillery or stolen in the widespread looting. If we were in school, that'd be a B-minus."

The Guardian publishes an in-depth investigation into abuse and brutal torture at America's gulag in Afghanistan: 'They said this is America . . . if a soldier orders you to take off your clothes, you must obey': We know about Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib but until now Bagram and America's secret network of Afghan jails have come under little scrutiny. In a major investigation, Duncan Campbell and Suzanne Goldenberg discovered a familiar pattern of violent abuse and sexual humiliation.

Arab Press Notes Kurdish leaders maintain independent militias. Reports of underhanded activities by Chalabi. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 22, 2004.

Now the former head of the National Security Agency admits that some of Colin Powell's "evidence" to the UN is "ambiguous" [Translation: we don't know what it means]: Powell gave U.N. 'ambiguous' data on Iraqi weapons, NSA chief says: General says in new book that audiotapes offered as evidence are inconclusive.

Federal judge, former Dean of Yale Law School, likens Bush's ascension to power to that of Mussolini. Calls for Bush's defeat: Audience gasps as judge likens election of Bush to rise of Mussolini.

Paul Krugman points out, Ashcroft ignores terrorist possessing chemical weapons, since he's not a Muslim or social activist, but a harmless white supremacist: oonday in the Shade.

It appears the White House is covering over unconstitutional actions by Cheney on 9-11: Who Was Really In Charge? Did Bush know Cheney had given orders to down airliners on September 11? The commission staff wonders—and remains at odds with both men over alleged Saddam-Al Qaeda ties.

Humor Ahead! Unfairenheit 9/11: The lies of Michael Moore by Christopher Hitchens.

To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental.

The Big Lie fed by idiocy. You'd think he was President: Al Qaeda Link To Iraq May Be Confusion Over Names.

Tom Engelhardt discusses the lies, Big and little, that undergird virtually all of this administration's policies: The battered French fry and other lies of our times. [Yes, the column does relate to Iraq.]

So, if you first reimagine a cow as a corn vessel, then beef too could be relabeled as a "fresh vegetable" (though some might say, based on the level of drugs feedlot cattle are given, that it's actually a "fresh chemical"). Imagine the advantages of this for the beef industry. The next time a case of mad-cow disease is discovered, it will have to be relabeled "mad vegetable disease."

The latest ABC News-Washington Post poll has the public turning against the war, with 52% saying it was not worth fighting: Most Americans reject Iraq war: poll.

Arab Press Notes Comments on the new government. Why is Putin doing Bush a favor? Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 21, 2004.

Republicans on the 9-11 Commission attempt the Big Lie, but get challenged: US officials doubt Iraqi officer was in Al Qaeda.

US goes after lawyers for an Australian detainee at Guantanamo concentration camp for complaining about how their client was treated: Hicks lawyers 'face US probe'.

Arab Press Notes Editor's comparison between Saddam and Bush. Second Governing Council member falls from grace. Comments on Putin's strange comments on pre-war Iraq. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 20, 2004.

Juan Cole has an important piece on Islam and the pervasive bigotry against it: Controversy at UC Irvine over Muslim Witness to Faith.

Ammunition for the right-wing attempts to discredit Fahrenheit 9/11: Michael Moore Is Ready for His Close-Up. This New York Times piece concludes, that facts in the movie are accurate.

Scalia will fix this: Judge rebukes feds in court battle over no-fly list.

Bill Clinton supports Bush's war, just like John Kerry does: Clinton defends successor's push for war: Says Bush 'couldn't responsibly ignore' chance Iraq had WMDs. And people look back to his administration with feelings other than disgust?

Mark Engler proposes: A Progressive Declaration Against Terror.

Anonymous intelligence official to publish book claiming that the Bush administration is so good for Al-Qaida that the organization will conduct a major terrorist attack to guarantee his reelection: Bush told he is playing into Bin Laden's hands: Al-Qaida may 'reward' American president with strike aimed at keeping him in office, senior intelligence man says.

Ira Chernus gets a new perspective on social change from having a summer vacation away from the news: What You Can Learn on Your Summer Vacation.

It's not a bad idea to live for a few weeks the way most people live, just to see what it feels like. It might suggest that, when we work for social change, our main challenge is not to get people to change their views about the issue. They probably haven't thought much about the issue, whatever it is, anyway. Our main challenge is to persuade them that their views can matter, that there is some reason to pay close attention and develop informed opinions. And to persuade them that change can be good for them.

Another life ruined by John Ashcroft: Long live the King: On last week’s test case of the PATRIOT Act -- in which a jury resoundingly vindicated a University of Idaho student, but only after our government destroyed his life.

Robert Fisk/big> gives a little history lesson: Iraq, 1917.

Censor Moore film, says right. Presumably, the RNC and the White House are behind this: US groups want Moore film banned.

Must Read! Scam Alert! Michael Schwartz in TomDispatch analyzes the symbolic sovereignty coming for Iraq: Who's Sovereign Now?

For a government to have sovereignty, it needs three things: a monopoly on the legitimate means of coercion; the material capacity to sustain a country's social and economic infrastructure; and an administrative apparatus capable of overseeing and administering policy. By these measures, the U.S. will retain sovereignty as long as the U.S. maintains its military, monetary, and administrative domination of the country.

Arab Press Notes Moslem Scholars condemn killing of Iraqis. Clashes in 2 towns. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 17, 2004.

400 legal scholars call on the Senate to consider impeaching Bush and other high-level supporters of torture. Even torture supporter Alan Dershowitz signed: Legal scholars say condoning abuse could be impeachable offense.

More questions about Bush's mental state: New Information Shows Bush Indecisive, Paranoid, Delusional.

Even the poodle cries "Enough!": Annan Against U.S. War Crimes Exemption.

The Anglican Bishop to the Australian Defence Force asks God's forgiveness for supporting the war: Forgive me, I was wrong on Iraq.

Looking back on the events of the past 18 months I continue to seek God's forgiveness for my complicity in creating a world in which this sort of action was ever considered by anyone to be necessary. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

John Kerry criticizes Bush for lying as a reason for war: Kerry: 9/11 Report Casts Doubt on Iraq War.

Daniel Ellsberg supports whistle-blower, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, and discusses what the administration may be hiding about 9-11: Ashcroft may face prison over 9/11 cover-up, says Daniel Ellsberg.

Terry Jones, of Monty Python needs to find out where his son goes after choir practice. Whatever he does, it's all ok. Bush and Rumsfeld say so: This won't hurt much

Arab Press Notes Escalation of resistance attacks. Resistance claims seven Shiites killed were members of Chalabi's militia. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 16, 2004.

Bush continues the Big Lie: Bush backs Cheney on assertion linking Hussein, Al Qaeda. On the same day: Panel Says No Signs Iraq Aided Qaeda Plots on US. But the administration never lets fact get in the way of their story.

Disgusted with abuses of Nazi symbolism, Bill O'Reilly compared Michael Moore and Al Franken to Goebbels: O'Reilly compared Moore, Franken to Goebbels; compared Hollywood celebs to Nazi faithful.

Arab Press Notes Jordan cautioned about supporting the Interim Government. reports of Iranians massing on Iraq's border. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 15, 2004.

Thomas Powers, authors of Intelligence Wars: American Secret History From Hitler to Al Qaeda claims there is a civil war being raged in Washington, between the White House and the US intelligence aganecies: A Temporary Coup.

Parts of the Jewish community are afraid Jews will be scapegoated for the Iraq war: Will some Jews’ backing for war in Iraq have repercussions for all?

The President and His Legal Team.

Arab Press Notes Claims that Kuwaiti officers participated in prison torture. Residents worried about nuclear pollution in a Baghdad suburb. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 14, 2004.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, like John Kerry, lines up behind the occupation. I guess after helping kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis through sanctions, she figures, might as well finish off a few more: Albright Optimistic About Iraq Campaign.

Brian Cloughley discusses the breakdown of the military represented by the massive lies about "accidental" deaths: Lies Upon Lies Upon Lies: US Military in Crisis.

Well after anyone's paying attention, and after the vehement denials, the Pentagon admit that all their precision bombing attacks on Iraqi leaders missed, and many killed civilians. Who will pay for the lies? Precision strikes were wide of mark.

Colin Powell's unhappy he got caught telling another whopper. He's like the rest of this administration -- never tell the truth if a lie will do -- but he tells his lies with such great "sincerity": Powell Says Terror Report Was a 'Big Mistake'. The "mistake" of course, was he got caught.

26 former diplomats and military officers are about to issue a statement calling for Bush's defeat: Retired Officials Say Bush Must Go: The 26 ex-diplomats and military leaders say his foreign policy has harmed national security. Several served under Republicans.

Arab Press Notes Claims that Ahmad Challabi's militia was behind attacks on Iraqi forces in Falluja last week. Further criticism of the new government. And a description of the situation of the press in Iraq. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 12, 2004.

a reminder that Ronald Reagan and Donald Rumsfeld directly aided Saddam Hussein before, during, and after Iraq's use of chemical weapons, and its killing tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds and sending hundreds of thousands more into exile. Now Rumsfeld wants to bring "democracy" to Iraq? Iraqi General: US Helped Us as We Used Chemical Weapons.

Roger Myerson sees the root of present turmoil in Iraq in the early US decision to cancel local elections: Did Prohibiting Local Elections Derail Iraq?

Arab Press Notes Nationalist groups making moves to unite. Discussion of the conflicts facing the new government. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 11, 2004.

Jeffrey D. Sachs points out: 'Barbarous thinking comes easily, and right-wingers fuel fire'.

Andrew Greeley wonders: Is US like Germany of the '30s?

On the Lighter Side! Off to See the Wizard? (web anonymous).

Molly Ivins likens the US under President Bush to Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Both leaders believed they are absolute rulers, with no limits to their power: The day the Constitution died.

We have put ourselves on the same moral level as Saddam Hussein, the only difference being quantity. Quite literally, the president may as well wear a crown -- forget that "no man is above the law" jazz. We used to talk about "the imperial presidency" under Nixon, but this is the real thing....
I suggest a special commission headed by Sen. John McCain to dig out everyone responsible, root and branch. If the lawyers don't cooperate, perhaps we should try stripping them, anally raping them and dunking their heads under water until they think they're drowning, and see if that helps.
And I think it is time for citizens to take some responsibility, as well. Is this what we have come to? Is this what we want our government to do for us? Oh and by way, to my fellow political reporters who keep repeating that Bush is having a wonderful week: Why don't you think about what you stand for?

Economist Hector Mondragon remembered his own torture -- at the hands of US-trained troops -- when he saw the Abu Ghraib photos: 'I too was tortured'. He insists upon the humanity of the torturer and the inhumanity of the system that trains and uses them.

Does Bush's government ever tell the truth? A State Department report [Colin Powell's State Department] claimed world-wide terrorist attacks went down under President Bush. Trouble is, they actually went up 35%. The report has now been retracted and will be "corrected": Terror report's 'good news' turns bad. See also the May 17, 2004 Letter from Congressman Henry Waxman to Colin Powell.

Arab Press Notes UN resolution condemned by many. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 10, 2004.

Jonathan D. Tepperman, senior editor at Foreign Affairs, discusses the damage done if US officials are not held accountable for Iraqi prison torture they ordered or condoned: An American in The Hague?.

Our free country! If it ain’t pro-war, it ain’t on country radio: While Toby Keith gets airtime, Emmylou Harris gets ignored.

Is the human race doomed, a victim of its own destructiveness? Global military spending hits $956B in 2003, "nearly half of it by the United States.".

Nicholas D. Kristof is having a contest for poems about Iraq. Some early entrants: Poems of Blood and Anger.

Attorney Julie Hilden discusses: Did a Government Lawyer "Aid and Abet" Possible War Crimes By Writing a Crucial Memo? The Controversy Surrounding Berkeley Law Professor John Yoo.

One of the top Torture Lawyers, justifying torture for the amusement of US officials, is proud of her Christian morals. It's enough to make one be an atheist: Praise the Lord and Pass the Thumbscrews.

Arab Press Notes Claims of Mossad involvement in looting. Wife recognizes photo of man murdered at Abu Ghraib. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 8, 2004.

From Juan Cole's site: Black Humor: Why Did the Chicken cross the Road?

Reminder: Ronald Reagan's son rejects any comparison with George W. Bush: Reagan blasts Bush

"Sure, he wasn't a technocrat like Clinton. But my father was a man -- that's the difference between him and Bush. To paraphrase Jack Palance, my father crapped bigger ones than George Bush."

Army Times has an online poll. The results are fascinating. As of this writing [the poll is continuing]. For example, 86% don't think "sovereignty" will lead to a reduction in violence, and 64% don't expect fair trials for soldiers accused of abuse at Abu Ghraib: This week's Poll Results.

The Madison Capital Times, in an Editorial, calls for Kerry to speak the truth about the disaster in Iraq: Nation Needs a Real Debate on Iraq.

Arab Press Notes Governing Council members return to the countries from which they came. Reports of Danish troops kicking Iraqi women. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 7, 2004.

Arab Press Notes Adnan Pachachi lashes out at colleagues, while others denounce Interim Government. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 6, 2004.

Greg Palast on: Killer, Coward, Conman. Ronald Reagan, Good-bye and Good Riddance. Meanwhile, the first: Reagan sightings begin.

[Killer:] Well, my friends, you can rest easier tonight: the Rat is dead.

Juan Cole on Ronald Reagan as the originator of so many of today's problems: Reagan's Passing.

Ex-weapons inspector David Kay says Tony Blair "delusional" for insisting WMD might still be found: PM 'delusional' over Iraq WMD, says inspector.

avid Lindorff suggests John Walker Lindh was served a gag order to prevent him revealing the truth about how Taliban fighters were tortured and murdered by the thousands by US troops and their surrogates: A First Glimpse at Bush's Tortureshow: John Walker Lindh, Revisited. Will this mass murder, that was widely reported at the time, now be investigated and prosecuted as the horrific war crime it was?

In the run-up to his trial, it was clear from documents submitted by the defense that Lindh had been viciously treated in captivity. Shot in the leg prior to his capture, and already starving and badly dehydrated, Lindh unconscionably was left with his wound untreated and festering for days despite doctors being readily available. Denied access to a lawyer, and threatened repeatedly with death, he was duct-taped to a stretcher and left for long periods of time in an enclosed, unheated and unlit metal shipping container, removed only during interrogations, at which time he was still left taped to his stretcher. (Hundreds of his Taliban and Al Qaeda comrades actually were deliberately allowed to die in those same containers in one of the more monstrous war crimes perpetrated during this conflict.)

Must Read!Who knows if this is true, but... Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides.

Even veterans are turning against the war. 60% of overall public and 55% of veterans say the war isn't worth the costs: CBS Poll: Vets Favor Bush.

Breaking News! Bush has been named by witnesses to the grand jury as knowing of the intended leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame and doing nothing to stop it. No wonder he hired a lawyer. Karl Rove has also been directly implicated: Bush Knew About Leak of CIA Operative's Name.

Juan Cole throws a dose of cold water on the idea that the Iranians used Chalabi to get the US to invade Iraq. But his alternative is scarier: Chalabi Spy Case.

An in-depth: Interview with Robert Fisk, covering his entire career

Details on the NYT's hiring of Ahmad Chalabi's niece: Details Emerge on Stint by Chalabi Niece at 'NY Times'.

Arab Press Notes More reaction to the new government, along with new resistance attacks. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 2, 2004.

This Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting Media Advisory takes on the scam, omnipresent in the US media, that there is a "silent majority" in Iraq who support the American occupation: Ignoring Iraqi Opinion in the Name of Democracy.

At last! Bush May Hire Lawyer in Probe Over CIA Leak.

In a pair of articles, Michael A. Weinstein provides a perspective on the meaning of the Iraq prison torture scandal: Abu Ghraib Means Impunity and Abu Ghraib Means Triumphalism.

Jim Lobe sees a: Neocon Collapse in Washington and Baghdad.

Chalmers Johnson poses: Twelve questions for President Bush Meant to Help Strengthen His Remaining Speeches about Iraq.

Arab Press Notes Disdain for the new government. Food rations to be cut. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: June 1, 2004.

Australian PM caught in lies about when Australia learned of torture allegations: Torture report 'sent last July' and I'm sorry I misled on abuse: PM

Arab Press Notes More doubts about the new 'government". Resistance attacks continue. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: May 31, 2004.

Linda S. Heard in Arab News writes of her disappointment that Lakhdar Brahimi has sold out to the Americans: Brahimi Has Failed the Iraqi People.

Previous Month Archive: May, 2004
Occupation Resistance Analysis

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