Interviews with & Writings by Antiwar GIs & Vets

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

June, 2005

The Occupation

Occupation Resistance Analysis

National Council for Unity and Construction of Iraq: New Iraqi party to give political face to 'resistance'.

[While US continues to provoke:] In a move likely to cause Sunni anger, U.S. forces arrested Dhahir al-Dhari, leader of one of Iraq's largest Sunni tribes, whose brother is the head of the main Sunni religious body, the Committee of Muslim Scholars. Dhari, a cousin of committee head Sheikh Hareth al-Dhari, also leads the Zawbaa tribal confederation, whose influence extends from central Iraq to the northern city of Mosul.

Former French hostages report: Terrorists hoped for Bush re-election.

The cell leader trained with terror leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and told them the insurgents supported a Bush presidency because they believed it meant that "there will be confrontation, occupation and radicalization of the Iraqi people," Malbrunot said.

"Federal" division spreading: In the south, a bid to loosen Baghdad's grip.

Giving "occupation" a new meaning: Iraqi man watches while U.S. Marines sleep in his kitchen in Hit.

Shameful and comedic visit. Do they really think the US will torture in front of their eyes? Do they speak Arabic or Pashtun to communicate with the prisoners? How could they possibly tell if abuse goes on there? Democrats report no abuse at Gitmo.

Must Read! Knight Ridder reports on the new death squads. The Iraqi co-author was murdered last week in suspicious circumstnces: Sunni men in Baghdad targeted by attackers in police uniforms.

Days after Iraq's new Shiite-led government was announced on April 28, the bodies of Sunni Muslim men began turning up at the capital's central morgue after the men had been detained by people wearing Iraqi police uniforms. Faik Baqr, the director and chief forensic investigator at the central Baghdad morgue, said the corpses first caught his attention because the men appeared to have been killed in methodical fashion. Their hands had been tied or handcuffed behind their backs, their eyes were blindfolded and they appeared to have been tortured. In most cases, the dead men looked as if they'd been whipped with a cord, subjected to electric shocks or beaten with a blunt object and shot to death, often with single bullets to their heads....
[A] Knight Ridder reporter and two special correspondents found more than 30 examples of this type of killing in less than a week. They include 12 cases with specific dates, times, names and witnesses who said they might come forward if asked by law enforcement....
Before March 2003, he said, the morgue handled 200 to 250 suspicious deaths a month, about 16 of which included firearm injuries. He said he now sees 700 to 800 suspicious deaths a month, with some 500 having firearm wounds.
Many Iraqis say the giveaway that the abductors are at least connected to the police is the preponderance of reports involving Land Cruisers, Glocks and other expensive equipment.... The descriptions of the abductors were identical in every case, he said: They came in white police Toyota Land Cruisers, wore police commando uniforms, flak vests and helmets. They also had Glocks.

Iraq must be a "normal" country now. they fire on the unemployed there too: Police open fire on Iraq demonstrators -- witness.

Refugees everywhere: Thousands of Karabila residents return. In this great victory, [t]housands of residents are gradually returning to the town of Karabila, 325 km west of the capital, Baghdad, after fleeing a heavy US-led attack two weeks ago but for many there is little to go back to. And: Iraq warns of refugee disaster in al-Qaim.

[Thousands:] "People started to go back trying to get what is left from their destroyed homes. Based on information from our volunteers inside the village, near 40 percent of the village buildings have been partially or totally destroyed," Mazeen Saloon, general secretary of the IRCS, said....
The IRCS reported 65 deaths and 85 injured as a result of the conflict, mainly civilians. But the bodies of many residents lie under the debris and rubble and their deaths have not been recorded, according to local officials.

The floating gulag: US suspected of keeping secret prisoners on warships: UN official.

There are very, very serious accusations that the United States is maintaining secret camps, notably on ships," the Austrian UN official told AFP, adding that the vessels were believed to be in the Indian Ocean region. "They are only rumours, but they appear sufficiently well-based to merit an official inquiry," he added.

Kidnappers wanted. Will US extradite? Italy Asks Interpol For CIA Agents.

The 213-page order notes the arrests are needed in part because the suspects' links to "foreign intelligence services" give them the particular ability to destroy evidence in the case and disrupt the investigation.

The harming professions. Americans become torture doctors: Interrogators Cite Doctors' Aid at Guantánamo Prison Camp. Nazi doctors who engaged in such behaior were put on trial at Nurenberg.

Military doctors at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, have aided interrogators in conducting and refining coercive interrogations of detainees, including providing advice on how to increase stress levels and exploit fears, according to new, detailed accounts given by former interrogators....
The former interrogators said the military doctors' role was to advise them and their fellow interrogators on ways of increasing psychological duress on detainees, sometimes by exploiting their fears, in the hopes of making them more cooperative and willing to provide information. In one example, interrogators were told that a detainee's medical files showed he had a severe phobia of the dark and suggested ways in which that could be manipulated to induce him to cooperate. In addition, the authors of an article published by The New England Journal of Medicine this week said their interviews with doctors who helped devise and supervise the interrogation regimen at Guantánamo showed that the program was explicitly designed to increase fear and distress among detainees as a means to obtaining intelligence....
Bryan Whitman, a senior Pentagon spokesman, declined to address the specifics in the accounts. But he suggested that the doctors advising interrogators were not covered by ethics strictures because they were not treating patients but rather were acting as behavioral scientists. He said that while some health care personnel are responsible for "humane treatment of detainees," some medical professionals "may have other roles," like serving as behavioral scientists assessing the character of interrogation subjects. [All true behavioral scientists should feel insulted.]

Definitely needed: UN organizes workshop for Iraq human rights defenders.

Koran in toilet regular practice at Guantanamo gulag, says innocent Russian who spent 18 months there: Russian ex-Guantanamo inmate tells of Koran abuse.

In Cuba, they used to take them (the Koran) and throw them, take them and throw them, into lavatories or elsewhere. It happened regularly and this was to provoke protests," Airat Vakhitov, told reporters.

Washington Post gives major coverage: From Memos, Insights Into Ally's Doubts On Iraq War.

Joint Statement by Leaders of Iraq’s Labor Movement and U.S. Labor Against the War.

Iraq is so near disaster that the poodle gets new orders: Bush warns Blair he must boost UK forces.

Halliburton Iraq deals described as contract abuse.

"I can unequivocally state that the abuse related to contracts awarded to KBR (Kellogg Brown and Root) represents the most blatant and improper contract abuse I have witnessed during the course of my professional career," said Greenhouse, a procurement veteran of more than 20 years.

Yesterday they admit talks, today they deny them: Commander says no talks yet with Iraq insurgents. and: US plans direct talks with Iraq insurgents.

Another report on the anti-privatization conference of the 23,000 strong General Union of Oil Employees Fuelling Resistance

From the Sunday Times of London: How the leaked documents questioning war emerged from 'Britain's Deep Throat'.

Dahr Jamail: Censorship.

The reporter who was interviewing me today told me that the former American consulate here, Eric Edelman, asked the Prime Minister of Turkey to pressure his paper to not run so many of my stories. "Why did he do this," I asked him. "Edelman said it was the wrong news," he told me with a smile. Turns out Edelman also asked that articles by Robert Fisk and Naomi Klein not be run so often in Yeni Safak either.
[Yet another War Crime: Collective punishment] "Near the city of Buhrez, 5 kilometers south of Baquba, two Humvess of American soldiers were destroyed recently. American and Iraqi soldiers came to the city afterwards and cut all the phones, cut the water, cut medicine from arriving in the city and told them that until the people of the city bring the "terrorists" to them, the embargo will continue." The embargo has been in place now for one week now, and he continued:

Travelers stranded by Baghdad airport shutdown.

Ah, the oil: Iraq: The carve-up begins.

But Iraqi oil workers are furious about the conference. "The second phase of the war will be started by this conference carving up the industry," said an outraged Hasan Juma'a, head of the Iraqi General Union of Oil Employees. "It is about giving shares of Iraq to the countries who invaded it - they get a piece of the action as a reward. The British government will back this action in order to pay its debt in Iraq."

Billions upon billions in duffel bags. Who got the loot?: U.S. was big spender in days before Iraq handover.

Iraq Union Leaders Speak about Labor Movement - Part II of II.

Gen. John Abizaid implies Cheney a liar or a fool: Abizaid disputes Cheney’s claim that Iraq insurgency is weakening.

Michael Smith, the journalist who broke the story: The Real News in the Downing Street Memos.

What the Media Don’t Report to You About Iraq. Gilbert Achcar has translated two articles from Al-Hayat: News from Iraq-June 22.

One of the usual casualties of destruction: Unveiling Iraq's teenage prostitutes: Fleeing their war-torn homes, Iraqi girls are selling their bodies in Syria to support their families. And what about prostitution in Iraq for the US troops, mercenaries, and other contractors? Where's the reporting?


New dries up, leaving only Pentagon bs: Last French reporter leaves Iraq.

Even Congress has trouble stomaching it: Behind the Congressional Gitmo Debate.

US not immune to law, says UN: U.N. experts urge U.S. to allow inspections.

US acknowledges torture at Guantanamo; in Iraq, Afghanistan - UN.

Unto eternal servitude: Despite Regime Change, Iraq Debts Keep Mounting.

A puppet complains: US hiding secrets about Saddam, Iraqi official charges: 'It seems there are lots ... they want to hide,' justice minister says.

Dahr Jamail issues detailed report on the state of Iraq's hospitals under occupation: Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation [pdf].

US above all law, as Democrat issues another craven apology: W. House rebuffs independent probe of Guantanamo.

The latest from Riverbend: General Update...

She paused suddenly, a horrific idea occurring to her, “You have water, right? Right?” We had water, I assured her. I didn’t mention, however, that there had been no electricity for the better part of the morning and the generator was providing only enough for the refrigerator, television and a few lights. The standard washing machine consumed too much water and electricity- we would have to use the little ‘National’ washing tub, or ‘diaper machine’ as my mother called it....
On the television the talk about ‘terrorists’ being arrested, but there are dozens of people being rounded up for no particular reason. Almost every Iraqi family can give the name of a friend or relative who is in one of the many American prisons for no particular reason. They aren’t allowed to see lawyers or have visitors and stories of torture have become commonplace. Both Sunni and Shia clerics who are in opposition to the occupation are particularly prone to attacks by “Liwa il Theeb” or the special Iraqi forces Wolf Brigade. They are often tortured during interrogation and some of them are found dead....
A friend who recently got involved working with an Iraqi subcontractor who takes projects inside of the Green Zone explained that it was more than that. The Green Zone, he told us, is a city in itself. He came back awed, and more than a little bit upset. He talked of designs and plans being made for everything from the future US Embassy and the housing complex that will surround it, to restaurants, shops, fitness centers, gasoline stations, constant electricity and water- a virtual country inside of a country with its own rules, regulations and government. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Republic of the Green Zone, also known as the Green Republic.
“The Americans won’t be out in less than ten years.” Is how the argument often begins with the friend who has entered the Green Republic. “How can you say that?” Is usually my answer- and I begin to throw around numbers- 2007, 2008 maximum… Could they possibly want to be here longer? Can they afford to be here longer? At this, T. shakes his head- if you could see the bases they are planning to build- if you could see what already has been built- you’d know that they are going to be here for quite a while.

The true resistance: Fuelling Resistance.

The story that didn't make the news last month though was that of one of Iraq's most powerful unions - the 23,000 strong General Union of Oil Employees - holding a historic conference on Privatisation. 150 trade union activists, mostly GUOE members and union council leaders from Nassiriyah and Amara and Basra, plus Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions reps, local party political party activists and an international delegates from Britain and the USA gathered under the banner 'To revive the public sector and to build an Iraq free of privatisation'...
November 2004 saw the Paris Club - the group of creditor countries to which Iraq owes its debts - agree to 'forgive' two thirds of Iraq's debt on condition that it accepts an IMF structural adjustment program which will transform the present economy into a free market economy over the next five years. The food ration system upon which 60% of the population depends on for survival is to be scrapped and replaced with a cash payment and petrol prices are set to soar as fuel subsidies are also axed.

The latest from their US tour: Iraqi Union Leaders Speak About Occupation - Part I of II.

After 27 months of occupation, “…our federation stands for immediate withdrawal of troops immediately,” Aljawhry said. “Since day one of occupation Iraqi people have not seen one single moment of peace.”

Second day without water and power in the summer heat: Appeal goes out for aid after rebels turn off power and water.

The boob tube gains as people fear the streets: Climate of fear fuels Iraq's TV renaissance.

Now that there's a "government": Iraq confronts "disastrous" corruption. See also: Rotten Baghdad Officials Exposed.

And, the US is up to its old tricks: Pentagon Obstructing Investigation into Development Fund for Iraq Abuse.

With half the US discretionary budget going to war, the cannon fodder are still expendable: Marine units found to lack equipment: Corps estimates of needs in Iraq are called faulty.

The Marine Corps leadership has ''understated" the amount and types of ground equipment it needs, according to the investigation, concluding that all of its fighting units in Iraq ''require ground equipment that exceeds" their current supplies, ''particularly in mobility, engineering, communications, and heavy weapons."

Cultural destruction continues unchecked: Entire nation of Iraq on list of endangered sites. Iraq's treasures still being looted.

New victims of the civil war: Focus on treatment of foreign Arabs.

Iraqi Journalists Risking Their Lives. Saddam-era censorship may be a thing of the past, but journalists are facing new dangers.

What more can they do? Syrian troops fortify desert border with Iraq.

"The responsibility for securing the borders cannot fall on one party, the two sides should be responsible. We have not seen any presence of the Iraqis. Where are they?" said a senior Syrian border guard official, who declined to be named.

Look out, Iraq! Departing Afghanistan Envoy Pledges to Use Same Approach in Iraq.

Focus on mercenaries: A harrowing look at private forces in Iraq.

Oops, democracy: 82 Iraqi MPs Demand Occupation Pullout. That's 30% of the representatives. Add in the (nonexistent) Sunni 15-20% of the population, and you've got about half.

The Shiite, Kurdish, Sunni Arab, Christian and communist legislators made the call in a letter sent by Falah Hassan Shanshal of the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), the largest bloc in parliament, to speaker Hajem Al-Hassani....
“It is dangerous that the Iraqi government has asked the UN Security Council to prolong the stay of occupation forces without consulting representatives of the people who have the mandate for such a decision,” it said. “Therefore we must reject the occupation's legitimacy and renew our demand for these forces to withdraw,” it added.

The latest disaster for two million people in 40C heat: Baghdad water lines cut by insurgents.

Involvement proves difficult: Sunni Arab Role May Snag Iraq Constitution.

British memos: Iraq war sounds like mere 'grudge'.

Iraq Leaders Seek Europe, Mideast Backing.

UK had advance alert of jail abuse: A report on torture on Iraqis at Abu Ghraib was circulated within the army

'He produced a summary of (the Red Cross) report in November 2003 [the military police unit usually blamed only arrived in October 2003] which was circulated to senior personnel within [the army division responsible for overseeing Abu Ghraib],' Ingram continues.

For summer release, during vacation season, when people are preocupied: Pentagon to release new abuse photos: The Abu Ghraib images will mask victims' identities.

US refuses to allow evacuation of Al-Arabiya's wounded reporter to save his life.

Traveling in US: Iraqi Labor Leaders Protest Unemploymen.

Support Our Troops? Dad picks up $600 tab to get Marine battle ready.

Marine Pfc. Jeremy Tod called home with news that his superiors were urging him and fellow Marines to buy special military equipment, including flak jackets with armor plating, to enhance the prospects of their survival. The message was that such purchases were to be made by Marines with their own money. "He said they strongly suggested he get this equipment because when they get to Iraq they will wish they had," Tod said. Total estimated cost: $600.

Yet more memos, this time from the AP: Memos show U.S. push for war: British officials were worried about White House motives for invading Iraq, leaked documents indicate.

Another Sunday, another leaked document: British bombing raids were illegal, says Foreign Office.

An interview with Amjad Ali Aljawhry the North American representative of the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions of Iraq (FWCUI): Unions in Iraq: Still waiting for the freedom to organize

If you’ve lived without unions for 35 years, there are many things you don’t learn. For example, we had some unions who went on strike in the city of Kut—180 kilometers south of Baghdad—and instead of negotiating with the organization, they decided simply to strike until their demands were met. So the heads of that textile factory called the national guards, who raided the factory, opened fire on workers, injured four people, arrested 10 and left. So both the workers and the administrators didn’t know how to play the game of unions or negotiations....
So many enterprises in Iraq are under a process of privatization—like in Basra, where foreign corporations brought in Indians and Sri Lankans and Pakistanis to do the jobs, rather than employing the qualified local people. And of course this creates some kind of hatred, unfortunately, because local people think, “This is my country, we should have these jobs.” This has affected all the workers and added on to the unemployment rate. Companies brought more than 3,000 workers from Egypt to rebuild the airport, and Iraqis who wanted to get a job there were told, “We don’t want Iraqis.”

After innumerable deaths, the US hasn't even implemented the recommendations of its own military investigators on reducing checkpoint deaths. I guess the military brass's attitude is "Why bother? Only Hajijs die there, not Americans." Checkpoints Lack Basic Safety Measures. See: The Streets of Tikrit: For gunners, only a split second to make life-or-death choice.

[The Streets:] While such incidents are rare, said O'Hanlon, he estimated that overall, between 50 and 100 Iraqi civilians per month may be killed by American gunfire. "But that's a crude guess," he added. [Hardly sound rare.]

Another small step on the road to civil war: In Iraq, suspicions end old neighbors' friendship.

Will they do it? Medics Are Ordered to Report Abuse.

Leonard Rubenstein of Physicians for Human Rights said he believes the new policy creates loopholes that could allow medical personnel to participate in unethical treatment of detainees.

The war spreads: Iraq Tactics Hit Afghanistan. And: Afghan defense minister: al-Qaeda planning Iraq-style attacks.

War crime confirmed. If US brazenly lied to its closest ally, why should anyone believe anything this government says?: US lied to Britain over use of napalm in Iraq war.

Iraqis being starved by new government: Iraqis struggle to make ends meet as food rations shrink.

Families in Baghdad have received no sugar or baby milk since January. Newspapers have also begun reporting that the tea and flour hand-outs contain metal filings and that people have fallen ill after consuming food rations....
More than half of Iraq's population lives below the poverty line. The median income fell from $255 (£144, €211) in 2003 to about $144 in 2004, according to a recent UN survey. Families buy the food baskets for a few dollars at state-licensed shops....

Watch this historic hearing: Democratic Members of House Judiciary Committee: Meeting on Downing St. Memo and Iraq War.

Michael Smith, the reporter who published the Downing Street Memo, participates in online discussion: The Downing Street Memo.

From Downing Street to Main Street: From Downing Street to Capitol Hill New leaked memos are raising further questions about whether the Bush administration ‘fixed’ its intel to justify the Iraq war [/newsweek]; Mainstream media cover-up: In five weeks following its disclosure, Downing Street memo drew little attention; and: WH Press Secretary Mocks 'Downing Street Memo,' as Congressman Calls for Inquiry.

No wonder Cheney says it won't be closed: Halliburton to build new $30 mln Guantanamo jail [aka "Gulag"].

Report [other deals have fallen through after announcement]: Parliament, Sunnis reach deal on Iraq's constitutional process.

The Vietnam analogy in a new light: Military files murder charges in Iraq killings: U.S. sergeant accused of ‘fragging’ officers had been disciplined by them.

Freedom would be nice: Journalists call for greater freedom.

No heroes, only tragedy: Ahmed, a story of Iraq.

Christian Peacemaker Teams: Tales from Falcon Camp.

A New Meaning for the Word "Released": A father has been coming to Falcon camp regularly seeking news on this two sons who were detained three and a half weeks ago. The last time the father came to the camp he was told that one son had been released and the other son was still being held at Falcon. "If he has been released where is he?" the father asked us on the way into the camp. When he went into check on his detained son he was told that the detained son and the "released" son are now in prison at Abu Ghraib.

It happens again! This could get to be a habit: Pirates raid supertanker at Iraq's Basra.

Action Alert! Congress: Memogate Hearings [and Rallies] Scheduled for June 16

Juan Cole: Apartheid for Arabs in Irbil?

A sign of hope? New radio station for women goes on the air.

This article suggests he occupation is getting more brutal: U.S. raids test Iraqis' patience.

On the receiving end of the U.S. military's increasingly aggressive patrol posture are many apparently law-abiding Iraqis--the college students in Mosul getting shoved face-first into a wall; the retired English teacher in Baiji thrilled to practice his language skills on U.S. soldiers until they barge into his home and search under his beds; the homemaker in Tikrit who begs soldiers with words they don't understand to take off their muddy boots before walking across her carefully maintained pastel carpets....
"Some days you wonder if you've rounded up one bad guy but created 10 others," a tired Kurilla acknowledged in his Minnesota Vikings-decorated command post the night after stopping the three students in Mosul. "That's the balancing act we're left with at this point. . . . "But I've seen too many of my boys die out there, too many of them bleed out or get burned beyond recognition. I've seen too many limbs blown off. I can't do my work wearing kid gloves because if I do, it'll get soldiers killed." [If American lives are more important than those of Iraqis, then the Americans don't belong in Iraq.]

In occupation, accidents happen, on a daily basis, though reporters don't often hear about them: Fatal shooting of teacher illustrates why Iraqis fear U.S. convoys.

But enough civilians have been killed in one-sided encounters with scared American troops that Baghdadis cower whenever Americans are near. Whenever American troops leave their bases, they say, everyone is vulnerable. "We are living in constant terror because of these convoys," Khinaisar's husband, Mohsen Hameed, said at his wife's funeral....
"We were furious after seeing them not rescue her while she was still alive. To them, killing a human being is nothing," Sabri said. "When an American soldier gets killed, they make a big fuss. Helicopters and ambulances come to rescue, but when an Iraqi gets killed in the street, it means nothing to them."

The state giveth, the state taketh away: GOP Committee Targets International Red Cross: Senators ask Bush to reconsider financial support for the agency after its criticism of how U.S. forces treat their detainees abroad.

The Senate Republican Policy Committee, which advances the views of the GOP Senate majority, said in a report that the international humanitarian organization had "lost its way" and veered from the impartiality on which its reputation was based. The Republican policy group titled its report: "Are American Interests Being Disserved by the International Committee of the Red Cross?"... The Senate Republican Policy Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, has close ties to the Bush administration. It meets weekly to coordinate policy and often distributes "talking points" for Republican senators that are coordinated with the White House. It bills its role as helping to "shape the GOP game plan."

Why they fight us. And why we shouldn't fight them, far away, in their: land. In the fog of war ... From Iraq, a soldier/father's perspective on the war.

"When the gunfire stopped I peeked around the front gate. I saw a soldier pulling rear security who was still aiming his M249 machine gun at a black truck off in the distance. His was the weapon I had heard. "I ran up and overheard the captain asking what had happened and why this soldier had opened fire. The soldier answered that he had seen a man holding an AK-47 in the back of the black truck. I was among the four, including the soldier who had fired, selected to go check on that truck.
"We were out of breath when we got to the gun-truck nearest to the black civilian truck. There were four Iraqis walking towards us from the black truck. They were carrying a body, a small boy no more than 3 years old. His head was cocked at the wrong angle and there was blood. So much blood. The Iraqi men were crying and asking me WHY? "Someone behind me started screaming for a medic. It was the young soldier who had fired. He screamed for a medic until he was hoarse. A medic came just to tell us what we already knew: The boy was dead.
"I stood there looking at that little child, someone's child just like mine, and seeing how red the clean white shirt of the man holding the boy was turning. Then I realized I was speaking to them, speaking in a voice that sounded so very far away. I heard my voice telling them how sorry we were. My mouth was saying this but all my mind could focus on was the hole in the child's head...."
"Before I left I saw the young soldier who had killed the boy. His eyes were unfocused and he was just standing there, staring off into the distance. My hand went to my canteen and I took a drink of water. That soldier looked so lost, so I offered him a drink. In a hoarse voice he quietly thanked me.
"Before I left I saw the young soldier who had killed the boy. His eyes were unfocused and he was just standing there, staring off into the distance. My hand went to my canteen and I took a drink of water. That soldier looked so lost, so I offered him a drink. In a hoarse voice he quietly thanked me. "Later that day we were filling out reports about what we had witnessed. The captain who had led the raid was angry: 'Well, this is just great! Now we have to go give that family bags of money to shut them up ... ' "A family had just lost their beautiful baby boy, and this man is worried about having to pay for a family's grief and sorrow.
"To this day I still think about that raid, that family, that boy. I wonder if they are attacking us now. I would be. If someone took the life of my son or my daughter nothing other than my own death would stop me from killing them."

Muslim Peacemaker Teams, a glimmer of hope: he Weapon of Peace.

Iraqi Unionists Rebuilding Devastated Union Movement.

LA Times: New Memos Detail Early Plans for Invading Iraq: # British officials believed the US favored military force a year before the war, documents show

The new documents indicate that top British officials believed that by March 2002, Washington was already leaning heavily toward toppling Hussein by military force. Condoleezza Rice, the current secretary of State who was then Bush's national security advisor, was described as enthusiastic about "regime change."

Iraqi courts operate today much as they did in Hussein's time: The Shape of Justice to Come.

Two hours! That’s how long it took the bench to sentence three men to death. One of the Western journalists who attended the “trial” — and I’m putting the word in quotes in order not to gag on it without them — was the Los Angeles Times correspondent in Iraq, Jeffrey Fleishman.
“The defendants never met the lawyer who argued their case,” he wrote. “They weren’t allowed to introduce medical or other evidence. There was no cross-examination of prosecution witnesses, because there were none. The little testimony given was mainly the denials of the accused.” The lawyer for the defense had been retained the day before. He had not met his clients, knew their names or had time to acquaint himself with the details of the case, let alone examine evidence or investigate the defendants’ claim that their confession had been coerced from them under torture.

No resolution: Dispute over Iraq's constitutional process has sectarian tone, threatens more turmoil.

Background on: Iraq Militia Groups.

Baghdad dreaming: Oil: Iraq Production of 6 Million barrels per day by 2015.

Poland to Cut Iraq Deployment by Up to 300.

US aware of vicious ethnic cleansing by its Kurdish allies, including torture, in Kirkuk: Kurdish Officials Sanction Abductions in Kirkuk: U.S. Memo Says Arabs, Turkmens Secretly Sent to the North to be imprisoned and sometimes tortured. Some US officials claim to have stopped it in the last few weeks.

Some abductions occurred more than a year ago. But according to U.S. officials, Kirkuk police and Arab leaders, the campaign surged after the Jan. 30 elections consolidated the two main Kurdish parties' control over the Kirkuk provincial government....
U.S. and Iraqi officials, along with the State Department cable, said the campaign was being orchestrated and carried out by the Kurdish intelligence agency, known as Asayesh, and the Kurdish-led Emergency Services Unit, a 500-member anti-terrorism squad within the Kirkuk police force. Both are closely allied with the U.S. military....
Jabbouri said he was seized with three other men, two of them air force veterans. The Americans photographed the detainees at the entrance to the U.S. air base in Kirkuk, then turned them over to the police, he said. Police placed bags over their heads and moved them between what seemed to be houses in Kirkuk and Irbil for several hours before taking them to the main prison the next day, he said. There, Jabbouri said, he lived with about 50 men crammed into a 19-by-9-foot cell. The prisoners slept on a bare concrete floor. Conditions were so cramped, he said, the men divided the day into shifts. For three hours, half sat cross-legged while the others lay on their sides in rows and slept.... "Once you go inside, you never think you're going to come out," Jabbouri said....
"When we go to the Americans [to find missing relatives], they send us to the police," said Osama Danouk, 24. "When we go to the police, they send us to the Americans, and so on, and so on."

Iraq Shiite Gov't Gets Vote of Confidence.

This will go down well in Iraq and elswhere. In order to bring it about, the US would have to break Kirkuk and the Kurdish areas off from the rest of Iraq: U.S. checking possibility of pumping oil from northern Iraq to Haifa, via Jordan. The article mentions the need for Jordanian consent, and displeasure expressed by the Turks. No mention of Iraqi attitudes, much less them being involved in the negotiations.

A little more on this interesting development: Russia: Al-Sadr meeting part of dialogue.

Markov added that other Arab nations would welcome stronger Russian involvement in Iraq. "The Arabs are looking for a counterweight to the Americans," Markov said. "Nobody wants to have only one boss."

Breaking through the censorship: More British memos on pre-Iraq war concerns [NBC]. See also: More Life on 'Downing Street' with Leak of New Documents on Iraq. But New York Times continues to downplay the documents' importance: Hindsight brings clarity to British memos on Iraq.

Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar on the destruction of the medical system: Silent Death in Iraq.

his chaotic health system can not be justified under any circumstances. I think UK-USA stands for "United to Kill US All" – this time silently.

Robert Fisk on Saddam not-so-lite: Saddam interrogation screened - in silence. The question is: Why?

The Iraqis - or, let us speak frankly, the Americans who tried to censor the old reprobate's previous court appearance - decided yesterday that his words would also be censored. That is Saddamism. This is how Saddam ran Iraq. The words were obliterated. And now the Americans and their obedient, Shia-led government, are acting out the same Saddamite line.

Another piece, this one by Sabrina Tavernise and Johnn F. Burns of the New York Times, questioning the capability of the new Iraqi army. [Of course, most of these pieces have a racist tinge, especially considering the ratio of dead Iraqi to American troops. It's easy to be brave when protected by tanks, massive air power at a moments notice, and all the other state-of-the-art weapons not available to the colonials. Then consider these soldiers' ambivalent feelings about aiding the hated occupiers]: Can Iraq's army take care of itself? See Jay Bookman: Walk a mile in the shoes of Iraqi army.

Jobs or safety: Filipino workers sneaking into Iraq.

Norway gets spoils: Hydro to explore oil fields in Iraq.

This 2003 BBC page shows satellite photos of the huge US buildup in Qatar a year before the Iraq attack. Implication: Bush was very busy preparing for war: In pictures: US desert base grows.

With their usual soft touch: Jordan says U.S. troops abusing drivers.

51 Jordanian drivers have filed official complaints in the past three weeks to the provincial administration that they were attacked and harassed by U.S. troops on the Iraqi side of border.

Another rebellion, this time by police trainees: Iraq police trainees riot in Amman.

Increase in TB cases worrying, doctors say.

Now, if he was American... British prisoner in Iraq wins right to court hearing in Britain.

Development to follow: Russian Ambassador Meets Anti-U.S. Cleric.

Russia's ambassador to Iraq flew to this southern city Monday for talks with radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the embassy said.

Rather odd: Iraqi minister calls for '68-style student revolt ... at some point.

"I [the Higher Education Minister] really want our students to have what are called the student revolts of the sixties," he told AFP. "It would mean that they have changed a lot, that they are working scientifically, that they are thinking very clearly, it would mean that they know what politics are, that they are concerned about their curriculum," he said. "Those are the lessons I have learned from the student revolts in France in the sixties."

Mercenaries and cannon fodder falling out: US troops, security contractors increasingly at odds in Iraq.

"One Marine gets me on the ground and puts his knee in my back. Then I hear another Marine say, "How does it feel to make that contractor money now?...'"
In an interview aired Monday on NPR's Morning Edition, Raiche also alleges that his wife received a threatening phone call several days after he was released. She was told that if they made a "big deal" of the incident, her husband might not make it back home alive....
[Meanwhile] Interior Ministry officials say "at least 12 Iraqi civilians are killed by contractors every week in the capital [Baghdad].

Scoundrel Time! Army, Insurer in Iraq at Odds: The Pentagon suspects vast overcharging for workers' compensation in war zones. A financial giant has fought a proposal to cut rates.

Butchery just fine if done by US ally: US Opposed Calls at NATO for Probe of Uzbek Killings. See: Uzbek protesters ran gantlet of death.

[US Opposed:] Defense officials from Russia and the United States last week helped block a new demand for an international probe into the Uzbekistan government's shooting of hundreds of protesters last month, according to U.S. and diplomatic officials.... The communique's wording was worked out after what several knowledgeable sources called a vigorous debate in Brussels between U.S. defense officials, who emphasized the importance of the base, and others, including State Department representatives at NATO headquarters, who favored language calling for a transparent, independent and international probe into the killings of Uzbekistan civilians by police and soldiers....
[Gauntlet of Death: Several thousand Uzbeks, almost all of them unarmed, jammed into the broad, tree-lined street. Fifteen minutes later, the ambush began. Uzbek soldiers on rooftops, in apartment windows and treetops fired down on protesters huddled together, many with arms linked. "The bullets rained down," said Abdulsalam Karimov, 50. "There were soldiers everywhere with one aim--to kill everybody...."
Row after row of protesters toward the front collapsed in heaps. Snipers picked off others who had scrambled over to the wounded to drag them away. Among the piles of bodies were women and children, many with bullet wounds to the head.

The new spectacle: Iraq tribunal releases Saddam video.

More apparently leaked documents: Bombshell As Six More British Documents Leaked.

Reuters reports that witnesses where the US says it killed 40 "insurgents" yesterday say there were no insurgents there, only civilians indiscriminately massacred. No definitive evidence at this point: At scene of Iraq air strikes, casualties unclear.

Military action won't end insurgency, growing number of U.S. officers believe.

Children imprisoned and tortured at gulag Guantanamo: Number of young detainees disputed.

Lawyers representing detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, say there still may be as many as six prisoners who were captured before their 18th birthday and that the military has sought to conceal the precise number of juveniles at the prison camp. One lawyer said that his client, a Saudi of Chadian descent, was not yet 15 when he was captured and had told him that he was beaten regularly in his early days at Guantánamo and that an interrogator pressed a burning cigarette into his arm....
[In typical newspeak:] The military authorities define a juvenile as someone younger than 16 years of age, not 18, as do most human rights groups.

If they can't agree on a drafting committee, how will they ever agree on a constitution? Iraq Moves Further Toward a Political Stalemate. And: Iraq's Sunnis say things never worse.

Rebuilding attempts indicate hope: Iraq universities battle for 21st century renaissance. And: The Time Seems Ripe to Tie the Knot in Iraq: The number of nuptials surges after years of repression. Some see the trend as an embrace of life in the face of death.

Freedom comes, freedom goes: Liberal Basra pushed to the right.

Basra's women are worried. Few now dare to drive. "Anyone who tells you there is democracy and freedom here is lying," said Entisar, 45, a sales clerk, tapping her hijab. "I have no choice but to wear this. It is not safe without it."

The spoils don't stop just because you're being investigated for massive fraud: Banned contractor soliciting Iraq deals.

A rather odd headline given the skeptical content: Iraq's Sunnis Believe in Political Future because they can reject the constitution.

Time publishes: Extracts from an Interrogation Log from Guantanamo Gulag.

Told detainee that a dog is held in higher esteem because dogs know right from wrong and know how to protect innocent people from bad people. Began teaching the detainee lessons such as stay, come, and bark to elevate his social status up to that of a dog. Detainee became very agitated.

Cheney says gulag to stay open: Cheney Deflects Calls to Close Gitmo.

Must Read! The Smoking Cannon! [Thanks to Buzzflash for the phrase.] The Times of London elaborates on the meaning of the Downing Street Minutes, providing A British Cabinet briefing paper with detailed evidence that the British knew the invasion was illegal and were developing strategies, based around manufacturing Iraqi noncompliance with UN weapons inspectors, to create a legal basis for war: Ministers were told of need for Gulf war ‘excuse’, since the war would be illegal. And: Cabinet Office paper: Conditions for military action.

[Ministers:] were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal.... The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was “necessary to create the conditions” which would make it legal.
[Cabinet Office paper:] When the Prime Minister discussed Iraq with President Bush at Crawford in April he said that the UK would support military action to bring about regime change [NOT: "eliminate WMD.]
It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject (because he is unwilling to accept unfettered access) and which would not be regarded as unreasonable by the international community. However, failing that (or an Iraqi attack) we would be most unlikely to achieve a legal base for military action by January 2003.

One of the few positive notes: Iraqi unions claim their voice.

Further signs that something is going on: Iraq's leadership says militants seeking talks.

Aidan Delgado, an American hero! Former soldier prompts investigations with Iraq stories, pictures.

Delgado said he didn't file an official complaint to his commanders because he felt they were part of the problem. At Abu Ghraib, he said, some of the photos of dead detainees included in his slideshow were displayed on a desk at company headquarters.

And Syria?? Syria, Iraq to enhance relations of cooperation in water resources.

Pressure mounts: Republican Senator Suggests Closing Gitmo.

Iran, the real winner? Zanganeh highlights Iraq oil cooperation.

The definition of an immoral country is one that spends: Two-Thirds On Defense. Of course, it's not "defense" but war and graft.

Must Read! For an understanding of why the occupation is doomed and Iraqization just not in the cards: Building Iraq's Army: Mission Improbable.

"I know the party line. You know, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, five-star generals, four-star generals, President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld: The Iraqis will be ready in whatever time period," said 1st Lt. Kenrick Cato, 34, of Long Island, N.Y., the executive officer of McGovern's company, who sold his share in a database firm to join the military full time after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "But from the ground, I can say with certainty they won't be ready before I leave. And I know I'll be back in Iraq, probably in three or four years. And I don't think they'll be ready then...."
"We like to refer to the Iraqi army as preschoolers with guns," he said....
Along dirt roads bisected by sewage canals, the men of Charlie Company crouched, their weapons ready. Before them was their home town, dilapidated and neglected. Cpl. Amir Omar, 19, gazed ahead. "Look at the homes of the Iraqis," he said, a handkerchief concealing his face. "The people have been destroyed." By whom? he was asked. "Them," Omar said, pointing at the U.S. Humvees leading the patrol.

And increased oil export not in the cards: Iraq sees no early prospect of oil export increase.

Is this the first "fragging"? US opens criminal probe of two army deaths in Iraq.

No deal: Iraq Sunnis reject compromise on constitution.

An excuse as bad as the offense. How many thousands humiliated, arrested, tortured, with their homes destroyed are similarly victims of "bad intelligence" [i.e., all Sunnis are the enemy]. Only, the less well-known don't get out just because they're innocent. Some even get tortured to death: Disputed Iraq Raids Blamed on Bad Intelligence: Two Sunni Arab political groups that were targeted in sweeps had been wrongly tied to insurgents, a U.S. military official says.

For the first time, the senior military official acknowledged that it was U.S. forces who on May 9, swooped down on the offices of the National Dialogue Council, a moderate Sunni group then involved in sensitive discussions with the transitional government dominated by rival Shiites and ethnic Kurds. The council espouses engagement with the U.S.-backed government, a position at odds with the insurgency. At the time of the raid, U.S. officials in Baghdad either denied that the incident was a U.S. operation [in other words, lied] or declined to comment on it....
One detainee, Sheik Abdel Karim Janabi, a Sunni cleric who runs a religious school, said he was flown in a helicopter for nearly half an hour and told he was being taken to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, site of a U.S. detention facility that has become notorious in the Muslim world. He said he was stripped naked, photographed and questioned through a translator about purported insurgent connections and an Australian hostage being held in Iraq. [Great way to treat one who supports cooperation with occupiers.]
[Putting the lie to the article's premise that US brutality has anything to do with "faulty intelligence", except on the part of occupation officials who don't think they need to know anything about the country they've taken over:] The senior U.S. official said that at the time of the raid he didn't know what the National Dialogue Council was. The group, formed in the aftermath of the Jan. 30 election, had frequently been mentioned in news accounts about the new government and had been the target of a heavily publicized car-bomb attack nine days before the U.S. raid.

A novel idea to the world's superpower: talk. Meanwhile, a close reading suggests that support for insurgent attacks extends far beyond the Sunni 20% of the population: Insurgency seen forcing change in Iraq strategy

Two years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein, the Iraq conflict has evolved into a classic guerrilla war, they argue. Outbreaks of fighting are followed by periods of relative calm and soon thereafter, a return to rampant violence. Despite significant guerrilla setbacks and optimistic predictions by a host of American commanders earlier this year, the Sunni-backed insurgency remains as strong as ever, forcing American officials and their Iraqi allies to seek a political solution to the bloodshed. Pentagon officials and current members of the military interviewed for this story spoke on condition of anonymity....
[A] recent internal poll conducted for the US-led coalition found that nearly 45 percent of the population [compared to 20% Sunnis] supported the insurgent attacks, making accurate intelligence difficult to obtain. Only 15 percent of those polled said they strongly supported the US-led coalition. [In other words, a fraction of the Kurds, and virtually no one else, supports the US.]

Jihad spreads to new front: Number of African insurgents in Iraq increasing.

Trying to buy an army: Army bonuses may rise to $40K.

Thanks to church group: Clean water for small village in southern Iraq.

Action Alert! If you haven't signed Rep. Conyers' letter yet, has taken up the cause. Sign now! Join over 400,000 others.

Claim they're moving toward another war: Policy on Syria Moves Toward Regime Change.

President Bush's top foreign policy advisers met last week to discuss the government of Bashar al-Assad, mulling, according to two administration officials briefed later, a tougher policy that would allow American forces or encourage Iraqi soldiers to pursue terrorists that escape to Syria from Iraq for safe haven. [In order to provoke a war.]

Close one concentration camp, open many. They talk of closing Guantanamo, because of the bad publicity, NOT of releasing or trying the camp inmates. This is not acceptable! Shut down Guantanamo? U.S. eyes options: Rumsfeld joins Bush in talking about alternatives.

Perhaps a deal: More Sunnis to Join Iraqi Charter Panel.

Must Read! They'll do anything for cannon fodder, including kidnapping: When Marine recruiters go way beyond the call.

Next thing Axel knew, the same sergeant and another recruiter showed up at the LaConner Brewing Co., the restaurant where Axel works. And before Axel, an older cousin and other co-workers knew or understood what was happening, Axel was whisked away in a car....
At about 3:30 in the morning, Alex was awakened in the motel and fed a little something. Twelve hours later, without further sleep or food, he had taken a battery of tests and signed a lot of papers he hadn't gotten a chance to read. "Just formalities," he was told. "Sign here. And here. Nothing to worry about."

Info on the new capo, Zalmay Khalilzad: Our Newest Proconsul.

First, on the man himself: it's hard to imagine anyone worse than Khalilzad for the Baghdad job. Like one of Alexander the Great's proconsuls, Khalilzad neatly steps into one U.S.-occupied neocolony, Iraq, from another, Afghanistan. Khalilzad, born in Afghanistan, has been deeply involved in U.S.-Afghan policy for more than two decades. He is arguably as much to blame as anyone for the catastrophic mistakes that led first to that country's civil war, then to the rise of the Taliban, and finally to the Afghanistan of 2005: a warlord-dominated narco-state, in which heroin and opium provide fully half of the gross domestic product, and in which a thriving, Taliban-led Islamic fundamentalist insurgency is recently showing signs of emerging, once again, as a mortal threat to a tottering regime in Kabul....
In the early 1990s, during the first Bush administration, Khalilzad was hired by his mentor, Paul Wolfowitz, as a defense policy planner. During that era, Khalilzad argued forcefully that the United States ought to build up the Islamic Republic of Iran against Iraq. He also drafted a controversial defense policy paper for Wolfowitz and Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney that called on the United States to exert a hegemonic, post-Cold War strategy of dominance so that "no rival superpower is allowed to emerge in Western Europe, Asia or the territory of the Soviet Union." It also called for a policy of military preemption of emerging threats....
[I]is clear that Khalilzad's appointment is the latest evidence that the Bush administration has no intention of rethinking its Iraq strategy.

The struggle to win the intelligence war.

The main reason that the intelligence campaign is going badly is that the insurgency is more deeply entrenched in Iraqi society than American and Iraqi officials have acknowledged. Perhaps tens of thousands of supporters of the Baath Party, including many security officers from the old regime, live amid their five million Sunni Arab kinsmen. These people resent their loss of status and power, and this anger, combined with blood ties, provides plenty of supporters for the insurgents....
Those who wish to "stay the course" in Iraq need a plausible strategy of victory in the intelligence campaign. The usual methods either have not worked or are unlikely to work. Unless the American and Iraqi government forces can deprive the terrorists of their local supporters and the intelligence they provide, they are in for a long, indecisive struggle.

Gypsies, Palestinians. Zenophobia spreads: Iraqi Palestinians squeezed by security crackdown.

Protecting un-indicted co-conspirator (US) contributes to precise charges. The US knowingly continued to aid Saddam Hussein even after the facts of the Halabja gassing were known. Hussein is charged with the Halabja atrocity, but not with gassing of Iranian soldiers; is this to protect our complicity in these acts?: How history may have influenced charges against Saddam.

One of the charges Saddam Hussein will defend himself against in his upcoming trial is the gassing of 5,000 Kurds in the village of Halabja back in 1988. However, Hussein's use of gas against Iranian troops, which occurred within months of that incident, was not one of the 12 charges brought against the Iraqi dictator. According to MSNBC Military analyst Air Force Lt. Col. Rick Francona, the omission of that incident from the list of charges likely has much to do with the fact that the U.S. was actively advising Hussein in his military effort against Iran.

Emergency polio campaign to be launched as a preventive measure in Iraq.

Dealing a blow to our real enemy: US Denies French Fighters Emergency Landing Rights.

Even Soviet planes, at the height of the Cold War, weren't turned away in emergencies.

The canon fodder crisis continues: Recruitment wanes among blacks: Arican-American recruits fall from 24 percent in 2000 to 14 percent. And criminals now welcome. Presumably, they'll fit right in in Iraq: Strained US Army relaxes new officer requirements.

Army arbitrarily cut recruiting goal for May, but still mised by 25%. The real shortfall was more like 38%: May recruiting goal off by 25 percent.

Two stories from Democracy Now! French Reporter Kidnapped by Iraqi Resistance For 4 Months Says Bush Brought Al Qaeda to Iraq. And: French Journalist Describes Mistreatment by U.S. Forces During Siege of Fallujah.

No fans, people die: Poor power supply infrastructure threatens lives.

Cooperation conditional: Sunni leaders set demands on Iraq constitution body/

Iraqi be damned, says US government: Between Iraq and a safe place: Fearing reprisal, hundreds of Detroit-area Chaldeans battle deportation.

The way Tony Yousif sees it, the deportation order the U.S. government is trying to impose on him is the equivalent of a death sentence.

Rate triples, as war go on: War swells US army divorce rate.

If you can't beat 'em, trick 'em: DOD awards $300M in psyops contracts.

Compromise elusive: Iraq's Constitutional Process Slowing Down: Iraq's Sectarian Politics Cast Shadow on Crucial Constitutional Process.

Already, the Shiite majority on Hammoudi's 55-lawmaker committee have balked at Sunni Arab conditions for joining, including demands to admit as many as 25 Sunnis to the panel and give them voting rights equal to those enjoyed by lawmakers.

Iraqi politician says two insurgent groups ready for dialogue.

Two new pieces from Dahr Jamail: Who Cares? And: Desperate for Work, Blind to Dangers.

[Who Cares? [A]n Iraqi friend of mine who is a doctor in Baghdad told me that when he was in Ramadi yesterday, US soldiers attacked the Anbar Medical School while students were taking their exams. As he said, “They (US soldiers) smashed the front gates of the school in a barbaric way using Humvees…and terrorized the female students while arresting two students while they were working on their exams. They then lay siege to the homes of the dean of the university, along with homes of lecturers, even though their families were inside.”

A better life? Not yet: Growing frustration among returnees.

Mercenaries and Marines fall out? High-paid contractors unappreciated by military? Or contractors out of control? Marines Jail Contractors in Iraq .

Contractors also say they were treated badly in other ways. One man said a Marine put a knee to his neck and applied his full body weight as another cut his boots off and stripped him of his wedding ring and religious ornaments. Twenty or 30 other Marines watched and laughed, he added, as a uniformed woman with a military dog snapped photographs. Taunts were made about the large salaries of private security contractors, which are often more than $100,000 a year -- sometimes more than $200,000, he said....
To add to the confusion, some private military contractors claim that the Iraqi resistance may be masquerading as private security convoys in their attacks, in part, to inflame hostility toward coalition forces occupying Iraq.

The US experience as occupier: One step forward, 2 steps back in Iraq details negations with village elder after incident.

Coalition forces do things two ways - the easy way and the hard way," Cathcart said through an interpreter. "The hard way is when we go into a village and search every single home and talk to every single person."

Action Alert! The Center for Constitutional Rights launches petition calling for the shutting down of Guantanamo Concentration Camp: Shut Down Guantánamo. Sign on! Also, read the New York Times editorial calling for the same thing: Un-American by Any Name. Also, read Juan Cole's comments: Quran Splashed with Urine at Guantanamo.

[Juan Cole:] The main reason is that the Bush Administration established the prison at Guantanamo in hopes of gutting the Bill of Rights. They wanted the prisoners there to be beyond the law, outside the framework of judiciality.... Once it was established that these Muslims could be treated in this way, Bush would be a sort of absolute monarch over all such detainees (remember that some of them might be innocent for all we know) And then gradually others could be added to the category of uantanamo Prison should be closed because it was conceived as the beginning of the end of the American Republic.

Another riot at the torture center: Abu Ghraib riot turns violent.

A 9/11 Commission for investigating torture? We need an International Commission. No commission without representation from NGOs like Amnesty International, the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, or the Center for Constitutional Rights can possibly be expected to conduct a serious investigation: 9/11 Commission for Prisoner Abuse?

Mercenaries want big boys' toys: Iraq security companies lobby for heavy arms.

Easy in, hard to get out: Anger grows in Iraq over detentions.

Newsweek reporter, war supporter, looks back at two years of failure and destruction: Good Intentions Gone Bad.

The abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib alienated a broad swath of the Iraqi public. On top of that, it didn't work....
Living and working in Iraq, it's hard not to succumb to despair. At last count America has pumped at least $7 billion into reconstruction projects, with little to show for it but the hostility of ordinary Iraqis, who still have an 18 percent unemployment rate. Most of the cash goes to U.S. contractors who spend much of it on personal security. Basic services like electricity, water and sewers still aren't up to prewar levels....
The four-square-mile Green Zone, the one place in Baghdad where foreigners are reasonably safe, could be a showcase of American values and abilities. Instead the American enclave is a trash-strewn wasteland of Mad Max-style fortifications. The traffic lights don't work because no one has bothered to fix them. The garbage rarely gets collected. Some of the worst ambassadors in U.S. history are the GIs at the Green Zone's checkpoints. They've repeatedly punched Iraqi ministers, accidentally shot at visiting dignitaries and behave (even on good days) with all the courtesy of nightclub bouncers—to Americans and Iraqis alike.

Rieterates opposition to cooperation with the occupiers: Al-Sadr rejects Iraq politics: Radical cleric says election legitimized U.S. occupation.

Iraq struggles to reconcile sectarian gulf: War has bred Sunni-Shiite distrust. And smaller minorities are in serious trouble: In now-religious Iraq, no tolerance for Gypsies.

Most of Iraq's Gypsies, a tiny ethnic minority with roots here hundreds of years deep, have been driven out of the country since the U.S. invasion in March 2003.

It's with you forever: Out of war but not at peace: the battle scars of Cpl. Jack Self.

Perhaps joining in: Sunnis Expected to Present List of Iraqi Constitution Participants.

CIA asset, terrorist, and murderer back from the dead? Allawi's star rises again as Iraq counts the cost of insurgency terror.

The former prime minister is unyielding, belligerent - some have said almost thuggish. Yet many Iraqis say it is those slightly dictatorial tendencies that a successful leader in so diverse a country needs to have. [The US will be glad if they can get their thug "elected" one way or another.]

Occupation as farce. They can't read or understand the language, the culture, or anything else about the country, but now they can interpret tattoos: GIs Inspect Tattoos on Iraqi Men Hoping to Identify Insurgents.

Bolton got UN official fired illegally in order to keep UN chemical weapons inspectors out of Iraq because their presence might have undercut the lies needed to justify the war: US kept agency out of Iraq: UN tribunal criticizes Bolton’s conduct

The United Nations’ highest administrative tribunal later condemned the action as an "unacceptable violation" of principles protecting international civil servants.... Bustani, a senior official under the U.N. umbrella, says Bolton used a threatening tone with him and "tried to order me around."...
An official British document disclosed last month said Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed in April 2002 to join in an eventual U.S. attack on Iraq. Two weeks later, Bustani was ousted, with British help....
Bustani’s inspectors would have found nothing, because Iraq’s chemical weapons were destroyed in the early 1990s. That would have undercut the U.S. rationale for war because the Bush administration by early 2002 was claiming, without hard evidence, that Baghdad still had such an arms program. [They obviously knew there were no weapons to find. That's why they had to keep the UN out.]

From now on, only one bad number, and one bad headline, per month. Part of Pentagon's Total Information Control (TIC) program: DoD assumes responsibility for releasing recruiting stats.

A whole system of detention centers, some secret, says Amnesty International: Rights group leader says U.S. has secret jails: Two senators say Gitmo hearings might be appropriate.

"The U.S. is maintaining an archipelago of prisons around the world, many of them secret prisons, into which people are being literally disappeared, held in indefinite, incommunicado detention without access to lawyers or a judicial system or to their families," Schulz said. "And in some cases, at least, we know they are being mistreated, abused, tortured and even killed."

He's starting to sound like a diplomat: Sadr urges Iraq to emulate European Union and reject federalism.

The New York Times reports that innocence is no protection against being sent to the gulag at Guantanamo, or from being proclaimed an "enemy combatant" by the kangaroo tribunals: One Muslim's Odyssey to Guantánamo. They even have him meeting a "suicide bomber" who is alive and living quite openly in Germany, thank you.

Arabic-speaking soldiers distrusted, called demeaning names, by US soldiers: 'Combat Linguists' Battle on Two Fronts.

Let's get 250,000 signatures on Rep. Conyers' Letter to President Bush. Conyers reaches, extends signature goal; creates tip line. And encourage those with information on administration lies leading to war to contact his: Downing Street Scandal Tip Line.

Thank you for your interest in our work on the Committee on the Judiciary. I am seeking information regarding the charges made in the so-called “Downing Street Minutes” that there was a secret agreement between the U.S. and the U..K to invade Iraq by the summer of 2002, well before the president sought congressional authority. Please provide us with any information or leads you might have regarding such a secret pre-war deal, or other efforts to manipulate intelligence or provoke a response to justify war. We will treat any information provided on this site as confidential. Thank you for your assistance in this important matter.

Al-Sadr may come out on top: Shiite leader heads into mainstream.

In large part, the Sadrists' new strength is evident in the discipline and organization shown by his Imam al-Mahdi Army, the militia which battled U.S. forces last year. The militia has quietly been restructured since the fighting ended last fall. It is widely suspected of having hidden most of its weapons after the fighting, while hundreds of militia commanders last week finished a 45-day course in discipline and religious indoctrination that among other things involved dawn-to-dusk fasts. At least in public, the militia now resembles an organization that is part relief organization and part neighborhood vigilante. The group has quietly taken control over security in Sadr City, making it by far the safest area in blood-soaked Baghdad.

Aaron Glantz: Farewell Sheik Nyfe al-Jabouri.

Slowly, it seems, all my sources are dying.

Other consequences of the massive, and unreported, US air war against Iraq: US "Fireballs" Threaten Iraqi Flora.

We may get to see a bit more of what is being done in our name: Judge: Release Abu Ghraib Videos, Photos.

Sunni clerics demand end to offensive.

Will this aid power shortage? Key Baghdad electricity station completed.

US disbands Iraqi army unit for refusing to attend US-sponsored training. Since when does the US get to disband Iraqi units?

Another US lie admitted: Reports of terrorists meeting in Syria were flawed, U.S. officials say.

Capitalism moves in: For first time, shoppers will have credit.

Kill the messenger and distract attention: Rumsfeld Accuses Al-Jazeera of Encouraging Militancy.

After weeks of obfuscation: US Guantanamo guard kicked Koran.

US guards at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre kicked, threw water and splashed urine on copies of Koran.

Basra seeks tourists, but leave your clothes behind and bring your guards along: Ravaged 'Venice of the east' seeks to regain status as tourist magnet.

Thanks to US: UN: Weapons Equipment Missing in Iraq.

Since human rights was a pretext for war: Calls for human rights to be respected during raids in Baghdad.

Further cooperation: Iranian Craftsmen Help Restore Imam Ali’s Shrine.

Some in government want more US presence: Iraqi Official Appeals for Greater U.S. Role.

Bases cut in US, not in occupied Iraq: Cutbacks don't apply in Iraq.

The man in charge of Iraq's police..., from the Badr Brigade, is a Shia sectarian trying to stir up sectarian hatred.

Among the forgotten victims: Wounded Iraqis Left Broken and Burdened: With Medical Facilities Strained, Assistance Is Hard to Come By.

The new resistors: Growing Problem for Military Recruiters: Parents.

A Department of Defense survey last November, the latest, shows that only 25 percent of parents would recommend military service to their children, down from 42 percent in August 2003. "Parents," said one recruiter in Ohio who insisted on anonymity because the Army ordered all recruiters not to talk to reporters, "are the biggest hurdle we face."

Just the people to occupy foreign countries: Dismissed! We won't solve the military manpower crisis by retaining our worst soldiers.

Now comes a new Army directive that attempts to alleviate the personnel crunch by retaining soldiers who are earmarked for early discharge during their first term of enlistment because of alcohol or drug abuse, unsatisfactory performance, or being overweight, among other reasons.

$1B spent on Baghdad embassy, $1.3B to go.

he practice of larding the supplemental with expenses that are not strictly "emergencies" allows the White House and Congress to offload billions from the regular budget and pad it instead with pet projects, said Winslow Wheeler, a budget analyst with the Center for Defense Information, at a conference last month. In the meantime, the deficit just keeps getting bigger.

Juan Cole conservatively estimates that civilians are dying at an equal or greater rate under occupation as they were under Saddam: 12,000 Dead in Iraqi Guerrilla War: Rate of Killing Same as Under Saddam.

Dahr Jamail: The failed siege of Fallujah.

Dr Riyad al-Obeidy, who works in Ramadi, is also currently volunteering inside Fallujah. "Previously, the Ministry of Health was delivering aid into the city, but now this is prohibited, for unknown reasons," he said. "Thus, now there are shortages of external fixators, surgical sets for operations, and trauma equipment. There is really a humanitarian health problem. People are living as refugees inside their city, living in tents - so we have lack of clean water and hygiene, so there is rampant spreading of typhoid. With summer coming, this will all get worse...."
The SCHRDF has reported that US soldiers currently occupy seven primary schools in the city, causing children to study in tents.

Another reporter murdered: Al-Arabiya TV reporter wounded in shooting attack in Mosul.

Iraq's ambassador to Iran indicates who the new government wants to help them: Envoy says Iran best country for Iraq reconstruction.

The envoy said Iraq embassies in Iran are fully ready to issue short-term and long-term visas for Iranian constructors.

Must Read! Workers fight on: Iraq's other resistance: Oil workers in Basra are ready to fight privatisation

Faced with daily reports of car bombs and kidnappings, it's difficult to feel optimistic about Iraq. But last week in the south of the country I heard a very different story. A story of the movement that has formed to rebuild the country's economy and national pride, to create an Iraq with neither the tyranny of Saddam nor the pillage of military occupation.

Briton in US gulag: Family reunion that ended with detention in 'Basra's Belmarsh'.

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad: Make no mistake - in today's Iraq, it's all too easy to find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Giving occupation a new meaning: Bases, Bases Everywhere by Tom Engelhardt.

I don't believe that the American public has any idea -- I certainly didn't -- that there were at least 106 of them; or, for that matter, that some of them already have such a permanent feel to them; that they are, in essence, facts-on-the-ground long before any negotiations about them might begin with a "sovereign" Iraqi government.

Things are getting better, part 23: Postwar Iraq paying heavy environmental price.

"Iraq is the worst case we have assessed and is difficult to compare."

Unlike US troops: Depression more common than PTSD among UK ex-service personnel.

Iraq, laboratory for the nightmare of the future of total control: US forces issue hi-tech ID cards for insurgent suspects.

Cutting-edge computer technology allows a three dimensional map of the suspect's head to be drawn up from this information. That way, even if external changes are made to a face, such as a beard, the computer will be able to recognise the person from unchanging facial dimensions.... nformation collected in this process is stored on a central computerised database, accessible to US intelligence agencies across the globe.... Each card has a unique barcode, enabling US soldiers to instantly patch into that person's records.

Despite humiliating attack: After Arrest, Sunni Leader Urges Unity.

But Hamid cast aspersions on U.S. claims that his arrest was a simple mistake. Angry and shaken, he told reporters that U.S. soldiers had been "extremely aggressive" and that as they stormed his home before dawn they called him by his full name. This, he said, "proves that it was not a mistake but that it was done intentionally." He said the troops then threw a hood over his head and took him away by helicopter. The soldiers, who brought along dogs and broke furniture, also arrested his sons and bodyguards, Hamid said.

Iraqi Student's Killing Deepens a Divide: Shiite-Sunni Conflict Sharply Evident in Campus Protests Against Former Baathists.

At least they're talking: Iraqi government opens channels to insurgency seeking to bring them back to political fold.

Film from Falluja in early January, 2005. [Click on options below the truck]

Another reminder: Life in ‘liberated’ Iraq a disaster, UN report says.

Nearly one-fourth of Iraqi children aged between six months and five years are chronically malnourished, meaning they have stunted growth, the report says. Among all Iraqi children, more than one in 10, suffer from general malnutrition, meaning they have a low weight for their age. Another eight percent have acute malnourishment, or low weight for their height....
For example, researchers found that diarrhea killed two out of every 10 children before the 1991 U.S.-led Gulf War against Saddam Hussein and four in 10 after the war.

Iraq seeks constitution help from UN.

Wishful thinking, or fleeing while they can? UK plans south Iraq security handover in months.

Another source of cannon fodder drying up: Fewer and Fewer Latinos Willing to Die in Iraq.

The fallout spreads: Saudi Arabia braces itself for return of jihadists from Iraq.

And the winner is: Gulf actions of U.S. prove boon to Iran: Influence: With its Iraqi and Afghan enemies gone, the nation is in a position to become the area's major power. See also: Iran, Iraq to be linked by railroad.

Puppets no longer listening to Master? US 'losing its grip' on Baghdad's political process.

In Sulaymaniyah: Successful neighbourhood watch in the north.

Two new pieces from Riverbend: Shia Leaders... pointing out what an ignorant immoral monster Thomas Friedman is. And: Oops... about the mistaken" raid and brutal arrest of the head of the Iraqi Islamic Party.

[Shia:] makes me naseous to think of how outraged the whole world was when those American POW were shown on Iraqi television at the beginning of the war- clean, safe and respectfully spoken to. Even we were upset with the incident and wondered why they had to be paraded in front of the world like that. We actually had the decency to feel sorry for them.
[Oops:] The last couple of days, we’ve been hearing about raids and detentions in various areas. One of these areas is Amriya. We’ve been hearing about random detentions of ‘suspects’ who may be any male between the ages 15 – 65 and looting by Iraqi forces of houses. It’s like the first months after the occupation when the American forces were conducting raids.

Listen to an Interview with Dahr Jamail.

In the quiet south: Basra police out of control, chief says.

The chief of police in the southern Iraqi city of Basra has admitted he has effectively lost control of three-quarters of his officers and that sectarian militias have infiltrated the force and are using their posts to assassinate opponents. General Hassan al-Sade said half of his 13,750-strong force were secretly working for political parties and that some officers were involved in ambushes. Other officers were politically neutral but had no interest in policing and did not follow his orders. "I trust 25 per cent of my force, no more," he said....
General Sade said the tranquillity had been bought by ceding authority to conservative Islamic parties and turning a blind eye to their militias's corruption scams and hit squads.

Another humanitarian disaster: : Reports of more people leaving al-Qaim.

War criminal defends actions: Bush: Amnesty report 'absurd'.

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

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

After several years: Iranian Kurds leave no-man's land for Jordan refugee camp.

Iraqi journalists complain of censorship.

Protest, Resistance, and Civil War

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Withheld to reduce impact? U.S. Military Raises Fallujah Death Toll.

The U.S. military on Monday raised the death toll in last week's attack on a convoy in Fallujah to six troops, announcing that two more women were killed in the ambush.

Not us, says President: Talabani denies Iraq role in US talks with rebels. And rebels: Iraqi Resistance Says It Will Not Negotiate With Occupation Forces. And: We are Mujahideen for the sake of our nation. Further: SCIRI Rejects Negotiations with Baathists.

Inside the Mind of an Iraqi Suicide Bomber: In a rare interview, a "terrorist" in training reveals chilling secrets about the insurgency's deadliest weapon.

Tuesday: Car bomb kills Shiite legislator in Iraq.

Fear and pride in hunt for weapons of moderate destruction: Rory Carroll ventures out on patrol with US troops in Baghdad.

Monday: U.S. Helo Crashes Near Baghdad .

For the next generation: Iraq insurgency could last a decade, admits Rumsfeld .

No progress, so far: US 'in talks with Iraq with Iraq rebels'. But talks are confirmed: US, Iraqi officials say insurgent talks going on.

[[US 'in talks':] The Iraqi sources, who have proved reliable in the past, said the American team included senior military and intelligence officers, a civilian staffer from Congress and a representative of the US embassy in Baghdad....
The Iraqis had agreed beforehand to focus on their main demand, “a guaranteed timetable of American withdrawal from Iraq”, the source said. “We told them it did not matter whether we are talking about one year or a five-year plan but that we insisted on having a timetable nonetheless.”
The demand did not meet with a favourable response from the American team, perhaps because a timetable is the one thing that President George W Bush has declared he will not agree to.
[At the second meeting] This meeting did not go well. “The tone of the Americans was different,” the Iraqi insider said. “They were talking with a tone of more superiority, arrogance and provocation.”

New levels of coordination attained: Iraq insurgents snatch victory from defeat: Massive police station assault alarms locals despite retreat.

Civil war picks up pace: Iraqis Fear Era of Relentless Chaos, Cruelty. While: Iraq Shi'ite leader wants insurgents wiped out. And: War of the mosques is shattering Iraq's hopes . Sunday: Bombers Strike Iraqi Forces, Killing 33.

Six US troops die in single attack in pacified Fallujha, "the safest city in Iraq". The whole city is punished, again: Falluja is shut down after 2 marines are killed .

Wednesday/Thursday: Baghdad reels from multiple bombs.

Like all US claims, take with a huge bucket of salt. But could be: Marines See Signs Iraq Rebels Are Battling Foreign Fighters. Also in the category of possible propaganda: US General: Many Insurgents in Iraq Paid.

[Marines See Signs:] "There is a rift," said the official, who requested anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the talks he had held. "I'm certain that the nationalist Iraqi part of the insurgency is very much fed up with the Jihadists grabbing the headlines and carrying out the sort of violence that they don't want against innocent civilians." The nationalist insurgent groups, "are giving a lot of signals implying that there should be a settlement with the Americans," while the Jihadists have a purely ideological agenda, he added.

Now that Karabila is destroyed: Marines win Iraq desert battle, war far from over.

The chief doctor at the area's main hospital in Qaim, Hamdi al-Alusi, said on Tuesday he had counted 25 civilian dead and feared others lay buried in the rubble of their homes. Those figures could also not be independently checked.
U.S. and Iraqi troops searched every house, often only after the front gate was blown off. Weapons caches were detonated on the spot bringing houses down around them. Whole streets were obliterated.

Tuesday: Roadside Bomb Blast in Western Iraq kills American Soldier.

Monday: Insurgents Target Iraq Police, 20 killed, 100 wounded. Soldier Killed by IED. Over two days: Surge of attacks leaves at least 73 dead in Iraq.

Dan Murphy: US strategy in Iraq: Is it working?

Marines are leveling yet another town: Marines use "old school" tactics on Iraq rebels.

Whole sections of the town are destroyed. Some buildings have been flattened. Then, the methodical searches ensure that not a gate goes unforced, whether kicked in, blasted off with a shotgun, blown off with C-4 or knocked down by a tank.

Insurgents infiltrate Iraqi security.

Roadside Bomb Kills Two US Marines In Western Iraq.

Is worst yet to come in Iraq? Senior Bush official says insurgents likely to step up attacks as terrorists try to derail constitution, elections.

Resistance and brutality on all sides: Gunmen take over Ramadi as bomb kills five marines.

A man described as an Egyptian spy was beheaded and his body dumped on a busy shopping street. Warned by the killers to leave it for five days, shoppers pretended not to notice the figure in the brown robe, its head resting on its back. Four days ago two suspected Shia militiamen were beheaded in the marketplace in full view of traders, said a senior police officer who asked not to be identified. Two boys played football with one of the heads, he added....
Residents said that in reprisal for their losses US troops fired grenades at a minibus as it crossed the bridge at 6am yesterday. Eight girls and women died and a Jordanian man was injured, said hospital staff.

For what it's worth: Saudi Jihadists Play a Growing Part In Iraq Insurgency, U.S. Generals Say.

Iraqi judge shot dead in Mosul.

Thursday: Six U.S. Troops Killed in Western Iraq.

Wednesday: Two Iraq suicide bombings leave 31 dead. Later: Surge of Violence Leaves 52 Dead in Iraq.

Kurdish woman activist kidnapped in Kirkuk.

Too little, too late? Amnesty in Iraq? Talks have begun: Idea is to divide 'homegrown' insurgents from foreign extremists.

[Don't hold your breath:] The Pentagon is helping formulate an amnesty policy....
But he added that the American government “hopes people who took part in crimes against Iraqi, U.S. or coalition personnel or civilians would face justice.” [Who else is there?]


US diplomat survives Iraq car bombing.

Tuesday: Bombings In Iraq Kill At Least 24; Dozens More Bodies Found.

Monday: Five Iraqi Policemen killed, five other injured in explosions in Samara; Gunmen attack checkpoint, killing four police between Baghdad and Baquba; and: Suicide car bombers kill 10 in Iraq.

After five months captive: French journalist flies to freedom .

Over 1,700 now: 4 U.S. Soldiers Killed by Bombs in Iraq.

More butchery: Bodies of 28 Iraqi Shooting Victims Found.

Witnesses claimed the slain men were Sunni Muslims, according to a statement from the influential Sunni Muslim organization, the Association of Muslim Scholars. No details were provided to back up the claim but the association launched an investigation.

Insurgents fire mortar rounds at funeral in Baghdad, wounding 13. A 6-year old child was also killed by an errant mortar shell in Tal Afar.

Going to fight, young: Saudis lured to Iraq for ransom.

More friendly fire deaths: American Troops Open Fire On Iraqi Police, Officials Say.

Saturday: Air strikes kill 40 insurgents in Iraq. And how many of the 40 were really civilians? Over 30 Reported Dead in Attacks Around Iraq, including 2 US soldiers [notice they don't include the larger number allegedly killed by US action]. An attack, by a former member, on the Wolf Brigade death squad: Ex-commando kills 3 Iraq police in assassination bid. And: Gunmen open fire on bus in Iraq, killing 10.

The rise of a warlord society: Tribes Accused of Iraq Oil Protection Racket.

Friday. Another bloody day: 5 Marines Killed in Iraq; 21 Bodies Found; Foreign-run convoy ambushed in Iraq; and: Senior policemen killed in Iraq's Kirkuk, Basra.

Another day, another pipeline: Main oil pipeline blown up in northern Iraq.

Iraqi government to meet rebels today or tomorrow, according to this report.

Representatives of Sunni insurgent forces from the restive western al-Anbar province plan to sit down with members of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's government tomorrow or Saturday, an Iraqi official said on the condition of anonymity.

Friday: At Least 17 Bodies Found In Iraqi Desert.

It was unclear if the bodies had any relation to a group of about 20 Iraqi soldiers that have been missing from the Qaim area since late Tuesday.

Pepe Escobar: Exit strategy: Civil war.

As Shi'ites and Kurds fought for three months to come up with an Iraqi cabinet, it is emerging from Baghdad that soon a broad front will emerge on the political scene composed of politicians, religious leaders, clan and tribal sheikhs - basically Sunni but with Shi'ite participation - with a single-minded agenda: the end of the US-led occupation. This front will include, among others, what we have termed the Sinn Fein component of the resistance, the powerful Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) and the Sadrists. It will refuse any kind of dialogue with new Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari and his government unless there's a definite timetable for the complete withdrawal of the occupation forces....
Against all odds, a national liberation front is emerging in Iraq. Washington hawks may see it coming, but they certainly don't want it. Many groups in this front have already met in Algiers. The front is opposed to the American occupation and permanent Pentagon military bases; opposed to the privatization and corporate looting of the Iraqi economy; and opposed to the federation of Iraq, ie balkanization. Members of the front clearly see through the plan of fueling sectarianism to provoke an atmosphere of civil war, thus legitimizing the American presence.

And withdrawal will be the real sign of success: Carrier jets run Iraqi missions but drop no bombs a sign of success to commander.

The last time the planes bombed a target in support of the U.S.-led multinational force and Iraqi troops was May 8 when fighters dropped six precision bombs during a battle with insurgents, said Capt. Kevin M. Donegan. ''If airplanes come back with all their bombs on, that's a good thing because that means the soldiers (on the ground) did not need help and that things are under control,'' Donegan said. [Really? And 80 Americans lost their lives in Iraq in May?]

Steven Metz of the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute: Understanding Iraq's armed theater.

To some degree, the Iraq insurgency reflects its historic predecessors. The conflict is "armed theater," in which the antagonists are simultaneously locked in struggle with each other and sending messages to wider audiences, particularly the Iraqi people.

Talks with "the evil ones" begin: Indirect U.S. Talks With Iraq Rebels Reported.

"There is a secret kind of dialogue between the resistance and the Americans," said the man, known by the nickname Abu Diham. "It's done through mediators. We try to put our conditions forward to the Americans." Among their demands are an end to U.S. troops' raids on homes, an amnesty for fighters and the release of prisoners....
[With more truth than intended: "We really are sincere when we say the only reason we're staying here is that you're shooting at us to try and get us out," one U.S. official in Baghdad said recently.

Thursday: Gunmen kill two government employees and a translator in Iraq. And: Gunmen kidnap 22 Iraqi soldiers near base - police.

Hard to tell if this account is credible, given the harsh repression of militant Islam in Syria: Outside Iraq but Deep in the Fight: A Smuggler of Insurgents Reveals Syria's Influential, Changing Role.

Oil attacks everywhere: Iraq's north oil exports hit by new blast. And: Pirates raid tanker at Iraq's Basra oil terminal.

Four US soldiers killed in 24 hours Monday-Tuesday: 2 Killed in Tikrit; 1 Dead North of Baghdad; and: 1 Dead near Ad Dwar in Salah Ad Din Province.

Wednesday: Car bomb kills 3 Iraqis in Baquba. Iraq constitution official's bodyguards killed.

Iraqi President endorses civil war: Iraq’s president backs Shiite militia as insurgents press campaign against government. And: Shia leader seeks security role for militia.

Other Iraq Hot Spots May Flare: With troops scouring Baghdad for insurgents, residents fear militants will seize the chance to strike cities from which forces have been pulled.

Tuesday: At least 33 Iraqis killed in attacks, shootings; Iraqi Sunni cleric killed in Basra; and: Two Marines die in separate Iraq bomb attacks near pacified Falluja.

Zarqawi's Capture Won't Stop Uproar In Iraq says Iraqi Foreign Minister. And: US fixates on shadowy terrorist in Iraq: Focus on capturing al-Zarqawi is a 'huge mistake,' analyst says.

[US Fixates:] "We've seen this movie before with Saddam Hussein," said Charles Pena, a defence and security analyst with the Cato Institute in Washington. "Then, the theme was: If we could only capture Saddam, then everything will be all right."

In Baghdad: Shortly After Setting Up, an Iraqi Base Is Bombed.

Another city to be destroyed? U.S., Iraqi troops launch Tal Afar offensive.

Tuesday: Five Bombings Kill 18, Wound 67 In Iraq.

In Baiji: Soldiers raid Iraq city for insurgents; success cloudy.

A man at a house where no weapons or anything suspicious was found was detained because his name - a common Arabic name - matched a name on the soldiers' target list. He did not resist but politely told them this would mark the fourth time he had been detained and then released with an apology. His wife and young daughter did not seem immune to the sight of him being handcuffed, though; they sobbed as he was led away....
[Hostage taking is a war crime:] One soldier went back and told the women, "Tell your father that if he wants his sons back he needs to come to the base and talk to us about who he is."

Monday: Attacks in northern Iraq kill 3 civilians. and reportedly: Iraq Nabs Nearly 900 Suspected Militants.

raqi forces in "triangle of death" talk tough.

Remember how well they did with the first one: Iraq's Ho Chi Minh Trail.

More for the gulag: Dozens arrested in Iraq operation.

Bunkers discovered near Fallujah stocked with weapons, gear.

Success? Or another failure? Dark clouds follow Lightning.

Many Army officers also privately complain that the private contractors and mercenary organizations the Pentagon contracted much of the training of the new Iraqi forces to have proven amateurish and patchy....
The Pentagon... has been quietly planning with the tacit approval of the administration to maintain current troop levels in Iraq for several years to come, even though current total U.S. force levels are cracking under the strain.

In the civil war: Sufi mystics killed in Iraq suicide bombing. And: Shi'ite Cleric Killed in Southern Iraq.

Friday: 10 Dead In Latest Iraq Blast.

Operation Lightning does not appear to amount to much: Iraq security offensive tests government's mettle.

Iraqi officials have declined to comment on the exact size of the contingency in the capital, saying only that all 40,000 troops may not necessarily be deployed at once. Photographers who have toured several parts of Baghdad said they did not see a significant number of personnel or widespread checkpoints.

Thursday: Series of Attacks Kill 38 in Iraq.

On Tuesday: Soldier killed, 20 others injured as rocket hits Camp Liberty .

Outpacing car bombings 2 to 1: In Iraq, suicide attack now weapon of choice. Also: Al Qaida 'Sets Up New Group of Suicide Bombers' .

Explosion Rocks Main Checkpoint to Baghdad Airport.

New weapon: Poisoned melons fell Iraqi troops. And: Iraqi soldier dies of poison near Mosul.

LA times asks: Iraq: Why would anyone don a cop's uniform? Answer: they need a job in a country with mass unemployment. Or else: Rogue Erbil Police Suspected of Bombing.

Residents now are suspicious of the authorities after dozens arrested in connection to the bombing were reported to have been members of the police and other security forces. Insurgents have infiltrated the Iraqi National Guard, army and police in other parts of the country, too.

Mortar Blast Kills 3 Kids, Uncle in Iraq.

They know nothing but attack everyone: Struggle To Penetrate Terror Cells.

US weakness in the west: Iraq's wild west a constant thorn for U.S. troops. And: US Army officers cite lack of troops in key region.

An end to all the stories about the insurgency being on its last legs, at least until June: U.S. death toll in Iraq surges amid rebel violence.

Bombers target Iraqi police protest.

Analysis, Commentary, & Domestic Reaction

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Alan Richards: he Iraq Avalanche Cannot be Stopped.

It seems to me that even "pessimists" are actually "optimists": they assume that there exists in Iraq and the Gulf some "solution", some course of action which can actually lead to an outcome other than widespread, prolonged violence, with devastating economic, political, and social consequences.
I regret to say that I think this is wrong. There is no "solution" to this mess; it is sometimes not possible to "fix" things which have been broken. I can see no course of action which will prevent widespread violence, regional social upheaval, and economic hammering administered by oil price shocks. This is why so many of us opposed the invasion of Iraq so strenuously in the first place! We thought that it would unleash irreversible adverse consequences for (conventionally defined) US interests in the region.

Bush Words Reflect Public Opinion Strategy to delude the public into thinking the US is winning. Everyone love a winner, they figure.

Some benefit: Hollywood deal for war reporter for War Reporting For Cowards.

From Karl Rove to elimination? The hunting of the liberals.

Failure: Career-low TV audience for Bush.

US President George W. Bush's address to the nation, urging Americans to stand firm in Iraq, drew the smallest TV audience of his tenure, Nielsen Media Research reported. Mr Bush's speech yesterday at the Fort Bragg military base in North Carolina averaged 23 million viewers combined on the four main US broadcast networks and three leading cable news channels networks that carried the speech, Nielsen said. That number was 8.6 million viewers below Mr Bush's previous low as president, his August 9, 2001, speech on stem cell research, which was carried on six networks.

Jim Lobe: Bush's Iraq Speech Falls Flat.

Stephen Zunes: Bush Iraq Speech Reveals Administration’s Ongoing Deceptions on Iraq.

Mark Shields: Definition of silence.

That would be Vice President Dick Cheney, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich getting together to swap war stories, or simply to reminisce about their military service.

Mark LeVine: Why withdrawal is possible.

E.J. Dionne: A kinder, gentler McCarthyism: Rove's speech brings America back to the 1950s.

[T]he address by Rove, President Bush's most important adviser, provides the outlines of a sophisticated strategy aimed at making liberals and Democrats all look soft on terrorism....
That's how guilt-by-association works. Make a charge and then -- once your attack is out there -- pretend that your words have been misinterpreted. Split your opponents. Put them on the defensive. Force them to say things like: "No, we're not soft on terrorism," or, "I'm not that kind of liberal." Once this happens, the attacker has already won.

Continue the investigation: Dems target pre-Iraq war intelligence.

Juan Cole: Arguing with Bush.

Some dogs never learn. Still up to old tricks: Bush Criticized For Linking 9-11 And Iraq.

Iraqis divided over U.S. position on withdrawal.

Bush: We Will Defend Traditional Marriage in Iraq.

President Bush reassured Americans last night that he has not lost sight of the reason that the US went into Iraq more than two years ago: to defend traditional marriage in that country. Mr. Bush articulated a clear strategy for attaining that goal, including an amendment to the Iraqi constitution that will define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

The invader-in-chief: Full Text of Bush Iraq Speech.

William O. Beeman thinks: US Attack on Iran May Be in the Cards.

Robert Scheer: Iranian Revolution Is Thriving in Iraq.

It was a replay of the election in Iraq, in which candidates groomed by Tehran's theocracy herded loyal Shiite followers to the polls to dip their fingers in purple election ink. Only this time the sight of lines of shuffling, chador-clad women voting away their human rights was not applauded by the White House. If he were capable of embarrassment or critical thought, President Bush might have caught the irony of celebrating the triumph of democracy in greeting Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari in Washington on Friday and on the same day having his administration condemn the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran's new president.

Brendan O'Neill: It's no secret: Hung up on memos, antiwar lobby has been ineffective.

Instead of mounting a serious opposition to the invasion of Iraq, antiwar activists have spent the last two years searching endlessly for proof that they and their fellow citizens were lied to. They've seemed more intrigued by the decisionmaking processes that led to the war than outraged by the war itself.
That's nowhere more evident than in the antiwar movement's approach of challenging the war more on the basis of legalistic nitpicking than on the grounds that it was politically and morally the wrong thing to do. Political principles such as national sovereignty have barely been raised....
First, you would have to be spectacularly naive to be shocked that powerful governments in the West had tinkered with the truth in order to launch a war. From the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin claims in Vietnam to the story about Kuwaiti babies being tossed from incubators in the run-up to the Gulf War of 1991, governments on the verge of war have always been less than honest. It's been nearly 90 years since US Senator Hiram Johnson purportedly said, "The first casualty when war comes is truth," yet antiwar activists still seem to think that "Bush lied!" counts as a groundbreaking revelation....
f you are against war, then forget about the Downing Street memos. The debate about war should be political and moral, not legalistic; we should interrogate the consequences of war for those on the receiving end, and for peace more broadly - not get hung up over what some British official wrote on a piece of paper.

Robert Fisk puts things in perspective: “Do you people live on planet earth?”: Amid the horrors of the Middle East, it is strange to hear about this European 'crisis'.

The definition of an immoral country: US is the world's biggest jailer, representing "22% of the nine million prisoners reportedly held throughout the world." No wonder the US is rapidly expanding its prisons in Iraq.

United States detains 714 prisoners per 100,000 people....

Republican turned off by the rabid right.

More signs of disenchantment: Poll: U.S. confidence in Iraq war slides.

Arundhati Roy at the World Tribunal on Iraq: "The Most Cowardly War in History".

A majority of Americans say the US should remain in Iraq until stability is established: Restoring Order Balances Bush Criticism.

Not only do 51 percent of Americans disapprove of his job performance, a record 40 percent disapprove "strongly" (compared with 27 percent who strongly approve). That exceeds career-high strong disapproval for his two immediate predecessors, President Clinton (33 percent strongly disapproved in fall 1994, shortly before his party lost control of Congress) and Bush's father (34 percent in summer 1992, shortly before he lost re-election)....
The public is far from demanding immediate withdrawal from Iraq; indeed a minority, 38 percent, say the level of U.S. forces should be decreased at all, down slightly from 44 percent in March. Just 13 percent favor an immediate pullout. Instead there's an increased sense that U.S. forces will need to stay in Iraq for an extended period. In July 2003, 44 percent of Americans thought the troops could come home in about a year or less; now just 27 percent think so. And the number who see a stay of five years or longer has more than doubled, from 9 percent then to 23 percent now.

It is happening here. National Guard spying on antiwar demonstrators, including a Mothers' Day Rally of three dozen: State Guard forms anti-terrorism intelligence unit.

On Cape Cod, they debate the war: Cape foes of Iraq war demand exit plan.

Historian Eric Hobsbawm provides perspective: America's neo-conservative world supremacists will fail: Current US megalomania is rooted in the Puritan colonists' certainties.

Robert Fisk: We shelter behind the myth that progress is being made.

Another Republican war supporter: Stevens presses for exit timeline from Iraq.

Bring [at least most of] them home, say most Americans: Iraq Troop Withdrawal OK for Most Americans.

Rasmussen poll: 49% Say Bush Responsible for Provoking Iraq War, 44% Say Hussein.

AP analysis: Bush Losing Support for Iraq War.

Robert Parry on Bush's hard work: I think about Iraq every day, every single day.”: President Self-Centered.

Indeed, Bush’s announcement about his burden of contemplating Iraq “every single day” may have surprised many Americans who had assumed that the crisis in Iraq – and the 140,000 U.S. soldiers sweltering there – are rarely out of the president’s mind, not an intrusion that sneaks in once a day or so.

Resist occupation, but don't hurt civilians: Egypt mufti backs resistance in Iraq within limits.

Christopher Dickey: The Empire’s New Clothes. he cost of the war in Iraq is almost beyond imagining. But as it comes into focus, it’s no wonder that the public is turning against it.

A clear head and a calculator will tell you very quickly that the costs of this conflict in Iraq are on a scale far beyond whatever benefits it was supposed to bring. If Saddam had been behind 9/11, OK. But he wasn’t. If he’d really posed a clear and present danger to the United States with weapons of mass destruction, then the invasion would have been justifiable. But he didn’t, and it wasn’t. Bringing freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people is a laudable goal, but not one for which the administration made any worthwhile preparations—which is why the occupation has been so ugly, bloody and costly. Tabloids may amuse their readers with snapshots of Saddam in his skivvies, but it’s the Bush administration’s threadbare rationales for postmodern imperialism that have been exposed.

Greg Scharf provides vitriol against the war by a conservative's conservative: Wasting lives in Iraq.

Trouble for the War Party: Americans Overwhelmingly Reject Army Draft.

Harold Meyerson: No One to Demonize: Opposition to the Iraq War has been pretty quiet. That's why it's so widespread.

Jonathan Freedland: Yes, they did lie to us. In the US the latest leaked memos are seen as a smoking gun on Iraq, but in Britain we are struggling to keep up

The final insult: Poll: In wake of Iraq war, allies prefer China to US.

Even the Gallop Poll finds the people disgusted: Poll shows dissatisfaction with Iraq war: Approval rating for war on terrorism also slips.

Arianna Huffington: Just Say Noruba.

CBS News: "Downing Street Memo": 0 segments; "Natalee Holloway": 70 segments; "Michael Jackson": 235 segments....
In any case, here's my suggestion: go cold turkey. Just say no. Every time you see or hear the word "Aruba" or "Holloway" on the screen in the next few weeks, turn off the TV, or change the channel. I’ve been trying it -- and it’s not easy (I've found the Cartoon Network is a pretty safe -- if nerve rattling -- escape valve).

Mark Shield from CNN: Walter Jones: An honest man.

But what worries him is that those same American troops have gone from being "liberators" to occupiers. "We are now an army of occupation and (our troops) will be the object of the wrath of the insurgency," he says.

From the deep south: Cramer wants to see postwar plan for Iraq: Says 'dismal situation' demands different policy from Pentagon.

Scoundrel Time! Speaker Hastert Rebukes Rhetoric by Nancy Pelosi on Iraq War.

Medea Benjamin: June 2005: Phase II of the Anti-War Movement.

Democrats are content to sit back a watch Republicans hoist their petard: Little Opposition From Party of 'Obstruction'.

The Financial Times: Bush at bay.

E. J. Dionne Jr.: How Cheney Fooled Himself.

The notion that the president led the country into war through indirection or dishonesty is not the most damaging criticism of the administration. The worst possibility is that the president and his advisers believed their own propaganda. They did not prepare the American people for an arduous struggle because they honestly didn't expect one.

Journal News, New York state: Fighting Iraq fatigue.

two from Dan Froomkin. In the first, he chronicles Bush's fumbles and his latest counterattack: Is Bush Backfiring? And here he covers differences and similarities to Vietnam: The Ghosts of Vietnam.

Recess appointment for Bolton? The president’s ‘hole card’.

William Fisher: US Moral Authority in 'Free Fall,' Senators Warn.

Brian J. Foley, a professor at Florida Coastal School of Law, told IPS, "At this stage, closing Gitmo would be an empty gesture unless the abhorrent policies of torture, rendition, and imprisoning people without appropriate evidentiary hearings to determine guilt or innocence are changed."

Killers know best. General attacks American parents: General Cites Influencers as Part of Recruiting Challenge.

Robert Fisk: We are all complicit in these vile acts of torture - but what can we do about it? If our government uses information drained out of these creatures, it is we who are holding the whips.

Juan Cole discusses brining the UN in: The United Nations Strategy as a Resolution of the Iraq Crisis. Not impossible, he concludes.

A reminder of what they've said before: We attacked Iraq Because Of 9/11: Is Clearly A lie.

Justin Raimondo: Behind the Downing Street Memos Lurks the specter of treason.

A new Left-Right alliance: Antiwar League.

Concerns about Vermont base helped to shelve Iraq resolution.

NC reacts to withdrawal plan for Iraq: Debate began with Jones announcing his change of heart.

What a difference one bastard makes: Policy Shifts Felt After Bolton's Departure From State Dept.

Fleeing the sinking ship: US 'losing in Iraq' - Republican Senator Hagel.

"The White House is completely disconnected from reality," said Hagel. "It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq," said Hagel, who added that increasingly, fellow Republicans are coming to share his view.

Ferry Biedermann: Iraq's democratic engine sputters.

Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith: How the World Can Help Americans Halt Bush Administration War Crimes.

Two examples of the neocon counterattack. Robert Kagan: Whether This War Was Worth It: In Analyzing Iraq, Consider the Effects of Having Done Nothing. And Timothy Kane: 'Exit strategy' — a mere phrase, not a strategy.

Richard Norton-Taylor: WMD claims were 'totally implausible'.

A key Foreign Office diplomat responsible for liaising with UN inspectors says today that claims the government made about Iraq's weapons programme were "totally implausible". He tells the Guardian: "I'd read the intelligence on WMD for four and a half years, and there's no way that it could sustain the case that the government was presenting. All of my colleagues knew that, too".

Iraq war started too early: Attacks preceded congressional OK.

Tom Engelhardt and Jonathan Schell: Down the Iraqi Rabbit Hole.

Joshua Frank details the sorry state of the "Democratic Party", whose members overwhelmingly opposed the war and who leaders united in support of war: Blue State Warriors: How Democrats Derailed the Peace Movement.

In the context of a party hell-bent on war, whose foreign policy is essentially identical to the Republican policy, it doesn't matter how many MoveOn members donate money to the Democratic Party. In the end, such reformers are left with nothing. No party. No money. No hope. And - perhaps worst of all - no unity.

The Financial Times on Al-Jazeera: Thinking inside the box.

”It’s a mission-driven channel,” Mroz told me afterwards. “It’s about reform and democracy in the Arab world. Israel and Palestine is now a secondary thing for them. The channel’s staff say it was the Iraqi elections which was the tipping point. They kept the cameras on those elections for two days. They reported the bomb blasts which went off at the same time, but they didn’t make a big thing of them. The big thing was the voting.

Michiko Kakutani reviews Larry Diamond's new book: 'Squandered Victory': an insider's account of Iraq.

As he began his work, however, Diamond became convinced that America's "plan for political transition in Iraq was critically flawed," that there was a fundamental contradiction between "our aspiration for democracy" and "our impulse for unilateral control." He writes that the Americans "never listened carefully to the Iraqi people, or to the figures in the country that they respected" — like the Shiite leader the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani — and that "we never won their trust and confidence."

H.D.S. Greenway: Facing facts in Iraq.

The hard truth is that most Iraqis feel more loyalty to their tribes, their ethnicities, and their confessions than they do to the concept of Iraq as an undivided nation, and that is not about to change any time soon....
A former Pentagon official, journalist, and president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Leslie Gelb, a man with considerable political and military knowledge, came back from a fact-finding trip in Iraq talking about the ''gap between those who work there, who were really careful of every word they uttered of prediction or analysis, and the expansive, sometimes, I think, totally unrealistic optimism you hear from people back in Washington."
In a report to the council, Gelb was scathing about America efforts to train an Iraqi army. ''If you ask any Iraqi leader, they will tell you these people can't fight. They just aren't trained. And yet we're cranking them out like rabbits." As for plans to train a 10 division Iraqi army by next year, Gelb was scathing. ''It became very apparent to me that these 10 divisions were to fight some future war against Iran. It had nothing to do, nothing to do," with taking Iraq over from the Americans and fighting the insurgents.

Kevin B. Zeese: How Much Proof Needed Before the Truth Comes Out? Now Seven Leaked British Documents Raise Iraq War Questions.

Dan Froomkin: The New Sales Pitch of the administration.

A few more critiques of coverup. Joe Conason: A press coverup. Leave it to the Beltway herd, with their special brand of arrogance, to insist that the Downing Street memo wasn't news. And: NYT Pulls A Gannon on Downing Street.

Editorial, Toledo Blade: More (and more) for war.

Editorial: Register-Guard, Oregon: Support the troops: Bush must begin to plan for an Iraq withdrawal.

The failure of the president's policies in Iraq are great enough on their own that it isn't necessary to invoke British memos or conjure up plots in order to demand that he commit to a timetable for troop withdrawal. If Bush, who is famously incapable of admitting mistakes, continues to stubbornly stay the course, Congress must find the courage to save him from himself.

Editorial, Los Angles Times: War and Consequences.

The president's assessment represents either ignorance or optimism — perhaps both. [What does it say about a country where major newspaper can openly entertain the thought that the President is "ignorant" of the basic situation?]

Why not? He's everthing else ... All Evidence Proves that Al-Zarqawi Works for America.

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank performs a hatchet job: Democrats Play House To Rally Against the War Rep. Conyers calls him on it: Congressman Conyers hammers the Washington Post's Dana Milbank. See also: A complete list: 123 House members in Downing push.

Juan Cole essentially calls Thomas Friedman a desperate idiot: Friedman and Imaginary Troops.

US supports "Democracy" yet again: Rice and Sharon to discuss keeping Hamas out of elections.

The they scream louder as their crimes catch up with them: White House: Durbin's remarks 'reprehensible'.

Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, made the comparison during a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday after reading an FBI agent's report describing detainees at the Naval base in Guantanamo Bay as being chained to the floor without food or water in extreme temperatures. "If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings," Durbin said.

Art as weapon of disgust: Botero's anger at Abu Ghraib on display in Rome.

Go! Rep. Waters Creates New “Out-of-Iraq Congressional Caucus”.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) has informed Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) that she and Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. John Conyers, and Rep. John Lewis are leading a newly formed Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus, with 41 members as of today.

Tod Ensign: GI resistance today: New challenges ahead.

BBC: Bloggers' 'victory' over Iraq war memos.

Hana Al-Bayaty: Iraq's sectarian myth.

Greg Palast: Palast for Conyers: The Other Downing Street 'Memos'.

2002 - Grover Norquist and other corporate lobbyists meet secretly with Defense, State and Treasury officials to ensure the invasion plans for Iraq include plans for protecting "property rights." The result was a pre-invasion scheme to sell off Iraq's oil fields, banks, electric systems, and even change the country's copyright laws to the benefit of the lobbyists' clients. Occupation chief Paul Bremer would later order these giveaways into Iraq law.

Arianna Huffington: Not Your Father's Anti-War Movement.

"Democracy" only for US opponents: US double standard to hamper Rice Mideast drive.

High-ranking officers who speaks honestly about the war are demoted and/or retired: Breaking ranks.

There is an increasing consensus that the US made severe mistakes in how it prepared to go war with Iraq. An analysis released last month by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, stated, "At a grand strategic level, however, the Bush administration and the senior leadership of the US military made the far more serious mistake of wishing away virtually all of the real world problems in stability operations and nation-building, and making massive policy and military errors that created much of the climate of insurgency in Iraq."

Daytona Beach News-Journal: A drained military: Draft no answer; Iraqi drawdown is.

Worse, the Democratic opposition is joining the chorus, again under the guise of "leveling" with the American people. Sen. Joe Biden, the Delaware Democrat and possible presidential candidate in 2008, says a draft is not necessary so long as the Bush administration "levels" with the public and lays out what it will take to win in Iraq. The New York Times editorialized that "the Army needs to level with the public and Congress about what it will take to meet the nation's defense needs and restore the health of a volunteer force." The paper even suggests that rather than a draft, the military should do away with restrictions on recruiting gays and female combatants -- as if expanding the moral eligibility of cannon fodder was the solution to the problem rather than facing up to it more meaningfully.
he war in Iraq was begun on false pretenses. It is continuing on false pretenses -- those being, this time, that somehow an insurgency that has only gained force over the last two years can be diffused over the next two, if only (fill in the blanks). But if the Bush administration is willing to peddle this sort of timetable, why not lay out a timetable for American withdrawal? There comes a point when American commitments should no longer hinge on Iraqi promises or on expectations of the Bush administration, which have proved equally unreliable. An open-ended commitment in Iraq that turned into a quagmire may well turn into a national security risk -- if it hasn't already -- by stretching the military too thin, depleting its strength and making the United States needlessly vulnerable in case of an unexpected military crisis elsewhere. A draft isn't the solution. A rethink of the Bush administration's military commitments in political dead ends is.

Patriot-News: Indefinite detention tarnishes U.S. justice.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Iraq: Needed: A peace strategy.

The Economist: That not-winning feeling.

Bush's Problems Has GOP Worried. And: Republican Strains Emerge Over Iraq.

Gold Star Families for Peace (GSFP) and Military Families Speak Out (MFSO): Military Families Call for Truth Regarding Downing St. Memo.

Survey Finds Editorial Treatment of 'Downing Street Memo' Mixed.

Rebecca Solnit: Acts of Hope: Challenging Empire on the World Stage.

Karen Kwiatkowski: Unleashing the Resistance.

The way ahead is clear. We should promote our Great Leader’s love of liberty and resist, resist, resist!

Dante Zappala: My Brother Died For A Ruse.

As the army tried to attract next generation's cannon fodder in Cambridge, MA, the police attack demonstrators [according to other accounts]: 7 arrested at Army birthday celebration: Antiwar protesters clash with police.

Editorials. Vacaville Reporter: Time to learn the truth Congress must investigate prisoner abuse claims. And Santa Maria Times: Putting war in its proper perspective .

Oregon: Governor: National draft debate needed.

Iraq frustration revisited: On the Hill, doubts start to cross the aisle.

Maverick Republican attacked: Jones' Iraq resolution draws fire.

Trying to have it both ways, pleasing no one: Pelosi measure presses for timetable on Iraq withdrawal. Proposed rider to military spending bill seeks Bush's 'strategy for success.'

This is how freedom ends. Chip Pitts, Board Chair of Amnesty International USA: Democracy in Action?.

Unbeknownst to most Americans, the administration has actively promoted Patriot Act type legislation around the world. Almost every nation in the world now has new counter-terror legislation, often modeled on the Patriot Act, and often invading similarly fundamental rights. The result? A global decline in the rule of law, with new space opened up for the rule of force favored by terrorists.

Another step in implementing the one party state: Judiciary GOP pulls the plug on Conyers 'forums'.

In a sign of how far relationships on the committee have soured, majority staff recently announced a new policy to deny any request from a committee Democrat for the use of a committee hearing room.

After aquittal in state court: Antiwar protesters face federal conspiracy charges.

Feingold: Set Iraq timetable .

"Having a timetable for the transfer of sovereignty and having a timetable for Iraqi elections have resulted in real political and strategic advantages. Having a timetable for the withdrawal of troops should be no different."

Cindy Sheehan: Mother of dead soldier vilifies Bush over war.

Sheehan ridiculed Bush for saying that it's "hard work" comforting the widow of a soldier who's been killed in Iraq. "Hard work is seeing your son's murder on CNN one Sunday evening while you're enjoying the last supper you'll ever truly enjoy again. Hard work is having three military officers come to your house a few hours later to confirm the aforementioned murder of your son, your first-born, your kind and gentle sweet baby. Hard work is burying your child 46 days before his 25th birthday. Hard work is holding your other three children as they lower the body of their big (brother) into the ground. Hard work is not jumping in the grave with him and having the earth cover you both," she said.
[Continuing her hard work:] Since her son's death, Sheehan has made opposition to the Bush administration a full-time job. "We're watching you very carefully and we're going to do everything in our power to have you impeached for misleading the American people," she said, quoting a letter she sent to the White House. "Beating a political stake in your black heart will be the fulfillment of my life ... ," she said, as the audience of 200 people cheered.

Scoundrel Time! Iraq dilemma stymies Democrats. And: High-Decibel Dean Silent On Iraq.

Paul Craig Roberts: Bush’s Willing Executioners?

If Germans were complicit, as Goldhagen claims, how can Americans avoid the charge of complicity in Bush’s crimes against Iraq when Americans are in possession of such damning facts and have the power of impeachment?...
The neocon media differs not at all from the Nazi propaganda machine. The neocon media fosters the same hatred and blood lust: kill the Iraqis, invade Syria, bomb the Iranians, devise "useable nukes" to subdue the Muslims, kill the American traitors who criticize our fuehrer, bend the world to our exceptional will.

Dave Wearing disputes Juan Cole's recent assessment: Iraq's future: the present course and the alternatives.

Jesse Jackson: GOP taking us over the cliff.

Ben Tanosborn on: Bush’s Politics of Fear Part 1: Neocon-Patriotism Only Acceptable Ism Part 2: Access to energy (oil) resources.

Conservatives boycott Star Wars as anti-American propaganda. Good luck! Another Billionaire Against Bush.

Four states, four papers: Americans' faith in Bush is crumbling; Waking to reality: Bush numbers drop as Americans reject spin; ush's popularity being hurt by Iraq, gas prices; and: The reality in Iraq: Bush owes Americans an honest assessment of the war's progress.

Jim Lobe: Iraq News Is Bleak, Even for Pentagon's 'Early Bird'.

New tactic against antiwar protest: Anti-war protesters miffed at honking citations.

Paul Rockwell: US War Crimes & Legal Case for Military Resistance.

Of course all military systems require discipline, and all operate through a chain of command. But the legal authority of command depends on adherence to the rule of law. As sailor Pablo Paredes noted recently, the U.S. Military Code of Justice says that, while soldiers are obligated to obey all legal orders, the same soldiers have a right, even a duty, to disobey illegal orders. That is the essence of the legal case for military resistance.

New York Times Tries To Kill Downing Street Story.

Paul Gessing: Deep Throat Didn’t Change a Thing.

So, why will the media pull out all the stops to turn a “petty burglary” and “sexual relations” into major scandals, but be incapable of exposing truly scandalous behavior? Why is it that more than 30 years after Nixon resigned over a “petty” crime our leaders can get away with a coordinated campaign of lies and disinformation? The reasons could fill a thesis paper, but I believe that a major distinction must be made between the systemic and pervasive lie as opposed to the “scandalous lie.” The media and Americans in general love to hear about sex and tawdry and emotional personal stories – like Terry Schiavo’s case or that of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston – but for many reasons they struggle with both moral questions and serious policy and motivational analyses.
Nationalistic pride is the primary culprit. From a young age Americans are taught that their country is special and that America is the greatest country on earth. Americans like to believe this and want the media to reinforce their self-perceptions – a big reason for Fox News’s popularity. The inability for reporters to systemically criticize American foreign policy for what it truly is – self-interested actions taken by our elected and unelected officials having little to do with America’s relative status as a nation – stems from an inability or unwillingness to differentiate between criticizing the actions of a few elites and being seen as critical of Americans in general.

Fred Hiatt writes in response to a Rumsfeld tirade against newspapers devoting too much space to criticizing U.S. officials rather than spotlighting foreign terrorists or dictators who behave far worse: The Right Conversation for America.

The United States and this administration in particular continually assert the moral right to behave differently than other nations. We will not be bound by the International Criminal Court. We insist that other nations give up their nuclear weapons while we keep our own. We wage war without U.N. Security Council approval. We publish annual report cards on everyone else's human rights records. The premise of this highhandedness is that the United States is, on balance, a force for good in the world -- a superpower that uses its might not to subjugate others but to allow them to live freely. This is a premise that The Post's editorial page on the whole accepts -- to the dismay of many readers.
But any nation asserting such a high calling will be judged by an equally high standard. Are we better than the beheaders, the mass killers, the U.N. peacekeepers raping young girls in the Congo? That's not close to the right question.
Do we behave as well as we claim, as we should, as we expect of others? That's the beginning of the right conversation -- and why it's fair to write more editorials about exceedingly mild Koran abuse at Guantanamo Bay than about the unspeakable mass graves of Hilla.

Reminder from last year. Russ Baker on the smoking ego: Two Years Before 9/11, Candidate Bush was Already Talking Privately About Attacking Iraq, According to His Former Ghost Writer.

"It was on his mind. He said to me: 'One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.' And he said, 'My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.' He said, 'If I have a chance to invade·.if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency." Herskowitz said that Bush expressed frustration at a lifetime as an underachiever in the shadow of an accomplished father. In aggressive military action, he saw the opportunity to emerge from his father's shadow....
The notion that President Bush held unrealistic or naïve views about the consequences of war was further advanced recently by a Bush supporter, the evangelist Pat Robertson, who revealed that Bush had told him the Iraq invasion would yield no casualties.

Washington: Rooting for Iran's Theocrats: Why the neocons want the moderates to lose.

Is wanting to live grounds for dismissal? US journalist who refused to go to Iraq to sue in Britain.

Juan Cole with an interesting discussion of the British revelations and the role of the blogging world in spreading them and reducing the power of the corporate press to suppress them: he Downing Street Memos and the Revenge of the Bloggers.

Amy Ross: The International Criminal Court and Blair/Bus.

It starts: Wisconsin Democratic Party Votes to Impeach Bush.

Ray McGovern: Downing Street II.

On behalf of the Truth Telling Coalition, let me invite any patriotic truth tellers out of the woodwork, so that truly courageous leaders like Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., will not have to depend solely on patriots in Britain (and Rupert Murdoch!). Conyers has a tip line on his website, and our coalition appeal includes a number of pointers about patriotic leaking, and what kinds of support are available.

60% of Americans want at least some troops pulled out now, with 30% wanting total withdrawal: Poll: Six in 10 Want Troops to Leave Iraq.

Brian Cloughley: We Regret Any Inconvenience Caused by Your Humiliation.

Middletown, NY Times Herald-Record: Could memo sink Bush?

Knight Ridder Newspapers [who have had some of the best coverage since before the war]: Memo offers Bush's critics hard evidence on prewar intelligence.

Americans are probably more conversant about Angelina Jolie than about the contents of the so-called Downing Street memo, which was leaked in London seven weeks ago to the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sunday Times. But if the chaos in Iraq continues (80 U.S. troops and 700 Iraqis died last month), the awareness gap may narrow - because the memo states that as Washington was preparing for war, "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy...."
Andrew Bacevich, a retired Army colonel who is now a war analyst at Boston University, said: "The memo is significant because it was written by our closest ally, and when it comes to writing minutes on foreign policy and security matters, the British are professionals. We can conclude that the memo means precisely what it says. It says that Bush had already made the decision for war even while he was insisting publicly, and for many months thereafter, that war was the last resort. This is no longer a suspicion or accusation. The memo is an authoritative piece of information, at the highest level...."
Last weekend, GOP chairman Mehlman stated: "That (memo) has been discredited. Whether it's the 9/11 commission, whether it's the Senate, whoever's looked at this has said there was no effort (by Bush's war planners) to change the intelligence at all." Mehlman's claim is undercut by the facts.... [No "apparently" or any weasel words here.]
[However] As yet, however, there's no sign that the memo will politically embarrass the GOP. None of the likely 2008 Democratic presidential contenders - Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Evan Bayh, John Edwards - have made it a cause celebre.

Republicans urge shift in Iraq plan.

Even Republicans finally find outrage at torture center: Time report fuels Guantanamo criticism.

"It's not appropriate," said Sen. Chuck Hagel on CNN's "Late Edition." "It's not at all within the standards of who we are as a civilized people, what our laws are. "If in fact we are treating prisoners this way, it's not only wrong, it's dangerous and very dumb and very shortsighted," the Nebraska Republican said....
"We've been reassured for the last two years it's not happening when in fact it is happening," he [Hagel] said.

The greatest single "success" in the domestic "war on terrorism" is worse than a flop: The Terrorism Case That Wasn't -- and Still Is.

The Times of London: The leak that changed minds on the Iraq war.

It makes clear that both Blair and Bush have a lot to apologise for: “When the prime minister discussed Iraq with President Bush at Crawford in April he said that the UK would support military action to bring about regime change,” it states, adding that “regime change per se is illegal”....
Bush and Blair began their war, not in March 2003 as most believed, but at the end of August 2002, six weeks before Bush received his congressional backing, and more than two months before the UN vote.
That is why the wave of public awareness sweeping America is so dangerous to Bush and why he has refused to answer a letter from 89 Democratic congressmen asking if the intelligence was “fixed” and precisely when he and Blair actually agreed to go to war.

Juan Cole's comments on the new disclosures: Bush and Blair Committed to War in April, 2002: Leaked Cabinet Briefing Shows British Knew War was Illegal .

It makes me deeply ashamed as an American in the tradition of Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, Lincoln, and King, that in their private communications our international allies openly admit that the United States of America routinely disregards international law....
The polite diplomatic language hides the implications that there would be a global black psy-ops campaign in favor of the war, conducted from London. Since the rest of the briefing already admits that there was no legal justification for action, the proposal of an information campaign that would maintain that such a justification existed must be seen as deeply dishonest....
[S]ome groups in Europe may now feel that there is a basis for proceeding against the Blair government for knowingly committing an act of aggression. They might argue that when, in March, 2003, it became clear that the United Nations Security Council would not authorize a war against Iraq; and when it was clear from the reports of the UN weapons inspectors that they were finding no chemical, biological or nuclear weapons programs; and when it was murky as to whether Saddam was actively killing any significant numbers of Iraqis in 2001-2003--that Blair should have pulled out and refused to cooperate in an Iraq invasion. The cabinet brief and the memo of the July 23 meeting demonstrate conclusively that members of the Blair government knew that they were involved in plans that were as of that moment illegal, and that no legal basis for them might be forthcoming. Ignorance is no excuse under the law, but here even ignorance could not be pleaded.

How long? More in Congress want Iraq exit strategy: Unease grows as war backing falls.

A bipartisan group of House members is drafting a resolution that calls on the administration to present a strategy for getting the United States out of Iraq.... The House International Relations Committee on Thursday approved a similar proposal, 32 [13 Republicans and 19 Democrat] to 9, with strong bipartisan support. Sponsored by Representative Joseph Crowley, a New York Democrat who voted to authorize force in Iraq in 2002, the proposal represents the first time a congressional committee has moved to demand steps be taken so that US troops can start coming home.

Plans made: Ex-Mossad Chief: U.S. presence in ME to last decade.

Jason Miller has a new blog/web site: Thomas Paine's Corner, "a forum for those dedicated to the affirmation, defense, and pursuit of civil liberties, social justice, humanity, and intellectual freedom."

Must Read! Chris Hedges: War: Realities and Myths .

The young soldiers, trained well enough to be disciplined but encouraged to maintain their naive adolescent belief in invulnerability, have in wartime more power at their fingertips than they will ever have again. They catapult from being minimum wage employees at places like Burger King, facing a life of dead-end jobs with little hope of health insurance and adequate benefits, to being part of, in the words of the Marines, "the greatest fighting force on the face of the earth." The disparity between what they were and what they have become is breathtaking and intoxicating. This intoxication is only heightened in wartime when all taboos are broken. Murder goes unpunished and often rewarded. The thrill of destruction fills their days with wild adrenaline highs, strange grotesque landscapes that are hallucinogenic, all accompanied by a sense of purpose and comradeship, overpowers the alienation many left behind. They become accustomed to killing, carrying out acts of slaughter with no more forethought than they take to relieve themselves. And the abuses committed against the helpless prisoners in Abu Ghraib or Guantánamo are not aberrations but the real face of war. In wartime all human beings become objects, objects either to gratify or destroy or both. And almost no one is immune. The contagion of the crowd sees to that....
We are losing the war in Iraq. We are an isolated and reviled nation. We are pitiless to others weaker than ourselves. We have lost sight of our democratic ideals. Thucydides wrote of Athens' expanding empire and how this empire led it to become a tyrant abroad and then a tyrant at home. The tyranny Athens imposed on others, it finally imposed on itself. If we do not confront the lies and hubris told to justify the killing and mask the destruction carried out in our name in Iraq, if we do not grasp the moral corrosiveness of empire and occupation, if we continue to allow force and violence to be our primary form of communication, if we do not remove from power our flag-waving, cross-bearing versions of the Taliban, we will not so much defeat dictators such as Saddam Hussein as become them.

Another Red State paper, the Houston Chronicle, concerned about the lies: The Bush administration should explain why Americans should not be disturbed by a secret British memo on the runup to the Iraq War

Iraqi elections were a massive defeat for the US says Seth Ackerman: Defeated by Democracy: Reported as triumph, Iraq elections were really Bush team’s nightmare.

Activists to Fast for Ending Iraq Economic "Exploitation".

A group of anti-Iraq war activists from around the globe will begin a fast at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, from June 16-30 to protest economic injustice suffered by the Iraqi people. “As international social justice activists, including citizens of Iraq, the US and the UK, we stand united and resolved to seek an end to the ongoing economic exploitation of Iraq,” fast organizers, the Voices in the Wilderness and Jubilee Iraq, said in a statement e-mailed to

Those who lied for the boss [peddling a ridiculous claim that metal tubes were for uranium enrichment] get reward: CIA analysts linked to intelligence failures in Iraq given awards.

The [intelligence] commission deemed their agency's assessment of the aluminum tubes as a "gross failure."

Approval of Bush handling of war at new low, 41%, in poll: Bush Job Approval Dips to New Low. Meanwhile, in another poll, 42% report believing US headed for another Vietnam: Some Americans Draw Iraq-Vietnam Parallel.

Fred Halliday: Democratic reform in the Arab world: mirages and realities. he latest Arab Human Development Report, by richly documenting the deep social problems of the Arab world, reinforces awareness among Arab citizens of how far they must go to achieve democratic freedoms.

Aaron Glantz. Withdrawal: The Only Hope to Avert Civil War .

Out of the conservative West: Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib: Congress should appoint panel to investigate abuse charges.

Brattleboro Reformer: Deep Throat II .

Even if impeachment is politically impossible, the Bush administration must be held accountable for this illegal and immoral war. Only the press, aided by an informed and aroused citizenry, can do this....
o who wants to be the next Woodward and Bernstein? Who wants to be the next Ben Bradlee? Who wants to be the next Deep Throat? Who wants to reclaim the truth and our nation's honor from the hands of scheming men? A nation is waiting for a few good men and women who aren't afraid to step forward and accept this challenge.

John R. MacArthur states the obvious: Dean's Democrats Remain Pathetic.

I asked a prominent New York Democrat standing near me why DNC Chairman Dean never denounced the Iraq occupation/bloodbath, and the politician, an old acquaintance, seemed to flinch. I promised I wouldn't quote him by name, but his reaction was worth noting: "Maybe he [Dean] should talk about Iraq. Nine American soldiers died in Iraq in the last two days. If [Al] Gore were president, can you imagine the screams from the Republicans?" All I heard from Dean was a squeak; "the mess in Iraq" was as far as he would go. Anyway, he had already thrown in the Iraq towel in April, in a speech in front of the Minnesota ACLU: "Now that we're there . . . we can't get out. . . . I hope the president is incredibly successful with his policy now."

In contrast, led by John Conyers: House Judiciary Democrats to hold hearings on Downing Street minutes June 16th. And: Green Party: Impeach Bush Now!.

American monsters: Man Attacked For Looking Like Saddam Hussein.

"One of the gentlemen says to me, 'Hey Saddam, What are you doing here? We are beating you up back home, and we are beating you up over here, too,'" Barbosa said.

William Rivers Pitt: After Downing Street.

Stephen Zunes: Bush Administration Attacks on Amnesty International: Old Wine, New Bottles. An interview with Joshua Rubenstein, northeast regional director of Amnesty International USA: Amnesty International Calls for Prosecutions of U.S. Officials.

And so right now, it may obviously seem unlikely that, say a European government would indict President Bush or Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld or someone else. But when this group leaves office, when they are private citizens, when they travel, it's quite possible that a prosecutor in Germany or Spain or another country would seek an indictment, and that would be perfectly legitimate as long as it was based on serious and genuine investigation and hard evidence.

Ted Rall" Tortured Logic: Bush's Propaganda Rubicon.

Americans know that torture is the norm and that Bush approves of it. The more they focus on what that says about America, and thus about them, the more their revulsion will grow. It will take more than the usual pooh-pooh propaganda to distract them from their growing disgust.

Daniel Ellsberg: The Courage to Talk Withdrawal.

Minneapolis Star Tribune Editorial: Bush & Blair: Iraq denials raise questions.

Tuesday provided a moment when top leaders could have helped them sort it all out, yet little was clarified -- which can only lead to increased skepticism on the part of anyone paying close attention....
This is stunning. As Mark Danner wrote in Sunday's New York Review of Books, "Thus the idea of UN inspectors was introduced not as a means to avoid war, as President Bush repeatedly assured Americans, but as a means to make war possible."

Stop violating international law: Illegal Detentions in Iraq by US Pose Great Challenge: Annan.

The Fourth Geneva Convention, while allowing occupying forces to detain individuals, has no provision for internment by outside forces after an occupation has ended.

Bob Edgar, General Secretary, National Council of Churches; Joe Volk, Executive Director, Friends Committee on National Legislation; & Jim Winkler, General Secretary, Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church: Religious Leaders Urge Congress to Declare That U.S. presence in Iraq is Not Open-ended

It takes a Brit to ask: US Media Shamed by Brit Journalist at Blair/Bush Press Conference. The Canadian press reports: U.S. news media told it disregarded 'smoking gun' on Iraq.

Anisa Abd el Fattah of the National Association of Muslim American Women: It is time for the United States to take a new approach to the war on terrorism.

Abid Ullah Jan: A Democratic Revolution in the Muslim World. "There is little doubt that the Muslim world is stirring. But can the kind of democracy Bush and company are imposing gain a sustained foothold in the countries under direct and indirect US occupation? Abid Ullah Jan weighs the odds that the bloody spring of “democracy” can last — and whether Iran is really a hurdle in the US crusade in the name of democracy. To find the answers, he looks all the way back to Europe's much vaunted 1848 revolutions to which war lords constantly make a reference."

Samer Zouehid: Al-Jazeera Presents Arab Point of View, Not Bias.

Rep. John Conyers: The Fix Was In: Did Bush Deliberately Deceive America About Iraq?. An interview with Rep. John Conyers: The Downing Street Memo and More

Juan Cole: The revenge of Baghdad Bob. Bush's ludicrous statements about Iraq are increasingly reminiscent of the propaganda spouted by the former spokesman for the Iraqi regime -- except that they're not funny.

James Carroll: The war against Islam.

Even the spooks saying "Get out""! Former CIA director calls for Iraq withdrawal.

I believe that we are not making progress on our key objectives in Iraq," Deutch said. "There may be days when security seems somewhat improved and when the Iraqi government appears to be functioning better, but the underlying destabilizing forces of a robust insurgency and warring factions supported by outside governments is undiminished."

Soldier's wife Solly Mack asks why some soldiers cross the line: The Line of Denial.

Starting to break through: 'Downing Street Memo' Gets Fresh Attention. Note completely lame USA Today excuse for lack of prior coverage. [Since when do criminals "confirm" the authenticity of evidence against them?] The fact that they felt called upon to offer these excuses means they feel the heat. Also: Statement by Constitutional Attorney John Bonifaz on Behalf of on Today's Joint Press Conference with President Bush and British Prime Minister Blair. Check out:

An 11 year old British girl writes to Tony Blair after seeing new film A Letter to the Prime Minister: Jo Wilding's Diary From Iraq: Letter to Tony Blair

Ex-President: Carter Calls on U.S. to Shut Down Gitmo.

Greg Mitchell: Papers Reach Iraq Boiling Point.

Defeat breeds doubt among those who think empire is ok if you win. Howard Fineman: Reconsidering Iraq: Suicide bombers, purple fingers and American resolve. And: Stan Crock Is It Time to Bag Baghdad?; and David Wilson: Price may be too expensive to achieve objectives in Iraq.

[Reconsidering Iraq:] There is a school of thought that the answer lies in more American boots on the ground. If we had only put in more at the beginning, or so the theory goes, things would have gone more smoothly. Maybe we can correct that mistake now. Forget it. The idea won’t fly politically. Part of my job is to travel the country talking to voters, and I can tell you that there is very little support for that notion. The Pentagon has enough trouble right now recruiting young men and women to the Armed Services as it is. Announce a doubling of the commitment to Iraq? All hell breaks loose. And at some point even a compliant Republican Congress is going to balk at the financial cost. Iraq is on the way to becoming the most expensive war we have ever fought.

The International Crisis Group says: Don't Rush the Constitution.

Poodle gets brush-off: Bush Loyalty Yet to Help Blair.

Scott McClellan is: The White House spin doctor is in.

fter all, as White House press secretary, he deals with the truth every day; he may not always convey the truth, but he deals with it.

Imperialism just repeats itself: Iraq’s Jihad: Past as Prologue.

Fawaz Turki sees: A Nihilistic Insurgency?

relations tough with old US ally: The Turkey- U.S. Divide: Lack of understanding strains a vital relationship.

"I am not a liar!" Criminals lie and obfuscate: Leaders deny Bush manipulated Iraq intelligence. And: Bush: Iraq war plans memo wrong. But: The Downing Street Memo Story Won't Die.

[You know they're lying when they repeat old lies:] On Tuesday, Bush blamed the war on Saddam's refusal to abide by U.N. demands for weapons inspections.

Sen. Kennedy speaks out on Downing Street Memo: 'Twisted intelligence; Distorted facts'.

The Final Word on Reports of Human Rights Abuses at Guantanamo Bay.

Iraq and Bush stink, say American public: Post-ABC Poll: Americans Say War in Iraq Has Not Made U.S. Safer.

Perhaps most ominously, 52 percent said the war in Iraq has not contributed to the long-term security of the United States, while 47 percent said it did. It was the first time a majority of Americans disagreed with the central notion President Bush has offered to build support for war: that the fight there will make Americans safer from terrorists at home. In late 2003, 62 percent thought the Iraq war aided U.S. security, and just three months ago 52 percent thought so....
For the first time, a majority, 55 percent, also said Bush has done more to divide the country than to unite it.

John Nichols in Wisconsin: State Dems should push Iraq pullout.

[T]he two top Democrats in the House - Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland - voted with the Republicans to block the proposal to set a timeline for bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq....
The best way to signal to Wisconsin Democrats such as Kind and Kohl, and to national Democratic leaders such as Pelosi and Hoyer, that the time has come for the "opposition party" to actually be an opposition party is by passing a "bring the troops home" resolution at the state party convention. Borrowing from the resolutions already enacted by the state parties of California, Massachusetts and New Mexico, Wisconsin Democrats ought to vote this weekend for a resolution

Russ Feingold on the need to get out of Iraq: War is hot topic at listening session.

Feingold told his audience: "I can't tell you the amount of comment I've heard on the Downing Street memo." He said he soon would be at a breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Feingold said he would question Blair closely about the memo and prewar intelligence.

Matthew Rothschild: Stripping Rumsfeld and Bush of Impunity.

But going after Sanchez or Gonzales for perjury is the least of it. Sanchez may be personally culpable for war crimes and torture, according to Human Rights Watch. And Gonzales himself was one of the legal architects of the torture policies. As such, he may have been involved in "a conspiracy to immunize U.S. agents from criminal liability for torture and war crimes under U.S. law," according to Amnesty International.... Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International USA say there is "prima facie" evidence against Rumsfeld for war crimes and torture. And Amnesty International USA says there is also "prima facie" evidence against Bush for war crimes and torture....
When these two leading human rights organizations make such bold claims about the President and the Secretary of Defense, we need to take the question of executive criminality seriously....
Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the ACLU, the American Bar Association, and Human Rights First (formerly known as the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights) have joined in a call for a special prosecutor. But that decision is up to Gonzales and ultimately Bush. "It’s a complete joke" to expect Gonzales to appoint a special prosecutor, concedes Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights....
There is "prima facie evidence that senior members of the U.S. Administration, including President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, have authorized human rights violations, including ‘disappearances and torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment,’ " Amnesty states in "Guantánamo and Beyond."

Jonathan Turley in USA Today: Military scapegoats walk a well-worn path.

It may be the U.S. military's longest unbroken tradition. When scandals occur, scapegoats are gathered from the lower ranks and offered for the sins of their superiors.... True to tradition, promotion rather than punishment has been the fate of most torture-tainted officers in the Abu Ghraib scandal....
When the military is faced with such scandals, it has often used dubious internal investigations to hide incompetence. From the probe of Pearl Harbor to the capture of the USS Pueblo by North Korea in 1968, blame for acts of negligence by military planners have been shifted to individuals....
The Abu Ghraib investigation has followed in this unseemly, seamless tradition. Indeed, England is a lesson to all future scapegoats to remain on script. After all, nothing spoils a good old-fashioned military coverup more than a talking goat.

From Haaretz: Why isn't Iraq getting on its feet?

So far, the corporate press have chosen not to connect the dots as they fail to report the web of lies that led to war, says Robert Parry: President Bush, With the Candlestick...

Naomi Klein: Torture's Part of the Territory.

Lacking consent, the current U.S.-Iraqi regime relies heavily on fear, including the most terrifying tactics of them all: disappearances, indefinite detention without charge and torture. And despite official reassurances, it's only getting worse.... Should the United States stay in Iraq? If your answer is still yes, then you must accept all the consequences.

Democracy Now! The Smoking Bullet in the Smoking Gun: Bush Began Iraq Invasion in 2002.

[W]hat you saw was the Bush administration ordering attacks, offensive attacks on Iraq, that were intended to take out communications infrastructure in the country, the ability of commanders in the Iraqi military to communicate with one another, pretty much defensive mechanics for the country, and these attacks were happening with the justification that they were protecting the so-called no-fly zones in Iraq.

Before wasting another vote: Democrats -- Apologize for your Iraq vote.

New strategies could turn anyone into a "terrorist". Freedom takes another hit: Desperate for Terror Arrests, FBI Turns to Entrapment by Paul Craig Roberts.

New slogan: "Did you get the memo? Protest draws attention to memo: The "Downing Street Memo" indicates an agreement on invading Iraq in July 2002

Democracy Now! After the Downing Street Memo: The Case for Impeachment Builds.

Scott Taylor: From 'Gooks' to 'Hajis'.

Already one can hear exasperated US generals wondering aloud, "Why can't our Hajis fight like their Hajis?"

Murdering "Hajis" no big deal: When Troops Kill Civilians: Light punishment raises concern, sympathy.

Tom Teepen & Cox Newspapers: America Has Failed Its Friends And Itself: Abuses can no longer be fobbed off as lamentable but discrete breakdowns. There is no avoiding the conclusion that they are policy.

The America that I grew up in sometimes failed to live up to its best intentions, but it worked at squaring its behavior with its ideals and when it fell short, it wasn't indifferent. It was chagrined and appalled. And it knew that it had more work to do.

Families' war support falters over troop casualties.

Brad Oversmith, 32, served nine months in Iraq with the Missouri National Guard. He was shot in the leg. "It doesn't matter how many troops you have there or what they do, you are never going to beat an insurgency like that," said Oversmith, now a police officer in Smithville, Mo. "In their view, they think they are being conquered. If they think they are being conquered, they'll fight for years and years. Look how long the Vietnamese fought."

Will Bush's poodle get a pat or a kick? Payback time for US on Iraq.

Not even the devil himself [aka John Bolton & Alberto Gonzalez] couldn't get confirmed: Key Democrats say likely can't block Bolton.

George McGovern & Jim McGovern: Withdraw From Iraq.

The United States must now begin an orderly withdrawal of our forces from this mistaken foreign venture.

Christian Science Monitor: The image war over US detainees.

Former Supporter Joins Foes Over War: Speaks for Peace After Son's Death.

Eileen McNamara reminds us that Deep Throat was a felon who authorized illegal break-ins of radicals' homes: Deep Throat is No Hero.

In typical fashion, Sen. Biden criticizes Guantanamo, not because it's a concentration camp, illegal and immoral, but because it hurts the US image, as if the US image is all that matters: iden: U.S. Needs to Close Cuba Prison.

Dean criticized for not kissing ass: Democrats Criticize Dean Attacks on GOP. But: Dean sticks to his guns, still aimed at GOP.

"I don't hate Republicans," he said, in an interview Friday with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "But I sure hate what this Republican Party is doing to America."

Is the guy lying, or just deluded? Bush's Optimism On Iraq Debated: Rosy View in Time Of Rising Violence Revives Criticism.

"It's dangerous when U.S. officials start to believe their own propaganda," said David L. Phillips, a former State Department consultant who worked on Iraq planning but quit in frustration in 2003 and has written a book called "Losing Iraq: Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco." "I have no doubt that they genuinely think that Iraq is a smashing success and a milestone in their forward freedom strategy. But if you ask Iraqis, they have a different opinion."

The administration relies on Amnesty International when they like its conclusions: An Administration's Amnesty Amnesia.

Corporate press willingly buys nonsensical propaganda about "democracy": Bush's Foreign Policy Shifting: Spreading democracy has become his top priority, at times trumping urgent issues. tell it to the Uzbeks.

Dr. Leonard Praises Guardsmen In Iraq, But Isn’t Hopeful About Democracy There.

“By this time next year, there will be no opposition,” Leonard predicted for Iraq. He said he expects the election’s losers either to fall in line in support of the winner, be exiled, killed or otherwise publicly silenced.

British seek way out of province’s tribal maze.

A reminder of one of the greatest moments in American history, the mass G.I. Resistance movement (FTA: Fuck The Army) that helped end the Vietnam war: Jane's Revolution. A new FTA is what will eventually end the Iraq debacle.

Mark Morford: Bush, The Spoiled Man-Child .

Religious fascism to continue dominating Air Force Academy for many years: Air Force Academy Chief Admits School Bias. Is this where a future military coup is being born?

The Nation: Torture in the US Gulag.

Civil disobedience begins: Police arrest protesters inside Gregg's office.

Jay Shaft: Dead heroes can’t pay the bills! Stop killing us and then waving the flag! It’s sick and disgusting: Interview with an U.S. soldier.

Arianna Huffington: Make Iraq Topic #1. See also: Open Letter to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton by Mary MacElveen, Committee Member for the Suffolk County, NY, and the Town of Brookhaven, NY, Democratic Committees.

Ghazwan al-Mukhtar: Civilized Nations Respect the Dead.

Patrick Seale: What Hope for Arab Democracy?

Need summer reading? The conservative Human Events has a list of the Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries. From the list, try the Kinsey Report, Dewwy's Democracy and Education [which commits the sin of encouraging teaching children to think instead of just obey], or The Feminine Mystique. Not to mention Keynes' General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money or Marx's Das Kapital. And don't ignore the Honorable Mentions they'd like to burn, including, of course, Honorable Mention, The Population Bomb, Unsafe at Any Speed, Second Sex and Introduction to Psychoanalysis above all Descent of Man.

Julius Druckman in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: War in Iraq has gone too far.

This war in Iraq has just gone too far and it's now time to start talking impeachment.

Democratic war support major factor in aiding Bush: War-weary Americans ready to stay the course despite casualties.

The future we face: Kissinger warns of energy conflict.

We will all suffer the consequences of fiasco: Officials see terror threat from Iraq vets.

"I predict that the quality of all our lives will change to a certain extent, as measures previously considered needed (only) in forward areas will increasingly be ... adopted in our home countries."

Mitchell E. Potts: My Own Recent Conversations With U.S. Soldiers.

High school: Students organize concert to voice angst over Iraq war.

Looser tries a new campaign tack: Kerry to bring issue of Downing Street Minutes/Memo to Senate.

Op-ed from the Bangor Daily News: Administration's offenses impeachable.

We are living in an age of no accountability. It's also an age upon which may hang the survival of human life on this earth. One should not bet one's future on people who abjure responsibility.

Margaret Carlson: The John McCain of Bagram Prison: Torture is torture, in Vietnam or Afghanistan.

James Goldsborough: Torture War.

Another conservative jumps ship: Book slams Bush's global crusade. The book is Sands of Empire by Robert W. Merry.

Joseph L. Galloway: Now's the time for a clear-eyed look at where we are in Iraq.

From Business Day: Iraq deceptions mark imperial rot .

Jim Lobe writes of the orcehstrated attack on Amnesty International, trying to blunt the impact of their condemnation of American torture in "the Gulag of our time" and elsewhere: Jailhouse rock.

Amnesty, however, has stood its ground. "At Guantanamo, the US has operated an isolated prison camp in which people are confined arbitrarily, held virtually incommunicado, without charge, trial or access to due process. Not a single Guantanamo detainee has had the legality of their detention reviewed by a court," despite a Supreme Court ruling last year that provided grounds to do so.
"Guantanamo is only the visible part of the story. Evidence continues to mount that the US operates a network of detention centers where people are held in secret or outside any proper legal framework - from Afghanistan to Iraq and beyond," Amnesty added, noting that Bush had failed to respond to these "longstanding concerns".
"It is worth also worth noting," stressed Schulz, "that this administration never finds it 'absurd' when we criticize Cuba or China, or when we condemned the violations in Iraq under Saddam Hussein." [See next post.]

Derrick Z. Jackson: The Last Throes of Truth in Iraq.

A year ago, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Kozak said, ''The reason we don't do a report on ourselves is the same reason you wouldn't write investigative reports about your own finances or something; it wouldn't have any credibility. Somebody else needs to do that. It's not that we're against being scrutinized, and indeed we are scrutinized by many other organizations: Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International."

A selection of recent editorials. Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Iraq War: Drafting the dead; North Jersey Record: In memoriam; Concord Monitor: Twisting history to suit his ends: Iraq can't be compared to American Revolution; Roanoke Times A president at odds with reality: Iraq, Afghanistan and the terrorist threat all contradict Bush's misleading rhetoric; Contra Costa Times Un-American treatment of detainees.

[Un-American:] It is high time that President Bush and Congress appoint a bipartisan panel to investigate the allegations of abuse of terrorist suspects. People on both sides of the ideological spectrum have called for such a commission, ranging from conservative former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., to the Center for American Progress on the left. If, as Rumsfeld claims, released detainees are a bunch of liars, the administration has nothing to hide. It should welcome such an inquiry to lay the supposedly false charges to rest, once and for all.

Delusion, or just propaganda: Bush Tells Reporters: Yes, Iraq Is America's 'Golden Moment' .

Action Alert! A new coalition: After Downing Street, is pushing for a Congressional investigation of administration lies leading to war. See also: Impeachment Fever and Media Politics by Norman Solomon. Also: The 'I' word by Ralph Nader and Kevin Zeese.

ADS is a coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups, which launched on May 26, 2005, a campaign to urge the U.S. Congress to begin a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war.

American enough to die, but his mother isn't American enough to join: Woman Drops Bid to Become Gold Star Mother.

James Carroll: America's mess, not Bush's.

Much as Democrats and liberals hate to admit it, the Bush disaster did not begin with him. That he swatted aside the structures of international law as a mode of responding to Osama bin Laden was prepared for by Washington's habit, begun in the Reagan years, of dismissing international courts, ignoring treaties, and refusing to meet obligations to the United Nations and other transnational bodies.

Last year, Kevin Sites filmed a marine shooting an apparently unarmed insurgent in Falluja. He tells Dan Glaister the truth of what he saw and how what followed changed his life: 'I knew what I had right away'.

Get out of Iraq as soon as possible, Gorbachev urges US.

US efforts to “dominate” the world could end in disaster, Mikhail Gorbachev,... said yesterday.

Yoshihiko Motoyama Lawless private militaries milking Iraq conflict.

Martin Sieff: Bush bets on battle of Baghdad.

[T]he wave of counter-bombings and other insurgent guerrilla attacks that has erupted in response to this operation does not have any of the characteristics of a desperate, last-ditch attempt to derail a successful political strategy, as the president insisted in Tuesday....
The insurgents in Iraq continue to show disturbing signs of growing in organizational capability, numbers and grass-roots support within the Sunni Muslim community.

The Cannon-Fodder Recruitment Campaign: Uncle Sam wants you, and it shows: Aggressive ad efforts tackle Army recruiting woes from many angles.

On Memorial Day in Chicago: Vietnam Vets Protest Against Iraq War.

Jim Lobe: US military in a twilight zone.

Jan Herman: What is Really Happening in Iraq?

Previous Month Archive: May, 2005
Occupation Resistance Analysis

Soldz Writing & Talks

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