Key Documents

July, 2004

NOTE: Information regarding the WMD lies and other matters directly related to the prior stage of the war is available at Iraq Antiwar Resources. Also there are antiwar songs, poetry, video, statements of famous people, and much more.
My latest contribution: Iraq: What Went Wrong? [ZNet] or Information ClearingHouse. My comments written in response to the Nic Berg murder are available on Retribution or Reflection (ZNet) and Information ClearingHouse [The ZNet version contains a few additional edits.]. My commentary on the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison puts it in the context of the dynamics of occupation. I believe it make important points that aren't being made elsewhere. It has been posted on ZNet: Abuse at Abu Ghraib, the Psychodynamics of Occupation, and the Responsibility of Us All. See also my prior piece: Security, Terror, and the Psychodynamics of Empire.

The Occupation

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Iraqi girl in US request asylum because of fear of retaliation for her family's aid to the Americans: Iraqi girl seeks political asylum, claiming harm for cooperating with U.S.

Potential humanitarian disaster looming, due to lack of sufficient clean water to cope with summer heat: U.N. warns of humanitarian crisis in Basra.

Mountain said water levels were around 40-60 percent of that needed by the two million people in Basra and the surrounding areas and were lower than before the war.

Al-Sadr and Sunni religious leaders denounce the idea of Arab countries sending troops to Iraq: Iraqi Scholars Against Islamic Force Proposal.

Rolling Stone has more horrifying details of life in Abu Ghraib, emphasizing the responsibility of higher-ups: The Secret File of Abu Ghraib: New classified documents implicate U.S. forces in rape and sodomy of Iraqi prisoners.

Finally, after several beatings so severe that he lost consciousness, Waleed was forced to lay on the ground. "One of the police was pissing on me and laughing at me," the prisoner said. He was placed in a dark room and beaten with a broom. "And one of the police, he put a part of his stick that he always carries inside my ass, and I felt it going inside me about two centimeters, approximately. And I started screaming, and he pulled it out and he washed it with water inside the room. And the two American girls that were there when they were beating me, they were hitting me with a ball made of sponge on my dick. And when I was tied up in my room, one of the girls, with blond hair, she is white, she was playing with my dick. I saw inside this facility a lot of punishment just like what they did to me and more. And they were taking pictures of me during all these instances....
Taguba was only authorized to investigate the role of military police in the torture at Abu Ghraib -- even though the Hard Site was controlled by military intelligence when the worst abuses occurred. Nevertheless, the classified annexes indicate that responsibility for the torture extends at least as high as several top-ranking officers in Iraq who have yet to be disciplined or removed from command. Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast, who remains director of military intelligence in Iraq, was aware of the conditions at Abu Ghraib and received regular reports from officers at the prison. Lt. Col. Steven Jordan, who directed intelligence at the prison, admitted to Taguba that he did not actually report to the British colonel who was supposedly his supervisor. "On paper, I work directly for him," Jordan told Taguba. "But between you, me and the fence post, I work directly for General Fast." Fast is currently under investigation, but unlike lower-ranking officers and soldiers, she has not been reprimanded or charged in the abuses....
In May, after photos of the torture were published, Rumsfeld declared that he would take "all measures necessary" to ensure that such abuse "does not happen again." But the defense secretary had already sent a clear signal to commanders in Iraq about his position on the proper way to interrogate prisoners. In April, Rumsfeld transferred Gen. Miller from Guant?namo to Baghdad, putting him in charge of all military prisons in Iraq. Instead of court-martialing the man who authored the plan to subject prisoners at Abu Ghraib to harsh abuses, Rumsfeld has left him in charge of the facility. "Ladies and gentlemen, we have changed this," Miller told reporters in May. "Trust us. We are doing this right."

Must Read! Another sign that Saddam-lite is well on its way: Iraqi Police Face Charges of Brutality.

The Intelligence Service has its own secret prison. Criminals wear uniforms and collect police salaries. Senior security officials hand out jobs to family members. Investigators charged with being watchdogs over the police say they have little or no power. They report to the interior minister rather than to justice itself. The police arrest the innocent, beat them, and imprison them without charge; and in at least one case, police shot dead an innocent bystander. This is not Saddam Hussein's corrupt police state. This is the new Iraq run by interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi....
The main examples of Allawi's authoritarian style so far have been two large raids on Baghdad neighborhoods. While apparently popular, witnesses said the raids were violent events that swept up many people regardless of evidence.

Cover-up, then, and now: Cover-Up of Iraq Bridge Incident Admitted. Why were these higher-ups given immunity, letting them off the hook for their role in hiding a murder?

Iraqi effects worldwide. Indians seize tourists to protest Iraqi hostage-taking. Hostage crisis: Villagers detain 37 foreign tourists in HP. What happens now to tourism in India?

Another horrible statistic: 200 Jordan truck drivers killed in Iraq.

Follow the money! Did somebody get rich? U.S. Lacks Records for Iraq Spending. Crimes are being investigated: Iraq Funds Are Focus of 27 Criminal Inquiries. See also Arab accounts in Arab Press Note: July 29, 2004.

U.S. civilian authorities in Baghdad failed to keep good track of nearly $1 billion in Iraqi money spent for reconstruction projects and can't produce records to show whether they got some services and products they paid for, a new audit concludes.

Democracy, Iraqi style. The political parties, elected by no one appoint their members to "elected" councils. And this is supposed to create stability and legitimacy? Deep divides halt key Iraq meeting.

After 16 months of "reconstruction", doctors and hospitals still struggle to provide basic heath care: Baghdad doctors struggle to care amid the chaos: Aggression, corruption and courage - a night in hospital offers a microcosm of life in city

Must Read! As the US ordered, Pakistan announces arrest of key al-Qaeda suspect just in time to upstage Kerry's acceptance speech: Key al-Qaeda suspect 'arrested'. Remember, John B. Judis, Spencer Ackerman & Massoud Ansari predicted just such an arrest during the Democratic Convention in the July 19 issue of the New Republic: PAKISTAN FOR BUSH: July Surprise?.

National conference delayed after complaints: Iraq postpones key step to democracy.

No investment, low productivity, foreign companies scared shitless: Iraq's economy remains troubled. Another source: Security a major obstacle for Iraq's economy.

[Iraq's economy:] "The Iraqi worker's productivity today is not more than 20 minutes daily."

Another account of the US media's killing of the story sweeping the world about Prime Minister Allawi's alleged killing of six prisoners: Greetings From the Memory Hole: Our Media kills a Troubling Story that the Rest of the World Saw.

One case of seizing a vehicle gone to trial: it helps if the plaintiff has wealth and influence: 2 Views at Court-Martial on Seizing Iraqi Vehicle.

The Coalition of the Fleeing grows: Ukraine in Talks on Date of Iraq Withdrawal.

From bad to worse. Is it possible, MPs wonder? Iraq may fail as a state, warn MPs. Full Text of Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee Report [pdf].

The government's handling of the "war on terror" received a damning appraisal this morning, as senior MPs warned that, more than a year after the invasion, Iraq was in danger of turning into a "failed state" and that Afghanistan "could implode".

Of course the Saudis themselves won't be part of the force going to Iraq: Saudis propose Muslim force. Iraqi response? Iraqi PM backs Muslim force plan. But reaction is mixed: Mixed views on Iraq Muslim force. But insurgents know where they stand: Militant group warns against participation in Saudi-proposed Muslim force for Iraq . And Analysis: Sensitive issue.

[Mixed views:] But ordinary Iraqis remain sceptical Muslim troops would be different from Iraqi policemen targeted by militants, says the BBC's Caroline Hawley. Our Baghdad correspondent says the Iraqi people and the Iraqi government have different views, with the latter preferring Muslim troops to give itself legitimacy.

Ordinary Iraqis besieged from all sides: Buried Mines and Ordnance Continue to Maim Iraqi Civilians.

The tubes exploded. Mahmood lost the tips of two fingers on his right hand and shrapnel peppered his face and right shoulder. Hussein lost his right hand.
Though the Iraq-Iran war ended almost 16 years ago, millions of land mines and detonators like those that injured Zana and Arjan remain implanted along the roughly 1,000-mile border between the two countries. Unexploded mines - along with ordnance from that war and a little from the U.S.-led invasion - are taking a toll in Iraq, especially in the high mountains and broad valleys of northeastern Iraq bordering Iran.

Sally Pook and Joshua Rozenberg report. 'British soldiers were accused in the High Court yesterday of torturing and shooting civilians in post-war Iraq': Troops accused over killing.

"One terrible game the soldiers played involved kickboxing. The soldiers would surround us and compete as to who could kickbox one of us the furthest. The idea was to make us crash into the wall." Mr Al-Mutari said freezing water was poured over their heads and their only way of drinking was to lick droplets that seeped through their hoods. He spent 62 days in hospital after being released without charge. He was told he had developed an acute kidney problem due to the beatings he received.

More on the contradictory policy of the US: Why the US granted 'protected' status to Iranian terrorists.

"How is it that [the MKO] get the Geneva Convention, and the people in Guantanamo Bay don't get it? It's a huge contradiction," says Ali Ansari, a British expert on Iran. "This will be interpreted in Iran as another link in the chain of the US determination to move onto Iran next" in the US war on terror.

British public hears what their army has been up to: Iraqi witness tells of torture: Test case on deaths may curb British army abroa.

Problems with National Conference vote in Najaf. The political parties rigged the process: Iraq's 1st steps toward democracy stumble: Shiites say delegate lists were rigged.

Voters in Iraq's Shiite Muslim heartland who were eligible to elect delegates to an upcoming national conference charged the process was rigged, leaving ordinary Iraqis disenchanted and alienating hard-line leaders.... The event, scheduled for the end of this week, is also meant to allow Iraqis from across ethnic and religious divides to discuss the future - like the loya jirga, or grand council, that convened in Afghanistan after the Taleban's fall. But if what happened in Najaf is a general indicator, the process appears to have been doomed from the start.

David Bacon describes how: Iraq's Labor Upsurge Wins Support from U.S. Unions. No surprise, the US used Saddam's anti-labor laws against workers. Bosses hire private militia to protect them. Sounds just like democracy, US style.

Iraqi workers and unions charge that the U.S. is keeping wages low to attract foreign investors, as Washington plans the privatization of Iraq’s economy. The Bush administration sees Iraq as a free-market beachhead into the Middle East and South Asia. A year ago it put Tom Foley, a Bush fundraiser, in charge of private sector development for the CPA. On September 19, 2003 the CPA published Order #39, permitting 100% foreign ownership of businesses, except for the oil industry, and allowing repatriation of profits. Foley then listed state enterprises to be sold, including cement and fertilizer plants, phosphate and sulfur mines, pharmaceutical factories and the country’s airline. While sales were delayed until after the June handover, the goal remains unchanged, and Iraq’s new constitution forbids changing these measures.

Robert Fisk says life is getting worse, much worse: Baghdad is a city that reeks with the stench of the dead.

The statistics of violent death in Baghdad are now beyond shame. Almost a year ago, there were sometimes 400 violent deaths a month. This in itself was a fearful number to follow the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. But in the first 10 days of this July alone, the corpses of 215 men and women were brought to the Baghdad mortuary, almost all of them dead from gunshot wounds. In the second 10 days of this month, the bodies of a further 291 arrived. A total of 506 violent deaths in under three weeks in Baghdad alone. Even the Iraqi officials here shake their heads in disbelief....
Hospital records tell only part of the story. In the blazing heat of an Iraqi summer, some families bury their dead without notifying the authorities. Some remain unidentified for ever, unclaimed. The Americans bring in corpses. When they do, there are no autopsies. The morticians will not say why. But the Ministry of Health has told doctors there should be no autopsies in these cases because the Americans will already have performed the operation.
Not long ago, six corpses arrived at the Baghdad mortuary after being brought in by US forces. Three were unidentified. Three had names but their families could not be found. All had suffered, according to the American records, "traumatic wounds to the head", the normal phrase for gunshot wounds. There were no autopsies. Death is now so routine even the most tragic of deaths becomes a footnote. A US tank collides with a bus north of Baghdad. Seven civilians are killed. The Americans agree to open an investigation. It makes scarcely a paragraph in the local press. Four days ago, a US M1A1 Abrams tank crossing the motorway at Abu Ghraib collided with a car carrying two girls and their mother, all of whom were crushed to death. It did not even make the news in Baghdad.

Reconstruction? What have they done in the last 16 months? Iraq reconstruction flawed, say experts. The effects are everywhere: In Iraqi Homes, A Constant Battle Just to Stay Cool: Energy Rationing Prompts Rudimentary Alternatives. System to Track Iraq Oil May Take Months.

[Iraq reconstruction flawed:] [O]utsourcing in Iraq is 15 times higher than it was in Bosnia, yet only twice as many people are doing oversight.
[T]hat the failure of contractors to employ people who have a true vested interest in or understanding of the country is "astonishing."
[In Iraqi Homes:] This is the second summer since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and people here widely expected power to be restored by now. Instead, the city's electricity shuts off four or five times a day under a government energy-rationing scheme while officials struggle to revive a power system ravaged by war, vandalism and years of neglect.

Islamists' stock is rising: Radical Islam grows among Iraq's Sunnis.

Saddam Lite! Criticizing the new dictator, Iyad Allawi is to be banned from the "free press": Iraq sets up committee to impose restrictions on news reporting.

Ibrahim Janabi, appointed to head the new Higher Media Commission, told the FT the restrictions - known as "red lines" - had yet to be finalised, but would include unwarranted criticism of the prime minister. He singled out last Friday's sermon by Moqtada al-Sadr, a firebrand Shia cleric, who mocked Mr Allawi as America's "tail". Outlets that broadcast the sermon could be banned, he said....
"In a difficult security situation, we need to fight the terrorists by all means, and one of the main means is the media. We need them all to co-operate, even the private sector. It's for national security," said Mr Janabi, a former Iraqi intelligence officer who for a decade served as Mr Allawi's eyes and ears in neighbouring Jordan, but has never worked as a journalist. "The red lines must be very clear. Whenever we find someone endangering national security, we will give notes to our legal committee that they are breaking the rules," he said.
Noting that al-Jazeera broadcast part of Mr Sadr's anti-Allawi sermon, he warned: "If they do it again, we will give them two weeks to correct the policy, and after that we will tell them sorry we need to close your office...."
Opposition politicians also attacked the new body, saying that Mr Allawi had established committees for oil and security, as well as the media, in a bid to get total control of the state machinery.

Since the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski has run to every reporter blaming others. Now an Iraqi claims she was present when he was tortured: Iraqi: U.S. general witnessed prison abuse.

"He was adamant that there was an occasion when he was being tortured, in Tier 1A, when she was present and watching and laughing as he was being tortured."

The Brits weren't so different after all: Iraqis allege UK troops committed war crimes.

"I wish to know why I was detained and beaten so badly by British troops," he said. "A British medical expert concluded that I could have died of my injuries. I believe my treatment by British soldiers was inhumane, illegal and unjustified."

US admits to holding 58 adolescents under 18, but Iraqis claim hundreds are being held and mistreated: U.S. colonel admits holding Iraqi teens; Fresh torture charges.

High cost impede "reconstruction", though US firms still make profit: Western Ways Force Iraq to Trim Water Projects.

An official in the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works who is intimately familiar with the numbers confirmed that most of the extra costs come about because the prime contractors are Western. Western companies typically hire large numbers of private security guards, set up elaborate base camps and travel only in heavily guarded convoys, offer much higher salaries than Iraqi companies, pay skyrocketing insurance premiums and require much more administrative support in order to comply with stringent American regulations.

In "sovereign" Iraq, the American occupiers threaten to withhold aid from Falluja unless they give up resistance: US to Falluja: Halt attacks or lose aid.

What are they up to? A census in one day, without planning? Three years early? Results right before planned elections? Iraq aims to conduct census in single day.

Freedom of the press on the ropes in "sovereign" Iraq: Aljazeera 'outraged' at Iraq criticism.

Preparing allies for the next war? Surprise at US protection of MKO.

Alawi claims “Baghdad will not make any moves to normalize relations with Israel before other Arab nations do so as part of a Mideast settlement Iraq Waits on Normalization With Israel.

If anyone cares, Saddam is reported to be "demoralized" by the new Human Rights Minister: Saddam's day: gardening, reading and eating muffins.

The Sydney Morning Herald editorializes that the claims that Prime Minister Allawi brutally murdered six prisoners should be investigated by a neutral international body: Allegations that cannot be ignored.

Can the new government pull off the National Conference scheduled for later this week? New Iraqi Government Facing Its First Big Test: Jockeying Over National Conference, to Begin Thursday, Intensifies Ethnic, Religious Tension.

The first all-Iraqi raid turned into a free-for-all, with different police units turning guns on each other when the anti-terror unit started beating up a taxi driver: Iraqi forces aim at each other.

There's a new "multilateral force," but also a Coalition of the Leaving: Nations dropping from Iraq coalition.

Robert Fisk talks to a Shia leader who insists Shia and Sunni are united against occupation: 'America is not a Charitable Organisation - They Came to Steal from Iraq'.

Artists have a hard time visualizing a new Iraq: Art Imitates Iraqi Life in All Its Chaos and Misery. Poets struggle as well: Capital letters: Iraq's poets of resistance are back with a new voice but an old message.

Japan to fund project to restore Iraq's marshlands that were destroyed by Saddam Hussein. According to this article, these marshes were the probable location of the Garden of Eden: Marsh Arabs get £6m to restore Eden

Whitewash! The New York Times editorializes about the Abu Ghraib whitewash released this week by the Pentagon Inspector General: Abu Graib whitewashed. So does the Washington Post: An Army Whitewash. Unfortunately, neither call for the Inspector General to be fired, or for the independent investigation called for by Human Rights Watch: Appoint Abu Ghraib commission. Of course, recent experience with "independent" investigations in both the US and Britain indicate that they are hardly independent. As Amnesty International said at the beginning of the scandal, any investigation should be international, involving Arab representatives. Nothing else will have a potential to bring out the Truth.

Whitewash! The new Pentagon strategy: just chop off a few zero's! Military finds 94 cases of alleged prisoner abuse: 39 have died in U.S. custody in Iraq, Afghanistan.

Dilip Hiro thinks the potential civil war in Iraq is not between Sunni and Shia, but between Arab and Kurd: The Sarajevo of Iraq: Worsening Kurdish-Arab Friction Threatens the Regio.

The Madison Capital Times says good riddance to trash, in response to the Sandy Berger charges: No Defense for Sandy Berger.

16 months of occupation, and raw sewage still flows: Health fears grow in polluted Iraq.

Martial law on the way? Allawi plans to revamp Iraq security. But the AP concludes that Allawi so far has little success to show for all his talk: Iraq's embattled premier yet to show results after a month in office.

According to Patrick Cockburn, the: The Struggle for Iraq is Just Beginning.

The problem for the US is that most Iraqis would like Allawi and the interim government to get rid of the suicide bombers and kidnappers -- and of the US occupation as well. But the US shows no sign of abandoning its plans to keep Iraq as a client state. It would have a weak army, devoted entirely to counter-insurgency. It would have no tanks, aircraft, missiles or artillery.... This was the message brought by Paul Wolfowitz in June when he turned up in Baghdad -- accompanied by Sir Kevin Tebbit, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence -- just before the supposed handover of power. The US will allow Iraq to rearm, but only against its own people.

This New York Times article raises questions as to whether Zarqawi is really the mastermind the US claims: Most wanted: answers on Zarqawi.

Another vignette from the new Iraq, this one reflecting positively on the Americans: Abducted, beaten and sold into prostitution: two women's story from an Iraq in turmoil.

After receiving no assistance from the Baghdad anti-kidnapping unit, Aisha turned to the Americans for help. She found a sympathetic ear in the person of Sergeant First Class Troy EStewart at the headquarters of the 1st Armoured Division Artillery in Baghdad. He could not do much, but wrote to the Yemeni embassy urging it to facilitate Aisha's travel to Yemen. She recalls that Sgt Stewart was so moved by her story that he took her picture to show his wife and daughters in the US. "When I collapsed in despair one day, he dispatched a car to drive me home, he was always so kind to me," she says....
When asked if the US-led occupation was to blame for their ordeal, Huda, Sajeeda and Aisha all answer that organised crime existed long before the arrival of the US in their country. Aisha explains: "I wanted to meet US soldiers again to ask for help but the Iraqis refused that; no one but the Americans had helped me."

A new poll shows that Americans reject all forms of torture and abuse, and feel all detainees, including Al Qaeda members, showed be treated consistent with international treaties and conventions: Press Release: Public Rejects Nearly All Forms of Torture or Coercion Even in Face of Possible Terrorist Attack. Actual report: Americans on Detention, Torture, and the War on Terrorism; and Question-by-question responses

Two Iraqi Regional Officials Resign Amid Death Threats.

Allawi tries to buy off al-Sadr Allawi gambles on appeasement, but al-Sadr may not be taking the bait: Iraqi Shiite Leader Moqtada Sadr Reappears To Condemn Allawi.

Pepe Escobar doesn't think the new government stands much chance: The new Saddam, without a moustache.

Going near Americans is dangerous: U.S. tank crashes with van, kills nine Iraqi wedding guests.

Some of the things that the administration did NOT know: 9/11, WMD in Iraq, the insurgency, the cost of war: War Funds Dwindling, GAO Warns.

he report from the Government Accountability Office, Congress's independent investigative arm, warned that the budget crunch is having an adverse impact on the military as it shifts resources to Iraq and away from training and maintenance in other parts of the world. The study -- the most detailed examination to date of the military's funding problems -- appears to contradict White House assurances that the services have enough money to get through the calendar year.

Accounts of Allawi murdering prisoners ignored: Red Cross call for inquiry overlooked or treated solely at rumor, ignoring the evidence of the Australian report: Iraq rumors reflect debate over need for a strongman: Urban myths speak to nation's anxieties.

The American and Iraqi governments may criticize, but: Filipinos rally behind Arroyo on troop pull-out from Iraq. As a result: Philipino ex-hostage comes home.

See no evil... Abu Ghraib Cover-up Intensifies

Antonia Juhasz details how the US controls "sovereign" Iraq, and will control it for years to come: The Hand-Over that Wasn’t: How the Occupation of Iraq Continues.

The most important tools being used by the Bush administration to maintain varying degrees of economic and political control in Iraq are the 100 Orders enacted by L. Paul Bremer, III, head of the now defunct Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) before his departure. It was thought that the “end” of the occupation would also mean the end of the Orders. Instead, in his final Order enacted on his last day in the country, Bremer simply transferred authority for the Orders over to the new Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi. For his part, Allawi--a thirty-year exile of Iraq with close ties to both the CIA and British Intelligence Services--is considered America ’s new man in charge of Iraq .
Bremer also ensured the implementation of the Orders by stacking every Ministry with U.S.-appointed authorities with five-year terms--well into the period of the new, elected government, which is to take office by the end of this year.

Soldiers doubting leaders: Among soldiers, growing doubts about mission.

One woman prisoner from Abu Ghraib and several other facilities tells of her treatment in several torture centers across Iraq, NOT just Abu Ghraib: A Tree with No Roots: One Iraqi Woman’s Story.

Dr. Eyad El Sarraj, a Psychiatrist with the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme uses his experience in Gaza to answer questions about the psychological effects of the abuse at Abu Ghraib and other US prisons in Iraq: Live Dialogue: POWs Abuse: The Psychological Impact.

Author Dan Briody has a new book The Halliburton Agenda, on how the company makes profits from war. The Guardian has this excerpt: Profits of war.

The Spoils! More evidence of how the Administration helped Halliburton steal hundreds of millions. The GAO has reported that there are problems with ever aspect of the Halliburton contract. AP story: GAO: Army Bungled Iraq Contract Management; Press Release: Two New Reports Criticize Halliburton's Iraq Contracts . Actual Report: GAO Report on Troop Support Contract (pdf) and Fact Sheet (pdf). The report by the Minority Staff on the Government Reform finds systematic price gouging in Halliburton's sale of gasoline: Minority Staff Report on Gasoline Overcharges (pdf).

Appointed city council waits to see what happens: Fallujah council hesitates: Group suspicious of government, leader says.

False rumors again spread by US-supported paper: Nuclear Arms Reportedly Found in Iraq, followed by this Reuters piece: Iraq dismisses nuclear find report.

[Iraq dismisses:] Iraq's Interior Ministry has dismissed as "stupid" a report in a local newspaper that said three nuclear missiles were found near Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.

Just what the world needs: US planning to devise 'massive' new bomb. Maybe we should change the county's name to the United Stated of Destruction. Of course, the existence of bombs like this in US hands increase the urgency for other to develop both nuclear weapons and terrorism. But that justifies developing bombs like this...

The Washington Post has obtained and made available: Sworn Statements From Abu Ghraib Detainees

William Rivers Pitt asks, where are the US press reports on the torture of Iraqi children prisoners, as reported in the rest of the world, and by Seymour Hersh: Torturing Children.

The Christian Science Monitor breaks the US newspaper silence in the Sydney Morning Herald claims that PM Allawi murdered prisoners: Did Allawi shoot Iraqi prisoners? Iraqi PM denies reports in Australian newspapers about alleged killings. A commentary on the website of the Philadelphia Enquirer may indicate why it's being ignored: Aussie Paper Says Iraq's New Boss Killed 6 Prisoners. The original writers sticks to his story: Journalist defends murder allegations. And another article in the Christian Science Monitor reminds us that Allawi has a long history of thuggery, starting as a close associate of Saddam Hussein, who helped put the dictator in power: New Iraqi leader cuts a strong figure.

[Aussie Paper:] If it is true, it could be the biggest blow yet to America's intervention in Iraq - bigger than the Abu Ghraib prison scandal or the failure to find weapons of mass destruction.

Must Read! Robert Fisk does what no other western dares and takes a trip outside of Baghdad, to the south. He reports that the government and the Americans have no control, and very little presence, outside of the capital city: 'A better and safer place'.

Iraqi government officials and Western diplomats tell journalists to avoid driving out of Baghdad; now I understand why. It is dangerous. But my own fearful journey far down Highway 8 - scene of the murder of at least 15 Westerners - proved that the US-appointed Iraqi government controls little of the land south of the capital....
Yes, it is a shameful reflection on our invasion of Iraq - let us solemnly remember "weapons of mass destruction" - but it is, above all, a tragedy for the Iraqis. They endured the repulsive Saddam. They endured our shameful UN sanctions. They endured our invasion. And now they must endure the anarchy we call freedom.

It's hard being an occupier. No matter what happened, the Americans are blamed: One Bombing, Many Versions: Iraqis on the Street Quick to Blame U.S..

boy, they're desperate! Psychiatrist called back into Army service at age 68.

Some hope to strike it rich in the new Iraq: Iraq Stock Exchange trades in dreams of riches: Despite time limits, few tools, brokers see explosive growth.

Mike Whitney weighs in, “The rule of thumb seems to be, that wherever an errant bomb drops on innocent Iraqis (be it a wedding party or a Mosque) it immediately becomes a "legitimate target" in the war on terror... The occupants of the Oval Office must have felt heartened to know that they had enlisted another reliable member to their circle of murders and torturers.” Allawi, Our Puppet with a Pistol: Iraq's New Terrorist Prime Minister.

Robert Fisk reports on the advantages of the "new Iraq": Four missiles, 14 deaths and the crisis of information in Baghdad.

This is how they like it. An American helicopter fires four missiles at a house in Fallujah. Fourteen people are killed, including women and children. Or so say the hospital authorities.
But no Western journalist dares to go to Fallujah. Video footage taken by local civilians shows only a hole in the ground, body parts under a grey blanket and an unnamed man shouting that young children were killed.
The US authorities say they know nothing about the air strike; indeed, they tell journalists to talk to the Iraqi Ministry of Defence--whose spokesman admits that he has "no clue what is going on".

An old journalistic adage is follow the money, something few seem to be doing for Iraq: Inventing Iraqi Democracy in North Carolina.

ore specifically, the RTI staff in Iraq were charged with setting up local neighborhood councils, providing technical advice for municipal services such as garbage collection and water supply, and funding new local community organizations and initiatives.
Little of the above was achieved in reality, however. Three former RTI employees who worked on the project say that the company instead spent 90 percent of the money on expensive expatriate staff, gave out lots of advice and held lots of meetings, but did little to provide support for local community organizations or councils.

Blaming the victim? Marine Who Had Been Missing in Iraq Denies He Deserted.

Bounty on Allawi. Where’s al-Zaraqaw getting his allowance? Militant leader puts £150,000 bounty on head of Iraqi PM.

Look out! Bush is foraging for evidence again. Let me guess: this time it’s Iran: U.S. exploring possible Iran-9/11 link. And from the New York Times: Bush Says U.S. Will Look Into Possible Iranian Ties to 9/11. The shaky intelligence on Iraq didn’t prevent war either: We can't prove Iran-Sept 11 link: CIA. Republican Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania told NBC that "we have to be very strong with Iran". "Iran has been complicit in terrorism for a long time," he said. What does Iran say? Washington Propaganda Against Iran Aimed to Cover Up Failures in Iraq. Shall we hold our breath or start the anti-Iran war demonstrations?

[Washington Propaganda:] Since May, Congress has been moving towards a joint resolution calling for punitive action against Iran if it does not fully reveal details of its nuclear arms program. In language similar to the prewar resolution on Iraq, a recent House of Reprentatives resolution authorised the use of "all appropriate means" to deter, dissuade and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weaponry - words often used to approve pre-emptive military force. Reflecting the growing anxiety on Capitol Hill about Iran, it passed 376 to three.

Cognitive dissonance with regards to Iran: Iraq envoy expects better ties with Iran.

Payoff comes cheap; some lives are more valuable than others: Britain pays compensation to Iraqis.

In May, the government said it had paid compensation for three deaths, including $3,000 to the family of Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel receptionist who died after allegedly being beaten by British troops in September.

As my informal search indicated, the US press was entirely silent on the report by award-winning Australian journalist Paul McGeough that Iraqi PM Allawi murdered six prisoners in cold-blood: US media kills story that Iraqi PM executed 6 prisoners. Meanwhile, as the US ignores this major story, the Red Cross is being urged to investigate by former British foreign secretary Robin Cook: Red Cross urged to investigate Allawi claims. However, all is not lost. The Iraqi Human Rights Minister calls the claims false and a defamation, but says will investigate. Don't hold your breath till the bodies of the witnesses pop up in the morgue: Iraqi minister to investigate Allawi execution claims.

With all excuses for war evaporating, and as a Saddam-lite regime is being built, Richard Gwyn says, even the trial of Saddam may not go as planned: The final justification for war on Iraq rests with finding Saddam guilty of genocide — and that's no longer a sure thing.

The Guardian asks, in an editorial, if the US had absolutely no financial accountability for the billions of Iraq dollars they spent [on contracts with US companies], why would the new government do any better? Assume that any money available to them will be stolen: Accounting for Iraq.

In-between killing prisoners, Prime Minister Allawi works at buying off portions of the opposition: Pro-Sadr paper reopens in Iraq.

For the record: Allawi denies slaying rebels in cold blood. Since when do cold-blooded serial murders confess without even being arrested?

What does killing do to the soul? 'Enemy Contact. Kill 'em, Kill 'em.': U.S. troops are trained to respond instinctively during combat. But the lessons do not prepare them for the emotional distress that may arise.

According to Newsweek, the Americans have so bungled Iraq, that "freedom" is a dirty word and many Iraqis savor being ruled by a butcher: Iraq's New S. O. B.: Prime Minister Allawi may be no democrat, but his tough-guy approach plays well in Baghdad.

Saleh, a 32-year-old Baghdad taxi driver who, with his uncle, was dragged from his car by kidnappers, and released after a beating and a ransom payment, tells Newsweek he blames the Americans for allowing such criminals to flourish. "These days when we want to scare the kids in my family, we tell them, 'Democracy is coming to get you' or 'Freedom is coming to get you,'" he says. "The kids don't know what it means, but they run away."

In the new Iraq, American lives are vastly more important than those of Iraqis: Iraq Amnesty Excludes Killers of Americans - Envoy.

Humor Ahead! The Australian government says the reporter who reported yesterday that the new Iraqi Prime Minister murdered prisoners in cold-blood, should give his evidence to the Iraqi police: Allawi claims are police matter, Hill says. Presumably, then those pesky witnesses can be suitably disposed of, along with the Australian reporter who feels it is no longer safe for him to set foot on Iraqi soil, lest the PM let loose another one of those spare bullets be carries around.

Pants On Fire! Evidently, the US and British governments are guilty of another huge lie. They claimed that '400,000 bodies had been found in Iraqi mass graves'. The true number is around 5,000, the British government now admits: PM admits graves claim 'untrue'.

Iraq children are in prison, but human rights groups are not allowed to monitor their treatment: Rights groups unable to visit child detainees.

More background on Iyad Allawi, the new Iraqi Butcher-In-Chief: Allawi's rocky road to the top. I give a few highlights below. As you read about him, think about why the US was so insistent that he become the ruler of Iraq. It certainly wasn't because of his abilities at consensus-building.

1963: According to the memoirs of a former Iraqi ambassador, Talib Shabib, Allawi was an assassin.
1971: Leaves Baghdad for London to continue his medical education.... Some claim he continued to serve the Baath party, and the Iraqi secret police, searching out enemies of the regime.
1991: Forms the exile group Iraqi National Accord with the support of the CIA and British intelligence - MI6 - and becomes its leader.
1992: According to former CIA officers, the INA organises terrorist attacks in Iraq between 1992 and 1995, probably including the bombing of a school bus that killed schoolchildren.
2002: Allawi channels the report from an Iraqi officer claiming that Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes to British Intelligence.
June 28: (Two days early) the US-led coalition hands over power to Allawi and the interim government.

The Sidney Morning Herald reports that a Saddam-lite terror regime is rapidly being constructed in Iraq, the type of brutal regime the US claimed it went there to abolish: Hard man for a tough country.

Storm in Australia over claims the new Iraqi PM is a cold-blooded killer: Iraqi leader 'killed prisoners'. rest of the world largely ignores story.

Here is an interview with Paul McGeough, who broke the Allawi murder story below: Iraqi PM executed six insurgents: witnesses. I wonder if the US press will bother to report this story, as it doesn't fit in with the US line on the "restoration of sovereignty". The closest I can find the story is the Toronto Star. At this point, Google doesn't list any US sources.

Must Read! According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the new Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi allegedly committed cold-blooded murder of prisoners just days before assuming power: Allawi shot inmates in cold blood, say witnesses. No wonder the US put this butcher in charge!

Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government, according to two people who allege they witnessed the killings. They say the prisoners - handcuffed and blindfolded - were lined up against a wall in a courtyard adjacent to the maximum-security cell block in which they were held at the Al-Amariyah security centre, in the city's south-western suburbs.
[T]he informants told the Herald that Dr Allawi shot each young man in the head as about a dozen Iraqi policemen and four Americans from the Prime Minister's personal security team watched in stunned silence. Iraq's Interior Minister, Falah al-Naqib, is said to have looked on and congratulated him when the job was done....
One of the witnesses claimed that before killing the prisoners Dr Allawi had told those around him that he wanted to send a clear message to the police on how to deal with insurgents. "The prisoners were against the wall and we were standing in the courtyard when the Interior Minister said that he would like to kill them all on the spot. Allawi said that they deserved worse than death - but then he pulled the pistol from his belt and started shooting them...."
Before the shootings, the 58-year-old Prime Minister is said to have told the policemen they must have courage in their work and that he would shield them from any repercussions if they killed insurgents in the course of their duty....
One witness justified the shootings as an unintended act of mercy: "They were happy to die because they had already been beaten by the police for two to eight hours a day to make them talk.,,,"
One of the witnesses said there were five or six civilian-clad American security men in a convoy of five or six late model four-wheel-drive vehicles that was shepherding Dr Allawi's entourage on the day. The US military and Dr Allawi's office refused to respond to questions about the composition of his security team. It is understood that the core of his protection unit is drawn from the US Special Forces units....
The two witnesses were independently and separately found by the Herald. Neither approached the newspaper. They were interviewed on different days in a private home in Baghdad, without being told the other had spoken.... The witnesses were not paid for the interviews.

Iraqi TV airs show on US abuse of prisoners: Iraqi TV Scrutinizes U.S. Terror War Detention Centers

Must Read! Dan Baum, in the New Yorker, writes of the price of becoming a killer: The Price of Valour: We train our soldiers to kill for us. Afterward, they’re on their own.

Must Listen! Abu Ghraib: Seymour Hersh says: We ain't seen nothin yet: 'Secret film shows Iraq prisoners sodomised'. And the video of his talk to the the ACLU: Seymour Hersh : The US government has videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison. Very worth listening in whole. He expresses serious doubts that Zarqawi even exists, and says the Iraqi resistance is getting far stronger.

Even if Zarqawi exists, his role is likely overstated by US: Zarqawi’s Role in Iraq at Odds with White House Claims.

Scoundrel Time! The US won't let the UN oversight auditors know what they've done with Iraqi resources: U.S. Won't Turn Over Data for Iraq Audits.

Robert Fisk discusses insurgent strategy: Bloodshed in Baghdad as insurgents try to isolate government.

‘But the real reason for yesterday's little bloodbath was about the isolation of Iraq's new government. This is the fourth checkpoint bombing around the same compound and the purpose is obvious. Iraqi officials cannot leave their Crusader-style fortress with its massive ramparts and walls. Ordinary Iraqis must go to them. And queue. And wait. And walking up to those checkpoints is becoming a macabre, frightening experience.
If the insurgents cannot get inside the walls, they can at least imprison those inside by attacking the perimeter, cut them off from the rest of Iraq, make the government's presence irrelevant to the millions of Iraqis who, so Mr Blair was assuring us yesterday, are going to enjoy "democracy".’

Allawi again promises a heavy-handed response to “annihilate” insurgents, yet violence goes on ignoring PM’s threats: Iraqi PM vows to crush insurgents.

Saddam Lite! Iraq continues rebuilding terror machine: Iraq Will Form New Security Service.

Scoundrel Time! Like Bush, Kerry couldn't be bothered to read a 90 page intelligence report before voting for war: Kerry Didn't Read Iraq Report Before Vote -- Aides.

Kerry's campaign has challenged Bush to say whether he read the complete intelligence report before deciding to go to war, or whether he just read a one-page summary, which Democrats say gave him none of the dissenting views included in the full version. The Kerry campaign stepped up the attack on Wednesday, sending out an e-mail with the headline, "Did anyone in the White House read the full National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq?"

Scoundrel Time! The Spoils! Those who pushed for war now profit handsomely: Iraq: Advocates of War Now Profit From Iraq's Reconstruction.

Levinson told The Times: "We see no conflict of interest in using our knowledge and contacts in Iraq that we developed through our previous work with the INC to support economic development in Iraq. As a matter of fact, we see this as complementary to a shared goal to build a democratic country."

Iraq's future threatened... by pollution of the Tigris: Calm Tigris waters mask Iraq's pollution: River in 'cradle of civilization' flows with waste, toxins.


The President won't read more than a single page before launching war! No wonder they want to keep his crib sheet secret: Bush and C.I.A. Won't Release Paper on Prewar Intelligence.

Is Iraq becoming like other Arab dictatorships? New Iraq security laws raise concerns.

Japan joins the world. Troop in Iraq, "Yes". Votes, "No": Japan Election Signals Possible Shakeup.

Philippines says "Enouugh"! Philippines Says Coordinating Iraq Troop Pullout/

Robert Fisk on: Iraqi academics targeted in murder spree.

Yesterday morning, I visited one arts department at the university to find it entirely empty of staff. Each teacher's room was closed with a large padlock.

It's show trial time. Iraqi government interferes with Saddam defense by disbanding Iraqi Bar Association: Saddam lawyers face more pressure

Another horror: Bulgaria hostage killed in Iraq.

Carlyle-connected man may become Secretary of army: Army post candidate has ties to Carlyle.

Red Cross accuses US of violating Geneva Conventions: Red Cross Fears U.S. Hiding Detainees.

Mass arrests in Baghdad, allegedly of "common criminals": Iraqi police detain over 500 criminals

Economist Brad Setser comments on the state of the Iraqi economy: Iraqi Economy: Setser Replies.

Iraq's economy now is one based on taking the funds resulting from the distribution of oil revenues through the state (mostly) and any CPA reconstruction that trickles down (plus any savings) and buying imported consumer goods. In many ways, imported consumer goods seem to be the preferred form of savings.

Some signs of normal life, including amusement parks and rock clubs, return: Slowly, with leisure activities, life in Iraq feeling more normal.

The ignored wounded among American soldiers have a high rate of brain trauma: Brain-Damaged Soldiers Taught To Exercise Minds: Brain Injuries Common Among U.S. Soldiers In Iraq.

Danger for Iraq's Christians. Can they safely stay, or will they have to flee? Iraq's Christians consider fleeing as attacks on them rise.

"I am unhappy about them, because Iraq is our country," says the young Muslim merchant. "They are like a white termite: They are eating the country from the inside. But if they hear a loud voice, they will keep quiet. The Christians are cowards - they are not going to fight."

The Spoils! Congressman Henry Waxman has released the: External KPMG Audit of Development Fund for Iraq. He has also written to the Committee Chairman asking that subpoenas be issued to investigate the US spending: Rep. Waxman Letter to Chairman Davis relating to U.S. expenditures from the fund

Tortured despite having no secrets to tell: Beneath the Hoods: Many of the tortured at Abu Ghraib were common criminals, not terrorists.

The case files of 26 abused detainees, interviewed by military criminal prosecutors in the Abu Ghraib scandal, were obtained by NEWSWEEK this month. Charge sheets and interrogation reports show 13 of the victims were there for criminal offenses ranging from theft to rape. At least eight of the other 13 who were initially picked up as terrorists were later ordered released without any charges. Terrorist suspect Mohammed Habibullah's interrogator noted his statements were "sketchy and unreliable at best," and added, "NEVER leaving unless it's to the loony bin."
It's difficult to escape the conclusion that the Abu Ghraib torturers were just having a good, if sadistic, time. One military investigator wrote in his notes on Graner: "the biggest S.O.B. on earth," a comment he underlined twice....
Noor, a detainee whose full name is being withheld by NEWSWEEK, was forced to expose her breasts and genitalia and is shown in the MPs' pictures giving a forced smile for Graner, who sources believe was the photographer. Subsequently a letter signed by a woman named Noor circulated widely in Baghdad saying she had been raped and impregnated by American soldiers, and begging the resistance to "please kill all of us."

Chalabi aid convicted of corruption: Senior Iraqi official jailed for corruption: Finance ministry aide with links to Chalabi made false arrests. What's going on behind the scenes here?

the re-brutalization of Iraq continues: Al-Yawir: Iraq to reinstate death penalty.

Wade Hudson points out that, by appointing a cunning, brutal dictator-to-be: Bush May Still Win in Iraq

"Allawi helped Saddam get to power," an American intelligence officer told Hersh. "He was a very effective operator and a true believer." Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former C.I.A. case officer, commented, "His strongest virtue is that he's a thug." According to Hersh, one of Allawi 's former medical-school classmates, Dr. Haifa al-Azawi, depicted Allawi as a "big husky man . . . who carried a gun on his belt and frequently brandished it, terrorizing the medical students."
Hersh wrote that when Allawi moved to London in 1971, he was in charge of the European operations of the Baath Party and the local activities of the Mukhabarat, its intelligence agency, until 1975. Vincent Cannistraro, a former C.I.A. officer, said, "Allawi has blood on his hands from his days in London." A cabinet-level Middle East diplomat told Hersh that Allawi was involved with a Mukhabarat "hit team" that sought out and killed Baath Party dissenters throughout Europe. Why Allawi fell out of favor with Saddam and became the victim of assassination attempts himself is unknown.

US faculty help rebuilding the Baghdad University library Books for Baghdad University pour in.

Robert Fisk finds that history is very much alive: A History Lesson in Iraq .

Robert Fisk Tales from the Tigris Riverbank: Saleh Mohamed Fawzi is a ferryman and his life story is the story of Iraq. He talks to Robert Fisk as they journey through Baghdad.

New York Times writes puff piece on new US-installed, CIA-trained butcher-in-chief: A Tough Guy Tries to Tame Iraq.

Late one night before taking power, the story went, Mr. Allawi was not to be found cramming for his new job but instead was in the innards of a Baghdad prison, overseeing the interrogation of a cabal of Lebanese terrorists. No one was talking. "Bring me an ax," the prime minister is said to have announced. With that, the story went, Mr. Allawi lopped off the hand of one the Lebanese men, and the group quickly spilled everything they knew. The tale passed from ear to ear, much like the rumors blaming the Americans for the many explosions that mar the capital. But in this case, the remarkable thing was that the story about Mr. Allawi was not greeted with expressions of horror or malice, but with nods and smiles.

The Democratic Party platform is totally pro-war. Do we vote for Kerry, the man who tells us now that he'll continue the Iraq occupation indefinitely? Tough question. At a minimum, the antiwar movement better get ready to fight the Kerry administration the hour that they win: Kerry Team Settles Dispute With Kucinich Delegates Over Iraq.

Kerry's political jockying cost soldier's lives [and Iraqis' live too] Bush's mistakes cost soldiers' lives, Kerry says.

A little propaganda here, a little force there. the story of US PsyOps: Army's propaganda war collides with reality.

Many British soldiers feel pride in what they've accomplished in Iraq, but others aren't so sure: 'We still haven't found any WMD. It was wrong, totally wrong. The way I feel is that we are fighting an American war': Terri Judd in Basra finds troops taking pride in doing the right thing - ousting Saddam, rebuilding Iraq - even for the wrong reasons

New regime takes over units notorious for torture and fills them with "troublesome" prisoners: Iraqis Try to Remake Abu Ghraib Image.

Ba'ath party makes comeback: Saddam party to get share of power in new Iraq peace plan.

US News gets the classified annexes from the Taguba report on Abu Ghraib. It documents, both, how chaotic conditions were, as generals fought it out, and how terrible they were for prisoners: U.S. News obtains all classified annexes to the Taguba report on Abu Ghraib.

Another classified annex reported that the prison complex was seriously overcrowded, with detainees often held for months without ever being interrogated. Detainees walked around in knee-deep mud, "defecating and urinating all over the compounds," said Capt. James Jones, commander of the 229th MP Battalion. "I don?t know how there's not rioting every day," he testified.
Among the more shocking exchanges revealed in the Taguba classified annexes are a series of E-mails sent by Major David Dinenna of the 320th MP Battalion. The E-mails, sent in October and November to Major William Green of the 800th MP Brigade, and copied to the higher chain of command, show a quixotic attempt to simply get the detainees at Abu Graib edible food. Dinenna pressed repeatedly for food that wouldn't make prisoners vomit. He criticized the private food contractor for shorting the facility on hundreds of meals a day, and for providing food containing bugs, rats, and dirt.

When a 30-year career National Guardsman with eighteen years as a prison guard, complained of the torture of Iraqis he witnessed, he was sent for psychiatric examination When the psychiatrist pronounced him sane, his CO marched over and ordered that she change her reports and diagnose him as delusional. She complied, and Sergeant Greg Ford was strapped to a stretcher and shipped out of Iraq to a medical center in Germany: Army Whistleblower Accuses Superiors of Railroading to Hide Torture.

"I walked in once right after an interrogation and saw a prisoner that was handcuffed and slumped against a wall," Ford recounted. "He was comatose. When I looked closer, I noticed a cigarette sticking out of each ear. When I removed them I saw that they were still lit...."
"On several occasions I walked in and saw agents literally pulling prisoners' arms out of their sockets while they were tied behind their backs with flexcuffs. I had to push [one] idiot off [a] detainee and pop the guy's arms back in place...."
The scenario Ford presents is not altogether unfamiliar. A United Press International story on May 25, 2004, told the story of another whistleblower who was allegedly locked in a psychiatric ward as punishment for speaking out against the Army. That case involved Julian Goodrum, a decorated lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves. Goodrum, a veteran of the Persian Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, had filed a complaint last summer over the death of a soldier in his command. He had also testified before Congress about the poor medical care reserve component soldiers were receiving at Fort Knox, Ky., upon returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The LA Times reports that the Pentagon lied when it talked about yearly reviews for all detainees. Last month [long after the Abu Ghraib scandal broke] they decided to keep the existence of certain prisoners secret, presumably so they can continue torturing them. They will simply have the CIA control them: Pentagon Reportedly Aimed to Hold Detainees in Secret.

In that memo, England described mandatory annual reviews of "Department of Defense" detainees — a designation that would exclude any detainee held by the CIA. One of the senior defense officials said Wednesday that that designation had been inserted deliberately.

Philippines days enough: Philippines troops to leave Iraq

Setback to legitimacy: US opponents to boycott Iraqi national conference.

Common Cause has released a new report: What Went Wrong: How the United States Got Into the Mess in Iraq.

The road to war in Iraq was strewn with failed and undermined democratic principles – secrecy, deception and a refusal to listen to expert advice by the administration coupled with lack of oversight by Congress. That we find ourselves in a mess in Iraq is an unfortunate failure of our democracy, by the officials entrusted with the responsibility for guiding our nation.

U.S. lawyer for Saddam Hussein seeking Supreme Court intervention, asking that his detention be declared illegal.

Doebbler has been critical of the United States' invasion of Iraq. In an article on his Web site, he wrote, "The world's most powerful army is an army of cowards. They are soldiers who are willing to risk the lives of innocent civilians to protect their own. I don't know about my fellow Americans, but I don't feel very much protected by such cowards...."
In paperwork at the high court, Doebbler said the detention of the 67-year-old violates multiple international laws and his constitutional Fifth Amendment right not to be deprived of "life, liberty or property without due process." He also said the war crimes tribunal planned in Iraq was neither independent nor impartial.

In 15 months, the US couldn't be bothered: Iraq Announces Plans for National Census" Iraqi Government Announces Plans to Conduct National Census in October.

According to Der Spiegel, the Coalition [a.k.a., US] hasn't been busy enough torturing adults, so they've been abusing children: More Than 100 Children Imprisoned: Report Of Abuse By U.S. Soldiers. Original German: US-Soldaten sollen inhaftierte Kinder misshandelt haben. Juan Cole points out that the detention of many of these children is a "war crime": Children Detainees in Iraq? and Save the Children says ... save them: International organization calls for releasing children detainees in Iraq.

[E]vidence and eye witness reports according to which U.S. soldiers also abused children and youthful detainees. Samuel Provance, a staff sergeant stationed in the now infamous Abu Ghraib prison said that interrogating officers had pressured a 15 or 16 year old girl. Military police had only intervened when the girl was already half undressed. On another occasion, a 16 year old was soaked with water, driven through the cold, and then smeared with mud.

More on the extreme measures adopted by the new government: Iraq PM given sweeping powers: Security law has built-in checks to stop dictatorship. And Robert Fisk comments Iraq takes backward step in march to democracy.

[Iraq PM:] Ayad Allawi, was yesterday given sweeping powers to counter insurgents, including the right to declare a state of emergency and impose nationwide curfews. The package of measures will also allow him to appoint military governors to take charge of cities or provinces, close Iraq's borders, seize the assets of suspects and monitor their phone calls and emails.

Toronto Star embedded reporter gets the boot for telling of the poor morale. Appearances must be maintained: Quick exit from Camp Cooke: Star's first `embed' experience ended abruptly in Iraq. Commander takes issue with story on soldiers' morale.

Jane's reports that Shin Bet interrogators were used at Abu Ghraib: Israeli interrogators in Iraq - An exclusive report.

Covering up brutal murder brings "nonjudicial punishment": Army Commanders Punished in Iraq. Remember, the soldiers laughed as the Iraqi man drowned. I guess they're not human, so their murder just isn't a big deal, unless someone took pictures and gabve them to 60 Minutes.

The Army would not disclose the punishments, citing privacy laws, but there was no criminal conviction or prison time.

No more pretense: In charge, Iraqis crack down hard. This is why the US wanted to return "sovereignty", so Iraqis could once again oppress Iraqis. the more things change...

Reporter, Michael Ware gets multiple films of insurgent attacks, from insurgents. This includes one of the planning of the attack on four Blackwater employees in Falluja: Reporter gets inside look at insurgency: Attack videos put journalist at personal, professional risk.

Republican appointee in Pentagon uses position, and fraud, to steer contracts to friends: Pentagon Deputy's Probes in Iraq Weren't Authorized, Officials Say.

Many thousands of US casualties are not counted by the Pentagon, because their injuries are not from "combat": The human "cost" of war?

The number of casualties from Operation Iraqi Freedom are exponentially higher, thousands and thousands of soldiers higher than what the Pentagon seems to say the casualty numbers for Operation Iraqi Freedom are....
What's missing in the Pentagon's count of the wounded are all the other soldiers — at least 11,000 more, injured or sickened in what the Pentagon considers non-combat circumstances.

Senator Warner says he'll plow ahead with his committee's investigation of Abu Ghraib abuse, despite Pentagon stonewalling: Lull in Iraq Prison Probe Won't Last, Senator Says: Republican Warner has plans for a series of hearings on the abuse scandal. He promises politics won't stop him, even in an election year.

An analysis of the state of Iraqi sovereignty in a situation where the US asserts its rights to ignore the Iraqi institutions it created: US Ignores Iraqi Courts.

Blame the Pentagon, new Bush strategy: U.S. Response to Insurgency Called a Failure Some top Bush officials and military experts say the Pentagon has no coherent strategy. Little change is expected with Iraq's new sovereignty. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that the Sunni faction of the resistance is hardening: Sunni Resistance to U.S. Presence Hardens: Main Iraqi Insurgency Will Persist as Long as Troops Remain, Observers Warn.

Iraq gets its "Patriot Act": Iraq government announces emergency powers law.

It took the photos of Abu Ghraib, but a few of the thousands of claims of US brutality toward Iraqis are now being acknowledged. Of course, no higher-ups are charged: Three U.S. soldiers face manslaughter in Iraqi's drowning. Read the article and notice that the charges are "manslaughter." In another case of brutal murder, the US continues denials and cover-up: Iraqi family disputes U.S. military account of man's death.

[Three US soldier:] The teenager drowned; his cousin made it to shore. "I could hear them laughing," Marwan Fadel Hassoun said, recalling how U.S. soldiers pushed the young men into the river. "They were behaving like they were watching a comedy on stage."

Aljazeera reports that the US killed a groom on his way to the hotel to make final preparations for his wedding in two days, then drove on without saying anything. Another family joins the resistance: US troops kill Iraqi preparing wedding feast.

Robert Fisk comments on the "freedom" the Americans leave in their newly sovereign colony: So this is what they call the new, 'free' Iraq.

And Mr Bremer managed to institute a set of laws that the "new" and "sovereign" government is not permitted to change. One of the most insidious was the re-introduction of Saddam's 1984 law banning all strikes. This piece of folly was intended to muzzle the so-called Federation of Iraqi Trade Unions. Yet the trade unions are among the few secular groups in Iraq opposing religious orthodoxy and fundamentalism. A strong trade union movement could provide a vital base of political and democratic power in a new Iraq. But no, Mr Bremer preferred to protect big business....
And all the while, the power of the mercenaries has been growing. Blackwater's thugs with guns now push and punch Iraqis who get in their way: Kurdish journalists twice walked out of a Bremer press conference because of their mistreatment by these men. Baghdad is alive with mysterious Westerners draped with hardware, shouting and abusing Iraqis in the street, drinking heavily in the city's poorly defended hotels. They have become, for ordinary Iraqis, the image of everything that is wrong with the West. We like to call them "contractors", but there is a disturbing increase in reports that mercenaries are shooting down innocent Iraqis with total impunity....
They killed all those poor people at the wedding party near the Syrian border and our military sources told us there'd been a fuck-up," an American correspondent complained last week. "Then [Brigadier General Mark] Kimmitt says that all the dead were terrorists and he knows we can't go and prove he's wrong...."
For after the elections, if indeed they are held, we shall self-righteously claim we can no longer be blamed for anything that goes wrong in Iraq. We liberated the Iraqis from Saddam, we shall say. We gave them "democracy" - and look what a mess they made of it.

Robert Fisk reports US censors Saddam trial. This is freedom? What are they afraid of? US military tried to censor coverage of Saddam hearing

(A)n American admiral in civilian clothes told camera crews that the judge had demanded that there should be no sound recording of the initial hearing. He ordered crews to unplug their sound wires. Several of the six crews present pretended to obey the instruction. "We learnt later," one of them said, "that the judge didn't order us to turn off our sound. The Americans lied--it was they who wanted no sound. The judge wanted sound and pictures...."
"They were rude and they didn't care," another American television crew member said. "They were running the show. The Americans decided what the world could and could not see of this trial--and it was meant to be an Iraqi trial. There was a British official in the courtroom whom we were not allowed to take pictures of. The other men were US troops who had been ordered to wear ordinary clothes so that they were 'civilians' in the court...."
The US Department of Defence tape of their hearings has been taken by the US authorities so there is now no technical record of the words of these 11 men, save for the notebooks of "pool" reporters--four Americans and two Iraqis--who were present. Judge Juhi said not long ago that "I have no secrets--a judge must not be ashamed of the decisions he takes." The Americans apparently think differently.

US stages joint patrols, but Iraqis don't want to be seen with them: Joint U.S.-Iraqi Patrols Are Getting Off on Wrong Foot.

When soldiers arrived at the first house, they broke down the front door, handcuffed bleary-eyed residents and ordered them at gunpoint into the front yard for questioning. "OK, just tell them what we're doing here," a U.S. soldier told one of the Iraqi policemen, who was also serving as interpreter. The policeman — wearing a black ski mask to hide his identify — paused for a moment, and then asked the soldier, "What are you doing here?" "Searching for foreign fighters!" the exasperated soldier shot back. An hour later, more than 15 homes had been searched and no foreigners were found.
Once the raid turned sour, some finger-pointing began. Iraqis characterized the raid as U.S.-led. The police chief said he had learned about the details only a few hours earlier. When the searches came up dry, Johnson said it was the Iraqis who were in charge. "This was their information," he said. "They are the ones really leading this."

Shiites demonstrate against Saddam: Shiites call for Saddam’s execution.

Thousands of Shiite Muslims chanted “Saddam must be executed” following prayer services Friday, while Sunnis generally ignored his court appearance — underscoring how differently each community views Saddam Hussein and his legacy.

Claims Rumsfeld personally ordered torture: Rumsfeld gave go-ahead for Abu Ghraib tactics, says general in charge.

New government debates which insurgents to pardon. US politicians make it clear that they view the "sovereign government" as puppets and American lives as uniquely valuable: Iraq Debates Rebel Pardon Questions about whom to exclude roil many as Prime Minister Allawi pursues amnesty talks with radical cleric whose militia fought the U.S.

"I think it's dangerous if we get into compromising, of giving amnesty to people who have attacked American men and women, killed American men and women, been responsible for the insurgency," said Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.), speaking on CNN's "Late Edition." But, he said, "I think once you've passed sovereignty, I think we have responsibility to live true to that."

Juan Cole reports increased signs of Shia-Sunni tension: Quiet Ethnic Cleansing of Shiites by Sunni Jihadis?

A breakthrough for the US? Jordan ready to deploy troops in Iraq.

An American hero fights the forces of darkness! 'I apologise to all Muslims for what my country has done'.

"As an American national, I am deeply ashamed of what my government has done," Mr Stafford Smith said in a letter to the GDN. "It is profoundly hypocritical for us to pretend that we are fighting a war to spread the rule of law to Afghanistan and Iraq and - as our first action - deprive people of the very rights we say we are fighting for. "Hypocrisy is the yeast that leavens hatred and it is hardly surprising that so many people express their disdain for us."

Iraqi reaction to Saddam trial complex: Fear Then Abuse as Iraqis Watch Saddam in Court. Then, others: Some Iraqis Want Saddam Freed, Back as President.

Pentagon ignores screening out criminals from military: Pentagon Alerted to Trouble in Ranks

It seems Iraqis aren't so thrilled at fighting other Iraqis: US probe finds Iraqi security forces plagued by mass desertions.

Robert Fisk on the trials of Saddam and others: Bread and circus trials in Iraq

The New York Times says, in an editorial, that the Pentagon is engaged in a cover-up: Abu Ghraib, Stonewalled.

US says "stay in your place, boy!" to the new "government": US will override Baghdad in war on terrorism: Military strikes may continue, warns general.

Christopher Dickey on the new Iraq: Dictator-in-Waiting? Iraq’s new prime minister will do whatever needs doing to impose order on the current chaos. Let’s not pretend he’s a nascent democrat.

Left in charge as prime minister is a smooth-talking former Baathist, Ayad Allawi, groomed in exile by the Central Intelligence Agency since the early 1990s.... Allawi is best understood as the anointed dictator in waiting. His job is to do whatever needs doing to impose order on the current chaos. Martial law, ruthless repression, you name it. With American firepower to back him up, he’s more than ready to take the blame for any rough stuff. Allawi’s defense minister proudly vows to chop off the hands and heads of terrorists. As Franklin Roosevelt is supposed to have said about an infamous Nicaraguan dictator, “He’s a son of a bitch, but at least he’s our son of a bitch.”

Barbarism Returns! They sure don't waste time. No wonder the CIA wanted him in charge: Iraq re-instates death penalty.

The Iron Heel! this will show them who's in charge: Iraqi police impose curfew in holy city of Najaf.

Jim Lobe reminds us what kind of moral monster represents the US in Iraq, now that Paul Bremer has fled into exile: New US envoy: Past and present

The US General Accounting Office says that, in many ways, Iraq is worse now than when the war began: Iraq is worse off than before the war began, GAO reports. Full Report: Rebuilding Iraq: Resource, Security, Governance, Essential Services, and Oversight Issues.

The GAO gave a draft of the report to several different government agencies, but only the CPA offered a major comment: It said the report "was not sufficiently critical of the judicial reconstruction effort." "The picture it paints of the facts on the ground is one that neither the CPA nor the Bush administration should be all that proud of," said Peter W. Singer, a national security scholar at the centrist Brookings Institution. "It finds a lot of problems and raises a lot of questions."

One of the biggest problems, Singer said, is that while money has been pledged and allocated, not much has been spent. The GAO report shows that very little of the promised international funds - most of which are in loans - has been spent or can't be tracked. The CPA's inspector general found the same thing. "When we ask why are things not going the way we hoped for," Singer said, "the answer in part of this is that we haven't actually spent what we have in pocket."

Republican Senator says war bad, but draft may be needed: Republican senator rips Bush on Iraq strategy: Hagel says war hurt U.S. in terror battle

The Kurds aren't happy: Angry Kurdish leaders demand federal state: Constitution Battle lies ahead over group's status.

The hidden victims: Study: 1 In 8 Combat Troops Has Post-Traumatic Stress. Combat Duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mental Health Problems, and Barriers to Care. See also the commentary: Acknowledging the Psychiatric Cost of War.

Another horror story of an innocent, cleared by the FBI agent investigating him, kept in humiliating conditions in isolation for many months, while John Ashcroft conversed with God: Inside America's secret new justice system.

Protest, Resistance, and Civil War

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Another in a long line of academics and intellectuals murdered: Head of Iraq Teacher's Institute Killed.

Fighting in Falluja Thursday night: U.S. forces battle insurgents in Fallujah; 13 dead.

Fighting in Nasiriya: Italian troops and Mahdi Army clash .

Aljazeera reports heavy casualties, including three Iraqis dead and 90 wounded in fighting with US in Falluja: Heavy casualties in US air strike on Falluja.

Robert Fisk gives us the unedited version of resistance activities on three recent days: The unreported war: US document reveals scale of conflict.

Shia resistance expands: Women fighters among Mahdi Army militia signal cleric building military might.

Paul McGeough claims the US is playing with tribal fire in Ramadi: Fatal collision with tradition.

A multinational group of hostages is being held: Group holding 7 hostages threaten to kill one. The List of Foreigners Taken Hostage in Iraq.

Al Qaeda blamed for yesterday.s bombing: 'An al Qaeda battleground' .

The Commons foreign affairs committee blames too few soldiers and a "failure" by the coalition to impose law and order from the start of the occupation. In a major 170-page report, it also warns that Afghanistan could "implode with terrible consequences" unless troops numbers are bolstered urgently.

Another video threat: Al-Qaida-Linked Militants Threaten To Kill Somali Hostage.

Stand tough or negotiate? Abductions Spark Debate over the Right Response.

More attacks, deaths, and kidnappings today: Four Iraqi police killed and Iraq governor's sons kidnapped

Troops killed and aircraft attacked in Anbar province: Iraq Insurgents Kill 2 Coalition Soldier.

Another bloody suicide attack. Further US claims of major resistance casualties. [prior claims of this magnitude have been disputed by Iraqis.] Iraq suicide blast kills 68: One dead in Baghdad rocket attack; 35 insurgents killed in As Suway. Also: Pictures of the Attcks from BBC.

Insurgent group threatens to shut down the Jordan-Baghdad highway in 72 hours, to avoid Jordanian supplies to US troops: Militant Group Threatens To Block Iraqi-Jordanian Highway.

Hostage horror spreads across borders: Hostages' Relatives Threaten to Kill Company Owner if Iraq Operations Continue. The firm pulls out: Jordanian firm decides to quit Iraq.

Tuesday attack: Garbage Collector Killed, 14 U.S. Troops Wounded In Baghdad Mortar Attack.

Robert Fisk offers insight on kidnap videos, as brutality permeates the country: Terror by video: How Iraq's kidnappers drew their inspiration from horrors of Chechnya.

All sides in Iraq have joined the video war. The first day of Saddam Hussein's trial was videotaped and handed to journalists by US military censors who initially tried to delete the soundtrack--something they succeeded in doing with the 11 Baathists whose arraignment followed shortly afterwards. There has even been an odd tape in which gunmen calling themselves "the Iraqi resistance" threaten the life of the al-Qa'ida member Abu Musab al-Zarqawi unless he leaves Iraq. Zarqawi is blamed by the Americans and by Iraq's new American-appointed Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, for suicide bombings in the country. But many Iraqis suspected the tape was made by the Iraqi authorities--and were convinced this was the case when the "resistance" men referred respectfully not to the "occupation forces" in Iraq but to the "coalition forces", the official name which the Western armies in Iraq have adopted. This video is known as the "Allawi tape"....
And where does the inspiration for all these ghoulish videos come from? More than six months ago, a video went on sale in the insurgents' capital of Fallujah, allegedly showing the throat-cutting of an American soldier. In fact, the tape showed a Russian soldier being led into a room by armed men in Chechnya. He is forced to lie down--apparently unaware of his fate--and at first tries to cope with the pain as a man takes a knife to his throat. His head is then cut off. It seems certain that this tape was intended as a training manual for Iraq's new executioners.

Pakastani hostages threatened to prevent Pakastan sending troops: Terror Group Sentences Hostages to Death.

No one is safe out of the Green Zone: Iraqi Interior Minister shot: Iraq Attacks Kill Official, 7 Others in Three Cities.

In Ramadi, the Marines basically hide. As long as they don't leave base, the insurgents are unlikely to attack them: No Shortage of Fighters in Iraq's Wild West.

Marines in the key city of Ramadi dig in and wait anxiously for the battle to come to them. The goal isn't victory; it's to stave off chaos.

Kuwait claims to break group recruiting fighters for jihad in Iraq: Kuwait busts Iraq jihad ring.

A senior Iraqi reconstruction official joins the hostages: Leading Iraqi official kidnapped .

Major battle with 13 insurgents dead, US/Iraqi government claims: Heavy Clashes in Iraq; Hostage Crisis Spiral. The Aljazeera report says local residence differ on casualty count: Unclear casualty toll in Baquba fighting.

Another day. A battle. A few of his fellow soldiers dead: A Soldier Reports From Ira.

Fight the occupiers, not Iraqis: Sunni leaders press insurgents to fight US forces, not Iraqis.

Two clerics, four clan leaders, and a leading politician also said in recent interviews that the domestic national resistance has split with a separate movement of what they called terrorists. The leaders defined as terrorists those foreign and Iraqi fighters responsible for suicide bombings and attacks on civilians and Iraqi security services, tactics that they said alienate the Iraqi public and unnecessarily provoke the United States....
Mohsen, one of the clan leaders from Fallujah, said he delivered a direct, unsettling message on a recent visit to the prime minister's office. He told an aide to the interim leader: "I would welcome [Allawi's] visit to Fallujah as an Iraqi, if there is no piece of land occupied [from the north to the south of Iraq]. But until then, we will not welcome you or any other Iraqi official." The importance of that stand cannot be underestimated, Mohsen added. "He who wins Fallujah wins Iraq. He who loses Fallujah loses Iraq."

Asia Time has a seven-part series by Nir Rosen: Falluja: Inside the Iraqi Resistance.

Brutal but effective insurgent tactics may undermine economy: Iraq's 'changing' war.

Iraqi General Assassinated by Gunmen in Mosul.

Another US bomb in Falluja wounds three children, among others: U.S. Forces Attack Insurgents in Fallujah: U.S. Forces Launch Strike Against Insurgents in Fallujah, As Two GIs Die in Separate Attack.

Update. Marines kill 25 & capture 25. However, "A correspondent in the city for the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya station said most of the casualties were civilians": Marines' fierce firefight in Iraq.

Reports of major fighting [in contradiction to the following article]: Marines Kill 25 Iraqis in Ramadi Clashes.

US troops have given up any attempt to patrol large parts of Anbar province: In the face of stubborn insurgency, troops scale back Anbar patrols.

Pointing to a neighborhood outside the town of Habbaniyah, between Fallujah and Ramadi, he said, "We've lost a lot of Marines there and we don't ever go in anymore. If they want it that bad, they can have it." And then to a spot on the western edge of Fallujah: "We find that if we don't go there, they won't shoot us...."
"There's a possibility that we'll say we'll protect the government and keep travel routes open, and for the rest of them, to hell with 'em," said Neemeyer, the intelligence officer. "To a certain degree we've already done it; we've reduced our presence...."
"The only way to stomp out the insurgency of the mind," he said, "would be to kill the entire population."
The commander of one of the local national guard battalions, Col. Adnan Allawi, said he thought the security situation in Ramadi and Anbar in general would only get worse...
Capt. John Mountford, who oversees a central command office in Ramadi for local police, national guard and U.S. military officials, said that in retrospect the military should've paid more attention to what the Iraqis were saying.

A "milestone" of suffering: U.S. death toll hits 900, averaging 2 a day since beginning of war. No wonder: U.S. Troops Fear Mounting Casualties.

Wednesday: Six US soldiers among 25 killed in Iraq.

Allawi's visit to Jordan protested: Jordan opposition protests Allawi visit.

The latest victims, veterinarians: Roadside bomb kills four Iraqi vets: Minibus, carrying nine veterinary surgeons, hit bomb in Ghalabia killing four, wounding two others seriously.

This time it's the Interim Governor of Basra: Governor Shot Dead In Iraqi City Of Basra.

No end in sight; US casualty rate high since handover: Long guerrilla war is feared in Iraq.

Insurgents with heart show mercy to both Christian and Muslim Arabs: Insurgents free Egyptian truck driver.

Last month, another Egyptian driver, Victor Tawfiq Gerges, was released after being held hostage by militant groups in Iraq for more than two weeks.

Bombs continue: Nine dead in Baghdad tanker blast. Also, in the article, Falluja's mayor says the 14 people killed in yesterday's US bombing in Falluja were civilians, not al-Zarqawi's fighters.

Guardian reporter James Meek provides an extended account of Five days in the life of an invisible war [Part One] and [Part Two].

The rebels attack because the marines are there. The marines are there because the rebels attack. In an extraordinary dispatch, foreign correspondent of the year James Meek describes life in a Catch-22 world where a human life is valued at $500, the mercury rarely falls below 40 and the daily carnage goes largely unreported.

Another deadly strike in Falluja: Airstrike in Fallujah kills at least 14.

Safety? Gunmen pick off Baghdad councillors.

Gunmen have killed six Baghdad councillors in the two weeks since the US occupation formally ended, sending a wave of fear through Iraq's grassroots politicians....
"Sixty-one of Baghdad's roughly 750 councillors have been killed in the last year. That's about 8%," the anonymous councillor said.

Senior Sunni Cleric Calls for Holy War against U.S. Forces in Iraq.

Another day in Iraq: Iraqi Justice Minister Escapes Suicide Car Bomb; ar bomb explodes at recruitment center in city south of Baghdad; and Killers Gouge Out Eyes of Jordanian Driver in Iraq.

Conflict between al-Sadr and other Shia, as al-Sadr gains strength: Shiite Struggle: City suffers as sect fights for freedom. And the NYT: Iraqi Liquor Store Owners Fear Fundamentalists' Rise.

Thursday in Iraq: 32 killed as attacks rock Iraq

Macabre wages: Relatives of murdered Iraqi policemen to get wage for life.

Insight into Falluja, which has battled five different US commanders: PART 1: Losing it.

All of Allawi’s threats can’t keep a country together: Iraqi official gunned down and: Iraqi Foreign Ministry security chief killed in attack.

The fighting goes on... and on... and on: A list of recent major attacks

Multiple deaths, including children, in a car bomb in Haditha, northwest of Baghdad: Iraq car bomb kills 10. Members of a family, including three children, were killed by a rocket strike in Kirkuk of unknown origin: Four killed in Iraq rocket strike.

The Mahdi Arm is reorganizing in Najaf: Sadr's militia regrouping, rearming and in Sadr City: Cleric's army quietly takes control. Juan Cole doubts the claim of the first article that Iranian agents play a large role in training the "army": Sadr's Mahdi Army Regrouping. He also provides further information from Iraqi sources.

Save a life. Pull out: Hostage's company to leave Iraq.

Another day in "liberated: Iraq: Fresh Iraq violence kills 22.

Attackers Kill Governor of Iraqi City of Mosul.

Many town in the Sunni Triangle are hotbeds of resistance: Festering resentment in 'Little Falloujas': Towns in the 'Sunni Triangle' are home to people embittered by the U.S.-led forces in Iraq.

Another massive car bomb, the worst in several weeks, kills many: Car Bomb Rocks Baghdad, Killing 11.

Al-Sadr's movement considering involvement in electoral activity: Radical Iraq Shiite Group Going Political.

Phillip Robertson vividly describes the horrors that await US soldiers patrolling Sadr City: "No one is going through what we are going through": Sgt. Reggie Butler saw his gunner buddy die inches away from him as they patrolled in Sadr City. "I'll do everything I can to bring all the soldiers back," he says. "Anything."

Muhanned and his cell were attacking Butler's company. Butler patrols the area around the mosque, as he has done for months, and Muhanned lives inside Alpha Company's area of operations, planning and executing ambushes. The two men are joined by the invisible current of the war but they do not know each other. In coming to know both men I cannot shake the feeling that the conflict in Sadr City is nothing more than an unnecessary machine for mass-producing grief.

Last Thursday's attack in Samarra was very coordinated: Attack on base near Samarra illustrates rebels' organization.

Professional soldiers who knew how to gauge and range an artillery piece were in charge, an alarming development for the Americans, who have endured mainly ill-directed artillery attacks during the year-old uprising.

Resistance brutality: 'Collaborator' has eye gouged out.

Background on Sheik Hareth al Dhari, of the Association of Islamic Scholars: Sunni cleric emerges as powerful foe of U.S. in Iraq

Sunday, three more soldiers die, following four deaths Saturday: Separate attacks kill 3 soldiers in Iraq.

Nationalists and jihadists don't see eye-to-eye: Iraq insurgency shows signs of internal rifts.

Fighting, perhaps inter-ethnic, in Kirkuk: Four killed, gas pipeline sabotaged in Iraq violence.

Al-Sadr condemns the continued occupation. He also calls for Saddam's execution: In the Ancient Streets of Najaf, Pledges of Martyrdom for Cleric.

City College of San Francisco withdrew an award for war activist Congressman Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo): Big Victory for Human Rights: CCSF Board Withdraws Award, Invitation to Congressman Tom Lantos For Supporting War in Iraq and Palestine.

In Sadr city, the resident have built up their own infrastructure, which the US tries to destroy: In Place of Gunfire, a Rain of Rocks: U.S. Troops in Sadr City Struggle to Help an Angry, Defiant Populace.

A grim milestone: Coalition records its 1,000th death in Iraq

Resistance far larger than US claimed, AP reports: Iraqi insurgency far larger than its guerrilla core

U.S. military analysts disagree over the size of the insurgency, with estimates running as high as 20,000 fighters when part-timers are added....
And in April alone, U.S. forces killed as many as 4,000 people, the military official said, including Sunni insurgents and Shiite militiamen fighting under the banner of a radical cleric. There has been no letup in attacks....
Most of the insurgents are fighting for a bigger role in a secular society, not a Taliban-like Islamic state, the military official said. Almost all the guerrillas are Iraqis, even those launching some of the devastating car bombings normally blamed on foreigners — usually al-Zarqawi....
"Every public opinion poll in Iraq ... supports the nationalist character of what is happening." Many guerrillas are motivated by Islam in the same way religion motivates American soldiers, who also tend to pray more when they're at war, the U.S. military official said. He said he met Tuesday with four tribal sheiks from Ramadi who "made very clear" that they had no desire for an Islamic state, even though mosques are used as insurgent sanctuaries and funding centers. "'We're not a bunch of Talibans,"' he paraphrased the sheiks as saying.

Iraq veterans in Texas criticize Iraq war and endless war on terror: Veterans oppose war in Iraq as deceitful.

Three US troops killed, many wounded, in Samarra: US troops die in Samarra attack.

Four marines die Tuesday in Al-Anbar province, after the three who died Monday: Four US marines killed in Iraqi operation

Iraqi insurgents tell Zarqawi to butt out or they will kill him: Iraqi group threatens to kill Zarqawi.

n a videotape sent to the Al Arabiya television station, a group calling itself the "Salvation Movement," questioned how Al Zarqawi could use Islam to justify the killing of innocent civilians, the targeting of government officials and the kidnapping and beheading of foreigners. "He must leave Iraq immediately, he and his followers and everyone who gives shelter to him and his criminal actions," said a man on the video.

Surprise, US lies again. This time about the number of foreign fighters in Iraq: Foreign Detainees are Few in Iraq: Data Suggest Administration has Overstated Role of Jihadists in the Insurgency.

More death from bombs: Car bomb in Iraqi town kills 13.

Attacks on US troops return to pre-handover levels: Despite handover, U.S. troops battle insurgents with no end in sight.

"The Iraqis want us to leave," Cunningham said, "but (stuff) like this isn't going to make it happen any quicker."

Samarra has evidently been taken over by some insurgent militia: Samarra in Chaos.

Three more marines die in Anbar Province: Three Marines killed near Baghdad.

Zarqawi's group issues "recruiting video": A video nasty: Terror chief shows off his deadly work.

Further damage to oil pipelines, and exports: Iraq Oil Pipeline Hit, Exports Reeling

Sadr denounces new regime: Government illegitimate, militant cleric says while: Aide to radical Shiite cleric says promised resistance will be "peaceful".

Falluja militants say no to pro-Saddam rally: Armed Men Ban Fallujah Pro-Saddam Rally. Meanwhile, the US launched another of their carefully-targeted air strikes that seem to miss their target: Up to 15 Reported Dead in Fallujah Blasts.

Shia resistance continues: Amid the graves, Shia militants stay loyal to radical cleric

Kurds claim increased attacks on them since handover: Attacks on Kurds on the increase after handover.

Another official killed: Baghdad Blast Kills Top Ministry Official.

Analysis, Commentary, & Domestic Reaction

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Arab Press Notes Iraqi harsh security measures cause anger and discontent. Saudis jump into US sinking ship in Iraq. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 30, 2004.

The New York Times reports that a senior al-Qaeda member who was the source of claims that Iraq aided al-Qaeda had recanted the testimony, but US officials kept on citing it as fact: "Most public statements by Mr. Bush and other administration officials on the matter described the assertions as matters of fact." High Qaeda Aide Retracted Claim of Link With Iraq. Must Read! Juan Cole thinks that al-Qaeda deliberately manipulated the US into attacking Iraq: Did al-Qaeda Game Bush into Iraq War?

[Did al-Qaead:] I think Bin Laden and his lieutenants wanted to provoke wars between the US and Muslim states. I think they knew that the 9/11 attacks would guarantee a US war on Afghanistan, and that they were confident they could draw the US into the country and defeat it, as they had the Soviets.
That they were trying to provoke a US/Afghanistan war and knew their actions would provoke one is suggested in several ways. First, they made no effort to have the hijackers on 9/11 employ aliases or cover their tracks. A toddler could have traced Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdar back to al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan. They made their reservations under their own names! All of the hijackers had. Counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke was astounded that these men had even been let on the planes under those names, many of which were well known to US intelligence. Likewise, Bin Laden hand-picked the Saudi "muscle" that he sent along at the last minute, from among young men personally loyal to him, and who would be known to be his men. September 11 was a way of waving a huge red flag from Afghanistan at the American bull....
Libi's story about Iraq training al-Qaeda, delivered after 9/11, is of a piece with the rest of this strategy. It was aimed at instigating a war by the US on Iraq.
All of these wars were intended to stir hatred of the US invader throughout the Muslim world, to weaken the "puppet" governments of the Middle East that were allied with the US and make them ripe for overthrow, and to mire the US in a series of Islamic quagmires that would sap its will and strength and ultimately force its withdrawal from the region.

Must Read! The US is now against treaty provisions for verification that a country isn't producing nuclear materials. Presumably verification could lead to discovery that US claims are fabrications. It might also put pressure on the US to allow inspections of its bomb-making facilities: U.S. Shifts Stance on Nuclear Treaty: White House Resists Inspection Provision.

Administration officials, who have showed skepticism in the past about the effectiveness of international weapons inspections, said they made the decision after concluding that such a system would cost too much, would require overly intrusive inspections and would not guarantee compliance with the treaty. They declined, however, to explain in detail how they believed U.S. security would be harmed by creating a plan to monitor the treaty.
Arms-control specialists reacted negatively, saying the change in U.S. position will dramatically weaken any treaty and make it harder to prevent nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists. The announcement, they said, also virtually kills a 10-year international effort to lure countries such as Pakistan, India and Israel into accepting some oversight of their nuclear production program

New studies [based on so-called Terror Management Theory] strongly suggest that spreading fear radically increases the likelihood people will vote for Bush: Fear of Death Wins Minds and Votes, Study Finds.

The volunteers were aged from 18 into their 50s and described themselves as ranging from liberal to deeply conservative. No matter what a person's political conviction, thinking about death made them tend to favor Bush, Solomon said. Otherwise, they preferred Kerry. "I think this should concern anybody," Solomon said. "If I was speaking lightly, I would say that people in their, quote, right minds, unquote, don't care much for President Bush and his policies in Iraq."

Psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton in the New England Journal of Medicine is concerned that medicine is being abused as doctors collaborate with American torturers around the world: Doctors and Torture or pdf version.

The doctors thus brought a medical component to what I call an "atrocity-producing situation" — one so structured, psychologically and militarily, that ordinary people can readily engage in atrocities. Even without directly participating in the abuse, doctors may have become socialized to an environment of torture and by virtue of their medical authority helped sustain it. In studying various forms of medical abuse, I have found that the participation of doctors can confer an aura of legitimacy and can even create an illusion of therapy and healing.

More on President Bush's mental state: Sullen, Depressed President Retreats Into Private, Paranoid World.

James Ridgeway discusses a plausible use of terrorist threats to seal the election for Bush: 'Terror' on Election Day!: Here's a scenario in which a phony terrorist threat could really blow up the November 2 vote. Given the way the administration manipulated terror fears during this week of the Democratic Convention, we can't dismiss these =scenarios out of hand.

Kerry the hawk: Democrats take the battle to Bush: Kerry says he's the better choice to lead America in wartime.

Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, who is rumored to be a contender for secretary of state if Kerry wins in November, described the party's nominee in almost hawkish terms. "When John Kerry is commander in chief, he will not hesitate to unleash the unparalleled power of our military on any nation or group that does us harm -- without asking anyone's permission,'' Biden said.

Armed forces claim they can't get Fahrenheit 9/11 prints to show troops: AAFES says it's doing its best to acquire Moore film for base theaters.

Arab Press Notes Conference postponed amid growing opposition and claims that most seats have been secretly fixed. Claims Allawi defrauded a Yemeni business man. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 29, 2004.

Noam Chomsky's comments on why an independent Iraq would not be tolerated by the US: An Independent Iraq.

Ira Chernus asks: Why Are Democrats Afraid of Peace? and zeynep points out the total lack of expressed concern for Iraqis at the Democratic Convention: Abu Ghraib, you said?

Again the Saudi-Bush connection comes into question: Parents of American Detained Without Charge by Saudis Sue U.S.

More on the interrogation of Saddam: 'I'll tell you everything if you give me a muffin': When he's not writing poetry or weeding the prison garden, Saddam Hussein is being interrogated about Iraq's WMD programmes. Brian Sack eavesdrops as the former dictator keeps the United States' elite inquisitors at bay.

If you were wondering how Kerry is different from Bush, don't look at foreign policy: Kerry 'will not change foreign policy'.

Mr Kerry has come under growing criticism from foreign policy commentators for failing to offer more than the blandest proposals that he would restore frayed alliances and behave more respectfully of allies and international bodies. But yesterday another top adviser, Richard Holbrooke, offered no details on policy questions ranging from Iraq to the Middle East or America's withdrawal from the Kyoto Treaty and the International Criminal Court

Fahrenheit 9/11 still setting records: 'Fahrenheit 9/11' sets new documentary mark. But Bin Laden sib gives it mixed reviews: Bin Laden Brother Disputes Moore Film. And Moore pleads with Kerry to do the right thing: My Plea to John Kerry: Stand Up for the Progressive Agenda that the Majority of America Already Agrees With.

More on the depths to which freedom has sunk in formerly revolutionary Boston: Boston's Pen of Shame. We should never forget the Democratic party kept silent while fundamental rights were abolished under their noses.

Justin Raimondo of thinks the Democrats are: A Party of Cowards: Will Kerry throw the election?. The Republicans have created an attack ad with his varied statements: Republicans produce video capturing Kerry's evolution on Iraq in his words. Meanwhile, few within the party say anything about its candidate's blatantly pro-war stance: Left-wing striving to keep unified front against Bush. We may decide he's the lesser of two evils, but evil he most certainly is.

Claims that President Bush is being medicated: Bush Using Drugs to Control Depression, Erratic Behavior.

resident George W. Bush is taking powerful anti-depressant drugs to control his erratic behavior, depression and paranoia, Capitol Hill Blue has learned. The prescription drugs, administered by Col. Richard J. Tubb, the White House physician, can impair the President’s mental faculties and decrease both his physical capabilities and his ability to respond to a crisis, administration aides admit privately....
Tubb prescribed the anti-depressants after a clearly-upset Bush stormed off stage on July 8, refusing to answer reporters' questions about his relationship with indicted Enron executive Kenneth J. Lay. “Keep those motherfuckers away from me,” he screamed at an aide backstage. “If you can’t, I’ll find someone who can....”
One long-time GOP political consultant who – for obvious reasons – asked not to be identified said he is advising his Republican Congressional candidates to keep their distance from Bush. “We have to face the very real possibility that the President of the United States is loony tunes,” he says sadly. “That’s not good for my candidates, it’s not good for the party and it’s certainly not good for the country.”

Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee speaks: GOP Senator Criticizes Bush for Iraq War.

Arab Press Notes Jordanian company yields to kidnappers' demands. Claims US defrauded Iraq. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 27, 2004.

Democracy arrested at "Democratic" convention: Medea Benjamin Dragged Off DNC Floor in Handcuffs For Unfurling "End the Occupation of Iraq" Banner.

Democrats meet in Guantanamo, not America: Free Speech Behind the Razor Wire.

Former British civil servant says the real reasons for the war were control over oil and preserving the dollar: The real reasons Bush went to war: WMD was the rationale for invading Iraq. But what was really driving the US were fears over oil and the future of the dollar.

Absurdities like the 45-minute claim were adopted by high-level officials and ministers because those concerned recognised the substantial reason for war - oil. WMD provided only the bureaucratic argument: the real reason was that Iraq was swimming in oil....
Overseeing Iraqi oil supplies, and maybe soon supplies from other Gulf countries, would enable the US to use oil as power. In 1990, the then oil man, Dick Cheney, wrote that: "Whoever controls the flow of Persian Gulf oil has a stranglehold not only on our economy but also on the other countries of the world as well."

Kerry campaigns for warrior-in-chief: In front of the guns, Kerry plays military card.

Rep. Henry Waxman criticizes the sudden zeal to investigate Sandy Berger after refusing to investigate, war, torture, treason, and theft of billions. Could it be politics? "Stark Contrast" in Investigation Choices by Committee on Government Reform; Committee "Poised to Repeat" Abuses of Burton's Reign.

Robert R. Goldberg discusses: Why Americans Believe Only American Deaths Count in Iraq.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls [Iowa] Courier editorializes that an independent investigation of prisoner abuse is needed: Report's findings enough to warrant independent into prisoner abuse.

If anything, the new report underscores the need for an independent investigation that can be respected by the American people and the world.

Dennis Hans isn't fooled by the recent haze: Those 16 words still stink.

Kerry doesn't represent the party activists, but they;re reluctant to criticize his pro-war stance: Stance on war splits Democrats.

Fahrenheit 9/11 being seen among troops in Middle East, this conservative soldier complains: Good News from Iraq: US Soldiers See Moore Film. A comment from the Toronto Star: Moore misery for the U.S.

Now that the Pentagon Inspector General has performed an essential function of whitewashing the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse, the Washington Times writes a puff piece, about how the Clinton Administration abused the office: Pentagon memo reveals bugging.

Arab Press Notes Iraqis dispute American resistance casualty claims. Alawi's tour of the arab world. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 26, 2004.

Could its image get worse? Polls apart: Two new surveys of opinion in the Middle East reveal increasing disregard not only for US policy but for the country as a whole.

The look of American fascism: Convention Demonstration Zone is a Dark, Shadowy Place. Note that this Internment Camp was built in a city with a "Democratic" mayor, and that the "Democratic" party meeting in that city has no objection to the stifling of dissent, much less, to putting demonstrators lives at risk, as exit would be impossible in the case of panic.

Some still speak out: Ronstadt gets audience walkout encore.

Fahrenheit 9/11 sets new records: 'Fahrenheit 9/11' Sets New Documentary Mark, Topping $100 Million. It's a hit with Independents: 'Fahrenheit 911': Most Democrats and Independents Give Michael Moore's Movie Good Marks and Think it Treats President Fairly. But Polish critics liken it to Nazi propaganda: Poles call 9/11 film 'propaganda'. and Michael Moore kindly extends a personal invitation to President Bush: Open Letter to George W. Bush - by Michael Moore.

Full text of: Army Inspector General Inspection Report on Detainee Operations [a.k.a., the Whitewash Report].

If you had any questions about who’s next on the war docket, read Gordon Prather’s take: Iran's Next.

For at least two years the Bush-Cheney administration has been demanding that the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors judge Iran to be in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Should the IAEA Board make such a judgment, it would then be obliged to report that to the UN Security Council. It would then be up to the Security Council to decide what action – if any – was appropriate. If the Council concluded that Iran's nuclear program constituted a danger to peace in the region, it could pass a resolution that Bush-Cheney could use – once reelected – as an excuse to do unto Iran in 2005 what they did to Iraq in 2003.

Shibley Tahami comments on what al-Qaeda motives may be: Manipulating US elections is not an Al-Qaeda goal

First, Al-Qaeda aims not so much to change US policy on specific issues, but to rally Muslims worldwide against the United States to create a sense of a clash of civilizations and to isolate Washington in the international community. Ultimately, it would hope to create a puritanical Islamic order in the Muslim world. This is the most plausible of the two objectives, and is one believed by the Bush administration....
In fact, in my public opinion survey (with Zogby International) last month in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, more than three-fourths of respondents said they believed that US aims in Iraq were intended in part "to weaken the Muslim world." Bin Laden was the second-most-admired leader in Egypt (after French President Jacques Chirac) and the UAE (after the late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser). Bush was the second-most-disliked leader in almost every one of those six countries, behind only Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Even Anonymous doesn’t have it quite right: Iraq is NOT the second holiest place in Islam. Is this really an “expert” speaking? How to Lose the War on Terror: A CIA bin Laden expert’s lament.

Patrick Buchanan comments on the relauching of the Committee of Present Danger: The Committee on the Present Confusion.

The declaration of principles and purposes of the new committee, however, help explains why support for Bush's war is crumbling. It is pure mush. It reads like the final communique, negotiated in some all-night session of deputies, of a contentious meeting of the G-8.

Bestselling book on the horrors of Islam for women is a fake, according to the Sydney Morning Herald: Her life as a fake: bestseller's lies exposed.

Kirk Walters, in Toledo and Pittsburgh papers asks: Editorial: Business of war / How much of the Iraq mission is about profit?

Veterans for Peace, including Scott Ritter tell Dems no more war: Antiwar veterans vying to be heard.

A background piece on Seymour Hersh: Mr. Hersh Goes to War:

Another voice says a major oil crisis looms: Energy crisis could loom, experts say Politics, corporate moves are factors.

The British cover-up continues: Top British intelligence official sacked after Blair jibe.

Newly found Bush National Guard records show Bush was AWOL: Bush's Military Records Fail to Dispel AWOL Charges.

Freedom? Judge OK's "internment camp" for protesters: Judge deplores but OK's site for protesters.

Arab Press Notes Iraq's multi-national government. Another air attack on a family in Falluja. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 23, 2004.

For those interested in this sort of thing: Full 9/11 report (pdf) or Searchable Version of Report.

Must Read! Labor MP Michael Meacher says "There is evidence of foreign intelligence backing for the 9/11 hijackers. Why is the US government so keen to cover it up?" The Pakistan connection.

Omar Sheikh, a British-born Islamist militant, is waiting to be hanged in Pakistan for a murder he almost certainly didn't commit - of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. Both the US government and Pearl's wife have since acknowledged that Sheikh was not responsible. Yet the Pakistani government is refusing to try other suspects newly implicated in Pearl's kidnap and murder for fear the evidence they produce in court might acquit Sheikh and reveal too much.
Significantly, Sheikh is also the man who, on the instructions of General Mahmoud Ahmed, the then head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), wired $100,000 before the 9/11 attacks to Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker. It is extraordinary that neither Ahmed nor Sheikh have been charged and brought to trial on this count. Why not?’

Michael Moore’s movie makes a difference in how the administration is viewed: 'Fahrenheit 9/11' Making GOP Nervous. "If you are a naive, uncommitted voter and wander into a theater, you aren't going to come away with a good impression of the president," Republican operative Joe Gaylord said. "It's a problem only if a lot of people see it." Yet Michael Ewans sees Moore’s movie differently: The Movie Moore Should Have Made: Fahrenheit 9/11 Meets its Matc.

Who’s sorry now? Chairman Thomas Kean spoke of a failure of "policy, management, capability and, above all, imagination": 9/11 inquiry blames US 'failure'.

Dan Eggen and Mike Allen state ‘The final report by the commission investigating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, details 10 missed opportunities by the Bush and Clinton administrations to detect or derail the deadly hijackings, according to government officials US had 10 chances to avert 9/11. Excerpts From 9/11 Commission Report.

Who hates whom? Ibtassam Al Bassam turns the tables saying ‘Hardly a month passes by without Islam being directly or indirectly attacked and Islamic values being ridiculed.’ The Oft-Asked Question: Why Do They Hate Us?

Protest in baseball: Blue Jays' Delgado protests war in Iraq

"It's a very terrible thing that happened on Sept. 11. It's (also) a terrible thing that happened in Afghanistan and Iraq," Delgado said at the time. "I just feel so sad for the families that lost relatives and loved ones in the war. But I think it's the stupidest war ever. Who are you fighting against? You're just getting ambushed now. We have more people dead now after the war than during the war," he said. "I don't support what they do. It's just stupid."

Joseph C. Wilson says: A Right-Wing Smear Is Gathering Steam: Ex-envoy says the GOP has Targeted him and his Wife.

No limits to what they'll do in this election: Rig My Election, Please: Just how far will desperate Republicans go to trick America into another BushCo victory?

Iraq war critic Cynthia McKinney wins Democratic primary: McKinney Storms to Win.

Arab Press Notes More Iraqi verbal attacks on Iran. Allawi's tour 'a leave from hell'. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 21, 2004.

The Republican party seems to have three Presidential candidates: George W. Bush, John Kerry with his "the only difference in foreign policy is I'm not a nitwit like GWB," and Ralph Nader who seems to be working hard to re-elect GWB: and Nader's "Grassroots" Campaign...Courtesy of GOP. Nader Says He'll Now Accept Signatures Collected by GOP. This way, only the voters loose.

Paul Krugman wonders if Al Qaeda could find a better candidate than President Bush: The Arabian Candidate.

Michael A. Weinstein thinks Iraq is, indeed, becoming sovereign, but democracy is a pipe dream as the country awaits finding out which form of dictatorship will emerge: Iraq's Transition to Dictatorship.

Lila Lipscomb: The accidental activist: A mom from Flint, Mich., tries to 'wake America up'.

The atmosphere in the US must be changing: Council apologizes to anti-Bush protesters.

The Charleston City Council apologized Monday to two protesters who were arrested for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts to the president's July 4 rally at the West Virginia Capitol.

Pants On Fire! Blair lied! Brits say: Poll reveals majority say Blair told lies over Iraq.

But 55 per cent of those asked in the days after he presented his findings said Mr Blair lied, while 37 per cent said he told the truth. Opposition to the invasion has jumped 13 points in the last two months, with 56 per cent now saying the war was not justified.

Linda Ronstadt was thrown out of a Los Vegas casino for dedicating a song to Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11 Casino ejects Ronstadt over 'Fahrenheit' praise. If her experience is like that of the Dixie Chicks, her career will really take off now.

Arab Press Notes Ex-ministers report scandals and corruption in the Interim Administration. Claims of an Israeli sabotage network. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 19, 2004.

Another worthwhile investigation: What happened to the media leading up to the war? Iraq Scandals: Media Failures Next.

Orville Schell, the head of the Journalism Department at Berkeley explained said that’s because media outlets “not only failed to seriously investigate administration rationales for war, but little took into account the myriad voices in the on-line, alternative, and world press that sought to do so”

Rachel Stohl astutely notes that “While U.S. policymakers were consumed with finding weapons of mass destruction, mission planners largely ignored the threat of conventional weapons”: Forget WMD -- It's Conventional Arms That Are Killing GIs and Iraqis.

Kerry’s tonic for Iraq (and elsewhere) is Bush Lite: Kerry’s Progressive Internationalism: Achieving American Dominance Multilaterally.

As a result, “Progressive Internationalism” reads like a saccharine strategy for US hegemony through a multilateral veil. The program calls for the US to again lead the free world by spreading the gospel of free-trade, open markets, and representative democracy cooperatively when possible, militarily if necessary.

On the other hand, Kerry should learn from Bush policy: Iraq - The Big Issue in this Election.

Recalling Edward Said’s “Imaginary Geographies,” the military now renders the human being as a “system”: An Arm and A Leg.

Some of the new systems' parts she works with are extraordinary examples of this modern, high tech, war machine. The new Kevlar flak jackets, for example, have a fast acting, coagulating agent built into the lining. When the flak jacket is ripped apart, the coagulating agent fills wounds and saves lives - or rather, systems.
The results of this new technology are stunning. From WWII through Desert Storm, one in four soldiers died as a consequence of injuries sustained on the battlefield. But with these new Kevlar flak jackets, that figure is now only one in eight. Instead of dying, many of these injured soldiers become amputees.
How many amputees have been created by this war thus far? Difficult to say. The American government withholds this information keeping the public in the dark. In fact, most injured soldiers - like their dead comrades - are returned to America under the literal cover of darkness, late at night, out of view of the media. Besides, serious injuries in Iraq are so commonplace now they are rarely reported.

Be warned. Thom Hartmann points out that the Bush narrative has a literary predecessor cautioning the rise of fascism: The Ghost of Vice President Wallace Warns: "It Can Happen Here".

In Sinclair Lewis's 1935 novel "It Can't Happen Here," a conservative southern politician is helped to the presidency by a nationally syndicated radio talk show host. The politician - Buzz Windrip - runs his campaign on family values, the flag, and patriotism. Windrip and the talk show host portray advocates of traditional American democracy as anti-American. When Windrip becomes President, he opens a Guantanamo-style detention center, and the viewpoint character of the book, Vermont newspaper editor Doremus Jessup, flees to Canada to avoid prosecution under new "patriotic" laws that make it illegal to criticize the President.

Arab Press Notes Reports of increased resistance activity in many cities. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 17, 2004.

Butler report was changed to let Tony Blair off the hook: Inquiry into British WMD intelligence watered down to protect Blair: report.

British Labor MP Geraldine Smith says: I was misled into voting for the war

New poll finds a majority of Americans now believe the US should have stayed out of Iraq: Poll Finds Dwindling War Support.

Pants On Fire! The British government has been forced to admit that they deliberately withheld crucial evidence from the prior Lord Hutton inquiry: No 10 admits Hutton cover-up.

Arab Press Notes Few foreign fighters in Iraq. Moslem cleric lashes out at Iran. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 16, 2004.

Election Coming! Something big is coming, says CIA director.

Pants on Fire!Colin Powel presented to the UN many "fact" openly disputed by his own State Department analysts: Flaws Cited in Powell's U.N. Speech on Iraq.

The analysts, describing many of the claims as "weak" and assigning grades to arguments on a 5-star scale, warned Powell against making an array of allegations they deemed implausible. They also warned against including Iraqi communications intercepts they deemed ambiguous and against speculating that terrorists might "come through Baghdad and pick-up biological weapons" as if they were stocked on store shelves.

Crucial evidence withheld from British inquiries: The Damning Evidence Revealed: Government witnesses knew September dossier was unsafe - but did not tell Hutton.

Phyllis Bennis discusses what the debate over intelligence failures fails to show: The Price of Imperial Folly.

A approach to beefing up Bush spirit: Party Spirit Gets You on Bush's Team.

His presidency is defined by the war in Iraq, and things have not gone swimmingly. I couldn't just knock on my neighbor's door and say, "Hey, Larry. Mission accomplished in Iraq. Kegger at my house."

Deception is deception in any country. More on the Butler Report reaction. Jackie Ashley: There is now no doubt that Blair misled the Commons: After Butler's damning report, he should search his conscience again. Robin Cook: Britain's worst intelligence failure, and Lord Butler says no one is to blame. Comments on how the report was reported: Simply Appalling: The Butler Report.

Sidney Blumenthal says ‘The Senate's report is very revealing about Bush and his apostles - but the clues are buried deep’: Learn the code.

No one is to blame yet Blair blames himself: UK Iraq Report Reveals Lies, Not the Liar. Picking up the baton, Edwards praises Blair for his statemanship concerning Iraq: US Democrats praise Blair over Iraq report. And in the world presses, few let Blair off the hook World's press reflect Butler fallout.

Neocon founding member Francis Fukuyama, won't vote for Bush, condemns Iraq war: Fukuyama Withdraws Bush Support.

JK Galbraith on: A cloud over civilisation: Corporate power is the driving force behind US foreign policy - and the slaughter in Iraq .

Dennis Kucinich calls John Kerry great guy: Did Dennis Kucinich Sell Out Anti-War Democrats?

"Thank you!"--OBL: Iraq war 'a gift' to bin Laden, says CIA veteran. More details on the argument of Anonymous [a.k.a Michael Scheuer], the former CIA Counterterrorist Center's Osama Bin Laden station chief: The Misunderstood Osama: How to read Imperial Hubris.

[The Misunderstood Osama:] The fundamental flaw in our thinking about Bin Laden is that "Muslims hate and attack us for what we are and think, rather than what we do." Muslims are bothered by our modernity, democracy, and sexuality, but they are rarely spurred to action unless American forces encroach on their lands. It's American foreign policy that enrages Osama and al-Qaida, not American culture and society.
How is the United States threatening Muslim lands? The post-9/11 crackdowns on Muslim charities have effectively ended tithing, which is one of the five pillars of Islam; our casual denunciations of "jihad" sneer at a central tenet of the Muslim faith. America supports corrupt anti-Muslim governments in Uzbekistan and China, "apostate" governments in the Middle East, and the new Christian state of East Timor. And, above all, it continues to house occupying forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bin Laden isn't a loose cannon trying to bring the world to Armageddon. He's an eloquent and rational actor, more CEO than gangster. He often blames Muslims for their failure to repel Western invaders. His analyses of al-Qaida's victories and defeats are often more cogent than Western leaders' tirades against him.

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern analyzes the Senate report on prewar intelligence: The CIA and Iraq: An Intelligence Debacle...and Worse. A

If hope is what is found at the bottom of Pandora's box, it can be found here too. That there are still honest, perceptive analysts at CIA is clear from the analysis that Anonymous sets forth in his excellent book, Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror. (Note to Condoleezza Rice: Anonymous' name is Michael Scheuer; he is an overt employee; you can get his extension from the CIA operator-just call 703 482 1100.)

Arab Press Notes New mercenaries for Iraq. Re real American casualties far higher? Former US adviser accused of fraud. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 14, 2004.

Ira Chernus Senate 'Intelligence (?)' Committee Rewrites History.

Another British whitewash! Butler report: Summary of conclusions. Blair celebrates: Blair defiantly insists war right. The Full Report.

Scoundrel Time!Fear, anyone? Bush Shifts Campaign Focus to Iraq

Michael Moore has put out extensive: Fahrenheit 9/11 Notes + Sources.

Arab Press Notes Has Italy paid a ransom to kidnappers? Reports of large battles in Anbar province. How Arabs and Moslems see US and UK after the Iraq war. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 13, 2004.

200 US students, including 30 Rhodes scholars, write Open Letter condemning US foreign policy: US scholars 'can't defend' Bush policy.

Arab Press Notes A claim that the US is deliberately fomenting chaos in Iraq. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 12, 2004.

Tom Engelhardt analyzes the charade that accompanies the Senate report on prewar intelligence. He points out that, from the Administration's perspective, the CIA had a great intelligence success, not a failure: they came up with the evidence that would justify the war already decided upon. The falsity of the evidence was fine, only the conclusions mattered: The CIA Did It!

Robin Cook knows that Tony Blair told untruths about WMD because he told Cook the truth before the war: Blair and Scarlett told me Iraq had no usable weapons by Robin Cook.

Outfoxed is a new documentary by Robert Greenwald [of Steal this Movie and Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War fame] telling how FOX TV manipulated the Iraq war news. This is a fascinating NYT account of how it was made: How to Make a Guerrilla Documentary.

It is not exactly earth-shattering, of course, to learn that Fox is more conservative than other news networks. What ''Outfoxed'' does is detail the specific ways, both onscreen and behind the scenes, in which the network's conservatism shapes its news and opinion programs. The most stinging blow that ''Outfoxed'' delivers to Fox's ''fair and balanced'' claim comes in a segment of the film on the daily memos apparently sent to the entire Fox news operation by John Moody, Fox News's senior vice president for news and editorial. The memos... set the agenda for how events will be covered. One memo... instructs employees how to report on the increasing number of American fatalities in Iraq: ''Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of U.S. lives,'' it reads. Another memo outlines the approach to covering the United States military's siege on Falluja: ''It won't be long before some people start to decry the use of 'excessive force,''' it says. ''We won't be among that group.'' A third, on the 9/11 Commission, is equally firm: ''The fact that former Clinton and both former and current Bush administration officials are testifying gives it a certain tension, but this is not 'what did he know and when did he know it' stuff,'' it cautions. ''Do not turn this into Watergate.''

Wounded Soldiers react to Doonesbury.

Canceling US elections under discussion: Exclusive: Election Day Worries. They want to authorize the Department of Homeland Security to cancel and reschedule elections. Does anyone believe that the main criterion to be applied would be whether polls show bush ahead?

White house changed CIA report before deslassifying it to remove all doubt. Yet the Senate doesn't blame the White House. Why not? Key Revisions Were Made to CIA Document. Distortion by the White House isn't important enough to be reported on till after the election.

Douglas Feith's secret, possibly illegal, cell Fury over Pentagon cell that briefed White House on Iraq's 'imaginary' al-Qaeda links. Where is the Special Counsel?

Post Senate report: As Rationales for War Erode, Issue of Blame Looms Large.

Lila Lipscomb, the soldier's mother from Fahrenheit 9/11 speaks: The lie that killed my son.

Senator Hagel not going along with the program to blame all pre-war lapses on the CIA: Iraqi intelligence lapses go beyond CIA, Hagel says.

Arab Press Notes Religious leaders criticize new government and martial law. Eye-witness report on Baghdad battle. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 9, 2004.

Marshall Auerback calls attention to the looming decline in world oil production, which forms a backdrop for Iraq and much else: Surprised in October? A New World of Oil.

Senate issues cover-up: Senate report cites CIA for ‘failures’ on Iraq: 'Mischaracterization' of data on weapons of mass destruction. Full text: Conclusions of Senate's Iraq report.

How convenient! Pentagon Says Bush Records of Service Were Destroyed.

Richard Clarke, no liberal, denounces US treatment of Iraqi prisoners as "war crimes": Clarke takes shots at Bush administration

Bush coordinates anti-terrorist efforts with US election: Pakistan for Bush: July Surprise?

But The New Republic has learned that Pakistani security officials have been told they must produce HVTs by the election. According to one source in Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), "The Pakistani government is really desperate and wants to flush out bin Laden and his associates after the latest pressures from the U.S. administration to deliver before the [upcoming] U.S. elections...."
But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Arab Press Notes Chalabi aide accuses Russia of helping resistance. Resistance fighters control Samarra, trap a US army unit in Qaie. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 8, 2004.

Is the net closing? Cheney Faces Criminal Indictments; Other Illegal Actions Raise Warning Flags at White House. <

Afghans arrest Americans for having a "private prison": Three Americans arrested in Kabul.

Arab Press Notes Further criticism of legality of Saddam trial. 16 resistance groups unite. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 7, 2004.

Robert Jensen, journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin, feels that Fahrenheit 9/11 is a conservative movie: Stupid White Movie: What Michael Moore Misses About the Empire.

Cheney's nose grows: Cheney Had No New Data on Saddam, Al Qaeda-Panel.

Watch Uncovered: The Whole Truth About The Iraq War online! A great movie!

Blair "I was wrong. Re-elect me!" Blair says Iraq WMDs may never be found.

He said it was a parody of his relationship with the US to pretend that he goes along with President Bush "and every so often they throw us a scrap".

William A. Cook discusses Dante's view of contemporary America: If Dante Knew of Bush and the Neo-Cons... The Legacy of Deceit.

Arab Press Notes New claims of torture. Gangs and crime in Baghdad. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 6, 2004.

Ralph Nader appears to be the Republican candidate par excellence: The Uprising of the Nader Republicans.

The British will be asking "Is Tony Blair a liar or a fool?" WMD report shatters Blair's credibility.

Senior British government lawyer who resigned when her opinion the war was illegal was ignored, now has scathing critique of legality of Iraq war and of Bush's "War on Terrorism:" Legality of Iraq occupation 'flawed'.

She said the Bush administration's "war on terror" was legal "nonsense" - conferring no more powers on the US to detain prisoners than "the war against obesity" - and President Bush's policy of pre-emptive self-defence was illegal under international law.

Arab Press Notes Criticism of Saddam trial, with claims that he should be tried by an elected Iraqi government. reports that al-Sadr is continuing resistance. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 4, 2004.

Arab Press Notes Reports of abusive American raid on a Ministry of the Interior facility on the first day of "sovereignty". Criticism of Saddam trial. Notes on these and other stories in today's news as reported by Arab sources: Arab Press Note: July 1, 2004.

Iraqi Abu Khaleel has made a detailed proposal for the rapid development of representative democracy in Iraq: Rapid Democracy in Iraq. He has also written an: Iraqi Letter to America.

Are Republicans aiding Nader? If so, why doesn't he denounce them? Group: Bush allies illegally helping Nader in Oregon.

Previous Month Archive: June, 2004
Occupation Resistance Analysis

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Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis
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