September, 2003

NOTE: Information regarding the WMD lies and other matters directly related to the prior stage of the war is available at Iraq Antiwar Resources.

The Occupation

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Paul Krugman's latest discussion of the crony capitalism, of the US kind, that is plaguing Iraq: Who's Sordid Now? And another account, also from the New York Times, of crony capitalism in the making: Washington Insiders' New Firm Consults on Contracts in Iraq For examples, see the corporate web site for New Bridge Strategies.

Robert Fisk: Don't Mention The Oil. Or Ask About The Victims

A look at the Private Military Contractors that are appearing all over Iraq. Its only a matter of time till they commit atrocities. In Iraq, private contractors lighten load on U.S. troops: For profit, private firms train Iraqi soldiers, provide security and much more

An Iraqi exile, Sami Ramadani, goes home and discovers the face of occupation: Patriots and Invaders: Iraqi Resistance to Foreign Occupation Enjoys Great Popular Support

One of the popular sayings I repeatedly heard in Baghdad, describing the relations between the US and Saddam's regime, is "Rah el sani', ija el ussta" - "gone is the apprentice, in comes the master."

The New York Times finally discovers that Iraq has a distinct culture and is not a borough of NYC: Iraqi Family Ties Complicate American Efforts for Change

The Girl Blogger on the sell off of Iraq.

For Sale: A fertile, wealthy country with a population of around 25 million… plus around 150,000 foreign troops, and a handful of puppets. Conditions of sale: should be either an American or British corporation (forget it if you’re French)… preferably affiliated with Halliburton. Please contact one of the members of the Governing Council in Baghdad, Iraq for more information.
Major reconstruction contracts are being given to the huge companies, like Bechtel and Halliburton, for millions of dollars. These companies, in turn, employ the Iraqis in the following way: they first ask for bids on specific projects. The Iraqi company with the lowest bid is selected to do the work. The Iraqi company gets *exactly* what it bid from the huge conglomerate, which is usually only a fraction of the original contract price. Hence, projects that should cost $1,000,000 end up costing $50,000,000.

Guy Grossman & James Skelly an Israeli and an American former military officers and resistors have written An Open Letter to Soldiers Who Are Involved in the Occupation of Iraq, calling for resistance to the occupation.

we urge you to consider refusing orders that you can no longer in conscience carry out.

Due to "misunderstanding", two AP staff were abused. How many non-reporters are similarly abused, and how many get let go in 3 hours? U.S. Troops Hold, Handcuff Two AP Iraqi Staff. To get an inkling, read Robert Fisk's account: Brutal Reality That Fans The Flames Of Hatred In Iraq

The cousin did say that there was a "good American" at Abu Ghraib who believed all the men were innocent. "He told us how sorry he was when Sabah died. And when we were freed, he came up to each one of us and shook us by the hand. His name was Johnson. He was a good man. The rest were bad."

Here's how Iraqi merchants view the fire-sale planned for their country: Open Investment Policy Looks Like 'World Occupation' to Iraq Merchants

More bad news for Iraqis: IRAQ: Privatisation of drug companies spells disaster, says MSF

Several more pieces illustrating the disconnect between US leaders and the GIs on the ground in Iraq. SGt. Leanne Duffy, stationed in Kuwait, reports that With no plan apparent, GIs in Iraq slowly becoming frantic. "Yes, we are physically able to finish our mission, but mentally and spiritually we are dying" he reports. Most independent reports agree that Most US Soldiers Say They Just Want to Go Home. "Without Iraqi friends, a soldier's life inside base is almost like being in prison." Not surprisingly, US Soldiers in Iraq Shrug at Bush's UN Speech. to top it all off, AP reports: General: More Reservists May Be Called Up

the new Iraqi morals police at work? Two Killed by Grenade Blast in Iraqi Cinema

A nephew of Chalabi is trying to make a killing off of foreign investment in Iraq. given his history, the uncle is probably not far behind. Friends of the family: Companies wishing to make money in post-Saddam Iraq need look no further than an Iraqi uncle and nephew, and their hawkish friends in Washington, writes Brian Whitaker

More killings, more lies: Iraq: the reality and rhetoric -- Rory McCarthy reports from al-Jisr, scene of the killing of three farmers at hands of US troops

Oh, freedom! Kill the messenger! Arab networks in Iraq 'face curbs'. And here's Robert Fisk's commentary: America's toothless ' interim council' roars like a lion - against the press

But the list nevertheless provides an intriguing reflection on the 'democracy' which Mr. Bremer-who ordered his legal advisers to draw up censorship rules in the late spring - wishes to bestow on Iraqis....
Journalists and others must also inform the authorities of "any acts of sabotage, criminal activity, terrorism or any violent action...before or after an attack takes place." ... Many Iraqis would say, with good reason, that the fearful US troops who have killed so many innocent Iraqis before, during or after attacks on their convoys, are just as dangerous to them as the guerrillas assaulting the Americans.

One of the most detailed accounts of life among the US occupation troops, by Christian Parenti of the Nation: Stretched Thin, Lied to & Mistreated:On the ground with US troops in Iraq

Evidently the secret "rules" have no problem with cold-blooded killing: U.S. military says troops acted within the rules in shooting death of Reuters cameraman

Even the Iraqi's prized nationalized oil system may be put up for sale: Iraq oil assets 'up for sale'

Here's how Bush wants to spend the money, or at least the small fraction for "reconstruction"; Bush Paper Details Iraq Spending Plan

A letter letter from a GI newly returned from Iraq, who's husband is still there.

Another view of Iraq today, this time from Pepe Escobar of Asia Times: The mean streets of Baghdad

US repression is relentless. Red Cross officials confirm that more than 20,000 people have been arrested in Baghdad in the past few months.... Baghdadis take for granted that American soldiers are now free to shoot civilians in any Iraqi civilian vehicle if they look even remotely suspicious.

Robert Fisk documents yet again, the butchery occurring in Iraq today: Another Day In The Bloody Death Of Iraq: At least 10,000 Iraqi civilians have been gunned down since the end of the war. and A Poignant Iraqi Tragedy

The great rush to buy Iraq may soon be on: Iraq unveils economic reform package. And Iraq adopts sweeping economic reforms

[M]any ordinary Iraqis will see the moves as a big sell-off with predominantly multi-national, American companies viewed as getting "rewards".

As American corporations get ready for the big Iraqi sell-off The World Policy Institute has a report documenting the war profiteering already occurring: The Price of Freedom in Iraq and Power in Washington. After reading it, check out the Campaign to Stop the War Profiteers

Here are reports that Saddam is trying to negotiate a deal: Desperate Saddam Offers Americans Deal

Even the US puppets aren't going along with the program: Iraqi council, U.S. begin to part ways but it may not be helping much with their lack of support from the Iraqi population: Iraq's government struggles to win over Iraqi public, shed American 'taint'

Iraqi bureaucrats and American "facilities consultants" chat away on cell phones, which ordinary Iraqis aren't allowed to own. Council members make $1,500 a month in salary and "entertainment" allowances. The average monthly salary for Iraqis is $200.

In Baghdad, even the tigers aren't safe from US troops: US soldier kills Baghdad tiger. Also, ever wonder how drunken US troops roaming around in they're military vehicles are perceived in a Muslim country where many advocate banning alcohol?

Robert Fisk expresses the thoughts of many around the world: Iraq's occupiers suspected of losing touch with reality. [A must read!]

The rich and foreign business people can buy security, in Iraq as elsewhere: In Iraq, Demand Makes Security Growth Industry

Notice how many "Investigations" the US occupation launches! It seems that none are ever concluded: Iraq Attacks Give U.S. Forces Jitters

Another example of the American's precise targeting: GIs in Iraq Kill Aide to Italian Envoy

As Robert Fisk reports, Saddam's prisons are put to new use, as US prisons, doctors included: Saddam's old terror cells fail squeaky-clean test despite US facelift

For a heart-wrenching account of the situation of Iraqi women before and after "liberation" read the September 16, 2003 entry of Baghdad Burning by the Girl Blogger of Baghdad. See also the New York Times Veiled and Worried in Baghdad

Another grim account of life, or rather death, in Baghdad: Baghdad's Packed Morgue Marks a City's Descent Into Lawlessness

Bodies are fished out of the muddy-green Tigris. They are pulled from alleys, gathered from rooftops and lifted from garbage piles. Some are left on the roadside, like that of Bashar Khammas Mohammed, a 26-year-old taxi driver who was strangled with his own headdress.

Yet another discussion of the brilliant US campaign to win the loyalty of the Iraqi population: Raiders losing the battle for hearts and minds

Ten-year-old Ahmed, herded with his family into his garden, shook visibly as he watched soldiers interrogate one man, whose head slammed onto the ground with a thud. I will become an Iraqi fighter and I will kill Americans," the boy said. He pointed at troops who charged into his home with rifles, sledgehammers and bolt-cutters hunting for anti-American guerillas. "They are the enemy," he said.

This is "liberation"? US admits holding 10,000 Iraqi prisoners

Asked if they had any rights or had access to their families or legal help while they were being "secured", she said: "It's not that they don't have rights ... they have fewer rights than EPWs (enemy prisoners of war)."

Fallujah police aren't buying excuses for why 10 of their members were killed. Talk of joining resistance: Iraqi police ready to turn guns on US troops

Robert Fisk on the civilian toll of the occupation, at least 1,000 dead a week! Secret slaughter by night. 1000 Iraqi civilians are being killed every week!

Only last week, reporters covering the killing of the Fallujah policemen were astonished to see badly wounded children suddenly arriving at the hospital, all shot - according to their families - by an American tank which had opened up at a palm grove outside the town. As usual, the occupation authorities had "no information" on the incident. But if you count the Najaf dead as typical of just two or three other major cities, and if you add on the daily Baghdad death toll and multiply by seven, almost 1,000 Iraqi civilians are being killed every week - and that may well be a conservative figure

More details on the 8 killed Iraqi police from an Associated Press reporter

who saw some of the dead Iraqis said they were in uniform - a blue shirt with insignia. Shell casings left behind and examined by an AP reporter suggested the Iraqis did not fire a shot. None of the AK-47 shell casings used by Iraqi police forces were on the ground. All the casings were those of weapons used by U.S. forces.

Here is Robert Fisk's commentary of the police killings, asking many questions the Americans haven't answered: A hail of bullets, a trail of dead, and a mystery the US is in no hurry to resolve

I found thousands of brass cartridge cases at the scene, piles of them like autumn leaves glimmering in the sun, along with the dark green grenade cartridges.
Several Iraqis said that a Jordanian doctor in the hospital had been killed and five nurses wounded. Yet when I approached the hospital gate, I was confronted by three armed men who said they were Jordanian. To enter hospitals here now, you must obtain permission from the occupation authorities in Baghdad - which is rarely, if ever, forthcoming. No-one wants journalists prowling round dismal morturaies in "liberated" Iraq. Who knows what they might find.

How will that $87 billion be spent? Wearing Out and Adding Up: Army Costs Increase as Terrain Takes Toll on Equipment

Potential new dangers in Iraq, with long-term consequences: Iraq: Experts Warn of Radioactive Battlefields

These fears were heightened when a correspondent for the 'Christian Science Monitor' took a Geiger counter to parts of Baghdad that had been subjected to heavy shelling by U.S. troops. He found radiation levels 1,000 to 1,900 times higher than normal in residential areas where children were playing nearby.

Why are they resisting foreign occupation? “Disappearing” Iraqis: Why Are So Many Citizens Arrested and Detained by the American Occupying Force? What does this brutality have to do with fighting terrorism?

For the next month, Ali essentially disappeared from the face of the earth. His wife and young son, Hassan, tried desperately to find him, but without success. There were no phone calls, no letters, no hints of whether he was alive or dead or would ever be returning home.
“They’ve occupied all of Saddam’s palaces, so maybe that has caused them to act like him,” suggested one Iraqi, who pointed out that the ousted dictator regularly arrested people in the middle of the night and whisked them away without informing anyone why they were detained, where they were, or if they were ever coming home again.
American soldiers guarding the Abu Graeb prison, the final stop on Ali’s journey, said the facility could not provide any information about Ali’s former status. A large sign near them warned Iraqis that they would not be allowed to visit prisoners and that there was not any means of finding information about inmates. “You’ll have to contact ‘Seemah,’” said one of the soldiers. When asked what “Seemah” was, and where it was, the soldier said he had no idea.

Perhaps the behavior documented in the articles above and below helps explain why Iraqis Do Not Trust Americans, Says Poll

As "security" returns to Iraq, at least 8 police officers were killed by US troops. Imagine how many civilians are most likely killed in similar incidents. Of course, the locals aren't supposed to care that the occupiers are butchering them. US army blunder 'kills eight Iraqi officers'. Here is an later account, with more details: US killing of eight Iraqi police fuels anger in troubled town.

Their patrol cars had their sirens on and their warning lights flashing as they chased the suspects through the centre of town early yesterday. As the vehicles passed in front of a US military base American tanks opened fire without warning....
Police officers described how they pleaded with the soldiers to stop firing as their colleagues died around them....
By late yesterday no US officer had appeared at the main police station in Falluja to apologise or explain what had happened.

Robert Fisk on The Burden Of "Victory"

A sobering look at the "liberation" four months on, by In These Times correspondent Christian Parenti: Letter from Baghdad: The Progress of Disaster

Another indication of how life "liberation" has improved life for all Iraqis: Iraqi Women Have Lost the Post-War: Rapes, Sequestrations, and a Return to the Veil Develop.

Yet one more horrifying example of how common brutal killing of Iraqi civilians by US troops has become: Farah tried to plead with the US troops but she was killed anyway" The death of two innocent Iraqis was thought so unremarkable the US military did not even report it, but Peter Beaumont says it reflects an increasingly callous disregard of civilian lives in coalition operations

The randomness of that firing is revealed by a visit to the apartments. Windows are drilled with bullet holes; ceilings in kitchens and bedrooms and living areas are scarred where the rounds smashed in....
What is most curious about this story is that, when I called the US military press office in Baghdad, it said it could find no record of the raid or of the deaths. It is curious because the police in Mahmudiya have told us how US military policemen delivered the bodies to their station the next morning....
What happened at Mahmudiya would be disturbing enough if it was unique, but it is not. It is part of a pattern that points not to a deliberate policy but perhaps to something equally worrying, an institutional lack of care among many in the US military for whether civilians are killed in their operations.

Bush avoids soldiers' funerals and Rumsfeld avoids his troops: U.S. Troops Want Rumsfeld to Send Them Home

Iraqis are no longer waiting for the Americans to get it right: Iraqis threaten to go it alone: Amid faltering US security and rebuilding efforts, homegrown militias and politicians emerge.

Here is the first antiwar piece I have seen by an active duty GI, Tim Predmore, who is on active duty with the 101st Airborne Division near Mosul, Iraq. from the Peoria Journal Sta. Tim Predmore, Airborne Soldier, Stands Up, Speaks Out: "Death Here Without Reason or Justification". Here is an expanded version published September 17 in the Los Angeles Times: Paths of Glory Lead to a Soldier's Doubt: An American carrying out his duty in Iraq wonders aloud why he's there.

This looks like a modern-day crusade not to free an oppressed people or to rid the world of a demonic dictator relentless in his pursuit of conquest and domination but a crusade to control another nation's natural resource. At least to me, oil seems to be the reason for our presence....
I once believed that I served for a cause: "to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States." Now I no longer believe that; I have lost my conviction, as well as my determination. I can no longer justify my service for what I believe to be half-truths and bold lies.

Not surprisingly, the new Iraqi "Foreign Minister", a Kurd, doesn't want Turkish troops in his country. Will the US and Turkey listen? This could be a first test of whether the new "Cabinet" has any power: Iraq foreign minister says no Turkish troops

Robert Fisk reminds us: Don't Say We Were Not Warned About This Chaos

Up to 20 innocent Iraqi civilians a day are now believed to be dying - in murders, revenge killings, at US checkpoints - and yet they no longer count. No wonder journalists now have to seek permission from the occupation authorities to visit Baghdad hospitals. Who knows how many corpses they would find in the morgue?

The US-named "Governing Council" names cabinet ministers. Will they have any power? Ministers in Iraq's first post-war cabinet named

But the symbolism was undermined when the faction leaders on the council made clear that they felt the posts lacked authority, by declining to take them. Instead, they appointed their deputies and representatives to the positions.

Tension between Iraqi factions is heating up. In this case, Shia demonstrated against the "secular" Kurds: Sadrists march against "secular" Kurds

To get a personal account of what the "new Iraq" can be like when the American boot kicks, read the Friday, August 29 entry of the Baghdad Blogger, Salam Pax describing the search of his family home by American troops.

Another Bush friend wins in Iraq: Bush pals hired to rewrite Iraqi law

The Resistance

Occupation Resistance Analysis

The Iraqi civil war picks up steam. A member of the "Governing Council" was shot: Iraqi Councilor Shot, Critically Wounded and a Shia militia arrested a Baath party official: Shia militia arrest top Ba'athist

Robert Fisk reports that the American troops are in constant danger. In turn they fire at everything in sight, whether it has any connection to the danger. Another Day, Another Death-Trap For The US

"The Americans opened fire at all the Iraqis they could see - at all of us," Yahyia, an Iraqi truck driver, said. "They don't care about the Iraqis." The bullet holes show that the US troops fired at least 22 rounds into the Iraqi lorry that was following their vehicles when their world exploded around them....
This was guerrilla warfare on a co-ordinated scale, planned and practiced long in advance.

There seems to be dissent even in the defense department. As the New York Times reports, some officials there are acknowledging that ordinary Iraqis are not that fond of the American occupiers and sympathize with the resistance fighters: Iraqis' Bitterness Is Called Bigger Threat Than Terror

Albanians now join the list of those dying in Iraq: Soldier killed, 11 Iraqis hurt

This interview with resistance fighters give insight into their thinking: Iraqi Guerrillas Fight for Independence, For Their Leaders

A senior Shia cleric has called for peaceful resistance to US occupation: Cleric Calls for U.S. Resistance in Iraq

Further attacks on foreign civilians: British charity worker killed in Iraq gun attack

Its not just the Americans who get killed by opponents of the occupation: Many Iraqis working for U.S. are labeled traitors and killed: Insurgents are targeting those helping coalition forces, rebuilding effort

The focus on American troop deaths ignores the rising injury rate: Number of Wounded in Action on Rise: Iraq Toll Reflects Medical Advances, Resistance Troops Face

Pepe Escobar in Asia Times Online provides another insightful analysis of the Iraqi nightmare, after the Al-Hakim assasination: Ayatollah's killing: Winners and losers

So this is the gift of Washington's neo-conservatives to the world: instead of a democratic Iraq, a putrid state infected by a guerrilla virus and on the verge of a devastating civil and ethnic war.

The Guardian's Brian Whitaker claims that the killing of Ayatollah Al-Hakim may be analogous in its effects to the killing of the Austrian archduke that sparked the first world war. The Ayatollah: Iraq's archduke? The killing of an Iraqi Shia leader could be the event that ignites the country's tensions and causes a regional conflagration

Analysis, Commentary, & Domestic Reaction

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Robert Fisk on Lies, Mischief And The Myth Of Western Intelligence Services

In a rare moment of humor, the CIA has asked the Justice Department to investigate the leaking of the identity of former Ambassador Wilson's wife as a CIA agent. Want to bet on the outcome? CIA seeks probe of White House: Agency asks Justice to investigate leak of employee’s identity

An account of the British antiwar movement set to demonstrate tomorrow: Anti-war protest deals blow to Blair: Common cause against 'lies and spin' mobilises diverse group

An analysis by Stephen Zunes, Middle East editor for the Foreign Policy in Focus Project of Bush's UN speech yesterday: An Annotated Refutation of President George W. Bush’s September 23 Address Before the United Nations

Powell throws oil on the fire: Powell Calls U.S. 'Judeo-Christian,' Then Amends.

More evidence from John Pilger that the US knew early in 2001 that Iraq was not a threat and had no significant WMD capability. Most interestingly, it makes clear that Colin Powell & Condoleezza Rice knew this Breaking The Silence

On May 15 2001, Powell went further and said that Saddam Hussein had not been able to "build his military back up or to develop weapons of mass destruction" for "the last 10 years". America, he said, had been successful in keeping him "in a box". Two months later, Condoleezza Rice also described a weak, divided and militarily defenceless Iraq. "Saddam does not control the northern part of the country," she said. "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt"....
At 2.40pm on September 11, according to confidential notes taken by his aides, Donald Rumsfeld, the Defense Secretary, said he wanted to "hit" Iraq - even though not a shred of evidence existed that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with the attacks on New York and Washington. "Go massive," the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
In July 2002, Condoleezza Rice told another Bush official who had voiced doubts about invading Iraq: "A decision has been made. Don't waste your breath."

Ever the optimist, Toronto Sun columnist Eric Margolis thinks Bush's tame U.S. media may yet have teeth.

I do not exaggerate when I say that much of the U.S. media from 9/11 to the present closely resembled the old Soviet media I knew and disrespected during my stays in the USSR during the 1980s.

Heartfelt comments on repression in America today by mystery novelist Sara Paretsky: For Those Who Wish to Dissent: Speech, Silence and Patriotism

Here are excerpts from Wesley Clark's new book, The Clark Critique in which he discusses Bush administration plans after Sept. 11 to attack seven arab and middle east countries.

Jubilee Iraq is a campaign to cancel the enormous debts from loans given to the Saddam regime. You can find out more and sign a petition at their web site. The campaign is supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, among many others.

An amazing piece by Karen Kwiatkowski, a recently retired USAF lieutenant colonel, who spent her final four and a half years in uniform working at the Pentagon. It illustrates how many in the military feel about the neocon coup: Holding Fire.

I am certainly willing to purchase a couple of uniforms for Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, to allow them report in style for guard duty in Najaf or Fallujah. They’ve earned that, and nothing else.

The political and diplomatic fallout from the war continue to grow, both in the US Bush questioning hard-line Iraq policies and elsewhere Blair gets the cold shoulder at Berlin summit.

A nice summary, from the Independent, of the dissent within the military: White House is ambushed by criticism from America's military community. Also, an account of the rebellion among National Guard families against the lengthened tours of duty: Protests Grow Over Year-Long Army Tours: National Guard Recruitment Short of Goal; Impact on Retention Is Predicted

Take over their country, then mortgage their future (oil) to pay for it. That's evidently what some congressional Republicans want: Republicans Want Iraq to Share Costs of Rebuilding: With hopes of help from allies dwindling, some say U.S. should be repaid with oil revenue.

A new CBS poll says Bush's approval for handling of Iraq is at new lows: Bush Iraq Rating At New Low

James Carroll, Boston Globe columnist, addresses the seriousness of the times as he argues, in this impassioned piece, that citizen resistance to the current situation in our country is a necessity, as it was in Nazi Germany: Saying 'No!' To The War In Iraq. A must read!

Instead of muting criticism out of fear of undermining military morale, declare that US soldiers have been conscripted into an unnecessary and therefore immoral war. The troops must simply be removed from Iraq....
Bush policies have reinvigorated suicide bombers across the world while simultaneously igniting a new round of nuclear proliferation. The prospect of that combination -- nuclear weapons in the hands of suicidal fanatics -- poses the greatest risk in human history. Bush himself has thus become the ultimate suicide bomber.
Hence resistance. Public life in America must take its energy now from the word "No!" .... [A] life lived in resistance remains a human life. In a time of rampant public immorality, it is the only way to live humanly.

As Wesley Clark enters the Presidential race, its important to closely examine his real record on the Iraq war. Here Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting [FAIR] challenges his right to be considered an "antiwar" candidate: Wesley Clark: The New Anti-War Candidate? Record Shows Clark Cheered Iraq War as "Right Call". And here is the smoking gun, a piece that Clark published April 10, 2003 in the Times (UK): What Must Be Done to Complete a Great Victory. The only question that remains is what is it about America that allows such a person to be known as an antiwar candidate? Here is a washington Post article that supports questions on Clark: Clark 'Probably' Would Have Backed War

Still, the immediate tasks at hand in Iraq cannot obscure the significance of the moment. The regime seems to have collapsed — the primary military objective — and with that accomplished, the defense ministers and generals, soldiers and airmen should take pride. American and Brits, working together, produced a lean plan, using only about a third of the ground combat power of the Gulf War. If the alternative to attacking in March with the equivalent of four divisions was to wait until late April to attack with five, they certainly made the right call.
As for the political leaders themselves, President Bush and Tony Blair should be proud of their resolve in the face of so much doubt.

The administration continues it brazen big lie strategy. At least a few in the press are now challenging them, as this Boston Globe piece illustrates: Cheney Link of Iraq, 9/11 Challenged

Neocons fight among themselves: The hawks fall out

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who revealed the Administration's Iraq-Niger uranium fraud last July, has a new commentary on: Seeking Honesty in U.S. Policy

President Bush's speech last Sunday was just the latest example of the administration's concerted efforts to misrepresent reality -- and rewrite history -- to mask its mistakes....
The ``shock and awe'' campaign so vividly shown on our television screens has galvanized historic Arab envy, jealousy and resentment of the United States into white-hot hatred of America. Where once there were thousands, now there are potentially millions of terrorists and sympathizers who will be drawn into this campaign....
A more cynical reading of the agenda of certain Bush advisers could conclude that the Balkanization of Iraq was always an acceptable outcome, because Israel would then find itself surrounded by small Arab countries worried about each other instead of forming a solid block against Israel.
<>Linguist argues that whether or not President Bush and other administration figures lied is not very important. Much more important is the Betrayal of Trust

The public hasn't totally turned against the Iraq occupation, but they appear to have turned against paying for it: Public Says $87 Billion Too Much. Six in 10 are against the latest $87 billion request. Get ready for a new terror threat!

An impassioned piece by economist Jeffrey D. Sachs, one of the architects of the transition to capitalism in the former Soviet block, on the reasons forth Iraq invasion and potential better uses of the billions destined to be wasted in the Iraq occupation: A better use for our $87b

Why would a US government that overlooks suffering around the world and poverty at home be ready to invest $150 billion in Iraq over the course of two years?... The war was about oil, specifically about a long-standing and simplistic US vision about the need to militarize the Persian Gulf in order to ensure the steady flow of petroleum.
The repeated outcome of this policy, however, has been "blowback"... US leadership has not understood, or perhaps cared, that others in the world do not want to be pawns in a plan for US hegemony. Thus, every time we install a government or embrace an autocrat in the region, we also foment unrest and instability.

More evidence that the Republican establishment is turning against the neocon war-makers. former Assistant Secretary of State James P. Rubin criticizes them in the mainstream journal Foreign Affairs. Stumbling Into War. This piece is described as a must read by Robert Kuttner in a recent op-ed piece: Neo-cons have hijacked US foreign policy.

Even Republican Senators are getting fed up with Bush Administration lies, er, deception: Bush's 'perfect storm'

The government adds insult to injury with wounded soldiers: Wounded billed for hospital food.

Walter Cronkite's comment on the changing US policy towards the UN: Latest Iraq Casualty: Our National Prestige

Now we may have "Costgate": The $87 Billion Question

Weisman, using Yale University economist William D. Nordhaus as a source, also noted that the $166 billion that has been spent or requested exceeds "the inflation-adjusted costs of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and the Persian Gulf War combined" and "approaches the $191 billion inflation-adjusted cost of World War I."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair was warned by his intelligence chiefs that an attack on Iraq would increase the terrorist threat to Britain: Report reveals Blair overruled terror warning

Another impassioned Robert Fisk piece: Folly Taken To A Scale We Haven't Seen Since WWII

Another reminder of Vietnam: Monthly costs of Iraq, Afghan wars approach that of Vietnam

An international women's rights organization opposes a new UN resolution endorsing the US Iraq occupation: Women’s Organization Opposes New UN Resolution on Iraq

The repression of dissident voices continues: Anti-War U.S. Marine Sentenced to Six Months in Jail

The latest source for analysis of the Iraq occupation and resistance is the classic film the Battle of Algiers, which Special Operations is showing at the Pentagon. Here is an analysis by Sheila K. Johnson and a New York Times piece suggesting that the US occupiers are studying the film to learn how to use torture more systematically to break the resistance. Sheila Johnson on battling our way to Algiers & What Does the Pentagon See in 'Battle of Algiers'?.

Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, a former U.S. commander for the Middle East lambastes the Bush administration Iraq planning. The vultures are circling. Ex-Envoy Criticizes Bush's Postwar Policy

"My contemporaries, our feelings and sensitivities were forged on the battlefields of Vietnam, where we heard the garbage and the lies, and we saw the sacrifice," said Zinni, who was severely wounded while serving as an infantry officer in that conflict. "I ask you, is it happening again?"

Michael Meacher MP, a former British environment minister from May 1997 to June 2003 analyzes the reasons the US went to war against Iraq. If only some US politicians would speak so bluntly! This war on terrorism is bogus: The 9/11 attacks gave the US an ideal pretext to use force to secure its global domination . This analysis has created quite an uproar in Britain: Meacher sparks fury over claims on September 11 and Iraq war

[Meacher:] No serious attempt has ever been made to catch Bin Laden. In late September and early October 2001, leaders of Pakistan's two Islamist parties negotiated Bin Laden's extradition to Pakistan to stand trial for 9/11. However, a US official said, significantly, that "casting our objectives too narrowly" risked "a premature collapse of the international effort if by some lucky chance Mr Bin Laden was captured". The US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Myers, went so far as to say that "the goal has never been to get Bin Laden" (AP, April 5 2002). The whistleblowing FBI agent Robert Wright told ABC News (December 19 2002) that FBI headquarters wanted no arrests....
The conclusion of all this analysis must surely be that the "global war on terrorism" has the hallmarks of a political myth propagated to pave the way for a wholly different agenda - the US goal of world hegemony, built around securing by force command over the oil supplies required to drive the whole project.

Contained in this Tomgram is Jonathan Schell's important piece, soon to appear in the Nation: The Importance of Losing: Letter From Ground Zero

Brian Whitaker is rather cynical about claims the US has turned the corner in Iraq; Iraq's fresh start may be another false dawn: The coalition needs peacemakers not peacekeepers

James Carroll calls on the US government and the American people to recognize now that the Iraq war is lost and withdraw before thousands, or more, loose their lives. Facing the Truth About Iraq

Occupation Resistance Analysis

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