Key Documents

September, 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

A Wall Street Journal reporter gives an unvarnished view of what life is like in Baghdad: Wall Street Journal Reporter Farnaz Fassihi on Life in Baghdad.

The Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus have issued a new report: Failed "Transition": The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War. Full report with citations [pdf].

Key findings:
1. U.S. Military Casualties Have Been Highest During the "Transition"
2. Non-Iraqi Contractor Deaths Have Also Been Highest During the "Transition"
3. Estimated Strength of Iraqi Resistance Skyrockets
4. U.S.- led Coalition Shrinks Further After "Transition"

Reconstruction spending much slower than promised: Bush Spending in Iraq to Be Slower Than Suggested.

Is it safe enough for children to go to school? Security is deteriorating in Baghdad, some say.

The oil-rich provinces in the south are actively pursuing Kurd-style "autonomy": Oil-rich Iraqi provinces push for autonomy.

Reason for Invasion #2: Number of "Enduring Bases": 12: US bases in Iraq: sticky politics, hard math.

But a dozen is the number of so-called "enduring bases" located by John Pike, director of His military affairs website gives their names. They include, for example, Camp Victory at the Baghdad airfield and Camp Renegade in Kirkuk. The Chicago Tribune last March said US engineers are constructing 14 "enduring bases," but Mr. Pike hasn't located two of them. Note the terminology "enduring" bases. That's Pentagon-speak for long-term encampments - not necessarily permanent, but not just a tent on a wood platform either. It all suggests a planned indefinite stay on Iraqi soil that will cost US taxpayers for years to come....
"Who needs Germany when we have Iraq?" asks Mr. Pike of

George Packer in the New Yorker: The Next Iraq War in Kirkuk.

Administration pushes pro-torture measure against international law: Plan Would Let U.S. Deport Suspects To Nations That Might Torture Them .

The Bush administration is supporting a provision in the House leadership's intelligence reform bill that would allow U.S. authorities to deport certain foreigners to countries where they are likely to be tortured or abused, an action prohibited by the international laws against torture the United States signed 20 years ago....
Under the Hastert bill, U.S. authorities could send an immigrant to any country, regardless of the likelihood of torture or abuse. The measure would shift to the deportee the burden of proving "by clear and convincing evidence that he or she would be tortured" -- a burden that human rights activists say is impossible to satisfy. It would bar a U.S. court from reviewing the regulations, which would fall under the secretary of homeland security....
It also would allow U.S. authorities to deport foreigners convicted of any felony or suspected of having links to terrorist groups to any country -- even somewhere that is not a person's home country or place of birth, contrary to current practice.

More Pentagon cover-up and lies, this time about the shooting down of a British plane: Cover-up claim in Tornado downing.

The Pentagon covered up major flaws in the United States Army's Patriot missile system that prompted a battery to shoot down a British Tornado during the Iraq war last year, according to a top American scientist. Theodore Postol, professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), says "every one'' of the claims made by a Pentagon probe into the shootdown was false.

Italian hostages describe captivity. Their account doesn't appear to support the theory that they were kidnapped by intelligence agencies or the Iraqi government.

Another consequence of the war. No one to help when disaster strikes: Where is the Florida National Guard?

Erik Leaver: Top 10 Reasons to Get Out of Iraq.

Must Read! Juan Cole publishes two letters claiming the old city of Najaf is being destroyed! Demolition of Old City in Najaf? Apparently the whole business is being rushed through in a few weeks so as to be irreversible!

Killing takes a terrible toll on the soldiers who do it, as Americans pretend war is neat and clean: Is anyone ever truly prepared to kill? asks a Christian Science Monitor article.

CIA and other spy agencies know the US lost: Growing Pessimism on Iraq: Doubts Increase Within U.S. Security Agencies.

[O]fficials who fight the Iraqi insurgency and study it at the CIA and the State Department and within the Army officer corps believe the rebellion is deeper and more widespread than is being publicly acknowledged, officials say. People at the CIA "are mad at the policy in Iraq because it's a disaster, and they're digging the hole deeper and deeper and deeper," said one former intelligence officer who maintains contact with CIA officials.
"It is getting worse," agreed an Army staff officer who served in Iraq and stays in touch with comrades in Baghdad through e-mail. "It just seems there is a lot of pessimism flowing out of theater now. There are things going on that are unbelievable to me. They have infiltrators conducting attacks in the Green Zone. That was not the case a year ago."

The UN World Food Program: UN warns of Iraqi malnutrition.

Squarely blaming the situation on years of international sanctions and war, the WFP said that some 6.5 million Iraqis, or about 25 per cent of the population, were "highly dependent on food rations and therefore vulnerable". Of those 6.5 million, 2.6 million resell part of their rations to buy other items, like medicine.

One night in a soldier's life: Last Night.

What does this tell us about jobs and wages in the US? Despite beheadings and risk, no slowdown in eager workers: Mainly because of the money, contract employees still want to head to Iraq.

Even the occupied Green Zone increasingly threatened: Baghdad's Green Zone 'island' prepares for rough seas: Insecurity has become an issue even for those living in the heavily fortified bubble, home to the US Embassy and Iraqi interim government.

On a culinary note, the variety of foods and overall comfort level of the main dining hall's salad bars and other chow stations has declined over the past year, officials report, as security problems have interrupted the flow of convoys provisioning the zone from outside Iraq.

Italian hostages home. Rumors French hostages may be released soon: 'Thank you. Goodbye' - joy as aid workers are freed.

Ukraine gradually pulling out: Ukrainian President Calls for Gradual Withdrawal of Troops from Iraq.

Turns out the warmonger's own advisers told them what would happen in Iraq should they invade: Unit's Bleak July Iraq Report Not Its First Caution to Bush's White House.

More information on the terrible state of Najaf after the August fighting: Condition in Najaf worse than expected: Al-Momen.

Al-Momen said the city looked deserted, houses and buildings were heavily destroyed and the conditions were adverse.

Good News! Tiny victories against brutality: 2 Italian hostages freed in Iraq and More hostages released in Iraq.

Us had plan to buy the Iraq elections, but has allegedly dropped it under pressure from House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi: How Much U.S. Help? The Bush Administration takes heat for a CIA plan to influence Iraq's elections. See Juan Cole's comment Pelosi Derails CIA Plan to Buy Iraq Elections. Cole also demonstrates the ridiculous nature of claims that the Iranians are pouring money into the election. Who would they give it to, he asks. As to the elections, Personally, I assume the US is currently developing Plan B to control the outcome, perhaps through controlling who gets to vote.

confess to not being able to understand the US-inspired scheme for the elections, with a limited number of party slates, or how independent candidates could run in such a system. It appears to me that the Sadrists are effectively excluded under this system.

Juan Cole relays reports that NAajaf was substantially destroyed by the US bombs during the August fighting: Sadrists to Boycott Elections: Daraji.

Iraqi elections to be based on the Saddam-era food ration cards, the same scheme that was proposed for elections last summer that were vetoed by the US, allegedly because voters couldn't be registered! How do they let Bush and gang talk as if they want elections when they sabotaged them for the 18 months they had total control? Iraqis Devise Plan to Register Voters.

Will they participate in rigged elections? A Sunni Boycott of Vote Could Sink Its Credibility.

Iraqi National Guard, in unarmored trucks, die while Americans live. Sounds like any colonial war to me: Taking On Sadr City in a Pickup Truck: Four Deaths Illustrate Vulnerability of Iraqi Forces.

Another voice weighs in on the "elections": Jordan's king: Iraq elections impossible.

Two British soldiers killed in Iraq ambush.

US to make most soldiers criminals: Troops angry over no-hookers plan.

US-Europe battle. Should the international conference on Iraq be used to re-elect GWB: EU welcomes call for Iraq conference but questions date.

Rahul Mahajan punctures the hype about the upcoming "elections," in which US-chosen candidates will, as usual in client states, be anointed: Bush, Iraq, and Demonstration Elections.

Must Read! Former British hostage in Lebanon Charles Glass points out basic truths when he says: Negotiation is the only way to free the hostages: The long-term solution to the kidnapping of Westerners in Iraq is what it was in Lebanon.

Tony Blair may have put his finger on the obstacle to freeing Ken Bigley from his captors in Iraq when he said: "There is no need in raising false hopes, because of the nature of the people we're dealing with." The people he is dealing with, of course, are in Washington. It would be difficult to design policies more certain to prevent Mr Bigley's safe return that those which the Bush administration is pursuing in Iraq....
Everyone who wants hostages to return home alive negotiates with kidnappers. It happened over the American embassy hostages in Iran in 1979. It happened in Beirut during the 1980s, when many Britons and Americans - including myself - became captives of the Shia Muslim Hizbollah (Party of God). It happens almost every day in the United States, where police and other mediators negotiate as long as possible with criminal or psychotic kidnappers to keep hostages alive. Negotiate is what you do when you want to save hostages' lives. If not, you leave them to rot....
The long-term solution to the kidnapping of Westerners in Iraq is what it was in Lebanon: the foreign armies should leave.

France says that any international conference on Iraq needs to include the insurgents and also needs to consider the question of US withdrawal: France seeking to put pullout on agenda. Australian professor Amin Saikal says: In Iraq, try talking with the insurgents.

Exile-led parties with no domestic base try new strategy: Iraqi parties born in exile turning secular for votes.

Some parties, like Iraqi National Accord of the interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi, are borrowing a page from the Baath Party playbook, building a cult of personality around Allawi.

World oil prices hit new highs.

Al-Sadr aide says his movement will boycott elections under occupation: Iraq's rebel cleric Sadr to boycott elections-aide.

Powell seeking to redeem his reputation after playing the stooge? Powell: Situation in Iraq 'Getting Worse'.

Hope: Jordan: Italian hostages 'alive'.

Turkish woman gives her account of surviving: Turkish Captive in Iraq Tells of Fearful Struggle to Hold On.

Unvarnished accounts: Soldiers' blogging unique in detail.

A bit of the real Iraq: U.S. House Members In Baghdad Embassy During Rocket Attack: No One Hurt; Delegation Didn't Even Hear Explosion.

Whether from Saddam or Abu Ghraib under the US, torture victims deserve help: After the outrage: Care for torture victims.

Iraqi VP supports partial elections: AP Interview: Vice President doesn't rule out partial vote. Presumably, that will help control who gets elected.

For the first time in his career, Colin Powell utters the truth: Insurgency in Iraq 'is worsening'.

What will they think of next? Kindergarteners? Army Sends Weaponless Reserve Unit To Iraq .

"This is a hard war and we, frankly, inside the Army Reserve have been not properly prepared for it,” said Lt. Gen. James Helmly, chief of the U.S. Army Reserve.

Must Watch! Video from a US plane apparently showing the plane attacking, with ground command permission [granted with NO hesitation], a group of likely unarmed civilians in Falluja: VIDEA: Massacre of Civilians in Fallujah -- "Aw dude!". Comment by Rahul Mahajan. Read the comments below his. There are claims the video is 3 or more months old.

A business analysis group belies the rosy assessments: Iraq Now World's Most Hostile Environment-Analyst.

Another sign that violence is just fine with the military guys running the war: Female soldiers in Middle East face another, preventable threat.

Continued war, between the State Department and the Pentagon: U.S. officials differ on Iraq elections.

Abizaid also was asked about President Bush's suggestion that criticism of the war by Democrat John Kerry would help to "embolden the enemy." Abizaid rejected that. "I believe debate in our country is what our country is all about," he said. "That there's a debate back home is a good thing for our country."

If you buy this, I have a bridge to sell you! White House says it won't covertly back candidates in Iraqi election.

Forget the insurgency and US butchery. thousands upon thousands in the New Iraq die from rampant crime: Killings Surge in Iraq, and Doctors See a Procession of Misery.

n the first eight months of this year nearly 3,000 people in municipal Baghdad, which has about five million residents, have died from gunshot wounds - nearly all homicides....
The highest monthly total ever came in August 2003, when the morgue took in 875 bodies, including 522 gunshot deaths, Mr. Mustafa said. Last month, 696 corpses arrived for autopsy, including 386 gunshot victims. Men make up about 90 percent of the shooting victims, he said.

Must Read! Michael Schwartz clearly explains the current US strategy in Iraq, with all its brutal ramifications. He calls for international protests against the wanton US attacks against the civilian population throughout the country: The New US Strategy After the Battle of Najaf

What the U.S. may have gained, therefore, is the apathy of the world to escalating violence against Iraqi civilians. This, more than the success or failure of these individual campaigns, may lay a foundation for the massive offensives that the U.S. military appears to be preparing for the period just after the American elections in November. The world is fully aware of the ability of the U.S. Air Force to completely level even a very large city, using 2,000 pound bombs delivered in great numbers by carrier-based aircraft. The calibrated increases in the destructiveness of U.S. air attacks over the past few months appears to have numbed local and international outrage, a condition that allows for further escalation and magnitudes more casualties.

Many Iraqis regard the upcoming elections as a farce whereby the Us occupation will enshrine a "legitimate" puppet government: Credibility Fears Bedevil Iraq Elections.

"America will do its utmost so that its loyal men can win and later adopt all its policies," said Baghdad civil servant Shawkat Ahmed, 52....
"It doesn't suit America for honest patriots to win," said Fuad Jawad, a Baghdad pharmacist....
"Do you think that the Americans will allow the election to produce anti-occupation winners?" said Baghdad University political scientist Wameedh Omar.

U.S. soldier gets 25 years for murder of Iraqi.

Worldwide efforts to save British hostage Ken Bigley: The hunt to find Baghdad's prisoner of hate.

Safe for now: Iraqi judge dismisses case against Chalabi

Must Read! Riverbend's reaction to seeing a Bush speech on TV: Liar, Liar...

I prepared myself for several minutes of nausea as Bush began speaking. He irritates me like no one else can. Imagine long nails across a chalk board, Styrofoam being rubbed in hands, shrieking babies, barking dogs, grinding teeth, dripping faucets, honking horns ? all together, all at once ? and you will imagine the impact his voice has on my ears....
Allawi actually said "thank you" nine times. Nine times. It really should have been more- at least double that number of Iraqis died yesterday... and about five times that number the day before. Looking back on the last month alone, over 350 Iraqis have been killed either by American air strikes, fighting, or bombs... only 9 thank yous?
The elections are already a standard joke. There's talk of holding elections only in certain places where it will be 'safe' to hold them. One wonders what exactly comprises 'safe' in Iraq today. Does 'safe' mean the provinces that are seeing fewer attacks on American troops? Or does 'safe' mean the areas where the abduction of foreigners isn't occurring? Or could 'safe' mean the areas that *won't* vote for an Islamic republic and *will* vote for Allawi? Who will be allowed to choose these places? Right now, Baghdad is quite unsafe. We see daily abductions, killings, bombings and Al-Sadr City, slums of Baghdad, see air strikes... will they hold elections in Baghdad? Imagine, Bush being allowed to hold elections in 'safe' areas- like Texas and Florida.

Fired employees provide further evidence of the gross incompetence and fraud evidently committed by Halliburton in Iraq: More Iraq-Fraud From Halliburton?.

There was no basic plan, they say, to maintain all the supply trucks. So even in oil-rich Iraq, "you couldn't get parts or oil or filters for oil changes," said Wilson, a former KBR convoy commander. That meant $85,000 trucks got ditched in the desert. "A lot of times trucks were left on the side of the road because of something as simple as a flat tire or a bad filter," Wilson said. [With cost-plus, dumping an $85,000 truck and buying another simply increases profits!]
And in Army camps, they say some soldiers and Halliburton employees helped themselves. "We'd be in our trucks asleep at night and people would be on top of our trailer going thru our stuff," said former Halliburton truck driver James Warren. "It was like rats on cheese," Wilson added.

Turkey warns US about allowing Kurds to take over Kirkuk: Turkey Again Warns U.S. Over Northern Iraq City.

Starting over training Iraqis to butcher their fellow citizens: Demise of Iraqi Units Symbolic of U.S. Errors: Rebuilding Hindered by Past Mistakes.

Must Read! Most civilians deaths at US and "government" hands: Forces linked to more deaths than insurgents: Operations are killing twice as many civilians as militants are, statistics show.

The Big Lie! Bush lies again. As usual, when lie is pointed out, White House sticks by it: Troop documents conflict with Bush claims: Fewer Iraqis to be trained by end of year than president cited.

A foretaste of what US-supported Iraqi elections may be like: Vote threat to Afghan tribesmen.

Leaders of a south-east Afghanistan tribe have told its members they must vote for Hamid Karzai in presidential polls or their houses will be burned.... A Karzai spokesman refused to condemn the announcement.

More scapegoats for the killing of prisoners: Three more SEALs face charges.

Another of Rumsfeld's brilliant analogies: Top US officials clash over need to limit Iraq poll: Landmark vote will take place in all regions - free and open to all, deputy contradicts Rumsfeld .

"We had something like 200 or 300 or 400 people killed in many of the major cities of America last year. "Is it perfectly peaceful? No. What's the difference? We just didn't see each homicide in every major city in the United States on television every night," Mr Rumsfeld said.

Contradictory messages: Official: Iraq Elections Are Open to All.

What does this mean? US troops can leave before Iraq peaceful: Rumsfeld.

Ah, now it makes sense! Comical Ali implicated in Allawi speech.

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, also known as "Comical Ali", the former PR man for failed dictator Saddam Hussein™ is thought to be the author of a speech given yesterday by Iraqi "Prime Minister" Iyad Allawi. Mr. Allawi, who was installed as "prime minister" by the US occupation force, said that the war in Iraq is "going brilliantly", that elections will be held on schedule in January 2005, that the insurgents will be utterly routed before the end of the month, that the people of Iraq are very happy that US troops are in their country, and that George Bush is the best president America has ever had. The "prime minister" gave his speech while sitting on the knee of an unidentified man who drank continuously from a glass of water.

Why are they being held when there are no WMD? Kay, Blix Question Scientists' Detention.

After the White House lovefest: U.S., Allawi at Odds Over Saddam Trial.

Public health problems spread: Hepatitis spreads in 2 Iraqi districts: Collapse of water and sewage systems is believed to be at root of the illness.

This month looks like one of deadliest for U.S.: 63 killed so far; homemade bombs biggest threat in Iraq.

Juan Cole patiently explains why "partial elections" [see next item] are problematic: Violence, Allawi, Sistani and Elections.

Given recent US history of elections where certain area's votes [i.e., Florida] don't count, it's not surprising that Rumsfeld has no problem with partial Iraqi elections: Rumsfeld: Four-fifths Iraq poll? As long as Bush and Allawi vote, do any others matter?

Allawi talks the happy talk, attacks his critics, and swaggers as well as his boss: Iraq's Dynamo: Prime Minister Ayad Allawi Generates a Can-Do Aura.

Allawi western stooge without any domestic credibility, British officials were told a year before the war: Ministers were told premier was seen as stooge.

An legal group out of Michigan returned from Iraq with what they allege is evidence of abuse and torture in 25 US-run detention centers throughout Iraq: Abuse, Torture and Rape Reported at Unlisted U.S.-run Prisons in Iraq.

New Iraqi police as corrupt and lazy as ever. Besides, they don't want to be stuck on the loosing side: U.S. military forges uneasy alliance with Iraqis: Police may still be hedging bets on who will win the war.

Ambivalent feelings among Iraqis about hostage killings: Anger, shame, and indifference.

Jonathan Steele ponders why the US won't let the Iraqi scientists go, since there were no WMDs in Iraq for them to have been working on: Humiliated and impotent, every Iraqi is a hostage now: The US authorities cannot let Dr Germ go - she knows too much .

The Education for Peace in Iraq Center has prepared a Special Report: The Iraq Jobs Crisis.

Civilians die in great numbers, but the US doesn't care enough to even count them: Counting the civilian cost in Iraq.

Naomi Klein's brilliant analysis of the CPA's utopian program makes it into the local paper: Authority Mishandled Iraq's Economy.

The reforms instituted by Bremer seem to be aimed at rewarding foreign investors, with the idea that, eventually, benefits would trickle down to ordinary Iraqis. But desperation is now driving many ordinary Iraqis into the anti-American resistance.

Bail you out? No way! France pours cold water on Bush's sunny vision of Iraq.

Feel a draft coming? General: Army Guard will fall short of recruiting goal.

On top of everything else, a diplomatic uproar to irritate the neighbors: Anger over Iraqi-Israeli greeting.

Turkey proposes its trucker change routes when delivering good to Iraq, to avoid being killed or taken hostage: Turk bid to protect Iraq truckers.

Al-Sistani, a Shia, concerned elections might be postponed, but also that they will unfairly favor the major political parties, all controlled by former exiles: Top Shiite Cleric Is Said to Fear Voting in Iraq May Be Delayed.

Sovereignty charade exposed: Iraq has its sovereignty, but America is still running the show.

Meanwhile, Sunni clerics favor jihad: Rising call by clerics for jihad: Question is not whether but how to defeat U.S. aims.

More troops to Iraq, after Nov. 2? More troops might be needed for Iraqi elections, general says.

Brother charges: UK hostage's 'release sabotaged' by US.

Reconstructed Iraq: The best university in Iraq. Imagine the rest: Broken or antiquated equipment, and too few chairs to go round. Luke Harding in Baghdad reports on what Saddam, sanctions and 'shock and awe' did to science.

AFP reports that Iraqis support Kerry: Iraqis slam Bush rhetoric on post-war democracy.

Al-Sistani tells off the Americans: U.S. Raid on al-Sadr Office Assailed by Shiite Cleric.

"We've informed the Iraqi government of our rejection and our condemnation of American forces for entering the holy city of Najaf and approaching the holy shrine," said a statement released by the staff of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani in Najaf. "We believe there was no justification for such a military measure and hold the interim Iraqi government responsible for what happened."

Kidnapped Canadian Woman Freed in Iraq - Ottawa.

Torture of many. Damage to US reputation for decades. Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, will be punished severely, by not giving him another star! Abuse report may cost ex-commander 4th star.

What sovereignty? The boss speaks: U.S. refuses to release 2 Iraqi women detainees.

Must Read! Juan Cole asks: If America were Iraq, What would it be Like?

Thus, violence killed 300 Iraqis last week, the equivalent proportionately of 3,300 Americans. What if 3,300 Americans had died in car bombings, grenade and rocket attacks, machine gun spray, and aerial bombardment in the last week? That is a number greater than the deaths on September 11, and if America were Iraq, it would be an ongoing, weekly or monthly toll....
There are estimated to be some 25,000 guerrillas in Iraq engaged in concerted acts of violence. What if there were private armies totalling 275,000 men, armed with machine guns, assault rifles (legal again!), rocket-propelled grenades, and mortar launchers, hiding out in dangerous urban areas of cities all over the country? What if they completely controlled Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Denver and Omaha, such that local police and Federal troops could not go into those cities?...
What if veterans of militia actions at Ruby Ridge and the Oklahoma City bombing were brought in to run the government on the theory that you need a tough guy in these times of crisis? What if municipal elections were cancelled and cliques close to the new "president" quietly installed in the statehouses as "governors?..."
What if the leader of the European Union maintained that the citizens of the United States are, under these conditions, refuting pessimism and that freedom and democracy are just around the corner?

Scottish unions raising funds for Iraqi workers' rights: Scottish unions to help Iraqi workers.

Recent Allawi statements about Saddam were not true, according to this report from the New York Times: Unrepentant Saddam lives in quiet comfort. Do these guys ever tell the truth? Is it against their philosophy?

Claims, from someone who provides such training, that companies with workers in Iraq are too cheap to pay for training on how to notice dangers: Expert: Iraqi Workers Lack Security.

Is there a third alternative between US colonial occupation and the insurgents? Democracy Now! interviews Yanar Mohammed of the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq: A third alternative in Iraq.

I do not go for military resistance because they are causing more deaths in the Iraqis than they are in the Americans, but then again, resisting against the occupation is a right for every people.

Juan Cole analyzes the murders of Sunni clerics near Shia Sadr City: The Case of the Three Dead Clerics.

A Turkish report: Gunmen Open Fire On Turkish Journalists And Red Crescent Workers In Mosul.

Thailand exploring non-military assistance to Iraq: Surakiart floats ways to help Iraq.

A brief account from another of the myriad victims of US brutality: A Young Iraqi Man's Testimony.

Annan seems to have given up being the US lackey: Annan Warns U.S., World to Respect Rule of Law.

Imagine how much he'll ask for after the election: Bush, in Shift, Taps Into Emergency Iraq Funds.

Absolutely Must Read! Naomi Klein, in Harpers, provides the best single account of US motivations during the CPA-controlled Iraqi occupation. She shows that the CPA leaders were radical utopians, planning on instilling, NOT "democracy," as usually claimed, but a free-market utopia with no controls whatsoever on international capital's ability to invest in and control Iraq. Key to this goal was the destruction of all preexisting economic structures. hence, their refusal to stop the post-war looting, for example. Out of their fantasy came the civil war gripping the country today: Baghdad Year Zero: "Pillaging Iraq in pursuit of a neocon utopia".

Another Turkish company halts work in Iraq: Company says it will halt Iraq operations to win freedom for.

An incredible raw interview with a soldier contemplating going AWOL to avoid being sent back to Iraq: Yes I've Killed Innocents - Interview With A Disappeared Soldier.

God, I’ve killed, and it will never be all right, no matter how much I pray about it. I’m a man of faith and I know that God has forgiven me, but I can’t go back and do it again. No! I won’t do it. It’s a SIN! And I won’t believe that it’s right! It’s wrong to put us in this position. Its murder to needlessly kill innocent civilians who keep getting caught in the crossfire....
I know some stuff is going to come out in the next few weeks with some orders or papers, almost iron clad, that will force active duty soldiers to extend contracts or go to a unit deploying to Iraq. Some threats are being made and it will get in the news, mark my words, it will be exposed, they will not stand down in the active ranks, not on this stuff....
Well I am not going to be long. I really have made my mind up. I will not be there when my name gets called. Put me down as disappeared soldier, hey I like that, that works, Disappeared Soldier. That will be me and hundreds more that I know will not show up. Failure to report for an assigned duty or emergency call up order. Fine, but I won’t be in Iraq, and no one will die because I killed them, or didn’t try to kill them. I won’t have to make the choice to fire my weapon into a crowd. I won’t be there to do something that is wrong.

Many of those needed for Iraq's future are fleeing: Iraq losing its best and brightest: Targeted attacks and a sluggish economy are pushing academics, Christians, and businessmen to move abroad.

Some troops are sick of their Commander-In-Chief: A strident minority: anti-Bush US troops in Iraq.

Iraqi dictator Allawi tries to scare the west into support: Iraqi PM: 'Terrorists pouring in'. He must have taken lessons from Bush and Blair.

Where's the US outcry? Saudi Professor Sentenced for Speaking Out. Oops! Democracy is only for those who praise US actions.

A Saudi court sentenced a university professor to five years in prison Sunday on charges of sowing dissent after he compared U.S. killings of Iraqi civilians to Osama bin Laden's terror attacks.... Al-Zaeer's son, Mubarak, was detained in May for appearing on Al-Jazeera to denounce his father's arrest. He was released that same month after signing a statement pledging not to comment to the media.

Must Read! Al Lorentz, an active-duty Reserve NCO currently in Iraq explains: Why We Cannot Win. If only Bush and Kerry would listen.

Bitter Marines "Shoot first and ask questions later": Attacks disillusion Marines . Sadly, it doesn't occur to any of the Marines that they are occupiers resented by those they are sent to occupy and control.

"My whole opinion of the people here has changed. There aren't any good people," said Friedrichsen, who says his first instinct now is to scan even youngsters' hands for weapons.... "We're out here giving our lives for these people," said Sgt. Jesse Jordan, 25, of Grove Hill, Ala. "You'd think they'd show some gratitude. Instead, they don't seem to care."
"We're not taking any chances: Shoot first and ask questions later," said Lance Cpl. David Goward, 26, a machine gunner from Cloquet, Minn. "We're a lot more dangerous now. I'm not going home in a body bag, and neither is the person next to me."

Officials from al-Sadr's movement are being detained at home: Al-Sadr officials targeted.

Must Read! Huda Alazawi was one of the few women held in solitary in the notorious Iraqi prison. Following her release, she talks for the first time to Luke Harding about her ordeal After Abu Ghraib. Her brother was sexually assaulted and murdered at another torture center, before she as transferred to Abu Ghraib, where she spent 156 days in solitary confinement. Her account makes clear that torture was pervasive, not simply the actions of a few bad apples in secret. Note how she reveals the cover-up engaged in by "torture General" Miller, allegedly assigned to clean up the place, but in fact, assigned to manage the PR

Like most Iraqi women, Alazawi is reluctant to talk about what she saw but says that her brother Mu'taz was brutally sexually assaulted. Then it was her turn to be interrogated. "The informant and an American officer were both in the room. The informant started talking. He said, 'You are the lady who funds your brothers to attack the Americans.' I speak some English so I replied: 'He is a liar.' The American officer then hit me on both cheeks. I fell to the ground....
t midnight they threw something at my sister's feet. It was my brother Ayad. He was bleeding from his legs, knees and forehead. I told my sister: 'Find out if he's still breathing.' She said: 'No. Nothing.' I started crying. The next day they took away his body." The US military later issued a death certificate, seen by the Guardian, citing the cause of death as "cardiac arrest of unknown etiology". The American doctor who signed the certificate did not print his name, and his signature is illegible. The body was returned to the family four months later, on April 3, after the Abu Ghraib torture scandal broke. The family took photographs of the body, also seen by the Guardian, which revealed extensive bruising to the chest and arms, and a severe head wound above the left eye....
In her first weeks at Abu Ghraib, before the US military launched its internal investigation into prisoner abuse, torture was commonplace, she says. "The guards used wild dogs. I saw one of the guards allow his dog to bite a 14-year-old boy on the leg. The boy's name was Adil. Other guards frequently beat the men. I could see the blood running from their noses. They would also take them for compulsory cold showers even though it was January and February. From the very beginning, it was mental and psychological war...."
In May, Major General Geoffrey Miller [the "torture General"], assigned to Abu Ghraib by Washington in the aftermath of the torture scandal, escorted a large group of journalists around the prison for the first time. The previous night, Alazawi says, US guards evacuated all the juveniles and male detainees from her cellblock, leaving only her and a handful of other women upstairs....
"Mrs Palmer told us that during the inspection we had to lie quietly on our beds. She said that if we behaved we would be allowed to spend more time out of our cells in the sun. The following day General Miller turned up with a huge number of journalists. I heard him telling them that some of the people kept in here were murderers. I shouted out: 'We are not the killers. You are the killers. This is our country. You have invaded it.' After that they didn't let me out of my cell for an entire month. A US officer came to me and said: 'Because of you we have all been punished'." Alazawi says she was unimpressed by Miller. "It was obvious he liked having his photo taken," she says....
Alazawi's surviving brothers, Ali - prisoner number 156215 - and Mu'taz - 156216 - are still inside Abu Ghraib. The US military continues to detain them and 2,400 other prisoners without charge or legal access, in contravention of the Geneva Convention.

Tom Engelhardt analyzes the context behind the massacre on Haifa Street last sunday in which 13 civilians were butchered by US missiles, including an on-air reporter: Incident on Haifa Street.

What was remarkable about the incident on Haifa Street was that a part of Iraq only hundreds of yards from one of our most fortified strongpoints was blinking off as well -- so much so that when our commanders decided to take out a disabled vehicle or offer payback, they chose to do so from the air.... In our ability to let loose destructive power at great distances and by air, the United States military is undoubtedly unparalleled as a power today. And yet here's the counterintuitive way you have to think about American airpower in Iraq: Watch where the bombs and missiles are falling -- starting with Falluja and ending up on Haifa Street -- and you can map almost exactly where American power is blinking off. The use of air power, in other words, is a sign of American weakness. Its use maps our inability to control Iraq.... It means that you've given up on "hearts and minds," to use a classic Vietnam-era phrase, and turned to the punitive destruction of bodies and souls.
In fact, we already seem to be in a process -- familiar enough from our Vietnam experience -- by which "no-go" areas will slowly be transformed into "free fire zones...."
Here, then, is a vision of Iraq's future (and ours) not to be found in the latest National Intelligence Estimate: Barring some spectacular negotiated deal, we "take," which would mean "flatten," Fallujah. (For comparison, just consider what happened to the old city of Najaf, blocks of which are now in rubble after a couple of weeks of fighting which ended dramatically with a 2,000 pound bomb being dropped on a hotel near the holy shrine of the Imam Ali.) Imagine further whole swaths of urban Iraq being turned into free-fire zones and transformed into rubble -- and an ever larger insurgency.

The US must be getting desperate: U.S., Syria Discuss Military Cooperation -Time.

Prime Minister Iyad Allawi makes a plea for support in the Independent: Economic and security problems must be solved, not just for us but for the world

The Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister claims that: Italian hostages possibly sold to Zarqawi group, report says. Others, of course, have argued that they were kidnapped by the Iraqi government itself or by a Western intelligence agency, the CIA or Mossad, for example.

As a reminder of the complexities of war and occupation, the New York Times Magaine has this story of Fern Holland, an American women who went to Iraq to empower women and died, perhaps at the hands of Shia Islamic fundamentalists who viewed her as bringing alien ideas into their community: Fern Holland's War.

Another victim, children of the troops: Stress of parents’ deployments takes toll on youth.

The US is trying to break gangs kidnapping children in Kirkuk for fear they could provoke inter-ethnic civil war: U.S. Seeks to Break Iraq Kidnap Gangs.

Teaching Iraqis how to contest an election, American style: Do it our way.

A representative from "Shrek," one of the Iraqi political parties, came to Washington to learn some pointers from the American elections. He met with an American election expert in Washington, who told him...

Stalemate in Sadr City negotiations: Shiite Cleric's Militia Refuse to Disband.

South Carolina National Guard unit falling apart under strain of rapid deployment to Iraq, after hardly being allowed to see their families and only 36 hours leave in a month: Strains Felt By Guard Unit on Eve Of War Duty.

"Our morale isn't high enough for us to be away for 18 months," said Pfc. Joshua Garman, 20, who, in civilian life, works in a National Guard recruiting office. "I think a lot of guys will break down in Iraq."
"I think before we deploy we should be allowed to go home and see our families for five days, because some of us might not come back," said Spec. Wendell McLeod, 40, a steelworker from Cheraw, S.C. "Morale is pretty low. . . . It's leading to fights and stuff. That's really all I got to say."

Kerry to attack Bush on Iraq. Great. But what's his plan? Divergent Views of Iraq Defining Election: Despite the Pitfalls for Bush and Kerry, Candidates Stay on Topic.

Occupation troops to use Iraqis as guinea pigs for space-age weapons: Microwave gun to be used by US troops on Iraq rioters. Torture with no after effects, the perfect US weapon. Note the name [Active Denial System (ADS)]. Presumably, what you want to actively deny is that you tortured people. Abu Ghraib, here they come...

"The skin gets extremely hot, and people can't stand the pain, so they have to move - and move in the way we want them to," said Col Wade Hall of the Office of Force Transformation....
The armoured vehicles will be named Sheriffs once they have been modified to carry the microwave weapons, known as the Active Denial System (ADS).... In another development, the Sheriffs will be fitted with Gunslinger, a rapid-fire gun currently under development that will detect enemy snipers and automatically fire back at them.

Conclusion of journalist and freed hostage Scott Taylor describes his abduction: Escape from death: Canadian journalist Scott Taylor's fate rested with a dead man's promise. Part 1: At least six times in five days he feared he would be killed.

More leaked documents show that Tony Blair pledged not to budge on war support a full year before the war, when he and Bush were pretending the decision wasn't made. Further, they show that Saddam was deliberately tricked into providing an excuse for the war despite Blair knowing the WMD evidence was flimsy: Blair told Bush he 'would not budge' in support for war: Leaked documents show a gulf between public statements on Iraq and private talks with the White House.

Reports that: Britain to cut troop levels in Iraq. As Colin Powell told Bush, "You break it, it's yours."

Journalist and freed hostage Scott Taylor describes his abduction: At least six times in five days he feared he would be killed.

A kidnapped and released Jordanian trucker says the hostage-takers had a noble cause, "Depriving the US military of fuel. Freed driver says his Iraqi kidnappers had 'noble' cause. Meanwhile, the attacks on truckers are hurting the Jordanian economy: Kidnappings, threats against Jordanian drivers damage trucking sector.

Patrick Cockburn says fair elections are impossible in the current climate: How can you hold elections amid all this savagery? The pattern of violence has changed. The US and interim government have diminishing control. But after November 2, the US won't have to pretend Iraqi elections are in the cards.

Last year, Iraqis were divided in their attitude to the occupation and to armed resistance. Today it is difficult to meet Iraqis who do not support the attacks on the Americans....
The elections could only succeed if all Iraqis are convinced they are free and fair. This would only happen if there was a conference of all communities and powerful groups in Iraq, including the Sunni and Shiah insurgents, to agree on ground rules. But this would require the US and the interim government to admit that they are only two of many powers in Iraq and this they show no sign of doing.

Attacks on the oil infrastructure keep oil production below that in Saddam's time under sanctions: Oil Sabotage Threatens Iraq Economy, Rebuilding.

As usual in war, Iraqi workers die: Caught in Rebels' Cross Hairs: Iraqis Working for Americans. American workers die, too: In the Desert, Wrecks Tell of Those Who Don't Wear a Uniform but Die Too. Of course, the Army has little concern; workers can always be replaced.

[Caught in Rebels' Cross Hairs:] Interpreters expressed deep disappointment with the way the American military and their main employer - the Titan Corporation - has handled the danger. Interpreters are referred to as "terps," and are replaced in a seemingly endless flow of manpower as soon as they are killed.... Layla said she begged administrators at the American-run hospital in central Baghdad to admit her brother, who was alive after being shot but whose condition was rapidly deteriorating because he was being treated in an ill-equipped Iraqi hospital. She said she was told that she had to collect her brother's documents before he could be admitted. But there was not enough time, Layla said, and her brother died a short time later. "I've been working for them for about a year and a half," she said. "I wasn't asking for a house, for a visa, for a trip abroad. I was just asking them to save a life. "He works for the Army washing soldiers' clothes, and they can't save a life...." "They say they care about you, but they don't," Wael said.

The government negotiates with tribes in Anbar province, but, as the next article states, these talks are unlikely to succeed as the US is escalating its attacks: Iraqi VP Details Peace Talks With Tribes.

The puppet gets blamed: Insurgency Deepens Plight of Iraq's Allawi.

US troops study the natives carefully, to get clues as to whether they'll be attacked that day. Of course, staying away from neighborhoods that hate the presence of occupiers never occurs to anyone: `Atmospherics' intelligence is how U.S. troops read Baghdad body language.

As war makes them rich, despite the shoddy quality of their work, some wonder why: Halliburton Is a Handy Target for Democrats: Ties to Secret Deals, Cheney Keep Issue Alive.

Influential Muslim clerics' group which has negotiated release of other hostages says US sabotaging release of French hostages: AMS: US actions foiling hostage deal.

War right because someday, somehow, somewhere, Iraq might have posed a threat to somebody. Is there any country Bush couldn't invade with a rationale like that. Supposed "realist" Colin Powell seems to have little trouble with such reasoning. Bush Cites Hussein's Potential Weapons: Officials Echo Draft Of Iraq Survey Group. On to the next "preventive" war!

A year before the war, Tony Blair was warned that post-war Iraq could slide into chaos: Secret papers sent to Blair warned of trouble in post-war Iraq: report.

One of the warnings came from Blair's own foreign secretary, Jack Straw, who predicted in March 2002 that post-war Iraq was liable to be a source of major problems.... "But no one has satisfactorily answered how there can be any certainty that the replacement regime will be any better," Straw wrote...
The other document, sent to Blair by foreign policy adviser Sir David Manning after a trip to Washington in March 2002, stated: "I think there is a real risk that the (Bush) administration underestimates the difficulties." "They may agree that failure isn't an option, but this does not mean they will necessarily avoid it", Manning wrote.

A detailed analysis of Turkish-US conflict over Iraq by K Gajendra Singh, former Indian ambassador (retired), served as ambassador to Turkey: Turkey snaps over US bombing of its bretheren.

UN reports: Iraqi Children work instead of going to school.

Prisoners tortured to death in Afghanistan, and the Army lied and covered-up as long as they could: New Charges Raise Questions on Abuse at Afghan Prisons.

Amnesty International says: Urgent inquiry needed into civilian killings by US troops in

Patrick Cockburn says this is the week when horror took over the country: Into the abyss: The week Iraq's dream of peace fell apart.

Massive National Guard and Reserve mobilization scheduled for just after elections, says Kerry: Kerry says Bush hiding reserve mobilization plan, glossing over worsening conflict in Iraq.

The International Crisis Group says the CPA blew: Reconstructing Iraq. Full Report (pdf)

US lies to Iraqis about why it killed 13 of them: Civilian Dead, and Bitterness: No Way to Bridge the Rage?

Still, for all of the discussion about hostile fire, the American officers suggested that there might have been a second motive for shooting the Bradley: to ensure that no one was able to steal the vehicle's communications equipment.... "To save equipment," Ms. Rubaie said, "you risked the lives of 100 people."

Philippines spanked for leaving Iraq. Threatened never to go against their US masters again,or else: US warns RP fallout over Iraq must be the last. Stop pretending you're an independent country, he says.

Mussomeli, who just arrived from Washington a few days ago, said the Philippine troop pullout from Iraq, which strained bilateral relations and triggered harsh criticisms from other US allies such as Australia, should be the last “aberration” to occur between Manila and Washington.

Another outrageous example of how the troops are supported: Re-enlist or be sent to Iraq! Report: Soldiers say they are being threatened with Iraq duty.

Sistani says the elections must go on: Sistani Insists on Elections.

Iraq Body Count has identified 3,000 Iraqis identified as victims of the war on Iraq: 3,000 Iraqi dead named. The names: Named and identified persons killed as result of military intervention in Iraq.

IBC figures reveal that the largest number of deaths occurred in March and April last year - up to 2,300 civilians died in the battle for Baghdad alone according to some studies - but after a lull in the summer, fatalities increased from August 2003. "It just started going up and up," Prof Sloboda said. "There were odd dips but the pattern month on month is just getting worse." A spokesman for the Pentagon said it did not keep track of civilian casualties because it was not fighting civilians.

New Zealand leaves Coalition of the Dying: Kiwi troops coming home.

highly classified National Intelligence Estimate concludes the situation for the US is terrible, with a possibility of open civil war: U.S. Intelligence Shows Pessimism on Iraq's Future. The idiot's response: Bush more optimistic about Iraq than assessments by intelligence community.

The new estimate by the National Intelligence Council was approved at a meeting in July by Mr. McLaughlin and the heads of the other intelligence agencies, the officials said. Its pessimistic conclusions were reached even before the recent worsening of the security situation in Iraq, which has included a sharp increase in attacks on American troops and in deaths of Iraqi civilians as well as resistance fighters

Dead bodies are noted when they look like foreigners: Police in Iraq say they have found the corpse of a foreigner.

US underestimates US casualties by 17,000, a UPI analysis shows: Press Reports on U.S. Casualties: About 17,000 Short, UPI Says . Would you trust these liars to run anything?

Must Read! Another of a stream of articles, this one by Sidney Blumenthal, saying key military personnel have already concluded that the war is lost: Far graver than Vietnam: Most senior US military officers now believe the war on Iraq has turned into a disaster on an unprecedented scale . How many must die before the US accepts the inevitable and withdraws?

Retired general William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me:... "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving Bin Laden's ends."
Jeffrey Record, professor of strategy at the Air War College, said: "I see no ray of light on the horizon at all. The worst case has become true."
W Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's strategic studies institute - and the top expert on Iraq there - said: "I don't think that you can kill the insurgency".... "We have a growing, maturing insurgency group," he told me. "We see larger and more coordinated military attacks. They are getting better and they can self-regenerate. The idea there are x number of insurgents, and that when they're all dead we can get out is wrong. The insurgency has shown an ability to regenerate itself because there are people willing to fill the ranks of those who are killed. The political culture is more hostile to the US presence. The longer we stay, the more they are confirmed in that view."
General Odom said: "This is far graver than Vietnam. There wasn't as much at stake strategically, though in both cases we mindlessly went ahead with the war that was not constructive for US aims. But now we're in a region far more volatile, and we're in much worse shape with our allies."

Must Read! Was it the CIA, the Iraqi Government, or Mossad? Increasing evidence suggests the kidnapping was NOT the work of insurgents, but of forces out to undermine them, Naomi Klein and Jeremy Scahill report in the Guardian: Who seized Simona Torretta? This Iraqi kidnapping has the mark of an undercover police operation

Sheikh Abdul Salam al-Kubaisi, from Iraq's leading Sunni cleric organisation, told reporters in Baghdad that he received a visit from Torretta and Pari the day before the kidnap. "They were scared," the cleric said. "They told me that someone threatened them." Asked who was behind the threats, al-Kubaisi replied: "We suspect some foreign intelligence...."
In the eight days since their abduction, pleas for their release have crossed all geographical, religious and cultural lines. The Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah, the International Association of Islamic Scholars and several Iraqi resistance groups have all voiced outrage. A resistance group in Falluja said the kidnap suggests collaboration with foreign forces. Yet some voices are conspicuous by their absence: the White House and the office of Allawi. Neither has said a word.

For the first time in over a month, Riverbend is back! Fahrenheit 9/11...

So how did I spend my 9/11? I watched Michael Moore’s movie, Fahrenheit 9/11. I’ve had bootleg CD version since early August.... Ah, that mother. How she made me angry in the beginning.... wanted to hate her throughout the whole film because she embodied the arrogance and ignorance of the people who supported the war.
I can’t explain the feelings I had towards her. I pitied her because, apparently, she knew very little about what she was sending her kids into. I was angry with her because she really didn’t want to know what she was sending her children to do. In the end, all of those feelings crumbled away as she read the last letter from her deceased son. I began feeling a sympathy I really didn’t want to feel, and as she was walking in the streets of Washington, looking at the protestors and crying, it struck me that the Americans around her would never understand her anguish. The irony of the situation is that the one place in the world she would ever find empathy was Iraq. We understand. We know what it’s like to lose family and friends to war- to know that their final moments weren’t peaceful ones… that they probably died thirsty and in pain… that they weren’t surrounded by loved ones while taking their final breath.
When she asked why her son had been taken and that he had been a good person… why did this have to happen to him? I kept wondering if she ever gave a second thought to the Iraqi victims and whether it ever occurred to her that Iraqi parents perhaps have the same thoughts as the try to dig their children out from under the rubble of fallen homes in Falloojeh, or as they attempt to stop the blood flowing out of a gaping hole in the chest of a child in Karbala.

Ethnic timebomb in Kirkuk may explode, setting off civil war: Kurdish exiles pouring back into northern Iraq city they once fled.

Abu Ghraib Requires a Political Response argues Bruce Ackerman.

Despite earlier denials: UK officers linked to torture jail.

Two Canadians this week join the dead: Second Canadian confirmed dead in Iraq, says Foreign Affairs.

Now he says so: Iraq war illegal, says Annan.

"From our point of view and the [UN] charter point of view it was illegal."

Release the prison documents now! says judge: Judge orders U.S. to turn over prisoner records: Jurist cites government for moving at ‘glacial pace’.

Suggesting the government was acting as if it had something to hide, a federal judge Wednesday gave Washington one month to release records related to the treatment of prisoners in Iraq....
“If the documents are more of an embarrassment than a secret, the public should know of our government’s treatment of individuals captured and held abroad,” Hellerstein wrote. “We are a nation that strives to value the dignity of all humanity.”

A demonstration in Baghdad calling for the release of the Italian aid workers held hostage. [See Action Alert below. Please sign! Iraqis rally to free hostages.

Arab League chief Amr Musa says: Gates of hell open in Iraq.

Action Alert! United for Peace and Justice, along with other organizations, has launched a Petition for Release Italian & Iraqi Aid Workers Kidnapped in Iraq & End Occupation of Iraq. Sign It Now!

The ultimate irony? Iraq remains ultimate welfare state.

The monthly supply of flour, rice, beans and other goods is worth about $15 per person, but for the poor majority, battered by years of sanctions, war and economic collapse, it is a safety net. Even among those who are well-off, food rations have come to be regarded as an entitlement and - to the chagrin of senior economic officials and their U.S. advisers - people want the list of free items expanded.

Four kidnapped policemen released in Basra after a request by aids to al-Sadr: Four kidnapped policemen freed.

Pictures from Iraq by Guardian columnist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad.

An attack on an oil pipeline led to a shutoff of electricity all Iraq: Saboteurs hit Iraqi electric grid.

Must Read! Guardian columnist was injured in the horrifying scene on Haifa Street Sunday where US helicopters brutally attacked a crowd of civilians, killing 13 and wounding 60. He describes the scene as he tried to escape, running from the "evil" helicopters, and watched others die: 'He's just sleeping, I kept telling myself': On Sunday, 13 Iraqis were killed and dozens injured in Baghdad when US helicopters fired on a crowd of unarmed civilians. G2 columnist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, who was injured in the attack, describes the scene of carnage - and reveals just how lucky he was to walk away.

Yesterday, sitting in the office, another photographer who was looking at my pictures exclaimed: "So the Arabiya journalist was alive when you were taking pictures!" "I didn't see the Arabiya journalist." He pointed at the picture of the guy with V-neck T-shirt. It was him. He was dead. All the people I had shared my shelter with were dead.

Torture in yet another American gulag, this time in Mosul. One of the people tortured there was a founder member of the Islamic Organization for Human Rights. How many "bad apples" must there be before we conclude its the policy that criminal?: US troops face new torture claims.

Mr al-Mallah says the next day, he saw "a young man of 14 years of age bleeding from his anus and lying on the floor. "He was Kurdish and his name was Hama. I heard the soldiers talking to each other about this guy, they mentioned that the reason for this bleeding was inserting a metal object in his anus."

While I don't have much sympathy for Saddam, what type of "fair trial" is it where the sentence is announced before the trial even begins: Judge to try Saddam resigns on security reasons.

Over 100 Foreigners Taken Hostage in Iraq.

More on Seymour Hersh's evidence that senior Bush administration officials knew about torture occurring at Guantanamo, and thus at least condoned it. Where are the War Crimes Tribunals?: Bush team 'knew of abuse' at Guantánamo.

Rebuilding, no, war, yes: Bush to shift Iraq funds towards security.

Kurds in the north are reportedly forcing Christian communities to move at gunpoint, a form of ethnic cleansing condoned by the pro-Kurd US: The Fate of Iraq's Christians: Eden Naby.

Erik K. Gustafson explains how the US casualty counts are much lower than the true number of injured soldiers: US Casualties in Iraq.

They knew about Abu Ghraib! says Seymour M. Hersh in his new book on the abuse there: Book says Bush officials warned of prison abuse.

Hersh asserts that a CIA analyst who visited the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in the late summer of 2002 filed a report of abuses there that drew the attention of Gen. John A. Gordon, the deputy to Condoleezza Rice, the White House national security adviser. But when Gordon called the matter to her attention and she discussed it with other senior officials, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, no significant change resulted....
Hersh also says that a military officer involved in counterinsurgency operations in Iraq learned of the abuses at Abu Ghraib in November and reported it to two of his superiors, Gen. John P. Abizaid, the regional commander, and his deputy, Lt. Gen. Lance Smith. "I said there are systematic abuses going on in the prisons," the unnamed officer is quoted as telling Hersh. "Abizaid didn't say a thing. He looked at me -- beyond me, as if to say, `Move on. I don't want to touch this.'"
Hersh also reports that FBI agents complained to their superiors about abuses at Guantanamo, as did a military lawyer, and that these complaints, too, were relayed to the Pentagon.
Hersh's thesis is that "the roots of the Abu Ghraib scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists" who have been charged so far, "but in the reliance of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld on secret operations and the use of coercion -- and eye-for-eye retribution -- in fighting terrorism."

A new web site allows soldiers who served or are serving to tell their stories: Operation Truth. As one example, read the account of SPC Murphy, who spent 15 months in Iraq: The U.S. must face the monster it created. See also this newspaper story: War stories, from those who know.

I love the United States, the Army and my unit. Out of this deep love, I ask that we as Americans take a long look in the mirror. We must ask ourselves who we are and what we stand for. We as a nation must face the monster we have created in Iraq, sooner rather than later. We must find a way out of the mess in Iraq with minimal loss of American and Iraqi life. We owe it to the soldiers on the ground and the embattled Iraqi people.

Must Read! Two former US officers conclude on PBS that the US is loosing, primarily due to its own policies: Whistling in the Dark in Iraq. How many more Iraqis, Americans, and others must die before the US does what it inevitably will, withdraw? In Vietnam, the comparable number was in the millions.

Col. Gardiner went on to make this extraordinary admission: "I must say that the people I talk to who know about what's going on inside, the diplomats, the spies and the military people, say we're never going to have stability there until the Americans get out. We are causing much of this...."
When Gardiner was asked how he would "fix" the current situation he offered this: "The fix the administration has picked, which is to get it off of the newspapers. The strategic communications objectives right now, as I read them, are to take this off of the radar screen of the American people. In July, you can... we were seeing roughly 250,000 articles in the world press per day about this. It's now down to 150...."
"There is no fix on the ground…When you get down to the point we are now, you're into tactical defense….Let's hope this thing somehow finds a solution. I don't hear anybody with a solution."

Must Read! Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Tony Blair's UN envoy during the buildup to the war, says that it was al-Qaida’s goal to get the West into battle on Arab soil as close to Saudi Arabia as possible. Thanks to Bush and Blair, they succeeded admirably: Al Qaida 'Duped Allies into Waging War'.

Hostages seized for ransom, not politics, are freed: Iraqi police free seven hostages north of Baghdad.

Falluja, under fundamentalist Islamic rule by insurgents: Islamic fighters tighten control of rebel city: Four months after the US failed to pacify Falluja, religious laws rule the stronghold of Iraq's insurgency .

The Observer interviews an American sniper who is a proud killer: A US sniper's story: 'Everyone I shot deserved it. It doesn't bother me'.

'It's not like in a firefight, when it is really scary and you don't think about it. When you are looking down the scope and no one knows you are there, it gives you a sense of power. You get an adrenalin rush, though I'm not sure if it is in a good way....'
Jesus Sales, a 21-year-old who joined the army to pay for college fees, is the unit's reserve sniper. He shot a man a few weeks earlier: 'I didn't feel anything weird. I just felt satisfied.'

They're worse than we are, says Rumsfeld: Rumsfeld: Terror outweighs abuse.

Must Read! Robert Fisk has a haunting piece on 9/11, Iraq, and the world in which we've chosen to live: We should not have allowed 19 murderers to change our world.

Three years ago, it was all about Osama bin Laden and al-Qa'ida; then, at about the time of the Enron scandal ­ and I have a New York professor to thank for spotting the switching point ­ it was Saddam and weapons of mass destruction and 45 minutes and human rights abuses in Iraq and, well, the rest is history. And now, at last, the Americans admit that vast areas of Iraq are outside government control. We are going to have to "liberate" them, all over again....
[W]e should not allow 19 murderers to change our world. George Bush and Tony Blair are doing their best to make sure the murderers DO change our world. And that is why we are in Iraq.

More details on the Samarra deal: Samarra May Be Key to Handling Iraq Cities.

Anti-democratic deal gets little public support: In Iraq, many have doubts about interim legislature.

[M]any in Iraq already see it as little better than the widely despised U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, which dissolved itself in June....
"It's not necessary that all groups accept the assembly," said Masoum, a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. "This is a political issue."

Final report of the Iraq Survey Group states the obvious, WMD did not exist: New Blow to Blair Over Iraq: Report concludes no WMD as PM completes reshuffle.

"Donald Rumsfeld's Department of Defense is being "economical with the truth" in order to downplay the increasing casualties": Hiding the bodies.

The key to victory in any remote;y free Iraqi elections: running against the US: VP Jaafari slams US.

In a new report, Human Rights First details the flaws in the multiple Pentagon "investigations" of the Abu Ghraid torture: Detainee Abuse: New Human Rights First Report Details Failings of Pentagon Investigations. Full text of report: Getting to Ground Truth: Investigating U.S. Abuses in the “War on Terror (pdf).

In Iraq, US routinely keeps prisoners in secret, presumably in order to torture them: CIA accused over 'ghost detainees'. And in Afghanistan: Policy let U.S. hold detainees in secret, military officers say.

Surprise! Military Loses Key Evidence in Iraqi Death.

60 days for abuse of prisoners in Iraq: Iraq Marine sentenced in prison abuse. Not guilty in killing of prisoner.

Cost Rica wants the US to stop falsely claiming it as part of the "Coalition of the Toadies": Costa Rica Wants to Be Off Coalition List.

The few remaining Aid agencies say they may pull out of Iraq.

As the US passes 1,000 deaths, a reminder of the devastation dealt to Iraqis. A book records "10,363 violent deaths in Baghdad and nearby towns", from 1 of Iraq's 18 provinces: More than 10,000 Iraqis die violently in Baghdad region alone. See also: Despair in Iraq over the forgotten victims of US invasion.

The Iraqi Health Ministry began tabulating civilian deaths in April, when heavy fighting broke out in Fallujah and Najaf. The ministry's figures indicate 2,956 civilians, including 125 children, died across the country "as the result of a military act" between April 5 and Aug. 31. Of those, 829 were in Baghdad, the ministry figures say.

Americans ponder and debate meaning of 1,000 American deaths: In small towns, painful debate.

Would it be "compassion" to do this to an American soldier? US soldier killed Iraqi 'in pity'.

US death toll hits 1,000: US deaths in Iraq reach 1,000.

An American-inspired Iraqi poem: The Liberators.

For some GIs, war may last a lifetime The psychological fallout of war: The unseen cost of war: American minds.

The slaughter of demonstrators, some just out to welcome Sistani, only to blame him for collusion in the killing ‘Why did you bring us? This is a slaughter’.

Beating their chests and shouting "Allahu akbar" (God is most great) at first they appeared not to realise the barrage they were confronting….

Must Read! War, what is it good for? Money! Pratap Chatterjee provides the lowdown on the scandal that is bigger than the standoff in Najaf: The Thief of Baghdad

"Embarrassed military authorities did eventually track down the missing generator and much of the money, both of which seemed to have ended up with none other than Halliburton. As it turns out they weren't missing after all; it's just that Dick Cheney's former employer had misplaced or conveniently.”
But the Pentagon was not able to explain just how Halliburton gained possession of Iraqi funds when neither the United States Congress nor the Iraqi government authorized their transfer to Halliburton in the first place. Worse yet, the man who authorized the allocation – CPA chief Paul Bremer – had already quietly left Iraq just as the reports were being released.

Eric Margolis explores the devolution of the coalition of the willing (the last paragraph is priceless): Coalition of the Coerced

Read like an Egyptian: The following article comes from Egypt’s premier newspaper: City of Death

Vets looking for truth have to find their own; the Pentagon does not provide it: Operation Truth

Kerry expects to keep US troops in Iraq at least 4 more years: Kerry: Pull Troops From Iraq in 4 Years.

US [note: not "Iraqi officials"] may decide that anti-American areas can't participate in "elections": Violence May Force Iraq to Bypass Hotspots in Election.

Reports that the Baath party is very much alive and active in the resistance: Saddam's Baath Party is back in business.

A major British international affairs institute, the Chatham House, has issued a report saying civil war that destabilizes the Middle East is the most likely outcome in Iraq: Civil war most likely outcome in Iraq: Major British institute says breakup of Iraq is a likely scenario. The report: Iraq in Transition: Vortex or Catalyst? (pdf).

The organization's Middle East team came up with three possible scenarios for Iraq, two of which would create real problems for the US and its allies:
  • If the Shiite, Sunni, and Kurd factions fail to adhere to the Iraqi Interim Government (IIG), Iraq could fragment or descend into civil war.
  • If the transitional government, backed up by a supportive US presence, can assert control, Iraq may well hold together.
  • A 'Regional Remake' could overtake the other two scenarios if the dynamics unleashed by Shiite and Kurdish assertiveness trigger repercussions in neighboring states. Other Kurds would want their own independence, and Shiites in other countries would be more aggressive.
"The first scenario is the most likely," says the report.

Communists, ex-Baathists, and Islamic radicals given the task of protecting US interests in Iraq: National Council Elects 4 Vice-Chairmen

So, this list is further evidence that the US invaded Iraq to install in power a coalition of Communists, Islamists and ex-Baathist nationalists. If you had said such a thing 3 years ago you would have been laughed at.

From long-term CIA/MI5 asset to dictator of his own little country: New Iraqi prime minister longtime trusted source for CIA, Britain's MI-6.

Freedom of the press a luxury the new Iraq will not tolerate: Iraq extends al-Jazeera ban and raids offices.

Protest, Resistance, and Civil War

Occupation Resistance Analysis

The day of killing children. he vast majority of victims from this mornings's bombing in Baghdad were children: Baghdad car bombs kill 34 children. And: 5 Iraqi children killed in Falluja bombing by US.

Why British troops were attacked, with two deaths: Fatal attack on troops 'revenge for Sadr raids'.

The Interim President condemns US bombing: Continued U.S. Airstrikes in Baghdad Draw Criticism Sadr City neighborhood is attacked for a second day. Interim president of Iraq likens the tactics to Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip.

Drawing a parallel between U.S. tactics in Iraq and Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, President Ghazi Ajil Yawer said the U.S. strikes were viewed by the Iraqi people as "collective punishment" against towns and neighborhoods.

Major deaths and injuries in car bomb attack on US convoy Thursday morning:. Reports of numerous children injured: Baghdad bomb blasts kill at least 35.

Thursday Falluja attack: U.S. attacks suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq.

ten more: Film shows 10 new Iraq hostages.

A moderate Egyptian cleric calls on all Iraqis to unite and fight the American occupiers: Preaching Violence: A once-moderate Muslim cleric has become a radical foe of the U.S. presence in Iraq. He’s not alone.

“If a Muslim land is occupied, then its people should fight the occupier,” Qaradawi continued. “Others should also help them with funds and weapons, in spirit through prayers and in any way possible.”

U.S. Tactics Fuel Falluja Insurgency, Residents Say. To get a sense of why, go to: In Pictures: U.S. Bombs Falluja.

[U.S. Tactics:] "I supported the arrival of the U.S. forces in the hope that we would live in freedom and prosperity," one Falluja rebel said. "I have never regretted anything in my life as much as I regret welcoming the Americans." He says he joined the insurgency after U.S. forces detained him without charge for four months in Abu Ghraib

Insurgent attacks: Five Iraqi spy officers killed in Basra. And: Iraqi Shiite official killed in Baquba.

Iraqi official claims the bloodbath will be in October, before the US elections: Iraq Rebel Cities to Be Retaken in October - Minister.

Reports more civilians killed in US "precision bombing" in Sadr City. Does "precision bombing" mean it will precisely kill someone, anyone? U.S. Bombs Insurgent Targets in Baghdad; Civilian Toll Reported.

Sabah Abaas, an emergency room medical assistant at Jawader Hospital, reported 10 people killed and 71 injured, including women and children.... "The enemy shows no concern for the Iraqi people," Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jim Hutton said.

Despite US claims, a new report shows that attacks occur over the entire non-Kurdish country: Iraq Study Sees Rebels' Attacks as Widespread.

Over the past 30 days, more than 2,300 attacks by insurgents have been directed against civilians and military targets in Iraq, in a pattern that sprawls over nearly every major population center outside the Kurdish north. [Imagine how many people must be involved in planning and executing 2,300 attacks.]

Must Read! US military commanders dispute the nonsense about the insurgency being primarily foreign fighters: Insurgents Are Mostly Iraqis, U.S. Military Says. Note, if this account is true, it is extremely unlikely that many of those being killed by the massive bombing of Falluja are "foreign fighters" as claimed. Thus, the military makes claims they know are false.

U.S. military officials said Iraqi officials tended to exaggerate the number of foreign fighters in Iraq to obscure the fact that large numbers of their countrymen have taken up arms against U.S. troops and the American-backed interim Iraqi government. "They say these guys are flowing across [the border] and fomenting all this violence. We don't think so," said a senior military official in Baghdad. "What's the main threat? It's internal...."
Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, head of the U.S. Central Command, estimated that the number of foreign fighters in Iraq was below 1,000....
At the behest of the interim government, U.S. forces last month cracked down on traffic along the 375-mile Syrian border. During Operation Phantom Linebacker, U.S. troops picked up small numbers of foreign fighters attempting to cross into Iraq, officials say. Yet the bulk of the traffic they detected was the kind that has existed for hundreds of years: smugglers and Syrian tribesmen with close ties to sheiks on Iraq's side of the border.

Allawi threatens attack that would lead to bloodbath: Falluja faces 'decisive action'.

Ramadi could become another Falluja: Iraqi city on edge of chaos.

Further US bombings of Falluja and Sadr City Tuesday morning: U.S. forces bomb Iraqi rebels. As usual, they killed many civilians and denied it. They also knocked out all power to Sadr City. Are they trying to make life there as absolutely miserable as possible so that the 2.5 million residents will flee?

In a statement, U.S. forces said they had conducted "precision strikes" on various targets, and at the same time denied reports on Arabic TV and in Western newspapers of heavy civilian casualties, with up to 10 killed and 46 wounded.

No longer different: Huge rise in attacks on British patrols in Iraq.

Attacks late Monday in Sadr City and Falluja: New US raids target Iraqi rebels.

Reports of mass casualties from US bombing of Shia in Kut: US bombing of Iraq city of Kut kills 75, wounds 148.

Another account of Abu Musab Zarqawi origins: Grisly Path to Power In Iraq's Insurgency: Zarqawi Emerges as Al Qaeda Rival, Ally. For an alternate view: The devil America knows.

New threats: Iraqi group threatens oil tanker drivers.

Continued attacks on Sadr City: Five killed, 46 wounded in US airstrike on rebel posts in Baghdad.

"We have received five dead, all men, and 46 wounded including nine children and 15 women," Dr Kassem Saddam of the Imam Ali hospital told AFP....
"We could not sleep all night from the airstrikes," said a resident of the Al-Orfali neighbourhood in the Sadr City district northeast of the centre. "There were powerful explosions all night long." Another resident said the assault lasted "about three to four hours and we felt the whole house shake."

Who do the US think they are kidding? Falluja official: Only civilians killed.

As Falluja resident pick up the pieces after two days of US air and artillery strikes, a city official is stressing that all the casualties in the attacks were civilian residents.

Later Sunday: Dozens killed in Iraq violence as Egypt, Britain seek to free hostages.

The latest US air strike on Fallujah targeted what commanders said was a meeting place for militants of suspected Al-Qaeda operative Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi's Unity and Holy War group. But medics in the town, west of Baghdad, said there were again women and children among the casualties.... Two hospitals in the city reported receiving eight dead and 22 wounded, including women and children, while residents said many victims remained under the rubble.... An earlier US air strike on another alleged hideout of the militants killed seven Iraqis and wounded 11, again including women and children, according to medics.

Going well? Violence in Iraq Belies Claims of Calm, Data Show.

Early Sunday: More killed in Iraq attacks.

Shades of Vietnam! New National Guard General arrested for aiding insurgency: U.S. Army: Iraqi general arrested.

Falluja doctors call for investigation of US killing of civilians: Falluja doctors decry attacks on civilians.

Oops, those damn cameras!

The U.S. military said the attack targeted supporters of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and no innocent civilians were in the area. But doctors at Falluja's main hospital said at least seven civilians were killed and 13 wounded, including women and children. Reuters television pictures showed a crowd of Iraqis digging through the ruins of a destroyed building, and pulling out survivors including two women and two children.... U.S. forces said in a statement: "There were no innocent civilians reported in the immediate area at the time of the strike."

A leading cleric from the Association of Muslim Scholars urged Iraqi police and National Guardsmen to rise up against the occupation: Top Sunni cleric calling Iraqis to unite against US-invaders' terror.

"We live in strange times. As practically everyone is condemning America and its conquering of Iraq, we see a small bit of scum fighting the current, calling America a liberator and friend", referring to Allawis speech praising the US invasion.... "Today Iraq is facing the biggest conspiracy, a conspiracy to eliminate its most faithful people, all the faithful whether Muslim or Christian, Arab or Kurd or Turkmen ... That is why the Americans have formed the Iraqi national guard and police". He described the nascent Iraqi security forces as "just a cover in order to sabotage Iraq ... Because of this I call for the leaders of the national guard and police not to obey their orders which are meant to make them the first spear, the first arrow as the criminal of the century Bush says".

An Inventory of Iraqi Resistance Groups.

Bluff or warning? Al-Sadr's Aide Warns of Possible Uprising.

A look inside insurgent-controlled Falluja: Fallujah: Rebel hold expands despite strikes.

What next? US troops stop honouring Iraq 'no-go' deals.

US strategy to build insurgency at work: Iraqi forces backed by American troops raid mosque in Baghdad.

Iraqi security forces backed by U.S. troops stormed a mosque in the Iraqi capital Saturday to search for illegal weapons.... Religious officials said the raid left a trail of overturned furniture, scattered holy books and broken windows. Capt. Tom Burrel of the Army's 1st Cavalry Division said no weapons were found during the raid on the Ibn Taymia Mosque in west Baghdad.

Early Saturday fighting: U.S. Strikes Fallujah; Four Marines Killed. Also, early Saturday: 5 Mortar Shells Hit Oil Ministry in Iraq.

Friday fighting: US Targets Iraqi Insurgents in Two Cities.

Fight in Dhuluiyah, in the north, wounds 10: US-insurgent clashes north of Baghdad: Ten Iraqis including three national guards wounded in clashes between insurgents and Iraqi-US forces in Dhuluiyah.

Eight more kidnappings, as least two of whom are Egyptian. Two were taken in a heavily-guarded area in Baghdad, an indication of how little control the "government" has:

Children wounded in Sadr City bombing: Children wounded in attack.

More air strikes in Samarra: U.S. Troops Seal Off Samarra, Call In Air Strikes: Locals and Sadr City: U.S. warplanes attack insurgents in east Baghdad.

Two Italian antiwar activist women hostages reported killed as British hostage pleads for help: UK Captive Pleads for Life in Iraq, Italians 'Dead'.

Wednesday: 3 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.

Reports a close aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed: Leader of Iraqi Militant Group Said Killed.

US aircraft and tanks attack Sadr City: 15 killed in fierce clashes in Baghdad's Sadr City.

Wednesday, more death as Iraq "makes progress": Car Bomb in Baghdad Kills at Least 11.

Giving in, after two hostage deaths: Iraq woman prisoner 'to be freed'.

The kidnapping is often successful: Kidnap threats: dilemma that faces countries and firms.

The Shia-US war continues: U.S. troops raid al-Sadr's office, detain 12.

Another hostage butchery: Second US captive killed as deadline expires.

Early Wednesday morning, the US is attacking Sadr City: US forces attack Sadr City.

Near Falluja: Two U.S. Marines killed in separate attacks west of Baghdad.

Two bombs Tuesday: Iraq bombs cause civilian deaths.

US engages in massive bombing in Sadr City: Explosions rock Shiite stronghold. If " loud explosions could be heard for hours," how many died?

More brutality: Zarqawi Group Says Killed One U.S. Hostage, Site Says.

After al-Sadr called for their release: Report: Islamist Group Frees 18 Iraqi Soldiers.

Attacks on Falluja continue Monday: Casualties reported in renewed Fallujah blasts.

As he has many times before: Sadr calls for release of hostages.

Sadr said he totally rejected abductions. He called on the kidnappers to desist from their action and immediately free the people they are holding.

Further attempts to incite ethnic strife: Gunmen Slay Two Top Clerics in Baghdad.

British troops killed more than 100 Iraqis in their part of suppressing the Mehdi Army uprising: UK troops kill 100 militia in uprising.

Many civilians die in US attack, while local residents increasingly resent the foreign fighters who ignore Iraqi casualties: Innocents die in 'precision' US attack.

Relations between Zarqawi's foreign supporters – who also include Yemenis and north Africans – and the people of Fallujah have become increasingly fraught. The fighters have outraged locals with killings and kidnappings, and by simply helping themselves to property. "We do not refer to them as mujaheddin," said a senior commander in the rival Iraqi resistance. "The mujaheddin are the local fighters who fought for their city in April, and then the Arabs came in and their nickname here is the mujaherrin (the conceited)."

Prepare for a decade-long war to subdue Iraq, says the Christian Science Monitor: Classic guerrilla war forming in Iraq: Recent upsurge in attacks against authorities and US forces has parallels, and differences, with past insurgencies. How many, on all sides, will die?

Either 15 or 25 Iraqi National Guardsmen allegedly kidnapped to demand release of al-Sadr aide: Video claims 25 Iraqi soldiers abducted, threatens to kill them (AP) or: Group Threatens to Kill 15 Iraqi Soldiers (Reuters)

Insurgent hit by US bombs in Falluja: Not so sure he's greeting us as liberators

Three members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party apparently beheaded, as Iraq moves on the road toward civil war: Kurdish hostages beheaded, militants claim. Meanwhile, three Lebanese were kidnapped: Iraq says it's working to get hostages released.

Three from Mehdi Army killed in Basra by British forces: Insurgents killed in clashes over Sadr's office.

US plans bloodbath for after the US elections: U.S. Plans Year-End Drive to Take Iraqi Rebel Areas.

Claims the kidnapped French journalists have agreed to film and cover the resistance for a set period: Hostage journos 'to cover resistance'

Ten from a Turkish company kidnapped: Insurgents seize more hostages.

Saturday, two more US soldiers: Two U.S. Soldiers Killed by Baghdad Car Bomb.

Bombings across Iraq Saturday: Kirkuk suicide blast kills 19. [The death toll is now up to 23 in this blast: Iraqi car bomb kills 23 in Kirkuk.]

Faces of the US fallen.

Reports that two Iraqi governors survived attack: Two governors survive bid on their lives -- witnesses.

Saturday starts out with at least 20 killed in bombing of potential Iraqi National Guard recruits: Suicide Bomber Targets Iraqi Nat'l Guard.

Bloody Friday end bloody week: Over 100 dead in violence.

More death from the air in Falluja Friday: 43Die in US Bombing of Fallujah.

British troops search al-Sadr office in Basra: Troops storm rebel's offices.

How the White House messed up totally in Falluja: Turning point: A journalist who was embedded with the U.S. Marines in Fallujah explains how the Bush White House lost the key battle of the Iraq war.

Nevertheless, the question remains why the White House failed so completely in its grasp of Iraqi perceptions and allowed the coverage of Fallujah to lure it into a rash decision to punish the residents of Fallujah and then reverse itself when the going got tough.

Two blasts target police: Suicide bomb blasts rock Baghdad.

US claims to kill 60 insurgents in bombings near Falluja: US claims 60 killed in air strike.

Thursday: Three US marines killed in Iraq.

Another oil pipeline hit: Oil pipeline ablaze in Iraq.

Just how large is the resistance? Resistance stronger in Iraq, analysts say.

White said his conservative estimate is that there are 100,000 Iraqis involved in the Sunni insurgency, including fighters, messengers and people who provide housing and other assistance. He discounted estimates by U.S. military commanders that the Sunni resistance numbers about 5,000 fighters.

He brought it on himself, the US implies, while "regretting" killing reporter on camera. After Abu Ghraib, they only like to commit atrocities with the cameras turned off: US sorry for death of journalist.

US [official] casualties up: 219 US Troops Wounded In Iraq In Past Week -Pentagon.

As usual, despite all evidence from witnesses and video, the US maintains its lie that it was responding to fire in the Haifa St. massacre Sunday. Even if this was so [despite no evidence at all on the film of the massacre], how did they kill and wound so many unarmed civilians who were nowhere near any possible firing? And why fire at least 9 missiles, in 3 separate attacks, over a long period at a civilian crowd? And why did they first announce that they butchered 13 and wounded 60 to "protect the Iraqi people" and only make up the nonsense about being fired upon hours later? U.S. army defends helicopter attack in Baghdad. Needless to say, no one will be held accountable.

Six Americand killed in 24 hours, with seven killed earlier yesterday: Six soldiers killed in separate attacks in Iraq.

What brutality has overtaken Iraq? Three beheaded bodies found in Iraq.

An account of the intense fight for Tal Afar: U.S. military encounters new northern front in Tal Afar. A different view from Turkey, relayed by Juan Cole: Ethnic Conflict in Tal Afar? The US press seems to completely ignore the Kurd-Turkmen conflict in that city.

Wednesday, fighting in Ramadi and blast in Baghdad: More Iraqis dead in latest clashes, attacks.

The horror of Tuesday's bombing as Iraq falls into civil war: Iraq: a descent into civil war?

Juan Cole reports the US may be fighting Turkmen in Tal Afar, despite US claims. This could severely hurt US relations with Turkey: Has the US been Fighting Turkmen?

59 Iraqi police and recruits killed in two attacks: Car bomb at Baghdad police station kills 47: Attack on police bus in Baquba kills 12 officers.

More on the US lies about its helicopter attack Sunday, viewed live on TV, thereby forcing them to change their cover story: Media spotlight on Baghdad deaths. Another bloody helicopter strike Tuesday: One Killed In U.S. Helicopter Strike On Baghdad: Witnesses.

Having lost control of most of the country, the US is using its overwhelming air power against Iraqi cities: Air power gains bigger role in Iraq. Given that, before the war, they launched 50 attacks against the Iraqi leadership and only admitted a year later that none of these attacks hit their intended target, and given the poor quality of US intelligence, one must assume that most of these attacks kill primarily civilians.

A hospital director in Ramadi reports that US snipers killed a woman and child and targeted ambulances and a hospital: Many killed in US attacks on Ramadi, Falluja.

Two ambulance drivers and members of medical teams on board the vehicles were also killed, he said.

Patrick Cockburn reports that "surgical" strikes blow apart helicopters. Given the reputed precision of US attacks, is this deliberate? Ambulance torn apart in Fallujah as US launches 'precision' strikes.

More horrifying brutality toward civilians by hostage-takers: Web Site Shows Beheading of Hostages.

Turkey threatens US: Turkey warns US on northern Iraq.

Iraqi villagers killed by another US "surgical" strike: Six Killed In U.S. Assault South Of Baghdad: Doctor.

Video of the scene Sunday as the US fires on a crowd of civilians, killing 13, including a journalist on-air, and wounding 60: U.S. Gunship Kills Iraqi Civilians And Journalist.

The General in charge of the April attack on Falluja says he was following orders he didn't agree with: Key General Criticizes April Attack In Fallujah: Abrupt Withdrawal Called Vacillation. In response to the insurgent successes, the US appears to be planning for attacks on insurgent strongholds after the US elections: Coalition holds off efforts to take rebel-run cities. Meanwhile, for yet another day, the US bombs Falluja, killing women and children in its "surgical" strikes: U.S. Targets Alleged Zarqawi Loyalists in Iraq Strike.

It takes Patrick Cockburn the British Independent to provide more details on the wanton bombing of civilians by the Americans in Baghdad today, captured live by al-Arabiya TV as their on-air reporter Mazen al-Tumeizi died from the bomb: US missile attack kills 13 civilians in Iraq.

Three Polish soldiers killed in Iraq.

Sunday witnessed one of the most intense insurgent artillery barrages ever seen in Baghdad: Surge of Baghdad Violence Leaves 60 Dead.

US massacres civilians, including a reporter for the Al-Arabiya television station, who are gathered around a destroyed Bradley fighting vehicle. Evidently, when there is an attack on an American, all Iraqis in the neighborhood are in danger of being butchered in retribution: At Least 13 Killed in Baghdad Fighting. Slipped into the article without comment are mentions of other civilian casualties as the US flails about, trying to avoid defeat. Reuters puts the point into the headline and gives us the marvelous reason the Us killed 13 Iraqis, including women and children: U.S. helicopter fires at Baghdad crowd: '"After evacuating the wounded, air support destroyed the Bradley fighting vehicle to prevent looting and harm to the Iraqi people," the U.S. military said in a statement.'.

[At Least 13 Killed:] Witnesses said several people milling around the Bradley, including a correspondent for the Arabic language Al-Arabiya television station, were killed. An Iraqi cameraman working for the Reuters news agency was also injured. Al-Arabiya broadcast videotape showing its employee, Mazen al-Tumeizi, preparing to make a report. Suddenly, an explosion occurred behind him. He doubled-over and began screaming "I'm dying, I'm dying" and colleagues tried to help him....
"We were standing near the destroyed vehicle when the helicopter started firing, so we rushed to safety in a nearby building," Alaa Hassan, 24, said from his hospital bed. "I went back to the scene to help the wounded people when the helicopter fired again and I was hit in the chest."

The insurgents are winning, this article concludes, with a break-up of Iraq as a likely outcome: The coming conflagration in Iraq: Insurgents are slowly extending their control.

All told, the U.S. military estimated that attacks on its forces were averaging nearly 90 a day in August for a final tally of 2,700, the highest monthly level since George W. Bush fancifully declared major combat at an end on May 1, 2003.

The Observer presents a fascinating interview with a Sunni resistance fighter who was originally pro-American, until he figured out the Americans had not come to help Iraqis: One man's resistance: 'Why I turned against America'.

'I know the soldiers have no choice about coming here and all have a family and friends,' he added. His justification for the struggle was an inconsistent mix of political and economic grievances and wounded pride: 'We are under occupation. They bomb the mosques, they kill a huge number of people. There is no greater shame than to see your country being occupied.'

As US stokes ethnic tension through the brutal siege of Tal Afar, Turkey objects: Turkey reacts with fury to massive US assault on northern Iraqi city.

Mr Rahman said that an agreement was hammered out by tribal leaders and the Americans last week in Mosul whereby Iraqi police would take charge in Tal Afar but American troops would not enter the city or try to disarm people. This failed to stick when there was more shooting. A Turkmen eyewitness in Tal Afar at the time claimed that seven Kurdish gunmen had fired at the Americans to lure them into attacking the Turkmen.

Sadr aide criticises Sistani for silence on Iraqi politics.

Governor estimates 1,000 Iraqis killed in Iraq fighting: 1,000 Iraqi rebels, civilians dead in urban warfare, Najaf leader says.

Insurgents kill four Iraqis, including a National Guard General and two working for a US mercenary firm: 4 Iraqis killed, family kidnapped.

Explosions in Basra and Baghdad: Blasts Hit Baghdad Apartment Buildings.

In the wake of the siege of Najaf: Violence exposes Shi'ite divisions: Iraq security forces kill 2 Baghdad protesters.

Falluja Brigade disbanded. Will attack follow? Iraq brigade split is setback for Marines.

Iraqis protest for and against al-Sadr: Al-Sadr inspires opposing rallies. Meanwhile, the religious courts established by al-Sadr's forces come under criticism: Ex-Detainees Describe Al-Sadr's Court.

Is the siege of Tal Afar causing "catastrophes", as Shiite cleric Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim charges? American forces lay siege to city: Tal Afar operations draw criticism from Turkey, Shiites.

Insurgents moving into new areas, as US attacks some of their strongholds: Rebels Begin to Control More Areas in Iraq.

Iraqi troops kill two al-Sadr supporters leaving mosque: Two killed after Iraqi troops fire on Baghdad crowd.

New protests against al-Sadr in Najaf: Demonstrators protest against al-Sadr and his followers in Najaf.

Many dead in renewed US attacks: Heavy US attacks on Iraqi towns.

Al-Sadr's office in Najaf searched: Iraqis enter radical cleric's office.

US enters Samarra for first time in three months: Iraqi, U.S. Forces Enter City of Samarra. Elsewhere, fighting continues: U.S. Clashes with Foes in North Iraq, Hits Falluja.

US continues attacks on Falluja: US bombing kills more Falluja civilians. Bombing kills many in the northern town of Tall Afar: 45 dead in US strikes.

Speaking from the town's main hospital on Thursday, Dr Mushtaq Talib said three women and five children were killed and another 15 were injured.

Experts predict the war of occupation will continue for a long time: U.S. Troops' Death Rate Rising in Iraq.

Rumsfeld predicts the occupiers will retake Iraqi cities from anti-occupation forces: Rumsfeld Says Iraqis Will Retake Cities while a General brags of the death and destruction likely to occur in the process: U.S. General Says Samarra Will Fall.

[U.S. General Says:] ``It'll be a quick fight and the enemy is going to die fast,'' Batiste said in an interview at his headquarters in a grandiose palace complex built by Saddam Hussein in Tikrit. ``The message for the people of Samarra is: peacefully or not, this is going to be solved.''

Falluja fighting continues: U.S. Jets Hit Insurgent Areas in Fallujah. Later: Fresh Fallujah strike kills 5.

US success? Sadr City Peace Talks Fall Apart.

US admits it has lost control of large areas, for the moment. But they are training forces to impose the occupation government in all areaas: U.S. Conceding Rebels Control Regions of Iraq.

Milan Rai reports that the US immediately broke the Najaf agreement, potentially setting the stage for a renewed round of fighting: Najaf 'Truce' Merely A Stage In The Conflict: US Broke Ceasefire Immediately.

Massive attacks on Falluja: Families flee US bombardment of Falluja.

Aid workers, two Iraqi and two Italian, kidnapped: Four NGO workers kidnapped in Iraq.

A bloody couple of days: Thirteen U.S. troops killed in latest Iraq fighting.

Najaf residence continue protests demanding al-Sadr's forces leave: Najaf protesters want Sadr out.

US continues massacres in Sadr City: Heavy Fighting Kills 34 in Baghdad.

Sadr's group denounces Sunni extrenmists groups, which are accused of attacking Shia in order to provoke civil war: Iraq's Sadr Group Says Sunni Extremists a Threat.

Abbas Kadhim says the big winner in Najaf was Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, who is on the road to becoming King of Iraq: Al-Sistani's triumph. But Nermeen Al-Mufti says the big loser was the Iraqi people: Death in Najaf.

US progress? Battle injuries leaped in August.

A deadly day for Americans. Seven marines die near Falluja, along with three Iraqis: 10 Killed In Fallujah Blast, Iraq Retracts Ibrahim Arrest Claim. And bloody for Iraqi civilians: Civilians killed in attacks across Iraq.

Analysis, Commentary, & Domestic Reaction

Occupation Resistance Analysis

The latest ad is quite good: "Stranded Republicans".

Families of war dead air TV ad targeting Bush: Families of Iraq War Dead Target Bush in Ads.

Administration lies not to be reported because it might influence the election: Salon acquires the 60 Minutes that never was

It is interesting to read Bill Burkett's account of his involvement with the CBS Bush National Guard documents scandal on: Burkett's blog.

'Cat Stevens' on his aborted visit to the US: Something bad has begun: The former Cat Stevens says he hasn't changed but the U.S. has.

An LA Times Editorial takes on the Bush hate campaign: How Dare Kerry Speak Up. Meanwhile, for a view of the slime behind the campaign, see this: excerpt from a new piece on Karl Rove.

[How Dare Kerry:] Compared with Kerry, George W. Bush is a coward. This is not a reference to their respective activities during Vietnam. It refers to the current election campaign. Bush happily benefits from the slime his supporters are spreading but refuses to take responsibility for it or to call point-blank for it to stop. He got away with this when the prime mover was the shadowy Swift boats group. Will he get away with it when the accusers are his own vice president, high officials of his own administration (Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage) and members of Congress from his own party (House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert or Sen. Orrin Hatch)? The answer is yes: Based on recent experience, he probably will get away with it.

President Eisenhower'a endorses Kerry: Why I will vote for John Kerry for President.

Ted Rall states the unstateable: Loosing Our Heads: Iraqi Insurgents are Butchers, Yet Not as Bad as Us.

[T]he United States has been far more extravagant with expending Iraqi lives then Iraq's beheaders have been with their targeting of individual Westerners.

John Fogerty sings: Deja Vu All Over Again, summing up the feelings of many of us. Tom Gallaghe says someone should play it for John Kerry: Turn on the Radio, John Kerry.

Cheney as flip-flopper: Edwards Statement on Cheney's Past Remarks that U.S. Shouldn't Get "Bogged Down" in Iraq. And former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Merrill McPeak says this is a Vanity War: 'Vanity War:' Former Air Force chief of staff criticizes Bush actions on Iraq.

Al Lorentz, an Army Reserve soldier who wrote Why We Cannot Win, may face 20 years in prison for speaking the truth: Operation American Repression? An Army officer in Iraq who wrote a highly critical article on the administration's conduct of the war is being investigated for disloyalty -- if charged and convicted, he could get 20 years

Father of dead British soldier threatens to kill himself: Father's protest.

A new poll find that a clear majority of americans believe the US should withdraw from Iraq if a majority of Iraqis want it. Shouldn't the question be on the January ballot? Poll Finds A Nation Chastened by War.

More than two-thirds of both the public and the leaders agreed the United States should withdraw from Iraq if a clear majority of Iraqi people want it to do so. As to whether Washington should remove its military presence from the Middle East if a majority of people there desire it, 59 percent of the public said yes, but only 35 percent of the elite agreed....
A majority of 57 percent of the public and a plurality of 48 percent of the elite said the United States should make a general commitment to abide by World Court decisions rather than decide on a case-by-case basis.

As we look toward the debate that may decide the 2004 US election, Paul Krugman asks whether the press will pay more attention to acting skill of Bush's massive lies: Swagger vs. substance.

Soldier who wrote: Why We Cannot Win may be charged with "violation of 18 USC 2388, willfully causing or attempting to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military forces of the US" Roadmap for the Prosecution.

The good thing about these charges is that they provide the rest of America with a roadmap for the prosecution of many in the Pentagon and elsewhere in the current administration. Charges of inciting insubordination, disloyalty and mutiny, promoting disaffection towards members of the United States military, and conduct of partisan political activity will come in handy for the key appointees at the Under Secretary for Defense Policy and the Vice President’s office. In pleading to these charges, which can carry a maximum of 20 years in federal military prison, perhaps the more serious charges of gross dereliction of duty, national and international war crimes, espionage and treason can be mitigated.

Barbara Ehrenreich calls on people to start organizing NOW for a massive response in case the 2004 election is stolen: To Catch a Thief.

Maureen Dowd: Dance of the marionettes.

For so long, Mr. Bush has put up with caricatures of a wee W. sitting in the vice president's lap, Charlie McCarthy style, as big Dick Cheney calls the shots. But now the president has his own puppet to play with.

Hans Blix talks of war: Blix raps War.

Hans Blix, said yesterday the consequences of the war in Iraq were "terrible and tragic". "A murderous dictator was removed but all the other consequences are terrible and tragic," he said....
Sometimes foreign policy should follow the same guidelines as doctors - "No prescription before a correct diagnosis" - Blix said.

More Bush lies: Fact Check: Latest Bush Ad Uses Kerry Quotes Out of Context.

British unions press Labour for a date to withdraw the troops: Unions firm on deadline for Iraq troop withdrawal.

All road lead to destroying freedoms: A Leak Probe Gone Awry.

Before they do it again! Watch online the movie that reveals in detail how the 2000 elections were stolen in Florida: Unprecedented": The 2000 Presidential Election is the riveting story about the battle for the Presidency in Florida and the undermining of democracy in America.

Charley Reese: A comedy routine.

President Bush’s denial of the reality of Iraq is beginning to sound like a stand-up comedy routine. "Mr. President, the insurgency has spread to the whole country." "We’re making great progress." "But Mr. President, the attacks against coalition forces have escalated dramatically." "We’re making great progress." "But Mr. President, all but 2 percent of the Iraqi people want us to leave." "We’re making great progress...."
And so forth. Whether the president is actually in denial or is misleading the public for partisan purposes, I will leave to your judgment. It would be less dangerous if he were engaged in deliberate deception. That, at least, is a sign of sanity.

In fantasyland, mistakes never happen: Kerry Rips Bush on 'Mission Accomplished' Remark.

Lies on the British side of the Atlantic, as Robert Fisk reminds us: The worse the situation in Iraq, the bigger the lies that Tony Blair tells us: Iraq, remember, was going to be the role model. It would be the catalyst, 'crucible' even, of the new Middle East.

But just listen to what else Lord Blair of Kut informed us about the war. "It will define relations between the Muslim world and the West. It will influence profoundly the development of Arab states and the Middle East. It will have far-reaching implications for the future of American and Western diplomacy." And he can say that again, can't he?

A new poll in Britain puts the Labour Party in third place [though over polls differ]: Blair suffers poll blow.

Even US-supported Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf says: Iraq war has created more danger.

“The deeper issue is ... all political disputes involving Muslims, where Muslims are being seen on television, daily, being killed. Palestinians, we see every day what is happening there. “All these are images which have created an antipathy against the United States in the Islamic world,” said Musharraf.

A Canadian view of the questions raised by the Bush's rise: In a Bush league of their own. And A British view of the thuggery of the Bush family: How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power: Rumours of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today's president.

[In a Bush league:] Then again, the 43rd president is a product of a family of staggering banality. A visitor to the seaside compound at Kennebunkport says that the only book he could find to read one sleepless night was The Fart Book. In dress, speech, manners and taste, the family is unsophisticated. But when it came to trading on their name, the relatives made those in other famous families "look like hummingbirds alongside vultures.... What is more important to know today is how a family without vision or imagination got to the top, and the system that eased their way. That is the real story of the House of Bush and the descent of politics in the United States. Kitty Kelley's labours notwithstanding, it remains untold.

For what its worth: Kerry's latest Iraq ad.

The New York Times has discovered we're not in Kansas any more: An Un-American Way to Campaign.

This is despicable politics. It's not just polarizing - it also undermines the efforts of the Justice Department and the Central Intelligence Agency to combat terrorists in America

Peter Dombrowski, Associate Professor at the Army War College, says "This may be the greatest disaster the U.S. has walked into." He also said troops will remain in Iraq for many years: Analyst: United States likely to remain in Iraq

A year and a half too late, they speak out forcefully: Pelosi Calls Iraq War 'Grotesque Mistake'.

A Labour member of the British Parliament: Bring Baghdad to Brighton: At last, anti-war voices could have a real impact on government policy .

One Way to Alienate Moderate Muslims: Deport Cat. Meanwhile, Powell continues his campaign to look ridiculous as he wipes Bush's ass: US defends decision to put Cat out.

Profiting off of terrorism: Ridge Reports Investments in Homeland Security Contractors.

Catholic priest Andrew Greeley reflects on his hate maile: A Dove in Good Company.

Yet, most Americans are unconcerned about the death of Iraqi civilians. They wear towels on their heads and walk around in their pajamas. They speak a funny language and believe in a funny religion. They scream at us with hate. Why should Americans worry about them? They're barely human.

the Republicans are engaging in a systematic campaign to tie Kerry and Democrats in general to increased terrorism: Tying Kerry to Terror Tests Rhetorical Limits.

New Zealand doctors call for boycott of products from the US, UK, and Australia to protest war: Doctors call for boycott of products to pressure Iraq withdrawal.

Stephen Zunes analyzes Bush's UN speech: President Bush's UN Speech: Idealistic Rhetoric Disguises Sinister Policies.

Frank Smyth questions progressives support for the reactionary forces in the Iraqi resistance: Who Are the Progressives in Iraq? The Left, the Right, and the Islamists.

U.S. activists who demonstrated against the Iraq War made an invaluable contribution by letting the rest of the world know that millions of Americans opposed the U.S.-led invasion. But the enemy of one’s enemy is not necessarily one’s friend....
[A]ll of the organized groups among the Iraqi resistance are reactionary forces of one kind or another. The resistance around and between the cities of Falluja, Tikrit, and Baghdad in the so-called “Sunni triangle” is led by ex-Ba’athists who aspire to return the old minority-based dictatorship to power.

Iraqis happier with their country's direction than Americans says Bush: Bush Shrugs Off Bad Polls on Iraq Outlook.

Oh my. Bush has to take back some of his stupid comments: Bush explains terror remarks.

Michael Moore presents: Mr. Bush and His 10 Ever-Changing Different Positions on Iraq: "A flip and a flop and now just a flop.".

Which of these 10 positions that you, your family and your cabinet have taken over the years represents your CURRENT thinking:

He's right: Kerry: Allawi's Take on Iraq Unrealistic. But is he more realistic when he contemplates the future?

The Story That Didn’t Run: Here’s the piece that ‘60 Minutes’ killed for its report on the Bush Guard documents. It's the story of how the US government endorsed the obviously forged Niger uranium documents.

Black Hawk crashes in southern Iraq and Gunmen Kill Oil Official in Northern Iraq.

Jonathan Schell joins those explaining: Why We Must Leave Iraq.

An Australian Green Party member pleads with American Greens not to sabotage the fight to remove Bush: An Australian Green on Bush vs. Kerry.

The fear induced in Americans by politicians is bad for our health, literally, argues David Ropeik, Director of Risk Communication at Harvard University's Center for Risk Analysis We're Being Scared to Death

I wonder whether the politicians who are using fear to get themselves elected would stop if they knew the harm they may be doing to people's health. Real physical harm. Making people sick. Perhaps even killing them.

E.L. Doctorow writes of Bush, the moral monster: The Unfeeling President.

fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our 21-year-olds who wanted to be what they could be.... But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass destruction he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man.
He is the president who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead, he does not feel for the 35 million of us who live in poverty, he does not feel for the 40 percent who cannot afford health insurance, he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills - it is amazing for how many people in this country this president does not feel.

The New York Times says that Bush's UN speech was a failure, an insult to potential allies: Bush's tone-deaf UN speech. Of course, the UN doesn't vote.

Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel who has taught strategy and military operations at the National War College, Air War College and Naval War College, argues that in the Bush administration's war campaign: The enemy is us.

In war, you deny information, spread lies and use psychological warfare. An expert on military information operations explains how Bush has mastered this technique -- and used it against the American people.

Karl Rove's latest Republican intelligence estimate: Al Qaeda seen planning for 'spectacular' attack.

Mom of dead soldier under Secret Service investigation: Secret Service Probe Bush Threats Made By Dead Soldier's Mom.

Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, views the CPA [for which he consulted] as having been incompetent. He here gives an establishment view of: What Went Wrong in Iraq, from Foreign Affairs. One can get a further sense of his thinking from: The New War for Iraq where he argues for militarily defeating the Mahdi Army.

Humor Ahead! Did you know that Bush-Cheney supporters cower in fear in their houses? That's the true climate of fear in this country: A Climate Of Fear.

Many Republicans are afraid to put Bush-Cheney bumper stickers on their cars or signs on their lawns because they are afraid of physical retaliation from angry liberals.

Singer Cat Stevens on terrorist watch list, banned from country, for converting to Islam and opposing Iraq war: Flight diverted after Cat Stevens found on watch list. But fans defend him: Fans defend `peace-loving' singer. Evidently his crime was releasing an antiwar song.

the Idiot-In-Chief knows better: Bush Dismisses Gloomy CIA Report on Iraq. Would you buy a used war from this man?

Bush and US foreign policy unpopular throughout the world: Bush policy brings the world on his back.

Sixty-five percent of Pakistanis, 45 percent of Moroccans and 31 percent of Turks have a favourable view of the on-the-run Al-Qaeda leader, according to a Pew research poll released in March....
The Massachusetts senator easily beat Bush in 32 out of 35 countries asked by the Globescan institute for a survey released this month. Kerry wins in countries that opposed the Iraq war -- 64 percent to five percent in France, 74-10 in Germany, 61-16 in Canada -- and those in Bush's "coalition of the willing" -- 47 percent to 16 percent in Britain and 43-23 in Japan.

I'm sure this will pop up in the right wing press: Decorated Soldier Reportedly Attacked At Concert: Barton Cannot Return To Iraq Due To Injuries.

the New York Times and its ombudsman spit at Michael Moore: The New York Times vs. Michael Moore.

Was Annan right? With Bush at U.N.: Iraq War Illegal?

Editorial support for Kerry's Iraq speech from the Minneapolis Star Tribune: Editorial: Truth to power/Change course in Iraq. New York Times: Talking Sense, at Last, on Iraq.

[Star Tribune:] To which Bush responded that Kerry's plan calls for doing exactly what the administration is doing. That is simply untrue. Kerry is correct in saying that he has a strategy while Bush has none, beyond continuing his "stubborn incompetence."

Brother of British hostage blasts Tony Blair and the war: UK captive's brother appeals to officials. Meanwhile, the hostage crisis threatens Tony Blair, as well as the poor hostage: Kidnap threatens Blair attempt to heal Labour rift over war.

A reminder of the horrors of war. Newly released documents show that every word in Kerry's indictment of the Vietnam war was true: Swift Boat Swill: From the National Archives: New proof of Vietnam War atrocities.

Leaked British documents demonstrate clearly that the only motivation for the war was regime change, NOT WMD, which was simply made up as an excuse for the public and to create a legal fig leaf for a war known to be illegal: The need to wrongfoot Saddam: The weekend's leaked No 10 papers have revealed the depth of official fears about the legality of the Iraq invasion - and the disaster it presaged.

"We have to be convincing that the threat is so serious/imminent that it is worth sending our troops to die for. Regime change does not stack up. It sounds like a grudge match between Bush and Saddam."

Tom Engelhardt dwells on the Iraq-Vietnam comparison: Are we in Saidad or Baghgon?

Don't fool yourself, Ira Chernus says: Kerry Offers "Four More Years" of War.

James Carroll attempts to explain: Why Americans Back the War.

The Bush war in Iraq, in fact, is only the latest in a chain of irresponsible acts of a warrior government, going back to the firebombing of Tokyo. In comparison to that, the fire from our helicopter gunships above the cities of Iraq this week is benign. Is that why we take no offense?
Something deeply shameful has us in its grip. We carefully nurture a spirit of detachment toward the wars we pay for. But that means we cloak ourselves in cold indifference to the unnecessary suffering of others -- even when we cause it. We don't look at any of this directly because the consequent guilt would violate our sense of ourselves as nice people.

A despairing view from India: The Flame-Throwers: Is Bush the new Saddam? Has the US completely lost the plot in West Asia?

Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more evident that Bush has so completely lost touch with reality that he actually believes what he is saying. And that makes one fear for the future of the world....
his lack of concern for Iraqi lives now pervades all American thinking. John Kerry did not even consider it worth his while to raise the issue during his campaign. Only the Iraqis killed by Saddam matter to the US and its allies. After the war, every mass grave that the occupation forces came across was exhumed, and we were told (never later confirmed) that there might be up to 15,000 bodies buried there.
Iraq has gone out of the Americans' control and will most probably emerge as a failed state and the new home of Al Qaeda. But instead of learning something from this truly epic debacle, the US is plunging on down the path to destruction. Today, it and its faithful henchman, Israel, are training their guns on Iran. All that they are waiting for is some kind of censure of Iran's nuclear programme by the UN, to give them the cloak of justification for attacking that country. If they do that, the entire Middle East will go up in flames and Al Qaeda will start receiving tens of thousands of Shia recruits as well. That is the President and regime the American people are on the verge of re-electing.

Is McCain trying to sink Bush? Or is this just wishing by those despairing? The Bush-McCain Face-Off.

Military moms speak out against Bush, war in Iraq.

An interview in Salon with Seymour Hersh: Seymour Hersh's alternative history of Bush's war.

Any truth? Robert Novak claims that Bush will pull out of Iraq soon after the election. Personally, I'm doubtful. Sounds more like election fog: No need to get rid of Bush, because he'll really end the mess: Quick exit from Iraq is likely.

Pro-war Washington Post says Bush lies: Hawkish 'Washington Post' Hits Bush on Iraq.

Finally! Kerry says Iraq war 'was mistake'. The Text of Kerry Speech. Some Excerpts on Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, no mention of prompt US withdrawal.

British Ambassador to Italy speaks out: British Envoy to Italy Stirs Waters with Bush Barb.

"If anyone is ready to celebrate the eventual re-election of Bush, it's al Qaeda...." Roberts also told the meeting of British and Italian policy-makers: "Bush is al Qaeda's best recruiting sergeant."

Dahr Jamail describes the atmosphere in Iraq to a peace group: 'Hate and rage' in embattled Iraq.

As the Democrats lurch toward their self-made decable, Stephen Zunes reminds us that they should have known better: Kerry vs. Bush: A Humphrey-Nixon Redux? and How Kerry’s Foreign Policies Leave Him Vulnerable to Republican Attacks.

Republicans and Democrats accuse Bush of being soft on Iraqis, not ready to squelch the resistance at whatever cost and despite objections from the Iraqi puppet government: Republicans Criticize Bush 'Mistakes' on Iraq.

Diane Davis Santoriello, whose son died in Iraq, asks: For whom did my son die in Iraq?

Now my son is dead. How did he die? According to the Army, he was killed on Aug. 13 in western Iraq when an IED -- an "improvised explosive device" -- detonated near his vehicle. According to me, he was killed by the arrogance and ineptitude of George W. Bush aided by Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld....
I did not speak out against the war earlier and for this I am angry with myself. My son, a man of incredible honor, died from the actions of dishonorable men. I cannot bring him back. But I speak out now to protect the people still serving, to try to restore honor to our country.

The salesman sells la-la land. Are the people buying? Bush 'pleased with the progress' in Iraq: President says 'free Iraq' possible, despite intelligence report.

In his usual way, Noam Chomsky places the motives for the Iraq war and the "War on Terrorism" in a broader context and examines their consequences for the future of the world: The Resort to Force. Version:0.9 StartHTML:00000097 EndHTML:00000234 StartFragment:00000111 EndFragment:00000198 Slave Girl Of Gor

Bush planners know as well as others that the resort to force increases the threat of terror, and that their militaristic and aggressive posture and actions provoke reactions that increase the risk of catastrophe. They do not desire these outcomes, but assign them low priority in comparison to the international and domestic agendas they make little attempt to conceal.

Former US Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali holds the US responsible for the rise in terrorism around the world, calls for US withdrawal from Iraq: US Behind Rising Wave of Global Terrorism: Boutros-Ghali.

BlogPower? No, RovePower! Evidence the CBS documents on Bush's National Guard duty were a republican put-up job: Blogger Who Faulted CBS Documents Is Conservative Activist. How could he have had such detailed knowledge of the typography of documents only shown for a second on TV, if he wasn't given advance warning?. Further, CBS went with the documents after the White House appeared to confirm their authenticity, only to have them deny it after the story aired: In the Rush for a Scoop, CBS Found Trouble Fast.

[Blogger:] MacDougald helped draft the foundation's petition in 1998 that led to the five-year suspension of Clinton's Arkansas law license for giving misleading testimony in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case....
Operating as "Buckhead," which is also the name of an upscale Atlanta neighborhood, MacDougald wrote that the memos that CBS' "60 Minutes" presented on Sept. 8 as being written in the early 1970s by the late Lt. Col Jerry B. Killian were "in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatino or Times New Roman."

Finally, a difference: Edwards: No Military Draft if Dems Win.

Bill Moyers warns of the destruction of democracy that follows when the media fail to carry out their duty to inform: Journalism Under Fire.

Minneapolis Star Tribune editorializes that Iraq is going downhill: Editorial: Iraq/Is it becoming a lost cause?

All that means the most pessimistic scenarios in the intelligence estimate are more likely to play out.

Britains debate the implications of Annan's statement that the war was illegal. Did Tony Blair deliberate hide knowledge of the illegality of the war? The truth about the war.

"Free" America. A medical school professor arrested and held for 22 hours for participating in a peaceful demonstration: Prof spends 22 hours in jail for walking: Med school professor arrested on periphery of peaceful anti-Bush protest.

Increasing numbers of soldier decide being turned into a killing machine is not a good idea: US soldiers battle their consciences.

What hath he wrought? asks Salama A Salama: Evil empire.

People awake in the morning to the news of dozens dying in US bombings of Fallujah and Najaf. People sleep at night to the news that Israeli tanks stormed Palestinian areas, killing many or a few. People wake up again and go to bed again, exposed all the while to horrific reports of abduction and slaughter, of civilians having their throats cut for no fault of their own....
An empire of evil is taking root in our midst, courtesy of Bush's policies. And this is just the beginning.

Weirder and weirder: CBS revisits Bush's Guard memos.

CBS News reported that the documents it first broadcast last week on "60 Minutes II" appear to be forgeries to the woman who would have typed the original memos in 1972 and 1973. But Marian Carr Knox, a former Texas Air National Guard secretary, said she did type similar documents for her boss, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian. "I know that I didn't type them. However, the information in those is correct," Knox told CBS anchor Dan Rather.

At last, a little sense out of his mouth. Not enough, but a tiny bit... Kerry: Bush 'living in fantasy world' on Iraq.

Howard Zinn's advice to former anti-war hero John Kerry: Kerry Needs the Courage to Walk Away from Iraq.

He needs to stop saying, as he did recently in the Midwest, that he defended this country when he was fighting in Vietnam. That is not an honest statement. If it were true, then he would not have turned against the war. He was not defending this country when he fought in Vietnam. He was defending this country when he said that we were wrong to be in Vietnam and we should get out.

A prominent British colonel who became famous for his rousing speech to the troops on the eve of the war now questions its motives: Colonel questions motive for invasion.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said that if the war was ordered to liberate Iraq, the coalition was guilty of gross incompetence. But there was reason to think it was a "cynical war that was going to happen anyway, to vent some anger at Saddam Hussein's regime with no regard to the consequences on the Iraqi people". "In which case it is a sort of form of common assault - and the evidence would point towards the latter," he said.

Ron Jacobs argues that the anti-war movement is making a big mistake by pretending Kerry's election would make a big difference in US war policy: A Movement in Disarray: Oppose War, Not Just Bush.

Most Americans feel AIPAC should ve registered as a foreign agent and lose its tax exempt status. Jews were evenly divided: Americans Think AIPAC Should Register as a Foreign Agent, Says Council for the National Interest.

In a great showing of democracy, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq was arrested for asking why at a Laura Bush pep rally: Woman arrested after interrupting Laura Bush speech has a new addepicting an American soldier sinking in a quagmire.

The British Trade Union Confederation says get the troops out and dismantle military bases: Unison leaders demand pull-out from Iraq.

Mary Davis, from the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education, said: "There should be no mistake about our opposition to war and occupation. We don't support Anglo-US imperialism masquerading as a crusade to rid the world of tyrants.

Former US Ambassador Peter W. Galbraith analyzes the reasons for: Iraq: The Bungled Transition to Allawi.

The privatizing of Iraq's economy was handled at first by Thomas Foley, a top Bush fund-raiser, and then by Michael Fleisher, brother of President Bush's first press secretary. After explaining that he had got the job in Iraq through his brother Ari, he told the Chicago Tribune—without any apparent sense of irony—that the Americans were going to teach the Iraqis a new way of doing business. "The only paradigm they know is cronyism."

Film showed the police lied. Will we see a perjury trial? Charges Against Bush War Protester Dismissed By Court.

`Jersey Girls' endorse Kerry, condemn Iraq war: Widows Back Kerry After Bush Rebuffs 9/11 Probe: President Stalled Inquiry, They Say `Jersey Girls' Condemn War.

Serious Iraq debate emerges among vets.

Asylum request for family of boy getting medical treatment in US. They fear being killed by insurgents: Life-and-death decisions.

The British war-maker may face impeachment: Band of MPs call for Blair impeachment.

Katharine Gun, a British translator who leaked a memo on US spying at the UN is encouraging other whistleblowers: Iraq whistleblower starts support group, the Truth-Telling Coalition. It already has 15 members.

Former British communications chief Alastair Campbell is impressed with al-Jazeera: I was wrong about al-Jazeera.

Dick Cheney says that the school massacre in Russia occurred despite Russia's opposition to the Iraq war: What's up with Dick Cheney?

"I think some have hoped that if they kept their heads down and stayed out of the line of fire, they wouldn't get hit. I think what happened in Russia now demonstrates pretty conclusively that everybody is a target. That Russia, of course, didn't support us in Iraq, they didn't get involved in sending troops there, they've gotten hit anyway."

Must Read! In this short piece, Harley Sorensen expresses more profound truth than anything else I'm seen on the war: The Real Reason We're In Iraq.

So we invaded Iraq not to save ourselves from weapons of mass destruction, not to rid the world of a brutal dictator and not to avenge the murders of Sept. 11. We invaded Iraq because Bush and his pals think America should rule the world.
That's why we can't win. The rest of the world isn't going to let us win. The rest of the world might admire us, but they do not want to be dominated by us. And that's why we should get out of Iraq today. Not tomorrow, not next week, not a year from now, but today.

John Kerry helped George Bush out of his Iraq quagmire: Kerry Stuck in Political Quagmire: Democrat's Iraq Message Boosts Bush, Becomes Easy Target for Political Satire. Similar sentiments are expressed by Andrew Greeley: Voters have no choice on Iraq.

An excerpt from Seymour Hersh's new book, Chain of Command: Is America safer? Pulitzer Prize-winning author examines how U.S. got from 9/11 to the war in Iraq.

View the documentary: Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear, and the Selling of American Empire "featuring Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, Tariq Ali, and many more experts speaking about the Neo-Con agenda and the cloud of fear which the Neo-Cons have settled over America". Described by Robert Jensen as: Fahrenheit 9/11 For Grown-ups.

Contemplating our warrior nation, Georgie Anne Geyer says: "I thought we were different".

New animated ad about Iraq: Who Profits?

Cause for despair? Three Years After 9/11: More than 40% of Americans Still Think Saddam Did It.

John Kerry should see the new bio-flick on John Kerry, says columnist Frank Rich. He would learn something about the importance of standing up for principles: Coming Soon: Kerry's 'Apocalypse Now'.

U.S. News & World Report concludes that, regardless of the recent memos, according to Air Force standards, Bush did not deserve his honorable discharge: The service question: A review of President Bush's Guard years raises issues about the time he served.

In another stunning US foreign policy success, Osama bin Laden is more popular than President Bush in staunch US ally Egypt. Of course, the rest of the Arab world feels even more negative about the US: Analysis: Bin Laden more popular than Bush.

Conservative Kentucky Democrat deadly regrets his vote authorizing the war. Of course, he's not running for reelection: Lucas: War vote a mistake. 'I really feel like I was misled'.

"I don't think we're better off than we were. I think we've incited a lot of people," he said. "We've spent about $200 billion in Iraq and when you think of what we could have done with that here in this country, hardening our defenses, giving our front-line defenders what they need, going after al Qaida. With $200 billion you could do a lot."

When occupation fails, consider withdrawal, says the British Financial Times in an Editorial: Time to Consider Iraq Withdrawl.

He loyally does their dirty work, but Colin Powell described the neocons as 'fucking crazies' to the British foreign Secretary in the build up to the war, a new book by a BBC broadcaster claims: Colin Powell in four-letter neo-con 'crazies' row.

Cognitive closure, or an open mind? 9/11: The Politics of Eternal Mystery.

On this 9/11 anniversary, Juan Cole has an incisive discussion of Al-Qaeda's goals: September 11 and Its Aftermath.

Al-Qaeda has succeeded in several of its main goals. It had been trying to convince Muslims that the United States wanted to invade Muslim lands, humiliate Muslim men, and rape Muslim women. Most Muslims found this charge hard to accept. The Bush administration's Iraq invasion, along with the Abu Ghuraib prison torture scandal, was perceived by many Muslims to validate Bin Laden's wisdom and foresightedness.
After the Iraq War, Bin Laden is more popular than George W. Bush even in a significantly secular Muslim country such as Turkey. This is a bizarre finding, a weird turn of events. Turks didn't start out with such an attitude. It grew up in reaction against US policies.

Dan Rather defends Bush National Guard memos: Rather Defends CBS Over Memos on Bush.

12 Nepali laborers murdered by hostage-takers in Iraq. Where's the outrage? The Price of a Hostage.

But there is another less comfortable truth that we must acknowledge equally. We live in a racist world where the value of human beings is based on the geopolitical worth of their country. It is a racism motivated by realpolitik more than skin color.

Mass demonstration in Rome for peace in Iraq and release of Italian hostages held there: Thousands attend rally in Rome.

Ignore the evidence! Groups Criticize Abu Ghraib Exhibit Plans.

Tennessee Republican Congressman calls for troop pullout: Rep. Duncan urges Iraq pullout.

Another grieving parent speaks out: Angry Mother Of Slain Pendleton Marine Speaks Out.

"He wasn't defending our country. We invaded Iraq. Iraq didn't invade us."

Iraq hits the London theater: David Hare's play about Iraq divides critics - even before opening.

Juan Cole gives a new take on Cheney, Halliburton, and the Iraq war: Cheney, Halliburton and Iraq: The Purloined Letter.

What was in it for Cheney? ... I suspect it is political. Not all corporations make money on war. Some actually lose money. But Halliburton, Bechtel and a few other components of the Military Industrial Complex do benefit from war. Strengthening that sector of the American economy strengthens the political Right. Turning the Republic into a praetorian state would permanently yield profits for the military industrial complex in such a way as to create a permanent Republican dominance of all the branches of the US government.

It's all part of what Bush believes to be God's apocalyptic plan for the planet argues Mark Morford: Apocalypse Bush! Why care for the planet when the End Times are almost here? Vote Bush and hop on the salvation train!

Hey, if God had wanted us to care about other viewpoints, He would've made everyone speak English. Can I get a "hell yeah?"

Cheney gives new meaning to being Dicked Around: You Don’t Know Dick.

Naomi Kline says the RNC is where we should be hearing about the atrocities of Najaf: It’s time to bring Najaf back home.

An exploration of the historical roots that helped bring us to Iraq: Alliances and the American election.

It was the Democratic Party that created most of the pillars of postwar American foreign policy, from the Truman Doctrine in 1947 and NATO through the institutionalization of the arms race and the illusion that weapons and firepower are a solution to many of the world's political problems. The Democrats share, in the name of a truly "bipartisan" consensus, equal responsibility for both the character and dilemmas of America's foreign strategy at the present moment….
In foreign and military affairs, both the Clinton and Bush administrations have suffered from the same procurement fetish, believing that expensive weapons are superior to realistic political strategies. The same illusions produced the Vietnam War - and disaster. Elegant strategies promising technological routes to victory have been with us since the late 1940s, but they are essentially public relations exercises intended to encourage more orders for arms manufacturers and justifications for bigger budgets for the rival military services. During the Clinton years the Pentagon continued to concoct grandiose strategies and it demanded - and got - new weapons to implement them. There are many ways to measure defense expenditures over time but - minor annual fluctuations notwithstanding - the consensus between the two parties on the Pentagon's budgets has persisted since 1945. In January 2000 Clinton added $115 billion to the Pentagon's 5-year plan, far more than the Republicans were calling for. When Clinton left office the Pentagon had over a half trillion dollars in the major weapons procurement pipeline, not counting the ballistic missile defense systems -- which is a pure boondoggle that cost over $71 billion by 1999. The dilemma, as both CIA and senior Clinton officials correctly warned, was that terrorists were more likely to strike the American homeland than some nation against whom the military could retaliate. This fundamental disparity between hardware and reality has always existed and September 11, 2001 showed how vulnerable and weak the US has become.

This is important stuff: Juan Cole offers in depth analysis on the recent Israeli spy case: Fomenting a war on Iran.

Since high al-Qaeda operatives like Saif al-Adil and possibly even Saad Bin Laden might know about future operations, or the whereabouts of Bin Laden, for Franklin and Rhode to stop the trade grossly endangered the United States....
With both Iraq and Iran in flames, the Likud Party could do as it pleased in the Middle East without fear of reprisal. This means it could expel the Palestinians from the West Bank to Jordan, and perhaps just give Gaza back to Egypt to keep Cairo quiet. Annexing southern Lebanon up to the Litani River, the waters of which Israel has long coveted, could also be undertaken with no consequences, they probably think, once Hizbullah in Lebanon could no longer count on Iranian support. The closed character of the economies of Iraq and Iran, moreover, would end, allowing American, Italian and British companies to make a killing after the wars (so they thought).

Must Read! Forget the qualitative, the quantitative is more telling of King George: Bush by numbers: Four years of double standards.

People duped by false -- "You'll never see this story in the media" -- story of a grateful Iraq artist making a bronze war memorial sculpture out of melted statues of Saddam. The truth: the artist hates the Americans like he hated Saddam. He made the statue for money, just as he did in Saddam's day: Bitter truth unfolds about Iraqi's memorial sculpture.

Must Read! James Carroll says the obvious, that the "wart on terror" is unwinnable: The unwinnable war.

GEORGE W. BUSH finally told the truth. It happened last week when he said of the war on terrorism, "I don't think you can win it."
We know it was the truth because of the way it embarrassed him, because of the way his handlers immediately required him to repudiate it ("I probably need to be more articulate"), and because the mass of Republicans were deaf to it. Just as Bush had inadvertently spoken the exact truth about the war on terrorism at its onset ("This crusade, this war on terrorism"), he had inadvertently done so again....
Citizens of the United States are a decent, fair-minded people. The only reason we tolerate what is being done in our name in Iraq is that, for us, this war exists only in the realm of metaphor. The words "war on terrorism" fall on our ears much in the way that "war on poverty" or "war on drugs" did.
War is an abstraction in the American imagination. It lives there, cloaked in glory, as an emblem of patriotism. We show our love for our country by sending our troops abroad and then "supporting" them, no matter what. When images appear that contradict the high-flown rhetoric of war -- whether of young GIs disgracefully humiliating Iraqi prisoners or of a devastated holy city where vast fields of American-created rubble surround a shrine -- we simply do not take them in as real. Thinking of ourselves as only motivated by good intentions, we cannot fathom the possibility that we have demonized an innocent people, that what we are doing is murder on a vast scale....
Obviously, something else is going on below the surface of all the stated reasons for this war. The Republican convention last week was gripped with war fever, and the fever itself was the revelation. War is answering an American need that has nothing to do with the Iraqi people.

Kerry, Bush clash over Iraq war but how do they differ?

An excellent article underscoring the adage of following the money: The Resurrection.

Jonathan Schell weighs in on dreaming the impossible dream of empire: Empire Falls.

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