October, 2003

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

The Occupation

Cost of the War in Iraq
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Occupation Resistance Analysis

Fiscal prudence? Not according to Newsweek: The $87 Billion Money Pit

Again, Newsweek has a positive outlook on the success of the occupation: The World’s Most Dangerous Place: Even before the al Rashid attack and car bombings, life in Baghdad was a daily dance with death

The Center for Public Integrity has release a report, Winning Contractors: U.S. Contractors Reap the Windfalls of Post-war, demonstrating that the firms making a killing (literally) in Iraq have contributed enormous sums to the Bush campaign. Surprise! See also the AP story Report Links Iraq Deals to Bush Donations. Meanwhile, the US is stealing Iraq billions to pay for these contracts: More mystery over missing Iraqi millions

This analysis by David Rennie argues that: New Iraq ' well on way to becoming Islamic state.

Looming civil war, this BBC dispatch asks: Baghdad's simmering religious tensions

As far as the mosque faithful are concerned, there is only one explanation for what happened on Sunday morning. Ahmed Khudeir was a Sunni sheikh at a Sunni mosque and he was killed by members of the local Shia militia, they believe. The militia they have in mind - the Badr brigades - belongs to a leading Shia political party which has a seat on the US-appointed Governing Council.

Perhaps Bush should be proud. He's making history! It may be the first time more soldiers died after a war than during: US Iraq deaths exceed war toll. But no, he's revising history: Bush Steps Away From Victory Banner. Does the guy even listen to what he says?

Sgt. Garth Talbott of the 82nd Airborne hails from Chico, CA. He wrote a letter to his local paper on troop morale: Unrest in Iraq:Chico soldier shares his discontent with Bush, U.S. military policy . His earlier letters are very illuminating on the evolution of soldiers' attitudes: Dear Anna: A soldier letters to his sister in Chico share his experiences, philosophy and perspective on the Iraqi War.

Other nations think twice: Nations Back Off Sending Troops to Iraq

Robert Fisk argues Iraq's Guerrillas Adopt New Strategy: Copy The Americans

Learn the lessons of America's "war on terror". Kill the leadership. You're with us or against us, collaborator or patriot. That was the message of yesterday's bloodbath in Baghdad.

No! yet again: Pakistan: No Troops for Iraq.

The New York Times portrays a positive view of life under occupation. Its very strange as most accounts consistently report that most women are afraid to go out: Iraqis Get Used to Life Without Hussein, and Many Find They Like It. Contrast this with the BBC's Hotel attack divides Iraqis.

Perhaps the most damning account I've seen yet of the new Iraq is the Saturday, October 25, 2003: Madrid Conference... entry, of Riverbend, the "Girl Blogger" of Baghdad. She details where that $33 billion just raised is likely to go, or at least the small faction that doesn't go to Bechtel and Halliburton:

And what is $4 billion anyway?! First off, there are all those snazzy suits being worn by our governing council- I haven’t yet seen Al-Chalabi in the same suit twice… the silk ties, Rolex watches and leather shoes. (I can tell you that canary yellow ties are the rage in men’s fashion because just about every minister/ council member has worn one by now). There are rumors that each new minister makes around $40,000 a month. For $40,000, you can build a large house in an elegant area in Baghdad. For $40,000, you can build, and fully furnish, a school....
And then you have the extra expenses of the Governing Council- meals and abode, of course. The majority don’t live in houses because they have homes and families abroad. They live in various hotels like Baghdad Hotel, Al-Rashid, and Palestine Hotel… some of them reside in palaces.
There’s also the little matter of the Interim Government jetting about, all over the world… traveling from one place to the next. Every time one of the Puppets is rotated, they make it their immediate business to leave the country. It’s ironic how the Iraqi people hear about the majority of the major decisions (like selling off the country) through foreign media networks and sometimes through a voice-over, translating to Arabic....
A friend of an uncle, who is privy to certain purchases made by the CPA and Governing Council, says that millions each month are spent on… water. Yes. Apparently our Iraqi Council and interim government deems the water we drink not worthy of their thirst. I can understand worries about the quality of the water, but even the troops drink and eat off of vendors in the streets.
So when people here heard about the Madrid conference… well, it’s hardly going to make a difference to the average Iraqi. People are very worried about the fact that the Food-for-Oil program ends next month.... People will literally starve without rations.
And who are behind these abductions… common criminals, sometimes… other times they are Al-Sadr’s goons or SCIRI’s thugs.

They did better than expected at the Donor's Conference but... Most U.S. allies resist call for help in Iraq: Taxpayers could be asked to fill gap after donors' conference falls short of goals See also: Madrid conference splits world press.

Another Robert Fisk piece on the American butchery and its effect on US troop morale: One, two, three, what are they fighting for? The worst problem facing US forces in Iraq may not be armed resistance but a crisis of morale. Robert Fisk reports on a near-epidemic of indiscipline, suicides and loose talk

But on the ground in Iraq, Americans have a licence to kill. Not a single soldier has been disciplined for shooting civilians - even when the fatality involves an Iraqi working for the occupation authorities....
In one Iraqi city, for example, the "Coalition Provisional Authority" - which is what the occupation authorities call themselves - have instructed local money changers not to give dollars for Iraqi dinars to occupation soldiers: too many Iraqi dinars had been stolen by troops during house raids. Repeatedly, in Baghdad, Hillah, Tikrit, Mosul and Fallujah Iraqis have told me that they were robbed by American troops during raids and at checkpoints. Unless there is a monumental conspiracy on a nationwide scale by Iraqis, some of these reports must bear the stamp of truth....
The daily attacks on Americans outside Baghdad - up to 50 in a night - go, like the civilian Iraqi dead, unrecorded. Travelling back from Fallujah to Baghdad after dark last month, I saw mortar explosions and tracer fire around 13 American bases - not a word of which was later revealed by the occupation authorities. At Baghdad airport last month, five mortar shells fell near the runway as a Jordanian airliner was boarding passengers for Amman. I saw this attack with my own eyes. That same afternoon, General Ricardo Sanchez, the senior US officer in Iraq, claimed he knew nothing about the attack

Dissent on the home front: families of US soldiers in Iraq lead anti-war protests Troops' relatives speak out as death toll rises and morale falls.

They fought for the neocons. Now they are screwed: Family Says Army Shortchanging Former POW

Yet another Iraqi village is liberated: U.S. Raid Nets Whole Iraqi Village

U.S. troops rounded up men including police, the elderly and teenagers. One woman also was seized. All were restrained with plastic handcuffs and taken to one house. From there, U.S. troops loaded the captives onto the helicopters and flew them to an air base north of the village.... The men were transported to the Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad, once used by Saddam to house political prisoners. All but two remain there.... Sahn Ibrahim, the 81-year-old man who was released, told AP he was never questioned during nearly a month in prison.

The honeymoon is over: More and more Iraqis view the US as occupation force: Poll

The results found 67 percent of Iraqis view the US-led coalition as an occupying force, while only 46 percent of the population considered them as such when US troops rolled into Baghdad April 9....
Over the same timeframe, those who viewed the US forces as liberators slumped from 43 percent to 15 percent, the study said....
Nonetheless, people still want US forces in Iraq, with 30 percent saying they strongly supported the US presence in their country, compared to only 10 wanting the US troops to leave now. However, 23 percent said they "somewhat opposed" the US presence....
Iraqis also said they had little faith in their political leaders, with 61 percent saying none of them were trustworthy. The Iraqi leaders, with the highest ratings, were clerics and members of Iraq's Shiite majority community.

The US improves life for all: Is CPA bureaucratic? Homeless Iraqis fight for compensation, in maze of coalition's bureaucratic service centres, but in vain.

The Occupation Authorites evidently have some explaining to do: Charity says $4bn 'missing' in Iraq

Here's a detailed analysis of the fraud being called a "Donor's Conference": Dying for a McDonald's in Iraq

With the recent announcement of plans to sell all but a few of Iraq's crown jewels for dirt-cheap prices, other countries can't afford to miss the post-war garage sale. If they don't want to be locked out, they better pay the entrance fee to be collected personally by Coalition Provisional Authority head L Paul Bremer and US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who are both in Madrid. Also present is US Treasury Secretary John Snow.
Who profits?
Smiling McDonald's attendants may start ushering in customers to their branch in Iraq next year - but only after Bechtel had switched back the lights, Halliburton had rebuilt the bridges, Flour had paved the roads, MCI had set up the mobile network system, Research Triangle Institute had trained the managers and bureaucrats, Abt Associates had restored the hospitals, the military-industrial complex and the private armies had restored security, and the multinational force had pacified the resistance.

The US-Israeli alliance takes a new turn: Military security measures liken Baghdad to West Bank

"Welcome to the West Bank on the Tigris," has become the standard greeting for visitors to central Baghdad's Al-Tashree neighborhood, which has been completely fenced in by the US forces who have their headquarters nearby. A narrow corridor between concrete barriers leads into the neighborhood, at the entrance to which sits a US Abrams tank, where the American troops have set up a checkpoint....
"We are held captive. The Israelis surround Palestinians by a wall in the West Bank. Their mentors, the Americans, do the same in Baghdad," she says.

Human Rights Watch has issued a report on American killings of innocent civilians in postwar Baghdad Hearts and Minds: Post-war Civilian Deaths in Baghdad Caused by U.S. Forces. See also an Associated Press story: Human Rights Watch Documents 20 Civilian Deaths in Postwar Baghdad; Dozens More Reported

"It's a tragedy that U.S. soldiers have killed so many civilians in Baghdad. But it's really incredible that the U.S. military does not even count these deaths"

The Administration and fellow-traveling Republicans declare war on the press: Bush’s News War.

The US has no plans to leave Iraq soon: US Troops In Iraq Into 2006?

An account of the development of US conflict with Moqtada Sadr's Shia movement: Arrest of Iraqi Cleric Sparks Confrontations With Shiites: Challenge to U.S. May Usher In Conflict With New Group. Meanwhile, Moderate Shiite Cleric Warns US Against Retaliating Against Radicals

GIs suffer much more than death: Brain injuries take toll on US soldiers. And the military shows how it "Supports Our Troops:" Sick, wounded U.S. troops held in squalor.

Hundreds of sick and wounded U.S. soldiers including many who served in the Iraq war are languishing in hot cement barracks here while they wait -- sometimes for months -- to see doctors. The National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers' living conditions are so substandard, and the medical care so poor, that many of them believe the Army is trying push them out with reduced benefits for their ailments. One document shown to UPI states that no more doctor appointments are available from Oct. 14 through Nov. 11 -- Veterans Day....
One month after President Bush greeted soldiers at Fort Stewart -- home of the famed Third Infantry Division -- as heroes on their return from Iraq, approximately 600 sick or injured members of the Army Reserves and National Guard are warehoused in rows of spare, steamy and dark cement barracks in a sandy field, waiting for doctors to treat their wounds or illnesses....
Soldiers say they have to buy their own toilet paper.

The latest scandal, among the many. Halliburton is dramatically overcharging the US government to import oil into Iraq! See: Statement of Rep. Henry A. Waxman Contracting Abuses in Iraq, October 15, 2003 & Letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by Rep. Henry A. Waxman.

The wholesale price of refined gasoline in Kuwait and other Mideast nations is 71 cents per gallon. A reasonable cost to transport gasoline into Iraq is another 10 to 25 cents per gallon. Unless the company is Halliburton. It is charging taxpayers nearly $1 per gallon to truck this gasoline 400 miles from Kuwait to Baghdad. When we checked with independent experts to see if this fee was reasonable, they were stunned. One called Halliburton’s prices “outrageously high.” Another said it was “highway robbery.”
We then learned that this gasoline is being sold inside Iraq for as little as 4 to 15 cents per gallon. Although Iraq is an oil-rich nation, the Administration has apparently made a policy decision that the U.S. taxpayer — not the Iraqi consumer — should pay the costs of gasoline that Iraqi citizens and companies consume. As a result, the U.S. taxpayer loses $1.50 or more every time a gallon of gasoline is sold in Iraq.

The terrifying outcome of occupation. Patrick Cockburn reports: Saddam's name more popular than ever in Iraqi oil town

A Swedish journalist witnessed US soldiers beat an elderly religious man, Maad Ibrahim, almost to death. Mustapha Can, a correspondent for the Swedish evening newspaper Aftonbladet, was with a US patrol, which was hit by two mortar rounds. He told The Independent: "Suddenly I saw the soldiers kick in a door and drag out an old man who screamed, 'Me no shoot! please, please mister.' The soldiers shouted, 'Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up!' "They tied his hands behind his back and then, as he lay on the ground, one said: 'Keep his head still.' He slammed him on the head with his rifle butt again and again. Then the others kicked him. There was blood everywhere." US officers later admitted they were probably wrong about the old man, but said "these things happen in the heat of the action".

As the US an Israel ratchet up the pressure on Syria, one member of the Iraqi Governing Council, Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim, comes to their support: Iraq stands at Syria's side.

The troops come next to last: 1/4 of U.S. Troops Lack Body Armor

Jay Shaft, editor of Coalition For Free Thought In Media has conducted interviews with five US servicemen just back from Iraq: US Soldiers to America: "Bring Us Home Now! We’re dying for oil and corporate greed!" Part 1 Part 2

An account from the perspective of US troops, constantly afraid: US troops face risky decisions on when to fire.

The fighting takes its toll as aid organizations pull out staff; Foreign-aid workers lay low or leave Iraq

Patrick Cockburn reports that the Americans have adopted the brutal collective punishment techniques used so successfully by the Israelis. US soldiers bulldoze farmers' crops: Americans accused of brutal 'punishment' tactics against villagers, while British are condemned as too soft. To understand the magnitude of this crime, see the October 13 entry for Baghdad Burning: Palms and Punishment.... And while your at it, read the October 09, 2003 entry" Jewelry and Raids... to get a first person account of how the occupation intrudes on every corner of daily life. "Here we were, 10 p.m., no electricity and all fully clothed because no one wanted to be caught in a raid in their pajamas. I haven’t worn pajamas for the last… 6 months."

[Cockburn:] US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.
They said that one American soldier broke down and cried during the operation. When a reporter from the newspaper Iraq Today attempted to take a photograph of the bulldozers at work a soldier grabbed his camera and tried to smash it. The same paper quotes Lt Col Springman, a US commander in the region, as saying: "We asked the farmers several times to stop the attacks, or to tell us who was responsible, but the farmers didn't tell us."
[Baghdad Burning:] Historically, palm trees have represented the rugged, stoic beauty of Iraq and its people. They are a reminder that no matter how difficult the circumstances, there is hope for life and productivity. The palm trees in the orchards have always stood lofty and resolute- oblivious of heat, political strife or war… until today.

More details on the looting of Iraq, and the US taxpayers: Spending On Iraq Sets Off Gold Rush: Lawmakers Fear U.S. Is Losing Control of Funds. And more on the corporate crooks: Divvying up the Iraq Pie.

Saddam lurks everywhere, the Guardian's Suzanne Goldenberg reports: Everywhere and nowhere, Saddam retains his grip on Baghdad's imagination. Yet, she reports, the good parts of recent Iraqi history are about to be abolished by the ideologues now in command:

A more substantial assault on Saddam's legacy is under way in the Republican Palace, where the occupation authority is making preparations to dismantle the food distribution system which gave free rations of flour, rice, cooking oil and other staples to every Iraqi.
Described by the UN as the world's most efficient food network, the system still keeps Iraqis from going hungry. But the US civilian administrator of Iraq, Paul Bremer, views it as a dangerous socialist anachronism. The coalition provisional authority (CPA) is planning to abolish it in January, despite warnings from its own technical experts that this could lead to hunger and riots.

Now, for comic relief: Bremer: Life Is 'Normal' In Iraq

Here are a collection of interesting pictures from the BBC of Baghdad's much-changed book market.

The Independent tallies the score after 6 months of occupation: Iraq, six months on: A survey of the good, the bad and the uncertain

Infant mortality has nearly doubled since the war. An independent survey last month showed 103 child deaths per 1,000 live births compared with 57 deaths per 1,000 in 2002
According to the central morgue in Baghdad, violent deaths reached 872 in August. The highest monthly toll in the previous year was 237 deaths, with just 21 from gunfire.

Now that freedom reigns in Iraq, the new dictator bars release of the "Iraqi Governing Council" statement on the sending of Turkish troops to Iraq: Rift grows between Iraq's interim council and US led coalition

Meetings with US overseer, Paul Bremer, and the Turkish ambassador to Iraq have not resulted in any compromise, with the Americans even preventing the release of a council statement denouncing the Turkish deployment. Council member Ahmad Chalabi says strategically any foreign troop should be invited by a sovereign Iraqi government, in this case the Iraqi Governing Council.

The Iraqi Governing Council's views are ignored as Turkey to send troops to reluctant Iraq

The GI rebellion picks up: AWOL State of Mind: Calls from Soldiers Desperate to Leave Iraq Flood Hotline

First Baghdad, now Basra: Former soldiers riot in Basra

The NYT discovers US corruption (er, "waste") in Iraq: Questions are Raised on Awarding of Contracts in Iraq

White House, and Condoleezza Rice, take direct control. Don't blame Donald Rumsfeld any more: White House to Overhaul Iraq and Afghan Missions

Yet more signs the Iraqi Governing Council are getting restive about their puppet status: Iraqis' patience wears thin as America delays handover

Last week, the council tried to overrule an announcement by the Finance Minister that a new investment law would allow foreign firms the right to complete ownership of Iraqi companies and the right to repatriate their profits immediately. The announcement, which senior Iraqi political sources said was largely shaped by American officials, caused an uproar among Iraqi businessmen. But American officials forced the council to back down from its criticism.

[A must read!] Michael Scherer reports on the looting of Iraq by US companies, protected by the CPA: K Street on the Tigris

"The way to Baghdad is through Washington," says Bart Fisher, a lawyer at the firm Dorsey & Whitney and co-founder of the U.S. Iraq Business Council....
[Defense Secretary William] Cohen has teamed with former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, both of whom work at the K Street powerhouse Piper Rudnick, to form an "Iraq Task Force"; according to Piper's website, the task force offers clients access to "relevant decision makers in the United States and the region...."
without a democratic Iraqi government in place, key decisions about the country's future are being made by officials in Washington and Baghdad who work without much public scrutiny -- but with plenty of input from companies that pay to get access....
At the Department of Agriculture, for example, a flood of lawyers and former government officials has been working the hallways, seeking markets in Iraq for everything from grain to excess chicken parts.

It's not about oil? US Seen Dragging Feet on Iraqi Oil Money Watchdog

US troops fire again on protesting former soldiers: US troops clash with Iraqi soldiers

Suzanne Goldenberg in the Guardian has a detailed account of the new Iraq she witnessed upon returning: A land ruled by chaos: Award-winning writer Suzanne Goldenberg returns to Iraq, from where she reported on Saddam's fall. But in place of the promised peace she finds a country where lawlessness, violence and fear have filled the void

New assessments say Iraq will require at least $55 billion to recover, much more than the $20 billion requested so far. Assessments Say Iraq Needs $55 Billion for Rebuilding

Moving photos illustrate life under occupation: A Week in the Life of Baghdad

More Chalabi family bank scandals: Fresh bank scandals hit Iraq's leader in waiting

Robert Fisk on Oil, the stuff behind it all: Oil, War And A Growing Sense Of Panic In The US: Don't tell me that America would have invaded Iraq if its chief export was beetroot

While the major oil companies in the US stand to cream off billions of dollars if oil production resumes in earnest, many of their executives were demanding to know from the Bush administration - long before the war - how it intended to prevent sabotage. In fact, Saddam had no plans to destroy the oil fields themselves, plenty for blowing up the export pipes. The Pentagon got it the wrong way round, racing its troops to protect the fields but ignoring the vulnerable pipelines....
But it can't make the oil flow. The cost of making it flow could produce an economic crisis in the US. And it is this - rather than the daily killing of young American soldiers - that lies behind the Bush administration's growing panic.

Rep. Henry Waxman has written a Letter to OMB Director Joshua Bolten asking OMB to respond to concerns about overspending in Iraq, enriching administration-connected companies, including Halliburton and Bechtel. The letter contains many fine examples of the massive theft occurring.

Iraq begins returning to normal as Iraqi police fire on workers demonstrating over unemployment: Iraqi Police Open Fire on Demonstrators

The Resistance

Occupation Resistance Analysis

As Wolfowitz says, the security situation improves every day: Series of blasts rocks Baghdad: Nearly 40 killed in attacks, including 10 at Red Cross.

Robert Fisk points out: They're Getting Better: Running the gauntlet of small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades after check-in at Baghdad airport.

Wolfowitz under attack: Baghdad hotel hit by rocket attack. See also Patrick Cockburn's account: Wolfowitz survives hotel rocket attack

[Cockburn:] Standing on the flat roof of his house looking at the battered western face of the al-Rashid Ibrahim Abdul Sattar, an articulate eleven-year-old, said: "The situation is worse than under Saddam. We want the Americans to leave." In the street below a young man, who did not want to give his name, said: "Nobody in Iraq can accept the occupation, absolutely nobody." Others were more forthright. Ali Hussein, a grocer in central Baghdad, told Reuters news agency: "I wish Wolfowitz had been killed. I wish all Americans here would be killed. The Americans are not human beings, they are monsters. They lied to the Iraqi people."

The resistance at home: Thousands join US anti-war march. [That link was a Saturday article] By Sunday morning, tens of thousands more people miraculously appeared. And 950 of the 1,000 reported counter-demonstrators from "Free Republic" seem to have disappeared as their rally is now reported to have drawn 50, rather than 1,000 initially reported. I presume the former figures were those presented on the tv news last night. In D.C., a Diverse Mix Rouses War Protest Here are photos of the demonstration.

The Guardian reports that the US is planning to arrest Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr: Plan to arrest maverick Iraqi cleric for murder

Progress is being made? Commander: U.S. sees rise in attacks and Guerrillas keep up pressure in Iraq

Reuters television footage showed a Humvee lying in a ditch off a main road outside the restive Sunni Muslim town. Local people were throwing petrol onto the blazing vehicle and shouting "Allahu Akbar (God is great)"....
The Oil Ministry source said Tuesday's sabotage blast that hit a cluster of four pipelines, just south of Baiji, Iraq's biggest oil refinery, was the most worrying attack so far. "This was a terrible blast. It hit four pipelines and it was the first time we actually witnessed parts of a pipeline being blown up completely," he said.

The account in the British Guardian is in quite a contrast with that of the American press, which reported as fact the US claim that the Shia opened fire first: Ten killed in firefight as tension grows in Iraq

Another look inside the resistance, emphasizing its diversity, nationalist Baathist, and Islamist: Inside the resistance: Popular anger is forging an alliance between diverse strands of Iraq's guerrilla movement

What struck me most, though, was their intense commitment to their cause: the liberation of Iraq from its current occupiers. These were no "Ba'athist remnants". On the contrary, they blamed Saddam Hussein for bringing the Americans into Iraq. They went so far as to say the capture of Saddam by allied forces would sever the links between Saddam and the resistance movement once and for all. They defined themselves as nationalists. Later, I met members of a different strand of the resistance: Saddam Hussein loyalists in Tikrit....
In Mosul and Falluja, the resistance groups are different again. Here, most identify themselves with Islamist organisations such as the Muslim Brotherhood....
In some areas at least, this common interest has a structural expression. In the back streets of Mosul, soon after the fall of the city, I came face to face with a group of armed men, shouting and firing shots in different directions. I asked who they were: some introduced themselves as former Ba'athists, others said they belonged to Islamist organisations. Though ideologically worlds apart, they explained that they all took their orders from the same committee in the city, which was headed by a group of religious leaders. I later found there were similar relationships in Falluja and Samarra.

The Washington Post reports that the Iraqi resistance is trying to open a new front in Kirkuk: Violence in Iraq Spreads to North: Attacks in Kirkuk Blamed on Newcomers

Unrest in Baghdad continues: Shias in Baghdad protest at arrest of cleric

Another interview, from the San Francisco Chronicle, with a resistance fighter: Bitter Iraqi vents anger by killing U.S. troops: Out-of-work father protests occupation

Mohammed said neither he nor the rebels he operates with were either foreign militants or supporters of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein. He said he wanted to kill American soldiers simply because "they occupied our country...."
"We didn't start fighting against Americans until they started fighting against our people," Mohammed said....
His group has no name, he said. It does not communicate with other guerrilla groups, of which, Mohammed believes, there are many. It does not accept any new members out of fear of "American spies

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times features another interview with a resistance leader. Much of what is said here is in contradiction with what the prior fighter said. Either the resistance contains many different factions, or some reported fighter are dissembling: Iraqi guerrilla gives U.S. dire warning: Thousands are ready to die to evict Americans, return Hussein, he says; Kidnapping of troops is threatened

The title tells all; Baghdad in Turmoil With Protests, Attack

Street fighting in the Iraqi city of Beiji: Tensions Mount in Iraq Oil-Refining City

Analysis, Commentary, & Domestic Reaction

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Tom Engelhardt makes clear that the US will withdraw from Iraq. The only question is when: The time of withdrawal

An amusing comparison by Maureen Dowd, of Bush to Comical Ali, the former Iraq Information Minister Eyes Wide Shut

A modest proposal to send the chicken hawks and their war profiteer buddies off to fight: If You Start War, You Should Fight War

More evidence of how the Army "supports our troops": Carson Soldier Faces Charge of Cowardice after having panic attacks and asking for help.

More evidence of the horrors of this war: Up to 15,000 people killed in invasion, claims thinktank. These figures are the lowest so far put forward.

However, Operation Iraqi Freedom, as the US military calls this year's war, has proved far deadlier to Iraqi civilians both in absolute numbers, and in the proportion of noncombatant to military deaths. The findings defy the reasoning that precision-guided weapons spare civilian lives.

Here's the MoveOn.org latest tv ad: $87 billion for Iraq (RealMedia) or MPEG (4 meg).

An analysis of how Cheney's spinning a poll of Iraqis: Poll: What Iraqis Think About the Occupation.

[W]hen asked if "democracy can work well in Iraq," 51% said "no; it is a Western way of doing things and will not work here...."
And attitudes toward the U.S. were not positive. When asked whether over the next five years, they felt that the "U.S. would help or hurt Iraq," 50% said that the U.S. would hurt Iraq, while only 35.5% felt the U.S. would help the country....
Over 55% give a negative rating to "how the U.S. military is dealing with Iraqi civilians. Only 20% gave the U.S. military a positive rating.

Seymour Hersh's detailed account of how the neocons filtered all intelligence to reflect their opinions: The Stovepipe: How conflicts between the Bush Administration and the intelligence community marred the reporting on Iraq’s weapons.

By early March, 2002, a former White House official told me, it was understood by many in the White House that the President had decided, in his own mind, to go to war. The undeclared decision had a devastating impact on the continuing struggle against terrorism. The Bush Administration took many intelligence operations that had been aimed at Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups around the world and redirected them to the Persian Gulf. Linguists and special operatives were abruptly reassigned, and several ongoing anti-terrorism intelligence programs were curtailed....
A routine settled in: the Pentagon’s defector reports, classified “secret,” would be funnelled to newspapers, but subsequent C.I.A. and INR analyses of the reports—invariably scathing but also classified—would remain secret....
[According to a former senior C.I.A. officer] [A] small group of disgruntled retired C.I.A. clandestine operators had banded together in the late summer of last year and drafted the fraudulent documents themselves. “The agency guys were so pissed at Cheney,” the former officer said. “They said, ‘O.K, we’re going to put the bite on these guys.’” My source said that he was first told of the fabrication late last year, at one of the many holiday gatherings in the Washington area of past and present C.I.A. officials. “Everyone was bragging about it—‘Here’s what we did. It was cool, cool, cool.’” These retirees, he said, had superb contacts among current officers in the agency and were informed in detail of the sismi intelligence.... [According to another CIA official] What’s telling,” he added, “is that the story, whether it’s true or not, is believed”

The latest broadside from Senator Robert Byrd: The Emperor Has No Clothes. At the end he quotes Hermann Goering to characterize the Senate's lac of responsibility in going along with the charade.

The mainstream political class continue their attack on the Bush revolution: Eyeless in Iraq by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr..

It's official. Bush Cites Philippines as Model in Rebuilding Iraq. The Philippines, of course, is widely known for corrupt "democratic" rule of, by, and for the ultra wealthy and their US patrons, with the military being used to keep all others in line. That's the type of "democracy" the US has in mind for Iraq. The NYT also points out that "[T]the comparison has less power to reassure, given that the Philippine government did not gain full autonomy for five decades." [See also the analysis by Stephen R. Shalom: The Philippine Model]

[S. Shalom: ] What does the historical record tell us about the U.S. commitment to promoting democracy? A hundred years ago, the United S tates defeated the Spanish colonizers of the Philippines only to take over the islands for itself. (In Bush's speech on Saturday this was summarized as "Together our soldiers liberated the Philippines from colonial rule." And in the words of presidential press secretary Scott McClellan, national hero Jose Rizal's martyrdom in 1896 inspired the Philippines: 'And later, revolution broke out and Asia soon had its first independent republic.' Well, yes, but that independent republic was promptly conquered by the United States.)
[What does it mean that the Times actually published the following?] While Mr. Bush made elliptical references to the Spanish-American War, some of his critics have argued that the justification for invading Iraq bore a resemblance to the rationale the United States used to begin that war in 1898, citing evidence, discounted as flimsy, that the battleship Maine had been deliberately blown up in Cuba by Spanish forces. That began the first war in which the United States seized territory beyond its continental shores, and the first in which other nations accused Washington of imperialist and colonial ambitions. Now, Mr. Bush faces similar accusations from critics questioning whether Saddam Hussein possessed weapons that posed an urgent threat....
Mr. Bush said the United States had "liberated the Philippines from colonial rule," using the same verb he often uses to describe American action in Iraq, but he skipped past Washington's own 48-year-long occupation of this archipelago of 7,000 islands. Even the State Department's own briefing papers about the Philippines, distributed to Mr. Bush's traveling retinue, notes that "U.S. administration of the Philippines was always declared to be temporary and aimed to develop institutions that would permit and encourage the eventual establishment of a free and independent government." That is very close to Mr. Bush's description of his plan for Iraq.

More evidence that the administration was so anxious to go to war, they ignored their own experts: State Dept. Study Foresaw Trouble Now Plaguing Iraq

A very useful analysis of the Iraqi Shia, by Juan Cole, professor of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan: The Iraqi Shiites: On the history of America’s would-be allies

A new mainstream group of right-wingers and liberals, the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy, has formed to oppose the current imperialist oreintation of contemporary US foreign policy. See the article: Thinkers Launch Anti-Empire Drive.

Senator Ted Kennedy's October 16, 2003 floor speech on the Iraq situation: On the Administration's Failure to Provide a Realistic, Specific Plan to Bring Stability to Iraq

Progress in the War on Terrorism: Iraq war has swollen ranks of al-Qaida

A Congressional Research Service analysis indicates that that $87 Billion won't be "needed" till next spring at the earliest: Availability of Army Funds Without Immediate Supplemental Appropriations (pdf)

Further evidence that Secretary Powell lied. His former analyst Greg Thielmann tells all to CBS: Ex-Aide: Powell Misled Americans

Another reason for the war and "reconstruction: Bush's Golden Vision: President Sees Election Cash in Rebuilding Iraq

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson is calling attention to a report by Sam Gardiner, a former USAF Colonel and former faculty member at the National War College entitled Truth from These Podia: Summary of a Study of Strategic Influence, Perception Management, Strategic Information Warfare and Strategic Psychological Operations in Gulf II. This report analyzes the deliberate campaign of lies and distortions emanating from the White House, the Pentagon, and No. 10 Downing St. to build support for the war. The report is available in 6 parts from the U.S. News & World Report web site: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, & Part 6.

It was not bad intelligence. It was much more. It was an orchestrated effort. It began before the war, was a major effort during the war and continues as post-conflict distortions.... My research suggests there were over 50 stories manufactured or at least engineered that distorted the picture of Gulf II for the American and British people.

Ramzi Kysia in Electronic Iraq provides a unique perspective on life in Iraq today: Seeing the Iraqi People.

[W]hat I do know is that I have never seen a people as strong or as resourceful as Iraqis. There is hope. People are organizing on the ground, such as in the Union of the Unemployed or the Organization for Women's Freedom, in order to struggle for their rights. Others are beginning to build Iraq's civil society, forming groups to take care of orphans and the elderly, or start schools, or rebuild the country themselves.

For those interested in legal details, or in historical irony, here is John Dean's analysis of potential charges stemming from the Wilson-Plame leak: A Further Look At The Criminal Charges That May Arise From the Plame Scandal, In Which a CIA Agent's Cover Was Blown.

Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has criticized the forced privatization of the Iraqi economy: Iraq 'asset-stripping' warning

This piece by Jay Bookman in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution makes the point that proof that the administration deliberately lied and distorted in their pre-war claims (rather than being mistaken) is seen in the fact that they are still lying and distorting: Bush officials bend Iraq facts till they break

Here's an account about the same fake letters from soldiers being sent to newspapers around the country

The sleaze continues: White House Blasts Accuser in CIA Leak and Experts See Delay Tactic in CIA Leak Case

If there was ever any doubt that the lies and deception were deliberate, the systematic campaign to confuse people being launched removes the doubt: Bush Adviser Rice: Saddam Never Disarmed

"We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks," [Condoleezza] Rice said. Still, she added, the possibility that the Iraqi leader could be behind another attack "beyond the scale of 9-11 ... could not be put aside."

An account of a husband whose soldier-wife has just returned from Iraq: Mommy's Back From Iraq

Patrick Cockburn points out that The Americans Must Relinquish Power in Iraq

The main change in the physical appearance of Baghdad over this period is the building of extraordinarily elaborate fortifications to protect the Coalition Provisional Authority. Great slabs of concrete fifteen feet high now run along the bank of the Tigris river, protecting Saddam's old Republican Palace where Paul Bremer, the head of the CPA, has his headquarters. Notices announce that no swimming is allowed in the Tigris, presumably to deter underwater saboteurs.
Inside this forbidden city the occupation authorities live in extraordinary isolation, both physical and mental. It should be difficult to outdo Saddam's personal security measures but Iraqis say that the length of Mr Bremer's motorcade exceeds that of the former Iraqi ruler....
Part of the American problem is Mr Bremer himself. He wears a neat business suit and protruding from the trouser legs an incongruous pair of military boots. Some of his staff whisper that he suffers from a "MacArthur'" complex... Members of the US-appointed Governing Council say they find him abrupt, patronizing and prone to issue decrees unilaterally without even a nod in their direction....
The only real way out for the Americans is to let the Iraqis decide the fate of their country, which is what the US claimed it was doing in the first place.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace together with Foreign Policy magazine has prepared a Special Report -- From Victory to Success: Afterwar Policy in Iraq.

A Phillipino perspective, by Renato Redentor Constantino, on the drive toward "democracy" in Iraq: Imperial democracy and self-rule

Nancy Lessin of Military Families Speak Out explains why they say: Bring Our Children Home Now

More on the consequences of the CIA agent leak, as the slander campaign continues: Leak of Agent's Name Causes Exposure of CIA Front Firm

The name of the CIA front company was broadcast yesterday by Novak, the syndicated journalist who originally identified Plame. Novak, highlighting Wilson's ties to Democrats, said on CNN that Wilson's "wife, the CIA employee, gave $1,000 to Gore and she listed herself as an employee of Brewster-Jennings & Associates." "There is no such firm, I'm convinced," he continued. "CIA people are not supposed to list themselves with fictitious firms if they're under a deep cover -- they're supposed to be real firms, or so I'm told. Sort of adds to the little mystery." In fact, it appears the firm did exist, at least on paper. The Dun & Bradstreet database of company names lists a firm that is called both Brewster Jennings & Associates and Jennings Brewster & Associates.

Even George F. Will calls on the Bush Administration to admit they were wrong: Can't They Just Admit It?

Two recent analytic pieces, important for what they represent about the opinions of liberals. The first, Eyeless in Iraq by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. The second Iraq: What Went Wrong by Wesley K. Clark

NPR seems to be censoring themselves in covering the White House smear campaign investigation: Justice Department granted White House delay on order to preserve records in CIA exposure scandal

An excellent analysis by William Rivers Pitt of the implications of the "outing" of Valerie Plame: The Most Insidious of Traitors

Valerie Plame was not simply an analyst or a data cruncher. She was an operative running a network dedicated to tracking any person or nation that might try to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.
The Bush administration pushed very hard the idea that America is in danger from WMDs being placed into the hands of terrorists. This was one of the central arguments behind the war in Iraq. Yet in order to protect Bush's political standing, a couple of "administration officials" blew Valerie Plame, and by proxy her network, completely out of the water in an attempt to shut her husband up. In short, in order to protect Bush from the ramifications of using fake evidence to support his war, this White House destroyed an intelligence network that was protecting us from the threat posed by chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.
Occupation Resistance Analysis

Complied by Stephen Soldz

Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis
1581 Beacon St.
Brookline, MA 02446

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