Key Documents

October, 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 Interview on Oregon radio station KBOO about Security, Terror, and the Support for War can now be listened to on your computer. [It's best to download and save on your computer. Warning: the 7+ megabyte file may take a while to download.] 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

Colin Powell tells friends insurgents are winning: Kerry Campaign: Powell Contradicts Bush on How Things Are Going in Iraq.

Further discussion by an author of the Lancet report on Iraq casualties: Reply from author of Lancet report.

Democracy under occupation guns? Iraq's Sunnis are likely to boycott election: Once-powerful minority group fears U.S. attack.

A Sunni organization called the Arab Nationalist Movement would consider issuing calls for civil disobedience and a general strike if Sunni Muslims perceived the election as fixed, said the group's leader, Wamid Nadhmi. The group has Sunni political parties and civil organizations under its wing, and is allied with the highly influential Muslim Scholars Association, which represents 3,000 Sunni mosques in Iraq.
"What have we got to lose, after 13 years of sanctions, after the occupation, after Abu Ghraib?" said Nadhmi. "Could it be worse? What more can they do to us? They have pushed us to the end of the line...."
The Los Angeles Times recently reported that the White House has been working behind the scenes with Iraqi allies to establish a dominant, unified slate of Allawi's Iraqi National Accord Party and other U.S.-allied parties. Missing from the coalition would be any Sunni representation. The parties involved in slate talks are led by Iraqi exiles resented by many Iraqis because they were handpicked by the U.S. to sit on the Iraqi Governing Council, the postwar governing body that showed little independence from the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority.

An author of a new study on Iraqi casualties claims the US does count civilian deaths, but keeps the tally secret: Pentagon Suppresses Details of Civilian Casualties, Says Expert.

Human Rights Watch joins those who alerted the US to unguarded Iraqi weapons, only to be ignored: Group Warned U.S. of Unsecured Weapons.

Peter Bouckaert, who heads Human Rights Watch's international emergency team, told The Associated Press he was shown two rooms ``stacked to the roof'' with surface-to-surface warheads on May 9, 2003, in a warehouse on the grounds of the 2nd Military College in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. Bouckaert said he gave U.S. officials the exact location of the warheads, but that by the time he left the area on May 19, 2003, he had seen no U.S. forces at the site, which he said was being looted daily by armed men....
Bouckaert said displaced people he was working with in the Baqouba area had taken him to the warheads. ``They said, `There's stocks of weapons here and we're very concerned - can you please inform the coalition?'''

Soldier in Iraq says "I ask that you let your vote show your support. I don't know what you go to bed thinking, but I go to bed wondering not how many more y ears of this administration I can handle but how many more days I might survive." A Matter of Survival.

It looks like the al-Sadr movement will participate in the elections: Sadr cleric urges supporters to vote. But Sunnis' still debating participation: Sunni Muslims get conflicting messages about voting in elections. And other Arab countries are encouraging participation: Arab states urge Iraqi opposition to take part in polls.

Iraqi voter registration begins using food rationing cards. This is the same procedure rejected by the US last year when Iraqis demanded elections! If elections had occurred then, the horrors of Iraq today may well have been avoided. But the US was not ready to consider allowing Iraqis to control their fate. Now it may be too late: Iraq begins voter registration Monday as major step on the road to January balloting.

A French reporter saw insurgents "looting vast supplies of explosives more than six months after the demise of Saddam Hussein's regime": Reporter saw insurgents loot Qaqaa arms depot.

"I was utterly stupefied to see that a place like that was pretty much unguarded and that insurgents could help themselves for months on end," Daniel said on Friday. "We were there for a long time and no one disturbed the group while they were loading their truck."

Young Americans wising up: Army’s Recruiters Miss Target For Enlistees in Latest Month.

Six months after the Americans occupied Iraq, aide workers saw a huge weapons depot and told the US military, who did exactly nothing to secure it: Aid worker says military failed to secure Iraqi weapons.

As they approached, they saw large concrete bunkers, some covered by sand, some with doors 30 feet tall. Inside were more artillery shells, mortars, gunpowder and rocket casings. "I don't know how many (were there). As far as you could see were bunkers," he said. Independent accounts put the number at more than 60. The area appeared to be guarded by a half-dozen people in their teens or early 20s who had perhaps one rifle among them and no vehicle to patrol the complex's hundreds of acres, according to the Oregonian account. ...
Kuhaida sent Sanchez an e-mail saying he had information to pass along. When one of the general's aides replied, Kuhaida sent a list of munitions found at the depot, along with coordinates of its location. Kuhaida urged the military to secure the site. The aide sent an immediate reply that said "they were taking action," Kuhaida said.
But when Kuhaida met the aide face to face in Baghdad a month later and asked about the depot, the aide told him the military simply didn't have enough troops to guard the site.

Attempted Pentagon cover-up on the missing Iraqi weapons backfires: Pentagon Briefing on Missing Explosives. I guess they figure this is good enough to win an election.

The Army's own contracting officer says she's never seen a worse case of contracting abuse than Halliburton: Army staffer: Halliburton case 'worst abuse': FBI widens investigation, company sees election ploy in allegations.

Among the evidence cited in the complaint was an internal 2003 Pentagon e-mail that says the Iraq contract “has been coordinated” with Cheney’s White House office.

Must Read! The full article documenting the 100,000 excess deaths from US "humanitarian" invasion: Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey or direct link to pdf. by Les Roberts, Riyadh Lafta, Richard Garfield, Jamal Khudhairi, Gilbert Burnham. Most US press are giving little coverage to this horrifying story. 100,000 Iraqis dead is hardly a story!

FBI investigating [after the election, of course]: Halliburton Contracts Bypassed Objections.

Here is an interview with one of the authors of the study estimating 100,000 excess deaths: Interview with Gilbert Burnham. And a comment on the matter by Juan Cole" US Has Killed 100,000 in Iraq: The Lancet.

Missing explosives at al-Qaqaa only 0.06% of what's missing! Munitions Issue Dwarfs the Big Picture. And: Vast amounts of weapons-related material missing, official says. Further: US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage says: "Looks to me like somehow the multinational force didn't stay on top of this": Missing explosives: Armitage clueless. And here is the: videotape of the explosives taken by an embedded ABC News team..

FBI agents witnessed Abu Ghraib abuse, but thought nothing of it: FBI Glossed Over Abu Ghraib Abuses .

Oh My God! 100,000 Iraqis killed, overwhelmingly by "coalition forces"! Will the world wake up? New survey puts number of Iraqi deaths from war at 100,000.

Designed and conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and the Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, the study is being published Thursday on the Web site of The Lancet medical journal....
The most common causes of death before the invasion of Iraq were heart attacks, strokes and other chronic diseases. However, after the invasion, violence was recorded as the primary cause of death and was mainly attributed to coalition forces -- with about 95 percent of those deaths caused by bombs or fire from helicopter gunships....
"We estimate that there were 98,000 extra deaths during the postwar period in the 97 percent of Iraq represented by all the clusters except Falluja," the researchers said in the journal. "This isn't about individual soldiers doing bad things. This appears to be a problem with the approach to occupation in Iraq," Roberts said.

Iraqi neighbors insist the American troops were told of the need to protect the Al Qaqaa weapons site: US troops refused requests to protect explosives store. And ABC News reports that US troops opened the bunkers, saw the HMX explosives, then were ordered NOT to secure the facility! Video Suggest Explosive Disappeared After US took Control: Evidence Indicates U.S. Military Opened Al-Qaqaa Bunkers, Left them Unguarded.

Pepe Escobar sums up the al-Qaqaa weapons story so far: The WMD-lite Scandal.

News crew actually filmed the explosives at Al Qaqaa after the fall of the Iraqi regime! They weren't removed by Saddam or by the Russians, as White House lies suggest: EXCLUSIVE: 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS video may be linked to missing explosives in Iraq.

UN: It Warned US About Iraqi Explosives and the US did nothing!

Peter W. Galbraith supported the war. Then: Eyewitness to a failure in Iraq.

Steal a billion, then: Carlyle Covers Up, as Naomi Kleinreports.

A Pail Bremer regulation states that 37% of the buildings and 85% of the machines at al-Qaqaa weapons site were destroyed by looters: Brown: 2004 Bremer Report on al-Qaqaa Looting.

An impassioned interview with Seymour Hersh from Alternet: Seymour Hersh: Man On Fire. And another from the New York Post: Sy Hersh's News: He’s Describing Massacre In Iraq.

[Alternet:] Abu Ghraib is a symptom, a terrible symptom of a system that went bad from the beginning. From the first days of the war, the attitude was 'We can do anything we want.' When John Walker Lindh – that young boy who was captured with al Qaeda, that lost kid from California – was first captured, the mistreatment was astonishing. He was stripped, thrown around. There was a bullet they didn't take out for days. The soldiers spit on him. There were people at the time who thought it was just madness what we were doing and that it would stop soon. But the American public liked it. So in a funny way, we got what we wanted. We wanted payback, we wanted revenge. And we saw everybody in al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Muslim world as our enemy.

Massive looting of the Iraqi weapons site after US troops swept through: 4 Iraqis Tell of Looting at Munitions Site in '03. And an insurgent group claims they took them: Armed Group Claims to Have Iraq Explosives.

But the accounts make clear that what set off much if not all of the looting was the arrival and swift departure of American troops, who did not secure the site after inducing the Iraqi forces to abandon it. "The looting started after the collapse of the regime," said Wathiq al-Dulaimi, a regional security chief, who was based nearby in Latifiya. But once it had begun, he said, the booty streamed toward Baghdad....
They [US Second Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division] gathered at Al Qaqaa, about 30 miles south, simply as a matter of convenience, Colonel Anderson said in an interview this week. He said that when he arrived at the site - unaware of its significance - he saw no signs of looting, but was not paying close attention. Because he thought the brigade would be moving on to Baghdad within hours, Al Qaqaa was of no importance to his mission, he said, and he was unaware of the explosives that international inspectors said were hidden inside....
Mr. Mezher, the mechanic, said it took the looters about two weeks to disassemble heavy machinery at the site and carry that off after the smaller items were gone.

It wasn't the dog's fault, it was the Russians! And this after Putin endorsed Bush: Russia tied to Iraq's missing arms. Even if this absurd claim were true, why didn't the US know the explosives were missing for 18 months?

An account of an interview with a controversial [because he now supports the occupation] Iraqi Trade unionist: 'We want to bring hope to Iraq': Hélène Mulholland meets Sobhi Mashhadani, the Iraqi trade unionist whose cooperation with the interim government has invoked the wrath of the anti-war left.

Bulgarian public smarter than their government: Bulgaria questions its role in Iraq.

He's everywhere! But, does he exist? Zarqawi the Terror Monster: But Does He Really Exist?

Iraq says 'impossible' explosives taken before regime fall.

"It is impossible that these materials could have been taken from this site before the regime's fall," said Mohammed al-Sharaa, who heads the science ministry's site monitoring department and previously worked with UN weapons inspectors under Saddam. "The officials that were inside this facility (Al-Qaqaa) beforehand confirm that not even a shred of paper left it before the fall and I spoke to them about it and they even issued certified statements to this effect which the US-led coalition was aware of."
Sharaa also warned that other nearby sites with similar materials could have also been plundered. "The Al-Milad Company in Iskandariyah and the Yarmouk and Hateen facilities contained explosive materials that could have also been taken out," the official told AFP in an interview.

Sen. Tom Harkin: Bush has no choice but to reinstate draft.

President Bush may or may not have a secret plan to reinstate the draft. But this is beside the point. The deteriorating facts on the ground in Iraq, plus the Bush doctrine of acting pre-emptively and unilaterally against hostile regimes, will soon leave him no choice. If President Bush is re-elected, he will have to restart the draft.

They are US citizens in all but name: Public Opinion Poll Indicates Iraqis Favor Kerry over Bush in U.S. Presidential Race.

Mr. Kerry leads President Bush by 6.5 percentage points. The poll has a margin of error of four percent. But the director of the center, former Iraqi exile Sadoun al-Dulame, says 58 percent of the respondents said they don't care who wins the U.S. presidential election....
"But in the end, those who said they care about what happens in America, Kerry [is] in front of Bush," he noted. "22.5 percent said we prefer to see Kerry as the next American president. And those who said we prefer Bush just 16 percent, no more. And, that's a decline for Bush because when we asked the Iraqis two months ago, Bush was in front of Kerry." In a further breakdown of the statistics, Mr. al-Dulame said 60 percent of Kurdish respondents from northern Iraq said they support Mr. Bush. Most Kurds were staunch opponents of Saddam Hussein. The poll indicated 75 percent of Arab Iraqis who have an opinion support John Kerry.

New York Times Editorial: From Bad to Worse In Iraq.

How many are missing? The Weapons No One Looked For.

Veterans resist: A Soldier Speaks: Robert J. Acosta. So do families of soldiers: The Soldiers Who Said No: A pair of Mississippi women challenge the army brass on behalf of their soldier-husbands in Iraq.

"From what I was told there have been many direct orders disobeyed before this," said Butler. "But it was just one person. This was so many, all at the same moment." "They all stood together, they made a united front, that's what makes the difference," added McCook. "It's like a fist, it makes a mighty blow. I know you don't have any clout when you stand alone."

Stephen Zunes adds to our understanding of the economic side of the invasion and occupation: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq: The Military Side of Globalization? [pdf].

Sami Ramadani cautions British unions not to listen to occupation collaborators like the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions: Collaboration won't buy Iraq's freedom: The British labour movement should avoid taking advice from Iraqis who work hand in glove with their occupiers. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions wants a British government payoff for convincing British unions to support the Labor Party pro-war leadership on Iraq: Unions in war row ask for UK cash.

The Spoils! Iraq boosts Lockheed, Halliburton.

A new Amnesty International report: Human dignity denied: Torture and accountability in the ‘war on terror’.

The struggle against torture and ill-treatment by agents of the state requires absolute commitment and constant vigilance. It requires stringent adherence to safeguards. It demands a policy of zero tolerance. The US government has manifestly failed in this regard. At best, it set the conditions for torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by lowering safeguards and failing to respond adequately to allegations of abuse raised by Amnesty International and others from early in the "war on terror". At worst, it has authorized interrogation techniques which flouted the country’s international obligation to reject torture and ill-treatment under any circumstances and at all times.

Soldiers at weapons site say there was no search for explosives, as was already claimed by the NBC reporter who was there. Another Bush/Pentagon lie exposed: Spokesman for first troops at Iraq base says there was no search for explosives.

The first U.S. military unit to reach the Al-Qaqaa military installation after the invasion of Iraq did not have orders to search for the nearly 400 tons of explosives that Iraqi officials say were stolen from the site sometime following the fall of Baghdad, the unit spokesman said Tuesday. When the troops from the 101st Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade arrived at the Al-Qaqaa base a day or so after Baghdad's fall on April 9, 2003, there were already looters throughout the facility, Lt. Col. Fred Wellman, deputy public affairs officer for the unit, told The Associated Press.

Riverbend issues a plea from Baghdad, an Open Letter to Americans: American Elections 2004...

Let me assure you Americans- he has NO PLAN. There is no plan for the mess we’re living in- unless he is cunningly using the Chaos Theory as a basis for his Iraq plan. Things in Iraq are a mess and there is the sense that the people in Washington don’t know what they’re doing, and their puppets in Iraq know even less. The name of the game now in Iraq is naked aggression- it hasn’t been about hearts and minds since complete areas began to revolt. His Iraq plan may be summarized with the Iraqi colloquial saying, “A’athreh ib dafra”, which can be roughly translated to ‘a stumble and a kick’. In other words, what will happen, will happen and hopefully- with a stumble and a kick- things will move in the right direction....
Some people associate the decision to go to war as a ‘strength’. How strong do you need to be to commit thousands of your countrymen and women to death on foreign soil? Especially while you and your loved ones sit safely watching at home. How strong do you need to be to give orders to bomb cities to rubble and use the most advanced military technology available against a country with a weak army and crumbling infrastructure? You don’t need to be strong- you need to be mad.
Americans- can things be worse for you? Can things be worse for us in Iraq? Of course they can… only imagine- four more years of Bush.

Must Read! Greg Palast provides further evidence that elections were avoided in Iraq so that the economy, including the oil, could be privatized, an action no Iraq government expressing the popular will could allow: Adventure Capitalism.

Why were Iraqi elections delayed? Why was Jay Garner fired? Why are our troops still there? Investigative reporter Palast uncovers new documents that answer these questions and more about the Bush administration’s grand designs on Iraq. Like everything else issued during this administration, the plan to overhaul the Iraqi economy has corporate lobbyist fingerprints all over it. You expected the oil industry lobbyists, but Grover Norquist?

The claimed search of weapons site never happened, says NBC reporter who was there: Embedded Reporter Saw No Explosives Search.

An NBC News reporter embedded with a U.S. army unit that seized an Iraqi installation three weeks into the war said Tuesday that she saw no signs that the Americans searched for the powerful explosives that are now missing from the site.

Iraq body Count has analyzed information on the April 2004 fighting in Falluja and concluded that "572 and 616 of the approximately 800 reported deaths were of civilians, with over 300 of these being women and children." No longer unknowable: Fallujah's April Civilian Toll is 600. See their detailed: Falluja Archive.

The IBC totals are based on multiply-cited reports from doctors and eyewitnesses that no less than 308 of those killed were women and children. This number demonstrates the huge impact of US attacks on civilian areas, and allows the conclusion to be drawn that many of the males killed must also have been non-combatants....
The project's Principal Researcher, Hamit Dardagan, commented "The unique IBC Falluja Archive allows members of the public to examine for themselves the multiple violations which yielded this shocking toll. These include attacks on ambulances and sniper fire at children as well as the aerial bombardment of residential areas. Talk of "precision strikes" is mere techno-babble when these are part of military campaigns causing thousands of civilian deaths and injuries.

US secretly decides inconvenient laws just don't apply: U.S. Action Bars Right of Some Captured in Iraq.

Puppet blames the occupiers. Must be elections on the way: Allawi blames neglect by US forces for troop massacre.

More down the drain: Increase in War Funding Sought: Bush to Request $70 Billion More.

National Endowment for the Arts to foster war propaganda: Poetry and the Pentagon: Unholy Alliance?.

On April 20 of this year Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, in tandem with Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, announced Operation Homecoming: Writing the War Experience. The program is described as “an NEA project to help soldiers write about their experiences in war,” and it plans to bring writers to military bases to conduct workshops for soldiers returning from combat. It will also publish an anthology which, according to their website, will be “open to active US military personnel and their immediate families” and will be a “nationally promoted anthology of wartime writing that will be sold in bookstores and will be distributed free by the Arts Endowment to military installations, schools, and libraries.”

What's going on? Report: Explosives already gone when U.S. troops arrived: NBC News says its crew was embedded with soldiers at time. If this is true, why wasn't the UN's IAEA notified, as legally required?

US strategy, make sure there are no real elections reflecting Iraqi will, only a pro-US government: U.S. Is Said to Urge Its Iraqi Allies to Unite for Election.

U.S. authorities in Washington and Iraqi politicians confirmed that top White House officials have told leaders of the six major parties that were on the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council that it would be in the groups' common interest to present a unified electoral slate....
One U.S. official in Washington said the administration now believes Iraq needs a "negotiated resolution … a scaled-back democratic process." Between the two conflicting key goals, "I see the arguments for stability now outweighing the calls for democracy," said the official, who declined to be identified. The formation of a unified slate would further entrench the U.S.-allied parties, which are mostly led by longtime exiles with dubious popular support and are still viewed with suspicion by many Iraqi citizens....
Some Iraqi politicians from other parties say that such a strong coalition would establish a new foreign-backed ruling class and short-circuit their hopes for a more open political environment. "We're afraid these parties will become six dictators," said Jawat Obeidi, secretary-general of the independent Iraqi Democratic Congress. He predicted that most Iraqi voters would stay home if they suspected the process was producing no more than a "copy of the Governing Council....
[S]ome U.S. officials and outside experts acknowledge that the six parties have yet to win the respect of many Iraqis. Many view their members as outsiders who sat out the Saddam Hussein years in exile before returning with foreign backing to take control. "The majority of the country feels that this is not their leadership," said an official with a U.S. humanitarian group in Baghdad that works with independent political forces. "I hear it all the time. 'What do they know about us? Have they suffered like us?' "

France says stabilize Iraq by withdrawing occupation troops: US troop withdrawal to stabilise Iraq: France.

Iraqis call for Hassan release.

War in Iraq may take decades: Army rallies troops for "test of wills" in Iraq.

Bush promises to protect but allows weapons to go missing in Iraq: Transcript of Dr. Susan Rice and Joe Lockhart Conference Call on Missing Explosives in Iraq; Opening Statements. Read the original New York Times article: Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq.

We're here this morning to talk about an incredibly significant and troubling development as far as the war in Iraq and the President's prosecution of that war. I think it was quite jarring to anyone who turned on the television this morning to see, within a matter of moments, the President of the United States telling a television interview that he was, "the best candidate to protect the United States." And then, in the next breadth, see a story about how the United States was warned that there was a "bonanza of explosives," 380 tons of high-grade explosives and we did nothing as a country to protect those and they've now gone missing, presumably stolen.

Developments concerning Iraq on Monday

Many of the horrible conditions were documented, but responsibility for worst abuse unclear: Abu Ghraib Guards Kept a Log Of Prison Conditions, Practices.

The Army soldiers, some of whom have been charged by the military with crimes for the abuses, logged a stream of mysterious and unregistered inmates held by unnamed U.S. government agents, a group of "ghost detainees" who were locked behind a row of 10 solid iron doors.
The soldiers also wrote about unclear orders being passed down orally from military intelligence officials to "put pressure" on detainees of high intelligence value -- though none of the entries referred directly to the abuses made internationally infamous in digital photographs and in reports arising from multiple military investigations. "MI handlers will be turning on heat to this one," reads an entry at 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 12, referring to inmate No. 152529, identified in investigative documents as Asad Hamza Hanfosh. In a statement, Hanfosh alleged that soldiers stripped him, beat him and left him shackled naked to his bed overnight. "Sleep management program was requested but paperwork has not been approved yet," the entry reads....
[In contrast:] The book shows that soldiers repeatedly counted the detainees, worked to get prisoners better food and clothing, and made sure those who were ill got to see the facility's medics. The MPs noted that some detainees had problems urinating, suffered from constipation or lacked proper medication....
[But] The logbook for the first time shows Cpl. Charles A. Graner Jr. noting in his own words that he was unhappy receiving oral instructions from military intelligence personnel. Graner and six other MPs have been charged in the abuse. Two MPs have pleaded guilty, and the most senior of the soldiers, Staff Sgt. Ivan L. "Chip" Frederick, was sentenced to eight years in prison last week. "Per MI . . . unless told to put pressure on an MI inmate do not do so," reads an entry that bears Graner's name on Oct. 25, 2003, at a time when some of the most serious abuses were occurring. "I will now request everything to be in writting [sic] since it seems one MI handler does not know what the other one is requesting with verbal orders."

More from Juan Cole on the International Republican Institute's so-called "poll" of Iraqis. Seems they deleted embarrassing results from their report. Sounds like Republicans: IRI Suppresses Key Data: Muqtada as Popular as Allawi.

Tons of Iraq explosives missing.

Several hundred tons of conventional explosives are missing from a former Iraqi military facility that once played a key role in Saddam Hussein's efforts to build a nuclear bomb, the U.N. nuclear agency confirmed Monday. ["Several hundred tons" are not your conventional looters!]

responses to letter from a soldier's mom: Letters from the home front.

Iraqis are kidnapped and killed daily, Iraqi novelist Haifa Zangana reminds us: Chaos, murder and mayhem: Kidnapping and killing is a daily reality in Iraq, but in the west the atrocities go unrecorded and the dead are unnamed.

This is the daily reality in the new Iraq, especially in Baghdad. An average of 100 Iraqis are killed every day. Kidnapping for profit or revenge is widespread. Young girls are sold to neighbouring countries for prostitution.
Madeline Hadi, a nine-year-old girl, was kidnapped from her father's car in the al-Doura district of Baghdad. Zinah Falih Hassan, a student in al-Warkaa secondary school, also in Baghdad, was kidnapped on her way back from school. Asma, a young engineer, was abducted in Baghdad. She was shopping with her mother, sister and male relative when six armed men kidnapped her. She was repeatedly raped.
Mahnaz Bassam and Raad Ali Abdul Aziz were kidnapped last month along with two Italian aid workers and subsequently released. Unlike the Italians, the two Iraqis did not receive media attention in the west. No one prayed for them....
There are indeed reasons for all this chaos, murder and mayhem. Those reasons lie in the nature of invasion, war and, most crucially of all, occupation....
Without the consent of the Iraqi people, Ayad Allawi and President Ghazi al-Yawer declared that it was the wish of the populace that the occupying troops remain. They also stood aside while F16s and helicopter gunships showered densely populated areas in Sadr city, Falluja, Samraa, Najaf, Kut, Kufa, Tel Afar and elsewhere. The resistance in Falluja is now so persistent that Iraq's director of national intelligence admitted: "We could take the city, but we would have to kill everyone in it." British troops are going to be deployed to achieve this....
Death is covering us like fine dust. Four-fifths of Iraqi people demand the immediate withdrawal of occupying forces from Iraq. Margaret Hassan is one of them.

Let Hassan go! Iraqis Protest Over Aid Worker Abduction. Meanwhile: Falluja insurgents say not holding Hassan. The Irish and Palestinian Foreign Ministers have issued a joint plea for Hassan's release: For The Sake Of Iraq, Free Margaret Hassan.

Punished for objecting to Halliburton sweetheart deal: Beyond the Call of Duty: A whistle-blower objected to the government's Halliburton deals—and says now she's paying for it.

"These charges undercut months of assertions by Administration officials that the Halliburton contract was on the level," says Democratic Representative Henry Waxman. As the Corps's top contract specialist, the letter says, Greenhouse had noted reservations on dozens of procurement documents over seven years. But it was only after she took exception to the Halliburton deal that she was warned not to do so anymore. The letter states that the major general who admonished her, Robert Griffin, later admitted in a sworn statement that her comments on contracts had "caused trouble" for the Army and that, given the controversy surrounding the contract, it was "intolerable" and "had to stop." The letter says he threatened to downgrade her. (As with Greenhouse, the Army did not make Griffin available.) When the Pentagon's auditors accused KBR of overcharging the government $61 million for fuel, the letter says, the Army bypassed Greenhouse. Her deputy waived a requirement that KBR provide pricing data—a move that looked "politically motivated," the letter says.

Abdullah Muhsin, foreign representative for the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions, denies that the insurgents constitute a national liberation struggle and calls for opposition to occupation AND to insurgent violence: Iraqis Refuse to Be Pawns in a Clash of Fundamentalisms. For letters about the role of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions, see: Cracks in the coalition.

Some present a false dichotomy between the Jordanian terrorist, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, and a mainstream Iraqi national resistance. Iraq is not another Vietnam; the so-called resistance are no Maquis. The resistance offers at best another dictatorship modeled on Saddam’s regime, at worst an Al-Zarqawi-inspired mediaeval theocracy using Iraq, rather than Afghanistan, as a base for its war against the US and Arab regimes. These forces offer only hell to Iraqis and harbor some of the world’s most dangerous ideas. They have no open social or political program and no popular base, and are feared by most Iraqis.
Widespread, popular sentiment against the foreign occupation of our country does not translate into legitimation of these forces. With the support of the international labor movement, and others, we have a duty to ensure that the voice of Iraqi civil society is heard.

The Muslim Clerics' Association reiterated its threat to call a boycott of the elections if Falluja is hit: Iraq's Sunni Clerics Threaten Election Boycott.

Juan Cole analyses the new Iraqi poll conducted for the International Republican Institute and the ridiculous spin put on the results by the IRI: Is the IRI Spinning the Poll. IRI Spin: Optimistic Outlook on the Future and Support for Democracy Continues in Iraq. 1 Actual Poll Results [Powerpoint presentation].

More evidence the US behavior in Iraq is, quite literally, an organized criminal enterprise: Memo Lets CIA Take Detainees Out of Iraq: Practice Is Called Serious Breach of Geneva Convention.

Treatment of Prisoners. Not a Few Bad Apples! The new Abu Ghraib documents released thursday to the ACLU show that sexual abuse occurred and was known to superiors as early as October 2003. Further, it demonstrates that the abuse was done by intelligence officers, not just the MPs who are being scapegoated: Further abuse at Abu Ghraib detailed: ACLU forces US to disclose records.

Globalization at work! Abu Ghraib goes to Britain: Abu Ghraib team bids to run UK prisons.

More torture documents: Federal Government Turns Over Thousands of Torture Documents to ACLU. Detailed list: Records Released in Response to Torture FOIA Request.

Iraqi parents protect their kids: Iraqi Children Warned to Avoid Soldiers.

Shias ‘agree' deal on candidate list for Iraq elections.

Hell no! We won't go! 800 former soldiers ordered to duty didn't report.

The descent into horror continues: CARE worker pleads for her life.

Another precision strike: Two Iraqi Children Killed in Car, U.S. Blamed.

Will they still have the 'elections"? Religious Leaders Ahead in Iraq Poll: U.S.-Supported Government Is Losing Ground.

Steal billions, then keep the loot! Ain't capitalism grand: Halliburton may keep disputed money: Report: Army may let company retain billions of dollars from Iraq work, despite auditors' questions

Breaking News! US arrests the leadership of preeminent Sunni religious group after they oppose the looming attack on Falluja: Muslim scholars arrested in Iraq.

Christopher Allbritton has obtained filmof a routine US battle. Watch, and imagine being at the receiving end of that level of firepower: "Get Some, F--KERS!"

Covering for the backers: Black Watch ordered to join US cordon for assault on Fallujah.

Oil, oil, where is it? The world has lost Iraq's oil. The whole world pays for a stupid, lost [and immoral] war.

What's worse is that a large chunk of the oil revenues is not accounted for because of graft, theft, mayhem and the near-total absence of transparency within the transitional government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, according to aid agencies, which say they cannot see where the money is going. Oil traders go further. They say large amounts of oil are being stolen and smuggled onto ships, with Iraqi officials and traders splitting the returns. The Iraqi people and economy see no "trickle down" effect
As for the country's oil industry, once a proud mighty machinery of some 55,000 well-trained and highly disciplined technocrats, the situation is catastrophic. Oil fields are deteriorating for lack of maintenance, fires, accidents and lack of funds. Oil refineries that were looted in the first week of the war have yet to be repaired.

US build concentration camp of the future at Camp Bucca: In Iraq, detention center sets new U.S. military standards. It even gets praised by "torture General" Miller!

Please Help Him! Independent reporter Dahr Jamail is heading back to Iraq and needs financial help. Please contribute if you can: Contribute to Dahr's Efforts in Iraq: Bearing Witness. We need him to tell the stories that the mainstream press ignore.

I guess they know how to add 2 + 2: Draft rumors cause stir on campuses.

Exclude most Iraqis from conference on Iraq: US envoy hints opposition to be excluded from Iraq conference.

Rebellious soldiers get rid of commander: Commander relieved of duty in Iraq.

One more scapegoat: U.S. Soldier Pleads Guilty to Abusing Iraqi Prisoners.

Robert Fisk: Kidnapped - The Heroine Who Offered Hope for Iraq. And Terry Kirby 'Everywhere she went, people just beamed ...: If anyone can cope with this, it is Margaret Hassan' . Also: Blair's efforts are putting hostage in danger, say aid staff.

Boycott elections if they attack: Cleric warns against Iraq assault.

Shia leader cuts ties with Sadr over fighting with US.

Care International, one of the last NGOs to work in Iraq, stops: Agency halts aid projects in Iraq.

Definitely an undercount: Number of US wounded in Iraq tops 8,000.

No to church bombings: Sunni scholars in Iraq slam attacks on churches.

The committee said both the Muslim and Christian leaders condemned the “occupation which is the source of all conflicts among Iraqis”. They had pledged “to work for one united Iraq in which all Iraqis live in peace”.

And then there's oil: Cash From Chaos: It was hoped the Iraq invasion would secure a key oil patch and eventually spread freedom. But guess who's getting rich?

Journalists saved by Google.

Devastation in Najaf provides a mini-model of what Falluja will look like if the Americans attack: Around Najaf shrine, scars remain.

Whole blocks were obliterated during the fighting in Najaf between the U.S. military and guerrillas loyal to Moktada al-Sadr, a young extremist cleric whose armed guerrilla followers rebelled against the allied occupation.

UN criticised for not sacrificing their staff for fantasy elections: Limited U.N. Role Hinders Iraq Vote: Security in Crisis, Citizens Take Lead. While the UN says ill-timed elections can cause irreparable harm: UN Study: Premature Vote May Prove Disastrous.

Jo Wilding distributes an: An Open Letter to British Troops Serving in Iraq calling on them to refuse to redeploy to US-controlled areas and help the US butchery in Falluja and elsewhere.

Our clinic received countless sniper casualties, the US’s preferred method of controlling its areas: a small boy, trousers wet, shot in the head; an old woman carrying a white flag; a young woman shot in the jaw, all attempting to flee their homes in US territory. Aircraft pounded the town with missiles and cluster bombs. I think they denied using cluster bombs but there’s no mistaking the rhythmic sound of them exploding....
An unnamed US official promises a “very bloody and nasty” fight within what another official indicated would be “the next few days” (Washington Post, Sat 16/10/04). Throwaway platitudes like “War is hell” are not good enough. There are choices. The choice to be complicit, to free up US troops to repeat that attack must be consciously made. Each one of you has to decide whether you accept that role....
Please, don’t go. Please don’t make yourselves complicit with the atrocities which will undoubtedly be committed against ordinary Iraqi people in Falluja. Please don’t put yourself closer to harm for the sake of an ill-advised attack that will only make things worse.

Over a barrel: damned if you do and damned if you don’t, maybe: Fate Uncertain for GIs to Collectively Refuse Iraq Combat Orders.

The Coalition of the Paid Off. Remember how Bush made such a fuss about our Polish ally during the debates? Wonder how much of an ally they would have been without the dollar incentive: US Dollars Wooed Ally In Iraq Coalition.

Again, more hands-off-Iraq policy: Muslims peacekeepers for Iraq nixed.

As a result, the UN continues to have a skeletal presence in Iraq, with only four staff members working full time on preparing for elections set for the end of January. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has refused to establish a new UN headquarters in Baghdad unless countries commit troops for a special force to protect it….
Diplomats said Annan accepted the plan. But the Bush administration objected because the special force would have been controlled by the UN instead of by U.S. military officers who run the Multi-National Force in Iraq. Muslim and Arab countries refused to work under U.S. command, and the initiative died in early September.

Michael Ignatieff reviews Chain of Command by Seymour Hersh 'Chain of Command': What Geneva Conventions?

General Sanchez complained of lack of supplies last winter: General Reported Shortages In Iraq: Situation Is Improved, Top Army Officials Say.

Higher and higher as the whole world pays: Fuel worries push oil prices up.

New York light crude hit $55.33 a barrel during Asian trading, before sliding back to trade at $55.08. Prices have added almost 70% since January.... Analysts have said that crude could top $60 a barrel by the end of the year and warn higher energy costs may be beginning to slow economic growth.

Occupation succeeds! Oil companies get access: Iraq says 'come and get us' to Western oil companies.

Torture, good for the career: Pentagon Rewards Generals, Corporations Tied to Abu Ghraib Scandal.

Must Read! The US occupation CPA stacked the deck to destroy Iraq farmers and aid transnational corporations: Press Release: World Food Day: Iraqi farmers aren't celebrating Full Report: Iraq's new patent law: a declaration of war against farmers. The CPA-imposed: Patent Law [pdf].

[Press Release:] In 2002, FAO estimated that 97 percent of Iraqi farmers used saved seed from their own stocks from last year's harvest or purchased from local markets. When the new law - on plant variety protection (PVP) - is put into effect, seed saving will be illegal and the market will only offer proprietary "PVP-protected" planting material "invented" by transnational agribusiness corporations. The new law totally ignores all the contributions Iraqi farmers have made to development of important crops like wheat, barley, date and pulses. Its consequences are the loss of farmers' freedoms and a grave threat to food sovereignty in Iraq. In this way, the US has declared a new war against the Iraqi farmer.
[Report:] The new law is presented as being necessary to ensure the supply of good quality seeds in Iraq and to facilitate Iraq's accession to the WTO [5]. What it will actually do is facilitate the penetration of Iraqi agriculture by the likes of Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer and Dow Chemical - the corporate giants that control seed trade across the globe. Eliminating competition from farmers is a prerequisite for these companies to open up operations in Iraq, which the new law has achieved. Taking over the first step in the food chain is their next move.

The: Shock & Awe Photo gallery from Islam Online.

Details on the: Revolt in the ranks in Iraq: The inside story of the Army platoon that refused to carry out a "death sentence" mission. And elsewhere: Soldiers at Camp Eagle weary of Baghdad slum, Iraqis, mission.

Firas Al-Atraqchi reports on the effects of US bombs: Iraq Is an All-opportunity Meat Grinder.

Freeze out the others: Shiites considering alliance for election.

Even the New York Times uses the "T" word to describe conditions at Guantanamo Concentration Camp: Broad Use Cited of Harsh Tactics at Base in Cuba.

The Spoils! Billions of US and Iraqi dollars are totally missing. Which crooks have them? Or is this the US buying off its pals for destroying their future by supporting the occupation? Iraq Audit Can't Find Billions: Gaps found in spending for reconstruction.

One chunk of the money -- $1.4 billion -- was deposited into a local bank by Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq but could be tracked no further: The auditors reported that they were shown a deposit slip but could find no additional records to explain how the money was used or to prove that it remains in the bank.

Whole towns disappear in the face of US "searches". Obviously, these people are so glad the US troops are "protecting' them: Unannounced U.S. searches in Iraq find nobody home in rebel town.

One soldier said, "This isn't even a mission anymore," saying he and his colleagues were "just doing whatever we want."

Must Read! US raiding Iraq's desperate finances to pay US corporations for "lost profits" under Saddam: Why is war-torn Iraq giving $190,000 to Toys R Us?

Since Saddam was toppled in April, Iraq has paid out $1.8bn in reparations to the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), the Geneva-based quasi tribunal that assesses claims and disburses awards. Of those payments, $37m have gone to Britain and $32.8m have gone to the United States. That's right: in the past 18 months, Iraq's occupiers have collected $69.8m in reparation payments from the desperate people they have been occupying. But it gets worse: the vast majority of those payments, 78%, have gone to multinational corporations, according to statistics on the UNCC website....
But the UNCC's corporate handouts only accelerated. Here is a small sample of who has been getting "reparation" awards from Iraq: Halliburton ($18m), Bechtel ($7m), Mobil ($2.3m), Shell ($1.6m), Nestlé ($2.6m), Pepsi ($3.8m), Philip Morris ($1.3m), Sheraton ($11m), Kentucky Fried Chicken ($321,000) and Toys R Us ($189,449). In the vast majority of cases, these corporations did not claim that Saddam's forces damaged their property in Kuwait - only that they "lost profits" or, in the case of American Express, experienced a "decline in business" because of the invasion and occupation of Kuwait....
The fact that Iraqis have been paying reparations to their occupiers is all the more shocking in the context of how little these countries have actually spent on aid in Iraq. Despite the $18.4bn of US tax dollars allocated for Iraq's reconstruction, the Washington Post estimates that only $29m has been spent on water, sanitation, health, roads, bridges, and public safety combined....
With all the talk of forgiving Iraq's debts, the country is actually being pushed deeper into the hole, forced to borrow money from the IMF, and to accept all of the conditions and restrictions that come along with those loans. The UNCC, meanwhile, continues to assess claims and make new awards: $377m worth of new claims were awarded last month alone.

The Coalition of the Occupying moves around, preparing for launching their Falluja bloodbath: British troops face role in Baghdad action.

Another account of the "colony of fear": Hatred, fear reign after 'liberation': Violence, anarchy cutting too close to home for some.

Refusing to die for a mistake: Platoon defies orders in Iraq.

A 17-member Army Reserve platoon with troops from Jackson and around the Southeast deployed to Iraq is under arrest for refusing a "suicide mission" to deliver fuel, the troops' relatives said Thursday....
"They knew there was a 99 percent chance they were going to get ambushed or fired at," Hill said her daughter told her. "They would have had no way to fight back."

Support Our Troops? Injured Iraq Vets Come Home to Poverty: Injured Soldiers Returning from Iraq Struggle for Medical Benefits, Financial Survival

Riverbend reflects on drugs and war: Valium...

Is this the future for current US troops? Chemicals Sickened '91 Gulf War Veterans, Latest Study Finds. If this is what has happened to US troops, what has happened to Kuwaitis and Iraqis who may have also suffered exposure to some of these substances?

The new report, prepared for the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, draws conclusions that are essentially the opposite of those of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, led by Dr. Lashof. That group reported to President Bill Clinton in 1996 that "current scientific evidence does not support a causal link" between the veterans' symptoms and chemical exposures in the Persian Gulf....
Though the military campaign was swift and successful, 13 years after the war ended many veterans still complain of persistent fatigue, headaches, joint pain, numbness, diarrhea and other health problems.

Must Read! Juan Cole writes of the looming Baathist-Shia conflict within the government. Note, the reports of illegal arrests and secret private prisons. Is this why al-Sistani is so adamant the elections not be postponed/ Because he fears if they are, the US will impose a new Baath regime? Neo-Baath v. the Shiites. Related: Iraq's spy chief accuses Badr militia of killing agents: Shahwani accuses SCIRI of killing members of his intelligence service with help of Iranian embassy.

Maybe they won't get away with it after all: US to review abuse of Iraqi journalists.

Another "Torture General" gets promotion and praise: Army Official Backs Ex-Abu Ghraib Officer: Intelligence Chief Says He Has 'Great Confidence' in Maj. Gen. Fast.

From the local press in York, PA: Marine in Iraq: 'It's worse every day'. Interestingly, this article is reposted at

Up, up, up! We'll all pay this winter: Oil Hits New Highs as Winter Stocks Fall.

James Baker's [and Madeleine Albright's] con job makes it into the mainstream media: Influence peddling charged over Iraq’s debt: Do Washington heavyweights have a private interest at stake?

"Former government officials are using their positions and using their experience to essentially strong arm a small country into hiring them to ensure that they will get what they're already due," says Arkin....
[thanks to the Nation expose:] Wednesday night, an Albright spokesman pronounced the Kuwait deal "dead." The consortium's potential fees, some estimate, could have topped a billion dollars — big money even by Washington lobbying standards.

No jail, but crooks forced out: Carlyle pulls out of Iraq debt recovery consortium.

Iraqi president says vote could be postponed.

Was US behind it, or are they criminally culpable? Iraq nuke sites stripped methodically-diplomats.

"This process carried on at least through 2003 ... and probably into 2004, at least in early 2004," said a Western diplomat close to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitored Iraq's nuclear sites before last year's war. That contrasted with statements by Western and Iraqi officials, who have played down the disappearance of the equipment. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Tuesday he believed most of the removals took place in the chaos shortly after the March 2003 invasion.

Another: Gunmen kill Iraqi woman journalist in Baghdad.

Britain knows how dangerous it is: FO issues stark warning on Iraq security.

Would you trust these guys to run your empire? US admits N-material is missing.

Another horrifying account by a woman released from Abu Ghraib: Iraqi woman tells of US abuse.

One night, the dead naked body of one of the brothers was thrown into the cell, on top of the sister, Nahla, the newspaper said. "She was panicking. She realised that the body was inert. With my hands cuffed in front of me, I was able to lift up a corner of my blindfold. The naked man was Ayad, my brother, and his face was covered in blood," the newspaper quoted Al-Azzawi as saying. She said: "I asked Nahla to bow her head to verify whether his heart was still beating. It wasn't. She spent the night with Ayad's body on her knees."

More on James Baker's con job on the Iraqi debt: Controversy over Iraq debt deepens: US investment firm linked to Bush envoy may never have told White House of planned backstairs deal.

Charles Hanley, Associated Press correspondent, sums up the wretched state of Iraq: Life in Iraq: Joblessness and bloodshed.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani tells Iraqis to register and vote: Top Shiite cleric urges Iraqis to register to vote.

Saddam Lite! The war is over! Bring back the old regime! Only now they'll work for the Americans as they suppress the people: Allawi Presses Effort to Bring Back Baathists.

The new system proposed by Dr. Allawi would readmit former senior Baathists unless criminal charges are brought against them and they are found guilty in a court, according to a memo sent to all ministries last month by his cabinet head, Zuhair Hamody. The readmission of noncriminal senior Baathists has the approval of the American government.

Security scholars speak out: Security Scholars Say Iraq War Most Misguided Policy Since Vietnam. Text of Letter: An Open Letter to the American People Press release; ; 698 signatures as of 4:00 PM on 12 October 2004.

[Press Release:] The scholars who signed the letter are from over 150 colleges and universities in 40 states, from California to Florida, Texas to Maine. They include many of the nation's most prominent experts on world politics, including former staff members at the Pentagon, the State Department and the National Security Council, as well as six of the last seven Presidents of the American Political Science Association. "I think it is telling that so many specialists on international relations, who rarely agree on anything, are unified in their position on the high costs that the U.S. is incurring from this war," said Professor Robert Keohane of Duke University.

Jubilee Iraq, founded to push for "cancellation of all [Iraqi] odious debt and an end to reparations payments" has condemned James Baker's double-dealing and conflict of interest: Baker double-crosses Iraq.

[From e-mail:] Justin Alexander, Coordinator of Jubilee Iraq says:
“The Carlyle Group was acting against the interests of the Iraqi people and justice by seeking to enforce reparation payments to Kuwait. To profit from the Iraqi people’s suffering is bad enough, for this to be done by a company in which a leading partner and shareholder is supposedly tasked with the job of canceling that debt add a grave conflict of interest to this crime.”
“The story of Saddam’s debt is rotten to the core. The original loans financed the horrific Iran-Iraq war and the Al-Anfal genocide of the Kurds. When James Baker visited Iraq in 1989 as Secretary of State he promised Tariq Aziz additional US loans in spite of the horrific gassing of Kurds at Halabja and other atrocities. The odious nature of the debt means that, at the very least, it must be written of immediately and unconditionally. Many Iraqis go further and demand that the countries that financed Saddam pay them reparations. If justice and not power prevailed in international affairs then Saddam’s creditors would be paying the reparations to Kuwait as well as far greater reparations to the Iraqi people.”

Preparation for draft: Janet Parker: Adults can help young people prepare to face possible draft.

Iraq faces soaring toll of deadly disease.

If Kerry wins... Germany in rethink on Iraq force deployment.

The Spoils! "Influence peddling of the crassest kind". James Baker tries to persuade other countries to forgive Iraqi debt. Meanwhile, the Carlyle Group, with which he is associated, is using this threat to get Kuwait to hire them to recover $28 Billion! Bush special envoy embroiled in controversy over Iraq debt: Bush envoy in Iraq debt controversy.

Iraqi industry crumbles as "reconstruction" proceeds: Messy business: Iraq's state-run industries are crumbling and as yet little has been done to revitalise them.

More on the Afghan "elections": Christian Parenti in Afghanistan: Saturday's Elections Were A "Farce".

US promoting Middle East democracy? Women barred from Saudi elections.

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh spills the secrets of the Iraq quagmire and the war on terror [article and video of interview at UC Berkeley].

Hersh talked about a call he had gotten from a first lieutenant in charge of a unit stationed halfway between Baghdad and the Syrian border. His group was bivouacking outside of town in an agricultural area, and had hired 30 or so Iraqis to guard a local granary. A few weeks passed. They got to know the men they hired, and to like them. Then orders came down from Baghdad that the village would be "cleared." Another platoon from the soldier's company came and executed the Iraqi granary guards. All of them.
"He said they just shot them one by one. And his people, and he, and the villagers of course, went nuts," Hersh said quietly. "He was hysterical, totally hysterical. He went to the company captain, who said, 'No, you don't understand, that's a kill. We got 36 insurgents. Don't you read those stories when the Americans say we had a combat maneuver and 15 insurgents were killed?'
"It's shades of Vietnam again, folks: body counts," Hersh continued. "You know what I told him? I said, 'Fella, you blamed the captain, he knows that you think he committed murder, your troops know that their fellow soldiers committed murder. Shut up. Complete your tour. Just shut up! You're going to get a bullet in the back.' And that's where we are in this war."

US apparently doesn't know where the stuff is: U.S. to Probe Said Vanished Iraq Nukes.

Police training a joke: Police 'training' in Baghdad.

Kurds unhappy being ruled by two corrupt, despotic, parties: Kurds Disillusioned by the Main Parties. Meanwhile: Barzani: Iraqi Kurds Ready To Fight for Kirkuk.

Former Air Force base commander: Ex-DAFB commander says troops used as guinea pigs: Military denies that illness of pilots, crew caused by squalene.

In a March 1999 report, the General Accounting Office accused the Defense Department of a "pattern of deception" and said the military confirmed human tests involving squalene only after investigators found out about them. The Department of Defense says vaccine sent to Dover was accidentally contaminated with squalene. Grieder and other officers believe, however, that it was intentionally introduced to test pilots and crew in Dover.

Must Read! The first account from an Abu Ghraib interrogator: Abu Ghraib interrogator tells his story.

The US is committing criminal behavior in disappearing Al Qaeda suspects, says Human Rights Watch: Report: Al Qaeda suspects have 'disappeared'. Report Summary; Full Report: The United States’ “Disappeared”: The CIA’s Long-Term “Ghost Detainees”.

A few weapons turned in: Militia in Sadr City hand in weapons. But will rebuilding occur? Rebuilding is key to peace in Baghdad slum.

Since the Wall Street Journal e-mail, every reporter in Iraq is rporting it safe for no one. Here is the Miami Herald's reporter's view: Iraq: This is not a safe place to be a foreign journalist

I returned to Baghdad this month after several weeks away, and the change struck me as radical, shocking. Being away for a while, in a genuinely normal place, helps you see that the latest version of normal in Baghdad is not normal at all....
Going anywhere outside Baghdad is extremely risky, as is going to certain parts of the city. Even the formerly safe parts feel dangerous now....
I would think hard before visiting Iraqi friends in their home now -- for their sake, mostly. No Iraqi wants to be suspected of collaborating with, or even associating with, Americans or other foreigners.

Iraq through the looking glass Goal, timetable for Iraq keep changing

WMD? Iraqi nuclear-related materials have vanished.

Some Vets fight for peace: Breaking Ranks: After returning home to Pennsylvania, Mike Hoffman founded Iraq Veterans Against the War. "You realize that the people to blame for this are not the ones you are fighting" [Mother Jones]. Web site of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Another brilliant historical analysis by Robert Fisk: Future generations will struggle to escape the legacy of the disaster in Iraq. " Our betrayals and broken promises have created a kind of irreversible disease that cannot be forgiven."

Greatest danger to female troops: rape: Sexual assaults haunt victims after military discharge.

"I am not just scared of bombs," Longee said. "I'm scared people are going to come in. I am scared of rape happening again...."
What the VA found was that that between 20 and 25 percent of women veterans told them they were sexually assaulted, said Carol O'Brien, director of the Center for Sexual Trauma Services at the Bay Pines VA Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Fla. Between 1 and 2 percent of men also said they experienced a sexual assault.

Medical privacy law being manipulated to protect the military: New law limits details on injured troops: Relatives, even Congress, can be left in the dark about casualties.

Another bunch imprisoned in torture camp for no good reason. It now adds up to thousands: 154 detainees freed from Abu Gharib.

"There was nobody special in this release." [So who cares they've languished in hell for no good reason?]

Even Iraqi puppets tired of US getting all the spoils: Iraqis want a bigger role in rebuilding projects.

New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins weigh in with his account of conditions for reporters in Iraq. No wonder there's so little news for this section: Get Me Rewrite. Now. Bullets Are Flying.

Rash of suicides in US Air force: Suicides Have AF Officials On Edge.

Is it an election, if one of the main groups won't play? Iraqis Fearing a Sunni Boycott of the Election.

While American military commanders say they intend to open up many predominantly Sunni areas now under the control of insurgents, some Sunni tribal and religious leaders say that so far the campaign appears to be having the opposite effect, alienating the people it is supposed to liberate. "What elections are you talking about?" said Raad Rahim Ahmed, a 50-year-old resident of Samarra, who said American soldiers killed his wife and two children when they cleared the city of insurgents last week. "I've lost my entire family," he said. "Why should I trust this government? Why should I vote at all?"

female soldiers in Iraq who get pregnant, even if by rape, cannot get an abortion there: Rape, impregnate and forget them.

Appearance, not substance, all that "democracy" demands. Americans should know that: U.S. Elections in Iraq & Afghanistan: Close Enough for Gov'mnt Work .

Daily life, now that things are on the upswing: Baghdad in despair: Fear is ravaging Baghdad, bred by relentless violence, crime and corruption, and every day it seeps more profoundly into day-to-day life.

CACI International, accused of torture, threatens accusers: Iraq Contractor Threatens Partner.

The heroic troops who would not keep quiet about torture: Abuse by Iraqis 'astonished' guardsman: Staff Sgt. Kevin Maries of Salem says he was ready to fire when he saw guards beating captives, images he's still unable to shake.

Must Read! Marines start to catch on: For Marines, a Frustrating Fight: Some in Iraq Question How and Why War Is Being Waged.

"I feel we're going to be here for years and years and years," said Lance Cpl. Edward Elston, 22, of Hackettstown, N.J. "I don't think anything is going to get better; I think it's going to get a lot worse. It's going to be like a Palestinian-type deal. We're going to stop being a policing presence and then start being an occupying presence. . . . We're always going to be here. We're never going to leave...."
"Every day you read the articles in the States where it's like, 'Oh, it's getting better and better,' " said Lance Cpl. Jonathan Snyder, 22, of Gettysburg, Pa. "But when you're here, you know it's worse every day...."
"The reality right now is that the most dangerous opinion in the world is the opinion of a U.S. serviceman," said Lance Cpl. Devin Kelly, 20, of Fairbanks, Alaska. Lance Cpl. Alexander Jones, 20, of Ball Ground, Ga., agreed: "We're basically proving out that the government is wrong," he said. "We're catching them in a lie...."
A Colombian immigrant, he said he decided to join the Marine Corps after attending the funeral of a friend who had died in the Sept. 11 attacks.... But Perez said he came to think that war in Iraq was unrelated to his anger. "How do I put this?" he said. "First of all, this is a whole different thing. We're supposed to be looking for al Qaeda. They're the ones who are supposedly responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks. This has no connection at all to Sept. 11 because this war started just by telling us about all the nuclear warheads over here." Snyder, who was listening, added: "Pretty much I think they just diverted the war on terrorism. I agree with the Afghanistan war and all the Sept. 11 stuff, but it feels like they left the bigger war over there to come here. And now, while we're on the ground over here, it seems like we're not even close to catching frigging bin Laden...."
Asked if he was concerned that the Marines would be punished for speaking out, Autin responded: "We don't give a crap. What are they going to do, send us to Iraq?"

Mother of Marine in Iraq decries lack of support from Bush administration: My Son, a United States Marine.

Pope joins the Coalition of the Occupying: Vatican buries the hatchet with Blair and Bush over Iraq.

It's a good job if you can get it: Contractor accused of fraud in Iraq. Employees die. Millions made.

Ex-hostage Charles Glass says about Ken Bigley: America could have saved him.

Nothing else could get the Iraqis given any of those lucrative "reconstruction" contracts. Now they get them, because the foreign looters are fleeing the country. Presumably, they'll also be used to channel money to the "right" people in the elections: US-led rebuilding efforts turn to locals in rocky Iraq.

Inmates Were Reportedly Kept Off Books to Speed Transfer to more effective torture centers outside Iraq.

Another step toward a new Iraqi dictatorship: Reimposing controls on the Iraqi press.

Elections fiasco in Afghanistan provides model for Iraq: Afghan candidates boycott election.

Aljazeera drops "occupation" from web site: War of words at al-Jazeera.

US to buy Iraqi elections: Bush to Aid 'Moderate' Parties in Iraq Election. but, after all, the pro-American parties are reviled throughout the country so they need a lot of support so Iraq can have "The best elections money can buy", just like the US.

The administration said its goal is to help the parties "compete effectively" in the campaign and "increase their support among the Iraqi people"...
The administration told lawmakers it will initially spend $30 million on the program, which will include weekly opinion polling of Iraqis, both nationally and in provinces. The polls will be used to identify "issues of interest to the Iraqi people ... and the strengths of the various political parties and candidates."

Parts of the classified Taguba Report on Abu Ghraib have been posted by the Center for Public Integrity: The Abu Ghraib Supplementary Documents.

Ever higher: Oil prices hover near $53 a barrel

Iraqis want the Green Zone back, while Americans are no longer safe there: Iraqis want U.S. out of Green Zone.

Robert Novak continues to claim the Bush administration is planning to withdraw after the elections: Getting out is the silent U.S. policy. But others disagree: Former Gen. Zinni says he expects U.S. to remain in Iraq for 5-10 years. Also: Ex-general says U.S. troops need to stay in Iraq at least 10 years.

US "precision strike" kills 11 at a wedding party. Have they no shame? U.S. Strike Kills 11 at Iraqi Wedding.

More reports of the devastation wrought by the US arrogance: Pentagon 'crippled Iraq aid'.

Interference by the Pentagon delivered a massive blow to efforts to provide humanitarian relief for Iraq after last year's war, according to two US aid experts who struggled with the conflict's chaotic aftermath. In trenchant criticism, the pair say the Department of Defence alienated aid workers, misjudged the scale of looting that wrecked Iraq's health service and sent out bureaucrats who only served to complicate matters.

Child death rate rises in Iraq.

Blame the French, the Russians, anyone but the American and British firms: CIA Blacks Out American & British Names in Iraq Non-WMD Report.

Must Read! Read it and weep: Iraq - the lost generation: A young Iraqi returns to his devastated homeland and commits himself to help rebuild its future.

In the intense summer heat, Iraqis cannot breathe or sleep – and as they jerk their heads backwards in exasperation their cry is “Goddamn the Americans!”. I told them of the Americans I knew, that I had studied, worked and lived with, but they were not interested. Every Iraqi I spoke to regarded Americans as criminals, thieves, hypocrites, perverts, liars – and, of course, foreign invaders.
Iraqis need not look far to find the focus of their hatred. Even after the occupation officially came to an end on 28 June 2004, there were Americans everywhere I went. I saw hundreds of American tanks, helicopters, Humvees; patrols and checkpoints; military vehicles stationed at almost every bridge in Baghdad. American military forces occupy a huge number of buildings across the city, protected by massive concrete slabs and sandbags; they have uprooted a huge number of palm groves in the city to prevent insurgents from hiding there, thereby transforming what were once elegant parks into horrible wastelands. It was not unusual for members of a very slow American patrol to point their guns straight at me when I tried to overtake their vehicle. The Humvees often drive on the wrong side of the street, in order – say Iraqis, who are absolutely convinced of the point – to spite them....
The lost generation of Iraqis (in effect, almost everyone under 45 years old) feels that political discussion is utterly pointless; not only because politics was forbidden for so long, but because the result of politics in Iraq, of all the efforts made by the thousands who worked for the country’s social, economic and political evolution from the 1950s onwards, is the American occupation of Iraq – that is to say, total failure and humiliation....
Iraqis are a dead people. I saw them as they sat in the souk, as they walked through the filth that infests every inch of every street, as they lounged in the luxury or the poverty of their homes. Wherever they were, no matter what their station in life, they breathed the heavy and dusty air of the country into their lungs and sighed in relief every time they expelled it from their bodies. Their despair is constant and all–encompassing; it embraces them when they laugh and when they argue.

Is it relevant to them? Iraqis' Interest in Upcoming Elections Waning, New Poll Shows.

raqi voters are losing interest in elections scheduled for January, and not because they're worried about security....
Only 12.7 percent of those saying they probably wouldn't vote cited security concerns. A lack of information was cited by 37.3 percent; 35.7 said they had no interest. The margin of error was 3.4 percentage points

Danger for journalists means they have no access to what is happening: Letter From Iraq by journalist P. Mitchell Prothero.

Seven percent of the allocated money: U.S. Spent $1.2B to Rebuild Iraq.

More evidence that Paul Bremer was carrying out Bush's direct instructions when he disbanded the Iraqi army, not acting on his own: Inner Circle No More? Paul Bremer’s remarks on Iraq came as an unwelcome surprise to the White House.

“I don’t have any choice. I have to do this.” Garner then protested further, but Bremer cut him off. “The president told me that de-Baathification comes before the immediate needs of the Iraqi people.”

Releases: Hundreds More Prisoners Released From Abu Ghraib. Among them: Sadr aide released from U.S. detention in Iraq after almost a year in hell!

The full text of the Iraq Survey Group WMD Report: Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD. A Key Findings document is also available there. Of course: U.S. 'Almost All Wrong' on Weapons: Report on Iraq Contradicts Bush Administration Claims.

Prescient, as always, Tom Engelhardt points out that: Withdrawal on the agenda.


Newsweek report Christopher Dickey thinks the US lost when they arrived: Freedom’s Just Another Word: Looking ahead to four more years of snatching defeat from victory in Iraq.

can tell you the week the United States lost the war in Iraq. It was 18 months ago. Baghdad had fallen with almost no resistance. The dictator Saddam Hussein had fled. A U.S. Marine draped an American flag over the tyrant’s statue and then Symbolic Saddam was dragged to the ground, proclaiming Iraq’s freedom with a photo op.
Freedom. What could that mean to Iraqis? Many things. What did it mean? Looting. Baghdad, which surrendered virtually intact, was soon torn apart by mobs of scavengers sacking government buildings, pillaging the great museums, ransacking the struggling hospitals, vivisecting the electrical guts of the national infrastructure just to strip copper from the wiring. Meanwhile the American soldiers on the scene stood by, and watched, and did nothing, because nobody told them to do otherwise and, anyway, there weren’t enough of them on the ground to impose order....
The most likely course of events in the years to come will be a rapid disintegration of Iraq, with the Kurdish north ever more independent, the center of the country--including much of Baghdad--a virtual no-go zone and the mullahs in the south, by design or default, positioning it as a new Shiite Islamic Republic. All those trends are well advanced already, and partial elections in the north and the south will probably hasten the outcome. But many more Americans will die before the administration declares “parts of former Iraq are winning freedom....”
George Orwell had the key words about right, describing the party slogans of another time, another place: “WAR IS PEACE; FREEDOM IS SLAVERY; IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.”

A ride from the airport can be a life-changing event for a reporter: Dan Neil: On highway to Baghdad, safest vehicle is a surprise.

At this moment visitors become aware of, become a part of, Baghdad's caste system of the protected and the unprotected, the powerful and the powerless.

Before she was silenced [sent on "vacation"] for describing life in Baghdad, Wall Street Journal reporter Farnaz Fassihi described what life is like for those Iraqis unfortunate enough to live in the 51st US state, the Green Zone: For Iraqi Families, 'Green Zone' Is Hardly an Oasis.

When Omar and Esma Jumah planned their son Ali's second-birthday party recently, they ran into a big problem: Under orders of the U.S. government, they can invite only one adult Iraqi guest to their house at a time. That's because the family lives in Baghdad's "International Zone," the fortress-like foreign encampment run by the U.S. military.... The Jumahs are among the 12,000 to 14,000 Iraqis who live within the zone simply because their homes were already in the 6-square-mile security area the U.S. military staked out when it arrived nearly 18 months ago....
"I miss living in Baghdad," says the 27-year-old Mr. Jumah. "I don't know where this is we are living."

Liberation? More women wearing head scarves in Iraq.

Patrick Cockburn asserts: Elections Will Not End the Fighting in Iraq: Against a Countrywide Rebellion, the Capture of Samarra is a Bloody, But Useless, Gesture.

American generals in Iraq triumphantly announced at the weekend that they had successfully taken over Samarra and killed 125 insurgents. They failed to mention that this is the third time they have captured this particular city on the Tigris river north of Baghdad in the past 18 months.

From Egypt: Prominent Sunni cleric: Wartime kidnapping is permissible.

Powerless Iraqi Interim President doesn't want all out war: Iraq president says does not want to storm Falluja But PM Allawi does: Allawi sounds note of gravity on war.

Association of Muslim Scholars: Muslim cleric warns of jihad if killings of civilians continue.

Two casualties: Mother of soldier killed in Iraq collapses, dies: 'Her grief was so intense,' hospital worker says.

Italian businessman hostage killed, after Italian government did nothing: Killing prompts anger in Italy.

US to "investigate" another possible war crime, only after it airs on TV, even though it has been available for a long time: Take them out, dude: pilots toast hit on Iraqi 'civilians'. [Available in Video section in right column.]

Rabid right wingers, including Lynne Cheney, to "train" Iraqi women [in how to listen to their Republican bosses?]: Administration Chooses Anti-Feminist Group to Train Iraqi Women.

The IWF, which, according to its mission statement was “established to combat the women-as-victim, pro-big-government ideology of radical feminism,” has taken a number of controversial positions over the years in pursuit of that goal. It has strongly opposed the UN Convention for the Elimination Against Women (CEDAW) in part on the grounds that it would permit mandate governments to enforce laws guaranteeing equal pay for equal work.... It has also objected to CEDAW’s requirements that governments guarantee “maternity leave with pay" and child care facilities as well as its suggestions for minimum quotas to ensure that women are represented at all levels in governments.
IWF staff, meanwhile, consists primarily of former Republican activists with extensive government and lobbying experience but little or no experience in democracy promotion, international affairs, or the Middle East. [Sounds like the CPA all over again.]

Juan Cole Sistani demands the elections take place across the country, while al-Sadr now says he'll boycott: Sistani's Threat: January Elections are a Must. He also has a letter from Iraq describing the Interim Government as "the United States has created the planet's supreme kleptocracy in record time": Corruption in the Interim Government: "The Planet's Supreme Kleptocracy".

[Corruption:] The elections themselves may well be rigged by recognising overseas Iraqis as being entitled to vote while disenfranchising large segments of the native population.... Meanwhile an Iraqi friend who was recently in Baghdad sadly reported, "The most lasting contribution of the United States will be hundreds of miles of concrete barriers."

former Iraqi dictator L. Paul Bremer now says the occupation was blown from the start, due to inadequate troop levels, though he still supports the invasion and occupation: Bremer Criticizes Troop Levels: Ex-Overseer of Iraq Says U.S. Effort Was Hampered Early On.

The New York Times reports that al-Sadr still has fierce support: On Baghdad Streets, Loyalty to Rebel Cleric Is Still Fierce. No wonder the US occupation is determined to crush him and his supporters, they can't allow any independent popular Iraqi force to survive: Sadr City 'targeted by US forces'. Why is the second most popular man in Iraq a "rebel"?

VERY revealing. Michael Moore’s new book will be on the letters he has received from the military. For a sampling, read on. Dear Mike, Iraq sucks.

Ancient history revisited. History has shown the impossibility of closing Iraq’s borders. Have the brainchildren of this one seen a map? Iraq plans 300 forts along borders

Tears for Samarra from Riverbend: Samarra Burning...

A week ago, four men were caught by Iraqi security in the area of A'adhamiya in Baghdad. No one covered this on television or on the internet, as far as I know- we heard it from a friend involved in the whole thing. The four men were caught trying to set up some explosives in a residential area by some of the residents themselves. One of the four men got away, one of them was killed on the spot and two were detained and interrogated. They turned out to be a part of Badir's Brigade (Faylaq Badir), the militia belonging to the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Should the culprits never have been caught, and should the explosives have gone off, would Zarqawi have been blamed? Of course.

You can’t please all the people all the time, especially when you say the insurgency is right. (the last paragraph is priceless) Italians fall out of love with ‘two Simonas’.

Thomas G. Palaima writes of: The Human Toll Behind the Iraq Statistics.

Reports that 300 Iraqis, many children, are wounded daily by bombs, explosions, and mines: Daily mine injuries in Iraq surpass 300. That's around 9,000 a month!

Will questions for Dick be hard enough or long enough? Ten Questions For Dick Cheney

Watch John Pilger's film: Breaking The Silence online. "A hard hitting special report into the 'war on terror'".

risking life, but got a job. Sounds like workers everywhere, only magnified: Iraq's New Police: Scared, but at Least Employed.

Pro-occupation exile parties, with no Iraqi support, move to unite and rig elections. CIA anyone? Iraq Parties Join Forces to Avert Defeat.

Italian minister proposes to invite al-Sadr to Iraq Int'l Conference.

"I believe al-Sadr, despite the ferocious actions carried out by his militia, is not a common terrorist but rather a figure looking to be legitimised politically," Frattini told Corriere della

Torture at Guantanamo only for its own sake: The real truth about Camp Delta. "America's prison camp at Guantánamo Bay holds detainees in extreme conditions. But David Rose, in this extract from his remarkable new book [Guantánamo Bay: America's War on Human Rights], says the intelligence gathered has failed to stop any terror attacks."

'This woman had come down and she plays me the video. I say: "Are you blind? That doesn't look anything like me." But it makes no difference. I'd got to the point where I just couldn't take any more. "Do what you have to do," I told them. I'd been sitting there for three months in isolation, so I say, "Yes, it's me. Go ahead and put me on trial."'

the second looming civil war. 100,000 Kurds demonstrate, demanding Kirkuk, with 200,000 arabs, be part of the Kurdish region: Kurds demonstrate for Kirkuk.

Prior to Allawi's visit, Anthony Cordesman and Jon Alterman of the Center for Strategic & International Studies had an extensive background discussion on the state of Iraq: Experts to Analyze Prospects for Uniting, Stabilizing Iraq. A related BBC story gives a preview: Pentagon Iraq strategy 'failing'.

Cordesman: Let me make an important point here. Some of you may see what is called the Daily Security Report. The press isn't coming close to reporting the total number of incidents and problems that occur. [Laughter] That sheet is, shall we say, filled with incidents. What's striking about them is that somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of all the incidents occur in Baghdad, not in the Sunni Triangle.

While not anti-occupation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies recent report is full of useful data: Progress or Peril? Measuring Iraq’s Reconstruction.

As of July 30, the Brookings Institution's Michael E. O'Hanlon estimated civilian deaths as "11,400-22,200 Estimated number of Iraqi civilians killed as a result of violence from war and crime between the declared end of major combat operations on April 30, 2003 and July 30, 2004" Iraq: A Quantitative Assessment.

The US may get its stated wish and worst nightmare: Militant Cleric Considers Entry Into Iraqi Politics.

Mr. Sadr appears to be particularly interested in cultivating disaffected political groups that did not cooperate with the American occupation and which are not now part of the interim Iraqi government. Those smaller parties, in turn, are keenly interested in tapping the vast support enjoyed by the 31-year-old cleric among Iraq's poor....
Mr. Smesim said Mr. Sadr's two major conditions were the involvement of the United Nations, which is already assisting in the elections here, and the absence of any interference from American and British military forces in the electoral process....
According to the same Iraqis, Mr. Sadr's aides have begun to work closely with Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi exile who was once a favorite of the Bush administration but who has since fallen out of favor. In recent weeks, Mr. Chalabi has been advising Mr. Sadr's aides in their search for allies, and he has encouraged members of the Shiite Council, a political alliance that he is a part of, to join with Mr. Sadr. Mr. Chalabi and his allies appear to be interested in tapping the vast support that Mr. Sadr enjoys among Iraqis poor and lower-class Shiites.

Coalition getting smaller? Italy Hints At Iraq Withdrawal: Official Says Exit Could Come After Iraqi Elections.

What's going on? Chaos grips bid to free hostages held in Iraq: High-profile deal to liberate journalists held by Iraqi militants clashes with Chirac's diplomatic manoeuvres.

Trying to learn while facing daily horror: Fear masks Baghdad's children as they return to school in rebel hotspots.

New theory on Gulf War Syndrome. Will we see more in current troops 13 years from now? Nerve Problem May Explain Gulf War Symptom.

Reaction to tragic horror not what US would have hoped: Mourning Iraqis blame U.S. troops for massacre of children.

British detainee still in Guantanamo concentration camp tells of torture and witnessing killings at US hands: Guantanamo Briton tells of torture and death threats.

Juan Cole reports that Jay Garner's [remember him?] orders were to turn Iraq over to Ahmad Chalabi in six months: Debate and Chalabi.

Borzou Daragahi asks: Have Allawi and Iraq's leaders lost the common touch? Observers worry that a marginalized body politic will not embrace elections.

Iraqi children don't dare go to school: Peril in Iraq puts off schools' start, again.

US lies on number of jobs created, and everything else: U.S. Misstates Own Job Creation Figures in Iraq.

Administration to cut off access to truth, such as the number of insurgent attacks, or the fact that the Bush administration wrote much of "Prime Minister" [a.k.a., puppet leader] Allawi's speech to congress: U.S. Effort Aims to Improve Opinions About Iraq Conflict. Some aren't happy that the speech was a fake: Report on U.S. Role in Allawi Speech Stirs Complaint.

[U.S. Effort:] The memo says the presentations are "designed to be uplifting accounts with good news messages."

Protest, Resistance, and Civil War

Occupation Resistance Analysis

The roundup. Now come the torture? 3,000 'gunmen' arrested in Iraq in recent days.

Arab News calls for new thinking, not attack, over Falluja: Editorial: Fallujah: Need to Think Again.

The Guardian claims the attack on Falluja is beginning; Major assault heralded as US artillery pounds Falluja.

Deadly Saturday [read next three items]: Car Bomb Kills 7 at Al Arabiya TV in Baghdad.

Massacre Saturday by "anti-Iraqi" forces of the occupation government: Iraqi Forces Fire on Six Vehicles.

Iraqi forces opened fire Saturday on six vehicles, including three minibuses, after a U.S. convoy came under attack in central Iraq, killing or injuring more than a dozen people, witnesses said....
Witnesses said Iraqi troops opened fire randomly and used hand grenades, hitting three minibuses and three trucks....
An APTN cameraman saw at least 18 bodies, while witnesses said there were more than 20 people killed in the incident. The footage also showed the morgue of Iskandariyah Hospital packed with bodies stacked on top of each other.

Eight marines have been killed and at least nine wounded in Anbar province: US marines killed near Falluja.

Falluja talks go nowhere, as intended. Attack on the way: Sunni association says chances for peaceful resolution in Fallujah don't look good.

A preview of horror to come: Behind Fallujah strategy: The US hopes a hard strike on the city will send a message to other militants. Its amazing how easily the US press reports bragging about mass murder.

"One thought going around now is: 'Why doesn't Iraq look like [post-World War II] Germany or Japan, which knew they had been defeated?' " says John Pike, a military analyst who heads in Alexandria, Va. "One of the challenges we are facing now is these people don't know they have been defeated," he says. "Fallujah will be an opportunity for them to be crushed decisively and for them to taste defeat...."
"The logic is: You flatten Fallujah, hold up the head of Fallujah, and say 'Do our bidding, or you're next,' " says Toby Dodge, an Iraq analyst at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London.
"My gut hunch is that, as soon as [polls close], everything will break loose over there," says Mr. Pike at "[US forces] will have every sniper in the country go into Fallujah."

Falluja attack next week, right after the US elections: This is your last chance, Fallujah rebels are told as US prepares ground attack. After butchering 100,000 civilians while taking it easy, can you imagine the horrors about to be visited upon Iraq, now that the US is going to "get tough."

Eleven more dead: Group Claims to Kill Kidnapped Iraq Troops.

Thursday: Two U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq.

Iraqi gunmen kill Iraq TV anchorwoman.

Another: Iraq armed group takes Polish woman hostage: TV.

It's coming: U.S. military action signals showdown in Iraq.

As the US prepares to destroy Falluja in order to save it, they are loosing control of Ramadi: Provincial Capital Near Falluja Is Rapidly Slipping Into Chaos. And Falluja insurgents prepare for the attack: Iraq's Falluja: nest of fury for U.S. troops.

They're only Iraqis, after all. You can't expect their masters, the occupiers, or their puppets to care about them. That would upset the natural order: Iraqi police placed in the firing line without weapons.

"I have officers going out to face men armed with the latest guns - call them terrorists, the resistance, what you will - unarmed. It is not just they who are in danger, but their families get attacked too. I have repeatedly asked for more protection, but hardly anything ever happens. It is not just the Americans, no one from our government came to visit this station after we had so many people killed...."
He waved at a file of police cars, and battered pick-ups, about to roll out on patrol. "None of these is bulletproof. You won't see Americans driving around Baghdad in them, of course, and the same with the foreign contractors. They have these armoured Toyota Land Cruisers which cost about $200,000 [£110,000]."

Preparations for massive destruction. Where is the world? Americans prepare for the 'final assault' on rebel stronghold.

Massive attack likely [Nov. 3rd?]: Military Assault in Falluja Is Likely, U.S. Officers Say. There are reports the town is largely deserted: Falluja emptied of women and children.

Senior Iraqi diplomat assassinated in Baghdad: FM source.

A happy welcome? Insurgents in Latifiyah eager to battle British.

Insurgent Group Claims 11 Iraqi Hostages.

No casualties: Four car bombs explode in northern Iraqi city.

US Troops Reinforce After Falluja Air Strike.

Bombings across Iraq kill at least 9, including 2 coalition soldiers.

So why has Falluja been the most savagely attacked city? They dare to say no. I Dread What Is Going To Happen In Falluja.

Here’s another idea sure to endear us to the Arabs—kill more of them, only under legal pretenses: 150 Arab fighters face death penalty in Iraq.

Claims: Insurgents united under one banner in western Iraq: Islamic Movement for the Mujahedeen of Iraq formed to organize factions better, coordinate their effort.

Killings designed to shock may backfire: Arab News Editorial: Exhibition Killing.

They're everywhere: Zarqawi group claims Iraq recruit mass murder.

Precision strikes kill more civilians Sunday: Six killed in US air strike on Fallujah.

In what way? Moqtada Sadr Ready to Support Mujahideens in Fallujah.

Escalation of death: Bodies of 50 Iraqi soldiers found.

American diplomat killed in Iraq.

This article gives an amazing account of the magnitude of the insurgency: Chaos Inside The Triangle Of Death.

In gathered intelligence for one 48-hour period, OIR (operational incident reports) for the whole of Iraq include 14 bombings, seven other bombs found, 30 attacks involving small-arms fire, 37 attacks on coalition convoys and patrols, 10 RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) or hand-grenade attacks and 34 other ‘‘indirect fire’’ attacks....
One military analyst questioned the focus on Fallujah, given the problems that existed elsewhere. ‘‘The sheer scale of the number of insurgency groups now in Iraq, and how they have operated so far, indicates that many of the insurgency groups will have already split into smaller cells and simply moved their operations out of Fallujah into other parts of Iraq. Fallujah will be a political prize, and when recaptured will be hailed a crucial step towards democracy. The reality? The insurgency groups will already be preparing their responses elsewhere in Iraq.’’

Let us go! We can do better than the Americans: British officers lobbied US to send troops to danger zone.

Peter Beaumont on the battle for Falluja: Falluja's fighters dig in for the final onslaught.

Saturday: Iraq: 26 killed on horrific day of violence.

Saturday, more die: 14 Iraqi Security Officers Killed by Car Bombs. Six Americans were also wounded. Later in the day, the numbers increase: Suicide bombers kill 20 Iraqis.

Oil pipelines attacked.

No letup: U.S. continues airstrikes, ground assaults against insurgent targets in Fallujah.

In Mosul: Shooting Erupts During U.S. Raid on Iraq Mosque.

Another night: Seven dead in US air raids.

Getting good training: U.S. official: Insurgents infiltrate Iraqi security forces, flush with Saudi money.

U.S. military analysts foresee little chance of the insurgency evaporating during the next few years, the official said. Attacks have increased by about 25 percent since the beginning of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month that began last weekend, with most of the attacks car bombs and strikes on civilians, rather than direct assaults on U.S. forces.

11American soldiers wounded as Iraqi family killed by US fire in Fallujah. It appears that a number of women and children died in this bombing: 'Eight dead' in Iraq car bombs. And Thursday: Baghdad Bus Attacked by Gunmen, Four Killed as they went to work at a US base.

Having been in Falluja three times during the April siege, Patrick Graham knows what the coming US onslaught means: Falluja in their sights: As soon as British troops are redeployed, the US will again turn the city into a bloodbath.

The dead were buried in gardens or in mass graves in the city's soccer field. For three weeks 5,000 marines surrounded the city of 340,000 - think an assault on Cardiff. The marines created a moving front line of humvees and tanks, cutting Falluja off. In the air, helicopters and fighter planes bombed a city without air defences, while unmanned drones circled continuously, looking for targets.

Fighting and dying continue in pacified Samarra Clashes in Iraq's Samarra kill at least six. Meanwhile, a report that 300 Iraqi troops deserted when ordered to join the Samarra attack: 300 Iraqi soldiers abandon unit in Samarra.

Voices from a Falluja family. Lets hope the world hears before its too late: Failure in Fallujah.

"What did this teach us about the Americans?" asks Mrs. Salim. "First we thought the Americans came to liberate our country, but now our conclusion is the opposite. We know they came to destroy our country...."
Within 30 minutes – after waiting, in case of a second U.S. strike – Salim made his way in the dark down to the two-family house that was targeted. He will never forget the image that greeted him, and never forgive. "Most of them were children, all of them dead," Salim says, of the families he helped dig out of the rubble with bare hands. "When something happens, everybody runs there to help rescue, like an ambulance - maybe a friend will be [the victim] there."

Family of six killed in "precision" strike. Teachers college also attacked from the air: Falluja raid kills family of six.

US planes fired two rockets into the house of a couple and their four children early on Wednesday.... A US military statement said the raids targeted houses used by forces of the militant leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whom the US is keen to capture.

Iraqi pipeline to Turkey set ablaze.

Released Australian journalist: They weren't savages: kidnapped Aussie.

Mr Martinkus said his captors had threatened to kill him, but treated him with respect once they established he was independent. "These guys ... (are) not stupid," he told reporters. "They're fighting a war but they're not savages. They're not actually just killing people willy-nilly. They talk to you, they think about things. (From their perspective) there was a reason to kill (British hostage Ken) Bigley, there was a reason to kill the Americans; there was not a reason to kill me (and) luckily I managed to convince them of that...."
Mr Martinkus also demanded a personal apology from Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who yesterday said the journalist had been captured when he went to an area of Baghdad against advice.... "Alexander Downer doesn't know his geography very well," he said. "I was actually across the road from the Australian embassy when I was kidnapped. He should apologise to me, actually – personally."

Kidnapped in Iraq: a survivor's story.

Will the Iron Boot work: Military flashes more steel in Iraq: Will it work?

Its been a quiet week in Iraq: How Many Iraqis Are Dying? By One Count, 208 in a Week

War is hell, they discover: Marines Vent Frustration in Western Iraq.

Insurgency Threw a Wrench Into Military's Supply Planning: Despite improvements, the Army is still stretching to meet goals for equipping soldier.

This time its mortars: Four killed in attack on Iraqi national guard post.

Now its CARE's turn: Top aid official kidnapped in Iraq.

U.S. Tightens Cordon Around Fallujah as Medical Aid Arrives.

Respite while the killing machine gets reinforcements: Fallujah enjoys respite as US troops await manpower.

Monday fighting and dying: Death toll climbs as Falluja siege continues.

A fear of escalating violence in the new pledge of allegiance: Zarqawi sends fresh chills across Iraq.

He added that “the pledge of allegiance gives the lie to claims by the US administration that (ousted Iraqi president) Saddam Hussein had links with Al Qaeda via Zarqawi.”
These allegations, in addition to claims that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction, were used by the United States as a pretext to invade and occupy Iraq.
The purported pledge of allegiance came in a statement attributed to Zarqawi’s Tawhid wal Jihad (Unity and Holy War) group and posted on a website on Sunday.

Car bomb and Russian President "endorsement" for Bush: Five Iraqis killed in Mosul blast as Putin says attacks aim to prevent Bush re-election.

Fighting rages across the British-controlled south: In Iraq, the peaceful south gets deadlier with every day: Life is dangerous enough for British soldiers without redeployment.

One evening I drove with British soldiers through downtown Basra, escorting a couple of American National Guards to the Basra Palace compound. Traffic was heavy, and the larger American sat twitching in the back. He wished he had taken the "chopper" the few miles up the road. An ambulance approached, its blue lights cutting through the darkness. A soldier up on top of our Land Rover waved the ambulance on. Peering out of the window on the back door, the American panicked: "Whoa," he said, "they should have shot that guy." No vehicle, ambulance or otherwise, can drive past a US convoy for fear of suicide bombers.

Pepe Escobar deconstructs the US-constructed al-Zarqawi myth: Zarqawi - Bush's man for all seasons.

But not a single source, anywhere, claims to have actually seen "Zarqawi" since late 2001 in Afghanistan. Ask the Pentagon. Ask the CIA. Ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation. No one, on the record, is able to independently verify that "Zarqawi" actually exists. There are no photos - only that same CIA-owned black and white. The CIA doesn't even know how tall or how fat "Zarqawi" is. All the literature on "Zarqawi" since late 2001 springs from dubious "confessions" by prisoners and "statements" by all sorts of people claiming to be "Zarqawi"....
Zarqawi was extremely useful to defuse attention from the Abu Ghraib scandal: the Berg video showed up at the height of Abu Ghraib. The "Zarqawi" in the video does not speak Arabic with a Jordanian accent. His legs seem pretty normal. And crucially, he wears a golden ring, which for an authentic jihadi would be the ultimate affront....
"Zarqawi" is much like a movie. Fake leg or not, return of the living dead or not, he is everywhere. American corporate media do not even bother to examine all the holes in the story. Who cares? Without Zarqawi, the Bush administration would have to painfully admit that the Iraqi resistance is a national liberation struggle. With Zarqawi, the administration can parrot to oblivion the line that Iraq is in the frontline of the "war on terror"....
The neo-cons would lose a formidable asset: after all they now insist Zarqawi is sponsored by Tehran. Yet another measure of the neo-cons' ignorance of the Muslim world is how they put all cats - Wahhabi al-Qaeda, secular Iraqi Ba'athists and Iranian Shi'ite mullahs - in the same bag. So the world should expect more "Zarqawi" merchandise - emails, threats, communiques, grisly videos. "Zarqawi" lives. What a legend. He's unstoppable. And he votes Bush. [for more "Zarqawi" merchandise, see posting below]

Claim Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group have pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda. Given the number of false claims about al-Zarqawi, one should wait a while for confirmation. Everything of this nature right now should be considered a US reelect Bush stunt until proven otherwise: Iraq militants confirm Al Qaeda links: statement

Bomb blast shatters Baghdad cafe popular with Iraqi police personnel.

Seven Iraqis Die in Falluja Battles, Baghdad Attack.

Nine Iraqi Police Killed in Ambush.

Falluja fighting continues: Air, ground battle rages for Fallujah.

Corrupt deal in Sadr City: A Guns-for-Dollars Swap in a Militant Stronghold Misses Its Target.

Mr. Hassan and a group of men standing around him also said Iraqi troops were demanding money to be let in to the weapons-exchange area.

The BBC spoke by phone to a reporter in besieged Falluja: Inside besieged Falluja.

I am not aware of any foreign fighters in Falluja. If there are any foreigners here, they have blended in very well with the locals. Foreigners used to frequent the city in the past, but many of them were forced to leave under a deal the city's leaders struck with the government. Ninety-nine percent of the fighters here are Fallujans. Local clan leaders are broadly opposed to any kind of foreign presence in the city because they fear they may be spies....
Hospitals have all but run out of supplies and most people know this.... The Iraqi health ministry has not sent any extra supplies. Food supplies are also running out. All shops are shut....
The ordinary people of Falluja still want a peaceful solution - but they knew war was inevitable when Prime Minister Iyad Allawi issued his ultimatum earlier this week.... They say the Americans are attacking them because of wounded pride. They say they are motivated by revenge.

US butchery in Falluja: 'They want Zarqawi. They can't kill him so they're killing us'.

Mazin Younis, an Iraqi -born human rights activist from Manchester who visited Fallujah to investigate the damage, found that the overwhelming number of attacks have been on civilian targets....
"People in Fallujah say they are being punished," said Mr Younis. "Ordinary people are being killed. I had a meal in a kebab restaurant called Hajji Hussain. It was full of families. Two days later it was bombed by the Americans." The US military maintained the kebab house was in fact a front for a command and control centre for Tawhid and Jihad....
The Americans and Iraq's interim Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, have demanded that the town hand over Zarqawi, supposedly based there, or face retribution. Civic leaders have protested that this is an impossible demand. They point out that the Americans, for all their military might and a reward of $25m, have not managed to capture or kill the Jordanian-born militant. Rahim Haidar Mohammed, a resident of Fallujah, said: "The Americans have created a bogeyman in Zarqawi. We haven't seen him. They can't kill him, so they kill us. We are just waiting for the big attack."

Helicopters crash: Six GIs Killed in Iraq Bombings, Crashes.

Another day in Iraq: Five Churches, Hospital Bombed in Baghdad. And Iraqi photographer shot dead in Iraq. And: Car bomb kills four U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

US apparently lays siege to Falluja in preparation for their forthcoming attack: U.S., Iraqi forces establish checkpoints in Falluja.

[8 AM EDT] US assault on Falluja may be underway! Death and destruction to re-elect Bush! US forces continue strikes on Falluja [Guardian]. And Aljazeera's account: US military steps up bombing of Falluja.

[Guardian:] Yesterday, residents reported huge US bombardments by planes and armoured vehicles, describing what they said was the most intensive shelling since US forces began attacks on the city. One resident said US forces were using loudspeakers in the west of the city to urge Falluja fighters to lay down their arms "because we are going to push into Falluja".

That's what you call negotiations! U.S. forces arrest top Falluja negotiator.

Four Americans among the dead in Green Zone bombings: Four Americans killed in Green Zone blasts. In total: 8 Americans among 29 killed in Iraq.

Who are they? Iraq's Suicide Bombers Remain Lethal Mystery.

Deadly night for Iraqi National Guard: 15 soldiers killed in Iraq violence.

Green Zone deadly: Blasts Kill at Least 8 in Baghdad's Green Zone.

Is the Mahdi Army strengthening itself? Disarmament is 'mirage': The cash-for-weapons program is putting money in insurgents' hands for more armaments, some say. Meanwhile: At least 500 Sadr partisans held in US prisons in Iraq.

Allawi: turn over Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or else! Of course, no one knows where in the hell he is. Is this the pretext for the bloody assault on Falluja, or just a stunt to influence the US elections? Falluja threatened over militants.

If Zarqawi and his group are not handed over to us, we are ready for major operations in Falluja," Mr Allawi told Iraq's interim national council. "We will not be lenient." [Get ready for bloodbath, to set an example for the rest of Iraq.]

Fighting and dying continue Wednesday: 6 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq Attacks.

Four U-S soldiers killed in separate roadside bombings.

US bombing of Falluja continues, killing more civilians: Civilians killed in Falluja missile strike.

U.S. Steps Up Iraq Attacks Before Ramadan.

Sadr City deal may be breaking down: Amnesty defied as militants hang on to their arms.

Claim: Iraqi police arrest al-Qaeda member in Najaf.

Now the mosques! Given the abysmal quality of US intelligence, they will raid many mosques that are involved in nothing more than prayer: Iraqi forces raid Ramadi mosques.

bombing restaurants: Fallujah Strikes.

The future? Wide attacks threatened if US enters Fallujah.

The attack on Samarra, long a thorn for the US military, was in part meant as a dress rehearsal for taking Fallujah, but has had mixed results. US and Iraqi troops patrol the streets in Samarra now, the military said, but they failed to capture any major insurgent leaders or any of the suspected large cells of foreign Arab fighters.

Mosque on Fire After U.S. Air Strikes in West Iraq.

Elections, in US come first, then the Iron Boot: Coalition to cease rebel attacks during US election.

Large-scale assaults on cities such as Ramadi or Fallujah will be put on hold for fear that large numbers of US troops could be killed or injured, Government officials told the Los Angeles Times. “When this election’s over, you’ll see us move very vigorously,” one senior administration official was quoted as saying. “Once you’re past the election, it changes the political ramifications.”

Five US dead Sunday and Monday: More U.S. Casualties in Iraq.

Mehdi Army starts weapons hand-over: Militias begin disarming in Baghdad.

WMD, in Iraq's future, not past: The Other Weapons Threat in Iraq.

The new Iraq: Beheadings now routine for Iraqi pathologist. And he's NOT referring to foreign hostages.

Another day: Baghdad car bombing kills 17: Police say 7 victims were women; second car bomb kills only driver.

US troops find no young men. Notice that either all families are involved in the resistance to occupation, or else many or most of those hiding are noncombatants: Scouring Iraq for Enemies, Finding Farmers and Mud/

Deal. But will it be carried out? get ready for the US to arrest another Sadr aide after November 2: Militia to disarm in Sadr City peace deal: Plan could end weeks of insurgent battles.

U.S, Iraqi Troops Foil Car Bomb Attack.

US Master Plan for occupation: U.S. plan for Iraq starts with taming insurgents. Wouldn't it be far easier to leave Iraq to the Iraqis?

reports that British hostage Kenneth Bigley is dead: Zarqawi Group Kills British Hostage in Iraq-TV.

The Christian Science Monitor reports on US "attacks" on town that clearly want nothing to do with them: For marines on raids, an eerie silence.

Racing on foot past a street barrier, the marines found the building and burst through two doors - thinking the house was linked inside. They shot the chain off one door to gain entry, an irregular step the platoon leader later quizzed a marine about, saying it could have been removed without firepower. Inside, a terrified family watched as they ransacked the rooms for evidence. During the raid, the man of the house was spreadeagled on the floor; the complaining but cooperative mother rushed to find her black shawl to cover her night clothes; children were led to a back room. Another boy was found with his head in his hands behind the bed. After a short time, the marines realized the family was innocent. "Oh, this is the wrong one," groaned Nicholson.

Eight killed in Fallujah strike.

The enemy's in the gates: Bomb discovered in heavily fortified Green Zone.

This alleged e-mail from an embedded CNN correspondent is quite different than the account in most US press. Make sure to read the Second Message Not A CNN Embed Report: The Situation In Samarra. When will Americans rise up to stop the butchery in our name?

The rage and frusteration equally so, from the hospital officials to the mourners. “only 1% of the population of Samarra was the insugerncy and they all left after the first night, why all the bombing? Who is it that died? Children, women, innocents? And for what? The insurgents were long gone!” was the mildest of reations coming from the head of the city council, who claims that he met with US and Iraqi officials in Baghdad 3 days before the offensive asking for more time....
I rather harshly questioned him as to what he was basing the statement that the majority of those killed were fighters to which he replied “they were men of fighting age” which I found to be a rather silly statement given that the most males fall within that age group, so I got rather aggravated and backed off from the interview, especially given that the military estimates that there are about 200-300 fighters in the city, and in a city of 200,000 to claim that all men of fighting age were insurgents...
As I looked over the graveyard I remembered a comment that a top level commanding general had made the night before as choppers were dropping hellfire missles “what a lovely sound” he had said.

Another possible deal for al-Sadr: Militia of rebel cleric offers truce.

Thursday: Rocket attack hits Baghdad hotel: U.S., Iraqi troops expand offensive.

Another checkpoint bombing: Bomb kills 16 Iraqis at checkpoint: Suicide driver also injures about 30; troops move on insurgent strongholds.

Perhaps its a sign they don't want to be occupied: U.S. soldiers will remain in Samarra indefinitely, officials say

To prevent any chance that militants could recapture Samarra - as they have twice before following previous U.S. and Iraqi operations - two U.S. battalions, 600 provincial police officers and a special elite police battalion will remain stationed there, Batiste said.

growing doubts about al-Zarqawi's strength: Al-Zarqawi may not be behind Iraq attacks: Intelligence says group too small to do what he claims or is blamed for. But the US is succeeding in making him a hero to many Iraqis: Sympathy for al-Zarqawi Grows Among Iraqis Amid US Airstrikes.

Wednesday, near the Syrian border: Bomb kills army recruits in Iraq.

Pentagon: About 200 Hurt in Iraq Last Week.

The world's most hazardous profession? More policemen die: Ten policemen killed in Iraq.

Another massive US attack. They obviously are trying the overwhelming force strategy: American and Iraqi forces launch major operation in central Iraq.

Allawi claims: Peace Deal Reached With al-Sadr.

Juan Cole describes the insurgent's goal as inspiring an urban revolution: 41 Dead, over 100 Wounded. 2 US soldiers Killed Sunday.

Fighting across Iraq Monday and Tuesday: U.S. Warplanes Bomb Baghdad Slum.

Five decapitated Iraqis discovered.

The horror of Sammara: Appointment in Samarra: An eyewitness account of the vicious battle to retake the Iraqi city.

"Our worst-case scenario is where we have an enemy who is not coming out to fight," says Pangelinan. [Isn't it amazing how much the Americans resent an enemy who doesn't come out and die cleanly.]

From the command post September is second-deadliest 2004 month in Iraq.

It’s now raining bombs in Falluja. Civilian casualties minimal: only those playing underneath killed. US warplanes strike “insurgents” targets in Falluja.

Can the Iraqi resistance be far behind? A Shiite-Sunni Islamist 'high command' [for the Middle East] may be forming.

The horror in Sammara. The majority of the dead in the hospital are... women and children. The US-appointed Interim President condemns the bombing from the air of Iraqi cities: Samarra locals' fury at US raids.

Monday car bombs: Car Bombs in Iraq Kill 21, Wound More Than 100. And Car blast in Mosul kills five including three children.

As usual: Civilians bear brunt as Samarra 'pacified'. Now the butcher Allawi is pushing for an American attack on Falluja, fearful that Kerry may not want to start his administration with hundreds of corpses rotting in the streets.

A unified resistance in name. how about in reality? Iraqi insurgents vow all out war to oust US.

Civilians wounded by tank fire in Sadr City and: Pictures: Civilians mourn across Iraq.

Challenge to the US account: Iraqi Sunni Muslim clerics blast "massacres" in Samarra.

Faidi, flanked by two other senior members of the committee, painted a grim picture of the situation in Samarra, which he said was based on eyewitness accounts. He said the city was besieged, residents were prevented from leaving and many were burying their dead in their gardens for fear of venturing out and being shot by what he claimed were US army snipers posted on rooftops.
The cleric then invited a resident of Samarra who managed to escape to recount some of the "horrors" he had witnessed. "I saw with my own eyes US soldiers shoot a teenager on the street and even after the boy fell, they kept pummeling his body with bullets," said the man, who identified himself as Abu al-Qaqa, wearing a traditional Arab headscarf.

To allow Fallujans to vote, the US is ready to "flatten" the City: US forces to 'flatten Falluja' before Iraq's first vote. They have been practicing: Onslaught on Samarra escalates in 'dress rehearsal' for major US assault on rebels.

US attacks Falluja 'arms store'.

Bodies of Two Westerners Found South of Baghdad.

Another article questioning Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's importance: Doubt over Zarqawi's role as ringleader.

Two accounts of the Samarra fighting: U.S.-Led Forces Widen Control in Rebel Iraq City from Reuters. In contrast IslamOnline has a story from the viewpoint of the city's residents: Samarra Residents Flee US Hell.

[Samarra Residents:] "Dead bodies and injured people are everywhere in the city and when we tried to evacuate them, the Americans fired at us," one ambulance driver told AP Television News. "Later on they told us than we can evacuate only injured women and children and we are not allowed to pick up injured men."

For the thousandth time, an Iraqi hospital reports many dead Iraqis denied by the US: Hospital says 12 killed in U-S attacks on Sadr City.

Now Indonesians: Indonesia confirms female hostages.

US controls Samarra, for the moment: U.S.-Led Forces Tighten Hold on Rebel Iraqi City.

Residents said U.S. snipers were positioned on high buildings, making locals too scared to venture outdoors, though thousands tried to flee Friday. Electricity and water supplies were cut off.

Saturday, insurgent attacks in Falluja, Mosul: US forces attacked near Fallujah, Mosul.

Further questions about Zarqawi's role Doubt over Zarqawi's role as ringleader.

Friday attacks on Sadr City: Fresh fighting in Sadr City and Falluja: U.S. Warplane Attacks Iraq's Falluja, Three Dead

Major attack on Samarra: Samarra fighting kills 109 insurgents, U.S. soldier. How many of these dead are civilians? Aljazeera reports that the attack was launched as an agreement for a peaceful resolution was being finalized: Many killed in US assault on Samarra. See Juan Cole's background: Some 50 Dead, 145 Wounded.

Residents blame Americans for coming uninvited and luring children to danger: Dozens of Iraqi children die in Baghdad bomb attack.

to the chest. He was conscious and thirsty but could not hold down the water his father was trying to pour into his mouth. "My son is hurting very badly, you can see that. I do not know what will happen, it is up to Allah. I hate the people who did this. But I also blame the Americans, they came into our neighbourhood and brought this with them. They must know that they are targets, and people around them become targets. Why did they have children around them? And why did the ministry opening the pump invite them?" He started crying.

Thursday night, a major US offensive was launched in Samarra: U.S., Iraqi troops go after Samarra insurgents: Nearly three dozen children killed in Baghdad bombings

Analysis, Commentary, & Domestic Reaction

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Another Iraqi vet explains why he supports Kerry: Bush's Awful Mess: I've served in Iraq, and that's why I can't vote for this president again.

When I left Iraq, fully two-thirds of the Iraqi people supported our occupation of Iraq and wanted us there.... I started to get doubts as I drove south from Baghdad into southern Iraq where we were going to do occupation duty. The Army forces were coming north at the time.... I expected to see construction equipment, or water, or supplies. Instead what I saw were combat troops--tanks moving up the highway. They had dismounted infantry along the side pushing Iraqi people off to the edge of the highway. It was at that time I started to have some doubts about how the occupation was going to go if we....
e was a guy [from the administration] at every press conference. They spent more time on the information campaign, on deceiving the American people about what was happening in Iraq, than they did on actually trying to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. That's a problem....
I guess I used to be what they call "Republican in name only." Kind of a Ramstad Republican, you know--socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Unfortunately, the issues in this election are just too big for that.

British Prime Minister's wife condemns US attacks on freedom: Cherie Blair lambasts Bush over human rights.

Scare people, win election? U.S. Warns on Terror, Won't Boost Alert.

Tom Engelhardt on Osama's campaign appearance: Osama bin Laden as Global Shock Jock.

As we edge up to this presidential election, we can only say: What a tawdry spectacle is our world.

White house says Osama tape "a gift": See tape as boost for Prez. They play it for all its worth: Osama Tape Leads U.S. to Raise Vigilance. Anything to keep people from voting the bastards out!

[Gift:] "We want people to think 'terrorism' for the last four days," said a Bush-Cheney campaign official. "And anything that raises the issue in people's minds is good for us." A senior GOP strategist added, "anything that makes people nervous about their personal safety helps Bush." He called it "a little gift," saying it helps the President but doesn't guarantee his reelection.

The great scientist Stephen Hawking will lead an antiwar protest: Hawking to lead anti-war protest on election day.

Large antiwar rally in Rome: Italians in anti-war rally: Oraganisers have estimated a turnout of 70,000.

I was on vacation and missed this: Half of New Yorkers Believe US Leaders Had Foreknowledge of Impending 9-11 Attacks and “Consciously Failed” To Act; 66% Call For New Probe of Unanswered Questions by Congress or New York’s Attorney General, New Zogby International Poll Reveals.

[H]alf (49.3%) of New York City residents and 41% of New York citizens overall say that some of our leaders "knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act," according to the poll conducted by Zogby International....
Despite the acute legal and political implications of this accusation, nearly 30% of registered Republicans and over 38% of those who described themselves as "very conservative" supported the claim. The charge found very high support among adults under 30 (62.8%), African-Americans (62.5%), Hispanics (60.1%), Asians (59.4%), and "Born Again" Evangelical Christians (47.9%).

Watch: Fahrenheit 9/11 Online or download.

Two pro-Kerry pieces. The New Yorker endorses him: The Choice. And a comment on Bush's legacy from Serge Halimi in Le Monde Diplomatique: The United States: Bush’s record.

Jonathan Chait points out: For Bush, Too Late for Honesty: * Missing munitions spark an explosion of administration excuses.

afeez Mosaddeq Ahmed claims that US ties to Osama bin Laden continued long after the end of the cold war: Ties with Terror.

Stephen Zunes: Why, Despite Everything, John Kerry Must Win.

One-party State! Public schools used to suppress freedom of speech. Students forced to listen to Bush, but told they'd be in big trouble if they wore a Kerry button, or raised any awkward questions: This Time, Bush Makes Stop in 'City of Presidents'.

The kids were told that if they wore a Kerry button or made any rude interventions, they would be in big trouble. No one did.

Slate's Fred Kaplan wonders: Reckless or Clueless? Were the administration's Iraq gaffes due to bad thinking or no thinking at all?

Don't do it! says the New York Times: Flattening the vote in Falluja.

Conservative Andrew Sullivan endorses Kerry: WHY I AM SUPPORTING JOHN KERRY: Risk Management.

A sociologist has demonstrated what we all assumed: Presidential approval goes up after a terror warning: Study: Terror Warnings Up Approval Ratings. Full research paper: The effects of government-issued terror warnings on presidential approval ratings.

Must View! Eminem's: Mosh [listen/view here]. Story: 'Mosh' for the Masses: The Most Important Protest Song of this Election, Courtesy of Eminem.

Iraq instills vet with zeal for politics.

Rumsfeld: Pentagon had no plans for Iraqi insurgency: US Defense Secretary implicitly admits lack of planning for handling insurgency in Iraq after invading it..

Ariel Dorfman on the struggle for America’s soul: Memories of Chile in the Midst of an American Presidential Campaign.

And the truth shall set you free: US Iraq War Veterans' Voices Rise in Protest.

John Kerry critic Iraq Chernus explains why he's knocking on doors for the Democrat: Am I a Flip-Flop If I Help the Democrats?

Now, on domestic issues at least, the greater evil is so much greater that I am knocking on people's doors, urging them to vote for Democrats. I hope you will do the same. If you can't get yourself to do that, I can understand. But please, if you live anyplace where the outcome appears uncertain, get yourself to vote Democratic on Election Day. It will only hurt for a minute. And there are millions of people, perhaps worse off than you, who will thank you silently for it....
From November 3 on, we can afford to demand the very best. But for the next week, it makes sense to get out there and do our damndest to help the somewhat better get more votes than the very worst.

Stephen R. Shalom on: Election Day 2004.

Mark Curtis reminds us that US-British actions in Iraq are the continuation of a long line of brutal imperial ventures justified with high-sounding rhetoric: The colonial precedent: The growing brutality and deception of the Iraq war mirrors Britain's recent imperial history.

Warnings ignored: Prewar intelligence predicted Iraqi insurgency.

Tasos Papadimitriou has: A Radical Vision For The Future Of The UN.

When it comes to Iraq, the government never has true premises: False premise underpins Duelfer warning of Iraq weapons plan, U.N. officials say.

Arms hunter Charles Duelfer's report, in concluding Iraq might have resumed weapons-building "after sanctions were removed," left out the crucial fact that the U.N. Security Council had planned controls over Baghdad for years to come, U.N. officials say.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial on "I never heard a thing" Condoleezza Rice's visit: Rice's visit / The security adviser's talk reveals a disconnect

She maintained that the Bush administration was successfully stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction -- citing the case of Libya, now open to U.S. oil companies' investment -- but left open the much more problematic cases of WMD in North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and Israel...
Ms. Rice repeated the administration's hope for elections in Iraq in January as a prospect of democratic government and claimed that Iraq's Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds are building toward a unified country. We will assume kindly that she has been isolated from all news reports on Iraq while traveling in the interior of the country....
If she actually believes what she said Thursday, it is frightening to think she is the president's chief national security adviser.

Evidence doesn't matter, only fear sowed in the populace: No Direct Evidence of Plot To Attack Around Elections.

Noam Chomsky on the State of the Nation, Iraq and the Election.

Fear, fear, fear; Bush Ad Hints Terrorists Want Kerry to Win.

Out of sight, out of mind: Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo absent from US presidential campaign debate.

Its not only wrong, its stupid: It's Worse Than a Crime; It's a Blunder: Fallujah and the Moral Level of War.

John David Rose: My country right or wrong?

Another commentator says: US to Skedaddle from Iraq.

Debating the reasons for defeat: Debate Lingering on Decision to Dissolve the Iraqi Military.

Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook: Deeper into the Iraqi quagmire: British troops will now be tarred by association with US methods.

Terry Jones reports a conversation between GWB and GOD: George, God here ...: President Bush has words with the Almighty

New ad: "He Just Doesn't Get It".

Former CIA chief and Bush sycophant George Tenet now says Iraq war was "wrong": Tenet: CIA made errors.

Tenet called the war on Iraq "wrong" in a speech Wednesday night.... He did add that he doesn't think the Iraq war was wholly bad.

Former Republican Senator from Kentucky endorses Kerry: A FORMER REPUBLICAN SENATOR FOR KERRY: 'Frightened to death' of Bush.

A new survey confirms that Bush supporters are actively distorting reality: Full Report: The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters Press Release. Article by Jim Lobe: The World According to a Bush Voter.

Somehow, they only need "homeland security" [read: homeland insecurity] in battleground states. The rest of the country is safe: Homeland Security officials heading to the political battleground states .

Probably not, says Jim Lobe: So, Did Saddam Hussein Try to Kill Bush's Dad?

More pro-war British MPs against redeployment: Why I have doubts - MPs who voted for the war.

In the upcoming election for world President, the British Guardian calls on Ralph Nader to step aside: Ralph Nader: Time to Step Aside. And John le Carré makes his preferences clear: If Le Carré Could Vote.

Bush is crazy: Robertson: I warned Bush on Iraq casualties: President's response: 'We're not going to have any'.

He described Bush in the meeting as "the most self-assured man I've ever met in my life." "You remember Mark Twain said, 'He looks like a contented Christian with four aces.' I mean he was just sitting there like, 'I'm on top of the world,' " Robertson said.

Bush Receives Endorsement From Iran.

The verdict is in: U.S. Finishes A 'Strong Second' In Iraq War.

Of course they'll be a draft, says Paul Krugman: Feeling the draft.

Simon Jenkins makes an interesting case, which, I fear, may be correct: Vote Bush: it's the quickest way to get American troops out of Iraq.

Only Mr Bush can plausibly orchestrate withdrawal with dignity. Only he can spin defeat into a sort of victory. Neither the Democrats nor Washington’s military and diplomatic establishment would oppose him. The ranters who got him into this and now cry, “on to Iran, on to Syria”, will be of less account after an election. Mr Bush’s eye will be on posterity, and he is not stupid. He will have Mr Blair egging him on.
Consider instead John Kerry. He wants to involve “our European allies” in Iraq. He would plead with Mr Blair to stay, and plead for his help in securing a wider United Nations involvement. Desperate not to seem weak, Mr Kerry is likely to struggle ever deeper into the Iraqi quagmire. Any move to disengage will be seen as treachery by his enemies, as undoing the work of his Republican predecessors. Rather than hand Iraq over to the unavoidable next phase of civil upheaval and partition, Mr Kerry will postpone and let the mission creep ever forward. The hapless Mr Blair will be dragged along, too. Mr Kerry must make Iraq a success. Mr Bush need only to make it go away. For an early end to the war, I would vote Bush.

The New York Times summarizes the insider view of US miscalculation: How U.S. mission went awry in postwar Iraq.

Even rabid hawk Thomas Friedman thinks the "War on Terrorism" is scary and un-American: Addicted to 9/11.

Scare, scare, scare: Cheney: Terrorists May Bomb U.S. Cities.

Ira Chernus fears both of them: Bush, Kerry Agree: No End to Terrorism.

Pro-war British Labor MPs have had enough! No helping those crazy US troops and their President President Bush get reelected: Labour MPs round on Hoon as slip confirms UK troops deployment. Even the pro-war MPs can't stomach British troops dying for Bush's Reelection: Iraq: Pro-war MPs draw a line in the sand: Labour in revolt over deployment of troops under US command

Stowcroft, mentor to Rice, lambasting the administration again: Ex-Security Advisor Rips Bush Diplomacy.

Must Read! Howard Zinn makes some war distinctions: Our War on Terrorism.

Protesters at the European Social Forum stop an Iraqi trade unionist they accuse of collaboration from speaking: Angry protests halt ESF Iraq debate.

Yet another account, this time by Knight-Ridder, of the complete lack of planning for the post-invasion Iraqi occupation: Post-war planning non-existent.

"The possibility of the United States winning the war and losing the peace in Iraq is real and serious," warned an Army War College report that was completed in February 2003, a month before the invasion. Without an "overwhelming" effort to prepare for the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the report warned: "The United States may find itself in a radically different world over the next few years, a world in which the threat of Saddam Hussein seems like a pale shadow of new problems of America's own making." A half-dozen intelligence reports also warned that American troops could face significant postwar resistance. This foot-high stack of material was distributed at White House meetings of Bush's top foreign policy advisers, but there's no evidence that anyone ever acted on it. "It was disseminated. And ignored," said a former senior intelligence official.

A strident minority: anti-Bush US troops in Iraq: Though military personnel lean conservative, some vocally support Kerry - or at least a strategy for swift withdrawal.

Britain speaks out: Iraq war protesters take to London street.

Claims Tony Blair is using British troops to support Bush's reelection: Bush ‘poll-troops’ storm hits Blair.

Juan Cole on Bush's right Maoism: Suskind on Bush: "I can Fly!" Here is the Ron Suskind New York Times Magazine Bush profile Cole is discussing: Without a Doubt.

[Without a Doubt:] "Just in the past few months," Bartlett said, "I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do." Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican who has lately been a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush's governance, went on to say: "This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. . . ."
"This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts," Bartlett went on to say. "He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence." Bartlett paused, then said, "But you can't run the world on faith."

Meanwhile, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that, for the Israeli military: Killing children is no longer a big deal.

Whereas in the overall count of all the victims of the intifada the ratio is three Palestinians killed for every Israeli killed, when it comes to children the ratio is 5:1. According to B'Tselem, the human rights organization, even before the current operation in Gaza, 557 Palestinian minors (below the age of 18) were killed, compared to 110 Israeli minors....
42 of the children who have been killed were 10; 20 were seven; and eight were two years old when they died. The youngest victims are 13 newborn infants who died at checkpoints during birth....
With horrific statistics like this, the question of who is a terrorist should have long since become very burdensome for every Israeli. Yet it is not on the public agenda. Child killers are always the Palestinians, the soldiers always only defend us and themselves, and the hell with the statistics.
At least in some of these cases it was clear to the soldiers that they were shooting at children, but that didn't stop them. Palestinian children have no refuge: mortal danger lurks for them in their homes, in their schools and on their streets.... Death is, of course, the most acute danger that confronts a Palestinian child, but it is not the only one. According to data of the Palestinian Ministry of Education, 3,409 schoolchildren have been wounded in the intifada, some of them crippled for life....
The public indifference that accompanies this pageant of unrelieved suffering makes all Israelis accomplices to a crime. Even parents, who understand what anxiety for a child's fate means, turn away and don't want to hear about the anxiety harbored by the parent on the other side of the fence. Who would have believed that Israeli soldiers would kill hundreds of children and that the majority of Israelis would remain silent? Even the Palestinian children have become part of the dehumanization campaign: killing hundreds of them is no longer a big deal.

No kidding: U.N.'s Annan: Iraq War Done Little to Halt Terrorism.

Conservative Paul Craig Roberts discusses the origins of: The Brownshirting of America. And other conservative republicans organize to fight the neocons: Fixin' for a fight:In the GOP, the long knives are out for the neoconservatives.

Internet use for dissent to be attacked: Indymedia Seizure Signals Clampdown on Dissent.

Must Watch! Jon Stewart on Crossfire (video). "He calls co-host Tucker Carlson a "dick," and more."

Revealed: the meeting that could have changed the history of Iraq. "When six of the country's leading experts on Iraq went to Downing Street in November 2002 , they sought to warn Tony Blair about the dangerous consequences of his actions. In this extraordinary account of that meeting, they reveal for the first time their shock at his response, offering a unique insight into the mind of a Prime Minister determined upon war"

Another said: "I was staggered at Blair's apparent naivety, at his inability to engage with the complexities. For him, it seemed to be highly personal: an evil Saddam versus Blair-Bush. He didn't seem to have a perception of Iraq as a complex country." He recalled that the Prime Minister had interjected only occasionally and cryptically. At one point he had exclaimed: "But he [Saddam] is evil, isn't he?" Later Mr Blair said of Saddam: "But he's got choices [over being good or evil], hasn't he?"

Stephen Zunes explains: Why We Must Prevent the Re-election of Senators Who Supported the Invasion of Iraq.

It is important to remember that both John Kerry and John Edwards were among those who voted in support of this [Iraq war authorization] resolution. It boggles the mind that the Democratic Party would actually nominate, as their presidential and vice-presidential candidates, two senators who were either stupid enough to actually believe this or dishonest enough to claim it was true anyway....
As a result, whether it is a President Bush or a President Kerry who governs over the next four years, there is a real risk that he will try to convince Congress to authorize the invasion of additional countries under similarly false pretenses. Already, both presidential nominees have been making exaggerated claims regarding the supposed military threat emanating from Iran and from Syria due to these countries’ alleged links to terrorists and their supposed biological, chemical and nuclear capabilities. Bush and Kerry have also both threatened the use of military force....
Of particular importance is preventing the re-election of the eighteen senators who will be facing voters for the first time since they cast their votes in favor of the resolution two years ago. Some argue that, despite their vote, the pro-war Democrats should be re-elected anyway and that only pro-war Republicans should be targeted for defeat. However, deceiving the American public in order to prosecute an illegal and immoral war which has resulted in such devastating consequences must not be tolerated, regardless of political party affiliation.

More on Blair lying his way toward an illegal war: Blair under new pressure over Iraq war: did he ignore advice of officials that it was unlawful?

A confidential document from 2002 on the "background" for Iraq sets out the legal difficulties for invasion. It warns that the decision about whether Saddam had breached his UN obligations was for the UN Security Council to make - not a single member state. "The US have a rather different view," it adds. The papers show that, a full year earlier, government advisers believed "the pace of Saddam Hussein's WMD programme" had not speeded up and intelligence was "poor"....
A memo sent by Sir Christopher Meyer, then ambassador to Washington, after a meeting with Paul Wolfowitz, the US Deputy Secretary of Defence, in March 2002 said: "We backed regime change, but the plan had to be clever and failure was not an option."

Honky Tonkers for Truth present their song (available for listening or downloading: Takin' My Country Back. Article about it: Country Music's Other Voice: The Making of "Takin' My Country Back".

People-to-people: Anti-war Americans sending photos to Iraq.

Makes sense. Anti-terrorism adviser makes millions aiding the same "terrorists": Homeland adviser mum on ex-employer’s financial terror links.

The chairman of the nation's Homeland Security Advisory Council was helping to guide America's security strategy at the same time he was a top executive with an international banking firm that was investigated and eventually fined more than $100 million for cash transfers to rogue nations, including Iraq, Iran, Libya and Cuba, a Newsday investigation has found.

Creeping Fascism? Protecting Bush from dissent. Police fire on anti-Bush protestors in Oregon: Oregon Police Fire on Crowd of Protesters. And teachers ejected from Bush rally and threatened with arrest for wearing t-shirts saying "Protect Our Civil Liberties", obviously a subversive thought these days: Teachers' T-shirts bring Bush speech ouster.

[Teachers':] Thursday’s event in Oregon sets a new bar for a Bush/Cheney campaign that has taken extraordinary measures to screen the opinions of those who attend Bush and Cheney speeches. For months, the Bush/Cheney campaign has limited event access to those willing to volunteer in Bush/Cheney campaign offices. In recent weeks, the Bush/Cheney campaign has gone so far as to have those who voice dissenting viewpoints at their events arrested and charged as criminals.
Thursday’s actions in Oregon set a new standard even for Bush/Cheney – removing and threatening with arrest citizens who in no way disrupt an event and wear clothing that expresses non-disruptive party-neutral viewpoints such as “Protect Our Civil Liberties.”
When Vice President Dick Cheney visited Eugene, Oregon on Sept. 17, a 54-Year old woman named Perry Patterson was charged with criminal trespass for blurting the word "No" when Cheney said that George W. Bush has made the world safer.

Alexander Cockburn expresses despair at the way "progressives' have lined up behind a right-wing, war-mongering, absent of accomplishment, Senator from the couldn't care about ordinary people wing of the Democratic Party: The Year of Surrendering Quietly.

Abu Ghraib torture, fine. US protest, no no! Six To Be Tried For Stripping To Thongs To Protest Bush Visit: Men Were Protesting Abu Ghraib Prison Scandal.

Juan Cole discusses the effects of a Bush re-election: Bush v. Kerry: The Persian Gulf Empire and Perpetual War.

Veterans speak out: TV Ad Focuses on U.S. Military Wounded in Iraq.

[T]he ad shows a U.S. Iraq war veteran talking about the justification for the war as he shows the stump of his amputated arm. The veteran, Robert Acosta, says in the ad: "I was called to serve in Iraq because the government said there were weapons of mass destruction, but they weren't there ... So when people ask me where my arm went, I try to find the words, but they're not there."

In Britain, mother for peace: TRAGIC MUM LAUNCHES TROOPS CAMPAIGN.

Pepe Escobar commemorates Jacques Derrida by describing his: Deconstructing the war on terror.

Britain official withdraws ridiculous pre-war claim. After all, its too late now: Straw: 45-min claim withdrawn.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Merrill A. "Tony" McPeak: Former Bush adviser promotes Kerry.

The new Nobel Peace Prize winner speaks to the American people: Nobel Winner: US Voters Hold Key to Ending Iraq War, Curbing Global Warming.

Questions for the Presidential candidates from Keith W. Mines, a major in the Army Special Forces Reserve: Simple questions from a veteran.

Seymour Hersh talks of consequences of Bush re-election: New Yorker writer Seymour Hersh blast Bush over Iraqi war.

CBC Documentary: The Unauthorized Biography of Dick Cheney. "In Dick Cheney's World, what he says is frequently more fiction than fact... In Dick Cheney's World, its usually someone else who pays the price." Among many other things, it details the Bush [Sr.]- Cheney lies [fake satellite photos] about an Iraqi threat to Saudi Arabia that were used to justify the imminent need for the first Gulf War.

Citizens in US allies overwhelmingly say the war is bad for your health: Poll: Aussies, Brits, Italians say Iraq war increased terrorism danger.

More than two-thirds of the people living in Australia, Britain and Italy - three countries allied with the United States in the Iraq war - believe the war has increased the threat of terrorism....
In Australia and each of five European countries polled, only about one in 20 believe the Iraq war decreased the terror threat.

Al-Qaeda Weighs in on the November Elections.

Bush Pre-senile Dementia Video. "This video intercuts footage from 10 years ago with recent footage - the difference is dramatic and disturbing. And obvious."

Oops! Satirical nude painting of Bush removed from display at Washington museum.

A Mother’s Plea for Peace. "Her son was killed in Iraq; now she pleads for Americans to stop the war."

Please, America, let’s stop losing our loved ones in Iraq. Those lost have families who cared for them tremendously, who today are pained terribly. I loved my son, and my heart aches every day. Please do not allow this tragedy to happen to you and your child.

More on the scary attack on world-wide free speech, the seizure by the FBI without explanation, of IndyMedia's servers: Indymedia Catch-22. Please contribute to help them! [Details in article.]

Joshua Frank collects Democratic lies about WMD: Democrats and WMD.

Saul Landau: Bush: A Man of His Words.

Blair to give honors to those who did their duty and produced the lies his government needed: Blair 'wants Iraq honours list'.

From South Carolina: My husband is fighting in Iraq. In fact, he's in a green zone and he was bombarded today.

Paul Craig Roberts says: Kerry Caught in the Big Lie.

Draft? For sure, says Col. David H. Hackworth: Uncle Sam Will Soon Want Your Kids.

In Colorado, republican Senate candidate more thoughtful on Iraq than the Democrat: GOP Hopeful Raises War Doubts: Coors Wonders If Congress Would Still Authorize Iraq Action.

I once voted for John Kerry for Senate, not because I supported him, but because of the sleazy lying attacks by Bill Weld, his Republican opponent. I suspect others will vote for him this time for similar reasons: Bush campaign to base ad on Kerry terror quote: Democrats: GOP again taking senator's words out of context.

Draft resistance starts NOW: Families Plan to Skip Military Draft.

Bush administration announces reason #24 for the Iraq invasion. bets taken on when they get to #100. Condi announces 24th Iraq rationale.

Andrew Greeley joins those who say: Exiting Iraq is the Only Solution.

If you support the war; if, with the president and Kerry, you want to ''stay'' the course, the next time you see the bodies of children strewn about a street in Iraq, ask yourself if their blood is not on your hands.

Harvey Wasserman thinks the elections would be over if Kerry took his advice: Kerry's Four Magic Words Tonight To Win It All: "George Bush Must Resign".

World-wide attack on Indymedia, executed by FBI: Alternative Network's Internet Servers Confiscated.

Scott Ritter raises questions about the motivations of Duelfer and his "investigation": The source Duelfer didn't quote: The head of the Iraq Survey Group knows regime change was the aim. And, also by Ritter: The Inspection Process was Rigged to Create Uncertainty Over WMD to Bolster the US and UK's Case for War.

The latest dispatch from the war between the CIA and the Bush administration: The CIA 'old guard' goes to war with Bush.

In the latest clash, a senior former CIA agent revealed that Mr Cheney "blew up" when a report into links between the Saddam regime and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist behind the kidnappings and beheadings of hostages in Iraq, including the Briton Kenneth Bigley, proved inconclusive.

On to the next scary terror threat: FBI: School Information Found In Iraq Has No Terror Links. Iraqi Man Doing Research, FBI Says.

Nicholas Kristof interviews Osama bin Laden on his preferences for the US elections: Dreaming in Kabul.

Look, infidel, that's the most important reason I want a Bush victory: the historic prize would be an Islamic revolution in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, and that would give us a base and perhaps nuclear weapons. And Bush's talent for antagonizing Muslims makes such a revolution more likely. You know, I'm now a believer in Pakistani democracy because a Pew poll found that only 7 percent of Pakistanis have a favorable view of Bush, while 65 percent like me.
So let the Pakistanis choose their own government! And then, when I have my nuclear weapons, look out. Thank you, President Bush!

There may be a severe downside for Canada in a Kerry win: Call him a liberal hawk.

Hans Blix on the Duelfer report on WMD: If you had seen what I have seen. Will President Bush apply the lessons from Iraq to Iran, Libya and North Korea?

Pro-war PM wins big victory in Australia: Australia's Howard Celebrates Fourth Poll Win.

If we lived in a nation of laws... Bush's Crimes: Impeach the president? Yes. A well-documented case ties him to Abu Ghraib..

A contribution from Pascal Laouche in Quebec [translated by John Hess]: What Can We Hope For From A Kerry Presidency? Not much, he concludes. French Original: Accueil / Que peut-on espérer d'une présidence Kerry? Que peut-on espérer d'une présidence Kerry? Les résultats des années de présidence de Bill Clinton laissent songeur

Bush re-election team getting worried. Tighten your seatbelts, it'll be a scary October, with terror warning after terror warning. I hear my dentist's office is dangerous: School Warning: School Plans, Security Information Gathered by Suspected Iraq Insurgent Focus Concern on Schools in Six States.

Good news for sanctions. They worked. But, also, bad news for people who lived in sanctioned countries. They die: The Verdict Is In: [New York Times Editorial].

With so much attention paid here to the atmosphere in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, I thought this piece on the atmosphere in our capital city was apropos: Essay from a Federal Worker: Glum and Glummer.

Speak the truth, please, pleads Joan Vennochi: The Unsung Truth About the War.

However, the Vietnam veteran who propelled an antiwar movement more than three decades ago by speaking harsh truth out loud is now a presidential candidate who hopes voters don't need him to say the obvious: They don't want their child or anyone else's to die for Bush's mistake. It is the wrong time for reticence, Senator Kerry.

Administration figures told the Washington Post "he strategy is aimed at stoking public fears about terrorism...". See this note: Aides admit Bush stoking fears of terrorism for political gain. To check the source, search this Washington Post piece: Bush: Kerry Would 'Weaken' U.S. for the text: "The strategy is"

Jim Lobe on the latest revelations regarding the administration lies: Bush's Case for War Crumbles. bAnd former Chief Arms Inspector David Kay: Bush Administration in Denial About Lack of Iraq WMD. Boy were we wrong about this guy!

The Arab world doesn't buy the "OOps, we made a mistake! We were right to invade anyway." malarkey: US Report on Iraqi Weapons Deepens Arab Hostility Towards America.

Robert Kuttner says the pressure to withdraw will grow, no matter who wins Nov. 3. He discusses possible ways to do it: Exiting Iraq.

Kevin Martin, Executive Director of Peace Action, calls on Americans to fight against the planned US escalation in Iraq, now, before it starts: There They Go Again: Escalating the War in Iraq.

Military Families' opposition grows: Breaking Their Silence: Families of U.S. troops have long adhered to a clan code that prohibits speaking out against a war. Now some are going public over Iraq.

As if you didn't know: The Most Misleading Foreign Policy Statements Made by the Candidates in the Vice-Presidential Debate by Stephen Zunes.

James Carroll reflects on how a draft would make today's abstract impersonal imperial wars more difficult: When War Hits Home.

And killing people is the issue. I never counseled a young man during Vietnam for whom the paramount question was, Will I be killed? (Presumably, that was George Bush's question when he avoided Vietnam.) Instead, the question was, Will I kill for this? Often, the answer was no. President Bush knows full well that if the question were put to Americans today -- Will you kill these people in Sadr City or Fallujah? -- the common answer would again be no. That and that alone is why he, and his Pentagon, do not want a draft....
I oppose the restoration of any form of draft, but I long for what it would prompt in America at once -- a broad moral reckoning with the truth of what our nation has become.

As if it wasn't clear by now: US inspector differs with Bush on Iraq weapons.

Former British Cabinet Minister supports insurgency: Bombers' cause is just - Short.

the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorializes: Assault in Iraq / Saving which election with increased firepower?

The idea that American and Iraqi interim government forces are pounding Iraqi pockets of disaffection into submission in the name of holding elections in January doesn't quite ring true....
The proposition that one can prepare the way for successful elections by systematic assaults on significant urban areas of a country is dubious, to say the least. It comes close to the Vietnam-era concept that critics of the war used to call killing for peace....
It's worth asking if the stepped-up military campaign isn't timed instead to the American elections.

The New York Times takes on Bush, but still pretends that WMD was really a factor in the push for war: Bush and the bogus claims about the bomb that wasn't. Meanwhile, Bush tries to stem criticism on Iraq.

Arab Press Notes Ba'ath Party and others criticize International Conference: Arab Press Note: October 5, 2004.

Antiwar music video from: Simple Fears. Get Out of Iraq.

Now he tells us: Donald Rumsfeld says no hard evidence links Saddam to al-Qaida, then

"To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two."

State Department employees frantic about neocon takeover when Colin Powell leaves: The State Department's extreme makeover. "A veteran Foreign Service officer warns that when Colin Powell departs in a second Bush term, America will lose its last bulwark against the radical ideologues who are planning more Iraqs."

State personnel are used to comings and goings of Democratic and Republican administrations, serving all equally and fairly. Not since Vietnam, however, has the U.S. diplomatic establishment viewed the future with such a degree of alarm. Retired U.S. ambassadors and diplomats have raised their own public concerns in signed public statements about the direction of U.S. foreign policy -- but that concern pales compared with the quiet revolt brewing against a neocon takeover at Foggy Bottom.

Will e-mailing the truth lead to loosing position reporting from Iraq, or is this just a vacation? Will 'WSJ' Reporter Who Wrote Famous E-mail on Horrid Conditions In Iraq Lose Her Beat?

Some reporters have nominated the e-mail (which was circulated without Fassihi's permission) for a Pulitzer Prize; others feel she compromised her news reporting by revealing her private opinions....
[T]wo WSJ staffers, who asked not to be identified, said "they had been told that Fassihi would not be allowed to write about Iraq for the paper until after the election, presumably because unauthorized publication of her private correspondence somehow called into question the fairness of her journalism." This prompted Rutten to ask Steiger for comment, which came via email, revealing the "planned vacation" which would, indeed, "extend past the election" (presumably, the U.S. election)....
Said Berenson [of the New York Times]: "What good news are we supposed to be repoting when the murder rate in Baghdad has gone up 20-fold or more since we entered the city last year, and when we can't even walk the streets?"

William S. Lind The Grand Illusion that Iraqi forces will take over the occupation war.

William Safire celebrates: Kerry, Newest Neocon.

Australians hold anti-war rallies.

An interesting analysis from the former editor of the London Evening Standard and the Daily Telegraph: To quit Iraq now would be as shocking as the invasion.

Even rabid war supporter Thomas Friedman says the US is in deep trouble in Iraq. He blames the administration, not the war idea: Iraq: Politics or Policy?

[T]his Bush team can't get us there, and may have so messed things up that no one can. Why? Because each time the Bush team had to choose between doing the right thing in the war on terrorism or siding with its political base and ideology, it chose its base and ideology. More troops or radically lower taxes? Lower taxes. Fire an evangelical Christian U.S. general who smears Islam in a speech while wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army or not fire him so as not to anger the Christian right? Don't fire him. Apologize to the U.N. for not finding the W.M.D., and then make the case for why our allies should still join us in Iraq to establish a decent government there? Don't apologize - for anything - because Karl Rove says the "base" won't like it. Impose a "Patriot Tax" of 50 cents a gallon on gasoline to help pay for the war, shrink the deficit and reduce the amount of oil we consume so we send less money to Saudi Arabia? Never. Just tell Americans to go on guzzling. Fire the secretary of defense for the abuses at Abu Ghraib, to show the world how seriously we take this outrage - or do nothing? Do nothing. Firing Mr. Rumsfeld might upset conservatives. Listen to the C.I.A.? Only when it can confirm your ideology. When it disagrees - impugn it or ignore it.

Comments from two local papers in Tennessee: Support our troops, bring them home from Iraq: Situation is a quagmire with no end in sight from Clarksville. And: Bush military, economic policies failing from Woodbury. They sure know what's going on down there!

[Support our troops:] All over Clarksville, people are putting yellow-ribbon stickers on their cars. The stickers say: "Support our troops." I also believe in supporting our troops. And the best way to support them is to get them out of Iraq. Are you listening, politicians?
[Bush:] Our bombings and shellings of insurgent hideouts and other military operations throughout Iraq have had contradictory results. The more Iraq insurgents we kill, the more innocent Iraqi civilians are killed, which brings even more Iraqis into the insurgents' cause.

Even the New York Times now concludes the administration spouted alarmist nonsense about Iraq WMD, despite being told the claims were false: How the White House Embraced Disputed Iraqi Arms Intelligence.

You know things are bad when Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a Conservative former foreign secretary, argues that: American troops must stay in Iraq. But they must change their helmets.

In the british press, Sidney Blumenthal has an amusing view of the debate: Retreat into a substitute reality: By touching on Bush's ambivalent relations with his father, Kerry exposed his delusions about Iraq.

New: Newsweek poll has Kerry ahead.

Vietnam veteran John Cory: What You Don't Know About War.

Round one to Kerry: The Battle, If Not The War, To Kerry: Bush Hit Off-Notes With Debate Viewers and Even Neocons Agree: Kerry Won Debate. And one of those neocons: Don’t Shoot the Messenger . . .

Bush in trouble? Kerry beats Bush in ‘marine latrines’.

Naomi Klein defends herself against those accusing her of being an apologist for al-Saddr: You Can't Bomb Beliefs.

Common Dreams today has extensive analysis of last nights debate.

Freed Italian Hostage Says Iraq Rebels 'Justified'.

"You have to distinguish between terrorism and resistance. The guerrilla war is justified, but I am against the kidnapping of civilians."

A report on the debate: Bush, Kerry clash over history, allies" Election may hinge on whether voters believe Kerry can persuade other nations to share the burden in Iraq.

Margaret Kimberley says we must begin now for the day after November 2: The November Third Movement.

FBI under orders to postpone arrests till after the election? Is Justice Being Delayed by Bush Administration Politics?

Previous Month Archive: September, 2004
Occupation Resistance Analysis

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