Key Documents

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.

October, 2005

The Occupation

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Large children's hospital being built, but no public health system to speak of: US Priorities Set Back Its Healthcare Goals in Iraq.

Easily treatable conditions such as diarrhea and respiratory illness account for 70% of deaths among children, according to a 2004 Iraqi Health Ministry study. A third of rural Iraqis skip treatment because it's too costly. The Health Ministry estimates that as many as 25% of Iraq's 18,000 physicians have fled the country since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.
A UN study this year found that a third of the children in southern and central Iraq are malnourished, the same as in 2003. And the American contractor in charge of revamping the healthcare system completed less than half its goals, according to a scathing U.S. audit....
"I saw enormous incompetence which was more costly than even Iraqi corruption," said Richard Garfield, a Columbia University health expert who worked with U.S. and international officials in Iraq last year. The U.S. "was pouring money down the drain."

Again, doctors say civilians killed, US denies: 'Many dead' in US strike in Iraq.

Reconstruction? What reconstruction? US ‘had no policy’ in place to rebuild Iraq.

Repatriation or ethnic cleansing? Iraq, US officials are wary as Kurds move back to Kirkuk.

Loretta Napoleoni and Mandana Hendessi: Outside view: Iraq's terror gangs. The article relates the Shia militias and their terrorist functions to activities in post-revolutionary Iran. It largely blames the al-Sadr forces for the proliferation of Shia gangs, ignoring the large role of the SCIRI and it's Badr Forces.

Behind the images of happy Iraqis at the polls stands a country where democracy has been introduced through war, implemented by force and exercised with violence; an electorate terrorized by ethnic militia and ruthless gangs used as tools by unscrupulous religious and political leaders

In Britain: War blamed as 6,000 quit Territorial Army.

In the US: 15,000 families reject recruiting calls.

Claims of rape and torture of women at the hands of Iraq's infamous SCIRI-controlled Interior Ministry: Governmental and Humanitarian Reports Disclose Violations of the Rights of Iraqi Female Detainees at Iraqi Interior Ministry Stations.

Begging for help to survive and recovery from US attacks: Iraqis Urged to Give Zakah [obligatory alms]for US-hit Anbar.

"Representatives of the ravaged areas in Al-Anbar came to many mosques in Baghdad, pleading for help and donations for our brethren who have been driven homeless by the many US military strikes on the western province," Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Ne'ama, imam of Omar Al-Mukhtar mosque in Baghdad, said in his Friday prayer sermon on October 28.

Iraqi Experts Demand for Amending the Constitution for Avoiding Negative Effects on the Oil Industry.

Now Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi claims he tried to talk Bush out of invading Iraq: I warned Bush about Iraq: Italy's PM.

Administration defends torture in violation of international law, again: Bush: Treaty Outlawing Torture Doesn't Apply Beyond US Soil.

Salman Shukur, Iraq's last living traditional master of the oud, or Arab lute: In the Twilight, the Gentle Strumming of a Bygone Iraq.

Must Read! Will the US "remove" him? Al-Sistani Said to Weigh Pullout Demand.

If the Americans and their coalition partners do not comply, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani would use peaceful means such as mass street protests to step up pressure for a pullout schedule, according to two associates of the cleric....
Vali Nasr, an expert on Shiites who lectures on national security affairs at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, Calif., said al-Sistani's intention to call for a withdrawal timetable has been an "open secret" for some time....
The al-Sistani associates said the cleric is deeply suspicious of the United States, although he has encouraged his followers to avoid an open confrontation with U.S. forces.... "He sees U.S. officials as symbols of the occupation," one associate said. "To meet with any of them could be used against him."

Next Iraqi election appears likely to be highly competitive.

Iraq's al-Sadr urges calm after militia clash with Sunnis.

Amid all the US press propaganda: Former Head of UN Humanitarian Program Denis Halliday: U.S. and Key Allies Facilitated Profiteering in Oil For Food Program.

Claim the war could have been averted at the last minute. Or is this PsyOps before Saddam's trial? Saddam accepted UAE exile plan to avert Iraq war-TV.

Over 300 parties registered: Iraq election campaign shapes up as ballot closes.

Study looks at U.S. gay soldiers in Iraq war.

Will food rations be next? Baghdad to start lifting subsidies on petrol.

Teri Mackey: My Son in Iraq: I Know That It Happened Because I Heard It.

Patrick Cockburn: Iraq remains a country in chaos.

But viewed from Baghdad, there is something absurd about the idea that a new constitution - the rules of the game under which the state will be governed - should be taken so seriously abroad when nobody in Iraq obeys the law and in any case there is no state....
Iraqis increasingly see the government as one more bandit gang trying to gouge money out of them. Private kidnap gangs have already forced much of the Iraqi middle class to flee to Jordan, Syria and Egypt. But now there is "official kidnapping", whereby a man is arrested and accused of support for the insurgents. Quite soon it is suggested to him that the only way he can get out of jail is to pay a large sum. One friend sold his house and paid $120 000 (R1.45 million) to his captors, who promptly arrested his son and demanded the same sum for his release.

No letup in occupation: US troops in Iraq hit record number.

Al-Sadr's movement becomes full partner in Shia United Iraqi Alliance: Shias, Sunnis lines drawn for Iraq vote.

As I recall, such behavior by the Redcoats contributed to the American Revolution and was condemned in the Declaration of Independence: Iraqis forced to take in uninvited troops.

Controversy grows over fate of Iraq detainees.

Pay-to-play omnipresent: UN probe finds 2,200 companies made illicit payments to Iraq.

Galloways face new claims over oil and cash.

Woman Sees Husband Off to War, Gets Fired for taking unpaid leave to do so.

Think of this when you buy gas and pay the heating bill: Shell beats forecasts with record profit. Profits up 68% by one accounting! And: Exxon Mobil Posts New Record for Profit. Up "almost 75%.... the largest quarterly profit for a U.S. company ever"!

Al-Sadr to form joint slate with Sunnis in Anbar province: Sadr, Sunnis join hands to contest polls: Radical cleric says alliance aims to 'consolidate national unity'. Other sources report that al-Sadr's forces will largely stay in the United Iraqi Alliance.

Billions missing, but the US Inspector General finds "possible fraud" in $24 million in contracts? Possible fraud seen in Iraq contracts.

Democracy Now! Col. Janis Karpinski, the Former Head of Abu Ghraib, Admits She Broke the Geneva Conventions But Says the Blame "Goes All the Way to The Top”.

The Iraqi Accord: Sunnis form alliance to fight election.

Al-Sistani says no: Top Iraqi Cleric Won't Back Shiite Parties.

The move by the Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani reflected the cleric's disappointment with the performance of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's Shiite-led government, according to three associates of the cleric who are in regular contact with him....
As an example of al-Sistani's disappointment, the associates spoke of a recent visit by a Shiite delegation to Najaf. The lawmakers came to sound out the cleric about a plan to establish a new ministry to supervise religious festivals after a series of bomb attacks and a stampede killed Shiite worshippers at religious ceremonies. "He told them that if the money is available to set up a new ministry then it will be better spent providing better services to Iraqis," one associate said. The idea was dropped.

Quarter of dead are National Guard troops.

Spouses and children: Casualties of a war a world away. See also: Where U.S. Iraq Deaths Hit Hardest.

Older, wiser and dying in Iraq. Soldiers dying in war overseas are, on average, more mature and likely to leave spouses, kids behind.

In typical fashion the New York Times completely ignores the Lancet study suggesting an Iraqi civilian death toll of 98,000 as of September 2004. They also ignore the high rate of death of women and children reported in the Lancet study: Rising Civilian Toll Is the Iraq War's Silent, Sinister Pulse.

US troops in Iraq wonder "Is today the day?"

Focus on US death toll in Iraq overshadows 15,000 wounded.

28% of Iraq Vets Have Health Problems.

Al-Sadr supporters join Sunnis in saying the election results were faked, in the Shia south as well as in the Sunni areas: Iraqis approve new constitution in a split vote.

After constitution failure: Iraq Sunnis seek US pullout as deaths mount.

"Our message to the American administration is clear: get out of Iraq or set a timetable for withdrawal or the resistance will keep slaughtering your soldiers until judgment day."

US human rights groups tell UN panel there are: Dozens of Abu Ghraibs?

They had nicknames: A closer look at a few of the fallen.

2,000 Casey Sheehan's now: U.S. military deaths reach 2,000 in Iraq. In response, Cindy Sheehan channels Rosa Parks: Anti-war mum urges civil disobedience. And others will vigil again: US anti-war groups prepare to mark 2000th Iraq death.

"We've identified the problem and it's not going away. What I think it's going to take now is non-violent, peaceful civil disobedience all over the country," Ms Sheehan told reporters across the street from the White House. Ms Sheehan said she planned to lie down on the street in front of the White House grounds tomorrow, knowing she would likely be arrested. "And when they let me out I will come back and do the same thing (again) if I get arrested," she said....
Ms Sheehan was accompanied by Mary Ann Wright, a former career US diplomat and military officer who resigned to protest the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Ms Wright was arrested along with Ms Sheehan and hundreds of other anti-war activists last month outside the White House. Ms Wright said acts of civil disobedience represented the best way to focus attention on the anti-war cause.

Fraud, they say: Sunni leaders reject Iraq charter.

"I call on the free world. I call on the United Nations to intervene. We will not accept any referendum or election without international observers."

More fraud claims: Iraq vote was a fraud. See details in Wasjington Week with Gwen Fill [about 60% down the page].

UNICEF: Iraq: Restore public health system for malnourished children.

[A]cute malnutrition among children had almost doubled since before the war, jumping from 4 per cent to 7.7 per cent. Children who are acutely malnourished are literally wasting away, and for severe cases their condition can be fatal. Acute malnutrition sets in very fast and is a strong indicator of the overall health of children.

Is the new US installed regime any different than the old? Iraqi interior ministry accused of assassinating defence lawyer in Hussein trial.

Greg Palast: OPEC and the Economic Conquest of Iraq: Why Iraq Still sells its oil à la cartel. Twilight of the neocon gods.

US District Judge Says Confession Under Torture Legal: Judge Rejects Bush Plot Suspect's Request.

Galloway says "Put up or shut up!" to US Senate. Prosecute me and I'll jump on a plane! Galloway challenges U.S. senators.

After tainted vote, a preordained announcement is made: Iraqis approve new constitution.

Is today the day? Iraq death toll now 1,999.

As poverty and despair spread: Desperate Squatters A 'Huge Problem': Many Iraqis Were Evicted After Invasion.

Iraqi women take up arms, employed by private security company.

"Before I got into this, I was like a normal female; when I heard bullets, I would hide," said Muna, a stocky young woman in a black T-shirt and black pants. "Now, I feel like a man. When I hear a bullet, I want to know where it came from," she said, sitting comfortably with an AK-47 assault rifle across her legs, red toenails poking out from a pair of stacked sandals. "Now I feel equal to my husband."

The crook still may steal the country, for the US: Searching for Saviors in Strange Places: Could Ahmad Chalabi end up running Iraq?

Protecting torture, our government's primary task. Even more important than protecting Cheney: Exception Sought in Detainee Abuse Ban. To his eternal credit, "Mr. McCain rejected the proposed exemption."

But Mr. McCain has kept the pressure on as the issue moves to a House-Senate conference committee, perhaps later this week or next. Shortly after the Senate vote on Oct. 5, Mr. McCain's staff sent members of the conference committee letters endorsing the provision signed by more than two dozen retired senior military officers, including former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and John M. Shalikashvili, both former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Halliburton making money off of illegal immigrants in Louisiana, while helping fire union workers. Sounds like Cheney's company: Illegal workers found at La. base.

Multiple murders by US forces, ACLU reports: US Operatives Killed Detainees During Interrogations in Afghanistan and Iraq: CIA, Navy Seals and Military Intelligence Personnel Implicated.

The other victims: Psyches of Iraq's Children Caught in the Cross-Fire. Adults seek to soothe youngsters scarred not only by bombs, but by fear and hatred as well.

Across the capital, parents, teachers and others now speak of protecting children not just from bombs, but from the war games youngsters play on the streets and the prejudices stoked by the mounting sectarian violence. Adults wish they could heal the psychological scars of growing up in a place where every passing car could be lethal....
"Children are growing afraid to interact with other children. They are afraid of relationships," Mohammed said. "This generation, when it grows up, will create an unstable, weak society….[They] will curse us for what we have wrought in Iraq."

They claim they don't count civilian victims, but they've decided to make propaganda counts of "insurgents". They're obviously desperate: Enemy Body Counts Revived: US Is Citing Tolls to Show Success in Iraq.

Unlike Bush and gang, they won't be able to just wash they're hands of the mess: Another Iraq war legacy: badly wounded US troops.

British forces arrest nine Iraqis as poll shows hostility to troops.

Bye, bye, partner: Ukraine must withdraw troops from Iraq by Dec. 30, Ukraine defense chief says.

Galloway accused of lying to US Senate. The primary witness appears to be Tariq Aziz, in US custody for over two years. Previous accusations against Galloway have been based on forged documents.

Given who's in charge, what would you expect: US State Department 'charm offensive' hits bumps.

[T]he latest blow to the campaign happened last week when Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice told a US Senate panel that terrorism "has its roots in this very malignant water that is the Middle East." Many US allies in the region were outraged at Ms. Rice's remark.

Two provinces reject: Iraqi province to make or break charter. Some Sunni leaders claim that Nineveh rejected it. Given the weird voting there, no one will ever know the true result, meaning that suspicion that the constitution only passed through vote fraud will remain. In any case, it is clear that the Sunnis decisively rejected it (over 96% NO in al-Anbar): Iraq Charter Appears to Have Failed: Sunni Leader.

War Pimp Alert! Blair’s New Tune on Iran.

US-paid Killers-R-Us on the loose in Iraq: Making a killing. The American government is hiring private security firms to stabilise Iraq — and paying them a fortune to do it. But many of them are unregulated and operate outside the law. Jon Swain joins the hired guns on the streets of Baghdad — and assesses the real cost of privatising war

How Britain botched the Iran stand-off.

Tom Lasseter: Referendum has changed little in Iraq.

Absolute Must Read! It looks like virtually every Iraqi outside the Kurdish region is "strongly opposed" to the presence of occupation troops, and 45% back support attacks on those troops!. Wouldn't "democracy" mean the US and Britain would start packing today?: Secret MoD poll: Iraqis support attacks on British troops.

  • Forty-five per cent of Iraqis believe attacks against British and American troops are justified - rising to 65 per cent in the British-controlled Maysan province;
  • 82 per cent are "strongly opposed" to the presence of coalition troops;
  • less than one per cent of the population believes coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security;
  • 67 per cent of Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation;
  • 43 per cent of Iraqis believe conditions for peace and stability have worsened;
  • 72 per cent do not have confidence in the multi-national forces.
The opinion poll, carried out in August, also debunks claims by both the US and British governments that the general well-being of the average Iraqi is improving in post-Saddam Iraq.

Al-Sistani backs Arab League initiative: Iraq cleric backs reconciliation meeting.

In Salahuddin: Sunni area 'rejects Iraq charter'. In Diyala, if one chooses to believe it at this point: Indications crucial Iraqi province leaning toward 'yes' vote.

Bombing of Baghdad statue angers Sunnis, Shi'ites.

I don't care much what happens to the dictator, but does this sound like Saddam has any possibility of getting a fair trial? Saddam Judge in Escape to Britain. Is the deal on if they vote "Not Guilty?"

The judges and lawyers trying Saddam Hussein and his henchmen have been offered new homes in Britain or America. The five-man panel of judges together with the main prosecuting counsel have been told that after the trial they will be given new lives with their families outside Iraq.

BBC: Referendum crisis looms in Iraq.

Bizarre results to be ignored: No sign of dangerous Iraq vote violations -commission.

What the US military leaders really think. New constitution may have hard time halting Iraq's fragmentation.

"Maybe they just need to have their civil war," a senior military official in Baghdad said recently. "In this part of the world it's almost a way of life."...
Even Shiites in southern Iraq are growing skeptical. Turnout for the constitutional vote there was far lower than it was for January's national elections. "In (the southern city of) Basra we don't have any government. We're ruled by religious parties. There are no services in the city except for the streets where the politicians live," said Faleh al Bahadli, a 46-year-old Shiite taxi driver there. "Our politicians leave their families outside of Iraq. They come here to make money for eight months and then they leave Iraq...."
The majority of Iraqi political leaders gained office with an assist from Washington, first from then-U.S. Ambassador to Iraq L. Paul Bremer, who appointed the governing council in July 2003. They used the positions to dominate the U.S.-facilitated election last January. Those who lost the elections remained in Baghdad political circles and have continued to play a key role. Most came to Iraq after the U.S. invasion from homes in places such as Britain, Iran and France, where many of their families remain.

Kidnapped and freed Rory Carroll: 'Gunmen surrounded us, firing into the windscreen. The dreaded moment had arrived: kidnap'. See also: Iraqi police praised as four arrested over abduction.

Iraq constitution result delayed.

Must Read! CBS correspondent Allen Pizzey: Total Disconnect On Iraq Realities.

For example, in opening remarks to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that part of the U.S. strategy for “winning” in Iraq was to hold and secure areas. “We can implement this element of the strategy … neighborhood by neighborhood," Rice said, adding: “and this process has already begun.” As evidence, she offered: “Compare the situation a year ago in places like Haifa Street in Baghdad …”
Well, a year ago there was a sign at the Assassin’s Gate exit from the Green Zone that read: “Haifa Street is Condition Red. Do Not Use Haifa Street.” The sign is still there today, it just takes you longer to get to it as you leave the Green Zone because more barriers have been erected to keep the suicide bombers out....
The Private Security Details, or PSDs, drive as fast as possible, guns bristling, bulling their way through traffic in SUVs. The vehicles, of course, are guaranteed to make them a target. But maybe that’s the point. Apparently answerable to no laws, not even those of courtesy, PSDs who shoot at civilians are not known to stop and check what they have done. And the only thing they do more often than shoot is shout “F*** off!” at anyone who gets in their way. Maybe they do it because they can. What’s the point of having guns, wrap-around shades, lots of kit that looks like it came from the props department of an action movie, and a body that seriously hints at steroid abuse if you can’t enjoy it?

Killing of lawyer casts doubt on Iraqi justice, rights groups say.

Just how must is "a whole lot"? It's difficult to pin a price tag on wars.

Karen Hughes off by a hundred times in her math lecture to Indonesians, then repeats mistake two times: Indonesians challenge US envoy in lively exchange.

"After all he had used weapons of mass destruction against his own people like he murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people using poison gas against them," she said.... Saddam Hussein is expected to face charges over a poison gas attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988 which killed about 5,000 people. He has said the deaths were the result of a battle nearby with Iranian forces, which also used gas.

National Guard readiness eroded by Iraq: report.

US National Guard units are under-equipped and increasingly unready to help in domestic disaster relief because essential gear is left behind after service in Iraq and Afghanistan, a congressional report said on Thursday.

Fighting "Coalition" with law: Iraq War Lawsuit Targets Danish PM: Father of dead soldier joins the suit claiming Iraq participation was 'unconstitutional'.

Support Our Troops? US military sucking the blood out of wounded cannon fodder: Hounding The Wounded.

Robert Loria is one of those embarrassing examples the Post reported. His left hand was blown off in Iraq. He couldn't walk. He was flown home for treatment and recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. When he left Iraq, he also left the war zone and the Pentagon reduced his pay. Nine months after he was wounded, the Army began garnishing his wages and hit him with a $6,200 bill. This spring, a collection agency began calling, saying he owed nearly $650 for military housing. He was also charged several hundred dollars for equipment that could not be found after he was wounded.

More on: Ninevah and the Constitutional Referendum.

A fifth grade classroom? A Shot To the Heart In Baghdad: One Child Killed In Attack on School.

Can the dictator get a fair trial when the defense attorney's are being killed? Kidnapped defense lawyer in Saddam case killed.

Serious Lapses Taint Probes of Detainee Deaths says Human Rights First`.

Syria Involved in Killing Lebanon's Ex-Premier, U.N. Report Says . See related: Does Iraq arrest signal Syrian turnabout?

Jonathan Steele: Saddam's trial is merely a political sideshow. The success of the new constitution will depend on whether Sunnis feel cheated by the referendum.

US oil firm pleads guilty in connection with UN oil for food scandal.

Thank God! Abducted Guardian journalist is freed.

"They were Shia," he said. "At one point I was told I would be used as a bargaining chip in exchange for [Shia cleric Moqtada] al-Sadr people taken in Basra. My fear was that I would be sold on to the Sunni or Islamist groups." Speaking about his release last night, he said: "I heard a captor in the corridor answer his mobile. He laughed and sounded relieved and opened the bolted door and said, 'I am going to let you go'."

Another journalist and trade unionist murdered: Editor shot and killed in Baghdad.

More questions suggesting vote fraud in Nineveh, the crucial province: Vote Figures for Crucial Province Don't Add Up.

The early vote totals from Nineveh province, which suggested an overwhelming majority in favor of Iraq's draft constitution that assured its passage by national referendum, now appear to have been highly misleading. The final official figures for the province, obtained by IPS from a U.S. official in Mosul, actually have the constitution being rejected by a fairly wide margin, but less than the two-thirds majority required to defeat it outright.
The final vote totals suggest that the Sunnis, who clearly voted with near unanimity against the constitution, are a minority in the province. It is generally acknowledged that Sunnis constitute a hefty majority of the population of Nineveh, although Kurdish leaders have never conceded that fact....
A total of 350,000 votes for the constitution in the province is questionable based on the area's ethnic-religious composition. The final vote breakdown for the January election reveals that the Kurds and Shiites in Nineveh had mustered a combined total of only 130,000 votes for Kurdish and Shi'ite candidates, despite high rates of turnout for both groups. To have amassed 350,000 votes for the constitution, they would have had to obtain overwhelming support from the non-Kurdish, non-Arab minorities in the province.

Report: Baghdad Mayor Killed.

War Crimes! Australian TV gets footage of US troops burning corpses and then taunting the population: Film rolls as troops burn dead.

US soldiers in Afghanistan burnt the bodies of dead Taliban and taunted their opponents about the corpses, in an act deeply offensive to Muslims and in breach of the Geneva conventions....
According to an SBS translation of the message, delivered in the local language, the soldiers accused Taliban fighters near Kandahar of being "cowardly dogs". "You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burnt. You are too scared to retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be," the message reportedly said. "You attack and run away like women. You call yourself Taliban but you are a disgrace to the Muslim religion, and you bring shame upon your family. Come and fight like men instead of the cowardly dogs you are...."
The burning of a body is a deep insult to Muslims. Islam requires burial within 24 hours. Under the Geneva conventions the burial of war dead "should be honourable, and, if possible, according to the rites of the religion to which the deceased belonged".

Amid all the horror, this one strikes home. Rory Carroll is presumed kidnapped: Guardian journalist missing in Iraq. More information on Carroll: http://breakingnews.iol.ie/news/story.asp?j=184358705&p=y843595zx.

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Christopher Allbritton in Time on another useless excercise: Stealing Votes in Iraq? Allegations of ballot-stuffing may have irreversibly tainted the outcome in Sunni eyes.

The Electoral Commission plan is an attempt to reestablish the legitimacy of the poll, but the real outcome of the voting may no longer matter. Iraqi political discussion is often ruled by conspiracy theories and tribal passions rather than by evidence and cool reason. Whatever the findings of the Electoral Commission, the constitution will likely be viewed as compromised by many Sunnis, its passage seen as proof that the political process has been rigged against them from the start...
"It will be very difficult to convince people to come back to the political process," said Saleh Mutlaq, a member of the National Dialogue Council, a Sunni group that strongly opposed the constitution. "People will be disappointed that their voices mean nothing." That will be bad for Iraq, "and for the people occupying it," he added ominously....
It is in Mosul, in Nineveh Province, that the Sunnis may have their best reason to cry foul. Early numbers from the Associated Press — which aren't endorsed by the Electoral Commission — showed almost twice as many "yes" votes for the constitution as the total number of voters in January's elections for the National Assembly, meaning that every new voter and then some voted for the constitution. Nineveh is generally considered a majority Sunni province, and Mosul was the hometown of many of Iraq's generals and other officers before the 2003 invasion....
U.S. soldiers stationed in Mosul told TIME that District Election Officers had moved polling sites that day, confusing voters. In one case, they claimed, an official had moved a polling site to his office at another school two miles from the old site without informing anyone. There were also reports of election officials separating the vote tally sheets from the ballot boxes, allowing them to be marked separately — and possibly fraudulently.
"It wouldn't surprise me if the election was rigged," said a U.S. Army officer in Mosul who requested anonymity and who worked on security arrangements for the poll with Iraqi security and election officials. "I don't even trust our election process."
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Anyone seen Katherine Harris? Iraq voter turnout suspiciously high.

After vote, Iraqi Sunnis at crossroads.

Dahr Jamail: “Elections” and other Deceptions in Iraq.

Can we trade him in for a preferred model? US, Britain lose faith in 'ineffective' leader.

The previous leader they traded in: Saddam defiant as trial opens.

Spain issues warrant for US troops who are suspected of firing on a Baghdad hotel in 2003, killing a Spanish cameraman.

Occupation could go on for 10 years or more, in other words, forever: Rice Hedges Iraq Troop Question.

1 in 4 Iraq vets ailing on return.

British army having trouble filling the cannon fodder quota: War in Iraq putting off recruits, says army.

Millions of dollars worth of: Computers donated by South Korea stolen in Iraq.

Iraq: US $3 Billion losses because of oil export stoppage.

Pentagon: Agency charged with spending oversight in Iraq left country in '04.

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The dictator goes on trial: A chance for justice, but will it be seized? By Simon Tisdall.

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Iraqis Lives No Better Since War: Congressional Report. Full report from GAO: Rebuilding Iraq: Enhancing Security, Measuring Program Results, and Maintaining Infrastructure Are Necessary to Make Significant and Sustainable Progress.

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Scratch that: Many Iraq projects may be dropped - US official.

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They can't completely deny reports of major civilian casualties in Ramadi: US to review Iraqi raid for civilian deaths. Of course, the "review" is as predictable as all the other so-called "reviews" that always exonerate the military.

Allawi gathers allies for December elections .

Kurds seek damages from Saddam in US.

Universities recruit 5,000 teaching staff from Iraqis living abroad.

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I'm not sure it's really a "new low": Halliburton's New Low in Treachery.

Allegations of electoral fraud throughout the country. Whatever the ultimate result, who will trust the results in the December election? Iraq Election Commission Checking Ballots. See also: Suspicious vote totals delay election results: 99% reportedly backed constitution in some provinces.

Juan Cole's latest on the elections and how they portent an increased insurgency: Voting Tallies Provoke Investigation.

For the rejection to be consistent within a single bloc is a very bad sign for the future of the country.
The Washington spinmeisters who are trying to say that the mere fact of the Sunnis voting is a good thing, even if they voted against the constitution, do no know what they are talking about. Political participation is not always a positive thing. The Nazis after all were elected to the Reichstag. And Serbs consistently voted for Milosevic and other ultra-nationalists. Nobody in Washington thought it positive that Iranian hardliners came out in some numbers to vote for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Some elections are tragedies for a nation. This constitutional referendum was one of them.

Treatment of Prisoners. Not a Few Bad Apples! New Revelations by American Soldiers of Abuse in Iraq. FRONTLINE Presents "The Torture Question" Tuesday, October 18, 2005, from 9 to 10:30 P.M. ET on PBS.

"It's all over Iraq," Lagouranis told FRONTLINE. "The infantry units are torturing people in their homes. They would smash people's feet with the back of an axhead. They would break bones, ribs. That was serious stuff...."
"Most of the abuses around Iraq are not photographed," a soldier who requested anonymity told FRONTLINE. "And this makes it even harsher, because around Iraq, in the back of a Humvee or in a shipping container, there's no camera, and there's no one looking over your shoulder, so you can do anything you want...."

Chris Albritton analyzes election results and finds: Curious numbers in Ninevah. See also Gareth Porter's warning: Stuffing Iraq's ballot boxes.

Those expert at getting vote counts to come out the right way speak too early: Iraqi officials steamed over Rice vote forecast: Officials in Baghdad stress final count of vote on constitution is not in despite Rice’s comment.

For what it's worth: Iraq Electoral Division to Audit Results.

Loyalties Lie With Clerics, Not With Politicians, in Najaf: But Low Shiite Turnout in South May Signal Waning Influence.

To celebrate the elections, at least 39: Civilians Killed in U.S. Bombing.

Associated Press Television News video from the scene showed the victims included at least two children and one woman. Witnesses said seven other children were among the dead. APTN also showed two children among the wounded at Ramadi General Hospital.

The Independent asks: Are British troops at breaking point in Iraq

As Saddam Hussein goes on trial: Trial of the century? Not for Iraqis

It is now virtually impossible to take this letter seriously, after the issues raised earlier by Juan Cole and now this: Doubts Are Mounting On Al Qaeda Letter Aired by Negroponte.

What else would he say? Bush optimistic after Iraq poll, analysts skeptical.

Andrew Arato tries to figure out just what did Iraqis vote for on Saturday: The Constitution and a Pot of Porridge.

Some with money bet on the future: Baghdad real estate market is booming despite escalating violence.

Evidence already of the polarizing effect of the election: Sunni group disputes reports of constitution's likely passage.

Sunni Turnout Is High In Vote on Iraqi Charter: Attacks by Insurgents Largely Halt During Referendum.

Iran Closely Watching Iraq Referendum.

Early returns suggest rejection in two provinces, but not the three needed for rejection. The overall result would be quite bad. It would mean that Sunnis voted in large numbers against the Constitution, but were powerless to affect the result, potentially increasing sectarian tensions: US sees Iraq charter passed as veto risk recedes.

Gilbert Achcar provides the following notes on yesterday's Constitutional referendum: On the Sunni Vote in the October 15 Constitutional Referendum. Among the information are reports of increased tension between al-Qaida, which insisted on a boycott (and which killed four Sunni voters in Ramadi), and other Sunni resistance groups, which largely wanted a "NO" vote.

Claim as to what the British soldiers arrested in Basra were up to: Captured SAS men 'spying on drill torturer'.

In Sadr City: Baghdad slum backs charter, even without clerics.

Remember, in January, totally fake turnout figures were floated for days by people who had no way of knowing as part of the spin. We'll have to wait and see to have a true sense: Iraq vote turnout may exceed 10 million but hundreds of thousands of Sunnis unable to vote because of lack of polling places.

Some Sunnis vote "yes", reports Peter Beaumont: Sunnis venture down political path. Many in Iraq's minority feel that after boycotts the time is ripe for compromise. That's why some voted for the constitution yesterday.

The dangers of running a vote: Iraqi referendum workers abducted.

The invaluable Riverbend on the eve of the vote: The Referendum...

Most educated Iraqis want to vote against the constitution. This makes the fact that Iraqis abroad aren’t being allowed to vote this time around worrisome. Why was it vital for them to vote for a temporary government back in January but it’s not necessary for them to contribute to this referendum which will presumably decide a permanent constitution for generations and generations of Iraqis? Could it be that the current Iranian inclined government knew that many Iraqis abroad didn’t like the constitution because of federalism, women’s rights, and the mention of no laws to be placed which contradict Islam?

Bombs that killed British soldiers used technology provided to the IRA by British Security! Now Britain tries to pass the blame to Iran: Revealed: IRA bombs killed eight British soldiers in Iraq.

US cannot explain suspicious Zawahri letter passage.

Just the known ones. Those killed by US bombing in far away places are never counted: 3,663 Iraqis killed in past 6 months.

Must Read! On the eve of the latest "tipping point," Patrick Cockburn provides a comprehension description and analysis of the total American-British failure in Iraq: Iraq: The state we're in. When will peace return to Iraq? When will the terrifying cycle of bombings and suicide attacks abate? When will the people have food and electricity? When will they be able to walk the streets in safety? When will our sons and daughters return home? How will it all end? In this special report from Baghdad, The Independent's Patrick Cockburn exposes the monumental series of blunders that plunged the nation into chaos - and explains why the conflict will be longer, bloodier and more profound in its consequences even than Vietnam

Jean Ziegler, a former Swiss sociology professor who is UN special rapporteur on the right to food: Allies charged with 'starvation warfare'.

A United Nations human rights investigator yesterday accused British and US forces in Iraq of breaching international law by depriving civilians of food and water in besieged cities as they tried to flush out militants.... "A drama is taking place in total silence in Iraq, where the coalition's occupying forces are using hunger and deprivation of water as a weapon of war against the civilian population," Mr Ziegler said.

For Basra the poll heralds the start of Shia ascendancy.

Overall, the mood is of optimism and bullish confidence in the Shia heartland. It manifests itself in the Iraqi police confronting the British military, in the provincial council cutting power to Baghdad for a week and negotiating commercial deals with Iran and the Gulf states, in the consumer durables flooding in from Kuwait and spilling from the pavements in local markets.

That great Bush election tactic at work, suppress the vote? Voters said to hunt for polling sites in west Iraq.

"There are no voting centers in cities like Haditha, Hit, Rawa, Qaim, Ana, Baghdadi and the villages around them," Mahmoud Salman al-Ani, a human rights activist in Ramadi, said on Friday, listing locations across western Anbar province. "There aren't actually any voting centers or even voting sheets in these cities ... Nobody knows how and where to vote if they decide to," he said of the predominantly Sunni Arab region....
"The Americans intended to isolate the cities in western Iraq to prevent the huge Sunni population from voting," said Thair al-Hadeethi, a human rights activist from Haditha. In Ramadi, a group of residents said they had walked around their neighborhood looking for a voting center and not found one. Parts of Ramadi are essentially in rebel hands.

Low Ballot Turnout Expected in Volatile Sunni Region. See also: Sunni Strategy Shifts Toward Voter Turnout by Gareth Porter.

[Sunni Strategy:] [M]ost Sunni insurgent groups appear to be supporting a new Sunni strategy to use the U.S.-sponsored political process wherever possible to gain political leverage with the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government, without giving up the armed resistance as the ultimate source of leverage toward a more equitable system.

Sunni: Iraqi minister says he expects constitution to be defeated.

"If the Iraqis are given the opportunity to vote freely, they will say no,'' Industry Minister Osama al-Najafi said during a visit to Malaysia.

Not All Kurds Support Constitution. While Kurds may overwhelmingly vote “yes” in the referendum, a vocal minority is expressing reservations.

Many of these dissenters are opposed to the constitution because they believe it extinguishes the possibility of a Kurdish state or does not support women’s rights. And a significant number said they wouldn’t participate because they do not trust the Kurdish political parties or the political process. Some have accused the parties of corruption and maintained they do not serve the people. Services such as water and electricity are poor and housing is expensive, making daily life a struggle for many.

Kirkuk's volatile mix to test Iraq's referendum .

The developing Middle East conflict: Saudi sees Iraq constitution tilting power to Iran .

Another TCN [third country national, aka "slave labor"] dies en route to service for the American masters: Death On Path To Work.

Sorry we killed your loved one. Please don't hold it against us: Colonel's Toughest Duty. Battalion commander pays his respects, apologizes to Iraqis whose civilian relatives have been killed by anonymous GIs in passing patrols and convoys.

Juan Cole: Zawahiri Letter to Zarqawi: A Shiite Forgery?

My gut tells me that the letter is a forgery. Most likely it is a black psy-ops operation of the US. But it could also come from Iran, since the mistakes are those a Shiite might make when pretending to be a Sunni. Or it could come from an Iraqi Shiite group attempting to manipulate the United States. Hmmm.

Election begins: Four-day shutdown for Iraq referendum.

CIA asset warns against US supported government: Iraq's Allawi warns against Islamist rulers.

Iraq's former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said on Thursday that if the Shi'ite Islamists now in power are returned to office in a December election sectarian strife will deepen and destabilize the whole Middle East. "Religious rule would cast Iraq into problems with a beginning but no end...."
Allawi, a former member of Saddam's secular Baath party, said Iraqis must stop defining themselves in terms of religion or ethnicity or risk sliding into anarchy. "We must focus on one Iraq. If people say this or that post can only be occupied by a Sunni or a Shi'ite then we will be going back to the Dark Ages. That does not suit Iraq," he said.

From the Wall Street Journal on the expanding blowback from the Iraq war: The Base: Radicals in Iraq Begin Exporting Violence, Mideast Neighbors Say; Rebels Enter Jordan for Attack, Kuwait Finds Bomb Cache As Fighters Cross Borders; Bush: Terrorists' 'Central Front'.

Militants with ties to Iraqi insurgents are already waging a campaign against the Assad government, says Eyal Zisser, a Syria expert at Tel Aviv University. He says the campaign is waged by a group called Jund Al Sham, or Soldiers of the Levant, and that fighters caught or killed in the campaign show it is transnational. "This is a major problem for the Syrian regime and a clear result of the anarchy in Iraq," Mr. Zisser says.

Which way to vote: Sunni parties divided over referendum.

Lies, lies, lies: Bush accused of staging chat with troops .

Must Read! Virtual slavery of thousands critical to US war effort: US cash, demands of war fuel human trade. See also: The Pay May Be Lousy, But the Fish Head Soup Is Free.

Even after foreign workers discover they have been lured under false pretenses, many say they have little choice but to continue into Iraq or stay longer than planned. They feel trapped because they must repay brokers' huge fees. Some U.S. subcontractors in Iraq - and the brokers feeding them - employ practices condemned by the U.S. elsewhere, including fraud, coercion and seizure of workers' passports.

Al Qaeda in Iraq says Zawahri letter is fake.

In Washington, U.S. officials and experts were split on the letter's authenticity. Ken Katzman, a terrorism expert with the Congressional Research Service -- the in-house think-tank of the U.S. Congress -- said the letter contained elements that raised doubts about its authenticity.

Making enemies, one a time: Balancing Act: When U.S. soldiers conduct a raid, they go in hard, and that has consequences: The aggressive tactics used in the hunt for insurgents often alienate innocent Iraqis.

In at least one part of Iraq, they look forward to Saturday's vote: Iraq's Shiite Hub Awaits Its Day: Najaf Prepares to Endorse Charter, but Rifts Are Apparent.

Norway's coalition to pull troops from Iraq.

Profits: Perini gets $185 million in contracts.

For many Kurds, Constitution is wrong direction: Iraq's Kurds Ambivalent On Charter: Already Semi-Autonomous, Region Is Wary of Change.

Must Read! Tom Lasseter writes of the new sectarian militia, sometimes called the Iraqi Army: Sectarian resentment extends to Iraq's army, undermining security.

But day to day, the Iraqi officers mostly run their own show, carrying out most of the patrols and running checkpoints without help. Increasingly, however, they look and operate less like an Iraqi national army unit and more like a Shiite militia....
"When we are in charge of security the people will follow a law that says you will be sentenced to prison if you speak against the government, and for people like Saleh Mutlak [A Sunni leader] there will be execution," Zubaidi said....
"Even if you people, you Sunnis, roll tanks on our heads we will not give this country back to you," Mousawi said. "It's ours now...."
Some Iraqi troops went a step further, saying they were only awaiting word from the marja'iya before turning on American forces. Although many Shiites are grateful for the overthrow of Saddam, they also are suspicious of U.S. motives. Those suspicions partly stem from the failure of the first Bush administration to support a U.S.-encouraged Shiite uprising against Saddam in 1991. Saddam suppressed it and slaughtered thousands.
"In Amariyah last week, a car bomb hit a U.S. Humvee and their soldiers began to shoot randomly. They killed a lot of innocent civilians. I was there; I saw it," said Sgt. Fadhal Yahan. "This happens all the time. If they keep doing this, the people will attack them. And we are part of the people." Sgt. Jawad Majid chimed in: "We have our marja'iya and we are waiting for them to decide when the time to fight (the Americans) is, when it is no longer time to be silent...."
"Thousands and thousands of Shiites are being killed, which is why they're joining the army," Sabri said. "Just let us have our constitution and elections in December and then we will do what Saddam did - start with five people from each neighborhood and kill them in the streets and then go from there." Asked if he worried about possible fighting between his men and the Sunnis at Umm al Qura, the brigade's command sergeant major, Hassan Kadhum, smiled. "Your country had to have a civil war," he said. "It will be the same here. Everything in this world has its price. In Iraq the price for peace will be blood."

Ever the optimist: Straw: 10 yrs to stabilise Iraq.

The boss speaks: Iraq's Sistani urges Iraqis to back constitution.

Part of: Text of proposed Iraqi constitution. Try and understand it!

Parliament approves compromise deal on constitution. In contemporary Iraqi fashion, Parliament didn't even bother to vote.

The session, attended by 157 of the body's 275 members, ended without a vote on the measure. Parliament speaker Hajim al-Hassani said a vote was not necessary and that the amendments were approved....
[It's hard to understand what all the fuss is about:] But the current additions give no guarantee that the Sunnis will be able to push through the changes in the future - only that they will have the chance to try.

They were warned of disaster, but ignored it: CIA Report Slams Bush Administration For Ignoring Iraq War Intelligence warning of massive resistance to occupation. See also John Prados: Director Of Censored Intelligence.

Britain piles on Iran: Iranian troops 'training Iraqi insurgents'.

Special Forces Suicides Raise Questions .

Jordan booming as Iraqis flee hardships.

Some profit: Czech, Iraq sign contract on arms supply. And: Synergetic Technology Surges Forward -- Iraq, CabWatch, Etc.

A little more detail on the bizarre Constitution "deal": Iraq to amend charter before vote, but no harmony. What was the Iraqi Islamic Party offered to support this farce that hardly changes from the version they rejected? And why are voters around Iraq being denied the opportunity to read the Constitution before Saturday's vote?

"The decision of the Iraqi Islamic Party does not represent the views of the Sunnis. This is a ploy by the people in power to divide the Sunnis," said Hussein al-Falluji, a Sunni politician who was involved in earlier constitutional talks. "Anyone supporting this constitution is merely ruining his reputation," said Abdul Salam al-Kubaisi of the powerful Muslim Clerics Association, who criticised the Iraqi Islamic Party....
Some leading Shi'ites have also voiced doubts about the draft. One of the most senior ayatollahs, Mohammed Mehdi al- Khalisi, called for rejection of the constitution on Tuesday because it had been drawn up under foreign occupation.

Juan Cole on the new new Constitution "deal":

The Shiites and Kurds have agreed that the newly elected parliament after December 15 will reopen negotiations with the Sunni Arabs on the constitution. This step was enough to convince the Iraqi Islamic Party to drop its call for a Sunni Arab rejection fo the constitution in the October 15 referendum. This whole episode strikes me as bizarre, since Iraqis are now voting on a constitution that may be subsequently changed at will! As with the Jan. 30 parliamentary elections, in which they had no idea for whom they were voting for the most part, so in the referendum they will have no idea for what they are voting. The Bush administration is just making them jumpt through hoops in hopes that will look good and "democratic" back in Peoria and help Republicans get elected in 06. If the constitution is not ready to be voted on, they should have taken the 6-month extension and worked on it some more. This weird procedure of voting on a document that is riddled with escape hatches such that key issues will be decided later by parliament cannot lead anywhere good.

Shi'ite Ayatollah Urges Iraqis to Boycott Referendum.

In a statement released to the media, the Iraqi Shiite movement leader defined the constitution drafted by the parliament in Baghdad "contrary to the interests of the country and in the service of the Americans."

Syria warns 'gates of hell will open' if U.S. attacks.

How ordinary people view their lives: Voices of Iraq: Baghdadis tell their stories.

What's this? Deal to consider changing the constitution six months after it's adopted. Iraq leaders agree to review charter changes. More on the back room deal: Iraqis in late deal to ease bitterness before vote:..

There was no agreement, however, about precisely how the constitution might be amended, leaving the Sunni minority still at risk of being disappointed in next year's negotiations. One secular Sunni leader, who was not at the talks, said such an agreement would not change his attitude towards the referendum. Sunni politicians have mostly called on people to vote "No" ... or to boycott the polls.

Majority Shias beginning to flex muscle in Iraq.

Until a few months ago, the Shia needed the troops of the U.S.-led coalition, both to protect them against attacks by the Sunni and to bolster the national government while it went through its first elections and then began to haggle over a new constitution. The day is fast approaching when the Shia will be as glad to see the Americans and others go, as now do the most radical of the jihadist insurgents. They will then be able to construct a Shia-led Islamic republic throughout southern Iraq. To a considerable extent, this is already happening. There are only 8,000 British troops in the region. Large areas are run entirely by Shia militia, while religious police go about arresting unveiled women.

More progress: Traumatised young Iraqis turn increasingly to hard drugs.

The Ministry of Health has warned that drug abuse is rising steadily among men and women of all ages in Iraq, especially in the capital Baghdad and in the south of the country....
"There has a huge increase in the consumption of drugs since last year," said Kamel Ali, director of the Ministry of Health's drug control programme. "The numbers have doubled. In most cases the users are youths who have become addicted and are now working as drug dealers under pressure from the traffickers in order to keep themselves supplied," he said....
[T]oday it is quite common to see young men snorting heroin in deserted areas of waste ground in Baghdad or even in the streets. They show little fear of the government security forces, which now have appear to have many drug addicts in their own ranks.

Interior Minister, of the Badr Organization, spins and spins: Q & A with Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr.

Iraq officials accused over missing $1bn.

Iraqi prosecutors have issued arrest warrants against five ministers from the US-backed government of the former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi over the misappropriation of military procurement funds.

Posturing in Iraq's south: Basra governor: British threatening vote. See also: UK to pay for damage to Basra police station .

Oil production below prewar levels: Pessimism surrounds falling oil production in Iraq. See also: Protecting Iraq's precious oil terminals.

[Pessimism:] Iraq's oil wells — beset by equipment problems and saboteurs — are producing about 1.9 million barrels a day in net production, lower than the 2.6 million it was producing just before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, according to the London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES).

Further sign the military is cracking: War in Iraq shifts Air Force into ground roles.

Straining to find ground troops to maintain its force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has begun deploying thousands of Air Force personnel to combat zones in new jobs as interrogators, prison sentries and gunners on supply trucks.... [T]he reassignment of Air Force personnel comes as another sign that the Pentagon is struggling to meet the demands of what military officials have begun calling "the long war."

In Britain: Senior officers 'tried to block Iraq killing investigation.

[Lord Goldsmith:] "There is evidence which could be taken to show a concerted attempt by the chain of command to influence and prevent an investigation into this matter."

Reality or psyops? I bet on the latter: Al-Qaeda No. 2 to his deputy: Be ready in case Americans leave Iraq fast .

Gilbert Achcar's latest information: Iraq Developments — Oct. 11, 2005. Among other things, he explains the desperation behind Washington's last minute negotiations with the Sunnis. Stopping federalism, with its likely creation of a Shiite ministate with most of the oil and allied with Iraq, is the key.

“Divide and rule” is an astute imperial recipe when it serves as a way to keep control over a territory. But when it messes up and leads to the most important part of this territory threatening to acquire autonomy, free itself from the tutelage of the Empire and ally with the latter’s bitterest regional enemy, the result has only one name: it is a disaster.
Khalilzad is actually trying to “limit the damage” to US interests by seeking some compromise through which key Iraqi Sunni and Shiite forces could be “reconciled” so that some kind of centralized Iraq could be held together, with the US as main broker/mediator—in other words, Khalilzad is trying to rescue “operation divide and rule.” In this endeavor, the US Ambassador, far from looking as a “honest broker,” is acting more and more like a local player in Iraqi politics (which is by itself an indication of the big failure of the Bush administration’s designs). Khalilzad is now working openly hand in hand with Iraqi CIA-buddy and former “Prime Minister,” Iyad Allawi: they are conducting together Washington’s last-minute attempts, meeting together with the Kurdish leadership, etc.

US giving up: Iraq rebuilding slows as U.S. money for projects dries up.

What kind of election is this, where the thing being voted on keeps changing? Iraqis debate 11th-hour charter changes .

Gilbert Achcar: The US and Shiite Politics in Iraq.

Constitutional vote could spell the end for Iraq's unpopular premier.

The poor suffer, as usual: Poor Migrants Work in Iraqi Netherworld. US-hired contractors rely on laborers from impoverished countries, but no one looks out for the rights -- or lives -- of the foreigners.

In relying on a workforce of third-country nationals, however, the U.S. has embraced a system of labor migration rife with abuse, corruption and exploitation, according to dozens of contractors, migrant workers, labor officials and advocates interviewed in four countries.

At October 1 meeting US weighed military strikes in Syria: Dangers in Damascus: If the United States turns up the heat, it risks getting burned.

Wounds no one was able to see.

Photographed carrying a terrified, half-naked Iraqi child to safety in March of 2003, Army Spc. Joseph Dwyer, of Mount Sinai, was on front pages across the country, a potent symbol of American heroism. Friday morning, Dwyer, 29, was arrested in El Paso, Texas, after a three-hour standoff in which he fired a 9-millimeter handgun in his apartment.

According to Basra governor: UK forces 'destabilising Basra'.

From the LA Times: A Central Pillar of Iraq Policy Crumbling. Bush's administration has insisted that political progress would quell the insurgency. But the reverse may be true, U.S. analysts say.

Nary a copy to be found: Iraqis vote on 'invisible' constitution.

And what is this Constitution will accomplish? Constitution or Divorce Agreement?

Two somewhat different accounts: Sunni Arabs call for 'no' to Iraq charter. And: Sunni leadership pulls back from boycott of Iraq poll .

A reminder of the bad old days: Saddam: Witnesses for the prosecution. As Saddam Hussein's trial draws close, Peter Beaumont uncovers the terrible truth of a massacre carried out more than 20 years ago that will form the crucial evidence.

Iraq Unveils Security Measures for Vote.

Gilbert Achcar provides: Iraq developments -- Oct. 8, 2005.

Conducting torture President's number 1 priority: Bush will veto anti-torture law after Senate revolt.

The administration's extraordinary isolation was underlined when the Senate Republican majority leader, Bill Frist, supported the amendment.

As Bush and Blair spout off: Iran reopens border with Iraq for pilgrim trail. Up to 1/2 million Iranian pilgrims a year.

British move to increase anti-British passions in Basra: British Army strikes back against the Shia renegades in Basra.

Dahr Jamail: “Violence leads only to more violence”.

The comfort of music: Iraqis find refuge in the mournful strains of their countrymen's songs: The 'Sorrow of Iraq,' with its songs about peace and justice, has become a bestseller.

War Pimp Alert! Blair links Iraq bombings to row over Iran's nuclear programme. See, in response, the British-supported Iranian ally's response: Iraqi PM denies Iranian interference.

[Iraqi PM:] "Some people want to harm our existing friendly relations with Iran. But we will not let them do so. We are determined to expand our relations every day."

Numbers of fresh refugees keep increasing: Thousands flee US military onslaught on Haditha. See also: U.S. says W. Iraq operations to run until election in December; and: US forces bomb Iraq's Euphrates bridges.

Hundreds of Nepalese workers stranded in Abu Dhabi on the way to Iraq.

Some U.S. Soldiers Battle Drug-Resistant Bug in Iraq .

Crooks, crooks, everywhere: Katrina work goes to officials who led Iraq effort.

Top officials who managed U.S. reconstruction projects in Iraq have been hired by some of the same big companies that received those contracts and which are now involved in a rush of deals to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. A review of company statements and documents show that two former directors of the Projects and Contracting Office in Baghdad are now working -- either directly or indirectly -- with major Iraq contractors. Top officials from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Pentagon's inspector general office have also joined companies that are benefiting from Katrina contracts and subcontracts in what is expected to be one of the world's biggest reconstruction efforts, worth as much as $200 billion by some accounts.

A major victory. 90 Senators voted to prohibit torture despite veto threat! Senate Approves Detainee Treatment Rules.

Iraq health care so bad that doctors want out.

Government committee will talk to community leaders in hot spots.

Reversal! Iraq U-turn on charter vote rules. As a result: Sunnis Drop Threat to Boycott Referendum.

[Iraq U-turn:] The parliament has, however, insisted on conditions which correspondents say have the overall effect of asserting parliament's legal right to challenge the outcome. The conditions include posting security forces in dangerous areas, vetting polling station staff and the right to challenge results which had been distorted by intimidation.

Shi'ite-Kurd feud may see shift in Iraqi alliances.

Despite claims by the US War Party: Syria Pressures Its Jihadists.

Despite criticism from Washington, Syria appears to be increasing pressure on Islamist militants attempting to cross its borders into Iraq, as evidenced by a series of recent clashes.

The war of words goes on: Iraq minister renews attack on Saudi Arabia. See commentary by Robert Dreyfuss: Death Squads And Diplomacy.

[Iraq minister:] Iraq's Interior Minister directed a fresh attack on Saudi Arabia in an interview aired on Tuesday, targeting the kingdom for its treatment of women and Shi'ites just days after insulting a royal as a "bedouin on a camel".
[Death Squads:] Since then, other reports have surfaced concerning the extensive violence carried out by paramilitary forces tied to SCIRI and to Al Dawa, SCIRI’s partner in the Shiite religious bloc in Iraq. By now it is clear that if Tony Soprano lived in Iraq, he’d be a member of the Shiite militia....
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Countless atrocities, too, have been perpetrated by Sunni gangs and by terrorists associated with Abu Musab Al Zarqawi. But the killings by the Shiite militias are far more chilling because they have an entirely different quality: They are carried out by gunmen tied to the U.S.-supported regime in Baghdad. They don’t draw criticism from U.S. officials, and most American media reports continue to portray the Shiites as victims and the Sunnis as aggressors.

Baghdad Districts' Security Handed to Iraq, U.S. Says. In other words, as Juan Cole interprets, the US has given up on those districts.

Tal Afar Refugees Sheltered in Mosul. Displaced by yet another US offensive, life is difficult for residents of Tal Afar who are once again relying on the kindness of strangers.

LIFE Mobilizing to Provide Drinking Tents, Food, Water, and Medicines for Fleeing Families in Iraq.

Life for Relief and Development (LIFE), an American humanitarian relief organization based in Southfield, Mich., is mobilizing to help avoid a humanitarian disaster in western Iraq by providing humanitarian relief and medical supplies for families who are fleeing their homes in Anbar Province.

Radio show Send Your Regards to Abu Ghraib: Call-In Show Is Must-Hear Radio for Inmates Cut Off From Family. Prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq drop everything to listen for messages from friends and relatives. To many, the program is a lifeline.

The accounts continue to drip out: Officer reports more abuses by troops in Iraq to McCain.

Fishback said that since he and two other former members of the 82nd Airborne Division last month accused soldiers in their battalion in Iraq of routinely beating and abusing prisoners in 2003 and 2004, several other soldiers had contacted him and asked him to relay to lawmakers their own experiences.

Jim Lobe: White House Losing Ground on Prisoner Treatment.

If adopted, the proposed amendments, whose co-sponsorship has grown to 11 Republican senators, would ban the use of "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" as defined by the U.S. Constitution and any interrogation technique that is not authorized by the U.S. Army Field Manual, which was drafted to comply with the Geneva Conventions.
The amendments have been endorsed by more than two dozen retired flag-rank military officers, including a former chief of staff of the U.S. armed forces, Gen. John Shalikashvili; the Bush administration's first Iraq occupation head, Lt. Gen. Jay Garner; the highest-ranking legal officers for each of the armed services; as well as another former Vietnam POW and later U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, Pete Peterson.

Dutch foreign minister questions Iraq invasion.

Joining the most brutal regimes, with the death penalty for practically anyone opposed to the regime: Draconian new law, aimed at crushing resistance, passed by Iraq legislature.

The tough new law - a response to almost daily suicide bombings and attacks in Iraq - sets capital punishment for "those who commit...terror acts," as well as "those who provoke, plan, finance and all those who enable terrorists to commit these crimes...."
The law defines terrorism as any criminal act against people, institutions or property that "aims to hurt security, stability and national unity and introduce terror, fear or horror among the people and cause chaos." It also cites "activity threatening to spark sectarian differences or civil war...including by arming citizens or encouraging or financing their arming."

Stoking the regional flames: Iraq minister renews attack on Saudi Arabia.

More British games? Iraq police say arrest British national.

A police official said the British national and nine Iraqis were carrying weapons and surveillance equipment in vehicles when they were arrested along Iraq's border with Saudi Arabia on Monday.

Will they back down? Iraqi Parliament may review referendum rules. See also: Wrangling Not Yet Over on Iraqi Charter: Despite Imminent Vote, U.S. Envoy Leading Bid for Major Changes to Win Over Sunn.

More civilians suffer: More civilians flee al-Qaim as US offensive continues.

My! Without any help from Haliburton even: Iraq rebuilds oil refinery unit crippled by war.

Iraqi crews have rebuilt a 70,000 barrels per day oil refinery unit, despite regular attacks, helping to plug shortages that cost over $5 billion a year in fuel imports, oil officials said on Tuesday.

U.S. Policymakers Despair Of Iraqi Army.

There is now a widespread recognition shared among senior uniformed U.S. military officers and Washington foreign policy analysts that plans to rapidly build up the Iraqi army as a new, independent effective fighting force have failed disastrously.

Arab League, largely Sunni, watches with horror as US builds Iranian ally: Arab League chief deplores Iraq situation ahead of visit and: Arab foreign ministers to seek reconciliation among Iraq factions. Also: Abul-Gheit expresses Egypt's concern over spiralling violence in Iraq.

Cheap labor to serve the Empire., these near slave number over 100,000, it is believed: Blood, Sweat & Tears: Asia’s Poor Build U.S. Bases in Iraq.

Numerous former American contractors returning home say they were shocked at conditions faced by this mostly invisible, but indispensable army of low-paid workers. TCNs [“third country nationals”] frequently sleep in crowded trailers and wait outside in line in 100 degree plus heat to eat “slop.” Many are said to lack adequate medical care and put in hard labor seven days a week, 10 hours or more a day, for little or no overtime pay. Few receive proper workplace safety equipment or adequate protection from incoming mortars and rockets. When frequent gunfire, rockets and mortar shell from the ongoing conflict hits the sprawling military camps, American contractors slip on helmets and bulletproof vests, but TCNs are frequently shielded only by the shirts on their backs and the flimsy trailers they sleep in....
While the exact number of TCNs working in Iraq is uncertain, a rough estimate can be gleaned from Halliburton’s own numbers, which indicate that TCNs make up 35,000 of KBR’s 48,000 workers in Iraq employed under sweeping contract for military support. Known as the Logistics Civilian Augmentation Program (LOGCAP), this contract – by far the largest in Iraq -- is now approaching the $15 billion mark. Citing security concerns, however, the Houston-headquartered company and several other major contractors declined to release detailed figures on the workforce that is estimated to be 100,000 or more.

Newsday reports on "the Gulag of our time" as the inmates starve to death: Behind barbed wire in Guantanamo.

The Shia-dominated government has just changed the rules for the election so as to make it impossible for Sunnis to vote the Constitution down! They are demanding that 2/3 of registered voters in three provinces reject it, where the clear intent of the clause, inserted to protect the Kurds, was that 2/3 of actual voters reject it. However, only 50% of actual voters have to vote to pass it! The current interpretation encourages the government and allied forces to attack Sunni areas, so as to discourage voting, if not to provoke a boycott. This decision is a clear statement that the Shia forces in the government have no interest in compromise: Sunnis see Shi'ite manipulation ahead of Iraq vote. See also: Sunni anger at Iraq vote change. For the Sunnis, fighting will now seem like the only option.

[Sunnis see Shi'ite:] Mutlaq, the Sunni politician, said he and others may now call on Sunnis to boycott the referendum, a move that could further marginalise the community from the political process.

Registered, yes, but now that the rules have been changed, many probably won't vote: Registrations soar for Iraq's constitution vote.

Remember: Monitors Find Significant Fraud in Afghan Elections .

Juan Cole sees the potential breakup of Iraq in Talabani's attacks on Jaafari: Talabani Calls for Jaafari's Resignation: Iraq Unravels

If the Kurdish-Shiite alliance is over with, then I suspect so is Iraq.

Is the wider Middle East conflict starting here? Mubarak flies to Riyadh for talks on deterioration in Iraq.

Among the losers: Ethnic rifts that colour the games little children play: The daily violence that Iraqi children live with is making them more violent.

A new report from: Human Rights Watch states the obvious, that Iraqi insurgent groups attacking civilians are guilty of war crimes: Iraq: Insurgent Groups Responsible for War Crimes: Report Challenges Justifications for Attacks on Civilians. Full Report: A Face and a Name: Civilian Victims of Insurgent Groups in Iraq.

Situation deteriorating for British soldiers in Basra: Our troops in Iraq ‘living on the edge’ as war hots up.

Those only humiliated were the lucky ones, she claims: Lynndie England speaks of worse abuse at Abu Ghraib.

She said one night she heard blood-curdling screams coming from the block's shower room, where non-military interrogators had taken an Arab detainee. "They had the shower on to muffle it, but it wasn't helping," she recalled....
England argued stripping prisoners naked and handcuffing them to steel bars was part of an officially-sanctioned strategy designed to soften inmates before interrogation and make them more cooperative....
She insisted Specialist Charles Graner, a senior prison guard and her boyfriend, would always show pictures of intimidation procedures to military intelligence (MI) officers when they came to work in the morning. "And the MI would be like, 'Oh, thats a good job! I never would have thought of that,'" England recalled. "He'd show him and he'd show the command and they'd be like, 'Oh, just keep up the good work.'"

The silver lining on the war cloud is in - Jordan! A Boom Without Bombs. As wealthy Iraqis and Westerners on leave from the war next door converge on Jordan's capital, the city's very blandness means bucks.

Halliburton gets another home run: Kellogg Brown & Root Gains Corps Contract to Extinguish Iraq Oil Fire.

When all else fails, start spinning: The White House Looks To Improve Iraq News: President Bush sends a top aide to Baghdad to better media relations. See also: U.S. Army Brass Tries to Restore Shine to Iraq War.

For some, the war may never end: After Iraq, rebuilding a body, a mind, a life: A Hampton man copes with his war wounds while his wife copes with his memories.

Must Read! War supporter Andrew Sullivan: How America tiptoed into the torture chamber. Sullivan has set up an email account for people to: Support Fishback, the Army Officer being investigated for the crime of reporting torture: Witch-hunt fears stall new US abuse investigation.

[Sullivan:] It is now beyond dispute that the abuses were condoned, enforced and tolerated by commanders throughout the war zone....
Even now, while the administration insists that it doesn’t condone torture, its definition of what is permitted short of “torture” is murky. In written answers to a senator’s inquiry, leaked last week to The Washington Post, a key official in the White House counsel’s office who helped craft the new policy, Timothy Flanigan, gave nonanswers to clear questions.
He was asked if “water-boarding” was inhumane. “Water-boarding” entails tying a prisoner to a wooden plank and immersing his head in water to the moment of drowning, saving him at the last second, and then repeating this terrifying process again and again. Flanigan replied that “whether a particular interrogation technique is lawful depends on the facts and circumstances”. Without knowing these, “it would be inappropriate for me to speculate about the legality of the techniques you describe”
Suddenly you understand what has been going on. The Bush administration has abandoned the Geneva conventions for the war against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda on the grounds that they are not legitimate warriors as defined by Geneva. And Flanigan is nominated to be Gonzales’s deputy at the Justice Department. You can’t make this up....
Last Thursday a judge finally ruled that the remaining photos and tapes from Abu Ghraib will be released, and Bush administration memos specifically related to torture will be made public. There will be appeals, but we will soon be reminded of what really went on: rape and murder....
Fishback is now sequestered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, being interrogated by military officials. From all we know of Fishback he will not crack under pressure. He wrote something to McCain that still rings in my ears: “If we abandon our ideals in the face of adversity and aggression, then those ideals were never really in our possession. I would rather die fighting than give up even the smallest part of the idea that is ‘America’.”

Newsweek: No More Illusions. Americans used to dream of building a strong, unified, pluralistic Iraq. Now the possibilities are a very loose federation, or violent disintegration.

Iraq blasts Saudi Arabia for anti-Shi'ite remarks followed by: Iraq apologises for anti-Saudi remarks.

Riverbend: Constitution Conversations...

An official report commissioned by the Office of Secretary of Defence as an "independent and critical review" of what went so wrong Iraq war delayed Katrina relief effort, inquiry finds.

Iraq's interior minister, from the Iranian-backed Badr Organization: Foreign fighters leaving Iraq to export terror, warns minister.

Iraq's President Calls for PM to Step Down.

Must Read! U.S. soldiers get off easy for crimes against Iraqis, review find. These include armed robbery and murder.

In a number of other cases, there was no evidence that thorough or timely criminal investigations were conducted. Other cases weren't prosecuted, and still others resulted in dismissals, light jail sentences or no jail sentence at all. "I've been surprised at some of the lenient sentences," said Gary Solis, a former military judge and prosecutor who teaches military law at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. "I have an uneasy suspicion that it relates to the nationality of the victim...."
he Daily News examination found that soldiers accused of property crimes or violations of military rules sometimes were dealt with more harshly than soldiers convicted of beating, robbing and even killing Iraqis....
In response to a Daily News federal Freedom of Information Act request for records on all deaths caused by soldiers in Iraq, the Army Criminal Investigation Command acknowledged 114 investigations between Jan. 1, 2003, and August 2004, and sent records on 105 cases. Of those, 78 involved deaths of Army soldiers, while 27 involved Iraqis and other foreigners, about half the number of investigations the Army conducted into vehicle accidents involving soldiers. During that same period, Iraqis filed at least 353 separate claims seeking compensation from the military for more than 400 deaths, and those claims represent only a portion of the civilian deaths U.S. troops allegedly caused.... ven in cases in which the Army conducted criminal investigations, only a small percentage resulted in prosecutions, despite findings of sufficient evidence in some cases.

Of course, killings by occupation troops ARE always justified: Shooting of reporter in Iraq was justified, U.S. report says.

Salihee, a soft-spoken 30-year-old doctor and Knight Ridder correspondent, was on his way to get gasoline for his car to take his toddler daughter to the swimming pool. It was his day off.

Powerless: Iraq's troubled police bow to party and tribe.

500 more enemy families created: US frees 500 more prisoners from Iraqi prison.

Lieutenant-Colonel Guy Rudisill, spokesman for prison operations in Iraq, said about 42,000 Iraqis had been detained by the US military since the March 2003 invasion, of whom about 11,240 had since been released. [These numbers, if correctly reported, means that the US still holds over 30,000, far more than the 17,000 official figure of total "detainees."]

A little late, the arrogant would-be world bosses figure out what a disaster they've been involved in: U.S. Generals Now See Virtues of a Smaller Troop Presence in Iraq.

During a trip to Washington, the generals said the presence of U.S. forces was fueling the insurgency, fostering an undesirable dependency on American troops among the nascent Iraqi armed forces and energizing terrorists across the Middle East. For all these reasons, they said, a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops was imperative.

'Iraq guilt' mars morale, recruitment at British army: top general.

New bosses falling out: Splits emerge between Kurds and Shiites in Iraqi government.

Kurdish leaders have complained to Shiite Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari that the coalition's Shiite parties, known as the United Alliance, have not upheld promises to start work on resettling Kurds in the northern city of Kirkuk or to fairly distribute government positions between the coalition parties. Earlier this month, the heads of the Kurdish Alliance _ President Jalal Tabalani and Massoud Barzani, president of the northern Kurdish region _ sent a letter to al-Jaafari outlining the Kurds' complaints but received no reply. Talabani on Saturday lashed out at the prime minister.
"One of the problems with the Prime Minister is that he is violating the laws," Talabani told reporters. He said al-Jaafari's office was acting unilaterally without working with its Kurdish allies. "The ministry is not the government _ the ministry is the ministry," he said, referring to al-Jaafari's office. "It is not right that the Ministry puts itself before the government.

Middle Class Sees Daily Life Wither in Iraq.

Over the past year, insurgents have come to control large swaths of western Baghdad....
But the rise of the religious parties in the past seven months has sapped Mr. Abdul-Razzaq of his remaining hope. The middle class is largely secular, and most of its members are put off by the religious parties that appeal to the poor Shiite masses on the one hand and to embittered Sunnis, who lost their status after the American-led invasion, on the other. Mr. Abdul-Razzaq voted for a Shiite because the candidate was secular. The religious Shiite government of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafaari, Mr. Abdul-Razzaq said, is pursuing an agenda that favors religious Shiites, driving a wedge deeper into the dangerous divisions in Iraqi society. "The Americans put us in a ridiculous situation," he said. "They came to Iraq and all the religious parties came with them. The religious man in Iraq is like a fox...."
Then he added in a tone that was only half joking, "It's all because of the Sunnis." His wife, Samira, a Sunni, shot back, "Why are the Sunnis always blamed?" The two have been married for 50 years, and the difference in sects never seemed to matter. But recently, new questions have come up. A 9-year-old grandson was asked at school last month whether he was Sunni or Shiite. Then a 24-year-old niece named Rim had her engagement broken off by her fiancé's parents because she is Sunni. "She cried and cried," said her mother, Hana, sitting in a large living room with her hands folded in her lap. "Even if they come back, I will never give my daughter to them." The blow has driven her daughter to feel her Sunni identity even more intensely, she said. That, in turn, has caused a problem with an uncle, Husham, who was in prison under Mr. Hussein, and is now working as a senior official in the Jafaari government. Another family member jokingly introduced him to a visitor as "the Shiite extremist." Rim stopped talking to him when he had made disparaging comments about Sunnis.

Torture of Iraqis was for ‘stress relief’, say US soldiers.

According to retired British Colonel Tim Collins: Army 'risks being chased from Iraq'.

Who thinks of these names: "Operation Iron Fist": US launches new offensive in western Iraq.

It is at least the third large-scale offensive U.S. forces have conducted in the area in the past four months. Previous operations appear to have failed, as insurgents have quickly returned to reoccupy the towns and resume guerrilla activities.

Is the administration: Dismantling VA? From Military.com.

The Senator's aide chuckled rather loudly and said, "What VA? By the time this administration is done there won't be a VA." Our conversation had begun with a discussion of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA's) healthcare budget, and quickly came down to a single, simple point. VA is being dismantled.

Protecting torture the #1 priority, as Shrub threatens first veto: Bush threatens defense bill veto, warning on prisoners.

Iraq's relentless tide of murder: Ethnic feuds and murders make sectarian war a reality.

Stop NPR Contribution Now! NPR and Public Television turned into Republican propaganda arm: Longtime GOP Fundraiser and NPR Critic Elected to Head CPB.

Protest, Resistance, and Civil War

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Monday: Four U.S. soldiers killed by roadside bomb in Iraq.

Sunday: Brother of Shi’ite vice president killed in shooting attack.

In Iraq's Wild West, US shifts to containment: Military seeks new tactics against agile insurgency.

Iraq bomb claims 2 contractors.

Iraq car bomb kills at least 25.

Saturday: Three more U.S. troops die in Iraq as campaigns begin.

Friday: 5 U.S. service members killed in Iraq attacks: Violence in Baghdad, Saqlawiyah, Ramadi puts overall death toll at 2,010.

Undercover raid kills twenty-seven in Iraq. 25 of the dead were Interior Ministry agents in plain clothes.

9 killed in Sunni-Shiite clashes in Iraq.

Thursday. On toward 3,000: Three U.S. soldiers killed, four wounded by insurgents.

'We don't need al-Qaida'. Abu Theeb is the leader of a band of Sunni insurgents that preys on US targets north of Baghdad. Last week he openly defied al-Qaida in Iraq by actively supporting the referendum. Ghaith Abdul-Ahad spent five days with him - and uncovered evidence of a growing split in the insurgency.

The Baghdad Hotel Attack: The Real Targets: Not journalists, say Zarqawi and al-Qaeda, but a private security firm.

The insurgents believe the targeted security firm is actually a Western or Israeli government intelligence agency.

Bigger, Stronger Homemade Bombs Now to Blame for Half of U.S. Deaths.

Tuesday: Suicide Car Bombing Kills 9 in Iraq.

Some experts believe Iraq's insurgency will spread.

"It will become more chaotic," predicted Magnus Ranstorp of the Swedish National Defense College in Stockholm, Sweden. "It is obvious that the United States is in Iraq to stay. If this is the case, the Shiites will likely join the Sunnis in the fight."

Pressure-triggered bombs worry U.S. forces.

Blasts halt north Iraq oil exports.

Four sabotage blasts have halted oil exports from northern Iraq and repairs could take up to a month, while bad weather in the south has stopped loading from the country's main terminal, industry sources said on Sunday.

South of Baghdad: Gunmen kill 12 workers on Iraq building site .

Monday: At Least 17 Die In Bombing Of Iraq Hotel Housing Journalists.

Sunday: Blasts rattle Baghdad and Kirkuk as U.S. toll rises.

In Ramadi, the population is overwhelmingly against the occupation, this New York Times article reveals in passing. That's why the US may have to destroy the city, like they did to Fallujah: Unseen Enemy Is at Its Fiercest in a Sunni City.

Saturday: Four U.S. service members killed in Iraq.

Now military hides killing of "contractors" from Halliburton (KBR): US Confirms Killing Of Contractors in Iraq: Four Were Slain by Angry Mob Last Month.

Saturday: Security incidents in Iraq, Oct 22.

Six dead Iraqis found south of Baghdad.

Friday: Four US GI's Killed in Iraq: Defense Lawyer for Hussein Co-Defendant Slain.

Israeli, Irishman among foreign fighters in Iraq-US.

Militants blamed for Iraq pipeline blast. See also: Violence, politics muddy Iraq's oil future.

Thursday: 3 US Solders Killed in Iraq Bomb Blast.

Three elections officials killed: Elections Officials Among 13 Dead in Iraq.

British soldier killed by roadside bomb in Iraq.

7 Iraqis, two American soldiers killed in Iraq.

Insurgents' rockets keep GIs hopping at Iraq bases. No uniform safety strategy: Some bases require flak vests; others don't. <

Wednesday: Bomb in Iraq kills one U.S. soldier.

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Tuesday: Anbar deputy governor shot dead in Iraq.

`

To celebrate the election it's bombs away in Ramdi, presumably punishment for the killing of 5 Americans there yesterday: US bombs Iraq city amid fighting, 25 dead: doctor.

Sunday: Iraq rebels raid Green Zone area .

British: Investigator found dead at Basra base. See also: British forces feel pressure from abuse claims .

5 US soldiers killed during voting in Iraq's referendum in Ramadi. There were later reports of another US soldier killed.

Baghdad Blackout Caused by Sabotage.

Total US deaths at 1967: 22 US Troops Killed in the Last Week .

Evolution of tactics: More U.S. Troops Die in Iraq Bombings Even as Armoring Improves.

Thursday: US soldier killed in Iraq.

ByCNN's Henry Schuster: Iraq insurgency 101.

How many insurgents are there? Up to 200,000, according to U.S. military intelligence sources. That seems astonishingly high, given official estimates of 5,000 to 25,000. The sources say their 200,000 figure includes 25,000-30,000 actual fighters while the rest are active and passive supporters, including fund-raisers, lookouts and even family members. But the numbers are growing....
How many foreign fighters are in Iraq? Surprisingly few, numbering perhaps 500 to 1,500. They carry out the most spectacular and bloody attacks, including the suicide missions that have, at times, killed more than a 100 people in a single day and the beheadings, such as that of American Nicholas Berg.

Purported Letter to al-Zarqawi from al-Zawahri.

Wednesday: Bomber Kills 30 At Iraqi Army Recruiting Center in Tal Afar2.

Blast shuts northern Iraq oil pipeline`.

Tuesday: Almost 45 dead in Iraq ahead of referendum.

Sunni militants see Iraq vote as recruiting tool.

Monday: Iraqi insurgents kill 19 in pre-election attacks.

Sunday: Three US soldiers die in combat in Iraq. And Monday: US soldier killed by suicide car bomb in Iraq.

In Hillah: US consulate hotel hit by mortar shell in Iraq.

Troops arrest mayor, giving rise to peaceful protests. Some abductees returned home.

US and Iraqi forces arrested the Shiite Muslim mayor suspected of helping abduct rival Sunnis in this town south of Baghdad, prompting competing and peaceful protest marches on Friday by the town’s Shiite and Sunni communities.

Friday: Six Marines Killed in Iraq Bomb Attacks.

U.S. Soldier Is Among 21 Killed in Iraq. And: Iraqi Police Discover 22 Bodies in Southeastern Iraq.

Thursday: Fresh bombs shake Iraqi capital.

A claim: Militants try talks to save Saddam's life - Talabani.

In Hilla: Bomber kills 14 in Iraq as Shi'ites start Ramadan

Globalization at Work! Who's profiting off of Iraqi car bombs? Suicide bombers in Iraq often drive American. [They probably prefer automatic transmissions; poor resale value not a factor.]

The FBI’s counterterrorism unit has launched a broad investigation of U.S.-based theft rings after discovering that some of the cars used in deadly bombings in Iraq, including attacks that killed U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians, probably were stolen in the United States, according to senior government officials....
Investigators believe the cars were stolen by local car thieves in U.S. cities, then smuggled to waiting ships at ports in Los Angeles, Seattle and Houston, among other cities. From there they are shipped to black-market dealers throughout the world, including in places like Syria, where foreign militants fighting in Iraq are thought to be traveling from countries across the region and where they gain critical logistical support....
The new disclosures are part of a pattern, according to government officials. U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies are finding more links between violent Islamic extremists groups and vast criminal enterprises such as drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, and car theft.

Right before elections, the US mounts attack after attack on Sunni communities, just as they destroyed Fallujah before the January elections. Are they trying to reduce Sunni turnout? US troops mount second big attack on Qaeda in Iraq.

U.S. Marines launched their biggest offensive so far this year against al Qaeda guerrillas in western Iraq when the military said 2,500 troops moved on Tuesday against militants around Haditha.

No place is safe: Car bomb blows up inside Baghdad Green Zone, 3 dead.

Tuesday: Five U.S. troops killed in Iraq attacks.

Another town terrorized by US sweeps: Iraq Town Yields Arms, Not Men.

US soldier dies in western Iraq: American forces fight insurgents near border with Syria.

Iraq oil minister survives attack.

Patrick Cockburn: Sunni death cult is pushing Iraq towards civil war.

For the so-called "neo-Salafi" movement civil war is a central aim, not a by-product of their bombing campaign....
Most of the insurgents are by the admission of the US military Iraqi Sunni nationalists fighting to end the occupation. The neo-Salafi differ because they see this as only part of their struggle to create a fundamentalist Islamic state in Iraq.

1,000 US troops attack village of population 2,000: Marines, Insurgents Clash in Iraqi Village.

Al Qaeda says kidnapped two US Marines: Web site.

Claim: Gunmen told: take British hostages.

Analysis, Commentary, & Domestic Reaction

Occupation Resistance Analysis

In Illinois, a Republican congressman is more forcefully for withdrawal than two Democrats: Manzullo backs U.S. pullout from Iraq.

Allabaksh - Syndicate: Iraq’s Kangaroo Trial

Let it be said here that there can be no two opinions that Saddam Hussein was a tyrant and he deserves little sympathy. But the issue here is different. It is about condoning the dangerous US policy of armed intervention in the name of democracy and freedom, which, in actual fact, considerably add to the misery of the ‘liberated’ nations and fuel Islamic militancy on a larger scale. It is about trial in a kangaroo court in a country still under foreign occupation.

David Swanson, speaking at the National Writers Union conference in Philadelphia, October, 29, 2005: Writing in an Age of Terror.

`
[I]f you believe a war is wrong because little Arab children get their limbs ripped off, you should write that. You don't have to write that it's wrong because some veterans now oppose it. You can and should write that if that's what you believe, but I'm not convinced that we stop enough and ask ourselves what we believe.

Michael Portillo: A message for Iraq from the graves of Bosnia.

Juan Cole: Top Five Resignations the American People Should Demand In the Wake of Libby's Indictment. This is in response to such nonsense as this: Sen. Reid says Rove should resign: Democratic leader says Bush, Cheney should apologize for leak

No wonder there is all this criminality in the White House-- they are allowing criminals to be appointed!

Public catching on: White House Ethics, Honesty Questioned: 55% in Survey Say Libby Case Signals Broader Problems.

The poll, conducted Friday night and yesterday, found that 55 percent of the public believes the Libby case indicates wider problems "with ethical wrongdoing" in the White House, while 41 percent believes it was an "isolated incident." And by a 3 to 1 ratio, 46 percent to 15 percent, Americans say the level of honesty and ethics in the government has declined rather than risen under Bush.

Joan Vennochi: Knocking on Cheney's door.

How he got tangled up in his own web: Indictment paints picture of I. Lewis Libby as a man who was determined to discredit war critic.

Paul Sperry: The Nucleus of the Scandal.

` 'Bush Lied, 2,000 Died': New Yorkers take to the streets in protest of the war in Iraq.

Toby Harnden: Uncivil wars.

After a nine-month absence from Iraq, I returned to find there was much that had not changed.... But what was different — and truly shocking — was the naked hatred between Sunni and Shia which is fuelled by the grubby backstreet killings that scarcely rate a mention even in the Baghdad newspapers. Rather than blaming foreigners for the violence — every act, it once seemed, was the work of an outsider — they are ascribing it to the opposing sect. Foreign bogeymen are still cited but when Sunnis talk about Iranians they mean Shias, and when Shias talk about Saudis, Syrians and Jordanians they mean Sunnis.

Dexter Filkins reviews the new book by Michael Goldfarb: 'Ahmad's War, Ahmad's Peace': One of the Good Guys.

Are they finally pretending to be an "Opposition Part"? Democrats intensify criticism of war, seek White House probe.

London Times: The week Bush got whacked.

Robert Fisk: Government for and by the dead: All over the globe, our leaders seem to be suffering from a severe bout of infantilism . As someone who has to look at the eviscerated corpses , I can only shake my head in disbelief.

As someone who has to look at the eviscerated corpses , I can only shake my head in disbelief...
Then we have President Ahmadinejad of Iran. Israel, he tells one of those infinitely dull and boring Tehran conferences on "Zionism" this week, must be "wiped off the map". I'm old enough to remember this claptrap from Yasser Arafat's weary old cronies in Beirut in the late 1970s. Ahmadinejad's speech - before the obligatory 4,000 "students" who used to be a regular feature of Iran's revolution - was replete with all the antique claims. "The establishment of the Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world. The skirmishes (sic) in the occupied land are part of the war of destiny."
Was this silly man, I ask myself, the scriptwriter for Ridley Scott's movie Kingdom of Heaven? Surely not, for the Hollywood epic is Homeric in its scope and literacy compared to Ahmadinejad's sterile prose. This, after all, is the sort of stuff I had to suffer during the original Iranian revolution when Ayatollah Khomeini set up his theocracy - no, let us be frank and call it necrocracy - in Iran. Government for and by the dead is becoming a vision for both Bush and Ahmadinejad....
Like Peter Pan, our leaders wish to be forever young, forever childish, and forever ready to play in their bloodless sandpits - at our expense.

Conyers asks: What Did the President and Vice President Know and When Did They Know It? Directs Judiciary Committee Staff to Conduct Full and Comprehensive Investigation into Treasongate, Downing Street, Pre-War and Other Deceptions.

Cindy Sheehan: Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's Indictment is a Welcome Development, but the Responsibility for Lying to the American People and Targeting Critics Needs to Go All the Way Up the Chain of Command.

Sheldon Drobny: Fitzgerald Threw a Softball.

Maureen Dowd: Who's on First?

R. J. Eskow: “Embedded Crony”: Bob Woodward Shows His True Colors.

David Lindorff: Scooter Meet José Padilla: Suddenly, Bush Embraces Right of Fair Trials.

Case not closed on Cheney's role. See also: Morris: Libby Indictment Implicates Cheney. Remember: Cheney knew and Cheney lied.

So my question is, why didn’t the vice president say anything? Why didn’t he speak up? And when you’re out there committing perjury and your boss is silent, and your boss knows that you’re doing that, it’s [the silence is] a subtle signal from your boss to say, “I appreciate it.”

Blog analysis: Will There Be More Indictments?. And: It's confirmed: Rove is STILL under investigation

Poll results: Eliminating poverty should be No. 1 U.S. priority.

Eliminating poverty in America is more important than fighting terrorism, U.S. troops should be pulled out of Iraq, and money saved on war should be used to rebuild hurricane-scarred New Orleans, according to a national poll....
When asked "How should the government finance its share of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort?" 77 percent of blacks, 69 percent of Hispanics, 60 percent of Asians and 46 percent of whites chose "By getting our troops out of Iraq as soon as possible."

New poll in North Carolina: Poll: Military Gives Bush Thumbs Down On Iraq.

[N]early 53 percent of military members said they strongly disapproved or disapproved of Bush's handling of his job. And 56 percent of that same group said they strongly disapproved or disapproved of his handling of the Iraq war.

Coalition of the Unwilling: Counter-recruiters arm potential GI's with facts about the war in Iraq.

Greg Palast on Galloway's credibility in the US anti-war movement.

The major Left radio network, Pacifica, offered Galloway a chance to debate or challenge me on air. He hid.

For a positive take on the Iraqi political process: Iraq: Not Missing the Big Picture.

As far as democratization is concerned Iraq has been far more successful than its friends hoped and its enemies feared. Part of that success was due to the existence of a clear timetable that has been honored to the dot, often in the teeth of the most vicious terrorist attacks in contemporary Islamic history. A new timetable is needed for the coming Parliament — a timetable for the consolidation of Iraq’s democratic progress and the restoration of its full sovereignty

As if you didn't know y now, I. Lewis Libby was indicted and resigned: CIA probe 'not over' after Cheney's top aide indicted: Libby charged on 5 counts, confident he'll be 'totally exonerated'. Read the: Indictment. Special Prosecutor: Press Release.

Libby indictment likely to spark new debate about Iraq war.

Laura Bush in the Onion: "I Wish I Could Just Stop Shitting Blood".

Counter-recruitment protests spread. Those with a sense of 60's history will instantly recognize these schools. It'll be a long winter on campuses: Kent State Administration Threatens Iraq Veteran with Expulsion for Counter-Recruitment Protest: Tell Kent State to respect free speech. And at San Francisco State University: Students rally against military recruiters: Protesters at SFSU tout measure that opposes activity on public campuses.

White House Sidewalk Protest Leads to Arrest of About 370.

Cindy Sheehan: If You Believe in What You Are Doing, Give Me Your Stiffest Sentence. If You Don't, Then Resign.

When I was being processed out the Lieutenant warned me if I got arrested again that I may have to stay in jail until January since this was my second arrest and I already have one under my belt that hasn't been resolved (which I plan on going to court for anyway). The Lt went to bat for me, he said, so the judge wouldn't keep me until my November court date this time.
I appreciate the warning of the Lt., but I plan on doing Civil Disobedience again this evening. I cannot live freely in a country where people are allowed to commit murder and roam free to commit more mayhem while other people who are exercising their first amendment rights to free speech are locked up in jail. I cannot live freely in a country where others are allowed to lie to retaliate against a person who had the temerity to challenge previous lies. I cannot live freely in a country where bereaved family members aren't allowed to carry pictures of their murdered loved ones into a national cemetery.

Taking A Candle To The White House! MilitaryFreeZone.org founder is arrested protesting the 2000th death.

Former Army Reserve doctor says Iraq war unjust.

Following neighboring Chapel Hill, NC: Carrboro goes on record against war in Iraq.

Stan Goff, a retired Special Forces master sergeant whose son has been to Iraq with the Army twice: Out of Iraq, now.

Tom Engelhardt: Will the Bush Administration Implode?

Robert C. Koehler: Impeachable Offense: Why Must Justice for a Monumental Crime Grasp at Straws?

Mark LeVine: Assad and Bush the Sons... Shouldn't the world body demand that any member of the US government, up to and including the President, who is found to be responsible for the war in Iraq, be turned over to a special UN tribunal for trial under international and US war crimes statutes?

According to Dana Milbank John Kerry has: An Iraq Policy, Better Late Than Never.

[Uttering the fateful words required to have any political future:] "Knowing now the full measure of the Bush administration's duplicity and incompetence, I doubt there are many members of Congress who would give them the authority they abused so badly," Kerry said of his vote to authorize war. "I know I would not...."
Kerry was noteworthy yesterday. "I accept my share of the responsibility" for the Iraq war, he said, "but the mistakes of the past, no matter who made them, are no justification for marching ahead into a future of miscalculations."

M. Junaid Alam: Fighting In Iraq to Liberate...America?

Sidney Blumenthal: George W Bush: home alone. The Bush administration’s degradation of American politics can be measured in the judgment of former senior Republican colleagues.

The storm enveloping President Bush is a consequence of his adoption of the vicious smear tactics of the Nixon political operation, learned there by Karl Rove, who was called as a witness to testify about them before the Watergate inquiry, and of Bush's elevation to power of the neo-conservatives removed by Reagan and excluded from office by Bush's father. Bush is haunted by the history he insisted on defying....
A sharp reversal of policy and turnover in personnel are the only actions that may enable Bush to salvage the shipwreck of his presidency, as they did for Reagan. But bringing in the elders, even if they could be summoned, would be psychologically devastating to Bush, a humiliating admission that his long history of recklessness and failure – from the Texas Air National Guard to Harken Energy, with rescue only through the intervention of his father and his father's friends – has reached its culmination.

Rep. Jerry Nadler discusses his "recent call to expand the Fitzgerald investigation to look at a possible White House conspiracy to deceive Congress":: Tip of the Iceberg.

Martin Schram: Cheney's Dirty Little Secret.

Laura Rozen: La Repubblica's Scoop, Confirmed. Italy's intelligence chief met with Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley just a month before the Niger forgeries first surfaced.

Gary Leupp: The "Reality Mode" Community Strikes Back: Dialectics of the Plame Affair.

New evidence that Senate Intelligence (sic) Committee investigation of the "intelligence failures" behind the prewar Iraq WMD claims were a crock: Cheney, Libby Blocked Papers To Senate Intelligence Panel.

A source for news and documents: Rove-Plamegate Resource Center

Paul Begala on: What It's Like inside the White House.

Another day, another poll: Support for Bush policies falling: poll. Wait till the post-indictment polls come.

Moment for 2,000 lost: Vigil shines light on Iraq death toll.

An important series from the Italian paper La Repubblica on the Niger Yellowcake forgeries and scam, and Stephen Hadley's involvement has just been translated: Part I: Double-Crossers and Dilettantes--the Men Behind Nigergate Were All Italians; Pollari travels to Washington to present his version of "the truth"; Nigergate: The Great Nuclear Centrifuge Scam. [Have not read yet.]]

Ariana Huffington: The Democrats Blow It On Iraq… Again!

Free speech gone from "Free Speech Room": US News, Harvard, BP Ban Reporters from First Amendment Room.

More on Sibel Edmonds: Whistleblower Has Elite Interests Running Scared.

Article on Dahr Jamail: Freelance journalist describes war in Iraq. Dahr Jamail has seen more horrific things in his 36 years than most of us will see in a lifetime.

Analysts Warn of Effects of Iraq Civil War. Middle East Analysts Say a Civil War in Iraq Could Have Repercussions Far Beyond Nation's Borders .

Robert Dreyfuss: Iraqi Vote Lights The Fuse.

Lolita Baldor of AP: Bad news for Bush: Neither victory nor exit strategy from Iraq in sight.

Ehsan Ahrar: The Sunni option.

Steven Clemons: Realists lambaste neo-cons.

Sam Rosenfeld and Matthew Yglesias take on liberal interventionism: Learning The Right Lessons: A response to George Packer.

Jihad el Khazen responds to readers, including Iraq's Oil Minister: Corruption Continues.

Los Angeles Times: US can't turn deadly tide in Iraq: Toll rises at steady rate despite new military tactics.

Nevada parents of U.S. soldiers urge troop withdrawals from Iraq.

Town decries the war in Iraq: Chapel Hill passes two resolutions.

Prowar Democrat hesitates; he probably figured out, finally, where his bread was being buttered: Andrews no longer voices full support on Iraq policy.

Andrews claims Bush now is wrong to herald the Oct. 15, 2005, vote in favor of the Iraqi constitution, which was defeated in two Sunni provinces, as yet another marker of progress. "Does anybody really believe that we're going to be more effective in preventing violence because the constitution passed? I don't," Andrews said in an interview.

Democrats should use Fitzgerald indictments to claim "Foul! The intelligence was fixed! That's why we voted for this disastrous war!": Democratic Strategy: Seizing a Unique Opportunity.

Bush Nominee for Pentagon Is Under Attack.

Review of Scott Ritter's Iraq Confidential: Ritter reveals US lies about Iraq.

If Fox News had been around through history.

Suspense Builds Over CIA Leak Investigation.

Washington Post: Vice President for Torture.

The President's National Security Advisor: Was Stephen Hadley the White House point man on Iraq-Niger?

Bush's on-the-ropes strategy. As the leak investigation, the Miers nomination and the war castigation take a toll, the White House weighs the options.

Pentagon Clearance for Judith Miller Questioned. See also: Senator Calls for Inquiry Into Journalists' Access.

Jim Lobe: The strange saga of Cheney and the "nuclear threat": Why did the veep suddenly lose interest in the evidence?

An interesting "conspiracy" theory: Beyond 2,000 Deaths and Ratification.

And so the political interests of the Iraqi insurgents and the Bush administration may actually be converging. If anti-American Iraqis (Sunni, Shiite or otherwise) gain in the upcoming elections, they can increase pressure on a war-weary United States to pull out. The Bush administration, for its part, can declare a victory for democracy and start to draw down the troops.

Cheney claimed that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons before most of the "evidence" existed: CIA leak illustrates selective use of intelligence on Iraq.

Remember this: Republicans Defend Karl Rove From Partisan Attacks. [Backup link in case it gets pulled from RNC site.]

Another day, another poll: Majority of Americans Say Military Action in Iraq Was Wrong, Poll Finds.

The brave would-be Commander-in-Chief makes his bold move: Kerry Calls for Pulling 20,000 Troops if, if, if...

Libertarian and former Air Force officer Karen Kwiatkowski presents a very nice summary: Our Inscrutable Iraq Policy: Why We Did It, What To Do Now, and What Happens Next.

You may notice that building civil society, fostering democracy, and helping improve a bad humanitarian situation are not the reasons we went to Iraq, or why we are staying. We had no plan and fewer resources dedicated to building civil society. We actually don’t like democracies much, like those in Europe for example. We tend to prefer those we buy to stay bought, and this is the realm of dictators and monarchs in countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia....
Lastly, humanitarian reasons only make sense in an Orwellian scenario, where we kill people in order to save them. If humanitarian concern was a driver for our policies in Iraq, the economic sanctions would have been lifted instead of waiting until after we took over the country and unleashed chaos....
For obvious reasons, this isn’t going to happen. No one, neither hawks nor doves, wants to give up what we have got in Iraq – for hawks it is the bases and the ability to leverage the region, without Saddam as a thorn in our side. For doves, the idea is that we broke it and somehow we must fix it. We cannot "fix it" and we cannot stay and conduct military operations without interference and high expense. Hawks and doves are both wrong on Iraq.

Thomas L. Friedman routinely supports mass murder of civilians: Columnist Has the Glass-House Problem.

"If [the Sunni] come around, a decent outcome in Iraq is still possible. If they won't, then we are wasting our time. We should arm the Shiites and Kurds and leave the Sunnis of Iraq to reap the wind."

Cindy Sheehan says it's time to act: C.D. in D.C.: 2000, Why? Not One More.

We in America have let this criminal administration get away with murder for too long. Enough is enough. It's time to start practicing non-violent civil disobedience (C.D.) on a large scale.

Occupation for years and years, says International Institute for Strategic Studies: US troops not leaving Iraq soon.

Ivan Eland takes on the recent tactical war critics who share the administration's basic imperial ambitions: Iraq War Critics Emerge Too Late.

Several news sources report: Indictments in CIA leak case ‘about to be handed down’.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler: Fitzgerald Must Broaden Investigation: “Did the Bush Administration deliberately mislead Congress about the war?

Bushies take aim at probe.

Was Steven Hadley directly involved in promoting the Niger forgeries? La Repubblica's Scoop, Confirmed: Italy's intelligence chief met with Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley just a month before the Niger forgeries first surfaced.

Judith Miller replies to criticism: Miller Raises Stakes: Attacks Calame Critique, Disputes Abramson, Calls Keller Memo 'Ugly' .

A new LA Times piece by former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence B. Wilkerson: The White House cabal.

Today, we have a president whose approval rating is 38% and a vice president who speaks only to Rush Limbaugh and assembled military forces. We have a secretary of Defense presiding over the death-by-a-thousand-cuts of our overstretched armed forces (no surprise to ignored dissenters such as former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki or former Army Secretary Thomas White). It's a disaster. Given the choice, I'd choose a frustrating bureaucracy over an efficient cabal every time.

Rep. John Conyers Pre-Emptive War Against Patrick Fitzgerald.

Poll: Few doubt wrongdoing in CIA leak.

Wore women leaders would be good, say men: Most Americans lack confidence in leaders - poll.

The poll also showed that 64 percent believe the country would be better off if more women occupied leadership positions, and perhaps surprisingly more men than women believe this -- 69 percent to 61 percent.

39% to 55%: Poll: Bush would lose an election if held this year.

On separate issues, a majority of those questioned felt the Democrats could do a better job than Republicans at handling health care (59 percent to 30 percent), Social Security (56 percent to 33 percent), gasoline prices (51 percent to 31 percent) and the economy (50 percent to 38 percent). Forty-six percent also believed Democrats could do better at handling Iraq, while 40 percent said the GOP would do better.... The only issue on which Republicans came out on top was in fighting terrorism: 49 percent said the GOP is better at it, while 38 percent said the Democrats are.

Sen. Mikulski: US Should Honor Troops By Developing Exit Strategy.

Author Jeffrey Goldberg interviewed about his New Yorker piece on Brent Scowcroft's attack on Bush foreign policy: The Republican Rift.

Cheney knew and Cheney lied: Libby's Source Was Vice President Richard Cheney -- Not Journalists. See also: Cheney v. Cheney. And: Josh Marshall's take.

A war. Mass indictments of key administration figures. A sinking Supreme Court nomination. And protecting the public from being misled, by the Onion! No wonder our public servants get no sleep: Protecting the Presidential Seal. No Joke.

Plurality support immediately beginning withdrawal: Support for war in Iraq wanes.

Leak case puts spotlight back on war rationale where it belongs.

Patrick Doherty proposes a liberal occupation: Next Steps In Iraq.

Democrat Rep. Ike Skelton suggests formula for withdrawing troops from Iraq.

Robert Dreyfuss: Syria: The Next Iraq.

Syria is under the gun. As in Iraq, the United States is aggressively pursuing a regime change there without the slightest notion of what might come next or who might replace President Bashar Assad. Might it be the fanatical Muslim Brotherhood, by far the most powerful single force in largely Sunni Syria? Might the country fragment into pieces, as Iraq is now doing? The Bush administration doesn’t know, just as they didn’t know what might happen to Iraq in 2003. But they are going ahead anyway.

Dilip Hiro: Iraq — life after the constitution.

The successful adoption of a federal constitution in Iraq is a notable achievement. Whether it will help maintain the territorial integrity of Iraq as it has existed since 1921 is up in the air. What is certain is that Iraq’s break-up will destabilise the whole region — creating turmoil in which debating the pros and cons of democracy in the Middle East will be a futile exercise

Norman Solomon: Iraq Is Not Vietnam. But...

Denver Post analysis: US starts retreating from lofty Iraq goals: Strategy for pullout outguns democracy.

"We just signed up for nine years," one senator said to another as they left the closed-door briefing.

Sy Hersh on American attitudes towards torture: "We're fucked".

Former Rep.Lee Hamilton: Lower expectations in Iraq to reach workable solution.

Some believe: Civil war is a US option in Iraq.

Democrats have no Iraq Strategy. But, when it comes to important matters, they do: House Democratic leaders privately planning 'indictment strategy'.

Juan Cole places Judith Miller and the New York Times in the context of "Fair and Balanced" Fox News: Rupert Murdoch and Judith Miller.

Excerpts from tomorrow's New Yorker article on Brent Scowcroft's critique of GW Bush foreign policy: Brent Scowcroft "Breaks Ranks" with George W. Bush in Major New Yorker Article.

Josh Marshall calls attention to the journalistic corruption involved in being a conduit for: "official leaks", as the New York Times is oh so often.

Frank Rich: Karl and Scooter's Excellent Adventure .

Law and Order Republicans openly defend criminals, if they're Republicans: Yes, Mr. Kristol, That’s A Crime. And: Hutchinson: Indictments Should Be “On a Crime and Not Some Perjury Technicality”. Of course perjury was a very serious impeachable crime when Clinton committed it over sex.

It's official. American and European lives are worth more than those from poor countries: Bird Flu Brings Out Double Standards on Drug Patents.

Osama bin Laden was at Tora Bora and the US definitively knew it, says chief CIA officer there: More Bad News for Bush.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice... Opinions of GOP faithful shifting: South Carolina poll shows change in views on abortion, significant drop in Bush’s job performance rating.

While Bush’s job approval ratings are still stronger in South Carolina than elsewhere, the poll indicates his support has suffered here, as well. The job disapproval rating for the president has grown to 26 percent from 10 percent among Republicans over the past six months. “That’s a dramatic increase,” Quinn said. (A recent poll taken by Survey USA of all S.C. voters — not just Republican loyalists — had Bush’s disapproval rating at 58 percent.)...
The survey asked respondents if they were “pro-life” or “pro-choice.” Fifty-three percent of the GOP voters identified themselves as pro-lifers. However, almost 40 percent called themselves pro-choice Republicans. That’s a dramatic shift in sentiment from earlier polls that showed pro-lifers dominating Republican primaries from Charleston to Greenville.

Steve Weissman places the Plame affair in context, by reminding us of that heroic 'traitor" Phillip Agee who worked to reveal the CIA's dark side: Outing CIA Agents: Valerie Plame Meets Philip Agee.

Mark Borkowski: God, Iraq and the power of the President's PR. On the worrying rise of Karen Hughes, George W Bush's 'ambassador for public diplomacy' and the woman behind the throne.

The question is, what are she and Bush going to do with all the information in the world if they can't see how things like Guantanamo Bay and the indefinite detention of hundreds of suspects, or the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib jail, contradict every platitude they spout?

According to this article, Sen. Carl Levin proposes leaving Iraq. other articles suggest his proposals are much more contorted, and don't actually involve withdrawing: Levin: War hurt U.S. security.

New York Times Public Editor takes on Judith Miller: The Miller Mess: Lingering Issues Among the Answers.

Arianna Huffington: Memo to Bill Keller: The War in Iraq is NOT a "Loose End".

Gingrich wove falsehoods into assertion that Wilson "guaranteed" Plame's outing.

Ghassan Charbel: Execution of Saddam and Execution of Iraq.

Blix says US misled itself, the world on Iraq: WMD reports, satellite photos called lackin.

Cindy Sheehan: They Are Not Numbers.

On the day of the 2000th, I will be in DC. I will go to the White House. Our house. I will sit on the sidewalk again and demand that the war criminals who live and work in there bring our troops home. I suggest instead of candlelight vigils and singing "Give Peace a Chance" every person who cares about ending the immorality of the occupation of Iraq take signs and their presence to their Congressional offices near them and demand that each and every Congress person do everything in his/her power to bring our precious lifeblood home from the nightmare. It is time to get peacefully radical.

State Department official in an American occupiers oral history: Official Says U.S. Rushed to War in Iraq. A top diplomat accuses the administration of sending the country to war too soon and poorly prepared because of 'clear political pressure.'

Robin Raphel, the State Department's coordinator for Iraq assistance, said that the invasion's timing was driven by "clear political pressure," as well as by the need to quickly deploy the U.S. troops that had been amassed by the Iraq border. Soon after the invasion, Raphel said, it became clear that U.S. officials "could not run a country we did not understand…. It was very much amateur hour."

Maureen Dowd on Judy Miller: Woman of Mass Destruction.

Seymour Hersh and Scott Ritter discuss: Iraq, WMDs and the Role of the Clinton Administration in the 1990s.

Democrat proposes long-term occupation as "new strategy": Vilsack offers new strategy for Iraq.

Florida Republicans cheered Ann Coulter's call to repress free speech: Coulter Calls for 'Repression of Free Speech', Florida Republicans Applaud!

The knives are out as Brent Scowcroft is about to publish a critique of Bush II foreign policy. This article also claims that Bush I is quoted critically in the article: Old Bush vs. new.

Robert C. Koehler: If Iraq is a democracy, why can't it vote to kick the U.S. out?

Rep. Lynn Woolsey: Exit strategy? Honor our troops — bring them home. The following is a transcript of the exchange between Senator Russ Feingold and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Thursday during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

Sen. Russ Feingold Playing Into the Insurgents' Hands: Our self-defeating presence in Ira.

Gary Ashbeck: Don't Play Innocent, Democrats. See also Arianna Huffington: Who's Party Is It Anyway? Katrinagate gave Democrats a searing symbol of W’s ineptitude — which they promptly squandered. It’s time to pull the party out of the Clintons’ shadow.

[Don't Play Innocent:] Three hundred seventy-three representatives, including 109 from the so-called opposition party, such as presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, sent our family members off to war.... Enough "Impeach Bush" signs – where are the signs that say "Impeach Kerry" or "Recall Clinton"?

Luiza Ch. Savage: So much for the peaceniks: Why the anti-war movement is political poison.

Alan Block: Interval of Uncertainty .

It is hardly impossible, but it won't be easy. Iraqis who don't want their country to be either torn apart by continuing insurgent violence or occupied permanently by U.S. military forces have a few weeks to get their act together.

Brendan O'Neill: Osama bin Laden: more media whore than guerrilla warrior.

The author of a refreshing new book says al-Qaeda has more in common with new global movements than with nationalist armies of old.

Arianna Huffington presents many journalists who got it right: Sorry, Judy... Everybody Didn't Get it Wrong on WMD.

Justin Raimondo asks if the source was an Israeli spy: Was Plame Outed by a Foreign Spy? The Larry Franklin-Plame connection.

Harbinger? Leak prosecutor opens: web site.

New York Times's Bill Keller sort of, maybe, admits making teeny little mistakes: A Message from Bill Keller to New York Times staff.

Molly Ivins looks to the post-Shrub world: Making It Better: Things that need to be done -- and undone.

James Klurfeld: It's dangerous when a leader believes his hype.

Cover-Up Issue Is Seen as Focus in Leak Inquiry. Indictments said likely. See also: A Palpable Silence at the White House: Few Ready to Face Effects of Leak Case.

Marine, back from Iraq, says it's time military left.

U.S. Marine Cpl. Brent Goldstone believes the United States was right to invade Iraq. But now it's time for the troops to come home, said the 20-year-old Glenview resident, who recently returned from his second tour of combat duty in Iraq. "I don't really see it getting better, and I think all we're doing there is getting more Marines and soldiers killed every day," Goldstone said during a talk at the Glenview town house of his father, Dr. Martin Goldstone. "We've caught Saddam Hussein. And there's other countries with terrorists that we know of...."
Goldstone, who served in Fallujah and Ramadi, painted a bleak portrait of the situation in Iraq, saying he quickly learned the Iraqis he believed would welcome Americans really wanted them to leave. In Ramadi, where Goldstone served for the seven months prior to Oct. 1, he routinely saw spray-painted messages in English proclaiming "Americans are Pigs" and "Go to Hell, Bush," he said. The Marines found few friends in the local population, added Goldstone, who went on more than 150 patrols while serving in Ramadi. The same people who gathered during the day when Goldstone and his comrades were handing out food and toys returned at night to shoot at them, he said.

Massachusetts Congressman: Capuano dishearten by Iraq trip.

But Capuano charges that telling dates are approaching and is calling on Bush to begin sending troops home "by mid-February, at the latest." By this time, Capuano said, Americans should know whether the Iraq government can stand on its own two feet, as December elections will be over and, if all goes well, new leaders and a constitution could be in place.

Why is Congress: Paying For Their Mistakes with no accountability whatsoever?

Interview with Robert Fisk: War is the "Total Failure of the Human Spirit".

Derek Melot: People ahead on Iraq policy.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says we must stay - maybe for a decade. Levin says we must stay. Congressmen Mike Rogers, Dave Camp & Co. say we must stay. The LSJ's editorial board, like many others nationwide, says we must stay. Yet, growing numbers of Americans say we must go. So, maybe it still isn't the time to talk about Iraq in America. Maybe it's just the time to listen to America.

Daytona Beach News-Journal: Iraq's Cambodia? US incursions into Syria portend disastrous sidesho

The Iraq war has been no less a failure than Vietnam. No matter how unsavory the regime of Syrian President Bashar el-Assad, expanding operations to Syria is not the way to peace, or the way out of Iraq. It is a dangerous repeat of failed strategies of the past, with potentially disastrous consequences for both the United States and the Middle East.

Anthony Cordesman tries to be optimistic: Outside view: Iraq war challenge remains.

Joshua Frank: Invading Iran: If they want it, they’ll take it`.

Arnaud de Borchgrave: Iraq's geopolitical train wreck.

The constitutional referendum left 34 important issues in abeyance. Fifty of the constitution's 130 clauses are incomplete. They are to be determined later when laws are passed to implement the federal architecture. Baghdad's power to tax is up in the air, state religion is still uncertain, human rights, at least for women, are unclear, the role of the police is unspecified, and the militias are to be disbanded, but the document doesn't say by whom. In the event of a full-fledged civil war, which some knowledgeable observers say is already under way subrosa, federal zones are tailor-made for ethnic cleansing.

Sam Rosenfeld and Matthew Yglesias: The Incompetence Dodge. The liberal hawks now say the idea of the war wasn’t bad, just its execution. This saves face -- and serves a more dangerous function.

The incompetence critique is, in short, a dodge -- a way for liberal hawks to acknowledge the obviously grim reality of the war without rethinking any of the premises that led them to support it in the first place. In part, the dodge helps protect its exponents from personal embarrassment. But it also serves a more important, and dangerous, function: Liberal hawks see themselves as defenders of the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention -- such as the Clinton-era military campaigns in Haiti and the Balkans -- and as advocates for the role of idealism and values in foreign policy. The dodgers believe that to reject the idea of the Iraq War is, necessarily, to embrace either isolationism or, even worse in their worldview, realism -- the notion, introduced to America by Hans Morgenthau and epitomized (not for the better) by the statecraft of Henry Kissinger, that U.S. foreign policy should concern itself exclusively with the national interest and exclude consideration of human rights and liberal values. Liberal hawk John Lloyd of the Financial Times has gone so far as to equate attacks on his support for the war with doing damage to “the idea, and ideal, of freedom itself.”

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank with more detail on former State Department official Larry Wilkerson's attack on the "hijacking of US foreign policy": Colonel Finally Saw Whites of Their Eyes.

He said the vice president and the secretary of defense created a "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal" that hijacked U.S. foreign policy. He said of former defense undersecretary Douglas Feith: "Seldom in my life have I met a dumber man." Addressing scholars, journalists and others at the New America Foundation, Wilkerson accused Bush of "cowboyism" and said he had viewed Condoleezza Rice as "extremely weak." Of American diplomacy, he fretted, "I'm not sure the State Department even exists anymore...."
The man who was chief of staff at the State Department until early this year continued: "If you're unilaterally declaring Kyoto dead, if you're declaring the Geneva Conventions not operative, if you're doing a host of things that the world doesn't agree with you on and you're doing it blatantly and in their face, without grace, then you've got to pay the consequences...."
If there is a nuclear terrorist attack or a major pandemic, Wilkerson continued, "you are going to see the ineptitude of this government in a way that'll take you back to the Declaration of Independence."

Motive: Cheney, CIA Long at Odds. The vice president's history of tension with the agency may help explain why his office is an area of interest in the blown-cover probe.

Larry C. Johnson: Dick Cheney's Covert Action.

Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball: Secrets, Evasions and Classified Reports. The CIA leak case isn’t just about whether top officials will be indicted. A larger issue is what Judith Miller’s evidence says about White House manipulation of the media.

Rove Told Jury Libby May Have Been His Source In Leak Case: Top Aides Talked Before Plame's Name Was Public.

According to Colin Powell's top aide: Cheney 'cabal' hijacked US foreign policy.

In a scathing attack on the record of President George W. Bush, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Mr Powell until last January, said: “What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made.
“Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences....”
Mr Wilkerson said his decision to go public had led to a personal falling out with Mr Powell, whom he served for 16 years at the Pentagon and the State Department. “He's not happy with my speaking out because, and I admire this in him, he is the world's most loyal soldier...."
Condoleezza Rice, the former national security adviser and now secretary of state, was “part of the problem”. Instead of ensuring that Mr Bush received the best possible advice, “she would side with the president to build her intimacy with the president”.

Ralph Nader interviews Rev. William Sloane Coffin: "None of Us Have the Right to Avert Our Gaze".

Iraq relatives begin Downing Street protest.

A group of families of British soldiers killed in Iraq began a 24-hour vigil today outside Downing Street in protest at the conflict. The vigil, which started at 3pm, was inspired by a similar protest this summer outside the ranch of the US president, George Bush.

Contra Costa Times: Get auditors in Iraq.

Georgie Anne Geyer: The Evolution of the Iraq War.

We know by now that there was precious little "intelligent design" at work in our occupation of Iraq, although the original military attacks were spectacularly accomplished. Our policy moved from 1) believing that the Iraqis would welcome us as liberators and immediately adopt democracy, despite their bitter history, to 2) amazement, finally bordering on despair, over the internal breakup of the country, to 3) the U.S. military command's lowering of expectations for what can be accomplished in that strange and hostile land, to 4) the genuine, if perhaps impossible, creation of an elected and constitutional government that would give "cover" to American withdrawal and leave some mutant form of united Iraq behind, no matter what it might choose to do in the future.

First it was "Vietnam syndrome". Now... As the casualty count rises, an `Iraq syndrome' emerges.

Seeking to rally support, the administration falls back on its final argument -- that retreat will only embolden the enemy and leave an even worse situation behind. As in Vietnam, there is a counterargument that withdrawal may have little impact on the outcome. The Iraqi authorities in any case may eventually conclude that the American presence does more to fuel the insurgency than contain it. For an American public weary of the daily toll, the case for withdrawal becomes increasingly compelling.
In the end, Iraq did not reverse decades of retreat and appeasement. Rather, it has sapped American will, becoming a graveyard of American power measured by the daily list of American dead.

Juan Vega of Spain: New democracy’ : Exporting electoral masquerade in Iraq.

61% of participation at the referendum on the Iraqui Constitution ! This was the figure given by international medias last Sunday evening, shortly after the poll stations had closed in Iraq. Amazing isn’it? In a country torn away by war and terrorism, with a total curfew and closed borders, the regime and the ‘free press’, not excluding of course the "liberation forces" were able to give us a very precise estimate in a more accurate and rapid way than in peaceful democratic developed countries.

The New York Times' Judith Miller cited as "charter member" of White House Iraq Group: Prez Iraq team fought to squelch war critics.

Report Bush knew Rove behind leak all along: Bush whacked Rove on CIA leak. Does that make him a conspirator to obstruct justice?

What was the President told, and when was he told it?! Democrats question Bush-Rove meeting on CIA leak.

McClellan on Wednesday broke with his usual practice of refusing to comment on the leak case, saying of the Daily News report: "I would challenge the overall accuracy of that news account." When reporters pressed him on which facts he was challenging, though, McClellan refused to say.

Justin Raimondo: Niger Uranium Forgery Mystery Solved? The Fitzgerald/Plame investigation goes in a new direction.

For those salivating at the prospect of indictments: Second Cheney aide cooperating in leak probe, those close to case say.

British: Judge attacks 'fairy tale' over Iraq war .

The Government was "driven to scrape the bottom of the legal barrel" to justify its invasion of Iraq, a senior judge said last night....
Lord Steyn said: "After the recent dreadful bombings in London we were asked to believe that the Iraq war did not make London and the world a more dangerous place. Surely, on top of everything else, we do not have to listen to a fairy tale."

New poll: Majority in U.S. Says Iraq Conflict Was Wrong decision.

Big Brother is here: Sleuths Crack Tracking Code Discovered in Color Printers.

Christopher Dickey says Judith Miller was always a sloppy reporter. He also defends her in some ways as he puts here work in the context of the economic pressures on reporters today: Burning Questions: The cannibalistic media frenzy over Judith Miller ignores the lessons that we should be learning from her case.

Burning Judy won’t light the way to better journalistic standards and ethics in a media marketplace that long ago concluded having access to power is more important than speaking truth to it. Worst of all, there’s very little public demand from the public for solid, prize-winning, and oh-so-expensive investigative reporting from the ground up. American audiences have been conditioned to expect amusement, even in their news. As Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said recently, “we're the best-entertained and the least-informed people on the face of the earth.”
I guess that’s what bothers me the most about the burning of Judith Miller. It’s really just another show.

Hatem Mukhlis of the Iraq National Movement, a Sunni political party: Voting 'Yes' to Chaos.

Why have so many Sunnis so adamantly opposed it? The answer is easy: it would likely divide Iraq into as many as 18 small feuding states. Can anyone imagine every state in the American union having diplomatic representation in foreign missions? It is a tacit understanding in every civilized state that the whole country joins together to defend itself from an outside threat. But not under this Iraqi constitution; the state Parliaments would probably have to approve. In case after case, provincial regulations would overrule federal laws when there is a dispute. The Iraqi Army would not even have the right to enter a state without the approval of that state's Parliament.

Ivan Eland: The Iraq Constitution: And They Call This Victory?

He's back! The champion liar of all time speaks pontificates again: Iraq charter won't end insurgency -Powell.

Oddly enough, on the GOPUSA web site: Zawahiri 'Letter' Draws Increasing Skepticism.

Christopher Brown, research associate at the Hudson Institute's Transitions to Democracy program, doubts that Zarqawi was even in Iraq at the time the letter was purportedly written to him, an opinion shared by a retired U.S. intelligence operative who spoke recently with Cybercast News Service.

An historical overview that may provide context for current events: The ‘Iraq’ Business: Is Iraq an Artificial Construction?

German Green and opponent of Iraq war: So, Farewell Then, Joschka Fischer: The German America needs most leaves politics.

Judith Miller (yes, that one!) was present during Israeli interrogation of a Palestinian in 1993. The Palestinian alleges he was tortured and retracted his confession. Miller neglected to tell the New York Times readers that she was directly involved in the story: Miller's omission: The stunning detail she left out of a 1993 "scoop" on Middle East terrorism.

A Tomdispatch Interview with Juan Cole (Part 2).

One can only hope, though Condoleezza Rice is almost as creepy: White House Watch: Cheney resignation rumors fly.

Simon Jenkins: Their only redemption is to withdraw in the new year . The coalition is merely generating violence in Iraq. British ministers must save the army's reputation and pull it out.

The Daily Kos has advice for those anxiously awaiting White House indictments: Dealing With Fitzmas.

David Corn: Sorry, Times, the Miller Mess Ain't Over.

Further Shame on the New York Times. See also the "See no evil": Keller Memo Adds 'Personal Postscript' to Paper's Judith Miller Account ; and: Miller Admits Fabricating Hill Staffer Source to Protect Libby.

Rumors of a major conspiracy charge, as insider helps investigation: Cheney may be target of probe.

Raw Story reports: Cheney aide cooperating with CIA outing probe, sources say.

For gossip enthusiasts among us: Rev. Moon's New Line Conflicts with Hard-Line Editor in Chief of the Washington Times.

Noam Chomsky tops list of public intellectuals by readers of Foreign Policy and Britain's Prospect magazine: Prospect/FP Top 100 Public Intellectuals Results. Perhaps most amazing, Naomi Klein is #11.

Chomsky won by a mile, with more than 4,800 votes.

Tom Engelhardt interviews Juan Cole, Part 1: The Treasure, the Strongbox, and the Crowbar.

Gareth Porter: How Basra Slipped Out of Control: Portent in the Shiite South? The stunning transformation of Basra from a secure rear area for US and British troops into a centre of anti-occupation agitation reveals the utter weakness of the Shiite political base on which the United States must now rely to sustain its occupation of the country.

David Hirst: The carve-up of Iraq will spawn a redivision of the Middle East. The adoption of a weak Iraqi federal constitution is likely to unleash an ethnic and sectarian crisis across the region .

In the opinion of some, including myself, the election resulted in: Iraqi Vote - Worst Possible Outcome.

According to the New York Times: Administration's Tone Signals a Longer, Broader Iraq Conflict.

From A Liberal Dose: A Kick in the Nuts to the Rightwing Police State comes: The Many Faces of the Modern Repugnican A Retrospective Gallery of Original Liberal Dose Art.

The Associated Press reports correctly that: Pro-war votes may haunt Democrats.

Out of office: Gephardt on Iraq: "I was wrong".

Editor lambastes U.S. treatment of journalists in Iraq.

Editor & Publisher: More Reactions to Miller Opus: Many Questions Remain.

Also on Sunday, Mickey Kaus at the popular blog Kausfiles offered this assessment: "...The message sent to every prosecutor in the country is 'Don't believe journalists who say they will never testify. A bit of hard time and they just might find a reason to change their minds. Judy Miller did.' This is the victory for the press the Times has achieved. More journalists will now go to jail, quite possibly, than if Miller had just cut a deal right away, before taking her stand on 'principle.'"

Norman Solomon: Miller, The Fourth Estate And The Warfare State.

It now seems that Miller functioned with more accountability to U.S. military intelligence officials than to New York Times editors

CIA leak probe 'widening to include use of intelligence'.

Analysts lash into N.Y. Times reporter: Critics lambaste paper, writer over CIA leak reporting.

Jorge Hirsch says stop them now or bye, bye world: Israel, Iran, and the US: Nuclear War, Here We Come.

Charley Reese asks an excellent question: I Have a Question for You.

Here's the question: Why is it that we can take a high-school graduate, give him 16 weeks of training and ship him off to Iraq to fight when, after two years of alleged training, the Iraqis are still unable to field an army that will fight?...
I don't know the answer, but I can suggest some possibilities. One is that we really don't want to train an Iraqi army capable of fighting on its own, because the minute we do, the pressure for us to leave Iraq will become immense....
Another possibility is that the Iraqis, while capable of fighting, have no desire to fight, because they would be seen as fighting as surrogates for the American occupation.

Except from Scott Ritter's Iraq Confidential.

Firefighter's diary illustrates FEMA's approach to help: Tale of the forbidden pillow offers insights into FEMA work.

Trudy Rubin: 2 questions beyond vote will affect Iraq stability.

Georgie Anne Geyer: World Waits for Bush's Next Move in the Middle East.

One possibility as the world reads White House tea leaves: America outlines Iraq exit strategy.

Ramzy Baroud emphasizes the complexity of the contemporary Iraq situation: The Iraq myth.

The BBC's John Simpson: No easy answers to Iraq's troubles.

Down in yet another poll: Bush approval hits 39%, lowest of his presidency.

Italian actor: Topless Benigni Rants Against Iraq War.

Michael White keeps track of coalition casualties: A somber tally: Stone Mountain man tracks deaths in Iraq. Among other things, the article reports that White is antiwar.

Michael O'Hanlon: On the precipice in Iraq.

How are things going in Iraq? The short answer, unfortunately -- based on Brookings' Iraq Index and my own assessments -- is not very well.

Protecting freedom of the pres? Judith Miler and New York Times admit to being officially-sanctioned government mouthpiece: 'Hidden Scandal' in Miller Story, Charges Former CBS Newsman.

There is one enormous journalism scandal hidden in Judith Miller's Oct. 16th first person article about the (perhaps lesser) CIA leak scandal. And that is Ms. Miller's revelation that she was granted a DoD security clearance while embedded with the WMD search team in Iraq in 2003. This is as close as one can get to government licensing of journalists and the New York Times (if it knew) should never have allowed her to become so compromised. It is all the more puzzling that a reporter who as a matter of principle would sacrifice 85 days of her freedom to protect a source would so willingly agree to be officially muzzled and thereby deny potentially valuable information to the readers whose right to be informed she claims to value so highly....
If Ms. Miller agreed to operate under a security clearance without the knowledge or approval of Times managers, she should be disciplined or even dismissed. If she had their approval, all involved should be ashamed.

Cindy Sheehan: Supporting Hillary.

would love to support Hillary for President if she would come out against the travesty in Iraq. But I don't think she can speak out against the occupation, because she supports it. I will not make the mistake of supporting another pro-war Democrat for president again: As I won't support a pro-war Republican.

The Washington Post calls yet again for an Independent Investigation of US prisoner abuse and torture around the world: A Future Investigation.

Arianna Huffington details why Judith Miller is not a reporter. And, one might add, the New York Times is not a NEWSpaper: TimesSelective: Judy-Culpa Raises More Questions Than It Answers... Miller's notes are unclear and she "can't remember any crucial details, such as who outed Valerie Plame to her. What kind of journalist has such a poor memory and simultaneously keeps such useless notes? What kind of newspaper would emplo such an incompetent journalist?

Miller refuses to say -- both to the Times reporters and in her own sham of an account -- who else she discussed Valerie Plame with. Yet, according to today's story, "Mr. Bennett, who by now had carefully reviewed Ms. Miller's extensive notes taken from two interviews with Mr. Libby, assured Mr. Fitzgerald that Ms. Miller had only one meaningful source. Mr. Fitzgerald agreed to limit his questions to Mr. Libby and the Wilson matter." In what way was Libby the only "one meaningful source," if he didn't leak Plame's identity to Miller? Whoever gave Miller Plame's name was a pretty damned meaningful source. Although evidently not meaningful enough for her to remember who it was.

Hell no! I won't go! RAF officer faces jail over ‘illegal war’.

Jeff Sparrow a book edited by Thomas Cushman -- A Matter of Principle: Humanitarian Arguments for War -- of essays defending the Iraq war on "humanitarian" grounds: Humanitarian arguments for war in Iraq.

Iraq might have caused the British Marxist Norman Geras to lose his head, but he, at least, possessed one to lose, and his essay presents the strongest elements of the pro-invasion case. "During 23 years of Saddam's rule," he writes, "some 290,000 Iraqis disappeared into the regime's deadly maw." If the anti-war movement had succeeded, Baathism would have remained in place, possibly for years to come. "Speaking for myself, comrades," Geras says, "there I draw the line."

War Criminals Speak Out! Now Vietnam war criminal Melvin Laird has criticism of US Iraq policy: A Vietnam Architect's Wisdom on Iraq.

In an extremely strong, even impassioned, piece Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher says: After 'NY Times' Probe: Keller Must Fire Miller, and Apologize to Readers.

As the newspaper’s devastating account of her Plame games -- and her own first-person sidebar -- make clear, she should be promptly dismissed for crimes against journalism, and her own newspaper. And Bill Keller, executive editor, who let her get away with it, owes readers, at the minimum, an apology instead of merely hailing his paper’s long-delayed analysis and saying that readers can make of it what they will.

The New York Times finally tries to explain its shameful behavior: The Miller Case: A Notebook, a Cause, a Jail Cell and a Deal. Here is Judith Miller's explanation of what she told the grand jury: My Four Hours Testifying in the Federal Grand Jury Room. In a note of humor, Miller expects us to believe she can't remember who told her Plame was a CIA agent. Are there other "missing" notes? Or does this "veteran reporter" not keep notes when told crucial matters? See analysis by Daily Kos: NYT Writes its Story, and Miller Buries Libby. See also the AP report: Times Editor Says She Regrets Miller Case. The New York Times now has a page of key: Related Documents.

The Torture Society! >Modifications will allow CIA and foreign employee torture: Beware the "Augmented" McCain Amendment!.

Official propaganda from Steve Hadley, national security adviser to President Bush: Iraq's Democratic Determination.

One of those GIs, Corine Lombardo, in yesterday's photo-chat with the Shrub was herself a PR flak, though she hid it during the (no)infomercial: Bush Launches New Flack Attack: U.S. public shelled today from Iraq by weapon of mass distraction. See: Iraqi army graduates mark transfer of responsibility from Task Force Liberty by Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo, 42nd Infantry Division Public Affairs.

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: I can tell you over the past 10 months we've seen a tremendous increase in the capabilities and the confidences of our Iraqi security force partners. We've been working side-by-side, training and equipping 18 Iraqi army battalions. Since we began our partnership, they have improved greatly, and they continue to develop and grow into sustainable forces. Over the next month, we anticipate seeing at least one-third of those Iraqi forces conducting independent operations.
THE PRESIDENT: That's important. The American people have got to know — and I appreciate you bringing that up, Sergeant Major, about how — what the progress is like. In other words, we've got a measurement system —

The Idiot-In-Chief: Bush told Blair of 'going beyond Iraq', including Saudi Arabia.

From an Iraq War Vet in Portland....

Raj Purohit and Sam Stein point out that exemption from human rights law appears to be the most important aspect of US foreign policy, and, I would say, of domestic policy as well: Criminal Arrogance.

Since it came into office in January 2001 the Bush administration has spent an enormous amount of political energy trying to de-legitimize the [International Criminal] court’s existence. The administration secured passage of the anti-ICC American Servicemembers’ Protection Act (which is commonly referred to in Europe as the “Hague Invasion Act” due to its polemic language), decided to un-sign the ICC Rome Statute and flirted with a global anti-ratification campaign. Most recently the administration and its congressional allies have sought to force members of the ICC (the number of countries that have ratified the treaty is now 99 and growing) to sign Bilateral Immunity Agreements (BIAs), which exempt all U.S. nationals and non-national contractors from accountability before the International Criminal Court.

From Bangladesh: An unwinnable war in Iraq by Matiur Rahman.

The politics of self-interest. The neo-conservatives may be tied to ideological consistency but it has never been the true driving force of US policy. That, writes Azmi Bishara, is all about money, and nothing will get in its way.

Robert Parry: Bush Feared 'Looking Weak' on Iraq.

Far from not knowing that Hussein had let the U.N. inspectors in, Bush expressed fears in the Jan. 30, 2003, conversation that the inspectors would secure full cooperation from the Iraqi government – and that might frustrate his invasion plans. Bush was aware, too, that Blair believed that a second U.N. resolution was needed to authorize military action.

Joshua Holland: Stuck In Baghdad? Yeah, Right. Don't believe what you hear from the White House and the Pentagon. We can leave Iraq anytime we please.

The Big Lie is that withdrawal is a complex game.

Fred Kaplan changes his mind, sort of: A Sliver of Hope: Perhaps the Iraqi Constitution has a chance of success, after all.

Jihad el Khazen : The War on Terror...Increased It.

A hundred billion here, a hundred billion there, and... Security at Any Cost?

John Pilger reminds us of the American and British governments and media's intimate invovlement in the murder of over half a million Indonesians in the 1965 coup and the hundreds of thousands butchered in succeeding decades. How can anyone imagine that these countries could help avoid bloodshed in Iraq: We need to be told. When journalists report propaganda instead of the truth, the consequences can be catastrophic - as one largely forgotten instance demonstrates

What happened in Indonesia, and continues to happen, is almost a mirror image of the attack on Iraq. Both countries have riches coveted by the west; both had dictators installed by the west to facilitate the passage of their resources; and in both countries, blood-drenched Anglo-American actions have been disguised by propaganda willingly provided by journalists prepared to draw the necessary distinctions between Saddam's regime ("monstrous") and Suharto's ("moderate" and "stable").

In Dallas, it's all all about oil: How Far Has Iraq Come? Tomorrow's vote will provide an answer by the Dallas News.

Whatever the outcome, one thing is certain: Vital U.S. interests – securing the world's oil supply and preventing terrorists from becoming entrenched – hang in the balance. Given those realities, America's journey and Iraq's journey are linked, however long they may be.

Waiting, waiting, waiting... Jitters at the White House Over the Leak Inquiry.

The prospect of a White House without Mr. Rove, Mr. Bush's longtime strategist, has some allies of the president in a near panic, fearful that without him the administration would lose the one person capable of enforcing discipline across a party that has become increasingly fractious and that is almost at war with itself.

For entertainment: The Harriet And George Letters.

Nick Turse begins counting: The Fallen Legion: Casualties of the Bush Administration

New York Times Public Editor says it's time for the paper to come clean on Judith Miller's Plamegate involvement: Now Is the Time.

Juan Cole on the scandal: Judy Miller and the neocons. Arrogance, poor editing, and getting too close to her sources -- not ideology -- led to her fall..

That Miller neglected to seek out the whole story but rather contented herself with serving as a stenographer for figures such as Bolton and Iraqi fraudster Ahmad Chalabi suggests either a conviction on her part of an ideological sort, or an excessive trust in her sources -- probably both.

White House Loses Confidence in Rove.

Jeremy Scahill: Mr. Bush Goes to Tikrit (Sort of).

Another contribution from Smart Imperialists Against Bush: George W. Bush's suicidal statecraft.

Marty Aussenberg: Handicapping the Plame Game.

Bush's ratings sink amid public pessimism.

"Bush's numbers are going from bad to worse, and there is no silver lining," said Pew pollster Andrew Kohut.

Harold Pinter, winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature: We have brought torture and misery in the name of freedom. See also: Nobel winner Pinter rages against U.S. arrogance; calls Blair 'deluded idiot'.

Even war mongers dump on losers: Thatcher reveals her doubts over basis for Iraq war.

Stan Cox: Good News, or Urban Legends?

Robert Jensen: Waking up in an armed camp.

The problem is not just that the United States now has a mercenary army but that we are a mercenary society. Our army fights the wars, but virtually everyone is in some way implicated. Since the end of World War II, the country has been transformed into a militarized state with a permanent wartime economy. There has always been resistance to that project on the margins, but because the United States is an incredibly affluent nation — and these policies promise continued affluence — there is a strong motivation to ignore the consequences.
Ironically, it may turn out that the weak link will be not the civilian mercenaries but the military ones. Historically, colonial powers have imported mercenary forces to do the dirty work. In the United States, our own citizens are being forced into that role. If the inability of the armed forces to meet recruitment goals continues, the effect may be not only new constraints on the ability to fight additional wars but also a more widespread questioning of the system itself....
There is incredible tension in U.S. culture. Many continue to hold on tightly to the idea that the service personnel are being killed and maimed in Iraq for a noble cause. This is hardly surprising; acknowledging that a loved one was killed in the pursuit of elite domination can intensify the already deep pain of the loss. Others are abandoning illusions and recognizing the motivations of the powerful. No one wants to demonize the front-line troops — those with the least power to change policy — but the reality of why the U.S. military fights, along with the brutal way in which the wars are fought, become increasingly hard to ignore.

George Packer, taff writer for the New Yorker and author of The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq: Iraq, for better and worse.

Two-and-a-half heartbreaking years later, where does the balance of the evidence lie? It's still possible that the fondest hopes of the war's architects will be realized in a generation or two — that regime change in Iraq will advance democracy and reduce extremism across the Middle East. But policymakers are accountable within the parameters of their own watch. For now, and into the foreseeable future, U.S. interests have been badly damaged by the fighting in Iraq. The war has been a disaster for our military, which has suffered grievous death and injury, lost a measure of its honor at Abu Ghraib and been overextended to the point where withdrawal might become necessary simply for lack of available troops....
The direct costs to the national treasure are easy to measure; the fraying of alliances, the loss of U.S. power and prestige, the draining of attention and resources from other crises, especially the struggle against the twin dangers of worldwide jihad and nuclear proliferation, are harder to quantify but no less real. The overthrow of the Baathist regime has produced anarchy, a violent insurgency that will continue for years and, more recently, the specter of large-scale civil war. Meanwhile, the weapons that were the administration's casus belli turn out to have been phantoms....
Was it worth it, then? If it couldn't be done right, should it have been done at all? For Americans today, the answer has to be no. For Iraqis, and for the future of this crucial region, with which our own future is inextricably linked, it's difficult to know definitively.

Leon Hadar: Making the Middle East Safe for What? A regional conflagration?

Congressional Research Service Important New CRS Report on War Spending. Full report [pdf].

From Sept. 11, 2001, to last week, the federal government has spent $357 billion on the “Global War on Terror....”
Despite, or perhaps because of, the magnitude of these expenditures, the Department of Defense continues to show the same gross incompetence in tracking and reporting this spending as it does in its regular budget. In this case, DoD appears to have lost track of $7.1 billion appropriated by Congress for war spending, which DoD did not include in its spending reports to itself or to Congress. At the same time, DoD transferred $7 billion to $14 billion in peacetime program funds (mostly from postponed training and deferred equipment repair accounts) to operations costs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, DoD obligations for war purposes have repeatedly exceeded congressional appropriations, and the department used $2.5 billion appropriated in 2001 and 2002 for Afghanistan to instead prepare for the invasion of Iraq, which raises major constitutional and legal questions. Finally, DoD reporting techniques make it extremely difficult to determine just what is spent for missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and for base security, and it is virtually impossible to track what DoD plans to spend for these missions compared to what is actually spent.

Growing movement wants military out of schools.

Paying the cost: A Marine's fall from Iraq heroism.

The Argus, CA: Close our torture loophole.

Allentown [PA] Morning Call: Corruption allegations are latest bad news as Iraq heads toward referendum Saturday.

Sidney Blumenthal: Uranium fallout: Coverage of the Plame affair has been tainted by the press's cosy duet with the White House .

Jonathan Schell: How to Lose an Election like the Democrats.

Another sinking poll hits new low: Bush approval dips below 40 percent: NBC-WSJ poll shows only 28 percent believe U.S. headed in right direction.

One smart soldier: From Iraq, soldier seeks war's end.

“I am just an American citizen-soldier who wants to see an end to this hemorrhaging and get back to my life away from Iraq,” writes Pulliam, who resides on Main Street with his wife, Awilda, and their two children, ages 8 and 10.
“Iraq will have some very hard times to follow our disengagement, but I see this as inevitable anyway so why should we (Americans) continue to bleed only to prolong the pain that is coming,” Pulliam writes. “I don't view this as defeatism, I view it as rationalism....”
A machinist at Al Taqaddum Air Base near Falluja, Pulliam harbors deep distrust of President Bush and vehemently opposes the war, his father said. “He thinks it's a crime,” Brown Pulliam said of the war, “and that Bush ought to be impeached.” His parents are unconcerned about possible disciplinary action, saying such possibilities are friendly compared to the threats of war.

Digging up cannon fodder: Recruiting in the Schools: No Lie Left Untried.

Word comes in from students in the Philadelphia area that recruiters at area high schools are warning them to enlist now, when they can pick the type of service they'd like to do, "because there's a draft coming next year and then you'll have no choice."

Antiwar Congresswoman back from Iraq: Woolsey's Iraq tour solidifies war stance.

Jamil Ziabi: "Sergeant" of Minister Rank.

Last week, the Iraqi Minister of Interior, Bayan Jabr Solag, waged a fierce attack on the Saudi Foreign Minister and his country, through several statements, which I repel to mention one more time. I can't find a better expression than: Calm down, Minister!...

Veteran Australian journalist Paul McGeough: Osama's hall of mirrors. There is a danger that the war in Iraq could spread across the Middle East.

I have a sense that Iraq is a world of sliding doors and parallel universes in which two dialogues are being conducted - one between Washington and Baghdad, in which the Iraqis tell the Americans what they want to hear about the niceties of democracy, their dubious new constitution and all the international treaties they have signed. But there is a second exchange, a very different and brutal discourse among the Iraqis themselves on how they intend to carve up the country and probably each other.

A view from the Green Party by Roger Morris and Steven Schmidt: Strategic Demands of the 21st Century: A New Vision for a New World or download pdf.

Justin Raimondo: Democracy: The God That Failed In Iraq, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan.

Chalmers Johnson, the trenchant critic of American militarism, has characterized the U.S. as an "empire of bases," and what we are witnessing is the extension of this global system of linked launching pads for American military intervention from Kyrgyzstan to Ukraine to Iraq. This, and not the creation of genuine liberal democratic societies, is our real foreign policy objective....
Democracy? Don't make me laugh. Democracy is the god that failed to accomplish its ostensible goals everywhere the U.S. has intervened – but the real objective of our "liberationist" foreign policy is well on the way to being achieved.
We didn't aid the "democratic" revolution in Kyrgyzstan to create a Jeffersonian republic, but to facilitate our ongoing occupation of Afghanistan and encircle Russia. We didn't tout the glorious "Orange Revolution" and funnel millions to the Yushchenko camp out of any desire to help Ukrainians make a better life for themselves: it was and is all about NATO. The same lesson holds true for Iraq, only more so.

Dan Simpson, a retired diplomat: As President writes his legacy, it's not a happy read at all.

[W]e learn that the Defense Intelligence Agency is asking Congress for permission for its agents to talk to potential intelligence sources inside the United States without identifying themselves. A change in legislation would be required, but the Pentagon's idea would be to just tack this reversal of the Privacy Act on to an intelligence bill already passed by the Senate. We will assume that the Pentagon already has assurances from Mr. Bush that he wouldn't veto this little effort to create an East German Stasi of secret informers in our midst.

Fawaz Turki: Response and Responsibility in Iraq.

Those Iraqi patriots who had hoped that a new constitution would unite them, and that a democracy would arise in their country out of the ashes of dictatorship, are demoralized. Those of us who were anti-war from the outset, but who had to bite the bullet and go along with it because we considered Saddam a greater evil, are equally demoralized. And those in government who had rushed the US to war — while armed with an almost mystical conviction of moral license — are now wondering how the strongest power in history, mounting a military campaign against a puny opponent in a Third World country, at a time and place of its own choosing, could find itself humbled at the core, hemorrhaging blood and treasure, as it both confronts a violent insurgency and deals with local political leaders who are not only rough at the edges, but rough straight through.

An interesting history lesson: The failed Gulf state called Basra and Iraq constitution.

In the 1920s, when the modern state of Iraq had just been established, a group of notables in Basra made a bid to establish the Gulf city as a separate merchant republic. They envisaged a pro-British enclave that could become an emporium for the Gulf region.

Helena Cobban: In Iraq, a rush toward democracy could trigger civil war.

Syrian leader denies role in Lebanese death: Al-Assad says United States should re-examine Iraq policy. See also: Syria: Interior Minister Commits Suicide.

Al-Assad said that the United States cannot control its border with Mexico so Syria cannot be expected to keep people from sneaking into Iraq.

Tom Hayden: What Iraqis Really Think About The Occupation.

Tariq Ali in Lahore on the earthquake and its devastation: Pakistan Will Not Forget.

For the shear fun of it: Plame affair grows more complicated. And: Judy Miller Meets the Grand Jury: Take Two by Arianna Huffington.

And more fun: The President's day: One high crime and two misdemeanors.

Just today alone, Bush committed at least one "high crime" and two "misdemeanors," by our casual tally.

Surprise! Bush recants acceptance of responsibility for Katrina mess .

Antiwar from the beginning: 2008: Will Al Gore be the Anti-Hilary?

A father says: Please Don’t Support My Troop.

Antiwar resolution leads to resignation: Robb resigns from GOP committee .

Editorial, Register-Guard, Oregon: The Guard's burden. The National Guard and Reserves are bearing a sadly disproportionate share of the burden of President Bush's disastrous war in Iraq.

Editorial, Charleston [WV] Gazette: War reasons unknown.

Let's hope: Lawyers say investigation into CIA leak widens to probe 'broader conspiracy' around Iraq.

Conservatives and exiles desert war campaign.

Bush Poll Numbers Continue To Slide, Even With His Base

Jim Lobe: Condi May Be Bush's Expediency Council .

Just as the theocratic leadership in Iran is trying to rein in the aggressive nationalism of the new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, so Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appears to be restraining aggressive nationalists in Washington who want to escalate rising tensions with Iran and Syria.
In just the last 10 days, Rice and her State Department have reportedly not only opposed proposals to carry out military raids inside Syria as a way of further weakening, and possibly overthrowing, its already beleaguered President Bashar Assad, but they have also put forward a plan for directly engaging Iran for the first time since May 2003.

Paul Craig Roberts: How To End The War.

Susan J. Tolchin: Chicken Congress AWOL from battle.

Stuart Reigeluth: Victory in War, Failure in Peace: The precedent of Iraq in the "Greater Middle East".

In the meantime, the threat of more war against terrorism and for democracy is looming in the Middle East. George W. Bush has consistently twisted his tongue in attempts to disengage from Iraq, but in clear terms he has now announced the strongest American menace against both Syria and Iran. The tactic is typical of all empires: when confronted with internal problems (in this case, the massive response of natural disasters and the growing opposition to the occupation of Iraq), the state wages another war to divert public attention. Resigned from the fate of Iraq, Larry Diamond sincerely hopes that a genuine democracy will emerge, but realizes that, as a direct result of American financial ambitions and military actions in the Middle East, the word is now generally understood to mean hypocrisy.

Jihad El-Khazen recounts a conversation with President Jalal Talbani: Wisdom Has Not Been Heeded Yet.

First, he observed that Iran, having forged strong relationships with the Iraqi Shiite at all levels, meddles in Iraqi affairs. Yet, its meddling is neither witty, nor based on a strategic stance. His opposition to the Iranian standpoint stems from his fear from operations inside Iraq, via a third party - such as Hezbollah - in retaliation for the US and British position with regard to Iran's nuclear program....
Nonetheless, the President needs the approval of the Iraqi government, a measure hindered by the Shiite parties that accuse Syria of dispatching terrorists to attack the Shiites in Iraq. I find it difficult to believe this weird accusation, for Syria is the first, if not the sole ally of the predominantly Shiite Iran in the world. Indeed, Iran has tried to mediate. However, this issue is so important to linger unsolved.

James Carroll: The labyrinth of Iraq.

Just as Athens sent its boys and girls to feed the Minotaur, keeping the beast appeased and far away, so -- just so -- does Washington. But in our circumstance, the sacrificial offering of the young is not quite working. Here is the ironic surprise that only recently dawns on the United States: We have followed our young ones into the maze. We are a lost nation, right behind them....
Purposeful walking is the opposite of panicked flight. That is why labyrinths are on the floors of cathedrals, not prisons. To find the way into the heart of the labyrinth is, simultaneously, to find the way out. The labyrinth, therefore, answers the maze. How do we leave Iraq? By reversing ourselves and simply leaving.

San Francisco Chronicle analysis: Experts see grim times ahead -- a torn Iraq -- even if constitution is approved.

As Iraq heads for its Saturday referendum on its disputed constitution, conservative analysts in Washington and Iraqi supporters of President Bush's decision to go to war in 2003 are in a somber mood, reflecting their current view that a long, hard slog remains ahead.

For 12 minutes, she stood up to the bully: I wanted to slap him. George W Bush was so upset by Carole Coleman’s White House interview that an official complaint was lodged with the Irish embassy. The RTE journalist explains why the president made her blood boil.

Surprise! NY subway threat tip a hoax.

Miller and Rove testify again: Prosecutor asks NYT reporter to testify again.

59% say "leave as soon as possible," up 7% since September: Troops Should Leave Iraq Soon, Say Americans.

Cindy Sheehan: I Have Arrived; I Am Home.

Andrew Bacevich: The Courage of Captain Fishback.

Michael Scherer interviews Russ Feingold: Why the U.S. must leave Iraq. Sen. Russ Feingold says it's time to admit the war was a disaster -- and accuses his fellow Democrats of going along with Bush out of fear.

Senator Carl Levin starts talking withdrawal: Senator urges US to consider Iraq pullout.

Stan Moore: How is the Euphrates Bridge bombing campaign supposed to work?

Does the U.S. air force designate traffic lanes on these bridges, so that insurgents can use certain lanes and then be subjected to precision bombings, while common folks use safe lanes?

Charles Hanley, AP: Sunni-Shiite religious war in Iraq feared.

Pro-invasion Iraqis profoundly disappointed: Iraqis' Broken Dreams. See also Gideon Rose: Welcome to the Occupation: A rueful liberal hawk explores the road to war in Iraq and its chaotic aftermath.

Fawaz A. Gerges: The Iraq War: Planting the Seeds of Al Qaeda’s Second Generation.

David Corn: Is Judy Miller Worse for the Times than Jayson Blair?

Central Maine Morning Sentinel: Grim news from Iraq confirms need for withdrawal timeline.

Mark Benjamin: 2,000 dead? Who cares? Why is the country so oblivious to the Iraq war's casualties?

Ken Sanders: Sadist In Chief.

Bill Henderson: Kunstler & Chomsky: Iraq & Peak.

The enemy isn't the Islamic world or even the militant Islamic fundamentalists but the "3 or 4 major players, or blocs of players, in the world who are liable in one way or another to contest for the remaining oil in the world" (and other key industrial civilization resources that will also be severely depleted by burgeoning human populations with powerful technologies).
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This is why Bush Admin motivation and planning for aggression in Iraq is so important today. This is why the war's legality is still so important 21/2 years after victory was declared. This choice of who Americans are and what the world will be like in the first decades of the 21st century was not made by the American people or even their elected representatives but by a small group within the present administration.

Norman Solomon translates Bushspeak: "The War on Terror" - in Translation.

Subway threat originated in Iraq: Jitters, false alarms follow New York threat announcement.

The tipster in Iraq failed some sections of the polygraph test, but passed the section pertaining to the information about the New York threat, the official said....
The memo, according to the AP, said the attack was to take place on or around Sunday and involved timed or remote-controlled explosives hidden in briefcases, suitcases or baby strollers. [Why Sunday, the day when the fewest people are on the subway?]

Ira Chernus uses common sense: Subject: Does God Speak to Bush?

Web site owner arrested for porn, not for murder pictures: War-dead Web site leads to Polk obscenity arrest.

Demonstration in Warsaw demanding Polish troops back from Iraq.

Credibility issues over New York subway threat.

The New York terror threat hailed as a product of intel from Iraq? How silly do they think we are? Intel from Iraq Raids Leads to New York City Security Hike.

Officials declined to release details about specific information gathered in Iraq that ultimately led to the security hike, noting that it could jeopardize U.S. intelligence operations.

Juan Cole continues his Arguing with Bush series: Arguing with Bush and the GWOT.

Mr. Bush, I don't recognize the world you paint. I find your speech a form of sheer propaganda, having almost no relationship to reality. And I am very, very worried that you will allow to happen to the Oil Gulf what you allowed to happen to New Orleans. After watching you for five years I have become convinced that you don't have the slightest idea what you are doing in Iraq, that you are just reacting and playing it by ear. You can't do that, George.

Jim Lobe: Bush Raises the Stakes in Terror War .

"Instead of using Iraq as a way to transform the region, they now seem to recognize that they have put organizations like al-Qaeda in a position to transform the region in its favor. If you follow [Bush's] logic, that's what has happened: we've gone from this great opportunity to democratize the region to, 'oh my God, we have to prevent even worse things from happening,'" he said.

Thomas Oliphant explains why Bush made his big speech: Bush's Falling Poll Numbers.

Editorial response to Bush's great speech. Albany Times Union: Shifting sands: President Bush and Vice President Cheney keep changing the reasons for the war in Iraq .

If assurances of completing a vague mission are a disservice to the soldiers who'll have to die for it, and they are, the subsequent defense of the war is more troubling still. It's dishonest.
The horrific attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, may have been a huge reason why Mr. Bush wanted to invade Iraq. But there continues to be no connection between 9/11 and Iraq. This administration's repeated suggestions that there is only serves to expose a war where the casualties mount, and for reasons that keep changing.

Boston Globe: Bush bravado.

This misreading of the Iraqi scene is Bush's way of rationalizing his own floundering policy there. No less unfortunate was his analogy between a war on terrorism and the West's long battle against communism. Stalin and Mao ruled enormous countries with large armies, atomic bombs, and long-range missiles. There is no basis for comparing their powers to bin Laden's or Zarqawi's.
These flaws in Bush's address would be negligible if he had offered a credible strategy for winning his war on terrorism. Instead, he commended the ineffectual tactics that are on display in Iraq when US forces flush insurgents out of one place only to see them regroup in another. As for the larger conflict against Al Qaeda, Bush could only vow to ''keep our nerve" and eventually win a victory.

New York Times: President Bush's Major Speech: Doing the 9/11 Time Warp Again.

The president's inability to grow beyond his big moment in 2001 is unnerving. But the fact that his handlers continue to encourage him to milk 9/11 is infuriating. For most of us, the memories are fresh and painful. We mourn the people who died on Sept. 11, as we mourn Daniel Pearl and other Americans, not to mention innocents from other countries, who were murdered by terrorists. The administration's penchant for using them as political cover is offensive. It threatens to turn our wounds, and our current fears, into cynical and desperate spin.

Further Editorial response to the speech. The magic isn't working any more: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Endless War: Credibility canyon; Newsday: Bush on the defensive: As situation in Iraq worsens, he tries to rouse support for the war. Bandor Daily News: Iraq Reality & Rhetoric ; and Centre Daily Times, PA: Bush's Iraq Speech: Clarity is latest casualty.

USA Today: The challenge in Iraq: Departure without defeat.

When the United States went to war in Iraq two-and-a-half years ago, the initial military operation was a success. Saddam was toppled in weeks. Faulty assumptions and poor U.S. planning to secure the peace are largely responsible for the ensuing chaos. The past cannot be fixed. But the planning going forward must be, to salvage an acceptable outcome to a misguided venture.

Not a candidate, he actually has something to say, and the passion to say it. Al Gore: American Democracy in Trouble: It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse.

It's wake up time. Approval at 37%, 29% among Independents. Iraq approval at 32%. 62% want to cut Iraq spending to pay for hurricane rebuilding. 59% say troops should leave "as soon as possible": Poll: Bush Ratings Hit New Low. President George W. Bush's overall job approval rating has reached the lowest ever measured in this poll, and evaluations of his handling of Iraq, the economy and even his signature issue, terrorism, are also at all-time lows.

Michael Connors: The mess in Iraq... and Prophet Huntington . Given the state of Western intelligence, does anyone know what is going to happen when Iraq collapses under the weight of civil war?

It is often said that because the `'left'' opposes Mr Bush, it wants to see the failure of the democratic experiment there. This is wrong. The flourishing of democracy in Iraq, as a genuine political system, requires the emergence of social political forces that seek genuine social change both nationally and internationally. It would also involve undoing the economic hatchet job of the US administration that has opened the country to liberal experimentation and corporate cronyism. Should such democratic forces emerge, that would be a victory for democracy, and a failure for Mr Bush.

Pepe Escobar: 'War on Terror' Revisited PART 1: The conquest of Southwest Asia .

William Pfaff: Rigid militarism will lead to US shooting itself in the foot.

Paul Craig Roberts: The Triumph of Ideology Over Reality .

Not content with the terrorist-breeding instability he caused by invading Iraq, President Bush is plotting with Israel to repeat the disaster in Syria....
The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reports (Oct. 3) that the Bush administration has asked Israel's government to recommend a successor for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. No doubt, the Bush administration will describe Israel's selection of Syria's new president as the workings of democracy.

Give Peace a Chance: Is the anti-war movement too fractured to be effective?

The rally, in all its sound and fury, underscores the uneasy truce between soldiers and socialists that threatens to split the anti-war movement. For much of the American left, opposing the war in Iraq is simply a means to an end, a way to raise larger issues about the abuse of U.S. power at home and abroad. For vets and their families, it's about saving lives -- their lives. In their eyes, those they call the "Free Mumia crowd" are marginalizing the movement, scaring off red-state Americans who might otherwise embrace a quick exit....
As dusk began to fall at the D.C. march, Joan Baez took the stage at the foot of the Washington Monument. As she sang "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall," it was impossible not to feel that history was attempting, tragically, to repeat itself. Turning Iraq into another incarnation of Vietnam might satisfy the left's pent-up desire to slam the Bush administration -- but it's hardly a blueprint for bringing the troops home quickly. "Here's an appalling truth," says Gitlin, a veteran activist of the Vietnam era. "Sentiment had turned against the war by '68. But the U.S. didn't leave until '73." Repeating that timetable in Iraq, he adds, "would not be much of a victory."

Ed Asner Speaks Out on the Far Right's Misuse of Power.

When you ask about the right-wing attacks on performers, these are old scripts. These have been readied for decades, prepared by the right wing, knowing that in the main, artists will not be in support of their programs and their ideas. So they are ready to attack. They are ready to vilify and they will resort to anything.

Two on the Feingold phenomenon, or fantasy. Bernie Quigley: Russ Feingold - a fresh sea breeze and perhaps a sea change. And John Byrne: Feingold says Democrats will announce intentions for Iraq.

eingold says some of his colleagues are warming to the idea of a timetable, but he didn’t want to identify particular senators by name.... “I don’t want to characterize their minds,” he explained. I’ve had a number of people who’ve said, ‘I’m very close to your position. I’m almost there....’”
“The idea that you stay in a situation that isn’t going the right way just for the sake of saying that you’re staying the course is a potentially disastrous approach,” the senator said. “The idea that things would be much worse if we let Iraqis take over I think is questionable. A lot of the recruiting is based on the idea that it is a permanent American occupation.”

On the other hand: A Question of Vision.

Rather than pointing us in a more constructive direction, much of the Democratic leadership is reinforcing a foreign policy agenda that has divided us from the world.

James Ridgeway: Rattle Sabers, Blah, Blah, Blah: As polls sink, Bush turns to the same old, same old in speech

Matthew Rothschild: Low Lights from Bush’s Press Conference.

Republicans in the House have already proposed “$343 billion in cuts over ten years from programs that assist low-income” people, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. On Tuesday, Bush demanded even more cuts. So I doubt we’ll hear Bush talk about helping people in poverty anymore. He’s turned the page. He’s back on script. And that script says, “Help business.”

Mike Davis: The Other Hurricane: Has the Age of Chaos Begun?

Lawrence A. Franklin: Defense Analyst Guilty in Israeli Espionage Case, confessing to passing information directly to Israeli officials, e.g., not always through the AIPAC front.

Meanwhile, a Philippines spy in the White House, on Cheney's staff, helping coup plotters! Espionage Case Broaches White House.

Do people buy this product? Cheney warns of 'decades of war'.

Ho, hum: Bush To Deliver Major Speech on why the US is losing in Iraq?

Amen! David Swanson: In Support of Weakness on National Security.

A senior staff person for one of the most progressive and courageous members of Congress recently advised a room full of peace activists that they won't be able to persuade Democrats to oppose the war simply by showing them polls finding that a majority of Americans oppose the war. Rather they must assuage the Democrats' fears of being called "weak on national security." But that's not possible.<...blockquote>
re you ready yet to say this: I am for weakness on national security. If strength on national security means making our nation more vulnerable to terrorism, then I am for weakness. If strength on national security means destabilizing the Middle East, damaging alliances around the globe, and making our nation hated by millions of people, I am for weakness. If strength on national security means ignoring the threats that preceded 9-11, then I am for weakness. If strength on national security means shipping the national guard out of the nation, defunding the construction of levees, and hiring incompetent cronies to protect the so-called homeland, then I am fervently for the weakest weakness we can muster. If strength on national security means dumping the majority of our public resources into an unaccountable Pentagon and an illegal war, at the expense of education, health care, housing, transportation, renewable energy, or actual steps to protect the Gulf Coast, then I am for some creative weakness pronto!

Claims the Constitution stands a good chance of being defeated: National Security Watch: A squeaker predicted in Iraq.

Looking ahead to the upcoming referendum on the proposed draft of Iraq's new constitution, U.S. officials are growing increasingly pessimistic about its odds of passing....
The worst case, however, might be a near failure. One scenario of particular concern to diplomats has a majority in the three Sunni-dominated provinces voting against the draft but not the two-thirds majority needed in at least one. That could heighten the disenfranchisement of the Sunnis, who largely boycotted the January election.

Gory attacks on civilians alienate some Jihadis.

From Baghdad to Bali, suicide attacks on civilians are dividing ideologues of global jihad, some of whom worry that the carnage is alienating even Muslims once sympathetic to the militant cause.

Iraq revives Sunni-Shi'ite tensions among neighbours.

Christian Aid explains: Why it’s right to say ‘I told you so’.

Republican Rep. Fred Upton calls for declaring victory and getting out: Americans nearly done in Iraq, Upton says.

The Iraqi election to approve a new constitution on Oct. 15 will signal the success of American military involvement there, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton said Tuesday. ``We have given them the chance. We have given them a whole lot of chances,'' at creating a democracy, the St. Joseph Republican told the Kalamazoo Gazette editorial board. ``At some point, enough is enough....''
He said some experts believe that if the Sunnis are successful in voting down the constitution, democracy in the country will be strengthened because the Sunnis will be convinced they have a voice.

Joshua Holland: Iraq and Oil-for-Food: The Real Story.

Latest extract from Robert Fisk's new book: How The World Was Duped: The Race To Invade Iraq.

Pat Murphy: Pentagon's biggest 'enemy', the soldiers.

Jeff Huber: Top 10 Bad Reasons for "Staying the Course" in Iraq (and One Good One).

Jihad El Khazen gives a sympathetic Arab view of Karen Hughes' Mideast trip: Wishing Isn’t Enough.

You can't fool all of the people all of the time: Bush Job Approval Stuck at 43%—Weak Rebound.

Perhaps most ominous for the President in these numbers is that his re-election base has eroded. His job performance rating is now below 50% among stalwart supporters like Red State Voters (49%), and voters who are married (48%), men (46%), in armed forces households (48%), NASCAR fans (48%). Conservatives give him a 74% positive rating.

Action Alert! Solidarity March With Anti-War Students this Thursday at Holyoke (MA) Community College. See background info at: Student who was Maced By Police Banned from Campus and international: Letters of Support from Cindy Sheehan and others.

The UMass-Amherst Anti-War coalition, in solidarity with HCC counter-recruitment students, has called for a peaceful mass march at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, on Thursday, October 6 at 11am, to demonstrate our determination to preserve freedom of speech on our university and college campuses and resist police repression of anti-war students.
On Thursday, September 29, a peaceful group of approximately 30 counter-recruitment activists were attacked by members of the HCC College Republican Club and the Holyoke campus police. One anti-war activist, Charles Peterson, was maced by police and has since been banned from the HCC campus where he is a student and works.

And they accuse the left of hating soldiers! Topeka Church Group Pickets Soldier's Funeral.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church waved signs saying "To Late to Pray," "God Hates You" and "Thank God For Dead Soldiers."
The church says God is killing soldiers to punish America for homosexuality.

Ira Chernus and Tom Engelhardt: Beyond the (In)Security State: Where Fear Can't Take Us.

Stan Crock: The Axis of Evil: From Rhetoric to Reality. By grouping Iran, Iraq, and North Korea together, Bush's policies targeting them have driven the countries into each others' arms.

Gary Leup: A Lesson from Roman History: An Earlier Empire's War on Iraq.

Lucinda Marshall: Who Gave Lynndie The Leash?

The real crime that Lynndie England committed was not that she posed inappropriately but rather that her participation challenged the assumptions of how women are supposed to behave. The military has always been a culture that uses rape as a weapon of war and one that takes a 'boys will be boys' attitude about sexual assault within it's own ranks. That photos of female soldiers posing with their weapons such as the ones on Wilson's site or those of Pvt. England pointing at a prisoner's genitalia are considered morally reprehensible, while photos of rape and torture are trivialized as entertainment rather than seen as violations of human rights and international law, is hardly surprising. They simply represent the continuum of misogyny that is an implicit part of the ethos of militarism.

One of many Editorials: Pvt. England, scapegoat.

George Monbiot on the rush from freedom that is Britain today: Protest is criminalised and the huffers and puffers say nothing .

Nikolas Kozloff says Run, Cindy, Run! A Political Opportunity for Cindy Sheehan and the Antiwar Movement: Shocking the Two Party System.

Joshua Frank: An Interview with Cindy Sheehan: The "Ist" Du Jour. And: War-Hawk Republicans and Anti-War Democrats: What's the Difference?.

Kevin Zeese, director of Democracy Rising and a candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland: Time for Anti-War Movement to Escalate Efforts — Build on Success.

[T]he anti-war movement has been unable to break into mainstream Democratic Party leadership in either the House or the Senate. These “leaders” recognize the disaster of Iraq – know the war is not winnable – but seem to believe it is best to let the Bush Administration wallow in the failure rather than help lead the country out of it. This immoral position results in the needless deaths of Americans and Iraqis and will come back to haunt the Party. The anti-war movement needs to breakthrough the next level of political support for the war. A particular focus should be put on Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) whose district is strongly anti-war and out of step with her views, and John P. Murtha (D – PA) the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Defense Appropriations, who was recently in Iraq and knows the situation is deteriorating, is untenable and will end with the U.S. withdrawing....
The anti-war movement should follow the lead of Cindy Sheehan who is focusing her attention on those in Congress who continue to oppose withdrawal from Iraq. She has not limited herself to Republicans like John McCain but has also focused on Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Hilary Clinton (D-NY) and John Kerry (D-MA). These elected representatives need to be pressured from all angles. Activists should be sitting in their offices in protest, hounding them wherever they appear in public, funders should be withdrawing their support and candidates should be challenging them in the primary and general election.
Most important, the anti-war movement should not repeat the mistake of 2004 where many of its leaders supported the pro-war Kerry. People should refuse to support any candidate who continues to vote for funding the illegal occupation of Iraq.

William Rivers Pitt: I Remember Democrats.

Call it cowardice. Call it cynical. Call it a conspiracy. Call it a custard pie, for all the good it will do. Adjectives and invective wither before the yawning abyss that stands between the words of Democratic officeholders, and the deeds they have thus far failed so completely to accomplish. One hears that they are "keeping their powder dry." All this protracted, disorganized silence leads one to assume they have the driest powder this side of the Sahara....
Yet the outcome of this will not be another historic Congressional reversal in 2006, or in 2008 for that matter, if the Democratic party continues as it has been. Give the people a choice between the devil they know and the fathomless, mindless, tidal wanderings of the deep blue sea, and they will choose the devil every single time.

Jim Lobe on the Democrats new "plan" for Iraq: Finally, the Democrats have a plan. Patrick Doherty: Un-Strategic Redeployment.

Brew owner against Iraq war.

Cameron Huey: The Conservative Case for Withdrawal.

David BasSanese: The world loves paying for America.

Dissaproval on Iraq up to 62%, approval at 33%: Most Americans Upset with Bush’s Iraq Policies.

Antiwar Iraq vet Paul Hackett , who got 48% of the vote for the House in an overwhelmingly Republican district will run: Hackett to challenge DeWine for Senate.

Andy Rooney on Iraq: Ike Was Right About War Machine.

Another way the government is planning to pay for the war and the hurricane damage is by cutting spending for things like Medicare prescriptions, highway construction, farm payments, AMTRAK, National Public Radio and loans to graduate students. Do these sound like the things you'd like to cut back on to pay for Iraq? ...
I'll tell you where we ought to start saving: on our bloated military establishment....
We had a great commander in WWII, Dwight Eisenhower. He became President and on leaving the White House in 1961, he said this: “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. …" Well, Ike was right. That's just what’s happened.

Joe Klein: Iraq: Are we heading for civil war?.

Daddy again lectures to Shrub through surrogate: Scowcroft says Iraq democracy can't be rushed, 'has to grow'.

Larry Johnson on the Kurd-Shia separation: Iraq: Mommy and Daddy Are Fighting.

The Shias promised to share and now they, by virtue of their status as the majority population in Iraq, are laying claim to their self-perceived right to rule the country as they please. It seems that the Kurds have fallen victim to the same fantasy based approach to policy and politics in Iraq that afflicts the Bush Administration.

Ramzy Baroud: Bush's choice: America or the empire.

Even a pompous president with a divine mission must recognize a disaster when he sees one. It is improbable that Bush actually believes his own rhetoric of a world full of promise, which he supposedly molded, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Lebanon or Gaza.

Rami G. Khouri, editor at large of the Beirut-based Daily Star: Europe Learns, America Provokes.

Opposition to some Western values (materialism, sexual liberties, fragmentation of family ties, etc.) is common in the world, but is not the cause of the terror threat today. The cause comprises a much more complex series of forces that include defensive resistance to foreign troops in Islamic lands, rebellion against indigenous autocrats in the Arab-Asian region, fighting back against cultural and social alienation, resisting predatory foreign policies by Israel and Western powers, yearning to create an authentic Islamic society, and a few others. All these issues are certainly debatable—but they are very, very far from wanting to destroy the Western way of life.

Chris Patterson's last hurrah: Former HK governor lets rip in undiplomatic last blast.

Jacques Chirac is ignorantly hostile to reform; Pervez Musharraf is “not a democrat”; and Dick Cheney’s style is to stick up “two fingers” to the outside world. Oh, and Vladimir Putin is a liar. Former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten has let rip at the world’s great and good in his latest book. Patten, who stood down as European Union external relations chief last year, ending more than a decade on the world’s public stage, pulls few punches in recounting behind-the-scenes tales of life at the top.

Tillman: an antiwar patriot? Tillman's legacy shrouds his beliefs .

Had Tillman survived his military service, they would not be naming American Legion and VFW posts after him. Not only because the bylaws of those organizations forbid such an action for a living person but also because the veterans might not have agreed with what he had to say.

British freedom fast eroding: Over 600 held under terror act at Labour conference .

Columnist Jack Mathews apologizes for trashing Sean Penn, as he comes to respect him for his convictions: Sean Penn's true colors: The actor deserves respect for his talent and his patriotism.

Time for a nap: Bush speech to crank up Iraq message.

Sure wish I'd been there as TV judge Greg Mathis spent 45 minutes calling Congress criminals with arch0-criminal Sen. Ted Stevens inthe audience: Alaska Ear.

For 45 minutes he excoriated Congress, calling its members criminals for actions in Iraq, for Halliburton, for bridges to nowhere instead of aid for Louisiana and Mississippi.

Tom Engelhardt: Last One to Leave, Please Turn On the Lights: Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms in Iraq.

Pepe Escobar on What do Siites Want? Who's in charge, Qom or Najaf?

Scott Ritter: The Last Thing Iraq Needs Now is the Passing of its Draft Constitution. The West has embraced a radical pro-Iranian elite and created a festering wound with the Sunnis.

On world stage, France's role is audience favorite.

In the survey of people in 23 countries across the globe, a majority or plurality in 20 described France as exerting a positive influence on world affairs. The US, by comparison, is seen as having a negative impact by majorities in 15 countries. [Only in the US did a majority see France's influence negatively.

Deadly Bacteria Detected in US Capital During Anti-War March. And they aren't referring to White House officials.

White House officials may be charged with criminal conspiracy, Washington Post reports: Role of Rove, Libby in CIA Leak Case Clearer: Bush and Cheney Aides' Testimony Contradicts Earlier White House Statement.

But a new theory about Fitzgerald's aim has emerged in recent weeks from two lawyers who have had extensive conversations with the prosecutor while representing witnesses in the case. They surmise that Fitzgerald is considering whether he can bring charges of a criminal conspiracy perpetrated by a group of senior Bush administration officials. Under this legal tactic, Fitzgerald would attempt to establish that at least two or more officials agreed to take affirmative steps to discredit and retaliate against Wilson and leak sensitive government information about his wife. To prove a criminal conspiracy, the actions need not have been criminal, but conspirators must have had a criminal purpose.

57% say declare victory and go home: Most Americans Wants Troops Out After Iraq Referendum.

Bush Approval Rating Rises to 40% From 38%, Newsweek Poll Finds.

ed Galen Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute: Historical ignorance guides Bush in Iraq.

The Democratic Party affiliated Center for American Progress has issued a plan by Lawrence Korb and Brian Katulis for gradual withdrawal from Iraq: Strategic Redeployment: A Progressive Plan for Iraq and the Struggle Against Violent Extremists. See also Jim Lobe: Think Tank Issues Two-Year Iraq Exit Plan.

Interview with Juan Cole focuses on the relationship between his academic and punditry roles: Professor addresses Middle East issues in blog.

Rev. Stephen D. Edington, Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Nashua, NH: How ‘support the troops’ is being misused to continue America’s needless war in Iraq .

Money-making through hatred: Magazine ad "unleashes hell" for Boeing and Bell.

Urgent! Spread the Word! At Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts: Student who was Maced By Police is Now Banned from Campus! There is a call to phone college officials and protest this harassment. See also further information on this and harassment at other schools from: Campus Antiwar Network.

It’s worth repeating here that Officer Scott Landry, the officer who put Charles in a headlock and sprayed mace in his face, is also the Advisor to the College Republicans at HCC. The College Republicans were also present at the protest, chanting behind the police line to incite the police to attack students. On campus, the student body has become frighteningly polarized, and many students who were at the protest opted out of attending classes today for fear of harassment.
Professor Mark Clinton, the faculty advisor to the Anti War Coalition has been summoned to see the Vice President of Academic Affairs on Monday afternoon. The Office of the Vice President would not inform Clinton’s dean of the agenda for the meeting. Yesterday, Professor Mark Clinton’s daughter was called an “ugly communist bitch” by a fellow student.

Rep. Barbara Lee: Permanent Occupation.

No one disputes that many of the installations under construction are of a physically permanent character. The issue revolves around the policy question of whether Iraq will be under permanent U.S. military occupation. That is why I introduced H. Con. Res. 197, which would make it “the policy of the United States not to enter into any base agreement with the Government of Iraq that would lead to a permanent United States military presence in Iraq.”

Is he totally deluded or just lying through his teeth? Which is scarier? Bush and reality hate each other.

Colin MacCabe: Why I'm tearing up my Labour party card: The treatment of Walter Wolfgang, after Iraq, proved too much for one long-time supporter.

I joined the Labour party in 1964 but this week is the first time I have felt ashamed of my membership. You will say it was an accident that two men were viciously bundled from the conference hall on Wednesday. But then you lie as you breathe....
If the method is soft, however, the totalitarian desire to crush debate is hard. If Nazi Germany was fascism by radio, New Labour is the corporate state by television.

Must Listen! An excellent: interview with Robert Fisk. Among other things, he estimates that the death toll is well over 100,000. He estimates it as 150,000-200,000:

Mahan Abedin, editor of Terrorism Monitor: Britain, Iran playing with Iraqi Shi'ite fire.

The war march continues, despite US defeat in Iraq. Waseem Shehzad: US increasing Iraq-style pressure on Iran over its nuclear program; Paul Craig Roberts: Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble: Bush is Cooking Up Two New Wars; and Jorge Hirsch: The Meaning of the IAEA Iran Vote: Where have we seen this before?.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William Odom of the neocon Hudson Institute: Retired general: Iraq invasion was 'strategic disaster'.

“The invasion of Iraq I believe will turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history,” said Odom, now a scholar with the Hudson Institute.

Finding killing troubling: Soldier Accused Of Cowardice Starts Counseling: Program For Iraq Vets.

The U.S. should withdraw from Iraq, he said, and reposition its military forces along the Afghan-Pakistani border to capture Osama bin Laden and crush al Qaeda cells.
Pogany, assigned to a Green Beret interrogation team with the 10th Special Forces Group, began throwing up after seeing the severed body of an Iraqi civilian three days after being sent to Iraq in 2003. After seeking help for a self-described anxiety attack, he was ordered back to Fort Carson to face a court-martial for cowardice -- a charge that can be punishable by execution.

Mary Geddry: Why I Marched: They Forced My Son to Kill.

Ex-federal employees speak against Iraq war.

An exchange between Rep. Charlie Rangel and Sen. Max Cleland during the Sept. 15 hearing convened by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) on finding an exit strategy for Iraq: We Pay More for Young People To Die, Than To Live.

Rep. Jane Harman spouts another of those Democratic "if only Bush would do the right thing, we could win" fantasies. Pathetic: The View From Iraq.

Scott Piatkowski: Who will speak for the American majority? The Democrats obviously won't.

Patrick J. Buchannan: `Our political elite is in paralysis'.

Not keeping busy attacking antiwar protesters, the American Legion finds a new calling: Largest U.S. veterans group starts 'positive' Iraq letter campaign.

Dawood Al Sherian: Who is Disfiguring America’s Pretty Face?

What is Judy "I wouldn't know the truth if it hit me in the face" Miller up to? Miller's Big Secret.

The Iraq war, downgraded to a box score, is lost.

Tom Hayden: 3 Reports from London.

An interview with Robert Fisk: One man's crazy vocation. This Middle East correspondent of 29 years knew instinctively that al-Qaeda was responsible for September 11. He has now condensed his experiences into a book about the trouble-plagued region.

He says The New York Times should change its name to "comma, officials say, full stop".

Getting rid of "undesirables" appears to be policy: HUD chief foresees a 'whiter' Big Easy.

Philip Weiss: How the Antiwar Was Won: The ghosts of Vietnam haunting the Iraq war are also lurking over the movement against it.

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