November, 2003

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

The Occupation

Cost of the War in Iraq
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Occupation Resistance Analysis

The Washington Post reports that US officials ignored a fatwa by Shia leader Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to their peril: How Cleric Trumped U.S. Plan for Iraq: Ayatollah's Call for Vote Forced Occupation Leader to Rewrite Transition Strategy. On the same day this article appeared, Sistani has evidently criticized the latest US scheme for returning "sovereignty" under US control, through the US picking the local committees that will choose the "government". Seems Sistani wants Iraqis to help choose their government: Iraq's top Shi'ite criticises U.S. plans.

Robert Fisk discusses the costs to US troops of the war, and the suppression of freedom that accompany it: Attacked for telling some home truths: Are we now to support atrocities against the 'scum of the earth' in our moral campaign against Evil? He also points out that US commentators, like the New York Times's David Brooks are accepting, even calling for, the US to commit war crimes in order to suppress the Iraqi resistance

Paying off the dead: US pays up for fatal Iraq blunders:Over 10,000 claims but families must waive rights .

Beyond the initial payments there is little recourse for the families of the dead. No American soldier has been prosecuted for illegally killing an Iraqi civilian and commanders refuse even to count the number of civilians killed or injured by their soldiers.

It seems the puppets want to retain power: Some Members Propose Keeping Iraqi Council After Transition.

US troops searching school girls. Good idea? A look at these pictures from should make it clear that the US cannot stay in Iraq: US continues to humiliate Iraqis. [For a rather different perspective on the body searches from the LA Times, see Pat-Down on the Way to Prayer: In Iraq, physical contact is governed by strict cultural mores. Yet body searches are now a daily fact amid the postwar insecurity.]

[] Central Military Command in Florida says the security of US soldiers comes before any “hearts and minds operation or the rights of Iraqi children”.
One father, Abu Muhammad, told “This humiliation has got to end now. I refuse to live like this. I’d rather die and I’ll take a few soldiers with me – and that’s a promise, not a threat.”

Another pro-US foreigner killed by US troops. If even these people are routinely killed, how many Iraqis are similarly being killed? US troops kill Hungarian in Iraq.

Freedom? US pilot complain about the safety of planes face criminal charges. Has the military no shame? A High Price for Speaking Up: Pilots in Iraq Face Court-Martial for Voicing Concerns About Aircraft.

The US recruits for the resistance: Iraqi CPA fires 28,000

But in today's Iraq, in spite of steadily escalating attacks on U.S. forces, the desire of the IGC to enforce political correctness produced "incoherence, chaos and disorganization," one Pentagon official said.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld even moved to get rid of 16 of 20 State Department people because they were seen to be "Arabists" -- overly sympathetic to Iraqis, U.S. government officials said.
A former Garner team member was quoted in last week's Newsweek as saying the vetting process for Iraqis "got so bad that even doctors sent to restore medical services had to be anti-abortion" -- an article of faith in the Bush administration.

Robert Fisk reports on the new press "freedom" (freedom to report what the occupiers want): Under US Control, Press Freedom Falls Short in Iraq.

Things are no better in the American-run television and radio stations in Baghdad. The 357 journalists working from the Bremer palace grounds have twice gone on strike for more pay and have complained of censorship. According to one of the reporters, they were told by John Sandrock - head of the private American company SAIC, which runs the television station - that "either you accept what we offer or you resign; there are plenty of candidates for your jobs."
Needless to say, the television "news" is a miserable affair that often fails to make any mention of the growing violence and anti-American attacks in Iraq that every foreign journalist - and most Iraqi newspapers - report.

Andrew M. Cockburn describes the state of occupation troops and the fear that their exhaustion and low morale could lead to a massacre: Tired, Terrified, Trigger-Happy.

The US brings the terror of massive bombing back to Baghdad: US resorts to air power to tame Baghdad as Bush lauds war to defend peace.

"Now it's no holds barred. We use whatever weapons that are necessary to take the fight to the enemy," said Major General Charles Swannack

Imagine going through this again. And having no idea when it will stop: Explosions, shortages, instability: In Baghdad, it's back to the future.

An interesting portrait of Fallujah, from Newsday: The Epicenter Of Anti-U.S. Hatred.

They're at it again: U.S. Tough Tactics Risk Inflaming Iraq Insurgency(Reuters). See also the Guardian account: US steps up aggression in Tikrit. The Independent has an even scarier account of recent US actions: Americans turn Tikrit into Iraq's own West Bank. Finally, the Knight Ridder Newspapers report yet another disgusting aspect of the US attempts to create a new generation of anti-American fighters: In Tikrit, U.S. destroys homes of suspected guerrillas, while the US responds: Destruction of Iraqi homes within `rules of war,' spokesman says. Brilliant, isn't it, to copy the techniques that have so stunningly won over Israeli opponents in the West Bank.

[Reuters:] "These are operations of the 'search and destroy' type which are very spectacular and designed primarily to occupy television airtime for the U.S. public back home," said Francois Gere, director of France's Institute for Diplomacy and Defense. "This is like using sledgehammers to swat flies. This is not how you fight guerrillas. For that, you need inside intelligence from the Iraqis themselves -- and these are just the type of operations which encourage people to think they are dealing with a brutal army of occupation," he said.
[Independent:] A town is imprisoned by razor wire. The entrance is guarded by soldiers, protected by sand bags, concrete barricades and a machine-gun nest. Only those people with an identification card issued by the occupation authorities are allowed in or, more importantly, out.... This is Awja, the wealthy enclave outside Tikrit where Saddam Hussein grew up.
"We were asleep," recalled Mohammed Shakr al-Nassiri, 33, a shopkeeper. "We did hear some work going on during the night. When we got up, we found all this barbed wire around us.

Must Read! Riverbend, the Baghdad "Girl Blogger" has an incredible account of her reaction to US action in Tikrit, witn a perspective quite different than the Anglo-American press: November 18, 2003 Entry: Difficult Days...

Tikrit is nothing more than a bunch of low buildings and a palace that was as inaccessible to the Tikritis as it was to everyone else! People in Al Awja suffered as much as anyone, if not more- they weren't all related to Saddam and even those who were, suffered under his direct relatives....
How can that ass of a president say things are getting better in Iraq when his troops have stooped to destroying homes?!... When you destroy someone's home and detain their family, why would they want to go on with life? Why wouldn't they want to lob a bomb at some 19-year-old soldier from Missouri?! The troops were pushing women and children shivering with fear out the door in the middle of the night. What do you think these children think to themselves- being dragged out of their homes, having their possessions and houses damaged and burned?!
I really am frightened of what this is going to turn into. People seem to think that Iraq is broken into zones and areas- ethnically and religiously divided. That's just not true- the majority of people have relatives all over Iraq. My relatives extend from Mosul, all the way down to Basrah- we all feel for each other and it makes decent people crazy to see this happening.

Iraqi chaos leads to increased infant mortality: Tiniest babies die, all struggle to survive in post-war Iraq.

Trouble ahead. The majority wants a vote, and control: Shiites Impatient For Vote in Iraq: Mistrust Greets New U.S. Plan.

Another resignation: Italian Quits U.S.-Led Iraq Authority.

A detailed accounting of CPA steps against free reporting from Iraq: The Green Zone Blues.

Following a less-than-positive story, reporters often find their phone calls go completely unanswered. There have even been charges that reporters whose work is viewed as unfavorable or unflattering to the ongoing operations in Iraq have been blackballed at the Republican Palace.... "We saw this kind of treatment [of the press] during Saddam," a correspondent said. "And it makes me sick that my own government is doing it now." Staffed mostly by young Republican campaigners and former Capitol Hill functionaries with varied levels of experience in the media, the C.P.A., reporters told The Observer, feels more like a public-relations agency for the Bush administration than a field operation for the American press in wartime.

First hints of a potential major policy shift: US agrees to international control of its troops in Iraq.

There have been no specifics yet about how the international community would control the mainly American and British forces in Iraq. Nato remains the only strong possibility because it would provide international credibility while leaving control with a military organisation which Washington dominates.

As details are revealed, it is becoming clearer that "Independence" or "Sovereignty" are not part of the plan: U.S. Will Help Draft Iraq Constitution.

The US changes strategy. Questions to keep in mind: (1). Will the US promise that it will withdraw its troops as soon as the "Iraqi government" asks it to? If the answer is not an unequivocal "yes", then Iraq will remain a US colony. (2). What mechanisms will be in place to assure that the new "government" has popular support and legitimacy? Given the history of US support for brutal regimes around the world, and its attempt to impose a "Governing Council" of corrupt exiles with little popular support, this question is crucial. Will the "international community" (e.g., UN) have a major role in facilitating the development of a new regime, or will the US appoint the future dictators of Iraq? U.S. Is Set to Return Power to Iraqis as Early as June.

Meanwhile, U.S. casualties from Iraq war top 9,000.

The US has defined democracy to mean a US-chosen government and an economy run and owned by US corporations. Now "sovereignty" is redefined to mean US troops will stay as long as the US decides, not as long as the Iraqi government and people choose: Bush says U.S. troops likely to remain in Iraq for some time.

The latest scheme for elections, US, that is: US shifts to rapid transfer of power.

US death toll by state. Meanwhile, the severely wounded pile up, unseen: The hidden cost of Bush's war.

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont told the Senate last month: "The wounded are brought back after midnight, making sure the press does not see the planes coming in with the wounded."

As Joshua Micah Marshall reports, there is a rumor going around that Govenor Bremer may be forced out or resign soon.

A must read by Riverbend, the "Iraqi Girl Blogger" explaining why the Iraqi Governing Council is hopeless and any "transition to democracy" organized by the CPA a farce: [Go to Nov. 13, 2003 entry:] Iraqi Governing Council...

The US is increasingly alone; U.S. Allies Rethinking Roles in Iraq. Only the UK feels differently: UK 'ready to send more troops to Iraq'.

Two Iranian journalist claim they were tortured while held for four months by US troops: US troops 'beat' Iran journalists. Meanwhile, Relations between journalists and U.S. troops in Iraq sour.

Media people have been detained, news equipment has been confiscated and some journalists have suffered verbal and physical abuse while trying to report on events.
A number of journalists, particularly Iraqis and other Arabs working for foreign media organizations, say they are now routinely threatened at gunpoint if they try to film the aftermath of guerrilla attacks.

A detailed interview with the top US general in Iraq makes clear that the US is quite prepared to be ruthless, if necessary: General Vows to Intensify U.S. Response to Attackers

This Reuters report suggests how alienated the Iraqi population has become from their American rulers: Iraqi teenagers cheer as American blood flows.

Teenage boys were irritated to hear that two American soldiers were just wounded, not killed. "I saw them pushing their hands onto one of the Americans' chest. They must have died. One soldier's friend was crying," said Abdullah Oman, 18. His fury has been fuelled by what he says is an American desire to humiliate all Iraqis. He even believes that U.S. troops plant the bombs themselves, risking American lives to terrify and kill Iraqis.

Washington tries to develop a new strategy: US, Iraqis try to speed power shift: Council meets; Bremer flies to Washington

Yet again. If these guys aren't safe, who is? U.S. Troops Accidentally Fire at Official. And, elsewhere, U-S troops open fire on truck, killing five Iraqis.

A new report by the group Medact (the UK affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) ) - winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985) suggests that the health effects of the Iraq war are greater than previously reported and that "while the health and environmental consequences of the conflict will be felt for many years to come." Continuing Collateral Damage: The health and environmental costs of war on Iraq. Also available are three Working Papers: Working Paper 1 "Highlights and explains the contrast beween the widespread use of precision weapons and the high number of incidents involving civilian deaths and ‘friendly fire’." And Working Paper 2 "Looks at the questionable legality of inhumane weapons used during the conflict and explains their impact on health. " Working Paper 3 Mental well-being in Iraq – six months after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. [See also the BBC report: Iraq 'faces severe health crisis'.]

The US greatly advanced its cause by killing the US-apointed mayor of Sadr City in Baghdad. The Americans seem to specialize in killing those who work with them: US admits troops shot Iraqi mayor.

This view, from the French paper Libération, of how the CPA functions, makes it unsurprising that they seem to misunderstand what's going on in Iraq. After all, they never visit that alien country: Iraq: The Authoritarian Drift Of The Bremer Machine: The Coalition Authority wants to concentrate all powers. It is becoming the object of every complaint.

From the American angle, one of the most disgusting things about this war is how those who command and "support our troops" won't even mention them when they get killed, or wounded. On this Veterans Day, Jimmy Breslin writes of: The Names They Still Won't Mention. And Paul Krugman writes of how the administrations lack of empathy for anyone but the elite leads them to do anything but Support the Troops.

Returned exile Yahia Said has a more optimistic view of the current situation in Iraq, while not denying the dilemmas of occupation: Rediscovering Iraq: Yahia Said, returning to Iraq after a twenty-five year absence, finds a people yearning for freedom, normality – and an end to violence. publishes pictures of US forces tying up Iraqi women and young children in their own homes: Shocking images shame US forces in Iraq.

Major David Farlow warned not to publish the pictures on this site.... "I can't second guess what has happened here without knowing all the facts but US forces operating in Iraq have to use the appropriate level of restraint to the mission."

US gets relief: Iraq's Firebrand Cleric Softens Rhetoric.

The US is considering dropping one form of Iraqi "democracy" for another: Alternatives to Iraqi Council Eyed: Inaction of Hand-Picked Baghdad Officials Frustrates Washington.

The United States is deeply frustrated with its hand-picked council members because they have spent more time on their own political or economic interests than in planning for Iraq's political future....

US stabs even allies in the back, when it comes to spoils of war. Even British firms are to be frozen out of "reconstruction" deals: Non-US firms frozen out of Iraq. Take that, coalition chumps! Thanks for the troops and the political cover!

The US is to reaffirm that non-American companies cannot win government contracts in the multi-billion dollar effort to rebuild Iraq.

If you want sympathy for the thousands of wounded and hundreds of killed US troops, don't look to "President" Bush. He never mentions or visits them. talk rather to Cher: Heroes or Lepers? America’s Dress-up President Won’t Go Near the Wounded. But Cher Will. And think of the 1,737 troops wounded since "major combat ended": Iraq Casualties: Bush Doesn't Want us to Know.

President Bush has not attended any ceremonies marking the return of the dead to their homeland nor has he attended any memorials or funerals for those personnel. That would just draw attention to their deaths.

Here is a presentation of the legal argument that the US occupation economic policy in Iraq of selling off national assets is clearly illegal under international law and that the CPA knows this: Pillage is forbidden: Why the privatisation of Iraq is illegal. As in so many other ways, the Bush administration is taking us backwards. "To the victim belong the spoils!" and "Laws are for the weak!"

Yet another Vietnam reminder: Washington turning to Vietnam exit strategy in Iraq.

US spreads terror throughout Tikrit: U.S. Pounds Saddam's Hometown; 2 GIs Die

``We want to remind this town that we have teeth and claws and we will use them,'' said Lt. Col. Steven Russell of the 4th Infantry Division

The Bushites continue their plan to make Iraq a foretaste of what they'd like to do to the US. Unions and strikes banned, with Saddam's labor law continued for years. Yet another demonstration of the "democracy" they want to impose in the middle east.

Vietnam redux: 'Iraqification' key to return of US troops: Pentagon shrugs off Vietnam-era connotations of term to churn out hastily trained local forces

The dilemmas of occupation: Goodwill is fragile in new Iraq: A new market was built, then sacked this weekend by US troops.

Asia Times has a five-part series, written by Nir Rosen with the US 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq. fascinating reading to help understand the nature of the occupation, how "enemies" are being created, and the terrible transformation that is occurring to American troops, as they remain strangers in a strange land. PART 1: 'This is the wild, wild west'; PART 2: Why we are here; PART 3: The locals; PART 4: Operation Decapitation; PART 5 (final): The wrong Ayoub

The funds for continued war comes through. But the Senate knows the $87 billion is so unpopular, they refuse to go on the record as voting for the monumental waste of money the largest Presidential supplementary budget request in history! Congress passes Iraq budget

More details on American abuse of Iraqi detainees: Iraqi ex-detainees claim mistreatment by U.S.

In Iraq’s American detention camps, forbidden talk can earn a prisoner hours bound and stretched out in the sun, and detainees swinging tent poles rise up regularly against their jailers, according to recently released Iraqis.

The US is trying out in Iraq all the right-wing nonsense they can't get the American people to buy. the latest: U.S. Administrator Imposes Flat Tax System on Iraq.

"A piece of social engineering is being done on Iraq, but it has almost no support from other members of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council," said a Middle East expert who heard Gailani's presentation....
The 15 percent rate does not take effect until January. In the meantime, Bremer has abolished all taxes except for real estate, car sales, gasoline and the pleasantly named "excellent and first class hotel and restaurant tax." Even while leaving these Hussein-era levies in place, Bremer exempted his coalition authority, the armed forces, their contractors and humanitarian organizations.

More evidence of how the occupation is making progress. An additional one million people are added to the unemployment rolls, bringing unemployment to 70%, perhaps a Guinness record. But the US is tacking the problem: Lack of jobs pushes Iraqis toward critical mass: With unemployment at 70%, men are tempted by violence.

The bulk of the allies' other job-creation efforts are focused on rebuilding the army and security forces. Over the past five month, the coalition has hired 95,000 police, border guards and other security forces.

Patrick Cockburn discusses another dimension of the human misery that pervades Iraq: Book Market Fire Piles on the Misery for Broken Baghdad

"They are trying to destroy our history," shouted Dr Zaki Ghazi, waving his arms in anguish, as he stood by the smoldering remains of a building in an old quarter of Baghdad that is crowded with small bookshops. An explosion had torn apart and set on fire the tall houses supported by white pillars on either side of al-Mutanabi Street's book market, where Iraqi intellectuals have shopped for decades....
Most people in Baghdad believe that the suicide bombings were the work of al-Qa'ida or the Arab Fedayeen, possibly allied to former Ba'athists. But they also distinguish between the suicide bombers, whom they contend could not possibly be Iraqi, and the insurgents who attack US troops. It was difficult to find an Iraqi who did not approve of the attack on al-Rashid Hotel because the US is blamed for failing to prevent al-Qa'ida getting into the country.

In her October 29, 2003 blog, Riverbend reminds us of the terrorist pasts, and present, of many of those in the Iraqi Governing Council.

Bush's reelection campaign gets going: Iraqi handover to be speeded up

The Resistance

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Primitive weapons, deadly results: 2 GIs’ Throats Cut; Bomb Kills 3rd. Later, the Toronto Star published this ghoulish account: Iraqi mob beats bodies of slain U.S. soldiers: Three American troopers killed in pair of attacks.

Iraqi teenagers dragged two bloodied American soldiers from a wrecked vehicle, pummelled them with concrete blocks and slit their throats today, witnesses said, describing a burst of savagery in a city once safe for Americans.

An unexploded mortar shell lands near mosque where Shia leader Abdel Aziz al-Hakim was praying: Mortar fired at Iraqi mosque.

The FBI finds the enemy: antiwar demonstrors: F.B.I. Scrutinizes Antiwar Rallies.

New attacks on police. At least 18 people killed: Iraq police hit by deadly bombings. Who are all these suicide bombers, anyway?

According to Michael Georgy the Iraqi Shi'ites talk of holy war, not self-rule.

The beginning of civil war? Car Bombs Hit Iraq, Bush Says U.S. to Stay.

Britons give Bush the royal send-off! Over 100,000 March Against Bush in London.

Another account of resistance fighters denying any link to Saddam: Iraqis Say Saddam Not Leading Attacks.

A couple of days ago, it was 500 pound bombs, now their four times that. Remember, the US is routinely wrong when picking targets. There is no reason to take their word this time that they are simply hitting "suspected guerrilla strongholds". Suppose their suspicion is wrong? Imagine the devastation: U.S. Drops One-Ton Bombs on Iraq Targets.

President Bush is going to the UK for a little R & R this week (not to mention those campaign photos with the Queen). It looks like he might get it: My husband died in vain: What one British widow will tell Mr Bush this week. If past experience of Bush trips is any guide, he'll leave the meeting asking his aids: "Why don't they believe us?"

A British Muslim man may have been a suicide bomber in Iraq: British Olympic hope 'was Iraq suicide bomber'. Other British Muslims are suspected of going to fight the Iraqi occupation.

Some people never learn: US turns heat on Iraq insurgents and Transfer 'does not affect troops'.

Resistance from within the military is beginning. Reservist on leave from Iraq organizes protest to bring the troops home now. We should remember that it was largely the resistance within the military that ended the Vietnam was.

Britain tries to suppress demonstrations by school students: Anti-war pupils to face crackdown. Meanwhile, American expatriates to lead the protests against Bush.

Again: US helicopters crash over N Iraq, at least 17 killed.

USA Today reports that: Insurgents gain a deadly edge in intelligence: Guerrillas have better sources than the coalition in a fascinating account of the resistance intelligence capabilities.

U.S. intelligence cable traffic between Baghdad and Washington is rife with warnings about Iraqi employees of the coalition secretly supplying information to guerrillas.

Now the Italians (and Iraqis, of course) suffer horrendous losses: Not surprisingly, Italy deaths prompt pull-out demands. [Background on: Italy's Iraq peacekeeping force.] The death toll has now gone up to at least 25, including 18 Italians Italy Says to Keep Troops in Iraq Despite Deaths.

Scott Ritter argues that the Iraqi resistance was carefully planned by the "defeated" regime: Defining the Resistance in Iraq - It's not Foreign and It's Well Prepared.

The Washington Post U.S. Grip Loosens in the Sunni Triangle: Tactical Shift In Iraq Leaves Power Vacuum. Another take, from the Christian Science Monitor, on what's happening there: US shifts to war footing in Iraq's 'Sunni triangle'. Sounds like the massacres of the unruly natives is about to begin. The US has decided, perhaps correctly, that the people in the "Sunni Triangle" are their enemy. Now they will be taught a lesson.

[Post:] American troops patrol less frequently, townspeople openly threaten Iraqi security personnel who cooperate with U.S. forces, and the night belongs to the guerrillas. That is the reality in this little town 60 miles north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials say, and it reflects a shifting balance of power in U.S.-occupied central Iraq. Resistance forces move with impunity in Thuluiya and throughout the so-called Sunni Triangle, despite repeated raids on suspected hide-outs and arms caches.

Ex-CIA agent Milt Bearden, former Senior Manager for Clandestine Operations who worked with the Afghan mujahedeen for many years, compares IIraqi resistance strategy to that successfully used against the USSR in Afghanistan: Iraqi Insurgents Take a Page From the Afghan 'Freedom Fighters'.

To understand the origins of the resistance, the US should look in the mirror: Americans sow seeds of hatred: Patrick Graham in Falluja meets angry Iraqi tribes who say they, not Saddam's forces, are shooting down US helicopters .

'They do not understand psychology,' said Dr Adnan Chechan, a surgeon at Falluja's main hospital. 'When you are violent, you get a violent reaction.'

Here's a selection of responses to Tom Engelhardt's call for US withdrawal, now rather than later. Writers debate our resistance strategy at home: From the mailbag: responses to "The Time of Withdrawal".

The resistance escalates: 6 U.S. Soldiers Die in Iraq Copter Crash. How many more will die before the inevitable withdrawal from the latest US colony>

The war goes on: Big explosions rock Iraqi capital.

The casualties mount. After the bloodiest two weeks for the US soldiers in Iraq, a transport helicopter was shot down, killing 15. The military scurried to try and keep the images off tv: Iraq Guerrillas Down U.S. Chopper, at Least 15 Dead. [See also the BBC analysis: Analysis: US forces under fire.]

U.S. troops told journalists to leave the area and confiscated their film as another military medical helicopter with a red cross sign on its side landed, sending up clouds of dust from the dry scrubland.

Analysis, Commentary, & Domestic Reaction

Occupation Resistance Analysis

Bush finally visits some troops and the press is given an absolute gag order so that they cannot find out what the troops think: Gag order leaves troops, reporters speechless.

In his speech, Bush didn't mention Elaine Johnson, whose son Darius Jennings was one of four Fort Carson soldiers on the Chinook helicopter that was shot down Nov. 2. When Johnson was at the Fort Carson chapel a week ago for her son's memorial service, she wondered aloud why the president had visited South Carolina in the week of her son's funeral but had not bothered to attend or to send any message to her or her family. "Evidently my son wasn't important enough to him dead for him to visit the family or call the family," she said then. "As long as my son was alive he was important, because he sent him over there to fight a war."

Floating on the internet: George W. Bush Resume.

A bill in Congress would directly control what many US universities could teach, and who can teach: New bill threatens intellectual freedom in area studies.

[P]roponents of the bill proposed the creation of an advisory board that has the final word on curricula taught at Title VI institutions, course materials assigned in class, and even the faculty who are hired in institutions that accept Title VI funding.

Kamil Mahdi analyzes the mad rush to privatize the Iraqi economy. Iraq is to be destroyed in order to guarantee business for US corporations and to satisfy neocon ideology: Privatisation won't make you popular: Resistance has forced a military rethink - but not an economic one .

The destruction of Iraq's public facilities and infrastructure, together with the induced paralysis of its public institutions, has been the Coalition Provisional Authority's (CPA) path to privatisation in Iraq....
There has been no assessment of the social or economic impact of privatisation, and no alternatives are being considered. Privatisation now appears to be the only policy, as if by default. Severe financial constraints imposed in abnormal circumstances, together with price and foreign exchange measures, will sink the public sector and prepare it for a bargain sale.

Here's a sober discussion of the shifting rationales for the war: Tom the Dancing Bug: Presidential Revisionist Comics.

As a sign of mainstream disquiet, former bush State Department official Richard N. Haass discusses the limits of Imperial war: Wars of Choice. And former Defense Department official Lawrence Korb challenges official accounts of how the war is going: Defense Expert Korb Says Top Military Officials in Iraq "Very Frustrated" Fighting Elusive Enemy.

Eric Margolis says that all good generals know when to run: r. President, oil isn't worth dying for.

It's cheaper to buy oil than to conquer it.

Maureen Dowd examines the scare tactics behind the war on "terror": Scaring Up Votes.

Instead of a shining city, we have a dark bunker. But the only thing we really have to fear is fearmongering itself.

Chalmers Johnson analyzes the current American situation and comes to extremely pessimistic conclusions: Sorrows of Empire.

Four sorrows, it seems to me, are certain to be visited on the United States. Their cumulative effect guarantees that the U.S. will cease to resemble the country outlined in the Constitution of 1787. First, there will be a state of perpetual war, leading to more terrorism against Americans wherever they may be and a spreading reliance on nuclear weapons among smaller nations.... Second is a loss of democracy and Constitutional rights as the presidency eclipses Congress and is itself transformed from a co-equal "executive branch" of government into a military junta. Third is the replacement of truth by propaganda, disinformation, and the glorification of war, power, and the military legions. Lastly, there is bankruptcy, as the United States pours its economic resources into ever more grandiose military projects and shortchanges the education, health, and safety of its citizens....
John le Carré, the novelist most famous for his books on the role of intelligence services in the cold war, writes, "America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War."15 His view is somewhat more optimistic than mine.... I fear, however, that the U.S. has indeed crossed the Rubicon and that there is no way to restore Constitutional government short of a revolutionary rehabilitation of American democracy....

Robert Fisk comments on the deliberate misunderstanding of recent terrorist attacks: We Are Paying The Price For An Infantile Attempt To Reshape The Middle East.

John Pilger appears to have discovered a major law of nature: I Know When Bush Is Lying: His Lips Move.

An unprecedented gathering of senior American intelligence officers, diplomats and former Pentagon officials met in Washington the other day to say, in the words of Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst and friend of Bush's father: "Now we know that no other president of the United States has ever lied so baldly and so often and so demonstrably . . . The presumption now has to be that he's lying any time that he's saying anything...."
[British Foreign Secretary Jack] Straw's every word was false, an invention. Article 51 does not refer to "the right of states to take preventive action" or anything similar. Nowhere in the UN Charter is there any such reference. Article 51 refers only to "the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs" (my emphasis) and goes on to constrain that right further. Moreover, the UN Charter was so framed as to outlaw any state's claimed right to preventive war.

US General lays foundation for abolishing constitution: Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Will Survive WMD Attack.

Maureen Dowd nicely captures the spirit of Bush's British jaunt: The Buck House Stops Here.

Where Next? Tom Engelhardt points out that "withdrawal" doesn't really mean leaving Iraq: Cowboys from hell.

So here's the magic trick of the day: While listening to the sudden spurt of talk about "Iraqification," "withdrawal," "exit" strategies, turning sovereignty back to the Iraqis, and our desire to get out (even while, as our President said in London today, "staying the course" and never "retreating"), just keep your eye on those permanent bases we've been building in Iraq. It is assumedly not from Iraq but to them that this administration hopes one day to "withdraw." What makes this a magic trick is that since April, when the New York Times, the British Observer and other papers reported on the four of them (one being built next to the largest extant ziggurat in the Middle East), they've vanished like some splendid sleight of hand trick by the fabulous Randi.

Where Next? Haroon Siddiqui in the Toronto Star also argues that "withdrawal" doesn't mean withdrawal and "sovereignty" doesn't mean sovereignty: What Iraq will get isn't self-rule.

Notwithstanding Bush's lectures on democracy, only the naïve would continue to believe that America wants anything other than a satellite state. The only change toward that overall goal is the gradual reduction of the American footprint in Iraq, with an increase in remote control from Washington.

Where Next? Herbert Docena writes of the US search for new collaborators to run the colonial administration in Iraq: Will the real collaborators please stand up?

The US is now bent on forming an interim government that will be chosen in town meetings across the country. But the local representatives to those meetings will be selected by the occupation authorities themselves.
The US did not fight and is not fighting this difficult and expensive war so that an independent Iraqi government that will truly represent the interest of the Iraqis can take over. Now, with an interim government in the offing, the US will not allow Iraq to be given to the Iraqis. As Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Adviser to the elder Bush candidly said, "What's going to happen the first time we hold an election in Iraq and it turns out the radicals win? What do you do? We're surely not going to let them take over. "

Support down further: Poll: Support for U.S. handling of Iraq war drops.

Where Next? Salim Lone, a former UN official in Baghdad thinks the new US plan to return "sovereignty" to an unelected, US chosen government, will be a disaster: Only a true end to occupation will bring peace: The new US tactics won't work - bombing civilians and handing over power to an unelected body will strengthen Iraqi resistance .

John Pilger has found direct evidence that Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice directly lied about the threat posed by Iraq. Here are their detailed denials that Iraq posed any danger. Bush's Occupation Of Iraq. It also provides background on many other features of the current situation.

Key neocon Richard Perle brags that the US broke international law: War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was illegal.

For a black humor diversion, read Tom Engelhardt's reflections on Bush's UK trip, as the President is about to land in occupied territory: Bring him on.

[Quoting the Guardian:] "The Americans had also wanted to travel with a piece of military hardware called a 'mini-gun', which usually forms part of the mobile armoury in the presidential cavalcade. It is fired from a tank and can kill dozens of people. One manufacturer's description reads: 'Due to the small calibre of the round, the mini-gun can be used practically anywhere. This is especially helpful during peacekeeping deployments....' "
Blast-proof windows against an "airborne assault"? I'm not especially psychologically-inclined when it comes to international affairs, but I think you'd need a team of full-time psychiatrists and psychologists to plumb the mental make up of this administration right now. We may be talking close to deranged here.

Also in the humor camp, and quoted by Tom Engelhardt, is Tim Dowling's Try this: Tim Dowling offers George Bush an alternative itinerary for his visit to Britain.

Patrick Cockburn in the Independent describes a report circulating in Washington that paints a grim picture of the US chances against the resistance: Attacks will continue until day the Americans leave, says report.

Iraqi politicians independent of the US-appointed governing council interviewed by The Independent all believe that the council wanted to delay elections because its members feared they would not be elected. "They just want time to loot the country and then get out," said one Iraqi leader bitterly.

Letters to the British paper the Guardian in response to Bush's visit: Readers write.

Dear George,

My husband was killed in the Arabian Gulf on March 22 when two Fleet Air Arm helicopters collided. When I heard that you would like to meet bereaved family members I thought long and hard whether I would be able to meet you and look you in the eye. I now understand that I won't get the chance as the meeting is by invitation only. My husband was good enough when he was needed to fight your war. His widow and two young children are now deemed not good enough to meet you.
The effect of this selecting of family members that you wish to meet on an already destroyed family cannot be underestimated. Your sincerely,

Sarah King

Michael Keane analyzes: The Guerrilla Advantage in Iraq: Don't Underestimate the Insurgents. History is on Their Side.

At least the Brits have fun as we all go to hell: Livingstone [Mayor of London] Says Bush is 'Greatest Threat to Life on Planet'.

Mr Livingstone recalled a visit at Easter to California, where he was denounced for an attack he had made on what he called "the most corrupt and racist American administration in over 80 years". He said: "Some US journalist came up to me and said: 'How can you say this about President Bush?' Well, I think what I said then was quite mild. I actually think that Bush is the greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen. The policies he is initiating will doom us to extinction."

Michael Moore is touring britain to encourage turnout for the protest of President Bush: 'You need to show that the people of Britain don't support Bush': The Monday Interview with the author and film-maker.

Where Next? Marc Krizack, an international development specialist argues that the American people must demand total US troop withdrawal from Iraq, for our good, as well as theirs: Don’t Reward Liars and Thieves: Why the American People Should Demand Immediate Withdrawal from Iraq.

Now that the US is changing strategy to allow a return to some form of "Iraqi sovereignty", questions arise as to what the attitude of critics of the war and occupation should be toward these developments. I will collect a series Where Next? proposing different perspectives on how the US and the world community should approach the Iraq transition. First in the series is an Editorial from the New York Times. Iraq Goes Sour

Stan Goff, a retired Special Forces master sergeant who fought in Vietnam, writes Hold On to Your Humanity: An Open Letter to GIs in Iraq.

Dead GI's mother at his memorial service: Downstate GI mourned in non-military funeral.

"George Bush killed my son, Rosemary Dietz Slavenas said. "I believe my son Brian died not for his country but because of our country's lack of a coherent and civilized foreign policy."

New poll shows increasing doubts about war, Bush: Antiwar Backlash Batters Bush.

Ah, freedom! Anti-Iraq war veterans pulled from parade.

Robert Scheer explains why In a Democracy, Liars Can Never Be Liberators.

Meanwhile, evidently, a new CIA report says defeat is likely: More Iraqis Supporting Resistance, CIA Report Says. The Guardian account of the report says "One military intelligence assessment now estimates the insurgents' strength at 50,000": 'We could lose this situation'.

GOP decides Preemption is It. Will Democrats fold? GOP will trumpet preemption doctrine. At least the GOP is making clear that a vote for Bush is a vote for endless war.

As time goes on, it becomes clear that the US and Britain were determined to go to war and would do anything to avoid peace being maintained. Thus, they scorned, and lied about, peace deals that might have left the world a far safer place. At the end of World War II, such people were tried as "War Criminals". What now, as George Monbiot discusses: Dreamers and Idiots: Britain and the US Did Everything to Avoid a Peaceful Solution in Iraq and Afghanistan

Another former intelligence official, Peter Molan, protests current war policy and the intelligence distortion behind it: 'Nothing but Poison Plants Can Grow from Poison Seeds': Another Former Intelligence Official Blows the Whistle on Iraq/9-11 Connection

Molan said that had the White House worked with the United Nations in dealing with Iraq, he may have supported the administration. "But nothing but poison plants can grow from poison seeds," he said. "This administration's goals and intentions and policies, which are quite clearly articulated in the Security Strategy Document and in the work of the Project for the New American Century, are completely at odds, radically at odds, with America's now more than a century-old tradition of trying to build international institutions."

New poll finds slight plurality (49% to 48%) says the Iraq war was not worth it: Americans divided on whether Iraq war worthwhile, survey finds.

750 veterans sign Letter to the President calling for a change in US foreign policy.

Robert Fisk relates yesterday's Saudi bombing to the situation in Iraq and the region: Frightening winds swirl around the House of Saud.

Senate Republicans announce they will do their best to avoid the truth ever being known: Citing abuse, US Senate Republicans halt Iraq weapons probe. [Here is the full text of the memo from the Office of Sen. Jay Rockefeller that the republicans claim is so outrageous.] Meanwhile, the White House decided Democrats are to be cut out of "democracy": White House Puts Limits on Queries From Democrats.

Jessica Lynch joins those denouncing the lies: Private Jessica says President is misusing her 'heroism'

Robert Fisk reminds us: How we denied democracy to the Middle East, thus reminding how truly silly Bush's recent speeches have been. See also the excellent analysis by Stephen Zunes Noble Rhetoric Supports Democracy While Ignoble Policies Support Repression

[Fisk:] Yes, "democracy can be the future of every nation", Bush tells us. So why did his country support Saddam's viciousness and war crimes for so many years? Why did Washington give its blessing, at various stages, to Colonel Ghaddafi, Hafez Assad of Syria, the Turkish generals, Hassan of Morocco, the Shah, the sleek Ben Ali of Tunisia, the creepy generals of Algeria, the plucky little King of Jordan and even - breathe in because the UNOCAL boys wanted a gas pipeline through Afghanistan - the Taliban?

The New York Times article showing that the Iraq war could have been avoided, if the US hadn't been determined to wage war no matter what: Iraq Said to Have Tried to Reach Last-Minute Deal to Avert War. Here's the Times editorial on the subject: Bush's reckless rush to war.

Marc Cooper discusses the Democratic opposition to the new colonialism, or rather, the lack of opposition: Iraq Spins Out of Control: Where are the Democrats and the peace movement?

On second thought, hoping the Democrats would provide real opposition is much like thinking that my aunt could be my uncle — in either case they’d have to grow a set of balls.

Now Senator Fritz Hollings joins the attack: The War in Iraq, Its Parallels to Vietnam and Congress' Unwillingness to Pay for It

Bush condemns foreign troops in Iraq.

After reelection, the draft? Oiling up the draft machine? The Pentagon is quietly moving to fill draft board vacancies nationwide. While officials say there's no cause to worry, some experts aren't so sure.

Even Republican Congressman Jim Leach criticizes the occupation: Iowa Republican Rep. Leach Questions Iraq Policy

Linda McQuaiq examines how the administration and press are Sugar-coating U.S. motives in Iraq

Perhaps, 16 centuries from now, the word "Bush" will endure in the vocabulary, synonymous with bringing liberty to a people. But somehow I doubt it.

David Rieff, in the New York Times Magazine provides a detailed analysis of US actions in occupying Iraq, making the case that the US flubbed, making things harder for itself. Sidestepped is the question of the legality or morality of the invasion and occupation itself. Sounds like the Democrats: Blueprint for a Mess

What went wrong is that the voices of Iraq experts, of the State Department almost in its entirety and, indeed, of important segments of the uniformed military were ignored. As much as the invasion of Iraq and the rout of Saddam Hussein and his army was a triumph of planning and implementation, the mess that is postwar Iraq is a failure of planning and implementation.
Occupation Resistance Analysis

Complied by Stephen Soldz

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

Also check out our other web sites:

Iraq Antiwar Resources
Where is the US Headed?
Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice

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