www.iraqbodycount.org www.iraqbodycount.org
(Click on counter to see source of numbers.)

To Disagree Silently is to Agree
(Sign seen at Boston Protest March, 3/21/03)

In war, truth is the first casualty.
We must fight against the lies with information,
analysis, community, inspiration, humor, decency, and hope.

NOTE: As of July 1, updated news about the Iraq Occupation and the Resistance against it has moved to the Iraq Occupation and Resistance Report. News on the WMD controversy, and antiwar music, video, etc. will still be updated here. And these resources will remain available for those trying to understand the origins of the present situation.

The Continuing War Against the Occupation of Iraq

As the US moves forward with its post-war plans for Iraq, it appears increasingly like civil war, accompanied by the war to kick out US occupiers, is about to start. Hence this section will document that developing struggle. Notice, I don't use the term "liberation" as its not clear that increased freedom will result. After all, one possible outcome is an Islamic state. However, few in Iraq seem willing to accept US control for long... [NOTE: Material will continue to be added to other sections, especially the following section on the " Life in Occupied Iraq. I'm also adding to War News in Perspective and the special section Breaking News on the Missing WMDs and Other Lies as the lies promulgated during the war unravel and new facts become available. Not to mention Humor, Music, amd Opinions and Op-Ed Commentary of course! So check there as well.]

The BBC reports of an American convoy running over an 11 year old boy, and not even stopping. This in the Shia south. Next, the soldiers will ask, "Why are they shooting at us?" Death on the road to Basra

Patrick Cockburn sums up the occupation so far: We promised them peace but the killings and chaos spread

This account, from the Guardian (UK) describes how easily occupation can turn sour. It details the events that led to the deaths of six British soldiers this week. [Note how little attention is given to the five dead Iraqis.] Why were six Britons left to die in an Iraqi marketplace?

Robert Fisk: How British troops became a soft target

17-yr old arrested

A US soldier leads arrested 17-year-old student Khaled Salim with his hands tied behind his back towards a waiting army truck in the southern Baghdad suburb of Dura. Salim was arrested on his way to school, as a warning to others after he insulted US troops. US soldiers carried out house-to-house searches in Dura, detaining two people and confiscating weapons.( AFP/Ramzi Haidar)

Pictures of US GIs searching and handcuffing Iraqi women in a few of their thousands of searches. Notice the young girl in pink, with her hands bound behind her back. Funny way to "liberate". I understand that the GIs later "apologized". How nice! So If This Was Your Daughter How Would You Feel ?

Lest there be any doubt, an article in Evening Standard (UK) details, in a way the US press won't, the mindset of US troops now fighting the guerrilla war in Iraq. Obviously, the number of civilian casualties will be increasing radically. 'I just pulled the trigger'

He held out his hand as if firing a gun and clucked his tongue twice. He said: "Once you'd reached the objective, and once you'd shot them and you're moving through, anything there, you shoot again. You didn't want any prisoners of war. You hate them so bad while you're fighting, and you're so terrified, you can't really convey the feeling, but you don't want them to live...."
Specialist Castillo said: "We're more angry at the generals who are making these decisions and who never hit the ground, and who don't get shot at or have to look at the bloody bodies and the burnt-out bodies, and the dead babies and all that kinda stuff."
Sgt. Borell comforted

Not all troops have become so heartless. Sgt. David J. Borell was approached by a family whose three young children had been severely burned by a bag of explosives. He tried to get US doctors to treat them, but was refused. [Here is an AP photo of Sgt. Borell being comforted afterwards.] Soldier: U.S. Army Turns Away Burned Children In Need Of Help

“Right before they left [the American doctors], I looked at the one doctor, asked him if he could at least give them comfort care,” said Borell. “He told me they were not here to be the treatment center for Iraq. He didn't show any compassion,” the sergeant added.
Borell said he felt betrayed by the Army, which he joined after high school. Besides the letter to his wife, he also wrote to his congresswoman and several media outlets describing the incident.... His superiors have not said a word, said Borell, “although I get the impression that they're probably not very happy” .... Borell's wife gave him a silver bracelet that says: “Duty, Honor, Country.” He wears it to remind him why he's in Iraq.... “After today,” Borell said, “I wonder if I'll still be able to carry the title ‘soldier' with any pride at all.”

The campaign to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqis continues, using the best American "can do": U.S. Hunt for Baath Members Humiliates, Angers Villagers: Deaths of Teenager and Two Others Spark Talk of Revenge

With grief over the death of Hashim and two others, the Sunni Muslim population here speaks of revenge.... "I think the future's going to be very dark," said Rahim Hamid Hammoud, 56, a soft-spoken judge, as he joined a long line in paying his respects to Hashim this week. "We're seeing each day become worse than the last."
When soldiers entered his house after midnight, they put him on the ground, a boot on his back, and tied his hands with plastic handcuffs, he recalled. Tape was placed over his mouth and he was blindfolded. When he could see again, 12 hours later, he was at Abu Hleij, the airport.
Many residents said they felt humiliated. Mohammed slept outside on a graded spot near a bombed aircraft hangar, smashing two scorpions near his head. U.S. soldiers tossed military meals and bottles of water to the crowd. "They treated us like monkeys -- who's the first one who can jump up and catch the food," said Mohammed, who was captured by Iran in the Iran-Iraq war and kept as a prisoner for 11 years.
Resentment is still coursing through the village over the use of the informer. The fabric of Thuluya is stitched by tribal lineages. The Jabbour is the largest tribe but others are represented: the Khazraji, Ubaidi, Bujweri and Bufarraj. The informer, dressed in desert camouflage with a bag over his head, fingered prisoners on the first day of the operation.... Nearly all seemed to know the man's identity. ... They feared vendettas would ensue, that chaos would follow as tribes sought their own justice.

Vietnam Redux: Tom Engelhardt makes many of the obvious parallels between the Iraq situation and the Vietnam debacle. Pretty soon, lets hope, we'll have the post-post-post-Vietnam syndrome to deter future aggressions by the US. The war that comes to mind

In order to get insight into the war raging in Iraq, it is necessary to read multiple acccounts and look for commonalities. For example, most accounts contain Iraqi civilian accounts of US atrocities and a denial that Baathists are at the center of the resistance. At a minimum, these accounts make it clear that a large number of Iraqis in areas under attack view the Americans as brutal occupiers, not "liberators". As this ttitude becomes widespread, it puts the lie to any shred of plausibility that the US are actually anything but colonial occupiers. One cannot be liberators of a people who detest you and wish only that you leave, or worse. The Islam Online account of American attrocities in Norhern Iraq: U.S. Forces "Slaughter" Iraqis At Dawn: Eyewitness Also Islam Online has the first account of meeting Iraqi resistance fighters: IOL Unveils Threads Of Iraqi Resistance And a New York Times account of the fighting, with many of the same points: As U.S. Fans Out in Iraq, Violence and Death on Rise . And a June 12 interview of Robert Fisk on Democracy Now, discussing Fisk's understanding of the fledgling Iraqi resistance Robert Fisk Reports from Occupied Territory

I think what we're actually seeing, you can get clues in Iraq, is a cross fertilization. Shiites who are disillusioned, who don't believe they have been liberated, who spent so long in Iran, they don't like the Americans anyway. Sunni Muslims who feel like they're threatened by the Shiites, former Sadaam acolytes who've lost their jobs and found that their money has stopped. Kurds who are disaffected and are beginning to have contacts, and that of course is the beginning of a real resistance movement and that's the great danger for the Americans now.

The New York Times reports on the latest counterinsurgency efforts, whereby the American troops treat the entire population as the enemy and thereby guarantee that that's what they'll become. Of course, all those fighting the US are Baathists, or Sadam loyalists (some may be, of course). No one else would resent their country being invaded, occupied, and stolen by a foreign power, would they? 4,000 G.I.'s Circle a Hussein Bastion to Foil Attacks

Conversations with soldiers in the area, where the Tigris creates an island of green in a bleak brown desert, suggested that the level of attacks north of Baghdad had been intense. Soldiers said convoys were routinely fired on in the area at night, with bullets striking the first and last vehicles and rocket propelled grenades whizzing over gunners' heads and between jeeps....
(R)esidents complained today that American soldiers broke windows during searches, handcuffed women and children and roughed-up detained men. Relatives of Jassem Rumyad, 52, accused American soldiers of preventing them from giving medication to him before he collapsed and died of a heart attack. Hella Khalif, Mr. Rumyad's 80-year-old mother, said American soldiers handcuffed and gagged her when she and Mr. Rumyad's wife and daughter shouted that he needed his heart medication. "They put tape over my mouth," she said. American officials said the account was false and that they allowed the women to give Mr. Rumyad his medication before he suddenly died.

Robert Fisk gives a detailed and sobering account of what happens when you send young American troops to invade a country they don't understand. As guerilla war heats up, its important to realize the inevitability of turning the populace against the Americans, as some of the scared kids, in fear of who or what is around the corner, treat them roughly. Bloodshed, Fear And a Deadly Ambush: Killings At Fallujah

Even the Pentagon admits that the post-war effortsen't going so well. They also admit that they fighting isn't over. trouble is due to ''organized and disorganized resistance, much of which is quite professional.'' Of course, the resistance is all due to "''die-hard'' Baathists, terrorists, common criminals, disgruntled former Republic Guard commandos and foreign fighters who entered Iraq during the war and are now acting like ''guest worker jihadists,'' or holy warriors." No problems from Iraqis who don't like their country invaded and dominated by foreigners, of course! Pentagon official says Iraq stabilization proves `tougher and more complex' than expected

The US sends in troops to crush the "Sadam loyalists", but the people of Falluja resist: Police station torn down in defiant Falluja: After the war US presence comes under fierce attack

Another in a week of protests against the "Coalition of the Occupiers": Iraqis Protest U.S. Presence, Women Body Searches

"We advise you to leave our country or you will make enemies out of us," said Shi'ite cleric Muaaed al-Khazraji in a speech through a loudhailer. "Please go home and we will be very grateful because you got rid of Saddam."

Anti-American action picked up steam this week: (from the LA Times) Riot Chases Troops Out of Iraqi Town: 'They were terrifying the women and children,' one protester says after U.S. soldiers search homes for weapons.

Four separate attacks in one day. It looks like the war to eject the Americans may be beginning. And the next morning, two more attacks: Iraq Firefight Leaves 4 Dead, 9 Injured

It appears that a Shia cleric in Baghdad has taken major steps toward the Islamization of the city. Does the US fight him and his ilk, or acceded? 'Iron hand' cleric issues fatwa amid Baghdad chaos

Hassan Fattah in the New Republic reports that the various Iraqi factions are arming for civil war: Beirut Redux. "Iraq's nascent political groups are forming armed militias and storing weapons as they prepare for a potential civil war for control of the country.... The rise of organized armed factions could turn Iraq's capital into a twenty-first-century version of 1980s Beirut."

What better way to begin this section than Robert Fisk's So he thinks it’s all over...

Life in Occupied Iraq

Iraq will be under US occupation for years, if not decades to come. There will be some positive developments. And there will be the constant humiliations of an occupied people, treated as inferior to the occupiers. Its essential that the world have some insights into the realities of life there, so that when Iraq bursts back onto the front pages when its people resist the ocupation [See: The War Against the Occupation of Iraq], the world will understand "Why? Why do they hate us? How can they be so ungrateful?"

The colonial rulers of Iraq have decided to privatize its economy, no doubt to be sold to Us corporations. The opinions of the "liberated" Iraqis in this, as in most other matters, are irrelevant. And now for the really big guns: War is one thing, but can Iraq survive full-on assault by Wall Street?

Yet other invasions are planned for Iraq over the coming months - in the shape of oil concessions, health privatisation plans and even mobile phone licences.
'We have a responsibility, a stewardship,' Perle told a forum of the American Enterprise Institute, 'not to turn [Iraq] over to institutions incapable of seeing this through to a successful conclusion ... the last thing the Iraqis need is French statism or German labour practices.'

The US seems to be dropping any pretense of supporting Iraqi "democracy": Occupation Forces Halt Elections Throughout Iraq [From: the Washington Post]

Ten weeks into the occupation, the cities and towns outside of Baghdad are largely administered by former Iraqi military and police officers and people who had close ties to the Baath Party. Iraqi generals and police colonels, for example, are now mayors of a dozen cities, including Samarra, Najaf, Tikrit, Balad and Baqubah....
"There will be no elections for the foreseeable future," said Sgt. Jeff Butler of the U.S. Army's 418th Civil Affairs Battalion from Kansas City, Mo., which is charged with running Samarra.

Patrick Cockburn describes the mood in Baghdad: Powerless Iraqis rail against ignorant, air-conditioned US occupation force

John W. Dower, historian of the American occupation of Japan after World War II, says that the correct analogy is with the Japanese occupation of Manchuria: The Other Japanese Occupation

An analysis, by Brian Dominick of the hypocrisy, and lack of humanity, of US (in this case New York Times) reporting of Iraq, concentrating on the experience of the GIs and ignoring that of their victims. Perhaps a bit unfair, but thought-provoking. Children Terrified

Where have we heard this before? Iraqis Voice Fear of Signing Away Their Identity: Civil employees must declare in writing to obey the orders of the U.S. administration.

(T)he latest affront to many Iraqis is one sentence in one document. All citizens who work for the government are required to sign a document that states, "I will obey the laws of Iraq and all proclamations, orders and instructions of the Coalition Provisional Authority"....
"They are quite capable intellectually," said Lt. Col. P.J. Dermer, who is working with the civil administration to develop grass-roots democratic practices in Baghdad. "The assets are there. The mentality doesn't exist. They need us. They know it's up to us to walk them through this."
Many Iraqis don't see it that way.

Ah, Freedom! How wonderful! How fleeting! In volatile Iraq, US curbs press

Eleanor Robson,a council member of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq, writes that the recent claims that Baghdad Museum staff had deliberately overstated losses to cover their theft are false. Not surprising, given the source is the US occupation army. Iraq's museums: what really happened: The truth behind the sacking of a cultural heritage is far less colourful than the allegations of corruption and cover-up

Naomi Klein in The Nation puts the destruction being wrought upon the Iraqi economy in the context of the economic "shock therapy" delivered with devastating results to countries around the world, in order to create free markets controlled by US multinationals: Downsizing in Disguise

As the Bush Administration becomes increasingly open about its plans to privatize Iraq's state industries and parts of the government, Bremer's de-Baathification takes on new meaning. Is he working only to get rid of Baath Party members, or is he also working to shrink the public sector as a whole so that hospitals, schools and even the army are primed for privatization by US firms?...
Paul Bremer is, according to Bush, a "can-do" type of person. Indeed he is. In less than a month he has readied large swaths of state activity for corporate takeover, primed the Iraqi market for foreign importers to make a killing by eliminating much of the local competition and made sure there won't be any unpleasant Iraqi government interference--in fact, he's made sure there will be no Iraqi government at all while key economic decisions are made. Bremer is Iraq's one-man IMF.

A detailed account, by Human Rights Watch of life under British occupation: BASRA: CRIME AND INSECURITY UNDER BRITISH OCCUPATION

Robert Fisk imagines George Bush on a true fact-finding mission to "liberated" devastated Iraq: ... And The Truth The Victors Refuse To See

Whatever remains of Iraq's economy is being systematically destroyed by the colonial masters pretending to be free-marketers who've taken over, as the New York Times reports Meanwhile, After Years of Stagnation, Iraqi Industries Are Falling to a Wave of Imports Having presided over the destruction of Iraq, the US now wants to pawn its future, to American Companies of course, to pay for the rebuilding. So much for all the promises to help rebuild Iraq made before the war. The Bush administration seems determined to prove wrong all those sceptics who claimed that the Iraq war wasn't classical colonialism: Future oil sales may be pawned to banks

As time drags on, the situation of the Iraqi populace become more dire: Behind the victory, a power struggle that drains life from a weary people: The untold stories of how no electricity means no water, which means disease

It seems that US troops in Iraq are acting as if they are the LAPD: US gunfire kills three teens at wedding

Following the shooting, the doctor said, several US soldiers with rifles walked into the hospital, seeking the names of those who had been wounded. The sight of armed soldiers, so soon after the shooting, so frightened people in the hospital that some of them fled.
Dr Rahman said: "I was very surprised. I was very afraid." What added to the tension, he said, was that the soldiers seemed "very irritable".

Another day, another scandal. The Pentagon has given a contract to build a (useless) cellphone network in Iraq to one of the largest corpoate criminals in histor: MCI/WorldCom: Another Scandalous No-Bid Contract Makes Us Look Like Fools No doubt, Enron's next. See. also WorldCom's Iraq deal assailed: Critics wonder why MCI got contract after fraud scandal

This item isn't even Humor, which is good because it isn't funny: Bush, Blair Nominated for Nobel Prize for Iraq War

So far, things in Iraq are not getting better for the populace. The guardian (UK) makes it clear that the brilliant Pentagon strtegists bear a good share of the blaim: Gun gangs rule streets as US loses control: Ed Vulliamy in Baghdad reports on aid agencies' struggle to save Iraq from looters, disease and poverty

Since the war, say workers for several aid organisations, the Pentagon's administration has systematically hindered the reconstruction and the distribution of medicines and other supplies....
The US is 'in breach of its obligations under the Geneva Convention,' says Alex Renton, spokesman in Iraq for Oxfam, in failing to prevent the looting, particularly of medical supplies. 'The question of security is fundamental,' says Renton, 'as is the problem of looting. We did actually manage to repair the water system in Nasiriyah, only to see it looted a couple of days later.' 'The Americans say now they could not have foreseen the problem of looting medical supplies,' says MSF's medical co-ordinator, An Willems. 'But we had been telling them about this risk since just after the war....'
Meanwhile, US tanks grind through the streets of Hilla, and the children still wave cheerily. The tank commanders duly wave back, but do not understand what is being shouted at them from behind those mischievous, smiling young faces: 'My father is with your sister!' Or: 'While you are in Iraq, your wife is becoming a rich woman in bed!'

The Observer (UK) reports "The United States is illegally holding thousands of Iraqi prisoners of war and other captives without access to human rights officials" and that the mistreatment, akin to torture, perfected in Afganastan and Guantanomo, is being practiced on them: Red Cross denied access to PoWs: Up to 3,000 Iraqis - some of them civilians - believed to be gagged, bound, hooded and beaten at US camps close to Baghdad airport

Not surprisingly, the thousands of Arabs being forced out of Northern Iraq by the Kurds are not keen on "liberation": Victims of the peace decide Americans are worse than Saddam

Patrick Cockburn sums up the situation so far: The Real Quagmire is the Aftermath:Everywhere There are Signs of Breakdown "The US seems to have fought the war essentially because it wanted a war."

Laurie King-Irani a social anthropologist, founder of Electronic Iraq, and former editor of Middle East Report discusses the meaning of democracy within Iraqi culture: How do you spell democracy in Arabic? D-i-g-n-i-t-y

US uses Heavy Metal to torture Iraqi prisoners: Sesame Street breaks Iraqi POWs

A harrowing account of the new Iraq: For Iraq's children, a new war has begun

Not to be outdone by Iraqi looters, US Troops 'vandalise' ancient city of Ur

The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research has published an extensive and meticulously documented account of the US foreign policy leaders and current occupation government of Iraq. An indispensible resource: Do you want to know who the Americans running Iraq really are? Also available (in one long web page, rather than several separate ones) from Information Clearing House

Now its official policy. "Liberation" means "liberating' unfortunate Iraqis from their life. Not surprising when you appoint a counterterrorism expert and partner of Henry Kissinger to run a country. New Policy in Iraq to Authorize G.I.'s to Shoot Looters " 'They are going to start shooting a few looters so that the word gets around' that assaults on property, the hijacking of automobiles and violent crimes will be dealt with using deadly force." [NOTE: May 18, 2003: The US seems to have backed down on this, for the time being.]

More "liberation. The US wants censorship over Iraqi television news. New Iraqi TV Complains of US Censorship

An analysis of US plans for "liberating" Iraq by occupying it: Kick Their Ass and Take Their Gas: Democracy Comes to Iraq

Breaking News on the Missing WMDs and Other Lies

At last, the lies and deceit behind this imperial war are coming unraveled. Here's a small sample of recent insights and comments. Meanwhile, get prepared for the new US team to magically "find" some weapons (after they place them there). Of course, one good lie deserves another.. [Information unraveling lies about what occurred during the war will continue to be posted in Iraq War News in Perspective]

Bush lied to public about meeting in 2001 to prepare Iraq war, Bob Woodward reports in his new book: Bush told public that important Iraq meeting with war commander was about Afghanistan.

New Bob Woodward book confirms that Bush ordered an Iraq war plan soon after Sept. 11, on Nov. 21, 2001 to be precise, but adds the detail that he was so concerned about word getting out that he hid it from other members of his national security team. It also indicates the degree to which Bush relied on Cheney: Book Alleges Secret Iraq War Plan: AP Exclusive: Woodward Book Says Bush Secretly Ordered Iraq War Plan After U.S. Afghan Invasion.

[Bush, as quoted in book:] "I knew what would happen if people thought we were developing a potential war plan for Iraq," Bush is quoted as telling Woodward. "It was such a high-stakes moment and ... it would look like that I was anxious to go to war. And I'm not anxious to go to war."

The lies in Australia: Australian defence adviser 'sacked for refusing to sex up WMD reports'. And in Denmark: Whistleblower claims Danish premier lied.

Over a year after Colin Powell presented his tissue of lies that independent sources, such as Hans Blix and len Rangwala [see: Claims in Secretary of State Colin Powell’s UN Presentation concerning Iraq, 5th Feb 2003] saw through immediately, Powell finally admits that one of his nuttier claims was false: Powell admits Iraq evidence mistake. See the generous analysis by Paul Reynolds of the BBC: Iraq: Mindset behind intelligence failures. Of course, the BBC doesn't entertain the possibility that Powell and gang were simply lying through their teeth. The Guardian reports that the US was well-warned that the claims were from an unreliable source: Germans accuse US over Iraq weapons claim. For humor's sake, take a look at: Full Text of Powell's original Speech to the UN.

Here is the text of former anti-terrorism official Richard Clarke's 60 Minutes Interview. For a detailed account of his claims about the Bush administration, go to: 9/11 hijackers could have been stopped, says ex-aide: In an interview with the Guardian a former White House insider insists, over administration denials, that Bush took his eye off al-Qaida . See also (from CNN): Clarke: 'White House is papering over facts'. And the Center for American Progress details the lies being told in rebuttal of Clarke's claims: White House Tailspin. See also many related documents on their web site. Also, check out the hatchet job by "never let truth be spoiled by administration lies" Judith Miller in that newspaper of disrepute, the New York Times: Former Terrorism Official Criticizes White House on 9/11.

Must Read! An incredible resource! Prepared in response to a request from Rep. Henry Waxman, the congressional Special Investigations Division of the Minority (Democratic) staff of the House Government Reform Committee prepared a detailed report: Iraq on the Record: The Bush Administration's Public Statements on Iraq (pdf) "a comprehensive examination of the statements made by the five Administration officials most responsible for providing public information and shaping public opinion on Iraq: President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice." Also available from them is a searchable database identifying "237 specific misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq made by these five officials in 125 public appearances in the time leading up to and after the commencement of hostilities in Iraq." See also the detailed Methodology. Very important in using the database is that "The database does not include statements that appear mistaken only in hindsight. If a statement was an accurate reflection of U.S. intelligence at the time it was made, the statement is excluded from the database even if it now appears erroneous." Further: "To be conservative, the Special Investigations Division excluded hundreds of statements by the five officials that many observers would consider misleading." To check their assessments, "The Special Investigations Division asked two leading independent experts to peer review this report for fairness and accuracy. These two independent experts are: Joseph Cirincione, senior associate and director of the Non-Proliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Greg Thielmann, former acting director of the Office of Strategic, Proliferation, and Military Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. These experts judged that this report is a fair and accurate depiction of the Administration’s statements."

Last Sunday, March 14, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld directly lied on national tv (Face the Nation), and was caught doing so. He said no one in the administration had used phrases like "imminent threat" when describing Iraq and its alleged WMD. For the first time, he was confronted with explicit quotes from his prewar talks using those, or synonymous words. See Rumsfeld sputter sputter here.

Further lies and distortions revealed. Knight-Ridder reports that claims of a Saddam--al Qaida link were based on even worse intelligence than were the WMD claims. Further, as usual, major information that contradicted administration hype were withheld: Doubts Cast on Efforts to Link Saddam, al-Qaida.

Much of the evidence that's now available indicates that Iraq and al-Qaida had no close ties, despite repeated contacts between the two; that the terrorists who administration officials claimed were links between the two had no direct connection to either Saddam or bin Laden; and that a key meeting between an Iraqi intelligence officer and one of the leaders of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks probably never happened.
A Knight Ridder review of the Bush administration statements on Iraq's ties to terrorism and what's now known about the classified intelligence has found that administration advocates of a pre-emptive invasion frequently hyped sketchy and sometimes false information to help make their case. On two occasions, they neglected to report information that painted a less sinister picture.

British government backs down rather than admit war deemed illegal: Spy case casts fresh doubt on war legality. See also and Short: 'There had clearly been some shenanigans going on'. Whistleblower: Cleared; Government: Accused of cover-up; Case for war: An official secret.

Hans Blix says US deliberately made up nonexistent "facts" and undermined the UN weapons inspectors: US 'created' weapons facts.

"Our inspectors had a fixed phraseology. If something was missing, then the official formulation was 'yet to be established'," Blix was quoted as saying by the German weekly Stern. "But the Americans and British persistently read 'exists'. So they created facts where there were no facts...."
"During a meeting at the White House at the end of October 2002, six months before the beginning of the war, Cheney told us he would not hesitate to discredit the inspections," Blix was quoted as saying.

Lies! A new book cites documents signed by Bush from 2002 laying out the Iraq war: Bush 'wanted war in 2002'.

"On February 16 2002, Bush signed a secret national security council directive establishing the goals and objectives for going to war with Iraq, according to classified documents I obtained," Mr Scarborough wrote.... The next month, he writes, the head of central command, General Tommy Franks, conducted a "major Iraq war exercise code-named "Prominent Hammer", and in April he briefed the joint chiefs of staff on the invasion plan.

Chalabi as much as admits lying in pre-war intelligence given to the US (and accepted uncritically by the US): Chalabi stands by faulty intelligence that toppled Saddam's regime. See also the analysis by Jim Lobe: Chalabi, Garner Provide New Clues to War.

[Chalabi stands...: Mr Chalabi ... shrugged off charges that he had deliberately misled US intelligence. "We are heroes in error," he told the Telegraph in Baghdad. "As far as we're concerned we've been entirely successful. That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important. The Bush administration is looking for a scapegoat. We're ready to fall on our swords if he wants."
[Chalabi, Garner ...:] It appears that Chalabi, whose family, it was reported this week, has extensive interests in a company that has already been awarded more than 400 million dollars in reconstruction contracts, is signaling his willingness to take all of the blame, or credit, for the faulty intelligence.

Meanwhile, Retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner starts telling (part of) the truth about US motives: Former Iraq administrator sees decades-long U.S. military presence. See also the Jim Loeb analysis referred to above [Chalabi, Garner Provide New Clues to War].

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, the former interim administrator of post-conflict reconstruction efforts in Iraq, said Thursday that a U.S. military presence in Iraq should last "the next few decades," but questioned the mix of forces already there and current plans to reconfigure the armed forces as a whole.... Asked how long U.S. forces should remain in Iraq, Garner said, "I hope they're there a long time."
"I think one of the most important things we can do right now is start getting basing rights" in both northern and southern Iraq, Garner said, adding that such bases could provide large areas for military training. "I think we'd want to keep at least a brigade in the north, a self-sustaining brigade, which is larger than a regular brigade," he added.
Noting how establishing U.S. naval bases in the Philippines in the early 1900s allowed the United States to maintain a "great presence in the Pacific," Garner said, "To me that's what Iraq is for the next few decades. We ought to have something there ... that gives us great presence in the Middle East. I think that's going to be necessary."

Yet another pre-war US lie, to the UN weapons inspectors and to congress, revealed: C.I.A. Admits It Didn't Give Weapon Data to the U.N..

The Central Intelligence Agency has acknowledged that it did not provide the United Nations with information about 21 of the 105 sites in Iraq singled out by U.S. intelligence before the war as the most highly suspected of housing illicit weapons....
The contradiction is significant because Congressional opponents of the war were arguing a year ago that the United Nations inspectors should be given more time to complete their search before the United States and its allies began the invasion. The White House, bolstered by Mr. Tenet, insisted that it was fully cooperating with the inspectors, and at daily briefings the White House issued assurances that the administration was providing the inspectors with the best information possible....
The acknowledgment by the agency came after more than a year of questions from Senator Levin. He said he believed that the Bush administration had withheld the information because it wanted to persuade the American people that the United Nations-led hunt for weapons in Iraq had run its full course before the war.

Many American newspaper Editorials Question Bush's Role in 'Cooking' Up a War.

The long-term relations of David Kay's, the former US chief weapons hunter, to the CIA and other intelligence agencies, as well as to private companies profiting off the war have been ignored: David Kay and the CIA. Kay's credibility is further questioned by his earlier comments as an NBC expert analyst upon seeing the so-called mobile bio-weapons labs that turned out, according to Kay himself, to be nothing of the sort, cited in: No Mystery to Untangling WMD Puzzler.

Last May, before his appointment to head the U.S. weapons search, he was working as an expert analyst for NBC News and was given the chance to inspect one of the trailers firsthand. He immediately proclaimed them proof that Saddam Hussein had been producing biological weapons. "Literally, there's nothing else you would do this way on a mobile facility," Kay told the world. He also rejected the suggestion that the traile

The Hutton Report, exonerating Tony Blair stirs controversy: Demands grow for inquiry into the case for war as Hutton is accused of a 'whitewash' while Half Britons say Hutton was "whitewash". The british press isn't buying it: 'Blair without flaw - official!'. And Seumas Milne argues: The shadow of Iraq: The Hutton saga is a sideshow. The real issue is who will pay the price for war and occupation

The NOP survey for the London Evening Standard said 49 percent agreed with the question "do you agree or disagree that the report was a whitewash". Four out of 10 of those questioned said they disagreed and 11 percent said they didn't know in a poll of 521 people conducted on Wednesday.

Greg Palast sees the Hutton Report as a sign of danger to independent reporting in general, and to the BBC in particular: BBC At War: M'Lord Hutton Blesses Blair's Attack on BBC's Investigation of Iraq War Claims.

New White House lies, this time about what they claimed before the war: US denies 'imminent' threat warning.

The Lord Hutton report into British WMD expert David Kelly exonerates Tony Blair and criticizes BBC: Hutton clears Blair Read the report (pdf).

Fred Kaplan, in Salon, argues that David Kay told much the same story in his report last September. Only then he used such deliberate obfuscation that most could not see the message: The Art of Camouflage: David Kay comes clean, almost.

My favorite example of Kay's attempt to trump substance with style: Saddam's scientists "began several small and relatively unsophisticated research initiatives … that could have been useful in developing a weapons-relevant science base for the long-term." This description is so vague, it would accurately describe the act of reading a textbook on nuclear physics.
Kay did his job well. His report did not tell lies. But it puffed up enough smoke to let President Bush proclaim it as a justification for the war.

The source of the infamous 45-minute WMD claim says it was a "crock of shit": Iraqi who gave MI6 45-minute claim says it was untrue.

Powell finally admits doubt re: WMD: Powell casts doubt on Iraq WMDs.

The smoking gun! Chief WMD inspector says they haven't existed since the early 1990's: Saddam's WMD never existed, says chief American arms inspecto.

Mr Kay, a former UN inspector, said that most of what was going to be found in the hunt for Saddam Hussein's WMD had already been uncovered. The returning of sovereignty to the Iraqis would make the search more difficult, he added. "I don't think they existed," Mr Kay said, referring to Saddam's alleged stockpiles of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. "What everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the [1991] Gulf War and I don't think there was a large-scale production programme in the Nineties."

Another deception! Condoleezza Rice compared the Iraqi resistance to the German underground after World War II. It appears that the existence of this underground is based on a fake Reuters dispatch, supposedly dated Aug. 12, 1945, that started appearing on the Internet in April, 204. I wonder where it came from? More deceptions to justify war actions.

Nine months? That would be April, four months before Rice made her speech. She never identified her source. Could she have used the bogus Reuters story from the Internet? I called the NSC, and was referred to speech-writer Michael Anton. I left messages asking for Rice's source on werewolves. That's not too tough a request for a public servant. I'm still waiting for an answer.

As if recent revelations weren't enough, a report by the Army War College criticizes the Iraq war as "unnecessary" and diversion from the real "war on terrorism": War College Study Calls Iraq a 'Detour'. The actual report is available at: Bounding the Global War on Terrorism.

For those who missed it, the Paul O'Neill interview with 60 minutes can be watched online here. Here is a more detailed account from Time, of Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's view of decision-making in the Bush administration: Confessions of a White House Insider: A book about Treasury's Paul O'Neill paints a presidency where ideology and politics rule the day . However, the BBC has an interesting commentary reminding us of Mr. O'Neill's history: Paul O'Neill: Careless talk?.

Putting the lie to their own propaganda! An important reminder. Here is the video of Colin Powell and Condeleeza Rice in 2001 telling the world that Iraq did not possess and significant WMD capacity of pose a danger to the US or its neighbors. February 24th, 2001: Powell Admits Saddam, "has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction". Contrast that, as The New York Times did, with what Powell said at the United Nations in February 2002: "Iraqi officials deny accusations of ties with Al Qaeda. These denials are simply not credible."

I his 60 Minutes interview, former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said he saw no evidence of WMD: Ex US-Treasury chief: saw no evidence of Iraq WMDs.

The Smoking Gun! Former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill has told 60 Minutes that planning for the Iraq invasion and occupation began right after the inauguration, not after 9/11: Saddam's Ouster Planned In 2001?

"From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," he tells Stahl. "For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do is a really huge leap...."
Suskind says O'Neill and other White House insiders he interviewed gave him documents that show that in the first three months of 2001, the administration was looking at military options for removing Saddam Hussein from power and planning for the aftermath of Saddam's downfall....
A Pentagon document, says Suskind, titled "Foreign Suitors For Iraqi Oilfield Contracts," outlines areas of oil exploration. "It talks about contractors around the world from...30, 40 countries and which ones have what intentions on oil in Iraq," Suskind says.
[raqi National Congress] Spokesman Entifadh Qanbar tells CBS News that the Bush administration opened official channels to the Iraqi opposition soon after coming to power, and discussed how to remove saddam....
O'Neill is quoted as saying he was surprised that no one in a National Security Council meeting questioned why Iraq should be invaded. "It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying 'Go find me a way to do this,'" says O'Neill in the book....
O'Neill also is quoted saying in the book that President Bush was so disengaged in cabinet meetings that he "was like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people."

Here is one of the Iraq war planning documents referred to in the article about former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill (see above): Foreign Suitors For Iraqi Oilfield Contracts. Also remember the CHENEY ENERGY TASK FORCE DOCUMENTS FEATURE MAP OF IRAQI OILFIELDS.

The Washington Post has a detailed article showing that Iraq had no serious WMD program and no hope of one in the foreseeable feature. Iraq's arsenal of ambitions: '91 war crippled Baghdad's ability to build nonconventional weapons.

Now they tell us! Administration figures told the Big Lie to 75 Senators in order to get the war vote: Senators were told Iraqi weapons could hit U.S.: Nelson said claim made during classified briefing.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Monday the Bush administration last year told him and other senators that Iraq not only had weapons of mass destruction, but they had the means to deliver them to East Coast cities.

New joke: Bush makes up new excuse why no WMD were found: Iraq's illegal WMD sites were looted, Bush now explains.

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.

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

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."

Senate Republicans announce they will do their best to avoid the truth ever being known: Citing abuse, US Senate Republicans halt Iraq weapons probe and White House decides 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'

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.

Further evidence that Secretary Powell lied. His former analyst

Must Read! An incredible resource! Prepared in response to a request from Rep. Henry Waxman, the congressional Special Investigations Division of the Minority (Democratic) staff of the House Government Reform Committee prepared a detailed report: Iraq on the Record: The Bush Administration's Public Statements on Iraq (pdf) "a comprehensive examination of the statements made by the five Administration officials most responsible for providing public information and shaping public opinion on Iraq: President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice." Also available from them is a searchable database identifying "237 specific misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq made by these five officials in 125 public appearances in the time leading up to and after the commencement of hostilities in Iraq." See also the detailed Methodology. Very important in using the database is that "The database does not include statements that appear mistaken only in hindsight. If a statement was an accurate reflection of U.S. intelligence at the time it was made, the statement is excluded from the database even if it now appears erroneous." Further: "To be conservative, the Special Investigations Division excluded hundreds of statements by the five officials that many observers would consider misleading." To check their assessments, "The Special Investigations Division asked two leading independent experts to peer review this report for fairness and accuracy. These two independent experts are: Joseph Cirincione, senior associate and director of the Non-Proliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Greg Thielmann, former acting director of the Office of Strategic, Proliferation, and Military Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. These experts judged that this report is a fair and accurate depiction of the Administration’s statements." ielmann tells all to CBS: Ex-Aide: Powell Misled Americans

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

David Kaye's testimony to congress. $600 million more wanted for the search!

Nothing! That's what the Iraq Survey Group hunting for WMD has found: The hunt for weapons of mass destruction yields - nothing: Intelligence claims of huge Iraqi stockpiles were wrong, says report

More evidence from John Pilger that the US knew early in 2001 that Iraq was not a threat and had no significant WMD capability. Most interestingly, it makes clear that Colin Powell & Condoleezza Rice knew this Breaking The Silence

On May 15 2001, Powell went further and said that Saddam Hussein had not been able to "build his military back up or to develop weapons of mass destruction" for "the last 10 years". America, he said, had been successful in keeping him "in a box". Two months later, Condoleezza Rice also described a weak, divided and militarily defenceless Iraq. "Saddam does not control the northern part of the country," she said. "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt"....
At 2.40pm on September 11, according to confidential notes taken by his aides, Donald Rumsfeld, the Defense Secretary, said he wanted to "hit" Iraq - even though not a shred of evidence existed that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with the attacks on New York and Washington. "Go massive," the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
In July 2002, Condoleezza Rice told another Bush official who had voiced doubts about invading Iraq: "A decision has been made. Don't waste your breath."

The Iraq Survey Group looking for WMD doesn't appear to be doing very much, except their laundry: They are called 'The Searchers'. But what are they looking for?

Former Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix may have the last comment: Iraq dumped WMDs years ago, says Blix: No evidence to link Saddam with September 11 attacks, Bush admits

"I mean, you can put up a sign on your door, 'Beware of the dog,' without having a dog," he said.

The administration continues it brazen big lie strategy. At least a few in the press are now challenging them, as this Boston Globe piece illustrates: Cheney Link of Iraq, 9/11 Challenged

Now that no WMD have been found, and even faking a case that they exist has become tricky, the administration is quietly shelving the definitive report that the Iraq Survey Group, were allegedly preparing: Report on Iraq WMD shelved as no evidence found by US-UK team

Here's a good account of the hack, David Kay, appointed to find the missing Iraqi WMD and how he intends to do it: September Surprise

The loyal Mr. Kay, in turn, appears poised to hand in a report marked by speculation, innuendo and circumstantial evidence. Kay's September surprise: He morphs into a weapon of mass deception.

Now that the war is long over and the WMD clearly missing, a top US official says: that whether Saddam's regime actually possessed weapons of mass destruction "isn't really the issue." U.S. arms control chief says capability of scientists under Saddam helped justify invasion

Evidently it was Saddam Hussein himself who convinced the world that nonexistent weapons were an imminent threat. Anyone want to buy a bridge? U.S. Suspects It Received False Iraq Arms Tips: Intelligence officials are reexamining data used in justifying the war. They say Hussein's regime may have sent bogus defectors.

The latest wrinkle in the WMD caper. The Department of Energy official who rubber stamped the Iraq nuclear claims, despite having no technical competence whatsoever, and despite the objections of those who did know something, was paid off with large bonuses: $20,000 bonus to official who agreed on nuke claim: Energy Dept. honcho ordered dissenters at Iraq pre-briefing to 'shut up, sit down'

"That's a hell of a lot of money for an intelligence director who had no experience or background in intelligence, and who'd only been running t he office for nine months," said one source who requested anonymity. "Something's fishy."

The lies continue: Is Iraqi Intel Still Being Manipulated? The sad and secretive tale of an Iraqi scientist

The treatment of Obeidi has in turn raised questions about whether even fresh intelligence from Iraq is being manipulated in advance of the report being prepared by David Kay, which is intended as the definitive account of Iraq’s WMD program.

This piece from the Independent is the most detailed account I've seen of the events surrounding the death of British weapons scientist Dr. David Kelly: A call to arms, a troubled scientist and the unravelling of a mysterious death

The Washington Post reports new evidence that: Depiction of threat outgrew evidence: Ahead of war, U.S. stressed Iraqi nuclear threat even as evidence was undermined. This article makes clear that the 16-words on Niger were part of a systematic campaign of lies and distortions. It also shows clearly that Secretary Powell was part of the campaign, ignoring and distorting clear evidence that contradicted the claims.

The new information indicates a pattern in which President Bush, Vice President Cheney and their subordinates — in public and behind the scenes — made allegations depicting Iraq’s nuclear weapons program as more active, more certain and more imminent in its threat than the data they had would support. On occasion administration advocates withheld evidence that did not conform to their views. The White House seldom corrected misstatements or acknowledged loss of confidence in information upon which it had previously relied:

In Britain, the battle over the "sexed up" intelligence dossier used to justify the war heats up as the Prime Minister is directly implicated: Blair 'intervened in hardening up dossier on Iraq'

The Niger Timebomb: "This is the Iraqi diplomat Britain accuses of trying to buy uranium for Saddam. If what he has told us is true, his evidence will blow apart one of Mr Blair's main justifications for war"

Here is the Official Website for the (Lord) Hutton Inquiry into the death of British weapons scientist David Kelly.

Another brutal lie revealed. During the war the US denied usingnapalm. Now they admit that they dropped dozens of Mark 77 firebombs, "incendiary devices with a function "remarkably similar" to napalm weapons." And here's the best: "If reporters had asked about firebombs, officials said yesterday they would have confirmed their use." Remember that the next time "reporters" mention a government denial. Officials Confirm Dropping Firebombs on Iraqi Troops: Results are 'remarkably similar' to using napalm

"You can call it something other than napalm, but it's napalm," said John Pike, defense analyst with GlobalSecurity.com, a nonpartisan research group in Alexandria, Va....
"I used it routinely in Vietnam," said retired Marine Lt. Gen. Bernard Trainor, now a prominent defense analyst. "I have no moral compunction against using it. It's just another weapon."
And, the distinctive fireball and smell have a psychological impact on troops, experts said. "The generals love napalm," said Alles, who has transferred to Washington. "It has a big psychological effect."

It seems the Prime Minister of Niger says 'Saddam never shopped for uranium in my country'. The US response: send a top diplomat to tell him to shut up!. America silences Niger leaders in Iraq nuclear row

The Independent reports that there is a new plan afoot to wind WMD, a WMD Program, or something. All that matters is that it can be spun... Blair and Bush join forces to spin away weapons issue

The evidence mounts. There were no WMDs. Even after months of "interrogation" former Iraqi scientists are unanimous: Iraqi Scientists Still Deny Iraqi Arms Programs: U.S. Interrogations Net No Evidence

Sen. Bob Graham, presidential candidate, writes in Newsday about: The Dishonesty Of the President

Here is a July 9, 2003 Interview with former Iraq weapons inspector Scott Ritter.

In the latest Wrinkle, Bush Admin folks are leaking classified names of an (alleged) CIA agent, Ambassador Wilson's wife, in order to warn others about the consequences of telling the truth. A White House Smear

According to experts, virtually all evidence of an Iraqi nuclear program was so weak, only a State-of-the-Union speech could stand on it: Iraq Nuke Evidence Was Thin, Experts Say

Ignorance is no excuse! Both Bush and rice claim they didn't actually read the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. Yet, they have no interest in finding out, and firing, whoever neglected to tell them that their claims were "highly dubious"! Warning in Iraq Report Unread: Bush, Rice Did Not See State's Objection

The lies continue. As the white house released the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq they claimed that the State department reservation about the claims that Iraq was trying to purchase uranium was a "footnote". Not so, aparently: Dissent over uranium more than a 'footnote': Doubts about African deal got bigger play in report than White House hints

According to Canadian Weapons experts: Experts believed no Iraqi WMDs in 2001: analysts

The finger-pointing continues. A CIA official told congress that it was White House National Security Council Bob Joseph who wanted those 16 words about Niger to be included in the State-of-the-Union address. Joseph is an aid to Condeleezza Rice. New Details Emerge on Uranium Claim and Bush's Speech

All lies, all the time! A key Iraqi scientist the US likes to quote told them before, and after the war, that the aluminum tubes Bush made so much of were NOT for nuclear bombs. Iraqi: Tubes Weren't for Nuclear Bombs

Here is a claim that it was a Paul Wolfowitz-led committee that recommended including the Niger claim in the State-of-the-Union speech: Wolfowitz Committee Instructed White House To Use Iraq/Uranium Ref In Pres Speech

Greg Palast has a biting account of Tony Blair on the eve of his US visit: Tony Blair - Prisoner of War

The civil war in the US government intensifies as the CIA this time refused to go along with Bush Administration lies: CIA: Assessment of Syria's WMD exaggerated. [From the Miami Herald]

A careful textual anaysis of George tenet's is rather interesting. It makes clear that "The trail leads back to the Pentagon and the White House itself." Beating around the Bush: Under pressure over the CIA's handling of intelligence on Iraq, the agency chief's response passes the buck back to the White House, writes Julian Borger

A cogent analysis of the real British motivations to go to war: America wanted war: Dossiers and proof of WMD are a sideshow - Blair backed Bush for one simple reason

Britain did not go to war to overthrow an evil regime, or even to control WMD. It went to war to keep on the right side of Washington.... September 2002 Blair acknowledged that the US would go to war in Iraq "whatever anyone else said or did".

A detailed analysis from the Washington Postof the recent distortions and contradictions emanating from the Administration: President Defends Allegation On Iraq: Bush Says CIA's Doubts Followed Jan. 28 Address. As Alternet suggest: "Give it up!"

James Carroll here gives one of the most cogent brief analyses of the intelligence distortion that led to war. It doesn't let anyone off so easy: America's unintelligence community

according to the BBC, all nine of the claims made to support the war are now questionable at best: Core of weapons case crumbling

Condoleezza Rice admits that Bush was told that the State Department had doubts about the Iraq uranium claim, but used it in the State-of-the-Union speech anyway. Is he a liar, an imbecile, or just careless when it war? Blame Game Over False WMD Info

Rice acknowledged that the State Department's intelligence division considered the uranium-purchasing allegations dubious, and this was noted in a footnote in an intelligence assessment given to Mr. Bush.

The WMD controversy appears to have hit the mainstream press big time. The Washington Post reports that the CIA Asked Britain To Drop Iraq Claim: Advice on Alleged Uranium Buy Was Refused

The headline says it all! Bush Knew Iraq Info Was False

There are claims that Bush was definitely told that the claims of Iraq attempting to buy uranium from Niger were false, or so claims Terrance J. Wilkinson, a CIA analyst: Bush Was Told Before His State Of The Union Address

An intelligence consultant who was present at two White House briefings where the uranium report was discussed confirmed that the President was told the intelligence was questionable and that his national security advisors urged him not to include the claim in his State of the Union address. "The report had already been discredited," said Terrance J. Wilkinson, a CIA advisor present at two White House briefings. "This point was clearly made when the President was in the room during at least two of the briefings." Bush's response was anger, Wilkinson said. "He said that if the current operatives working for the CIA couldn't prove the story was true, then the agency had better find some who could," Wilkinson said. "He said he knew the story was true and so would the world after American troops secured the country."

Another former intelligence official, Gregory Thielmann [former director in the state department's bureau of intelligence] says on the record that the US lied about intelligence before the war: White House 'lied about Saddam threat' [Guardian (UK)]

And more evidence that the US, and Bush, lied, this time directly from the CIA: More Evidence Bush Misled Nation, by David Corn in The Nation.

The day before Independence Day, Richard Kerr, a former CIA deputy director who is leading a review of the CIA's prewar intelligence on Iraq's unconventional weapons, held a series of interviews with journalists and revealed that his unfinished inquiry had so far found that the intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction had been somewhat ambiguous, that analysts at the CIA and other intelligence services had received pressure from the Bush administration, and that the CIA had not found any proof of operational ties between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime.

Rumsfeld now admits that the US had no new intelligence about WMD prior to the war: Rumsfeld brushes aside WMD fears

One of the most popular sites on the Internet: These Weapons of Mass Destruction cannot be displayed. Until the press reported it, this site was the first returned by google when "Weapons of Mass Destruction" was searched for.

In polite diplomatic language, Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson 4th writes in the New York Times about his trip to Niger to check out the claims that Iraq was seeking to obtain weapons-grade uranium: What I Didn't Find in Africa

A senior US diplomat who investigated the fake Niger uranium claim says its virtually impossible that US and British officials didn't know the claim was fake: Ministers knew war papers were forged, says diplomat Now this official,

Here is the British Government's allegedly "sexed up" report on Iraqi WMDs: IRAQ’S WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION: THE ASSESSMENT OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT

Michael Moore's latest Open Letter to GWB: 'I Never Promised You A Ruse Garden' A Letter From Michael Moore To George W. Bush

For the first time, an active duty intelligence official tells about the Bush Administration pressure to shave the truth. A senior State Department Expert Said to Tell Legislators He Was Pressed to Distort Some Evidence

Ben Tripp analyzes American's indifference to the missing WMD in terms of the cognitive dissonance caused by the distance between the American fantasy (ideal) and the current reality. They Just Don't Want to Know: Of Dissidents and Dissonance

America invaded another nation, unscrewed its head and took a giant dump down its neck--unprovoked. Confronted with the singularly un-American nature of this exploit, our leaders responded by claiming we had to do it-- because this enemy nation was aiming a vast artillery of deadly weapons designed especially to kill blonde people at us. I don't think all that many people really believed it, not really really. But they went along with it, because to confront the real reasons for such aimless aggression would be too horrible for their fragile worldviews and patriotic self-images to bear. When the 'WMD' bit turned out not to be true, the rationale switched to exporting American Democracy by force. Which is an oxymoron, a common symptom of cognitive dissonance.
The beauty part of cognitive dissonance is the worse it gets, the more people throw up [their hands] and say "who cares?" In this way such public works projects as genocide and empire-building can be accomplished, because people refuse to care. It's too damn demanding, too scary, and too damaging to that ever-threatened bird called Self Esteem.

Spencer Ackerman and John B. Judis, in the New Republic have a one of the most detailed accounts so far of: The First Casualty: The selling of the Iraq war

Even Stansfield Turner, former CIA Director says the administration is lying on WMD. Who knows, even Democratic politicians may figure it out, someday! Ex-CIA director says administration stretched facts on Iraq

The British paper the Independent doesn't mince words in reporting the latest twists in the great WMD escapade as two former cabinet ministers tell parliament that British Intelligence said there was no threat from Iraq many times before the war: Exposed: Blair, Iraq and the great deception

An official British report has now concluded: Iraqi mobile labs nothing to do with germ warfare, report finds

'They are not mobile germ warfare laboratories. You could not use them for making biological weapons. They do not even look like them. They are exactly what the Iraqis said they were - facilities for the production of hydrogen gas to fill balloons.'

The NOW woith Bill Moyers web site has extensive resources for following the tangled threads of the controversy about the missing WMD Reviewing the Evidence: Weapons of Mass Destruction

Other parts of the justification for the war are unraveling. The New York Times reports that Captives Deny Qaeda Worked With Baghdad

Here is a detailed account of the WMD story so far, with an emphasis on the political aspects, especially in Britain: The arms hunt: were they weapons of self-delusion?

The Guardian (UK) takes an even stronger position than the New York Times (see next item), asserting that British experts say it is unlikely that the trailer had anything to do with germ warefare: Blow to Blair over 'mobile labs': Saddam's trucks were for balloons, not germs And the Guardian (UK) says there is a good chance the mobile labs were sold to Iraq by the British in 1987, to manufacture hydrogen, just as the Iraqis claimed..

Finally, Judith Miller of the New York Times reports that intelligence officials are not at all certain that those trailers that President Bush spouts off about really are for making WMD. Some Analysts of Iraq Trailers Reject Germ Use. (As Judith Miller has been the Pentagon and Iraqi National Congress mouthpiece [see: All the News That's Fudged to Print] for leaking propaganda, perhaps she's trying to save her position at a New York Times suddenly concerned about lies in its news stories since the Jayson Blair scandal.)

The UN Weapons Inspectors deny claims made by Tony Blair in recent days: UN inspectors question claims over Iraqi weapons

Former UN Weapons Inspectors are crtiticizing the US and British "intelligence" used to justify the war: Blix attacks Blair warnings over Iraqi weapons

A former UN inspector, Bernd Birkicht, 39, said he believed the CIA had made up intelligence on weapons of mass destruction to provide a legal basis for the war. He told the Guardian how supposedly top-secret, high-quality intelligence had led the inspectors on an absurd wild goose chase.
"We received information about a site, giving the exact geographical coordinates, and when we got there we found nothing. Nothing on the ground. Nothing under the ground. Just desert."
He said the so-called decontamination trucks which figured in satellite photographs presented to the security council were fire engines.

And Hans Blix is making similar points: Blix criticises weapons intelligence

Mr Blix said today he was disappointed with the tip-offs provided for his inspection teams. "Only in three of those cases did we find anything at all, and in none of these cases was there any weapons of mass destruction, and that shook me a bit, I must say," he told BBC News 24. "I thought, my God, if this is the best intelligence they have and we find nothing, what about the rest?"

The Associated Press reports that the US is so concerned to find those missing WMD, that they have not visited, and have no plans to visit, the al-Fatah company in Baghdad that designed all the Iraqi missiles. Perhaps they already know there are no secrets to be found? U.S. Won't Probe Secret Iraqi Documents

Al-Chalabi, who studied engineering at the University of Colorado from 1964 to 1969, is convinced none will be found. He said he showed U.N. inspectors everything he had and was ordered by Saddam not to violate U.N. resolutions. "We don't have those weapons. I think they must know this by now," al-Chalabi said. "I even signed a paper that said I would be executed if I violated the range fixed by the U.N. resolutions."

John Dean (of Watergate fame) analyzes the case of the missing WMD in FindLaw's Legal Commentary and concludes that deliberate deception may be grounds for impeachment Missing Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Is Lying About The Reason For War An Impeachable Offense?

The absence of any explanation for the gap between the statements and reality only increases the sense that the President's misstatements may actually have been intentional lies.
In an apparent attempt to bolster the President's credibility, and his own, Secretary Rumsfeld himself has now called for a Defense Department investigation into what went wrong with the pre-war intelligence. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd finds this effort about on par with O. J.'s looking for his wife's killer.
To put it bluntly, if Bush has taken Congress and the nation into war based on bogus information, he is cooked. Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, could be "a high crime" under the Constitution's impeachment clause. It would also be a violation of federal criminal law, including the broad federal anti-conspiracy statute, which renders it a felony "to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose."

The Pentagon now admits that it had no hard evidence of the existence of WMD last September, when Rumsfeld claimed "His regime has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons..." Pentagon's intelligence arm had no reliable evidence of Iraqi weapons last September. In democratic countries, this is called lying and is followed by resignation.

Vice President Dick Cheney went to the CIA several times, apparently to pressure them to spin intelligence to support the was effort: Some Iraq Analysts Felt Pressure From Cheney Visits

British Labor Party leader Denis Healey says Blair must quit if he is wrong about these weapons

British Labor MP Robin Cook has written a piece on the deception behind the war and the necessity for Britain not to be conned into supporting a war against Iran: Britain must not let Iran become the next Iraq

This time we must make clear to the White House that we are not going to subordinate Britain's interests to a U.S. policy of confrontation. Iran must not become the next Iraq.

US Deputy Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz explained that the Iraq war really was about oil, as many of us had claimed: Wolfowitz: Iraq war was about oil [Guardian (UK)] [The guardian retracted this story on June 5, 2003. Evidently they misread the quote.]

Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the deputy defence minister said: "Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil."

Paul Krugman puts the WMD lies in the context of the Bush Administration's Standard Operating Procedure

Suggestions that the public was manipulated into supporting an Iraq war gain credibility from the fact that misrepresentation and deception are standard operating procedure for this administration, which, to an extent never before seen in U.S. history, systematically and brazenly distorts the facts.
(T)he selling of the war is arguably the worst scandal in American political history, worse than Watergate, worse than Iran-contra.

More dirt on the WMD lies. U.S. News and World Report reports on planning for Powel Truth and consequences: New questions about U.S. intelligence regarding Iraq's weapons of mass terror

In September 2002, U.S. News has learned, the Defense Intelligence Agency issued a classified assessment of Iraq's chemical weapons. It concluded: "There is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons . . . ." At about the same time, Rumsfeld told Congress that Saddam's "regime has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, sarin, cyclosarin and mustard gas."

Here's a summary of recent revelations about the way the Weapons of Mass Destruction issue was distorted to justify the war: The Guardian (UK) revealed that Colin Powel and British Foreign Secretary Sectretary Jack Straw met and expressed worries about the lack of evidence to support their claims about Iraqi WMD: Straw, Powell had serious doubts over their Iraqi weapons claims Secret transcript revealed ; US intelligence insiders say the intelligence was skewed by politically- motivated officials: U.S. Insiders Say Iraq Intel Deliberately Skewed; and the Australians are upset about the lies used to propel their country into war: A lack of intelligence: Australia's spies knew the United States was lying about Iraq's WMD programme. So why didn't the Government choose to believe them? Andrew Wilkie writes. [from the Sydney Morning Herald] To add to the mix, Fred Kaplan in Slate carefully examines the CIA Report on the two trailers claimed to be bioweapons labs, and shows the evidence is far less than air tight: Vanishing Agents: Did Iraq really have weapons of mass destruction?. In The lies that led us into war ... Glen Rangwala shows how the UK and the US manipulated UN reports - and conjured an anthrax dump from thin air. Meanwhile, there are increasing suggestions that the Pentagon is getting ready to manufacture eviendece of WMD. Stay tuned!

At last, all the "statements" (i.e., lies) about WMD made by Bush and gang in one place, What a Tangled Web We Weave . . . when first we practice to deceive! up to the one by Paul Wolfowitz in a Vanity Fair Interview: "For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on." Funny how after the war they're not afraid to say the truth, perhaps because they know that few people will hear it. He went on to make it clear that helping the Iraqi people overcome the Sadam regime tyrany was not reason enough for war.

there have always been three fundamental concerns.... The third one by itself, as I think I said earlier, is a reason to help the Iraqis but it's not a reason to put American kids' lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did it.

US rivals turn on each other as weapons search draws a blank

The Sunday Herald (Scotland) is now reporting that US officials now are saying they would be amazed if Iraqi WMD were found. "According to administration sources, Saddam shut down and destroyed large parts of his WMD programmes before the invasion of Iraq." US: 'Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction'

What It All Means

Now that the war to conquer Iraq is over, and the US is preparing for future wars without end, its important to seek understanding of what it all means. This section will include pieces trying to analyze the underlying motivations and trends behind the US foreign policy.

In the war's aftermath, Poll shows U.S. isolation: In war's wake, hostility and mistrust

Martin Jacques argues that the Iraq invasion is the end of the post-colonial world and the beginning of a new imperialism presaged by the decline of national sovereignty, as the US feels free to intervene anywhere and everywhere it wants: The power of one: Weak nations will succumb to American ambition unless we insist on respecting sovereignty "Perversely, while the first Gulf war was fought in defence of the principle of sovereignty - Kuwait's - the second was about precisely the opposite, the rape of Iraq's. "

A very interesting piece by Immanuel Wallerstein, noted historian of the world economic system, arguing that the Bush Administration's foreign and domestic policies are bad even for US capitalists: Empire and the Capitalists

The "Liberation" in Perspective

This section documents the early stages of the US Occupation, when there was at least a sense that the Iraqi people were liberated at last from the nightmare of Sadam, and before the nightmare of life under US colonial rule became clear. [See: Life in Occupied Iraq]

An alarming picture of the state of health care and the continuing tide of casualties under US occupation: Shia mullahs take charge of hospitals to halt chaos: A new force is emerging on the streets as doctors in Baghdad treat a tide of casualties. Ed Vulliamy reports Especially alarming: reports that the US intends to "privatize" the health system to allow US corporations to profit:

Now a privatised Americanisation of the system would punish the poor, and he [a doctor being interviewed] points out - correctly, according to international medical organisations - how US insurance companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield are waiting in the wings, alongside construction companies, to forge a new Iraq.

Iraq in danger of starvation, says UN says the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation. The US response: "America's efforts to get Iraq's Health Ministry up and running twisted into farce yesterday, when it emerged that the new Minister concerned was a Saddam crony."

National Museum

Yet more evidence that the Americans actively encouraged at least some of the looting, including at the National Museum. By Walter Sommerfeld Professor of Oriental Philology in Marburg, who has toured Iraq for the past 20 years. He was one of the first German scientists to visit Iraq after the war. Plundering of Museums in Baghdad. [ German original] "'Go in Ali Baba! It´s all yours.' - called the Americans"

The Americans are so concerned about both the Iraqi people and WMD, that they allow the former to loot the Iraqi nuclear reactor sites, taking home radioactive material, then give them incorrect information on how to protect themselves: In the wreckage of Saddam's nuclear research centre, villagers take their pick of lethal spoils. The Telegraph (UK) reports that many Iraqis are already suffering radiation sickness from these sites: Villagers suffer radiation sickness after looting nuclear power plants

"The soldiers had promised us they would secure the site but they did not and we wonder why," he said. "Perhaps it was because they always knew there were no real weapons there, despite all their claims. But, nevertheless, these materials represent a major health hazard and before long we may start to see people developing cancer and deformed babies because they did not stop the looting."

A group of correspondents for The Independent (UK) sum up the story so far: Iraq Inc: A joint venture built on broken promises Another article in the same paper lists The allies' broken promises

As many of us suspected from the begining and as the Washington Post reports, the US aims to seize control of Iraqi oil, with UN blessing, if possible: U.S. to Propose Broader Control Of Iraqi Oil, Funds

Phil Reeves in The Independent (UK) depicts a situation spiralling out of control: Liberation, one month on: Chaos on the streets, cholera in the city and killings in broad daylight

Karen Armstrong, author of Islam: A Short History here argues that there is a long tradition of Shia support for the separation of church and state. Thus, in her view, Sia is not a threat to democratic possibilities in Iraq: Faith and freedom: With a tradition of justice and secularism, there is no reason to fear Iraq's Shia resurgence

The Age (Australia) reports the extent of Iraqi disillusionment with the US, this time in Umm Qasr. Iraqi welcome for US turns to fury

Now that General Garner is being replaced by Paul Bremer as ruler of Iraq, its important to know about hime. Here's one source detailing his unsavory history: The Real Terror Network: Paul Bremer, the new ‘Gauleiter’ of Iraq Here's another account of the Iraqi Viceroy by Bill Berkowitz Bremer of Iraq.

The BBC is reporting evidence that US troops actively encouraed the post-war looting: US troops 'encouraged' Iraqi looters

'I saw with my own eyes the Americans signal the people to move in and the looters started clapping,' says Mr Khattar. 'The Americans waved bye-bye and the looters were clapping. They started looting quickly and when one man came out with an air conditioner an American said to him 'Good, very good'.

An analysis of US lies about the killing in post-war Iraq, especially the Fallujah killings and the continuing US lies about what happened, from Phil Reeves in Iraq: Iraqi rage grows after Fallujah massacre

Newsday is reporting that the Shia cleric killed by a mob in the early days of the post-Sadam period had been given $13 million by the CIA to buy Shia support for the US: Cleric's Killing Setback to U.S.: CIA lost an ally and $13M

The killing, and the lies, continued in Fallujah: Two Killed In New Iraq Demo Shooting And see: Pictures of massacre at Fallujah, Iraq

Juan Cole , professor of Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan and author of Sacred Space and Holy War: The Politics, Culture and History of Shiite Islam (I.B. Tauris, 2002), provides usefull background analysis of the Shia reolt in post-Sadam Iraq. Its the best analysis I've seen so far: Shiites in Revolt: Why Paul Wolfowitz Is in a State of Shock

Not surprisingly, the British press report the US meeting supposed to dsesign a new government for Iraq quite differently than do the US press. Here is the Guardian (UK) account Delegates agree new talks on government A few quotes to indicate the nature of the new Iraqi "democracy":

Apparently to disguise the poor attendance, officials refused to supply a list of those invited.... US and UK officials would not say how they had worked out the invitation lists. The two parties which had the largest representation in Iraq before Saddam's Ba'ath party imposed one-party rule were excluded.... There were no representatives from the powerful Shia clergy, who have called for an immediate withdrawal of US forces.

Yet again, US troops 'kill 13 Iraqi protesters' . [From The Guardian (UK)]. Later in the day, here is more information, from Phil Reeves in The Independent (UK), including a detailed analysis of the major holes in the US forces acount, suggesting that the US is, once again, lying: At least 10 dead as US soldiers fire on school protest

"The occupiers of Iraq are running into trouble. Last week, six Iraqis were shot dead in Mosul by US troops. Every such incident deepens the bedrock of Iraqi public sympathy for armed resistance against the troops....The language of the American forces is beginning to sound grimly familiar....They describe people firing at them from within crowds of civilian demonstrators. They live in dread of car bombs and suicide attackers. They say that the majority of Iraqis like them but add that there is a small element lodged in the fabric of Iraqi society that is determined to make trouble."

As reported by Human rights Watch: Northern Iraq: Civilian Deaths Higher Since War Ended

A new stage in the Anti-American struggle in Iraq, stoning the "liberators", who have no interest other than the freedom and welfare of the Iraqis: Iraqis emulate Palestinians by stoning troops And, the Iraqi administration in Kut doesn't take kindly to the "liberators": Keep Out of Town Hall, Kut Tells US Troops

The story of the Baghdad cultural looting gets weirder and weirder. The US tries to blame journalists for much of the damage! (" the US reconstruction team in Baghdad was briefing that much of the damage was caused by journalists "trampling" on objects dropped by looters.... Its publicists spent yesterday trying to convince reporters that the scale of the looting had been exaggerated") Meanwhile, the US Ambassador tries to pretend the US wasn't warned in detail of the danger: "We did not think the Iraqis would go knock down their own heritage. Maybe we should have expected it" He went on to say "Yes, we worried about oil. If we had not protected the oil, what would we use to rebuild Iraq?" Obviously no US resources would be used! They'd only be used to kill and dominate Iraqis, never to help them rebuild! And Chalabi's men claim to rescue stolen artifacts, but many people believe its a stunt to build their popularity: Chalabi's men hand 'rescued' artefacts back to museum

The Guardian (UK) is reporting that, as claimed by us cynical antiwar folks, the US is, indeed, planning to take over the Iraqi oil industry: American to oversee Iraqi oil industry Meanwhile, the US makes it clear that "democracy" doesn't mean choosing your government, but accepting the government the US chooses for you; Rumsfeld's rejection of Islamic state angers Shias

Kim Sengupta's view of the start os the anti-American war: Pilgrims threaten jihad against American forces [From Independent (UK)]

Here is the transcript of Amy Goodman's interview with Robert Fisk on Democracy Now! from Pacifica Radio: Robert Fisk: Looking Beyond War

Suzanne Goldenberg in Bghdad reports that, exactly as many of us had predicted, the US is turning to Baath party officials to restore order and counter the nascent Islamic movement. Ba'athists slip quietly back into control [From Guardian (UK)]

Another potential danger loming for the people of Iraq from depleted uranium.. Do "liberators" take a chance on poisoning those they claim to "liberate"? When the dust settles: Depleted uranium may be far more dangerous than previously thought - and we could be dealing with the fallout for many generations to come Its important to realize that there is NOT a scientific consensus on these risks. For a contrary view of these health risks the British Royal Society has published a two-part report on Depleted Uranium which concludes that the risks posed are low: Health hazards of depleted uranium munitions Yet even the Royal Society feels that the risk is not completely negligable and that it is important that the DU in Iraq be cleaned up, contrary to US claims: Scientists urge shell clear-up to protect civilians: Royal Society spells out dangers of depleted uranium "We recommend that fragments of depleted uranium penetrators should be removed, and areas of contamination should be identified and, where necessary, made safe."

They came as liberators, with no intention to stay and occupy, so they said then. Now ... Senator: New Iraq Government Could Take Five Years What will they say in five years? Meanwhile, the US motivations become clearer: Pentagon Expects Long-Term Access to Four Key Bases in Iraq (from The New York Times). Obviously they will make sure that any new government agrees to this. So much for democracy. [For the record: Rumsfeld deniea this.]

Here is a detailed account of the massive anti-American demonstrations in Baghdad, April 18th: Over 200,000 Iraqis Demonstrate in Baghdad and other cities: "Iraq for the Iraqis!"

Kim Sengupta in Baghdad reports on the Iraqi questions fueling anti-American sentiment: 'They did the destroying. So why can't they get everything working again?' "Janan Matti, the director of the plant, said: "I had asked the Americans if they could spare us some diesel, but they said they did not have any. As far as the work is concerned, we are doing it ourselves."

I am flabergasted at how rapidly the Americans have transformed the aura of "liberation" into occupation and Iraqi anti-American hatred. Robert Fisk here predicts "That America's war of "liberation" is over. Iraq's war of liberation from the Americans is about to begin. In other words, the real and frightening story starts now. " For the people on the streets, this is not liberation but a new colonial oppression

Evidence from the Miami Herald: of how Iraqis feel about their "liberators" In bombed neighborhoods, everyone 'wants to kill Americans'

Now that US troops have restored "Iraqi Freedom" they've barred the Iraqi Peace Teamfrom meeting with the international journalists in the Palestine Hotel or with the U.S. Civil Military Operations. Evidently they were upset about a a press release highlighting the failures of the U.S. military's attempts to oversee humanitarian intervention in Iraq Barred! US military bans peace team members from Palestine Hotel Isn't Freedom wonderful! Then, the reporters were denied access to anti-American demonstrators: US bans media from protests

Did US Encourage Baghdad Plundering? I have been e-mailed this article, translated from the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter and based on an interview with Khaled Bayomi, faculty member and doctoral student at the University of Lund who is currently in Baghdad. Bayomi claims that USA encouraged ransacking (English) or Swedish version. Anyone having further reliable evidence, please forward so we can find out if this account is true. Here are some key quotes:

In the afternoon it became perfectly quiet and four American tanks took places on the edge of the slum area. The soldiers shot two Sudanese guards who stood at their posts outside a local administration building on the other side of Haifa Avenue. Then they blasted apart the doors to the building and from the tanks came eager calls in Arabic encouraging people to come close to them.
The entire morning, everyone who had tried to cross the road had been shot. But in the strange silence after all the shooting, people gradually became curious. After 45 minutes, the first Baghdad citizens dared to come out. Arab interpreters in the tanks told the people to go and take what they wanted in the building.
The word spread quickly and the building was ransacked. I was standing only 300 yards from there when the guards were murdered. Afterwards the tank crushed the entrance to the Justice Department, which was in a neighboring building, and the plundering continued there".

Another must read article providing further evidence of the studied indifference, if not active encouragement, of the US troops to the destruction of Baghdad, as late as Monday, April 14, after five days of destruction and Iraqi and worl-wide outrage, by Kim Sengupta in Baghdad (from The Independent (UK)): Another chaotic day in Baghdad: Crowds besiege the job club as others go looting

"As hundreds streamed into the meeting at the al-Wiyah Club in the city centre, set up to encourage civic responsibility, others looted offices in the building. United States Marines standing guard just a few yards from the entrance refused to intervene despite repeated requests, saying it was not their responsibility." Said one Iraqi quoted there: "they have allowed criminals to loot shops and encouraged them to loot public buildings. No one believes they care for Iraq or the Iraqi people."

For further documentation, here is Peter Beaumont's account of the pillage of Baghdad from The Guardian (UK) Anger swells amid anarchy: · Barricades go up on Baghdad streets · Reports of vigilante killings · Iraqis condemn US for failure to intervene

Baghdad was bursting with anti-American feeling yesterday as r esidents saw their city being stripped by its own citizens. US forces rarely intervened and in some cases even waved treasure-laden men through checkpoints.... Looting appeared to have been encouraged by the decision of US forces to reopen two strategic bridges over the Tigris, giving gangs access to new territory in the parliamentary district which had so far survived destruction.... . 'The army of America is like Genghis Khan,' snapped Fouad Abdullah Ahmed, 49, as US tanks rumbled by without stopping. 'America is not good and Saddam is not good. My people refused Saddam, and they will refuse the Americans.' One young man went further: 'If this continues in Baghdad we'll kill any American or British soldier,' said Rahad Bahman Qasim, 30."

But the US did protect what mattered to them: Americans defend two untouchable ministries from the hordes of looters . Everyone knows that the first Ministry is that of Oil, but what is the other?

James Meek in theguardian (UK) reports from Baghdad that the US is doing little of any serious value to improve the situation in bghhdad, either in terms of getting services running, or in providing any security US neglect casts dark shadow over a city without light or much love for the invaders

There is a growing feeling that the occupiers are obsessed with protecting themselves, to the exclusion of taking risks in protecting civilians. Most troublingly, there is a sense that US efforts to restore essential services are more about self-boosting short-term fixes, and not about helping skilled Iraqis put the city back on its feet.

As we contemplate the unthinbkable destruction of 5,000 years of history in the Iraqi National Musem [see: Andrew Gumbel and David Keys US Blamed for Failure to Stop Sacking of Museum from The Independent (UK) ] ,its important to keep in mind that precisely this danger was discussed in detail with the war planners many months ago, as documented in this Washington Post piece: Pentagon Was Told Of Risk to Museums On NPR (The Connection, April 16) an American Archiologist described this as the worst catastrophe to hit a cultural institution in the history of the world. On April 20 the Washington Tines reported Troops were told to guard treasures So why didn't they?

First it was the National Museum, now it's the National Library and the library of Korans at the Ministry of Religious Endowment as Robert Fisk (as usual) reports. Os course, the US Marines did nothing as the last repository of the Iraqi national culture was incinerated. Library books, letters and priceless documents are set ablaze in final chapter of the sacking of Baghdad

ABC (Australia) published reports that US troops fired on a crowd protesting a pro-American speaker in Mosul, killing 10. US forces deny shooting at crowd. More details are provided by the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) US troops defend 'killing 10' in Mosul crowd . Al Jazeera in contrast, reports 17 were killed:

Patrick Cockburn provides important analysis of those social and ethnic factors behind the looting and the pending internal strife: Poverty and despair behind Iraq's ethnic violence: With so many Iraqis living on the edge of starvation, it is hardly surprising they took the chance to loot anything they could

For alternative perspectives on the "liberation" of Bghdad, Robert Fisk, describes a rather cynical reaction to the sudden collapse of the despotic (and despised) regime: A day that began with shellfire ended with a once-oppressed people walking like giants .

"And so last night, as the explosion of tank shells still crashed over the city, Baghdad lay at the feet of a new master. They have come and gone in the city's history, Abbasids and Ummayads and Mongols and Turks and British and now the Americans. The United States embassy reopened yesterday and soon, no doubt, when the Iraqis have learned to whom they must now be obedient friends.... But winning a war is one thing. Succeeding in the ideological and economic project that lies behind this whole war is quite another. The 'real' story for America's mastery over the Arab world starts now. "

Ropbert Fisk again, one day later: Baghdad: the day after: Arson, anarchy, fear, hatred, hysteria, looting, revenge, savagery, suspicion and a suicide bombing And on Who is to blame for the collapse in morality that followed the 'liberation'?

More Robert Fisk on the destruction of Baghdad, with an emphasis on the destruction of its archeological tradition. as the Americans watched: A civilisation torn to pieces A few quotes:

" And so the gun-fighting that broke out yesterday between property owners and looters was, in effect, a conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims. By failing to end this violence ­ by stoking ethnic hatred through their inactivity ­ the Americans are now provoking a civil war in Baghdad."
"And what were the Americans doing as the new rulers of Baghdad? Why, yesterday morning they were recruiting Saddam Hussein's hated former policemen to restore law and order on their behalf."
"You are American!" a woman shouted at me in English yesterday morning, wrongly assuming I was from the US. "Go back to your country. Get out of here. You are not wanted here. We hated Saddam and now we are hating Bush because he is destroying our city."

Beware the "liberators". US-backed militia terrorises town

Square When Sadam Staue Falls

Sadam Statue Falls! What role did the US play? MUST SEE! If the account here is true, the world has just been treated to an enormous made for tv lie! The pictures shown "round the world" of the Sadam statue being pulled down appear to have been a put up job by the Pentagon and the Iraqi National Congress with at most 200 Iraqis involved. By showing only close-ups, the size of the crowd was hidden. also hidden was the role of the Iraqi National Congress, with its convicted felon Ahmed Chalabi as leader. See: The photographs tell the story... Also interesting is this Boston Globe analysis of the pictures and their creation Snap judgments: Did iconic images from Baghdad reveal more about the media than Iraq? Further, this comment from The Guardian (UK) also discusses the US role in this incident and waht it signifies for the future: Symbolic in more ways than one: The toppling of a giant Baghdad statue of Saddam Hussein, and the part the US played in it, provided plenty to think about, says Brian Whitaker

Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies has published these TALKING POINTS -- The Day After the Statues Fall

This is a nice background piece by Rupert Cornwell on Ahmed Chalabi , the convicted felon whom the Pentagon apparently wants to put in control of newly-conquered (or "liberated") Iraq: Profile: Ahmed Chalabi - the saviour of Iraq, or a c hancer whose time has come?

Those who believe the myth that Colin Powell is really different than the rest of this administration will be interested in his latest statements. He describes the war as an investment of politcal capital Of course, investments aren't made without hope of returns: Military to Tap Interim Rulers

"We believe that the coalition, having invested this political capital and life and treasure into this enterprise, we are going to have a leading role for some time as we shape this process." He went on to clearly explain the role of the UN in this investment startegy: "We believe the U.N. has a 'vital' role to play and that was a very carefully chosen word. It means the U.N. is very important to the process. We need an endorsement of the authority and an endorsement of what we're doing in order to begin selling oil in due course, and in order to make sure that humanitarian supplies continue to flow in for the Oil for Food program."

The Next War

I will admit to being surprised by the speed with which the US is putting Syria in its sites. Perhaps a confirmation that power, and bullying, is contagious. Of course, we don't know if this talk is all bluster. But given the recent history of this administration, we had better assume the worst. Hence this section will track the war cries aimed at Syria (or Iran, or North Korea, or...) We'd better get the antiwar movement going now!

As attention returns to the Israel-Palestine conflict, here is a leaked document prepared for pro-Israel activists by the public relations firm The Luntz Research Companies and The Israel Project. The document spells out the tactics that Israel and its US advocates should use to maintain support for Israel and its hardline policies. Story: Leaked document exposes pro-Israel lobby's manipulation of US public Here is the actual document.

Meanwhile, the US plans attacks on its new enemy: Senior Bush aides meet to weigh sidelining France for Iraq war stance

Stephen Zunes, author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism, has written for Foreign Policy In Focus a downloadable sheet of Talking Points on Recent Concerns Raised by Bush Administration Officials Regarding Syria [There is ]

Ex-CIA middle east analyst Martha Kessler makes the case against a US attack on Syria: Avoid the Road to Damascus

To begin the section, the musings of Robert Fisk: Would President Assad invite a cruise missile to his palace?

Iraq War News in Perspective

Here are some alternative perspectives on war news published during the war. I will also document the post-war news "revising' the official propaganda promulgated during the war.

Reporter Peter Beaumont of the Guardian tells of his encounter with US troops during the war, the same troops who later admitted to killing many civilians: Dangerous liasons

The gunner apologised and told us that he had been about to kill us. He said he had his finger on the trigger. A second later, it would have been too late.
The world's biggest and most formidible army - the most technologically advanced - lacks discipline regarding its own rules of engagement and an ability - the critical ability - to properly identify targets before engagement.

Civilian Casualties: Latest Estimates: The Guardian (UK), supports the Iraq Body Count figures: War may have killed 10,000 civilians, researchers say
Even the mainstream press admits that there were significant civilian casualties in the war. AP, in first nationwide tally of civilian deaths in Iraq war, counts 3,240, but toll is certainly higher. How long will we wait till they tally the deaths from disease, starvation, unexploded ordinance, and depleted uranium after the war was "won"?
The Christian Science Monitor is reporting that between 5,000 and 10,000 Iraqi civilians died in the war, making "he Iraq war the deadliest campaign for noncombatants that US forces have fought since Vietnam." Surveys pointing to high civilian death toll in Iraq

US General Tommy Franks has been charged in a Belgium court with Crimes Against Humanity for attacks on civilians and the civilian infrastructure during the brilliant war. Here is a summary, through photos and video, of the evidence. It presents a grizzly account of this new kind of war: U.S. Charged With War Crimes: The Evidence File. Court case against General Franks in Brussels

The Los Angeles Times has conducted a careful survey of hospitals and morgues in Baghdad and reports "that at least 1,700 civilians were killed and more than 8,000 hurt in the battle for the Iraqi capital." Baghdad's Death Toll Assessed

Even the story of Private Lynch's rescue seems to be a made for TV fantasy: So who really did save Private Jessica?

Robert Fisk is one of the few jounalists willing to call a spade a spade: Did the U.S. murder these journalists?

The US continues lying and deception regarding the extent of civilian suffereing caused by its war, including its use of cluster bombs in civilian areas, as reported by Human rights Watch: U.S. Misleading on Cluster Munitions

In the wake of the surprising collapse of the baathist regime in Iraq, there are many conspiracy theories floating around about a deal between key elements of the regime and the Americans. Pepe Escobar in the Asian Times publishes an account that contains many of the elements of these theories, and claims to be based on solid reporting. For most of us, only long from now will we know how much truth there is in this account. It does tie together a number of otherwise confusing elements of what happened. for example, why the US allowed much of the city to be looted and destroyed: The Baghdad deal

US tried to discredit our work, says Blix

In regard to the great hunt for WMD: "Some of my colleagues are virtually certain that there will be some weapons of mass destruction found, even though they might have to be planted. I'm just as sure that some few will be found, but not in an amount that by any stretch would justify the charge of a threat against the US or anyone else" said retired CIA intelligence analyst Ray McGovern: US should be "embarrassed" over failure to find WMDs: ex-spies

Here is further details on the extent to which the US will go to create "justification" for its wars. Evidently,as reported by ABC News the Joint Chiefs of staff developed a plan, code named Operation Northwoods, to whip up support for an invasion of Cuba: Operation Northwoods: acts of terrorism that never happened. Here is the actual plan (pdf file): Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Justification for US Military Intervention in Cuba , March 13, 1962, TOP SECRET, 15 pp.

Now that the war is over, more details are coming out about how it was fought: Embedded Photographer: "I Saw Marines Kill Civilians" . Originally published in Le Monde

And about it long-term dangers fgor civilians: Kari Huus MSNBC Cluster bombs likely to leave deadly legacy: Old-fashioned munitions undermine efforts to avoid civilian casualties

From Pravda comes this article analyzing the war on Iraq as free advertising for the Russian arms industry: Russian Weapons Make All Countries Feel Safe: This year might be a year of record sales for the Russian defense industry

Now that the war's over, more evidence about Anglo-American lies is coming out. The Washington Post reports that Basra rsidence give little credence to either reports of an uprising or to accounts of large numbers of residents being forced to take up arms. What the residents do report is many wounded by "coalition" bombs, despite the nonsense about "pinpoint accuracy". Basra contests official view of siege: Life was mostly normal after U.K. troops arrived, residents say

People expressed more dismay at the looting and general lawlessness that followed the British entry into the city on April 6 than at the behavior of the Iraqi militiamen.... However, many residents inside the city disputed whether the coalition strikes had any effect in loosening the government’s control. Instead, they described a city that functioned relatively normally until the British entered and many said the main fear was of artillery and airstrikes.

Robert Fisk a witness to the killing of two of the three jornalists killed by the US on Tuesday, April 8, raises the question Were these deaths mishap, or murder? Are they a deliberate attempt to kill the independent press, or simply an indication of how freely the troops fire at anything whatsoever?

Further discussion of the US's deliberate killing of independent journalists in Iraq. Freedom of speech obvioiusly dosn't apply to anyone not "embedded" and controlled by the "coalition". Is Killing Part of Pentagon Press Policy?

And Peter Arnett in The Mirror reports that the so-called attempt on Sadam destroyed a restauraunt popular with foreigners: Bombs Blast Homes Instead Of Saddam .

Meanwhile, in Asia, China steps up preparation for U.S. conflict: America's war in Iraq seen as precursor to Asia conquest "Of more concern, as People's Daily commentator Huang Peizhao pointed out, is the view that U.S. moves in the Middle East 'have served the goal of seeking worldwide domination.' Chinese strategists think if the U.S. can score a relatively quick victory over Baghdad, it will soon turn to Asia." PUBLISHED and POSTED: )

Jay Garner, the retited General who has been apointed to oversee humanitarian relief and reconstruction in postwar Iraq is President of an arms company ,SY Coleman, involved in aspects of the Patriot missile, The Guardian of London reports: US arms trader to run Iraq . More details on Garner and his right-wing connections is available in: Man who would be 'king' of Iraq . Among other things, Garner was evidently part of the cover-up of the failure Patriot misiles to work during Gulf War I. He has also demonstrated his impartiality by signing the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) Flag and General Officers Statement on Palestinian Violence in Octoer 2000 stating that "Israel had exercised remarkable restraint in the face of lethal violence orchestrated by the leadership of a Palestinian Authority." The best guess I can come up with as to why such a person would be chosen to run Iraq, a largely-Arab country, is that the US wants to make it clear to the Arab world that they defeated Iraq and can do anything they want, Arab opinion be damned. Call Bin Laden and give him the good news!

The lies of the US and UK continue, as revealed in this pair of articles from the British paper The Independent. Robert Fisk has seen evidence that the bomb that killed 50+ at a Baghdad market friday was indeed American, despite the Pentagon attempts to claim that it was Iraqi: In Baghdad, blood and bandages for the innocent (March 30, 2003). And a Leading Article in the same paper, describes the continuous stream of lies arising from UK and US leaders: They do not know what they are doing or why they are doing it. If only some US papers were as forthright as the British press in revealing our leaders' deception.

Al Naser Market After Bombing Al Naser Market Blood

The British paper The Independent reports definitive evidence that the deaths in the Shu'ale district of Baghdad Friday (March 28) was indeed caused by a US missile, despite increasinly strident denials by US and UK officials. Following up on Robert Fisk's finding of the serial numbers (see above article), they have traced the actual missile, as reported in this story by Cahal Milmo: The proof: marketplace deaths were caused by a US missile (April, 2, 2003). Of course, the main lesson, taught over and over again, is that the more insistent "coalition" officials are, the more we should doubt them. Unfortunately as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, reports, no major US news source has reported the Independent's and Robert Fisk's evidence: Media Should Follow Up On Civilian Deaths: Journalist's evidence that U.S. bombed market ignored by U.S. press (April 4, 2003). In war time, what the rest of the world knows isn't News Fit to Print

Several sources have raised concerns that the US may fabricate evidence regarding weapons of mass destruction, as they did during the lead-up to the war. Among these are former California State Assembyman Tom Hayden and a Russian official. Do not trust any claims until independently verified! (Note: Raising the possibility of fabricated evidence is to say that no government can be trusted to tell the truth when at war or when its vital interests are at stake, not that the Iraqi regime is incapable of having or using WMD.)

The US/UK use of depleted uranium is described as a "war crime" by ex-director of the Pentagon's depleted uranium project Professor Doug Rokke, former professor of environmental science at Jacksonville University and onetime US army colonel, according to this article in the The Sunday Herald from Scotland: US Forces' Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons is 'Illegal' . Professor Rokke went on to say: "There is a moral point to be made here. This war was about Iraq possessing illegal weapons of mass destruction -- yet we are using weapons of mass destruction ourselves." He added: "Such double-standards are repellent."

This laudatory piece by Judy Keen in USA Today gives a rather frightening picture of President Bush: Strain of Iraq war showing on Bush, those who know him say Some quotes: "Bush believes he was called by God to lead the nation at this time, says Commerce Secretary Don Evan". Evans went on to say "He understands that he is the one person in the country, in this case really the one person in the world, who has a responsibility to protect and defend freedom." and "On March 17, before he delivered a 48-hour ultimatum to Saddam, Bush summoned congressional leaders to the White House. They expected a detailed briefing, but the president told them he was notifying them only because he was legally required to do so and then left the room. They were taken aback, and some were annoyed. They were just as surprised by his buoyant mood two days later at another White House meeting."

In addition to a President acting a little odd, other senior war planners are also. Seymour Hersch reports in the New Yorker on the ways in which Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld insisted the war planners go along with his fantasies as to how the war would go: Offense and Defense. We psychoanalysts are familiar with naricissism like this. We also know how dangerous it can be.

In case you still had any illusions that the war in Iraq was intended to "liberate" the Iraqis, and not to put the US in control of their country, here's a piece on a CIA threat to bomb Iraqi opposition forces stupid enough to think the US would let them act to liberate themselves: CIA Pushed Iraqi Opposition Out of Southern Town.

As in so many areas, the US refuses to play by the rules it demands for others. George Monbiot reports in the Guardian/UK that the US has authorized US troops to use chemical weapons banned by international treatry: Chemical Hypocrites: As It Struggles to Justify Its Invasion, The US is Getting Ready to Use Banned Weapons in Iraq by .

The story of one brave women, Angelica Amaya who's conscience told her to protest the war at a pro-war Rally for America in West Virginia. From the Globe & Mail/Canada (April 7, 2003) One Woman Enrages War Rally with Her Heartfelt Message: 'I Love My Country But...'. And, another brave woman, Alice Copeland -- the mother of a soldier from a proud military family, and a former Raytheon computer programmer -- who just can't sit by while her country rains death and destruction across the world: After Protest Arrest, Soldier's Mom says, 'I'm Doing What David is Doing. I'm Fighting a War' Associated Press, (April 7, 2003).

Many of us never thought that this war had anything to do with Iraq's supposed "Weapons of Mass Destruction", but that WMD was allways an excuse to justify war for other reasons. Now Time magazine publishes the acounts of three US Senators that President Bush told them in March 2002 "F--- Saddam. We’re taking him out." Meanwhile Hans Blix recently told a Spanish newspaper El Pais that Iraq war planned long in advance; banned arms not the priority "I think the Americans started the war thinking there were some. I think they now believe less in that possibility. But I don't know -- you ask yourself a lot of questions when you see the things they did to try and demonstrate that the Iraqis had nuclear weapons, like the fake contract with Niger," he explained.

Iraq War Quiz

Stephen R. Shalom has prepared an Iraq War Quiz. Scores on this quiz should help readers to determine how desperately they need to study the materials on this site.

Given the tremendous response to his first Iraq Quiz, Stephen R. Shalom has created a second Post-War Iraq Quiz. Test your knowledge, and enjoy!

Seymour Melman provides details on the costs to our lives of the toys needed to fight their wars: Looting Our Lives

And here is a dialog in which a Warmonger attempts to explain to a Peacenik: Why We Invade Iraq?

Here is another quiz. The Shape of World War IV, By Number from the Toronto Star (April 5, 2003), a set of sobering numbers illuminating the present conflict: Iraq War Index.

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