The US's occupation of Iraq will see to it that the Lion of Babylon rises again ..
سنـُبعـَث ُ من جَديد ، وإلى ضَـيـرِِهِـم
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Iraqi squatters in Baghdad get thrown off public property. U.S. squatters in Baghdad live in palaces.
…. The Iraqi kids are members of families whose homes were pulverized by the U.S. invasion and whose still-homeless clans were squatting in government buildings in Baghdad's Green Zone. Now, those families have been kicked out of the humorously named "Freedom Complex" buildings.
.... Meanwhile, U.S. soldiers and officials are still living in the Iraqi people's government buildings, including Saddam Hussein's former palaces, where Americans dine under chandeliers and splash around in the ex-dictator's swimming pools
.The Courage of Their Evictions
Almost twice as many Iraqi children are suffering from malnutrition since the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein, a U.N. monitor said Monday.
Four percent of Iraqis under age 5 went hungry in the months after Saddam's ouster in April 2003, and the rate nearly doubled to 7.7 percent last year, said Jean Ziegler, the U.N. Human Rights Commission's special expert on the right to food.
The situation is "a result of the war led by coalition forces," he said.
Overall, more than a quarter of Iraqi children don't get enough to eat, Ziegler told the 53-nation commission, the top U.N. human rights watchdog.
The U.S. delegation did not respond to the report, and diplomats at the U.S. mission to the United Nations' European headquarters in Geneva also said they would not comment.Nearly twice as many Iraqi children going hungry since Saddam's ouster, U.N. expert says March 30, 2005
By many accounts, Custer Battles was a nightmare contractor in Iraq. The company's two principals, Mike Battles and Scott Custer, overcharged occupation authorities by millions of dollars, according to a complaint from two former employees.
... Yet when the two whistle-blowers sued Custer Battles on behalf of the U.S. government—under a U.S. law intended to punish war profiteering and fraud—the Bush administration declined to take part.
Why hasn't the administration joined the [fraud] case? It has argued privately that the occupation government, known as the Coalition Provisional Authority, was a multinational institution, not an arm of the U.S. government. So the U.S. government was not technically defrauded.
… The administration's reluctance to prosecute has turned the Iraq occupation into a "free-fraud zone," says former CPA senior adviser Franklin Willis. After the fall of Baghdad, there was no Iraqi law because Saddam Hussein's regime was dead. But if no U.S. law applied either, then everything was permissible, says Willis. The former CPA official compares Iraq to the "Wild West," saying he delivered one $2 million payment to Custer Battles in bricks of cash. ("We called Mike Battles in and said, 'Bring a bag'," Willis told Congress in February.)
Willis and other critics worry that with just $4.1 billion of the $18.7 billion spent so far, the U.S. legal stance will open the door to much more fraud in the future. "If urgent steps are not taken, Iraq ... will become the biggest corruption scandal in history," warned the anti-corruption group Transparency International in a recent report. Grassley adds that if the government decides the False Claims Act doesn't apply to Iraq, "any recovery for fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars ... would be prohibited."Follow the Money
Newsweek, April 4, 2005As for Oil, well, that is another story.'Fraud- free zone' .................. and Palace Mess Halls
.. and Looting/Liberating 'Help yourself' - A young Iraqi protests, with a sign, her homeless family's eviction and
...A woman protester in front of Green Zone during a protest march against plans to evict 350 squatting families from a former Interior Ministry complex, dubbed by the Liberators as 'Freedom Complex'
Monday, March 28, 2005
...إن أحدث أخبار الـسي آي أي لا تفتأ ترينا ضعف عقلنا، وتزيدنا علماً بجهلنا
حالنا مع وكالة المخابرات المركزية الأمريكية شبيهة بحال الإمام الشافعي مع الدهر
كلّما أدّبني الدهر أراني ضعف عقلي
وإذا ما ازددت علماً زادني علماً بجهلي
ففي كلّ يوم نكتشف، وتكتشف الإنسانية بأسرها، طبيعة الجرائم التي ارتكبتها هذه الوكالة في حقّنا، أفراداً وجماعات، وأنظمة وثقافات. وإذ نعيش اليوم حقبة مدهشة من اهتداء البشرية إلي الليبرالية الأمريكية، طواعية أو بالإكراه، فإنّ أحدث أخبار السي آي أي لا تفتأ ترينا ضعف عقلنا، وتزيدنا علماً بجهلنا
وبالأمس كشفت صحيفة لوس أنجليس تايمز النقاب عن نجاح الوكالة في اختراق الأجهزة الإستخباراتية الإيرانية، ليس من البوّابة المحلية أو الشرق ـ أوسطية أو الإقليمية كما للمرء أن يتخيّل، بل من جهة قصيّة بعيدة غير منتظرة هي... أمريكا الجنوبية! اشتغلت الوكالة علي مبدأ داوِها بالتي كانت هي الداء ، حين تنبّهت إلي ازدياد أنشطة الإستخبارات الإيرانية في بعض بلدان أمريكا اللاتينية، فاخترقتها. وتمّ ذلك عن طريق عملاء زعموا الإهتداء إلي الإسلام، بل وأفلحوا في الوصول إلي طهران عن طريق بعثات خاصة نظمتها الحكومة الإيرانية ذاتها لتلقين المهتدين تعاليم الدين في العلن، وتدريبهم علي الأعمال الإستخباراتية في السرّ، حسب الرواية الأمريكية بالطبع. المثير أنّ الوكالة، التي تكشّف تقصيرها الفاضح في هزّة 11/9، أغلقت المحطة الإيرانية بعد انهيار البرجين... للتفرّغ لساحات أخري أشدّ إلحاحاً
وفي ملفّ أشغال الوكالة في إيران، كانت صحيفة نيويورك تايمز قد أماطت اللثام عن واحدة من وثائق السي آي أي السرّية، تعود إلي العام 1954 وتحكي تفاصيل الإنقلاب العسكري الذي خطّطت له الوكالة ــ ونفّذته عملياً ــ ضدّ رئيس وزراء إيران الدكتور محمد مصدّق (1880 ـ 1967). والوثيقة دراسة مفصّلة تقع في 200 صفحة، كتبها الدكتور دونالد ن. ولبر، الذي كان رئيس هيئة التخطيط للعملية (مهنته الرسمية المعلنة كانت تدريس علوم العمارة الفارسية في الجامعات الأمريكية!). ومع ذلك فقد احتفظت الوكالة بالحقّ في حجب أكثر من ألف صفحة أخري تتعلّق بالإنقلاب ذاته، لأنها تحتوي علي معلومات ما تزال حساسة ... حتي بعد انقضاء نصف قرن!تفاصيل الحبكة كما تعرضها وثيقة دونالد ولبر هي التالية، باختصار شديد:ـ
ـ في عام 1951 صوّت البرلمان الإيراني علي تأميم صناعة النفط في البلاد، وانتُخب بطل حملة التأميم هذه ــ الدكتور محمد مصدّق ــ رئيساً للوزراء
ـ في أواخر العام 1952 تشاور ممثّلو المخابرات البريطانية مع زملائهم في الوكالة الأمريكية حول خطّة للإطاحة بمصدّق عن طريق إنقلاب عسكري، بعد أن كان الأمريكيون قد عثروا علي قائد الإنقلاب والبطل المضادّ: الجنرال فضل الله زاهدي
ـ كانت الخطة تقوم علي إثارة الشغب والفوضي في البلاد، علي نحو يمهّد لتدخّل الجيش بحجة فرض النظام. وبين الطرائق التي اعتمدتها الوكالة في هذا الصدد أنّ عملاءها انتحلوا هويّة مسؤولين في الحزب الشيوعي الإيراني (توده)، وهدّدوا رجال الدين المسلمين بالتصفية الجسدية إذا امتنعوا عن تأييد مصدّق، كما قاموا بنسف بيوت عدد من كبار الأئمة والعلماء ونسبوا الأمر إلي الشيوعيين
ـ دور الشاه رضا بهلوي في العمليـة كان يقتصر علي إصدار أمر ملكي يقضي بعزل مصدّق وتعيين الجنرال زاهدي بدلاً عنه. لكنّ الشاه، الذي لم يكن يثق بالبريطانييـــن، تردّد في إصدار الأمـــر حتي بعد سماع كلمة ســرّ تطمينيـة عبر القسم الفارسي في البي بي سي (لاحظوا هذا الدور الفريد للإذاعة العريقة!). كان الشاه يخشي تأييد الجيش للدكتور مصدّق، فاضطرّت الوكالة إلي استدعاء شخصيتين تكفلتا بإقناعه: شقيقته التوأم الأميرة أشرف (وكانت تقيم علي شواطيء الريفييرا الفرنسية)، وضابط أمريكي كبير كان يحظي بثقة الشاه التامة، هو الجنرال نورمان شوارزكوف... والد الجنرال نورمان شوارزكوف قائد عاصفة الصحراء ... دون سواه!
ـ وبالفعل، وقّع الشاه الأمر الملكي، ولكنه مع ذلك ظلّ خائفاً، وفرّ إلي بغداد ثمّ إلي روما في اليوم التالي. وكاد الإنقلاب أن يفشل تماماً حين اكتشف مصدّق الخطّة، وأخذت إذاعة طهران تتحدّث عن إحباط محاولة إنقلابية تستهدف الحكومة الشرعية. لكنّ محطة الـسي آي أي في طهران سارعت إلي إعلان أمر إعفاء مصدّق عن طريق تمرير الخبر إلي الـ أسوشيتد برس وبعض الصحف الإيرانية، ممّا أسبغ علي الإنقلاب شرعية مطلقة في نظر أنصار الشاه من عسكريين ومدنيين. وفي مديح ذلك اليوم، 19 آب (أغسطس) 1953،
يختم الدكتور ولبر وثيقته: كان ينبغي لذلك اليوم ألا ينتهي، لأنه انطوى علي الكثير من معاني الإثارة والإرضاء والإحتفاء
كيف لا تسكننا حال الإمام الشافعي مع الدهر، ونحن نستعيد تلك الأشغال في إيران البارحة، وفي أفغانستان والعراق اليوم، وفي لبنان وسورية غداً... وما أدنى غداً لو يعلمون
The insidious CIA
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Extending Good Friday to smother Easter Sunday
"The unit's chaplain, Capt. Ed Willis, says there's no reason to feel guilty: "If you kill someone on the battlefield, whether it's another soldier or collateral damage, that doesn't fit under 'Thou shalt not kill'."Orphans of Tall Afar
Newsweek, March 28, 2005 issueAs for the blessings of Justice upon all:
"A U.S. Army lieutenant was sentenced on Tuesday to 45 days in jail and loss of $12,000 in pay for his part in assaults on Iraqi detainees that may have caused one to drown in the Tigris River. Army 1st Lt. Jack Saville pleaded guilty to assault for having two Iraqis thrown at gunpoint into the Tigris in Samarra, Iraq in January 2004 and was convicted of lesser assault in a separate incident at Balad, Iraq, in December 2003.
Based on a plea agreement with prosecutors, he could have faced nearly two years in prison, but Col. Theodore Dixon gave him just 45 days and ordered his pay cut by $2,000 a month for six months.
Saville's lawyer, Frank Spinner, told reporters afterward he would have preferred "non-judicial" punishment, but admitted, "I can't really complain about the sentence."
In a prepared statement Saville, a West Point graduate, apologized to the Iraqi victims and said he had learned to be a better person. "U.S. Soldier Gets 45 Days for Iraqi Assaults March 15, 2005It took two Iraqi lives to better him? I really doubt whether Jesus had this in mind.An Update:
A U.S. army tank company commander convicted of shooting dead a wounded Iraqi walked free from court on Friday, although he was dismissed from the army for what he called a "mercy killing."
Army Captain Rogelio Maynulet had faced up to 10 years in jail after a court martial at a U.S. army base in Wiesbaden, Germany, found him guilty of assault with intent to commit voluntary manslaughter.
"He was sentenced with dismissal from the United States Army ... there will be no confinement time," a military spokesman said.
Prosecutors had pressed for conviction on a more serious charge of assault with intent to commit murder, which carries a maximum 20-year jail sentence. The jury was shown footage of the shooting filmed by a U.S. surveillance drone.U.S. Soldier Convicted of Killing Iraqi Walks Free
April 1, 2005
"Despite recommendations by Army investigators, commanders have decided not to prosecute 17 American soldiers implicated in the deaths of three prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, according to a new accounting released Friday by the Army.
A spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Command, Chris Grey, said in a statement: "We take each and every death very seriously and are committed and sworn to investigating each case with the utmost professionalism and thoroughness. We are equally determined to get to the truth wherever the evidence may lead us and regardless of how long it takes."Pentagon Will Not Try 17 GI's Implicated in Prisoners' Deaths March 26, 2005Honest to God, that is the best we did! .... Uh, how we doing Our Father, who art in the White House, hallowed be thy name, .... ? Jilan, far left with her siblings, wants to 'kill the Americans'
Saturday, March 26, 2005
News from Iraq - not heard of in the Corporate media
With all due respect for the daily and relevant update on news from Iraq, in English, by one of the most persistent and reliable source that I know of, namely Today in Iraq
, and also the wider general coverage by Uruknet.info,
yet the following news are still not heard of in the West, aside from Jihad Unspun:
"US occupation forces distributed leaflets in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, on Thursday calling on the local population to help in finding an American soldier captured by the Mujahideen .
The leaflets, one of which was obtained by the correspondent of Mafkarat al-Islam said that the soldier, “Steve,” a US Marine, was taken prisoner in fighting a week ago in eastern Ramadi.
The US military offered a reward of US$500,000 for anyone providing information that helps to find “Steve.”
The American leaflet addressed the people of Ramadi saying, “Steve loves you and peace, help set him free” (sic)
(my italics) .
In the same leaflet were threats to search homes and shops and to close streets if the American prisoner is not handed over or if no one comes forward to help with his hand over."US Offers Reward Of Half A Million Dollars For Captured American Soldier In Ramadi
March 25, 2005
"US occupation forces on Thursday morning discovered the remains of 15 US troop killed during the Battle of al-Fallujah late in 2004.
The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported that a member of the so-called Iraqi police said that the Americans had found the bodies in the stone quarry (al-Maqali‘) area at the end of the ash-Shuhada’ neighborhood on the south side of the city. This is the area where the municipality dumps and buries city garbage.
The source said that the bodies had rotted completely apart and some of them had been partly eaten by wild dogs that inhabit the southern outskirts of Fallujah. The source said he observed that all the bodies were headless, indicating that they had been executed, a confirmation of the fact that they were taken prisoner during the siege of the city and not killed in battle.
The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam observed the Americans clearing the area of the bodies amidst extremely tight security so that the story of the find not leak out.
The order from the Americans not to disclose the story came in very late to the local police, and therefore the correspondent was able to get information about the discovery from a source in the police before he learned that the Americans had ordered that he not under any circumstances disclose the news. "Fifteen Beheaded Bodies Of US Troops Captured During Offensive On Al-Fallujah Found In Local Land Fill
March 25, 2005There was an earlier news sequel to this event four months ago, disregarded as usual by the Corporate media:
"Earlier the Army of Muhammad issued statements quoted by satellite TV networks, saying that it had captured a number of US prisoners. Mafkarat al-Islam has also reported that the Mujahideen in Fallujah is holding a number of US and British prisoners.A film of 36 American prisoners was turned over to al-Jazeera and al-‘Arabiyah satellite TV companies, who refused to broadcast it
The US has so far refused to acknowledge that the Mujahideen in Fallujah holds American prisoners.
According to a report issued by the Advisory Council of Fallujah Mujahideen, there are currently 136 Americans, 15 Brits and 123 Allawi Army prisoners of war."American POW’s To Be Executed
November 18, 2004Where will they be finding the others?Leaving Iraq for good
Friday, March 25, 2005
The Iraqi Constitution .. & .. "it is not so much that the people of the Middle East are incapable of democracy, but rather ..."
This article is so worthy, that it is reproduced in full:
"The official results of the Jan. 30, 2005 elections are in. The Shi'a emerged as the big winners, grabbing 48 percent of the vote, followed by the Kurds who garnered 26 percent, and Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's coalition party netting a paltry 13 percent. Behind the scenes political infighting rages as the victorious political parties vie to get their candidates positioned in the new government.
On the surface, this looks like the sometimes messy aftermath of democracy; squabbling, rhetoric, and posturing. The Iraqi elections have been embraced almost universally as a great victory for the forces of democracy, not only in Iraq, but throughout the entire Middle East. The fact, however, is that the Iraqi elections weren't about the free election of a government reflecting the will of the Iraqi people, but the carefully engineered selection of a government that would behave in a manner dictated by the United States. In Iraq, democracy was hijacked by the Americans.
Elections have been used in the past to cover up inherently non-democratic processes. Stalin had elections, as did Hitler. So did Saddam Hussein. The Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Ba'athist Iraq were not burgeoning democracies, but totalitarian dictatorships. The point here is that elections don't bring democracy. The roots of any democracy lie in a people united in their desire to govern in accordance with a rule of law that guarantees the rights of all. Such people then create conditions in which elections can certify their desire by selecting those who will govern. This produces democracy. What occurred in Iraq on Jan. 30, 2005 was anything but such an expression of Iraqi national unity.
The Iraqi election was an American-brokered event: the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority set the terms of the election, and its date (not sooner than Dec. 31, 2004, but no later than Jan. 30, 2005) in its 'Law number 92,' signed into effect by former CPA chief Paul Bremer on May 31, 2004. The U.S. then had this act certified a week later by the Security Council of the United Nations, which passed resolution 1546, a Chapter VII resolution which carries the weight of international law and which endorsed the U.S.-dictated timetable for elections.
'Law number 92' is part of a larger body of Iraqi law, known as the 'Transitional Administrative Law', or TAL. The TAL was approved by the Interim Iraqi Governing Council on March 1, 2004; on June 1, the IIGC voted on an Annex to the TAL which certified as law all of the CPA's laws, regulations, orders and directives, regardless of the TAL. Iraq today is still governed under these conditions, which provide the U.S. occupiers in Iraq de facto control over what happens behind the scenes in the Iraqi Government. Iraq's 'democratic' elections were held under these conditions.
The main objective of the Iraqi election was to elect a national assembly which would then draft a new constitution by August 2005. This new constitution will be brought up to the national assembly for vote on Oct. 15, 2005. If the constitution is adopted, the new parliamentary elections would be held in December 2005 based on this constitution. If the constitution is rejected, then there will be a new national assembly election (a repeat performance of the Jan. 30 vote), and Iraqis will have another year to sort out their constitutional crisis.
Iraq's future rests on this issue of a new constitution. And herein lies the rub. It is the fervent wish of the Bush administration, and its ally, interim Prime Minister Alawi, that the new National Assembly rubber stamp the interim constitution that is already in place. This constitution contains language which precludes Iraq from becoming an Islamic Republic like Iran, where religious law (i.e., the Shar'ia), versus secular law, reigns supreme. Iraq's Shi'a majority have rejected this notion, and as such will not support the constitution as it currently exists.
The interim Iraqi constitution was dead on arrival. The Bush administration just hasn't accepted this fact. It had no chance of survival had the Shi'a won an outright majority of the vote in the Iraqi election. 'If it [i.e., the percentage of Shi'a votes] had been higher, the [Shi'a] slate would be seen with a lot more trepidation,' a senior U.S. State Department official said, once the official Iraqi election results were announced on Feb. 14. The problem is, there is good reason to believe that the percentage of votes for the Shi'a was higher – much higher. Well-placed sources in Iraq who were in a position to know have told me that the actual Shi'a vote was 56 percent. American intervention, in the form of a 'secret vote count' conducted behind closed doors and away from public scrutiny, produced the Feb. 14 result.
The lowering of the Shi'a vote re-engineered the post-election political landscape in Iraq dramatically. The goal of the U.S., in doing this, is either to guarantee the adoption of the U.S.-drafted interim constitution, or make sure that there are not enough votes to adopt any Shi'a re-write. If the U.S.-drafted Iraqi constitution prevails, the Bush administration would be comfortable with the secular nature of any Iraqi government it produces. If it fails, then the Bush administration would much rather continue to occupy Iraq under the current U.S.-written laws, than allow for the creation of a pro-Iranian theocracy. In any event, the Shi'a stand to lose.
Whether this re-engineering will succeed in the long run has yet to be seen. What is clear, however, is that many senior Shi'a know the real results that occurred on Jan. 30, and will not walk away from what they believe is their rightful destiny when it comes to governing of Iraq: a Shi'a controlled state, operating in accordance with Shar'ia law.
The post-election 'cooking' of the results in Iraq all but guarantees that the Shi'a of Iraq will rally together to secure that which they believe is rightfully theirs. This journey of 'historical self-realization' may very well ignite the kind of violent backlash among the Shi'a majority in Iraq that the U.S. has avoided to date. It could also complicate whatever strategies the Bush administration may be trying to implement regarding Iraq's neighbor to the east, Iran. But in any case, the American 'cooking' of the Iraqi election is, in the end, a defeat for democracy and the potential of democracy to effect real and meaningful change in the Middle East. The sad fact is that it is not so much that the people of the Middle East are incapable of democracy, but rather the United States is incapable of allowing genuine democracy to exist in the Middle East.
(my italics)Hijacking Democracy in Iraq
by Scott Ritter, March 23, 2005Scott Ritter was U.N. chief weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-1998 and is author of Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of America's Intelligence Conspiracy, to be published by I.B. Tauris (London) in the summer of 2005.Using the unfortunate syllabus of the US occupation’s policy in Iraq, the house of legal cards of the Christian neoconservative Bremer, the 30-odd years Jewish professor Noah Feldman and their multi-stringed Iraqi puppets is built on sand.
The occupation itself is illegal and criminal in international law. The US and the UK have also flaunted many provisions of the Geneva Conventions in Iraq regarding the conduct of an occupier.
Their ‘legal’ deck of cards will be blown away by the patriots of the Iraqi people who can and should rely on their own secular constitutional heritage to mold their future constitution.
A good source to rely upon is a noteworthy book in Arabic “The Constitutional Codes in Iraq”, published in 1998 by Dr. Raad al-Jidda, on the evolution of the Iraqi Constitution since its inception during the last half of the nineteenth century, its initial inauguration in the newly formed state of Iraq in 1925 and through its various revisions, the last of which was in 1990.
The occupiers did not land in an arid land.
This is the Book’s cover and the Introduction.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Who is this site for?
I have received several poignant emails in response to yesterday’s (March 21, 2005) posting "Obliterated Fallujah"
Here is one exchange:
Subject: Re: Obliterated Fallujah
Well done, even though your response wasn't harsh enough.
You should tell such people off using the same language they use.
We know you are right and eventually the Americans will know that they were wrong, albeit, when the damage has already been done.
The problem with the average American is that he is an idiot but does not know it.
Thank you, U___, for the response.
I have, I believe, mellowed a bit and prefer not to lower my style to that of their 'low level' language, but rather make my point so abundantly clear that it shines: for those able to see, or are looking for a light, or have blinked from the blinding spotlight of the Corporate media’s misinformation.
Blind people are not a concern of mine, for the time being, for I do agree that they are idiots and I would rather not waste my time on them; but a wave does crest and then crashes down.
We have not seen the top of the wave yet.
All the best
Very well put.
But I hope the bloody wave crashes in our lifetime.
Best regards to all the family members
U____And further to the “Obliterated Fallujah” posting:
"Two years after the US-led war on Iraq, urban life in Iraq's insurgency-ridden Sunni Triangle has been paralyzed due to the hard-core military operations.
Only a small number of some 200,000 citizens that fled Fallujah ahead of a US massive assault have returned to the war-battered city, residing in partially opened neighborhoods and leaving other parts occupied by the American troops.
In thousands of refugee camps outside the town, people are still living off aids and make-shift tents have become children's classrooms.
"Writers depict the hardships of Fallujans and reporters cover our misfortunes, but nobody can feel the pain the kids are suffering except themselves," lamented Suad Mohamed Mustafa, headmistress of the Wathba high school for girls.
"Students are not supposed to miss their lessons despite the tragic events. Thus, we rented tents for them," Mustafa told Xinhuain a shabby tent used as her dean office.
But the children's schooling are accompanied with coldness, darkness and even diseases.
"When it rains, the tents could turn into a mess and diseases spread quickly," said Mustafa, "but no teacher gives a damn despite the hardship."
"I have difficulties in taking lessons with more than 25 students inside a tent originally designed for 10," said 12-year-old Azhar Khalil.
"It's like hell, but what you going to do? To idle away a whole year is no option," said the child.
"I have asthma and the tent would not protect us from cold. I suffocate continuously due to the bad ventilation," complained Nuha Mahmood, who is 14.
She recalled that her classmate Mays Hassan was sitting near the blackboard in the front row one day when a storm came and the falling board hit right on her head. She was transferred to hospital unconscious. .....Iraq's Fallujah, Samarra in deep waters two years after war
March 21, 2005This site is dedicated to these children studying in Obliterated Fallujah
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Obliterated Fallujah & "The 'horrid case' against my country is that the people either support mass murder or really don’t care enough to change it"
From an exchange between two Blog sites, Fountainhead and Another Day in the Empire:
"An email received yesterday:You expect to sell your art work to Americans while you publish the most incredible lies. I just bet you are an American too. Re: your article about Fallujah published in Anwaar Hussain’s hate blog.How do you know that the photos by Dhar (sic) Jamail weren’t taken in the aftermath of the war? Where did you get them? Where exactly did Dhar Jamail get them? Unless you can answer these questions, don’t state your horrid case about your own country as if it were fact.
I asked Mr. Jamail where he got them. His answer? “If you don’t believe me, read the European press.” Now that’s really an intelligent answer, don’t you agree? Europe hates the US. They will have little good to say about us. Why didn’t he just answer my question about those photographs? I wonder…
Could these photographs have possibly come from Al Jazeera?
In fact, this “article” was a blog entry
posted here on March 18 and reposted on March 19 on Anwaar Hussain’s blog, Fountainhead
. I was unfamiliar with Mr. Hussain’s blog until this email arrived. “Anwaar Hussain is not afraid to speak out on issues facing the muslim world at large. He is an ex-F-16 fighter pilot from Pakistan Air Force. A Masters in Defense and Strategic Studies from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad, he now resides in United Arab Emirates,” notes a short bio
. I presume Hussain is a Muslim and since he lives in the Middle East he has more right to write about Iraq than either the woman who sent the above email or I. But then according to this ill-informed (and brainwashed) American, Hussain is running a “hate blog” and I post lies.
As for the images posted on Dahr Jamail’s blog, here is an explanation. It took about thirty seconds to track down the following with a Google search:
“Two weeks ago [late November, 2004] someone was allowed into Fallujah by the military to help bury bodies. They were allowed to take photographs of 75 bodies, in order to show pictures to relatives so that they might be identified before they were buried,” writes Jamail on his blog
.These pictures are from a book of photos. They are being circulated publicly around small villages near Fallujah where many refugees are staying.
The man who took them was only allowed to take photos and bury bodies in one small area of Fallujah. He was not allowed to visit anywhere else. Keep in mind there are at least 1,925 other bodies that were not allowed to be seen.
Information with some of the photos is from those identified by family members already.
One of the family members who was looking for dead relatives, shared these photos which were taken from that book.
Al Jazeera had nothing to do with the images.
Unfortunately, millions of Americans are unable to accept the fact their government is engaged in massive war crimes in Iraq. It does not matter what evidence is presented—they continue to believe what the Bush Ministry of Lies and Propaganda tells them. If not for brave souls such as Jamail, I would not be able to “state [my] horrid case about [my] own country as if it were fact.” Fox News sure the hell does not report the truth about what is really happening “on the ground” in Iraq.
“Weary of the overall failure of the US media to accurately report on the realities of the war in Iraq for the Iraqi people and US soldiers, Dahr Jamail went to Iraq to report on the war himself,” writes Dahr Jamail’s Iraq Dispatches
His dispatches were quickly recognized as an important media resource and he is now writing for the Inter Press Service, The NewStandard and many other outlets. His reports have also been published with The Nation, The Sunday Herald and Islam Online, to name just a few. Dahr’s dispatches and hard news stories have been translated into Polish, German, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Indonesian, French, Chinese and Arabic. On the radio, Dahr is a special correspondent for Flashpoints and reports for the BBC, Democracy Now!, and numerous other stations around the globe.
Dahr has spent a total of 8 months in occupied Iraq as one of only a few independent US journalists in the country. Dahr uses the DahrJamailIraq.com website and his popular mailing list to disseminate his dispatches.
In fact, the stupidity of the woman quoted in the email above verges on criminal.
“The evil of the Nazi ideology did not come out of nowhere. The brutalization of thought and the lack of moral inhibitions had a history,” said German chancellor Gerard Schroder
recently. “One thing is clear: The Nazi ideology was willed by people and carried out by people.”
Bush was “re-elected” and what is going on in Iraq—from the murder of more than 100,000 people to the rape and torture gulag—is a fact “willed by people and carried out by people” through their so-called representatives.
Indeed, as this blog has argued for years now, the “horrid case” against my country is that the people either support mass murder or really don’t care enough to change it. No more evidence than the election last November is required. "Fallujah: A “Horrid” Case of a Crime Against Humanity
March 21, 2005Dr. Hafidh al-Dulaimi, the head of “the Commission for the Compensation of Fallujah citizens” has reported the following destruction that has been inflicted on Fallujah as a result of the American attack on it:
- 7000 totally destroyed, or nearly totally destroyed, homes in all districts of Fallujah.
- 8400 stores, workshops, clinics, warehouses, etc.. destroyed.
- 65 mosques and religious sanctuaries have been either totally demolished and leveled with the ground or whose minarets and inner halls have been demolished.
- 59 kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools and technical colleges have been destroyed.
- 13 government buildings have been leveled.
- Destruction of the two electricity substations, the three water purification plants, the two railroad stations and heavy damages to the sewage and rain drainage subsystems throughout the city.
- The total destruction of a bridge to the West of the city.
- The death of 100,000 domestic and wild animals due to chemical and/or gaseous munitions.
- The burning and destruction of four libraries that housed hundreds perhaps thousands of ancient Islamic manuscripts and books.
- The targeted destruction (which appears to be intentional) of the historical nearby site at Saqlawia and the castle of Abu al-Abbas al-Safah.
Dr. al-Dulaimi has asked all relevant international organization to visit and document the destruction to Fallujah.........The Head of the Compensation Committee reveals in numbers the Fallujah Tragedy
March 21, 2005 (Islam Memo news item in Arbic - my translation)PS: This news item is now traslated on Jihad Unspun:Fallujah Damage From US Offensive Reported As Promise To “Rebuild” Discounted
March 22, 2005UN: Fallujah cost nears $500 million
March 14, 2005
"Many media outlets self-censored their reporting on the Iraq invasion because of concerns about public reaction to graphic images and content, according to a survey of more than 200 journalists by American University's School of Communications.
... One of the most significant findings was "the amount of editing that went into content after it was gathered but before it was published," the study stated. Of those who reported from Iraq, 15% said that on one or more occasions their organizations edited material for publication and they did not believe the final version accurately represented the story
(my italics). Of those involved in war coverage who were in newsrooms and not in Iraq, 20% said material was edited for reasons other than basic style and length.Media Self-Censored Some Iraq Coverage
March 18, 2005Dead children in 'Liberated' Fallujah ............................... Dead daughter
Sunday, March 20, 2005
`If they destroy the foundations of law, they won't succeed in building a democratic region'
"Bush and (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair don't have much sense of history, and they believe the thump of a big boot will start a ripple of democracy," Sands said in an interview in Toronto last week. "But even if that were true, international law is the glue that holds everything together. If they destroy the foundations of law, they won't succeed in building a democratic region."
Sands, a British lawyer and author, is on a one-man mission to return the United States to the fold of international law, while making sure the world doesn't forget what can happen when it strays: a war in Iraq carried out in defiance of the law and against the wishes of most of America's traditional allies.
He is unmoved by recent news polls that show that a majority of Americans believe Iraqis are better off without Saddam Hussein and that the chance for democracy in that beleaguered country has increased since the invasion.
Above all, he remains convinced that the war in Iraq was illegal and cannot be justified even on humanitarian grounds, regardless of any eventual happy outcome.
In Sands' view, the U.S. and Britain are creating a more dangerous world by undercutting the framework of international laws they helped to put in place half a century ago.
"Iraq was one of the worst examples of ignoring international law," he says.
…. The idea that countries can make their own rules "threatens dire consequences for the protection of human rights around the world," he says.
… But his message — "a plea," as he calls it — for Washington to return to its post-World War II roots has fallen on deaf ears. Bush, he believes, signalled his intention to continue obeying laws selectively when he recently named John Bolton the new U.S. ambassador to the UN. "This is a man who can say with a straight face, `Treaties aren't binding,'" says Sands.
… Just last week, Bush followed up the Bolton appointment with the nomination of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz — one of the architects of the Iraq war and a man with no experience in economics — to head the World Bank, a major international institution.
Nevertheless, says Sands, "I have to be optimistic that the U.S. will recognize that it needs rules. The Bush administration came into office determined to remake the global order, but I think they now see that they have had to pay a very high price.
"Building a few shopping malls in Baghdad isn't building democracy. We have to be in for the long haul, and that means strengthening, not weakening the laws. The issues of the Middle East are sorted out through treaties and agreements. At the end of the day, those are the instruments you need."Wrong
March 20, 2005
"A new "National Defense Strategy" for the first time makes the kind of preemptive strike used in Iraq part of the nation's military policy in dealing with rogue nations, Pentagon officials said today.
The plan that specifies the Bush administration's goals in protecting the nation describes a muscular policy of "active deterrence."
Under it, the United States will seek to expand its relationships with allies and "act with others when we can" to prevent growing regional problems from erupting into wars, according to an unclassified version of the document outlined at the Pentagon by Douglas Feith, the Defense Department's undersecretary for policy. The policy also reserves the right for the United States to act on its own when necessary.
"The president has the obligation to protect the country," Feith said. "And I don't think that there's anything in our Constitution that says that the president should not protect the country unless he gets some non-Americans' participation or approval of that."
… "NATO is kind of missing in action now in their strategy," said Loren Thompson, a military analyst with the Lexington Institute, an Arlington, Va., public policy group. "During the Clinton years, coalition warfare with the other members of NATO was a centerpiece to our strategy, and now the administration is expecting almost nothing from the Europeans. When it talks about partnering with other countries, it usually means Pakistan or Korea or countries outside of the western alliance."
In some cases, respected global organizations seem to be viewed with suspicion. In describing the vulnerabilities of the United States, the document uses strong language to list international forums - such as the International Court of Justice in the Hague, created under a treaty the United States has declined to sign - alongside terrorists. "'Preemptive Strikes' Become Policy
March 18, 2005
AlsoAmerica's Agenda for Global Military Domination
March 17, 2005Is it Liberty, Freedom and Democracy? An Arabic proverb states: "A word of truth meant to be delusory""كلمة حق يُراد بها باطل"Neo-Cowboy Doctrine ...................... Bloody Liberty
Friday, March 18, 2005
Oil ? …. What oil ? … It is all about Freedom and Democracy and WMD (no, drop that last one)
"The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq's oil before the 9/11 attacks sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC's Newsnight has revealed.
Two years ago today - when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad - protestors claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq's oil once Saddam had been conquered.In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of "Big Oil" executives and US State Department "pragmatists."
.... The industry-favored plan was pushed aside by yet another secret plan, drafted just before the invasion in 2003, which called for the sell-off of all of Iraq's oil fields. The new plan, crafted by neo-conservatives intent on using Iraq's oil to destroy the Opec cartel through massive increases in production above Opec quotas. The sell-off was given the green light in a secret meeting in London headed by Ahmed Chalabi
(my italics) shortly after the US entered Baghdad...
… Ari Cohen, of the neo-conservative Heritage Foundation, told Newsnight that an opportunity had been missed to privatize Iraq's oil fields. He advocated the plan as a means to help the US defeat Opec, and said America should have gone ahead with what he called a "no-brainer" decision.
… "Many neo-conservatives are people who have certain ideological beliefs about markets, about democracy, about this that and the other. International oil companies without exception are very pragmatic commercial organizations. They don't have a theology."SECRET U.S. PLANS FOR IRAQI OIL
March,17, 2005The BBC video
This year, as happened last year, almost none of Kirkuk's oil will reach the international market.
Incessant sabotage of the northern oil pipeline by insurgents has all but sealed it off from its export terminal in Turkey. Before the U.S.-led invasion, the line handled around 750,000 barrels a day.
Across Iraq, insurgents have battered oil installations with an average of two dozen blasts a day.
(my italics, and below comment)Iraq's oil sector still limping two years after war
March 16, 2005There have been 216 reported attacks (till now) on Iraqi pipelines, oil installations, and oil personnel. As with other Resistance news, many similar attacks are probably not reported in corporate news media.See also my previous post on:Iraqi oil (sp)oil .... and it may well get spoiled
February 15, 2005"Now that we missed privatizing the Iraqi oil ...
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
"This is like fantasy land. This is as fictive as the weapons of mass destruction," ... Amen
"A US government watchdog agency says Pentagon data on Iraqi security forces was "unreliable" and also showed there was an escalating insurgency.
... The Pentagon had told Congress on Monday that there are 142,472 trained and equipped Iraqi security forces.
"Data on the status of Iraqi security forces is unreliable and provides limited information on their capabilities," Joseph Christoff, of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), told a House of Representatives Government Reform sub-committee.
Mr Christoff also said Pentagon intelligence data showed an escalating insurgency, as "each monthly peak in the number of violent incidents is followed by a higher average number of attacks in subsequent months".
Rear Admiral William Sullivan, who provided the Pentagon figures to the committee, acknowledged they included some Iraqi police who may have left their post or were absent without leave.
... "This is like fantasy land. This is as fictive as the weapons of mass destruction," Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat Congressman, told Rear Admiral Sullivan of the Pentagon's figures.
"I'm embarrassed for you that you would come to a congressional committee with this kind of a phony report."Pentagon data on Iraq forces 'unreliable'
March 15, 2005
"The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported Wednesday that a spokesman for the US occupation forces in Saddam International Airport announced that, to boost the sagging morale of the American occupation troops, hundreds of Christian clergymen and Jewish rabbis have been flown into Iraq to hold services with the troops.
An officer at the airport, who declined to reveal his name, told Mafkarat al-Islam that in February and now in March there has been a flood of more than 400 Christian clergymen and Jewish rabbis brought into Iraq via Saddam International Airport, where the US operated one of its main bases in the country. The clergymen are to give sermons and hold religious services for the US troops occupying the country.
The source said that all the clergymen have been brought in on US planes under heavy American protection. Approximately 150 of the clergymen went straight to al-Anbar Province and then to Mosul, Ba‘qubah, and Samarra’. Another group of them remained in Baghdad for 10 days where they held services for 330 American mercenaries who had been buried in Iraq or thrown into the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
(my italics)Hundreds Of Clergymen Summoned For Poor Troop Morale
March 10, 2005I have commented earlier on the so called 'Iraqi' security forces:الحرس الوطني العراقي- الامريكي
....... (in Arabic)and Hoping and Hopping
February 13, 2005I have also previosuly (
on January 8, 2005) mentioned the news on dead 'American soldiers' (Green Card holders, not yet American) who have been dumped unceremoniuosly in the Euphrates or buried, along with other mercenaries, in mass graves:On fish, dogs, C-130 and donkeysDitto (
on January 11, 2005) relating to the above grotesquely 'diplomatic' concern of 'the Vatican' for American dead while failing to protect the Iraqi Christians by exposing and condemning the 'American Missionaries'.I do not see a Holy See
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Who is behind Jihad Unspun?
You may have seen this web site:http://www.jihadunspun.com
Lest I seem to be over zealous in pointing the below items, I humbly ask indulgence from those who already know this information.
A posting that I just noticed under 'Features' near the bottom of the Home Page (though it was written on September 11, 2003 and maybe I have missed it myself all this time) on who is behind this site is very interesting:http://www.jihadunspun.com/articles/20030911-ashes.to.light/
When the site first came up, more than two years ago, I was immediately skeptical of its 'originators' as it was truly a highly sophisticated and well designed web site worthy of an "Intelligence Agency's" effort (as I did inform my friends at the time after verifying for myself that it is hosted in Vancouver, Canada), and that it is not the kind of work of 'free-lance' Jihadists.
It now seems (maybe very belatedly) that my first impression was mistaken.
Furthermore, what made me look again carefully at Jihad Unspun was the following:
Jihad Unspun usually translates (after a day or two) most of Islam Memo http://www.islammemo.cc/
news items that are in Arabic.
Islam Memo apparently had (and still does have) young reporters Everywhere in Iraq who have been reporting on Iraqi Resistance events practically within hours after their occurrence, with details on the destroyed, killed and injured and witnesses accounts.
Needless to mention, their daily news announcements differ very much (some claim very exaggerated) from what little of the actual Iraqi Resistance activities is actually allowed to filter through and is carried by the main stream media (be it the unabashed Western or the now emasculated Arabic media).
This is a sample of a recent news item from Islam Memo (or Mufakirat al-Islam) as translated by Jihad Unspun and not reported at all in the main stream media:Iraq’s Al-Anbar Province Heats Up; Chinook Down With High Casualties Reported
March 11, 2005
What piqued my interest to revisit Jihad Unspun in detail was their challenge to Islam Memo as to the reliability of their news items as per the following exchange between the two:A Reply To Those Who Question Our Reports From Mafkarat al-Islam
December 13, 2004
The debate between them, I believe, is still ongoing. If anybody is following it, I would appreciate a Comment."What can I, one woman enjoying semi-retirement on the beautiful banks of the Pacific Ocean in the remote mountain village of Lions Bay really do about it? Why should I even care?"
Bev Glesbrecht - - - - Khadija Abdul QahaarPS: As Jihad Unspun is a feature-laden site with several interesting sections, many friends have asked me where on it would they find the translated Islam Memo (Mafkarat al-Islam) news announcements.
On top left column is the Mainstream News. That should be obvious (for all its worth).
On top right column is Uncensored News. That is where most of the translated Islam Memo articles are.
As for other interesting sections, take a look at Multimedia Room, for example, near the middle of left column, and their selection of video tapes.
Friday, March 11, 2005
"Don't you think that the Iraqi people can rebuild their own country?" ... Who will clean the Depleted Uranium?
My son was KIA (killed in action) in Iraq on 04/04/04. I think you have already made up your mind that our troops need to remain in Iraq...which is very sad. This is in response to your blog question yesterday
and your reply to anti-war.com
I admire your tireless efforts to get the truth out...but I seriously have to disagree with you. I think that our presence in that country is fueling the insurgency
(my italics) that killed my son; which has also killed many more of America's sons and daughters (many more than the official count); has maimed almost 30,000 of our kids; and has killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and demolished their country.
Don't you think that the Iraqi people can rebuild their own country? Before the US invasion in March of 2003, they had a very capable work force filled with construction workers, contractors, engineers, etc. I think the 81 billion dollar appropriation's bill that this president wants Congress to pass would better be a reparation's bill.
Also, I know you know the despicable condition that the VA system and military hospital system are in right now. Are you suggesting that we create thousands of more mentally and physically wounded of our children who will be dependent on a system that is so flawed? Not to mention the even more serious implications of depleted uranium syndrome which will probably never be recognized by our government
(my italics). I know some soldiers who have returned who are suffering terribly from PTSD and they have been waiting for over a year for VA approval to get treated. PTSD is rarely diagnosed, so they don't receive the help they need.
And, most importantly and devastatingly, this war is based on lies and betrayals. Not one American soldier, nor one Iraqi should have been killed. Common sense would dictate that not one more person should be killed for lies. One of the people, my son, was more than enough for me and my family. I will live in unbearable pain until I die. First of all, because my first born was killed violently, and second of all, because he was killed for a neo-con agenda that only benefits a very chosen few in this world. This agenda and their war machine will chew up and spit out as many of our children as they can unless we stop them now.
Also, your views have the effect of invalidating what I, my organization, Gold Star Families for Peace
, and other peace groups are doing to bring our troops home immediately, if not sooner.
In 1967 it was recognized by our government officials that Viet Nam was unwinnable...I don't even know how many more of our troops and innocent Vietnamese were killed before we finally pulled out in 1975. Please use your forum to expose the lies and the devastation this invasion/occupation is causing. We should not stay. We should not let Israel/USA invade Syria or Iran. The consequences of this would be too shocking to even contemplate.
In addition, my family and my group are offended by hearing this administration say that our troops have to remain in Iraq and complete "the mission" to honor our loved one's sacrifices. First of all, no one can explain the mission to us and we don't want any more innocent blood spilled just because it is too late for our soldiers and our families.
Thank you for your time and your courage in speaking the truth.
Love and Peace!!!
Cindy Sheehan, Co-Founder of Gold Star Families For Peace, Mother of Hero: Spc Casey Austin Sheehan KIA 04/04/04 "Mother of Fallen Soldier Responds to Iraq Withdrawal Debate
March 11, 2005
"The U.S. military lost its dominance in Iraq shortly after its invasion in 2003, a study concluded.
A report by the U.S. Army official historian said the military was hampered by the failure to occupy and stabilize Iraq in 2003. As a result, the military lost its dominance by July 2003 and has yet to regain that position.
... The report disclosed the lack of planning by the U.S. military for the occupation of Iraq. Over the last year, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his aides have been blamed for lack of post-war planning based on their assessment that the military campaign in Iraq would be brief and quickly lead to a democratic and stable post-Saddam Hussein government.
In contrast, Wilson (Maj. Isaiah Wilson, the official historian of the U.S. Army ) said army planners failed to understand or accept the prospect that Iraqis would resist the U.S. forces after the fall of the Saddam regime
He deemed the military performance in Iraq mediocre and said the army could lose the war."Army report: U.S. lost control in Iraq three months after invasion
March 7, 2005
Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter charged Monday that the reason Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi stepped down earlier this month was the growing scandal surrounding the use of uranium munitions in the Iraq War.
Writing in Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter No. 169, Arthur N. Bernklau, executive director of Veterans for Constitutional Law in New York, stated, “The real reason for Mr. Principi’s departure was really never given, however a special report published by eminent scientist Leuren Moret naming depleted uranium as the definitive cause of the ‘Gulf War Syndrome’ has fed a growing scandal about the continued use of uranium munitions by the US Military.”
Bernklau continued, “This malady (from uranium munitions), that thousands of our military have suffered and died from, has finally been identified as the cause of this sickness, eliminating the guessing. The terrible truth is now being revealed.”
He added, “Out of the 580,400 soldiers who served in GW1 (the first Gulf War), of them, 11,000 are now dead! By the year 2000, there were 325,000 on Permanent Medical Disability. This astounding number of ‘Disabled Vets’ means that a decade later, 56% of those soldiers who served have some form of permanent medical problems!”Mushrooming depleted uranium (DU) scandal blamed
March 9, 2005These American soldiers have left/will be leaving Iraq.What about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians who are/will remain in Iraq, for the next many centuries?
"There are weapons of mass destruction all over Iraq and they were used this year. Iraqi children continue to find them every day.
They have ruined the lives of just under 300,000 people during the last decade - and numbers will increase.
The reason is simple. Two hundred tonnes of radioactive material were fired by invading US forces into buildings, homes, streets and gardens all over Baghdad.
The material in question is depleted uranium (DU). Left over after natural uranium has been enriched, DU is 1.7 times denser than lead - effective in penetrating armoured objects such as tanks.
After a DU-coated shell strikes, it goes straight through before exploding into a burning vapour which turns to dust.
"Depleted uranium has a half life of 4.7 billion years â€“ that means thousands upon thousands of Iraqi children will suffer for tens of thousands of years to come. This is what I call terrorism," says Dr Ahmad Hardan.
As a special scientific advisor to the World Health Organisation, the United Nations and the Iraqi Ministry of Health, Dr Hardan is the man who documented the effects of depleted uranium in Iraq between 1991 and 2002.
But this year's invasion and occupation has doubled his workload.
Terrible history repeated"American forces admit to using over 300 tonnes of depleted uranium weapons in 1991. The actual figure is closer to 800.
"This has caused a health crisis that has affected almost a third of a million people. As if that was not enough, America went on and used 200 tonnes more in Baghdad alone this April. I don't know about other parts of Iraq, it will take me years to document that."
Hardan is particularly angry because he says there is no need for this type of weapon "US conventional weapons are quite capable of destroying tanks and buildings".
"In Basra, it took us two years to obtain conclusive proof of what DU does, but we now know what to look for and the results are terrifying."Iraq's real WMD crime
October 30, 2003
"Has U.S. use of depleted-uranium weapons turned Iraq into a radioactive danger area for both Iraqis and occupation troops? This question has already had serious consequences. In hot spots in downtown Baghdad, reporters have measured radiation levels that are 1,000 to 1,900 times higher than normal background radiation levels. "Another U.S. war crime? Iraqi cities 'hot' with depleted uranium
August 20, 2003If words do not convince, perhaps this might:http://www.ericblumrich.com/pl_lo.htmlAn Arab proverb :"If you do not feel shame, then you commit what you like".PS: I am reminded of the following incident that is mentioned in my book 'Iraq's Nuclear Mirage' page 35:"As the crescendo against the (Vietnam) war gathered momentum, Dow Chemical Company saw it fit to give a presentation to the University of Michigan students to defend their production of napalm that was being used extensively in Vietnam. It occurred after the Detroit summer riots of 1967 when tanks were used in the streets of Detroit to quell the disturbances. The Dow Chemical representative gave a polished defense of his company to the hundreds of assembled students. I asked two related questions. "Does Dow support the use of napalm by the American forces against civilians in Vietnam?" A militaristic justification was presented by Dow’s spokesman. I then asked the rhetorical question. "Suppose that matters did get out of hand in Detroit, and that tanks were not enough to control the rioting, burning and looting; and the army had decided to use napalm to control the situation. Would Dow sanction the use of napalm against the black people in Detroit?". "No", was the response, after a moment’s reflection. "Then how does Dow justify the use of this horrific indiscriminate weapon against civilians in Vietnam and not in the US? Is there not a double standard as to the worth of human beings postulated here?" .There was no answer from the Dow representative, but some applause from the audience."This query, with regard to Depleted Uranium, may be posed again.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
"Many of those tens of thousands were Hizbollah families who had fought the Israelis during their occupation of southern Lebanon, been arrested by the Israelis, imprisoned by the Israelis and feared that American support for Lebanon meant not "democracy" but an imposed Israeli-Lebanese peace treaty....
..."The fleets came in the past and were defeated; and they will be defeated again," Hizbollah's leader, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, said in reference to the Americans. Ironically, President Bush was to refer within hours to the killing of 241 US Marines in Beirut in October 1982, as if their deaths were the responsibility of al-Qa'ida. To the Israelis, Nasrallah said: "Let go of your dreams for Lebanon. To the enemy entrenched on our border, occupying our country and imprisoning our people, 'There is no place for you here and there is no life for you among us: Death to Israel'....
...Lebanon can no longer be taken for granted. The "cedar" revolution now has a larger dimension, one that does not necessarily favour America's plans. If the Shia of Iraq can be painted as defenders of democracy, the Shias of Lebanon cannot be portrayed as the defenders of "terrorism". So what does Washington make of yesterday's extraordinary events in Beirut?"Half a Million Gather for Pro-Syrian Rally to Defy Vision of U.S. - by Robert Fisk
March 9, 2005With all the news coverage on the above Lebanese demonstartion called for by Hizbollah, I could not find a mention of a significant pointer.Robert Fisk estimated the size of the demonstration at about 500,000 while others put it as high as 1,000,000. Assuming the number is somewhere in between, Lebanon's population is about 3.5 million people. That means about 20% of the Lebanese participated in that demonstration. Comparatively, that would be similar to about 50 million Americans demonstrating.
Is that loud enough for Bush to hear? I doubt it.Wha?? I can't hear you
... ...... (psst.. Blair is on your left, not to your right)
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Rivberbend on Sgrena and Rabbits
"... I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what the Pentagon will say short of an admission that it was either on purpose or that the soldiers who fired at the car were drunk or high on something…
I have a feeling it will be the usual excuse, “The soldiers who almost killed the journalist were really, really frightened. They’ve been under lots of pressure.” But see, Iraqis are frightened and under pressure too - we don’t go around accidentally killing people. We’re expected to be very level-headed and sane in the face of chaos.
I wager that this little incident will be shoved aside with one of those silly Pentagon apologies that don’t really sound like apologies, you know: “It was an unfortunate incident, but Sgrena shouldn’t have been in Iraq in the first place. Journalists should stay safely in their own countries and listen for our daily military statements telling them democracy is flourishing and Iraqis are happy.”
I don’t understand why Americans are so shocked with this incident. Where is the shock? That Sgrena’s car was under fire? That Americans killed an Italian security agent? After everything that occurred in Iraq - Abu Ghraib, beatings, torture, people detained for months and months, the stealing, the rape… is this latest so very shocking? Or is it shocking because the victims weren’t Iraqi?
.... What it seems policy makers in America don’t get, and what I suspect many Americans themselves *do* get, is that millions of Iraqis feel completely detached from the current people in power. If you don’t have an alliance with one of the political parties (ie under their protection or on their payroll) then it’s difficult to feel any affinity with people like Jaffari, Allawi, Talbani, etc.
We watch them on television, tight-lipped and shifty-eyed after a meeting where they quarreled about Kirkuk or Sharia in the constitution and it feels like what I imagine an out-of-body experience should feel like. In spite of elections, they still feel like puppets.
But now, they are high-tech puppets. They were upgraded from your ordinary string puppets to those life-like, battery-powered, talking puppets. It’s almost like we’re doing that whole rotating president thing Bremer did in 2003 all over again. The same faces are getting tedious.
The old Iraqi saying sums it up nicely, “Tireed erneb - ukhuth erneb. Tireed ghazal - ukhuth erneb.” The translation for this is, “You want a rabbit? Take a rabbit. You want a deer? Take a rabbit.”
Except we didn’t get any rabbits - we just got an assortment of snakes, weasels and hyenas."Riverbend
Tuesday, March 08, 2005To Riverbend, Haifa Zangana and all Iraqi patriotic women, on women's day
"Facing these daily atrocities, what do we expect an oppressed Iraqi to do?"
"Behind the facade of post-election political process, despite Tony Blair's desire to move on and George Bush's attempt to mend fences with Europe, in Iraq the atrocities continue to mount. Some, like the Hilla attack, are Zarqawi-style, with hundreds dead and wounded. Others are more mundane and sustained, like US warplanes bombing suspect houses in Ramadi, Hit, or Mosul, roadblock killings in Najaff, or post-curfew hunting by snipers in Sammara.
Despite all the rhetoric about "building a new democracy", daily life for most Iraqis is still a struggle for survival, with human rights abuses engulfing them. A typical Iraqi day begins with the struggle to get the basics: petrol, a cylinder of gas, fresh water, food and medication. It ends with a sigh of relief: Alhamdu ilah (thanks, God), for surviving death threats, violent attacks, kidnappings and killings.For ordinary Iraqis, simply venturing into the streets brings the possibility of attack. Most killings go unreported. With no names, no faces, no identities, they cease to be human beings. They are "the enemy", "collateral damage" or, at best, statistics to argue about.
In March 1989, Iraqi and Arab writers contributed to a book called Halabja, to condemn Saddam Hussein's regime for using chemical weapons against civilians in the city. At the time of the attack, Saddam was still the darling of the west.
In my introduction to the book, I wrote: "They say 5,000 people died. Others say 10,000 died. We say: in Halabja, within minutes, Rasul, Piroz, Ahmed, Khadija, Sardar, Amina _ have been killed. In Halabja, eyes no longer shine."
Now, we continue to watch life draining out of our country. Almost two years on from the beginning of the occupation, eyes no longer shine in many Iraqi cities. Thousands of civilians have been killed. One of them was Hazim Ahmed al-Obaidi. On January 16, Hazim, 57, left his house to go to work. He had a cash-and-carry shop, for fruit, vegetables and dates, in Mosul.
Before leaving, his wife reminded him to get some paraffin, if possible. He laughed loudly, hugging his four-year-old daughter, Manar, who wanted to go with him. He waved goodbye to his mother and his children: Dalal, 17, Shahad, 12, Maha, 9, and Zayed, 11.
Hazim never came back. He was shot, according to eyewitnesses, by a US patrol. His car was burned and, because of the curfew, his family had to wait until the next morning to start looking for him. Two days later, his charred and barely recognisable body was found. To the bewilderment of his family, US troops stopped them after they had collected the body, uncovered it and took photos.
Hazim was not a "terrorist"or a "Saddamist". He was a cheerful family man who was wounded in the Iran-Iraq war, and survived the harshness of the sanctions years by selling fruit and vegetables. Who is going to investigate his killing, compensate his family, and help his children to make sense of their tragedy? Will it be the Iraqi interim government, or the US-led occupation? Judging by the human rights records of both, the answer is that neither of them will investigate Hazim's killing, or any other. Human rights under occupation have proved to be a mirage similar to WMD.
In his message broadcast to Iraqis last April, Tony Blair said: "Our aim is to help alleviate immediate humanitarian suffering, and to move as soon as possible to an interim authority run by Iraqis ... which represents human rights and the rule of law and spends Iraq's wealth not on palaces and WMD, but on you and the services you need." So much for illusions.
Charred bodies, the massacre of children in a wedding party, the killing of detainees, shootings at demonstrations, kidnappings of civilians - these are the features of that "better future".
Occupation troops are responsible for an increasing list of abuses, including the torture and killing of Iraqi prisoners. Seeing a corpse photographed with grinning US soldiers at Abu Ghraib shocked the moral sensibility of people around the world. Taking snaps of Hazim's charred body has shaken his family's belief in the humanity of the Americans, as well as the British and the Iraqis working with them.
Following the US and British governments' line on human rights, members of the interim Iraqi government have sought to play down the violations committed by occupation troops - either by recalling that similar abuses were committed under Saddam's regime or by labelling the victims as terrorists.
Under Iyad Allawi's regime, the newly trained Iraqi police are torturing detainees. Last week, leaders of the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq accused the police of torturing and killing three of their members because of their political and religious affiliations, and demanded an immediate investigation.
Facing these daily atrocities, what do we expect an oppressed Iraqi to do?So much for illusions by Haifa Zangana
, March 7, 2005 ( Haifa Zangana is an Iraqi-born novelist and former prisoner of the Saddam regime)
"I now live with no more certainties. I find myself deeply weak. I failed in my belief. I had always claimed there was need to go tell about that dirty war. And I had to decide whether to stay in the hotel or going out and chance being abducted because of my work. "We don't want anyone any more," the abductors told me. But I wanted to tell about the bloodbath in Falluja through the refugees' tales. And that morning the refugees and some of their "leaders" didn't listen to me. I had in front of me the evidence of what the Iraqi society has become with the war and they threw their truth in my face: "We don't want anyone. Why don't you stay home? What such interview can be useful for?". The worst collateral damage, the war killing communication, was falling on me. On me, who had risked it all, challenging the Italian government that didn't want reporters gong to Iraq, and the Americans who don't want our work that gives witness to what that country has really turned into with the war, despite what they call elections.Now I wonder. Is their refusal a failure?"My truth (La mia verità), by Giuliana Sgrena
March 6, 2005
"When an Italian journalist was driven up Baghdad's airport road toward an American military checkpoint on Friday night, she was driving into a situation fraught with hazards thousands of Iraqis face every day.
The journalist, Giuliana Sgrena, 56, ran into fierce American gunfire that left her with a shrapnel wound to her shoulder and killed the Italian intelligence agent sitting beside her in the rear seat. She had been released only 35 minutes earlier by Iraqi kidnappers who had held her hostage for a month, and the car carrying them to the airport was driving in pitch dark.
But the conditions for the journey, up a road that is considered the most dangerous in Iraq, were broadly the same as those facing all civilian drivers approaching American checkpoints or convoys. American soldiers operate under rules of engagement that give them authority to open fire whenever they have reason to believe that they or others in their unit may be at risk of suicide bombings or other insurgent attacks.
Next to the scandal of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, no other aspect of the American military presence in Iraq has caused such widespread dismay and anger among Iraqis, judging by their frequent outbursts on the subject. Daily reports compiled by Western security companies chronicle many incidents in which Iraqis with no apparent connection to the insurgency are killed or wounded by American troops who have opened fire on suspicion that the Iraqis were engaged in a terrorist attack.
Accounts of the incidents vary widely, as they have in the incident involving Ms. Sgrena, with the American command emphasizing aspects of drivers' behavior that aroused legitimate concerns, and survivors saying, often, that they were doing nothing threatening. Since few of the incidents are ever formally investigated, many families are left with unresolved feelings of bitterness. "U.S. Checkpoints Raise Ire in Iraq
March 7, 2005In the meantime:
""We have 10,000 of them in detention," joint chief of staff General Babakir Zebari told AFP on Sunday without providing details.
According to US military figures, as of early January more than 7,000 detainees were being held in US-run prisons in Iraq including the notorious Abu Ghraib facility in Baghdad and Camp Bucca in the south.
But this number rose as security was stepped up in the runup to the January 30 elections with the arrest of hundreds of suspects throughout the country.Iraq's top general says 10,000 insurgents in detention
March 6, 2005and also American Jails in Iraq Bursting With Detainees
March 4, 2005How will the occupier alter these detainees' 'hearts and minds', after having stuffed them with American fried (rather burned) 'Freedom' and 'Democracy'?With the increasing daily spread of 'insurgency' over the past two years, the occupier better build many more prisons, quickly, and bring in thousands of body bags. If the occupier intends to stay. What was it that they came for in the first place and obliterated Fallujah in the west, Najjaf (and parts of its cemetry that holds the remains of millions of Shiites) in the south and Talafar in the north; and are now currently savagely attacking (no news media allowed) Ramadi, Hit, Al-Husaiba, Haditha, Qaim, Samara (again), etc... to the west of Iraq ? These children's children will still be fighting the occupier, if they are still around ....
Monday, March 07, 2005
Was Giuliana Sgrena deliberately targeted?
"A few facts to consider:
1. The agent who was killed died while shielding Sgrena with his own body, according to Reuters
. "He leaned over me, probably to protect me, and then he slumped down, and I saw he was dead," she said. This could mean one of two things: Either the agent was reacting as trained to the gunfire and was protecting his principle, or he saw that she was the target of the fire.
2. Pier Scolari, companion to Sgrena, has stated the attack was deliberate
, according to Agence France Presse. "The Americans and Italians knew about (her) car coming," Scolari said. "They were 700 meters (yards) from the airport, which means that they had passed all checkpoints. Giuliana had information, and the US military did not want her to survive."
3. The chief editor of Sgrena's newspaper Il Manifesto, Gabriele Polo, branded Calipari's death a "murder". "He was hit in the head," he said.
4. For a journalist like Sgrena to be deliberately targeted, a motive would have to exist. An examination of the work she was doing in Iraq, particularly about the annihilation of Fallujah, makes it clear that she was disbursing information the U.S. military and civilian command structure do not want widely known.
A few examples of her reports:Ten thousand Iraqis in US and British prisonsNapalm Raid on Falluja?The death throes of FallujahInterview with an Iraki woman tortured at Abu Graib
A longer and more detailed examination of these allegations has been written by Luciana Bohne at Online Journal
. Give that article a careful read."Another Journalist Deliberately Targeted?
William Pitt, March 6, 2005Naomi Klein succinctly explains below the intent of the US occupier's policy: "In Iraq, US forces and their Iraqi surrogates are no longer bothering to conceal attacks on civilian targets and are openly eliminating anyone - doctors, clerics, journalists - who dares to count the bodies."
"David T Johnson, Acting ambassador, US Embassy, London
Dear Mr Johnson,
On November 26, your press counsellor sent a letter to the Guardian taking strong exception to a sentence in my column of the same day. The sentence read: "In Iraq, US forces and their Iraqi surrogates are no longer bothering to conceal attacks on civilian targets and are openly eliminating anyone - doctors, clerics, journalists - who dares to count the bodies." Of particular concern was the word "eliminating".
The letter suggested that my charge was "baseless" and asked the Guardian either to withdraw it, or provide "evidence of this extremely grave accusation". It is quite rare for US embassy officials to openly involve themselves in the free press of a foreign country, so I took the letter extremely seriously. But while I agree that the accusation is grave, I have no intention of withdrawing it. Here, instead, is the evidence you requested.
...... Eliminating doctors
...... Eliminating journalists
: The images from last month's siege on Falluja came almost exclusively from reporters embedded with US troops. This is because Arab journalists who had covered April's siege from the civilian perspective had effectively been eliminated. Al-Jazeera had no cameras on the ground because it has been banned from reporting in Iraq indefinitely. Al-Arabiya did have an unembedded reporter, Abdel Kader Al-Saadi, in Falluja, but on November 11 US forces arrested him and held him for the length of the siege. Al-Saadi's detention has been condemned by Reporters Without Borders and the International Federation of Journalists. "We cannot ignore the possibility that he is being intimidated for just trying to do his job," the IFJ stated.
It's not the first time journalists in Iraq have faced this kind of intimidation. When US forces invaded Baghdad in April 2003, US Central Command urged all unembedded journalists to leave the city. Some insisted on staying and at least three paid with their lives. On April 8, a US aircraft bombed al-Jazeera's Baghdad offices, killing reporter Tareq Ayyoub. Al-Jazeera has documentation proving it gave the coordinates of its location to US forces.
On the same day, a US tank fired on the Palestine hotel, killing José Couso, of the Spanish network Telecinco, and Taras Protsiuk, of Reuters. Three US soldiers are facing a criminal lawsuit from Couso's family, which alleges that US forces were well aware that journalists were in the Palestine hotel and that they committed a war crime.
...... Eliminating clericsYou asked for my evidence, Mr Ambassador. Here it is Naomi Klein, December 4, 2004An Update: Naomi Klein Reveals New Details About U.S. Military Shooting of Italian War Correspondent in Iraq
March 25, 2005
" "You just killed a journalist!" Al-Shyouki shouted.
The soldiers yelled at him to step back. They were very tense, said Stephan Breitner, of France 2 TV. They were crazy. "Dead Messengers: How the U.S. Military Threatens Journalists
March 6, 2005