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Tag: Iraq

Iraq Awards Iran Contracts, U.S. Sulks

Iraq power line
nytimes.com

Determined to show just how adolescent they can be, U.S. representatives in Baghdad have expressed dissatisfaction and suspicion over a pair of power plants that Iranian and Chinese companies plan to build in Iraq. One American military official described the contracts this way: “As you know, it’s not always as it appears.”

Posted on Oct 18, 2007 READ MORE
Square, Category Page

Turkey OKs Attacks on Kurds in Iraq

Turkish soldier
sunsearch.info

The Turkish parliament has authorized military incursions into Iraq in order to track down rebels who, the Turkish government has long claimed, use Iraqi Kurdistan as sanctuary.

Posted on Oct 17, 2007 READ MORE

Dissent From the Front Lines

Arrest in Iraq
AP photo / Hamza Hendawi

When will we listen to the troops?  I’m not talking about soldiers used as props for a George Bush photo op, telling reporters what Washington wants to hear. The Iraq war has produced brilliant messages of dissent from the ranks that should cause us to stop in our tracks and reconsider what we have wrought.

Posted on Oct 16, 2007 READ MORE

Running on Yesterday’s Ideas

One of the few things the Republican and Democratic presidential contests have in common is the relentlessness with which candidates on both sides are wrapping themselves in orthodoxy. Heretics need not apply.

Posted on Oct 15, 2007 READ MORE

Do You Know the Truth About Lockerbie?

I’m not at all certain that the CIA did not have a scam drugs heist on board and I am not at all sure that the diminutive Libyan agent Megrahi—ultimately convicted on the evidence of the memory of a Maltese tailor—really arranged to plant the bomb on board Pan Am Flight 103 in December 1988.

Posted on Oct 15, 2007 READ MORE

‘The Good Germans Among Us’

Frank Rich of The New York Times argues that although there’s plenty to blame on the Bush administration, a timid Congress and a compliant press, it’s time for the American people to accept at least some responsibility for the Iraq war and its many disastrous episodes. From Abu Ghraib to contractor killing sprees, we the people have known far too much for far too long to feign surprise when things suddenly go sour.

Posted on Oct 15, 2007 READ MORE

Outsourcing Torture

Egyptian protest
AP photo

The Bush administration has called for the respect of human rights in Burma, a pretty safe piece of posturing, but it remains silent as Egypt’s dictator, Gen. Hosni Mubarak, unleashes the largest crackdown on public opposition in over a decade. Our moral indignation over the shooting of monks masks the incestuous and growing alliance we have built in the so-called war on terror with some of the world’s most venal dictatorships.

Posted on Oct 15, 2007 READ MORE

Former Top General Calls Bush ‘Incompetent’

Sanchez
wikipedia.org

Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former top commander in Iraq, has issued a devastating critique of the “incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders” in planning and executing the Iraq war, which he called a “catastrophic failure.”  Sanchez also warned that the president’s “surge” might “stave off defeat” but will not lead to victory.

Posted on Oct 12, 2007 READ MORE

Draft Gore for President?

Al Gore
Eric Lee / Paramount Classics via NYT

Al Gore and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their crusade against global warming. Now, just imagine what would happen if the Nobel laureate applied himself with equal intensity to ending the war in Iraq.  That could be the beginning of a thrilling presidential campaign.

Posted on Oct 12, 2007 READ MORE

U.S. Kills 9 Children in Airstrike

air strike
inthesetimes.com

Fifteen Iraqi women and children found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time Thursday when the U.S. launched a series of airstrikes to back up ground operations targeting suspected insurgents.

Posted on Oct 11, 2007 READ MORE

The British Are Leaving!









Posted on Oct 11, 2007 ENLARGE

Jenna Bush Dodges Military Service Question

Jenna Bush
4president.org

How does the Bush family, including First Twin Jenna Bush, handle all the critical media coverage about George W.?  According to Jenna, they “don’t watch too much television.”  And, when asked by Time reporter Carolyn Sayre why she isn’t serving in Iraq, she insisted, ” ... It’s not even a practical question.”  Oh.

Posted on Oct 11, 2007 READ MORE

Inside the Military-Industrial Complex

Jet fighter
AP photo / LM Otero

Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Philip Coyle knows a thing or two about the “staggering” amounts of money the U.S. funnels into the military-industrial complex, and why it is so difficult to stanch the profiteering.

Posted on Oct 10, 2007 READ MORE

Carter Has Had Enough

Carter
cnn.com

Jimmy Carter was en fuego during a chat with Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, blasting the Bush administration for torturing people, the GOP candidates for racing to the fringe and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for refusing to commit to a full withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Posted on Oct 10, 2007 READ MORE

Clean Hands









Posted on Oct 10, 2007 ENLARGE    

Security Guards Kill 2 Women in Baghdad

bloody car
AP Photo

Two women were shot and killed on Tuesday when private security contractors guarding a convoy of four cars in Baghdad’s Karrada neighborhood opened fire on the women’s Oldsmobile as it moved toward the convoy.  Unfortunately, it was not the day’s only violent episode in Iraq. According to The Washington Post, a series of bombings claimed at least 34 lives in and around Baghdad.

Posted on Oct 9, 2007 READ MORE

Iraq Demands Blackwater Exit Strategy

mercenaries
news.bbc.co.uk

Iraqi authorities have given the U.S. six months to cut ties with Blackwater, and are demanding custody of the private security guards who, according to a government investigation, recklessly opened fire on Iraqi civilians while escorting a State Department convoy.

Posted on Oct 9, 2007 READ MORE

UK Plans Troop Reduction

British soldier
AP photo / Nabil al-Jurani

The British government is planning to downsize its military presence in Iraq this May by 800 to leave a total of 7,000 troops, a move Defense Secretary John Reid insists is not meant to signal a “handover of responsibility” to Iraqi forces, according to the BBC. Updated

Posted on Oct 8, 2007 READ MORE

Leading Iraqis Get Practical

If one were to ask President Bush to make sense of his strategy in Iraq, he would likely suggest that by providing stability, the Iraqi government could work toward reconciliation and an end to sectarian bloodletting, but according to several key Iraqi leaders, that just isn’t going to happen. Better, they argue, to focus on the basics of governing and providing services that Iraqis continue to suffer without.

Posted on Oct 8, 2007 READ MORE

Sen. Clinton Beefs Up the Competition

In a sign of confidence befitting her status as front-runner, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has begun airing what her aides call “extremely vicious attack ads about herself.”

Posted on Oct 7, 2007 READ MORE

State Dept. Silent on Iraqi Corruption

Asked to what extent the State Department had covered up corruption in the government of Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the department’s top Mideast official told the House Oversight Committee that information that could “damage” the U.S. relationship with Iraq is considered “confidential.” That didn’t go over well with committee Chairman Henry Waxman, who then threw down the gauntlet.

Posted on Oct 5, 2007 READ MORE

The Quickest Way to End the War

Would conservatives and Republicans support the war in Iraq if they had to pay for it? This is the immensely useful question that Rep. David Obey, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, put on the table this week by calling for a temporary war tax to cover President Bush’s request for $145 billion in supplemental spending for Iraq.

Posted on Oct 5, 2007 READ MORE

Bush Gets Tightfisted With Sick Kids

To say that George W. Bush spends money like a drunken sailor is to insult every gin-soaked patron of every dockside dive in every dubious port of call.

Posted on Oct 5, 2007 READ MORE

Congress Tries to Close Blackwater Loophole

The House voted 389 to 30 to pass a bill that would make private contractors working for the U.S. government in Iraq subject to United States law. It’s the second time Congress has attempted to apply some sense to the legal vacuum created by the Bush administration and its Coalition Provisional Authority, which pushed through what amounts to blanket immunity for mercenaries.

Posted on Oct 5, 2007 READ MORE

Breaking the Taboo: Why We Took On the Israel Lobby

John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt
israellobbybook.com

The editor of the provocative new bestseller by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt asks the authors (pictured above) whether their book is good for the Jews and good for America. 

Posted on Oct 4, 2007 READ MORE

Blackwater Founder Takes a Beating in Congress

Blackwater USA founder and chairman Erik Prince stubbornly defended his company Tuesday while members of the House Oversight Committee grilled him with questions such as “Why are we privatizing our military to an organization that has been aggressive and in some cases reckless in the handling of their duties?”

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 READ MORE

The State Dept.‘s Murderous Guardians

wounded man
AP photo / Hadi Mizban

How did it come to be that the ostensibly best-educated and most refined representatives of the United States in Iraq are guarded by gun-toting mercenaries who kill innocent civilians?  More urgently, why did State Department employees and their bosses in Washington tolerate—and pay to conceal—the wanton murder conducted on their watch?

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 READ MORE

Our Little Monster









Posted on Oct 2, 2007 ENLARGE

Iron Maiden Meets IEDs in ‘Heavy Metal in Baghdad’

Heavy Metal in Baghdad

Well, this particular motion picture decidedly won’t be the feel-good family drama of the year—and that’s just one more excellent reason to go see “Heavy Metal in Baghdad,” an inside glimpse into the Baghdad metalhead scene, when it (hopefully) comes to a theater near you.  Meanwhile, check out the theatrical trailer here.

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 WATCH & LISTEN

The Silent Majority

Voters put Democrats in control of both houses of Congress last fall and, for this act of civic determination, they face an infuriating conundrum. Republicans are still running things.

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 READ MORE

Republicans Warm to Biden’s Iraq Plan

Astonishingly, 26 Republican senators broke with President Bush’s Iraq policy last week. But you may not have noticed this, and it’s not your fault.

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 READ MORE

Good News and Bad News from Adm. Mullen

The freshly sworn-in chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, started his first day on the job with this revelation: “The fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan will one day end.” That’s a relief, coming from the newest member of Team Bush, but don’t get too excited, there’s more: “We must be ready for who and what comes after.” Oh dear.

Posted on Oct 1, 2007 READ MORE

Report Points to Blackwater’s Excessive Violence

According to a devastating new report from the House Oversight Committee, Blackwater USA employees engaged in at least 195 “escalation of force” incidents since 2005, with the private security firm firing 80 percent of the first shots (despite its purely defensive mandate). What’s worse, the State Department has provided little if any oversight, instead assisting the company as it carried out damage control.

Posted on Oct 1, 2007 READ MORE

Hersh:  Next Stop, Iran

Ahmadinejad and Bush
en.rian.ru

The New Yorker’s ever-tenacious Seymour Hersh is once again on the case of the Bush administration’s Mideast agenda, giving President Bush’s “Mission Evolving” speech from last month a more concrete evolutionary end point:  Iran. 

Posted on Oct 1, 2007 READ MORE

Iraqis Unite Against Splitting the Nation

Biden
uncorrelated.com

Sen. Joe Biden’s plan to divide Iraq along sectarian lines has had an unintended consequence: It has united much of the country, Shiite and Sunni alike, in opposition to the measure.

Posted on Sep 30, 2007 READ MORE

Iran to U.S.: I’m Rubber, You’re Glue

Iranian parliament
worldisround.com

The Iranian parliament has taken the I’m rubber, you’re glue approach to dealing with the U.S., labeling the United States Army and the CIA terrorist organizations, just days after Congress suggested the same designation for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Posted on Sep 30, 2007 READ MORE

Bill Maher vs. Rep. Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel

The “Real Time” host asks one of the Democratic Party’s shining stars the question that seems to be on everyone’s mind: If you hate the war so much, why are you paying for it?

Posted on Sep 30, 2007 WATCH & LISTEN

Dr. Bush









Posted on Sep 29, 2007 ENLARGE

Bush Before the War

Aznar and Bush
voltairenet.org

Joe Conason tells the story revealed by recently released transcripts of a meeting held between Spain’s then-prime minister and President Bush prior to the war. As one might expect, Bush was arrogant and determined to invade, diplomacy be damned.

Posted on Sep 28, 2007 READ MORE

Empty Promises

Yes, you heard it right: At the Dartmouth College debate Wednesday evening, not one of the three leading Democratic candidates could pledge that all U.S. combat troops would be out of Iraq by the end of his or her first term as president.

Posted on Sep 28, 2007 READ MORE

Iraq Will Have to Wait

Cheney and fighter jet
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

If you think the Iraq war is a disaster, just wait until we start bombing Iran. The countdown to another war is both real and terrifying, Ritter argues, and, distasteful though it may seem, it won’t be stopped so long as Iraq holds on to the spotlight.

Posted on Sep 27, 2007 READ MORE

Bush the Saboteur

The president’s strategy is to fake out the public so that it believes Democrats in Congress can’t perform basic governmental tasks. Is this any way to run a country?

Posted on Sep 27, 2007 READ MORE

How to Deal With Iran

The loud, angry and sterile debate over the Iranian president’s visit to Columbia University raises a more serious problem that has long confounded American policymakers: How to cope with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s real masters, the corrupt regime of mullahs who determine both foreign and domestic policy in Iran.

Posted on Sep 27, 2007 READ MORE

Global Consensus, Not Global Conquest

As world leaders gather this week to address the United Nations General Assembly, President Bush’s refusal to negotiate on the two key issues of our day—war and global warming—has been stunning. And the media haven’t helped.

Posted on Sep 25, 2007 READ MORE

Biden One-Ups Bush

Joe Biden
AP photo / Charlie Niebergall

It’s not just Bushie loyalists and Republicans who are gunning for more money to be poured (out of taxpayers’ pockets) into the Iraq war chest.  Take Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), who is aiming to double Bush’s proposed $12 billion in funding for the rapid production of mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles—a proposition which, Scheer argues, is about much more than the security of U.S. troops.

Posted on Sep 25, 2007 READ MORE

Clinton: Not One More Penny for the War

Russert and Clinton

Hillary Clinton shored up her left flank during an interview with Tim Russert, promising to vote against continued funding for the war in Iraq. Still, one must be wary of caveats such as “at the level we’ve seen.”

Posted on Sep 24, 2007 WATCH & LISTEN

‘You Left Us With 50 Saddams’

Saddam statue
AP photo / Jerome Delay

As the U.S. government is learning much too late, democracy is not a one-size-fits-all application that can be lifted from one culture and grafted onto another.  Here, UK reporter Ian Black from the Guardian Unlimited takes a look at what’s really going on politically and culturally in Iraq according to a prominent historian and his Iraqi contacts.

Posted on Sep 24, 2007 READ MORE

Team Bush Wants $50 Billion More for ‘08 Military Budget

Add another $50 billion to the tab the Bush administration is looking to run up in military costs for the  ‘08 fiscal year, bringing the potential total to around $200 billion if this latest request goes through. 

Posted on Sep 23, 2007 READ MORE

The Iraqi Flag









Posted on Sep 23, 2007 ENLARGE

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