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Saturday, August 27, 2005

"Just as there isn't one Iraqi people, there isn't one Iraqi army," Great georgie. Just great.

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August 28, 2005
Big Guns For Iraq?

Not So Fast.


EVEN though President Bush keeps saying American forces won't leave Iraq until its forces can fight on their own, the United States isn't rushing to give the Iraqi military heavy weapons.

There is an official explanation for that - that such things take time.

But there is also another reason to go slow, one that illustrates how tightly American military success is intertwined with the political prospects of Iraq itself. This reason is little discussed in public by military officers, but it was evident last week on the explosion-scarred streets of Baghdad, in the skirmishes between rival Shiite forces in Najaf, and in the confusion of Iraq's struggle to complete a new constitution.

Simply put, Iraq remains too fragile for any planner to know what shape the country will be in six months or a year from now - whether it will reach compromises and hold together or split apart in a civil war.

And that presents a conundrum for American military planners. With those questions up in the air, they have to fear that any heavy arms distributed now could end up aimed at American forces or feeding a growing civil conflict. And the longer Iraq's army has to wait for sophisticated weapons, the longer American forces are likely to be needed in Iraq as a bulwark against chaos.

In public, the commanders cite many reasons for the slow pace of equipping the Iraqis: the supply chain is long, Iraq's soldiers are barely trained and largely untested, and the rebels they face are better fought with rifles than tanks.

In private, some officers acknowledge other concerns, too. "We're worried about civil war or a coup," said a senior American officer in Baghdad charged with outfitting Iraq's new army. He would not agree to be identified because the concerns he was discussing are so sensitive.

Indeed, Iraqi commanders are growing restive, saying their troops are dying at three times the rate of American soldiers because they lack basic equipment.

"Soldiers with Kalashnikovs and pickup trucks is not an army," said Gen. Abdulqader Mohammed Jassim, commander of the Iraqi ground forces, during a recent interview at his office in Baghdad. "To make the Iraqi Army stand on its own without American or coalition forces, we need command and control equipment, transport vehicles and training." He wants helicopters and artillery, more powerful guns and bigger tanks - weapons the Americans say he doesn't need now.

At the same time, the Americans are building at least four semi-permanent military bases that could hold 18,000 troops each. These are usually described as way stations on the eventual route home for the Americans, places where they will stay while ever-more-capable Iraqi troops engage the insurgents on their own. But that will clearly take time. Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top military commander in Iraq, when asked this month about how the bases would be used, dismissed the question: "You're talking years away." And if Iraq's politics remain unstable, the bases could offer a continuing rationale for not providing heavier weaponry, since the Americans would still be close by for the Iraqis to rely on.

"We're trying to build an army to fight the current fight," one American officer said when asked about the Iraqi complaints. "It's too early to start talking about M1A1 tanks, and they don't need helicopters when they have American military support." The officer couldn't be identified by name under military rules that restrict attribution without clearance from higher up the chain of command.

These days, with the possibility of civil war in the air, the Americans emphasize diversity when organizing Iraqi units. Still, the officer corps draws heavily from Sunnis, troops in the south are largely Shiites and troops in the north are largely Kurds.

"Just as there isn't one Iraqi people, there isn't one Iraqi army," said Peter Galbraith, a former United States ambassador to Croatia who is now in Iraq and has worked closely with the Kurds. "We won't be arming a national army, but armies that are loyal to three different groups."

The current draft constitution would also let each region maintain its own guard force, making the Kurdish pesh merga the military force in the north and the Shiite Badr Corps the likely force in the south. "But the Badr Corps is very heavily influenced by Iran," Mr. Galbraith noted. "Are we going to be in the business of arming them?"

"There might be a certain logic to postponing much of this arming until you've resolved the issues that might in fact trigger a civil war," he said. "The other peril," he added, "is that we may be arming people that may be at best only temporarily our friends."

American officers say that isn't what worries them now. They say they try to balance "speed and need" in equipping the Iraqis, and in some cases they blame logistics for slow delivery. For example, they are trying to get the Iraqi infantry armored personnel carriers and armored Humvees to replace unarmored Ashkok Leyland flatbed trucks and Nissan pickup trucks. But the first 100 of 2,073 Humvees ordered aren't expected until November, and orders for the rest are competing with urgent demands from the United States Army and the Marines.

The American military also notes that it takes time to train mechanics and gunners and drivers to use new vehicles, communications equipment and weapons.

"The pace is as rapid as we can handle right now," the senior officer said.

Meanwhile, the American military and Iraq's Ministry of Defense have been scouring former Soviet bloc countries for equipment that can arrive faster. Pakistan is supplying six Vietnam War-era M113 armored personnel carriers and 20 armored jeeps, and the American military hopes to deliver 468 wheeled armor vehicles late next year. Iraq's Defense ministry has ordered 600 Polish Dzik-3 armored personnel carriers and 115 BTR-80 mechanized combat vehicles for a total of $150 million. And Hungary has donated 77 Soviet-era T-72 tanks.

General Jassem wants more. The AK-47 assault rifles his troops use, he notes, cannot be fitted with laser aiming devices and night-vision sights. "The Russians stopped using this weapon in the 1980's," he said. He wants the more modern and powerful American M4 or Russian AK-105.

He also complained that the United States wants to supply his troops with RPG-7's, the Soviet-era rocket-propelled grenade launcher. "Why are they always giving us the oldest models?" he asked, saying he likes the more modern, larger caliber RPG-29, which penetrates armor better.

But such weapons could raise a threat against the United States if they fell into the wrong hands, a concern that General Jassem acknowledges. "They are thinking they will only give new weapons to the Army when everything has calmed down," he said.

American officers insist that the old Soviet equipment is easier to maintain, that Iraqi troops are familiar with it and that a huge amount of ammunition for it is stockpiled in Iraq. "The RPG-7 is more versatile than other antitank weapons, which really only have one use - destroying armor," the senior American officer said. The insurgents, he noted, have no armor.

"We don't want it to become overly complicated," the American officer said, adding that the day will come when a stable and secure Iraq needs a fully equipped military, but that day is still years away.

General Jassem isn't mollified.

"We want helicopters," he said. "We need them because we don't know what the war is going to look like."

--What a clusterfuck.--

Ohhh, REALLY..?

BREAKING: “Independent”

Ethicist Defending

Roberts Actually A

Pentagon Consultant

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In April, Judge John Roberts “heard arguments about the Bush administration’s policy [on military commissions in Guantanamo] as he was discussing a Supreme Court appointment in private conversations with the White House.” On July 15, “when Judge Roberts met with President Bush for the job-clinching interview, he joined a ruling in favor of the defendants, who included Mr. Bush.”

In an article that has recieved considerable attention by the media, Stephen Gillers, David J. Luban, and Steven Lubet – three respected legal ethicists – argue that Roberts conduct was unethical. They noted “[f]ederal law deems public trust in the courts so critical that it requires judges to step aside if their ‘impartiality might reasonably be questioned,’ even if the judge is completely impartial as a matter of fact.”

To rebut their claims the papers are quick to turn to another legal scholar, Professor Ronald Rotunda who argues that Roberts did nothing wrong. Here’s what they don’t tell you: until very recently Ronald Rotunda was employed as a military advisor to the Department of Defense on military commissions – the exact subject of the case in controversy.

You can find the information on his public website.

But when the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsday and Fox News reported on Rotunda’s views, they didn’t bother to mention this obvious conflict. (The Wall Street Journal, to their credit, gave it a brief mention this morning.)

Also, when Ronald Rotunda wrote a letter describing his views on Roberts’s conduct to Senator Arlen Specter, he didn’t disclose his connection to the Department of Defense.

It is completely irresponsible for the media to refer to Rotunda as a neutral “legal scholar” in this circumstance. He is as conflicted as Roberts and is in no position to be passing judgment.

Charges Dropped Against 'Raging Grannies'

Judith Miller: Embedded Over Her Head

Judith Miller: Embedded Over Her Head
column left posted August 24, 2005 (web only)

Tim Robbins, in tackling the pretenses of patriotism, has risen to a challenge that mainstream journalism has largely failed to meet. Robbins' provocative play about the Bush Administration's handling of the Iraq war and the obsequiousness of an embedded press made its TV debut Sunday on the Sundance Channel.

*Embedded/Live* nails the media's craven complicity in amplifying the drums of war. As the Los Angeles Times noted in its review of the filmed version of the play (which premiered here in 2003), when a chorus invokes the name of Robert Novak, the audience's "laughter is followed by uneasy recognition. We might wish this were old news, but it's still there staring us in the face every day."

Indeed it is, for columnist Novak was the first to "out" Valerie Plame -- wife of whistle-blower Joe Wilson, a former ambassador--as a CIA agent. The case landed New York Times reporter Judith Miller in jail, turning her into a *cause celebre* for her refusal to testify before a grand jury about her contact with sources in the Plame case. "If journalists cannot be trusted to guarantee confidentiality, then journalists cannot function and there cannot be a free press," said Miller, dramatically equating the protection of secret sources with the survival of a free press.

But what her avowedly principled defense of journalistic sources may turn out to be is a window into the practice of official corruption of journalistic integrity in times of war, which is what Embedded/Live so effectively highlights.
Unfortunately, rather than a story about a martyr to the cause of journalistic ethics and a free press, this is about a reporter embedded over her head. It is a depressing example of how far Big Media has moved away from the journalistic ideal of "comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable."

Sure, the idea of protecting sources is a good one, in that reporters should keep their word and, by doing so, maintain their ability to secure information in the future. But ultimately the journalist is not morally or professionally beholden to sources but rather to the public. The salient fact of this ugly episode is that the White House was trying to use cultivated journalists, secret sourcing and classified information in an attempt to smear a legitimate whistle-blower who was challenging its rationale for leading the nation into war.

Wilson's information was clearly important to the public debate, as evidenced by the CIA's admission that he was right to be angry that phony reports of Iraq attempting to purchase enriched uranium had made it into President Bush's State of the Union speech. Yet Miller and her defenders can't or won't understand that a free press in a democracy depends on the protection of honest witnesses and not on the coddling of those who use the power of government to smear critics.

Miller is still in jail, refusing to talk, even though one of her purported sources, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, supposedly has signed a general waiver freeing journalists to speak to the grand jury about their conversations with him. But the biggest problem with Miller is that her commitment to a biased and manipulative Bush Administration and Iraqi exile sources clearly has been stronger than her commitment to reporting the truth.

Here are some of the front-page headlines for "scoops" Miller landed before and after the invasion that have since been discredited: "U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts"; "Illicit Arms Kept Till Eve of War, an Iraqi Scientist Is Said to Assert"; "U.S. Analysts Link Iraq Labs To Germ Arms"; "Iraqi Tells of Renovations at Sites for Chemical and Nuclear Arms"

To be sure, Miller didn't make anything up, she just relayed whatever her anonymous sources told her--nearly all of which turned out to be garbage. In this way, Miller and other reporters like her can pretend to follow the letter of journalistic protocol while flouting its spirit and purpose. What she should have done was challenge her sources and then stop protecting them when she found out their information was false.

All of which was conceded by the New York Times in a too-little, too-late mea culpa about the reporting of Miller and others that appeared on page A-10 in May of last year. "[W]e have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been ... information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged," wrote the Times. "Complicating matters for journalists, the accounts of [Iraqi] exiles were often eagerly confirmed by United States officials convinced of the need to intervene in Iraq."
Unanswered was how this embarrassment came to pass. Miller is surely not stupid, so how was she duped so regularly for so long?

Raw ambition is one likely culprit, yet Miller's protection of her secret sources begs the question of whether she is ideologically loyal to the neocons who guided her for so long.

The bottom line is that every aspect of practicing journalism involves a complex maze of ethical decisions. And, despite being one of the most powerful journalists in the nation, Miller horribly lost her journalistic way when it mattered to our democracy most. Too bad she couldn't see Embedded/Live before she set out to report.

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Charter Talks in Iraq Reach Breaking Point

Published: August 26, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 25 - Talks over the Iraqi constitution reached a breaking point on Thursday, with a parliamentary session to present the document being canceled and President Bush personally calling one of the country's most powerful Shiite leaders in an effort to broker a last-minute deal.

Mr. Bush intervened when some senior Shiite leaders said they had decided to bypass their Sunni counterparts, as well as Iraqi lawmakers, and send the document directly to Iraqi voters for their approval.

The calls by Shiite leaders to ignore the Sunnis' request for changes to the draft constitution provoked threats from the Sunnis that they would urge their people to reject the document when it goes before voters in a national referendum in October.

At day's end, American officials in Washington declared that the Iraqis had made "substantial and real progress" toward a deal on the constitution. And senior Iraqi leaders said they would make a last-ditch effort on Friday to strike a deal.

But after so many days of fruitless negotiations, some senior political leaders here suggested that time had run out.

"There are still some negotiations, but if we don't have any compromise, then that's it," said Sheik Khalid al-Atiyya, a Shiite negotiator. "We will go to the election to vote on it."

A decision by the Shiites to move ahead without the Sunnis would be a considerable blow to efforts by the Bush administration to bring the leaders of the Sunni minority into the negotiations over the constitution.

Mr. Bush and American officials here have expressed hope that bringing the Sunnis into the drafting of the constitution could help coax them into the political mainstream, and ultimately begin to undercut support for the guerrilla insurgency. The Sunnis largely boycotted the parliamentary elections in January.

In recent weeks, Sunni leaders across north and central Iraq have begun telling their communities to register for and vote in the Oct. 15 referendum on the constitution and in the parliamentary elections scheduled for December. That trend could be endangered if Sunni leaders are not part of a deal on the constitution.

Indeed, the events of Thursday raised the prospect that the Sunnis would try to reject the constitution when it goes before the voters. Under the rules agreed to last year, a two-thirds majority voting against the constitution in any three of Iraq's 18 provinces would send the document down to defeat. The Sunnis are thought to constitute a majority in three provinces.

By Thursday night, Sunni leaders were declaring that they had been victimized by the majority Shiites, and they were already making plans to sink the constitution at the polls.

"We will call on people to say no to this constitution," said Kamal Hamdoun, a Sunni leader who is head of the Iraqi Bar Association. "This constitution was written by the powerful people, not by the people."

"This constitution achieved the ambitions of the people who are in power," he added.

The Sunni leaders adamantly oppose language in the constitution that could allow the Shiites to create a vast autonomous region in the oil-rich southern part of the country. In the current draft, the constitution says each province may form its own federal region and join with others.

In the debate over autonomous regions, the Kurds, who already have one such region in the north, largely stood on the sidelines. But the Sunnis say that such an arrangement could cripple the Iraqi state, and that the Shiite autonomous region would probably fall under the sway of their Shiite-dominated neighbor, Iran.

Despites their protests, there are widespread doubts about the sincerity of the Sunni negotiators. Most of the 15 members of the Sunni negotiating committee were members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, and there is a growing sense among Shiite leaders that their primary goal is to block any agreement at all.

In any case, the Shiite leadership has been ardent in its desire to set up a Shiite-dominated autonomous region, particularly Abdul Aziz Hakim, a cleric and the leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. As advocated by Mr. Hakim, the Shiite region would comprise nine of Iraq's 18 provinces, nearly half the nation's population and its richest oil fields.
Mr. Hakim and many of the senior members of his group, the Supreme Council, lived for many years in Iran and even fought on the Iranian side during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980's. The Supreme Council is suspected by American officials of receiving large amounts of assistance from the Iranian government.


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Britain heads for clash with US

Disagreement over America's bid to derail UN reform
Ewen MacAskill, diplomatic editor
Saturday August 27, 2005The Guardian

Britain will join an international alliance to confront George Bush and salvage as much as possible of an ambitious plan to reshape the United Nations and tackle world poverty next week .

The head-to-head in New York on Monday comes after the revelation that the US administration is proposing wholesale changes to crucial parts of the biggest overhaul of the UN since it was founded more than 50 years ago.

A draft of that plan had included a review of progress on the UN's millennium development goals - poverty eradication targets set in 2000 for completion by 2015 - and the introduction of reforms aimed at repairing the damage done to the UN's reputation by Iraq, Rwanda and the Balkans.

But it was revealed this week that Mr Bush's new ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, was seeking 750 changes to the 36-page draft plan to be presented to a special summit in New York on September 14 to 16. Mr Bolton's amendments, if successful, would leave the plan in tatters.

The Foreign Office confirmed yesterday that Britain was standing behind the original plan, putting it at odds with Mr Bush.

The concern in British and other international circles is that the American objections, if adopted, would severely undermine the UN summit, the biggest-ever gathering of world leaders.

At least 175 world leaders have accepted an invitation to attend. The UN said yesterday that Mr Bush had confirmed that he would be there.

A wide range of organisations, from aid groups to the anti-arms lobby, voiced dismay about Mr Bolton's objections yesterday and expressed concern that the summit may end in failure.

The Make Poverty History campaign said there was a danger that the millennium development goals, the original reason for holding the summit, would be reduced to a footnote.

A source close to the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan said it was too early to declare the UN plan dead. "Bolton wants to knock down the plan and start from scratch," the source said. "He will find that his opinions are not shared by most of the rest of the world."

The president of the UN general assembly, Jean Ping from the Gambia, has been working on the draft, covering issues of poverty, climate change, genocide, small arms, the creation of a permanent UN peacekeeping capability and reform of the UN management structure, for the past year.

A Foreign Office spokesman said yesterday that the UK and the European Union, of which Britain holds the presidency, "are broadly content with the summit draft. It reflects the ambitious agenda thrown up by Kofi Annan".
The spokesman said it was "important that we do not row back from previous high-level summits", such as the G8 meeting at Gleneagles in July and the UN millennium summit in 2000.

He stressed that a lot of negotiation on the draft still lay ahead. "There is a long way to go before leaders meet in September."

As well as divisions about the agenda, the summit is in danger of being overshadowed by the publication of an internal UN report into the running of the organisation's oil-for-food programme in Iraq from 1996 to 2003, which was beset by scandal and corruption, by Paul Volcker.

UN officials are worried that Mr Volcker's final report, tentatively scheduled for September 6, could severely damage Mr Annan's reputation and raise questions over whether he could continue as secretary-general.

Mr Bolton's comments provoked a negative reaction from many agencies involved in development work.

Martin Kirk, the public affairs adviser of Save the Children, said this year had promised so much for the world's poor, but, "instead of a breakthrough we are now looking at a possible retreat from the millennium development goals by the UN".

Nicola Reindorp, the head of Oxfam International's New York office, said: "We are less than three weeks away from the UN world summit and the next two weeks are crucial in determining the outcome ... If the US and other governments substantially weaken the outcome document, the summit will result in failure."

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Latino marchers to protest Iraq war, today's injustices

By Rachel Uranga, Staff Writer

It was 35 years ago when a phalanx of police officers fired tear gas at a crowd of Latino war-protesters, but Jaime Cruz remembers the event as if it was yesterday.

A student at what was then San Fernando Valley State College, Cruz is among a handful of organizers and participants whose lives have been shaped by the Chicano Moratorium, an Aug. 29, 1970, anti-war protest that degenerated into a deadly riot. The march marked an awakening of political consciousness for many of those who are now leaders in the Latino community.

Decades later, some of the original organizers are reuniting to commemorate that day. They also plan to protest the Iraq war, as well as the vigilante effort mounted by the "Minuteman Project" to halt illegal immigration into the U.S. from Mexico.

"(The protest) showed us how devastating the system could be," said Cruz, coordinator for the Chicano Moratorium
Committee which is organizing the commemoration. "For many of us, it solidified our commitment when we knew there was an injustice."

More than 20,000 protesters marched in the original moratorium in East Los Angeles - the heart of Los Angeles' Mexican-American community - to protest the disproportionate number of Latinos being drafted into the military, as well as their high dropout rates in public schools.

The organizers - many of them students like Cruz - argued against what they viewed as an inherent bias toward their wealthier, white counterparts who were able to enter college and avoid the draft. But what was billed as a peace march turned into violence.

Police and protesters skirmished, and officers and sheriff's deputies sprayed tear gas into the crowd, trying to stop what they said was looting of a nearby liquor store - a claim that activists still dispute.

In the ensuing chaos, three people were killed, including Ruben Salazar, one of the region's most prominent Mexican-American journalists, who was hit by a tear-gas canister launched by law enforcement.

Businesses along Whittier Boulevard were burned, and more than 100 people ultimately were arrested.

Many there were galled by the police action, seeing it as further proof of insensitivity to the Mexican-American community by the city's politically powerful.

"It was a painful period because many of us believed that the system would be more equal and more fair. When we realized the inequities were so great, it inspired and motivated a lot of us," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, who participated in the march as a 19-year-old student at East Los Angeles College.

But just as incensed as she had become with police, she also became frustrated with organizers. Many of the male
organizers - who were entrenched in a burgeoning Chicano rights movement - sidelined the women and some of
their concerns, such as child care.

Moreover, she said, the disparate groups that participated in the march - from union members to peaceniks - diluted the message. It became apparent to her and other women that if they wanted to see a change, they would have to rattle the halls of power.

"It was a call to action," Molina said. "You were sensing it and feeling at the time, but there was nothing because so many of our institutions handled it so poorly."

At the time of the march, there were no Latinos on the Los Angeles City Council, just one in Congress and little representation in law enforcement.

Richard Alatorre, a protest organizer who later sat on the City Council and in the state Assembly, helped bail out several marchers arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest or disrupting the peace that day.

"I don't think anybody could have forecast the number of people marching, people joined along the route," Alatorre said. "It was one of the greatest experiences of my time."

Molina and Alatorre note that much has changed in the generation since they marched.

Now, Los Angeles' mayor, city attorney and nearly one-third of its City Council are of Latino heritage, as are California's lieutenant governor, 10 state senators, 19 Assembly members and seven members of its congressional delegation.

Despite greater representation, Molina said, many of the issues are the same today.

"The dropout rate is as high as ever, retention rates in college are horrible and now you don't even have affirmative action.

"It should be a real call to action for the young people that are turned off (by politics). They need to hold us accountable."

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The falsehoods of the Iraq War

Welcome to Jamrock
Damian "Junior Gong"
MarleyMusic from Universal
Release date: 13 September, 2005

Let us briefly analyse this War on Terror and War in Iraq, as it appears apparent that this struggle, death and destruction could have been avoided?

Following 9/11, the “War on Terror” has raged; reportedly to neutralize the activity of international terror groups and nations considered to support them. The War in Iraq was originally billed as an effort to dispose of Saddam Hussein for refusing to co-operate with UN weapons inspectors, possessing WMD, and end his oppression and genocide against Iraqis, by regime change. With a merelyhazy link made between Sadaam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, it has shifted to become a “War on Terror” in terms of the incorrectly labelled terrorist affiliated “insurgents” it seeks to neutralise. Where is this war leading to in terms of its necessity, purpose and objectives as instability, death and destruction reign supreme in Iraq and other parts of the world? A direct result of the Presidential lies of GW Bush, alongside the global political/military support that follow him like sheep!

President GW Bush and Prime Minister T Blair, LIED that Iraq could use WMD’s against Britain and the USA within 45 Minutes. None have been found. GW Bush ignored the requests of UN Weapons Inspectors to wait and ignored the Operation Rockingham findings that Saddam had destroyed his weapons. Therefore the invasion of Iraq can only be considered an illegal war, even though GW Bush shifted the goalposts in his State of the Union speech, in declaring Saddam Hussein as protecting and aiding terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. Claims the Western media perpetuated by over-reporting political rhetoric regarding terrorist groups in the Middle East and Iraq. Adversely, Iraq became a mascot for various individuals and groups now causing death and destruction in Iraq against military and civilian targets. The current justification for the present Western armies who slaughter and torture!

Bush reported the war as over, though it continued to produce daily Military and Civilian casualties on both sides. The elected interim government resulted in Iraq becoming divided along sectarian lines, with each group asserting their own political identity and threatening Civil War. Groups rejecting the West’s occupation in Iraq have claimed responsibility for various attacks in Iraq and elsewhere. The key group reported as being the CIA trained “Al Qaeda”; that argues for the cessation of Western attacks and oppression of Islam and Muslim countries, and support for Israel. Zawahiri, deputy to Osama Bin Laden has stated; “You spilled blood like rivers in our countries and we exploded volcanoes in yours”.

….When will it end?

Did God tell Bush launch Iraq war?

September 11/Iraq war myth continues...
8/27/2005 2:14:00 PM GMT

Dear Dr. Kareem…
Contrary to what Bush said repeatedly during the built up to his war in Iraq, he made the decision to start his bloody, expensive, unjust war before the first troops were even sent.

9/11 served as a convenient reminder of the 'threat of terrorism' and the 'evildoers' who need to be brought to justice. Bush juxtapositioned Iraq and Al Qaeda at every op-opportunity and was able to get away with it because of the Muslim/Arab phobia instilled in most Americans immediately following 9/11.

Bush was able to get away with this because many Americans are fairly ignorant of the culture, geography, and life styles of the people in the Middle East and many probably still can't pronounce 'Iraq' properly let alone find it on a map. This is especially true among Bush supporters. Many of whom are so dumb that they still say 'I - rack' instead of 'ear- ROCK' and think that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11!

During the military buildup, Bush repeatedly said that 'Saddam Hussein must comply with the UN and allow UNSCOM inspectors'. When the inspectors were let in and allowed unfettered access to locations given to them by the CIA, Bush became nervous. The longer the inspectors came up empty-handed the less likely it looked like there were any of the phantom WMDs he had been preaching about and hence, less need for a war that he had been rushing too.
So a ridiculous ultimatum was issued to justify war.

The scariest part was when Bush said that 'God' told him to start a war against a third world country one tenth America's size, with one percent of its wealth, and a nation with no navy, no air force, no long range ballistic missiles, no nukes, no WMDs of any kind, and an army consisting of twenty to thirty year old Russian tanks lacking spare parts.

Did God tell the leader of the world's only superpower to start a war that has cost to date over two hundred billion dollars, fifteen thousand American casualties, one hundred thousand dead Iraqis, more instability and terrorism in the world, and a loss of respect for America in the world?

Russ BroadwaySacramento, California
Dear Russ,

With more lies of President Bush being exposed, an increasing attention is now being given to the true reasons that made the United States decide to invade Iraq.

More than two years have passed since the war began, and the American President still repeats same claims that the U.S. forces are fighting in Iraq to protect Americans against the threat of attacks similar to those of September 11.

Several reports have revealed that the United States plotted for Iraq invasion months before September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Five hours after the Pentagon building was hit by American Airlines Flight 77, the U.S. secretary of Defence was asking his aides to try and come up with a plan to invade Iraq and topple its leader Saddam Hussein. Notes taken by aides who were present with Rumsfeld in the National Military Command Center on September 11 2001 can confirm what I’m saying.

So Iraq war wasn’t a result of 9/11, but the attacks, together with the Weapons of Mass Destruction claims gave Bush’s administration a convenient reason and excuse to bomb Iraq without facing international condemnation.

But the deepening quagmire in Iraq doesn’t seem to be a good enough reason for the President to admit his mistakes and lies.

When about 6000 people died in September 11 attacks, which I greatly denounce, the act was internationally condemned as a bloody, horrifying, merciless “terror attack”. Whereas there’s been a little or no outcry for the innocent lives lost everyday in Iraq and Afghanistan wars, both launched without a logic justification or evidence or involvement in 9/11.

None of the world leaders stood up and accused America of committing war crimes in Iraq, no one criticised the actions of the U.S. soldiers in Iraq, and instead their attitude was justified.

Is this Bush’s version of democracy? Killing thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq? Devastating the country and destroying its infrastructure? Stealing the country’s oil wealth?

No wonder the Iraqis don’t want this democracy and fight it with every means.

Sheikha Sajida,

Replying on behalf of Dr. Kareem

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches ** Two “Green Zones”

August 27, 2005

As the US-backed Iraqi puppet government flails about arguing over the
so-called constitution, Iraq remains in a state of complete anarchy.
There is no government control whatsoever, even inside the infamous
“Green Zone” where the puppets seem to have tangled their strings.

Why the harsh tone for the conflagrations of the so-called Iraqi government?

Because the price paid for this unimaginably huge misadventure of the
neo-conservative driven Bush junta is being paid by real human beings
who shed real blood and cry real tears. Because well over 100,000 Iraqis
and over 1,800 US soldiers would be alive today if it wasn’t for the
puppeteers of Mr. Bush.

The coward sits behind his guards in Crawford, Texas, too afraid to deal
with the reality of the grief he and his masters have caused to
thousands of military families who have lost loved ones in Iraq.
Meanwhile, fires are raging out of control not only in Iraq, but right
here in the US.

“I ask you, Mr Bush, if you believe that this war is for “Our Freedom”
and “Our Values” why don’t you send your daughters to fight for
freedom,” wrote Fernando Suarez del Solar recently, who lost his son in
Iraq due to the lies of Mr. Bush.

He continued, “Why don’t your closest associates send their children to
defend these values? Why are the children of immigrant families dying?
Why are children from working families who are the least privileged
dying? Why Mr. Bush? Why?”

Of course Suarez del Solar knows the answer. It’s a rhetorical question
asked of a prep school punk who has never earned nor risked anything. A
smirking dimwit, who has never truly served his country, let alone
fellow human beings outside of his gangster corporate crony pals who
inserted him into the highest office…twice.

Today he chooses to ignore the fire which is spreading across the US as
he ignores the debacle in Iraq, where the US military must leave, will
leave, but are unable to leave for fear of tarnishing what is left of
the now sordid reputation of the US.

I get emails daily from sources throughout Iraq…both Iraqi and American.
Even inside US bases in the newest colony things don’t seem to be going
so well, according to an American man who is working there as support.

“I don’t know how much longer I can stand working for these idiots and
their brothers’ mothers’ sisters’ cousin,” he wrote me recently, “They
have acres of armored air conditioned trucks but won’t pay to fix the
alternators, so the drivers must use the worst of the equipment…no
armor, no air conditioning…You know the heat here, now add the heat of
an engine to that cab and throw in a few rockets, mortars, and IED’s
[roadside bombs] and it makes for a very bad day. I’m trying to expose
the corruption of the Third Country National contractors by finding them
a forum to send the truth. Prisoners, slaves, concubines. My life may be
a contradiction, but I will not compromise with evil. The enemy is
inside the wire.”

Wars for empire don’t change…and Iraq is the perfect example. Invading
armies using slave labor (foreign in this case due to their deep
distrust of Iraqis), taking advantage of those who lack privilege, the
poor, minorities, to do the dirty work while the top 1% make more money
than ever before.

And the pirates behind the US policy-making in Iraq have chosen, perhaps
to their chagrin at this point, to disregard some of the latest history
from a past occupation of Iraq.

During the previous British occupation of Iraq, the resistance began in
Fallujah. As a response the British shelled half of that city to the
ground, much like the US military did recently as part of their failed
policy. (US soldiers are now dying in and near Fallujah again.)

It was said that if the British left Iraq civil war would ignite. Just
as we are hearing today, even though state-sponsored civil war is in
full swing, thanks to the occupiers.

The rule of the British Empire over Iraq went on for three decades
before the Brits withdrew. Every year of that time found an uprising
against the occupiers…and now less than three years into the failed US
occupation, lesser uprisings occur daily.

Attacks on US forces in Iraq are now back up over 70 per day…we’ll cross
the 2,000 dead mark before too much longer, and things are about to get
much, much worse. As Iraqis continue to say, “Today is better than
tomorrow.” The same goes for US troops there.

There is a reason why a relatively recent Army survey found that 54% of
all soldiers in Iraq reported either “low” or “very low” morale.

There is also a reason why, again according to the Army, that 30% of all
soldiers returning from Iraq develop mental health problems 3-4 months
after their return.

And there is a reason why soldiers like Nicolas Prubyla come home and
join organizations like Iraq Veterans Against the War.

“Up until five days ago, I had large amounts of blood in my stool,” he
told me recently, “I’ve felt tired all the time, I have had loss of
hair…loss of the feeling in my right arm…I’m battling this stuff.”

What he is battling is exposure to uranium munitions in Iraq. He is
battling radiation sickness as the result of the most recent nuclear war
waged by the United States of America. There is a reason why over 11,000
veterans from the ’91 Gulf War are dead today, and over 250,000 others
are on medical disability. That reason (hundreds and hundreds of tons of
uranium munitions dropped on Iraq) is the same thing Prubyla is battling

“As the years go on this is going to effect a hell of a lot more people
than we think…radioactive dust and the clouds of smoke and dust from
firing the DU [depleted uranium] is getting to us now,” he said, “And I
know I’m not the only person in my unit-my boss got diagnosed with
cancer, one of my other buddies who is 23 years-old is getting
rashes….every time I do more research on DU-I’m seeing that I have all
the side effects.”

Prubyla has realized what more and more veterans understand…that the
powers that be in our military plutocracy (also known as the US
government) could care less for their well being. One of the shadow
members of the current plutocracy who is also an exalted
neo-conservative, Henry Kissinger, has referred to military men as
“dumb, stupid animals to be used” as pawns for foreign policy.

People like Prubyla get this; they have had enough, and are now doing
something about it.

Meanwhile in the Crawford “Green Zone,” Mr. Bush chooses to ignore the
resistance movement that is standing outside his fence. But that is
alright, because the hundreds of people there now protesting represent
tens (if not hundreds) of millions across the country who, like the
Iraqi resistance, are not going to go away.

Link Here


O.M.G. Washington Post Acts Like Real Reporters and BROADSIDE bush. Slam Shazaam.

Rallying the Troops and

Avoiding Reality

By Colbert I. King
Link Here
Saturday, August 27, 2005; Page A17

There is something almost surreal in the juxtaposition of President Bush's statements on Iraq and news reporting on the war. The two are simply irreconcilable.

Bush's upbeat take collides with recent news reports about events in Iraq as well as with the judgments of senior officials within his administration. If the media have got it wrong, then we deserve to get hammered. If, however, it turns out that Bush is not being straight with courageous U.S. service members and their families, then it will be the Bush presidency and his legacy that will pay dearly.

At the moment he's hitting it off in visits to military posts, where he dons his commander-in-chief hat. One Bush line always draws applause: "We will stay on the offensive. Whatever it takes, we will seek and find and destroy the terrorists, so that we do not have to face them in our own country." It went over well last year with a gathering of applauding Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne, Green Berets of the 5th Special Forces Group and the Night Stalkers, at Fort Campbell, Ky.

In June the president went to Fort Bragg, N.C., and in a televised address described Iraq as the latest battlefield in the war on terrorism, saying: "America's mission in Iraq is to defeat an enemy and give strength to a friend . . . . We will stay in the fight until the fight is won."

And to cheering military families at Nampa, Idaho, this week, Bush said: "Terrorists will emerge from Iraq one of two ways: emboldened or defeated . . . . for the sake of our children and our grandchildren, the terrorists will be defeated."

Bush's portrayal of America as a nation besieged by a cruel enemy that has made Iraq the battleground is one of the reasons America's military families willingly send sons and daughters off to war. Yes, it's hard duty, but what goal is worthier than defending America? Stated that way, there's no argument, at least where I'm concerned. That was one of the reasons that I, along with many in my generation, suited up during the Cold War.

The country should be grateful to all who wear the uniform of the United States and to the families that are sacrificing to achieve Bush's stated mission to fight the terrorists over there, and "stay until the fight is won."

But what if something else is in the works? Suppose staying on the offense "until the enemy is broken," an applause line, is just that -- an applause line?

There are good reasons to ask.

In an Aug. 12 Page One story that included interviews with U.S. officials involved in Iraq policy, The Post's Peter Baker wrote: "Administration officials have all but given up any hope of militarily defeating the insurgents with U.S. forces, instead aiming only to train and equip enough Iraqi security forces to take over the fight themselves." Bush, the piece said, is only trying to buy time until the Iraqi political process moves along and Iraqi troops get up to speed.

Two days later, The Post's Robin Wright and Ellen Knickmeyer reported an even gloomier assessment based on interviews with senior administration officials and analysts who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Washington now does not expect to fully defeat the insurgency before departing, but instead to diminish it," they reported. Said a U.S. official: "We've said we won't leave a day before it's necessary. But necessary is the key word -- necessary for them or for us? When we finally depart, it will probably be for us."

In other words, while Bush is out rallying the troops and reassuring their families that their sacrifices won't be in vain, administration officials in Washington are quietly playing down expectations of what can really be achieved in Iraq.

Far from the cheering crowds, this is the word in the Nation's Capital: Forget all that prewar talk about a secular, modern and united Iraq emerging after the toppling of Saddam Hussein. Get ready instead for some form of Islamic republic in Iraq that gives special status to clerics and majority ethnic groups, and less deference to women's rights. A new Iraq free of violence and divisions? Oops, never mind.

Which brings us back to the troops who are doing the suffering and dying. Are their sacrifices worth it?

Consider the Iraq now unfolding on the ground.

What's the value of Americans giving their lives so that cleric-dominated Shiites and northern Kurds can get their hands on political power and oil revenue?

Why are American women and men sacrificing lives and limbs in a country where women may have to settle for less?

Stay the course. What course? So religious-based militia can divvy up the northern and southern portions of the country? So Islam can be enshrined as a principal source of new Iraqi legislation?

Are any of those things worth dying for? Do any of those likely outcomes represent an American victory? They certainly aren't why Bush said we went over there.

Okay, the Bush folks also promised us weapons of mass destruction, and greetings with rice and rose water, and Iraqi oil money to pay for reconstruction, and a model new democracy in the Middle East, none of which has happened.

But this is different.

President Bush is out selling a vision of victory in Iraq while U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad are resigned to settling for less. George Bush can't make good on his original promise, and they know it. They also know that more Americans are going to die in Iraq for what may end up as a theocracy-tinged spoils system.

When those carrying the burden of this war realize what they have sacrificed and died for, the worst days of George W. Bush will have just begun.


--A new day is dawning. Once this is on the FRONT PAGE where it belongs, then we will be hit with the cold light of day.--

That is really interesting considering LAST WEEK a military official said they were down to 500 prisnors in Abu Ghraib

Nearly 1,000 Abu Ghraib detainees released

Saturday, August 27, 2005
Link Here

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Nearly 1,000 detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison were released this week at the request of the Iraqi government, Multi-National Forces said Saturday.

"This major release, the largest to date, marks a significant event in Iraq's progress toward democratic governance and the rule of law, demonstrating the involvement of Iraq's government in the effort to provide both security and justice for all Iraqis," the forces said in a written statement.

The detainees were released from Wednesday through Saturday, with the assistance of the Iraqi government, the statement said. They represent all Iraqi communities and had been brought to Abu Ghraib from detention facilities throughout Iraq.

Those chosen for release were not convicted of violent crimes, the statement said, "and all have admitted their crimes, renounced violence and pledged to be good citizens of a democratic Iraq."

Each individual case was reviewed by a combined board of Iraqi and Coalition officials, the statement said, "and decided in the light of Iraq's ongoing efforts to create peace and stability and build a brighter future for its citizens."

'Facilitator to bombers' killed
Meanwhile, a man described as a "major facilitator of foreign fighters and suicide bombers into northern Iraq" was killed by coalition forces Thursday in Mosul, the U.S. military said Saturday.

Abu Khallad, a Saudi national, was found after intelligence sources and tips led Multi-National Forces to his location in Mosul.

"Upon arrival at that location, multi-national forces stopped his vehicle, a gunfight immediately ensured and Khallad and an unidentified terrorist were shot and killed," the military said in a written statement.

Recent detainees have said Khallad contacted recruiters in Saudi Arabia to coordinate the movement of foreign fighters and suicide bombers into northern Iraq, the military said.

Also, "once in Mosul, he allegedly directed the distribution of the foreign fighters and suicide bombers to the various terrorist cells operating in Mosul."

In addition, the military believes Khallad was active in supporting foreign fighters smuggled into the Mosul area, supplying them with money, weapons and bomb-making materials, according to information from detainees.

The resources, the detainees have said, were from donations to the same Saudi contacts who recruited the fighters and sent them to Mosul.

--FUCKING SAUDIS. Now there is a war we would ALL volunteer for.

I would not only sign myself up, twice, I would gladly sign up all five of my kids too. And my lover, mother and siblings.


Fucking Saudis.--

Blast From The Past


Monroe in Korea

7,000 are expected in Crawford for rallies

By Jack Douglas Jr.

As many as 7,000 people are expected to participate in two large rallies today in Crawford, and local law officials and the Secret Service have stepped up security to "accommodate the numbers."

While the protests are expected to be peaceful, authorities will be watching for anyone in the crowd who is "possibly not a peaceful demonstrator," said Mark Lowery, special agent in charge of the Secret Service in North Texas.

Rallies for and against the war in Iraq are expected to involve between 4,000 and 7,000 people, and some may be "celebrity types," Lowery said.

He said federal authorities have been meeting daily with the McLennan County Sheriff's Department to ensure that demonstrations do not get unruly.

Chief Deputy Randy Plemons said that sheriff's patrols will be beefed up for the demonstrations outside Crawford, population 788, and that extra law enforcement assistance will be available if the town's small police department needs help.

Political observers disagreed on whether the peace movement, which started Aug. 6 in Crawford when President Bush began vacationing at his nearby ranch, will lose steam once Bush returns to Washington.

Cindy Sheehan, the leader of the new anti-war movement and the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, has said she will leave Crawford next week -- about the same time Bush leaves -- and will embark on a bus tour. She has said she will participate in an anti-war rally Sept. 24 in Washington, at the same time that similar rallies are scheduled on the West Coast.

Hundreds of protesters have set up camps near Bush's ranch since Sheehan began a vigil asking for a personal meeting with the president to talk about the war that killed her son, Casey.

Though their numbers have so far been smaller, pro-Bush groups have also set up sites in and around the town to counter the anti-war movement.

Both sides are expected to turn out in large numbers today.

Bush supporters, many of them arriving in caravans, plan a rally near the school stadium in Crawford while, at the same time, Sheehan's followers have scheduled a large gathering 10 miles away, at "Camp Casey II" near a back entrance to Bush's ranch.

The movement triggered by Sheehan is likely to have a lasting effect even after the crowds disperse from Crawford, said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University.

For Sheehan's star status to remain strong in the protest movement, she must keep her message "simple and sincere," focusing on her loss as a mother, Jillson said. If she becomes more politically charged and begins throwing "incendiary bombshells" at the president, "she begins to lose her effectiveness," he said.

Brian Mayes, a Republican political consultant from Dallas, said Sheehan's efforts have only motivated the "far left" activists who are "looking to relive the '60s hippie movement."

"She is equally motivating the conservative base of the country as well as turning off the middle-of-the-road people who view her as a radical, left-wing activist," Mayes said.

--Oh how that bushevik just don't want it to be true.. Hey dimbulb... yall have been stedily loosing REAL republicans since 2000.--

"Damn, will you PLEASE get up!"

Iraqi forces may

need years of


By Tom Lasseter / Knight Ridder Newspapers

HIT, Iraq - (KRT) - American Sgt. LaDaunte Strickland, sweat pouring down his face, stared at the four Iraqi soldiers sitting in the shade of a truck.

They were supposed to be helping Strickland and a group of U.S. Marines man a vehicle-control point, a basic operation in which troops hope to catch insurgents at traffic stops they set up quickly on the roadsides.

"Come on. Come on! Get up," said Strickland, 30, of Cleveland, stabbing a cigar in the air to make his point. "Damn, will you PLEASE get up!"

The Iraqis didn't stir. Without an interpreter - a common occurrence - the Iraqis didn't understand Strickland, no matter how loud he got.

Three weeks of patrols and interviews in restive Anbar province suggested that Iraqi security forces will need years of preparation before they're ready to take charge of the complex and violent tribal areas of western Iraq. President Bush has said repeatedly that U.S. troops will withdraw only when Iraqi troops are ready to take over.

Many of the Iraqi troops were in poor condition, unable or unwilling to complete long foot patrols without frequent breaks. They often didn't know what to do in complicated situations, standing back and letting American Marines and soldiers take the lead.

Most of the Iraqi troops interviewed were Shiite Muslims - the majority religious group in Iraq - who were long oppressed by Sunni Muslims, Anbar's predominant ethnic group but a minority across Iraq. That history creates obstacles to establishing trust with the locals.

In Fallujah, after a U.S. assault last November routed the insurgency that had demolished the town's police force, the Interior Ministry sent in its Public Order Battalion. Residents accuse the battalion of being a de facto Shiite militia.

Marine Maj. Shaun Fitzpatrick, 36, of San Antonio said the Marines were aware of the sectarian problems and were hoping to put a predominantly Sunni police force on the streets in coming months. Until then, he said of the public-order troops, "Basically, they're Shiite and they're from Baghdad or Basra (a Shiite town). We've had problems. There are inevitable cultural clashes."

In the meantime, insurgents are attacking new police stations and intimidating contractors.

The Iraqi National Guard, heralded last year as the answer to security in the area, has been disbanded because morale was low and insurgents had infiltrated it. The old national guard trucks, with their blue emblems, now sit rusting. As with the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, the predecessor to the national guard, American officials say the new Iraqi army and police will establish security in places such as Anbar.

However, the police force has collapsed in Ramadi, the provincial capital. Two divisions of Iraqi soldiers - a total of 12,000 men - are to establish security, but so far only 2,000 are available, and half of them lack basic training.

Hit, a city of 130,000, has no police force. North of Hit, in Haditha - near the site of attacks that killed 20 Marines this month - the police chief handed over all the patrol cars to the Marines in January.

"He said, "We can't protect these anymore,'" said Maj. Plauche St. Romain, the head intelligence officer for the Marine battalion that oversees Haditha, Haqlaniya and Hit. "He turned in the uniforms and (armor) vests, too."

That police chief was assassinated in April.

"It was pretty obvious what happened with the police. Their police stations got blown up and a lot of them were murdered," said Army Maj. William Fall, 48, of Cresson, Pa., who oversees Iraqi security-force operations in Ramadi.

Marine Capt. John LaJeunesse, who works with the police in Ramadi, said it wasn't fair to put too much blame on the police. Those who've remained to get trained and be part of the new force haven't been paid in two and a half months, he said.

So far, a little more than 5,900 police officers have been screened for all of Anbar, about half the number needed. Most of those still must be trained, said LaJeunesse, 30, of Boise, Idaho.

"The ones that stay are working without pay, and the insurgents are threatening their families," he said.

During a recent operation in Haqlaniya, a squad from the Iraqi Intervention Force, one of the more seasoned units in Iraq's army, swept through neighborhoods looking for insurgents. One of the soldiers was so overweight that he had trouble putting on his flak vest.

During a raid on a suspected insurgent hideout, the Iraqis discovered they'd forgotten their bolt cutters. Instead of sending someone back to get them, they tried breaking a lock off an outside gate with the butts of their AK-47s. By the time they were through, they'd made so much noise that everyone in the neighborhood was aware of their presence on what was supposed to be a stealth operation.

When they arrived at their second objective, still without bolt cutters, the men wanted to use grenades to breach the door.

Their supervisor, U.S. Army Capt. Terrence Sommers, stepped in and said they'd risk hurting themselves and would give away their position to insurgents.

"They've still got a ways to go," said Sommers, 34, of Trenton, N.J.

One of the Iraqi officers, Maj. Ahmed, said his men were less than motivated because they didn't understand why the Americans kept sweeping through towns and moving on without leaving troops behind to secure them.

"The people are scared to give us information about the terrorists because there are many terrorists here. And when we leave, the terrorists will come back and kill them," said Ahmed, who gave only his first name out of fear of retribution from the insurgents. "The army has to stay in these cities; that way we would have control. But this way, no, it doesn't make any sense."

On a nighttime raid in Ramadi this month, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Chris Chapin, a military adviser to the Iraqi army, said he hadn't been able to get the Iraqi troops to mount a platoon-sized operation. Chapin had no interpreter with him, and none of the Iraqis could speak English.

"We definitely need to do something about this interpreter thing," said Sgt. 1st Class Anthony James, 33, of Vicksburg, Miss. "I don't see things changing here. We're not reaching the people."

Because the Iraqis and Americans couldn't communicate with one another, they frequently ended up wandering in the middle of the street, yelling commands in English and Arabic and heading in opposite directions.

Chapin, 39, of Proctor, Vt., walked around at one point, yelling, "Lieutenant, where is my lieutenant?" Two of the target houses were within a block of each other, and the entire neighborhood was probably aware of the soldiers' presence, blowing any chance of making a quiet entrance.

"They're always getting bunched into a gaggle, especially at night. I think it's because they're scared," said Sgt. Adam Detato, 24, of Montoursville, Pa. "Between the language barrier and a lot of them having a fifth-grade education, it's hard to teach them our tactics."

In Hit, Strickland finally managed to get three of the Iraqi soldiers to help him with the checkpoint. The fourth remained in the shade, making hand gestures indicating that he needed a light for his cigarette. Within five minutes the other three were making frequent motions toward the sun and then in the direction of the base. "Finish?" they asked. "We finish?"

A Marine standing nearby suggested to Stickland that maybe the answer was to train Iraqis as traffic police, give them orange vests and have them do traffic stops on their own.

Strickland laughed. "Yeah, until the muj finds out the Americans gave them the vests; then they'll kill `em," he said, referring to the insurgents by the Arabic word for "holy warrior," mujahedeen. "When they have problems, these guys will just leave their uniforms and walk off."

Art For Girls


Iraq on brink of meltdown:

Oliver Poole in Baghdad
08/26/05 "The Telegraph

" -- -- The credibility of Iraq's political process was in danger last night as parliament again failed to vote on a draft constitution which a Sunni politician said was "fit only for the bin".

The government had earlier announced plans to bypass parliament in an attempt to push through the document.

But as the final hours ran out before the deadline for approving the constitution, Hajim al-Hassani, the speaker of the parliament, appeared to overrule the country's leaders by insisting that negotiations would continue today, meaning that the deadline would be missed for the third time.

The impression of growing crisis in Iraq was reinforced when a new front erupted in the violent rebellion, with Shia Muslims fighting each other with guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the prime minister, made an emergency television appeal for peace and sent two police commando units to Najaf where the fighting had started.

Throughout the day in Baghdad, politicians bickered over how to proceed with the constitution without driving the country to civil war.

As night fell, the government's official spokesman, Laith Kubba, announced that a final version of the document had been decided and compromise reached on three issues, although he did not say which.

Sunni leaders said that no consensus had been reached.Hussein al-Falluji, a Sunni member of the drafting panel, said: "If this constitution continues to include federalism, it should be put in the bin and done again.

"The chances of the parliament convening declined by the minute. Kamal Hamdoun, a Sunni negotiator, said the Shia politicians - the dominant force in the national assembly - had not turned up for a meeting."

They are acting according to the law of force instead of the force of law. We call on all Iraqis to vote No in the constitutional referendum." Shia politicians made clear that they did not see any need for the parliament to vote.

The draft is to be put to a referendum in October.

The drafting began amid the optimism engendered by January's successful elections, when Iraqis turned out to vote in defiance of bombers and gunmen.

But US hopes of establishing the first secular democracy in the Arab world have foundered on ethnic and religious divisions.Gunmen opened fire yesterday on a convoy of cars used by the president but Jalal Talabani was not in it.

Four bodyguards were wounded.In what appeared to be an attempt to inflame sectarian tensions, the bodies of 37 Shia soldiers, killed with a single bullet to the head, were found in a shallow river south of Baghdad, the latest of several such grim discoveries.

Police said they had been stripped to their underwear.The minority Sunnis, who were the masters under Saddam Hussein, are implacably opposed to the federal nature of the constitution.

They fear that it will place oil wealth in the hands of the Kurds in the north and the Shia in the south.

The constitutional vacuum drew in another opponent of federalism, the firebrand Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who was responsible for two uprisings in the south last summer but who has since been quiet.

At least 12 people were killed as his Mahdi Army militia clashed with members of the Iranian-linked Badr Brigade in six cities and a Baghdad suburb.

Sadr has now formed common cause with the Sunnis, fearing that federalism will play into the hands of Iran.

The Badr Brigade is the armed wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which dominated the elections.

It wants the southern states to become a semi-autonomous region with partial control over its revenues and security.

The speed of the violence underlined that even a "defeated" militia such as Sadr's still has a formidable arsenal and that the security forces are nowhere to be seen when the fighting starts.

Armed clashes broke out in British-controlled Basra before dawn but later subsided.

In Amarah, where British troops are also stationed, Sadr supporters were reported to have killed five people when they mortared Badr Brigade headquarters.

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited

Link Here

The Fire Sermon::A Spark is Lit in the Texas Scrub

By Chris Floyd

08/26/05 "Moscow Times"

-- -- In his inaugural speech last January, President George W. Bush repeatedly invoked images of unbridled, ravaging destruction as the emblem of his crusade for "freedom." Fire was his symbol, his word of power, his incantation of holy war. Mirroring the rhetoric of his fundamentalist enemies, Bush moved the conflict from the political to the spiritual, from the outer world to the inner soul, claiming that he had lit "a fire in the minds of men.

"But words are recalcitrant things; they have their own magic, and they will often find their own meanings, outside the intentions of those who use them. Bush has indeed inflamed the minds of men -- and women -- with his military crusade. But it is not the "untamed fire of freedom" that scorches them: It is the fire of grief and outrage at the lies that have consumed the bodies of their loved ones. This bitter flame burns in the rubble of blasted houses in Iraq and in the quiet, leafy suburbs of America, where the dead are mourned and the mutilated are left as the enduring legacy of Bush's cruel, wilful and unnecessary war.

This "fire in the mind" has now found its own symbol in the unlikely figure of Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a slain American soldier. Here again, Bush's war-rousing words have gotten away from him. Sheehan's campaign -- which began as a lonely vigil outside Bush's vacation ranch and has now spread across the country -- centers on a single, simple request: that Bush explain to her what he means when he describes the war as "a noble cause.

" Sheehan is no professional activist, no savvy insider or political junkie. She's an ordinary citizen whose unadorned speech has none of the sweep and grandeur of Bush's expensively tailored rhetoric. But she has one thing that his professional scripters can never put in the presidential mouth: truth.

They must labor in the service of a lie, but Sheehan has read the Downing Street memos, the Duelfer WMD report, the September 2000 manifesto of a group led by Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld calling for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the top-level revelations by Richard Clarke, Paul O'Neill, Seymour Hersh and many others. She knows the mountain of freely available, credible evidence that shows unequivocally that Bush and his minions sought this war of aggression from their first day in power; that they openly longed for "a new Pearl Harbor" to use as justification for their plans; that they deliberately manipulated, "stove-piped" and fabricated intelligence to concoct a false case for war; that they used UN diplomacy as a cynical sham to mask their military intentions and then invaded before the weapons inspection process, which they themselves had insisted upon, was even halfway complete.

Every housewife and truck driver, every Wal-Mart clerk and office worker in the United States has access to this information, these established facts. The death of her son drove Sheehan to throw off the torpor that has afflicted so many of her compatriots for so many years and look reality in the face. There she has seen Iraqi civilians and American soldiers being shredded, gutted and burned alive by the fire of Bush's death-dealing lies. As New York Times columnist Frank Rich notes, she and other war survivors have watched Bush turn the search for WMD -- the ostensible reason for the sacrifice of their children -- into a comedy routine, a filmed skit for sycophantic journalists, showing the president of the United States goofily searching under desks and behind curtains, then shrugging with a dullard's grin: "No weapons here!"

Bush's audience, the highly paid cream of the national media, roared with laughter at the Leader's barbaric wit. Now these same blind guides are struggling to comprehend the fire of dissent that Cindy Sheehan has lit with her vigil in the Crawford scrublands. Many of them have mocked and vilified her, trumpeting the lies that the Bush machine began pumping out like bilgewater the moment her campaign found resonance with the wider public. Others have dismissed it as a flash in the pan, a copy-filler for the August doldrums, a minor blip soon to be swept away by the president's proven mastery of the national agenda.

Perhaps they're right. Perhaps this too shall pass, just as every other scandal and tourbillion that has momentarily shaken the Bush regime -- from Enron to Abu Ghraib and beyond -- has fallen by the wayside. It's true that the polls show that Bush is now deeply unpopular, mistrusted by more than half the electorate, who say, as Sheehan says, that he misled the nation into a pointless war. But by hook and crook, with fear and lies, he and his faction have gathered all the reins of power into their hands. With a complaisant media, a feckless opposition, unprecedented control over the nation's electoral machinery -- and the full backing of the corporate oligarchy they have enriched beyond all measuring -- the Bush elitists are not much concerned with the "consent of the governed" anymore. They will wade on through the swamp of blood they have created, generating more terrorism, sacrificing more sons and daughters, engendering more hatred, anguish and death.

But what if the form that Sheehan has somehow given to the nation's growing sense of betrayal does not simply fade at summer's end? What if that spark takes hold in the Texas scrub and sets off "an untamed fire of freedom" from the murderous lies that have led America into crime and disgrace? We might yet see Bush undone by his own incantation -- and truth become the new word of power.

Link Here

No Title;Sorry luv think it is important;Anti-War Protestors Tormenting Iraq War Wounded

Right wing propaganda removed from this site

Can you believe how obscenely stupid this Wanker really is, I mean sorry wanker, I think finally the people of America have woken up from their slumber, and have come to realise just what they let happen, when they allowed, Your Awol President a degenerate to be precise, never a Patriot does not know the meaning of the word Patriotism because he had no balls or patriatism when he was called to serve his Country, and his goons to take you to war, to invade and occupy a country on a whim, to outdo his daddy, and to loot and secure the natural resources of another country in the name of terrorism

Can you tell me which of these

chickenhawks in this

administration served there

country? I dont think so .

And what did these innocents of Iraq

do to you as a nation? nothing I think.

The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression
Jonathan MurphyBook from Harvard University
PressRelease date: 01 October, 1999

CNS News has broken the story on anti-war protesters outside Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. This is the facility where those with significant injuries are sent to from the battlefield. They are there holding up signs such as "Maimed for Lies" and "Enlist here and die for Halliburton". The organization organizing this is Code Pink, the same organization that has funded terrorists with the apparent knowledge of Rep. Waxman.

For the most part the anti-war crowd doesn't see a problem with this, mostly because it garners attention which is what they are seeking. They think by kicking around a few wounded soldiers that they'll be able to change people's minds about the war. They also seem to think that the wounded are oblivious to the debate on the Iraq war and for that matter the rest of the nation. This war has been debated 24x7 since about 14 months before we went in to Iraq. The rush to war included having the Army camp out for months in Kuwait waiting for the order and turning away Iraqis who wanted to surrender.

Everyone knows what the war has cost because the press covers it endlessly. These protesters are looking for more than that, they want some gimmick, some stunt that will convince people because all of their arguments have been rejected or disproved. They need the one mother of a slain soldier in Crawford and conveniently ignore the approximately 1900 other mothers who aren't protesting and do support the troops. They aren't covering that the insurgency is over and the remainder of fighting is mostly people from Iran and Syria and the targets are Iraqis.

That brings us to Walter Reed where to point is precisely to irritate people and get press. Should the protest somewhere else? Absolutely and they know it. If the Pentagon has to sneak people into Walter Reed it is because of those protesters trying to dance all over the body in celebration that they have another club to try to go after the President with. In closing, I have to wonder what these people do for a living because I don't have time to run out to a VA hospital and be kicking around wounded soldiers for fun.

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You go Girls ,

, We need to ask this wanker what his degenerate President and his Goons in his Administration have done for the Sons and Daughters of your nation except send them to die and be maimed in a country that was no threat to America, Mind you this Goon and most of his administration did not see fit to be Patriotic, when they were asked to serve thier nation. But they are very good indeed when it comes to killing and maiming other peoples sons and daughters, as long as it is not their own that they are killing and maiming.

Hit-And-Run Victim Was Iraq War Veteran

Officials are still searching for witnesses who saw the crash that took the life of the 29-year-old captain, who was riding a bike to work on Kearny Villa Road just after 6 a.m. when a vehicle hit him right before an on-ramp to state Route 163.

Police Continue Search For Driver Who Hit Marine

POSTED: 6:51 am PDT August 25, 2005
UPDATED: 7:18 am PDT August 25, 2005

SAN DIEGO -- A bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run in San Diego was an Iraq war veteran, according to Marine Corps officials

Patrick Michael Klokow, 29, of Santa Clara, Calif., died Tuesday morning while riding his bike on Kearny Villa Road near an on-ramp to state Route 163. Klokow was a Marine captain stationed at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot as the commanding officer of the instructional training company. He was riding to work when a vehicle hit him from behind.

MCRD spokeswoman Janice Hagar said Klokow served in Kuwait from January 2003 to March 2003 and was then deployed in Iraq until July 2003. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1999 and has been stationed at the recruit depot since September 2003.

The driver who hit Klokow fled the scene and police have not found any witnesses to the collision.

Police impounded a van with extensive damage to the front end and windshield spotted near the accident scene about two hours later. The driver was released after claiming the damage happened in an unrelated accident. Police said they were skeptical of the man's explanation and planned tests to determine if the van hit the Marine.

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The CIA leak: Infighting, grudges, justifying a war

By Tom Hamburger and Sonni Efron
Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — Toward the end of a steamy summer week in 2003, reporters were peppering the White House with phone calls and e-mail, looking for someone to defend the administration's claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

About to emerge as a key critic was Joseph Wilson, a former diplomat who said the administration had manipulated intelligence to justify the Iraq invasion.

At the White House, there wasn't much interest in responding to critics such as Wilson that Fourth of July weekend. The communications staff faced more pressing concerns: the president's imminent trip to Africa, growing questions about the war and declining ratings in public-opinion polls.

Wilson's charges were based on an investigation he undertook for the CIA. But he was seen inside the White House as a "showboater" whose stature didn't warrant a response.

"Let him spout off solo on a holiday weekend," one White House official recalled saying. "Few will listen."

In fact, millions were paying attention that Sunday as Wilson — on NBC's "Meet the Press" and in the pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post — accused the administration of ignoring intelligence that didn't support its rationale for war.

Underestimating the impact of Wilson's charges was one in a series of misjudgments by White House officials.

They soon would cast doubt on Wilson's CIA mission to Africa by suggesting to reporters that his wife was responsible for his trip. In the process, her identity as a covert CIA agent was divulged, possibly illegally.

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald for 20 months has been looking into how the media learned that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA operative. Top administration officials, along with several influential journalists, have been questioned.

Beyond the whodunit, the affair raises questions about the credibility of the Bush White House, the tactics it employs against critics and the justification it used for going to war.

What motivated President Bush's political strategist, Karl Rove; Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby; and others to counter Wilson so aggressively? How did their roles remain secret until after the president was re-elected? Have they cooperated fully with the investigation?

The answers remain elusive. Few witnesses have spoken publicly. White House officials declined to comment for this article, citing the inquiry.

But a close examination of events inside the White House two summers ago and interviews with administration officials offer new insights into the White House response, the people who shaped it, the deep disdain Cheney and other administration officials felt for the CIA and the far-reaching consequences of the effort to manage the crisis.

Wilson goes public

What made ex-diplomat's view dangerous to the administration

Ten weeks after Bush landed aboard an aircraft carrier adorned with a "Mission Accomplished" banner to declare an end to major combat operations in Iraq, Wilson created his own media moment by questioning one of the central reasons for going to war.

He told how the CIA dispatched him in February 2002 to investigate a claim that Iraq had sought large quantities of uranium from Niger. Wilson told "Meet the Press" that he and others had "effectively debunked" the claim, only to see it show up nearly a year later in the president's State of the Union speech.

That speech had been a pillar of the case for war, and Wilson was raising questions about a key element of it: the claim Iraq was a nuclear threat.

At the time of Wilson's disclosure, U.S. and U.N. officials had yet to turn up evidence of biological, chemical or nuclear weapons. A ragtag Iraqi insurgency had begun to strike back.

In public, the White House was predicting weapons of mass destruction would be found.

Behind the scenes, officials were worried about the failure to find those weapons and the possibility that the CIA would blame the White House for prewar intelligence failures.

Wilson seemed a credible critic: His diplomatic leadership as charge d'affaires in the U.S. Embassy in Iraq before the 1991 bombing of Baghdad had earned him letters of praise from President George H.W. Bush.

That made him dangerous to the administration.

Rove takes notice

Response seems to focus on Wilson, not his words.>>>continued

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Photo: Remembering Iraq war dead

Brian Wallace
Juneau Empire

Veterans for Peace demonstrate Thursday in Marine Park against the Iraq war and in remembrance of Americans who have died in the war. The group plans to hold a vigil every Thursday. "It's primarily a quiet, respectful vigil for those who have died," said Ed Hein, member of Veterans for Peace. The number 1,857 in front of the flag-draped coffin is the number of U.S. war dead as of last Thursday.

I wonder what the real numbers are, the ones who died in transit back to the shores of America, and the ones who have died at home.

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And do we remember the deaths of the innocent Iraqi children

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