Iraq War Politics

If Unrigged Iraqi Elections Were Held Today, Bush Puppet Government Would be Voted Out
Iraq War Politics

Washington Post: "Leaders of Iraq's religious parties have emerged as the country's most popular politicians and would win the largest share of votes if an election were held today, while the U.S.-backed government of interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi is losing serious ground, according to a U.S.-financed poll by the International Republican Institute. More than 45 percent of Iraqis also believe that their country is heading in the wrong direction, and 41 percent say it is moving in the right direction. 'The picture it paints is that, after all the blood and treasure we've spent and despite the [U.S.-led] occupation's democracy efforts, we're in a position now that the moderates would not win if an election were held today,' said a U.S. official who requested anonymity."

GOP = Got Only Peabrains
Iraq War Politics

It's official: the GOP is the STUPID party. "Even after the final report of Charles Duelfer to Congress saying that Iraq did not have a significant WMD program, 72% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had actual WMD (47%) or a major program for developing them (25%). 56% assume that most experts believe Iraq had actual WMD and 57% also assume, incorrectly, that Duelfer concluded Iraq had at least a major WMD program. Kerry supporters hold opposite beliefs on all these points. Similarly, 75% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda, and 63% believe that clear evidence of this support has been found. 60% of Bush supporters assume that this is also the conclusion of most experts, and 55% assume, incorrectly, that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Here again, large majorities of Kerry supporters have exactly opposite perceptions."

Dueling Lunatics: Pat Robertson Said God Told Him War Would be 'Messy,' While Bush 'Just Knew' There Would Be No Casualties
Iraq War Politics

Newsday reports that religious fanatic Pat Robertson said, "God had told him that the war would be messy and a disaster. When he met with Bush in Nashville before the war Bush did not listen to his advice, Robertson said... 'He was just sitting there, like, 'I'm on top of the world,' and I warned him about this war...I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. President, you better prepare the American people for casualties.' 'Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties.' 'Well,' I said, 'it's the way it's going to be.' And so, it was messy. The lord told me it was going to be, A, a disaster and, B, messy." When ya get TWO Messianic complexes going at it, things get interesting!

U.S. Jews Turning against War - and Bush
Iraq War Politics

"In 2003, [U.S. Jews] felt gratitude that Saddam Hussein, one of Israel's most implacable foes, had been removed, yet there are concerns now that a misconceived or mismanaged adventure has empowered another implacable foe of Israel, the Iranian theocracy. 'The only nation that seems to have benefited by our invasion of Iraq is Iran, which is a far greater threat to Israel than Iraq was,' said U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, (D-Nev.), a Jew and an outspoken pre-war proponent of invasion who feels Bush deceived her... At the end of 2002, just months before the war, an American Jewish Committee poll found that 59% of U.S. Jews approved U.S. action against Iraq, while 36% disapproved. A year later, those numbers had flipped to 54% against and 43 in favor. In the most recent AJCommittee poll, posted last month, 66% of American Jews surveyed disapproved, and 30% approved. General polling of Americans shows opposition to the war in the mid-50s."

Major Knight-Ridder Report: Planning for Iraq Invasion and Aftermath Was 'Non-Existent'
Iraq War Politics

Editor and Publisher: "Knight Ridder's Washington bureau, which in the past two years has produced a string of important exclusives related to the Iraq war (and prewar), offered evidence today about poor or 'non-existent' planning for the U.S. occupation of Iraq, as well as the failure to provide 100,000 more troops military commanders had wanted. The article...was based on official documents and on interviews with more than three dozen current and former military and civilian officials who participated directly in planning for the war and its aftermath. Some senior officials spoke about their concerns for the first time, the story said. The authors quote a veteran State Department officer who was directly involved in Iraq policy saying, 'We didn't go in with a plan. We went in with a theory.' "

Iraqi Government Forced to Beg Globally for Reconstruction Funds
Iraq War Politics

US taxpayers have sunk nearly $200 billion (all told) into Iraq in less than two years. Yet almost none of that cash has gone to reconstruction. As a result, Iraqi gov. reps have been reduced to "door to door begging" from the global community. AFP reports: "Iraq urged the international community Wednesday to play an active role in rebuilding the war-shattered nation at a donors conference in Tokyo as a Baghdad bombing killed three US soldiers in the latest wave of violence. As the Iraqi delegation pleaded for aid, US forces struck rebel positions in Iraq's Sunni Muslim hotbeds of Fallujah and Ramadi late Tuesday, killing 11 people. In Tokyo, interim Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh told representatives of some 55 countries and organisations that donors should waive its crushing debt from the Saddam Hussein era... 'We need more UN support and we need it now. Please don't let the Iraqi people down," Saleh told the opening of the two-day conference.'" This is PATHETIC!

Federal Lawsuit Asserts Bush's Stop Loss Program is an 'Abuse of Military Authority'
Iraq War Politics

AP: "A California National Guard soldier from Sacramento has filed a federal lawsuit challenging his deployment to Iraq under the military's 'stop-loss' [i.e., backdoor draft] program. Claiming the military is violating federal law by involuntarily deploying him to Iraq beyond the length of his enlistment, the soldier, identified only as 'John Doe,' has asked a federal judge to block his departure to Iraq. The lawsuit, filed Oct. 1 in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, challenges the military's stop-loss program, which involuntarily extends enlistments during a time of war or national emergency. Joshua Sondheimer, a San Francisco attorney representing the soldier, said that under federal law, stop-loss cannot be applied to reservists when Congress has not officially declared war or a national emergency. 'What all of this is about is an abuse of military authority,' said Sondheimer, who filed the suit in conjunction with the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild."

Two Years and 20,000 Dead and Wounded Soldiers Later, Bush Announces He has a 'Written Plan'
Iraq War Politics

AP: "The Bush administration has developed a formal written strategy for Iraq that envisions using a mix of diplomacy and military force to try to wrest control of dozens of key cities from insurgents before planned January elections, a senior administration official said Friday. The strategy - already largely outlined by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other top officials in recent weeks - was developed over the summer as Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry was accusing Bush of lacking a coherent plan to end the rising violence and pave the way for the withdrawal of American troops. " TRANSLATION: Bush and Co. have slapped together a half-as*sed scheme they have no intention of implementing just so they can claim they have a plan - like the doctor who lets his patient slip into a coma from neglect, then hastily writes up a "treatment plan" after the fact when the family members start asking questions.

'Band of Sisters' Challenges Bush on Iraq
Iraq War Politics

"Members of the Band of Sisters came together from around the country to view the debate, and the ad records their reactions. 'He stood on TV pretending that what's happening is not happening,' Michelle Harris of Arlington, Texas says in the ad. Jane Jenson of Fitchburg, Wis., whose son currently is deployed in Iraq, says of Bush's debate performance: 'He still is not taking it seriously. He still has that silly grin.' Responding to the president's assertion last night that he 'has a plan' for Iraq, Brook Campbell of Atlanta, Ga. ads, 'If he had a plan for progress (in Iraq), my brother might still be alive.' The ad will air beginning today in the Washington, D.C. area, and it will air beginning early next week in key markets in Wisconsin, Iowa and New Mexico. These states have high military family populations, who have been especially affected by George Bush's war in Iraq. Win Back Respect is sponsoring a national tour headlined by the Band of Sisters and Gen. Wesley K. Clark."

Families of Iraq War Dead Target Bush in Ads
Iraq War Politics

"Angered by Bush's policy in Iraq, a group of military families whose relatives died there is targeting the president in new television ads to be aired ahead of the Nov. 2 election. 'I think the American people need to know that we have been betrayed in this rush to war,' said Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey is among more than 1,000 U.S. troops who died in Iraq. Sheehan joined a small group of military families at a news conference in Washington on Wednesday to launch new political ads by an interest group called RealVoices.org, which supports Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's White House bid. The first ads are set to run next week nationally and in battleground cities of Las Vegas, Orlando and Albuquerque. In one ad, Sheehan is seen sobbing as she tells the story of her son, 24-year-old Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, who died in the arms of his best friend in Iraq on April 4." The ads are amazingly powerful - and the Bush-controlled media refuses to cover them!

The Bush Strategy in Iraq: Give 'Em a Stock Market and Hope They Get Tired of Being Killed
Iraq War Politics

Is it any wonder that Kerry believes that America has lost its moral authority? In a Sept. 14 press conference at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, Rumsfeld presented the White House's view of the situation in Iraq: " I'm very encouraged about it...they're making good progress politically. They're making progress economically. The schools are open. The hospitals are open. They have a stock market functioning. They sent some teams to the Olympics. They have a symphony and at the same time, amidst all those good things that are happening, people are being killed. Iraqis are being killed, as they were yesterday and the day before. At some point the Iraqis will get tired of getting killed." Is this an American leader....or a Saturday night Live skit??

France Backs UN's Assertion that Iraq War Was Illegal
Iraq War Politics

Yahoo: "France backed UN Secretary General Kofi Annan description of the US-led war on Iraq as 'illegal', with Foreign Minister Michel Barnier saying that long-held stance was why his country had opposed joining the conflict. 'You well know that what explains our country's disagreement with the way the war was carried out was that it clearly did not at that time abide by international law and there was not a clear request from the United States to start that action,' he said. 'We have always considered that it's international law that constitutes the framework for any action, notably against terrorism or for stability in the world."

Kofi Annan Declares Bush War Illegal, Says Credible Iraq Elections in Jan. Are Impossible
Iraq War Politics

Independent: "Speaking on the BBC World Service, [UN chief Kofi Annan] said the [Iraq] war was 'not in conformity' with the UN Security Council or with the UN Charter.Asked if there was legal authority for the war on Iraq, Mr Annan said: 'I have stated clearly that it was not in conformity with the security council, with the UN charter.' He also said there could not be credible elections in Iraq next January if the current unrest continued. This is the first time that Mr Annan has been so outspoken in his criticism of the grounds for going to war.The Foreign Office [and the entire US media] last night sought to play down Mr Annan's comment."

Turkey Threatens to Withdraw Support for US in Wake of Brutal Treatment of Small Town
Iraq War Politics

Turkey has threatened to halt cooperation with Washington in Iraq if US forces continue to attack the mostly Turkmen populated town of Tal Afar. Al Jazeera: "US troops mounted an ongoing major offensive last week in the town of Tal Afar, near the Syrian border. [US troops forced all residents out of their home and town for several days.] 'If things continue in this way, we told them very clearly that Turkey's cooperation on matters concerning Iraq will come to an end,' Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul [said]. 'Of course we will not stop only at words. If necessary, we will not hesitate to do what has to be done,' Gul added. He did not specify what cooperation might suffer, but Turkey is a key US ally in a largely hostile region and US forces, for example, use its Incirlik military base in the east of the country. Turkish firms are also involved in construction and transport operations in Iraq, with hundreds of Turkish trucks bringing in goods for the US military every day. "

WV Reserve Leader Denounces Iraq War
Iraq War Politics

"West Virginia's top Army Reserve spokesman says the Iraq war was a mistake, and Bush should be voted out of office. In a long interview with Gazette columnist Sandy Wells, Col. Lew G. Tyree of Charleston publicly revealed his feelings about the Iraq invasion, saying: 'I feel we were not told the truth. I do not think we should be there. America is in more danger now because we are using up a tremendous amount of human resources, the soldiers. We tend to ignore that there are well over 1,000 dead and well over 7,000 injured. We use many of the soldiers time and time again. Where are the replacements going to come from? We're getting re-enlistments, but not recruits. Where is the strength for defending this country in another arena?' Tyree commanded the state's largest Army Reserve unit and led his soldiers on harrowing duty in Iraq and Kuwait, hauling ammunition to the front lines. After the unit returned, Tyree retired and was appointed Army Reserve Ambassador for West Virginia. "

Iraq Veterans Against the War Challenges BushFeld's Lies
Iraq War Politics

Boston Globe reports, "The massive protest in Manhattan on Sunday marked one of the first public appearances of a new group called Iraq Veterans Against the War. Though it is still small, numbering about 40, its members are taking tips from more established veterans groups, and because of their war experience, they seem likely to take a prominent role in debate about the Iraq war. Almost unheard of before they caught the cameras' gaze Sunday, the Iraq veterans are now juggling interview requests from Fox News and MSNBC and GQ and Maxim magazines. 'We have a currency no one else has,' said Mike Hoffman, 25, of Trenton, N.J., a Marine veteran who is the national coordinator of the group. 'We've been there, we've seen stuff out there that no one else has, and nobody can argue with that.'" Not exactly - the Swiftees have been arguing with Kerry and the Vietnam Winter Soldiers for 33 years.

More Neocons Turn Against Iraq Debacle
Iraq War Politics

Molly Ivins writes, "The latest defector -- a.k.a., person recognizing reality and showing some common sense -- is Rep. Doug Bereuter of Nebraska, who said 'it was a mistake' to go into Iraq. William F. Buckley, the conservative godfather, has also concluded that had he known in February 2003 what we know now, 'I would not have counseled war against Iraq.' Among those who are seeing the light, Max Boot, a noted neocon, thinks Donald Rumsfeld should resign over Abu Ghraib. The editors of The National Review blame the administration for being unprepared for the occupation. Tucker Carlson of 'Crossfire' repents, as does Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek. Thomas Friedman and David Brooks of The New York Times are both big enough to say they were wrong. According to those who understand politics on the right better than I, either the neo-cons are now in disgrace with the conservatives OR the 'paleo-conservatives' are about to be chucked out of the party by the neo-cons."

Blair's Defense Minister Tells Grieving Father of Murdered Colonel: You're Irritating Me
Iraq War Politics

Looks like Blair's Defense Minister Geoffrey Hoon is cut from the same cloth as Rummy: All mouth, no heart. The Mirror reports: "Hoon told the grieving father of a murdered British soldier: "You're irritating me." [Hoon] was branded arrogant over the outburst by Reg Keys whose son Tom, 20, was one of six military police officers killed by a mob in Iraq. He claimed Mr Hoon told him: "I believe you're getting irritated and you're irritating me now." [Reg] was angry at the lack of information given out by the Government and Army officials about how the six Red Caps died. He said: "Mr Hoon wants to try having his son murdered. If that happened and he was met with walls of silence and subterfuge, then he would know about being irritated...My son went to battle thinking it was about weapons of mass destruction. He was deceived, I was deceived, we were all deceived. I want to know why he was let down in life, when he was lied to and sent into a town to die, and then let down in death."

Departing GOP Congressman Says the Iraq War is an Unjustifiable, Costly Mess
Iraq War Politics

Top Republican congressman Rep. Doug Bereuter of Nebraska "has broken from his party in the final days of his House career, saying he believes the U.S. military assault on Iraq was unjustified and the situation there has deteriorated into 'a dangerous, costly mess. I've reached the conclusion, retrospectively, now that the inadequate intelligence and faulty conclusions are being revealed, that all things being considered, it was a mistake to launch that military action,' Rep. Doug Bereuter wrote in a letter to his constituents. 'Left unresolved for now is whether intelligence was intentionally misconstrued to justify military action,' he said. Bereuter is a senior member of the House International Relations Committee and vice chairman of the House Intelligence Committee."

Why Kerry is Right on Iraq
Iraq War Politics

George Bush claiming that you are either for us or against us is like being told that the only way to get home after a party is with a drunk driver. A glaring example is that Bush continues to snipe at John Kerry for initially voting for the Iraq resolution but later voting against expanded funding of our faltering Iraq foray. In Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria points out that the success of a president or any leader depends how he implements his ideas. So, while the US probably needed a new way to contain or remove Hussein, the Bush Administration problem was in how badly they implemented their half-baked strategy. Bottom line: Bush bungled Iraq big- time, and criticizing the Bush Administration implementation, as Kerry will continue to do, doesn't mean that Kerry was wrong about needing to create a more direct and successful policy for managing the ongoing viciousness of Saddam Hussein.

War? What War?
Iraq War Politics

Molly Ivins writes, "According to The New York Times, 'several Republicans,' presumably speaking for the Bush campaign, noted that American casualties in Iraq are down from last month. Actually, that is quite untrue. Forty-two Americans were killed in Iraq in June, presumed to be an unusually bloody month because it was leading up to the big handover of sovereignty. As of July 21, 43 more Americans have been killed in Iraq, with 10 days still to go in the month. Total number of Americans killed so far is 901, but the new line is: What War? We turned it over to the Iraqis, see? Presto, it disappears, just like magic. It's their problem now. Doesn't have anything to do with us. Bush is out campaigning by calling himself 'the peace president.' Honest. 'He repeated the words 'peace' or 'peaceful' many times, as he had done increasingly in his recent appearances,' reported The New York Times from Iowa this week. Watch the media compliantly take up this line. Truly fascinating. "

Bush REFUSES to Take Personal Responsibility for Lying Our Way to War
Iraq War Politics

Helen Thomas challenged Scott McClellan over the Iraq War: "Q: Prime Minister Blair took full personal responsibility for taking his nation into war under falsehoods -- under reasons that have been determined now to be false. Is President Bush also willing to take full, personal responsibility -- MR. McCLELLAN: I think Prime Minister Blair said that it was the right thing to do; that Saddam Hussein's regime was a threat. Q: Those were not the reasons he took his country into war. It turned out to be untrue, and the same is true for us. Does the President take full, personal responsibility for this war? MR. McCLELLAN: The issue here is what do you to with a threat in a post-September 11th world? Either you live with a threat, or you confront the threat. Q: There was no threat. MR. McCLELLAN: The President made the decision to confront the threat. Q: Saddam Hussein did not threaten this country." Impeach Bush Now!

Only 30,000 New Jobs Have Been Created for Iraqis by Reconstruction - in a Country of over 23 Million
Iraq War Politics

The jobless rate in Iraq is a staggering 30% Reports the Boston Globe: "The US-financed reconstruction program in Iraq has so far hired just over 30,000 Iraqis, far below the projected goal of 250,000 set last year and well below even the more modest objective set just a month ago by L. Paul Bremer III." Astoundingly, the Bush admin. is using the same line on Iraqis as they do on Americans: Things are really pickin' up steam now! But, "Every day, thousands of foreign workers drive trucks ferrying oil refining equipment and other supplies, while others cook meals and clean the laundry for more than 160,000 US and foreign troops deployed in Iraq. Most of these jobs are filled by Americans, Koreans, Japanese, Italians, Indians, Nepalese, and other foreign workers who have been brought into the country by private contractors, according to US officials. Kellogg, Brown & Root alone has thousands of foreign workers on its payroll in Iraq."

Trading War for Terrorists: Secret Swap Between US, UK and Saudi Arabia
Iraq War Politics

UK Independent: "Six Britons convicted on terrorism charges in Saudi Arabia were released last year as part of a secret three-way deal in which the US set free a number of Saudi prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay. The deal was brokered to obtain Saudi support for the invasion of Iraq. Diplomatic and intelligence sources have confirmed to The Independent that the Britons, convicted of a fatal car-bombing, were released last August after the US returned five Saudi prisoners, at least two of whom were believed to have trained in al-Qa'ida camps. At the time, the release of the Saudis was opposed by the Pentagon and the CIA. But the joint releases were subsequently presented as diplomatic triumphs by both the British and Saudi governments."

White House Denies Troop Reinforcement Request to Boost Bush Poll Numbers
Iraq War Politics

In one of its most despicable moves yet, the White House has denied an urgent request by Centcom in Iraq for reinforcements because it coincided with Bush's current 'damage control' campaign in which he has been trying to paint a rosier picture of Iraq On June 23, Centcom commanders stated that they desperately need 25,000 more troops in Iraq, where soldiers are now dying at a rate of over 1 per day. This was not just a "wish list" item, it was a real life-and-death need that is "clearly being driven by requirements in theater," said one senior officer, as reported by the Baltimore Sun. (See http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/iraq/bal-te.troops23jun23,0,7220861.story?coll=bal-iraq-headlines) But during Bush's PR stump in Europe, Rumsfeld stated there would be no more Iraq deployments because "We don't want to be an occupying power." Rumsfeld's spiel was all about how great things were going...even as more US soldiers died.

Did George Tenet Set Chalabi Up?
Iraq War Politics

Soon after news of George Tenet's resignation from the CIA was released, Ahmad Chalabi told reporters that Tenet "was behind the charges against me that claimed that I gave intelligence information to Iran. I denied these charges and I will deny them again." The FBI is examining whether Pentagon officials who had frequent contacts with Chalabi may have leaked sensitive information that U.S. intelligence had broken Iran's secret communications codes." Hmm...the information having been intentionally and selectively leaked to Chalabi, it would thus become much easier to accuse Chalabi of colluding with Iran - afterall, the CIA could "prove" he'd received the "sensitive information." We suspect Chalabi, rotten apple tho' he may be, is being dumped and discredited by the White House because of the extensive info he has on US corporate dealings both Saddam's Iraq and on dubious schemes in the present.

Powell Confirms That under Bush Plan, Iraq Will Be Ruled by a US Military Junta
Iraq War Politics

"Iraq's new interim government will have no veto over future military operations by American-led forces after the U.S.-British occupation formally ends on June 30, Secretary of State Colin Powell said." Powell said that although the puppet government will appear to have say in some political matters, the US military holds the real trump cards. "There could be a situation where we have to act and there may be a disagreement, and we have to act to protect ourselves or to accomplish a mission," was his euphemistic statement, which, translated, was clear to all: The US military can do pretty much whatever it wants and call it self defense. This contradicts Tony Blair's assurance to Iraq the Iraqi government would be able to veto operations. Needless to say, skepticism of the Blair-Bush resolution is growing, even among US allies, including Russia.

Bush Mission Accomplished: Iraq is Now Officially a 'Failed State'
Iraq War Politics

For the past several years, political science experts, the CIA, Brookings Institution, et al. have focused much research on the concept of a "failed state." Brookings states: "Failed states are countries in which the central government does not exert effective control over, nor is it able to deliver vital services to, significant parts of its own territory due to conflict, ineffective governance, or state collapse. Current examples include Afghanistan, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan. Failing states - those in which the central government's hold on power and/or territory is tenuous - also pose a serious threat. " In February, 2003, Iraq was not listed even as a nation posing a "cause for concern" in the failed state dept. Now, not even one and one-half years after Bush's invasion, Iraq has been declared a failed state. http://www.brook.edu/comm/policybriefs/pb116.htm

The Rumsfeld/Bush Quest for Soldiers 'on the Cheap' is at the Heart of the Iraq Abuse Scandal
Iraq War Politics

David Leigh writes, "Why are US soldiers of such poor quality? One reason appears to be that many officers and foot soldiers are not professionals. The present US administration, led by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, is trying to exploit these 200,000 army reservists, to get a smaller, lighter, cheaper, full-time army, as well as seeking to privatize many jobs out to commercial firms. 'The nature of reserve service as a purely one weekend a month, two weeks in the summer, training group of soldiers that never gets mobilized over a 20-30 year period is over,' says Lt. Gen. James Helmly, its commander. The army reserve, he adds, should be seen as a good business deal: 'The cost for 100 active duty soldiers to maintain readiness for a year is approximately seven times greater than that of 100 army reserve soldiers.' Cheap they may be. But this motley collection of part-timers have now sparked the worst US military scandal since Vietnam."

New York Times to BushFeld: Stop Hiding Behind Troops and Take Responsibility
Iraq War Politics

The New York Times has a message for George W. Bush and his minions: Their standard tactics of deception and distraction aren't working anymore. They can no longer evade responsibility for the debacle in Iraq by spouting Big Lies about how well things are going, or by impugning the patriotism of their critics, or by blaming underlings for carrying out orders. And, unstated but obvious in every sentence of this scathing editorial, is that Bush can no longer count on the so-called liberal media to support his insupportable policies.

Two out of Three Brits Want UK Troops withdrawn from Iraq by June 30
Iraq War Politics

Independent: "Voters support the withdrawal of all British troops from Iraq by the end of next month by a majority of two to one, a poll for The Independent reveals today. The poll comes at a turbulent time for the Government, rocked by allegations over the mistreatment of Iraqi captives. Yesterday, in a further embarrassment for Britain and America, it emerged that their ambassadors to Switzerland had been summoned by the Swiss government to demand respect for international law in the treatment of prisoners in Iraq. Acting as the guardian of the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of warfare, the Swiss Foreign Minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey, said she felt 'abhorrence and rage' over the disclosures of prisoner abuse 'It violates international humanitarian law. I am very concerned. These are occurrences that we cannot keep silent about.'"

The War of the Words: Pentagon's Propaganda Labels Prop Up Illusion of a 'Just War'
Iraq War Politics

Terry Jones writes: 'You can call people who are defending their own homes from rockets and missiles launched from helicopters and tanks 'fanatics and terrorists' only for so long. Eventually even newspaper readers will smell a rat Similarly it's fiendishly difficult to get people to accept the label 'rebels' for those Iraqis killed by American snipers when - as in Falluja - they turn out to be pregnant women, 13-year-old boys and old men standing by their front gates. It also sounds a bit lame to call ambulance drivers 'fighters' - when they've been shot through the windscreen in the act of driving the wounded to hospital I hope you're beginning to see the problem. The key thing, I suppose, is to try to call US mercenaries 'civilians' or 'civilian contractors', while calling Iraqi civilians 'fighters' or 'insurgents'."

Rice Meets Behind Closed Doors with House and Senate Republicans on Iraq
Iraq War Politics

"National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice briefs House and Senate Republicans on the situation in Iraq. The closed-door briefing comes near the end of a series of Congressional hearings examining troop deployment extensions, military costs and the planned June 30 transfer of power to an Iraqi government. Rice also met with some Senate Democrats in a meeting that was arranged at the last minute [no doubt to give a pseudo-appearance of 'bipartisansip']. NPR's Andrea Seabrook reports."

Unrepentent PentaPost Wants to Crucify Kerry on a Cross of Iraqi 'Democracy'
Iraq War Politics

The Pentagon Post has never apologized for enthusiastically cheerleading the invasion of Iraq on the basis of neocon lies. And now they are continuing their neocon crusade by attacking John Kerry for setting a more realistic goal of Iraqi "stability" rather than the neocon fantasy of "democracy." Yet even the PentaPost admits a US-imposed "democracy" may well be impossible: "At best democracy will take years to consolidate; at worst, it will prove unachievable during the U.S. mission." Instead of attacking Kerry for being realistic, PentaPost should attack those who recklessly and insanely invaded Iraq - at a cost of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars - despite repeated warnings of the "Pottery Barn" rule: you break it, you own it. And what about "democracy" in America? Bush stole the 2000 election in Florida, and is blocking paper trails so he can steal it again in 2004. Demand an apology from letters@washpost.com, ombudsman@washpost.com

Bush Blows It again! In Response to Negroponte Appointment, Honduras to Pull out of Iraq
Iraq War Politics

Can anyone blame Honduras for pulling out of Iraq after Bush announced the appointment of human rights criminal John Negroponte as new envoy to Iraq? This is a man strongly believed in Honduras to have been complicit in the murders, torture, and disappearance of hundreds of civilians - and then covering it up with phony glowing reports of "human rights progress." But the Bush State Department is trying to wriggle out of cause and effect by blaming the Honduras pull out on Spain. Yeah, right! Meanwhile, our troops are losing even MORE support thanks to yet a colossal bad move by Bush - a bad move that they will pay for in the future as Iraqis respond to having a criminal as the US envoy. For more on Negroponte's criminal activities, see http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=John_Negroponte and http://www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/4140

How the US Went from Nation Rescuer to Nation in Need of Rescue in Iraq
Iraq War Politics

Martin Woollacott writes: "Iraq has become a test case for this concept of untrammelled military power, and it is proving a difficult one. With the excitement of the armoured race to Baghdad now a distant memory, the Bush administration finds itself face to face, perhaps even more than its predecessors in Vietnam, with what could be called the essential meagreness of the military instrument. It can be a key that opens the door for other kinds of action, but it cannot substitute for them. George Bernard Shaw observed that any political arrangement that depends on soldiers is not likely to continue long. The truth in Iraq has, from the start, been that the American 'occupation', like most occupations, has never meant any kind of close military control of Iraqi society."

U.S. May Be Facing Intifada in Iraq
Iraq War Politics

Trudy Rubin writes, "The White House could soon confront a Shiite uprising that extends far beyond the forces of the radical cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr. That is a much greater threat than the battles now being fought in Fallujah with minority Sunni insurgents. Shiite Muslims, who make up 60 percent of Iraq's population and were oppressed brutally by Saddam Hussein, were supposed to regard Americans as liberators. Their tolerance of any U.S. presence is essential. Should they [who number in millions] rebel in large numbers against U.S. troops [who number in tens of thousands], US troops could not stay on." There are ominious signs: Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the chief Shiite religious leader, is now refusing to condemn Sadr's movement. Hussain Sharistani, advisor Sistani, warns, '"If U.S. forces act as Israel does with the Palestinians, it will force the country into an intifada."

Bush and Allies Continue to Play the 'We Won't Yield to Terrorists' Card in Face of Growing Opposition
Iraq War Politics

Yahoo: "Japan has deployed some 550 troops to the southern Iraqi city of Samawa for humanitarian work, despite widespread opposition on the grounds the move violated the country's post-war pacifist constitution." Now that 3 Japanese citizens have been kidnapped, anger at Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, and demands to remove Japanese troops from Iraq are rising. But, just like his good pals Bush and Blair, Koizumi is refusing to comply with the majority of his people, instead claiming "We must not yield to terrorists' foul threats." What Bush, Blair, and Koizumi are REALLY saying is: "We will not yield to the demands of the majority of our own people."

Bush is Deliberately Provoking Bloodshed and Chaos in Iraq for Political Gain
Iraq War Politics

Writes Naomi Klein: "On Sunday, Iraqi soldiers, trained and controlled by coalition forces, opened fire on a demonstration here. As the protesters returned to their homes... the US army followed with tanks, helicopters and planes, firing at random on homes, shops, streets, even ambulances. Make no mistake:.. it is a war provoked by the US occupation authority...Washington has given up on its plans to hand over power to an interim Iraqi government on 6/30, and is creating the chaos it needs to declare the handover impossible." But in so doing, "Bremer has destroyed what slim hope they had of gaining credibility with an already highly mistrustful population. Before storming the unarmed demonstrators, the soldiers could be seen pulling on ski masks, so they would not be recognised in their neighbourhoods later. The coalition provisional authority is increasingly being compared on the streets to Saddam, who also didn't much like peaceful protests, or critical newspapers."

Majority of Americans Say Iraq War Was Not Worth American Lives
Iraq War Politics

"According to CBS News polls, a majority says that 'the result of the war with Iraq' was not worth 'the loss of American life and other costs' (51% to 42%). A majority (55%) also believes that, as a result of the war with Iraq, either the United States is less safe from terrorism (19%) or there has been no change (36%), rather than that we are safer from terrorism (42%). In addition, 61% say that the Bush administration was either hiding elements (45%) or mostly lying (16%) about what they knew about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. The public also believes that the Bush administration intentionally exaggerated intelligence findings to build support for the war (59%), rather than interpreted that intelligence accurately. And, it's fascinating to note that, at this late date, 57% still think either that the Iraq threat could have been contained (45%) or that it wasn't a threat at all (12%), compared to 42% who believe that Iraq's threat merited immediate military action."

Bush LAUGHS on the Graves of 589 US Soldiers who Died for WMD's
Iraq War Politics

David Corn writes, "Even if Bush does not believe he lied to or misled the public, how can he make fun of the rationale for a war that has killed and maimed thousands? Imagine if Lyndon Johnson had joked about the trumped-up Gulf of Tonkin incident that he deceitfully used as a rationale for U.S. military action in Vietnam: 'Who knew that fish had torpedoes?' Or if Ronald Reagan appeared at a correspondents event following the truck-bombing at the Marines barracks in Beirut--which killed over 200 American servicemen--and said, 'Guess we forgot to put in a stop light'... Yet there was Bush--apparently having a laugh at his own expense, but actually doing so on the graves of thousands. This was a callous and arrogant display. For Bush, the misinformation--or disinformation--he peddled before the war was no more than material for yucks. As the audience laughed along, he smiled. The false statements (or lies) that had launched a war had become merely another punchline."

British Whistle-Blower Faces Prison for Exposing UN Spy Efforts
Iraq War Politics

Molly Ivins writes, "A British citizen named Katharine Gun faces two years in prison for revealing that the U.S. National Security Agency tried - and succeeded - in getting the Brits to help us with illegal spying operations at the United Nations. The targets were the delegations of the six countries on the U.N. Security Council that were undecided on how to vote on the critical Iraqi war resolution... Gun may be sentenced to prison for doing precisely what we all hope every government employee will try to do: prevent the government from committing an illegal and immoral act. Some dare call it patriotism... The British paper The Observer reported last week that Britain did indeed help the United States to conduct secret and 'potentially illegal' spying operations at the U.N. 'It is also known that the operation caused significant disquiet in the intelligence community on both sides of the Atlantic.'"

US-UK Spying at the UN Derailed Move to Avert War
Iraq War Politics

The UK Observer: "A joint British [GCHQ] and American [NSA] spying operation at the United Nations scuppered a last-ditch initiative to avert the invasion of Iraq... Senior UN diplomats from Mexico and Chile provided new evidence last week that their missions were spied on, in direct contravention of international law. The former Mexican ambassador to the UN, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, told The Observer that US officials intervened last March, just days before the war against Saddam was launched, to halt secret negotiations for a compromise resolution to give weapons inspectors more time to complete their work. Aguilar Zinser claimed that the intervention could only have come as a result of surveillance of a closed diplomatic meeting where the compromise was being hammered out. He said it was clear the Americans knew about the confidential discussions in advance. 'When they [the US] found out, they said, 'You should know that we don't like the idea and we don't like you to promote it.'"

Blix Says Bush and Blair Acted Like Salesmen Pitching Iraq War
Iraq War Politics

"The former UN chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, weighed into the controversy over weapons of mass destruction yesterday when he accused Tony Blair and George Bush of behaving like insincere salesmen who 'exaggerated' intelligence in an attempt to win support for war. In a carefully worded attack, Dr Blix said intelligence communities were too ready to believe the 'tales' of defectors, and the British prime minister and US president, while not acting in bad faith [?], were too preoccupied with spin."

In Debate, Dems Blast Bush's Iraq Lies
Iraq War Politics

"The Iraq war dominated large parts of the evening, but there were few disagreements among the candidates. Instead they competed to see who could be most forceful in denouncing the Bush administration's alleged mishandling of intelligence about weapons of mass destruction. Kerry and Dean said they were troubled by Vice President Cheney's prewar visits to the Central Intelligence Agency. Dean said Cheney 'sat with middle-level CIA operatives and berated them because he didn't like their intelligence reports.' Kerry, though he voted for a resolution authorizing the war, said, 'There's an enormous question about the exaggeration by this administration.' Edwards joined Dean in supporting an independent commission to examine inaccurate intelligence about Iraqi mass-weapons capability, as well as possible administration misstatements on the subject."

Is Iraq a Humanitarian Effort? HA! Think Again, Says Human Rights Watch
Iraq War Politics

From the Progress Report: "The White House has claimed we went to war in Iraq for humanitarian purposes, to save the people from Saddam's regime of terror. But as Human Rights Watch yesterday noted in its new report, while the war 'ended the reign of a brutal government… coalition leaders are wrong to characterize it as a humanitarian intervention.' According to the study, 'While Saddam Hussein had an atrocious human rights record, his worst atrocities were committed long before the intervention.' For a military action to be characterized as 'humanitarian,' Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth explains, 'the motive for intervening should be primarily humanitarian; the danger of slaughter should be imminent and the scale of the killings massive; and all other options for preventing the slaughter should have been exhausted.'" That was true in 1983 - when Don Rumsfeld shook Saddam's hand and helped him buy WMD's - not after 1991, when Iraq was "disarmed."

Ted Kennedy Blasts Bush
Iraq War Politics

In a major speech, Ted Kennedy declared: "Bush said it all when a television reporter asked him whether Saddam actually had weapons of mass destruction, or whether there was only the possibility that he might acquire them. Bush answered, 'So what's the difference?' The difference, Mr. [Bush], is whether you go to war or not. No President of the United States should employ misguided ideology and distortion of the truth to take the nation to war. In doing so, [Bush] broke the basic bond of trust between government and the people. If Congress and the American people knew the whole truth, America would never have gone to war. To remain silent when we feel so strongly would be irresponsible. It would betray the fundamental ideals for which our troops are sacrificing their lives on battlefields half a world away. No President who does that to this land we love deserves to be re-elected." Any Resident who does this deserves to be IMPEACHED!

Bush Retribution? U.S. Opens Firearms Charge against Intermediary in Iraq Peace Deal
Iraq War Politics

"A Lebanese-American businessman who acted as an intermediary between Baghdad and Washington before the war in Iraq has been charged with violating a firearms regulation. His lawyer contends that the case represents retribution by the Bush administration... The call from the agent to Mr. Hage notifying him of the sealed complaint came on the same day that an article in The New York Times disclosed Mr. Hage's involvement in trying to deliver messages to the White House from Iraqi intelligence officials... The Iraqi officials met with Mr. Hage in Beirut and Baghdad and told him they wanted Washington to know that Iraq no longer had any weapons of mass destruction. They said they were willing to make concessions in order to avoid war, Mr. Hage said. Mr. Hage then met in early March in London with Richard Perle... [A] search of [Hage's] luggage [at Dulles Airport] found a semiautomatic handgun wrapped in tin foil and four stun guns and magazine clips, law enforcement officials said."

Iraq is a WINNING Issue for Democrats
Iraq War Politics

The Democratic establishment has shunned anti-war Democrats like Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean because they believed opposition to the war would HURT Democrats. But Ruy Teixeira writes, "One reason for the pro-Democratic shift over this time period is the rise in salience of the situation in Iraq. Just in the last couple of months, the number citing the situation in Iraq as one of the two top issues that will influence their presidential vote in '04 has doubled (from 14% to 28%). And those citing Iraq favor the Democrats in the generic presidential ballot by 29 points... the higher the voter salience of the Iraq situation, the better the Democrats are likely to do in November, 2004. Not exactly what Rove and co. had in mind" - or the Democratic establishment.

7 in 10 Americans Think Iraq War Did Nothing to Reduce Terrorism
Iraq War Politics

Seven in 10 Americans now say they don't think the war in Iraq has reduced the threat of terrorism, according to a new poll. Less than 50% felt that way in April, during the war. The poll by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland reveals that 71% of Americans want the United Nations to take the lead in helping establish a stable government in Iraq - up from 50% in April. Although two-thirds of respondents don't think the US should withdraw before helping to establish a stable government, about 80% say that the Iraqis should be free to chose their own government, even if it is not friendly to the US.

Dept of Defense Press Release: Feith Memo Does Not Show Saddam-Osama Link
Iraq War Politics

"News reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee are inaccurate. A letter was sent to the Senate Intelligence Committee on October 27, 2003 from Douglas J. Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, in response to follow-up questions from his July 10 testimony. One of the questions posed by the committee asked the Department to provide the reports from the Intelligence Community to which he referred in his testimony before the Committee. These reports dealt with the relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida. The items listed in the classified annex were either raw reports or products of the CIA, the NSA, or, in one case, the DIA... The selection of the documents was made by DOD to respond to the Committee's question. The classified annex was not an analysis of the substantive issue of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaida, and it drew no conclusions."

Fox Trumpets Memo 'Proving' Saddam-Osama Link - Written by Bushevik Feith!
Iraq War Politics

Eric Garris writes, "Today, Fox News anchors are repeatedly mentioning the blockbuster story 'proving' a long-time link between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. The leak was made to a truly unbiased source, the Weekly Standard. The neocon magazine titles the article on the 'leaked' memo, 'Case Closed.' The memo is from another unbiased source: Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith, one of the most hard-core neoconservatives at the Pentagon. At one point, a Fox reporter referred to the Weekly Standard as having 'close ties to the White House' You would think that they might mention that Fox and the Weekly Standard are both owned by Rupert Murdoch. Current and retired intel officers have identified the work of Feith's Office of Special Plans as a key component of the exaggerated and manipulated intelligence produced on Iraq. Feith himself has been accused of being behind previous leaks of 'raw intelligence.'"

'Bush Country' is Swinging Towards Dems Because of Q'W'agmire
Iraq War Politics

"Voters in 'Bush country,' like Fayetteville, Beaufort and Jacksonville, and other small, conservative coastal towns of North Carolina, are showing signs of discontent with the administration's policies on Iraq, said Ben Wallace-Wells, who recently spent time in the South taking the pulse of military voters. 'Six months ago, you simply didn't hear anything against Bush in Jacksonville but these attitudes have begun to change,' Wallace-Wells said. 'The local newspaper's editorial board, which has been vocally pro-Bush throughout his administration, ran an editorial at the beginning of October criticizing the administration's policies on Iraq, suggesting that the campaign could end in a Vietnam-like quagmire.' Wallace-Wells said reservists who returned home expressed their disillusionment on local radio talk shows, saying they wouldn't be re-enlisting and complaining their return dates repeatedly had been delayed."

Bush's Photo Op with British Soldiers' Families Enrages Victims
Iraq War Politics

Bush has gone to 35 fundraisers, but not a single funeral of an American soldier. But Tony Blair is desperate to make Bush look "compassionate." "During his visit to Britain, Bush is planning to meet the families of British soldiers killed in Iraq - but the move has been labeled a selfish stunt by two grieving fathers. 'What does George Bush care about our families and my family? He doesn't care,' said Robert Kelly, whose 18-year-old son Andrew was killed in the southern city of Basra in May. 'For these people to meet families, it is only for their own gain. They are not sympathetic toward people like me,' he told BBC radio. Robert Keys, whose 20-year-old son Thomas was killed in June, said: 'I am totally against his visit. I don't know how he has the nerve to show his face in this country after costing the lives of 54 British soldiers for his own glory.'"

Cleland Rips Bush Iraq Policy
Iraq War Politics

"Hundreds of people turned out at a town hall meeting on Iraq last night where former Democratic senator Max Cleland blasted the Bush administration's war policy, saying that the conflict now resembles the failed Vietnam War effort. 'We don't have a strategy to win or get out,' Cleland told more than 400 people... in Arlington [VA] for the forum sponsored by Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.)... Cleland, a former head of the Veterans Administration, lost both legs and his right arm in combat in the Vietnam War. Today, the former senator from Georgia serves on the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Calling the Middle East conflict a 'war of attrition,' Cleland said administration officials were protecting their interest in Iraq's oil fields but not Iraq's people or U.S. troops from the conflict's ravages. 'The people who planned this war never went to war,' he said." Hey Max - we need you back in the Senate!

Poll: Half of Americans Say Iraq War Not Worth It
Iraq War Politics

AP: "Amid increasing attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq, a growing number of Americans, including men and independent voters, say the war in Iraq was not worthwhile, according to a survey released Monday. Half of Americans, 49 percent, say the war was not worth it, compared to 48 percent who say it was, according to a survey conducted this month by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. That's a change from results in October, when 52 percent of Americans polled nationwide said the situation in Iraq was worth going to war over, while 43 percent said it was not. The latest survey was conducted Nov. 1 through Nov. 9, a period when news of U.S. helicopters being shot down in Iraq gained wide attention. Shifts in opinion were seen in most demographic groups, but were strongest among men, independents and political moderates and people with incomes of less than $35,000 per year, the survey found."

'They Were All Non-Starters': The Thwarted Iraqi Peace Proposals
Iraq War Politics

Gary Leupp writes, "The breaking story about efforts by Iraq's Baathist regime to avoid U.S. invasion and occupation reveals a scandal greater than those which have preceded it. Four recent articles inform us that the Bush administration was so hell-bent on attacking Iraq (for reasons bearing no relation to the stated casus belli) that it not only [did] mislead the American people, but resisted the abjectly humiliating efforts of Iraqi authorities to comply with almost all stated U.S. demands... The story has caused some stir, but not nearly enough, I suspect because the details are complicated. The mainstream media has generally treated the story with skepticism, and the cable news anchor heads who have applauded the war all along are having a real hard time with this one. The clearer the picture becomes, I hope, the more enlightened we all will become about the nature of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Here's my sum-up of the reports."

RepubliNazi Attempts to 'Blame the Media' for Reporting Iraq Deaths Are Despicable
Iraq War Politics

Joe Conason writes, "If the deaths of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians went unreported by the news 'filter,' would those people still be alive? If the critics of U.S. policy in Iraq kept quiet, would that policy be working rather than failing? If U.S. policy is failing, at the cost of American and Iraqi lives, is the duty of patriots to pretend otherwise or to speak out? I only ask because - until the terrible week that culminated in yesterday's Chinook helicopter downing - the line from the White House and the Pentagon was that America's worst problems in Iraq were 'negative' news coverage and domestic 'political' sniping. That propaganda trope is no longer plausible even to those who fervently support the administration and the war. Americans are losing confidence in the resident's war policy not because of media coverage or political criticism, but because the administration misled them about the reasons for the war and the costs and consequences of invading Iraq."

BushFeld Scrubs Dead Soldiers - Even 'Body Bags'
Iraq War Politics

Toronto Star reports, "Americans have never seen any of the 359 bodies returning from Iraq. Nor do they see the wounded cramming the Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington or soldiers who say they are being treated inhumanely awaiting medical treatment at Fort Stewart, Ga. In order to continue to sell an increasingly unpopular Iraqi invasion to the American people, Bush's administration sweeps the messy parts of war - the grieving families, the flag-draped coffins, the soldiers who have lost limbs - into a far corner of the nation's attic. No television cameras are allowed at Dover. Bush does not attend the funerals of soldiers who gave their lives in his war on terrorism... Today's military doesn't even use the words 'body bags' - a term in common usage during the Vietnam War, when 58,000 Americans died. During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the Pentagon began calling them 'human remains pouches' and it now refers to them as 'transfer tubes.' "

As Body Bags Come Home, AWOL Bush is AWOL Again
Iraq War Politics

Elizabeth Bushlover writes, "When the Chinook helicopter was shot down on Sunday in Iraq, killing 15 Americans, Bush let his defense secretary do the talking and stayed out of sight at his ranch. The pResident has not attended the funeral of any American soldiers killed in action... [Bush's AWOL] strategy can add to the anguish of families who have lost loved ones in Iraq. Thomas Wilson, an uncle of Staff Sgt. Joe N. Wilson, 30, of Crystal Springs, Miss., who was killed in the helicopter attack, went so far as to tell a reporter on Monday that Mr. Bush and members of his family needed to experience Iraq for themselves. 'Then he'll realize what's going on,' Mr. Wilson said. 'As long as they ain't over there, he don't care.'... In October 2000, [Clinton] attended a memorial service in Norfolk, Va., for the 17 sailors killed in the bombing of the guided-missile destroyer Cole. In 1983, Ronald Reagan attended a memorial service at Camp Lejeune, N.C., for 241 marines killed in Beirut."

Dems Fighting Back? Senators Plan Second Investigation of Iraq Intel
Iraq War Politics

"Top Democrats in Congress are planning a second, 'independent' investigation into the role of the White House and the Pentagon in processing pre-war intelligence on Iraq. The Democrats-only inquiry, targeting the actions of Condoleezza Rice and senior Pentagon officials, would be a dramatic breach of Washington protocol. It would be led by rebel members of the Senate Intelligence Committee (SIC), which has spent more than four months investigating the quality and use of the intelligence. Senior Democrats have accused the committee's Republican chairman, Pat Roberts, of giving top White House and Pentagon officials an easy ride. According to Richard Durbin, a Chicago senator and SIC member, a public split and new inquiry is inevitable. The inquiry, under a rule never evoked before, would have legal powers to demand documents and summon witnesses from within the administration, potentially leading to high-ranking confrontations with top Bush officials."

Americans Turn Against Deadly Iraq Occupation - and Bush
Iraq War Politics

USA Today reports, "The costs of occupation in Iraq are mounting in lives and dollars, and that is eroding support for the war and confidence in Resident Bush at home. The Pentagon announced Tuesday that the 115 American troops killed in combat in Iraq since May 1 - the day Bush declared major combat operations over - exceeds the 114 killed by hostile fire during the war itself. Since the heady day six months ago when the statue of Saddam Hussein toppled in the heart of Baghdad, more than one-fourth of Americans who thought the war was worth it have changed their minds. The 71% level of support in USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Polls last spring has fallen to 52% in surveys this fall... In one April survey by USA TODAY, Americans by 43%-15% said the war had made them more confident in Bush's ability to handle other problems. In a subsequent poll taken last Friday through Sunday, they said by 40%-27% that the war had made them less confident in him."

Thousands Died for Karl Rove - Where is the Outrage?
Iraq War Politics

The Daily Brew writes, "While congressional hearings might provide some nice political theater (and have therefore been blocked by the Republicans), they are not really necessary. The fundamental question created by the war on Iraq has been answered. The Bush administration deliberately deceived the American public. To what degree matters not. They did so to drag the Nation into a war. They did so at least partially, if not principally, to influence the 2002 Congressional elections, and solidify their hold on domestic political power. That ought to be enough. That their war has now become a guerrilla campaign, with no end in sight to the loss of American blood and treasure, ought to be entirely too much. But for the supplicant US corporate press, somehow the lives of US servicemen sacrificed on the altar of Rovian political calculations is not a cause for concern."

The Guardian Runs Retraction of 'Wolfowitz: Iraq war was about oil'
Iraq War Politics

"A report which was posted on our website on June 4 under the heading 'Wolfowitz: Iraq war was about oil' misconstrued remarks made by... Paul Wolfowitz, making it appear that he had said that oil was the main reason for going to war in Iraq. He did not say that. He said, according to the Department of Defence website, 'The ... difference between North Korea and Iraq is that we had virtually no economic options with Iraq because the country floats on a sea of oil. In the case of North Korea, the country is teetering on the edge of economic collapse and that I believe is a major point of leverage whereas the military picture with North Korea is very different from that with Iraq.' The sense was clearly that the US had no economic options by means of which to achieve its objectives, not that the economic value of the oil motivated the war. The report appeared only on the website and has now been removed." Yes, Oil wasn't the main reason... Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge...

Was It All About the Photo Ops?
Iraq War Politics

Paul Krugman writes: "Was it all about the photo ops? Why is the failure to find any evidence of an active Iraqi nuclear weapons program, or vast quantities of chem-bio weapons a big deal? Because it feeds suspicions that the war wasn't waged to eliminate real threats. Bush got to pose in his flight suit. Given the absence of awkward questions, his handlers will make even more brazen use of the national security issue. The GOP convention will exploit 9-11 to its fullest. Will anyone dare question the propriety of the proceedings? Who will ask why, if the administration is so proud of its response to Sept. 11, it has gone to such lengths to prevent a thorough, independent inquiry into what actually happened. There was a time when patriotic Americans from both parties would have denounced any p-resident who tried to take political advantage of his role as commander in chief. But that, it seems, was another country."

Gingrich, Rumsfeld and the NeoCons Planned Iraq War a Week after 911
Iraq War Politics

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as far back as Sept. 19-20, 2001, barely a week after the attacks of Sept. 11, Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz met for 19 hours of closed sessions with Gingrich and other members of the Defense Policy Board. The topic: war on Iraq. "If we don't use this as the moment to replace Saddam after we replace the Taliban, we are setting the stage for disaster," Gingrich told the press afterward.

Pro-War Organizer Rallied for the Troops and Lied about his Korean War Service
Iraq War Politics

"Don Neddo, the force behind the region's biggest pro-U.S. troops rallies, will no longer organize the demonstrations after admitting Thursday that he fabricated his combat service. Neddo, 70, never parachuted into Korean enemy lines with the Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade during the Korean War and never suffered frostbite overseas, as he claimed in a Times Union story on March 29. Neddo is not even a veteran. 'I'll resign because I don't want to hurt this thing,' Neddo said, referring to the rallies, one of which drew 5,000 to 7,000 people on March 29 in Clifton Park. Confronted with the fact that the 173rd Airborne never served in Korea, Neddo broke down and said he actually was a private with an anti-aircraft New York State Guard unit in the New Scotland Avenue Armory in Albany during the 1950s. The unit never left the country." A chickenhawk like Dubya - BushDaddy pulled strings to get him into a champagne unit of the National Guard, which he then deserted (see Awolbush.com).

Kucinich Forces Out Iraq Secrets
Iraq War Politics

"The Administration was forced to turn over documentation to Congress about Iraq due to a Resolution of Inquiry filed by Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH). The Administration finally released to Congress the 12,000 page Iraqi declaration made to the United Nations on December 7, 2002. Kucinich, Ranking Member of the Government Reform Subcommittee National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, used a rare House procedure known as a Resolution of Inquiry, filed in the House on February 12, 2003, to pry the information out of the Administration."

Have You Forgotten?
Iraq War Politics

Rabid right-wingers have recently accused anti-war protesters of "forgetting about 9-11." We haven't forgotten. We've just learned a different set of lessons from it than those who use it to justify the immoral attack on Iraq.

GOP Unleashes Political Attacks on Dems
Iraq War Politics

PentaPost reports, "Republicans are implicitly challenging the patriotism of some Democrats who have criticized Bush's war plans, a sign that the divisive politics marking the 108th Congress are unlikely to cease during wartime. While many foreign leaders and tens of millions of Americans oppose war with Iraq, Bush and GOP congressional leaders are reacting with vitriol to Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.) for saying this week Bush 'failed miserably' in his diplomacy, an assessment shared publicly by many other Democrats. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) this week told Daschle in French to 'shut your mouth,' and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), normally reserved in his rhetoric, said Daschle came 'mighty close' to providing comfort to the nation's enemies. In an interview yesterday, DeLay said Daschle and other outspoken congressional Democrats are only 'emboldening Saddam Hussein' by echoing concerns raised by France and other international critics of Bush's approach."