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12 December 2005

 
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Masque of Democracy: Iraqi Election System Still Disfavors Sunni Arabs, Favors Kurds
Carl Conetta
…The procedures for the December 2005 election of Iraq’s Council of Representatives, which will govern for four years, puts Sunni Arab areas at a distinct disadvantage. It virtually guarantees that Sunni Arabs will be under-represented in government. This is no way to “win hearts and minds” or to erode support for the insurgency. The 15 December election will fill the 275 seats of Iraq’s national assembly (now officially called the “Council of Representatives”). Of these seats, 230 are allocated among Iraq’s 18 provinces to be filled through local contests. But the allocation to provinces does not correspond with their relative population size ˆ as is the case in the United States with House of Representative seats. Instead, the allocation accords with the relative numbers of people who registered to vote in the 30 January 2005 election ˆ an election that Sunni Arabs boycotted. Using these voter registration rolls (which were completed in late 2004) as a basis for allocating assembly seats is not a democratic “best practice”, as explained below. Nor does it serve political stability. And, as it so happens, the procedure disfavors Sunnis, while favoring Kurds…
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Sell Off Your Oil Wealth and Ye Shall be Free
America’s Lust For Oil in Iraq
James Houle
The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) plan for the Middle East was fleshed-out in a policy paper issued in early 2002 entitled “Moving the Iraqi Economy from Recovery to Sustainable Growth” and produced at the American Heritage Foundation by Aaron Cohen and Gerald O’Driscoll. Reissued by the State Department in February 2003, it provided the rationale for the Bush oil policy for Iraq in those heady days after the thunderous advance up the road to Baghdad. They proposed to sell off all of the oil resources of Iraq, currently held in trust by the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC), to major US oil firms. Privatization of Iraqi oil, literally the sale of rights to own and exploit the country’s oil and gas resources, was trumpeted as the cure for all ailments…
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GI Special 3D42: How Many Died – December 12, 2005
www.militaryproject.org
The Pentagon never told Congress about more than 20,000 hospitalizations involving troops who’d taken the anthrax vaccine, despite repeated promises that such cases would be publicly disclosed. Instead, a parade of generals and Defense Department officials told Congress and the public that fewer than 100 people were hospitalized or became seriously ill after receiving the shot from 1998 through 2000. They also showed Congress written policies that required public reports to be filed for hospitalizations, serious illnesses and cases where someone missed 24 hours or more of duty…
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Obviously they will keep getting lower!
Khalid Jarrar
Remember when I told you about the torture in the Iraqi prisons before? well the worst of it, used to take place in the prison of Sahat al Nosour ( Al Nosour square ) which is controlled and ran by the national guards. NOW it was discovered, when a video was released showing the torturing ways used there, with interviews with the victims. The ministry of human rights inspected the prison last Thursday to find about 600 people in it, 56 were released immediatel!y and 75 were transferred to another prison. The detainees who are Arab Sunni men said that they were arrested in the street or in their work places, without any legal charges pressed against them, and that they were forced to sign fake confessions about them making crimes. (I can confirm that, it was happening where I was too)…
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Saddam considers Iraq polls a ‘farce’
dpa – Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Toppled Iraqi president Saddam Hussein considers Iraq’s parliamentary elections to be a ‘farce designed to please the occupiers’ and will not vote in them, a spokesman for the ousted dictator’s Amman-based defence team said Monday. ‘It is a foregone conclusion that Saddam Hussein will not vote in these elections because he considers himself head of the Iraqi state and profoundly believes the ballots are nothing more than a farce because they are designed by the subservient government to please the American occupiers,’ Issam Ghzawi told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa…
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Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Monday, 12 December 2005
Translated and/or compiled by Muhammad Abu Nasr, member, editorial board, the Free Arab
…In a dispatch posted at 5:40pm Mecca time Monday evening, Mafkarat al-Islam reported that Iraqi Resistance forces had attacked joint US-Iraqi puppet troops in several places in western Baghdad on Monday. The Baghdad correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported eyewitnesses as saying that Resistance fighters seized control over the neighborhoods of al-Khadra’, al-’Adl, and al-Ghazaliyah in western Baghdad on Monday and attacked joint US-Iraqi puppet patrols there. The Resistance fighters disabled two Iraqi puppet army vehicles and one American Humvee, killing six Iraqi puppet police and wounding three more. Three US troops were also wounded in the attacks. Quds Press reported that violent fighting broke out between Iraqi Resistance fighters and Iraqi puppet troops in western Baghdad at 9am Monday morning…
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Comfort Zones
Cindy Sheehan, t r u t h o u t
Today was bitterly cold as I walked from the Charing Cross Tube Station to Parliament Square in London. I was heading there with my traveling companion, Julie, to go and visit Brian Haw after several exhausting but productive days in England and Scotland. Brian is a peace activist and an exceptionally compassionate man who has been camping out and vigiling in Parliament Square since June 2, 2001. He was so enraged by the sanctions of the United Nations against Iraq that were supported by the US and his government that he felt it was the only thing to do…
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Rumsfeld Guns for the Press
While the Lincoln Group Spins
Chris Lehmann
Give this much to the Lincoln Group, the “strategic communications” outfit that’s been busted for placing agreeable propaganda in the Iraqi press at the behest of the U.S. Department of Defense: It’s not exactly shy about self-justification. “We counter the lies, intimidation, and pure evil of terror with factual stories that highlight the heroism and sacrifice of the Iraqi people and their struggle for freedom and security,” group spoke! swoman Laurie Adler breathed heavily last week in a prepared statement to the press. “We are encouraged by their sacrifice and proud to help them tell their side of the story.”…
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No One Should Go To Iraq Until George Bush Sends His Daughters
Sam Hamod
No one should be sent to Iraq until George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Kerry and Joseph Biden and Paul Wolfowitz send their kids to Iraq—only then should anyone else be called, or be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan—and even then, they must be sent to a unit that is serving in a battle zone. At this time, we know of no senator or congressman’s sons or daughters, along with the Bush team’s people, who are in a battle zone in Iraq or! Afghanistan…
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The latest of U.S. scandals in Iraq
“Kavkaz-Center” News Agency
… Mafkarat Al Islam reported that the U.S. Marines in IRAQ stormed a house in the at-Ta’mim neighborhood of western Ramadi, IRAQ, last Tuesday, in the course of their “Rams” offensive, asking the house holder about rebels his is protecting, their whereabouts, and their names. But the man refused to giver them answers for their questions, simply because he doesn’t know. Thus, the Marines threatened to strip his wife naked in front of him if he didn’! t speak, but the man still refused to talk, saying he had no answer for their questions. So they carried out their threat, ripping off his wife’s clothing and gazing at her naked body in front of the husband, who was bound at the time, the paper correspondent said, adding that the brother of the householder said that the Marines left the house after his brother collapsed seeing his wife standing naked in front of the men…
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Bush World: Too Many States
Stephen Lendman, www.dissidentvoice.org
…The U.S. record of illegal aggression against weaker adversaries goes back to the beginning of the republic. However, it can be argued that it became standard practice post-WWII once the U.S. became the preeminent world power. From Korea to Vietnam to Granada to Panama to the Gulf War to Yugoslavia/Serbia/Kosovo, the U.S. in each instance committed an act of illegal aggression against other nations posing no threat whatever to the U.S. In each case we were lied to about the reasons for doing it, and in each case the chief executive with no congressional authority (as constitutionally required) acted on his own…
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The Bogus Blurring of Terrorism and Insurgency in Iraq
Norman Solomon, t r u t h o u t
With public support for the Iraq war at low ebb, the White House is more eager than ever to conflate Iraq’s insurgency with terrorism. But last week, just after President Bush gave yet another speech repeatedly depicting the US war effort in Iraq as a battle against terrorists, Congressman John Murtha debunked the claim. His refutation deserved much more news coverage than it got…
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No News is Bad News
A Short History of RADIO FREE IRAQ
Lila Rajiva, www.dissidentvoice.org
Just as President Bush urged support for a “free, independent and responsible Iraqi media,” the Los Angeles Times reported that the military in Iraq is spending millions on a DC-based defense contractor to plant stories favorable to the US occupation in the Iraqi media. Senior Pentagon officials, including General Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are said to have had no idea that this secret campaign was going on…
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An Empire Without Virtue
The Defenders of Torture
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The spectacle of an American Secretary of State being sent to Europe to reassure America’s allies that the US does not torture prisoners has brought an end to America’s moral grandeur. America stands revealed before the world as just another unaccountable police state. Condi Rice’s declaration that the Bush administration is too morally pure to engage in torture was just another transparent Bush administration deception. What is the p! oint of Bush’s rendition policy that Rice was sent to Europe to defend if the purpose is not torture? Why else do CIA agents kidnap foreign nationals in foreign countries and fly them to secret prisons in other foreign countries?…
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New ‘torture jail’ found in Iraq
BBCNews
Iraqi and US officials have found a packed interior ministry prison in Baghdad, where 625 inmates were being held in “very overcrowded” conditions. Thirteen of the prisoners needed hospital treatment amid torture claims. An Iraqi official speaking anonymously said 12 of the 13 men in hospital had suffered torture, including electric shocks and the loss of finger nails. The conditions were found in the first inspection since some 170 detainees were found in another jail in November…
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Voter registration irregularities found in Iraq
HERALD-LEADER WIRE SERVICES
With just four days to go until parliamentary elections, the Iraqi electoral commission said yesterday that it had found irregularities in voter registration in the volatile northern oil city of Kirkuk. The discovery was the first instance of an election irregularity announced by the commission as the country prepares for the vote…
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Squeezed To Death
John Pilger
Wherever you go in Iraq’s southern city of Basra, there is dust. It gets in your eyes and nose and throat. It swirls in school playgrounds and consumes children kicking a plastic ball. “It carries death,” said Dr Jawad Al-Ali, a cancer specialist and member of Britain’s Royal College of Physicians. “Our own studies indicate that more than 40 per cent of the population in this area will get cancer: in five years’ time to begin with, then long afterwards. Most of my own family now have cancer, and we have no history of the disease. It has spread to the medical staff of this hospital. We don’t know the precise source of the contamination, because we are not allowed to get the equipment to conduct a proper scientific survey, or even to test the excess level of radiation in our bodies. We suspect depleted uranium, which was used by the Americans and British in the Gulf War right across the southern battlefields.”..
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Pinter’s Provocation: Self Love in America
Greg Moses, peacefile
In homage to the Nobel Prize for Literature, Harold Pinter’s acceptance speech testifies to gifts of inspiration; hints of realms apart within; callings to craft that expose writers to tempestuous solitudes where lines between truth and unreality are not marked out in advance, where things press against each other in duality, both untrue and real at the same time. That the writer who is driven into realms of edginess and duality can still keep a col! d eye on profanity, horror, and outlandish hypocrisy is what Pinter then sets out to prove. His object lesson is the USA. By the time he is finished, we have a perfect ice sculpture of American immanence. One should take 46 minutes to see the words played out to their full and freezing effect…
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Clark says Saddam is “isolated” and calls his treatment cruel
AP
Former U-S Attorney General Ramsey Clark says Saddam Hussein is isolated and has no idea what is going on in the world. Clark is now helping the Saddam defense team at his trial in Baghdad. He says Saddam is sometimes left to go for days without a shower or change of clothes. He has also been kept from taking his Koran to court — all in an effort, Clark says, to make him angry…
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The Vietnam War: Destroying the Village In Order to Save It
Revolution
…Today, as the U.S. fights another unjust war in Iraq, there is debate in the anti-war movement over whether we should “support the troops.” Some argue that the movement during Vietnam became too extreme when it charged U.S. troops with being baby killers. In Vietnam there was a draft and millions were forced to serve in the imperialist armed forces. These soldiers were press-ganged into fighting and systematically lied to about the war. But, no matter what the troops subjectively feel they are fighting for, as long as these troops are fighting an unjust war of domination and exploitation, they cannot be supported in fighting that war. How can we support or honor troops that fight in a war where baby killing part of the strategic plan?…
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The Old Nation-State May Be Passing Away
Iraq: the Beginning of the End
PATRICK COCKBURN
Iraq is disintegrating as a united state. The election for the National Assembly this week may mark the point of no return. “A Bosnian solution to the Iraq crisis is now on the agenda,” says Ghassan Attiyah, a veteran Iraqi commentator. The election is decisive because the Shia and Sunni Arabs and the Kurds – the three main Iraqi communities – show every sign of voting along ethnic and religious lines. Secular and nationalist groups looking for support beyond their own community have their backs to the wall…
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