Iraq News and Information Links March 2004
   March 31 2004

U.S. weapons hunt shifts Iraq goalposts:

The White House now says the war, in which more than 500 U.S. troops and thousands of Iraqis have died, was justified by Saddam's alleged intent to build and use such weaponry.

Attacks kill 9 in Falluja area :

Five troops died when a bomb exploded under their military vehicle west of Baghdad on Wednesday. At least four foreign nationals, including an American, were killed in a separate attack and some of the bodies were burned, beaten and hung from a bridge.

Another Roadside bombs kill 2 U.S. soldiers

Iraqis drag U.S. corpses through streets:

Jubilant residents dragged the charred corpses of four American contractors through the streets Wednesday and hanged them from the bridge spanning the Euphrates River

Robert Fisk: "Most Of The People Dying In Iraq Are Iraqis":

Veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk reports live from Baghdad. Fisk describes the "grotesque, gruesome, terrible" attacks in Fallujah. Real Audio

Iraq war fed terror threat, says UN official:

The Iraq war increased the danger of global terrorism by alienating moderate Muslims and diverting resources from the hunt for terrorists.

Solving Mideast, Iraq strife key to tackling terrorism:

Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission: "The success of our strategy to combat international terrorism depends on peace in the Middle East," Prodi said. Prodi warned that force alone would not defeat terrorism. Governments must forge a political strategy to understand and resolve the underlying causes of terrorism, he stressed.

Where's The Freedom, Mr. President?:

George Bush promised democracy and liberty, one year later Iraq has repression and violence.

Iraq: Newspaper ban plays into radical's hands:

By slapping a 60-day ban on al-Hawza newspaper, the mouthpiece of radical Iraqi Shi'ite leader Muqtada Sadr, United States officials, far from silencing the outspoken cleric, are likely only to increase the number of his supporters and the potency of his message.

Who counts the civilian casualties?:

How many civilian casualties – "collateral damage," to use the antiseptic phrase – have resulted from the war, and the subsequent occupation in which people are killed and wounded nearly every day?

Vast majority of Portuguese want troops in Iraq withdrawn: poll:

Nearly three in four residents of Portugal, or 71 percent, want the country's 128-strong contingent of national guards in Iraq to be withdrawn from the war-ravaged country, a poll published Monday found.

The First Bush War: Since so many of the people involved in preparations for the war against Iraq (Cheney, Powell, and Wolfowitz being the most prominent) worked in the first Bush administration and had a hand in crafting Desert Storm in 1991, there is renewed speculation as to whether that war was a put-up job by Bush senior.

March 30 2004

Arms hunter to tell congress no Iraqi WMD found:

Duelfer will brief the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee behind closed doors on Tuesday about his initial impressions of the hunt for unconventional weapons after six weeks in Iraq.

Attack in Iraq Kills Coalition Soldier:

A bomb attack west of Baghdad killed a soldier in the U.S.-led coalition and wounded another Tuesday, a U.S. military spokesman said.

One Dead, Seven Hurt in Iraq Car Bombing:

A suicide bomber blew up explosives in his car outside the house of a police chief south of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing himself and wounding seven others, officials said.

Two California soldiers die from wounds inflicted in Iraq:

On Sunday, in separate interviews, those who knew them well remembered both Vega and Taylor as wonderful men serving their country.

Five hurt as jobless Iraqis clash with Spanish troops :

Five people were injured in clashes pitting hundreds of jobless people against Spanish soldiers serving in the US-led coalition and Iraqi policemen in the central city of Najaf, police said.

U.S. delivers 1st grim outlook on Iraq security :

Paul Bremer told local officials Monday that it will take at least a year for the country to hire, equip and train enough police and border guards to meet its needs.

Understanding the real costs of Iraq war:

The invasion, had real costs and consequences because of its nature and timing. Instead of assaulting the messenger, the Bush White House would help the stumbling president's political fortunes much more if it faced these consequences squarely and stopped denying the obvious.

Chalabi's road to victory:

Chalabi, barely a year since he returned to his homeland after 45 years of exile, has emerged as the power behind a vacant throne. He also appears to have impressive amounts of cash at his disposal and a say in which companies get the nod for some of the $18.4 billion earmarked for reconstruction.

Gun tragedy soldier 'had no training':

The parents of a soldier who died in Iraq have been told he was killed while trying to release a jammed bullet in a weapon on which he had not received any training.

UK plays roulette with Iraqi refugees:

The British government may have gone to war to defend human rights in Iraq, but it is playing fast and loose with the lives of thousands of Iraqis living on its own doorstep.

US admits killing Arab journalists in Iraq:

The US military has acknowledged it was responsible for killing two journalists working for Dubai-based satellite channel al-Arabiya who were shot close to a checkpoint in the Iraqi capital earlier this month.

Guerrillas Kills U.S. Soldier in Iraq; Riots in Basra:

Guerrillas killed a U.S. soldier in a bomb attack west of Baghdad Monday, and British troops used batons and rubber bullets to beat back a crowd of furious protesters in the southern city of Basra.

Iraq War Launched to Protect Israel – Bush Adviser:

The statements are the first to surface from a source closely linked to the Bush administration acknowledging that the war, which has so far cost the lives of nearly 600 U.S. troops and thousands of Iraqis, was motivated by Washington's desire to defend the Jewish state.

March 29 2004

U.S. soldiers kill four insurgents in Mosul:

Iraqi minister escapes attack : U.S. soldiers in the northern city of Mosul shot and killed four rebels suspected of involvement in attacks in the region, the military said Monday. Two American soldiers were wounded in the firefight.

Two Iraqis killed over expat deaths:

US occupation forces have killed two armed Iraqis believed responsible for the death of two British nationals in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

British Troops in Basra Street Battle:

British troops in riot gear fought with dozens of anti-coalition Iraqis who resisted eviction from a government-owned building in the southern city of Basra today. At least four Iraqis were injured.

Iraqi defector behind America's WMD claims exposed as 'out-and-out fabricator':

A detailed investigation in the Los Angeles Times revealed that the source claiming to have seen mobile bioweapons labs was the brother of one of the senior aides to Ahmed Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress

Investigators to inquire into Chalabi‚s use of US money:

The investigative branch of the US Congress is looking into whether Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmad Chalabi broke the law in using US money to attempt to sway US opinion in favour of ousting Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein

Iraqi detentions fuel anti-US sentiment:

The American military is holding some 8,000 Iraqi security detainees without trial or formal charges, most of them in a prison where at least six US guards have been criminally charged with abusing inmates.

Ban on a newspaper angers Iraqis:

American soldiers shut down a popular Baghdad newspaper and padlocked the doors after the occupation authorities accused it of printing lies that incited violence.

A Must Read

Dom Stasi: The Entertainers:

"My son was killed in Iraq. Last night I saw George Bush laughing about that." —Jorge Medina, father of US Army Spc. Irving Medina, 22, KIA 14 NOV 03, Baghdad, Iraq

Federal Auditors Track Wasteful Spending In Iraq:

Uncle Sam's "cost detectives" are following the billions of taxpayers' dollars the Bush administration is spending to rebuild Iraq, and that makes some people nervous.

March 26 2004

Three children among eight civilians killed in Iraq:

U.S. forces fought running battles with insurgents in the Iraqi town of Falluja on Friday and a television cameraman and eight civilians, including three children, were killed, a hospital official said.

Another TV cameraman killed by US fire in Iraq: doctors :

An Iraqi cameraman was killed by a bullet to the forehead when US troops fired in the direction of journalists during clashes in the flashpoint town of Fallujah, doctors and witnesses told AFP.

Blair 'delayed US strike on Iraq':

According to a former British ambassador to Washington, the US president had come under intense pressure from some in his own military to attack Saddam Hussein in the days after the 2001 terrorist outrages in the US

Archive exposes Rumsfeld's Iraq mission:

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was told to assure Iraqi leaders that Washington wanted close relations when he went there in 1984, despite public condemnation of Iraq's use of chemical weapons, a declassified document shows.

In case you missed it:

When Donald Met Saddam:

Video Clip: "Shaking Hands with the enemy," Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, in Baghdad on December 20, 1983.

U.S. Officials Fashion Legal Basis to Keep Force in Iraq:

With fewer than 100 days to go before Iraq resumes its sovereignty, American officials say they believe they have found a legal basis for American troops to continue their military control over the security situation in Iraq.

Iraq oil line on fire after sabotage:

Saboteurs have set a secondary crude oil pipeline feeding southern Iraqi export terminals on fire, witnesses say.

US soldiers face charges of prisoner abuse:

The US military has charged six more American soldiers with assault, indecent acts, cruelty, and maltreatment in connection with the alleged abuse of as many as 19 detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad.


Three U.S. soldiers die in ambushes:

On Thursday morning, a roadside bomb exploded near the town of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of the capital, killing one U.S. soldier and wounding two.

Pin The Tale On The Donkey:

One year, 570 fallen American soldiers and tens of thousands of dead Iraqis later, the widespread realization that the war against Iraq is a failure is reducing George W. Bush's popularity to that of raw liver.

Report: Israel Wrong on Iraq Weapons:

Prior to the American-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the Israeli services reported Iraq had large amounts of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological agents.,0,6389675.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines

Zapatero holds firm over Iraqi pullout :

Tony Blair's hopes of wooing the incoming Spanish prime minister suffered a setback yesterday when he was told in blunt terms that Madrid will press ahead with plans to withdraw its troops from Iraq.,11538,1177483,00.html

US appeal to Latham: back off on troops:

The United States has urged Opposition Leader Mark Latham to reverse his plan to pull Australian troops out of Iraq, calling it short-sighted and an invitation to more terrorist attacks.


Insurgents Attack U.S. Convoy; Three Dead :

Insurgents attacked a U.S. military patrol west of Baghdad early Wednesday and an ensuing fight left three civilians dead and two U.S. soldiers injured, the U.S. military and Iraqi hospital officials said.,1280,-3897971,00.html

Naomi Klein: Terror as a weapon of occupation:

On June 30, the occupation won't end, it will simply be outsourced to a group of hand-picked Iraqi politicians with no democratic mandate or sovereign power. With its new Iraqi face, the government will be free from the ugly perception that Iraq's national assets are being auctioned off by foreigners

Robert Fisk: "Who's in Room 106?":

The day the 1st Armoured Division, with guns at the ready, came to check on our man in Baghdad

The forgotten victims of the war in Iraq:

LAST WEEK at the White House, President Bush marked the first anniversary of the Iraq invasion by saying: "The murders in Madrid are a reminder that the civilized world is at war. And in this new kind of war, civilians find themselves suddenly on the front lines." There was no mention of Iraqi civilians killed by American bombs and bullets in the invasion and occupation.

He served in Iraq, loses job back home :

Today, Beaudine finds himself in the company of thousands of other citizen soldiers who ˜ despite federal law ˜ are struggling to get back or keep the jobs they left behind.

Engineering consent: The New York Times' role in promoting war on Iraq:

Regarded as a neo-conservative with a deep sympathy for the Bush administration‚s agenda and a vocal supporter of Saddam‚s overthrow, Miller has close links with the pro-Israeli camp, some of whom have channelled Israeli intelligence through her work.

14 `enduring bases' set in Iraq :

From the ashes of abandoned Iraqi army bases, U.S. military engineers are overseeing the building of an enhanced system of American bases designed to last for years.


Insurgents Kill 11 Police in Day of Unrest in Iraq:

Insurgents shot and killed 11 Iraqi police and police trainees in two daylight attacks Tuesday, the latest deadly strikes against Iraqis working with the U.S.-led occupation.

Sistani says Iraq constitution a 'dead end':

Iraq's top Shiite leader threatens not to cooperate if UN endorses interim constitution.

Kay implores US to admit mistakes in Iraq:

The former chief US weapons inspector in Iraq warned yesterday that the United States is in "grave danger" of destroying its credibility at home and abroad if it does not own up to its mistakes in Iraq.

US business group slams Bush 'deception' over Iraq war:

A US business group that monitors federal spending took out a full-page advert in The New York Times, likening President George W. Bush to a corrupt chief executive officer who has forfeited public trust

Analysis: Iraq Charges Against Bush Begin to Mount:

Criticism of President Bush's motives and decision-making in attacking Iraq last year may be acquiring critical mass with voters following criticism by former top counterterrorism official Richard Clarke.

Soldiers' accounts reveal new details:

'depleted' uranium rounds devastated US troops at An Nasiriyah. "It's bad enough to be shot, but to be shot with a depleted uranium round that basically turns you into a hand full of mush." – Col. Reed Bonadonna, field historian, talking to NPR's Jackie Northam


Bombs kill several Iraqis, 2 Finns and GI in Iraq:

A car bomb blew up near a U.S. Air Force base north of the capital Monday, killing two Iraqi civilians and wounding 25 others, an Iraqi security official said. The U.S. military said a bomb killed a U.S. soldier and an Iraqi interpreter in Baghdad.

13 British soldiers injured in blasts:

Thirteen British soldiers were wounded today by two explosions in the southern Iraqi city of Basra during a demonstration, officials said.

Anniversary of disaster:

Iraq is on a knife edge. The US must back down on the UN role or risk escalation of the conflict,3604,1174813,00.html

President Carter savages Blair and Bush:

'Their war was based on lies': He said: That was a war based on lies and misinterpretations from London and from Washington, claiming falsely that Saddam Hussein was responsible for [the] 9/11 attacks, claiming falsely that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Iraqis united in their fury toward U.S.:

What does the future hold for Iraq's 25 million people and, by extension, all Arabs and indeed the larger Muslim world of 1.3 billion, especially their toxic relationship with America?

Patrick J. Buchanan: "Mr. Bush's War":

A year has elapsed since President Bush ordered U.S. forces to invade Iraq. Since that March day, 2003, it has become clear as crystal: Operation Iraqi Freedom was an unnecessary war.

Two missing ITV journalists were killed by US troops :

ITN cameraman Fred Nerac and translator Hussein Osman are believed to have been blasted by tanks or helicopter gunships as Iraqis tried to take them to safety in a pick-up.

U.S. Will Retain Power in Sovereign Iraq :

The United States says Iraq will be sovereign, no longer under military occupation, on June 30. But most power will reside within the world's largest U.S. Embassy, backed by 110,000 U.S. troops.,1280,-3887544,00.html

Spain demands 'radical change' in Iraq strategy:

"Either there is a deep, radical change in the strategy being pursued in Iraq, a hand over to the United Nations including a modification in the command of occupation forces, or Spanish troops will be repatriated," he said.

Iraq's Sistani Warns UN Not to Back Constitution:

The United Nations must not endorse Iraq's U.S.-backed interim constitution because it could lead to the break-up of the occupied country, Iraq's most influential Shi'ite Muslim cleric said.


Insurgents Kill Two U.S. Soldiers, Three Iraqis:–

Anti-U.S. guerrillas fired rockets into the middle of Baghdad in a rare daylight salvo Sunday, killing two civilians and wounding six people, including an American soldier, a U.S. military spokesman said.

Ted Kennedy: Iraq war will cost Bush his presidency:

America went to war in a dishonest way that alienated key allies, divided and weakened the United Nations, outraged the world community, made us more hated in the world and made the war on terrorism more difficult to win.

Iraq: Blair and Bush seek new UN backing :

The United Nations is to be given a lead role in post-occupation Iraq under British and American plans to shore up crumbling international support for the continuing military presence in the country.,2763,1174596,00.html

Iraq war chest 'will be empty by July':

UK: A war chest of £3.8bn for military operations in Iraq is set to run out within three months, official figures released last week indicate.

US Soldiers Charged in Abuse of Iraqis :

Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said the 800th Military Police Brigade officers were charged with six crimes including cruelty and maltreatment of prisoners, assault, and indecent acts with another, as well as conspiracy and dereliction of duty

Millions protest against Iraq war:

From Sydney to London to New York and San Francisco and across hundreds of other cities and towns, millions of protesters poured into the streets to condemn what they believed an "unjust, illegitimate" war.


History will damn them:

We must not accept our leaders' illegal occupation of a sovereign state. Two of the world's most sophisticated armed forces brushed aside a tinpot army of soldiers without boots, smashed Iraq's cities to pieces, killed thousands of civilians and captured Iraq's oil more or less intact. There were, as any intelligent observer could have told them, no WMD, no centre of world terrorism, no aggressive intent.

Robert Fisk: New Iraq? Hooded Protest And Masked Statistics:

The US military searches of Iraqi Sunni villages, the Israeli-style battering down of doors and houses, the constant American killing of innocents is embittering a new generation of Iraqis. And soon we will have "democracy" in Iraq.

French foreign minister says Iraq war led to more dangerous world :

The world is a more dangerous place because of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, which may have toppled Saddam Hussein but also unleashed postwar violence and an upswing in terrorism, the French foreign minister said.

GI's suicide shows failure by all of us:

The United States military began washing its hands of William Howell's death long before he died.,1413,36%257E27772%257E2024918,00.html

U.S. helicopter is shot down in Iraq:

A U.S. military helicopter was downed by rebel fire west of Baghdad, but there were no injuries, the U.S. military said Saturday.

March 19 2004

Zapatero rejects Kerry call on Iraq troops :

Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero tonight rejected US Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry‚s call for him to reconsider plans to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq.

Two U.S. Marines killed in Iraq:

Insurgents killed two U.S. Marines who were on patrol in Iraq, a U.S. military statement said Friday.

Violence in Iraq: 'no one is safe anymore':

The day after a bomb hit a Baghdad hotel, nine more Iraqis are killed as attacks continue on civilians

Britain's Iraq envoy sees "bad days" ahead:

Iraq faces "unbelievably bad days" ahead with more suicide bombings and devastating attacks that U.S.-led forces may be powerless to prevent, according to Britain's envoy to the occupied country.

Journalists protest deaths of colleagues:

A group of Arab journalists outraged after US soldiers shot dead two colleagues walked out of a press conference held by US Secretary of State Colin Powell in protest.

Journalists Find Many Ways to Kill Truth in Iraq :

Truth dies, just as people die, every day in Iraq. Sometimes the people are killed by Americans paid with our tax dollars. But we rarely hear about it, thanks to other Americans, the ones who kill truth: the journalists. There are different ways to send truth to its grave, as two current examples prove.

It is essential we admit we were wrong:

There comes a point in every nation's life when its people and their leaders have to admit to and atone for a mistake in order to be able to continue as a functioning part of the international community.

Iraqis unite to condemn interim constitution:

Thousands of Muslim Sunni and Shia gathered after Friday prayers in al-Adhamya and al-Kadhimya districts in Baghdad to demonstrate against the interim Iraqi constitution.

John Pilger: The crime committed in our name:

The coalition of the willing perpetrated an act of terrorism on the Iraqi people

Robin Cook: The invasion of Iraq was Britain's worst foreign policy blunder since Suez.

A fitting way to mark the anniversary would be to drive a stake throughthe doctrine of pre-emptive strike

On the run again:

During the Vietnam war, I hid deserters – and watched it unravel as the GI movement grew. Iraq could go the same way,3604,1173091,00.html

More dead, more spin :

When U.S. military forces arrived to help rescue victims of Wednesday's massive bombing in central Baghdad, they were confronted by angry Iraqi citizens who tried to turn them away.

S Korea cancels plans to send troops to northern Iraq:

South Korea says it has cancelled plans to send troops to northern Iraq because of security concerns and was considering deploying them to other areas in the war-torn country.

March 18 2004

US troops shoot dead journalist in Baghdad:

US occupation forces have shot dead al-Arabiya cameraman Ali Abd al-Aziz and injured two others working for the station in Baghdad.

Car bomb kills 5 in southern Iraqi city :

A car bomb exploded Thursday as a British military patrol passed by in the southern city of Basra, killing five Iraqi bystanders

TV crew members and soldiers killed in wave of attacks:

Three people were killed and 10 were wounded north of Baghdad in an attack on a bus transporting the crew of an Iraqi television station funded by the US-led coalition, hospital sources said.

Two U.S. soldiers killed, six wounded in mortar attack in Iraq: Mortars fired at a U.S. base near Baghdad killed two American soldiers and wounded six others, the military said Thursday.

U.S. Helicopter Comes Down in Iraq – Witnesses:

A U.S. helicopter came down on Thursday south of the flashpoint Iraqi city of Falluja, west of Baghdad, witnesses said. Z

Kerry Asks Spain to Keep Soldiers in Iraq, El Mundo Reports :

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry asked Spanish Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to reconsider a campaign promise and keep his country's troops in Iraq.

General sacked by Bush says he wanted early elections :

Jay Garner, the US general abruptly dismissed as Iraq's first occupation administrator after a month in the job, says he fell out with the Bush circle because he wanted free elections and rejected an imposed programme of privatisation.

Rumsfeld Hedges on June 30 Iraqi Sovereignty Date:

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Tuesday he could not be sure that a June 30 date would be met for ending the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq and handing sovereignty over to Iraq.

Robert Fisk: 'If I am told to go, I will go.':

Spanish soldiers prepare to return to home front: Ask the three Spanish soldiers atop their troop transporter if they want to stay or go home, and they roar with laughter amid the Iraqi traffic jam.

Spain: an example for us all:

Supporters of the U.S. war on Iraq are portraying Spain's expected withdrawal of troops as a major victory for terrorists. Indeed, even those who don't support the Iraq war worry that Spain's action will embolden terrorists to try intimidating other nations. The reality is the opposite:

Iraq: One year on the human rights situation remains dire

A year after US-led forces launched war on Iraq, the promise of improved human rights for Iraqis remains far from realized. Most Iraqis still feel unsafe in a country ravaged by violence.

March 17 2004

27 dead in Iraq hotel blast:

Iraqi police and US soldiers said a car bomb destroyed the five storey Hotel Jabal Lebanon. Residents, however, said a rocket struck the building.

Honduras to Withdraw Troops From Iraq :

Honduras, following the lead of Spain, will withdraw its 370 troops from a Spanish-led humanitarian and peacekeeping brigade in Iraq by the end of June, Defense Secretary Federico Breve said Tuesday.

Bush could try UN resolution to save coalition :

THE White House indicated yesterday it might seek a new United Nations resolution on Iraq in an attempt to persuade Spain not to abandon the coalition by withdrawing its troops.

Australia: Howard at end of credibility line on Iraq:

Why won't John Howard admit that our participation in the invasion of Iraq increased the risk that Australia will be targetted for a terrorist attack?

Robert Fisk: Iraq: a year of war:

The invasion of Iraq would, we were told, rid the world of mortal danger. One year on, the only people who feel safer are those who prefer not to think for themselves

A Year After Iraq War :

Mistrust of America in Europe Ever Higher, Muslim Anger Persists

Iraq on the Record: Database Containing The Bush Administration's Public Statements on Iraq :

A comprehensive record of the statements made by the five Administration officials most responsible for providing public information and shaping public opinion on Iraq: President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

Military Families Urge Censure for Bush as Congress Marks Iraq Anniversary

For Iraqis in Harm's Way, $5,000 and 'I'm Sorry':

Nearly a year ago, Ali Kadem Hashem watched his wife burn to death and his three children die after an American missile hit his house. Last week, he got $5,000 from the United States government and an "I'm sorry" from a young captain.

Robert Fisk: Al-Qa'ida Attacks Intensify, But Iraqi Police Say: "Let Them Come":

Not a single suicide bomber, in fact, has ever been formally identified as a non-Iraqi, despite the Bush administration's repeated assertions that "foreign fighters" are behind the attacks on the Iraqi police.

March 16 2004

Iraq gunmen kill eight civilians:

The coalition is investigating if civilians are being targeted Gunmen have killed eight people in three shooting incidents in Iraq.

Spain's PM ups pressure on Blair: 'You can't organise a war with lies':

Spain's incoming Socialist Prime Minister, José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the unexpected victor in Sunday's general election, launched a withering attack on Tony Blair and George Bush yesterday over their decision to go to war in Iraq.

Noam Chomsky: Bring Them to Justice!:

There's little support for the government's efforts to maintain what amounts to a powerful, permanent, military and diplomatic presence in Iraq.

Bush appeals to Europeans not to pull out of Iraq:

Asked about Dutch calls for a withdrawal, he said the Dutch should "think about the Iraqi citizens, who don't want people to withdraw — because they want to be free."

Australia Says It Stands by the U.S.:

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer urged Spain's new prime minister not to pull its 1,300 troops from Iraq, as he has promised to do unless the United Nations takes over peacekeeping by June 30.

Two GIs in Iraq Seek Objector Status:

Two U.S. Army medics in Iraq have applied for conscientious objector status and want to be honorably discharged from the military because the idea of killing is "revolting" to them, their company commander said Tuesday.

Iraq war based on lies, says soldier:

"I am saying no to war – I have chosen peace," Staff Sergeant Mejia said before turning himself in yesterday at the Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts.,4057,8991356^401,00.html

Is this our Hola camp?:

British troops are said to have killed 23 innocent Iraqis, and yet the British people and government remain silent.,12956,1169399,00.html

Iraqi exile group fed news media false information:

U.S. officials and others who supported a pre-emptive invasion quoted the allegations in statements and interviews without running afoul of restrictions on classified information or doubts about the defectors' reliability.

Gunmen Kill 3 U.S. Civilians, Wound 2 in Iraq:

Gunmen opened fire on a vehicle carrying U.S. civilians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul Monday, killing three and wounding two, police at the scene said.

U.S. confirms skirmish at Iranian border:

U.S. forces in Iraq skirmished with what appeared to be Iranian border guards on the Iran-Iraq frontier at the weekend, a U.S. military spokesman said today, but Iran denied there was any such encounter.

U.S. Harbored Terrorists to Bolster Its Case:

It was a tad misleading to demand Hussein's ouster on grounds that he "harbors a deadly terrorist network" — when it was not Hussein, but a Taliban-like crowd of Islamic radicals in the U.S. Air Force-protected north, doing the harboring.

March 15 2004

New Spanish PM promises Iraq withdrawal:

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, whose socialist party yesterday won a sensational election victory, today vowed to pull Spanish troops out of Iraq.,2763,1169726,00.html

New Spanish leader lashes out over Iraq war:

Spain's prime minister-elect has hit out at United States President George W Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair on their decision to launch a war against Iraq.

Robert Fisk: The West was warned. Now it is paying the price of the 'war on terror':

Civilians are now to die in Europe as brutally as they have died in Bali and Tunisia and Istanbul and – let us, for a moment, see the world through another prism – as they have been torn to pieces by our bombs in Afghanistan and Iraq.

UK: George Galloway: You have to adopt a cost-benefit analysis. :

The costs can be calibrated in a hundred different ways, starting with the number of Iraqi people who were slaughtered (we don't know how many they were, because nobody was counting and, indeed, the US administration openly boasts that it can't be expected to count the number of Iraqis it killed).,12820,1162935,00.html

The United States caught in a trap:

George W. Bush is confirming that formal sovereignty over Iraq will be transferred on June 30, 2004. According to a poll published Feb. 21, only 2% of Iraqis accept that this should be the present Governing Council. The parody of "democratization" that seems promised can only strengthen those in the resistance…

Translated from Le Monde diplomatique

Iraq Shooting Kills 3 Iraqis, Hurts 2 U.S. Civilians:

Three Iraqis were killed and two American civilians injured today in a shooting in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul

Iraq woos Iran and US grows insecure:

The eagerness of post-Saddam Iraq to reach out to its Shiite neighbours in Iran, a sworn enemy of the United States, has become a new pressure point as Iraq's Shiite majority stonewalls in the face of US attempts to dictate the shape of a new government in Baghdad.

Bush lied to justify Iraq war, Canada right to stay out: poll:

Canadians overwhelmingly believe President George W. Bush lied to justify the Iraq war and their own government was wise to stay out of the conflict, a new poll suggests.

Robert Fisk: Iraqi Recruits Put In The Firing Line While Americans Retreat To Safety Of Barracks:

The Americans aren't leaving on 30 June, of course; they are retreating to secure barracks. The airport will become an Iraqi responsibility. Iraqis will risk their lives to defend it from the "resistance".

AWOL soldier plans to fight court-martial:

600 soldiers in the Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard have gone AWOL or deserted since two-week leaves began for 60,000 troops in Iraq last year, the Army said.

March 14 2004

Roadside bombs kill 6 U.S. soldiers :

Four American soldiers died in two bomb explosions in Baghdad, the coalition said Sunday, raising to six the number of U.S. troops killed in roadside bombs this weekend.

Six Iraqis killed in attack on village:

Family members on Sunday blamed US troops, saying soldiers had heard people shooting into the air on Saturday to celebrate a wedding nearby and had fired back from their tanks.

U.S. Aims to Keep Iraq Military Control:

On Saturday, a U.S. official said Iraq's future Defense Ministry will have fewer than 100 employees, led by a civilian staff approved by Iraq's U.S. overseer, L. Paul Bremer.

Bush-speak redefines Œsovereignty‚:

Colin Powell, on behalf of the Bush administration and the provisional authority in Iraq said that „sovereignty‰ is to be returned to the Iraqi people on June 30. Returned? Sovereignty surely is not something that can be seized and returned. It remains with the Iraqis but has been negated not destroyed by the war and occupation.

Rule of the death squads: Iraq one year on–

The shooting isn't just between occupying forces and guerrillas. The Iraqi Governing Council is "killing people one by one".

Robert Fisk: Happy first birthday, war on Iraq:

Try to explain the crimes against humanity of September 11, 2001 and we were anti-American. Warn readers about the crazed alliance of right-wingers behind Bush, and we were anti-Semites. Report on the savagery visited upon Iraqi civilians during the Anglo-American air bombardment, and we were anti-British, pro-Hussein, sleeping with the enemy.

White House Marks Invasion Anniversary:

The White House will mark this Friday's first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq with a week-long media blitz arguing that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was essential to combating global terrorism and making the United States safer.

U.S. Families Protest War:

"Anyone who has been killed over there has died in vain," Niederer said. "What are we there for?

The expatriate:

I am a member of the U.S. military whose unit deploys to Iraq next week. I do not want to be a pawn in the government's war for oil, and have told my superiors that I want out of the military.

Eric Margolis: Bush's war is a financial disaster :

The famous words of King Pyrrhus of Epirus after the bloody battle of Heraclea in 280 BC are as appropriate for America's conquest of Iraq: "One more such victory and we are ruined."

U.S.-led coalition to close Iraq-Iran border crossings:

The U.S.-led coalition announced yesterday that it would close most of Iraq's border crossings with Iran as it moves to tighten frontier controls to try to keep out foreign insurgents.

Cracks appear in mighty war machine:

U.S. resources strain to meet demands: Are there limits to American might? If so, are we reaching them?

Robert Fisk: Focus: One year on – war without end:

Saddam may be gone but peace has not come.

March 13 2004

Iraqi Police Suspected of Killing U.S. Civilians:

Four Iraqi police were being held on suspicion of killing two American civilians and an Iraqi translator, all of whom worked for the U.S.-led administration, in an attack this week, a military spokesman said Friday.

Looking for signs of patriotism in America:

Remote war leaves many complacent about toll of conflict on those who serve. American soldiers are dying at the rate of roughly one a day in Iraq, more than 500 since the war began last March 19.

U.S. Unloading WMD in Iraq :

A reliable source from the Iraqi Governing Council, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Mehr News Agency that U.S. forces, with the help of British forces stationed in southern Iraq, had made extensive efforts to conceal their actions.

Army sent mentally ill troops to Iraq :

The Army appears to have "inappropriately" deployed soldiers to Iraq who already were diagnosed with mental problems, according to documents obtained by United Press International.

March 12 2004

Bremer Sees Threat of Iraq Attacks Next Month:

Terrorist attacks in Iraq will increase as the date for a U.S. handover of power nears and there are fears a religious event next month could be a target, the U.S. governor of Iraq said on Thursday.

The Empire Backfires:

Iraq as a whole, far from being a model for anything, is a cautionary lesson in the folly of imperial rule in the twenty-first century. To weigh the full cost, one must look not just at the war itself but away from it, at the progress of the larger policy it served, at things that have been done elsewhere—some far from Iraq or deep in the past—and, perhaps above all, at things that have been left undone.

Some military families rethink war against Iraq:

On the night last month he learned that his son had died in Iraq, Richard Dvorin couldn't sleep. He lay in bed, "thinking and thinking and thinking," got up at 4 a.m., made a pot of coffee. Then he sat down at the kitchen table and wrote a letter to the president.

Bensalem family grieves for son:

Although she heard the two soldiers knocking, something kept Margaret Ann Brabazon from opening the door. "I knew it was bad news," she said last night, but her husband told her she had to let them in.

U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq:

As of Thursday, March 11, 554 U.S. service members have died since the beginning of military operations in Iraq, according to the Department of Defense

Ted Lang: War Was For A Reason:

Wars are now being initiated by "we the people" not to secure our protection and well being, but to generate profits for the warmongering capitalists and their representatives and stakeholders in Washington, D.C.

Hardline Shi'ites Denounce Iraq's New Constitution:

Around 2,000 supporters of a hard-line Shi'ite Muslim group gathered in Baghdad Friday to denounce the country's new interim constitution, in the latest show of strength by Shi'ites demanding greater influence.

Two US soldiers killed in Iraq :

Two US occupation soldiers have been killed in volatile Iraq after their vehicle hit a roadside bomb.

March 11 2004

8 people killed in clashes of Iraq police with Shiite armed unit:

Four Iraqi policemen and four civilians were killed in the clash in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriya on Thursday. Police tried to storm the security service headquarters of a Shiite organisation but met with fierce resistance.

2 More Translators Killed In Iraq:

Gunmen killed two Iraqi women working as translators for the British army, a day after the slaying of two American coalition officials and their translator by attackers disguised as police in southern Iraq, officials said Thursday.

Roadside bomb kills U.S. soldier in Iraq:

Gunmen also fatally shoot 2 coalition laundry workers in Basra, as FBI opens probe into slayings of American staffers, translator in attack yesterday,0,5201640.story?coll=bal-home-headlines

Is the Army stretched too thin?:

More than 320,000 troops stationed in 120 countries

Pentagon won't give war costs:

Pressed to estimate the cost of future operations in Iraq, the Pentagon has repeatedly said it's just too hard to do. Now the ranks of disbelievers are growing — in Congress and among private defense analysts.

Pentagon finance manager resigns:

A study by the Defense Department's inspector general found that the Pentagon couldn't properly account for more than a trillion dollars in monies spent.

Then comes Chalabi:

Chalabi's history has been well-documented. He was 13 in 1958 when his family, Shiite Muslims and members of the Iraqi elite, fled to the west after a revolution overthrew the monarchy. Educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he received a doctorate in mathematics at the University of Chicago (his doctoral thesis was on the theory of knots) under Albert Wohlstetter, one of the original neoconservative theorists.

March 10 2004

Iraq Firefight Kills Four Police, Italian Wounded:

Four Iraqi policemen were killed in a midnight firefight which ended when Italian Carabinieri paratroopers stormed the offices of a security militia in Nassiriya, a coalition official said Wednesday.

Two Americans, One Iraqi Killed :

Gunmen posing as police at a makeshift checkpoint south of Baghdad killed two American civilians and their Iraqi translator ˜ all employees of the U.S.-led coalition, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Robert Fisk: The better things are the worse they get, as history is made in Iraq :

Twenty-five local leaders – most television reports spared viewers the uncomfortable "American-appointed" qualification – dutifully signed their new and temporary constitution. Veiled ladies and tribal sheikhs, some good men and true but also a convicted fraudster, Ahmed Chalabi, scribbled their signatures in front of the US proconsul Paul Bremer on Monday.

Neocons' Iraq Strategy Now Focused on Syria:

Getting out of the political quicksand of Iraq, or at least burying the bloody occupation as an embarrassing daily news item, is mission number one for the Bush campaign.

Bomb Hits SCIRI Offices In Iraq:

Officials with the largest Shi'a political party in Iraq, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), say a bomb exploded near their offices in Baquba today, injuring a number of people.

US should do the honorable thing in Iraq, admit defeat :

Is it any wonder Shiites blame the US for what has happened to them in Iraq? Already the right of political representation they have so long craved has been unreasonably delayed, and now the lack of coalition control on the situation in Iraq has left more Shiites dead.

Iraq: U.S. Scrambles To Set Up World's Biggest Embassy In Baghdad:

With some 4,000 staff members. The sheer size of the project is proving an organizational challenge — and raising questions about America's future intentions in Iraq.

March 09 2004

Grenade attack, shootings in Iraq kill 5, wound 12:

Police said the attack may have been aimed at several U.S. soldiers who had been in the building earlier but left before the grenade was thrown.

Roadside bomb kills American soldier in Iraq:

An American soldier was killed Tuesday morning after a roadside bomb exploded while his convoy was passing by, the U.S. military said.

Al-Sistani: Constitution not yet legitimate:

Iraq's most influential Shia cleric has criticised the nation's newly signed interim constitution, saying it will not have legitimacy until it is approved by an elected body.

US pressured me, says Blix:

The United Nations' former chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, has claimed that the United States tried to pressure him to tell the Security Council that Iraq was in violation of UN resolutions just two weeks before Baghdad was attacked.

American troops arrest current, former members of U.S.-trained defense force :

The troops detained the former soldiers at a house in downtown Tikrit late Monday night on suspicion of stealing and selling weapons of the U.S.-trained force.

Chalabi, Bush's shadowy man in Baghdad:

Before America gives yet more power to this man, it should ask a few questions about him.The alternative intelligence, marshalled to make the case for war, came overwhelmingly from Chalabi's Iraqi National Council and its carefully coached "sources".

Constitution signed but outlook bleak

The ink was hardly dry on Iraq's wobbly interim constitution when the country's majority Shiites made it clear that the document falls short of their cherished ambition to run the country in which they have been oppressed for centuries.

March 08 2004

Blasts as Iraqi politicians sign interim constitution:

Members of Iraq's Governing Council today signed a landmark interim constitution after resolving a political impasse sparked by objections from the country's most powerful cleric.

Robert Fisk: 'It's the same old Iraq:

Each time I return to Iraq, it's the same, like finding a razor blade in a bar of chocolate. The moment you start to believe that "New Iraq" might work – just – you get the proof that it's the same old Iraq, just a little tiny bit worse than it was last month.

Grieving and angry:

When U.S. troops kill Iraqi civilians, the rules on compensation leave many families bitter,0,3213699.story?coll=ny-worldnews-headlines

Greg Palast: The Forgotten Soldiers of Operation "Iraqi Freedom":

Maurice, Victor, Steve, and Rob are just a few of the thousands of GI's returning from Iraq — often with one or more limbs amputated, flown in with little notice under the cover of night and brought to Walter Reed military Hospital in Washington, D.C.

March 07 2004

2 Iraqis Killed in Police Station Attack :

Insurgents in a car fired rocket-propelled grenades at a police station in northern Iraq on Sunday, and two Iraqi civilians were killed, police and witnesses said.

Rocket Explosions Heard in Baghdad:

At least 10 rockets detonated Sunday night in central Baghdad, near an area that houses the headquarters of the U.S.-led coalition. Sirens blared for several minutes, and smoke and flames were visible.

Shia boycott of signing widens Iraqi divisions :

Although US officials have tried to paint the delay in signing as a single 'technical issue', in reality it represents one of the most fraught issues facing a future Iraqi state.,12239,1163906,00.html

US detaining 10,000 Iraqis:

More than 10,000 Iraqi men and boys are being kept in jail by their US occupiers, with the youngest captive being just 11 years old.

US forces ignore 'rule of law':

US military forces in Afghanistan have mistreated detainees, arbitrarily detained civilians and used excessive force in arrests of non-combatants. This is according to a report released on Friday by Human Rights Watch.,,2-10-1462_1494211,00.html

Another flawed fact on the war in Iraq:

And that is that Mr. Bush and his advisers have changed our world image completely and made us into an aggressor nation.

US Army cancels big Iraq army contract:
Chairman Houda Farouki is a close friend of Iraqi Governing Council member Ahmed Chalabi.

In case you missed it:

Start-up Company With Connections:
U.S. authorities in Iraq have awarded more than $400 million in contracts to a start-up company that has extensive family and, according to court documents, business ties to Ahmed Chalabi, the Pentagon favorite on the Iraqi Governing Council.,0,735950.story?coll=ny-uspolitics-headlines

Five Iraqis killed in Mosul gun fight:
Soldiers from the US-led occupation military force in Iraq have shot dead five Iraqis in a gun fight in Mosul.{454818CD-CDA9-4A79-BD5C-08D2B1F74B31}

"Unknown Soldier" Speaks Out To Bring Troops Home :
A soldier back from Iraq discusses the war and the U.S. soldiers fighting that war, the suicides, and much more.

US army admits killing Iraqi civilians :
The US occupation army has admitted killing four civilians in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk two days ago.

America, You Can Try But You Just Cannot Win:
At the time of writing this, Iraqis have reached a deadlock over the drafting of their new constitution. The main dispute is over the wording of the preamble, which states that Sharia (Islamic law) is "the main source of legislation".

Four UK soldiers hurt in Iraq firefight:
Four British soldiers were injured when they came under attack while patrolling a village in southeast Iraq, the Ministry of Defence says.

One in 100 active-duty U.S. military members may be Illegal imigrants:
"The Army has the highest number of unknowns – 9,055. The Navy has 6,531, the Air Force 444, the Marines one. Overall, 1,366,032 U.S. citizens and 35,662 legal immigrants serve in the U.S. military.",13190,Defensewatch_030104_Illegals,00.html

March 04 2004

Blast in Western Baghdad Kills at Least Three:
A rocket slammed into a Baghdad street near a telephone exchange on Thursday, killing at least three people, Iraqi police at the scene said.

Top US general raises spectre of Iraq civil war:
The Pentagon's most senior commander in Iraq, General John Abizaid, says it is "possible" Iraq could descend into civil war.

Iraq Council Head Chides U.S. on Security After Bombs:
The comments by Mohammed Bahr al-Uloum, a Shi'ite cleric and current president of the U.S.-appointed Council, underlined friction between leaders of the Shi'ite majority and occupying forces over a wave of devastating attacks on Iraqis.

U.S. Soldier Being Investigated In Iraq :
An American soldier is being investigated by the U.S. Army after an Iraqi man was killed as troops were trying to detain him, an Army spokeswoman said Thursday.,13319,FL_investigate_030404,00.html

Karen Kwiatkowski: Commander, USFI?:
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is fielding all kinds of questions these days. One topic he will soon be asked about is the new command he is proposing to ensure continued military control over Iraq after a so-called sovereign government takes the reins in July of this year.

Criminal Intent, Illegal Wars, Gangsta Plots:
Why the Bush/Blair Gang will be tried for war crimes

UN suppresses Iraq HQ bomb report :
The United Nations yesterday announced it would suppress a report examining what went wrong in the run-up to the August 2003 bombing of its headquarters in Baghdad.

'US knew of Iraq attacks':
The United States had intelligence warnings of the attacks that killed more than 140 people in Iraq, and probably prevented even greater carnage with special operations raids the night before on operatives of Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, the top US commander in Iraq said on Wednesday.,,2-10-1462_1493046,00.html

Trying to cope with GI's death
Only when his son's casket has made the 8,000-mile trip from Iraq to Phoenix will the horrifying news of Matthew's death be real.

Iraq Stories Are Personal for Small-Town Papers
While national publications and Web sites continue to report the rising death toll of U.S. soldiers in Iraq as mere numbers (now well over 500), it's a different story for small-town newspapers when the bodies come home for the funerals and memorials that follow.

March 03 2004

Doubts cast on efforts to link Saddam, al-Qaida:
The Bush administration's claim that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had ties to al-Qaida – one of the administration's central arguments for a pre-emptive war – appears to have been based on even less solid intelligence than the administration's claims that Iraq had hidden stocks of chemical and biological weapons.

A constitution drenched in blood :
How did Iraq slide in 24 hours from adopting a draft constitution that could pave the way for democracy into a state where civil war is a definite step closer? The attacks against the Shi'ites must be interpreted in light of what happened behind the closed doors of the US-appointed IGC during the weekend.

Robert Fisk: All This Talk Of Civil War, And Now This Carnage. Coincidence?:
I don't believe the Americans were behind yesterday's carnage despite the screams of accusation by the Iraqi survivors yesterday. But I do worry about the Iraqi exile groups who think that their own actions might produce what the Americans want: a fear of civil war so intense that Iraqis will go along with any plan the United States produces for Mesopotamia.

Lawyers submit war crimes petition :
The group Legal Action Against War have submitted a petition to the international criminal court in the Hague today, asking them to investigate alleged offences by Mr Blair, Jack Straw, Geoff Hoon, and the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith.,12956,1160307,00.html

March 02 2004

140 killed in blasts at Iraq pilgrimage :
Several blasts hit crowds of Shia Muslims in the holy city of Karbala, while a further four bombs exploded at a mosque in Baghdad.

American Soldier Killed in Baghdad:
An American soldier was killed Tuesday when insurgents tossed a grenade at an Army Humvee as it drove down a road Baghdad, the military said.

''Anticipating the Presidential Election, Bush Administration Pulls Troops Out of Baghdad'':
In an effort to reduce casualties among U.S. forces, the Bush administration has decided to pull U.S. troops out of central Baghdad and place them on the outskirts of the city. This ring formation follows the administration's pattern of fear over how the U.S. electorate will respond if U.S. casualties continue to mount.

Helen Thomas: Iraqi exile attains his goal:
With friends like Ahmad Chalabi, the United States doesn't need enemies. Chalabi is the Iraqi exile who now brags that his years of lobbying and coaxing American officialdom into war against Iraq have paid off.

Why Are We In Iraq?:
People need to think about this. If it wasn't truly necessary to go to war with Iraq to protect ourselves from Saddam and WMDs, then what other reason would justify a preemptive attack on another country?

The Casualty: An American Soldier Comes Home From Iraq

GI denied health care after speaking out :
An Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran says Army officials at Fort Knox, Ky., refused him medical treatment after he talked publicly about poor care at the base, which helped spark hearings in Congress.

Who is winning work in Iraq and Afghanistan? :
The reconstruction of Afghanistan and Iraq is a multi-billion dollar business. A profile of the companies that are cashing in.

US plans to move military bases from Saudi Arabia to Iraq:
Lawyers warned the White House and the Pentagon recently that any decisions within the framework of the talks, now being held with the Provisional Governing Council of Iraq, on a special status of U.S. bases on the Iraqi territory would be invalid from the point of view of international law.

March 01 2004

Iraq: Governing Council Solves Some Key Disputes, Postpones Others In Interim Constitution

Iraq civil war: Rumors and reality:
As factional assassinations and bombings punctuate the jagged edges of Iraq's internal rivalries, the administration of US President George W Bush has worked to paint these internal conflicts as externally driven, particularly seizing on al-Qaeda as its designated whipping boy. But contradictions abound.

'Bullet magnets' prepare for Iraqi frontline:
The largest troop rotation in US history starts this month – but the reservists have little training or appetite for battle,3604,1159141,00.html

Iraq fails to meet Bush deadline:
Iraqi political leaders have failed to meet the Bush Administration's deadline for an interim constitution because of continuing disputes between the country's two principal groups of Muslims.

Iraq may become 'another Vietnam':
Brent Scowcroft, a former US national security adviser who served in the administration of the first president Bush, warned today that the war in Iraq threatens to grind on for years like the Vietnam conflict.

Polish troops fire on pilgrims in Iraq:
Polish soldiers opened fire on a bus full of Shiite Muslim pilgrims from Iran after it failed to stop at a checkpoint Sunday, witnesses said. Ten people were hurt, including eight Iranian pilgrims, a Polish soldier and member of the Iraqi security forces, they said.

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