The new US embassy in Baghdad is due to be officially opened, with a dedication service led by Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Security will be tight at the ceremony in the Iraqi capital for one of the biggest and most expensive embassies the US has ever built. On 1 January, the US officially handed over responsibility for security in the fortified Green Zone to Iraqi forces.
Iran’s official news agency IRNA is warning today of a Global plot hatched by a ‘secret society of Freemasons’ known as the Bilderberg Group to plunge our World into ‘total chaos’ in order to destroy all religions and independent Nations in order to establish a planetary wide single system of government. According to the articles published by Iranian reporter Amir Taheri on this plot, “The alleged conspiracy was finalized at a secret meeting of the group in June 1999 in Caesar Park Hotel in the Portuguese resort of Penha Longa.”
At least 26 Iraqis were killed and 18 more were wounded in the latest round of violence. No Coalition deaths were reported. Sixteen people were killed in Ramadi during a jailbreak at a local police station. Six policemen were wounded during the ensuing clashes. Over half the prisoners were recaptured, but three senior Islamic militants are still among those at large. The police chief described them all as suspected insurgents. The fighting began when prisoners overpowered a guard. Ramadi remains under curfew as police search for the remaining fugitives...
The Iraqi journalist thrust to instant fame when he threw his shoes at US President George W. Bush will go on trial this month on charges that carry up to 15 years in jail, a judge said on Monday. Investigating judge Dhiya al-Kenani rejected new allegations by the journalist's family that he had been tortured in custody, charges that were levelled after a brother was allowed a first prison visit. "The investigation phase is over and the case has been transferred to the Central Criminal Court," Kenani said. "The trial will start on Wednesday, December 31." Muntazer al-Zaidi stands accused of "aggression against a foreign head of state during an official visit," an offence that carries a prison term of between five and 15 years under Iraqi law. Connecticut Post: Shoe-Thrower is defiant.
Is seems they not only can, but did. Israel maneuvered America to declare war on Iraq. Not once but twice. And it seems that everyone knows this except most Americans - the people who are paying for the wars, and are being wounded and dying in them. Does that get you angry? It sure gets me angry! Tune into an interview below given to Bill Moyers by former U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, IV on the PBS show, NOW, February 28, 2003.
The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George Bush was tortured into writing a letter of apology, his brother claimed today. Muntazar al-Zaidi was wrestled to the ground after throwing his shoes during a news conference on 14 December held by Bush and the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. The investigating judge in the case acknowledged last week that Zaidi was beaten around the face and eyes. PressDemocrat: Iraq shoe-thrower's brother says he'd do it again.
The campaign will proceed in demand of the release of the Iraqi Journalist, Muntather Al-Zaydi who hurled a pair of shoes at George Bush on 12/14/2008 in Baghdad in reaction to Bush's immoral invasion of Iraq and the war-crimes committed by the occupying forces with the aid of local warlords. We hereby sign below to demand the immediate release of the Journalist Montadhar Al-Zaydi, without any constraints or conditions. We also hold Al-Maliki's government and the Bush administration accountable and responsible for his life, dignity, and well-being...Sign the petition
"Fifty million people are free from tyranny because of the United States, because of my husband's policies," Laura Bush said in an interview with USA TODAY on Thursday. The first lady also said she would defend her husband's job during the eight-year presidency as 'they are worth defending'. "These are very, very important, world-changing happenings, and they're for the best," she said. Arab Woman Blues: I really hate America, Americans, their culture, their ways, their accent, their politics, their arrogance, their stupidity, their ignorance...I really can't stand Americans. I can't stand their men, their women, their country, everything they represent...I truly, deeply, sincerly hate them.
URUKNET: [A protest in Fallujah Wednesday for the release of journalist Muntathar al Zaidi.] Besides making an international celebrity out of Iraqi reporter Muntadar al-Zeidi, the now infamous shoe-throwing incident is cropping up in surprising ways across Iraq, where a population beaten and exhausted from years of war is once again finding its voice against the US military presence and the Iraqi government seen as its enablers. The city of Fallujah was one of the hardest hit in all of Iraq, nearly destroyed earlier in the war. When students at the city’s university held an impromptu rally in support of the jailed Zeidi, US soldiers were quick on the scene. The students raised shoes and some of them threw rocks, prompting the troops to open fire in an attempt to disperse the crowd. One student was wounded, shot in the foot according to his doctor.
Up to 35 Iraqi government officials have reportedly been arrested on suspicion of plotting a coup against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Reports in the US say the arrests were made at the Interior Ministry over the past three days by an elite counter-terrorism force that reports directly to Mr al-Maliki.
Looks like aL Zaidi is getting a first hand view of the colors of American democracy, ensconced in the flag's colors of red, white and blue. The color red is the color of the blood being beaten out of Zaidi by his tormentors. The color white is the color his skin has blanched to from all of that blood loss. And the color blue is the color his skin is turning from being beaten by the CIA/Iraqi secret police thugs. If he survives his torture, he'll probably be maimed for life. Democracy, American style, that the Iraqi people have been subjected to since the first "Operation Desert Slaughter" back in 1991 that continues to this day. SIGN THE PETITION HERE.
Journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi, the new hero in Iraq, much of the Muslim world, and even among many in this country, is facing less than friendly treatment from the Iraqi military and, according to some news reports, the U.S. forces overseeing his custody...
After years of the Bush administration's attempts to control the images of the Iraq war, an Iraqi journalist turned the tables Sunday through an act of protest that drew broad popular support throughout the Arab world. From the staged toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad's Firdos Square to the landing of the US president in a flight suit for his "mission accomplished" speech on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, to the ban on media photographs of coffins being offloaded at Dover Air Force Base, the Bush administration has sought relentlessly to manufacture and control the images from the US war in Iraq.
The 50,000 Signatures Campaign for Zaidi
The campaign will proceed in demand of the release of the Iraqi Journalist, Muntather Al-Zaydi who hurled a pair of shoes at George Bush on 12/14/2008 in Baghdad in reaction to Bush's immoral invasion of Iraq and the war-crimes committed by the occupying forces with the aid of local warlords. We hereby sign below to demand the immediate release of the Journalist Montadhar Al-Zaydi, without any constraints or conditions. We also hold Al-Maliki's government and the Bush administration accountable and responsible for his life, dignity, and well-being.
Citizens in Baghdad have ennobled a frogmarched Iraqi reporter for throwing his shoes at lame duck US President George W. Bush. Iraqi reporter Muntadhar al-Zaidi shocked the world on Sunday by hurling his shoes at the visiting US president, who had come to the war-torn country to say farewell. Iraqi television responded by demanding the immediate release of the al-Baghdadia correspondent and called on authorities to respect the right of the detained in exercising "freedom of expression". "Al-Baghdadia television demands that the Iraqi authorities immediately release their stringer Muntadhar al-Zaidi, in line with the democracy and freedom of expression that the American authorities promised the Iraqi people," reads a statement released by the station. Baghdad citizens also voiced approval over the stunning act and raked the police over the coals for the arrest. Russia Today: Journalist’s parting shots at Bush: In Iraqi culture, throwing a shoe is a sign of contempt. Iraqis beat the toppled statue of Saddam with their shoes in 2003. President Bush did not seem to fully comprehend the meaning of the shoe. "So what if a guy threw his shoe at me?" he said. ADS: Bush Comparison Seen As Unfair to Dogs.
An Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes and an insult at George W. Bush, without hitting him, as the US president was shaking hands with the Iraqi premier at his Baghdad office on Sunday. As the two leaders met in Nuri al-Maliki's private office, a journalist sitting in the third row jumped up, shouting: "It is the farewell kiss, you dog," and threw his shoes one after the other towards Bush. Maliki made a protective gesture towards the US president, who ducked and was not hit. "This is the end!" shouted the protester, later identified as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt. Bush ducked both shoes as they whizzed past his head and landed with a thud against the wall behind him. Bloomberg: Bush Ducks Shoes Thrown in Iraqi Leader’s Office. Reuters SA: Iraqi reporter throws shoes at Bush and calls him dog.
US President George W. Bush said during a surprise visit to Baghdad on Sunday that the American intervention in Iraq had been difficult but "necessary." "The work hasn't been easy but it's been necessary for American security, Iraqi hope and world peace," Bush said at a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Jalal Talabani. Bush, who is due to leave office next month, ordered the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein but triggered years of deadly insurgency and sectarian violence. URUKNET: Bush… A War Criminal.
An unpublished US government report says US-led efforts to rebuild Iraq were crippled by bureaucratic turf wars, violence and ignorance of the basic elements of Iraqi society, resulting in a 100-billion-dollar failure.
For more than five years, the Bush administration's mercenary force of choice, Blackwater Worldwide, has operated on a US government contract in Iraq in a climate that has wed immunity with impunity. Today the Justice Department took the first concrete step to hold accountable the individuals responsible for the single greatest massacre of Iraqi civilians at the hands of an armed private force deployed in Iraq by the US government.
Five Blackwater operatives turned themselves in to federal authorities in Salt Lake City on Monday morning after being officially notified that they had each been indicted on fourteen manslaughter charges and allegations they used automatic weapons in the commission of a crime. A sixth Blackwater operative has already pleaded guilty to two charges as part of an agreement to testify against his colleagues. The thirty-five-count indictment was unsealed today in Washington, DC. It stems from the operatives' alleged role in the Nisour Square shootings in Baghdad in September 2007 that left seventeen Iraqi civilians dead and more than twenty wounded. Today's indictments represent the first time in more than five years of the Iraq occupation that the Justice Department has brought criminal charges against armed private contractors for crimes committed against Iraqis.
Five employees of the US security firm Blackwater charged over the 2007 fatal shooting of 17 Iraqis are expected to surrender to US authorities.
Now, as the Times article spells out, this relationship has been reversed. Obama has ditched the rhetorical promises of his campaign and these previous caveats have emerged clearly as the "reality" of his policy. It is the continuation of the war and occupation in Iraq as well as the essential strategy of using military force to assert US hegemony over the oil resources of the region.
"It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in [Iraq] have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me -- unless you don't count American soldiers as Americans."
Pakistan Daily published a list of Iraqi academics assassinated in Iraq during the US-led occupation. This is a particularly meaningful aspect of the Iraq genocide, the extermination of its intellectual classes. It wasn't enough to invade and occupy what was once the most advanced country in the Middle East and destroy its economy. Iraq had to be obliterated, its history re-written and its future denied.
Bingham, a former Lord Chief Justice, gave the annual Grotius Lecture at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law on November 17. His speech was a devastating judicial refutation of the lies concocted by the British government and its legal advisors in order to justify the illegal invasion of a sovereign nation.
The following relation has being created against the Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq with the information provided by direct Iraqi university sources and international and Arab media. It only includes names and data referred to university academics assassinated during the Occupation period.
Nour al-Houda al-Maliki woke one night in March to the cracks of the bullets that killed her father as he lay sleeping, six feet from her. She saw four masked men. One she knew as a member of the Mahdi army, the feared clan that ruthlessly calls the shots throughout her south Baghdad neighbourhood.
US President George W Bush believes the Iraq war has been successful and is "very pleased" with what is happening there, he said in a pre-recorded interview broadcast on a Japanese television network on Sunday.
Passage of the US-Iraq security pact under the terms both countries' leaders have advocated could violate the constitutions of both countries, specialists told a congressional subcommittee yesterday. They instead pressed for an extension of the United Nations mandate authorizing US troop involvement in Iraq, which expires Dec. 31. American constitutional law scholar Oona Hathaway said she believes the Constitution requires Congress to also approve the agreement. The Bush administration has labeled the pact a "status of forces agreement," which can be implemented without congressional approval.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari and U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker signed a long-awaited accord on Monday requiring Washington to withdraw its forces within three years. The signing ceremony put a formal end to months of negotiations over the pact on the future of the U.S. presence, which the Iraqi government approved on Sunday. The pact must still be passed in the Iraqi parliament, but the government is confident it will achieve this by the end of the month. PressTV: 'Parliament will reject US-Iraq pact'.
URUKNET: Guantánamo Bay was bad enough -- Bagram is worse. Eric Lewis didn't know much about Ruzatullah's case when he decided to take it on two years ago. All he knew was that in October 2004, Ruzatullah, an Afghan man in his thirties, was spending a quiet evening at home with his family in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, when U.S. troops forced their way in and searched the place. The soldiers found no guns or other weapons, but they seized Ruzatullah and his brother Inavatullah (many Afghans have only one name) and took them to the U.S. military base at Bagram. Inavatullah was released 15 days later; Ruzatullah remained at the de facto detention center. When Lewis took the case in 2006, Ruzatullah was still in U.S. custody. No charges had been brought against him. His friends and family insisted that he had no connection to terrorists, criminals, or any armed forces. A commercial litigator at Baach Robinson and Lewis -- a boutique law firm in Washington, D.C. -- Lewis ordinarily represents foreign banks, insurance companies, and governments in fraud and insolvency cases. He heard about the detainees at Bagram from Tina Monshipour Foster, a former attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), where Lewis had been a board member. Foster's two-year-old nonprofit, the International Justice Network (IJN), provides legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses, as well as linking advocates around the world. The problems she described to Lewis -- hundreds of detainees held incommunicado and without charges at Bagram for years, unable to contact family or friends or even to see the evidence against them -- drew him in.
Leahy is the fifth of seven soldiers implicated in the incident to face a judge since August. Two soldiers — both of whom stood guard during the killings but were not active participants — have been sentenced so far and have agreed to testify against the others.
US Ambassador Ryan Crocker said today that the United States’ general policy towards Iraq will not change after the election of Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States. 14 US Military Bases Under Construction In Iraq.
There are things that U.S. soldiers are allowed to talk about with the press and others they are not. One of the things they are not allowed to voice is their political opinion, especially if it goes against their commander in chief. In the privacy of latrine stalls on military bases in Iraq and Kuwait, however, it is quite a different story. I did not see any pro-Bush writings in any of the hundreds of latrines I photographed.
More and more reports are surfacing about US troops raping and torturing women in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is nothing racist about these rapes - US soldiers are "equal opportunity rapists" - they even rape their own fellow women soldiers in what US Congresswoman called a "jaw dropping" raping spree by US servicemen. US mercenaries also rape and again, they even rape their own colleagues as the case of Jamie Leight Jones showed, but then - this kind of behavior is something one would expect from mercenaries; but soldiers? Some cannot even wait to get overseas to begin their rapes as the cases of women raped by US military recruiters illustrates. PressTV: Iraqi females suffer in US custody. + 'US torturing females in Afghan prisons'.
Are Iraqis better off today than in 2002? Hell no. They are dead and wounded and barely existing in a destroyed, impoverished, and permanently irradiated country. If Iraqis had wanted to be rid of Saddam, they had all the bullets and opportunity they needed. It only takes one bullet, and there is no doubt that Iraq had more than enough people who would have given their lives to deliver that bullet. This video is utter nonsense. The United States had no business being in Iraq. American soldiers were sent there to die for nothing.
Another David Kelly? Some people online are asking questions. While googling around the other day, one link led to another until a blog in particular caught my attention. Though I'm a firm believer that shit happens and that, if one wants, practically everything can be dressed up and interpreted as conspiracy (sometimes to mental extremes), I'm also aware that there are several grey areas in the way our governments act. This blog paid some attention to the strange death of Dr David Kelly and the murky world behind the Iraq war and I couldn't help but think that aspects of Robin Cook's death don't appear to fully add up.
With the current UN mandate due to expire on December 31, time is running out to finalise a deal and US officials have indicated frustration with the new Iraqi demands. The public response of the White House, however, has been relatively muted. Bush stated on Wednesday that his administration was “analysing those amendments” and that he remained “very hopeful and confident” an agreement would be struck before December 31. Behind-the-scenes, it appears that harsher words were said. Following last Sunday’s raid into Syria by American special forces, the Iraqi cabinet has also demanded an explicit ban on the US military using Iraqi territory to attack other states.
David Petraeus, the general who directed the Iraq "surge", today takes charge of US Central Command, where he will head American military operations in the Middle East and central Asia. Petraeus has signalled his priority will be Pakistan, the first country he will visit after today's swearing-in ceremony in Tampa Bay, Florida. Slate: Is Petraeus "Beyond Naive"? -If Gov. Sarah Palin ever becomes president, will she tell Gen. David Petraeus that he's "beyond naive" and "dangerous"? That, you may recall, was how she characterized Sen. Barack Obama's advocacy of talking to our enemies "without preconditions." Palin's condemnation of Obama was no freelance swipe. McCain, too, has shaken his head in grave condescension and muttered that the junior senator from Illinois simply doesn't understand the world. Would he dare say the same of Petraeus?
For all the talk about the economy, voters have the war in Iraq on their minds, too, in the leadup to Election Day. They're worried about supporting the troops and caring for war veterans, debating who can best lead the military, and wondering how and when the U.S. should get out.
I just want to inform everyone that James Burmeister was released suddenly and to his surprise from the Ft. Knox holding center on Tuesday, October 28 after serving over 4 months in prison. He was given a small clemency in his term and released 3 weeks early. DitchMitch: (July 17th, 2008:) PFC James Burmeister Receives Six Months And A Bad Conduct Discharge: PFC James Burmeister pleaded guilty to AWOL and stated his reason for going AWOL while on R&R in Germany. He said could no longer participate in the "Bait and Kill" and "Small Kill Teams".
There are conflicting reports coming out of Baghdad concerning the draft Status of Forces Agreement, which allows US forces to remain in Iraq when the UN mandate runs out on December 31. The Americans say the two parties are within a hair’s breadth of a deal. However, an Iraqi politician said ‘it’s dead in the water.’ In light of massive public opposition Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki has described its acceptance as ‘political suicide.’ After Downing Street: Bush and Maliki Have Zero Chance of Reaching a Deal.
Without a mandate to remain, American troops won't leave, of course. At year's end, they will, so American officials insist, simply retreat to their bases and assumedly leave Maliki's government to dangle in the expected gale. Clearly, this is a game of chicken. What's less clear is who's willing to go over the cliff, or who exactly is going to put on the brakes.
"I think Secretary (of State Condoleezza) Rice and Secretary Gates put it plainly, that there are consequences for not moving forward, but we are confident the Iraqis, once they can get through their political process that they have set up for this — this agreement, that we think we can get it signed," Perino said. The most controversial article in the draft agreement is on troop immunity. While the U.S. gives up immunity for U.S. troops who are "off duty and off base" if they commit major or intentional crimes, the U.S. retains the authority to determine whether they were off duty. ICH: Final Text of Iraq Pact Reveals a U.S. Debacle.
In 1992, Mark Higson, the Foreign Office official responsible for Iraq, appeared before the Scott inquiry into the scandal of arms sold illegally to Saddam Hussein. He described a "culture of lying" at the heart of British foreign policymaking. I asked him how frequently ministers and officials lied to parliament. "It's systemic," he said.
Michael Schwartz paints a picture of what Barack Obama and John McCain have both called the "success" of George W. Bush's "surge" in Iraq. Indeed, Obama has stated that the "surge" -- the euphemism immediately adopted by the entire press and political establishment for what used be known in plain English as an "escalation" -- has "succeeded beyond our wildest dreams": a mighty strong endorsement from a man who way, way back in olden times -- the cave-man days of, oh, 2006 or so -- was once perceived as "anti-war."
The US is now putting significant pressure on the Iraqi government to sign up for another three years of US occupation. They are threatening that “the consequences of not having a Sofa (Status of Forces Agreement) and of not having a renewed UN authorisation are pretty dramatic in terms of consequences for our actions”.
The dead...How can I ever forget the dead? Merciful, scorched Earth...that took them to her bosom, like some generous Mother...A brown, burnt blanket, but a Mother nonetheless. Like the millions of mothers you have left with no shelter, begging for a scorched earth to swallow them...And the millions of orphans longing for a lost, swallowed mother...
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