By GARY LEUPP - June 6, 2008
[U.S. Vice President] Dick Cheney wants the Iraqi government installed by the U.S. occupation to sign a “security pact” with Washington by the end of July...[Iraqi] public opinion is opposed to the pact based on leaked information about its content; and a majority of members of the Iraqi parliament have endorsed a letter to the U.S. government demanding U.S. withdrawal as the condition for “any commercial, agricultural, investment or political agreement with the United States”...Few Americans are familiar with the proposed treaty. If they were, they might be shocked at its provisions, ashamed about its naked sadism.
Former US President Jimmy Carter is making more enemies in Washington. Over the last few days, he has published a statement denouncing human rights abuses in Palestine, called for Europe to break from the US and lift the blockade on Gaza, confirmed the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons and called for a complete withdrawal from Iraq. Wow.
The American Nightmare has no boundaries as it were. I had just recently moved to a new domicile and was talking with the telephone technician working on my phone line. We were talking shop and I happened to mention I was a journalist. I told him of my exploits interviewing everyday people around the country. Then I mentioned the sad tales of the “New Homeless” and how their high tech and engineering jobs were being sent to third world countries. I also mentioned the foreclosure fiasco and all the people living in RV’s or traveling to family members or friends to live out this non recession. Then he looked at me with the all too familiar look of loss I’ve seen over these last few months.
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS - Counterpunch
It is 1939 all over again. The world waits helplessly for the next act of naked aggression by rogue states. Only this time the rogue states are not the Third Reich and Fascist Italy. They are the United States and Israel...The targeted victims are not Poland and France, but Iran, Syria, the remains of the Palestinian West Bank and southern Lebanon...The neoconservatives are ecstatic. Hegemony uber alles is back on track.
by Daphne Bramham - Vancouver Sun
From the 1960s through most of Saddam Hussein's regime, Iraqi women were among the most liberated and liberal of all Muslim women. Girls went to school, women worked, wore what they chose, drove cars, ran for office and spoke their minds...Yet far from restoring women's rights, on the Americans' watch, Iraq has become a prison for women.
By Sudarsan Raghavan - Washington Post
U.S. forces bore the brunt of...attacks [at the end of March], suggesting that they were taking the lead combat role in many areas or were perceived by Mahdi Army fighters to be taking the lead...American soldiers were involved in battles and were being targeted with roadside bombs, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons in many Shiite enclaves of Baghdad [reports say]...[S]ome Mahdi Army commanders and fighters said they saw the Basra offensive as an opportunity to attack U.S. troops in Baghdad after nearly a year of standing down under [Muqtada al-Sadr's] orders.
2008-04-21 - The Real News Network
Shiite cleric [Muqtada al-Sadr] warns Iraqi government to halt crackdown on his followers or he will declare open war[.]
[Two additional related articles follow - MW]
Craig Kielburger, Marc Kielburger, Chris Mallinos. The Ottawa Citizen.
Ottawa, Ont.: Apr 6, 2008. pg. A.8
Lured to Kuwait with the promise of work, truck drivers from developing countries say they have been trapped by companies that seized their passports and forced them to join deadly convoys into Iraq to supply U.S. troops.
By PATRICK COCKBURN - March 15/16, 2008
Five years of occupation have destroyed Iraq as a country. Baghdad is today a collection of hostile Sunni and Shia ghettoes divided by high concrete walls. Different districts even have different national flags. Sunni areas use the old Iraqi flag with the three stars of the Baath party and the Shia wave a newer version, adopted by the Shia-Kurdish government. The Kurds have their own flag.
By PATRICK COCKBURN - Counterpunch
In the Sadrist stronghold of Sadr City, home to two million people in Baghdad, police and army checkpoints were simply abandoned and militiamen took over. In a statement read out by a senior aide yesterday, Muqtada al-Sadr called on Iraqis to stage sit-ins all over the country and added that he would declare "a civil revolt" if attacks by US and Iraqi security forces continued. Civil disobedience is different in Iraq from most countries, since most protesters are armed or have weapons available.
By CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI - March 5, 2008
The Iraqis may be surprised that Mr. Bush is the one who gets to give another country permission to invade Iraq. They shouldn't be. As was explained by one high-ranking U.S. official...in August 2007, "any country with 160,000 foreigners fighting for it sacrifices some sovereignty." He got that right. The Iraqis still have some rights although they're not quite as good as deciding who gets to invade it.
MARK MACKINNON | March 3, 2008 | The Globe and Mail
BAGHDAD -- It's a damning indication of how poorly things have gone for the United States during its five-year misadventure in Iraq that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can drive in broad daylight though this war-ravaged city and spend the night at the presidential palace, but George W. Bush can't.
January, 27 2008 - Znet
The Pentagon has recently released optimistic figures about violence in Iraq. What they neglect to say is that while overall violence has declined there in the last few months, civilian deaths at U.S. hands increased approximately 70 percent in 2007 over the prior year. Non-combatant death at U.S. hands grew in Afghanistan by a similar percentage. This surge in non-combatant death directly caused by the U.S. accompanies the surge in U.S. led operations in both countries.
Fallujah is more difficult to enter than any city in the world..."The siege is total," says Dr Kamal in Fallujah Hospital...The city has been sealed off since November 2004 when United States Marines stormed it in an attack that left much of the city in ruins.