Iraq


"McCarthyism is loose on our land again, pushed not by one deranged, malicious senator, but by a self-righteous, slow-witted president who is under the wing of such maniacal, anti-democratic ideologues as Cheney, Rumsfield, and Ashcroft" (Jim Hightower, The Texas Observer, 6/6/03).


"No man is justified in doing evil on grounds of expediency" (Theodore Roosevelt).


"Zapatero, Spain's incoming Prime Minister, declared, "You can't organize a war with lies." He has vowed to pull Spain's small but symbolic force out of Iraq.." ("Editorials: Terror & Truth in Spain." The Nation, April 5, 2004, 3).


"That child [sent to Iraq] is ours. He does not belong to the neocons. They don't care who these kids are. They demand warm bodies to send into this black hole they created. I will spend every breath of my life working to get that lowlife fratboy dragged out of the White House in chains.." (Letters. The Nation. April 5, 2004, 23).


"...while hundreds of Americans and thousands of Iraqies have died in the combat for dubious objectives, American corporate interests are rollicking as they count their war profits...

"The corporate free-for-all has proven to be quite expensive for U.S. taxpayers. We pay American engineers 10 times the amount normally charged by their Iraqi counterparts.

"...the administration... has jettisoned basic safeguards like competition and supervision that are needed to protect the public interest" ("A Corporate Free-For-All Becomes a Fee for All." The Washington Spectator. July 15, 2004: 1).


"American dereliction of duty in Iraq [has given] world terrorists recruiting posters... numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses that were part of systemic and illegal abuse inflicted on the detainees by American troops...

"...military commanders took months to begin their own investigation and then did little to end the abuses...

"...Rumsfeld's strategy... encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners...

"Neither Amnesty International nor Human Rights Watch has been allowed to enter and inspect Iraqi prisons under American control...

"...the Bush administration's excuse that the torturing of Iraqi prisoners by enlisted troops was the sin of "a few bad apples" reflected the "low regard for the law" that has marked every chapter of its war on terror" ("American Dereliction of Duty in Iraq Gives World Terrorists Recruiting Posters." Washington Spectator, June 1, 2004: 1-3).


"..there have been dozens of.. trade shows on the business opportunities created by Iraq's decimation, held in hotel ballrooms from London to Amman... "The best time to invest is when there is still blood on the ground," he assures me...

"...a law passed by Bush on May 22.. indemnifies the entire oil industry from "any attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process"...

"...While the enormous profits being made in Iraqq are strictly private, it turns out that the entire risk is being shouldered by the public [the U.S. taxpayers]...

"The reconstruction of Iraq has emerged as a vast protectionist racket... that transfers limitless public funds... to private firms, and even gets rid of the foreign competition to boot, under the guise of "national security"...

""To be honest," says Ed Kubba, a consultant and board member of the American Iraqi Chamber of Commerce, "I don't know where the line is between business and corruption." He points to U.S. companies subcontracting huge taxpayer-funded reconstruction jobs for a fraction of what they are getting paid, then pocketing the difference. "If you take $10 million from the U.S. government and sub the job out to Iraqi businesses for a quarter-million, is that business, or is that corruption?"" (Naomi Klein. "Risky Business." The Nation, Jan.5, 2004: 11-16)


"Reporters say harassment and intimidation by American soldiers is growing... journalists say that when there's bad news -- a helicopter crash, a mortar attack -- they are increasingly being blocked from covering the story by U.S. soldiers, who frequently confiscate and destroy their film disks and videotapes...

"Media organizations report increasing acts of harassment and intimidation of their reporters... "This is without a doubt the nastiest, scariest conflict that we've seen in half a century"...(Laura Rozen. "Journalists Take Flak in Iraq." The Nation, Jan. 12, 2004: 27-28).


"..seen up close, reconstruction in Iraq looks less like a mission of mercy or a sophisticated pacification program and more like a criminal racket...

"As soon as Baghdad fell, Bechtel was in Iraq making deals... In total, the firm now has more than $2.8 billion in Iraq reconstruction jobs...

"None of these deadlines have been met... Bechtel's contracts are indemnified with loophole phrases...

"...the first thing Bechtel did when it showed up was to start painting buildings. [The Baghdad Sewage Authority] demanded that they stop and switch to repairing the plant's primary functions...

"..."Every day we send untreated sewage into the river, thousands of people downstream become sick." He [says]...

"The situation is almost identical at several other water-treatment plants I visited. Bechtel and its subcontractors are rarely around; the local managers are kept in the dark about what work is planned; the emergency support... comes from UNICEF, the Red Cross, the Swiss Embassy or various European NGOs and more recently from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Bechtel is never mentioned as providing help...

""We only do work that we have a job order for," explains Bechtel's Canavan... seems that Bechtel simply gets to decide on its own how much work it will, or will not, do for $2.8 billion of U.S. taxpayers' money...

"Everywhere one looks, the reconstruction effort is marked by chaos, corruption and incompetence...

"...not a single cent of U.S. tax money had been spent on Iraqi healthcare, water treatment or sanitation projects -- though $9 million was dithered away on administrative costs..." (Christian Parenti. "Fables of the Reconstruction." The Nation, Aug. 30, 2004: 16-20).


"Any "practical" approach to the situation in Iraq, any prescription for what to do now, must start with the understanding that the present U.S. military occupation is morally unacceptable. Amnesty International, a year after the invasion, reported: "Scores of unarmed people have been killed due to excessive or unnecessary use of lethal force by coalition forces during public demonstrations, at checkpoints and in house raids. Thousands of people have been detained and subjected to prolonged and often unacknowledged detention. Many have been tortured or ill-treated and some have died in custody...

"The history of military occupations of Third World countries is that they bring neither democracy nor security...

"It was said that if we did not drop the bomb on Hiroshima, we would have to invade Japan and huge casualties would follow. We know now and knew then that this was not true. The truth is, no one knows what will happen if the United States withdraws. We face a choice between the certainty of mayhem if we stay, and the uncertainty of what will follow if we leave" (Howard Zinn. "How to Get Out of Iraq: A Forum." The Nation, May 24, 2004: 12).


"..just what was so hard to understand about this [Bush] bunch? We knew they were dishonest. We knew they were fanatical. We knew they were purposely ignorant and bragged about not reading newspapers. We knew they were vindictive. We knew they were lawless. We knew they were obsessively secretive. We knew they had no time or patience for those who raised difficult questions. We knew they were driven by fantasies of religious warfare, personal vengeance and ideological triumph. We knew they had no respect for civil liberties. And we knew they took no responsibility for the consequences of their incompetence. Just what is surprising about the manner in which they've conducted the [Iraq] war?" (Eric Alterman. "Hawks Eating Crow." The Nation, JUne 7, 2004: 10).


"It really is much more important to understand why we should not have invaded in the first place. Not just a case of bad information on the WMDs, or on the supposed ties to Al Qaeda. We need to get it through our heads that the real mistake was invading in the face of almost universal opposition from the rest of the world... The single most important weapon we have against terrorists is international cooperation, and that what we so stupidly blew in this case. Just threw it away in a miserable display of arrogant "diplomacy" -- a combination of threats, lies, and bribes that insulted our closest allies" (Molly Ivins. "The News Hens Get Teresa." The Progressive, Sep. 2004_ 50).


"...US occupation powers have been unabashed in their efforts to steal money that is supposed to aid a war-ravaged people. The State Department has taken $184 million earmarked for drinking water projects and moved it to the budget for the lavish new US Embassy in Saddam's former palace... he is robbing Iraq's people, who, according to a recent study by Public Citizen, are facing "massive outbreaks of cholera, diarrhea, nausea and kidney stones" from drinking contaminated water...

"...if financial scandals made you blush, the entire reconstruction of Iraq would be pretty mortifying. From the start... it was treated as an ideological experiment in privatization...

"As a result, the reconstruction was seen not as a recovery from war but as an extension of the occupation, a foreign invasion of a different sort...

"...quoted on NPR's Marketplace, "At least 20 percent of US spending in Iraq is lost to corruption"...

"Rather than models of speed and efficiency, the contractors look more like overbilling, underperforming, lumbering beasts, barely able to move for fear of the hatred they have helped generate. The problems goes well beyond the latest reports of Halliburton drivers abandoning $85,000 trucks on the road because they don't carry spare tires. Private contractors are also accused of playing leadership roles in the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib...

"...Senate Republicans just defeated an attempt to bar private contractors from interrogating prisoners and also voted down a proposal to impose stiffer penalties on contractors who overbill. Meanwhile, the White House is also trying to get immunity from prosecution for US contractors in Iraq..." (Naomi Klein. "Shameless in Iraq." The Nation, July 12, 2004: 14).


"The last month of inflammatory US agression in Iraq has inspired what can only be described as a mutiny: Waves of soldiers, workers and politicians under the command of the US occupation authority are suddenly refusing to follow orders and abandoning their posts. First Spain announced it would withdraw its troops, then Honduras, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Kazakhstan. South Korean and Bulgarian troops were pulled back to their bases, while New Zealand is withdrawing its engineers. El Salvador, Norway, the Netherlands and Thailand will likely be next.

"...the US-controlled Iraqi army... donating their weapons to resistance fighters in the South and refusing to fight in Falluja, saying that they didn't join the army to kill other Iraqis... "about 40 percent [of Iraqi security officers] walked off the job because of intimidation. And about 10 percent actually worked against us"

"...Four ministers of the Iraqi Governing Council have resigned their posts in protest. Half the Iraqis with jobs in the secured "green zone" -- as translators, drivers, cleaners -- are not showing up for work... 75 percent of Iraqis employed by the US occupation authority stayed home...

"... Privates Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey have applied for refugee status in Canada as conscientious objectors and Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia is facing court martial after he refused to return to Iraq on the grounds that he no longer knew what the war was about...

"...the idea that the United States could bring genuine democracy to Iraq is now irredeemably discredited: Too many relatives of Iraqi Governing Council members have landed plum jobs and rigged contracts, too many groups demanding direct elections have been suppressed, too many newspapers have been closed down and too many Arab journalists have been murdered... shot dead by US soldiers" (Naomi Klein. "Mutiny in Iraq." The Nation, May 17, 2004: 10, 21).


"So let's be absolutely clear: The United States, having broken Iraq, is not in the process of fixing it. It is merely continuing to break the country and its people by other means, using not only F-16s and Bradleys, but now the less flashy weaponry of WTO and IMF conditions, followed by elections designed to transfer as little power to Iraqis as possible. This is what famed Argentine writer Rodolfo Walsh... described as "planned misery"" (Naomi Klein. "You Break It, You Pay For It." The Nation, Jan. 10/17, 2005: 12).


"George W. Bush's Iraq War, while duplicitous in many respects, is actually the culmination of twenty-five years of U.S. policy to ensure continued domination of the Persian Gulf and its prolific oil fields.

"In fact, it was a natural expression of the Carter Doctrine. Enunciated... in January 1980, the doctrine defines Persian Gulf oil as a "vital interest" of the United States that must be defended "by any means necessary...

"So the use of force to ensure U.S. access to Persian Gulf oil is not a Bush II policy or a Republican policy, but a bipartisan, American policy...

"Today, the Carter Doctrine stretches far beyond the Persian Gulf... an extended Carter Doctrine now justifies similar action in the Caspain Sea region, Latin America, and the west coast of Africa. Slowly but surely, the U.S. military is being converted into a global oil-protection service...

"The Carter Doctrine now covers much of the planet... Central Asia and the Caspain region... the Republic of Georgia and oil-rich waters off the coast of Africa... South China Sea... Colombia...

"The Cheney Report identifies many areas as possible sources of non-Gulf oil, but focuses in particular on three key areas: the Andean region of South America (notably Colombia and Venezuela), the west coast of Africa (Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, and Nigeria), and the Caspian Sea baasin (Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan)...

"...the current instability in Colombia, Venezuela, Nigeria, and other non-Gulf producing areas is one big reason behind the worldwide shortage of petroleum and the resulting high gasoline prices...

"Increase U.S. reliance on oil from Africa, Latin America, and the Caspian region... That's why Bush has established U.S. bases in the Caspian region...

"In announcing these moves, the White House has repeatedly stated that such action is needed to fight Al Qaeda and to support ongoing U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. But a careful reading of Pentagon and State Department documents suggests that the protection of oil is of paramount concern...

"The 2003 invasion of Iraq should be viewed as not the first--and certainly not the last--of a long series of wars over the control of foreign oil. These wars are certain to claim an increasing toll in human life and will impose a severe and growing strain on the federal treasury. Members of the Armed Forces face years of dangerous and ignoble work as protectors of pipelines and refineries" (Michael T. Klare. "The Carter Doctrine Goes Global." The Progressive, Dec. 2004: 17-21).


"The United States should pull out of Iraq... has already lost more than 1,350 soldiers. Already, about 10,000 U.S. soldiers have been wounded, at a rate now of almost 1,000 a month...

"Then there are the Iraqi civilians who have died...

"The situation in Iraq shows no signs of stabilizing...

"...more than 5,000 U.S. troops have deserted... the Reserves are "rapidly degenerating into a broken force"

"Meanwhile, the ranks of the insurgents are growing. "The resistance is more than 200,000 people"...

"...the more brutal the U.S. response, the more the insurgency grows....

"...the Bush Administration has bungled the occupation from the start... Things have gotten so bad some Iraqies are telling reporters that life was better for them under Saddam Hussein....

"...in a poll of more than 3,000 Iraqis for USA Today, 71 percent said the U.S. soldiers were occupiers and 57 percent said that U.S. troops should leave immediately. Most alarmingly, more than 50 percent said that, in some circumstances, attacks on U.S. troops were justified...

"It is time to face facts. The invasion was illegal and foolish in the first place. And the occupation has failed...

"...some people say we have a moral obligation to clean up our mess in Iraq. But there are some messes that the mess-maker is incapable of cleaning up. Iraq is one of them... the United States has no role to play. It will do more harm than good by staying" ("Bring the Troops Home." The Progressive, Feb, 2005: 8-11).


Iraq

"The latest Persian Gulf conflict was basically a low-level nuclear war.. the Iraqi population is now free to live in a radioactive battlefield" (Phillips, Peter, and Project Censored. Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored Stories. NY: Seven Stories Press, 2003: 59).

see..

Uranium Medical Research Center


Cost of war today

$145,178,460,483 Or

$114,000 per minute Or

$500.00 per family per month Or

The Government borrows one BILLION dollars per day

40% of the Military budget is secret
40% of the Military budget is secret
70 attacks per day on our troops
1,183 USSoldiers killed
74 UK Soldiers killed
72 other Soldiers killed
16,512 citizens

Number of U.S.soldiers returned from Iraq in the last year who have been diagnosed with mental-health problems:
5,375

Johns Hopkins University indicates that 100,000 civilians, most of them women and children, have died as a result of the Iraq war

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." (President Dwight D. Eisenhower April 16, 1953)

The human and financial costs of the Iraq War continue to climb. Since the beginning of the war in March 2003, more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers have died, three times the number that died in the first Persian Gulf War. More than 85% of those soldiers died since the President declared an end to major combat. More than 7,000 soldiers have been wounded, 15 times the number wounded in the first Gulf War.1 Many of these soldiers have suffered permanent, disabling injuries.

Nearly 170,000 reservists and National Guard troops are currently on active duty compared to 50,000 prior to the Iraq War.

These part-time soldiers are taken away from their families and jobs for long periods of time. The American taxpayer pays the financial costs of this war Congress has already allocated $150 billion for the war.

More will be needed as instability grows and hostilities escalate: Attacks on U.S. and other troops in August averaged 90 per day, five times the level of last winter.

Every day two U.S. soldiers are killed and 30 are wounded.

The number of insurgents in Iraq may have quadrupled since last year.

Crude oil production in Iraq is only two-thirds of what it was pre-war.

The Administration requested Congress in September to shift money allocated for Iraqi reconstruction to security, a move indicating trouble, according to some Congressional leaders.

A U.S.intelligence report provided to the Bush Administration in July concluded a gloomy outlook for stability in Iraq, including the possible outbreak of a civil war.

Beyond 2004, the financial needs of this war may consume another $4 billion per month.

"Every gun that ismade, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those whohunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." (PresidentDwight D. Eisenhower April 16,1953).


"Iraq war increased starvation. Acute malnutrition among Iraqi children aged under five almost doubled last year because of chaos caused by the US-led occupation, according to the UN Human Rights Commission"("Roundup." Guardian Weekly, April 8, 2005: 2).


"Don't be fooled a second time. They told you Britain must invade Iraq because of its weapons of mass destruction. They were wrong. Now they say British troops must stay in Iraq because otherwise it will collapse into chaos.

"This second lie is infecting everyone. It is spouted by Labour and Tory opponents of the war. Its axiom is that western soldiers are so competent that, wherever they go, only good can result. It is their duty not to leave Iraq until order is established, infrastructure rebuilt and democracy entrenched. Note the word "until. It hides a bloodstained half-century of western self-delusion and arrogance. The white man's burden is still alive and well in the skies over Baghdad (the streets are now too dangerous). Soldiers and civilians may die by the hundred. Money may be squandered by the million. But Tony Blair tells us that only western values enforced by the barrel of a gun can save the hapless Mussulman from his own worst enemy, himself" (Sam Jenkins. "The lies and folly march on." Guardian Weekly, Sep. 30: 3).


"...the scorched earth policy in Fallujah removed any doubt that this was not a benign occupation. ON Bush's orders, the US military went into Fallujah to avenge the killing of four US mercenaries working for Blackwater Security. A friend of Glantz's, a British filmmaker, returns from Fallujah with video and indignation: "Unbelievable. Un-fucking-believable. Your people are butchers. I have to find the technical definition of genocide because your government may be committing one." US snipers were shooting innocent women and children in the neck and firing on ambulances, she reported" (Matthew Rosthchild. "The Iraq Debacle." The Progressive, Nov. 2005: 48-52).


Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS