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uruknet.info information from occupied iraq

30 March 2005

 

THE TRUTH SEEMS ABSURD
Malcom Lagauche
…During my speech last night, I mentioned the former outstanding Iraqi healthcare system during the Ba’athist days that was dismantled by the embargo against Iraq. An audience member stated, “Don’t forget to tell which country’s system it was based on.” I immediately said, “Cuba.” The once-proud Iraqi system was similar to the Cuban model: the most encompassing healthcare system the world has ever seen for such a long period of time. The Cuban system is universal; meaning ! that anyone in the world can be treated in Cuba, not just Cuban nationals. But, Cuba has been an enemy of the U.S. since 1960. Why? Successive administrations have demonized Cuba in the same manner as they did Iraq. But, Cuba did not have oil until recent finds showed there are reserves. Therefore, Cuba has not yet suffered the same fate as that of Iraq…

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Hi there…
Dirk Adriaensens, BRussells Tribunal – S.O.S. Iraq
…I just received a message from an American soldier serving in Iraq. He’s trying to defend his presence there. He thinks we hate all Americans. My God, he’s pretty brainwashed. Interesting to read a US soldiers’ psyche. See how he can justify “his” occupation there. He writes f.i.: “To try to understand the way that the Arabs feel is like putting your brain in a blender and setting it to max. Then again, for the Arabs to understand how we feel, it’s the same way. The two cultures are very much different.” So that’s how they do it: saying there are “cultural differences”. Then they can understand. I’m missing something here: I never felt these “cultural differences” when I was in Iraq. In Vietnam there were “cultural differences”, in Latin America there were “cultural differences”. In fact, there are only “cultural” differences between (imperialist) occupiers and occupied people…

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“No Great Way To Die” – But the Generals Love Napalm
Exchange With the BBC’s Director of News
David Edwards, MEDIA LENS
…On 15th February, Media Lens contacted the BBC’s director of news, Helen Boaden, and asked whether the BBC was investigating these specific allegations of US atrocities. Her response came via a BBC spokesperson: “The conduct of coalition forces has been examined at length by BBC programmes, and if justified, that will continue to be the case.” (Email from BBC Press Office, 23 February, 20! 05. In a follow-up query sent on February 25, we asked which BBC programmes had addressed the conduct of “coalition” forces in Fallujah, including the above evidence of war crimes. Our email was ignored. Meanwhile, further evidence of US war crimes continued to emerge…

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American homicide
BOSTON GLOBE EDITORIAL
WHEN THE world first saw photos of the sexual abuse and humiliation of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib, apologists for the US soldiers involved minimized the incidents by noting that the prisoners might have been on leashes or menaced by dogs but were not killed. Gradually, however, military investigators and journalists learned that US troops had, in fact, killed as many as 31 detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq in cases that are confirmed or suspected homicides.
This is a stain on the reputation of the US armed services. Any hope that commanders would vigorously prosecute all such cases to deter future deaths dimmed with last week’s report from the Army that officers had decided not to bring charges against 17 soldiers implicated in three prisoner deaths in Iraq…

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Expert: Malnutrition affects Iraq kids
Jonathan Fowler, Associated Press Writer
Malnutrition among the youngest Iraqis has almost doubled since the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein, a hunger specialist told the U.N. human rights body Wednesday in a summary of previously reported studies on health in Iraq. By last fall, 7.7 percent of Iraqi children under 5 suffered acute malnutrition, compared to 4 percent after Saddam’s ouster in April 2003, said Jean Ziegler, the U.N. Human Rights Commission’s special e! xpert on the right to food…

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An al-Arabiya Journalist Arrested in Iraq
Le Nouvel Observateur, t r u t h o u t
Monday March 28, the satellite television channel Al-Arabiya, based in Dubai, announced the arrest of one of its journalists, Wael Issam, while he was on assignment in Iraq. Wael Issam, who had been in Iraq for four days, was arrested on Baghdad’s International Airport Road by Iraqi police, who seized from him all the films he had taped in the country, explained Jawad Kadhem, a spokesperson from the channel’s Baghdad office, who di! d not specify the exact date of his colleague’s arrest…

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Former UN weapons inspector Ritter says NeoCons Œgodless parasites’ feeding on the Republican Party
Larisa Alexandrovna | RAW STORY Staff
…When you declare Saddam to be a threat with WMDs and then do nothing, you have a political problem. The NeoCons played on this. In 1998, the Heritage Foundation, Paul Wolfowitz and the American Enterprise Institute∑ basically drafted legislation became the Iraq liberation act. This is public law. So when people ask why did Congress vote for the current war in Iraq, it is sim! ply that they had already voted for it in 1998, they were trapped by their own vote…

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Iraq school repairs plagued by corruption
Beth Potter, UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
“Haramia,” or “thieves,” is the new name given to local contractors who receive money to fix up schools, then allegedly do such a poor job that they can put most of the money in their pockets, those on a Sadr City advisory committee say. Ministry of Education officials acknowledge problems but say they’re doing everything they can to combat them. In one case, contractors actually stole light fixtures from the school instead of pai! nting, replacing doors, or doing anything else called for in fix-up plans, said a school teacher who declined to be named. At another school, a man who would identify himself only as Mohammed said contractors threatened him and the principal with death if they did not sign a paper saying shoddy work had been done adequately…

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The filthy Sanchez.
Livejournal
The ACLU today released a memo signed by Lieutenant General Ricardo A. Sanchez authorizing 29 interrogation techniques, including 12 which far exceeded limits established by the Army’s own Field Manual. More specifically, it points out that Gen. Sanchez committed perjury when testifying before Congress…

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Report on Iraq Intelligence Failures: No One to Blame
Move Along, Nothing to Look at Here
RALPH NADER and KEVIN ZEESE
A commission appointed by President Bush to analyze intelligence failures will be releasing its report tomorrow, Thursday, March 31. According to The New York Times the report “includes a searing critique of how the C.I.A. and other agencies never properly assessed Saddam Hussein’s political maneuverings or the possibility that he no longer had weapon stockpiles.” But despite it! s criticism the report really served to protect the Bush administration…

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It’s a Well Trod Path
Wolfie’s Career Move from Failed Warrior to Humanitarian Banker
CHASE MADAR, CounterPunch
Around the world people are gasping at the appointment of Paul Wolfowitz to head the World Bank. The baldness of it! And well might we gasp: how can this washed-up chicken hawk, whose crazy scheme of easily invading Iraq seems even crazier with each car bomb, be handed the top post at an organization that is ostensibly philanthropic? Wasn’t it enough of a sick joke for the neocons to call th! eir Mesopotamian oil-grab as a humanitarian intervention? Ahh, here those who remember their Cold War are feeling little pangs of memory. For this is not the first time an architect of a disastrous war has gone on to land a plum position in a bigtime philanthropy. It isn’t even the first time a disgraced warrior has been rewarded with the keys to the World Bank…

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The Merchant of Baghdad
Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation
…We pride ourselves on our all-volunteer army, but volunteer armies are based on a series of carrots (cash bonuses, tuition payments, professional training, land grants, promises of citizenship) and can only be maintained if the upsides are sufficiently attractive to outweigh the risks. As has been proven repeatedly since the Revolutionary War, Americans will not voluntarily sign-up in sufficient numbers unless the nation’s wars are short, relatively pa! inless, and infrequent. If they are not, as was the case in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and now in Iraq, some sort of conscription has been needed to maintain the war effort…

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New documents confirm widespread US abuse of Iraqi prisoners, implicate top general
Joseph Kay, WSWS
A new series of documents released over the weekend provides fresh evidence of the pervasive US military abuse of prisoners in Iraq. The documents were released by the Pentagon in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Center for Constitutional Rights and other organizations (…) An additional document posted on the ACLU’s web site on Tuesday provides evidence that the forme! r top military official in Iraq, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, directly authorized illegal interrogation techniques…

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From Attica to Abu Ghraib:
An Organizing Conference on Human Rights, Torture, and Resistance sponsored by the International Human Rights Initiative
www.attica2abughraib.com
…Torture, illegal detention and other human rights abuses have always been weapons used by the United States government to crush dissent and social justice movements. Today, the criminalization of people of color in the US, mass illegal detentions and deportations of Arabs, Muslims and immigrants, torture in Guantanamo, Abu Ghra! ib and in US prisons are evidence of a terrifying escalation in US repression both at home and abroad…

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Fallujah: one family’s tragedy
BRussells Tribunal
The ongoing tragedy of the people of Fallujah after the US assault is not well known to the Western audiences. Non-embedded journalists are being prevented to do their job and to report about the devastations of the city. Fallujah is the Guernica of modern times. A disgrace for the human race, US democracy in action. Today we received the following letter:
Dears,
attached are some photos my family sent to me about the damage they got from the American Operation last months in Al Fallujah. These are some images from our family’s home and our business. They want the world to know about such matters… and that until now nobody helps them…

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Invader Tanks take a beating in Iraq
Steven Komarow
The U.S. military’s Abrams tank, designed during the Cold War to withstand the fiercest blows from the best Soviet tanks, is getting knocked out at surprising rates by the low-tech bombs and rocket-propelled grenades of Iraqi insurgents. In the all-out battles of the 1991 Gulf War, only 18 Abrams tanks were lost and no soldiers in them killed. But since the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, with tanks in daily combat against the unexpectedly fierce insurgency, the Ar! my says 80 of the 69-ton behemoths have been damaged so badly they had to be shipped back to the United States.

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Number of prisoners held by U.S. in Iraq tops 10,000
MATT KELLEY, Iraqwar.ru
The United States is holding about 10,500 prisoners in Iraq, more than double the number held in October, the military says. About 100 of those prisoners are under age 18, said Army Lt. Col. Guy Rudisill, a spokesman for detention operations in Iraq. Five months ago, the military said it was holding about 4,300 prisoners in Iraq. The growth in the prison population has come amid a lingering insurgency in Iraq and despite the formal tra! nsfer of power to an interim Iraqi government last June…

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Sounds in search of sanity
John Kaminski
how we gon’ fight to keep freedom when we ain’t got it?
you wanna stop terrorists?
start with the u.s. imperalists…

…After my recent remark that popular music is dead, hundreds of musicians and music fans sent me their prime cuts ˜ definitely conscious stuff. The point of most who wrote was that corporate media won’t play any of these songs, because they focus on humanity rather than profits, and see the fascist warmaking America we confront today with the searing vision of people craving love and peace and witnessing only needless death and destruction…

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Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Tuesday, 29 March 2005
Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Tuesday, 29 March 2005
…American officer admits “some” prisoners escaped through tunnel out of Camp Bucca. In a follow up to the story of the great escape through a tunnel out of Camp Bucca in the Umm Qasr area of southern Iraq, the correspondent for Mafakrat al-Islam reported Tuesday that one officer in the US army had admitted that the Iraqi prisoners had apparently spent two full months digging the tunnel and ! that a number of prisoners were able to use the tunnel to escape…

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Sleepwalking to disaster in Iran
Scott Ritter, Aljazeera.net
Late last year, in the aftermath of the 2004 Presidential election, I was contacted by someone close to the Bush administration about the situation in Iraq. There was a growing concern inside the Bush administration, this source said, about the direction the occupation was going. The Bush administration was keen on achieving some semblance of stability in Iraq before June 2005, I was told. When I asked why that date, the source dropped the bombshell: be! cause that was when the Pentagon was told to be prepared to launch a massive aerial attack against Iran, Iraq’s neighbour to the east, in order to destroy the Iranian nuclear programme. Why June 2005?, I asked. ‘The Israelis are concerned that if the Iranians get their nuclear enrichment programme up and running, then there will be no way to stop the Iranians from getting a nuclear weapon. June 2005 is seen as the decisive date’…

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Jailed War Resister Camilo Mejia on His 9-Month Jail Sentence, Torture in Iraq and Why He Refused to Fight
Democracy Now!
Mejia was the first US soldier court-martialed for desertion and was ultimately sentenced to a year in jail. He was released in mid-February. Mejia spent six months in combat in Iraq where he witnessed the killing of civilians and the abuse of detainees. After He returned to the United States he decided never to return to fight in Iraq. He went into hiding to avoid redeployment and was classif! ied as AWOL by the military. He spent five months underground…

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