Tag: Iraq War

StopLossCongress! Stop-Loss orders have been issued to Congress!

The Stop-Loss orders have been issued to keep Congress people at their offices until the Iraq War is stopped and the troops are brought home!

Look! It’s a sex scandal!

While the corporate media are dancing on Eliot Spitzer’s political grave, and the supposedly lefty blogs are inventing new and exciting sludge bombs to sling at the Democrat they love to demonize, McClatchy has this:

Eight U.S. service members were killed in two attacks today in Iraq, making it the deadliest day against the military this year, a senior American military official in Baghdad said. At least 11 Iraqis also were killed Monday in a surge of attacks throughout the country.

Five of the Americans died when a suicide bomber walked up to a foot patrol in Baghdad and self-detonated. The others died while on a patrol in Diyala province, the official said. He asked not to be identified as he isn’t an official spokesman.

The rash of attacks against a spectrum of targets raised new questions about whether the U.S. can draw down its presence from the current buildup to levels of about a year ago.

US Economy could fall casualty to Wars

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and co-author Linda J. Bilmes report in a new book that in 2008, its sixth year, the Iraq war will cost approximately $12 billion a month, triple the “burn” rate of its earliest years.

YIKES!  I can see where that might have an effect on our economy beyond the already trillions-of-dollars deficit we currently are dealing with.

From AP:

The flow of blood may be ebbing, but the flood of money into the Iraq war is steadily rising, new analyses show.

Actually, with the current amount of violence in Iraq beginning to climb once again, that statement might be incorrect in itself.  Anyway, back to the wars and the economy.

Beyond 2008, working with “best-case” and “realistic-moderate” scenarios, they project the Iraq and Afghan wars, including long-term U.S. military occupations of those countries, will cost the U.S. budget between $1.7 trillion and $2.7 trillion — or more — by 2017.

Interest on money borrowed to pay those costs could alone add $816 billion to that bottom line, they say.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has done its own projections and comes in lower, forecasting a cumulative cost by 2017 of $1.2 trillion to $1.7 trillion for the two wars, with Iraq generally accounting for three-quarters of the costs.


writing in the raw: Chewing Raw Simultaneity in Tracyville

I’m always at choice.  It’s the only rule I can count on and I have come to accept with 42 years of reluctance.  At this point in my life I choose to ponder Iraq daily or even hourly because the country that I have been born into has done things to Iraq that deeply conflict with the laws that my soul knows and understands.  All aboard the Iraq War train.  I wish I was standing on the platform though like a citizen of France maybe or a citizen of any other country that didn’t invade Iraq in my lifetime, and just taking all this in from that distance.  I wish that lightening had not struck my train.

More math for those that do not count

Another surreal day in America. Everyone is talking about the “math” in the race for the Democratic nomination for president. Our war criminal in chief endorsed McCain to carry on his proud tradition of violence for profit. The corporate media laps up the most expensive presidential campaign in history. Meanwhile, halfway across the world, the Iraqi people continue to suffer because of our actions and inactions.  

Here is a story that every news outlet in America managed to ignore. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) just published a study of the mental health problems of Iraqi refugees living in Jordan and Lebanon.  More than half of the refugees interviewed reported high levels of clinically significant emotional distress. What’s a few million traumatized people forced to flee their homes, jobs, schools, extended families, and country? Their suffering does not fit our narrative about the war.

Our presidential candidates have already spent more money on this election than our country has spent over the past five years to help the victims of our foreign policy in Iraq. That’s right.  Our presidential candidates have spent more than 300 million dollars, more than four times what has been spent to help refugees in a country we destroyed. Even with the proposed 125 million dollars for FY08/09, it will still be a drop in the bucket compared to the money spent on the presidential race.  

Dereliction of Duty: How Clinton and McCain disqualified themselves

There were troubling aspects to this 90-page document. While slanted toward the conclusion that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction stored or produced at 550 sites, it contained vigorous dissents on key parts of the information, especially by the departments of State and Energy. Particular skepticism was raised about aluminum tubes that were offered as evidence Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program. As to Hussein’s will to use whatever weapons he might have, the estimate indicated he would not do so unless he was first attacked.

That’s what Senator Bob Graham, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2002 wrote his Washington Post OpEd regarding the classified 90-page National Intelligence Estimate on Saddam’s Iraq that was presented by Bush administration’s CIA as evidential basis for a war with Iraq:

What I Knew Before the Invasion

By Bob Graham

Sunday, November 20, 2005

EENR for Progress: Bombs Produce Nothing

Hey all, I’m back again with another installment of EENR for Progress. This edition was inspired by John and Elizabeth’s Edwards recent announcement of the Iraq Recession Campaign. Tonight I’m going to focus on the interconnectedness of our failing economy and the Iraq war. Follow me below the fold……

Administration can afford War. Humanitarian aid, not so much.

Due to the soaring prices of food, especially wheat, corn, rice and other cereals, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is drafting plans to reduce the number of nations receiving food aid as well as the amount of food supplied.  

Please allow me to intrpret the Administrations words, in plain English.

Due to the price of the War in Iraq and the graft being paid to officials in Pakastan, Iraq, and various other shady dealings that are going on under the cover of “state secrets”, we will be unable to continue sending food to starving people in other countries.  Our greed is such that the rising cost of food is cutting into our personal profits, and that will never do!

From the Washington Post:

USAID officials said that a 41 percent surge in prices for wheat, corn, rice and other cereals over the past six months has generated a $120 million budget shortfall that will force the agency to reduce emergency operations. That deficit is projected to rise to $200 million by year’s end. Prices have skyrocketed as more grains go to biofuel production or are consumed by such fast-emerging markets as China and India.

Officials said they were reviewing all of the agency’s emergency programs — which target almost 40 countries and zones including Ethiopia, Iraq, Somalia, Honduras and Sudan’s Darfur region — to decide how and where the cuts will be made.

So is Iraq a sovereign country?

We all remember the fanfare of the Bush administration declaring Iraq a sovereign country. Our war criminal king George stuck his thumbs into his arm pits and crowed.

“After decades of brutal rule by a terror regime, the Iraqi people have their country back,” Mr. Bush said in Istanbul at a gathering of NATO leaders, who agreed Monday to help rebuild Iraq’s security forces.


And who can forget the touching love note from Condi to Bush announcing that L. Paul Bremer had finished rewriting Iraqi laws and handed over the keys to Saddam’s palaces to the interim Iraqi government.


My question is what does Iraqi sovereignty mean? I have to ask because Iraqi airspace and territory have been repeatedly violated by Turkey, with the United States supplying the Turkish military with intelligence to conduct “incursions” into Iraq.  


George W. Bush has a clear conscience. Clear as a vacuum. Clear as in there’s nothing there. Last week, Dan Froomkin had this interesting tidbit:

President Bush doesn’t have second thoughts. It’s just not his style.

Though at times he’s been forced to admit problems during his presidency, he never suggests that he should have taken a different approach.

And so he remains largely at peace with himself — even in the face of a genocide that continues years after he called it by that name.

It might fairly be said that Bush doesn’t have many first thoughts, but it’s comforting to know that not having done anything to stop a little genocide doesn’t bother him. Then again, we know that Bush converses directly with God, so he obviously believes he has cover. You may recall Bush’s 2004 answer, when asked if he sought his father’s advice, before invading Iraq:

“You know he is the wrong father to appeal to in terms of strength. There is a higher father that I appeal to,” Bush said.

And there was the report in the Independent about a Bush interview with the BBC:

In the programme Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs, which starts on Monday, the former Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath says Mr Bush told him and Mahmoud Abbas, former prime minister and now Palestinian President: “I’m driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, ‘George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.’ And I did, and then God would tell me, ‘George go and end the tyranny in Iraq,’ and I did.”

And “now again”, Mr Bush is quoted as telling the two, “I feel God’s words coming to me: ‘Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East.’ And by God, I’m gonna do it.”

Mr Abbas remembers how the US President told him he had a “moral and religious obligation” to act. The White House has refused to comment on what it terms a private conversation. But the BBC account is anything but implausible, given how throughout his presidency Mr Bush, a born-again Christian, has never hidden the importance of his faith.

Now, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people talking to what they perceive to be God. But there is a problem when they act on what they believe to be God’s direct word. There’s a word for people who think they hear voices. There’s a diagnosis. And when they’re in the position of being able to start wars, there is literally nothing more dangerous.


When I came online this morning I saw that the Green Zone in Iraq had suffered an attack of mortar bombs and/or rockets:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A barrage of mortar bombs or rockets hit Baghdad’s heavily protected Green Zone, home to the U.S. embassy and Iraqi government ministries, on Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Of course for operational security reasons, we cannot know if there was any damage or what kind of damage or anything else:

“I can confirm that we did receive indirect fire and that it was multiple rounds,” said U.S. military spokesman Major Brad Leighton, referring further queries to the U.S. embassy.

U.S. embassy spokeswoman Mirembe Nantongo refused to say whether there had been casualties or damaged.

“To maintain operational security, we do not comment on indirect fire into the International Zone,” she said.

And of course what would the military official response be without a reference to Iran?

The U.S. military has blamed missile attacks on the Green Zone on so-called “special groups”, rogue elements of Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army militia they say receives funding and weapons from neighbouring Iran. Iran denies the charge.

So we can’t know what damage was done by this attack.  Yet we can hear the military tell us they know exactly where this attack came from and that Iran has to be behind it.  Guess that’s not a secret so we can all know who the REAL enemy is!

Send in the Iraqi Clowns

In Baghdad, this troupe of five clowns called themselves the “Happy Family Group.” Their purpose was to bring some entertainment and relief to children whose lives had been scarred by violence and fear. They called their show, “A Child Is Just As Sacred As A Country.” By every account, the show was popular among children, an oasis of laughter in the desert of violence.  Their story over the past six months is tragic and inspiring.  It also highlights the plight of Iraqi refugees.


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