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Epidemic of Birth Defects and Cancer in Iraq: America's Toxic Legacy
by Stephen Lendman
America's Gulf War, intermittent bombings in the 1990s, the 2003 war, and aftermath left a toxic legacy.
Children born with two heads reflect it. Some had only one eye. Missing sockets look like the inside of an oyster. They're milky and shapeless.
By John Grant
Watching the US Senate Armed Forces Committee wrestle with the issue of rape and sexual abuse in the military opens a whole range of related issues concerning sex and war that will likely not be addressed in the Senate.
Moral Imperative of Bradley Manning
Editor Note: Official Washington still glorifies George W. Bush’s “successful surge” in Iraq while ignoring the wanton slaughter inflicted on Iraqis. So, there remains a high-level desire to harshly punish Pvt. Bradley Manning for exposing the horrific truth about that and other war crimes.
By Ray McGovern
Although we had to swelter in the Maryland sun on Saturday, I found the pre-trial rally at Ft. Meade to support Bradley Manning particularly spirit-filled. It seemed there was an unspoken but widely shared consciousness that Manning is as much Biblical prophet as Army private.
War Crimes as Policy
In February the Guardian and BBC Arabic unveiled a documentary exploring the role of retired Colonel James Steele in the recruitment, training and initial deployments of the CIA advised and funded Special Police Commandos in Iraq.
The documentary tells how the Commandos tortured and murdered tens of thousands of Iraqi men and boys. But the Commandos were only one of America’s many weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Along with US military forces – which murdered indiscriminately – and various CIA funded death squads – which murdered selectively – and the CIA’s rampaging palace guard – the 5,000 man strong Iraq Special Operations Forces – the Commandos were part of a genocidal campaign that killed about 10% of the Sunni Arabs of Iraq by 2008, and drove about half of all Sunnis from their homes.
With U.S. approval of Congress holding steady at a whopping 15%, one wonders just who it is the elected representatives are representing. Perhaps we can answer that question, by looking at some of their recent activities, and considering some of the things currently left undone.
By John Grant
Arun Gupta, whose writings can be found at occupyusatoday.com, discusses the lives of refugees from the U.S. war on Iraq now living in California, and the crimes of David Petraeus who has now been made a professor by the City University of New York and the University of Southern California.
Total run time: 29:00
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.
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By John Grant
It was the summer of 1981. I was working on an ambulance in Philadelphia, transporting a cancer patient to a hospital for radiation treatments. The man was in his sixties, and I felt he knew his days were numbered.
In my conversations with the man, it came up that I was a Vietnam veteran. He told me he was in the CIA in Saigon in the early 1970s.
“What did you do?” I asked.
Interfaith Service of Lamentation and Hope
APRIL 22, 2013 ● 5:00 P.M. INTERFAITH PEACE CHAPEL
GATHERING MUSIC Jenny Holland, flute David Moldenhauer, piano
PRELUDE Dona Nobis Pacem
by Giulio Caccini, arr. James Moore
Stephanie Darbo, soprano
When truth has fallen in the public squares (Isaiah 59), falsehood becomes the memory norm of a people unless someone provides a truthful narrative befitting democracy at its best. Truth telling, our purpose today in the name of the God of Peace and Justice, calls for transparency and accountability from all parties, offering judgment, self-examination, and the hope of restoration.
We recognize that all of us as a nation bear responsibility for the fall of truth. It is the responsibility of each citizen of the United States to reflect on one’s own role in the decisions of presidential administrations and it behooves us to make whatever changes are necessary for the common good.
WELCOME Rev. Bill McElvaney INTRODUCTION TO LAMENTATIONS Rabbi Steve Fisch
We lament the misinformation used to justify the war against Iraq, a country with no weapons of mass destruction despite the assurance of the Bush administration to the contrary.
We lament the muting of dissent by the Bush presidency during the U.S. initiated war in Iraq, casting doubt on the patriotism of those opposing the war.
We lament President Bush’s wrongful assumption that U.S. invasion and occupation would make the U.S. more secure when in fact the consequence was increased recruitment of would-be terrorists.
We lament the claim by the Bush administration that our nation was protected from terrorist attacks when in fact the worst terrorist attack in history on U.S. soil occurred during the Bush presidency.
We lament resistance to acknowledge claims of the scientific community regarding climate change.
ALL: We call upon God to guide us towards truth telling in the public square.
By Dave Lindorff
My mother died last Thursday at the age of 89. Her death, fortunately coming peacefully after she suffered a stroke during her sleep, followed a long mental decline caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
An Iraqi on What Was Done to Her Country: Sarah AK Ahmed: Poem @ Anti-Drone Conference In Syracuse, NY
By Dave Lindorff
I ran the Boston Marathon back in 1968, and, my feet covered with blisters inside my Keds sneakers, dragged across the finish line to meet my waiting uncle at a time of about 3 hours and 40 minutes. It was close enough to the time that the current bombing happened in this year’s race -- about four hours from the starting gun -- that had I been running it this year, I might still been near enough to the finish line to have heard the blasts.
Manning's Co-Defendant is the Internet Itself Bradley Manning Update: How to Commit Espionage Without Trying!
By Dave Lindorff
If it wasn't clear up to now, it was made crystal clear last week. The co-defendent in the Bradley Manning trial is the Internet itself.
TCBH! founder Dave Lindorff On Iran: "The Iranians have enough money to buy a bomb if they wanted one, on the black market, so I think all of this has been hugely overblown in US propaganda, and Israeli propaganda."
Veterans for Peace has just released the following statement:
The Iraq war, like all wars, was launched on the basis of false answers to false questions. We are now being told to ask whether Iran or Syria has weapons, as though possession of weapons were grounds for bombing a nation, and as if we've learned nothing.
By Dave Lindorff
The history of third parties in America is pretty dismal. The system is rigged against them, for one thing. But equally problematic is the lack of focus that leads to infighting and splits whenever a third party is created.
Back then, everybody was writing about Iraq, but it’s surprising how few Americans, including reporters, paid much attention to the suffering of Iraqis. Today, Iraq is in the news again. The words, the memorials, the retrospectives are pouring out, and again the suffering of Iraqis isn’t what’s on anyone’s mind. This was why I returned to that country before the recent 10th anniversary of the Bush administration’s invasion and why I feel compelled to write a few grim words about Iraqis today.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney
Photo Credit: Cherle A. Thuriby/Dept. of Defense
Since the end of the Second World War, American political leaders and opinion-makers have led the public to believe that the aggressive use of overt and covert military force are essential tools of US foreign policy. As we reel from one military disaster to the next, sending our loved ones off to war, killing millions of innocent people and destabilizing one region after another, each new administration assures us that it has learned the lessons of the past and deserves our support and sacrifice for its latest military strategy.
By Greg Muttitt, http://www.fuelonthefire.com/?
Tony Blair always did like to think of himself as a world statesman. I sometimes wonder whether he had an eye on Winston Churchill when he said of the Iraq War in 2003, “the oil conspiracy theory is honestly one of the most absurd”. Back in 1920, Churchill told parliament that the idea of an oil motive behind Britain´s Mesopotamia Campaign during the First World War was “too absurd for acceptance.”
New York Times Hypocrisy
by Stephen Lendman
NYT's attempts to set the record straight are duplicitous. They come too late to matter.
On May 26, 2004, Times editors headlined "The Times and Iraq," saying:
by World Can't Wait Director Debra Sweet Yes, I know it wasn’t all of the countries of the Americas which made war on Iraq. It was the United States of America, as Barack Obama is so fond of saying, dragging along with it the coalition of the bribed and coerced. Just as it was for the Vietnamese people an American war, while we called it the Vietnam War, this one is known in Iraq as the American War. We have to accept that.
by World Can't Wait Director Debra Sweet Early today, I'll be driving to Highland Falls, NY, near the US Military Academy at West Point, the site of many protests over George Bush's Global War on Terror. Six friends will be sentenced tomorrow in local court there for protesting Obama's expansion of the war on Afghanistan in 2009, and because it's the tenth anniversary of "shock and awe" we feel compelled to throw up a protest.
By Kathy Kelly
U.S. Marines occupy Baghdad, in March 2003, in front of the Al Fanar hotel that housed Voices activists throughout the Shock and Awe bombing.
Photo credit: Iraq Peace Team
Ten years ago, in March of 2003, Iraqis braced themselves for the anticipated “Shock and Awe” attacks that the U.S. was planning to launch against them. The media buildup for the attack assured Iraqis that barbarous assaults were looming. I was living in Baghdad at the time, along with other Voices in the Wilderness activists determined to remain in Iraq, come what may. We didn’t want U.S. - led military and economic war to sever bonds that had grown between ourselves and Iraqis who had befriended us over the past seven years. Since 1996, we had traveled to Iraq numerous times, carrying medicines for children and families there, in open violation of the economic sanctions which directly targeted the most vulnerable people in Iraqi society, - the poor, the elderly, and the children.
- Send a letter for peace. Write a letter to the Iraqi people or an Iraqi individual and we'll be sure it gets delivered. Learn more.
- Attend a bridge vigil and presentation by IARP Executive Director Kathy McKay and Board Member Steve Clemens marking the anniversary on March 20 in Minneapolis. Learn more.
- Share stories of Iraqi citizens and US veterans affected by the war. Read, watch, and share the stories here.
- Provide life-saving clean water to Iraqi children. Learn more.
- Start a new Sister City relationship between an Iraqi and American city. Learn more in our report here.
- Write a letter to the editor about the ongoing human costs of the war. Check out the template provided by Iraq Veterans Against the War here.
- Organize a race or walk with your community to raise awareness and funds for clean water in Iraq or support for peacemakers in Iraq. Learn more.
- Share the new website, Costs of War, by Brown University.
- What do you dream about for Iraq's future? Write it here.
- Forward this email to a friend.
In 2006, with U.S. troops occupying Iraq, the great historian and humanitarian Howard Zinn expressed his desire for what the end of the war would bring: “My hope is that the memory of death and disgrace will be so intense that the people of the United States will be able to listen to a message that the rest of the world, sobered by wars without end, can also understand: that war itself is the enemy of the human race.”
At least in a formal sense, our country’s memories of war are to be found in school history textbooks. Exactly a decade after the U.S. invasion, those texts are indeed sending “messages” to young people about the meaning of the U.S. war in Iraq. But they are not the messages of peace that Howard Zinn proposed. Not even close.
Let me offer as Exhibit A the textbook adopted for global studies classes in Portland, Oregon, the district where I spent my career as a social studies teacher, and which is used in countless school districts across the country: Holt McDougal’s Modern World History.
The section in Modern World History on the U.S. war with Iraq might as well have been written by Pentagon propagandists. In an imitation of Fox News, the very first sentence of the Iraq war section places the 9/11 attacks and Saddam Hussein side by side. The book presents the march to invasion as reasonable and inevitable, while acknowledging: “Some countries, such as France and Germany, called for letting the inspectors continue searching for weapons.” That’s the only hint of any anti-war sentiment. In fact, there was enormous popular opposition to the war, culminating on Feb. 15, 2003, a date that saw millions of people around the world demand that the United States not invade Iraq—if you’re keeping track, the largest protest in human history, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. This, of course, is a pattern in corporate textbooks: Conflate governments with the people; ignore social movements.
Just as textbooks fail to begin the story of the Vietnam War in the 1940s (or before), so that students might have some context to evaluate later U.S. military intervention, today’s textbooks similarly ignore an earlier U.S. relationship with Iraq. For example, Modern World History says nothing about the role of the United States in aiding the Ba’ath party and Saddam Hussein for years, as they crushed all opposition and later waged war against Iran—a history summarized in a recent article by Iraqi sociologist Sami Ramadani, who fled Saddam Hussein’s repression in 1969. As Ramadani writes, “But when it was no longer in their interests to back him, the U.S. and U.K. drowned Iraq in blood.”
The official title of the U.S. invasion of Iraq was “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Modern World History uses this term without any discussion of the “freedom” that this invasion might offer. The section ends with the terse conclusion that “the coalition had won the war.” And what about that supposed freedom? Silence.
by Dirk Adriaensens on 18-03-2013
The crippling devastation of Iraq today overwhelms all else. It is difficult, given the facts on the ground, to recapture the imperial vision that was to make Iraq an exemplar of American sponsored democracy and a model for the American remaking of the Middle East. Iraq, after all, was to be a test case for the display of American pre-eminent power. That imperial vision is in ruins and Iraqi nationalism has reasserted itself.
Hawija February 2013
2003-2013: Iraqi Resistance, American Dirty War, and the Remaking of the Middle East – PART 1
- Decline of American Empire
- The Iraq war was illegal under International Law
- The real reasons of the Bush administration for invading Iraq and occupying the country
- The dramatic consequences of “blossoming democracy” for the nation and the people of Iraq.
The story of Iraq has become a tale of the total collapse of the original American objectives and the unintended consequence of the rise of a persistent Iraqi national resistance movement that, as American power declines, has demonstrated far more resilience than almost anyone imagined.
1. Decline of American Empire
On March 18, 2003 ECAAR (EConomists Allied for Arms Reduction) prepared a statement against unilateral initiatives for war in Iraq, which was endorsed by more than 200 US economists including seven Nobel Laureates and two former Chairmen of the Council of Economic Advisers. The text of the statement formed the basis of an ad in the Wall Street Journal. A few excerpts:
As American economists, we oppose unilateral initiatives for war against Iraq, which we see as unnecessary and detrimental to the security and the economy of the United States and the entire world community.
A Last-Second Appeal for Sanity
Ten years ago, the U.S. invasion of Iraq was only hours away, but the case for this unprovoked war was already falling apart with exposure of hyperbole, half-truths and even a forgery. On March 18, 2003, a group of U.S. intelligence veterans pleaded with President George W. Bush to postpone the attack. The text of VIPS's March 18, 2003 Memorandum for the President follows.( A list of all 23 corporate memoranda produced by VIPS since its first, on February 5, 2003, is found at warisacrime.org/vips.)
March 18, 2003
Memorandum for: The President
From: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Subject: Forgery, Hyperbole, Half-Truth: A Problem