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Tag: Baghdad

Ahmed Chalabi
AP photo / Hadi Mizban

Dinner With Ahmed

As we approach the fifth anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, I find myself thinking back on how we got ourselves into this predicament. ... As I examine where we are today and contemplate our future and those who are positioning themselves to play a role in Iraq, it seems to me that there is at least one such incident, a dinner party I attended at the home of Ahmed Chalabi in June 1998 that is worthy of a more public illumination.

Posted on Mar 17, 2008 READ MORE


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ENTER_ALT_TEXT
news.bbc.co.uk

Inside a CIA Black Site

A Yemeni man has told Amnesty International that he was abducted and tortured and spent nearly three years in secret prisons at the hands of the CIA. Khaled al-Maqtari says that without charge, legal representation or even a word to his family he was shuttled from one prison to another and ultimately dumped into Yemeni custody, once the U.S. had finished with him.

Posted on Mar 14, 2008 READ MORE


Bomb Kills 5 U.S. Soldiers in Baghdad

In one of the deadliest strikes in months, five U.S. soldiers were fatally injured by a suicide bomber Monday as they patrolled Baghdad’s Mansour district. Three other soldiers and an Iraqi translator were wounded in the blast but survived, according to the BBC.

Posted on Mar 10, 2008 READ MORE


Ahmadinejad and Maliki
AP photo / Ahmad al-Rubaye, pool

‘Great Satan’ Gets Struck Out

President Bush has made his antagonism for Iran and its president well known, but in Iraq he has created a great ally for his enemy, as was clear from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s historic visit.

Posted on Mar 4, 2008 READ MORE


Ahmadinejad and Talibani
AP photo / Hadi Mizban

Visit Trumpets Iran’s Power in Iraq

Ahmadinejad’s unprecedented trip to Baghdad demonstrates his nation’s influence on its neighbor since the fall of Saddam.

Posted on Mar 3, 2008 READ MORE


militants
AP photo

The Calm Before the Conflagration

There’s an ugly secret behind the “success” of the surge: The United States is paying off Iraqi militants with weapons and cash. It’s a recipe for disaster, one that reminds Chris Hedges of “Yugoslavia before the storm.”

Posted on Feb 25, 2008 READ MORE


Iraqi
AP photo / Khalid Mohammed

Iraq’s Tragic Future

The former U.N. weapons inspector examines the president’s claims about the “surge” and says what the media and Congress won’t: It is not a strategy, it is an escalation, one that will not prevent the coming collapse of Iraq. There are no solutions just waiting to be found, and the only sensible thing to do is leave. Now.

Posted on Feb 5, 2008 READ MORE


Baghdad market
AP photo / Khalid Mohammed

Iraqi Official: Suicide Bombers Had Down’s Syndrome

The two suicide bombers who carried out the attacks that killed 91 people in crowded Baghdad animal markets were mentally challenged women with Down’s syndrome, according to Iraqi military officials. The women reportedly had been strapped with explosives that were activated via remote control.

Posted on Feb 1, 2008 READ MORE


Baghdad mourners
AP photo / Karim Kadim

Dual Bombings in Baghdad Kill 64

Two separate bomb blasts claimed 64 lives in Baghdad on Friday and injured more than 100 others—a tragic reminder of the serious and ongoing challenge of containing large-scale violence in Iraq’s volatile capital city.

Posted on Feb 1, 2008 READ MORE


Blackwater Gassed Baghdad Checkpoint in 2005

The questionable actions of Blackwater Worldwide are coming back to haunt the private security contractor once again, this time regarding an incident in May 2005.  In that incident Blackwater teams on the ground and in the air near a busy Green Zone checkpoint released CS gas, which is used by the U.S. military only sparingly and only in strictly controlled circumstances.  The gas temporarily compromised American troops’ ability to maintain security in the area.

Posted on Jan 10, 2008 READ MORE


Iraq death toll
AP photo / Hadi Mizban

Another Take on Death Toll Among Iraqis

The tragic task of tallying the number of Iraqis who have been killed in the war has been attempted by various parties with vastly different results, largely because of built-in logistical issues, and now the WHO’s health ministry has released its own figures while acknowledging the impossibility of precision.

Posted on Jan 9, 2008 READ MORE


Baghdad
AP photo / Dusan Vranic

The Five Iraqs

From Hillary Clinton to Mitt Romney, the candidates have no shortage of solutions for the Iraq mess, but their shallow rhetoric reveals an ignorance of the increasingly fractured and disastrous reality.

Posted on Dec 30, 2007 READ MORE


Baghdad Bombers Target Familiar Market

The same Tayaran Square market in Baghdad that has witnessed so much bloodshed over the last few years has once again been bombed, injuring dozens and killing at least 14. The attack, which occurred after Friday prayers when the market was crowded, took place just across the Tigris from the Green Zone.

Posted on Dec 28, 2007 READ MORE


Iraq convoy
arcent.army.mil

Circling the Wagons in Baghdad

Despite touting increased stability in the outer provinces as proof of the success of the “surge,” the U.S. military is about to abandon those regions altogether. The Pentagon’s new strategy for dealing with a reduction of forces in Iraq is essentially to pull back to Baghdad and hope for the best.

Posted on Dec 16, 2007 READ MORE


dobbs and poe

Rep. Poe:  Halliburton/KBR Gang Rape Not ‘Isolated Case’

Texas Rep. Ted Poe, pushing for a probe into the case of former Halliburton/KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones, who says she was gang-raped by co-workers in Iraq and then intimidated into keeping silent, urged other possible victims of crimes against U.S. contract employees working abroad to come forward, saying he believes Jones’ case is not unique.

Posted on Dec 13, 2007 WATCH & LISTEN


Jamie Leigh Jones
abcnews.com

Gang-Rape Victim Accuses Halliburton/KBR of Cover-Up

Over two years ago, Jamie Leigh Jones was working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad’s Green Zone when she was gang-raped, allegedly by several co-workers.  According to Jones, instead of attending to her injuries and bringing her assailants to justice, KBR officials held her for 24 hours in a shipping container without food or water and then told her she would lose her job if she left Iraq.  Now, it’s unclear whether the case will go to trial, and her attackers may escape punishment due to a legal loophole regarding U.S. contractors working abroad.

Posted on Dec 10, 2007 READ MORE


Tentative Security Gains in Baghdad?

The New York Times reports that in certain areas of Baghdad, such as the Dora neighborhood in the south of the city, residents are cautiously returning to their homes and attempting to resume some semblance of normal life by taking advantage of a recent lull in violence.  How long it will last, however, remains to be seen.

Posted on Nov 19, 2007 READ MORE


British troops in Basra
AP photo / Nabil al-Jurani

Violence in Basra Drops 90% After British Withdrawal

Perhaps Basra can be seen as a test case for the rest of Iraq with regard to withdrawal and its effects:  According to Maj. Gen. Graham Binns, the commander of British forces in Basra, there has been a “remarkable and dramatic drop in attacks” since the majority of his troops withdrew from the city.

Posted on Nov 17, 2007 READ MORE


Nisour square
nytimes.com

FBI Blames Blackwater in 14 Civilian Deaths

The FBI, which is still investigating Blackwater’s Sept. 16 killing rampage in Baghdad, has determined that at least 14 of the 17 shootings were unjustified and in violation of deadly-force rules. The Justice Department is looking into whether to press charges, if it even has the authority, which means that Blackwater could very well get away with murder.

Posted on Nov 14, 2007 READ MORE


Profiles in Courage: Women Journalists Speak Out

This year’s winners of the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Courage in Journalism Awards are truly remarkable journalists who uphold the highest standards of the profession—and, as they reveal in their speeches, risk paying the highest price for their perseverance and dedication.

Posted on Nov 8, 2007 READ MORE


mercenaries
chinadaily.com.cn

State Dept. Gave Blackwater Shooters Immunity

Three senior law enforcement officials have revealed to the Associated Press that the State Department gave all of the Blackwater guards involved in the Sept. 16 killing of 17 Iraqi civilians immunity from prosecution.

Posted on Oct 29, 2007 READ MORE


Sadiyah camp
AP photo / Wisam Sami

Front-Line View: Iraq Isn’t ‘Worth Another Soldier’s Life’

Here’s a good way we can all support our troops:  by listening to them when they tell us how the Iraq war is really going.  Take this account from Sgt. Victor Alarcon and others in his battalion, who in Saturday’s Washington Post give their frank, and stark, assessment of the situation in Baghdad’s Sadiyah district.

Posted on Oct 27, 2007 READ MORE


Rice Takes a Licking in Congress

Typically cool as a cucumber, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice struggled to hold it together Thursday as members of the House Oversight Committee let her have it on everything from the enormous, expensive and incomplete U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to Blackwater’s killing spree.

Posted on Oct 25, 2007 READ MORE


Iraq power line
nytimes.com

Iraq Awards Iran Contracts, U.S. Sulks

Determined to show just how adolescent they can be, U.S. representatives in Baghdad have expressed dissatisfaction and suspicion over a pair of power plants that Iranian and Chinese companies plan to build in Iraq. One American military official described the contracts this way: “As you know, it’s not always as it appears.”

Posted on Oct 18, 2007 READ MORE


bloody car
AP Photo

Security Guards Kill 2 Women in Baghdad

Two women were shot and killed on Tuesday when private security contractors guarding a convoy of four cars in Baghdad’s Karrada neighborhood opened fire on the women’s Oldsmobile as it moved toward the convoy.  Unfortunately, it was not the day’s only violent episode in Iraq. According to The Washington Post, a series of bombings claimed at least 34 lives in and around Baghdad.

Posted on Oct 9, 2007 READ MORE


wounded man
AP photo / Hadi Mizban

The State Dept.‘s Murderous Guardians

How did it come to be that the ostensibly best-educated and most refined representatives of the United States in Iraq are guarded by gun-toting mercenaries who kill innocent civilians?  More urgently, why did State Department employees and their bosses in Washington tolerate—and pay to conceal—the wanton murder conducted on their watch?

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 READ MORE


Heavy Metal in Baghdad

Iron Maiden Meets IEDs in ‘Heavy Metal in Baghdad’

Well, this particular motion picture decidedly won’t be the feel-good family drama of the year—and that’s just one more excellent reason to go see “Heavy Metal in Baghdad,” an inside glimpse into the Baghdad metalhead scene, when it (hopefully) comes to a theater near you.  Meanwhile, check out the theatrical trailer here.

Posted on Oct 2, 2007 WATCH & LISTEN


Biden
uncorrelated.com

Iraqis Unite Against Splitting the Nation

Sen. Joe Biden’s plan to divide Iraq along sectarian lines has had an unintended consequence: It has united much of the country, Shiite and Sunni alike, in opposition to the measure.

Posted on Sep 30, 2007 READ MORE


contractors
unitedcats.wordpress.com

More Bad News for Blackwater

Any lingering question as to whether Blackwater USA security contractors were to blame in the Sept. 16 shootout in Baghdad that left 11 Iraqis dead and 12 wounded may be cleared up by a videotape of the incident, which was reportedly filmed from a nearby police station.

Posted on Sep 23, 2007 READ MORE


Maclean's cover
Macleans.ca

Canadian Mag Calls Bush ‘The New Saddam’

Chances are pretty darn slim that this is President Bush’s favorite cover model moment: Canadian magazine Maclean’s whipped up quite a provocative picture for its latest cover story, which makes the claim that “a desperate Washington is reaching out to the late dictator’s henchmen.”

Posted on Sep 20, 2007 READ MORE


Privatizing Murder

There is no set piece more emblematic of the tragic farce that is the American involvement in Iraq than the grotesque episode of Blackwater USA and the killing of civilians in Baghdad—at least nine and as many as 28—on Sunday.

Posted on Sep 20, 2007 READ MORE


embassy pool
jfkclub.com

U.S. Diplomats Confined to the Green Zone

The State Department has restricted all U.S. diplomats to the Green Zone in Baghdad while it conducts a security review, presumably inspired by the suspension of its preferred mercenary bodyguards.

Posted on Sep 19, 2007 READ MORE


Whistleblowers Expose State Department Bushie

Rep. Henry Waxman has accused the State Department’s top oversight official of looking out for the best interests of the Bush administration, and not the American taxpayer. A number of current and former subordinates of the State Department’s inspector general contacted Waxman to report interference with investigations into fraud and corruption in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Posted on Sep 18, 2007 READ MORE


Blackwater helicopter
iraqfact.com

Checkbook Imperialism:  The Blackwater Fiasco

The latest Blackwater USA scandal, in which privately contracted American security troops gunned down innocent bystanders in Baghdad, might cause the Iraqi government to finally give firms like Blackwater their marching orders—if only it could command the power to order these mercenary operations out of the country.

Posted on Sep 18, 2007 READ MORE


Blackwater
change-links.org

Iraq Bans Blackwater, Launches Investigation

The Iraqi government has ordered employees of the North Carolina-based security firm Blackwater USA to leave the country and is opening a criminal investigation following Sunday’s deadly shootout in Baghdad, during which a group of Blackwater contractors escorting a convoy of U.S. officials opened fire on nearby civilians.

Posted on Sep 17, 2007 READ MORE


Help With Petraeus’ Testimony

Political comedian Will Durst provides the answers to some frequently asked (and vexing) questions about Gen. David Petraeus’ testimony.

Posted on Sep 16, 2007 READ MORE


Security Crew in Deadly Baghdad Shootout

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other officials have condemned the actions of security contractors who were guarding a State Department convoy that came under fire in downtown Baghdad on Sunday. The unnamed contractors are accused of firing indiscriminately and escalating the violence, which killed nine civilians. Update: The security firm in question was Blackwater USA.

Posted on Sep 16, 2007 READ MORE


Coming Apart at the Seams

Gen. David Petraeus likes to describe the Iraq he envisions as a patchwork quilt. You establish security in a neighborhood over here, bring peace to a village over there, create more and more of these scraps of relative tranquility—and then stitch the heterogeneous pieces together. The problem is with the seams. They have a tendency to unravel.

Posted on Sep 14, 2007 READ MORE


The Illusion of Progress in Iraq

Following two days of carefully staged theatrics on Capitol Hill and cable television, the essential facts about Iraq remain unchanged. Despite the big charts and the blustering fanfare highlighted by Fox News, neither Gen. David H. Petraeus nor Ambassador Ryan Crocker could convincingly claim that the American military escalation in Iraq is achieving its original goals.

Posted on Sep 14, 2007 READ MORE


The Iraqi View: ‘Surge’ Has Failed

The definition of “progress” in Iraq clearly depends upon whom you ask—while the Petraeuses and Crockers of the world are claiming that the U.S. troop “surge” is (slowly) showing signs of success, a BBC/ABC/NHK poll of 2,000 Iraqis suggests quite a different story.

Posted on Sep 11, 2007 READ MORE


Looking Beyond the ‘Surge’

This week’s highly anticipated Iraq progress report will no doubt be highly predictable, says The New Yorker’s George Packer, who’s more concerned about the longer view than America’s current leadership, whom he considers to be “trapped in the eternal present” in ways that can only spell trouble for Iraqis.

Posted on Sep 8, 2007 READ MORE


Couric and troops
AP Photo / Charles Dharapak

Reporting From Baghdad

Katie Couric’s “entertainment-as-news” excursion to Baghdad, Ritter argues, is symptomatic of an America that consistently refuses to properly identify and address the real problems in Iraq.

Posted on Sep 6, 2007 READ MORE


GAO Report Gives Iraq Gov’t an ‘F’

Well, it’s not as bad as last week’s leaked version, but the Government Accountability Office’s Iraq progress report is still pretty grim.  According to the GAO’s findings, the current Iraqi government has failed to meet 11 out of 18 benchmarks set last May by U.S. officials.

Posted on Sep 4, 2007 READ MORE


Got Debt?  Head to Iraq

Being heavily in debt is prompting some U.S. military members to volunteer to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan. Take Air Force Capt. Nick Sloan, who admits that the need to get out of debt was a significant factor in his choice to go to Iraq.

Posted on Sep 3, 2007 READ MORE


Congressmen’s Plane Dodges Fire in Iraq

Three U.S. senators and a member of the House got a taste of life in the combat zone when their military cargo plane came under attack by rocket-propelled grenades as they left Baghdad en route to Jordan Thursday night.

Posted on Aug 31, 2007 READ MORE


Riggle

‘Daily Show’ in Iraq: Just Like Home

“The Daily Show,” on the scene in Iraq, goes to town on the ridiculous yet timelessly entertaining assertion of Rep. Mike Pence that a particularly deadly Baghdad market he visited was “like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime.”

Posted on Aug 22, 2007 WATCH & LISTEN


Baghdad burning
AP Photo / Dusan Vranic

Bye-Bye Baghdad

A self-confessed “overpaid Department of Defense contractor” writes about his experiences living and working in Baghdad and the suffering of his Iraqi friends, who risk life and limb every day to get by in the “sinking ship” of Iraq.

Posted on Aug 17, 2007 READ MORE


U.N. to Expand Iraq Mission Despite Protest

The Security Council is set to approve an expansion of the U.N.‘s presence in Iraq. Meanwhile, the organization’s staff association, representing thousands of employees around the globe, voted unanimously to oppose the measure and recall U.N. workers already in Baghdad.

Posted on Aug 8, 2007 READ MORE


sadr city
AP Photo / Karim Kadim

Baghdad Raid Kills 32, Sparks Protests

An overnight attack carried out by American and Iraqi forces against an alleged militant cell killed 32 people in Sadr City, U.S. military sources reported Wednesday.  The raid targeted members of the Mahdi Army militia believed to be smuggling weapons and working in tandem with Iranian militants against U.S. forces, but other sources claimed that women and children numbered among the dead.

Posted on Aug 8, 2007 READ MORE


asian cup
AP Photo / Irwin Fedriansyah

Iraqis Celebrate Asian Cup Win

At least some of the gunfire heard in Baghdad on Sunday was celebratory, for a change:  Jubilant Iraqis flouted a government ban by firing shots into the air following Iraq’s 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in the final match of the Asian Cup soccer tournament.

Posted on Jul 29, 2007 READ MORE


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