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By Orville Schell and David Shambaugh

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Tag: Iraq


EPA

54 Die in Post-Withdrawal Bombings

Thursday saw the deadliest day since the withdrawal of most U.S. soldiers from Iraq’s urban areas, with 54 people being killed in attacks across the country. Some believe the increase in bombings is an attempt to delegitimize the post-U.S. Iraqi security forces. Others believe it to be just the continuation of six years of bloodshed.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE



USAF / Staff Sgt. Samuel Bendet

Netherlands to Return Artifacts to Iraq

Dutch art dealers have surrendered 69 artifacts that were stolen from Iraq following the U.S. invasion. The ancient objects will remain in the Netherlands until they can be returned to Iraq. In addition to losing 15,000 treasures stolen from Iraq’s national museum, the country has had to contend with rampant looting since the 2003 invasion.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE


McNamara and Johnson
AP photo

McNamara’s Evil Lives On

It was the stark evil Robert McNamara perpetrated as secretary of defense that must indelibly frame our memory of him. To not speak out fully because of respect for the deceased would be to mock the memory of the millions he caused to be maimed and killed in a war that he later freely admitted never made any sense.

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Hadi Mizban

So This Is What Victory Looks Like?

It is wishful thinking to believe that the Iraqi military will be able to hold the ruins of Iraqi society together without major U.S. intervention. The United States has assumed the role of Saddam’s Special Republican Guard, waiting to be called in to crush any sign of rebellion or insurrection. It’s a lose-lose situation with only one way out.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 READ MORE


24-Week News Cycle

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Posted on Jul 2, 2009 READ MORE


John McCain
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Suddenly, a Trillion Dollars Is Too Expensive?

The senators who now claim we cannot afford to spend a trillion dollars to make long overdue changes in health care know exactly what that amount can buy. They know because they have spent it, year after year, on military misadventures and subsidies to big banks and corporations.

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Troops Leave Iraqi Cities, but Unsettled Issues Remain

Now that American troops are withdrawing from the cities of Iraq, the calculation must begin as to whether the loss of some half-million to million lives and the ruin of the infrastructure and social structure of Baghdad and much of the rest of the Iraqi nation have served some good purpose.

Posted on Jun 30, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / Emad Matti

20 Killed in Kirkuk Suicide Bombing

A car bomb killed at least 20 people and wounded 40 in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Tuesday. The bombing comes on the heels of national celebrations marking U.S. troops’ pullback from Iraq’s cities and towns, and just a week after another suicide attack left 80 people dead in Taza Khurmatu, just south of Kirkuk.

Posted on Jun 30, 2009 READ MORE


The Long Goodbye

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Posted on Jun 30, 2009 READ MORE


Iraq Has Another One of Its Famous Turning Points

As the media trumpets sound for the pullback of American troops from urban areas in Iraq, the essential lesson of our involvement must be recalled: Nothing about our entanglement in Iraq has ever been as it seemed.

Posted on Jun 29, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. 1st Class Alex Licea

We’ll Always Have Baghdad

The Iraqi capital threw a party Monday as U.S. troops began pulling out of Iraqi cities. It’s the first step in the military’s withdrawal plan, which promises to bring U.S. forces home by 2011. But it will be some time before many of the 131,000 troops return to the U.S., and there’s virtually no accounting of the thousands of private contractors and mercenaries.

Posted on Jun 29, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
army.mil - Ahmad al-Rubaye

GIs Aren’t Leaving Iraq Just Yet

As U.S. security forces prepare to pull back from Iraqi cities, violence has surged: In the past two weeks alone, some 200 people have died in suicide bombings. As a result of the heightened violence, some American troops are being repositioned in the areas surrounding the most volatile cities in an effort to ensure a more peaceful transition to Iraqi security forces.

Posted on Jun 26, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / Karim Kadim

Bomb Rips Baghdad Market Ahead of U.S. Pullback

At least 76 people were killed and more than 150 wounded in Baghdad by a bomb detonated in a busy marketplace Wednesday night. The bombing, just six days before U.S. security forces are set to pull back from Iraq’s cities and towns, was the third such incident to inflict double-digit civilian casualties in the last two weeks.

Posted on Jun 25, 2009 READ MORE


Dick Cheney
AP photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

Cheney’s Satanic Verses

Dick Cheney, former vice president, defense secretary and White House chief of staff, has signed a reported $2 million deal with Simon & Schuster to publish his memoirs as a public official in four administrations. Bets are it’ll be a thriller marked with torture, stolen elections, war and, hopefully, no sex.

Posted on Jun 24, 2009 READ MORE


Iran’s Regime Reveals Its Brutality

The truly significant result of the suppressed Iranian revolt is that the most important Islamist radical movement in the contemporary world has demonstrated that it has become a brutally repressive dictatorship whose leaders rig elections and beat down clear popular demands.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE


Promises, Promises

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Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE    



AP photo / Ali Zare

Iran Had a Democracy Before We Took It Away

Iranians do not need or want us to teach them about liberty and representative government. We gave to the Iranian people the corrupt regime of the shah and his savage secret police and the primitive clerics that rose out of the swamp of the dictator’s Iran.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Flickr/Foxtongue

Rise in GI Alcohol Abuse Indicated

The number of U.S. soldiers enrolled in alcohol dependency or abuse programs has doubled since 2003, which isn’t surprising considering GIs are deploying on more and longer tours with less down time between. And these stats are probably hiding a bigger problem in consumption, considering that commanders have to be notified if someone is in treatment. So what of those that aren’t seeking help?

Posted on Jun 19, 2009 READ MORE


The War Between Civilizations That Never Was

The West was wrong about this being a war of civilizations, and so were the Muslims. Islamic civilization is experiencing a double crisis, of modernity and of religion. Nothing could be clearer today in Tehran.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Erica J. Knight

Congress Funds Wars With Billions to Spare

After the president signs a $106 billion emergency supplemental, the U.S. will have shelled out about $1 trillion in “emergency” funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—not including the Pentagon’s obscene annual budget, exponentially expanding health care costs for wounded troops, and the interest on all that debt. True to form, lawmakers threw in $2.7 billion worth of cargo planes no one asked for.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE


The Islamic Republic Is Not in Danger

Few think that the demonstrations in Tehran, and now in other Iranian cities, can produce a change in regime. What is being challenged is the reactionary social and political form the Iranian system has assumed under Ahmadinejad and the most conservative clerics.

Posted on Jun 16, 2009 READ MORE


McChrystal
wordpress.com

Hearts and Minds Redux

“Decapitation strategies don’t work.” Those words, uttered by the newly named U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, mark a shift in the military strategy in Afghanistan. Yes, indeed—it seems to have taken the Pentagon eight years to realize that “you’re going to have to convince people, not kill them.”

Posted on Jun 12, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Talking Iraq in Iraq

Stephen Colbert interviews Lt. Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, and asks where we are now in the war, what “trust exercises” he does with the Iraqis and just what is the difference between Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran? Check out this clip from Wednesday night’s “Colbert Report.”

Posted on Jun 11, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Ben Curtis

America’s Foreign Policy Phobias Are Overblown

Recent developments in the Middle East and Central Asia, from Iran’s raucous election to Pakistan’s tribal revolt against the Taliban, cast doubt once again on Washington’s basic assumptions and anxieties.

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE


‘Colbert Report’ Invades Iraq

Stephen Colbert, in a hilarious outfit, has taken his show to one of Saddam Hussein’s old palaces in Baghdad to entertain the men and women of the U.S military. Watch President Obama order Gen. Ray Odierno to give Colbert’s coif a military makeover. Update: Full videos added.

Posted on Jun 9, 2009 READ MORE


Being Obama Matters

I used to fear that the president was overestimating the power of his personal history as an instrument of foreign policy. Now I wonder if he might have been underestimating.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

Hold Your Applause

We may thrill to Obama’s rhetoric, but very few of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world are as deluded. They grasp that nothing so far has changed for Muslims in the Middle East under the Obama administration.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Susie Linfield on How to Think About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

A provocative new book, “One State, Two States,” by revisionist Israeli historian Benny Morris breaks a taboo by asking whether anti-Zionism has become the anti-imperialism of fools. Can his polemic act as the ax that helps break up the frozen and brittle nature of a debate over the seemingly intractable war between Palestinians and Jews?

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 READ MORE


Whither the Sacred Campaign Promise?

Historically, Americans generally held campaign promises sacred. Just ask the first President Bush. But now behavior by President Obama suggests a systemic assault on the campaign promise is under way.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Cairo Speech: Significant, Eloquent—and Perhaps Just the Beginning

Obama’s speech was distinguished by the quality of his previous major speeches, that of speaking as an adult to adults. He promised to say what he thought, and did so on all of the topics he addressed. Correction

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
uscmc.mil

U.N. Official Seeks More Clarity on Civilian Deaths

U.N. rapporteur Philip Alston called for greater disclosure and accountability for the number of civilian deaths caused by the U.S. in its overseas conflicts. He expressed “strong concern at the continuing problem of preventable civilian casualties” and demanded “real accountability based on credible independent investigations.”

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Rush and Newt Are Winning

A media environment that tilts to the right is obscuring what President Obama stands for and closing off political options that should be part of the public discussion.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Petraeus
USAF / Staff Sgt. Bradley A. Lail

Replace Petraeus

Gen. David Petraeus has proven the rule that past military victories do not guarantee future success. The general has made a mess of Afghanistan and Pakistan, yet he remains dangerously popular.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
thebacon.org

Number of Private Security Contractors Increases

President Obama railed against the reliance on private security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan during his campaign, but new Pentagon statistics reveal their number has steadily grown since he took office, increasing 23 percent in Iraq and 29 percent in Afghanistan in the second quarter of 2009. “Blackwater” author Jeremy Scahill investigates.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Democracy Now! News Highlights

Watch Tuesday’s news highlights, brought to you by Democracy Now! A couple of today’s golden nuggets include Jimmy Carter’s disagreement with President Obama’s refusal to release hundreds of prison detainee photos and a call from the former top coalition commander in Iraq, Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, for a truth commission to investigate abusive interrogation techniques.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE


laughing dick cheney
White House photo by David Bohrer

Cheney Disavows 9/11-Iraq Link

On Monday, former Veep Dick Cheney admitted at long last that there was no link between the Sept. 11 attacks and Iraq, contrary to what the Bush administration had led the nation to believe in 2003 in order to justify waging a war on a country rich in history, culture ... and oil. Tens of thousands of Iraqi and American casualties later, we thank you, Dick.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Khalid Mohammed

War Is Sin

Those who return from war have learned something which is often incomprehensible to those who have stayed home. We are not a virtuous nation. War is neither glorious nor noble. And we carry within us the capacity for evil we ascribe to those we fight.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE


Bill Maher: America Is Greedy, Not Good

The “Real Time” host takes exception to American exceptionalism, the idea that Americans are unique and superior despite a penchant for poisoning, imprisoning and killing each other just to make a buck.

Posted on May 31, 2009 READ MORE


What Will Obama Say in Cairo?

Next week President Barack Obama travels to Cairo to deliver what is expected to be a major statement on relations between the United States and the Islamic world, but informed skeptics predict his new approach to the region will resemble the late months of the Bush administration.

Posted on May 29, 2009 READ MORE


abu graib torture
http://lefteyeonthemedia.wordpress.com/

Pentagon Denies That Prison Photos Depict Rape

The Pentagon has denied claims made by a former U.S. general that the detainee abuse photos President Obama refuses to publish depict scenes of rape and torture. The rebuttal came only hours after Britain’s Daily Telegraph published retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba’s story. “That news organization has completely mischaracterized the images,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told the press Thursday.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


Chevron, Shell and the True Cost of Oil

The economy is a shambles, unemployment is soaring, the auto industry is collapsing. But profits are higher than ever at oil companies Chevron and Shell.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


Fresh Air Versus a Bunker

Which reality do you inhabit, Obama World or Cheney World? If it’s the latter, remember that storm clouds are always gathering. Don’t forget your umbrella.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

‘Winter Soldier on the Hill’

Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan spoke to lawmakers on Capitol Hill this month, giving eyewitness accounts of the horrors of war and the real practices of the military. Amy Goodman devoted Monday’s “Democracy Now!” episode to these testimonials for this Memorial Day. Listen to the soldiers’ stories here.

Posted on May 25, 2009 READ MORE


Cheney and Bush
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Cheney and the Iraq-Torture Link

Defending their record in office these past eight years, figures from the last administration seem especially touchy on the subject of torture. Led by the former vice president, Dick Cheney, they have argued that there was no torture, preferring more vague and delicate terms such as “enhanced interrogation” or simply “the program.”

Posted on May 21, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Obama’s Coalition of the Unwilling

President Barack Obama dramatically changed course twice on May 13 when he announced he would not release photos of American military personnel “abusing” detainees, reversing the Pentagon’s statement on April 26 that it would comply with a court order—with the president’s own prompt and emphatic support for release.

Posted on May 14, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
DefenseImagery.mil / Sgt. Edwin Bridges

U.S. Soldier Guns Down 5 Comrades

An American soldier was taken into custody after shooting five fellow military personnel to death and wounding three others in Baghdad on Monday. The incident, which occurred at a combat stress center, marks the highest single-incident death toll for the U.S. military since April.

Posted on May 11, 2009 READ MORE


Gates Orders a Change of Command in Afghanistan

The Pentagon will be replacing the current top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, who has served in the position a mere 11 months. The decision comes on the heels of President Obama’s new plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan and marks a clear change in strategy in an increasingly complex war.

Posted on May 11, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Flickr / Aaron Escobar™

Suicide Rates for U.S. Soldiers at Record High

As of the end of 2008, a U.S. soldier was more likely to commit suicide than an American civilian. This trend is now under investigation by the U.S. Army, which must grapple with the extent of inadequate psychological support available to soldiers coming home.

Posted on May 7, 2009 READ MORE


Prince Charles and Nouri al-Maliki
AP pool photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth

British Government Gives Iraq Story a Final Spin

“We acknowledge,” the letter says, “that violence has claimed the lives of many thousands of Iraqi civilians over the last five years, either through terrorism or sectarian violence. Any loss of innocent lives is tragic and the Government is committed to ensuring that civilian casualties are avoided. Insurgents and terrorists are not, I regret to say, so scrupulous.”

Posted on May 2, 2009 READ MORE


Troopz
arcent.army.mil

One If by Land, Two If by Flee

Six years after the disastrous invasion of Iraq, Britain’s armed forces have formally ended their combat mission in the war-torn country. Believing that their role is finished, U.K. government officials handed over control of their base to the U.S.—not Iraqi—military.

Posted on Apr 30, 2009 READ MORE


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