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Tag: Iraq

Iraq’s $79-Billion Windfall

A congressional report has found that the Iraqi government will soon have a $79-billion surplus, thanks to the record price of oil. It’s a figure that will surely raise eyebrows as the U.S. shells out an additional $48 billion for reconstruction, but the situation, like all things involving billions and bombs, is a lot more complicated.

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE


Ron Suskind on Bush’s ‘Great Lies’

Ron Suskind’s new book alleges that the White House ordered the CIA to fabricate a link between Iraq and al-Qaida. The CIA director at the time, George Tenet, calls the claim “ridiculous.” Suskind says that’s just an example of “George’s memory issue.”

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

White House Fabricated Iraq Intelligence, Book Alleges

According to Ron Suskind, former Wall Street Journal reporter and best-selling Bush critic, the White House ordered the CIA to fabricate evidence linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida and knew before the invasion that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. The White House denies the allegations, published in Suskind’s new book, “The Way of the World.”

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Reaper drone
uavinfo.com

‘Reaper’ Ready to Watch Over Iraq

One way the U.S. military could maintain a presence in Iraq, even if by proxy, in the near future is through the use of unmanned drones with foreboding names like the MQ-9 Reaper and the Predator, both of which are able to carry seriously sinister weaponry like the laser-guided Hellfire missile.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A War of Self-Destruction

An attack on Iran, which Israeli and Bush administration officials appear set to carry out if Iranian uranium enrichment is not halted, would ignite a regional war in the Middle East and lead to economic collapse and political upheaval in the United States.

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE


Syria Succeeds by Doing Nothing

Without a shot being fired, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ensured that anyone who wants anything in the Middle East has got to talk to Syria. He’s done nothing—and he’s won.

Posted on Aug 3, 2008 READ MORE


Maria Lauterbach
marinecorpstimes.com

Sexual Assault in the Military: A DoD Cover-Up?

There was quite a struggle in Congress this week [July 27-Aug. 2]. The Department of Defense refused to allow the senior civilian in charge of its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office to testify in Thursday’s hearing on sexual assault in the military. Above, Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who reported being raped in 2007 and whose body was found buried in a backyard in 2008.

Posted on Aug 1, 2008 READ MORE


It’s the War, Stupid

There is nothing like the blast of a Baghdad bomb and the wail of sirens to drown out John McCain’s bitter campaign sound bites or the patter of Barack Obama’s “premature victory lap.”

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE


‘It’s a Global Election’

A visit to Estonia reminds “Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman that the full impact of the American election will be felt across the globe, from Mesopotamia to a small Baltic republic.

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE


Donald Rumsfeld
DoD photo / Chad J. McNeeley

The Return of Rumsfeld

Is the master of the rhetorical question back? Well, in spirit at least. Truthdig contributor Allen McDuffee warns that a group of Democratic foreign policy hawks is pushing one of Donald Rumsfeld’s big ideas for overhauling the U.S. military. These are the same security-obsessed Democrats, by the way, who helped sell the Iraq war to the American people.

Posted on Jul 30, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Brennan Linsley

Acts of War

The war between the United States and Iran is on. American taxpayer dollars are being used, with the permission of Congress, to fund activities that result in Iranians being killed and wounded, and Iranian property destroyed. This wanton violation of a nation’s sovereignty would not be tolerated if the tables were turned.

Posted on Jul 29, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hadi Mizban

Iraq Blasts Kill Dozens

Multiple suicide bombings in Baghdad and Kirkuk in the north killed more than 50 Iraqis on Monday. The bombers in the capital targeted Shiite pilgrims. More than 200 were wounded in the two cities. News of the attacks came on the heels of a spate of bombings around the world.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Nikki Keddie on Iran

In “Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies,” Barbara Slavin, a leading Middle East reporter for USA Today, offers a refreshingly nuanced and revelatory taxonomy of power within theocratic Iran that sheds light on its leaders and their ambitions.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE


The Dream Campaign Goes to Berlin

While John McCain pouted in obscurity, Barack Obama capped off a whirlwind tour with a commanding performance on the world stage.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Wiki Commons

Iraq Won’t Be Going to Beijing

Sectarian battles for control of Iraq’s national team between Shiites and Sunnis have led the International Olympic Committee to block Iraq from participating in the Summer Games in Beijing. The ban was upheld Thursday after the Iraqis failed to meet a deadline to appeal the decision, thereby losing a chance to generate considerable PR and/or pride for the wounded country.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


Refighting the Vietnam War

For a long time, John McCain has believed that Vietnam should have, could have had a different ending. So, too, his attention on Iraq has been less on the war’s origin than on some undefined victorious conclusion.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Washington’s Overrated ‘Old Hands’

The strongest argument for Obama is the weak performance of the Republican regime’s vaunted “grown-ups,” including McCain and his advisers. They have gone far in proving that experience can be overrated.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


New McCain Gaffes on Iraq

Sen. John McCain didn’t just get his cause-and-effect order wrong on the so-called surge strategy in Iraq, he also claimed in a CBS interview that the increased troop deployment and associated change in tactics protected a key Sunni sheik who helped lead the “Anbar Awakening.” Problem? Said sheik was actually assassinated during the surge. Meanwhile, CBS is under fire for editing out these gaffes in its on-air presentation of the interview.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Maliki
commons.wikimedia.org

Der Spiegel or ‘Der Lying’?

Remember how Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki endorsed Obama’s plan for U.S. withdrawal from the country? And then remember how the endorsement suddenly became a question of “translation”? Well, it ends up that it wasn’t a botched translation at all, and that Maliki’s office personally reviewed the final interview before it was published.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

No Easy Out for Obama

The adoring media coverage of Barack Obama’s international tour is masking the reality that, whether he wins or loses, we’re almost certain to be stuck in Iraq for a long time, thanks to the legacy of George Bush.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Wiki Commons

Blackwater Plans to Back Away From Security Biz

Stung by lawsuits, protests, government audits, criminal charges and negative media attention, executives from the mercenary firm Blackwater Worldwide say providing security in Iraq and elsewhere has become a drain on the company’s future and will be gradually all but phased out. However, there are no immediate plans to end the contract with the State Department which became so controversial after the company’s agents went on a deadly shooting spree in Baghdad last year.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Audition

To win the presidency, Barack Obama needs only to battle John McCain to a tie on foreign policy and national security. That means Obama has no need for a great triumph during his trip this week to the Middle East and Europe. His goal is to look safe, sound and competent, and that’s how he’s playing things.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


Bush’s Semantic Withdrawal

It’s not a “timetable” for extricating U.S troops from Iraq that George W. Bush is suddenly talking about, and heaven help anyone who accuses him of proposing a “timeline.” No, the Decider says he is now amenable to a “time horizon,” which apparently is a whole different kind of time thing.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE



DoD photo / SSG Lorie Jewell, U.S. Army

Petraeus Shows Obama the Sights

Gen. David Petraeus gave his potential boss, Barack Obama, a helicopter tour of Baghdad on Monday. It’s a technique the general has used in the past to show normal life in Baghdad—from a safe distance. John McCain suggested recently that Petraeus would change Obama’s mind and his plan about withdrawing from Iraq, but that plan has newfound momentum and it could easily be Gen. Petraeus who is asked to carry it out.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Joe Shlabotnik

NYT Rejects McCain Essay

Sorry, John McCain, but The New York Times doesn’t publish just any presidential candidate. A week after Barack Obama’s “My Plan for Iraq” appeared in the paper of record, a similar essay by John McCain was rejected on the grounds that it recycled attacks against his rival while offering little new information about his own war plans, according to the Drudge Report.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / James Gordon

Obama in Iraq

The U.S. Embassy has reported that Barack Obama arrived safely in Iraq, where he is expected to meet with Gen. David Petraeus and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The candidate is traveling with fellow Iraq war critics Sen. Jack Reed and Sen. Chuck Hagel.

Posted on Jul 20, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jae C. Hong

Obama Commits to Afghanistan Escalation

Before leaving Kabul for Baghdad, Barack Obama spoke to his intention to increase America’s troop commitment to Afghanistan by 10,000 soldiers. “We have to understand that the situation is precarious and urgent ... and I believe this has to be the central focus, the central front, in the battle against terrorism,” the candidate told CBS.

Posted on Jul 20, 2008 READ MORE


Obama in Afghanistan
AP photo

Obama Begins World Tour

Barack Obama embarked on his international diplomacy tour—a key step in raising his profile on the world stage and demonstrating his readiness to take over the American presidency—with an important first major stop. The Illinois senator landed in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday as part of congressional delegation surveying the current situation in that troubled nation.

Posted on Jul 19, 2008 READ MORE


Iraqi army patrol
AP photo / Hadi Mizban

Bush Considering ‘General’ Withdrawal Timetable

In what The New York Times is calling a “significant concession,” President Bush allowed the topic of U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq to enter a discussion about America’s long-term strategy in the region. This occurred Thursday during a video conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE


‘Centrists’ Running the Asylum

In the asylum that is American politics, beware a candidate like Barack Obama when he is lauded for moving to “the center”—because usually that means he is drifting away from it.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Disaster in the Making

Barack Obama is right to want to get out of Iraq, but his eagerness to do battle in the tribal hinterlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan will only lead to a quagmire of his own.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


U.S. Keeps Bombing Weddings

Apparently, the Bush administration is also against straight marriage—if you live in the desert under U.S. military occupation. Tom Engelhardt details seven years of wedding crashing in Afganistan and Iraq, and the notable lack of remorse on the part of the Pentagon.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Al Behrman

Obama: ‘The Central Front in the War on Terror Is Not Iraq’

Sen. Barack Obama made a key speech on Tuesday in Washington, in which he asserted his position on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, offered a 16-month troop withdrawal timetable and outlined his plans for combating terrorism if he is elected president in November.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE


War Is Over-ish

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Posted on Jul 15, 2008 READ MORE    


The New Dominion

If the 2008 election is destined to break up a frozen electoral map, Virginia is one of the most likely venues for the great political thaw.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

Iran Shows Its Cards

Iran’s recent missile tests should remove all doubt that an attack by either the United States or Israel would be a terrible mistake.

Posted on Jul 14, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
Flickr / Allison Harger

Obama’s Plan for Iraq

Barack Obama has an Op-Ed article in Monday’s New York Times outlining his vision for Iraq. It’s mostly a rehashing of positions he has stated over and over again, but it’s interesting to read the quilt work of stump speeches, debate sound bites and policy papers assembled into one document.

Posted on Jul 13, 2008 READ MORE


Occupation Negotiations Hit Snags

President Bush had hoped to shape America’s military presence in Iraq for years after his departure from the White House by negotiating a long-term status-of-forces agreement, but a number of sticking points indicate there will be a much shorter time frame. U.S. negotiators have agreed to a kind of timetable for withdrawal, as demanded by the Iraqis, but are holding out over legal immunity for American forces.

Posted on Jul 13, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Disorderly or Not, America Should Withdraw

The endless debate about the U.S. withdrawing its army from Iraq and what will happen to the country once it does tends to ignore much of what we know about how the world works.

Posted on Jul 9, 2008 READ MORE


Maliki and Ahmadinejad
AP photo / ISNA, Amir Kholusi

Military Action Against Iran ‘Would Destabilize Iraq’

Iraq will be plunged into a new war if Israel or the U.S. launches an attack on Iran, Iraqi leaders have warned. Iranian retaliation would take place in Iraq, said Dr. Mahmoud Othman, the influential Iraqi MP.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Paralympic Athletes Carry Iraq’s Hopes

In war-ravaged Iraq, the paralympic athletes have a better shot of winning gold medals, according to this report from The New York Times.

Posted on Jul 8, 2008 READ MORE


Vet Groups Battle for American Hearts and Minds

There are two major veterans groups trying to make a splash in this year’s election, one conservative and the other broadly liberal. Both, says NPR’s Peter Overby, will attempt to have an impact on the order of the 2004 efforts of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. It sounds like the anti-war group will have the edge this year.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Iraq Flap

Barack Obama recently promised to “refine” his withdrawal policy. His detractors called it a flip-flop. Team Obama said revision is different from reneging. The usual lineup of Sunday morning chatterboxes is here to sort things out.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Elah
thecia.com.au

Pentagon Looking to Help Shape War Films

The recent spate of war movies about Iraq and Afghanistan has proved to be a hard sell with American audiences—even more so with the U.S. military. Now, the Pentagon is combating a certain lack of nuance, as military officials see it, in flicks like “Redacted” and “In the Valley of Elah” by offering script consultation services to Hollywood types looking to make movies about the current conflicts in the Middle East.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / soldiersmediacenter

Maliki Mulls Troop Pullout

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, eager to sell his colleagues on a status-of-forces agreement with the U.S., has suggested the possibility of a built-in troop withdrawal timetable. The Pentagon isn’t impressed. “Timelines tend to be artificial in nature,” cautioned a U.S. military spokesman.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Kevin Sanders, file

Surviving the Fourth of July

I survive the degradation that has become America—a land that exalts itself as a bastion of freedom and liberty while it tortures human beings, stripped of their rights, in offshore penal colonies, a land that wages wars defined under international law as criminal wars of aggression, a land that turns its back on its poor, its weak, its mentally ill, in a relentless drive to embrace totalitarian capitalism—because I read books.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


Obama the Shape-Shifter? Not Quite

He has been crafty in the way he has sought the political middle ground. He has emphasized his “values” and touted his patriotism, his call to service and his faith. That is quite different from backing off from his core promises.

Posted on Jul 6, 2008 READ MORE


Pull and Pray

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Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE    


Obama
Flickr / Jurvetson

Obama Hedges on Withdrawal

Capping off a week of disappointments for his progressive supporters, Barack Obama backed away from the idea of a timely withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, a signature plank in his campaign. “And when I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground,” explained Obama, “I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies.” Update: Obama clarifies.

Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE


Prisoner of War

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Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE


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