Saturday, November 28, 2009

WE ALL LIVE CLOSE TO THE PRECIPICE THAT WE CALL CIVILIZATION




US President George W. Bush meets with his top advisors
March 19, 2003 just before the invasion


Map: occupation (stabilization) zones in Iraq
Iraq 2003 occupation
Made by Kpalion, From Wikipedia


warandgame.wordpress.com


In 2001, CBS News has learned that barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq — even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks. That's according to notes taken by aides who were with Rumsfeld in the National Military Command Center on Sept. 11 – notes that show exactly where the road toward war with Iraq began, reports CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin.
At 9:53 a.m., just 15 minutes after the hijacked plane had hit the Pentagon, and while Rumsfeld was still outside helping with the injured, the National Security Agency, which monitors communications worldwide, intercepted a phone call from one of Osama bin Laden's operatives in Afghanistan to a phone number in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. The caller said he had "heard good news" and that another target was still to come; an indication he knew another airliner, the one that eventually crashed in Pennsylvania, was at that very moment zeroing in on Washington. It was 12:05 p.m. when the director of Central Intelligence told Rumsfeld about the intercepted conversation.
Rumsfeld felt it was "vague," that it "might not mean something," and that there was "no good basis for hanging hat." In other words, the evidence was not clear-cut enough to justify military action against bin Laden. But later that afternoon, the CIA reported the passenger manifests for the hijacked airliners showed three of the hijackers were suspected al Qaeda operatives.
"One guy is associate of Cole bomber," the notes say, a reference to the October 2000 suicide boat attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, which had also been the work of bin Laden.
With the intelligence all pointing toward bin Laden, Rumsfeld ordered the military to begin working on strike plans. And at 2:40 p.m., the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying he wanted "best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H." – meaning Saddam Hussein – "at same time. Not only UBL" – the initials used to identify Osama bin Laden.
Many years later there was still very little evidence Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. But if these notes are accurate, that didn't matter to Rumsfeld. "Go massive," the notes quote him as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
(By Joel Roberts © MMII, CBS Worldwide Inc)
The man once regarded as the world's most powerful banker has bluntly declared that the Iraq war was 'largely' about oil. Appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1987 and retired last year after serving four presidents, Alan Greenspan has been the leading Republican economist for a generation and his utterings instantly moved world markets.
In his long-awaited memoir, Greenspan, 81, who served as chairman of the US Federal Reserve for almost two decades, wrote: 'I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.'
In 'The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World', he is also crystal clear on his opinion of his last two bosses, harshly criticizing George W Bush for 'abandoning fiscal constraint' and praising Bill Clinton's anti-deficit policies during the Nineties as 'an act of political courage'. He also speaks of Clinton's sharp and 'curious' mind, and 'old-fashioned' caution about the dangers of debt.
Greenspan's damning comments about the war come as a survey of Iraqis, which was released earlier, claims that up to 1.2 million people may have died because of the conflict in Iraq -- lending weight to a 2006 survey in the Lancet that reported similarly high levels.
(By Peter Beaumont and Joanna Walters in New York © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007)
In 2003, Paul O'Neill was fired from his job as George Bush's Treasury Secretary for disagreeing too many times with the president's policy on tax cuts.
Now, O'Neill - who is known for speaking his mind - talks for the first time about his two years inside the Bush administration. His story is the centerpiece of a book published about the way the Bush White House is run.
“From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go,” says O’Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.
“From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime,” says Suskind. “Day one, these things were laid and sealed.”
As treasury secretary, O'Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council. He says in the book he was surprised at the meeting that questions such as "Why Saddam?" and "Why now?" were never asked.
"It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this,’" says O’Neill. “For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.”
And that came up at this first meeting, says O’Neill, who adds that the discussion of Iraq continued at the next National Security Council meeting two days later.
He got briefing materials under this cover sheet. “There are memos. One of them marked, secret, says, ‘Plan for post-Saddam Iraq,’" adds Suskind, who says that they discussed an occupation of Iraq in January and February of 2001.
Based on his interviews with O'Neill and several other officials at the meetings, Suskind writes that the planning envisioned peacekeeping troops, war crimes tribunals, and even divvying up Iraq's oil wealth.
He obtained one Pentagon document, dated March 5, 2001, and entitled "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield contracts," which includes a map of potential areas for exploration.
“It talks about contractors around the world from, you know, 30-40 countries. And which ones have what intentions,” says Suskind. “On oil in Iraq.”
('Bush Sought ‘Way’ To Invade Iraq?' by Rebecca Leung, Jan 11, 2004 © MMIV, CBS Worldwide Inc)


Official portrait of George H. W. Bush, 1989
Former President of the United States of America
From Wikipedia


Official photograph portrait of 43rd President of U.S.A
George W. Bush
White house photo by Eric Draper
From Wikipedia


One particular protest before the invasion of Iraq called on students to skip their classes. There was a news report at some high school that showed an unnamed boy with a T-shirt that said, "I skipped history because it's repeating itself." ...
During the first Gulf War in 1991, American military planners vacillated on the ultimate goal. Did they want to simply liberate Kuwait, or did they want to remove Saddam Hussein from power?
They had hinted toward the latter. After the liberation of Kuwait, President Bush Sr. called on Iraqis to "rise up" against Saddam Hussein's government, and the Iraqis did.
Shiites in the southern city of Basra and Kurds in the north briefly created areas free from the control of their dictator. They expected the American military to intervene, even though there was an official ceasefire.
President George W. Bush Jr., Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell believed that Saddam Hussein's grip on power was weak enough that the rebellion alone would topple him.
So, the Americans honored the ceasefire. When Saddam Hussein discovered that he could again fly his helicopter gunships without fear of allied air strikes, the rebellion was soon crushed. There were many mass graves discovered in Iraq. Most of them were remnants of that betrayed revolution.
('History and Iraq' by Sanjai Tripathi at The Daily Barometer, Issue date: 10/29/03)


Tony Blair
Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Copyright by World Economic Forum
Photo by Andy Mettler
From Wikipedia


The 2003 invasion of Iraq, (from March 20 to May 1, 2003) was led by the United States, backed by British forces and smaller contingents from Australia, Denmark, Poland and Spain. Four countries participated with troops during the initial invasion phase, which lasted from March 20 to May 1. These were the United States (248,000), United Kingdom (45,000), Australia (2,000), and Poland (194). 36 other countries were involved in its aftermath. The invasion marked the beginning of the Iraq War. In preparation for the invasion, 100,000 US troops were assembled in Kuwait by February 18. The United States supplied the vast majority of the invading forces, but also received support from Kurdish troops in Iraqi Kurdistan.
According to then President of the United States, George W. Bush and then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, the reasons for the invasion were "to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people." According to Blair, the trigger was Iraq's failure to take a "final opportunity" to disarm itself of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that US and British officials called an immediate and intolerable threat to world peace. Although some remnants of pre-1991 production were found after the end of the war, US government spokespeople confirmed that these were not the weapons for which the US went to war. In 2005, the Central Intelligence Agency released a report saying that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq.
(From Wikipedia)


From DEBKAfile


Sweeping over the desert from Kuwait in a blaze of artillery, rocket and tank fire, U.S. invasion troops secured a beachhead in southern Iraq early Friday, March 21, officers said. Elements of the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and Britain's Royal Marines crossed the border Thursday, hours into the long-threatened invasion.
Officers with the 1st Brigade of the 20,000-strong 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) said they expected tens of thousands of U.S. Army as well as Marines and British forces to have entered Iraq by Friday from a broad swath of Kuwait.
The push was accompanied by heavy bombing of Baghdad as a nearly 300,000-strong force made good on President George W. Bush's threat to move against Iraq, for allegedly harboring suspected weapons of mass destruction.
Captain Andrew Valles, spokesman for the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade, said according to reports he had received, "there was little to no resistance" as the U.S.-British troops moved toward the southern city of Basra.
Officers with the division reported sporadic encounters with the Iraqis. They said an M1-A1 tank and three Bradley Fighting Vehicles opened fire on an Iraqi observation post, killing three men.
"As for any soldiers, we didn't see anybody," said Staff Sergeant James Currence, a tank commander. But he added: "This was the easiest part, just coming into Iraq. It's going to get a lot tougher as we go."
Sergeant First Class Melvin Green said his tank and another M1-A1 took out two T-72 tanks, the most modern in Iraq's armed forces. "I saw the turret pop off," he said of his duel with the Iraqis.
Reports claimed U.S. and British forces had taken the Gulf port of Umm Qasr and British Royal Marines commandos had landed on the Fao peninsula south of Basra. However, Iraq denied Umm Qasr had fallen. Basra would be the first real encounter. Defended by a Republican Guard division, the area is also vital to Iraq's economy because it controls the country's oil terminals in the Gulf and only access to the sea.
The United States launched the war early Thursday with a flurry of air strikes aimed at Baghdad, including sorties by F-117 stealth fighters and sea-launched cruise missile targeting Saddam personally. The Iraqi troops retaliated by firing several missiles that landed harmlessly in Kuwait but sent soldiers and civilians scrambling for their masks and helped accelerate the launch of the ground war by 24 hours, U.S. officers said.
The 3ID is the only heavy armor force that has been fully deployed to the region and analysts expect it to spearhead any attack against the elite Republican Guard around Baghdad and Tikrit, Saddam's hometown.
(Invasion Troops Push Into Southern Iraq Desert' © 1999-2009 Islam Online)


Formation flight, 14 April 2003
Aircraft of the USAF, UK and Australian counterparts
Stationed at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar
Aircraft include KC-135 Stratotanker, F-15E Strike Eagle,
F-117 Nighthawk, F-16CJ Falcon, British GR-4 Tornado
Author Master Sgt. Ronny Przysucha
From Wikipedia


From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


U.S. Marines (above)take advantage of a clear day to pound an Iraqi target with artillery rounds after several days of being inundated by dust storms at the start of the war with Iraq.
(From DIGITAL JOURNALIST)


Iraqi bodies tumble out of a bus
Targeted by U.S. forces on their way to Baghdad
From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


Iraqis flee the fighting
2003 invasion of Iraq by U.S. forces
From DIGITAL JOURNALIST




U.S. Marine Amphibious Assault Vehicles
Cross the Diyala River toward Baghdad
Ground forces fight their way toward Baghdad in 2003
From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


The Marines and British forces were expected to secure southern areas. Colonel Will Grimsley, the commander of the 1st Brigade, met with his officers Thursday afternoon to brief them on the attacks and urge them to stay calm but move quickly. "Anything I said about a pause, forget about it," Grimsley told them. "If anything we'll move faster than slower."
The push came after a fierce artillery barrage Thursday, including the launch of several MLRS (Multi Launch Rocket System) rockets.
Saddam returned to the front, warning the world his troops and people would fight it out, even as U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed widespread defections.
"The Iraqi people and their armed forces are ready to resist any attack," Saddam swore in a statement, despite "U.S.-British enemy propaganda to weaken their morale."
"A curse on anyone who says the Iraqi army and people would joyfully welcome your aggressiveness and the forces under your orders and rejoice," he told U.S. and British leaders.
The Iraq strongman has repeatedly stated that he got rid of his weapons of mass destruction long ago. He seems left only with a few out-dated missiles - although they caused a major shock when 10 crashed into Kuwait on Thursday - and whatever support he can squeeze from his beleaguered 24 million people.
The United States and Britain have sought to make the war personal and up close, starting even before the expiry of a U.S. war ultimatum with a deliberate attempt by Tomahawk missile to "decapitate" Saddam.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair in his first public comment on the conflict went straight for the jugular. "Remove Saddam from power," was the military mission statement, Blair said.
"All I can say is that the pressure is continuing on the Iraqi regime and it will not be there in the period ahead. And we still hope that it is possible ... without the full force and the fury of a war," Rumsfeld said.
However, he also warned that a much anticipated "shock and awe" air campaign would go ahead if necessary, saying that the Pentagon wanted to maintain "as much ambiguity as possible until we begin the big push."
"We clearly haven't made the big air push yet," he added.
(Invasion Troops Push Into Southern Iraq Desert' © 1999-2009 Islam Online)


From weekly.ahram.org.eg


Three weeks into the invasion, U.S. forces entered the streets of Baghdad. The original plan to capture the city had been to surround it with armored forces and have airborne troops move in and engage in street fighting. The plan was changed, however, in favor of a “thunder run” of about 30 M1 Abrams main battle tanks through the city streets. The tanks met some resistance, including suicide attacks. Another such assault took place two days later and succeeded in capturing Saddam Hussein’s palace. On April 9, Baghdad was declared “secured” and the regime officially ended. Difficult fighting continued for a few weeks in Basra and An Nasiriyeh.
Although the bulk of the Iraqi army was defeated, some isolated units held out and, worse for the allies, guerrillas began operating in both cities and the countryside, while looting became so widespread that little could be done to stop it. Not only were government offices looted by those who had been terrorized by them for so long, but those with a more professional eye soon removed many treasures from the National Museum of Iraq. So many buildings and facilities had to be protected that not everything could be watched. Many believe that the best pieces were taken by members of the regime before the city fell.
On May 1, 2003, President Bush declared major combat operations to be at an end. On May 22, 2003, the United Nations voted to end the embargo against Iraq and support the U.S.-led government that was being planned. As far as the Iraqi field forces were concerned, the war was indeed over, but thousands of die-hard Saddam supporters as well as terrorists from outside Iraq began a classic urban guerrilla war.
(warandgame.wordpress.com)


From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


Balad, Iraq--United States Air Force Captain Michael Bogacki, a patient administration shift leader at the Balad, Iraq, Combat Surgical Hospital, prepares to unload wounded U.S. service members from a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter as it lands at the main U.S. medical facility in Iraq. Over 16,000 Americans have been wounded since the war with Iraq began in 2003.
(From DIGITAL JOURNALIST)

From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


Balad, Iraq--A U.S. Army Blackhawk medevac helicopter lands along the flight line in Balad, Iraq, where several helicopters are on 24-hour-a-day standby to offer assistance to any injured U.S. service member in Iraq. The helicopters have two pilots, a crew chief and a medic on board and can handle several patients at a time.
(From DIGITAL JOURNALIST)


US President George Bush
aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln
Official website for the United States Navy
Author 3rd Class Tyler J. Clements
U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate
From Wikipedia


Mission Accomplished banner
The USS Abraham Lincoln returning to port
From Wikipedia


Within three weeks Baghdad had fallen and Saddam Hussein had taken flight. On April 2, US President George Bush, aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, declared that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended". Saddam was found eight months later by US troops. He was hiding in a hole in the ground, unkempt and dishevelled. Last year he tried to restore his menacing authority, haranguing the court in which he was being tried for war crimes, but to little good. He was found guilty and hanged.
('Terrorising the Iraqis' by Warwick McFadyen, a senior staff writer © 2007. The Age Company Ltd.)
In the summer of 2003, the U.S. military focused on hunting down the remaining leaders of the former regime, culminating in the killing of Saddam's sons Uday Hussein and Qusay Hussein on July 22.In all, over 200 top leaders of the former regime were killed or captured, as well as numerous lesser functionaries and military personnel.
However, even as the Ba'ath party organization disintegrated, elements of the secret police and army began forming guerilla units, since in many cases they had simply gone home rather than openly fight the invading forces. These began to focus their attacks around Mosul, Tikrit and Fallujah. In the fall, these units and other elements who called themselves Jihadists began using ambush tactics, suicide bombings, and improvised explosive devices, targeting coalition forces and checkpoints.
They favored attacking the unarmored Humvee vehicles, and in November they successfully attacked U.S. rotary aircraft with SA-7 missiles bought on the global black market. On August 19, the UN Headquarters in Baghdad was destroyed in the Canal Hotel Bombing, killing at least 22 people, among them Sérgio Vieira de Mello, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General.
(From Wikipedia)



Saddam shortly after capture by American forces
and after being shaved to confirm his identity
14 Dec 2003
From Wikipedia


The fall of Saddam's regime, however, has not meant the rise of a stable democracy. That may come. The country now has a newly elected 275-seat parliament. The majority (128 seats) are held by the United Iraqi Alliance, which is the party of the Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki. The two Sunni parties - the Iraq Accord Front and the Iraqi National Dialogue Front - have 55 seats and the Kurdistan Alliance has 53 seats. But with the past year's rise of democracy also has appeared democracy's mortal enemy: civil war. Military commanders, past and present in the field, have testified to US congressional committees and/or spoken to media outlets that such is the level of violence the epithet was not given lightly but it was justified.
In its latest quarterly report to Congress - Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq - the Pentagon wrote: "The conflict in Iraq has changed from a predominantly Sunni-led insurgency against foreign occupation to a struggle for the division of political and economic influence among sectarian groups and organised criminal activity. As described in the January 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, the term " 'civil war' does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict in Iraq . . . Some elements of the situation in Iraq are properly descriptive of a 'civil war', including the hardening of ethno-sectarian identities and mobilisation, the changing character of the violence and population displacements."
In this rather prosaic, military-style manner is described the ethnic cleansing that is wiping out entire sections of Baghdad. In the marketplaces, in the mosques, at work, in the street, indiscriminate killing is taking place, hourly and daily. A conservative estimate places the toll at more than 50,000. The United Nations says 34,000 died in 2006. Is it any wonder Iraqis who have no truck with violence have taken to the road to find peace outside their country? Estimates show that 1.6 million to 2 million are now refugees. So a war that began on the great premise of a lie - stopping Saddam using weapons of mass destruction (recall the 45 minutes to doom prediction of London being bombed?) - has splintered into multiple small wars tearing a country apart.
The invasion of Iraq, rather than containing the beast of Saddam, has unleashed the furies. The country is now regarded as a breeding ground for terrorism. Weaponry and suicide bombers are flooding into the country. It is worth asking: who has become empowered from the invasion? Is it the US, the terrorist, neighbouring countries, be they Shiite or Sunni, or the citizens of Iraq? The answer, and its accompanying motif - hope - rightfully should reside in the Iraqi. For that was what all the fighting, and dying was for, wasn't it?
('Terrorising the Iraqis' by Warwick McFadyen, a senior staff writer © 2007. The Age Company Ltd.)


From hirhome.com


Interim Iraqi president Ghazi Masha Aji al-Yawer
A ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq, June 1, 2004
Source Bild aus dem US-Verteidigungsministerium,
defense.gov
Author DoD photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen
U.S. Air Force.
From Wikipedia


Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Alawi
Ceremony celebrating the transfer of governmental authority
to the Iraqi Interim Government, June 28th, 2004
Source Defense Visual Information Center
Photographer: SSGT D. MYLES CULLEN, USAF
From Wikipedia

The invasion of Iraq was presented as a fight for freedom and world security against the dastardly regime of Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. The Americans have absolutely no sympathy for Saddam and his henchmen. During the Gulf Crisis of 1990 it was written: 'Saddam is an imperialist (albeit on a smaller scale) who has put to death thousands of Iraqi workers (not to mention the half million who died fighting on behalf of Western and Soviet imperialism on the Iranian front).' However, if Saddam is certainly an enduring threat to his own population (which capitalist leader isn't?), it is highly doubtful that he now represents much of a menace outside the borders of Iraq.
Iraq suffered tremendously during the Gulf War and is economically and militarily drained by the ordeal of nearly 12 years of a very harsh embargo and continuous bombardments. Iraqi society has been reduced to the state it was in many decades ago. It is estimated that one million people have died, half of them children. The economic infrastructure has been shattered and the military arsenal disintegrated. Whatever Saddam may have left in terms of germ and chemical warfare capabilities was given to him by the U.S. between 1985 and 1989. During this period, we know by Congressional testimony from 1994, that the U.S. military sent him quantities of the West Nile Virus, E. coli, anthrax, botulism and a nerve gas rated a million times more lethal than Sarin! All this was to be used against his and the U.S.'s rivals. So whose use of weapons of mass destruction constitute a threat to humanity?
Why then is Bush so hell-bent on war? It is obvious that the arms issue also invoked by his pal Blair is no more than a pretext for an assault that has much more devious objectives. Saddam's purported weaponry is not what is at stake. The London Daily Mirror dubbed Blair's recent dossier as 'being full of marshmallow facts'. The title of a September 15th article in the Washington Post gives us a better clue: 'In Iraqi War Scenario, Oil is Key Issue'. Indeed, oil production and its control is of the outmost importance.
('Iraq: Oil, Blood and Class - International Bureau for a Revolutionary Party' at libcom.org)


From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


Lance Cpl. Robert Christmon, 20, of Oklahoma City, Okla. (above) carries a wounded Sgt. Josue Magana, of Oceanside, Calif., out of a house in Fallujah while under fire from insurgents attacking the house they were in. Also shot during the firefight was Lance Cpl. Lucas Seilstad, 18, of Rockland, Wis. All told, 15 Marines were injured during the intense firefight and one was killed.
(From DIGITAL JOURNALIST)


From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


Balad, Iraq--An injured Iraqi (above), suffering from a gunshot wound, is brought by medevac helicopter to the Combat Support Hospital in Balad, Iraq, to be treated by U.S. U.S. medical personnel stationed there. A tourniquet had been placed on his leg in the field in order to stop blood flow to the injured limb.
(From DIGITAL JOURNALIST)


From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


Balad, Iraq--Air Force Lt. Kirstin Carlson, center, and others work to turn over a wounded U.S. soldier after he sustained injuries in Iraq. The emergency room at the Air Force Combat Support Hospital in Balad, Iraq, is a series of tents strung together but houses many specialist doctors and high-tech medical equipment.
(From DIGITAL JOURNALIST)


From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


Balad, Iraq--Doctors prepare to operate on Marine Corps PFC Ryan Buchter, 20, of Manheim, Pa., after he was wounded while clearing houses near Al Qaim, in western Iraq, as part of Operation Steel Curtain. Buchter was injured when an insurgent threw a hand grenade in his direction from inside a house that was being cleared.
(From DIGITAL JOURNALIST)


From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


Balad, Iraq--U.S. military personnel and an Iraqi civilian carry an Iraqi civilian injured in an accident to a waiting U.S. Army Blackhawk medevac helicopter for transport to the Combat Surgical Hospital in Balad, Iraq. In addition to transporting and treating wounded U.S. military personnel, Iraqis often receive medical treatment as well.
(From DIGITAL JOURNALIST)


From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


Balad, Iraq--U.S. military personnel work to load one of several patients to be transported through Germany and back to the United States for recovery. The base in Balad, Iraq, serves as a transport hub for injured U.S. patients on almost daily flights of Air Force cargo jets bound for a U.S. military hospital in Germany.
(From DIGITAL JOURNALIST)


From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


Balad, Iraq--Senior airman Kris Vensel comforts critical care patient Joshua Griffin, 19, just before he was loaded onto a C-17 transport plane bound for Germany from Balad, Iraq's Combat Surgical Hospital. Unable to talk due to a breathing tube that had been inserted into his throat, Griffin had written "I'm scared" onto a piece of paper.
(From DIGITAL JOURNALIST)



Pictures of Civilian Victims
From left.ru/iraq/victims


David Zephyr wrote at © 2001 - 2009 Democratic Underground, LLC, "I was wrong. It's not a civil war. It's George Bush's genocide against the people of Iraq. I have been clamoring for a long time here to stop referring to the situation in Iraq as "the war" and to call it a civil war. I posted here in August begging people to call it a Civil War. Indeed I launched a thread here in August titled " Not "The War in Iraq". It's "The Civil War in Iraq". Language Matters" making the case as to the importance of calling it that. Now, honestly, I must tell you that it is far beyond a Civil War and here is why:
A Civil War is something that breaks out, for the most part, indigenously, within a geographic area between opposing groups, be they ethnic, religious, cultural, economic or racial. In many cases, if not all, the outcome becomes influenced by outside forces. Such is the case of the American Civil War which broke out on its own only later to be influenced by European interests.
The people in modern day Iraq did not start a civil war "on their on". It came about only as a result of the vacuum created by the catastrophic military failure of the Bush Administration's illegal invasion of that land.
And make no mistake. What George W. Bush has done makes Saddam Hussein's crimes against the Kurds look microscopic in comparison. That's not a statement conceived in bravura, but in cold fact.
George W. Bush alone set up, either by accident or design, the collapse of security throughout Iraq from the largest cities to the most intimate neighborhoods and villages where murder and mayhem now grip the Iraqi families that live there. He pulled the trigger that caused the chaos.
George W. Bush alone is responsible for the lack of clean drinking water, the lack of electricity, the lack of hospitals and emergency rooms, the lack of law and the lack of order that now plagues the entire country.
George W. Bush alone is responsible for the daily deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocent children, women, men and the elderly and the wholesale slaughter of an entire generation of Iraqis.
George W. Bush alone is responsible for what must correctly be called genocide by any honest observer. I was wrong. It is not a "civil war", it is Bush's genocide against the people of Iraq.
For I swear that whether we, as Americans, choose any euphemism to describe Bush's Iraqi holocaust that may soothe our psyches, the world, yes the entire world, will forever look back on the Year of 2003 and call it what it is: Bush's Genocide of Iraq."


From MONTREAL SIMON


Post-invasion Iraq
Italian personnel catalogue weapons seized from a hidden cache
including 151 rocket propelled grenade launchers
From Wikipedia


From the moment of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003 the United Nations was deliberately bypassed by the Americans, dealing a fatal blow to one of the foundations of the international order: multilateralism. Until then, this principle had been considered the only guarantee of the emergence of a collective responsibility to maintain international peace and security.
The former U.S. administration did not only content itself with marginalizing the UN during the process of its military intervention, they also refused to entrust them with any management of the post-war environment. Their unfortunate, if not catastrophic, management of this situation ultimately pushed them to change course and give small roles to the UN, always well aligned with American interest, in the face of the severe problems and complications encountered on the ground. This policy change was yet another example of Winston Churchill’s famous quip that the U.S. “can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities.”
('The UN in Iraq : Calling a Spade a Spade' byMokhtar Lamani© 2009 AlArabiya.net)

Eight Pre-War Claims Refuted:
• No weapons of mass destruction of any kind were found in Iraq.
• No mobile biological weapons labs were found in Iraq.
• Iraq did not seek to acquire yellowcake uranium from Africa.
• The aluminum tubes were not suitable for nuclear weapons development.
• Mohamed Atta, the lead 9/11 hijacker, did not meet with Iraqi intelligence in Prague.
• Iraq did not provide chemical weapons training to al-Qaeda.
• There was no collaborative relationship between Iraq and al-Qaeda.
• The implication that Iraq was involved in the attacks of 9/11 was untrue.

The ramifications of the Iraq War have been tragic:
• After four years, the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has brought with it more than 100,000 civilian and military deaths.
• Millions of Iraqis have been displaced from their homes. Nearly 2,000,000 have fled the country.
• Untold numbers of people have been mentally and physically wounded.
• War expenditures have exceeded $500 billion.
(from LEADING TO WAR)


President George W. Bush and British PM Tony Blair
Press conference in the East Room of the White House
Friday November 12, 2004
White House photo by Paul Morse
From Wikipedia


Saddam speaking at a pre-trial hearing
July 2004


An armed Iraqi interpreter on patrol with U.S. troops
Streets of Baghdad, Iraq, April 2005
Source Photo by Peter Rimar.
Uploaded by Chitrapa at wikipedia


From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


Camp Pendleton, Calif.--U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Lt. James Michael Geiger III, 24, of Fayetteville, N.C. (above) works on the range of motion in his right foot at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton, as he continues to recover from injuries he suffered in Iraq late in 2005. Geiger hopes to return to the infantry duty where he was serving when he was injured.
(From DIGITAL JOURNALIST)


From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


Pasadena, Calif.--Marine Lance Corporal Francisco Ponceherbozo (above) uses crutches to get around his parents' Pasadena, Calif., home where he is recovering from injuries he sustained while fighting during Operation Steel Curtain in late 2005.
(From DIGITAL JOURNALIST)


From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


Balad, Iraq--Staff Sgt. Vincent Worrell, 25, of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne (above) earned his second Purple Heart in one year when he was injured in an IED blast while patrolling in Tel Afar, Iraq, on Nov. 6, 2005. Doctors were treating his injuries in the U.S. Air Force Combat Support Hospital in Balad, Iraq, before he was transported to the hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, and then on to the United States. Worrell is stationed at Ft. Bragg and lives in Fayetteville, N.C. "I'm pretty happy with how everything has healed up," said Worrell recently while recovering at home. "It's really not that bad. I don't plan on having any plastic surgery or anything. It's just a couple of little scars. No big deal."
From DIGITAL JOURNALIST


U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Baghdad, Iraq
April 26, 2006
Source: U.S. Department of Defense
Author Original uploader Wirya at en.wikipedia


George W. Bush
AP - 09-08-2007


Iraqis fleeing to neighboring countries
The growing Chaldean Catholic Iraqi refugees
Jordan, 2007
From Wikipedia


In 2007, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani says the U.S.-led invasion of his country in March 2003 has turned into an occupation with dire consequences for Iraq.
Addressing the Arab summit in the Saudi capital, Talabani stated, "The decision to turn the liberation of Iraq into an occupation ... with the dire consequences, this had internally and the fears (it aroused) in Arab, regional and international arenas, all this was contrary to what Iraqi parties and national forces were planning at the time," AFP said.
"This applies equally to many hasty decisions and measures taken by the occupation's civil administration without understanding the Iraqis' point of view and the impacts they had on the situation in the country and the political process as a whole," he said.
('Talabani slams U.S. policy in Iraq' © 2009 Press TV., Thu, 29 Mar 2007 21:16:03 GMT)


Iraqi insurgents from as-Sahab, December 2007
Source Clip from the 4th interview of Zawahiri by as-Sahab
Author as-Sahab
From Wikipedia


Challenger II, main battle tank
British Royal Scots Dragon Guards
A training exercise Nov. 17, 2008, in Basra, Iraq
Source defenselink.mil
Author Gustavo Olgiati, U.S. Army
From Wikipedia


President Bush applauds former British PM Tony Blair
after presenting him with the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom
East Room of the White House, 13 January 2009
Source whitehouse.gov
Author White House photo by Chris Greenberg
From Wikipedia


President Barack Obama and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani
Discussion on the success of the U.S.-Iraq security agreement
and the growing diplomatic ties
A visit to Camp Victory, Iraq, April 7, 2009
Source defenselink.mil
Author Spc. Kimberly Millett, USA
From Wikipedia



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