Monday, November 30, 2009

THE LAST ROCOCO PAINTER





Self-Portrait. c.1760
Oil on canvas
Musée-Villa Fragonard, Grasse, France
From Olga's Gallery


Self Portrait, Louvre
From 1ST-ART-GALLERY


Fragonard, Jean-Honoré (1732-1806). French painter whose scenes of frivolity and gallantry are among the most complete embodiments of the Rococo spirit. He was a pupil of Chardin for a short while and also of Boucher, before winning the Prix de Rome in 1752. From 1756 to 1761 he was in Italy, where he eschewed the work of the approved masters of the High Renaissance, but formed a particular admiration for Tiepolo.
He travelled and drew landscapes with Hubert Robert and responded with especial sensitivity to the gardens of the Villa d'Este at Tivoli, memories of which occur in paintings throughout his career. In 1765 he became a member of the Academy with his historical picture in the Grand Manner Coroesus Sacrificing himself to Save Callirhoe (Louvre, Paris). He soon abandoned this style, however, for the erotic canvases by which he is chiefly known (The Swing, Wallace Collection, London, c. 1766). After his marriage in 1769 he also painted children and family scenes. He stopped exhibiting at the Salon in 1767 and almost all his work was done for private patrons. Among them was Mme du Barry, Louis XV's most beautiful mistress, for whom he painted the works that are often regarded as his masterpieces -- the four canvases representing The Progress of Love (Frick Collection, New York, 1771-73). These, however, were returned by Mme du Barry and it seems that taste was already turning against Fragonard's lighthearted style. He tried unsuccessfully to adapt himself to the new Neoclassical vogue, but in spite of the admiration and support of David he was ruined by the Revolution and died in poverty.
Fragonard was a prolific painter, but he rarely dated his works and it is not easy to chart his stylistic development. Alongside those of Boucher, his paintings seem to sum up an era. His delicate coloring, witty characterization, and spontaneous brushwork ensured that even his most erotic subjects are never vulgar, and his finest work has an irresistible verve and joyfulness.
(Nicolas Pioch at WebMuseum


Portrait of a Woman with a Dog
Oil on canvas
Fletcher Fund, 1937
From The Metropolitan Museum of Art


The sitter's costume (above) recalls the court dress of Marie de Medici (1573–1642) as recorded by Rubens in the series of paintings now in the Louvre which Fragonard is known to have studied. Around and perhaps after 1769, Fragonard executed ten three-quarter length portraits of men in theatrical costume, for which the identity of some of the sitters is known. A Woman with a Dog and three other female subjects are the same size and form a related group. Some writers have mistakenly identified the subject of this portrait as the artist's aunt or sister.
(Stein, Perrin. "Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000)


The Stolen Kiss, 1756–61
Oil on canvas
A version from the Hermitage Museum
Source album.foto.ru
From Wikipedia


The above picture is one of the few highly finished works painted by Fragonard during his first Italian sojourn from 1756 to 1761. It belonged to the bailiff of Bréteuil, who was ambassador to Rome from Malta in 1760. An oil sketch for the picture is in the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg. While the figure on the left and the background on the right remind us that Fragonard was trained under Boucher, the color harmonies and rich atmosphere anticipate his style of the mid-1760s.
(Stein, Perrin. "Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000)
Embodying the freedom and curiosity of the French Enlightenment, Jean-Honoré Fragonard developed an exuberant and fluid manner as a painter, draftsman, and printmaker. Prolific and inventive, he abandoned early on the conventional career path dictated by the hierarchical structure of the Royal Academy, working largely for private patrons. His work constitutes a further elaboration of the Rococo idiom established by Antoine Watteau and François Boucher, a manner perfectly suited to his subjects, which favored the playful, the erotic, and the joys of domesticity.
Born in the Provençal city of Grasse, Fragonard moved with his family to Paris in 1738. He spent some time in the busy studio of François Boucher before successfully competing for the Prix de Rome in 1752. He then pursued studies at the École Royale des Elèves Protégés in Paris, following the standard training for a history painter.
In 1756, Fragonard was sent to Italy as a pensioner of the crown; he remained at the French Academy in Rome until 1761. From the numerous black chalk copies he executed there, it is clear that he held masters of the Baroque in the highest esteem, copying works in Rome, Naples, and Venice. Many, such as Saint Celestine V Renouncing the Papacy, were made with eventual publication as prints in mind. He also produced brilliant red chalk drawings of the gardens of the Villa d'Este at Tivoli and painted small cabinet-size paintings for French private collectors living in Rome. The Stolen Kiss was painted for the bailiff of Breteuil, French ambassador to the Order of Malta in Rome. As in the pastorals of his former master Boucher, Fragonard's rustic protagonists are envisioned with billowing silk clothing, engaged in amorous pursuits.
(Stein, Perrin. "Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000)
Back in Paris in 1761, Fragonard found an eager market for his cabinet pictures, which melded the influences of Italian Baroque painting and seventeenth-century Dutch landscape. The spectacular critical success of Coresus and Callirhoë (Musée du Louvre, Paris), which he submitted to the Royal Academy in 1765, led to high hopes that he would be the salvation of history painting in France. However, it was a promise he chose not to fulfill, neglecting royal commissions in favor of work for private collectors.
During this period, he further developed the painterly surface of his canvases, working with great rapidity and little blending, giving pictorial form to the qualities of "fire" and "genius" so admired by contemporary collectors. The Portrait of a Woman with a Dog is related to an inventive series of virtuoso imaginary portraits referred to collectively as the Figures de fantaisie. They feature archaic costumes, often vaguely Spanish or Rubensian in inspiration, and brushwork so rapid and undisguised that it would have previously been associated with oil sketches rather than finished works.
(Stein, Perrin. "Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000)


Coresus and Callirhoe (First version), c. 1762-1765
Oil on canvas
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Angers
From Olga's Gallery


A Gathering at Woods' Edge, ca. 1765–73
Red chalk
Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1995
From The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Similar achievements can be cited in the realm of drawing. A Gathering at Woods' Edge, 1765 (above), like many sheets Fragonard made for the increasingly active collector's market, is not a study for a painting, but a finished work of art on paper. In its unhesitating technique and varied range of graphic notation, it is testimony to Fragonard's unmatched mastery of the red chalk medium and to his endearing vision of nature as welcoming and wondrous.
(Stein, Perrin. "Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000)
Unlike the majority of Fragonard's red chalk landscapes, made during a summer at Tivoli in 1760, this drawing is a work of the artist's maturity, probably dating to just before his second trip to Italy in 1773–74. Dense deciduous trees recall the forests around Paris rather than the Roman countryside. The unhesitating, even virtuoso, handling suggests that this is an independent work, probably created in the studio from a related plein-air study now in a private collection. A stand of mature trees, bursting with profuse sunlit foliage, guards the shady entrance to the woods. In a characteristic manipulation of scale, Fragonard presents small groupings of elegant figures, half lost in shadow, as restrained echoes of the vigor and fecundity of the overgrown landscape. The dramatic naturalism associated with the Dutch landscapists, especially Jacob van Ruisdael, is here merged with a vision of nature as a welcoming milieu for aristocratic dalliance, a legacy of Watteau's fêtes galantes.
(Stein, Perrin. "Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000)


The Swing, probably 1765
Oil on canvas
The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA
From Olga's Gallery


The Swing (French: L'escarpolette), 1767
Oil on canvas
Wallace Collection, London
From Wikipedia


The Swing (detail)
From Corel Corporation


This picture (above) became an immediate success, not merely for its technical excellence, but for the scandal behind it. The young nobleman is not only getting an interesting view up the lady's skirt, but she is being pushed into this position by her priest-lover, shown in the rear.
(bc.edu/bc_org)


A Young Girl Reading, c. 1770-72
Oil on canvas
National Gallery of Art, Washington
From The Artchive


A Young Girl Reading (above) is aglow with the softest of umbers, the rich color darkening and paling as it follows the girl's youthful contours. Her back is supported by a sort of maternal abundance of rosy pillow, but there is an almost horizontal element in the board under her arm except where her charming sleeve has overlapped its rigid outline. She is intent upon her book, as unprotected as any Boucher nymph.
The sweetness of A Young Girl Reading, its almost Renoirish charm, should not blind us to its strength and solidity. There is a geometrical framework to the softness of the adolescent reader: a strong, vertical swathe of yellow brown wall, and the gleaming horizontal bar of the armrest. It is this ability to transcend decoration that distinguishes Fragonard. Look at the girl's neck and bosom: delicious frills and ribbons, and the crinkling descent of the silks, yet there is the firm basis of a real, plump, human body. As in Blindman's Buff, the literal theme of this picture is held in an unstated context of solemnity. Like Boucher, Fragonard is more profound than he seems, and his genuine sensitivity is becoming increasingly apparent.
(Sister Wendy's Story of Painting by Sister Wendy Beckett at The Artchive)


The Lover Crowned, c. 1771-73
Oil on Canvas
Frick Collection, New York
From Ancien Regime-Rococo


In 1771, Fragonard was commissioned to paint a series of panels for the chateau at Louveciennes, the "love nest" of Madame du Barry, the beautiful mistress of Louis XV. His assigned theme was "The Progress of Love," and Fragonard selected to illustrate a variety of stratagems and tactics which lovers have always used. Like its companion piece, the "Meeting", this panel (above) is set in a luscious, albeit imaginary garden. Its title is "The Lover Crowned" and while it may describe only the delicate pose which the couple strike for their friend to sketch, the obvious erotic implications are that the young man has received more than just a crown.
These beautiful pictures, however, were returned by Mme du Barry and it seems that artistic taste was already turning against Fragonard's lighthearted style. He tried unsuccessfully to adapt himself to the new Neoclassical vogue, but in spite of the admiration and support of David he was ruined by the Revolution and died in poverty.
What kind of reaction does the artist expect from this work? Why has he placed the action in such a clearly fictional landscape? What are the elements that make the scene seem so peaceful and yet charged with passion?
(Ancien Regime-Rococo)


The Meeting, 1771-72
One of the panels from The Progress of Love series
Oil on canvas
The Frick Collection, New York, USA
From Olga's Gallery


Obviously, the "Meeting" (above)- usually a secret one and always in a pleasant garden - is a key element. This charming picture, with its combination of imaginary landscape and aristocratic dress, is often presented as the epitome of ancien regime art. What are the elements that make it so?
(Ancien Regime-Rococo)


The Loves of the Shepherds: Love Letters, 1771-73
One of the panels from The Progress of Love series
Oil on canvas
The Frick Collection, New York, USA
From Olga's Gallery


The Pursuit, 1771-72
One of the panels from The Progress of Love series
Oil on canvas. The Frick Collection, New York, USA
From Olga's Gallery


Shortly after the disappointment of Madame du Barry's rejection of the Louveciennes panels, Fragonard agreed to embark on a second trip to Italy (1773–74) as artistic companion to Pierre-Jacques-Onésyme Bergeret de Grancourt, a wealthy fermier général. A great many drawings are associated with this trip, their style quite distinct from those Fragonard made on his first trip. Seated Man Reading probably belongs to a series of informal red chalk portraits Fragonard drew of Bergeret's friends and acquaintances along the way. A Fisherman Pulling a Net and A Fisherman Leaning on an Oar must have been made during the two months the party spent in Naples in spring of 1774. He also adopted at this time the technique of brush and brown wash, which he employed with a freedom and facility paralleling his oil paintings of the 1760s.
After his return to France, Fragonard made various attempts to remake his style in the newly popular Neoclassical manner with its planar compositions and smooth surfaces, although the tide of changing taste was ultimately too strong for him. After the French Revolution, he held administrative positions at the Louvre, but his work had fallen from favor and he died in relative obscurity in 1806.
(Stein, Perrin. "Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000)


Seated Man Reading, ca. 1773–74
Red chalk
Gift of Mrs. Howard J. Sachs and Peter G. Sachs
in memory of Miss Edith L. Sachs, 1978
From The Metropolitan Museum of Art


This confident drawing of a seated man absorbed in his book (above) is closely related to a group of portraitlike drawings made by Fragonard on his second trip to Italy sponsored by the fermier général Pierre-Jacques-Onésyme Bergeret de Grancourt. Drawn in a rapid, confident outline and shaded to convey tone and shadow, this drawing presents its subject with an admirable economy of means. Oddly cropped at the ankle, the sitter may have been observed by the artist across a table and partially obscured. The unconventional composition attests to the informality of the sheet.
(Stein, Perrin. "Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000)


A Fisherman Pulling a Net, 1774
Red chalk
Purchase, The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 2006
From The Metropolitan Museum of Art


A Fisherman Leaning on an Oar, 1774
Red chalk
Purchase, The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 2006
From The Metropolitan Museum of Art


This pair of drawings (above) almost certainly dates to the spring of 1774, when Fragonard and his patron, Pierre-Jacques Onésyme Bergeret de Grancourt, were lodged at the edge of the Bay of Naples. With their confident and broad handling, the drawings capture the fall of late afternoon sunlight on two barefoot fishermen. In these freshly observed studies, Fragonard has reinvigorated the tradition of traveling artists depicting local figures by adopting a monumental scale.
(Stein, Perrin. "Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000)
Due to the French revolution in summer 1789, Fragonard lost his aristocratic clientèle and had to flee back to his home town, taking all his pictures with him. Until 1898 these were hanging in the Villa Fragonard. Later, they were sold, after they had been sent to be copied by the Lyon painter Labrelie. In Grasse, Jean-Honore Fragonard was received with great honors. He continued to receive commissions. Among others, he painted grisailles of patriotic motifs and motifs of freemasonry in the staircase of the villa now used as Musee Fragonard. This choice of motif can be traced back to his cousin and childhood friend Maubert, a perfume manufacturer, who had bought and refurbished the villa built by Madame Rogon in the 1780s
(art DIRECTORY)
For half a century or more he was so completely ignored that Lübke in his History of Art (1873) omits the very mention of his name. Subsequent reevaluation has confirmed his position among the all-time masters of French painting. The influence of Fragonard's handling of local color and expressive, confident brushstroke on the Impressionists (particularly his grand niece, Berthe Morisot, and Renoir) cannot be overestimated.
(HuntFor.com)
Out of his element in a world changed out of recognition, Fragonard never lost the joy of the times that he lived through. He died in the summer of 1806 of a stroke while eating ice cream. Luxury made him, his joy in it and his skill at portraying it, and in the end, luxury killed him too.
"He who has not lived before the Revolution does not know the sweetness of living." This remark by Talleyrand may serve to exculpate Fragonard's son - for the sin he committed when he burned a large collection of his father's prints saying, "I am offering a holocaust to good taste". Only those who lived it may truly comment on it, and Jean Honoré Fragonard remains the perfect spokesman for an age of momentary pleasures and quick delights, unthinking elegance and never-ending grace.
(contributed by Gifford, Katya at Humanities Web)



Sunday, November 29, 2009

A DAZZLING EIGHT-YEAR SPELL




Rudy Hartono Kurniawan
By kembanggg at photobucket.com

NAME: Rudy Hartono Kurniawan (Nio Hap Liang)
DATE OF BIRTH: Aug 14, 1949
HOMETOWN: Surabaya
FAMILY: Jane Anwar (wife), Christopher (son) and Christine (daughter)

SUCCESS AS AN OFFICIAL: Team manager of the 1984 Thomas Cup team that took back the Cup from China; coached Indonesia's team that won two gold medals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games; team manager of the Indonesian team that won a gold medal at the Athens Olympic Games.

CURRENT POSTS: International Badminton Federation (IBF) vice-president, All-Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) development chairman, owner of shoe factory in Jakarta.

ACHIEVEMENTS

ALL-ENGLAND (FINAL)
1968: bt Tan Aik Huang (Mas)
1969: bt Darmadi (Ina)
1970: bt Svend Pri (Den)
1971: bt Muljadi (Ina)
1972: bt Svend Pri (Den)
1973: bt Christian (Ina)
1974: bt Punch Gunalan (Mas)





1975: lost to Svend Pri (Den)
1976: bt Liem Swie King (Ina)
1978: lost to Liem Swie King (Ina)

THOMAS CUP (FINAL)
1966-1967: lost to Malaysia 3-6
1969-1970: bt Malaysia 7-2
1972-1973: bt Denmark 8-1
1975-1976: bt Malaysia 9-0
1978-1979: bt Denmark 9-0
1981-1982: lost to China 4-5.


(Facts from TheSTARonline)







Believe it or not, there was a time when mention of Indonesia conjured up images of something other than pollution or terrorism. That time was coterminous with the career of badminton star Rudy Hartono—a dazzling eight-year spell from 1968 to 1976, during which Indonesia would be freely associated with agility and brio, not brown haze and bombs. Granted, badminton does not have the massive followings of soccer or cricket. But to its devoted fans there is no sound sweeter than the swish of a goosefeather shuttlecock. Just ask the Indonesians, who arguably are the most fanatical followers of all.
Before the Chinese-Indonesian Hartono, born Nio Hap Liang in 1949, took the badminton world by storm, only one other Indonesian, Tan Joe Hok, had won the coveted All England title—the game's equivalent to Wimbledon. The search was quickly on for another homegrown champion and in Surabaya, the industrial capital of East Java, the young Hartono was being groomed for glory. He trained on concrete at a nearby railway station during the day, and under kerosene lamps at night, under the watchful eye of his father—a player of average ability who channeled frustrated ambitions through his son. "Back then, athletes became successful because of their parents," explains Hartono, now 57 and living in Jakarta, where he works for an oil company. "There was no organization or club, much less sponsorship."
While competing in municipal tournaments, the teenage Hartono caught the eye of national scouts. From that moment on, his rise was the stuff of legend. In 1967, he was part of the Indonesian squad that won the Thomas Cup. The following year, aged 19, he struck out on his own. With the whole country watching back home, Hartono defeated Malaysia's Tan Aik Huang to bring the All England title back to Indonesia. It galvanized the nation. "I remember listening to the match on the radio when I was growing up in Central Java," recalls Clara Joewono, a director at Jakarta's Centre for Strategic and International Studies. "After he won, all the kids in Pekalongan exploded on to the streets with their rackets."
Hartono's playing style, characterized by its ferocious power, earned him eight All England titles, seven of them consecutively. More than that, to a country now riven by religious strife, separatism and economic woes, he was, for eight glorious years, a symbol of unity and pride—badminton's boy king, through whom Indonesia ruled the world.
('Rudy Hartono, His spellbinding victories showed a nation that anything was possible' By Jason Tedjasukmana at TIMEasia)
During his prime years Hartono won men's singles in most of the international tournaments that he entered. He also played on six consecutive Indonesian Thomas Cup (men's international) teams between 1967 and 1982, the first of these when he was only seventeen, helping Indonesia to win four consecutive triennial world team championships (1970, 1973, 1976, 1979). His game was characterized by great power, accuracy, agility, mobility, aggressiveness, and coolness under pressure. In 1997 he was among the first group of players inducted into the World Badminton Hall of Fame.
Hartono competed in badminton at the 1972 Summer Olympics, where badminton was one of two demonstration sports. It was the first time that the sport was part of the Olympic program, and it would become an official Olympic sport 20 years later at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
He won the men's singles event, after beating Jamie Paulson of Canada in the first round, Sture Johnsson of Sweden in the semifinals, and Svend Pri of Denmark in the final 15–6, 15–1.
(The wilkipedia)
For two decades, Rudy Hartono enjoyed success as the world's best badminiton player. But when age caught up, he had a tough time facing up to the fact that he was no longer a winner. RAJES PAUL has the exclusive interview:
BADMINTON great Rudy Hartono flashed a smile when he arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Behind the cheerful demeanour, though, is the story of a superstar whose life nearly fell apart.
After two decades of success and glory as the world’s best badminton player, age and the defeats that came with it were just too much for him to handle. Rudy, however, found there was something beyond success and fame to remain sane in the world, as he related during our 45-minute journey from KLIA to Eastin Hotel, where he later gave an hour’s talk on “More than Conquerors” during the second anniversary dinner of The Star’s Christian Fellowship.
Looking back at his life, Rudy, 55, confessed that it had been a painful experience coming to terms with the fact that he could no longer play competitive badminton after being in the limelight as a champion for two decades.
The third child of eight siblings, Rudy described himself as a “sports-crazy” lad. While the family was in the tailoring business and in dairy farming, he was into athletics, swimming, volleyball, football and badminton, which was his favourite. At nine years old, his talent was evident even as he played on the narrow, cobbled road near his house.
By 11, he was training with a small badminton club set up by his father Zulkarnain in a railway station warehouse. The young Rudy trained here almost the entire day. It all paid off. When he was just 15, Rudy left his hometown Surabaya for Jakarta to join the Thomas Cup centralised training centre.
Just before his 17th birthday, he was a member of the Indonesian team that lost to Malaysia in the Thomas Cup Finals in 1967. His rise to stardom began after he won the first of his eight All-England titles – beating Malaysian and defending champion Tan Aik-Huang. Rudy was only 18.
“As a sportsman, I have always targeted to become a champion –nothing less. As there were no World Championships then, the All-England was considered the pinnacle and my aim and focus were all on that,” reminisced Rudy.
“It was not one or two days of hard work. My first All-England title was a culmination of 10 years of taxing and rigid training. My philosophy was simple: train, train harder, and then train even harder until you win.”
Admitting to being a “man who feared losing”, Rudy said that even during training, he imagined everyone – friends and teammates alike – as his rivals.
“I gave my best in training and the same went for the tournaments.”
But age caught up with Rudy, and suddenly he had to live with losing matches. Unable to cope with the pressure, he wallowed in self-pity and considered himself a big loser in life.
“During my heyday, my main rival was Svend Pri of Denmark. He ended my winning streak in the All-England. The biggest disappointment was at the 1973 Thomas Cup on home ground. Indonesia defeated Denmark 8-1. Unfortunately, the only defeat was mine. I lost to Svend. It was heart-wrenching,” he recalled.
It was in the late 1970s that Rudy really struggled as a player. His last memorable win was over his successor Liem Swie King at the 1980 World Championships final in Jakarta.
“I was surprised to be in the final that year,” he said.
“Swie King was playing very well and I could hardly beat him, even in training. I prayed that I would not be humiliated by Swie King. Fortunately I won my first world title.”
The win was sweet for Rudy even though it was soured by rumours that Swie King had been instructed to lose the match to give Rudy a farewell victory.
A defeat to Luan Jin in the third singles of the 1982 Thomas Cup Finals against China marked the sad end of Rudy's badminton career. China defeated Indonesia 5-4 to end the latter's four consecutive Cup titles win. Rudy was then 33.
“I was hopelessly depressed. There was no peace in my heart. I wanted to be a superstar all the time and had set high expectations on myself. I wanted more and more. I had won eight All-England titles and I could not accept the fact that I was not winning any more,” he recounted.
“My life was miserable and I was making it even harder for my loved ones, too.”
“There was so much of pressure and I just could not cope,” added Rudy, who married his number one fan Jane Anwar.
Such was the pressure, he said, that he decided not to encourage his son Christopher (now 26) and daughter Christine (24) to take up badminton.
“There would be great expectations when you are a child of a big star. It would be agonising if the expectations were not met. I just did not want to lose direction in life.”
And where many have not been able to handle the descent from fame – actress Marilyn Monroe, Hong Kong singer Leslie Cheung, novelist Ernest Hemingway, and Svend Pri, to name a few – Rudy has conquered his self-doubts. He now knows where he’s headed, and he is even ready to lead others.
(TheSTARonline)


Lei Lingwei & Rudy Hartono
By wundig at photobucket.com


By odietoelle at photobucket.com


Rudy Hartono Kurniawan, 2007
By Eric Thor at mightyt.blogspot.com



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