Category Archives: Iraq

Bush Convicted of War Crimes in Absentia

open quoteKuala Lumpur — It’s official; George W Bush is a war criminal.

In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former US President and seven key members of his administration were yesterday (Fri) found guilty of war crimes.

Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.

The trial held in Kuala Lumpur heard harrowing witness accounts from victims of torture who suffered at the hands of US soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They included testimony from British man Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantanamo detainee and Iraqi woman Jameelah Abbas Hameedi who was tortured in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.

At the end of the week-long hearing, the five-panel tribunal unanimously delivered guilty verdicts against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their key legal advisors who were all convicted as war criminals for torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.close quote (Read more)

Iraqi students killed for having ‘strange hair and tight clothes’

If this happened in a country our politicians WANT to invade, this would be front page news for weeks. Instead, it is a side note.

open quoteYoungsters in Iraq are being stoned to death for having haircuts and wearing clothes that emulate the ‘emo’ style popular among western teenagers.

At least 14 youths have been killed in the capital Baghdad in the past three weeks in what appears to be a campaign by Shia militants.

Militants in Shia neighbourhoods, where the stonings have taken place, circulated lists yesterday naming more youths targeted to be killed if they do not change the way they dress.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2112960/90-students-Iraq-stoned-death-having-Emo-hair-tight-clothes.html#ixzz1p6mDv11M
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Mondoweiss: What did AIPAC do and when did it do it? (Iraq)

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As I pointed out yesterday, the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Democratic-Party-linked thinktank in D.C., has met quietly with officials of the Israel lobby group AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and explicitly sought to squelch suggestions by its own journalists that AIPAC is pushing war on Iran.

Notably it squelched a CAP blogger, Eli Clifton, who wrote in August at the thinktank’s site that AIPAC’s summons to Congress for sanctions on Iran “brings to mind eery parallels” to its campaign for Iraq sanctions that paved the way for that stupid war. Clifton’s piece concluded:

It would appear that AIPAC is now using the same escalating measures against Iran that were used before the invasion of Iraq.

But in December the thinktank came under heat from a neocon smear campaign that accused Clifton and others of anti-Semitism, and CAP put its tail between its legs and stuck a long amendment to Clifton’s piece, kinda eviscerating it:

we want to make clear that we are not reporting on whether AIPAC lobbied for the Iraq war.

Also as a matter of clarification, international sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, particularly those engineered by the Obama administration, are useful…

What is the truth here?

Though AIPAC wants to deny it now, it lobbied for the Iraq war. And CAP is participating in a coverup.

Here’s the data:

Back in 2000, AIPAC specifically worked to ramp up sanctions on Iraq because of its “weapons of mass destruction.” Remember them? In March 2000, AIPAC circulated an Action Alert to Congress, urging its members to put pressure on Congress to pressure the Clinton administration.

If sanctions were lifted, Saddam could spend the oil revenue to accelerate Iraq’s military programs rather than on the humanitarian needs of Iraqi citizens.

It is essential that you contact your representative today and urge them to sign the letter to President Clinton:

Very similar to the Iran sanctions AIPAC pushed last summer.

Then in April 2003, according to JWeekly, AIPAC rose up against a congressional effort led by California Republican Tom Campbell, then taking on Dianne Feinstein in a Senate race, to weaken those sanctions:

The military threat from Iraq is a major concern of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which favors retaining economic sanctions.

“Lifting sanctions wouldn’t benefit the Iraqi people,” said Amy Friedkin, an AIPAC national vice president who lives in San Francisco. Rather, it would enable Saddam to obtain more oil money, and use it to amass more weapons. That would constitute a danger to the rest of the Middle East and the world, she added…

Campbell and his allies are now rallying behind H.R. 3825, legislation by Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) that would allow U.S. companies to export food and medicine to Iraq outside of the U.N. oil-for-food program. Campbell and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) are among the bill’s co-sponsors.

Friedkin said AIPAC opposes the bill, although the organization recognizes the sponsors’ “very compassionate reasons” for proposing it.

Elliot Brandt, AIPAC’s Pacific Northwest regional director, said: “AIPAC has no desire to hurt the people of Iraq, but we have a vested interest in hurting Saddam Hussein’s ability to build weapons of mass destruction. Rather than blaming the sanctions for hurting the people of Iraq, we should be putting the blame on Saddam Hussein, who is cynically and cruelly using his people as a political card to generate sympathy and support.”

Talk about eery parallels: When Obama tried to stop sanctions on the Iran Central Bank, AIPAC posterized Obama in the Senate 100-0 last December.

Let’s skip forward to the Iraq war itself, 2003.

In The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Walt and Mearsheimer clearly show that AIPAC pushed the Iraq war, though quietly.

AIPAC usually supports what Israel wants, and Israel certainly wanted the United States to invade Iraq. Nathan Guttman made this very connection in his reporting [in Haaretz, April 2003] on AIPAC’s annual conference in the spring of 2003, shortly after the war started: “AIPAC is wont to support whatever is good for Israel, and so long as Israel supports the war, so too do the thousands of the AIPAC lobbyists who convened in the American capital.” AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr’s statement to the New York Sun in January 2003 is even more revealing, as he acknowledged “‘quietly’ lobbying Congress to approve the use of force in Iraq” was one of “AIPAC’s successes over the past year.” And in a lengthy New Yorker profile of Steven J. Rosen, who was AIPAC’s policy director during the run-up to the Iraq war, Jeffrey Goldberg reported that “AIPAC lobbied Congress in favor of the Iraq war.” 

Dana Milbank reported in the Washington Post on that AIPAC conference as the Iraq war began:

Officially, AIPAC had no position on the merits of a war against Iraq before it started. Officially, Iraq is not the subject of the pro-Israel lobby’s three-day meeting here.

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No Jail Time for Haditha Murderer

open quoteIt was the massacre which left 24 unarmed Iraqis dead and cast fresh shame on the American military, already reeling from Abu-Ghraib.

But a military judge yesterday ruled that the final U.S. soldier to face charges over the notorious assault on Haditha will not be jailed.

Instead, Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, who led the attack, faces no more than three months in confinement after admitting the least serious of three charges – negligent dereliction of duty.

He had initially been implicated in 19 of the deaths. Among the victims were seven children and a 76-year-old man in a wheelchair.close quote (Read more)

Panetta makes 9/11 gaffe in Iraq

open quoteNewly appointed US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told American troops in Baghdad on Monday that 9/11 was the reason they were in Iraq, before he was quickly corrected by his spokesman.

“The reason you guys are here is because of 9/11. The US got attacked and 3,000 human beings got killed because of Al-Qaeda,” Panetta told about 150 soldiers at the Camp Victory US base.

“We’ve been fighting as a result of that,” he said.

The administration of former US President George W. Bush had hastily linked Saddam Hussein, the ousted Iraqi dictator, to the 9/11 attacks.

That was one of the justifications for the 2003 US-led invasion, but the argument has since been widely dismissed.close quote (Read more from news.yahoo.com)

I’m not surprised when they say stupid things. I’m surprised on the rare occasions when they don’t.

Missing Iraq cash ‘as high as $18bn’

open quoteOsama al-Nujaifi, the Iraqi parliament speaker, has told Al Jazeera that the amount of Iraqi money unaccounted for by the US is $18.7bn – three times more than the reported $6.6bn.

Just before departing for a visit to the US, al-Nujaifi said that he has received a report this week based on information from US and Iraqi auditors that the amount of money withdrawn from a fund from Iraqi oil proceeds, but unaccounted for, is much more than the $6.6bn reported missing last week.

“There is a lot of money missing during the first American administration of Iraqi money in the first year of occupation.

“Iraq’s development fund has lost around $18bn of Iraqi money in these operations – their location is unknown. Also missing are the documents of expenditure.

“I think it will be discussed soon. There should be an answer to where has Iraqi money gone.”

The Bush administration flew in a total of $20bn in cash into the country in 2004. This was money that had come from Iraqi oil sales, surplus funds from the UN oil-for-food programme and seized Iraqi assets.

Officials in Iraq were supposed to give out the money to Iraqi ministries and US contractors, intended for the reconstruction of the country.

‘No trace’

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Iraqi officials argue that the US government was supposed to safeguard the stash under a 2004 legal agreement it signed with Iraq, hence making Washington responsible for the cash that has disappeared.close quote (Read more from english.aljazeera.net)