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[UrukNet] - [Daily Information from Occupied Iraq] - [newsletter 28 Mar 2006 - Part One]

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:: information from occupied iraq
:: informazione dall'iraq occupato

Riverbend, Baghdad Burning
I sat late last night switching between Iraqi channels (the half dozen or
so I sometimes try to watch). It?s a late-night tradition for me when
there?s electricity- to see what the Iraqi channels are showing (...) I was
reading the little scrolling news headlines on the bottom of the page. The
usual- mortar fire on an area in Baghdad, an American soldier killed here,
another one wounded there? 12 Iraqi corpses found in an area in Baghdad,
etc. Suddenly, one of them caught! my attention and I sat up straight on
the sofa, wondering if I had read it correctly. (...) The line said: "The
Ministry of Defense requests that civilians do not comply with the orders
of the army or police on nightly patrols unless they are accompanied by
coalition forces working in that area." That?s how messed up the country is
at this point....

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22037&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22037

The Media and Iraq: What's Wrong With This Picture?
Gabriel Rotello
Mr. Bush wants to know why the media don't publish more "success stories"
about Iraq. I want to know the opposite: why the media don't publish photos
and videos that -- in no uncertain terms -- show the blood-drenched truth.
Watching TV news or reading the papers, you'd think this was a war without
human faces. There are no victims, only numbers. "39 Killed." "50 Dead."
But where are the bodies? That's right, the mangled, gouged, decapitated,
amp! utated, burned bodies? I'll tell you where: On File. Locked away in
the photo and video archives of the major news organizations. The
supposedly "negative" media are deliberately holding back from actually
showing us the negative human costs of Bush's war, and that puts the lie to
any blather about how negative they really are...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22033&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22033

Video exposes cold-blooded murders
Massacred by the Marines
Nicole Colson , Socialist Workers
"IT WAS a massacre in every sense of the word." That?s how Khaled Ahmed
Rsayef described the murder of 15 Iraqi civilians--including his brother
and six other relatives--by U.S. Marines last November. The full horror of
what the victims faced in their final minutes was made public last week in
a Time magazine report detailing what witnesses say was a calculated mass
killing by Marines on a rampage...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22029&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22029

ACLU: Pentagon concedes Abu Ghraib photo, video case
The American Civil Liberties Union today announced that the Department of
Defense has withdrawn its appeal of a district court order compelling it to
turn over images depicting detainee abuse by U.S. forces at Abu Ghraib
prison in Iraq. The Defense Department will identify which public images
come from the contested trove and release any additional images in its

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22027&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22027

Tomgram: Michael Schwartz on Why the Media Gets the War Wrong
Tom Engelhardt & Michael Schwartz
The media loves anniversaries, the grimmer the better. On the third
anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, our newspapers and TV news were filled
to the brim with retrospectives on the origins of the Iraq war,
reassessments of how it was conducted by the Bush administration, and
reconsiderations of the current quagmire-cum-civil-war in that country. An
amazing aspect of this sort of heavy coverage of events past is the d!
egree of consensus that quickly develops among all mainstream outlets on
certain fundamental (and fundamentally controversial) issues...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22022&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22022

Kurdistan: Meet the New Bosses
Aaron Glantz, CommonDreams.org
The neocons in Washington love to talk about how they're promoting freedom
and democracy in Iraq. They often cite as their example the country's
Kurdish population, staunch allies of Washington, who have been protected
by the American military since no-fly zones were imposed after the 1991
Gulf War. But just how much freedom is there in northern Iraq? Consider the
case of Dr. Kamal Sayid Qadir, a well-known Kurdish writer, lawyer, and
university lectu! rer who holds Austrian citizenship. He was picked up by
the Kurdish security service in Arbil on Oct. 26. This week, he was
sentenced to a year and a half in prison for defaming Kurdish leader
Massood Barzani..

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22020&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22020

More "progress" in Iraq - gays being slaughtered
Eli Stephens, Left I on the News
...AP may think that the "status" (presumably they mean the legal status)
of gays and lesbians remains unclear, but the situation of gays and
lesbians is a lot clearer. That is, if you read sources other than the
corporate media, which as far as I can tell have yet to breath a word about
the fate of gays in Iraq, who are being systematically persecuted and
killed in Iraq thanks to a death-to-gays fatwa issued by Shiite Muslim
leade! r Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani last October...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22026&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22026

Shiites Say U.S. Is Pressuring Iraqi Leader to Step Aside
Senior Shiite politicians said today that the American ambassador has told
Shiite officials to inform the Iraqi prime minister that President Bush
does not want him to remain the country's leader in the next government. It
is the first time the Americans have directly intervened in the furious
debate over the country's top job, the politicians said, and it is
inflaming tensions between the Americans and some Shiite leaders...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22019&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22019

Today in Iraq
Baghdad: Three groups of gunmen wearing military uniforms but arriving in
civilian cars kidnap at least 24 Iraqis working at a money exchange and two
electronics stores in Baghdad Tuesdady. The assaults happened separately
but within the same half-hour period. Car bomb explodes as police exchanged
fire with two attackers outside a police station south of Baghdad, wounding
at least a dozen people. Five people wounded when roadside bomb explodes
near r! estaurant in north Baghdad. Member of interior ministry's public
order brigade injured by gunfire in the southern Dura district. Iraqi
intelligence agent shot by gunmen in the southern Risala neighborhood.
Iraqi police patrols find 14 dead bodies in execution-style in western
Baghdad district. The bodies were blindfolded, bound and shot in the head.
Civilian injured when vehicle filled with explosives detonates in
northwestern Baghdad. Tikrit: Gunmen attack car carrying Iraqi contractors
in Tikrit, killing two and wounding one. The men provided construction and
other services to U.S. troops...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22014&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22014

Halabja Protesters May Face Death Penalty
Amanj Khalil in Sulaimaniyah (ICR No. 169, 23-Mar-06)
Demonstrators who last week torched a monument to the victims of a gas
attack on Halabja could face the death penalty if convicted, according to a
judge investigating the incident (...) Locals said they mounted the
demonstration because of anger at what they said was cynical exploitation
of their plight by local politicians (...) A security source, speaking on
condition of anonymity, said authorities have arrested abou! t 80 people.
Kurdish regional government spokesman Jamal Abdullah said 40 to 45 remain
in custody, suspected of setting the monument on fire and inciting
violence. Local human rights groups have not been allowed to see the
detainees. All of the demonstration's organisers are now in hiding. "I'm
afraid of being arrested and tortured to confess things I haven't done,"
said one who asked not to be named...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22025&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22025

Halliburton overcharged for Iraq oil work: report
Oil services company Halliburton Co. repeatedly overcharged taxpayers and
provided substandard cost reports under a $1.2 billion contract to restore
Iraq?s southern oil fields, according to a new report by U.S. Rep. Henry
Waxman (news, bio, voting record). Waxman, a California Democrat, said
Democratic staff members of the House Committee on Government Reform
examined a series of government audits and correspondence that criticized
Halliburton?s performanc! e under the "Restore Iraqi Oil 2Åç (RIO2)

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22028&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22028

The continued madness of King George
Doug Thompson
With all the public furor over his use of the National Security Agency to
spy on Americans, and the near-mutiny in the Republican party over his
high-handed approach to the Presidency, you'd think George W. Bush might
have learned a thing or two about the dangers of arrogance. Nah, not our
despot-in-chief, King Dubya. When he signed the extension of the USA
Patriot act into law, he added his own "addendum" to the law that says he
doesn't have to tell Congress a d! amn thing about what he and his storm
troopers are up to when it comes to abusing the expanded police powers
included in the bill...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22031&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22031

Soldiers flee to Canada to avoid Iraq duty
Duncan Campbell, The Guardian
Hundreds of deserters from the US armed forces have crossed into Canada and
are now seeking political refugee status there, arguing that violations of
the rules of war in Iraq by the US entitle them to asylum. decision on a
test case involving two US servicemen is due shortly and is being watched
with interest by fellow servicemen on both sides of the border. At least 20
others have already applied for asylum and there are an estimated 400 ! in
Canada out of more than 9,000 who have deserted since the conflict started
in 2003...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22030&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22030

Fitzgerald Will Seek New White House Indictments
Jason Leopold
It may seem as though it's been moving along at a snail's pace, but the
second part of the federal investigation into the leak of covert CIA agent
Valerie Plame Wilson is nearly complete, with attorneys and government
officials who have remained close to the probe saying that a grand jury
will likely return an indictment against one or two senior Bush
administration officials. These sources work or worked at the State
Department, the CIA and the Natio! nal Security Council. Some of these
sources are attorneys close to the case. They requested anonymity because
they were not permitted to speak publicly about the details of the

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22032&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22032

U.S. appeals to Iraq's top cleric to help end political impasse
Nancy A. Youssef and Warren P. Strobel, Knight Ridder Newspapers
U.S. officials sent a message this week to Iraq's senior religious cleric
asking that he help end the impasse over forming a new Iraqi government and
strongly implying that the prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jafaari, should
withdraw his candidacy for re-election, according to American officials.
The unusual decision by the White House to reach out to Grand Ayatollah Ali
al-Sistani suggested! how eager the Bush administration is to jump-start
negotiations that have failed to produce Iraq's first permanent postwar
government more than three months after national elections...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22018&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22018

The Cowards Path
An open letter to Ralph Nader
Linda H Riegler
Dear Mr. Nader, Sir, I owe you an apology? (...) In the 2000 elections even
as I was impassioned by your words, and although inspired by your courage
in a way that has alluded me since my youth. I sat silently applauding you
(I even considered "vote-swapping"), but in the end, I cast my vote for Al
Gore. I was completely secure in my convictions. As desperately, as we
needed you, it was far more critical to elect Al Gore than to risk (I?d b!
een doing my homework over the last twenty years) allowing America to fall
into the hands of George Bush and Dick Cheney (...) I understand now, that
I am a war criminal. I am responsible. I am complicit in disseminating
depleted uranium throughout the Middle East. I am responsible for the
renditions, for Abu Ghraib, for the torture, for the illegal spying, etc. I
am responsible. I am responsible for it all...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22017&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22017

A Man?s Word
Monica Benderman
... My husband, Sgt. Kevin Benderman, chose to no longer participate in
war. He followed the Army regulations, filed a Conscientious Objector
application, and acted honorably every step of the way. His unit commanders
chose to punish him for not allowing them to control him with their
threats, and my husband went to jail simply because his commanders had no
integrity, no honor and no respect for the very constitution they had given
a sworn oath to uphold. Sadly -- the military admini! stration has sided
with my husband?s commanders to this point...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22016&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22016

Iraq has not fallen
Truth About Iraqis
It is a rarity these days to see good news coming out of Iraq. Sure, I am
not talking about the planted US military version of events or the bloggers
on "assignment in Iraq" embedded with some military unit. Nor am I talking
about the so-called valor and bravery of the Iraqi Army as it storms the
hideouts of "insurgents" and scores kills against women and children. No, I
am indeed talking about the voice of one woman, who has in nearly three
years saved the writing of histor! y from those who seek to enslave it,
refashion it to their own whims and manipulate it for generations to come...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22015&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22015

It's the Media, Stupid
Ramzy Baroud
There is little disagreement on the indispensable role of the media in
influencing political debate and narrative, thus shaping public discourse.
Among progressives, liberals and most political minorities in the United
States and Europe, there is an equal consensus regarding the troubling
alliance that is bringing warmongering politicians, ideologues, religious
zealots and media moguls together. They alone possess the capabilities to
sway the public in any way they wish, or! so it seems; they stack a
nation's priorities in the way they find most fit; they concoct wars and
justify them when they go awry. In short, they manipulate democracy by
manipulating the public, using whatever means necessary: fear,
misinformation and all the familiar rest...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22012&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22012

Iraq: Prosecutions threaten freedom of expression in northern Iraq
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is greatly concerned by the prosecutions of two
critics of the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq and the threat these
pose to freedom of expression in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Kamal
Sayid Qadir, an Austrian national of Kurdish origin, has been imprisoned
since October 2005 for allegedly defaming Kurdish political leaders, while
high school teacher and journalist Hawez Hawezi is facing prose! cution,
also on defamation charges...

<http://www.uruknet.info/?s1=1&p=22013&s2=29>Read the full article / Leggi
l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=22013

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