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[UrukNet] - [Daily Information from Occupied Iraq] - [newsletter 26 Apr 2006]

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Malcom Lagauche
...Hundreds of millions of people agree that the invasion of Iraq was
illegal. Its president, Saddam Hussein, represented Iraq before March 2003
and, according to many legal experts, is still the legal president of the
country. Some world leaders, such as Moammar Ghadafi of Libya, openly say
that Saddam is still the legal president. Saddam Hussein represents the
offended country in this case and he should be released from prison.
Saddam?s plight and that of the Iraqi people are identi! cal. Anyone who
says that the invasion was illegal and blames the U.S. for the apocalyptic
conditions in Iraq, must support the freeing of Saddam Hussein. Any other
stance is not only illogical, but cowardly (...) Saddam Hussein never
signed a surrender document. He never signed a letter of resignation. He is
still the president of Iraq. If a movement is started to free him, it will
be the first step toward justice. What happens later is unforeseen and
irrelevant at this time...

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The Biggest Gas Station on Earth
Mike Whitney
...In Iraq, we see a nation that has been utterly destroyed to service the
energy needs of a foreign economy. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people
have been killed, maimed, displaced or traumatized. The water and soil has
been poisoned with depleted uranium, malnutrition has grown to epidemic
levels, academics and intellectuals have been assassinated by death squads;
museums, graveyards, war memorials and mosques have been looted or
demolished in a wanton act of c! ultural genocide. The entire civilization
is being decimated to fill the coffers of oil magnates, plutocrats, and
corrupt politicians. Presently, the finishing touches are being put on an
$800 million American embassy in Baghdad, a "fortress-like compound the
size of Vatican City". It symbolizes America?s determination to subjugate
the Iraqi people and pilfer their resources. It will be the biggest gas
station on earth; a fitting testimonial to George Bush and the Washington

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There is No ?Israel Lobby?
Kim Petersen
...Given that most of Palestine has been annexed to the state of "Israel"
through violent force and that the Palestinians who were not ethnically
cleansed had "Israeli" citizenship bestowed upon them, it seems rather a
leap of folly to refer to an "Israel Lobby." No one will argue that the
"Israel Lobby" is representing the interests of "Arab-Israelis." As well as
being inaccurate, to refer to an "Israel Lobby" is disingenuous or worse.
"Israel" has been declared a Jewish s! tate by its Zionist rulers. But Jews
are not a monolith and neither are "Israelis." Since the "Israel Lobby"
does not represent "Arab-Israeli" interests, and since it represents Jewish
interests worldwide, the label "Jewish lobby" (there is no need to
capitalize the "l") would be much more accurate. Also, "Zionist lobby"
would seem to be less accurate because the lobby?s goals are not limited to
Zionism but include policies dedicated to the interests of certain Jewish
"elites." So long as it is not implied that all Jews (since modern Jews
never formed a coherent ethnic or national group, but are peoples who have
shared somewhat the same religion, how can one address them as a homogenous
group? For instance, if a Ukrainian Jew renounces Judaism and declares
atheism, then why should he be treated as Jew that he is no longer?) are
included as lobby members, then there is no reason not to label the "Jewish
lobby" for what it is. Most people would not, after all, object to the l!
abel "Catholic lobby" or "Arab lobby," so why should the label! "Jewish
lobby" be controversial?...

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Deal on US bases sought
Rumsfeld, Rice fly to Baghdad to back new prime minister
Bill Van Auken, WSWS
...Maliki was an ally of Jaafari and is reputed to be a religious
extremist, who zealously implemented the "de-Baathification" program that
saw large numbers of Iraqi professionals expelled from their posts for
serving under the old regime. Indeed, when Rice made her last unannounced
visit to Baghdad barely three weeks ago, she failed to even meet with
Maliki, who then appeared to hold no special attra! ction for the US
administration as it pursued a new form of "regime change" in Baghdad...

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30,000 Troop Drawdown in Iraq? Don?t Believe the Headfake
Think Progress
The headline from the Rumsfeld/Rice trip to Baghdad today is that the
United States might pull out 30,000 troops this year. There?s actually
nothing new in this statement. Since last year, top Bush administration
officials and generals in the field have been saying that significant
withdrawals of US troops were likely to occur in 2006. As many have learned
the hard way, it is more important to watch what the Bush administration
does rather t! han believe what it says. There are troubling signs that the
Bush administration wants to make the U.S. presence permanent in Iraq...

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International Seminar in Madrid 22-23 April 2006
About the assassination of Iraqi academics.
Dirk Adriaensens, BRussells Tribunal
...The pattern of academics assassinated appears to substantiate claims
that a campaign exists and is being conducted to erase a key section of the
secular middle class in Iraq ? a class that has largely resisted the US
occupation of Iraq and refused to be co-opted by the so-called "political
process" or Iraq?s US-installed puppet government. Academics are not the
only! ones being killed: 311 teachers killed the past 4 months, 182 pilots,
416 senior military officers killed in the first 3 months of 2006. 20.000
people kidnapped since the beginning of 2006. It were the Iraqi
intellectuals who asked us to start a campaign to create awareness for this
problem. When we started, it was clear we had to avoid some traps and
pitfalls. I?ll sum up a few of the most important. a)we had to avoid
complicity in any way with the occupying forces and its puppet government.
We don?t want to humanize this dreadful occupation. That?s why we appeal to
international human rights organisations and the UNHCHR to investigate this
matter, and not to the Iraqi puppet government and the occupying forces,
who are the perpetrators of these crimes...

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BBC is actively aiding and abetting in war crimes
Gabriele Zamparini, The Cat's dream
Dear Steve Herrmann, Editor, News Online. Is this another example of BBC?s
independent, fair and balanced reporting? Air strike kills 'Iraq militants'
US forces in Iraq have killed 12 suspected militants and a woman in a raid
and air strike on a house outside Baghdad, military officials said. The
military says troops came under fire when approaching the house, which it
described as a militant hideout. All the dead ! men were said to have been
wearing vests loaded with ammunition. There was no word on US casualties.
Are you paid to print US and UK military dispatches? Who are these 12 men?
And the woman? "Military officials" can say whatever they want, but you are
journalists not soldiers and you work to inform nor to help government?s
propaganda. Where is the skepticism?...

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Guantanamo Bay prisoner 'tried to commit suicide a dozen times'
Andrew Buncombe
A prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, held without charge for more than four years,
has tried to kill himself a dozen times in an attempt to escape the misery
and isolation of his incarceration. On one occasion he tried to take his
life during a visit by his lawyer. Jumah al-Dossari, 33, claims he has been
repeatedly beaten and suffered intense psychological abuse during his years
of incarceration at the US prison camp in Cuba. He says he has! watched US
guards abuse the Koran, that he has been sexually humiliated and regularly
kept in isolation...

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Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Wednesday, 26 April 2006
Translated and/or compiled by Muhammad Abu Nasr, member, editorial board,
the Free Arab Voice. http://www.freearabvoice.org
...An Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded near the Hit gas works, about 140km
northwest of Baghdad on the International Highway running towards Syria
shortly before noon on Wednesday. Quds Press reported local eyewitnesses as
saying that the explosion destroyed a US Humvee wounding a number of US
Marines who were aboard it. The Amer! ican forces immediately surrounded
the area of the blast and began working to haul away the wrecked vehicle.
But then a second Resistance bomb exploded in their midst, killing two US
troops and wounding a number more, according to the witnesses...

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Iraq Black Hole
The $2-Trillion War
Craig Lambert, Harvard Magazine
..."We are not only saddling our young people with this burden," she adds,
"but we are sweeping it under the carpet and not noticing that there?s a
big bump. These costs are locked in. The reality is that the government is
very, very bad at budgeting for long-term costs. And one of the hardest
things about teaching budgeting is that people don?t understand scale. How
big is big? The highest-grossing movie ever, Titanic, took in $1.8 b!
illion. We spend that in Iraq in one week."...

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Peace Takes Courage
Cindy Sheehan
I have a new friend. She is a 15-year-young peace activist named Ava
Lowery. She is disgusted with the war and with the Bush regime, and she has
started to use her talents for animation to make cartoons that oppose Bush
and the war in Iraq. She first came to my attention when I read an article
about all of the ugly hate mail she is getting on her site for a
particularly poignant and brilliant animation she has called: "WWJD." It is
a heartbreaking piece that has a child singing ! "Jesus loves me," and
during the song she shows pictures of dead, wounded, bloody and screaming
Iraqi children. She wanted to show how Jesus loves Iraqi children also,
which is apparently a frightening concept to the people who practice

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Al-Zarqawi Video Is A Pentagon Propaganda Psy-Op
April 10th Washington Post article said US would 'play up' role of Al-Qaeda
in Iraq, target 'US home audience'
Paul Joseph Watson/Prison Planet.com
The Pentagon is engaged in a psychological PR propaganda campaign to
exaggerate the role of Musab Al-Zarqawi in Iraq and link the war in Iraq to
9/11. How do we know? Because their own leaked documents admit it. How else
can we therefore quantify yesterday's 'surprise' release of the Al-Zarqawi
video ! tape as anything other than a cynical ploy on the part of the
Pentagon to hoodwink the American public into believing that George W. Bush
is leading US troops in a brave turf war against global terrorists?...

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Separated at birth, 4/25
Swopa, Needlenose
From a U.S. Department of Defense press release Monday: Rumsfeld said
continued success in Iraq and Afghanistan will help contain extremism in
Iran. "Success in Afghanistan and success in Iraq is critical to containing
the extreme impulses that we see emanating from Iran," he said. Yes, and
accomplishing the trifecta of turning Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran into
chaotic, war-torn, smoldering wrecks will soon turn out to have been
necessary to help contain China...

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Today in Iraq
...Baghdad: A bomb inside a minibus explodes killing a woman and wounding
three other civilians in eastern Baghdad. Two civilians killed and four
wounded when roadside bomb hits police patrol in the Amiriya district of
the capital. Bodies of four people bearing signs of torture and with gun
shot wounds to their heads found in the Kadhmiya and Yarmouk districts.
Civilian killed and two wounded when roadside bomb goes off near police
commando patrol! in Mansour district. Baquba: Roadside bomb in a village
north of Baquba kills at least three civilians and wounds ten...

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'Hundreds' involved in prisoner abuse
Agence France-Presse
MORE than 600 US military and civilian personnel have been implicated in
abuse of "war on terror" detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and at the
Guantanamo detention camp, US rights groups said. The rights groups' report
came as a US Army colonel was reportedly going to be charged in connection
with the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, becoming the most senior
officer facing legal action in the case. The three groups who researched
what they called "widespre! ad" torture and detainee abuse by US personnel
said many abuses were never investigated, or inquiries were often concluded
or stalled without further action...

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BBC's Newsnight
Gabriele Zamparini, The cat's dream
...Yes, views are important. Facts even more. Just having in mind the war
of aggression against Iraq. There might be as many as 300,000 civilians
deaths. Most of them women and children. Most of them killed by the US and
UK through aerial bombing. "The researchers found that the majority of
deaths were attributed to violence, which were primarily the result of
military actions by Coalition f! orces. Most of those killed by Coalition
forces were women and children... Eighty-four percent of the deaths were
reported to be caused by the actions of Coalition forces and 95 percent of
those deaths were due to air strikes and artillery"...

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GI Special 4D26: Piranaye - April 26, 2006
Thomas F. Barton
...But today, Blackwater is facing a potentially devastating battle--this
time not in Iraq but in court. The company has been slapped with a lawsuit
that, if successful, will send shock waves through the world of private
security firms, a world that has expanded significantly since Bush took
office. Blackwater is being sued for the wrongful deaths of Stephen "Scott"
Helvenston, Mike Teague, Jerko Zovko and Wesley Batalona by the families of
the men sla! in in Falluja...

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Have a Koch and a Smile:
Free Markets and Property Rights Trump Humanity and the Environment!
So long as the markets are free and the rich stay that way, human suffering
and environmental devastation are irrelevant. Beneath the "feel good"
facade of baseball, apple-pie, mom, and Chevrolet lurks this sinister
reality of the American Way. Much of humanity is shackled by poverty and
besieged by the violence of war. Earth is experiencing a slow, agonizing
death. Animal and plant species are di! sappearing at an alarming rate.
Despite these tragic and inevitable consequences, the United States
persists in spreading the cancers of Americanized Capitalism and

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Target Letter Drives Rove Back to Grand Jury
Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t
Karl Rove's appearance before a grand jury in the CIA leak case Wednesday
comes on the heels of a "target letter" sent to his attorney recently by
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, signaling that the Deputy White
House Chief of Staff may face imminent indictment, sources that are
knowledgeable about the probe said Wednesday...

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31 Iraqis Killed on Wednesday, Including 12 Men and a Woman in US Air
Strike on a Yousufiya House
THOMAS WAGNER Associated Press Writer
U.S. troops backed by a helicopter and jets struck a house, killing 12 men
and a woman in a raid near the site where an American helicopter crashed,
the U.S. military said Wednesday. In Baghdad, a bomb ripped through a
minibus carrying passengers to their Shi'i neighborhood, killing four
people, and police found 10 bodies dumped in Baghdad and elsewhere, the
apparent victims of s! ectarian killings...

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Bush administration is at war with us
Tova Gabrielle, Online Journal Guest Writer
The Bush administration's insane and aggressive war against the Middle East
is not something remote like a bad dream that fades in the morning: If we
do not unite and protest, this administration will come for us as well, as
it already has with its unwarranted aggression against peaceful resistance
and marches, undocumented immigrants (of which some of us are descendents),
free speech, and, most recently, our individual privacy...

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