Monday 27th of March 2023

we have ways of making you free .....

we have ways of making you free .....

When George Bush announced that he favoured keeping troops in Iraq for decades, the media apparently didn't think the opinion of Iraqis mattered. 

On May 25, George Bush signed a defense bill that outlawed the construction of (new) permanent bases in Iraq. But only five days later, White House press flack Tony Snow told reporters that the president is now modelling the future of his bloody signature project on the half-century U.S. experience in South Korea, with troops in Iraq for the long haul to provide, in Snow's words, "a security presence" and to serve as a "force of stability." 

Asked how long that commitment would last, Snow said, "A long time." Tens of thousands of U.S. troops have been stationed in South Korea since 1953 -- for 54 years.

In the days that followed Snow's revelation, senior Pentagon officials weighed in with their support for applying the Korea Model to Iraq: keeping a few divisions of U.S. troops in-country for the next five decades or so sounded just about right to them. 

Bush Says We’ll Be In Iraq for 50 Years, But Reporters Don't Bother to Ask Iraqis To Comment

violating the sovereignty of Iraq

Maliki Criticizes U.S. Demands to Stay in Iraq
Iraqi Prime Minister Says Security Talks at Impasse

By Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, June 13, 2008; 1:43 PM

BAGHDAD, June 13 -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Friday denounced demands made by the United States to extend the presence of American troops in Iraq, saying that the two sides are deadlocked and far from reaching an agreement.

"We found out that the demands of the American side are strongly violating the sovereignty of Iraq, something we could never accept," Maliki said.

Speaking during a visit to Amman, Maliki for the first time added his voice to the growing chorus of senior Iraqi politicians opposed to U.S. proposals for a status of forces agreement, which would authorize the presence of American troops, and a long-term strategic agreement between the two countries. He said the drafts presented by the American side were unacceptable, but that both parties would continue to work toward a deal.

"The initial drafts that were presented have reached a dead end," Maliki said.

But Maliki specifically rejected two positions that American officials have signaled are nonnegotiable. He said the Iraqis expected the United States to commit to protecting Iraq from foreign aggression, and he ruled out allowing Americans to be immune from prosecution in Iraqi courts.

The Bush administration has said it cannot promise to protect Iraq from foreign aggression without submitting such a commitment to Congress for approval, a step the White House does not wish to take.

The United States initially demanded that both American troops and private contractors be granted immunity, but over the past week Washington has softened its position and dropped its demand for immunity for contractors. Maliki, however, said that was an unacceptable compromise.

liberty uglies

Bush warns Brown over plan to cut Iraq force

President tells UK to avoid rushing into troop withdrawals

George Bush flies into London today with a warning for Gordon Brown not to announce a timetable for a British pull-out from Iraq, and expressing deep scepticism about the Prime Minister's high-profile strategy for bringing down world oil prices.

The stern message to the Prime Minister was delivered during an exclusive interview with The Observer, and contrasted with praise for Tony Blair whom Bush is scheduled to meet for breakfast tomorrow ahead of talks in Downing Street. Bush said Blair had never been his 'poodle', but a leader who shared his view that the world is in an 'ideological struggle' and that 'ultimately freedom has to defeat the ideology of hate'.

I freed millions from barbarism, says President with no regrets

President Bush flies into London today for the last time as US leader. In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with Ned Temko on the eve of his visit, he defends his legacy, issues a stern warning to Iran ... and reveals his plans for a freedom institute devoted to 'universal values'


Gus: If Guantanamo Bay, oil robbery and profiteering grossly by going to war on massive porkies represent "universal values", then the little bushit has read too many comic books in his drunken youth. If his "universal values" are based on Christian values, then the little bushit has failed miserably upholding the commandments. If the little Bushit has killed a million people to free millions from "barbarism", he is insulting all the people whose beliefs are different to the dog eat dog American religious capitalism and to the dead people — including an insult to his own troops who fought in Iraq "because" of WMDs massive porkie ...

No regrets? no values. Impeach Bush.

Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions...

U.S. Troops in Iraq Face A Powerful New Weapon
Use of Rocket-Propelled Bombs Spreads

By Ernesto Londoño
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, July 10, 2008; A01

BAGHDAD, July 9 -- Suspected Shiite militiamen have begun using powerful rocket-propelled bombs to attack U.S. military outposts in recent months, broadening the array of weapons used against American troops.

U.S. military officials call the devices Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions, or IRAMs. They are propane tanks packed with hundreds of pounds of explosives and powered by 107mm rockets. They are often fired by remote control from the backs of trucks, sometimes in close succession. Rocket-propelled bombs have killed at least 21 people, including at least three U.S. soldiers, this year.

The latest reported rocket-propelled bomb attack occurred Tuesday at Joint Security Station Ur, a base in northeastern Baghdad shared by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers. One U.S. soldier and an interpreter were wounded in the attack.

U.S. military officials say IRAM attacks, unlike roadside bombings and conventional mortar or rocket attacks, have the potential to kill scores of soldiers at once. IRAMs are fired at close range, unlike most rockets, and create much larger explosions. Most such attacks have occurred in the capital, Baghdad.

the old goebbels gambit .....

For five years the Bush administration has played wack-a-mole with the American people as to why we are in Iraq, with a new justification quickly spawning after the hollow core of the prior position was exposed. WMD's was followed by fighting Al Qaeda and ultimately bringing democracy to the Middle East.  

Last week the proverbial mole may have met his maker and exposed the true reason over a million Americans have been put in harm's way.

In May 2004, President Bush explained that our mission in Iraq was "to see the Iraqi people in charge of Iraq for the first time in generations."

A week into his second term, Bush said he would "absolutely" honor any request for withdrawal of U.S. troops by a sovereign Iraqi government, only to then ignore multiple request over the next three years and polls showing near unanimous support among Iraqi's for a timeline for withdrawal.

All this was laid bare this month as the Iraqi government went on the offensive in its call for U.S. withdrawal by 2010.

Far from embracing the desires of a sovereign Iraq, the White House instead feebly attempted to claim Prime Minister Maliki's statement was mistranslated, while the McCain camp argued that Iraqi's really want the U.S. to stay until 2020.

Apparently their view of a "free Iraq" is an Iraq that is free to do what we tell them to do.

certifying the agony

U.S., Iraq Near Draft Agreement Regarding U.S. Troops

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 21, 2008; 3:11 PM

BAGHDAD, Aug. 21 -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Thursday that Iraq and the United States are close to an agreement on a pact to govern the future use of U.S. forces in the war-torn country, and Iraqi officials said a draft is expected to beshown to top Iraqi leaders in the next couple of days.

"There is no final agreement, but we are very close," Zebari said after several hours of meetings among Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and others. "Everything has been addressed. Tomorrow is a very important day."

Rice originally planned to stay in Baghdad just four hours but lengthened her meetings with Maliki and others as they wrestled with the sensitive issues of whether U.S. personnel would be immune from Iraqi legal action and when U.S. forces would begin significant withdrawal from the country.

Neither Rice nor Zebari would offer specifics of the draft agreement at a post-meeting news conference. But they said they were trying to finalize the agreement as quickly as possible.

"Obviously, the American forces are here, coalition forces are here at the invitation of the Iraqi government," Rice said. "What we're trying to do is put together an agreement that protects our people, respects Iraq's sovereignty."

Zebari said: "Time is of the essence. . . . We are redoubling our efforts to bring this to a successful conclusion."

The agreement, a memorandum of understanding that will delineate U.S. military rights and responsibilities in Iraq, must be completed and signed by the two governments before the end of the year, when the current United Nations mandate authorizing an international troop presence here expires.

read more at the Washington Post 

potato and spud

U.S. Spied on Iraqi Leaders, Book Says
Woodward Also Reveals That Political Fears Kept War Strategy Review 'Under the Radar'

By Steve Luxenberg
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 5, 2008; A01

The Bush administration has conducted an extensive spying operation on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, his staff and others in the Iraqi government, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward.

"We know everything he says," according to one of multiple sources Woodward cites about the practice in "The War Within: A Secret White House History, 2006-2008," scheduled for release Monday.

The book also says that the U.S. troop "surge" of 2007, in which President Bush sent nearly 30,000 additional U.S. combat forces and support troops to Iraq, was not the primary factor behind the steep drop in violence there during the past 16 months.

Rather, Woodward reports, "groundbreaking" new covert techniques enabled U.S. military and intelligence officials to locate, target and kill insurgent leaders and key individuals in extremist groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Woodward does not disclose the code names of these covert programs or provide much detail about them, saying in the book that White House and other officials cited national security concerns in asking him to withhold specifics.

Overall, Woodward writes, four factors combined to reduce the violence: the covert operations; the influx of troops; the decision by militant cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to rein in his powerful Mahdi Army; and the so-called Anbar Awakening, in which tens of thousands of Sunnis turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq and allied with U.S. forces.


Gus: when picking articles to read and presenting links to follow, one like me is always tempted to only choose the events that add conspiratorial details to a picture in which there is a lot of distractive unrelated bits. One would have been naive to believe the CIA would not spy on the Iraqi Government. The CIA spies on ALL governments. Mind you some governments also spy on the US in ways the US would not have any ideas. But that's life...

see toon at top...

corrupt officials

Corruption blamed as cholera rips through Iraq

By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
Friday, 10 October 2008

A deadly outbreak of cholera in Iraq is being blamed on a scandal involving corrupt officials who failed to sterilise the local drinking water because they were bribed to buy chlorine from Iran that was long past its expiration date.

The centre of the epidemic is in Babil province, south of Baghdad, in the marshy lands east of the Euphrates river, not far from the ruins of ancient Babylon. In Baghdad, where half the six million population has no access to clean drinking water, people are now drinking only bottled or boiled water.

dramatic oily concequences...

US warning on Iraq deal failure

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has warned of "dramatic consequences" if Washington and Baghdad do not agree a security deal on US forces in Iraq.

He said if there were no Status of Forces Agreement the US would have to "basically stop doing anything".

Iraq's cabinet is demanding changes to a draft deal already agreed with Washington that would allow US forces to stay in Iraq until 2011.

Mr Gates said the US had "great reluctance" to renegotiate.

"I don't think you slam the door shut, but I would say it's pretty far closed," he said.

"The consequences of not having Status of Forces Agreement (Sofa) and of not having a renewed UN authorisation are pretty dramatic."

Failure to finalise the Sofa or renew a UN mandate would mean US operations would have to be suspended. The UN mandate for US-led coalition forces expires at the end of the year.

see toon at top.


Senior Iraqi officials involved in months of detailed wrangling with the Americans over their Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) believe the draft accord now being circulated is the best deal they can get.

But that will not be enough to win automatic support for the agreement from all of Iraq's fractious groups, some of which are bitterly opposed to any continuing US presence, irrespective of the agreement's details.

Rejection of any agreement with the Americans is spearheaded by the group led by the militant Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr, who has strong grassroots support and also 30 seats in parliament.

The Sadrists have called for a mass demonstration in Baghdad on Saturday to denounce the accord.

 see other toon here

who was watching the watchdogs?

November 18, 2008

Premier of Iraq Is Quietly Firing Fraud Monitors


BAGHDAD — The government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is systematically dismissing Iraqi oversight officials, who were installed to fight corruption in Iraqi ministries by order of the American occupation administration, which had hoped to bring Western standards of accountability to the notoriously opaque and graft-ridden bureaucracy here.

The dismissals, which were confirmed by senior Iraqi and American government officials on Sunday and Monday, have come as estimates of official Iraqi corruption have soared. One Iraqi former chief investigator recently testified before Congress that $13 billion in reconstruction funds from the United States had been lost to fraud, embezzlement, theft and waste by Iraqi government officials.

The moves have not been publicly announced by Mr. Maliki’s government, but word of them has begun to circulate through the layers of Iraqi bureaucracy as Parliament prepares to vote on a long-awaited security agreement.

That pact sets the terms for continued American presence here after the United Nations mandate expires Dec. 31, but also amounts to a framework for a steady reduction in that presence. Such a change will undoubtedly lessen American oversight of Iraqi institutions.

While some Iraqi officials defended the dismissals, saying there had been no political motivation, others pointed to the secrecy involved as supporting their view that those removed had lost their posts without good cause. Each of Iraq’s 30 cabinet-level ministries has one inspector general. These oversight officials are supported by varying budgets and staffing.

Although some of the inspectors general have been notably quiet, others have vigorously investigated both current and former ministers and other senior officials, and the top echelons of Iraqi officialdom have found ample reason to fear them.

Anglo-American Establishment...

From Chris Flyod

The Economist -- the veritable Bible of the Anglo-American Establishment -- paints a grim portrait of the Iraqi regime installed at the point of American guns: a sinkhole of torture, execution, increasing repression and brazen power-grabs.

The Shia-led government has overseen a ballooning of the country’s security apparatus. Human-rights violations are becoming more common. In private many Iraqis, especially educated ones, are asking if their country may go back to being a police state.

Old habits from Saddam Hussein’s era are becoming familiar again. Torture is routine in government detention centres. “Things are bad and getting worse, even by regional standards,” says Samer Muscati, who works for Human Rights Watch, a New York-based lobby. His outfit reports that, with American oversight gone (albeit that the Americans committed their own shameful abuses in such places as Abu Ghraib prison), Iraqi police and security people are again pulling out fingernails and beating detainees, even those who have already made confessions. A limping former prison inmate tells how he realised, after a bout of torture in a government ministry that lasted for five days, that he had been relatively lucky. When he was reunited with fellow prisoners, he said he saw that many had lost limbs and organs.