Monday, January 09, 2006

Iraq news

A despatch from Iraq for you.
Like 120 other occupied countries there will be permanent US bases in Iraq.
Meanwhile the US are retreating on the ground everywhere and bombing more and more places from the air.

War is utterly disgusting. This war is an Anglo-saxon obscenity.

"US Propaganda vs. Iraqi Reality

It appears as though the Cheney administration will soon “redeploy”
thousands of US troops out of Iraq. While several permanent US military
bases are under construction there as I type this, the Capital Hill
Cabal, desperate to paint the Iraq disaster in a glorious hue, are
working their pundits and spokespeople overtime to convince the
ill-informed they have not failed dismally in every aspect of their
illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.

In his weekly radio address on Saturday, Mr. Bush did not mention Iraq
once. Instead, he spoke of the bright and shining US economy and the
need to maintain current tax cuts.

“Unfortunately, just as we’re seeing new evidence of how our tax cuts
have created jobs and opportunity, some people in Washington are saying
we need to raise your taxes,” he said, “They want the tax cuts to expire
in a few years, or even repeal the tax cuts now.”

What better time to maintain tax cuts in the US, particularly when a new
study by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard budget expert Linda
Bilmes estimates the cost of the Iraq war to be between $1-2 trillion,
and the national debt already over $8 trillion?

Meanwhile, the reality in Iraq is the opposite of that generated by the
Cheney administration as the carnage and chaos in Iraq worsens each day.

A quick look at foreign media outlets yields the following developments
that were either not reported or under-reported in the US:

January 4:

-Unidentified gunmen assassinated Rahim Ali al-Sudani, director-general
of the Iraqi Oil Ministry, and his son early on the morning of 4 January
in Al-Amiriyah area in northern Baghdad.

-Clashes broke out between civilians protesting against unemployment and
Iraqi police in Al-Nasiriyah city in Dhi Qar Governorate, wounding
scores of civilians and police officers. The TV added within the same
news summary that two civilians were “martyred” and two others were
injured when an explosive charge missed a US patrol unit in Kirkuk.

-Al Sharqiyah television reported that a US plane had crashed in Mosul.
Quoting its correspondent in the city, the TV said that US forces had
rushed to the area and sealed off the scene where the crash occurred.

January 5:

-At least 130 Iraqis and 11 US soldiers die (highest number of US
soldiers killed in one day since August) in one of the bloodiest days in
Iraq since the invasion.

January 6:

-A medical source at Al-Ramadi State Hospital [speaking on condition of
anonymity] reports that 14 civilians, including three children, “were
martyred at the hands of US snipers today.” The source added that “the
snipers stationed on roof tops of high buildings in Al-Ramadi, killed
those victims in the Al-Ma’arid district in the city center this
morning”. Al Sharqiyah correspondent adds that “Al-Ramadi has witnessed
massive protests against the presence of US snipers who have been
deployed throughout the city, spreading fear among residents.”
Al-Sharqiyah says that the US armed forces have yet to comment on this
incident.

-For security purposes, Iraq has suspended its daily pumping of 200,000
barrels of crude oil to major oil refineries in Bayji, north of Baghdad.

-A US convoy came under attack in Samarra when an explosive device
planted near a petrol station was detonated. Four children were injured
in the attack and were rushed to Samarra State Hospital.

-A doctor at Nasiriyah Hospital reported that two Iraqis were killed and
23 were injured today as clashes between demonstrators, who were
protesting against unemployment, and Iraqi police continued in Nasiriyah
in southern Iraq.

January 7:

-Fierce clashes broke out between resistance fighters and US forces in
Fallujah when armed men battled with the US troops in al-Tharthar Street
in the eastern part of the city as the latter tightened security
measures, blocking all main entrances to the city. Local residents also
reported fierce clashes between US soldiers and resistance fighters on
Arba’ien Street in central Fallujah.

-Earlier in the day, a roadside bomb went off at about 7:30 a.m. (0430
GMT) in eastern Fallujah as a US military patrol was passing by,
destroying a US Humvee, killing or wounding the soldiers aboard, the
source said. An Iraqi doctor from Fallujah General Hospital was killed
by a US sniper, according to residents.

A recent email from a good friend in Baghdad sums up life for Iraqis in
their new “democracy”:

“We are living in a very critical situation now, for the ING [Iraqi
National Guard] are covering every corner around us wherever you go
inside Baghdad. The killings are ongoing everywhere inside and outside
the city.”

“Everybody in my family is safe for now only because no one is
interested in putting themselves in danger. Demonstrations are going on
all over Iraq for different reasons; price of fuel, lack of security,
jobless people are having demonstrations as well as those who do not
accept the presence of the Badr Brigades or the American forces.
[Meanwhile others are demonstrating in support of the Badr Brigades but
against the Americans.]”

“This is some kind of situation around us. The last four nights without
electricity…only half an hour every six hours. Fuel prices prevent
people from running their generators at home. Fuel on the black market
is fifty times the price what it used to be, and nobody can stand
waiting at the pumps for days anymore. The minister of oil resigned for
this, and Ahmed Chalabi is now the minister…everybody is frustrated yet
life is still going on as if the people are hypnotized.”

“Nothing has changed except that we see US Humvees and pick-up trucks
full of Iraqi National Guard everywhere [in Baghdad,]” he concluded."

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