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Iraq

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In the first concrete sign that the US is planning military action against Iraq despite objections from its allies, CIA officers have surveyed three key airfields in northern Iraq. The airfields, situated in northern Iraq near the cities of Arbil, Dohuk and Sulaimaniyah in Kurdistan--the only part of Iraq not held by Saddam Hussein--could be... Read More
It seems to be virtually an accepted part of the national consensus that sooner or later the United States is going to go to war against Iraq and the sooner, the better. It's also part of the consensus that the United States should remain engaged in the Middle East and on the side of the... Read More
The Pentagon Prepares a Prolonged Campaign from Turkey & Kuwait
The long snouts of anti-aircraft guns are again protruding from the tops of tall buildings in Iraq. Tank units have been deployed around oilfields. Special committees drawn from local leaders of the army, security forces and the ruling Baath party will try to ensure that any rebellion is quickly crushed. President Saddam Hussein himself has... Read More
With the publication of a report in last week's New York Times about the Bush administration's plans for the invasion of Iraq, it seems that war with that country is fairly certain. Previous rhetoric from the president or one or another of his surrogates could always be explained as some kind of politically driven chest-thumping,... Read More
Apparently not everybody inside the Bush Administration is banging drums and blowing trumpets for a war against Iraq. The Washington Post reported last week that at least some major brass inside the Pentagon—including some on the Joint Chiefs—think the current U.S. policy of containing Iraq is working just fine. Why go to full-scale war, they're... Read More
Having just seen the latest exercise in neocon academic grandstanding, a widely publicized letter to "German colleagues" by defenders of the US war against terror, I am driven ineluctably to the following observation. Although the reasoning offered by the Red-Green coalition government in Germany for not contributing to a US attack on Iraq is both... Read More
American Journal Kissinger, Hitchens, Springsteen, Haggard and Presley
Clearly irked by the thought that he and Henry Kissinger may be on the same wave length when it comes to attacking Saddam Hussein, Christopher Hitchens is now declaring in the London Observer that H.K. is against any such war: "A week or so ago I wondered when he was going to pronounce on the... Read More
After claiming several weeks ago that he doesn't need congressional authorization to start his own private war in the Middle East, President Bush last week sent up to Congress a resolution authorizing him to start—and continue indefinitely—just such a war. The president's decision to seek congressional support indicates less that he has learned one of... Read More
shutterstock_59861155
Ignorant of Iraq, void of strategic vision, and viewing the Mideast through the neoconservative prism, Bush steers...
Maj. Gen. J.F.C. Fuller, Britain’s leading military thinker of the 20th century, wrote that the object of war is not victory, but peace. A war that fails to achieve clear political objectives is merely an exercise in violence and futility. In its headlong rush to invade Iraq, the Bush administration is violating Fuller’s simple yet... Read More
American Journal The Anti-War Movement and Its Critics: Merle Haggard Locates Osama; General Hitchens, Hie Thee to Fort...
Do we have an antiwar movement? We're getting there. We must be, because we're catching flak from the anti-anti war movement, Light Infantry division, staffed by Marc Cooper, Todd Gitlin, David Corn, and Christopher Hitchens. Marc Cooper, like Gitlin, has carved out a pleasant niche for himself, belaboring various left causes from a position purporting... Read More
American Journal Iraq After D-Day: The Cordesman Memo
Napoleon would sketch out in an afternoon the new constitution and legal arrangements for one of France's imperial conquests. In Washington today, there's no such panache, no Jacques-Louis David limning Bush in imperial drapery and resplendent crown (though surely Josephine's heart beats beneath Laura's delicious bosom). All over town, lights blaze far into the night... Read More
The deep differences between enemies of President Saddam Hussein was underlined yesterday when a group of his opponents walked out of a conference in London dedicated to forging opposition unity. The five Iraqi Shia Muslim groups said the largest Shia party was monopolising representation of their community, to which the majority of Iraqis belong, on... Read More
The United States, the headline in the Jan. 6 New York Times informed us, "is completing plan to promote a democratic Iraq." The war against this Middle Eastern state that has never done a single thing to harm any American is not yet even under way, and already the munchkins on the Potomac are plotting... Read More
"The Largest Outcry in History"; Should Michael Lerner Speak? Kucinich: It's A Go; Who's Howard Dean? Kansas...
We're witnessing the largest outcry in history against an imminent war with the imminent aggressors-- the US and UK--so frightened of the outcry that they have been trying to curb the demonstrations in New York and London. The one in New York is scheduled for February 15, with the gathering point as of this writing... Read More
What is at stake?
According to UN estimates over 10 million Iraqis will be killed, injured, displaced or traumatized by the U.S. war of aggression. It is highly likely that U.S. military intelligence figures coincide. Washington has put in place a military plan involving hundreds of war planes and a sea armada directed to dropping thousands of tons of... Read More
Just in case you haven't bought your duct tape and bottled water this week, be advised that the war with Iraq has already started. Last week the Washington Post disclosed in a front page story that U.S. Special Operations units are already in Iraq setting up communications networks and "laying the groundwork for conventional U.S.... Read More
Kurds Outraged by American Plan to Occupy Iraq
in Arbil, northern Iraq The US is abandoning plans to introduce democracy in Iraq after a war to overthrow Saddam Hussein, according to Kurdish leaders who recently met American officials. The Kurds say the decision resulted from pressure from US allies in the Middle East who fear a war will lead to radical political change... Read More
The Foundation Of Empire
Today, my absolutely last war column, until something actually blows up. I promise. Kind of. Everybody else in the chatter racket is hooting lustily, so why shouldn't I? I concede that as a geopolitical thinker I have the credentials of a bucket of paint, a condition I share with the State Department and White House.... Read More
With more than 750,000 anti-war protestors flooding into London's Hyde Park in what observers say was probably the largest political demonstration in British history and even more than that "nearly 1 million," the Washington Post reports—protesting the coming U.S. war against Iraq in Rome, one would think that even the most hawkish neo-conservative zealots in... Read More
Hacks and Heroes: Meet the New Yorker's Goldberg; Israeli Draft Resisters; Bulworth Screenwriter Lashes New York Times;...
Who's the hack? I nominate The New Yorker's Jeffrey Goldberg. He's the new Remington, though without the artistic talent. Back in 1898, William Randolph Hearst was trying to fan war fever between the United States and Spain. He dispatched a reporter and the artist Frederic Remington to Cuba to send back blood-roiling depictions of Spanish... Read More
It perhaps tells us a good deal about the imperial mentality now settling into the crania of many Americans that few people seemed to detect any irony in the Washington Post headline last Thursday:"President Details Vision for Iraq." [By Dana Milbank and Peter Slevin, February 27, 2003] Why the president of the United States should... Read More
Invasion by Cellphone; Why Let Facts Stop a Good War?; John Barry's Unfeted Scoop; More on Goldberg's...
CounterPunch hears that the top 2,500 Iraqis have been getting calls on their cellphones from US intelligence officers telling them that if they lay down their arms when D-day comes they may escape trial for war crimes. One seasoned Iraqi hand tells us the US did the same thing in 1991, but that often the... Read More
Promises, Promises
Irbil, Iraq. The first checkpoint outside Iraqi government control at Girda Rasha on the road north from Kirkuk is a grim spot. Kurdish security men living in a few filthy cabins on the desolate plain carefully check the cars of people arriving in Kurdistan from all over Iraq. It is as good a place as... Read More
What Will the US Find If It Invades Iraq? It'll Find What It Wants To, Silly; Booze and Cigarettes in the White House?;...
Does anyone seriously believe that in the event of US invasion, "discovery" of Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction won't be long delayed? The stakes are simply too high. It won't take much: a blueprint or two, a few canisters noisily identified as chemical or biological agents, a "facility" for production of nuclear munitions. CounterPunch has... Read More
A new spectre haunts America. It enters the well-protected boardrooms of newspapers and banks, shakes the deep foundations of its towers. It is the spectre of glasnost: the dark secret of Jewish power is out. Just recently it was ‘third rail’, touch-and-die, deadly dangerous to mention, certain end to a career. Just recently, Joe Public... Read More
The Pentagon announced that it had tested the biggest non-nuclear bomb in history., 9.5 tons in weight, in preparation for its use in Iraq. Two weeks earlier, General Richard Meyers, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that US policy was to “shock” Iraq into surrendering by unleashing 3,000 guided bombs and... Read More
Does the Guinness Book of World Records have an entry for the politician fastest to apologize for Thought Crimes about ethnic issues? I figured Sen. Trent Lott held the world championship in the apology Olympics. But now comes Rep. James Moran, who seems to have trounced even the Mississippi senator in the belly-crawl competition. Mr.... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Monday night, denouncing the UN Security Council for inaction, Bush gave 48 hours for Saddam Hussein to get out of Iraq. If he doesn't, the bombs will drop, the missiles will fly, the tanks will roll. Most certainly people will die. Bush's ultimatum concludes one of the most disastrous attempts to sell a war in... Read More
Iraq has become an inferno. While billions of people throughout the world watch, millions of Iraqis crowd into destroyed shelters, markets, hospitals and schools, radiated by new weapons of mass destruction, roasted by napalm, vaporized by ’MOAB’ - a 9.5 ton bomb; and hear the voice of death Rumsfeld declaring to journalists, \”However you tell... Read More
As New York's Forward remarked a few weeks ago, "the toothpaste is out of the tube" on the role of a handful of neo-conservative hawks in the Bush administration and their cohorts in the media pushing the United States into war with Iraq for the benefit of Israel. The war that began this week and... Read More
AMMAN - It may come as quite a shock, but thunderous silence does not mean that all's quiet on the Iraqi western front. "The surprise is not the attack on Baghdad or the advance from Kuwait. The surprise will come from Jordan," a top Jordanian source who requested anonymity told Asia Times Online. The source... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
The timbre of war reporting changed on Sunday, from brazen hubris to a more nervous posture. Typical was a report in the London Financial Times by Victor Mallet, datelined the Iraq/Kuwait border, and titled, “Ominous Signs for Coalition in Battle for Umm Qasr. “The sound of machine gun exchanges and bombing raids by Royal Air... Read More
"Perhaps They're Not Invincible"
General Nasrudin Mustafa, commander of the Kurdish forces north of Kirkuk, was just finishing a sentence, saying: "There is nothing new happening on my front." But as he spoke the last word there a thunderous roar, his headquarters building shook and the door of his office rattled on its hinges. A US aircraft had just... Read More
RUWEISHED, eastern Jordan - Saddam Hussein has called on Iraqi television for a jihad against the Anglo-American invasion of his country. And the jihad is already on. Saddam's complex amalgam of militantly secular Arab leader, devout believer and bold warrior of Islam is now total. From the depths of his bunker-cum-television studio, Saddam is promising... Read More
From "Plain Sailing" to "Where the Hell Are We?" to "Up the Creek"
Barely into its second week Operation Easy Sailing is in big trouble. One simple way of measuring just how big is by adding up all the time you hear the phrases “all according to Plan”, and the “Our strategy is sound”. That’s the captain of the Titanic speaking. At the military level the US/UK force... Read More
AMMAN - American tanks are now ripping at the heart of Mesopotamia, the "land between the rivers" and the cradle of civilization; the US 5th Corps is already engaging the Medina division of the Republican Guards as B52s increase their bombing raids of the "red line" in the outer ring of defenses of Baghdad, over... Read More
CounterPunch War Diary
The situation of the US/UK invading force can be assessed as difficult. The US 3rd Infantry Division, the Marines, Division, the 101st Airborne continue to be plagued by stretched supply lines which yesterday saw one Marine unit entirely immobilized by lack of diesel fuel and the food down to one “meal” a day, with the... Read More
AMMAN - Najaf and Karbala are the holiest sites of Shi'ite Islam. Najaf - where Ayatollah Khomeini lived before returning to lead the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 - is the site of Imam Ali's tomb, the Prophet Mohammed's cousin and revered 14th century founder of the Shi'ite branch of Islam. Karbala is the... Read More
As the U.S. war against Iraq is prolonged, as Iraqi civilian and military resistance hardens, as guerrilla and militia attacks become more audacious, and the Anglo-American military casualties mount and supply lines become more tenuous the U.S. military-civilian command escalates the war from rapid ground-based offensive promoted by Rumsfeld to the sustained air campaign developed... Read More
A Homage to Simone Weil
Walls of cold rain and hale encompassed my Jaffa; streets turned into ferocious streams; snow touched palm trees and whitened the sidewalks of subtropical Tel Aviv, in violent counterpoint to the violet skies hanging low, just handbreadth above the belfries and minarets as hurricane rushed masses of sand and rain clouds over the deep cleft... Read More
"One week after the United States unleashed its military campaign to drive Saddam Hussein from power," the New York Times reported in a front-page story last Thursday, Is this just the whining of liberal fifth-column journalists like what we had to endure throughout much of the Vietnam War (which is how many hawks are trying... Read More
CounterPunch War Diary
Through the murk of battle, the fog of US/UK military communiques and the more deftly presented Iraqi bulletins, we can begin to descry the shape of things to come, and the basic question posed by war: the powers of endurance and capacity for sacrifice of the two sides. If it comes to a medieval siege... Read More
Playing Into Saddam's Hands
The US soldier, surrounded by Kurdish militiamen on a green plain in the heart of Iraqi Kurdistan, was a worried man. Since the Kurds are the one community in Iraq unanimously in favour of the Anglo-American invasion, he could not have been in a safer place. But the soldier refused to give his name, eyed... Read More
Among the most insidious lies and distortions which the Bush/Blair regimes and their mass media outlets have spouted to justify this genocidal war is the notion that the Iraqi people would welcome the invaders as liberators and they (especially the Shiites) would rise up to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein. When neither events took... Read More
Slaughter on the Road to Dibagah US Pilot Kills 18 in Kurdish Convoy
Northern Iraq. In the worst friendly fire incident of the war so far, two US F-15 bombers killed 17 Kurdish and American soldiers and a BBC translator yesterday when they mistakenly attacked an Allied convoy in northern Iraq. The explosions ripped apart the vehicles, the heat of the blast so intense that it melted the... Read More
AMMAN - In more ways than one, we're back to the Middle Ages. In Medieval wars, the desert was an abandoned battlefield and the cities were fortified castles (like today's Basra and Baghdad). Even if the 3rd Infantry Division and the 5th Corps secure the symbols of Saddam Hussein's regime, the Iraqi guerrilla war -... Read More
The US has a Lot to Answer For Mounting Ethnic Violence and Misery
Northern, Iraq. A machine-gun chattered just outside the gate of the biggest hospital in Mosul just as Dr Ayad Ramadani, the hospital director, was saying he blamed the Kurds for the orgy of looting and violence which had engulfed Iraq's northern capital. "The Kurdish militias were looting the city," he explained. "Today the main protection... Read More
In the midst of the jubilation that greeted the downfall of Saddam Hussein (or at least of his statue) and the smug triumphalism that enveloped Washington as U.S. troops marched through the Iraqi capital, Americans might be well advised to sober up and take a harder look at what their government has already done and... Read More
CounterPunch Diary Contract with Iraq
They put US troops round the Oil Ministry and the headquarters of the Secret Police, but stood aside as the mobs looted Baghdad's Archaeological Museum and torched the National Library. It sounds like something right out of Newt Gingrich's Contract with America, only here the troops protecting the American Petroleum Institute are lobbyists and politicians,... Read More
Worst place for Mesopotamian antiquities? Iraq.
————————— Twenty years ago I had a conversation with a Chinese friend in London. I had mentioned the fine collections of Chinese art and ceramics that can be seen in that city, at places like the Percival David Foundation and the British Museum. Pooh! said my friend, that stuff was all looted from China by... Read More
Category Classics
How America was neoconned into World War IV
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
Shouldn't they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?