Tag Archives | Iraq

The Picture

By David Glenn Cox at Salon:

Photo by  Eugene Richards

Photo by Eugene Richards

I want you to look very closely at this picture and try and keep it in your minds eye. This was a perfectly healthy twenty two-year-old young man who in the service of his country got half of his head blown off. I think that’s important, I think that’s newsworthy. Let me tell you how newsworthy I think it is. I think that it’s more important than chocolate cake recipes and far more important than comic book reviews. It is more important than who fell and whose swell at the winter Olympic games.

It is far more important than any self-serving load of crap banged out by Pseudo doctor Amy. It is more important than American Idol or Lost or any other mindless goat droppings the public chooses to chew on. This is some American mother’s son, her little boy, he may be gay or straight or transgender but his life is fucked forever.

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U.S. Returns 1,000 Historical Artifacts Stolen From Iraq

From Middle East Online:

US officials have returned more than 1,000 archaeological and historical items stolen from Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion, Iraq’s ambassador here said Thursday.

Six pieces ranging from an ancient Sumerian stone tablet to an AK-47 rifle bearing Saddam’s image were handed over to Iraq at an embassy ceremony on Thursday.

“As Iraqis, we remain steadfast in our effort to return each and every one of these cultural treasures to their rightful home,” Ambassador Samir Sumaida’ie said at the ceremony.

Baghdad’s envoy said that the Iraqi National Museum lost some 15,000 items due to looting after the collapse of law and order due to the US-led invasion. Half of the items have since been found and returned “due to the diligence of our allies,” Sumaida’ie said.

Items returned included an Iraqi coin from circa 250 AD, during the Roman occupation, abandoned at a Houston museum by a man who said he was a US contractor in Iraq.

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Kidnapping and Trading in Iraqi Children

Layla Anwar writes on uruknet.info:

While quite a bit of a fuss was raised regarding the kidnapping, smuggling and trafficking in Haitian children and rightly so, the same can’t be said about the fate of Iraqi children.

I have already written several posts about this new lucrative business in Iraq, that of the kidnapping, trafficking and trading of children, and I am always aghast to see that no media or organization for the protection of children, like the famous UNICEF or Save the Child or OXFAM or anyone else, has given enough attention and dedicated effort to denounce and stop this tragedy…

Of course, before our “liberation” such criminality involving the selling, buying, trading, kidnapping, killing of children was unheard of…am I to deduce that Freedom and Democracy are baby killers? Am afraid so.

Hussein Anwar kindly forwarded this article a couple of months ago and I have been so busy with other things and only found the time today to translate it for you.

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KBR Tells Court It Was Following Military Orders When Employees Burned Toxic Waste in Open Pits

From Alternet:

The military’s largest contractor is trying to avoid liability for health risks associated with burn pits to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the truth is emerging.

In October a class action suit combining 22 lawsuits from 43 states was filed in US District Court in Maryland against KBR, Halliburton, and other military contractors for damages to health from open air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.  According to plaintiffs’ lawyers the military contracting giant had been paid millions of dollars to safely dispose of waste on bases but negligently burned refuse in open pits, spewing toxins, including known carcinogens, into the air. Last week, KBR sought to dismiss the charges. Their tack was not to deny that they burned lithium batteries, petroleum, asbestos, trucks, cars, paint, plastic, Styrofoam, medical waste including human limbs, and more, as the soldiers have charged, but to challenge their liability for any ensuing problems.  According to KBR’s press fact sheet on the suit, the Army, not KBR, decides if a burn pit or an incinerator will be used, where it will be built in relation to living and working facilities, and what it can burn.

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China Cancels 80 Percent of Iraq Debt

Reported by the American Free Press via the Tehran Times:

BAGHDAD (AFP) — China has agreed to cancel 80 percent of the 8.5-billion-dollar debt it is owed by Iraq, the finance ministry in Baghdad said in an official statement on Tuesday.

It said a bilateral agreement was signed in Beijing, without specifying the date, and that China’s ambassador to Iraq had met officials in Baghdad to confirm the agreement.

The statement added that the two countries entered into trade deals valued at 3.8 billion dollars in 2009.

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Iraq To Sue U.S., Britain Over Depleted Uranium Bombs

The 105mm M900 APFSDS-T (Depleted Uranium Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot - Tracer)

Via the Tehran Times:

Iraq’s Ministry for Human Rights will file a lawsuit against Britain and the U.S. over their use of depleted uranium bombs in Iraq, an Iraqi minister says.

Iraq’s Minister of Human Rights, Wijdan Mikhail Salim, told Assabah newspaper that the lawsuit will be launched based on reports from the Iraqi ministries of science and the environment.

According to the reports, during the first year of the U.S. and British invasion of Iraq, both countries had repeatedly used bombs containing depleted uranium.

According to Iraqi military experts, the U.S. and Britain bombed the country with nearly 2,000 tons of depleted uranium bombs during the early years of the Iraq war.

Atomic radiation has increased the number of babies born with defects in the southern provinces of Iraq.

Iraqi doctors say they’ have been struggling to cope with the rise in the number of cancer cases — especially in cities subjected to heavy U.S.

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Details of Iraq Whistleblower’s Alleged Suicide Sealed For 70 Years

David KellyStephen C. Webster reports on RAW Story:

By 2080, anyone with a direct interest in learning how Dr. David Kelly died, will themselves be dead.

That’s how an Oxford coroner reacted to a recent ruling ordering the details of the former United Nations weapons inspector’s death locked away for 70 years, according to a Mail Online report.

Kelly’s story, however, was gravely important in 2003, just before he was found dead in the woods behind his home in Oxfordshire, U.K. As the BBC revealed in the wake of his passing, he had been the key source behind a story claiming intelligence on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction was “sexed up.”

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1/3 of Women in U.S. Military Have Been Raped

Ole Ole Olson writes on News Junkie Post:

According to NPR, “In 2003, a survey of female veterans found that 30 percent said they were raped in the military. A 2004 study of veterans who were seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder found that 71 percent of the women said they were sexually assaulted or raped while serving. And a 1995 study of female veterans of the Gulf and earlier wars, found that 90 percent had been sexually harassed.”

The BBC recently reported on “The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq” by Helen Benedict. This book examines the extreme difficulties female soldiers have in serving abroad. Benedict interviewed several women in the military to get a deeper understanding of the issue, and some of their stories were real eye openers.

Army specialist Chantelle Henneberry spoke of some of her experiences in Iraq, “Everybody’s supposed to have a battle buddy in the army, and females are supposed to have one to go to the latrines with, or to the showers — that’s so you don’t get raped by one of the men on your own side.

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DynCorp Accused Of Looting Billions Of Dollars From Iraq Contracts

dis21dvdAnyone who saw the Robert Greenwald documentary Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers will know that this story about DynCorp in the Wall Street Journal is only the tip of the iceberg in corporate looting of the United States Treasury (meaning taxes paid in by Americans):

The U.S. State Department is struggling with its accounting for billions of dollars spent on police-training contracts in Iraq with DynCorp International Inc.

A report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, to be released today, says that squaring away just how the money was spent may take years.

The State Department lacks adequate staff in Iraq to closely monitor the work, its biggest contract there, according to the report. DynCorp invoices were regularly found to have errors and often lacked sufficient documentation, the auditors found. “As a result, over $2.5 billion in U.S. funds are vulnerable to waste and fraud,” the report said.

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