Tag Archives | Iraq

President Obama on Leaving Iraq (Then and Now)

This evening, President Obama will announce the end of the combat mission in Iraq as well as the reduction of the number of troops in Middle East during a primetime news conference at 8:00 p.m. EST. Below is a replay of the speech: Now here is a fun exercise for those interested in the intersection of power and language. Remember when Candidate Obama was against "dumb wars" in 2002? Below is a 2008 presidential campaign video made with then Presidential Candidate Obama's own words:
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Cancer Rate in Fallujah Worse than Hiroshima

The 105mm M900 APFSDS-T (Depleted Uranium Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot - Tracer)You can’t drop massive amounts of depleted uranium on a nation without causing severe radiation poisoning. It’s one of the worst legacies of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and criminally under-reported by the embedded media. The fallout is starting to be noticed now, however, as reported by the Centre for Global Research:

The Iraqi city of Fallujah continues to suffer the ghastly consequences of a US military onslaught in late 2004.

According to the authors of a new study, “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009,” the people of Fallujah are experiencing higher rates of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality, and sexual mutations than those recorded among survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the years after those Japanese cities were incinerated by US atomic bomb strikes in 1945.

The epidemiological study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Studies and Public Health (IJERPH), also finds the prevalence of these conditions in Fallujah to be many times greater than in nearby nations.

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The CIA’s Plot to Make Osama and Saddam Into Gay Porn Stars

Jeff Stein writes on the Washington Post’s SpyTalk:
Saddam & Osama

During planning for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group kicked around a number of ideas for discrediting Saddam Hussein in the eyes of his people.

One was to create a video purporting to show the Iraqi dictator having sex with a teenage boy, according to two former CIA officials familiar with the project.

“It would look like it was taken by a hidden camera,” said one of the former officials. “Very grainy, like it was a secret videotaping of a sex session.”

The idea was to then “flood Iraq with the videos,” the former official said.

Another idea was to interrupt Iraqi television programming with a fake special news bulletin. An actor playing Hussein would announce that he was stepping down in favor of his (much-reviled) son Uday.

“I’m sure you will throw your support behind His Excellency Uday,” the fake Hussein would intone.

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US Military ‘Trying to Retrieve’ Iraq Killings Video

From BBC News:
The US military says it is trying to retrieve the original video tapes of a controversial helicopter attack on a group of people in Iraq in 2007. Footage of the attack was published on the internet by the website WikiLeaks. Two of those killed were Reuters news agency employees whose cameras were mistaken for weapons, the US says. The Pentagon has not questioned the video's authenticity but says it cannot make a complete verification until the original tapes have been located. "We're attempting to retrieve the video from the unit who did the investigation," US Central Command spokesman Capt Jack Hanzlik was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.
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Iraq War Vet: “We Were Told to Just Shoot People, and the Officers Would Take Care of Us”

From Truthout:

On Monday, April 5, Wikileaks.org posted video footage from Iraq, taken from a US military Apache helicopter in July 2007 as soldiers aboard it killed 12 people and wounded two children. The dead included two employees of the Reuters news agency: photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and driver Saeed Chmagh.

The US military confirmed the authenticity of the video.

The footage clearly shows an unprovoked slaughter, and is shocking to watch whilst listening to the casual conversation of the soldiers in the background.

As disturbing as the video is, this type of behavior by US soldiers in Iraq is not uncommon.

Truthout has spoken with several soldiers who shared equally horrific stories of the slaughtering of innocent Iraqis by US occupation forces.”I remember one woman walking by,” said Jason Washburn, a corporal in the US Marines who served three tours in Iraq. He told the audience at the Winter Soldier hearings that took place March 13-16, 2008, in Silver Spring, Maryland, “She was carrying a huge bag, and she looked like she was heading toward us, so we lit her up with the Mark 19, which is an automatic grenade launcher, and when the dust settled, we realized that the bag was full of groceries.

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Wikileaks Unearths Classified Video Of U.S. Military Massacre In An Iraqi Suburb

Wikileaks has set up a website titled Collateral Murder concerning a classified U.S. military video they uncovered:
WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.
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Mainstream Media Collectively Forgets Anniversary of the Start of the Iraq War

Glynnis MacNicol writes on Mediaite:
Things I have gleaned from my Twitter feed [on March 20th]: It is the second anniversary of the death of Arthur C. Clarke. Things that are noticeably absent: Any mention that today is the 7th anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq. But let’s forget Twitter for a second — though it’s a great measure of where the hive mind is focused — and turn to some more “reliable” news sources. There’s not a single op-ed in the New York Times today to mark the anniversary, or pontificate on where it all went wrong (update: there is a photo slideshow from this weekend’s Magazine). Nor the Wall St. Journal to tell us what went right. Nothing in the Washington Post either. Nor the LA Times. I can’t even find a single link on Drudge. Perhaps even more shocking is that I can’t find anything on Andrew Sullivan. It’s almost as though where the media is concerned the Iraq War didn’t happen.
Well, Robert Greenwald did not forget: Iraq: Thousands Dead, $747.3 Billion Spent And Not Any Safer
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Tony Blair’s Secret Oil Money

Tony BlairWhile everyone knew that Dick Cheney and George W. Bush wanted Iraq for its oil and the cash that would gush their way via Halliburton and other companies they had interests in, few suspected that British Prime Minister Tony Blair had a similar motivation. The Daily Mail reveals otherwise:

Tony Blair waged an extraordinary two-year battle to keep secret a lucrative deal with a multinational oil giant which has extensive interests in Iraq.

The former Prime Minister tried to keep the public in the dark over his dealings with South Korean oil firm UI Energy Corporation.

Mr Blair – who has made at least £20million since leaving Downing Street in June 2007 – also went to great efforts to keep hidden a £1million deal advising the ruling royal family in Iraq’s neighbour Kuwait.

In an unprecedented move, he persuaded the committee which vets the jobs of former ministers to keep details of both deals from the public for 20 months, claiming it was commercially sensitive.

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Birth Defects on the Rise in Fallujah

Via the Daily Mail:

Fallujah

A Fallujah mother holds her little girl, who was born without a left forearm and hand.

A high number of children are being born with birth defects in an Iraqi city where U.S. forces may have used chemical weapons during a fierce battle in 2004.

Children in Fallujah are being born with limb, head, heart and nervous system defects.

There is even a claim that a baby was born with three heads. The number of heart defects among newborn babies is said to be 13 times higher than the rate in Europe.

The city, 40 miles west of Baghdad, was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of the Iraq war in late 2004. U.S. Marines led Operation Phantom Fury to recapture it from insurgents.

British troops were involved in manning checkpoints on the outskirts of the city as the Americans went in. The U.S.

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