Tag Archives | Iraq

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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Iraq Opens Up to Foreign Oil Majors

From Business Week:

Western producers like BP, Exxon Mobil, and Shell are enjoying their best access to Iraq’s southern oil fields since 1972, but a weaker government could be on the way.

BP Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. took the best deal they could get in Iraq last year when they won the largest oil contracts since addam Hussein was toppled in 2003. Oil companies may wait a long time to get a better one.Parliamentary elections may produce a weak or unstable government incapable of tendering new oil contracts, said Samuel Ciszuk, a London-based analyst at IHS Global Insight. He said he does expect the 10 technical-services contracts won by Exxon, BP and 20 other companies to be honored.

“One thing that’s fairly certain is there won’t be a strong coalition, so it may take time for the next government to get its act together,” Ciszuk said in a telephone interview.

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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. 

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