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* His "Do This" List for Abu Ghraib
* Driving Jose Padilla Insane

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Cockburn in San Francisco

Today's Stories

March 20, 2007

Patrick Cockburn
Iraq is a Vast, Blood-Drenched Human Disaster

March 19, 2007

Paul Craig Roberts
Crime Blotter: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Patrick Cockburn
Operation Deepening Nightmare

Stauber / Rampton
Why Won't MoveOn Move Forward?

Plame Wars: Valerie Plame, the Washington Post and the Ghost of Joe McCarthy

Noam Chomsky
In Memory of Tanya Reinhart

Jeff Leys
Tap Dancing on Graves: How Democrats Bought the War

Richard May
And Then There Were None: Europe's Afghan Backlash

Ron Jacobs
Lessons of the Antiwar Movement and the Washington Post's Lessons of the Iraq War

Mike Whitney
Rove in the Dock

Website of the Day
Ringtones That Roar



March 17 / 18, 2007

Alexander Cockburn
Here Comes Another "Crime Wave"

John Scagliotti
A Sissy's Manifesto

Jeffrey St. Clair
The Green Imposter: When Al Gore Was Veep

Paul Craig Roberts
The Confession Backfired

Greg Moses
Jailing Immigrant Mothers in El Paso

Harry Clark
Thrice-Told Tales: Those Israel-Syria Peace Talks

Brian Cloughley
In the Name of Improving People's Lives: Mounting Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq

Mehran Ghassemi
An Interview with Sasan Fayazmanesh on the US, Israel and Iran

William Loren Katz
A Disturbing Expulsion: Racism and the Cherokee Nation

John Ross
Being a Zapatista Where You Live

Ralph Nader
Ban the Bomblets!

Walter Brasch
An Intolerant Minority: the Witch Hunt Against Gays in the Military

Samer Assad
The Palestinian Unity Government: Another for US Diplomacy

Dave Zirin
Bowie Kuhn: Death of a Baseball Reactionary

Ron Jacobs
The Darker Nation's: Remembering and Re-examining the Third World

Missy Beattie
No to War and Pace

Don Santina
First, They Came for the Democrats

Sami Adwan
What Hillary Should Know About Palestinian Schoolbooks

Dr. Susan Block
Gods of Spring: the Erotics of the Equinox

Poets' Basement
Reed, Landau, Engel, Buknatski

Website of the Weekend
God Save Helen Mirren


March 16, 2007

R. T. Naylor
The Political Economy of Diamonds

Paul Craig Roberts
The Last Days of Constitutional Rule

Joshua Frank
Obama's Israel Problem

Diane Farsetta
How Reporters Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Nuclear Front Groups

Tom Barry
Tancredo's Putsch: Anti-Immigrant Agenda Veers Hard Right

Stephen Lendman
Plays from a Political Fake Book: Congress's Phony Opposition to War

Al Krebs
Compounding Infamy: Chiquita, Its Workers and Colombia's Death Squads

Jackie Corr
Senator Schumer and the Corruption Culture

Ramzy Baroud
Palestinians Must Redefine Struggle

Reza Fiyouzat
The Chinese Way of Capitalism

Website of the Day
Introducing: the iRak


March 15, 2007

Alison Weir
Strip-Searching Children at Israeli Checkpoints

Patrick Cockburn
Baghdad Under Surge

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Memo to Congressional Leaders on Iraq Funding: First Stop the Bleeding

Franklin Spinney
Of Character and Contractors: the Unauthorized Rumsfeld

Standard Schaefer
Biofuels and the Green Resistance

Conn Hallinan
The Right's Stuff in Africa: Neocons, Evangelicals and Sudan

Maureen Webb
Another Patriot Act Abuse

Sonja Karkar
Rachel Corrie and Palestine

Margaret Kimberly
The Profits of Self-Hatred: Malkin and D'Souza, Incorporated

Anthony Papa
The New Capones: It's Time to Rethink Drug Prohibition

Katherine Hancy Wheeler Bush's Latin American Tour: Good Will Lost

Video of the Day
The Easiest Targets

Website of the Day
Memo to Kucinich: Watch Your Back!


March 14, 2007

Tao Ruspoli
A Conversation with Peter Linebaugh on the Slave Trade, Magna Carta and the State of the Left

Philip Agee
The Decline of the US, the Rise of Latin America

Bruce Dixon
The Digital Redlining of African-Americans

John Walsh
How One Senator Could End the War

Sunsara Taylor
Red Light, Green Light: the Democrats and Iran

William Johnson
Still Reeling from Katrina: The Spirited Strike at Pascagoula Shipyards

Richard Thieme
Entitlement and Empire

Jeffrey Klein
Right-Wing Academic Values

Nicola Nasser
This Time, Israeli is Missing an Historic Opportunity

Dave Lindorff
Political Hide-and-Seek with the Democrats

Website of the Day
Oil Change


March 13, 2007

Catherine Wilkerson, M.D.
Scenes from a Cop Riot

Jonathan Cook
The Real Goal of Israel's Invastion of Lebanon

Robert Bryce
Beyond Redemption: the Legacy of George the Second

Corporate Crime Reporter
Coal-Powered Democrats

Pierre Rimbert
Libération and the Evolution of French Neoliberalism

Dave Lindorff
What's Good for Halliburton is Good ... for Dubai

Elizabeth Schulte
The Repackaging of John Edwards

Norman Solomon
The Pragmatism of Prolonged War

Kevin Zeese
The Democrats' Fraudulent Iraq Exit Plan

Jeff Conant
Greeting Rumsfeld in Taos

Website of the Day
Tacoma and the Big Heat



March 12, 2007

Marjorie Cohn
Patriot Act Unbound

Col. Dan Smith
Ghost Prisoners, Shadowy Jails and Secret Trials

Paul Craig Roberts
Neocons in Kafkaland

Ingmar Lee
The Sentencing of Betty Krawczyk: a 78-Year-Old Eco-Heroine

Fred Gardner
Cannabis for the Wounded: Another Walter Reed Scandal

Ron Jacobs
Showdown at Port Tacoma: Confronting the War Machine in the Northwest

Ralph Nader
Send the Bush Twins to Iraq!

John Ross
Political Prisoners in Calderon's Mexico

Stephen Fleischman
Bush's Latin American Slip

Eva Carazo Vargas
Why We Reject CAFTA

Website of the Day
Mountain Justice Spring Break


March 9 / 11, 2007

Sameer Dossani
Interview with Noam Chomsky: War, Neoliberalism and Empire in the 21st Century

Jeffrey St. Clair
Crude Alliance: The Bi-Partisan Politics of Oil

Dave Marsh
Bono's Bullshit: Not One Red Cent

Patrick Cockburn
Shia Pilgrims Die Despite US Offensive

Jennifer Van Bergen
A Gonzo Argument: Alberto Gonzales's Defense of NSA Domestic Spying

James P. Stevenson
Pardon Whom? Libby and the Cheney Unseen

Arthur J. Versluis
Crusade for Commercialism

Corporate Crime Reporter
Not a Dime's Worth of Difference: Congress and Corporate Crime

Missy Beattie
Too Much Info, Newt!: Sex, God and Praying

Michael Simmons
Annie Get Your Gums: Why I Like Ann Coulter

Kevin Zeese
Making Democrats Pay the Price: Voting Against the War is No Longer Enough

David Swanson
Shocking Video: The Dark Side of the Democrats

John A. Murphy
Are the Congressional Democrats Spineless?

Dave Lindorff
Bush Dodges a Constitutional Bullet in New Mexico: Abetted by Democrats

Nikolas Kozloff
Lights! Camera! Chavez!

Christopher Fons
Bush Goes to Latin America: Is It All About (N)PR?

Mike Roselle
A Thousand Miles of Bad River

Mike Mejia
Justice for Sibel Edmonds

Susie Day
Anna Nicole Smith Bombs Iran!

Michael Donnelly
LA Story: Rock Stars, Porn Stars and Peace

Tao Ruspoli
Just Say Know (Parts 4 and 5)

Poets' Basement
Reed, Laymon, Mezmer and Harley

Website of the Weekend
Japanese Dolphin Massacre


March 8, 2007

Elaine Cassel
The Tragic Case of Jose Padilla

Yifat Susskind
Iraq's Other War: Violence Against Women Under US Occupation

Corporate Crime Reporter
Politics and the Prosecutors

Col. Dan Smith
The Sins of Walter Reed

William S. Lind
The Washington Dodgers

Mark Engler
Bush's Latin American Spring Break

Roger Burbach
With Negroponte as Tour Director, Bush's Trip Destined to Fail

Dana Cloud
Return of the Campus Witch Hunts: David Horowitz and the Thought Police

Isabella Kenfield
Brazil's Ethanol Pland: Breeding Rural Poverty and Environmental Degradation

Lucinda Marshall
We Stand with the Women of the World

Tao Ruspoli
Just Say Know: a Personal Look at Drugs and Drug Addiction (Part 3)

Website of the Day
Filibuster for Peace

March 7, 2007

Christopher Ketcham
What Did Israel Know in Advance of the 9/11 Attacks?

Christopher Ketcham
The Kuala Lumpur Deceit: a CIA Cover Up

Alexander Cockburn / Jeffrey St. Clair
Ketcham's Story: Coming in From the Cold

Winslow T. Wheeler
Mismeasuring the Defense Budget

Sean Donahue
Free Scooter Libby!

Dave Lindorff
The Fall Guy Has Fallen

Evelyn Pringle
Psychosis and Mania: ADHD Drug Warnings Come Too Late for Many

Tao Ruspoli
Just Say Know: a Personal Look at Drugs and Drug Addiction

Website of the Day
Debating Iraq: Gaffney Against the World!


March 6, 2007

Gary Leupp
Meet Eliot Cohen: "As Extremist a Neocon and Warmonger as It Gets"

Uri Avnery
Esterina Tartman: The Big Mouth of Israeli Fascism

Patrick Cockburn
The War on Terror is a Bust: Bush is Now Al Qaeda's Top Recruiter

Saul Landau
World in Crisis, Candidates in Denial

Corporate Crime Reporter
John Edwards' Big Lie

Ron Jacobs
The Legacy of Lordstown: The Union Makes Us Strong!

Mike Roselle
Judi Bari: Ten Years Gone

P. Sainath
Neoliberalism and the Ideology of the Cancer Cell

Joshua Frank
Dump the Dems, Unite Against the War

Aniket Alam
Women's Day, Lenin and a Riot in Copenhagen

Dave Zirin
Resurrecting Don Barksdale: Basketball's Forgotten Pioneer

Website of the Day
Physicians for a National Health Program


March 5, 2007

Greg Moses
Holding Suzi Hazahza for Profit

Patrick Cockburn
Exodus of Iraq's Ancient Minorities

James Petras
Bush vs. Chavez

Frida Berrigan
US Nuclear Hypocrisy and Iran

Marjorie Cohn
Conscientious Objector Faces Court-Martial: the Case of Augustín Aguayo

Douglas Kammen and S.W. Hayati
The Rice Crisis in East Timor

Sen. Barack Obama
On Israel and AIPAC: "We Must Preserve Our Total Commitment to Our Unique Defense Relationship with Israel"

Michael Young
Sy Hersh and Iran: the Dark Side of Spun a Lot?

Dave Lindorff
It's the People of Washington vs. Pelosi, et al

Sonja Karkar
Raiding Nablus: Israel's Hot Winter Offensive

Website of the Day
How Obama Learned to Love Israel


March 3 / 4, 2007

Alexander Cockburn
The Persecution of Sami Al-Arian

Corporate Crime Reporter
"No Fingernails, No Good:" Al-Arian Prosecutor's Anti-Muslim Bias

Jeffrey St. Clair
Glory Boy and the Snail Darter: Al Gore, the Origins of a Hypocrite

Patrick Cockburn
War Reporting in Iraq: Only Locals Need Apply

Ralph Nader
Hillary, Inc.: Sen. Clinton and Corporate America

M. Shahid Alam
American Mamlukes

Gilad Atzmon
From Esther to AIPAC

Fred Gardner
It's Official!: Cannabis Reduces Pain

George Ciccariello-Maher
The Fourth World War Started in Venezuela

Rock & Rap Confidential
Do the James Brown!: "No One Could Speak More Authoritatively for Blacks"

Gillian Russom
The Court Martial of Agustín Aguayo

Michael McPhearson
My Small Act of Civil Disobedience

Kevin Zeese
The Democrats and the Peace Movement: Who Owns Whom?

Sunsara Taylor
Four Years of an Unjust War

Wendy Thompson
Re-Organizing the UAW

Kenneth Rexroth
Gibbon's "Decline and Fall"

Missy Beattie
Regarding Cheney

Don Monkerud
Jesus Turned Away at US Border

Tina Louise
Stuffed with Terror, Starved of Dreams

Poets' Basement
Richards, Landau and Davies

Website of the Weekend
John Prine: Flag Decal


March 2, 2007

Roger Morris
Cheney's Bagram Ghosts

Phil Gasper
Prisoners of Ideology

Mike Roselle
Buffalo Gore: The Blood-Stained Snow of Yellowstone

Robert Bryce
The Ethanol Scam

John V. Walsh
Who is He This Time?: Kerry's Strange Call to Filibuster the War

Sherwood Ross
Bush and Walter Reed Hospital: Praise the Care, Slash the Budget

China Hand
Who Let North Korea Get the Bomb?

David Rosen
To Cut or Not to Cut?: the Politics of Circumcision in America

Chris Genovali
Connecting the Dots

Peter Harley
The Wall, Apartheid and Mandela

Website of the Day
Courage to Resist


March 1, 2007

Laura Carlsen
Return to Sender: Migrants as Globalization's Junk Mail

Paul Craig Roberts
The Tragedy of a Dozen Evil Men

Ray McGovern
How Far is Iran from the Bomb? Who the Hell Knows?

Christopher Brauchli
Bush's Theater of the Absurd

Najum Mustaq
America's Musharraf Dilemma

Brent Bowden
The War on Terror and the Terror of War

Tina Richards
Demoralizing the Troops? The Mother of an Iraq War Vet Responds

Ethan Nadelman
Mexico and the Drug War

Mike Stark
"Tough on Crime" is the Problem, Not a Solution

Wadner Pierre / Jeb Sprague
Haiti's Poor Under a State of Siege by UN

Mike Whitney
Market Meltdown: the Dead Hand of Greenspan

Website of the Day
Dylan Hears a Who


February 28, 2007

Peter Linebaugh
An Amazing Disgrace

Tao Ruspoli
A Conversation with Francisco Letelier

China Hand
The Shanghai Crash: Take the Money and Run

Marjorie Cohn
Why the Boumediene Case on Gitmo Detainees and Habeas Corpus Was Wrongly Decided

Sarah Olson
Is Lt. Watada an Isolated Case of Military Dissent?

Susan Van Haitsma
Mark Wilkerson: Standing for a Soldier's Right to Conscience

Nicole Colson
License to Torture

Harvey Wasserman
The Sham of Nuclear Power

William S. Lind
The Non-Thinking Enemy

Nicola Nasser
US Turnabout?: Engagement and Confrontation in the Middle East

Website of the Day
Andrew Cockburn on Rumsfeld


February 27, 2007

Tariq Ali
The Khyber Impasse: the Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Tom Barry
America's Crusaders: Santorum and Lieberman

Uri Avnery
The Next War

Antonia Juhasz / Raed Jarrar
Oil Grab: the Secret Scheme to Split Iraq

Jeff Nygaard
Howard Hunt and the National Memory System

Hugh O'Shaughnessy
Grenada: an Invasion Revisited

Mitchell Kaidy
Israel's Cluster Bombs: Made in USA, Ground-Tested in Lebanon

Carl Finamore
Airline Bankruptcies, Mergers and Profits

Anne McElroy Dachel
The Really Big Lie About Autism

Ramzy Baroud
Who is Really in Control?

Andrew Rouse
The Queen, Her Apothecary and the War on Iraq

Website of the Day
New York City Skyline


February 26, 2007

Franklin Lamb
US Israel Lobby Targets Lebanon's Jihad al-Bina

Bill Quigley
The Right to Return to New Orleans

Greg Moses
Suzi Hazahza in Haskell Hell

Col. Dan Smith
Calling All Carriers

Ralph Nader
The Bush Administration is a Threat to Our National Security

Paul Buchheit
The Income Gap

Jeff Leys
How Democrats Are Buying the Iraq War

Dave Zirin
Bojangling for Bigots: an Open Letter to Jason Whitlock

Mike Whitney
Doomsday Dick and the Plague of Frogs

Michael Dickinson
Free Kareem Amer!

Website of the Day
Beware the Chickenhawks!


February 24 / 25, 2007

Jeffrey St. Clair
Frightening Tales of Endangered Species

R. T. Naylor
Inside Islamic Charity

Gary Leupp
AIPAC Demands "Action" on Iran

Saul Landau
Modern Day Miracle: Rev. Haggard Cured! Thank You, Jesus!

Ron Jacobs
Missile Defense Redux

Jeffrey Blankfort
A Debate on the Israel Lobby

Chris Sands
Afghanistan in Winter: Where Death Comes Cheap

Gary Freeman
The N-Word and Black History Month

Larry Portis
Zionism and the United States: the Cultural Connection

P. Sainath
Two Million People in "Maximum Distress"

Lee Sustar
What Next for the Immigrants' Rights Movement?

Kevin Wehr
Liberal vs. Radical Enviros: the Thrill isn't Gone, It's Just Moved

Ken Couesbouc
The African Card

Soffiyah Elijah
FBI Hunting Dead Panthers: Can John Bowman Ever Rest in Peace?

Kathlyn Stone
Iraqi Labor vs. Big Oil

Dave Lindorff
Breaking the Dam in Olympia

Jason Kunin
Criticizing Israel is Not an Act of Bigotry

Kevin Zeese
Can Hillary be Trusted?

Remi Kanazi
All Roads Lead to Checkpoints

Missy Beattie
Five Words That Change Lives

Poets' Basement
Davies, Holt and Rodriguez

Website of the Weekend
Caught on Tape: an Anti-War Movement Finding Its Feet?


February 23, 2007

Franklin Spinney
Top Gun vs. the Axis of Evil: Is This What We Have Become?

Jonathan Cook
Watching the Checkpoints

Patrick Cockburn
The True Extent of Britain's Failure in Basra

Kathy Kelly
Do Something Good

Chris Dols
Islamophobia at Urban Outfiters: the Case for Keffiyehs

Evelyn Pringle
The Neurontin Suicides: Risks Kept Hidden for Years

Stephen Pearcy
If Bush is a War Criminal, What About the Troops?

Dan Brook
Making Poverty History

Yifat Susskind
Iraqi Police Commit Rapes

Website of the Day
A Citizens Arrest of Patty Murray


February 22, 2007

Robert Fantina
Repeating History

Tariq Ali
Prodi's Soap Operatic Fall: Neoliberalism and War in Italy

Michael Shank
An Interview with Noam Chomsky on Iran, Iraq, the Democrats and Climate Change

John Ross
Calderon's War on Drugs

Christopher Brauchli
Stockcars on Dope: How NASCAR and the Tour de France are Bring the World Together

Cindy Litman
Paying for the Damage Done to Iraq

Niranjan Ramakrishnan
Mr. Jefferson's Inheritors: Caution, Calculation and Cold Feet

Kevin Zeese
Finally, a Populist Antiwar Candidate for President

Aseem Shrivastava
The New Indian Way?: a Developer's Model of Development

Reza Fiyouzat
A Letter to the Israeli People: We are All Led by Mad Men

Illinois Students Against the War
Why We Protested at Obama's Speech

Website of the Day
An Interview with Mike Gravel


February 21, 2007

Maass / St. Clair
The Clintons: the Art of Politics Without Conscience

Sharon Smith
Inside the Imperial Budget

Greg Moses
Showdown Over Texas Immigrant Prisons

Margaret Kimberly
America the Stupid

Ralph Nader
Making Cancer Cool: Tobacco and Hollywood

Nicola Nasser
Evasive Diplomacy: Bush Adm. Shuns Middle East Peace Talks

Mike Whitney
The Second Great Depression

Tao Ruspoli
Revolutionary But Gangsta: a Conversation with Stic.Man of Dead Prez

Byeong Jeongpil
Beyond the "Protection Facility", Another Prison

Corporate Crime Reporter
Why Hillary, Obama and Edwards Oppose Single-Payer Health Care

Josh Mahan
The Lost Art of Shattuck: a Good, Old-Fashioned Drinking Story

Website of the Day
Time to Free the Puerto Rican Nationalists

February 20, 2007

Sgt. Martin Smith
Structured Cruelty: Learning to be a Lean, Mean Killing Machine

How to be a Washington Expert

Corporate Crime Reporter
Exposing SAIC

Carl G. Estabrook
Common Sense About the Recent Past

China Hand
Setting Sun: The Diverging US-Japan Relationship

Joshua Frank
Cleaning Up Exxon's Greenpoint Oil Spill

Megan Boler
The Daily Show and Political Activism

John Feffer
People Power vs. Military Power in East Asia

Daryll E. Ray
What's Inside the New Farm Bill

Alan Gregory
Midwest Wolves Fall Prey to Slob Hunters' PR Scam

Website of the Day
"Not a Target Rich Environment?"


February 19, 2007

Paul Craig Roberts
Economists in Denial: Blind to the Consequences of Offshoring

Gary Leupp
"A Genocidal, Suicidal Nation:" Mitt Romney Joins Iran's Hysterical Accusers

Ron Jacobs
The Mecca Agreements: the Future Remains Bleak

Michael F. Brown
The Peace Process Industry

Robert Jensen
Liberal Icons and War: Bi-Partisan Empire-Building

Roger Burbach
Ecuador Stands Up to US

Monica Benderman
America, Where Are You Now?

Sonja Karkar
Apocalyptic Archaeology: Israel's Provocations Threaten Jerusalem

John Walsh
Some Good News from Beantown

Talli Nauman
Colorado Delta Blues: Challenging the Law of the River

Website of the Day
"The Best Place to be in Town"


Feburary 17 / 18, 2007

Alexander Cockburn
Sold to Mr. Gordon, Another Bridge!

Tao Ruspoli
CounterViews: a Conversation with Patrick Cockburn, Part Two

Gary Leupp
Iran: A Chronology of Disinformation

Jeffrey St. Clair
Dark Mesas in an Ancient Light

Roger Morris
The Undertaker's Tally: the Tragedy of Donald Rumsfeld

Uri Avnery
Facing Mecca

James Brooks
Palestinians and the "Diplomatic Horizon"

Sen. Russell Feingold
Congress Must Defund the Iraq War

Linn Washington, Jr.
"Death Row is a Web That Catches Only the Poor"

Michele Brand
Iran: the Proxy War?

Fred Gardner
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Music and Basketball in the Harlem Renaissance

Mitchel Cohen
Storming the Pentagon: Lessons from 1967

Mike Ferner
Democrats Keep Ohio Refugee Free: "No Iraqis in Our Backyards!"

David Swanson
Memo to Don Young: What Lincoln Really Said

P. Sainath
In the Theater of the Jungle Belt

Mike Stark
GoreAid: Gore Plans Concert with Musicians He and Tipper Betrayed in the 80s

Missy Beattie
The Object of My Disaffection

Jonathan Franklin
Carnival: Where Dance is Hope

Website of the Weekend
The Godfather and the Tenor: "It's a Man's World"

February 16, 2007

Marc Levy
Turning Point: Veterans' Voices Trigger Response

Andrew Cockburn
In Iraq, Anyone Can Make a Bomb

Glen Ford
Powell, Rice and Obama: Putting Black Faces on Imperial Aggression

Greg Moses
The Terror of Suzi Hazahza: Why Her Family Must Be Freed

Ron Jacobs
Marching on the Pentagon: Then and Now

John W. Farley
Hook, Line and Sinker: The Press and Stephen Hadley

James Marc Leas
Vermont Legislature Says: "Bring Them Home Now!"

Tim Rinne
The Most Dangerous Place on the Face of the Earth?: StratCom and the Coming War on Iran

Albert Wan
Star-Cross'd Lovers?: The Strange Romance of Hillary and David Brooks

Website of the Day
Did Wal-Mart Murder Tweety Bird?


February 15, 2007

Patrick Cockburn
Who is Muqtada al-Sadr?

Saul Landau
How to Obsess Your Enemies

Stephen Lendman
The Rules of Imperial Management

Evelyn Pringle
More Zyprexa Postcards from the Edge

Michael Simmons
Is the Joke Over?: an Evening with Ralph Steadman

Kevin Zeese
A Congressional Kabuki Show

Dave Lindorff
The Co-Dependent Congress

Pete Shanks
They Want You to Eat Cloned Meat--And They Don't Want You to Know It

Peter Rost
The Michelle Manhart Affair: the Air Force Listens!

Lenni Brenner / Gilad Atzmon
An Exchange

Website of the Day
Barack Obama vs. Huey P. Newton


February 14, 2007

Tao Ruspoli
CounterViews: A Conversation with Patrick Cockburn

Dick J. Reavis
War Without a Name

Margaret Kimberly
Medical Apartheid in America

Christopher Brauchli
The Perils of Charity: You Can be Prosecuted for Funding Terror Even If the Designation of the Group as a Terrorist Organization was Wrong!

Paul Craig Roberts
Cracks in the Pentagon

John Ross
The Plot Against Mexican Corn

Michael F. Brown
The Democrats and Palestine: New Chairman, Old Rules

Dave Lindorff
The Press Bites, Again: a Word of Caution on Those Iranian Weapons

J.L. Chestunut, Jr.
Texas-style Injustice in Black and White

Don Fitz
Hybrids, Biofuels and Other False Idols

Michael Donnelly
Give Love, Give Life

Dr. Susan Block
The Chemistry of Love

Website of the Day
Code Pink Drops By Hillary's Office


February 13, 2007

Uri Avnery
Three Provocations: the Method in the Madness

Patrick Cockburn
Targeting Tehran

Ralph Nader
When Wall Street Whines (You Know They're Making a Killing)

Marjorie Cohn
Fool Us Twice? From Iraq to Iran

Col. Dan Smith
Iran Bashing Goes Prime Time

Col. Douglas MacGreagor
Empty Vessels: Gen. Patraeus and Other Hollow Men

Thomas Power
Coal Ambivalence: Mining Montana

Nicola Nasser
The Politics of Archaeology in Jerusalem

David Swanson
Iran War Talking Points

Columbia Coalition Against the War
Why We Are Striking

Website of the Day
Our Friends at Antiwar.com Need Your Help


February 12, 2007

Patrick Cockburn
Scapegoating Iran

Paul Craig Roberts
How the World Can Stop Bush: Dump the Dollar!

John Walsh
A Splintered Antiwar Movement: Nader and Libertarians Not Welcome

Dr. John Carroll, MD
What Next for Haiti's Cite Soliel?: a Journey Through the World's Most Miserable Slum

Greg Moses
An Outrageously Sickening Immigration Policy

Nicole Colson
The Frame-Up That Fell Apart: Jury See Through Another Botched Federal "Terrorism" Case

Dave Lindorff
Acting in Bad Feith: Inappropriate Behavior and Impeachment

Ray McGovern
The Kervorkian Administration: Are Bush and Cheney the Biggest Threats to the Existence of Israel?

Doug Giebel
Rampant Cyncism

David Swanson
Twisted: Sex and Torture in America

Website of the Day
The Texas Model: Executing Women in Iraq



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March 20, 2007

Four Years After the Invasion

Iraq is a Vast, Blood-Drenched Human Disaster


Khanaqin, Diyala province

Four years after the US and British troops invaded Iraq the country is drenched in blood and its people full of fear. Iraqis often have a look of half-suppressed panic in their eyes as they tell how violent death had touched them and their families again and again.

"I have fled twice in the past year," said Kassim Naji Salaman, a burly driver in dirty brown robes, as he stood beside his petrol tanker outside the town of Khanaqin in central Iraq this week-end. "I and my family used to live in Baghdad but we ran for our lives when my uncle and nephew were killed and we moved into a house in the village of Kanaan in Diyala." Mr Salaman hoped he and his family, all Sunni, would be safer in a Sunni district. But almost everywhere in Iraq is dangerous. "Militiamen kidnapped my brother Natik, who used to drive this tanker, and forced him into the boot of their car," he continued. "When they took him out they shot him in the head and left his body beside the road. I am frightened of going back to Kanaan where my family are refugees because the militiamen would kill me as well."

Iraqis expected their lives to get better when the US and Britain invaded with the intention of overthrowing Saddam Hussein exactly four years ago today. They were divided on whether they were being liberated or occupied but almost no Iraqis fought for the old regime in 2003. Even his own Sunni community knew that Saddam had inflicted almost a quarter of a century of hot and cold war on his own people. He had reduced the standard of living of Iraqis, owners of vast oil reserves, from a level close to Greece to that of Mali.

No sooner had Saddam Hussein fallen than Iraqis were left in no doubt that they had been occupied not liberated. The army and security services were dissolved. As an independent state Iraq ceased to exist. "The Americans want clients not allies in Iraq," lamented one Iraqi dissident who had long lobbied for the invasion in London and Washington. Guerrilla war against the US forces by the five million strong Sunni community erupted with extraordinary speed and ferocity. By the summer of 2003 whenever I went to the scene of a bomb attack or an ambush of US soldiers I would find jubilant Iraqis dancing for joy around the pools of drying blood on the road or the smoldering Humvee vehicles. For Iraqis every year has been worse than the last since 2003. In November and December last year alone some 5,000 civilians were murdered, often tortured to death, according to the UN. This toll compares to 3,000 killed in 30 years of conflict in Northern Ireland. Many Iraqis have voted with their feet, some two million fleeing--mostly to Syria and Jordan-- since President Bush and Tony ordered American and British troops across the Iraqi border four years ago today.

So dangerous is it to travel anywhere in Iraq outside Kurdistan that it is difficult for journalists to provide evidence of the slaughter-house the country has become without being killed themselves. Mr Blair and Mr Bush have long implied that the violence is confined to central Iraq. This lie should have been permanently nailed by the Baker-Hamilton report written by senior Republicans and Democrats which examined one day last summer when the US military had announced that there had been 93 attacks and discovered that the real figure was 1,100. In other words the violence was being understated by a factor of ten.

Diyala is one of the most violent provinces in Iraq. It used to be one of the richest with rich fruit orchards flourishing on the banks of the Diyala river before it joins the Tigris south of Baghdad. But its sectarian geography is lethal. Its population is a mixture of Sunni and Shia with a small Kurdish minority. For at least two years it has been convulsed by ever escalating violence.

It is impossible for a foreign journalist to travel to Diyala from Baghdad unless he or she is embedded with the US forces. I knew, having made the journey before, that it was possible to get to Khanaqin, in the Kurdish controlled north-east corner of Diyala by taking a road passing through Kurdish villages along the Iraqi side of the Iranian border.

We started in Arbil, the Kurdish capital, and drove through the mountains to Sulaimaniyah three hours to the east. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the party of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, arranged a guide who knew the road to take us on to Khanaqin the following morning. We drove out of the mountains through the Derbendikan tunnel and then followed the right bank of the Diyala river, swollen by torrential rain, until we got to the tumbledown town of Kalar. It is important here to turn right over a long bridge across the Diyala because the next town on the road, Jalawlah, is contested between Kurds and Arab Sunni. The road then goes in the direction of the Iranian border until it reaches Khanaqin which is under PUK control.

What would have happened to us if we had gone on to Jalawlah became clear when we met a tribal leader from the town called Ghassim Mohammed Shati. Asked about the state of security in Jalawlah he said: "The centre of the town is safe enough but my father and brother and aunt were murdered on the outskirts in March 2005."

Mr Shati, who was also a police captain, was looking for help from the mayor of Khanaqin, Mohammed Amin Hassan, Hussein who seemed unable to provide it. Surprisingly the tribal leader did not favor just shooting the insurgents who had killed his relatives. He said; "The only solution is to give employment to the police and army officers who were sacked and now support al Qaeda. If they get jobs they will stop."

Everybody agreed that the situation in Diyala was worse than ever. Col. Azad Issa Abdulrahman, the gloomy looking chief of police for Khanaqin, said that the provincial capital Baquba with a population of 250,000, though only 30 miles from Baghdad, and another large town called al Miqdadiyah were under the control of insurgents. "The government only controls a few of its own buildings," he admitted. The insurgents say they are setting up the Islamic emirate of Diyala.

Earlier this month the US, with much fanfare, sent 700 soldiers from the 5 battalion of the 20th infantry regiment to Diyala to restore government authority. It fought a ferocious battle with insurgents in which it lost two armoured 'Stryker' vehicles. But, as so often in Iraq, in the eyes of Iraqis the presence or absence of American forces does not make as much difference to who holds power locally as the US military command would like to believe. Supposedly they are supporting 20,000 Iraqi security forces, but earlier this year it was announced that 1,500 local police were to be fired for not opposing the insurgents. At one embarrassing moment US and Iraqi military commanders were claiming at a video-link press conference that they had a firm grip on the situation in Baquba when insurgents burst into the mayor's office, kidnapped him and blew it up. Power in Diyala is fragmented. As in the rest of Iraq it is difficult to know who is in charge. Often it is local political or military warlords whose allegiances are multiple. For instance the Fifth Division of the Iraqi army is in Diyala province but is largely Shia. It was Shia soldiers manning checkpoints or Shia Mehdi Army militiamen wearing military uniforms that Mr Salaman, the Sunni petrol tanker driver, was chiefly frightened of encountering.

Iraqis like him face terrifyingly numerous threats. Pointing out that he was now the sole bread earner for 18 women and children because so many of his male relatives had been killed Mr Salaman said despairingly: "I can't even visit the village where they live because soldiers or militia or just men in masks might kill me. I don't even know how to send them money" He said the problem was that the army and police were all on one side or other of the sectarian or ethnic divide. He did not expect things to get better.

The Iraqi government, whose ministers issue optimistic statements about the improving state of their country, when on visits to London or Washington carries surprisingly little weight outside the Green Zone in Baghdad. Often its interventions do nothing but harm. For instance the main source of employment in Khanaqin is the large border crossing from Iran at Monzariyah. Cross border traffic provided 1,000 jobs. But the government has closed the crossing point and the road that used to be crowded with trucks a few months ago is now empty.

Another sign of diminishing government control is that no rations have been delivered in Diyala for seven months. Some 60 per cent of Iraqis depend on cheap government subsidized rations. But these no longer arrive because those delivering them say it is too dangerous to do so. This is understandable enough since the drivers of trucks containing the rations are often deemed to be collaborators by insurgents and shot to death. In Mr Salamaan's village of Kanaan five men were burned to death for the crime of guarding two petrol stations.

A difficulty in explaining Iraq to the outside world is that since 2003 the US and British governments have togethor produced a series of spurious turning points. There was the capture of Saddam Hussein in December 2003, the supposed handback of Iraqi sovereignty in June 2004, the two elections and the new constitution in 2005 and--most recently_the military 'surge' into Baghdad. In all cases the benefits of these events were invented or exaggerated.

After Sunni fundamentalists blew up the golden-domed Shia al-Askari shrine in Samarra in February 2006 central Iraq was torn apart by sectarian fighting. Baghdad broke up into a dozen different hostile cities, Sunni and Shia, which fired mortars at each other. Government ministries, if controlled by different communities, fought each other. The Shia- controlled Interior Ministry kidnapped 150 people from Sunni-held Higher Education Ministry and killed many of them.

For a brief moment last November after the mid-term elections in the US and the Baker-Hamilton report it seemed that the US was going to be start negotiations with its myriad enemies in around Iraq. But in the event President Bush refused to admit failure. Some 21,500 troop reinforcements are being sent to Baghdad and Anbar province to the west.

So far there is little sign that the 'surge' will really change the course of the war in Iraq. For the moment the Shia militias have stood down but Sunni bombings continue. "The Shia have stopped killing Sunni but the Sunni have not stopped killing Shia,' one government official told me. "If this goes on and the Sunni political leadership do not denounce them there will be an explosion of sectarian hatred even worse then before."

Diyala, its once prosperous fruit-growing villages now becoming heavily armed Sunni or Shia fortresses, is a symbol of the failure of the occupation that began four years ago. From an early moment it was evident that only the Kurds in Iraq fully supported the US and British presence. The Sunni were always going to fight it and the Shia would only play along with it so long as it served their interests. The biggest political change in the last year is that a majority of the Shia now support armed attacks on US-led forces.

The invasion four years ago failed. It overthrew Saddam but did nothing more, It destabilized the Middle East. It tore apart Iraq. It was meant to show the world that the US was the world's only super power that could do what it wanted. In fact it demonstrated that the US was weaker than the world supposed. The longer the US refuses to admit failure the longer the war will go on.

Patrick Cockburn is the author of 'The Occupation: War, resistance and daily life in Iraq', a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle Award for best non-fiction book of 2006.



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