BlueHummingbird News

The New Iraq

"Iraqi Freedom"

From Reuters: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 11:37 a.m. ET
Iraqi Violence Flares, Even After Saddam By Nadim Ladki
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A spate of violence Tuesday showed Saddam Hussein's capture offered no quick fix to Iraq's woes, but U.S. leaders hoped his arrest would help win global allies for their plan to speed up Iraqi self-government. ... America's top soldier General Richard Myers, in Baghdad, said the capture would hurt the anti-U.S. insurgency but that U.S. forces would stay on for a couple of years at least. ...

From Reuters (UK): Tue 16 December, 2003 17:51
Tanks roll into Tikrit By Robin Pomeroy
TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - Tanks have rolled out on to the streets of Tikrit, as a message that the U.S. army will not tolerate shows of support for Saddam Hussein in the captured president's home town. ... "These people love Saddam, that isn't true of other cities," said Lieutenant Colonel Steven Russell. "These people have always hated us in this area. It is not surprising that they hate us." ... the U.S.-backed regional governor Hussein al-Jaburi .. a recording of his voice boomed a warning to would-be Saddam loyalists. "Any demonstration against the government or coalition forces will be fired upon," Jaburi's voice said, according to an army interpreter. "This is a fair warning." Demonstrators risk a year in jail and, if they work for the state as civil servants or teachers, they will loose their jobs, the message said. All demonstrations are illegal in the U.S.-occupied province. "They are not allowed to go around kissing pictures of Saddam in this city," Russell said. "It will not happen." ...

From Reuters: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 11:58 a.m. ET
Iraq Official: U.N. Failed us and Should Help Now By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Iraq's foreign minister accused the United Nations on Tuesday of failing his country by leaving Saddam Hussein in power for decades and appealed to the world body to assume a leading role in Baghdad immediately. In an address to the U.N. Security Council, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari noted that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was opening offices in Cyprus and Jordan for international staff, who would commute to Baghdad. "Your help and expertise cannot be effectively delivered from Cyprus or Amman," Zebari said. ...

From The Globe and Mail: POSTED AT 11:56 AM EST Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003
Iraqi plan calls for full elections within 2 years By OLIVER MOORE
The Iraqi Foreign Minister laid out the details Tuesday for a resumption of sovereignty that calls for nationwide elections by the end of 2005, but he warned that movement toward democracy depends on the establishment of a stable and secure country. "Progress will continue to depend on the security situation in Iraq," Hoshyar Zebari told the United Nations Security Council, hours after news [of] a fierce gunfight about 100 kilometres north of Baghdad. ... the U.S. military issued a statement describing a battle in Samarra, north of Baghdad, that they said left 11 rebels dead. ... the sole hospital in Samarra told the French wire service Agence France-Presse on Tuesday that they had received only one body and one wounded person after Monday's shootout. ...

From Reuters: Wednesday, December 17, 2003 2:43 a.m. ET
U.S., Germany, France Agree on Iraq Debt Relief By Iain Rogers
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany, France and the United States said on Tuesday they were prepared to offer substantial debt relief to Iraq after a visit to the two main opponents of the war in Iraq by U.S. special envoy James Baker. "Debt reduction is critical if the Iraqi people are to have any chance to build a free and prosperous Iraq," President Bush, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said in a joint statement. "Therefore, France, Germany and the United States agree that there should be substantial debt reduction for Iraq in the Paris Club in 2004, and will work closely with each other and with other countries to achieve this objective." The size of reduction in Iraq's $120 billion in debt will be agreed later. ...

From Reuters: Wednesday, December 17, 2003 3:08 a.m. ET
Bush Says Saddam Deserves Death Penalty By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush said Tuesday Saddam Hussein deserves the death penalty -- the "ultimate penalty" -- for his iron-fisted rule in Iraq and that Iraqis should conduct the trial. Bush made clear in an interview with ABC News "Primetime" that what happens to Saddam will be decided by the Iraqi people, in the wake of Saddam's capture by U.S. troops on Saturday. ...

From The NYT: December 18, 2003
Remember 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'? For Bush, They Are a Nonissue
WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 — In the debate over the necessity for the war in Iraq, few issues have been more contentious than whether Saddam Hussein possessed arsenals of banned weapons, as the Bush administration repeatedly said, or instead was pursuing weapons programs that might one day constitute a threat. On Tuesday, with Mr. Hussein in American custody and polls showing support for the White House's Iraq policy rebounding, Mr. Bush suggested that he no longer saw much distinction between the possibilities. "So what's the difference?" he responded at one point as he was pressed on the topic during an interview by Diane Sawyer of ABC News. ... Where once Mr. Bush and his top officials asserted unambiguously that Mr. Hussein had the weapons at the ready, their statements now are often far more couched, reflecting the fact that no weapons have been found — "yet," as Mr. Bush was quick to interject during the interview. ... Pressed to explain the president's remarks, Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, said Mr. Bush was not backing away from his assertions about Mr. Hussein's possession of banned weapons. "We continue to believe that he had weapons of mass destruction programs and weapons of mass destruction," Mr. McClellan said on Wednesday. ...

From Reuters: 18 Dec 2003 16:58
Iraq's occupiers train jurists for Saddam trial By Joseph Logan
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's U.S.-led occupation authority said on Thursday it had trained Iraqi judges and lawyers to try Saddam Hussein and his entourage on charges that could include genocide and crimes against humanity. Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council is setting up a war crimes tribunal to try the captured former strongman, despite fears of human rights groups which say Iraq under U.S. occupation lacks the people and institutions for fair trials. U.S. officials say no trial is imminent and the Iraqi court - which could have an international role - will be run in a way that dispels concerns it dishes out victor's justice. ...

From The New Zealand Herald: 18.12.2003
Saddam trial could embarrass US
WASHINGTON - Saddam Hussein could use a war crimes trial as an opportunity to send an anti-American message to the Arab world and to embarrass the United States by bringing up its past support for his Government, legal experts said yesterday. ...

From Islam Online: December 18
Iraqi Shiites Want U.S. Out, Threaten Resistance
By Aws Al-Sharqy, IOL Correspondent
BAGHDAD ( – A number of Shiite religious leaders pressed the U.S.-led occupation forces to withdraw now that ousted president Saddam Hussein has been captured, warning of armed resistance if they fail to do so. ...

From AFP at Australian Broadcasting Corp.: Fri., Dec. 19, 2003 1:03am(AEDT)
Iraq war was unjustified, Putin says
... "The use of force abroad, according to existing international laws, can only be sanctioned by the United Nations. This is the international law," Mr Putin said in an annual live televised question-and-answer session. ... "I must say that in all times, great countries, empires, always suffered a series of problems that complicated their situation - this was a feeling of invulnerability, a feeling of grandeur, and a feeling that it never sins," ...

From The Washington Post at The San Francisco Chronicle: Friday, December 19, 2003
Russia yields to U.S envoy, will reconsider Iraq's debt By Peter Baker, Washington Post
Moscow -- Russia agreed on Thursday to negotiate debt relief for Iraq, reversing course after months of refusing to forgive any of $8 billion in obligations run up by Saddam Hussein's government. ... Putin made no specific commitments about how much debt might be erased, officials said, nor was there any public agreement tying debt relief to access for Russian companies to $18.6 billion in U.S.-funded reconstruction contracts in Iraq. ... Iraq owes about $120 billion to foreign creditors, plus another $100 billion in war reparations to countries such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. ... Russia is among Iraq's biggest creditors, due mostly to outstanding bills for arms sales from the old Soviet Union.

Commentary From Joe Vialls: 20 December 2003
America Commits Suicide in Iraq
They should have left bearded whatshisname in the hole - Copyright Joe Vialls
... "The bottom line is that Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld have taken the brakes off a giant million-man Shi’ite war machine called the Mehdi Army, and all Moqtada al-Sadr has to do now to start it rolling, is turn the ignition key. Remember, the Shi’ite Mehdi Army brackets all American exfiltration routes south towards Kuwait, which is the only way out for 110,000+ American servicemen." ... "Put simply, the U.S. political leadership is deliberately undermining the U.S. military, in order to assist in the subordination and partial destruction of the American people."

From AFP at Bloomberg: December 20, 2003 22:28 EST
Hussein Was Held by Kurds Before U.S. Capture, AFP Reports
Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. troops only after being held prisoner by Kurdish forces, who had drugged and abandoned him, Agence France-Presse reported, citing a Sunday Express newspaper report. The Kurdish Patriotic Front, which fought alongside U.S. forces during the Iraq war, held Hussien until it negotiated for more political advantage in the Middle East, AFP said, citing the paper, which quoted an unidentified Iraqi intelligence officer. ...

From Reuters: Sunday, December 21, 2003 7:14 a.m. ET
U.S. Swoop Nets More Iraqis as Saboteurs Hit Oil By Nadim Ladki
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. troops intensified a crackdown on anti-American guerrillas across restive central Iraq on Sunday as saboteurs did their best to inflame an already acute fuel shortage crisis. ... Saboteurs, who have wreaked havoc on U.S. efforts to restore the country's devastated infrastructure after Saddam's fall, set fuel storage tanks ablaze in Baghdad and ruptured a pipeline feeding oil products to Baghdad refineries. ... The sabotage of oil products facilities comes at the height of a gasoline shortage crisis in the oil-rich country. Damaged pipelines and rundown refineries alongside smuggling have left authorities struggling to satisfy local fuel demands and Iraqis waiting in queues for hours to fill up their cars with petrol. ... In the defiant town of Samarra to the east, the U.S. military said on Saturday night 111 people had been arrested within 48 hours as part of operations to flush out guerrillas. ...

From The Kurdistan Observer: December 22, 2003
We Got Him: Kurds Say They Caught Saddam
By Paul McGeough, Several News Agencies
" ... A report from the PUK's northern stronghold, Suliymaniah, last week claimed a vital intelligence breakthrough after a telephone conversation between Qusrat Rasul Ali and Saddam's second wife, Samira, which had prompted the Kurds to move units of their Peshmerga fighters to where Saddam was hiding. The report, from the MENA agency, as monitored by the BBC, said the Americans had insisted that it be an American arrest because they worried that such a coup for the Kurds might provoke an Arab-Kurd civil war. ... "

From The Washington Post:Monday, December 22, 2003; Page A01
In New Iraq, Sunnis Fear a Grim Future Once Dominant, Minority Feels Besieged
By Anthony Shadid, Washington Post Foreign Service
... Sheik Nadhim Khalil represents a new generation of leader. He has achieved influence by religious appeals and anti-occupation rhetoric. ... "The occupation is like a cancer, and it has to be removed," he said. The clerics, he said, "are fighting with our tongues." On this day, Khalil expounded on the need to form a Sunni militia to offset the armed presence of Shiites and Kurds. He said former military officers had started recruiting in Thuluya -- in his view, a welcome development. "If you lose and cannot get a place in the government, you have something to fight with," said Nadhim, wearing a white skullcap. "It's something to create a balance of power." The future, he predicted, was grim. He saw no end to the occupation. He saw sectarian strife only mounting. "The seeds for civil war have been planted," he said, his tone matter of fact. "I really think so."

From Asia Times: Dec 25, 2003
Iraq reconstruction's bottom-line By Herbert Docena

At The Middle East Media Research Institute: December 31, 2003
The Birth Pangs of Iraqi Sovereignty By Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli

From Reuters: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 7:35 a.m. ET
Two Dead as Ethnic Tensions Boil Over in Iraqi City By Adnan Hadi
KIRKUK, Iraq (Reuters) - At least two protesters were killed and more than 25 wounded Wednesday when gunfire erupted during a demonstration in Kirkuk, where Kurds are bidding for more control of the oil-rich northern city. Several thousand Arab and Turkmen protesters marched on the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of two main Kurdish factions, and surrounded the building, chanting "No to federalism, Kirkuk is Iraqi." ...
Also, from AP:

At The American Prospect: 1.1.04
Phoenix Rising By Robert Dreyfuss
Tucked away in the recent Iraqi appropriation was $3 billlion for a new paramilitary unit. Close students of Vietnam may see similarities.

From The Telegraph (UK): (Filed: 04/01/2004)
CIA plans new secret police to fight Iraq terrorism By Julian Coman in Washington
Nine months after the demise of Saddam Hussein's regime and his feared mukhabarat (intelligence) operatives, Iraq is to get a secret police force again - courtesy of Washington. The Bush administration is to fund the new agency in the latest initiative to root out Ba'athist regime loyalists behind the continuing insurgency in parts of Iraq. The force will cost up to $3 billion (£1.8 billion) over the next three years in money allocated from the same part of the federal budget that finances the Central Intelligence Agency. Its ranks are to be drawn from Iraqi exile groups, Kurdish and Shi'ite forces - in addition to former mukhabarat agents who are now working for the Americans. ... According to officials in Washington, the new agency could eventually number 10,000. Initially at least, salaries will be paid by the CIA, which has 275 officers on the ground in Iraq. ...

From Intervention Magazine: Wednesday, January 6. 2003
More Deadly Than Gas
When this war ends, George Bush will have caused the poisoning of hundreds of thousands more humans than he said Saddam Hussein poisoned.
By Frederick Sweet
In its 110,000 air raids against Iraq, the US A-10 Warthog aircraft launched 940,000 depleted uranium shells, and in the land offensive, its M60, M1 and M1A1 tanks fired a further 4,000 larger caliber also uranium shells. The Bush administration and the Pentagon said there is no danger to American troops or Iraqi civilians from breathing the uranium oxide dust produced in depleted uranium (DU) weapons explosions. DU is the waste residue made from the uranium enrichment process. This radioactive and toxic substance, 1.7 times as dense as lead, is used to make shells that penetrate steel armor. ... Many scientists believe that uranium oxide dust inhaled or ingested by U.S. troops in the Gulf War is the cause, or a contributing cause, of the "Gulf-War Syndrome." Of the approximately 697,000 U.S. troops stationed in the Gulf during the war, more than 100,000 veterans are now chronically ill. ... It is estimated that already about 300 tons of radioactive debris from DU weapons were deposited in target areas during the 2003 Iraq War, affecting over 250,000 Iraqis. ....

From The NYT: January 8, 2004
U.S. Withdraws a Team of Weapons Hunters From Iraq By DOUGLAS JEHL
WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 — The Bush administration has quietly withdrawn from Iraq a 400-member military team whose job was to scour the country for military equipment, according to senior government officials. The step was described by some military officials as a sign that the administration might have lowered its sights and no longer expected to uncover the caches of chemical and biological weapons that the White House cited as a principal reason for going to war last March. A separate military team that specializes in disposing of chemical and biological weapons remains part of the 1,400-member Iraq Survey Group, which has been searching Iraq for more that seven months at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. But that team is "still waiting for something to dispose of," said a survey group member. ...

From The BBC: Thursday, 8 January, 2004, 18:51 GMT
Iraq WMD threat 'misrepresented'
Bush administration officials have been accused of misrepresenting the threat from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The accusation comes in a report from the influential left-of-centre Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which opposed the war in Iraq. It also says there was no evidence for the claim that Saddam Hussein would give such weapons to terrorists. ...

At Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:
WMD IN IRAQ: Evidence and Implications Summary of New Carnegie Report

From AFP: Fri Jan 9,10:07 AM ET
Blast kills five outside Iraq mosque, leadership okays Kurd autonomy
BAGHDAD (AFP) - At least five people were killed in a blast outside a Shiite mosque northeast of Baghdad, as US troops rounded up suspected insurgents in Tikrit and Iraq's interim leadership endorsed Kurdish autonomy within a federal system. ... The ongoing violence and US sweeps came as Iraq's US-installed Governing Council agreed to a federal structure for the country and to enshrining Kurdish self-rule in at least three northern provinces in the fundamental law that will precede national elections in late 2005. ...

From Reuters: Saturday, January 10, 2004 4:46 p.m. ET
Bush Planned Iraqi Invasion Before Sept. 11-Report
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill charges in a new book that President Bush entered office in January 2001 intent on invading Iraq and was in search of a way to go about it. ...

From AP: Monday, January 12, 2004 17:22 PST
Army War College article says invasion of Iraq was 'strategic error'
By BOB JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer

Bounding the Global War on Terrorism By Dr. Jeffrey Record

From AP: Jan 12, 9:03 PM (ET)
Troops Disperse Iraqis Rioting for Food By NADIA ABOU EL-MAGD
KUT, Iraq (AP) - Ukrainian soldiers fired into the air Monday to disperse hundreds of Iraqis who rioted for jobs and food as a second southern Shiite Muslim city was rocked by unrest - a barometer of rising frustration with the U.S. led-occupation in a region of Iraq considered friendly to the Americans. ... Unrest in the Shiite areas has spread as the country's leading Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, has spoken out against the U.S.-backed formula for transferring power to the Iraqis. In a full-page newspaper advertisement Monday, al-Sistani repeated his demand that a proposed provisional legislature be elected rather than chosen by regional committees as called for under a plan endorsed by the U.S.-led coalition and the Iraqi Governing Council. ... Separately, the top U.S. administrator, L. Paul Bremer, said the United States is opposed to the maintenance of armed militias by Iraqi political parties. Groups vying to fill the country's power vacuum will have to lay down arms in a future democracy, he said. "In a unified Iraq there is no place for political parties having armed groups," Bremer told reporters.

From The Mirror: Jan 13 2004
AMERICA'S war on terror was likened yesterday to Germany's strategy during two world wars. President Bush was warned that his campaign could drag the US into conflicts with countries that posed no real threat. The invasion of Iraq was an unnecessary part of America's "dangerously indiscriminate and ambitious" war on terror, said a report published by the US Army War College. It said the White House should focus on al-Qaeda. The report's author, Professor Jeffrey Record, said the anti-terrorism campaign is "strategically unfocused, promises more than it can deliver, and threatens to dissipate US military resources in an endless and hopeless search for absolute security". Prof Record, comparing Bush's strategy to Germany's, said: "Keep your enemies to a manageable number. The Germans were defeated in two wars...because their strategic ends outran their means." ...

Comment at The Berkshire Eagle: Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - 2:15:41 AM EST
The big lie made clear

From AP: Jan 15, 1:40 PM (ET)
Iraqi Shiites March to Demand Elections By MATTHEW ROSENBERG
BASRA, Iraq (AP) - Tens of thousands of Shiite Muslims shouting "No to America!" marched Thursday through this southern city to back their spiritual leader's call for early elections, a stand that could stymie a U.S. blueprint for transferring power to a new Iraqi administration. ... An estimated 20,000-30,000 Shiite Muslims turned out to support Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani's demand that an interim legislature be elected directly and not chosen in provincial caucuses, as called for under the American plan. ... Under the current plan, the United States will transfer power by July 1 to a provisional Iraqi government to be created by a legislature chosen by provincial caucuses. The plan envisions a two-year political transition before full elections in 2005. ...

From The Independent: 21 January 2004
Kurds turn against US after losing control over oil-rich land
Kurdish community claims it had more autonomy under Saddam
By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
Iraqi Kurds, the one Iraqi community that has broadly supported the American occupation, are expressing growing anger at the failure of the United States and its allies to give them full control of their own affairs and allow the Kurds to expel Arabs placed in Kurdistan by Saddam Hussein. Massoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, told The Independent in an interview that the Kurds had been offered less autonomy "than we had agreed in 1974 with the regime of Saddam Hussein". The Kurds, the main Iraqi victors of the war last year, want, in effect, to keep the mini-state in northern Iraq they ruled after Saddam withdrew his army in 1991. They also want the US and the Iraqi Governing Council to recognise the Kurdish identity of the oil-rich province of Kirkuk and other districts from which Kurds were forced to flee by the deposed dictator and his predecessors. ... The Kurds of Iraq know that if they did opt for independence that would precipitate a Turkish invasion, probably aided by Syria and Iran. All three countries have large Kurdish minorities. ...

From AP: 1/22/2004 12:00
US commander says backbone of anti-occupation resistance has been broken
By Robert Burns, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) U.S. forces have ''brought to their knees'' the former Saddam Hussein regime holdouts who formed the backbone of the anti-occupation insurgency in areas north and northeast of Baghdad, the American commander responsible for security in that region said Thursday. ... Odierno, whose troops are preparing to depart Iraq in several weeks, said that although the former Baath Party loyalists are no longer a major threat, the nature of the anti-American violence could shift, fueled by what he called a nationalistic motive to get U.S. troops to leave. ...

At The Seattle Times: Thursday, January 22, 2004, 12:00 A.M. Pacific
Iraq may be on path to civil war, CIA officials warn
By Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay, Knight Ridder Newspapers
WASHINGTON — CIA officers in Iraq are warning that the country may be on a path to civil war, current and former U.S. officials said yesterday, starkly contradicting the upbeat assessment President Bush gave in his State of the Union address. ...

From Reuters: Fri January 23, 2004 03:29 PM ET
Ex-Arms Hunter Kay Says No WMD Stockpiles in Iraq By Tabassum Zakaria
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - David Kay stepped down as leader of the U.S. hunt for banned weapons in Iraq on Friday and said he did not believe the country had any large stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons. In a direct challenge to the Bush administration, which says its invasion of Iraq was justified by the presence of illicit arms, Kay told Reuters in a telephone interview he had concluded there were no Iraqi stockpiles to be found. "I don't think they existed," Kay said. ...
To date, no banned arms have been found. In his annual State of the Union on Tuesday, President Bush insisted that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had actively pursued dangerous programs right up to the start of the U.S. attack in March. ...

At Wednesday, January 28, 2004

From Reuters: Thursday, January 29, 2004 8:19 a.m. ET
BBC in Crisis Over Iraq as Blair Savors Victory By Katherine Baldwin
LONDON (Reuters) - The BBC held crisis talks on Thursday after a British judge sternly rebuked its Iraq reporting, but mounting cries of a whitewash rained down on Tony Blair's victory parade. On Wednesday, Judge Lord Hutton exonerated the prime minister of wrongdoing over the suicide of Iraq weapons expert David Kelly and ruled that the venerable broadcaster's claim that Blair had "sexed up" intelligence on Iraq was unfounded. Blair's foes, many commentators and large parts of the public were staggered at the scale of his let-off compared with the censure of the BBC. In an NOP poll for London's Evening Standard newspaper, 56 percent said it was unfair the BBC had received most of the blame and 49 percent branded Hutton's report a whitewash. ... BBC chiefs met to address what is being called the gravest crisis in the corporation's 82-year history. ... Hutton's report had the potential to sink Blair had he been directly blamed for naming Kelly as the BBC's source. Instead, Hutton slammed the BBC's management procedures as "defective," prompting the resignation of BBC Chairman Gavyn Davies. The corporation's governors met on Thursday to consider whether further heads should roll as the government repeated its demand for a full BBC apology. ... In the Evening Standard poll, 70 percent called for a full independent inquiry into the reason Britain went to war. Blair's opponents have fresh ammunition after David Kay, the chief U.S. weapons hunter in Iraq who quit last week, said on Wednesday the intelligence had been "wrong."

From the Financial Times: January 29 2004 4:00
Bremer moves against Kurdish workers' party in north Iraq
By Charles Clover in Baghdad and Guy Dinmore in Washington
Paul Bremer, the US administrator in Baghdad, yesterday declared that the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK) and its affiliates which use northern Iraq as a safe haven would be treated as terrorist organisations by coalition troops. ... Mr Bremer released his statement just hours before President George W. Bush was to meet Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, at the White House. ...

From AP: Fri., Jan. 30, 2004 12:15PM (ET)
Bush Declines to Back Call for Intel Probe By TERENCE HUNT
WASHINGTON - President Bush said Friday "I want to know the facts" about any intelligence failures concerning Saddam Hussein's alleged cache of forbidden weapons but he declined to endorse calls for an independent investigation. ...

From Reuters: Sun February 1, 2004 05:20 PM ET
Bush to Announce Iraq Intelligence Probe This Week By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a reversal of his position, President Bush will announce this week the establishment of a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate apparent flaws in intelligence used to justify the Iraq war, senior administration officials said on Sunday. Bush, who had earlier opposed such a commission, was under strong pressure from Republicans and Democrats in Congress to support an independent probe into intelligence that said Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons when in fact none have been found. ...

From Reuters: Sun February 1, 2004 01:56 PM ET
Suicide Bombers Kill 56 in Attacks on Iraqi Kurds By Shamal Aqrawi
ARBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Two suicide bombers strapped with explosives blew themselves up Sunday in the offices of two Kurdish parties aligned with U.S. occupation forces in northern Iraq, killing at least 56 people and wounding 200. The Arbil offices of Iraq's two main Kurdish political groups were crowded with senior officials celebrating the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha when the bombers struck, killing many top leaders of the two groups. ...

From AFP: Mon Feb 2, 3:27 PM ET
Iraqi Kurds mourn 65 bomb dead, vow to unite for federalism
ARBIL, Iraq (AFP) - The Kurds of northern Iraq were in mourning as rival Kurdish political parties vowed to unite in their drive for a federal state despite being targeted by twin suicide bombings that cost 65 lives. ... Key figures were killed from both of the two main Kurdish parties, which for more than a decade controlled the semi-autonomous north during the rule of Saddam Hussein in defiance of the Iraqi president. But both the KDP and PUK agreed Monday to set aside rivalries and forge ahead with demands for a federal Kurdish state, despite violent objections from among Iraq's majority Shiites and other ethnic minorities. ...

From AP: Feb 4, 4:43 PM (ET)
Insurgent Group Claims Iraq Bombings
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - An Iraqi insurgent group claimed responsibility Wednesday for twin suicide attacks last weekend on the offices of two Kurdish political parties in Irbil, saying they were targeted because of the Kurds' ties to the United States. "Two of our martyrdom-seeking brothers ... broke into two dens of the devils in the city of Irbil in the north of Iraq," said the statement by "Jaish Ansar al-Sunna", or "Army of the Protectors of the Sunna." ... It said the Sunday attacks were launched because the two Kurdish parties "paved the way for the American crusader army." ...

From Reuters: Wed February 4, 2004 06:14 PM ET
U.S. Opens Door to Possibly Delaying Iraq Handover By Arshad Mohammed
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. officials opened the door on Wednesday to possibly delaying the June 30 handover of sovereignty to Iraqis, a move that may be unpopular with Iraqis and with Americans ahead of the U.S. presidential election. ...

Comment at The Guardian: Thursday February 5, 2004
There was no failure of intelligence By Sidney Blumenthal
US spies were ignored, or worse, if they failed to make the case for war

From AP: Feb 5, 6:57 PM (ET)
CIA Boss: Iraq Never an Imminent Threat By KATHERINE PFLEGER
WASHINGTON (AP) - Intelligence analysts never told President Bush before the invasion of Iraq that Saddam Hussein's rule posed an imminent threat, CIA Director George Tenet said Thursday in a heated defense of agency findings central to the decision to go to war. ...

From The Australian Broadcasting Commission: 7:30am - Friday 6 February 2004
US Iraq Intelligence - Scott Ritter
Radio National Breakfast Interview - Real Player Audio (10 min.)

From Reuters at the Sunday Star-Times (NZ): 07 February 2004
Powell: no apology over Iraq intelligence quality
UNITED NATIONS: US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said no apology was needed over the quality of the intelligence he used in trying to convince the UN Security Council a year ago of the need to invade Iraq. ... "I don't think any apologies are necessary," he said. ... "The intelligence base on which our decision rested was a solid intelligence base," he said. "And his (Bush's) action was totally justified by the information that he had, the intelligence he was provided, the record of this individual," he said, referring to former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. ...

From AP and CBS News: Feb. 8, 2004
'War President' Defends Iraq War
WASHINGTON - President Bush depicted himself as a wartime leader, and defended the case for the U.S. invasion of Iraq despite evidence that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction, in an interview broadcast Sunday. "I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind," Mr. Bush said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Again, I wish it wasn't true, but it is true." Mr. Bush spoke a year after he and other administration officials claimed Iraq was hoarding large stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, as well as an active nuclear weapons program. No weapons have been found. "Saddam Hussein was dangerous, and I'm not just going to leave him in power and trust a madman," said Mr. Bush in an Oval Office (interview taped Saturday with host Tim Russert.) "He's a dangerous man. He had the ability to make weapons at the very minimum." ...

From Chris King Pop Icon:
Death by Apache Helicopter in Iraq - Video

From The Observer: Sunday February 15, 2004
British spy op wrecked peace move By Martin Bright, Peter Beaumont and Jo Tuckman
A joint British and American spying operation at the United Nations scuppered a last-ditch initiative to avert the invasion of Iraq ... Senior UN diplomats from Mexico and Chile provided new evidence last week that their missions were spied on, in direct contravention of international law. The former Mexican ambassador to the UN, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, told The Observer that US officials intervened last March, just days before the war against Saddam was launched, to halt secret negotiations for a compromise resolution to give weapons inspectors more time to complete their work. Aguilar Zinser claimed that the intervention could only have come as a result of surveillance of a closed diplomatic meeting where the compromise was being hammered out. He said it was clear the Americans knew about the confidential discussions in advance. 'When they [the US] found out, they said, "You should know that we don't like the idea and we don't like you to promote it." The revelations follow claims by Chile's former ambassador to the UN, Juan Valdes, that he found hard evidence of bugging at his mission in New York last March. ...

At The Guardian: Monday February 16, 2004
Two-year wait for Saddam trial By Rory McCarthy in Baghdad
Iraqi officials report delays in setting up tribunal to investigate crimes against humanity

From AP: Feb 16, 1:51 AM (ET)
Iraq May Be Slipping Into Civil War By HAMZA HENDAWI
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Sunni politicians speak angrily of U.S. bias toward their Shiite rivals. Kurds are more outspoken in demanding self rule - if not independence. And someone - perhaps al-Qaida, perhaps Saddam Hussein loyalists - killed more than 100 people in recent suicide bombings. Rivalry and resentment among Iraq's ethnic and religious groups have become much more pronounced since Saddam's ouster in April. And those tensions are rising as various groups jockey for position with the approaching June 30 deadline for Iraqis to retake power. The fault lines are emerging for a possible civil war. ...

From LA Weekly: February 20-26, 2004
Soldier for the Truth Exposing Bush’s talking-points war, by Marc Cooper
After two decades in the U.S. Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, now 43, knew her career as a regional analyst was coming to an end when — in the months leading up to the war in Iraq — she felt she was being “propagandized” by her own bosses. ...
" ... So there was just not a process inside the Pentagon that should have developed good honest policy, but it was instead pushing a particular agenda; this group worked in a coordinated manner, across media and parts of the government, with their neoconservative compadres. ... There was a sort of groupthink, an adopted storyline: We are going to invade Iraq and we are going to eliminate Saddam Hussein and we are going to have bases in Iraq. This was all a given even by the time I joined them, in May of 2002. ... That decision was made by the time I got there. So there was no debate over WMD, the possible relations Saddam Hussein may have had with terrorist groups and so on. They spent their energy gathering pieces of information and creating a propaganda storyline, which is the same storyline we heard the president and Vice President Cheney tell the American people in the fall of 2002. ... this propaganda effort — to convince Americans that there was some just requirement for pre-emptive war. ... The neoconservatives needed to do more than just topple Saddam Hussein. They wanted to put in a government friendly to the U.S., and they wanted permanent basing in Iraq. There are several reasons why they wanted to do that. None of those reasons, of course, were presented to the American people or to Congress. ... The truth is, we know [Saddam] didn’t have these things. Almost a billion dollars has been spent — a billion dollars! — by David Kay’s group to search for these WMD, a total whitewash effort. They didn’t find anything, they didn’t expect to find anything. ...
"The neoconservatives pride themselves on having a global vision, a long-term strategic perspective. And there were three reasons why they felt the U.S. needed to topple Saddam, put in a friendly government and occupy Iraq. One of those reasons is that sanctions and containment were working and everybody pretty much knew it. Many companies around the world were preparing to do business with Iraq in anticipation of a lifting of sanctions. ... The second reason has to do with our military-basing posture in the region. ... The last reason is the conversion, the switch Saddam Hussein made in the Food for Oil program, from the dollar to the euro. ... So one of the first executive orders that Bush signed in May [2003] switched trading on Iraq’s oil back to the dollar. ... These people have no respect for the Constitution. The Congress was misled, it was lied to. At a very minimum that is a subversion of the Constitution. A pre-emptive war based on what we knew was not a pressing need - is not what this country stands for. ... "

From Reuters at The Washington Post: Saturday, February 21, 2004; Page A14
Bremer Says Iraqi Vote At Least a Year Away
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 21 -- The U.S. civilian administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, said it would not be possible to hold elections in Iraq for a year to 15 months for "technical reasons," an Arabic television station announced on Saturday. ...

From AP at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: AP-NY-02-22-04 16:27EST
Shiite Leader Demands Iraq Elections Soon By MARIAM FAM
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP)--A leading Shiite member of Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council on Sunday demanded no more ``stalling'' on arranging for elections for a new government. Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, a Shiite cleric and Governing Council member, said the U.S.-run coalition should have begun planning for elections months ago. ...

At Green Left Weekly: March 3, 2004 issue
Tariq Ali: The price of occupying Iraq

At AFP: (02 March 2004)
Shiites targeted in Iraq's deadliest day since fall of Saddam
KARBALA, Iraq (AFP) At least 182 people were killed in carefully planned and executed attacks on Shiite Muslims in the Iraqi cities of Karbala and Baghdad, on the deadliest day since the fall of Saddam Hussein. ...

From AP at The Globe and Mail: 11:15 AM EST Wednesday, Mar. 3, 2004
Death toll in Iraq bombings jumps to 271

From AP: Mar 5, 3:16 PM (ET)
Shiites Refuse to Sign Iraq Constitution By HAMZA HENDAWI

From The Independent: 05 March 2004
Blix: Iraq war was illegal By Anne Penketh in Stockholm and Andrew Grice
Blair's defence is bogus, says the former UN weapons inspector

From Reuters: Mon Mar 8, 2004 09:50 AM ET
Blix: Bush, Blair Knew They Were Hyping Case for War By Jeremy Lovell

From TIME: Sunday, March 7, 2004
Interview: L. Paul Bremer By VIVIENNE WALT and L. PAUL BREMER
The U.S. civilian chief on Iraq's perilous politics
BREMER: " ... I feel like I'm in a fast-moving car on a slippery mountain road. I don't spend a lot of time looking in the rearview mirror. I'll let the historians worry about that." ... "I really am planning to retire this time. I think this will have worn me out sufficiently for the rest of my life."

From Reuters: Mon Mar 8, 2004 11:51 AM ET
Iraq Council Signs Constitution; Top Cleric Unhappy
By Joseph Logan and Michael Georgy
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's Governing Council signed an interim constitution Monday after weeks of wrangling in a key step for the June 30 launch of a sovereign Iraqi government, but Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric sharply criticized the document. Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who wields immense influence over the country's 60 percent Shi'ite majority, said in a statement Monday the interim charter would make it harder for Iraq to agree on a permanent constitution, a foundation for democracy. ...
Governing Council members said Sistani's main objection to the interim charter was a clause that could allow minority Kurds to veto a permanent constitution due to be drawn up next year if it does not enshrine their demands for autonomy. Sistani also says an unelected body should not be allowed to pass legislation. Under the U.S. plan, an unelected Iraqi government will take over sovereignty on June 30. An assembly will be elected by end-January next year and full democratic elections will be held by the end of 2005. ...

At The Washington Post: Tuesday, March 9, 2004; Page A19
U.N. Inspector Writes of Pressure From U.S. on Iraq By Walter Pincus
Blix's Book Says He Was Challenged About Arms Assessment on Eve of Last Report to Security Council

At The Washington Post: Tuesday, March 9, 2004; 4:03 PM
Tenet: Administration Did Not 'Misrepresent' Iraq Intelligence By Dana Priest
CIA Director Answers Tough Questions Posed By Sen. Kennedy

From Knight Ridder Newspapers at RealCities: Tue, Mar. 09, 2004
CIA director disputes Cheney Iraq assertions By JONATHAN S. LANDAY
WASHINGTON - CIA Director George Tenet on Tuesday rejected recent assertions by Vice President Dick Cheney that Iraq cooperated with the al-Qaida terrorist network and that the administration had proof of an illicit Iraqi biological warfare program. ...

At The Nation: March 11, 2004
Al Jazeera Goes to Jail by Christian Parenti

At The Associated Press: 3/12/2004, 3:12 p.m. ET
Spread thin, Army calling on same units By ROBERT BURNS
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Army is spread so thin around the globe that when it needs fresh combat troops for Iraq this fall it will have little choice but to call on the same soldiers who led the charge into Baghdad last spring. ...

From Reuters: Sun Mar 14, 2004 02:40 PM ET
U.S. Officials Defend Iraq War on Anniversary By Tabassum Zakaria
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One year later, U.S. officials steadfastly defended the decision to go to war against Iraq, saying on Sunday that Saddam Hussein had posed an "urgent" threat more dangerous than North Korea, even though weapons of mass destruction have not yet been found. "I do believe it was the right thing to do and I'm glad it's done," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on CBS' "Face the Nation." ... "I believe to this day that it was an urgent threat," White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said on NBC's "Meet the Press" program. "This could not go on and we are safer as a result because today Iraq is no longer going to be a state of weapons of mass destruction concern." ... "No more mass graves are being filled," Secretary of State Colin Powell said on the "Fox News Sunday" program. "And we have taken this country that has been so brutally oppressed by a dictatorial leader and put it on a path to democracy," he said. ... "And so we may not find the stockpiles. They may not exist any longer. But let's not suggest that somehow we knew this," Powell said on ABC's "This Week." ... "The president wants to know as much as anybody, probably more than anyone else, what became of the weapons of mass destruction. We are all somewhat surprised that we have not yet found them," Rice said. But Iraq had been "more dangerous than North Korea," she said. "Yes the most dangerous regime in the world's most dangerous region." ...

From AFP at Yahoo: Mon. March 15, 2004 8:38AM ET
Spanish PM-elect vows to pull troops out of Iraq, lashes Bush

From The U.S. House of Representatives: Committee on Governmental Reform -
Minority Staff, Special Investigations Division: March 16, 2004
Iraq on the Record The Bush Administration's Public Statements on Iraq (pdf)
Prepared for Rep. Henry A. Waxman
About Iraq on the Record Report

From AFP at Yahoo: Thu Mar 18, 8:56 AM ET
Poland was 'taken for a ride' about Iraq's WMD: President
WARSAW (AFP) - Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said that his country had been "taken for a ride" about the alleged existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. "That they deceived us about the weapons of mass destruction, that's true. We were taken for a ride," Kawsniewski said Thursday. He argued however that it made no sense to pull US-led coalition troops out of Iraq. ...
From AP at Yahoo: March 18, 2004 7:32pm ET
Poland 'Misled' on Iraq, President Says By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA
WARSAW, Poland - President Aleksander Kwasniewski, a key U.S. ally, said Thursday that Poland was "misled" about whether Saddam Hussein's regime had weapons of mass destruction and was considering withdrawing troops from Iraq several months early. ...

From AP at Salon: March 18, 2004
South Korea cancels troops for Iraq
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea has canceled plans to send troops to the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, citing U.S. pressure to participate in "offensive operations" that are contrary to Seoul's mission of peaceful reconstruction, the Defense Ministry said Friday. ...

Opinion at The NYT: March 19, 2004
Taken for a Ride By PAUL KRUGMAN

Commentary at Salon: March 19, 2004
Welcome to the quagmire By Juan Cole
The Bush administration invaded Iraq a year ago expecting a shower of rose petals. Today, the country is on the verge of civil war, and there may be no way to stop it.

From Reuters: Sat Mar 20, 2004 01:09 PM ET
Global Protests Mark Iraq War Anniversary By Andrew Cawthorne
MADRID (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands took to streets across the world on Saturday to demand the withdrawal of U.S.-led occupying forces from Iraq on the first anniversary of the start of the war. Journalists estimated at least a million people streamed through Rome in probably the biggest single protest ... But there were fewer demonstrators than in the mass marches staged around the world in the run-up to the war. ... The protests began in Asia where rallies took place in Australia, Japan, South Korea, India, Bangladesh and Thailand. They then moved to Europe through the day and more were expected in the Americas later. ...
From Reuters at The Washington Post: Saturday, March 20, 2004; 7:54 PM
Millions Protest Worldwide on Anniversary of Iraq War
NEW YORK - Thousands of antiwar protesters poured into streets around the globe on Saturday's anniversary of the Iraq war to demand the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops. ... At a campaign rally in Florida, Bush touted Iraq as an "essential victory" in the war on terror he declared after the Sept. 11 attacks, and hit back at criticism of his decision to invade without more international support. ... Bush said the mission in Iraq "will make us all safer." ...

NEXT Page - Iraqi Occupation

Previous Page - Babylon, USA

BACK to Index of News Archive

Bush Administration Officials’ Lies about Iraq’s Supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction in Their Own Words by Jackson Thoreau

Some Blogs on Iraq:

Baghdad Burning - Today in Iraq - Back To Iraq 3.0 - Juan Cole * Informed Comment *

Casualties in Iraq - Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

Cost of the War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)

Vote to Impeach Bush
BACK to News Index

by keywords:

(Opens in new window)
In Association with

BlueHummingbird's Blog
My News Commentary

Donate through PayPal
(Not Tax Deductible)

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More