Iraq: The Age of Darkness

October 7, 2010 at 10:45 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Iraq: The Age of Darkness

6 Oct 2010

by Dirk Adriaensens

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 “Success”, a devastating balance sheet

In the immediate aftermath of the 2003 invasion, the triumphalist verdict of the mainstream media was that the war had been won; Iraq was assured of a benevolent, democratic future. The Times’s writer William Rees-Mogg hymned the victory: “April 9 2003 was Liberty Day for Iraq. (…) It was achieved by “the engine of global liberation”, the United States. “After 24 years of oppression, three wars and three weeks of relentless bombing, Baghdad has emerged from an age of darkness. Yesterday was an historic day of liberation.”[1]

“The problem with this war for, I think, many Americans is that the premise on which we justified going to war proved not to be valid, that is Saddam having weapons of mass destruction,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters while visiting Iraq.

“So when you start from that standpoint, then figuring out in retrospect how you deal with the war — even if the outcome is a good one from the standpoint of the United States — it will always be clouded by how it began.” [2]

So here Robert Gates acknowledges that this war was illegal according to international law, because there was no “casus belli”. But in the same sentence he says that the outcome has been good for the United States. What does he mean exactly? How can all the killing and destruction be a good outcome for the USA? And what about responsibilities? If you know that Iraq is still paying reparations for the invasion in Kuwait in 1990, how about the payment of reparations by the USA for the destruction it inflicted upon Iraq?

“We fought together, we laughed together, and sometimes cried together. We stood side by side and shed blood together,” Gen. Ray Odierno told Iraqi military leaders and hundreds of American soldiers and officers during the ceremony that officially closed combat operations.”It was for the shared ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice.”[3] Yes, they laughed together, like in the infamous, by Wikileaks released video of the “Collateral Murder” helicopter gunship attack on Baghdad civilians in July 2007, that killed more than a dozen Iraqis, two of them journalists of Reuters. And blood they surely have shed together! A lot of blood of over a million mothers, fathers, children and elderly Iraqi people. All that for “shared ideals of freedom, liberty and justice”, Mr. Odierno? Well, most Iraqis don’t share that view. For them, the country has slided into the age of darkness.

The facts

Here the facts:

Iraq’s child mortality rate has increased by 150 percent since 1990, when U.N. sanctions were first imposed. By 2008, only 50 percent of primary school-age children were attending class, down from 80 percent in 2005, and approximately 1,500 children were known to be held in detention facilities.

In 2007, there were 5 million Iraqi orphans, according to official government statistics. More than 2 million Iraqis are refugees and almost 3 million internally displaced. 70 percent of Iraqis do not have access to potable water.

Unemployment is as high as 50 percent officially, 70 percent unofficially. 43 percent of Iraqis live in abject poverty. 8 million Iraqis require immediate emergency aid. 4 million people lack food and are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. 80 percent of Iraqis do not have access to effective sanitation. Religious minorities are on the verge of extinction.[4]

In a recent Oxfam-designed survey, 33 percent of women had received no humanitarian assistance since 2003; 76 percent of widows did not receive a pension; 52 percent were unemployed; 55 percent had been displaced since 2003; and 55 percent had been subjected to violence – 25.4 percent to random street violence, 22 percent to domestic abuse, 14 percent to violence inflicted by militias, 10 percent to abuse or abduction, 9 percent to sexual abuse and 8 percent to violence inflicted by multinational forces.[5] Iraq has a dysfunctional parliament, rampant disease, an epidemic of mental illness, and sprawling slums. The killing of innocent people has become part of daily life.

William Blum gives a short but devastating overview of the “good outcome” of this war: “No American should be allowed to forget that the nation of Iraq, the society of Iraq, have been destroyed, ruined, a failed state. The Americans, beginning 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, killed wantonly, tortured … the people of that unhappy land have lost everything — their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women’s rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives … More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile … The air, soil, water, blood and genes drenched with depleted uranium … the most awful birth defects … unexploded cluster bombs lie in wait for children to pick them up .”[6]

Hannah Gurman adds the following challenge to this grim picture of “success”: “No matter how much the U.S government erases the past or predicts the future of Iraq, ordinary Iraqis will continue to face the more messy and complicated realities of the present. I dare Obama and everyone else in the spin machine to go to Iraq and look a child in the eyes. A child who, seven years after the U.S. invasion, still lacks adequate housing, drinking water, sanitation, electricity and education. Now, tell that child that the war in Iraq was a success.”[7]

Or read this evaluation of the “ Iraqi success story” by Iraqi Dr. Riad El Taher: “To date the net achievements of the Bush/Blair adventure are: Handing the Iraqi people a future in the hands of thugs and economic profiteers.  None of them have had the slightest interest to serve the Iraqi people.  The proof is instant wealth acquired by Chalabi, Alawi, Maliki, Sistani, Hakin, Bayati, Bachachi, Baher Alom and Rubai by virtue of their political adventure. Iraq’s natural resources are mortgaged for the next 50 years to the international oil contractors. Iraq experience intellectual and talent are forced to migrate. Sectarian divide is thriving and encouraged by the constitution. Ethnic minorities are undermined or forced to leave – Christians/Subain. Human rights, particularly of women, are violated and have reversed their past achievement in protecting maternity rights, employment and health. Education, health, environment and water resources are not seriously addressed and the same applies to agriculture, industries and culture. Thanks to Bush/Blair, Iraq held several democratic elections where the votes were bought by favour, intimidation or fear. Currently Iraqi citizens have access to a mobile phone, multi-TV channels, which are owned by the Iraqi Green Zone thugs and their sponsor US/UK/Kuwait investors”.

The destruction of Iraq has produced 2 million refugees but they’re not welcome in Europe.   The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) on Friday expressed its concern and objected to the continuing forced returns of Iraqi citizens from Western European countries soon after 61 people were flown back to Baghdad[8].

The fundamental contradiction of this success is the fact that Bremer’s 100 orders turned Iraq into a giant free-market paradise, but a hellish nightmare for Iraqis. They colonized the country for capital – pillage on the grandest scale, a cutthroat capitalist laboratory, weapons of mass destruction. Iraqis got no role in the planning nor were given subcontracts to share the benefits. New economic laws instituted low taxes, 100% foreign investor ownership of Iraqi assets, the right to expropriate all profits, unrestricted imports, and long-term 30-40 year deals and leases, dispossessing Iraqis of their own resources, so no future government could change them, writes Stephen Lendman[9].

A Transparency International Report states that the corruption in Iraq will probably become “the biggest corruption scandal in history”.[10] And as the U.S. draws down in Iraq, it is leaving behind hundreds of abandoned or incomplete projects. More than $5 billion in American taxpayer funds has been wasted — more than 10 percent of the some $50 billion the U.S. has spent on reconstruction in Iraq, according to audits from a U.S. watchdog agency.

That amount is likely an underestimate, based on an analysis of more than 300 reports by auditors with the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.[11] Despite $53 billion in “aid” spent since the 2003 invasion, 70 percent of Iraqis are without potable water or electricity. These funds have lined the pockets of foreign military contractors and corrupt officials.[12] The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction said the US Department of Defence is unable to account properly for $8.7bn. Out of $9bn, 96% is unaccounted for. It’s interesting to note that much of this money is not “aid” money, but came from the sale of Iraqi oil and gas, and some frozen Saddam Hussein-era assets were also sold off.[13]

Iraqi authorities have started the construction of a security wall around the capital Baghdad, reports the country’s Al-Iraqiya TV citing a Baghdad security spokesperson. The concrete wall with eight checkpoints is to be completed in mid-2011.[14] So not only the people of Baghdad are forced to live in gated communities (concrete “security” barriers between different districts), the whole city will be gated, sealed off from the outside world like a medieval fortress.

This past May, a study called The Mercer Quality of Living survey[15] released its results of “most livable city” in 2010. It ranked Baghdad dead last—the least livable city on the planet.

This is due to the complete destruction of Iraq’s sewage treatment plants, factories, schools, hospitals, museums and power plants by the U.S. military.[16] UN-HABITAT, an agency of the United Nations, recently published a 218-page report entitled State of the World’s Cities, 2010-2011.[17] Adil E. Shamoo’s comment: Almost intentionally hidden in these statistics is one shocking fact about urban Iraqi populations. For the past few decades, prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the percentage of the urban population living in slums in Iraq hovered just below 20 percent. Today, that percentage has risen to 53 percent: 11 million of the 19 million total urban dwellers. In the past decade, most countries have made progress toward reducing slum dwellers. But Iraq has gone rapidly and dangerously in the opposite direction.[18]

The 2007 launched Global Peace Index (GPI) ranks countries annually according to peacefulness, identifying key peace or violence drivers. Of the 144 countries in its 2009 report, Iraq ranked last, Afghanistan second last. In April 2010, Amnesty International released a report titled, “Iraq: Human Rights Briefing,” Their conclusion: “the human rights situation in the country remains grave. All parties to the continuing conflict have committed gross abuses and the civilian population continues to bear the brunt of the ongoing violence. The security situation is still precarious despite some improvement in 2009. Attacks on civilians, arrests, kidnapping, armed clashes” happen daily.

There is still no functioning government in Iraq. “Some cynical analysts intimate that the current situation was exactly what the US (and Israel) wanted or what Washington had in mind when it drafted the constitution. The current Iraqi divisions keep the country weak and at the mercy of the US and allow the latter to continue playing the part of the balancing power in order to perpetuate its presence”, writes Saad Jawad, professor of political science at Baghdad University.[19]

Who is threatening Iraq’s security? Who is responsible for the deadly attacks, car bombs…? There are a lot of stories about involvement of security forces. On the 28th of August U.S. forces have arrested a deputy of Ahmad Chalabi, Ali Faisal al Lami, who was once the Bush administration’s favorite Iraqi politician, and implicated him in bombings that killed Americans and Iraqis. Al Lami is a Shiite Muslim official and a member of the Sadrist Party who’s serving as an executive of the Justice and Accountability Committee, which Chalabi heads.[20]  The meaning of this piece of information is that the thugs, who came to Iraq with the US troops, whose militias were armed, funded and trained by the US, are at least partially responsible for the strings of bombings that ravage the country.

With these facts in mind, it’s astonishing to hear the US officials talk about a “good outcome for the United States”. Obama declared the so-called end to Combat Mission in Iraq[21].  He refuses to look back at 7 years of catastrophe; he wants to look at the future, escape his responsibilities. Perhaps the most striking comment on Obama’s speech came from Chris Floyd:

After mendaciously declaring on 31 August an “end to the combat mission in Iraq”, (…) Obama delivered what was perhaps the most egregious, bitterly painful lie of the night: ‘Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility.”  “We have met our responsibility!” No, Mister President, we have not. Not until many Americans of high degree stand in the dock for war crimes. Not until the United States pays hundreds of billions of dollars in unrestricted reparations to the people of Iraq for the rape of their country and the mass murder of their people. Not until the United States opens its borders to accept all those who have been and will be driven from Iraq by the savage ruin we have inflicted upon them, or in flight from the vicious thugs and sectarians we have loosed — and empowered — in the land. Not until you, Mister President, go down on your knees, in sackcloth and ashes, and proclaim a National of Day of Shame to be marked each year by lamentations, reparations and confessions of blood guilt for our crime against humanity in Iraq.’[22]

But the US does not intend to pay reparations for the damage done. On the contrary: Christopher Crowley, USAID director in Iraq, said the push for Iraqis to take over the U.S. victims aid program is part of a general trend for all American assistance programs in Iraq. The U.S. is “seeking a larger contribution from the (Iraqi) government to these programs so they will become more sustainable as time goes on,” he said. Crowley said many in the U.S. believe Iraq has the means to pay its own way to rebuild after the war, with the world’s third largest proven reserves of crude oil. Asked why the Iraqi government should pay compensation for deaths during American operations, he said the victims “are Iraqi citizens”.[23] This is really unbelievable: The US wants the Iraqi government to pay compensations for the destruction and all the killings the US military machine inflicted upon the country. The reasons they give are: a) Iraq can sell a lot of oil to reconstruct the country and b) the victims are Iraqis and thus compensations should be paid by… Iraqis. Twisted logic this is. Comment from an Iraqi: “Someone entered my house illegally and destroyed everything and killed my family and he asks me to pay for the damage? Am I talking to barbarians who just came out of a cave?”

All this destruction has cost the US taxpayer a lot of money. “As the United States ends combat in Iraq, it appears that our $3 trillion estimate (which accounted for both government expenses and the war’s broader impact on the U.S. economy) was, if anything, too low. For example, the cost of diagnosing, treating and compensating disabled veterans has proved higher than we expected.” writes Joseph Stiglitz in the Washington Post[24]. Moreover, a report published by the Strategic Foresight Group in India in a book entitled The Cost of Conflict in the Middle East, calculates that conflict in the area over the last 20 years has cost the nations and people of the region 12 trillion U.S. dollars. The Indian report adds that the Middle East has recorded “a high record of military expenses in the past 20 years and is considered the most armed region in the world.”[25] Imagine if that sum would have been spent on rural and urban infrastructure, dams and reservoirs, desalination and irrigation, forestation and fisheries, industry and agriculture, medicine and public health, housing and information technology, jobs, equitable integration of cities and villages, and repairing the ravages of wars rather than on arms that can only create destruction.

The unbearable lightness of Iraqi public services

As mentioned above, basic necessities such as potable water, reliable electricity, garbage pickup, a functioning sewage system, employment, health care, etc. are beyond the reach of the vast majority of Iraqis. Iraq has slided into the age of darkness, not only in the figurative, but also in the very literal sense, since light has become a scarce commodity. Complaints have been growing about public power lasting just a few hours each day. Iraqi police used water cannon and batons to disperse protesters in the southern city of Nassiriya after protests flared on 22 August over crippling electricity shortages and inadequate services. Similar demonstrations occurred in Nassiriya in June when 1,000 protesters tried to storm the provincial council building, scuffling with police, and also in Basra, where two people died in clashes with police.[26]

Violent protests in several cities over power shortages In June forced Iraq’s electricity minister Kareem Waheed to resign.[27]

He was replaced by Hussain al-Shahristani, Oil Minister of Iraq, who came to Iraq in 2003 on the back of US/UK tanks. He issued a decree: “prohibits all trade union activity and ceases all forms of cooperation and official discussions with the electricity sector unions; 
Directs management to help police enforce the closure of union offices and confiscation of documents, furniture, computers and anything else present.

Akram Nadir, the International Representative of the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq, FWCUI, has urged people to write protest letters to Al-Shahristani: “This order is a clear violation of international labour standards which your government is obligated to uphold, and we call on you to reverse course and stop this assault on Iraqi unions.”[28]

After the “Desert Storm”bombing campaign in 1991, power plants and power lines were for 91% destroyed: 95 power stations and all power lines of 400,000 and 135,000 volts. The oil supply had totally stopped: the oil fields of Kirkuk in the north and Rumaila in the south, refineries, pumping stations, oil terminals for export in Um Qasr and Fao: all eliminated. Iraqis were able to restore electricity within 6 months, despite the severe sanctions imposed on the country. The reconstruction campaign following the end of hostilities in March 1991 was an achievement of staggering proportions. Now, after 7 years of “liberation”, basic public services are still not properly functioning.

A blogger wrote: “During the reign of the old minister, we used to have electricity power for two hours on and four hours off. That means we used to have electricity for eight hours a day. Sometimes it was less than that. Now and during the days of Shahristani, we have less than four hours a day electricity during the crazy SUMMER of Iraq where temperature is always over 50 degrees for more than three months. The great minister came up with the reason for the problem and a very simple solution to solve the dilemma of electricity. He believes that we (Iraqi people) waste electricity and all the families in any house should gather in one room at night and sleep together. I do not know how he could even say that or even think about this shameful solution.”[29]

Shahristani doesn’t have to worry about the summer heat. Have a look at some of the Iraqi Excellencies’ salaries: Iraqi president: About 700,000 USD a year. Iraqi Vice presidents: 600,000 USD a year. Iraqi news agencies claim that Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi receives One Million USD a month, in total. Maliki’s salary is equal to that of the Iraqi President.

Head of the Judiciary council: about 100,000 USD a month (not clear on allocations).

Their pension: 80 percent of the last received paycheck for the rest of their lives. [30]

Freedom? Liberty? Justice?

Part II: Endless occupation and its insidious effects


Even as President Barack Obama was announcing the end of combat in Iraq, U.S. forces were still in fight at the so-called end of Iraq combat mission. American soldiers were sealing off a northern village early Wednesday as their Iraqi partners raided houses and arrested dozens of suspected insurgents.[31]

“Along with the Great Wall of China,” said Ambassador Hill, ” the US embassy in Baghdad is one of those things you can see with the naked eye from outer space. I mean, it’s huge.” [32] Indeed. At 104 acres, it is the largest U.S. embassy in the world. In addition to six apartment buildings, it has a luxury pool, as well as a water and sewage treatment plant. (…) The State Department has requested a mini-army to protect this Fortress America — including 24 Black Hawk helicopters and 50 bomb-resistant vehicles.[33]

After this month’s withdrawal, there will still be 50,000 US troops in 94 military bases, “advising” and training the Iraqi army, “providing security” and carrying out “counter-terrorism” missions. About 5,800 of them airmen, said Maj. Gen. Joseph Reynes, director of the Air Component Coordination Element for U.S. Forces-Iraq.[34]

Meanwhile, the US government isn’t just rebranding the occupation, it’s also privatising it. There are around 100,000 private contractors working for the occupying forces, of whom more than 11,000 are armed mercenaries, mostly “third country nationals”, typically from the developing world. One Peruvian and two Ugandan security contractors were killed in a rocket attack on the Green Zone only a fortnight ago.[35]

The Pentagon may be sharply reducing its combat forces in Iraq, but the military plans to step up efforts to influence media coverage in that country — as well as in the US. “It is essential to the success of the new Iraqi government and the U.S. Forces-Iraq mission that both communicate effectively with our strategic audiences (i.e. Iraqi, pan-Arabic, international, and U.S. and USF-I audiences) to gain widespread acceptance of core themes and messages,” according to the pre-solicitation notice for a tean of 12 civilian contractors to provide “strategic communication management services” there.[36]

The plain and simple fact is that the war and occupation will continue until the people of Iraq and the world force the U.S. to total withdrawal. People in this country (the USA) have a particular responsibility to build a powerful movement of determined political opposition to the ongoing occupation of and war upon Iraq waged by the U.S. government. Do not be fooled into thinking that Obama or any presidential administration will leave Iraq on its own volition, concludes Kenneth J. Theisen form the US antiwar group “World Can’t Wait”.[37]  And the National Popular Resistance has stepped up its activities against the occupation recently: There has also been a major increase in rocket and mortar attacks in the fortified Green Zone and at the Baghdad airport, according to Brig. Gen. Ralph O. Baker, the deputy commander of American forces in central Iraq. General Baker, who said there had been about 60 such attacks in the last two months compared with “two or three” in the preceding months[38]

The infamous underevaluation of civilian casualties counts.

While the destruction of Iraq is considered by Washington’s ruling elite as a “good outcome for the United States”, most journalists in the mainstream press keep on fixing the number of civilian casualties at around 100.000. Another lie, a gross underestimate and an insult to the suffering Iraqi people. That number comes from Iraq Bodycount, an organisation that does valuable work in collecting data of the deaths that are reported in the mainstream press[39]. But their figures cannot serve as a scientific norm to establish a relevant estimate of Iraqi casualties.

Let’s give a few examples: Twenty thousand[40] of Iraq’s 34,000 registered physicians left Iraq after the U.S. invasion. As of April 2009, fewer than 2,000 returned, the same as the number who were killed during the course of the war[41]. Iraq bodycount has some 70 doctors in their database of casualties[42], which means that they have only listed 3,5% of the estimated number of killed physicians.

Iraq Bodycount has 108 academics listed in its database. The BRussells Tribunal has a partial list of 448 murdered academics[43], compiled from different sources. Although that list is very incomplete, Iraq Bodycount lists only 24% of the academic casualties reported by the BRussells Tribunal.

Perhaps the best monitored category of victims in this war are the media professionals. The BRussells Tribunal has a list of 354 killed media professionals.[44] Al-Iraqiya director general Habib al-Sadr told AFP in September 2007 that at least 75 members of his staff have been killed since he took over the channel in 2005 and another 68 wounded.[45] The BRussells Tribunal list of killed media professionals had at that moment less than 1/3rd of this number in its database. But the number of Iraq Bodycount stands at only 241 casualties.

Les Roberts, author of the two Lancet studies of Iraq mortality, defended himself on 20 September 2007 against allegations that his surveys were “deeply flawed”: “A study of 13 war affected countries presented at a recent Harvard conference found over 80% of violent deaths in conflicts go unreported by the press and governments. City officials in the Iraqi city of Najaf were recently quoted on Middle East Online stating that 40,000 unidentified bodies have been buried in that city since the start of the conflict. When speaking to the Rotarians in a speech covered on C-SPAN on September 5th, H.E. Samir Sumaida’ie, the Iraqi Ambassador to the US, stated that there were 500,000 new widows in Iraq. The Baker-Hamilton Commission similarly found that the Pentagon under-counted violent incidents by a factor of 10. Finally, the respected British polling firm ORB released the results of a poll estimating that 22% of households had lost a member to violence during the occupation of Iraq, equating to 1.2 million deaths. This finding roughly verifies a less precisely worded BBC poll last February that reported 17% of Iraqis had a household member who was a victim of violence. There are now two polls and three scientific surveys all suggesting the official figures and media-based estimates in Iraq have missed 70-95% of all deaths. The evidence suggests that the extent of under-reporting by the media is only increasing with time.” [46]

A memo by the MoD’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Roy Anderson, stated that: “The (Lancet) study design is robust and employs methods that are regarded as close to “best practice” in this area, given the difficulties of data collection and verification in the present circumstances in Iraq.”In an e-mail, released by the British Foreign Office, in which an official asks about the Lancet report, the official writes: “However, the survey methodology used here cannot be rubbished, it is a tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones.”[47]

The discussion about casualties is not over yet, but we can safely put forward the number of + 1 million excess deaths caused by this war, most of them from violent causes. An archive of articles about the heated discussions in the press and blogs on civilian death counts during the US occupation can be found on the BRussells Tribunal website:

A dark summer for Iraqi academics

The BRussells Tribunal is well known for its campaign it started in 2005 to create awareness about the situation of Iraqi academics. It receives regularly updates on summary executions of Iraqi academics from a variety of Iraqi sources. Here’s a short overview of casualties that occurred during the summer:

Ehab Al-Ani, Hospital Director in Al Qaim, was killed on 5 June 2010 by a roadside bomb. The initial investigation indicated that Dr. Al Ani was not killed randomly.

On 29 June, Ahmed Jumaa, vice-chancellor of the Islamic University in Ramadi, was killed by a roadside bomb in Hit. On the same day Professor Ali Sayegh Zidane, a specialist in cancer in the Harithiya hospital in Baghdad was assassinated by gunmen.

On 14 July Iraqi police found the decomposed body of university professor Adnan Al-Makki, who was stabbed to death with a knife in his home in Baghdad. On the same day an unknown university professor was assassinated by gunmen in West Baghdad.

On the 11th of August, early in the morning, gunmen burst into the house of Dr. Intisar Hasan Al Twaigry, director of Illwiyah obstetric hospital in Baghdad. They tied up her husband, shot only Dr. Al Twaigry and left with 20.000 $.

Mohammed Ali El-Din, specialized in pharmacy, was killed in the afternoon of the 14th of August in the area of Al Numaniya. He was attacked by armed men. They opened fire on the professor and he died immediately. The professor came back to Iraq a few months ago after a period of studies in George Washington University, USA.

Dr Kamal Qasim Al Hiti, prof of sociology, was kidnapped in Baghdad on 14 Aug 2010, 4 pm. A few weeks before, he received a letter with a bullet threatening him to leave. His tortured body was found on the 22th of August in the Tigris river opposite the Green Zone, in the Karad district (under control of the Islamic Supreme Council – Badr Brigade). His face was partially burned, he was tortured and hanged. He was very outspoken against the occupation. He was the editor of Al Mustaqila newspaper that was raided and eventually banned for criticizing the occupation and its militias.[48]

On 28 August 2010 the BRussells Tribunal received the following email: “I would like to add the name of my close friend Dr.Samer Saleem Abbas, who was assassinated in his private ultrasound clinic by a gunman with silencer pistol with cold blooded killer, who told his patients: “there is no need to stay and wait in the clinic anymore: your doctor is dead”. Dr.Samer was shot 5-6 bullets, one of them in his mouth… He was killed with a pen in his hand. He used to work as Radiologist/Specialists and chair of radiology department at a specialized surgery hospital (Al-Jerahat Hospital) in Baghdad medical city.

We named the lecture hall in his department after his name.

We used to chat and dream about building the radiology in Iraq after the war.

Please I hope these informations are fair enough to add his name.”

There is no end in sight of the targeted killings of Iraq’s best and brightest minds. Roughly 40% of Iraq’s middle class is believed to have fled the country by the end of 2006. The situation has only worsened since then, although at a lower frequency. Actions to reverse this brain drain remain very necessary. But most observers don’t see the government taking concrete measures that create the necessary conditions for the educated middle class to return. Without the middle class Iraq has no viable future.


[1] Roy Greenslade, Press Gang: How Newspapers Make Profits From Propaganda, see:


















































Iraqi official: US forces violated law in overnight arrests

September 26, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Iraqi official: US forces violated law in overnight arrests

Sep 24, 2010, 12:06 GMT

Mosul, Iraq – The Iraqi governor of the restive city of Mosul said Friday that US forces raided a neighborhood there, arresting dozens of locals in what he said was a politically motivated sweep and a violation of the law.

Ethel Nujaifi, governor of Iraq’s Nineveh Province, in which Mosul is located, told the Germany Press Agency dpa that US military forces carried out the sweep on Thursday night in the city’s north-west neighbourhood of Zammar.

He said the raid was contrary to democracy and a transgression of the law.

Based on the Withdrawal of the American Forces from Iraq Agreement, which saw US troop levels drop to 50,000, all US military operations conducted in Iraq must be done with the permission of the government of Iraq.

The agreement states that the United States is not permitted to detain or arrest any Iraqi unless it is done in agreement with the Iraqi government and that US forces must turn over arrested persons to Iraqi authorities within 24 hours of their detention or arrest.

But according to Nujaifi, Thursday’s raid, which took place some 400 kilometres north of Baghdad, was carried out solely by US troops with no accompanying Iraqi forces.

Continue Reading Iraqi official: US forces violated law in overnight arrests…

Who is bombing in Iraq? Are the bombers Al-Qaeda, the CIA or Israel?

July 19, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Who is bombing in Iraq?

Are the bombers Al-Qaeda, the CIA or Israel?
by Christopher King*

On 10 May there were more than two dozen bombings and shootings in Iraq that killed at least 85 people and injured at least 300 [1]. These were coordinated attacks, clearly by the same organization.

The US response to this and other recent attacks is to delay plans for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Obama’s election promise was to withdraw troops from Iraq by May this year. Not only is that obviously not going to happen but we learned after his election that “withdrawal” meant leaving 50,000 troops as ‘trainers’ as well as 4,500 special forces and tens of thousands of para-military contractors.

Now, the US is reviewing even the slipped drawdown schedule out of concern for the security of the Iraqi people. Considering the million killed by the US and the four to five million refugees created by them I would not have thought that they would be bothered by fewer than one hundred dead in a little internal trouble. It might be said to be an improvement on US outcomes.

As these attacks are providing the US with an excuse for delaying even its token withdrawal however, we need to think about who is behind them.

I wrote [2] on 20 April that the probability is that the United States Central Intelligence Agency is behind these attacks, using local groups. It’s dirty tricks of this sort that the CIA does and is well financed by the US government to do. The US will never leave Iraq while there is oil in the ground, as I said [3] in April 2008. I’m amazed that the media and even the US anti-war brigade still have faith that leaving will happen. The US didn’t go there in the first place, nor build its fortresses, in order to leave. As it happens, however, the elections to keep their puppet in place did not go to plan.

Continue Reading Who is bombing in Iraq? Are the bombers Al-Qaeda, the CIA or Israel?…


February 6, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Posted in Turkmens | 1 Comment
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Dr Hassan Aydinli, Iraqi Turkmen Front EU Representative


Note: the original text in FRENCH published in Irak Actualité follows the English translation






 Gilles Munier

1)      How many Turkmen parties will be represented at the upcoming legislative elections, in which coalitions?

There are two  categories of parties:

–          Those created by the Turkmens themselves which really defend the Turkmen cause.

–          Those formed and financed by the Kurds (Barzani and Talabani). These are Turkmen in name only and they are serving Kurdish interests.

The first category is composed of:

-The Iraqi Turkmen Front, a political organization composed of several parties and Turkmen civil associations,  presided by Dr. Sadettin Ergeç .  The Iraqi Turkmen Front presents its own list in the provinces of Erbil and Suleymaniya, everywhere else in Iraq, the Iraqi Turkmen Front has entered in coalition with the Iraqiya list, led by Mr. Iyad Allaoui.

-The Islamic Union of Iraqi Turkmens, party presided by Mr. Abbas al-Bayati.  It presents its candidates and has entered  in coalition with the list of Dawlat al-Kanoun, led by Nouri al-Maliki.

-The AlKarar al Turkmani party, presided by Mr. Farook Abdullah, is also part of the Dawlat al-Kanoun coalition of Nouri al-Maliki.

-The Türkmeneli party, presided by Mr. Riyad Sarikahya presents itself in the elections in the coalition led by Ammar al-Hakim, Head of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council.

-The Turkmen Sadrist Movement of Mr. Fawzi Akrem Terzi,  is also part of the Ammar al-Hakim coalition.  He is head  of the list in the province of Erbil.

-The Adalat Turkmen party, presided by Mr. Anwar Bayrakdar has entered in the Al-Tawafuk Al-Iraqi  coalition of Usama Tawfiq Mukhlif.

As for the other so-called ‘Turkmen’ parties which present themselves at the upcoming elections, they are three.  They are all in the Kurdish  coalition Barzani + Talabani.  I neither wish to remember their names nor say anything whatsoever about them.  For us, these are “cartoon parties”, i.e. fabricated by the Kurds in order to divide the Turkmens and assimilate those who are under their control or who are employed by them.


2)      What are their main demands?

The main demands of the six parties I mentioned are:

-To preserve the unity of Iraq.

-For Iraqi Turkmens  to be recognized as the third main ethnic community in Iraq, with rights and duties equal to those of the Arabs and Kurds in Iraq, namely:  the recognition of the Turkmen language (Turkish) as the third official language of the country;  the effective participation of the Turkmen community at all levels of power in Iraq, by the inclusion of their political representatives in the supreme institutions which govern the country, such as the Presidential Council, Government Council,  Parliamentary Presidency, Supreme Council of Justice, Chief of Staff of the Army, of the Police and of the Security.  Turkmens have been excluded from these institutions since the invasion of Iraq, as the political power,  under the anglo-american occupation, from 9th April 2003, has been attributed on an ethnic-sectarian basis  and exclusively to the parties who collaborated with the Occupiers (Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis).

-Either modify the Iraqi constitution or write a new modern constitution compatible with our time, eliminating the absurd terminologies which have been included in the present constitution, namely the contested territories and the obsolete articles, such as Article 140 which concerned the future of Kerkuk Province,  re-named Al-Tamim by the former regime in 1972.  The central question is the future and belonging of its capital, Kerkuk, with its enormous oil reserves, which has been historically and culturally Turkmen for over 8 centuries.

It is necessary to remember  that Kerkuk has been subjected to two successive policies of ethnic modifications during the past four decades: a planned  and systematic arabization policy and ethnic modification in favour of the Arabs by the previous regime between 1968 and 2003; then a planned kurdification and ethnic modification in favour of the Kurds.  The latter has been more extended, more rapid and more violent than the former.  It started on 10th April 2003 when the militias of the Kurdish parties “Peshmerga” of Barzani and Talabani occupied Kerkuk with authorization and complicity of the U.S. invasion forces.


-To obtain cultural autonomy for the Turkmens of Iraq in their region, i.e. in the region known as Türkmeneli,  where the Turkmens constitute the majority,  and which is situated between the region mainly inhabited by Arabs and the region with a Kurdish majority. Türkmeneli stretches from Tel Afer, at the West of Mosul,  until Bedre,  at the East of Bagdad.

 -To recuperate all the properties and agricultural lands belonging to the Turkmens which have been confiscated by the previous regime and which have not yet been liberated or returned.

-To recuperate all the properties and agricultural lands belonging to the Turkmens which have been occupied and confiscated by the Kurdish militias since 10th April 2003.

-To liberate Iraq from foreign occupation forces.

-To make Iraq a unified, democratic and modern country, where all citizens will be equal.


3)      What about the situation in Kerkuk?

The present situation in Kerkuk, which continues since 10th April 2003, is neither satisfying nor acceptable for the Turkmens.  Since that date, Barzani and Talabani have been authorized, for their collaboration with the Occupier, to install their Peshmerga and over 600.000 individuals coming from the autonomous Kurdish region, in order to modify the demographics of the city.  Among them, some  non-Iraqi Kurds…  This intolerable situation is also denounced by the Arabs of Kerkuk.


If the new electoral law has been so difficult to be voted, it is because it has been contested by the Turkmens and Arabs of Kerkuk. This is why  the election results for the Province will only be valid for one year.  They will be conditioned to the verification of the authenticity of the voters’ lists established by the Kurdish authorities.  If it appears that they have been exaggerated in favour of the Kurds, a new list will be established and new legislative elections will take place in Kerkuk Province.

 We, Turkmens, hope that the legislative elections of 7th March 2010, which will take place according to the principle of open lists, will bring to the Parliament a majority of patriotic and more nationalist Iraqis, who will be less sectarian.  We hope that they will maintain Kerkuk in a unified Iraq.  Finally, we hope that the new majority will categorically reject  the unjustified hegemonic demands of the Kurds over the city and over the so-called “other contested territories” in Iraq.


Nouvelles d’Irak

La campagne législative en pays turkmène
Gilles Munier


Mardi 2 février 2010 

3 questions au Dr. Hassan Aydinli
Représentant du Front Turkmène Irakien en Europe


1)  Combien de partis turcomans seront représentés aux prochaines élections législatives, dans quelles coalitions ?


Iraqis on Iraq – Basra and Mosul

January 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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January 15, 2010, 11:45 am

 Iraqis on Iraq – Basra and Mosul 

 The New York Times


Muslawis wish they had joined Turkey after the First World War.


People should choose parliamentary representatives who will help them recover the rights which were stolen from them during the last six years, and work together to free Mosul from occupation. It is no secret that Iraq is under occupation from two powers: the American and the Iranians, but Mosul has a third occupier, which is the Kurdish parties and their militias, and they are the most dangerous because everyone knows that Kurdistan cannot prosper when Nineveh prospers.”

Please see:

لماذا يعود اليهود الى كركوك؟

November 11, 2009 at 5:58 am | Posted in Turkmens | 2 Comments
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هل تعلم أن (مركز ادارة عمليات فرقة الاغتيالات الاسرائيلية) فى مدينة كركوك وهل يعلم العراقيون لماذا هذا التدفق اليهودي الغريب إليها وشراء العقارات بخمس أضعافها!- معلومات خطيرة

 بقلم: وجدي أنور مردان 




لماذا يعود اليهود الى كركوك؟
خبر يمر عاديا في نشرة اخبار اذاعة الشرق هذا الصباح: اليهود الاسرائيليون من اصل عراقي يعودون وبكثافة الى العراق، ويتمركزون بشكل خاص في كركوك حيث يشترون الاراضي بخمسة اضعاف ثمنها الحقيقي. هذه الفقرة الاستهلالية، كانت مدخلا لمقال الكاتبة الاردنية، حياة الحويك عطية، في جريدة الدستور الاردنية، قبل بضعة أيام. ثم طرحت سؤلاً، بألم بالغ، أحسست بمرارتها، لماذا كركوك؟

وقبل أن نجيب على سؤالها، ، نود أن نشير الى ان الخبر ليس بجديد، فبعد أحتلال العراق في ٩ نيسان، أبريل ٢٠٠٣، تدفق مجموعة من عناصر الموساد الاسرائيلي الى العراق، تحت مسمى شركة الرافدين، وشركات وهمية اخرى. بلغ عدد الدفعة الاولى ٩٠٠ جاسوسا، قامت بتشكيل فرقة خاصة لتنفيذ مهام الاغتيالات لكوادر وشخصيات عراقية، سياسية وعسكرية واعلامية وعلمية وقضائية، طالت ١٠٠٠ عالم ومتخصص عراقي خلال عام واحد. ثم انتقل ٤٥٠ عنصرا منهم، من العاصمة بغداد الى مدينة كركوك
يقع مركز ادارة عمليات فرقة الاغتيالات الاسرائلية فى مدينة كركوك، حاليا، فى منزل قريب من مبنى محافظة كركوك وتضم ضمن عناصرها عددا من الأكراد الذين كانت المخابرات المركزية الأمريكية قد نقلتهم من شمال العراق عام ١٩٩٦ الى جزيرة (غوام)

يتحدث معظم أفرادها اللغة العربية باللهجة العراقية بطلاقة اضافة للغة الانجليزية. كثفت الفرقة الاسرائيلية جهودها منذ بداية العام الحالي في شراء الاراضي والدور السكنية والمزارع في كركوك وضواحيها، فضلا عن استمرارها في تنفيذ عمليات الاغتيالات التي طالت شخصيات سياسية تركمانية وعربية وكردية وقصف المقرات الحزبية للتركمان والاكراد في كركوك، بهدف اشعال الفتنة العرقية. وما زالت هذه العناصر نشطة في كركوك وبغداد وبابل بالاضافة الى شمال العراقعلى أية حال، لماذا كركوك؟
تمثل كركوك ذكرى مؤلمة في الذاكرة الجمعية اليهودية، لعلاقتها المباشر بالسبي البابلي!! فبعد أن دمر القائد العراقي نبوخذ نصر، دولة اسرائيل الجنوبية عام ٥٧٦ قبل الميلاد، ساق ٥٠ ألف يهودي أسيرا الى العراق (السبي البابلي) وفي طريق عودة القائد نبوخذ نصر الى بابل مرّ من كركوك، لوقوعها على الطريق الاستراتيجي للقوافل الصاعدة الى الشمال، وشمال الغرب (تركيا وسوريا وفلسطين الحالية)، وهي نفس الطريق الذي سلكها ملك الفرس دارا وجيشه لمحاربة الاسكندر المقدوني في معركة أربائيلو (أربيل الحالية) الذي انتصر فيها أسكندر المقدوني
المهم عندما وصل نبوخذ نصر الى منطقة كركوك (التي كانت تسمى في العهد السومري بـ كاركوك، أي العمل المنظم الشديد). وجد على الجانب الشرق من نـهر(خاصة صو) الحالية، ثلاثة تلال متقاربة نسبيا، فسخر الاسرى اليهود لجلب التراب والاحجار من المناطق القريبة منها، وتكديسها بين تلك التلال، على ان يكون البناء بمستوى أعلى تل من بينها، وهكذا تم تشييد قلعة كركوك. بعد انجاز البناء، أمر ببناء سرداب في موقع، يبعد من الباب الرئيس للقلعة (التي تسمى الان طوب قابو) بحوالي ٣٠٠ مترا. وأحتراما لمكانة الانبياء، فقد تم بناء مسجد فوق السرداب (مقام الانبياء)، في العصر العباسي الاخير، واطلق عليه اسم مسجد نبي دانيال والمعروف بأسمه التركماني (دانيال بيغمبر جامعي) وباق لحد الان شاخصا يحكي قصة المدينةكان المسجد قبلة الشابات التركمانيات، أيام عيدي الفطر والاضحى، ومكان تجمعهن وهن بأحلى زينتهن بقصد التعرف على الامهات اللواتي تبحثن عن عرائس لأبنائهن. كما كان قبلة لليهود القاطنين في كركوك قبل هجرتهم الى فلسطين عام ١٩٥٢. وقد كان اليهود يحتفلون في المسجد يوم عيد كيبور اليهودي الذي يبدأ في ٦ تشرين الاول، أكتوبر، بموافقة أمام وخطيب المسجد، كدليل على التسامح الديني الذي كان سائداً في المدينة، يأتون زرافات من المدن العراقية الاخرى للاحتفال بهذه المناسبة، وكنا حينذاك أطفالا نقف خارج المسجد لنضحك على زلوفهم وملابسهم وهمهماتهم قرب حائط المسجد، تبين لنا فيما بعد انها صلاتهموكان هناك يوم آخر، يتجمعون فيه خارج المسجد ويبكون قرب جدرانه، وعندما سألت جدتي ذات يوم لماذا يبكي حزقيل؟ قالت: يقولون انهم يتذكرون تدمير معبدهم في القدس وسجن النبي دانيال في هذا المكان!!! هذه هي قصة اليهود مع كركوك، كما سمعتها من شيوخ مدينتي قبل عدة عقود. ربما تحتاج القصة الى توثيق تاريخي من قبل المختصين في التاريخ والاثار، ولكن مقام الانبياء الثلاثة فى سرداب المسجد، يشهد على جزء كبير من صواب القصة. هذا هو السبب الاولأما السبب الثاني، وكما هو معروف، فأن هذه المدينة تضم حوالي ٦٠٪ من الاحتياطي النفطي العراقي، ويعتبر من أجود انواع النفط الخام في العالم وحسب الخطة التي وضعت في عهد النظام السابق، فأن أعادة تأهيل المنشاءات النفطية فيها تحتاج الى استثمار ٨ مليارات دولار لكي يرتفع انتاج حقولها الى حدود ٥ ملايين برميل يوميا. وبما أن أبواب السلب والنهب قد فتحت على مصراعيها في العراق بفضل الاحتلال، فأن الرقم ربما سيرتفع الى ١٦ أو ٢٤ مليار دولار، ولهذا يحاول اليهود من الان شراء أكبر قدر ممكن من الاراضي فيها لتحويليها الى لاس فيجاس الشرق الاوسط. أن المبالغ المرصودة، للاستثمار في المنشأءات النفطية في هذه المدينة، لا يسيل لها لعاب اليهود فقط وانما يسيل لها لعاب الوحوش أ يضا
وأما السبب الثالث هو، ان ” اسرائيل ” قدمت عرضا الى الزعيمين البرزاني والطالباني بحماية الدولة الفيدرالية الكردية من اي خطر سواء من داخل العراق او من تركيا وسوريا وايران. وحسب الخطة الامريكية- الاسرائيلية، فأن كركوك ستكون عاصمة الدولة الكردية المشبوهة، لذا فأن التواجد اليهودي فيها أصبحت ضرورة استراتيجية لقربها من تركيا وايران وسوريا.
لقد بات واضحا ان امريكا غزت العراق من اجل حماية اسرائيل وجعلها القوة العظمى الوحيدة في المنطقة، وتثبيت اصدقائها علي قمة السلطة في بغداد، وطمس هوية العراق العربية والاسلامية، وقطع كل صلاته بتاريخه الحضاري العريق، وتوتير علاقاته مع دول الجوار دون أيلاء أي اعتبار لحقوق الشعب العراقي وقوميات بعد هذا ليس بنا من حاجة في الدخول في تفاصيل لاتغني ولا تسمن ولا يسمع من به صمم

Continue Reading لماذا يعود اليهود الى كركوك؟…


October 23, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Message to Iraqis, from Layla Anwar


October 23, 2009


Managed to get hold of some alternative Iraqi sat TVs namely Al-Rafidain, Ar-Rai, Al Babeliya which I have mentioned before. I made it a point to watch some of the news on these channels as they cover events that are totally blacked out in the mainstream media, including the Arabic speaking ones.

1) The Iraqi Resistance under its different factions

Several resistance activities against the Occupier namely in Kirkuk, where one US patrol came under attack. Same in Mosul. Two days ago, another US patrol under attack in El Anbar province, and in North of Baghdad. Today another US patrol came under fire in Falluja, and several mortar bombs fell on the US airbase in Nasseriya. I must add that all the above were successful operations. US commander Odierno in Baghdad admitted that there has been a upsurge of Resistance activities in the past week.

2) Elections

A deliberate stalemate provoked by the puppet government and its Shiite parties.
Several issues :

a) the debate around the open/closed list. This latter is favored by the sectarian government as it will ensure another round of victory in the upcoming elections.

b) the refusal of the Shiite parties to allow Iraqi refugees to vote, again to ensure its victory in the upcoming elections.

c) Kirkuk. Much haggling is around Kirkuk which the Kurds insist to turn into another province under the so called Kurdistan regional government. Hence the possibility of the elections being postponed and consequently the deferral of US troop withdrawal is very likely.

According to several Iraqi analysts, Iran is playing a very important role in the current election deadlock through the Shiite parties and the U.S is concerned that the initial agenda it invaded Iraq with remains as is — i.e the partition along ethnic and sectarian lines. Hence the likelihood of having the same sectarian faces re-appear in post election Iraq (if they take place at all) are a very likely happening.

3) Oil and other resources

A member of congress by the name of Paul Perkins ? (am now told the exact name is Boone Pickens) has presented a bill demanding that a share of Iraqi oil revenues be automatically allocated to the US for its “liberation effort”, to cover the costs of the war, also arguing that the death of U.S soldiers in Iraq (5’000), and the trillion of dollars spent in invading and occupying Iraq had to be reimbursed one way or another.

Kuwait is still claiming 40 billion dollars in reparations and now the US is claiming its lion share of Iraqi oil revenues for “reparations” as well, since American oil companies did not get the full desired quota in Iraq. In other words there are claims being made for an Iraqi financing of the American war industry, to cover the American bill of occupations both in Iraq and in Afghanistan.

Furthermore, apart from oil, the Anbar province, according to some analysts comprises important minerals, still unexplored, one of which is phosphate which can produce uranium and also red mercury amongst others…

Prior to the occupation, Iraq was more or less self sufficient in its industry and agriculture, today Iraq relies solely on imports of goods namely from Iran. Another example that can be taken as a measurement yardstick just to show the extent of Iraq’s economic dependency since 2003 – Iraq used to have 30 million date palms, today it imports dates from Iran and the Gulf countries !

The deliberate destruction of Iraq’s economic and industrial infrastructure is meant to keep Iraq as a satellite province, another banana or pistachio republic, another Dubai, an open arena for vulture foreign investments, in particular American and Iranian.

4) The Israeli connection

A bill of law has been passed in the Iraqi parliament authorizing companies that were previously banned due to their (direct/indirect) connection to the Zionist state to become operational again in Iraq. This is most evident in the so-called Kurdistan were several Israeli companies are operating as tourism, industrial and real estate. Israelis have already “visited” other parts of Iraq, namely in the South and some reports confirm that they have also purchased land there and in Baghdad.

Furthermore, while there is much media brouhaha around the so called US troop withdrawal, there is a total failure in mentioning the American “logistic” bases which will remain in Iraq and the largest US embassy in the world, in Baghdad.

On that subject, an article appeared in the Zionist newspaper, Yehodot Aranot,(can’t spell those bloody names correctly), stating that the U.S embassy in Baghdad is to employ 185 Israeli advisers, for its running/management of Iraq.

The Israeli model for the West Bank is much sought by the Americans i.e a military occupation with a handing out of the Civil administration functions/matters to the puppet government (as in the model of the West Bank and the PA). Coincidentally I watched Amira Hass (the Haaretz journalist) on the Riz Khan show, and she did affirm that Israeli “advisers” are much sought worldwide for “security matters”

I have the full article in Arabic, if anyone cares to translate the whole thing into English please contact me via Twitter.

5) A message to Iraqis with a conscience left.

If you have a relatively good command of the English language and no, it does not need to be perfect, I urge you to do something for your country, instead of sitting on your backsides engaging in nonsensical drivel on the Internet. There is much that needs to be done in English. I can’t do it alone anymore. Please contact me via Twitter. And thanks in advance.


US Sending 1,000 More Troops to Iraq

September 16, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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US Sending 1,000 More Troops to Iraq
As Officials Tout ‘Drawdown,’ Why Is US Adding Troops?

Jason Ditz

September 16, 2009Though the Iraq War has long since become an after-thought amid Obama Administration claims that the “drawdown” in on track, the Pentagon is reporting today that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has approved a request to send about 1,000 additional troops to Iraq.

The latest report comes less than a week after it was revealed that the Pentagon has added thousands of additional contractors to Iraq, ostensibly to replace US troops during the drawdown.

But of course the drawdown isn’t actually happening. President Obama inherited a war with roughly 135,000 troops in Iraq, and today there are 131,000 and thousands of contractors. Officials have previously insisted there will be no meaningful troop level changes until at least 60 days after January’s parliamentary elections.

Now, over two and a half years after the “surge” in Iraq, troop levels are still above pre-surge levels and apparently will be rising in the near term. Ambassador Hill may claim the US is sticking to its timetable, but it seems that at some point such a highly touted withdrawal will have to involve the removal of some actual troops.


Blackwater (Xe) Security Firm Gets Iraq Contract Extended by State Dept.

September 3, 2009 at 3:48 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Blackwater (Xe) Security Firm Gets Iraq Contract Extended by State Dept.

source: ABC News

The State Department has extended a contract with controversial private security firm Blackwater, ABC News has learned. The contract was due to expire this month.

Continue Reading Blackwater (Xe) Security Firm Gets Iraq Contract Extended by State Dept….

Iraqi Children Emergency

August 24, 2009 at 5:30 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Iraqi Children Emergency:
A Campaign to Document the Kidnapping
and/or Selling of Iraqi Children

By Wafaa’ Al-Natheema
May 2009   

[Access link below for Arabic and English pdf]
The trauma of Iraqi children and extreme suffering have not been only due to the killing and bombs, but also due to the deteriorating medical and health services, displacement, imprisonment and interruption of education. The ongoing displacement and/or the absence of one or both parents from children’s life have made them vulnerable and put them in high risk. Orphans from poor families have been facing the most devastating condition than any segment of Iraqi society. They live in grave danger facing diseases, kidnapping and trafficking.

Our Institute is launching a campaign to document eyewitnesses from inside and outside Iraq who observed the kidnapping and/or the selling of Iraqi children or those who are able to locate kidnapped and sold children in their new environment. We are working to create a network of communities within Iraq and neighboring countries (Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran and Kuwait) to monitor, provide alerts, exchange information and report to NGOs, families, the media and authorities to prevent children from being sold and especially from leaving Iraq. We need all the help we can muster to ensure the success of this mission.


Adoption and Trafficking

International adoption is among many problems facing Iraqis since the 2003 war and occupation. By taking Iraqi children out of their ……  

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