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Al Jazeera (English)
    Baghdad Burning Blog
(by Riverbend, an Iraqi civilian girl)
            Dahr Jamail's Blog from Baghdad
                Imad Khadduri's blog "Free Iraq" (scroll down for English version)

Iraqi Civilian Deaths ... caused by Bush's unprovoked war


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Bush Family Dodges Service to Country
Sign the Petition of Redress. Either the Bush Kids Put Their Lives on the Line for George's "Noble War" or the Troops Come Home.

Uncle Sam Wants You! . . . Sign this petition, demanding that the eligible children of the extended Bush family, including the twins, serve in George's "noble war for a noble cause" or Bush must bring the sons and daughters of America home now.

"I demand that George W. Bush's daughters, and his eligible nieces and nephews, serve in Iraq to prove their support of Bush's 'noble war for a noble cause.' If the Bush family does not believe in 'sacrificing' for the war and is not willing to put their lives on the line, then Bush must bring the troops of middle class and poor Americans home now."

[CLICK THE LINK ABOVE TO SIGN THIS PETITION]

Like George did, the new generation of Bushes let other Americans do the dying for them.

Bush has derided the mothers and fathers of our nation's war dead for not wanting any more young American men and women to die in Iraq. "We owe them [the already killed and wounded soldiers] something," he told veterans in Salt Lake City (even though his administration tried to shortchange the veterans agency by $1.5 billion, according to Maureen Dowd). "We will finish the task that they gave their lives for." . . . Yet, not one -- not one -- of any of Bush's children or his nieces and nephews have volunteered for service in any branch of the military or volunteered to serve in any capacity in Iraq. Not one of them has felt the cause was noble enough to put his or her life on the line.

Here is the full list of the children of Bush and his siblings who have chosen to let other young men and women -- mostly poor, rural and minorities -- die for them, because they have no desire to die for George W. Bush's alleged "noble cause" (assuming an eligible age of 17 with parental consent to join the military):

Military Service Eligible Children of George W. Bush
Jenna Bush
Barbara Bush

Military Service Eligible Children of Jeb Bush
George P. Bush
Noelle Bush
John Ellis Bush Jr.

Military Service Eligible Children of Neil Bush
Lauren Bush
Pierce Bush

Military Service Eligible Children of Marvin Bush
Marshall Bush

Military Service Eligible Children of Dorothy Bush Koch
Samuel LeBlond
Ellie LeBlond
. . . Read more!

posted by Lorenzo 11:52 AM

 
More journalists killed in Iraq than Vietnam
(Reuters, 28 August 2005)
More journalists have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003 than during the 20 years of conflict in Vietnam, media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Sunday. . . . Since U.S. forces and its allies launched their campaign in Iraq on March 20, 2003, 66 journalists and their assistants have been killed, RSF said. . . . The latest casualty was a Reuters Television soundman who was shot dead in Baghdad on Sunday while a cameraman with him was wounded and then detained by U.S. soldiers. . . . The death toll in Iraq compares with a total of 63 journalists in Vietnam, but which was over a period of 20 years from 1955 to 1975, the Paris-based organisation that campaigns to protect journalists said on its Web site. . . . During the fighting in the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995, 49 journalists were killed doing their job, while 57 journalists and 20 media assistants were killed during a civil war in Algeria from 1993 to 1996. . . . RSF listed Iraq as the world's most dangerous place for journalists. In addition to those killed, 22 have been kidnapped. All but one was released. Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni was executed by his captors. . . . The media was targeted from the first days of the fighting, when cameraman Paul Moran, of the Australian TV network ABC, was killed by a car bomb on March 22, 2003, it added. . . . Two other journalists have been missing since March 2003 and August 2004.

Also see Dead Al Jazeera correspondent deliberately targeted
. . . Read more!

posted by Lorenzo 3:34 PM

 
Treating wounded troops takes toll on caregivers
(Deborah Funk,The Army Times, August 09, 2005)
The Army is extending outreach to health care workers at its posts out of concern that treating a heavy stream of wounded combat troops is taking a psychological toll, according to a top Army psychiatrist. “We are concerned about the impact of the war and specifically about the traumatic impact on our folks,” said Army Col. (Dr.) Elspeth Ritchie, the psychiatry consultant to the Army surgeon general. “They’re really seeing an extraordinary amount of trauma.” Anecdotal information indicates that some health care workers are suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress, such as re-experiencing gruesome events and having sleep difficulty. Some have trouble reconnecting emotionally and talking to people who haven’t been to war. And some just get so emotionally worn down that they may have trouble caring about people, Ritchie said. “This is a concern at the highest level of Army medical leadership,” Ritchie said. “We’re the ones that take care of the rest of the Army. If we’re not doing well, we’re not going to do our job of taking care of the Army well.”
. . . Read more!

posted by An Old Curmudgeon 6:14 AM

 
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq trades womens' rights for oil rights
To me, Zalmay Khalilzad is more a representative of Big Oil than he is of the American people. And as such, it seems that he will make any deal with the Iraqi pawns who are drafting their American-approved constitution as long as Big Oil will be able to come in and grab the oil in the privitazation frenzy now underway in Iraq. So it shouldn't be a surprise if we see an Islamic theocracy of some sort evolve in Iraq. All the Bush gang cares about is the oil, and when it comes to Big Oil, Zalmay Khalilzad is a man who knows that game from the inside.

Here are a few highlights of his career: Before being nominated in late 2003 to be the U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan, Khalilzad served as President Bush's envoy to Iraq and Afghanistan and oversaw the Bush-Cheney Defense Department transition team. He worked closely with Paul Wolfowitz in the Bush Sr. and Reagan administrations, and has collaborated with the Project for the New American Century [allegedly one of its founders] on its lobbying efforts. . . . Khalilzad's close connections to Islamic extremists in South Asia and to the oil giant Unocal have been the subject of sharp criticism. As Truthout opined in a 2001 piece, "Simply put, Khalilzad's appointment means oil. Oil for the United States. Oil for Unocal, a U.S. company long criticized for doing business in countries with repressive governments and rumored to have close ties to the Department of State and the intelligence community. Zalmay Khalilzad was an adviser for Unocal. . . . Khalilzad conducted risk analyses for Unocal at the time it had signed letters of approval from the Taliban. The analyses were for a proposed 890-mile, $2-billion, 1.9-billion-cubic-feet-per-day natural gas pipeline project which would have extended from Turkmenistan to Pakistan. In December 1997, Khalilzad joined Unocal officials at a reception for an invited Taliban delegation to Texas." . . . "Khalilzad's critics point out that Zalmay, who gave a speech upon his arrival in Kabul condemning the Taliban, had at one time, as a paid adviser to oil multinational Unocal, courted and defended them. Indeed, Khalilzad has changed his tune so often that one analyst with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, Anatol Lieven, said, 'If he was in private business rather than government, he would have been sacked long ago.'" . . . Afghans, including opponents in the [Karzai] government, view Khalilzad's past association with controversial U.S. policies. … with suspicion. Some noted that in the 1980s he was an official hand-holder of anti-Soviet Islamic militias that later destroyed Kabul in a viscous civil war, and that in the 1990s, he endorsed U.S. accommodation of leaders of the extremist Islamic Taliban."
. . . Read more!

posted by Lorenzo 1:00 PM

 
Dead soldier's mother protests Bush
 Cindy Sheehan protests Bush in Crawfort, TX
(The Lone Star Iconoclast, August 6, 2005)
Cindy Sheehan, co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace (www.gsfp.org) and mother of U.S. soldier who was slain in Iraq, called for President Bush on Saturday, Aug. 6, to return all troops in Iraq to the United States immediately. Although she failed to meet with Bush face-to-face at his Crawford-area ranch, Sheehan did speak with two of the president's aides. She still vowed to remain in Crawford to meet with the President. . . . Persian Gulf War Veteran Dennis Kyne (center, in camouflage jacket) led Cindy Sheehan's supporters in a chant four miles from President Bush's Prairie Chapen Ranch last Saturday. Kyne, a former battlefield medic, is author of Support The Truth, a book about his experience on the effects of depleted uranium weapons and PB Tablets (www.denniskyne.com).
. . . Read more!

posted by Lorenzo 4:34 PM

 
Lawsuit Forces Release of More Casualty Images
(Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post, August 5, 2005)
In response to a lawsuit, the Pentagon has released a few dozen new and uncensored images of flag-draped coffins of U.S. troops and agreed to process "as expeditiously as possible" future Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for photo and video images of returning war casualties. . . . The decision was called a victory for open government by the National Security Archive, a nongovernmental research group here that helped the litigation. "We forced the Pentagon to admit that release of these images was not a mistake but was in fact required by law," said Thomas Blanton, director of the archive, which posted the images on its Web site yesterday. As a result, he said the parties to the suit agreed July 28 to dismiss the case. . . . University of Delaware professor Ralph Begleiter sued in October 2004, and in April the Pentagon released 721 images of coffins taken by military photographers in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The latest release includes five new images as well as 27 others that had been censored with black rectangles, obscuring the faces of chaplains and service members in honor ceremonies. . . . The latest controversy arose after Dover Air Force Base, the main port for returning U.S. military remains, released 350 images -- including airplane cargo bays filled with flag-draped coffins -- during a spike in fighting in Iraq in April 2004. The Pentagon said that decision, in response to a FOIA request, was a mistake and ordered that no more photographs be released. . . . Begleiter's suit was filed to demonstrate that under the act, such photographs must be released as long as they do not harm national security or violate privacy laws. . . . The Pentagon yesterday said "further consideration" of a Begleiter appeal led it to release the latest photographs in an "unredacted form," meaning without the blacked-out faces. "The Department of Defense has an obligation and a responsibility to strike a balance between our strong desire to be as transparent as possible and the legitimate concerns to protect the privacy of military families and as necessary, operational security," a spokesman said.
. . . Read more!

posted by Lorenzo 2:51 PM

 
Bush rejects early Iraq pullout
(BBC NEWS, 3 August 2005)
George W Bush has said US troops will stay in Iraq to complete their mission, following the death of 14 US marines and their interpreter. . . . The roadside bombing in which they were killed was one of the deadliest attacks on US forces since the 2003 invasion. . . . Washington is worried such strikes could affect the public mood in the US, the BBC's Adam Brookes says. . . . The latest attacks brought the US death toll to more than 1,800 since the Iraq invasion. More than 13,000 US troops have been wounded. . . . Polls in the US show a fairly constant level of pessimism among Americans at the prospects for a successful outcome in Iraq, our Pentagon correspondent says. . . . Privately, senior US officers say their greatest concern is the affect on public opinion in the United States of the deaths of American troops: If we lose America, said one general, we lose the war. . . . The 14 US marines were killed when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb south of Haditha, about 260km (160 miles) north-west of Baghdad. . . . At least 37 US military personnel have been killed in Iraq in the last 10 days, a period of intense violence, but the latest Haditha attack ranks among the biggest US losses. . . . Only air crashes have resulted in higher US death tolls, including 16 in the November 2003 loss of a Chinook helicopter near Falluja and 31 in a helicopter crash in January 2005 near the Jordanian border.
. . . Read more!

posted by Lorenzo 10:10 PM

 
Air Force Times reports preparations for Iraq withdrawal underway
(Robert Burns, Associated Press, August 03, 2005)
[COMMENT by Lorenzo: This is an interesting story, as it comes from an official Air Force paper. Perhaps the fact that 52 U.S. troops have been killed in past two weeks in Iraq. I wonder how many more young Americans must lose their lives before We the People say we've had enough of Bush's insane war.]

The Pentagon is laying the groundwork for beginning a withdrawal from Iraq, even as it is weighing the risk of moving so quickly that Iraqi security forces collapse without U.S. support. . . . The benefits of a U.S. drawdown are pretty clear. Fewer troops would likely mean fewer casualties and less strain on the Army and Marine Corps, which already are stretched thin. . . . . . . There are now about 138,000 U.S. troops in Iraq in a war with dwindling popularity among American voters. . . . At best, a U.S. drawdown would begin shortly after elections for a new government in Baghdad, scheduled for December. That assumes two other difficult political milestones are achieved first: drafting a constitution by Aug. 15 and holding a national referendum in mid-October to approve the constitution. . . . It also assumes the insurgency does not get worse -- and that Iraqi security forces prove themselves ready for combat. . . . [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Of course, the fact remains that the insurgency is growning in strength as is evidenced by the ever increasing number of U.S. troop deaths. On top of that, it now appears that the Iraqi security forces have been infiltrated by insurgents, which is speeding up the U.S. death toll considerably.] . . . Even though Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has not yet received even a recommendation from commanders on when to start the pullout, he has been talking more directly in recent days about the security transition. . . . Noticeably absent from his comments was any assertion that defeating the insurgency is one of the conditions for an American withdrawal. . . . The battle against the insurgency brought another stark reminder Tuesday of the cost in U.S. lives of remaining in Iraq. Military officials announced that seven Marines were killed in action on Monday, pushing the total number of U.S. deaths in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion beyond the 1,800 mark. More than 13,700 have been wounded. . . . [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Keep in mind the fact that the number of U.S. troops killed in action is far greater than the 1,800+ the Pentagon is reporting. See nearly 9,000 U.S. troops dead in Iraq? for details.]
. . . Read more!

posted by Lorenzo 9:50 AM


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