Go on, press the button, it’s easy. You’ve been trained in such a way that makes it very easy, that directs your libido into desiring the kill, to ‘Get Some’. And don’t worry, the acculturation in the Homeland is such that whatever you do you will be the Good Guy. And thus the cycle continues, mass murderers become respected and get the next bit of mass murder going. The counter narrative is already launched, that’s if it is even still on the news agenda and anyway they are censoring it for the sensitive folks back home. What then of the other side, when they’ve mown down your friends, family, given themselves medals and treat you like shit, gonna do something? You’ll have to realise that your act won’t reach the people in the Homeland, they won’t understand you as a human being who made a stand, who couldn’t take anymore who couldn’t live with the anger, grief and the need stop the pain in your head, you’ll be an insurgent, a terrorist, a fundamentalist. Heroes use $16 million gunships (that’s a stimulus to the economy, saving jobs, providing careers in science, engineering and psychology), when you improvise whatever you can get your hands on, that’s terrorism. And that act will stiffen the resolve of the righteous forces of freedom, they are protecting the folks back home from your violence. They’ll be parades for them, at your funeral a drone will Hellfire all your friends and family, I mean who else would go to the funeral of a terrorist than other terrorists? Get Some. And best of all, best of all even the caring sharing reasonable liberal journalists will deny the holocaust of deaths (especially the half a million starved children even before the WMD lies did their work), Lancet & Orb are verboten, because the Good Guys don’t do that even as they wring their hands. So war has not changed, it is series of unfolding atrocities and people who want a nice life will not get in too much of the way of that, it’s just not polite. Do your duty, don’t think too hard, value nice things that a nice salary will buy you and one day maybe when you hear rotors overhead, hope that your gang, your tribe are in the cockpit, so don’t go to protests, don’t pray to the wrong god, don’t resist an occupation that murders and tortures your friends and family. When they say they are Good Guys believe them and serve them, whatever they do to you, maybe they foreclose your home, or bulldoze your home, deny you medicine in a letter or at a checkpoint, because that’s freedom. Find the most powerful gang and join it and hope your life is not at the other end of a button push.


Standing at the window
A farmer’s wife in Oxford shire
Glances at the clock; it’s nearly time for tea
She doesn’t see
The phantom in the hedgerow dip its wings
Doesn’t hear the engine sing
But in the cockpit’s techno glow
Behind the Ray Ban shine
The kid from Cleveland
In the comfort of routine
Scans his dials and smiles
Secure in the beauty of military life
There is no right or wrong
Only tin cans and cordite and white cliffs
And blue skies and flight flight flight
The beauty of military life
No questions only orders and flight, only flight
What a beautiful sight in his wild blue dream
The eternal child leafs through his war magazine
And his kind Uncle Sam feeds ten trillion in change
Into the total entertainment combat video game
And up here in the stands
The fans are going wild
The cheerleaders flip
When you wiggle your hip
And we all like the bit when you take
The jeans from the refrigerator and
Then the bad guy gets hit
And were you struck by the satisfying way
The swimsuit sticks to her skin
Like BB gun days
When knives pierce autumn leaves
But that’s okay see the children bleed
It’ll look great on the TV
And in Tripoli another ordinary wife
Stares at the dripping her old man hadn’t
Time to fix
Too busy mixing politics and rhythm
In the street below

Seventh Anniversary Of The Iraq Invasion

And as this video from rethink Afghanistan demonstrates the meek response and internalisation of propaganda is working, the first minute is concerned with US military casualties, then it turns to Iraq casualties and tremulously announces –At least 95,639 confirmed civilian deaths. History is written by the winners and it turns out they even get to rewrite what dissenting voices say. I know that they are after a wide US audience so deference for the imperial military forces and the civilian toll of the ongoing crimes have to be politely alluded to at best, but seven years on this does begin to indicate those who enacted this war will get to own the narrative. All helped by a hysterically embedded media, this by Barbara Plett is not much of a serious piece, it is a glorified film review of fugitive rapist Roman Polanski’s latest, but there is a telling passage-

The drama also has Adam Lang – holed up in a villa in Martha’s Vineyard – decide to stay in the United States for fear of arrest if he returns to Britain. Technically this is a feasible scenario. As a state that has ratified the Rome Treaty, Britain would be obliged to arrest anyone for whom the ICC had issued a warrant, although it had not yet for Mr Lang. The US has not ratified the treaty so it is not similarly obliged. However some legal experts are sceptical that Washington would protect such a high profile fugitive from justice, no matter how close an ally.

If Blair was ensconced in the US the White house would extradite him to face war crimes charges, she reports this expert opinion as if that would ever happen, bless. She also avoids mention of the crime of aggression and that a Chief Nuremberg prosecutor Benjamin Ferencz said-

“The United Nations charter has a provision which was agreed to by the United States, formulated by the United States, in fact, after World War II. It says that from now on, no nation can use armed force without the permission of the U.N. Security Council. They can use force in connection with self-defense, but a country can’t use force in anticipation of self-defense. Regarding Iraq, the last Security Council resolution essentially said, ‘Look, send the weapons inspectors out to Iraq, have them come back and tell us what they’ve found — then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do. The U.S. was impatient, and decided to invade Iraq — which was all pre-arranged of course. So, the United States went to war, in violation of the charter.”

And it is neither historically remarkable or psychologically surprising that  supporters and/or beneficiaries of slaughter deny the scale of the damage (beneficiaries are anyone still climbing upwards in their career who know it is best not to focus too strongly on deaths we cause as opposed to the evil ‘other’). There are people who deny the Holocaust, there are people who deny the death toll in Iraq, they are of the same ilk, quit whining and own your historical antecedence, you want good war, you have to hide bodies, real fucking simple. Deny the the best correlated figures of a million plus but know who you are making common cause with. There are 2.76 million Internally Displaced Persons and the figures for refugees who fled Iraq are complicated because of the necessarily scattered nature and multiple different countries reporting methods but the figure was 1,977,000-2,377,000(est.) one year ago, there is yet to be profound changes to their circumstances, in fact they are becoming worse.

Children of veterans with PTSD experience-

Iraqi adults & children themselves have massive rates of PTSD, depression and birth defects. Halliburton reported $3.1 Billion Gross Operating Profit last year, Blackwater/ XE and other mercenary firms of the privatised neoliberal war paradigm made…undisclosed total amounts often claimed to be classified, but Armor Group (Chairman former Tory Def Sec Sir Malcolm Rifkind now owned by G4S) made $3.7 million profit in 06,

Jeremy Scahill, 2007– Precise data on the extent of U.S. spending on mercenary services is nearly impossible to obtain — by both journalists and elected officials–but some in Congress estimate that up to 40 cents of every tax dollar spent on the war goes to corporate war contractors. At present, the United States spends about $2 billion a week on its Iraq operations.

Politicians, commentariat & high ranking military & intelligence personnel who conspired on the lies to enable the war have seen their careers & personal wealth flourish, those who opposed, told the truth and still do… Well at least Craig Murray got to be played by Doctor Who on Radio 4. Likelihood that because none of the prosecutors of this war have suffered adverse legal or criminal sanction that they will do it again- 100%. History & business as usual.

Happy Anniversary.

I Got My Orange Crush

But critics believe the U.S. is playing a grim waiting game: waiting for people to die in order to avoid potentially costly lawsuits. For a country currently engaged in two wars, accepting comprehensive responsibility for wartime damages could set an expensive precedent. “They know what the problem is and where it is,” says Chuck Searcy, country representative of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. “Why do they now need an environmental impact assessment? They are studying this to death.”

Since 2007, Congress has allocated a total of $6 million to help address Agent Orange issues in Vietnam. Not only does the amount not begin to scratch the surface of the problem or get rid of the tons of toxic soil around the nation, but there are questions about how the money is being spent. And several parties have noted with growing frustration that the money is primarily going to study the issue and hire consultants rather than implementing measures to prevent new generations from being exposed.

Luckily there will always be plenty of money to pay pundits to write ‘Why Do They Hate US?’ articles ad infinitum to soothe the imperial ego.

.Huge rise in birth defects in Falluja Iraqi former battle zone sees abnormal clusters of infant tumours and deformities

Ad infinitum.

‘…a series of suspicious deaths of Iraqi citizens.’

“I believe that I was serving in something that was party to covering up quite serious allegations of torture and murder,” said the former Royal Military Policeman of his time in the corps.

“I’ve seen documentary evidence that there were incidents, running into the 100s, involving death and serious injury to Iraqis,” he claims. “It is the actions of a few who have been shown to be bad apples. But the system is so flawed and some of the decision making has been so perverse that it is fair to say that the barrel is probably rotten.”

See the interview, podcast and read more.

Posted in Establishment, Human Rights, Iraq. Tags: , . Comments Off on ‘…a series of suspicious deaths of Iraqi citizens.’

A Lawyer’s Withdrawal

Dahr Jamail– In addition, there has been an assumption that all US military bases within Iraqi city limits would be moved. For example, US Army Forward Operating Base Falcon, home to 3,000 US troops, is clearly within the city limits of Baghdad. But US military officials, working with Iraqis in the US-supported Iraqi government, have other ideas. “We and the Iraqis decided it wasn’t in the city,” a military official told the Christian Science Monitor. Thus, city lines are redrawn, to the convenience of the US military, to render certain bases and forward operating bases “outside” of Iraqi cities.

Protest The Treatment of Muntadar Al-Zaidi

Via Dave.

Media Workers Against the War, and the International Federation of Journalists have called for the immediate release of Muntadar Al-Zaidi, the journalist who hurled his shoes at George Bush in protest at his bloody occupation. Al-Zaidi has not been seen since he was arrested. The BBC reports he has been severely beaten.

The swift incarceration of this journalist contrasts sharply with the treatment of war criminals Bush and Blair. Their decision to go to war in 2003 has led to the deaths of up to a million Iraqi civilians.

Muntadar Zaidi’s life is now in great danger. Not even his family know his whereabouts. We must speak out for the right of Iraqis to protest this criminal occupation.

Supported by Media Workers Against the War, Iraqi Democrats Against the Occupation and Stop the War Coalition. All welcome, please forward widely.

Time and Place
Date: 19 December 2008
Time: 13:00 – 14:00
Location: US Embassy
Street: Grosvenor Square
Town/City: London, United Kingdom

Update: Also in Manchester, 1pm on Sat in front of the BBC.

Free Muntadar al-Zeidi

“The flying shoe speaks more for Arab public opinion than all the despots/puppets that Bush meets with during his travels in the Middle East,”

Asad Abu Khalil (angryarab.blogspot.com) Professor at Stanislaus University in California

The journalist who threw his shoes at Bush has not only been arrested but beaten. However much fun the shoe spectacle might be, one man actually stood up and showed Bush what the world thinks of him. So now let’s show our appreciation and ensure he does not end up in jail and tortured. Raed Jarrar has a petition link, you can sign here. He will- print the petition and hand it over to the Iraqi embassy in DC in case he was not released this week.

[Update: There is also this petition @ Uruknet Free Muntather al-Zaidi: The 50,000 Signatures Campaign for Muntather al-Zaidi here.]

The journalist Montather Al-Zeidi/Muntadar al-Zeidi/Muntader al-Zaidi, (depending on who you want to read) was kidnapped last year and held, Reporters Without Borders called for his release. Contact them again and make sure they look after his welfare.

The journalist’s exact whereabouts were unclear, although one Iraqi official said that he was being held for questioning at Mr al-Maliki’s residence, his shoes having been kept as evidence.

The Iraqi government however branded al-Zaidi’s actions as “shameful” and demanded an apology from his Cairo-based employer, which in turn called for his immediate release from custody.

“Al-Baghdadia television demands that the Iraqi authorities immediately release their stringer Muntazer al-Zaidi, in line with the democracy and freedom of expression that the American authorities promised the Iraqi people,” it said in a statement. “Any measures against Muntazer will be considered the acts of a dictatorial regime.”

An Iraqi lawyer said that al-Zaidi risked a miminum of two years in prison if he is prosecuted for insulting a visiting head of state, but could face a 15-year term if he is charged with attempted murder.

Update again: Thanks to Pete in comments there is this 7 minute account by an Iraq journo at the NYT

and also this interview with Muntader al-Zaidi’s brother with details of what led him to his shoe throwing epiphany.

Posted in Iraq. Tags: , . 45 Comments »

this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog

More @ BBC, short youtube below-

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Iraq. Tags: . 5 Comments »

6 to 1

The Truth & Reconciliation process continues in South Korea, largely ignored by the West, and here is why-

SEOUL, South Korea – Government investigators digging into the grim hidden history of mass political executions in South Korea have confirmed that dozens of children were among many thousands shot by their own government early in the Korean War. The investigative Truth and Reconciliation Commission has thus far verified more than two dozen mass killings of leftists and supposed sympathizers, among at least 100,000 people estimated to have been hastily shot and dumped into makeshift trenches, abandoned mines or the sea after communist North Korea invaded the south in June 1950.

The killings, details of which were buried in classified U.S. files for a half-century, were intended to keep southern leftists from aiding the invaders at a time when the rightist, U.S.-allied government was in danger of being overrun by communist forces. Family survivors last month met with the U.S. Embassy for the first time, saying afterward they demanded an apology for alleged “direct and indirect” American involvement in the killings.

The AP has reported that declassified U.S. military documents show U.S. Army officers took photos of the assembly line-style executions outside the central city of Daejeon, where the commission believes between 3,000 and 7,000 people were shot and dumped into mass graves in early July 1950.

The reporting is good but deference to the powerful and editors are avoiding the ‘genocide’ word that if a less favoured nation were involved would be bandied around much more easily. Very polite-

Although at the time U.S. diplomats reported confidentially they had urged restraint on the South Koreans, there was no sign the U.S. military, with formal command over the southerners, tried to halt the mass executions.

Other once-secret files show that a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel reported giving approval to the killing of 3,500 political prisoners by a South Korean army unit he was advising in Busan, if the North Koreans approached that southern port city, formerly spelled Pusan.

In other words genocide was committed under US command, and now to the 6 to 1-

Similarly, the North Korean occupiers and their southern comrades at times killed policemen and others associated with the rightist regime after summary “trials.” But the commission says petitions relating to executions of leftists outnumber by 6-to-1 those dealing with right-wingers’ deaths.

These were cold warriors who implemented literally ‘Better Dead than Red’ it was not just a motto it was a policy of extermination. 58 years later and it is still ignored even as the current media coverage denies the deaths in Iraq.

Posted in CIA, Human Rights, Imperialism, Iraq, Media, Militarism. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on 6 to 1

Q2N Relentless: Bush Plotting ‘Surgical Strike’ in Iran

All the reasoning (Sadr, Quds force, yadda yadda) from those ever so helpful unnamed sources is of course as fanciful as ever, from Murdoch Times (all war pimping, all the time)-

The US military is drawing up plans for a “surgical strike” against an insurgent training camp inside Iran if Republican Guards continue with attempts to destabilise Iraq, western intelligence sources said last week.

The CBS television network reported last week that plans were being drawn up for an attack on Iran, citing an officer who blamed the “increasingly hostile role” Iran was playing in Iraq.

The American news reports were unclear about the precise target of such an action and referred to Iran’s nuclear facilities as the likely objective.

According to the intelligence sources there will not be an attack on Iran’s nuclear capacity. “The Pentagon is not keen on that at all. If an attack happens it will be on a training camp to send a clear message to Iran not to interfere.”

President George W Bush is known to be determined that he should not hand over what he sees as “the Iran problem” to his successor. A limited attack on a training camp may give an impression of tough action, while at the same time being something that both Gates and the US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, could accept.

Erm Iran problem? You mean the one of Bush’s making, and the training camp is this time arounds WMD, even Maliki is kicking back against the war pimping (although not surprising he is much closer to IRI than Sadr)-

Iraq said on Sunday it has no evidence that Iran was supplying militias engaged in fierce street fighting with security forces in Baghdad. Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said there was no “hard evidence” of involvement by the neighbouring Shiite government of Iran in backing Shiite militiamen in the embattled country. Asked about US reports that weapons captured from Shiite fighters bore 2008 markings suggesting Iranian involvement, Dabbagh said: “We don’t have that kind of evidence… If there is hard evidence we will defend the country.”

That’s the Empires own puppets kicking back against the ignorance and belligerence of the occupation’s imperial ambitions. In other words everything the Bush regime has done has been an abominable murderous catastrophe so what do they intend to do now? More of the same- Kill, dominate, sow sectarianism and steal. (ht2 Atlargely)


At least 28 militants have been killed during battles in the Sadr City area of Baghdad, the US military has said. The deaths come during intensified fighting in the Iraqi capital between militants loyal to Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr and US and Iraqi forces. The US military said a number of its soldiers had been wounded during Tuesday’s fighting.

At least 28 killed while the occupation forces suffer just injured is not ‘fighting’, it’s harvesting, ‘cleansing’

The Iraqi police, army, interior ministry forces, and other US backed forces are nothing more than nice titles for militias that happened to be called “governmental”. The Sunnis and Shiites allied with the US get to have their militias treated as “good militias” with governmental titles, but the other Sunnis and Shiites who represent the majority of Iraqis and oppose the occupation are the ones with “bad militias” that are described as terrorists and extremists.

The U.S. role in training Iraqi armed forces is doing is very similar to the U.S. role in the school of the Americas training Latin American forces to go back home and kill their own people.

If you disapprove the U.S. role in training, funding, arming, and protecting Iraqi puppet armed forces contact your congress person today and ask them to stop funding this disaster. The congress has approved billions of dollars of US-taxpayers money to fund these sectarian militias who are directly responsible of the ethnic and sectarian cleansing that has been taking place in Iraq during the last 5 years.


The Presidential race/soap opera is a gaudy distraction, not much talk of impeachment anymore, Bush admits to torture on tv *crickets*, an election has more importance if you do not perceive the true state of your nation, when your nation is an Empire.

The notions that within the body of empire lurks the heart of an egalitarian, constitutional republic, or a libertarian minarchy, or a parliamentary social democracy are the purest forms of political self-flattery.

The media have helped to turn the race into a millionaires playground where the currency seems to be who has the greatest capacity for genocide and noticing the underclass is pejoratively labelled Marxism by people who daily call for slaughter as a solution to any imperial problem. In the meantime the Bush Whitehouse has been pushing even further into its realm of Royal decree and manifest legal exceptionalism, in the meantime it has continued its secret torture gulag and enacting the steps necessary to attack Iran, while the electoral show filled the mediasphere, while you were sleeping the relentless death machine has continued its plotting, killing and torturing. And now grows the fear again it is close to having all its pieces in position, its ducks in a row for the assault on Iran.

Is it the fact that the largest economy of the world, which is driven by the military industrial complex and uses 25% of the planets oil, has concluded that only Iran stands in its way to controlling 60% of the globe’s known petrochemical reserves?

The imperial logic of the politician’s will be weighing- if the attack is under Bush and in time for the election that will favour a continuation of the neocon dominated GOP war party, if it is firmly resisted by the establishment , but the signs are key figures of antipathy towards the plan have and are being removed. Even with resistance the Bush cabal have the chance in the dying weeks of their administration to launch a series of strikes and leave the incomer to clean up the political mess while they profit via their corporate ties in the clean up, disaster capitalism is so very versatile. And then there is the dark reasoning, attacking demonised Middle East states is by and large good for the President who does it, such is the conditioning of an imperial populace, such is patriotism. So an attack is political currency, so why give an opponent the chance to use it? If Clinton steals the nomination this calculation would become more acute, while his rhetoric and charisma may represent a wild card, Obama’s stated policies are not anti-imperial. So both could use that currency, although Clinton may enjoy it more.

The corporatist elite then largely would favour attacking, timing dependent on political calculations once logistical issues are resolved, these issues now look suspiciously as if they are close to operational readiness, ByTheWay– none of this would even happening if impeachment had been used as framers of the constitution intended, not rejected by a political class comfortable in their imperial senate. Ducks in a row?-

  • The March 11 resignation of CENTCOM Commander Admiral William Fallon
  • The recent removal of Vice Admiral John Stufflebeem, Commander of the 6th Fleet (Mediterranean Sea), also known to be a critic of the administration’s war plans.
  • Two U.S. warships took up positions off Lebanon last month. According to US News & World Report, “The United States would want its warships in the eastern Mediterranean in the event of a military action against Iran.”
  • The Israeli air strike against Syria last September was advertised as an attack on a nuclear facility. Current speculation is that the real purpose of the raid was to “force Syria to switch on the targeting electronics for newly received Russian anti-aircraft defenses.” Knowing the electronic signatures of these systems would reduce the risks for U.S. and Israeli warplanes heading to Iranian targets.
  • Israel conducted its largest military exercises ever beginning the week of April 6. This exercise simulated missile strikes from Iran, Lebanon, and Syria.
    One day after a March visit from Vice President Cheney, the Saudi government announced “national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom.”
  • According to former U.N. chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter, the Pentagon has contracted for additional bunker-buster bombs and planes that carry them. Delivery is due this month.
  • As you might observe in our latest Order of Battle, the US Navy is currently operating two Carrier Strike Groups in the Middle East. Additionally, we are observing two Expeditionary Strike Groups and a British Carrier Strike Group in the region as well. As we read the events as they are disclosed in public sources, we believe the United States is on the verge of major offensive operations in the Middle East.

War pimps remain in lucrative employment and spewing forth propaganda-

There are two stories in the London Times which have rightwing “War party” pundits frothed up today. One alledges that British hostages taken in Iraq are being held in Iran by the Revolutionary Guard. The other says that North Korea has built a James-Bond-Villain supersecret base under a mountain as protection against US airstrikes which might be launched in the aftermath of the White House’s allegations about Nork co-operation on a reactor in Syria. The main body of the story, oddly, is more about Syria’s alleged perfidy than the alleged Nork’s base.

Both stories come from the typewriter of Uzi Mahnaimiin, a yellow journalism reporter who always relies – as these stories do – on anonymous “leaks” as his authority. The trouble is that Mahnaimiin is a “serial liar”, as Pajamas Media’s Meryl Yourish has described him. In a race crowded with Mike Ledeens and Amir Taheris, he may be the biggest war-shill in Middle east journalism.

And let’s be straight about Israel’s motivations-

Israel’s military leaders and their political yes-men don’t believe, and never have believed, that Iran, if it possessed nuclear weapons, would unleash them in a first strike against the Zionist state. The real problem for its leaders is that the moment Israel ceased to be the only nuclear-armed power in the region, would be the moment it lost its ability to impose its will on the region. And actually the world.

Understanding of the power games of our ruling elites neutralises their use of propaganda to whip up ‘righteous’ anger against countries on simple right and wrong patrio-porn set ups that enable our corporatist elites to achieve greater private profit via our labour and our publicly financed wars. Saddam Hussein killed hundreds of thousands and tortured people in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison!!!!! All that changed were the names in charge. Of course there is a proportion of people who do not care about that, they are filled with fear and hate and bigotry and any chance to kill and dominate ‘others’ is good news. They are the pro-war right & left, the left ones often engage in fantastical imaginings of how this time contrary to all human history, this time western military action really is about humane goals, what was that you said about oil reserves and spheer of influence? Bah cynic!

At this point awareness of the real venal motives behind the pro-occupation pro-attack bloc is unlikely to be achieved via corporate owned media, people will as before -maybe grumbling- but they will not oppose the warfare state enough to make this violent manner of pursuing business untenable. Most work too hard just to get by to have time to search for better information sources in order to make informed judgements, assuming they have that instinct in the first place. Our politician’s supposedly do a lot of that work for us…stop laughing.

Our ruling classes tend towards war not peace, when the exploitation of the domestic populace no longer provides enough profit for their growing debauched tastes they jump in boats, planes and find new ‘markets’. Waiting for the moment some war pimping news story explodes- innocent soldiers (oxy meet moron), western women and children and kittens and puppies tortured and killed by eveel Iranians or some such it will be too late to derail the plans being worked on right now.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a “limited” nuclear attack on the main Iranian underground site in Esfahan would result in three million people killed by radiation within two weeks and 35 million people exposed to dangerous levels of radiation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

Embassy City Has Landed

The occupation city state has finished with its slave labour and is open for business-

The State Department on Monday certified the new $740 million U.S. Embassy in Baghdad as ready to open, more than six months behind schedule.

Richard Shinnick, the department’s buildings chief, said problems with the mammoth, 27-building complex’s fire-safety systems have been fixed, and the embassy compound will now be turned over to U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

The heavily fortified complex, the United States’ biggest embassy, will provide working and living quarters for more than 1,000 U.S. diplomats and military personnel, many of whom have been posted on the grounds of a former palace of late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Bilal Hussein To Be Freed

Although the Iraqi authorities dropped all allegations last week it has not been until now the US military confirmed it would release him-

The U.S. military said Monday it will release Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein, more than two years after he was detained by U.S. Marines on suspicions of links to insurgents. The military said it has determined Hussein is not a threat and plans to free him Wednesday.

In the past week, Iraqi judicial committees dismissed all allegations against Hussein and ordered his release. The last allegations were dropped Sunday — a day after Hussein marked his second full year in custody. The AP and Hussein, 36, have denied any improper contacts and said he was only doing his job as a journalist working in a war zone.

British journalist freed after being held hostage in Basra for two months. Sami Al-Hajj is still in Guantanamo & Jawed Ahmad is still in Bagram Airbase jail.

“speak[ing] for a large number of news organizations, many of whom are not really talking publicly about this at the moment,” when he made this statement about the dangers facing reporters in Iraq: “The trouble is that a lot of the military – particularly the American…military – do not want us there. And they make it very uncomfortable for us to work. And I think that this…is leading to security forces in some instances feeling it is legitimate to target us with deadly force and with impunity.”– Nik Gowing BBC

Posted in Iraq, Media. Tags: , . Comments Off on Bilal Hussein To Be Freed

Pigs at the Trough

Thirty-five international oil companies have qualified to bid for future oil and gas contracts to develop one of the world’s largest oil fields, an Iraqi oil ministry statement said Sunday.

“The total number of the companies and consortia that participated in the prequalification process was 120 from various nationalities,” said the ministry’s petroleum contracts and licensing office.

The office listed 35 companies that it said were qualified. They include, among others, BP PLC, Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Lukoil Holdings, China National Petroleum Corp., Edison International SpA and Eni SpA.

Posted in Corporatism, Iraq, Oil. Tags: , . Comments Off on Pigs at the Trough