A guide to the causes and consequences of the war on Iraq.
Last updated: May 28, 2003, 01:58 UTC
NOTE:This web site was maintained during the months just before and
just after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. For current material, please see the web site
of United for Peace of Pierce County.
-- Best and worst news sources -- Warblogs --
Brief articles --
analyses -- International dimensions --
Disarmament issues -- Military aspects --
marketing aspects -- Economic and social aspects --
Religious dimensions --
opinion -- Postwar Iraq -- Peace and religious communities -- Expressions of outrage -- Satire -- Patriotic dissent
- For a variety of links to materials that help explain how the U.S. developed a policy
such as the one now being carried out, the
Endowment for Peace has an excellent page devoted to war on Iraq. See especially
the documents under "Regime Change in the Middle East." (Note: For those who are unfamiliar with
the article by Jay Bookman in the Sept. 29 Atlanta Constitution,
cited below, is a good introduction; so is a recent article
by Michael Lind, also cited below. Another good historical overview with background is Fareed Zakaria's The Arrogant Empire, which appeared in the number of Newsweek dated Mar. 24, 2003. An article by Alain Frachon and Daniel Vernet that appeared in Le Monde of April 15, 2003, entitled The Strategist and the Philosopher, explores the intellectual roots of these doctrines in the thinking of Albert Wohlstetter (who died in 1977) and Leo Strauss (1899-1973).)
- Veterans for Common
Sense: founded in August 2002 by Gulf War veterans who question the
war on Iraq.
- United for Peace of Pierce County: a local
organization dedicated to opposing nonviolently the war on Iraq. Affiliated
with the national coalition
United For Peace and Justice and
with the Seattle-based Sound
Nonviolent Opponents of War (S.N.O.W.) coalition.
- Another local effort is the remarquable
Insights page created by Deon Gates. Great images, good links.
- Shocking images of suffering and death caused by this war can be found at the
Shock and awe photo
gallery, updated daily. Warning: not for the squeamish.
of civilian victims. Warning: difficult to look at.
- Iraq! -- links
to 1750 sites relating to Iraq.
- Electroniciraq.net: a news portal on the US-Iraq crisis published by Voices in the Wilderness and the respected Middle East supplementary news publishers, the Electronic Intifada.
- Iraq Journal,
organized by Voices in the Wilderness and the Iraq Peace Team.
- Instructions to Join the Iraq Peace Team
- You may or may not be able to access the English-language website for Al-Jazeerah -- try aljazeerah.us, and if this link doesn't work, try aljazeerha.info.
- For another Arab viewpoint, try Arab News, Saudi Arabia's first English daily.
- For official U.S. positions, see the U.S. Department of Defense website, the White House website, and the Operation Iraqi Freedom website.
- On the first full day of the war in Iraq, journalist Sam Smith of the
Progressive Review classed a number
of news sources as 'best', 'mixed', and 'worst'. Here are links to them all, with
- BEST CONVENTIONAL SOURCES FOR WAR NEWS:
GUARDIAN: "Perhaps the world's best
daily." -- INDEPENDENT: "Robert Fisk &
other goodies." -- HAARETZ: "Solid reporting
- MIXED COVERAGE: AGENCE
PRESS -- BBC: "Good on facts but government
agency." --BOSTON GLOBE --
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR: "Not comprehensive
but good." DEBKA FILE: "Close to Israeli intelligence
but some good stuff." --LOS ANGELES TIMES --
NEW YORK TIMES --
TIMES OF LONDON --
- MOST UNRELIABLE: CNN: "In bed with the
military." -- FOX NEWS: "Heavy handed
conservatism." -- MSNBC: "Trying to outfox
Fox on the right and often succeeding." -- NPR:
"Run by an ex-govt. broadcast propagandist & sounds that way." --
WASHINGTON POST: "Voice of the hawks and
- The BBC has four reporters in the field who file frequent entries to a BBC Reporters' Log, giving impressions and personal experiences.
- Slate offers Nate Thayer reporting from Baghdad.
- The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has reporter M.L. Lyke and photographer Grant Haller on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, an aircraft carrier where some sailors are definitely not on board for this war -- and some of them, like 19-year-old Angela Jackson of Portland, Oregon, are not afraid to give their names.
- BBC journalist Stuart Hughes is operating an independent blog from northern Iraq that includes photographs, maps, and a discussion forum.
- CNN shut down Kevin Sites's warblog on Mar. 21.
- Formerly a reporter for Associated Press and the New York Daily News, Chris Allbritton is moving about and reporting from here and there, supporting himself only on readers' contributions (more than $10,000 as of Mar. 27) to this truly independent journalist.
- In very difficult circumstances, a young man calling himself Salam Pax, whose mother is a Shia from Karbala, maintains the Where Is Raed? blog. Mar. 23: "Today before noon I went out with my cousin to take a look at the city. Two things. 1) the attacks are precise. 2) they are attacking targets which are just too close to civilian areas in Baghdad. . . ." Jane Perrone of the Guardian vouches for Salam Pax's authenticity.
- The Guardian hosts warblogs by Burhan Wazir, Jason Burke, and famous human rights campaigner Jo Wilding.
- The warblog by "Lt. Smash" claims to be by a member of the U.S. military. Who knows?
- There is a Christian Peacemaker Team in Baghdad trying to send reports via satellite modem.
- Collective warblogs. A good source of pro-war comment is Warblogs:cc; another is Command Post. Collective antiwarblogs include Stand Down, which makes an effort to draw on the right as well as the left, and Killing Goliath.
- David Rohde,
Deadly unrest leaves a town in northern Iraq bitter at U.S., New York Times, Apr. 19, 2003. What happened when "Lt. Col. Robert Waltemeyer, had only 380 Special Operations soldiers to take control of a tumultuous city of two million people."
- Roger Morris,
From republic to empire, Globe and Mail, Apr. 14, 2003. George W. Bush, America's most imperial president: who would have thought it? "Shortly before he died in 1989, the eminent American writer Robert Penn Warren, author of All The King's Men, a novel about a democratic demagogue and dictator, was asked if he foresaw another president with too much power. 'Well, it'll probably be someone you least expect under circumstances nobody foresaw,' he said. 'And, of course, it'll come with a standing ovation from Congress.'"
- Jalal Ghazi,
Baghdad did not fall -- it was handed over, Pacific News Service, Apr. 14, 2003. Where did the Ba'ath leadership go? Speculation about a secret deal is rife in the Arab world.
- Linda Diebel,
doctrinaires -- Analysts point to strong signs that America's war machine will continue
to roll -- Despite denials, Syria and Iran appear to be next, Toronto Star, Apr. 14, 2003. A Canadian perspective on the
"neoconservative" project for remaking the Middle East, of which the Iraq war is
increasingly being recognized as merely the first part. (It's strange to remember now
that this was regarded as an extreme and speculative view throughout last fall and winter.)
- Julian Barnes,
war was not worth a child's finger, Guardian, Apr. 11, 2003. "This
is Blair's War . . ."
- Bob Herbert,
of War, New York Times, Apr. 10, 2003. "The war against Iraq has become
one of the clearest examples ever of the influence of the military-industrial complex
that President Dwight Eisenhower warned against so eloquently in his farewell
address in 1961. This iron web of relationships among powerful individuals inside
and outside the government operates with very little public scrutiny and is
saturated with conflicts of interest. Their goals may or may not coincide
with the best interests of the American people. Think of the divergence of
interests, for example, between the grunts who are actually fighting this war,
who have been eating sand and spilling their blood in the desert, and the power
brokers who fought like crazy to make the war happen and are profiting from
it every step of the way. There aren't a lot of rich kids in that desert.
The U.S. military is largely working-class. The power brokers homing in on
$100 billion worth of postwar reconstruction contracts are not. The Pentagon
and its allies are close to achieving what they wanted all along, control of the
nation of Iraq and its bounty, which is the wealth and myriad forms of power
that flow from control of the world's second-largest oil reserves."
- Paul Vallely,
soldiers moved into the city centre and were met with smiles not gunfire, Independent, Apr. 10, 2003. The
day the government vacated Baghdad came as a surprise to U.S. forces. "The first clue of the momentous events
that were about to unfold came just after dawn as US marines moved into the sprawling suburb of Saddam
City. . . . [A]t 3.49pm, the statue fell, slumping at first like an incapable drunk, but then crashing
to the ground. The citizens jumped on it, like Lilliputians on Gulliver, and screamed and danced in sheer
exultation. The regime was dead."
- Samia Nakhoul,
hospitals offer snapshot of war horror, Reuters, Apr. 7, 2003. "Ali Ismaeel
Abbas, 12, was fast asleep when war shattered his life. A missile obliterated his
home and most of his family, leaving him orphaned, badly burned and blowing off
both his arms. . . . 'Can you help me get my arms back? Do you think the doctors
can get me another pair of hands?' Abbas asked. 'If I don't get another pair of hands
I will commit suicide,' he said with tears spilling down his cheeks."
on the cusp, Hindustani Times, Apr. 7, 2003. A good
summary of some of the uncertainties latent in the
"highly charged and confusing situation" in Iraq.
- Steven Greenhut,
War brings out the purple
people, Orange County Register, Apr. 6, 2003. Denunciation of the war from
the right, in one of the most conservative papers in the United
States. "[M]any callers and e-mailers . . . depict me as a fool or a traitor. I have
sided with the Muslim extremists, or am imperiling America's troops, or have breached the
unwritten rule that all criticism of a war must cease once the bombs are flying. I was reminded that
I sleep safely at night because America's brave fighting men and women are putting their lives on
the line for me. These accusations are buncombe. . . . 'There is nothing conservative
- Julian Borger, Richard Norton-Taylor, and Stuart Millar,
Unraveling the mysteries of war, Guardian, Apr. 4, 2003. "The last few days have been a cause of great bemusement to military experts. . . . Guardian writers explore some of the deepening mysteries."
- Judy Keen,
of Iraq war showing on Bush, those who know him say, USA Today, Apr. 2, 2003. It's
lonely at the top. "Bush copes with anxiety as he always has. He prays and exercises."
- Geov Parrish,
The six day war, Working for Change, Mar. 31, 2003.
An argument that the U.S. has already lost the war: "But by last Wednesday,
the outcome of George Bush's invasion of Iraq was decided. The only remaining
unknowns are how many months or years it will take America and Britain to figure
out that they have already lost, and how many people will die in the
interim. . . . It was evident by the middle of last week, and has
become increasingly evident each day since -- even through the muddle of
U.S. media coverage and frantic spinning in Washington and London -- that
Iraqis do not want the Americans in their country. Period. We are not welcome."
- A very different conclusion was reached by a group of Russian journalists and military experts, Iraqwar.ru, which produced remarkable daily summaries of the war. On Mar. 31, Iraqwar.ru reported: "There is no question that the US 'blitzkrieg' failed to take control of Iraq and to destroy its army. It is clear that the Americans got bogged down in Iraq and the military campaign hit a snag. However, the Iraqi command is now in danger of underestimating the enemy. For now there is no reason to question the resolve of the Americans and their determination to reach the set goal – complete occupation of Iraq. In reality, despite of [sic] some obvious miscalculations and errors of the coalition's high command, the [coalition] troops that have entered Iraq maintain high combat readiness and are willing to fight. The losses sustained during the past 12 days of fighting, although delivering a painful blow to the pride and striking the public opinion, are entirely insignificant militarily speaking." Here's their final report, released Apr. 8. About a week later, Daniel Forbes wrote an interesting post-morten on Iraqwar.ru in The Progressive entitled Did Russians use blog to aid Iraqis? in which he speculated about what this odd product had been all about -- probably not the last we'll hear on this subject.
- Serge July,
The miscalculation, Libération (Paris), Mar. 25, 2003. This is a war based on a terrible political miscalculation.
- Burhan al-Chalabi,
should have known we'd fight, Guardian, Mar. 25, 2003. "It
is now clear to everyone that ordinary Iraqis are resisting this military
aggression with their lives and souls. . . . . We are an
enormously proud people." Dr. al-Chalabi is chairman of the British Iraqi
Foundation and a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
- Associated Press reports,
troops begin attacking Republican Guard forces, San
Diego Union-Tribune, Mar. 24, 2003.
"With the Marines crossing the Euphrates near An Nasiriyah was a
Marine from the Twentynine Palms base in California who was in
the 1991 Gulf War. He noted the change in mood this time. 'When
you're at war in someone's homeland, it's a different story,'
he said. 'Last time' -- in Kuwait -- 'everyone was happy to see
us. We were liberating the country. So we did it, we won,
everyone was happy and we went home.' But here, there is constant
anxiety about disguised Iraqi soldiers waiting to attack, and
constant wondering about just who is the enemy."
- Lloyd Jansen, Bush
plays into al-Qaida's hands, Seattle Times, Feb. 14, 2003. Lloyd
Jansen teaches at Green River Community College.
- John Le Carré, The
United States of America Has Gone Mad, Times (London),
January 15, 2003. An analysis of one of America's "periods
of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember."
- J. Victor Marshall, The
Lies We Are Told about Iraq, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 5, 2003.
"Lacking solid evidence, the public must weigh Saddam Hussein's penchant for lies against
the administration's own record. Based on recent history, that's not an easy choice."
- Gary Jones, Tom Newton Dunn, & Bob Roberts,
Going for Oil, The Mirror (London), Jan. 24, 2003.
"[A] battleground blueprint has already been drawn up, the Daily
Mirror has learned, with Britain earmarked to secure Saddam's fuel
supplies and squash suggestions of a US 'oil grab'. . . .
Pentagon chiefs have told the Ministry of Defence: 'You take the the
oilfields. We're not going to take the flak for taking the oil.'"
- Patrice Claude,
The "Empire"'s Bivouacs, Le
Monde (Paris), Dec. 12, 2002. An early-December update on the build-up of U.S. forces encircling Iraq.
- Stanley Heller,
Been Lied to about Iraq. Fourteen big lies refuted. Lie #1:
U.S. presidents want Saddam Hussein to obey the UN. Lie #2: U.S.
presidents opposed Saddam's murders and invasions. Lie #3...
- Michael Elliott & Massimo Calabresi,
Inside the Secret Campaign to Topple Saddam, Time, Dec. 2, 2002. An extensive report on the "war before the war," with new information on recent activities of U.S. Special Forces inside Iraq.
- Leonard Pitts Jr.,
rhetoric does a lot for his opponents, Oct. 30, 2002.
- Tony Judt,
Wrong War at the Wrong Time, New York Times, Oct.
- Romi Mahajan,
the War Means to the Iraqi People, Oct. 11, 2002.
- Molly Ivins,
New Kind of US Foreign Policy.
- Salman Rushdie,
If Bush Himself Causes Jihad.
- David Morgan,
U.S. official says CIA aided Iraqi Baathists, Reuters, Apr. 17, 2003. Some
say the U.S. was involved in the 1963 coup that led to Iraq being governed by the Ba'ath
Party, and also in the palace revolt by Saddam Hussein's mentor, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr,
who turned power over to Saddam in 1979.
- Michael Lind,
How neoconservatives conquered Washington – and launched a war,
Antiwar.com, Apr. 10, 2003. The strange story of the people who brought you the Iraq war.
- Henry C. K. Liu,
The war that
may end the age of superpower, Asia Times, Apr. 5, 2003. While its military
analysis was not borne out by events, this article, by an intriguing capitalist
who has earned a following in on-line discussions of radical economics, makes a
number of interesting points, including this one: "In a world order of nation-states,
it is natural for all citizens to support their troops, but only on their own soil.
Support for all expeditionary or invading forces is not patriotism, it is imperialism.
All nations are entitled to keep defensive forces, but offensive forces of all
countries must be condemned by all, socialists and right-wing libertarians alike."
- Noam Chomsky,
with V.K. Ramachandran, Frontline India, Apr. 2, 2003. "This should be seen as a trial
run. , . . Turkey is bitterly condemned for [maintaining its position]
here, just as France and Germany are bitterly condemned because they took the
position of the overwhelming majority of their populations. The countries
that are praised are countries like Italy and Spain, whose leaders agreed to
follow orders from Washington over the opposition of maybe 90 per cent of
their populations. That is another new step. I cannot think of another case
where hatred and contempt for democracy have so openly been proclaimed, not
just by the government, but also by liberal commentators and others. There
is now a whole literature trying to explain why France, Germany, the so-called "old
Europe", and Turkey and others are trying to undermine the United States. It is
inconceivable to the pundits that they are doing so because they take democracy
seriously and they think that when the overwhelming majority of a population
has an opinion, a government ought to follow it. That is real contempt for
democracy, just as what has happened at the United Nations is total contempt
for the international system."
- Harold Meyerson,
The neocons' war, LA Weekly, Mar. 28-Apr. 3, 2003. "I know a number of the editors of The Weekly Standard, the linchpin journal of neoconservatism, and a more affable, thoughtful bunch of guys promoting more dangerous, maniacal ideas you could never hope to meet."
- Joshua Micah Marshall,
Practice to deceive, Washington Monthly, April 2003. Chaos and disaster may be part of the plan. "In short, the administration is trying to roll the table--to use U.S. military force, or the threat of it, to reform or topple virtually every regime in the [Middle East], from foes like Syria to friends like Egypt. . . ." (Brian Whittaker made a similar argument in a Sept. 3, 2002 article in the Guardian entitled Playing skittles with Saddam.)
- Stan Goff,
Hard Rain, Military Matters, War Bulletin No. 1, Mar. 26, 2003. A perspicacious left analysis, which concludes: "One thing is clear. The counter-counter-propaganda war is vital. . . .
We can exploit the absurdities of this administration that are now reproducing like rats."
- Jim Lobe,
enlist Democrats for post-war goals, The Project against the Present
Danger, Mar. 24, 2003. "'[D]eparture deadlines will undercut American
credibility and greatly diminish the prospects for success,' the
letter [from the Project for a New American Century], which was signed by
23 prominent neoconservatives and former Clinton advisers, asserts." But
not all administration players may agree.
- Arthur Schlesinger Jr.,
foreign policy a casualty of war, Los Angeles Times, Mar. 23,
2003. Because we have resorted to a doctrine of pre-emptive attack, writes
one of the most distinguished American historians alive today,
"today it is we Americans who live in infamy." Also available at the
for Common Sense website.
- Scilla Elworthy,
Baghdad Diaries, Jan. 14, 2003.
A fascinating report on six days in Baghdad in the first week
of January 2003 from a Ph.D. activist who has been nominated
three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. These 7000 words provide
both a glimpse into the realities of life in Iraq before the war and
an overview of the major issues involved in the crisis.
- Matthew Hogan,
Messianic War Cult, The Ethical Spectator,
October 2002. Makes the case that neoconservatives
constitute a sort of messianic cult bent on making the
U.S. a benevolent "global hegemon."
- Jay Bookman,
President's real goal in Iraq, Atlanta Constitution,
September 29, 2002. The first accurate description in a mainstream
American newspaper of the goals of the Bush administration:
"This war, should it come, is intended to mark the official
emergence of the United States as a full-fledged global empire." On
Oct. 7, Jay Bookman discussed this thesis
further in an interview entitled
Goal in Iraq. -- On Oct. 6,
one of the New American Century
collaborators, Donald Kagan, attempted
refutation, very unconvincingly denying Bookman's
conclusions as "ludicrous." Read them both and decide for yourself.
- S.N.O.W., Iraq
Is a Tree, Not a Forest, Nov. 25, 2002.
Like Jay Bookman's piece, this four-page tract argues that the
Iraq is only a small part of a larger "Bush doctrine" that would
change the fundamental character of the United States of America;
proposes a set of readings available on-line for study groups on
U.S. national security strategy.
- David Ross & Jeremy Scahill,
Hussein, Donald Rumsfeld, and the Golden Spurs, Z Magazine,
November 2002. A look back to the days when Donald
admired Saddam (not that he was much different then)... and
forward, to the days when the U.S. will control
the world's oil supply. At least that's the plan.
- Issam Nashashibi & Abdelatif Rayan,
Iraq plans: Reincarnation of failed 1930s British policy,
YellowTimes.org, Nov. 9, 2002. An account that emphasizes the historical link between the formation of Iraq and policy on Palestine.
- Sarah Graham-Brown & Chris Toensing,
Another War? A Backgrounder on the Iraq Crisis, Oct. 2002.
Appropriate for use in classrooms, teach-ins, and special
events, this is a special publication (in PDF format) from
The Middle East Research and
Information Project that is also available in print for no
- Edward Said,
versus America, Al-Ahram, Nov. 14-20, 2002. On
some peculiarities of the United States that can be seen more
clearly from a distance.
- Joyce Appleby,
The Bush Administration's
Radical Bellicosity, Nov. 11, 2002. Prof. Appleby of
UCLA is past president of
the American Historical Association, and this piece is provoking
a particularly lively discussion on the History News
- Lloyd Jansen,
Invading Iraq Is Artificially
Justified and Will Exacerbate Terrorist Threat, Oct.
17, 2002. Prof. Jansen teaches at Green River Community
- Judith Miller,
U.S. No. 1: Is It Wise? Is It New?, New York Times,
Oct. 26, 2002: "If global hegemony is the administration's
real goal, [Prof. Mearsheimer] warns, 'We will have our hands full
and we will ultimately fail.'"
- Robert Buzzanco,
Did Iraq and the United States Become Enemies?, Oct. 30,
2002. Prof. Buzzanco
is asssoc. prof. of history at the Univ. of Houston.
- The Nation,
Letter to Congress.
- Warren P. Strobel,
Divisions in administration cloud direction of U.S. foreign policy, San Jose Mercury News, Apr. 20, 2003. "The weathervane for Bush's postwar policies is likely to be relations with France, Germany and Russia. . . . As much as Powell would like to turn the Iraq victory to diplomatic advantage, 'I don't think he'll be able to pull it off,' said Charles Kupchan, a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University in Washington. Powell's standing in the administration 'has been mortally wounded in the stand-off at the U.N.' over Iraq, Kupchan said."
- Steven Mulvey,
France languishes in US bad books, BBC, Apr. 17, 2003. Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle continue to do all they can to drive France and the U.S. apart. "'I think France is going to pay some consequences, not just with us, but with other countries who view it that way,' Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told the senate last week.
Pentagon adviser Richard Perle told the International Herald Tribune that the crisis in relations was not something that could be dealt with in the 'normal diplomatic way' because anti-French feeling now ran very deep in US society.
He said he doubted there could ever be a constructive relationship between the two governments. . . . US diplomats, however, describe attempts to take revenge on France as 'majorly stupid.' The US Ambassador to France, Howard Leach, told French television on Saturday that he hoped French people would not listen to Mr Perle, whom he described as a 'private citizen.'"
- Susan Sachs,
intellectual speaks of the Arab world's despair, New York Times, Apr.
6, 2003. "Ahmed Kamal Aboulmagd . . . is one of Egypt's best-known
intellectuals, a senior aide to former President Anwar el Sadat, consultant to
the United Nations and ever-curious polymath whose interests range across the
fields of Islamic jurisprudence, comparative religions, literature, history
and commercial law. Like many educated Egyptians of his generation, he is a
man whose views on democracy and political values were shaped by reading the
United States Constitution, the Federalist papers and the writings of Thomas
Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson. For him the United States was a "dream," a
paragon of liberal values to be emulated by Arabs and Muslims seeking to
have a voice in the modern world. One of his daughters lived in the United
States. Mr. Aboulmagd studied there, earning a master's degree in comparative
law at the University of Michigan in 1959. He served as president of the
administrative tribunal of the World Bank in Washington. And he has spent
more than 20 years of his life working on projects aimed at promoting dialogue
between the Western, non-Muslim civilization and the Arab-Muslim world. Yet
these days, in his opinion, something has gone terribly wrong. 'Under the
present situation, I cannot think of defending the United States,' said Mr.
Aboulmagd, a small man with thinning white hair who juggles a constant
stream of phone calls and invitations to speak about modernizing the Arab world. 'I
would not be listened to,' he added. 'To most people in this area, the United
States is the source of evil on planet earth. And whether we like it or not,
it is the Bush administration that is to blame.' When speaking of President
Bush and his administration, Mr. Aboulmagd uses words like narrow-minded, pathological,
obstinate and simplistic. The war on Iraq, he said bluntly, is the act of a
'weak person who wants to show toughness' and, quite frankly, seems
'deranged.' Such language from a man of Mr. Aboulmagd's stature is a warning
sign of the deep distress that has seized the Arab elite, those who preach
moderation in the face of rising Islamic radicalism and embrace liberalism
over the tired slogans of Arab nationalism. Similar opinions can also be
heard these days from wealthy Arab businessmen, university professors, senior
government officials and Western-leaning political analysts — the people whose
support could help advance the Bush administration's professed mission: to
bring democracy to the Arab world."
- Edith M. Lederer,
U.N. issues new guidelines for humanitarian aid, Boston Globe, Apr. 6, 2003. Personnel from U.N. humanitarian agencies, distressed at the prospect of administration of Iraq by the U.S. military -- which breaks with a post-WWII tradition of civilian administration through the State Department or USAID --, have been told that they "should only use soldiers or military vehicles to help deliver aid in 'exceptional' circumstances and should avoid publicly socializing with the military."
- Steven R. Weisman,
Powell patches things up, as Turkey consents to help, New York Times, Apr. 2, 2003. After the secretary of state visited Ankara, the Turkish government agreed to allow the supply of "nonlethal necessities" through Turkey to U.S. forces in Iraq. But Turkish opinion remains overwhelmingly hostile to the war, and the usually unflappable diplomat lost patience and stormed off a studio set when a national TV interviewer pleaded with him to stop the war.
says Iraq war will produced "100 bin Ladens", Reuters, March 31, 2003.
- Agence France-Presse,
US wants to take over Arab world — Belgian PM, Jordan Times, Mar. 31,
2003. Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt has emerged as a leading critic
of the Iraq war. Here he is quoted as saying: "America is a deeply hurt power
which has . . . become very dangerous (and) which thinks that it must take over
the whole Arab world."
- N. Korea vows no nuclear concessions, cites Iraq, Reuters, Mar. 29, 2003. More evidence that administration's way of working for nuclear non-proliferation has the opposite effect: "'The DPRK would have already met the same miserable fate as Iraq's had it compromised its revolutionary principle and accepted the demand raised by the imperialists and its followers for "nuclear inspection" and disarmament,' the ruling party daily Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary."
- Giles Tremlett & Sophie Arie,
Aznar faces 91% opposition to war, Guardian, Mar. 29, 2003. "[Spanish m]inisters are now shadowed by groups of protesters. [Aznar's] People's party offices up and down the country are being vandalised or plastered with anti-war graffiti."
- Chris McGreal,
Israelis fear Blair's influence over Bush, Guardian,
Mar. 28, 2003. Blair's recent insistence that the war on Iraq be linked to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict has led to a formal diplomatic protest. "The director
general of Israel's foreign ministry, Yoav Biran, called in the British
ambassador, Sherard Cowper-Coles, to lodge the protest."
- George Monbiot,
rule for them... Does the U.S. support the Geneva Convention or doesn't it?
"Suddenly, the government of the United States has discovered the virtues
of international law. . . . . Rumsfeld had better watch
his back. For this enthusiastic convert to the cause of legal warfare
is, as head of the defense department, responsible for a series of crimes
sufficient, were he ever to be tried, to put him away for the rest of his
- Ilene R. Prusher,
U.S. missile raises ire of Turkish villagers, Christian
Science Monitor, Mar. 25, 2003. "[T]he apparently accidental
dropping of three missiles late Sunday raised ire against a war
few here support, and suspicion against an ally with whom the
alliance has never been so tense. 'There is no friendship
between the US and Turkey - only money,' says Abdullah Demir,
the head of a neighboring village."
- Andrew Gumbel,
targeted 14,000 sites. So where are the weapons of mass destruction?, Independent,
Apr. 14, 2003. "Many influential people -– disarmament experts, present and former United
Nations arms inspectors, our own Robin Cook –- have
begun to wonder aloud if the weapons exist at all."
- Howard Witt,
The world waits; where are the banned weapons?, Hartford Courant, Apr. 6, 2003. "In one of the Bush administration's more dramatic public assertions, Secretary of State Colin Powell told the U.N. Security Council in February that, during last November's U.N. debate on Iraq, 'We know - we know - from sources that a missile brigade outside Baghdad was dispersing rocket launchers and warheads containing biological warfare agent to various locations, distributing them to various locations in western Iraq.' [But] Pentagon officials admit intense searches of top suspected weapons sites by U.S. special operations forces in western Iraq have failed to find any such rockets or warheads." If no weapons of mass destruction are found, "the Bush administration's diplomatic credibility would be shaken, the Muslim world would be reinforced in its belief that Washington is waging war against Islam and U.S. leaders might even be vulnerable to legal challenges in international courts. 'We know we need to find this stuff,' said one State Department official, 'and we know that we will.' . . . [I]t is also possible, notes Joseph Cirincione, a nonproliferation expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, that Hussein did indeed dispose of many of his deadliest weapons. . . . Iraq contends that it has destroyed all of its remaining weapons of mass destruction."
- Jim Crogan,
in the USA: A guide to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, LA Weekly,
March 21-27, 2003. "At every turn of the war against Iraq, U.S. and British
forces will face weapons systems largely developed and supplied to Iraq by
American, European, Russian and Chinese companies. . . . Call it
globalization at its worst." Discusses at some length a lawsuit by Gary Pitts,
a Houston attorney, to hold American and European corporations responsible for supplying
Iraq's program to build weapons of mass destruction.
- Marc Huband,
at Najaf yields no sign of chemical weapons, Financial Times,
Mar. 24, 2003. This despite widespread reports about this being a
"suspected" chemical weapons plant.
Omissions - How The Press Has Buried The Truth Of Iraqi Disarmament,
Feb. 28, 2003. As the war proceeds, careful reminders are being placed
in the public mind about weapons of mass destruction. None, of course,
have been found, but this scarcely matters: it is the fear of WMDs
more than the weapons themselves that is of interest to the Bush
administration. A pattern of government disinformation
on this subject has long been part of the U.S.-U.K. plan for building
public support for the invasion of Iraq. MediaLens has analyzed how the
media permitted the U.S. and U.K. governments to discredit without good
evidence a highly credible inspections regime that was, in fact, working.
- Democracy NOW! presents RealAudio links to stories about
surveillance campaign against U.N. Security Council members
contemplating the possibility of a resolution legitimizing a
war on Iraq -- a story mostly neglected by the U.S. mainstream
media, but big news in every other country in the world.
- Nyier Abdou and Dennis Halliday Al Ahram (Z-Net),
and Charybdis: An Interview with Dennis Halliday,
Al Ahram, Dec. 30, 2002.
- Tony Paterson,
report says German and US firms supplied arms to Saddam. About
80 German and 24 U.S. firms are said to be named in Iraq's
Dec. 7 report to the U.N.
- Matthew Purdy,
After the war, new stature for Rumsfeld, New York Times, Apr. 20, 2003. "Iraq has been Mr. Rumsfeld's war. It was fought on his terms, and the victory has made him an unusually forceful defense secretary at a pivotal moment for the American military."
- Thomas E. Ricks,
Rumsfeld stands tall after Iraq victory, Washington Post, Apr. 20, 2003. "Rumsfeld stands astride the military establishment as few defense secretaries ever have. . . . [T]he consensus view is that Special Operations was the big bureaucratic winner in the Iraq war."
- Alex Kirby,
Iraq DU clean-up, BBC, Apr. 14, 2003.
- William Pfaff,
danger of bypassing cities, International Herald Tribune, Apr. 7, 2003.
William Pfaff is among the most historically astute of American commentators
on international political matters. He notes that urban chaos is ensuing in
Iraq's cities, and writes:
"This chaos is the predictable consequence of the allied attack. Create a
battlefield and destroy existing structures of government, and this is
what happens. The allies did not seriously prepare for this development
because the absurd ideological preconceptions of American planners, and
listening to the dreams and illusions of Iraqi exile politicians, had
convinced them that the invading army would be welcomed by happy crowds,
civic structures still intact. . . . Avowedly tough-minded,
they might have consulted Carl von Clausewitz, who wrote that 'philanthropists
may easily imagine that there is a skillful method of disarming and
overcoming an army without causing great bloodshed . . .
(but this) is an error which must be extirpated; for in such dangerous
things as war, the errors which proceed from a spirit of benevolence
are the worst.' The neoconservative leadership thinks of itself in
'philanthropic' terms and has convinced others in Washington and
in the country to take it as such. It really believes that it is
bringing democracy and enlightenment to Iraq. Whatever the intentions,
the immediate result of what Washington is doing is to produce chaos.
The neoconservatives like to quote the economist Joseph Schumpeter
on 'creative destruction,' as if this phrase, meant to describe a
process in the development of capitalism, were a general statement
of truth, guaranteeing that destruction produces creation. It does not." To
quell incipient anarchy in the south of Iraq,
forces are turning to a tribal leader for help in curbing looting,
Guardian, Apr. 9, 2003. Democracy can wait: "Col Vernon said yesterday: 'We have
ascertained that he is worthwhile, credible and has authority in the local area, particularly with
the tribal chiefs. Who he wishes to come on to that [committee] is entirely up to him.'"
- Interesting conclusions were reached by a group of Russian journalists and military experts, Iraqwar.ru, which, until Apr. 8, produced remarkable daily summaries of the war. On Mar. 31, Iraqwar.ru reported: "There is no question that the US 'blitzkrieg' failed to take control of Iraq and to destroy its army. It is clear that the Americans got bogged down in Iraq and the military campaign hit a snag. However, the Iraqi command is now in danger of underestimating the enemy. For now there is no reason to question the resolve of the Americans and their determination to reach the set goal – complete occupation of Iraq. In reality, despite of [sic] some obvious miscalculations and errors of the coalition's high command, the [coalition] troops that have entered Iraq maintain high combat readiness and are willing to fight. The losses sustained during the past 12 days of fighting, although delivering a painful blow to the pride and striking the public opinion, are entirely insignificant militarily speaking." Here's their final report.
- The mainstream press continues to ignore the dangers posed to soldiers and civilians alike by uranium weapons (so called "DU" or "depleted uranium" weapons, using material that is not "depleted" in any relevant sense, but that in fact contains a purified isotope of uranium, U-238 -- it is "depleted" of the isotope that can be used to create nuclear weapons, U-235, but has the same high level of chemical toxicity). A recent example is an article by Michelle Pinkard,
Military takes step to prevent Gulf War Syndrome, Shreveport Times, Apr. 6, 2003, which totally ignores the uranium issue (and also understates the number of Gulf War vets reporting health problems by a factor of 2). On Mar. 27, 2003, Rep. Jim McDermott (Washington, 7th District) introduced in the U.S. Congress HR 1483, legislation to require comprehensive studies of the health and environmental impacts of uranium munitions. For more information, see the website of the
International DU Study Team ("IDUST").
- John Kifner,
Iraqi resistance and resupply delays slow Marine advance, New York Times, Mar. 29, 2003. "Brig. Gen. John Kelly, assistant commander of the First Marine Division, said today of the mounting attacks by Iraqi irregulars[:]. . . . 'Their determination is somewhat of a surprise to us all.'"
- Frederik Balfour,
"Critical Supplies...Are Unaccounted For", Business Week, Mar. 28, 2003. This confirms earlier reports from Iraqwar.ru that the supply effort has not been well run. But Iraqwar.ru reports that the morale of American troops is holding up, whereas Balfour reports: "It's sobering how quickly morale can slip."
- Joseph L. Galloway,
Risks of Iraqi war emerging: Some officials warn of a mismatch between strategy and force, Philadelphia Inquirer, Mar. 25, 2003. "[C]urrent and retired military officials are warning that there may be a mismatch between Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld's strategy and the force he has sent to carry it out."
- Sally Buzbee (AP),
Wrong assumptions: Some unfulfilled war hopes, fears, Boston Globe, Mar. 25, 2003. "The overall result has been more uncertainty and risk as the battle for Baghdad nears."
- Kim Cobb,
Warn of Risks to Soldiers' Health, Houston Chronicle,
Feb. 8, 2003. Veterans' advocacy groups fear that preparations were
little better than in the first Gulf War.
- Damacio Lopez,
Use of Radioactive Materials in Military Weapons: Depleted Uranium, International Depleted Uranium Study Team, December 30, 2002.
- A follow-up report on the preceding subject:
Albrecht Schott, Damacio Lopez, & John LaForge,
A Treatise on
Military Weapons Containing Radioactive Material:
Depleted Uranium, January 2003. Copyrighted
material; educational use only.
- Scott Peterson,
Silver Bullet's Toxic Legacy, Christian Science Monitor,
Dec. 20, 2002. On the Pentagon's continued reliance on
armor-piercing depleted uranium, which takes 4.5 billion years
to lose just half its radioactivity. On depleted uranium and
its effects, see also
the in-depth report of Dr.
David Sparling, a Washington physician who has researched this
issue on site in Iraq.
- John Pilger,
Secret War on Iraq, Mirror (London), Dec. 19, 2002. The
U.K. and the U.S. justified the aerial bombardment of Iraq as a
defense of "no-fly zones" that in fact had no legal basis;
furthermore, pilots were often ordered to turn their backs while
Turkey attacked one of the groups the bombing was supposedly
protecting, the Kurds of northern Iraq.
- Jacques Isnard,
American Arms Getting Closer, Le Monde (Paris),
Nov. 1, 2002.
- The U.S. military got a
Wake-up call in August 2002 when the troops playing Iraq beat those playing American forces in the largest war game of all time. Julian Borger of the Guardian tells the story, which seemed funny at the time but now seems tragic.
- Jason Deans,
Americans turn to BBC for war news, Guardian, Apr. 17, 2003. "Audience figures for BBC World News bulletins on US public service channel PBS increased by 28% in the three weeks after the start of the conflict. . . . At the same time two of the main US networks lost viewers on their flagship nightly news broadcasts, with CBS down 15% and ABC down nearly 6%."
- Jerry Broekert,
lips float ships!, The Rake, April 2003. By a retired Marine who
spent eleven years as a public affairs officer. "Since Vietnam, military planners have a
better understanding of how the media can be used as a 'force multiplier'—a force that adds to the combat
effectiveness of the commander. That force multiplication can be employed to generate a positive
image, to control the damage of negative images, and to help achieve military and political
objectives. . . . [But w]hat we're seeing in Operation Iraqi Freedom [is] the media
being fully integrated into battle as part of an information management plan that blurs the line
between public relations and psychological operations. The effort has gone from keeping the two
separate, to purposely managing the two so their messages are mutually supporting. All of this has
happened due to dramatic changes in the nature of warfare. Along with the technological
advancements that have changed the face of war have come advancements in the military's
understanding of the need to control and manage the flow of information. Just as weapons
have gotten 'smarter,' so too has the military gotten more sophisticated about how to use the media
to meet military objectives."
- Michael Wolff,
I was only asking, Guardian, Apr. 14, 2003. "[I]ncredibly, there are many people who believe that these news briefings . . . are real. . . . I was unaware of what I was challenging. I only became aware of what I'd done when the Rush Limbaugh thing happened. . . . I was approached by some enforcer types. . . . [F]inally: 'No more questions for you.' . . . 'You've met the Hitler youth,' said another reporter. Everybody laughed."
- Suzanne Goldenberg in Baghdad, Rory McCarthy in Doha, Jonathan Steele
in Amman, and Brian Whitaker,
Fury at US as attacks kill three journalists, Guardian, Apr. 9, 2003. "All the journalists
were killed and injured in daylight at locations known to the Pentagon as media
sites. The tank shell that hit the Palestine hotel slammed into the 18-storey
building at noon, shaking the tower and spewing rubble and dirt into hotel rooms
at least six floors below. . . . [The widow of one journalist,] Dima
Ayyoub, launched a vitriolic attack on America: 'My message to you is that
hatred breeds hatred,' she said in a live telephone link-up from her home in
Amman, Jordan. 'I cannot see where is the cleanness in this war. All I see
is blood, destruction and shattered hearts. The US said it was a war
against terrorism. Who is committing terrorism now?'"
- Businesses question the marketing of patriotism, Associated Press, Apr. 5, 2003. "Many business owners . . . are questioning to what extent, if any, they should use patriotism as they try to bring in sales, or how much support they should show for U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq. They're worried about appearing disingenuous and alienating rather than attracting customers."
- Gregory Sinaisky,
disinformation, without radar, Asia Times Online, Apr. 3, 2003. "Remember
the following first rule of disinformation analysis: truth is specific, lie is
- Chris Hedges (interviewed by Bill Moyers), author of
is a force that gives us meaning, PBS, March 2003. What it's like to
"come face-to-face with the myth of war." War as a disease; war as a drug.
Hedges consideres war to be one of "the most powerful narcotics invented
by humankind." Also: "It's not uncommon when soldiers die that they call out for
- Opinions of media coverage are almost always like the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass. Discontent seems universal. Those critical of the war complain that the media parrots the government line -- for example, Professor Hew Strachan of the Scottish Centre for War Studies "believes television has an agenda. The US networks have been gung-ho while British channels have shown reserve, but he added: 'In the end it’s about sexy images.'" Jim McBeth, Media and military kinship turns war into glorified sports show, Scotsman, Mar. 24, 2003. But those who support the war complain that the media is obsessed with creating the impression that a military quagmire is imminent -- for example, Kevin Willmann,
Media desperate to create [sic] another Vietnam, Chronwatch, Apr. 4, 2003.
- Paul de Rooij,
Arrogant propaganda: US propaganda during the first 10 days of the Iraq war, Counterpunch, Mar. 31, 2003. "In the run up to the US-Iraq war, it became increasingly evident that propaganda has a diminished half-life . Whereas years ago the reigning technique was to repeat a lie often enough, now it seems to have given way to a constant barrage of lies or semi-lies with a very short half-life. As soon as a propaganda ploy has been exposed, the current media spinners will move to the next tall story. They seem to count on either the poor memory of the population, their general disinterest or their credulity."
- Michael Wolff,
Live from Doha, New York Metro, April 7, 2003. What it's like to be reporting from the Coalition Media Center in Kuwait: "It takes about 48 hours to understand that information is probably more freely available at any other place in the world than it is here. At the end of the 48 hours you realize that you know significantly less than when you arrived, and that you’re losing more sense of the larger picture by the hour. Eventually you’ll know nothing."
- Emily Wax,
Outrage felt in Arab world, Washington Post, Mar. 30, 2003. "'Mr. Bush has lost us. We are gone. Enough. That's the end,' said Diaa Rashwan, head of the comparative politics unit at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo. 'If America starts winning tomorrow, there will be suicide bombing that will start in America the next day. It is a whole new level now.'"
- Faisal Bodi,
Al-Jazeera tells the truth about war, Guardian, Mar. 28, 2003. "I do not mean to brag - people are turning to us simply because the western media coverage has been so poor. . . . Of all the major global networks, al-Jazeera has been alone in proceeding from the premise that this war should be viewed as an illegal enterprise. It has broadcast the horror . . ."
- On the suppression of antiwar popular music, see Amy Goodman's interview with Michael Franti of Spearhead in a piece entitled
Soldiers at the door in Democracy Now!, Mar. 27, 2003. MTV, discussed in the article, is owned by Viacom, which also owns CBS, Black Entertainment Television, Country Music Television, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures, Blockbuster Video, and many other media businesses . . .
- Jane Perrone,
Conflict of interest: the sites you need to see, Guardian, Mar. 27, 2003. A report on the best of the warblogs (most of these are linked to this page).
- Peter Svensson (AP),
site under hacking attack, host says, Tampa Bay Online,
Mar. 25, 2003. Information wars: "The newly launched English-language
page, which went live Monday, was hardest hit in a bombardment of data
packets known as a denial-of-service attack."
- Danna Harman,
and America watching different wars, Christian Science
Monitor, March 25, 2003. "'There are really two stories unfolding
here, one is the war and its progress and the second one is the progress
of world opinion,' says Tom Patterson, a media expert at Harvard
University's Kennedy School of Government. 'That second dimension
is there in the American press, but it's clearly way underreported.'"
- Douglas Quenqua,
White House prepares to feed 24-hour news cycle, PR Week, Mar. 24, 2003. "Before anyone goes on air, however, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer will set the day's message with an early-morning conference call to British counterpart Alastair Campbell, White House communications director Dan Bartlett, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, Pentagon spokesperson Torie Clarke, and White House Office of Global Communication (OGC) director Tucker Eskew. . . . Each night, US embassies around the world, along with all federal departments in DC, will [also] receive a 'Global Messenger' e-mail containing talking points and ready-to-use quotes."
- Robert Jensen,
Beware the sources of official info, Newsday, Mar. 24, 2003. "Just as the Pentagon has developed increasingly sophisticated munitions for the battlefield abroad, it has perfected propaganda to secure public opinion at home.
In that battle, American citizens need critical, independent journalists . . . . Never has that been more crucial, as the United States unleashes an attack on Iraq that signals a new era of the use of force. Unfortunately in the first few days of the conflict, and the months leading to war, American journalism has largely failed."
- Patrick E. Tyler,
New Power in the Streets, New York Times, Feb. 17, 2003.
Argues that there are in fact "two superpowers on the planet: the
United States and world public opinion," and that the Bush
administration ran into the latter on the weekend of Feb.
- Edward Said,
Monumental Hypocrisy, Counterpunch, Feb. 15, 2003. On
the galling hypocrisy of U.S. policy in the Middle East, and
the shocking lack of criticism of this hypocrisy in the mainstream
- Norman Solomon,
Spin Can Separate War from Death, Media Monitors Network, Dec.
6, 2002. Points out that the media systematically neglects all the
killing this war entails -- from 48,000 to 480,000 lives lost,
according to a report issued in November.
- Don Hazen,
with the Politics of Fear, alternet.org, Nov. 25, 2002.
Applies linguist George Lakoff's ideas (expressed in his book,
Moral Politics) to the current political situation.
- William M. Arkin,
military's new war of words, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 24, 2002. Arkin
points out that a "firewall of principle" between "psy-ops" aimed
to support military operations in some way (like propaganda leaflets
addressed to enemy forces) and deliberately deceptive information
addressed to the general public has been breached by this administration,
particularly in the Departement of Defense under Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld. "[T]he Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan, or JSCP, prepared
by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, now declares information to be just as
important in war as diplomatic, military or economic factors." It is
clear that in the first weeks of the war the U.S. public has already
been the object of "strategic" deception and "influence operations."
Truth really is the first casualty in war.
- Ian Urbina,
war brought to you by the Rendon Group, Asia Times Online, Nov. 13, 2002. A report on the psy-op wars the Pentagon is running in the Middle East, using DC-based public relations firms like the Rendon Group and Hill & Knowlton.
- David Edwards and Bill Hayton,
Iraq: BBC World Service Editor Responds,
Nov. 15, 2002. From MediaLens. Offers an illuminating perspective on
mainstream media biases.
- Prof. of Geography Nayna J. Jhaveri of the Univ. of Washington has created a website on Petropolitics: Oil and war in Iraq. Topics addressed: Oil: The substance of empire; Central questions to consider; Analysis of present relationship between US interests in oil and the war in Iraq; Strategic significance of oil in the Persian Gulf for US: Books and journal articles; Petroleum production and imports data; Oil-related campaigns; Information sources on energy alternatives.
- Ed Vuillamy,
seeks pipeline for Iraqi oil, Guardian, Apr. 20, 2003. "James Akins,
a former US ambassador to the region and one of America's leading Arabists,
said: 'There would be a fee for transit rights through Jordan, just as there
would be fees for Israel from those using what would be the Haifa terminal.
'After all, this is a new world order now. This is what things look like
particularly if we wipe out Syria. It just goes to show that it is all
about oil, for the United States and its ally.'"
- André Verlöy & Daniel Politi,
of influence: Nine members of the Defense Policy Board have ties to defense
contractors, Center for Public Integrity, Apr. 11, 2003. The military-industrial
complex has its own standards: "Members of the board disclose their business interests
annually to the Pentagon, but the disclosures are not available to the public."
- Rajeev Sharma,
Economic diplomacy behind war?
Subdued Iraq serves US strategic oil interests, Tribune (India), Apr. 6, 2003. "Gulf War I cost $ 40 billion but the Americans made a neat profit of $ 69 billion from the war.
Gulf War II may cost double that much if it stretches as long as the first one did -- 42 days -- and the Americans' profits from the war are expected to increase proportionately."
- Firas Al-Altraqchi,
What you aren't being told about Iraq, YellowTimes.org, March 2003. A Canadian journalist considers where the "intelligence" predicting that Iraqis would welcome U.S. forces as liberators came from: "the Iraqi National Congress, an Iraqi opposition group made up of millionaires and businessmen, former Baathist henchmen, and generals who aided Saddam in his formative years but felt threatened by him and defected. Most of the INC's ruling hierarchy is comprised of people who have not set foot in Iraq in more than 30 years. Some, have never set foot in Iraq."
- The Money Program,
Oil wars, BBC2, Mar. 26, 2003. A brief review of the oil companies' perspective. "It's not greed that’s driving big oil companies - it's survival. The rate of oil discovery has been falling ever since the 1960's."
- Some observers believe that the leading motive of the U.S. in the Iraq war -- perhaps the fundamental underlying motive, even more than the control of the oil itself -- is an attempt to preserve the U.S. dollar as the leading oil trading currency, on the view that the institution of petrodollars, as these have developed since the early 1970s, is fundamental to well-being of the U.S. economy. A corollary of these petrodollar theories of the war, four of which are presented here, would be that the real underlying antagonism in the conflict would not be a military or geopolitical or national-security issue between the U.S. and Iraq, but rather a political and economic rivalry between the U.S. and Europe.
- Erik Kirschbaum,
Boycott of American goods over Iraq war gains, Reuters, Mar. 25, 2003. "[A} growing number of restaurants in Germany are taking everything American off their menus to protest the war in Iraq. . . . . The boycotts appear to be part of a nascent worldwide movement. One Web site, consumers-against-the-war, calls for boycotts of 27 top American
firms from Microsoft to Kodak while another, adbusters, urges the
'millions of people against the war' to 'Boycott Brand America.'"
- Mark Tran,
war budget 'does not add up', Guardian, Mar. 25, 2003. "Few
believe that the $74bn Mr Bush has requested will cover the complete
costs of the war. Taxpayers for
Common Sense, a budget watchdog
organisation, told the Washington Post that the costs of war would
exceed $110bn in 2003, assuming the war ends before May, and $550bn
over 10 years, a figure in line with other unofficial estimates."
- Adam Entous,
asks Congress for funds to fight Iraq war, Reuters, Mar.
24, 2003. "President Bush asked lawmakers on Monday [Mar. 24]
for $75 billion in emergency funding to pay for the military campaign
in Iraq and to reward key allies supporting the war
effort. . . . . Experts say occupation costs
could far exceed the direct military costs of the war."
- Larry Elliott,
Crude Tactics, January 27, 2003. A reasonable estimate of
how important the oil factor is in current U.S. policy.
- Physicians for Human Rights,
on War in Iraq, Dec. 23, 2002.
Sanctions: Humanitarian Implications and Options for the Future.
A report from 15 organizations on the history and effect of sanctions
- James Fallows,
Fifty-first State?, The Atlantic Monthly, Nov. 2002. Debunks
the notion that those who planned the war on Iraq had a grasp on what they
were getting us into. "Merely itemizing the foreseeable effects of a
war with Iraq suggests reverberations that would be felt for decades.
If we can judge from past wars, the effects we can't imagine when the
fighting begins will prove to be the ones that matter most."
- Lloyd Janson,
The Lessons of History: What the
Japanese Occupation Really Teaches Us, Oct. 16, 2002. Prof.
Janson teaches at Green River Community College.
- Peter Beaumont & Faisal Islam,
of oil riches begins, The Observer, Nov. 3, 2002.
- Marc Roche,
Iraq Is at the Heart of the Black
Gold Strategy of the "Majors", Le Monde (Paris),
Oct. 31, 2002: How the oil companies look at Iraq.
- Michael O'Hanlon, Sr. Fellow at the Brookings Institution,
Price of Stability, New York Times, Oct. 22, 2002.
On the notion of occupying Iraq: "Based on past experience,
stabilizing a country the size of Iraq with a population of
more than 20 million people would require an occupation lasting
several years and at least 100,000 foreign troops in the initial
- Stan Collender,
for It, GovExec.com, the federal government's buisness
news daily and the premier website for federal managers and
- Lara Marlowe,
Finding their voices in free Iraq, The Scotsman, Apr. 19, 2003. "One of the fundamental tenets of Shiite Islam is taqiya (dissimulation). In other words, if his faith or well-being are in danger, a Shiite is allowed to lie. . . . Suddenly, it all made sense: the nervousness of militiamen in Sadr City, the vague allegations of "Wahhabi" and "Baathist" attacks on the Shiite slums. The Shiites are fighting each other, and trying to keep it secret."
- Hala Jaber,
Arab irregulars queue for martyrdom, Times (London), Apr. 6, 2003. Interviews with some of the thousands of non-Iraqis willing to die defending Iraq. "Grabbing my hand before rushing off to his bus, Abdul Nasser Zaatar [a 47-year-old Jordanian husband and father], who had once worked in Los Angeles, said: 'Wish me martyrdom, not goodbye. Please wish me martyrdom.'"
- Deborah Caldwell,
ready': The evangelist who called Islam 'wicked' is ready to bring humanitarian aid
to Muslims in Iraq, Beliefnet.com, Apr. 4, 2003.
- Neil MacFarquhar,
Arab volunteers seek to join fight for Iraq, New York Times, Apr. 2, 2003. "[E]motions are stronger about Iraq [than about Afghanistan] because of shared ties of not only religion, but language, race, and culture. . . . Not a day goes by without some exhortation from Baghdad for the faithful to join the fray."
- God and America, Le Monde (Paris), Mar. 29, 2003. A comment on House Resolution 153, calling for a national day of humility, prayer, and fasting for all people of the United States": "[I]n the eyes of hundreds of millions of Muslims this constant harping on God risks transforming the conflict between the Anglo-American coalition and the Iraqis into a new crusade, into a shock of civilizations and religions with devastating consequences that extend far beyond the region."
- Iraq war shows up divide between white and black in US, Associated Press, Apr. 7, 2003. "The war in Iraq is illuminating a racial divide in America, a profound rift in thinking between blacks and whites. Different histories and different experiences are bringing many people to different conclusions. Among black Americans, just 29 per cent support the war, while 78 per cent of white Americans do, according to a March 28 Gallup poll. Many blacks see wrongs in the conflict that white Americans often cannot discern, African American scholars and analysts say."
- Courtland Milloy,
hawks blinded by hardened hearts, Washington Post, Mar. 31, 2003. In
war, it's not
casualties that Americans care most about avoiding, it's losing, says American
Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Ledeen, author of Tocqueville on
American Character: "Everything in America hinges on
success, and we don't have an awful lot of time for losers."
- David Greenberg,
Dissent in wartime, Slate.com, Mar. 26, 2003. A review of the venerable history of wartime dissent in the United States, by a member of the American Academy of ARts and Sciences.
- Mark Davis,
opinion shift called into question, Australian Financial
Review, March 25, 2003. Points out that alleged opinion
shifts are often "strongly influenced by the wording of the
- Todd Gittlin,
the peace movement reinvent itself?, Los Angeles Times, Mar.
23, 2003. "[T]he movement needs to begin thinking not simply about
what it will protest but also about what it will affirm." Prof.
Gittlin doesn't say what that might be, however.
- Among groups of veterans opposing the war,
for Common Sense stands out.
- Manny Fernandez & Justin Blum,
Oppose a Rush to War, Washington Post, Jan. 19, 2003.
Also: a link to a montage of
- Suzanne Herel & Zachary Coile,
protests for peace: Tens of thousands in S.F. demand Bush
abandon war plans, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan.
- Cities for Peace.
A rapidly growing effort to get City Councils and
other civic bodies to pass resolutions against a war
- Esther Kaplan,
a Hundred Peace Movements Bloom, The Nation,
Dec. 18, 2002. Diversity, not unity, is the strength
of the peace movement.
- Mark Fife,
Gulf War Opposition Vindicated by
Results, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 16, 1992.
A anti-war veteran reflects on the relation of dissent to "supporting
- Michael Albert & Stephan R. Shalom,
Q&A on Antiwar Organizing, ZNet, Oct. 24, 2002. "The result of our
activism is not the reeducation or moral uplift of elites. Rather, dissent
creates a new context in which elite calculations change."
- Rory McCarthy,
chief warns of anti-American backlash in Iraq, Guardian, May 27, 2003. "Most
of the decisions taken at the US authority's headquarters in Saddam Hussein's
Republican Palace in Baghdad are made by Pentagon appointees who report to
Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary. Arab specialists from the
state department have been largely excluded and while British diplomats
have had some influence on decision-making, the UN has hardly been consulted."
- Laura Rozen,
Why Iraq is the new West Germany American Prospect, Apr. 23, 2003. "'[T]hink of Iraq as the new bulwark against Islamist
forces in the Middle East -- much the way West Germany was our most
important European bulwark against communism during the Cold War,' [says Jeff Stein.] . . [A]ccording to Thomas Donnelly, a military expert at AEI [American Enterprise Institute, a neoconservative think tank] and a former staff director at the House Armed Services Committee[:] 'American forces will be in the region, in Iraq, for a long, long time -- decades.'"
- Ian Fisher,
From power grid to schools, rebuilding a broken nation, New York Times, Apr. 19, 2003. A report on the earliest stages of the reconstruction effort.
- Rory McCarthy & Ewen MacAskill,
Chaos mars talks on Iraqi self-rule, Guardian, Apr. 16, 2003. "One of those outside, a former Iraqi major, Zamil Hamid, 54, said: 'I tried to participate but they do not allow me to. One of the US soldiers told me I was not on the list.'"
- Robert Dreyfuss,
banker, neoCon, spy: Ahmed Chalabi's long and winding road from (and to?)
Baghdad, The American Prospect, Nov. 18, 2002.
Colonialism redux: when Paul Wolfowitz calls for a government "of the
Iraqis, by the Iraqis, for the Iraqis," as he did on April 6, what he (and the
oil companies) are thinking of is the return of the Hashemites in the person of Ahmed
- William Pfaff,
Which country is
next on the list?, International Herald Tribune, Apr. 10, 2003. "There are three
things to be said about the neoconservatives and what they want [in Iraq]. . . .
The first is that they act out of fear. . . . There is an element of
hysteria in this fear. . . . Second, they are naive. . . . Finally,
the neoconservatives are fanatics. They believe it is worth killing people for
- Justin Raimondo,
The real war: Now it starts,
Antiwar.com, Apr. 7, 2003. "In the victimological sweepstakes that will
define postwar Iraq, the traditional roles will be reversed: the Shia will lord
it over the Sunnis, and the exiles – with their influential
connections to the conquerors – will come out on top."
- Aluf Benn,
After Iraq, we'll deal with other radical Mideast regimes, Haaretz, Apr. 5, 2003. "A
communique received in Jerusalem from the American administration this week
says . . ."
- Charles Feldman and Stan Wilson,
director: U.S. faces 'World War IV', CNN, Apr. 3, 2003. James Woolsey
is a candidate for a position in Iraq. Saudi Arabia: watch out.
- Jane Perlez,
Iraqi shadow government cools its heels in Kuwait, New York Times, Apr. 2, 2003. The Pentagon and the State Department vie to shape the future administration of Iraq.
- Robert Salladay,
activism: A matter of language, San Francisco Chronicle, Apr. 7, 2003.
"[A]s the current Iraq war continues, a new movement is emerging to wrestle patriotic
words and images from conservatives -- and allow mainstream Americans to feel more
comfortable about participating in anti-war demonstrations."
- A three-vehicle convoy organized by Christian Peacemaker Teams and Voices in the
Wilderness had a series of harrowing experiences in Iraq in the midst
of the war. Occupants of the third vehicle, including Weldon
Nisly, 57, pastor of the Seattle Mennonite Church and a CPT member, were badly injured in an
accident, but were hospitably treated by Iraqis in the small town of Rutbah, about
ninety miles from the Jordanian border. Team members were surprised to learn that
the small town had been severely damaged only a few days earlier by U.S./U.K. bombing
that destroyed a children's hospital, killing two children. (CENTCOM has denied any
knowledge of this.) Doug
Peaceteam members in car accident near border with Jordan, Christian
Peacemaker Teams, Mar. 30, 2003. "The next morning, Shane asked, 'How do you
think Americans would respond to Iraqi civilians accidentally stranded in their
community three days after Iraqi aircraft had destroyed their town?'" Team members
are now back in Jordan. Their experiences are the subject of an article by
Charles J. Hanley, Activists
confirm Iraqi hospital bombed, Associated Press, Mar. 30, 2003. Weldon Nisly
published some thoughts about his experiences entitled
of war are not our enemies,
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Apr. 4, 2003.
- Associated Press,
cites peace movements in war message, Austin American-Statesman,
Mar. 25, 2003. "The vast antiwar movement in the world shows that a
'large part of humanity' has rejected the idea of war as a means of
resolving conflicts between nations, Pope John Paul II said in a
message released Tuesday."
- Don Lattin,
struggle with idea of war, San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 24,
2003. "Last week, the Pew Research Center released the results of a
March 13-16 survey of more than 1,000 U.S. churchgoers. Just one in 10
said their religious beliefs are the strongest influence in their
thinking about war. Four out of 10 said their biggest influence was
the news media."
- David Sparling,
Letter to an American About to Visit Iraq, Jan. 8, 2003.
"I was still little prepared to see the gift shops
in the El Rashid Hotel, where our government minders
insisted we stay, filled with family treasures, sold
in order that their owners might survive..." David Sparling is a
living in Steilacoom, Washington.
- Ed Vulliamy,
War 'Unjustifiable,' Says Bush's Church Head, on opposition to
the war from United Methodists.
A Statement from Religious Leaders in the United States
and the United Kingdom, signed by 68 leaders.
- Churches for Middle East Peace,
President Bush, signed by 51 religious leaders.
- Bob Herbert,
What is it good for?, New York Times, Apr. 21, 2003.
"Mr. Shultz, whose photo could appropriately appear next to any definition of the military-industrial complex, was
secretary of state under Ronald Reagan and has been a perennial heavyweight with the powerful Bechtel Group
of San Francisco, where he previously reigned as president and is now a board member and senior
counselor. Unlike the antiwar soul singer Edwin Starr — who, in an ironic bit of timing, went to his eternal
reward early this month just as American ground forces were sweeping toward Baghdad — Mr. Shultz knows
what war is good for."
- Mary Riddell,
A morally hollow victory, Observer, Apr. 6, 2003. "On the separate question of whether Iraqi acts of war are on a par with those of the coalition, the answer is also simple. Ours are sometimes worse. The spectre of chemical attack remains, but, amid Iraqi Scuds unfired and bio-weapons undiscovered, reality trumps fear. The cluster-bombing of civilians by an invading force proclaiming its superior power is an outrage against humanity and the Geneva Convention."
- Doug Ireland,
wrong in Iraq? -- How we lost the peace in this illegal war, LA Weekly,
Apr. 4-10, 2003. "And the Iraqis have only to look at how Bush's promises to rebuild
Afghanistan have proved largely empty to imagine a bleak future in his hands.
(There's not a single new dollar proposed for Afghani reconstruction in Bush's new
- Pepe Escobar,
bombs liberate Iraqi children, Asia Times Online, Apr. 4, 2003. A
report from the area fifty miles south of Baghdad.
"Roland Huguenin-Benjamin, a spokesman for the International Committee of the
Red Cross (ICRC) in Iraq, describes what happened in Hilla as 'a horror, dozens
of severed bodies and scattered limbs.' . . . Nobody in the West will ever
see these images because they were censored by editors in Baghdad: only a 'soft'
version made it to worldwide TV distribution."
- Jo Wilding,
Why?, Iraq Diary, Mar. 28, 2003. "How did it ever come to this? How did we surrender our power so completely that an entire world of people screaming "No" is not enough to stop a few
from bringing about all of this? How did we forget that they were supposed to carry out our will? How did we lose sight of our responsibilities to each other,
and continue to pay taxes and commit our labour to the people who harness it all towards death and their own power? And when are we going to put an end to it? They have to go. These politicians have to go. This whole system has to go."
- Rahul Mahajan,The new humanitarianism: Basra as military target, Counterpunch, Mar. 27, 2003. "[A] recent press conference by the execrable Andrew Natsios, head administrator of USAID, . . . raised the already stunning mendacity of the Bush administration to new heights."
- Robert Fisk
It was an outrage, an obscenity, Independent, Mar. 27, 2003. "How should one record so terrible an event?" On the bombing of Taleb Street in Baghdad.
- Jeffrey St. Clair,
Life during wartime, Counterpunch, Mar. 25, 2003. An angry, militant denunciation of the war on Iraq. "The managers of the White House have cordoned off Bush from the press. This war has already gone off script. As they always do."
leads charge to cash in on Iraq, Guardian, Apr. 10, 2003. This story ought to
be satire . . . but unfortunately, it's not.
- Point-Counterpoint: The War on Iraq, The Onion, Mar. 26, 2003. The arguments against and for the war.
leaders 'deeply disturbed' by leaked plans for new US flag, CBC News [not], Mar.
- David Greenberg,
Wartime, Slate.com, Mar. 26, 2003. A review of American
history. "Protesting war isn't
some Vietnam-era relic, like love beads or Country Joe McDonald,
but an American democratic tradition. . . . In fact, the only
major war that lacked an organized bloc of dissenters was World War II."
- The view that opposing the war is equivalent to supporting Saddam Hussein is
ably refuted in Daniel Ellsberg's Mar. 24 interview with Aaron Brown. The key point is that such a claim is based on a poor theory of Saddam Hussein, and poor theories about Iraq are what have produced the current disaster. "I think that's just a way, really, of the administration trying to quell dissent in this country. Such theories - and really, they're theories of Saddam Hussein - are not very good. That's a great part of the crisis this country is in, right now."
- Bill Maxwell,
Don't be afraid of democracy, Mar. 23, 2003. "One of my former students, now a graduate assistant at FSU, who attended the rally and who saw the T-shirt, sent me an e-mail, saying: 'This guy & his crew were there to intimidate us. They want war & they want us to shut up. Well, we won't shut up. One of them spray-painted "f-- terrorists" on one of our placards. Mr. Maxwell, this stuff makes me know we have to fight even harder to keep the right to speak out. Patriotism doesn't have to be stupid. I'm a patriot & I am hurting for what is happening to our country. We're attacking a nation that did not declare war against us. Why? Because we can get away with it. I think that's wrong. I will never support that kind of policy.'"
This page was created in November 2002. It was inspired by
and owes a lot to a page created and
maintained by Glen Gersmehl, national coordinator
Peace Fellowship. It was discontinued in this form in May 2003, but related work
continues on the web site of United for Peace of Pierce
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