Saturday, June 21, 2008


THE Iraq war’s defenders like to bash the press for pushing the bad news and ignoring the good.

Maybe they’ll be happy to hear that the bad news doesn’t rate anymore. When a bomb killed at least 51 Iraqis at a Baghdad market on Tuesday, ending an extended run of relative calm, only one of the three network newscasts (NBC’s) even bothered to mention it.The only problem is that no news from Iraq isn’t good news — it’s no news.

Source: New York TimesNow That We’ve ‘Won,’ Let’s Come HomeBy FRANK RICHJune 22, 2008

The night of the Baghdad bombing the CBS war correspondent Lara Logan appeared as Jon Stewart’s guest on “The Daily Show” to lament the vanishing television coverage and the even steeper falloff in viewer interest. “Tell me the last time you saw the body of a dead American soldier,” she said.

After pointing out that more soldiers died in Afghanistan than Iraq last month, she asked, “Who’s paying attention to that?”Her question was rhetorical, but there is an answer: Virtually no one.

If you follow the nation’s op-ed pages and the presidential campaign, Iraq seems as contentious an issue as Vietnam was in 1968.

But in the country itself, Cindy vs. Michelle, not Shiites vs. Sunnis, is the hotter battle. This isn’t the press’s fault, and it isn’t the public’s fault. It’s merely the way things are.

In America, the war has been a settled issue since early 2007. No matter what has happened in Iraq since then, no matter what anyone on any side of the Iraq debate has had to say about it, polls have consistently found that a majority of Americans judge the war a mistake and want out.

For that majority, the war is over except for finalizing the withdrawal details. They’ve moved on without waiting for the results of Election Day 2008 or sampling the latest hectoring ad from . .
Continue reading at link above.


Baghdad - At least four people were killed and 12 wounded in separate incidents across Iraq, police and media reports said Saturday.,four-killed-12-injured-in-iraq-violence--summary.html

Police told the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency that three people were killed and 10 wounded when an explosive device was detonated in Baghdad's Harithiya district in the late hours of Friday.

Sources said that the vehicle was parked on the side of a road leading to Baghdad's Green Zone.
The Green Zone is located in central Baghdad where the British and the US embassies are located as well as several governmental offices and ministries.

In another incident, militants shot dead an Iraqi taxi driver who worked in Baghdad's Baiaa area, security sources told VOI.

Meanwhile police discovered three bodies of members of the same family in the Tahrir area of the city of Baquba, some 60 kilometres north of the capital, sources told VOI.

Sources said the three, who had been shot, were abducted by militants after refusing to follow their orders.


It is isn't bad enough the Iraq war has cost the U.S. taxpayer over 3 TRILLION dollars, but now there are more and more reports coming out showing all kinds of corruption with the rebuilding of Iraqi cities we destroyed and a waste of U.S. taxpayer money.

Once again, the media in the United States plays CYA for the Bush administration and reports such as the one below get little or no attention in the mainstream media.

This is YOUR MONEY folks and it is being squandered in Iraq while our bridges and highways are in terrible shape, schools need renovation and we have a medical system that has left 47 MILLION Americans without any health care.

And on top of the total mess we have created in Iraq with our invasion and occupation, the Bush administration is rattling the sabre and threatening to come to the defense of Israel if Israel decides to attack Iran.

If you think gas prices are high now, just wait until you see what happens if we end up going to war with IRAN.


Probe halts rebuilding of Iraqi city
Mayor, police chief investigated in scam to sell stored oil on black market
The Associated Press

FALLUJAH, Iraq - U.S.-funded reconstruction in a one-time Sunni insurgent stronghold has been suspended because of a corruption probe, including allegations that the mayor and police chief were involved in a multimillion-dollar oil smuggling ring, The Associated Press has learned.
The problems in Hit, a dusty, ramshackle western town along the Euphrates River, provide a glimpse of the challenges in rebuilding a country where years of war and misrule have destroyed the social fabric.

Reconstruction is a key part of the U.S. military strategy against both Sunni and Shiite extremists, but many projects have long been dogged by mismanagement and allegations of corruption.

The U.S. government suspended its efforts in Hit this month after the police chief, Col. Salah Rasheed al-Gaoud, was fired for his alleged role in the scheme, U.S. and Iraqi officials familiar with the investigation told the AP.

Officials also confirmed that the mayor, Hikmat Jubair al-Gaoud, was under investigation. Marine Lt. Col. Chris Hughes, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Anbar province, said the mayor's current whereabouts were unknown and that it was unclear whether he fled the country.

But a man identifying himself as the mayor told the AP when contacted on al-Gaoud's mobile phone that he was still in Hit and "still in my job as the mayor."
"There is a committee that it is investigating the case of stealing oil and its work has not finished yet," he said Thursday.

Among the reconstruction projects that have been suspended are repairs to the town's dilapidated infrastructure, including street repairs, sewerage upgrade and school construction.
U.S. military officials said reconstruction projects in Hit would remain on hold during the investigation, which Iraqis said was being conducted by the Ministry of Interior.

Click on link to read full account.


Witness says U.S. soldiers ill after exposure to chemical

Workers allege contractor knew risks


WASHINGTON -- U.S. soldiers assigned to guard a crucial part of Iraq's oil infrastructure became ill after exposure to a highly toxic chemical at the plant, witnesses told a Democratic Policy Committee hearing Friday on Capitol Hill.

"These soldiers were bleeding from the nose, spitting blood," said Danny Langford, an equipment technician from Texas brought to work at the Qarmat Ali Water treatment plant in 2003. "They were sick."

"Hundreds of American soldiers at this site were contaminated" while guarding the plant, Langford said, including members of the Indiana National Guard.

Langford is one of nine Americans who accuse KBR, the lead contractor on the Qarmat Ali project and one of the largest military contractors in Iraq, of knowingly exposing them to sodium dichromate, an orange, sandlike chemical that is a potentially lethal carcinogen. Specialists say even short-term exposure to the chemical can cause cancer, depress an individual's immune system, attack the liver, and cause other ailments.

Friday's hearing -- one among several organized to hold contractors accountable for alleged malfeasance in Iraq -- was chaired by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. "Hundreds of U.S. troops, who may not even know of their exposure to sodium dichromate that could one day result in a horrible disease, cancers, and death," he said.

Roughly 250 American soldiers were believed to have come in contact with the chemical, according to Defense Department documents. Sodium dichromate is the same substance that poisoned residents in Hinkley, Calif., an episode made famous by the movie "Erin Brockovich" in 2000.

In Iraq, the chemical was used as an antirust coating for pipes that supply water to the oil fields. After the 2003 U.S. invasion, looters raided the Qarmat-Ali facility; afterward, the chemical was found strewn around the facility and its grounds.

Langford and his former colleagues have said KBR supervisors initially told them the chemical was a "mild irritant." The company, however, eventually acknowledged that sodium dichromate was a potentially deadly substance and moved to clean up the site.
KBR has denied any wrongdoing.

After KBR began cleaning up the site, it tested its workers for exposure. The U.S. military took blood and urine samples from 137 soldiers and civilians who were at the plant.