Thursday, July 24, 2008


There has been a lot of banter lately about "the surge," but lost in all the bluster by talking heads on TV is "the surge" was designed to help Iraq bring about unification so elections could be held and the Iraqi government could be officially formed.

"The surge" was never about military accomplishments, but you would never know it if you only listened to the blabbermouth on FOX NEWS, CNN and MSNBC.

Now comes word, the President of Iraq says an election will have to be put off until 2009 because factions in Iraq can't get together on certain issues regarding the election.

Iraqi President Vows Veto of Election Bill
Measure Passed After Kurdish Boycott; Balloting Is Now Unlikely Until 2009

By Amit R. PaleyWashington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, July 24, 2008; Page A16

BAGHDAD, July 23 -- President Jalal Talabani said Wednesday that he would veto a measure governing provincial elections scheduled for this year, making it all but certain that the balloting will be delayed until 2009.

The announcement was a setback for both the Bush administration and the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, which hailed a preliminary election law passed earlier this year as evidence of political progress in Iraq. The ongoing disagreements over the polling have instead highlighted the sectarian fissures that still divide the country.

Talabani, a Kurd, said the bill passed by parliament Tuesday was unconstitutional and had been approved by only 127 lawmakers from the 275-member parliament, after the Kurdish delegation walked out in protest. For a bill to become law, it must be approved by the three-member presidency council, which Talabani heads.


Bush Bans State Department Officials From Obama Rally

In a flagrant political act, the State Department has barred its employees from attending Sen. Barack Obama's speech in Berlin tonight.

Under the pretense that he is maintaining political neutrality, the Washington Post reported today, State Department Undersecretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy has interpreted the Foreign Affairs Manual in the most restrictive way, claiming that he is ensuring that foreign service officials will remain untainted by a "partisan political act." (Spouse and family members, however, have generously been excluded from this ruling.)

The U.S. embassy, which is headed by ambassador Robert Timken, a businessman and crony of George W. Bush's from Ohio, who is widely reviled in Germany for his ignorance of foreign affairs, has instructed officials not to attend the rally.

The American Foreign Service Association has complained about the edict but there's not enough time to dispute it. Funny that.

The truth is that there would probably be few better opportunities for embassy officials to get a feel for the views of the Germans by mixing with them during the rally. Of course, the sentiments expressed by Germans, who worship Obama as much as they loathe George W. Bush, might not be ones that the administration is eager to hear.

Indeed, the administration has a long and tawdry record of trying to browbeat government agencies into submission, whether it's the CIA or the Centers for Disease Control. The State Department is perhaps highest on the list of conservatives and neocons who see it as the center of disloyalty and treachery. But this latest action represents a new low.

If it's going to these lengths, the Bush administration must be really worried about Sen. John McCain's prospects.


Pentagon Auditors Pressured To Favor Contractors, GAO Says

By Dana HedgpethWashington Post Staff WriterThursday, July 24, 2008; D01
Auditors at a Pentagon oversight agency were pressured by supervisors to skew their reports on major defense contractors to make them look more favorable instead of exposing wrongdoing and charges of overbilling, according to an 80-page report released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office.

The Defense Contract Audit Agency, which oversees contractors for the Defense Department, "improperly influenced the audit scope, conclusions and opinions" of reviews of contractor performance, the GAO said, creating a "serious independence issue."

The report does not name the projects or the contractors involved, but staff members on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee who were briefed on the findings cited seven contractors, some of whom are among the biggest in the defense industry: Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Fluor, Parker Hannifin, Sparta, SRS Technologies and a subsidiary of L3 Communications.

Continue reading here:


The mainstream media in the United States is "in the tank" to the Bush administration, and in return to GOP hopeful John McCain, and in so doing they keep from the American public what is really happening in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The purpose of this blog has ALWAYS been to tell the truth about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars which the mainstream media no longer wants to do.

Below is just a partial list of what has been taking place in both Iraq and Afghanistan over the past two days:


07/23/08 MCT: Iraqi forces aren't quite ready to take charge
It wasn't yet dawn, and the Iraqi army unit was already behind schedule. It was about to launch a major operation against another cluster of towns overrun by Shiite Muslim militiamen, and this time American forces would remain at the rear of the convoy...

07/23/08 MCT: Two bodies found in Baghdad
Police found two unidentified bodies in Baghdad. The first body was found in Zafaraniyah district while the second body was found in Ur neighborhood.

07/23/08 MCT: Roadside bomb kills woman in Abo Saida
A woman was killed in a roadside bomb in Abo Saida area east of Baquba around 11:30 a.m.

07/23/08 MCT: Two Iraqi soldiers killed in east Mosul
Gunmen attacked a checkpoint in al Tahreer neighborhood in east Mosul city on Wednesday afternoon killing two Iraqi soldiers.

07/23/08 MCT: Some Guardsmen, Reservists back from Iraq didn't get benefits
The Department of Veterans Affairs failed to send benefit packages to nearly 37,000 National Guard and Reserve members who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan because it mistakenly thought they were ineligible.

07/23/08 AP: Iraqi president rejects election law
Iraq's president promised to reject a draft law paving the way for U.S.-backed provincial elections, saying Wednesday it would worsen sectarian rifts among Iraqis.

07/23/08 Reuters: Motar fire wounds 2 civilians in southeastern Mosul
Mortar shells wounded two civilians when they landed on a police station in southeastern Mosul, police said.

07/23/08 Reuters: Gunmen kill civilian in cental Mosul
Gunmen shot dead a civilian in front of his house in central Mosul, police said.

07/23/08 Reuters: Iraqi security forces arrest scores of suspected Shi'ite militants
Iraqi security forces arrested scores of suspected Shi'ite militants and confiscated weapons in the town of Haswa, 50 km (30 miles), south of Baghdad, an Iraqi military source said. The town has been under curfew for two days.

07/23/08 Reuters: Roadside bomb wounds 3 policemen in southeastern Mosul
A roadside bomb wounded three policemen when it exploded near their patrol in southeastern Mosul, 390 km (240 miles), north of Baghdad, police said.

07/23/08 AFP: Iraqi premier Maliki pitches reconstruction work to German firms
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is confident that German companies will decide "in the coming days" to head back to his country, he said Wednesday after meeting some 120 business leaders here.

07/23/08 NYTimes: Kurdish defiance likely to delay Iraqi elections
The Iraqi Parliament approved legislation to govern provincial elections, but Kurdish lawmakers boycotted the session, vowing to force the measure to be rewritten and probably delaying the balloting for months.

07/23/08 MCT: U.S. military advisers say they're treated as misfits
Standing next to a screen illuminating a long list of tips, Maj. Anthony Nichols looked out at the classroom of neophyte military trainers and began a lecture about the ways that fellow soldiers will look down at them while they serve...

07/23/08 DailyMail: Accused SAS sergeant made £200,000 selling beer
A former SAS sergeant claimed he made profits of more than £200,000 in just 12 weeks by selling alcohol to thousands of Coalition colleagues serving in Iraq.

07/23/08 AP: Iraqi Kurds reject law
Iraq's Kurdish government has denounced a draft law paving the way for U.S.-backed provincial elections and urged the presidential council to reject it.

07/23/08 AFP: 30,000 Iraqi troops poised for assault on Qaeda bastion
Some 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and police are to launch a military assault against Al-Qaeda fighters and insurgents in Diyala province from August 1, army and police officers said Wednesday.

07/22/08 NPR: In Iraq, Tactical Theory Put Into Practice

After years spent studying counterinsurgency, Lt. Col. John Nagl recently put his knowledge of rebellion suppression into practice while serving in Iraq...

07/22/08 AP: Iraqis cast doubt on elections this year
Iraq's parliament passed a law Tuesday meant to pave the way for provincial elections despite a Kurdish boycott, but critics warned it's unlikely the vote will be held this year as had been expected.

07/22/08 AFP: Tractor bomb kills seven
AN explosives-filled tractor exploded in a restive region of Iraq's Diyala province today, killing at least seven members of a local anti al-Qaeda group, a police officer said. The tractor was parked by the side of road in the village of Wais...

07/22/08 AP: Iraq looks to tourism
Someone had fun tinkering with the airline board at the old, disused terminal at Baghdad International Airport. It advertises a "special flight" on Japan Airlines from Basra to Sydney, Australia, while a flight from Baghdad to Mexico City is "delayed."

07/22/08 NYTimes: Inside Sadr City - The Wall
Sadr City, long one of the most dangerous parts of the Iraqi capital, is calmer now than it has been in years. To be sure, American soldiers and Iraqi judges are still being killed here, but not at the rate of deadly attacks in 2006 and 2007.

07/22/08 Reuters: Gunmen attack health official in central Tikrit
Gunmen opened fire on the convoy of Khalid Burhan, head of the health office of Salahuddin province in central Tikrit, 150 km (95 miles) north of Baghdad, wounding his guards, police said.

07/22/08 Reuters: Body found in Dibis
Iraqi police found the body of a civilian in Dibis, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The body bore gunshot wounds.

07/22/08 Reuters: Gunmen kill 5 civilians in Haswa
Gunmen shot and wounded five civilians on Monday in Haswa, 50 km (30 miles), south of Baghdad, police said.

07/22/08 Reuters: Suicide bomber wounds nine people northwest Baghdad
A suicide car bomber wounded nine people including three policemen in an attack on their checkpoint in northwest Baghdad on Monday, the U.S. military said.

07/22/08 Reuters: Roadside bomb kills police lieutenant-colonel in northern Kirkuk
A roadside bomb killed a police lieutenant-colonel and wounded four of his guards on Monday in northern Kirkuk, police said.

07/22/08 AP: 4 US soldiers charged in detainee deaths in Iraq
Four soldiers have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of detainees in Iraq in 2007, a U.S. military spokesman said Tuesday.

07/22/08 MCT: Roadside bomb kills 2 policemen in Kirkuk
On Monday night, a roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in Kirkuk city. Two policemen were killed( including the deputy of Irouba police station Colonel Khabat Aziz) and 5 others were injured.

07/22/08 Reuters: U.S. troop "surge" in Iraq ends
The U.S. military said on Tuesday the last of five extra combat brigades sent to Iraq last year had withdrawn. There are currently just under 147,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Following are facts about the so-called surge:

07/22/08 Reuters: Iraq's parliament passes poll law, Kurds walk out
Iraq's parliament passed a provincial elections bill on Tuesday despite a walkout by Kurdish parliamentarians angered over how the law would deal with the disputed city of Kirkuk.

07/22/08 metro: British troops to remain in Iraq 'for months'
Britain's military force in Iraq will remain 4,100 strong for the "next few months," the Prime Minister told the Commons today. But troop reductions will be made later as a "fundamental change of mission" occurs in the early months of next year.

07/22/08 Xinhua: Iraqi journalist shot dead in northern Iraq
Iraqi police Tuesday said gunmen have shot dead a Kurdish journalist working for a local magazine in the city of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad.


The 25 Most Vicious Iraq War Profiteers


The Iraq war is many things to different people. It is called a strategic blunder and a monstrous injustice and sometimes even a patriotic mission, much to the chagrin of rational human beings. For many big companies, however, the war is something far different: a lucrative cash-cow. The years-long, ongoing military effort has resurrected fears of the so-called “military-industrial complex.” Media pundits are outraged at private companies scooping up huge, no-questions-asked contracts to manufacture weapons, rebuild infrastructure, or anything else the government deems necessary to win (or plant its flag in Iraq).

No matter what your stance on the war, it pays to know where your tax dollars are being spent.

Following is a detailed rundown of the 25 companies squeezing the most profit from this controversial conflict.

Click on this link to see who is making a killing off the war. Needless to say Dick Cheney's former company, Halliburton, leads the way: