Iraq has been virtually destroyed by the U.S. military invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Moronic reporters from right wing rags like the Weekly Standard, owned by Rupert Murdoch who also owns FOX NEWS, argue that conditions were worse BEFORE the U.S. invaded Iraq which is patently false.
Here is the before and after about Iraq:
– Education: According to a 2005 analysis by the United Nations University, since the 2003 invasion, 84 percent of Iraq’s higher education institutions had been “burnt, looted or destroyed.”
– Medical Care: Before the U.S. invasion, there were 34,000 doctors registered in Iraq; an estimated 20,000 have left since then. “It’s definitely worse now than before the war,” Eman Asim, a Ministry of Health official who oversees the country’s 185 public hospitals, told the New York Times in 2004.
– Electricity: Although the average hours of electricity each day across Iraq have increased since the invasion, the number in Baghdad has decreased to 10.6 hours each day, down from 16-24 before the war.
– Oil Production: Since the U.S. invasion, Iraq’s oil infrastructure has been hampered by post-conflict sabotage, with more than 450 attacks on its pipelines. Only as recently as May has Iraq been able to return to its pre-war crude oil production levels.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Iraq has been virtually destroyed by the U.S. military invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 3:15 PM
The stumbling blocks of forming a workable Iraqi government keep popping up.
Political pressures hinder passing elections law - MP
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Thursday , 07 /08 /2008 Time 8:25:43
BAGHDAD, Aug. 7 (VOI) – An MP from the Kurdistan Coalition (KC) said on Thursday that political pressures exerted by some parliamentary blocs on the Parliament Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani were the main reason for Wednesday's session adjourning without passing the provincial council elections law.
"We are in the Kurdistan Coalition had agreed with the Unified Iraqi Coalition (UIC) to pass the law during yesterday's session in accordance to the proposal made by the UN," Sirwan al-Zahawi told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI)."The proposal says that if the Kirkuk cause has not been resolved during this year, political powers should leave the issue to the Iraqi government and the parliament's chairmanship to put all necessary mechanisms and conditions to hold the elections in the oil-rich Kirkuk," he explained.
"The KC had announced its agreement on the proposal thus there is an agreement among main political powers on passing the law," he also said."
After the KC agreed to pass the law, we were surprised during yesterday's session that the speaker adjourned the session, the matter made us feel injustice," the MP noted.A legislator from the Kurdistan Coalition parliamentary bloc, Abdul-Mohsen al-Saadon, said yesterday that the Iraqi Parliament ended Wednesday afternoon's extraordinary session, after forming a committee of parliamentary blocs' heads to find a consensus text for the provincial election bill.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 12:46 PM
The mainstream anchors and pundits have been scratching their heads and trying to find out why Barack Obama is not miles ahead of John McCain in the polls.
Like "the elephant in the room," the reason is right in front of their eyes but the media continues to travel down roads like the "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska that end up a dead end in trying to explain why Obama hasn't taken off in the polls
Racism is the "elephant in the room" and all polls indicate people will not be honest with pollsters when asked if race will affect their vote.
Of course it will, and the McCain campaign, which is now run by Karl Rove surrogates and former Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth leftovers from the '04 campaign, are going to work 24/7 in reminding the "closet racists"that Barack Obama is a Black man.
FOX NEWS and the right wing radio talk shows keep pounding away at how Obama is an "elitist and arrogant" even though Obama was raised by his grandmother and lived for many years on food stamps.
John McCain, on the other hand, came from a military family including a father who was an Admiral in the U.S. Navy, and McCain never had to rely on food stamps to eat. McCain may have ended third from last in his class at Annapolis, but he still was among the privileged few who receive an appointment to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.
But it is isn't just latent racism why Obama is in trouble.
The media have turned on Obama and they are coming off as McCain campaign assistants as the story below so aptly points out.
Comments by BILL CORCORAN editor of CORKSPHERE
Why Obama Could be in Trouble
By Robert Parry, Consortium NewsPosted on August 7, 2008, Printed on August 7, 2008
It might seem unlikely that the United States would elect John McCain to succeed George W. Bush when that would ensure continuation of many unpopular Bush policies: an ill-defined war with the Muslim world, right-wing consolidation of the U.S. Supreme Court, a drill-oriented energy strategy, tax cuts creating massive federal deficits, etc., etc.
But there are reasons -- beyond understandable concerns about Barack Obama's limited experience -- that make a McCain victory possible, indeed maybe probable.
Here is one of the big ones: The U.S. news media is as bad as ever, arguably worse.
On Monday, Obama gave a detail-rich speech on how he would address the energy crisis, which is a major point of concern among Americans. From ideas for energy innovation to retrofitting the U.S. auto industry to conservation steps to limited new offshore drilling, Obama did what he is often accused of not doing, fleshing out his soaring rhetoric.
McCain responded with a harsh critique of Obama's calls for more conservation, claiming that Obama wants to solve the energy crisis by having people inflate their tires. McCain's campaign even passed out a tire gauge marked as Obama's energy plan.
For his part, McCain made clear he wanted to drill for more oil wherever it could be found and to build many more nuclear power plants.
These competing plans offered a chance for the evening news to address an issue of substance that is high on the voters' agenda. Instead, NBC News anchor Brian Williams devoted 30 seconds to the dueling energy speeches, without any details and with the witty opening line that Obama was "refining" his energy plan.
So, instead of dealing with a serious issue in a serious way, NBC News ignored the substance and went for a clever slight against Obama, hitting his political maneuvering in his softened opposition to more offshore drilling.
Williams's quip fit with one of the press corps' favorite campaign narratives, Obama's flip-flopping. But the coverage ignored far more important elements of the story, such as the feasibility of Obama's vow that "we must end the age of oil in our time" or the wisdom of McCain's emphasis on drilling -- and nuking -- the nation out of its energy mess.
And, as for flip-flops, McCain's dramatic repositioning of himself as an anti-environmentalist -- after years of being one of the green movement's favorite Republicans -- represents a far more significant change than Obama's modest waffling on offshore oil.
Click on link above to read the full story by Robert Parry, award-winning journalist.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 5:41 AM
The U.S. can use the lowest ever July casualties and declare victory. But victory over whom?
(Comment: This is the same question we have been asking for months. What does "victory" in Iraq look like? And who signs the armistice agreement?)
The Unites States has received reports that its combat casualties in Iraq dropped to their lowest level in July with glee.
The Pentagon and the White House saw it as an indication of the success of their military tactics and that security conditions were improving in the country.
But is it possible to measure the situation in Iraq within U.S. parameters of success and failure?
By Fatih Abdulsalam, AzzamanPosted on August 5, 2008, Printed on August 7, 2008
The killing of only four U.S. service personnel in July, the fewest combat casualties for any month since America's 2003 invasion of the country, will only remain an American measure which cannot be extended to the conditions in Iraq.
Lowest ever U.S. casualties may speak volumes for the U.S. but it has little meaning for Iraqis.
The drastic drop in U.S. casualties coincides with a drastic surge in Iraqi casualties.
Joint U.S. and Iraqi military operations are proceeding in several provinces, leaving behind a trail of destruction and many casualties. The U.S. keeps no tally of the Iraqis it kills. Neither does the Iraqi government.
There is no indication of an end to these military operations. U.S. military commanders say many more are in the offing.
The military tactics pursued by the U.S. in the past five years have illustrated that military campaigns in which heavy weapons like warplanes, artillery and armor are deployed, have become the means to solve problems, though experience has shown that they have drastically failed to do so.
Iraqis have no security guarantees because those carrying arms are still afraid for their own security.
U.S. troops, Iraqi armed forces and the country's marauding militias see their weapons as the only means for survival.
The U.S. relies on its own security parameters to judge its performance in Iraq, the country it invaded and destroyed.
But Iraqis need other parameters for their own security - no more militiamen on the streets, no more invasions of cities and towns by U.S. and Iraqi troops, no more infighting between U.S.-raised militias and other Iraqi groups.
Iraqis have other parameters in mind. They long for national reconciliation which the mighty U.S. military machines has failed to bring about and the Iraqi government has been dodging all efforts to have it materialized.
Go back to link and continue reading....
So long as these parameters are not met, there will be no success in Iraq.
Coercive security measures are proceeding ahead unabated. Baghdad is being bisected by concrete walls. Tribes are being armed and Iraqis are fighting Iraqis. The death squads are dormant and not finished.
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 2:39 AM