Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The electionnaire - which party is yours?

Iraqi citizens confused those days because the hear a lot of promises for correction, reconstruction, and so and so from the parties sharing in the coming election. The streets are full of signs with different statement explain what the will do if the win the election.

We know for sure that most of these signs are not more than lies, and every thing will be forgotten after the election. Any way there is an Internet electionaire which could match your beliefs with the the parties ideology, you could know which party is more represent you.

You can try it just for fun, or for real, that is up to you.
here is the URL of the site.



This is an interesting questionnaire which could help you to know which one of the many Iraqi parties fit your political beliefs.

One important note, don't believe all what you hear from political groups or parties because they say what they thing is useful to their goal (propaganda).

U.S. paying Iraqi editors to print favorable news

U.S. paying Iraqi editors to print favorable news - baltimoresun.com: "WASHINGTON // As part of an extensive information offensive inside Iraq, the U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspaper editors to publish stories written by U.S. troops in an effort to burnish the image of the U.S. mission within Iraq."
_____________________________________________________

Daniel Kuehl, an information operations expert at National Defense University at Ft. McNair in Washington, said that he did not believe that planting stories in Iraqi media was wrong. But he questioned whether the practice would help turn the Iraqi public against the insurgency.

"I don't think that there's anything evil or morally wrong with it," he said. "I just question whether it's effective." Link
_____________________________________________________


Iraqi news papers being paid to run pro-military stories


The U.S. military secretly paid Iraqi newspapers to plant favorable stories about its efforts to rebuild the country, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

The newspaper quoted unidentified officials as saying many of the stories in Iraqi newspapers are written by U.S. troops and while basically factual, sometimes give readers a slanted view of what is happening in Iraq. Some expressed fears that use of such stories could hurt the credibility of the U.S. military worldwide, the newspaper said. Link

Monday, November 28, 2005

How is honor possible in a war like the one in Iraq?

A Journey That Ended in Anguish

Col. Ted Westhusing, a military ethicist who volunteered to go to Iraq, was upset by what he saw. His apparent suicide raises questions.

By T. Christian Miller
Times Staff Writer

November 27, 2005

"War is the hardest place to make moral judgments."

Col. Ted Westhusing, Journal of Military Ethics


WASHINGTON — One hot, dusty day in June, Col. Ted Westhusing was found dead in a trailer at a military base near the Baghdad airport, a single gunshot wound to the head.

The Army would conclude that he committed suicide with his service pistol. At the time, he was the highest-ranking officer to die in Iraq.

The Army closed its case. But the questions surrounding Westhusing's death continue.

Westhusing, 44, was no ordinary officer. He was one of the Army's leading scholars of military ethics, a full professor at West Point who volunteered to serve in Iraq to be able to better teach his students. He had a doctorate in philosophy; his dissertation was an extended meditation on the meaning of honor.

So it was only natural that Westhusing acted when he learned of possible corruption by U.S. contractors in Iraq. A few weeks before he died, Westhusing received an anonymous complaint that a private security company he oversaw had cheated the U.S. government and committed human rights violations. Westhusing confronted the contractor and reported the concerns to superiors, who launched an investigation.

In e-mails to his family, Westhusing seemed especially upset by one conclusion he had reached: that traditional military values such as duty, honor and country had been replaced by profit motives in Iraq, where the U.S. had come to rely heavily on contractors for jobs once done by the military.

His death stunned all who knew him. Colleagues and commanders wondered whether they had missed signs of depression. He had been losing weight and not sleeping well. But only a day before his death, Westhusing won praise from a senior officer for his progress in training Iraqi police.

His friends and family struggle with the idea that Westhusing could have killed himself. He was a loving father and husband and a devout Catholic. He was an extraordinary intellect and had mastered ancient Greek and Italian. He had less than a month before his return home. It seemed impossible that anything could crush the spirit of a man with such a powerful sense of right and wrong.

On the Internet and in conversations with one another, Westhusing's family and friends have questioned the military investigation.

A note found in his trailer seemed to offer clues. Written in what the Army determined was his handwriting, the colonel appeared to be struggling with a final question.

How is honor possible in a war like the one in Iraq?

Even at Jenks High School in suburban Tulsa, one of the biggest in Oklahoma, Westhusing stood out. He was starting point guard for the Trojans, a team that made a strong run for the state basketball championship his senior year. He was a National Merit Scholarship finalist. He was an officer in a fellowship of Christian athletes.

Joe Holladay, who coached Westhusing before going on to become assistant coach of the University of North Carolina Tarheels, recalled Westhusing showing up at the gym at 7 a.m. to get in 100 extra practice shots.

"There was never a question of how hard he played or how much effort he put into something," Holladay said. "Whatever he did, he did well. He was the cream of the crop."

When Westhusing entered West Point in 1979, the tradition-bound institution was just emerging from a cheating scandal that had shamed the Army. Restoring honor to the nation's preeminent incubator for Army leadership was the focus of the day.

Cadets are taught to value duty, honor and country, and are drilled in West Point's strict moral code: A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal — or tolerate those who do.

Westhusing embraced it. He was selected as honor captain for the entire academy his senior year. Col. Tim Trainor, a classmate and currently a West Point professor, said Westhusing was strict but sympathetic to cadets' problems. He remembered him as "introspective."

Westhusing graduated third in his class in 1983 and became an infantry platoon leader. He received special forces training, served in Italy, South Korea and Honduras, and eventually became division operations officer for the 82nd Airborne, based at Ft. Bragg, N.C.

He loved commanding soldiers. But he remained drawn to intellectual pursuits.

In 2000, Westhusing enrolled in Emory University's doctoral philosophy program. The idea was to return to West Point to teach future leaders.

He immediately stood out on the leafy Atlanta campus. Married with children, he was surrounded by young, single students. He was a deeply faithful Christian in a graduate program of professional skeptics.

Plunged into academia, Westhusing held fast to his military ties. Students and professors recalled him jogging up steep hills in combat boots and camouflage, his rucksack full, to stay in shape. He wrote a paper challenging an essay that questioned the morality of patriotism.

"He was as straight an arrow as you would possibly find," said Aaron Fichtelberg, a fellow student and now a professor at the University of Delaware. "He seemed unshakable."

In his 352-page dissertation, Westhusing discussed the ethics of war, focusing on examples of military honor from Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee to the Israeli army. It is a dense, searching and sometimes personal effort to define what, exactly, constitutes virtuous conduct in the context of the modern U.S. military.

"Born to be a warrior, I desire these answers not just for philosophical reasons, but for self-knowledge," he wrote in the opening pages.

As planned, Westhusing returned to teach philosophy and English at West Point as a full professor with a guaranteed lifetime assignment. He settled into life on campus with his wife, Michelle, and their three young children.

But amid the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, he told friends that he felt experience in Iraq would help him in teaching cadets. In the fall of 2004, he volunteered for duty.

"He wanted to serve, he wanted to use his skills, maybe he wanted some glory," recalled Nick Fotion, his advisor at Emory. "He wanted to go."

In January, Westhusing began work on what the Pentagon considered the most important mission in Iraq: training Iraqi forces to take over security duties from U.S. troops.

Westhusing's task was to oversee a private security company, Virginia-based USIS, which had contracts worth $79 million to train a corps of Iraqi police to conduct special operations.

In March, Gen. David Petraeus, commanding officer of the Iraqi training mission, praised Westhusing's performance, saying he had exceeded "lofty expectations."

"Thanks much, sir, but we can do much better and will," Westhusing wrote back, according to a copy of the Army investigation of his death that was obtained by The Times.

In April, his mood seemed to have darkened. He worried over delays in training one of the police battalions.

Then, in May, Westhusing received an anonymous four-page letter that contained detailed allegations of wrongdoing by USIS.

The writer accused USIS of deliberately shorting the government on the number of trainers to increase its profit margin. More seriously, the writer detailed two incidents in which USIS contractors allegedly had witnessed or participated in the killing of Iraqis.

A USIS contractor accompanied Iraqi police trainees during the assault on Fallouja last November and later boasted about the number of insurgents he had killed, the letter says. Private security contractors are not allowed to conduct offensive operations.

In a second incident, the letter says, a USIS employee saw Iraqi police trainees kill two innocent Iraqi civilians, then covered it up. A USIS manager "did not want it reported because he thought it would put his contract at risk."

Westhusing reported the allegations to his superiors but told one of them, Gen. Joseph Fil, that he believed USIS was complying with the terms of its contract.

U.S. officials investigated and found "no contractual violations," an Army spokesman said. Bill Winter, a USIS spokesman, said the investigation "found these allegations to be unfounded."

However, several U.S. officials said inquiries on USIS were ongoing. One U.S. military official, who, like others, requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, said the inquiries had turned up problems, but nothing to support the more serious charges of human rights violations.

"As is typical, there may be a wisp of truth in each of the allegations," the official said.

The letter shook Westhusing, who felt personally implicated by accusations that he was too friendly with USIS management, according to an e-mail in the report.

"This is a mess … dunno what I will do with this," he wrote home to his family May 18.

The colonel began to complain to colleagues about "his dislike of the contractors," who, he said, "were paid too much money by the government," according to one captain.

"The meetings [with contractors] were never easy and always contentious. The contracts were in dispute and always under discussion," an Army Corps of Engineers official told investigators.

By June, some of Westhusing's colleagues had begun to worry about his health. They later told investigators that he had lost weight and begun fidgeting, sometimes staring off into space. He seemed withdrawn, they said.

His family was also becoming worried. He described feeling alone and abandoned. He sent home brief, cryptic e-mails, including one that said, "[I] didn't think I'd make it last night." He talked of resigning his command.

Westhusing brushed aside entreaties for details, writing that he would say more when he returned home. The family responded with an outpouring of e-mails expressing love and support.

His wife recalled a phone conversation that chilled her two weeks before his death.

"I heard something in his voice," she told investigators, according to a transcript of the interview. "In Ted's voice, there was fear. He did not like the nighttime and being alone."

Westhusing's father, Keith, said the family did not want to comment for this article.

On June 4, Westhusing left his office in the U.S.-controlled Green Zone of Baghdad to view a demonstration of Iraqi police preparedness at Camp Dublin, the USIS headquarters at the airport. He gave a briefing that impressed Petraeus and a visiting scholar. He stayed overnight at the USIS camp.

That night in his office, a USIS secretary would later tell investigators, she watched Westhusing take out his 9-millimeter pistol and "play" with it, repeatedly unholstering the weapon.

At a meeting the next morning to discuss construction delays, he seemed agitated. He stewed over demands for tighter vetting of police candidates, worried that it would slow the mission. He seemed upset over funding shortfalls.

Uncharacteristically, he lashed out at the contractors in attendance, according to the Army Corps official. In three months, the official had never seen Westhusing upset.

"He was sick of money-grubbing contractors," the official recounted. Westhusing said that "he had not come over to Iraq for this."

The meeting broke up shortly before lunch. About 1 p.m., a USIS manager went looking for Westhusing because he was scheduled for a ride back to the Green Zone. After getting no answer, the manager returned about 15 minutes later. Another USIS employee peeked through a window. He saw Westhusing lying on the floor in a pool of blood.

The manager rushed into the trailer and tried to revive Westhusing. The manager told investigators that he picked up the pistol at Westhusing's feet and tossed it onto the bed.

"I knew people would show up," that manager said later in attempting to explain why he had handled the weapon. "With 30 years from military and law enforcement training, I did not want the weapon to get bumped and go off."

After a three-month inquiry, investigators declared Westhusing's death a suicide. A test showed gunpowder residue on his hands. A shell casing in the room bore markings indicating it had been fired from his service revolver.

Then there was the note.

Investigators found it lying on Westhusing's bed. The handwriting matched his.

The first part of the four-page letter lashes out at Petraeus and Fil. Both men later told investigators that they had not criticized Westhusing or heard negative comments from him. An Army review undertaken after Westhusing's death was complimentary of the command climate under the two men, a U.S. military official said.

Most of the letter is a wrenching account of a struggle for honor in a strange land.

"I cannot support a msn [mission] that leads to corruption, human rights abuse and liars. I am sullied," it says. "I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored.

"Death before being dishonored any more."

A psychologist reviewed Westhusing's e-mails and interviewed colleagues. She concluded that the anonymous letter had been the "most difficult and probably most painful stressor."

She said that Westhusing had placed too much pressure on himself to succeed and that he was unusually rigid in his thinking. Westhusing struggled with the idea that monetary values could outweigh moral ones in war. This, she said, was a flaw.

"Despite his intelligence, his ability to grasp the idea that profit is an important goal for people working in the private sector was surprisingly limited," wrote Lt. Col. Lisa Breitenbach. "He could not shift his mind-set from the military notion of completing a mission irrespective of cost, nor could he change his belief that doing the right thing because it was the right thing to do should be the sole motivator for businesses."

One military officer said he felt Westhusing had trouble reconciling his ideals with Iraq's reality. Iraq "isn't a black-and-white place," the officer said. "There's a lot of gray."

Fil and Petraeus, Westhusing's commanding officers, declined to comment on the investigation, but they praised him. He was "an extremely bright, highly competent, completely professional and exceedingly hard-working officer. His death was truly tragic and was a tremendous blow," Petraeus said.

Westhusing's family and friends are troubled that he died at Camp Dublin, where he was without a bodyguard, surrounded by the same contractors he suspected of wrongdoing. They wonder why the manager who discovered Westhusing's body and picked up his weapon was not tested for gunpowder residue.

Mostly, they wonder how Col. Ted Westhusing — father, husband, son and expert on doing right — could have found himself in a place so dark that he saw no light.

"He's the last person who would commit suicide," said Fichtelberg, his graduate school colleague. "He couldn't have done it. He's just too damn stubborn."

Westhusing's body was flown back to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Waiting to receive it were his family and a close friend from West Point, a lieutenant colonel.

In the military report, the unidentified colonel told investigators that he had turned to Michelle, Westhusing's wife, and asked what happened.

She answered:

"Iraq."


November 27, 2005

latime: World News

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Allawi: Iraq abuse 'as bad as Saddam era

The former Iraqi prime minister, Iyad Allawi, has called for immediate action against human rights abuses.

Iyad Allawi is preparing himself to the comming election on Dec 15. Allawi past history is well known to most Iraqis as he was a previous Baath's member.
"(By the way, the first 'political kidnapping' in Iraq took place in 1962 by Adil and Allawi, both staunch Ba'athist at the time. They kidnapped the Medical University Dean because he refused to declare a holliday on a Finals test day to accomodate a Ba'athist demonstration)." "Adil " is Adil abdul Mahdi the current Vice President.

"So which cynic was it who said that the war in Iraq was launched to replace an anti-American tyrant by a pro-American tyrant?

Long Live Democracy!"

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The bloodshed continued

IOL: Suicide car bomb kills 30 outside Iraqi hospital: "the bloodshed continued"

Many killed in Iraq car bombing

My niece is a doctor in the general hospital in Mahmudiya, she was in duty at the time of the explosion helping a pregnant woman to bear, few moment after she finished her job, and just after she left the delivery room, the explosion happened killing the newly born baby and his mother among others.
My niece, a nurse and a senior doctor were the only survivors of the accident in that department.
The complete story can be found her

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Mirror.co.uk - News - LAW CHIEF GAGS THE MIRROR ON BUSH LEAK

Mirror.co.uk - News - LAW CHIEF GAGS THE MIRROR ON BUSH LEAK

CBC News: Britain gags report that Bush targeted Arab TV

CBC News: Britain gags report that Bush targeted Arab TV

The news that Bush had thought about bombing Al-Jazeera network is very interesting. It really reflect the Bush style freedom and democracy.

Here in Iraq and the Middle East, we Know very well the double standard of the US policy, so we didn't surprised from this news, on the contrary we surprised why he didn't bombed it till now. His allies in the Iraqi government didn't wait that much before finishing the hostile to their interests.

I will assure him, what ever he (Mr. Bush) and they (the Iraqi government) did, the voice of truth will be heard all over the world.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Nice picture

Who Appologized to whom and why???



I know for sure that there are as good people in America as in any other place. The fact that we don't know about them didn't change the reality.

What happening in Iraqi prisons

During the last two days, there were a news of abuse and torture to detainees in the Ministry of Interior.
The news said there were more than 170 detainees badly beaten, some had die from the torture, in at least one of the ministry under ground shelters.

Yesterday the Minister appears on the TV to deny the news. He confess the torture but of only seven men whom he described as very dangerous terrorist who came from out side Iraq. To support his claim of only seven detainee he showed the passports of them, The number of passports are much more than seven.

A rumors said that Iranian officers are doing the torture, but the Minister said, they are all Iraqi, he have 29 Iraqi officers to torture the seven detainees !!!
That mean for every one detainee, there was at least four officers responsible for his discomfort.

He threatened the religious leaders that he will apply the anti terrors law against them.

It is the freedom and democracy of the new Iraq. Viva America.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

US USED WHITE PHOSPHORUS AND A FIREBOMB SIMILAR TO NAPALM AGAINST IRAQI CIVILIANS IN FALLUJAH.

Sorry to bother you, but you have to read this:

"A report released on 11/8/05, by Italian state sponsored RAI television claims that the US used chemical weapons against Iraqi civilians in Fallujah last November. I am appalled by the information found in this report and I am horrified that US government indiscriminately used these weapons against Iraqi men, women and children. "

CFL ALERT: US USED WHITE PHOSPHORUS AND A FIREBOMB SIMILAR TO NAPALM AGAINST IRAQI CIVILIANS IN FALLUJAH.


Citizens for Fair Legislation
For Immediate Release
November 9, 2005
********************************


Italian state sponsored television broadcaster, RAI released a report on 11/8/05 stating that the United States used white phosphorus and a substance similar to napalm against Iraqis in Fallujah in November of 2004. This report included interviews with two American soldiers who also acknowledged use of these chemical weapons against civilians in Iraq. To see the report in its entirety

http://www.rainews24.rai.it/ran24/inchiesta/default_02112005.asp


Pdf file shows U.S. military boasting about what the Pentagon is now denying doing, using white phosphorus on and in Falluja:

http://sill-www.army.mil/FAMAG/Previous_Editions/05/mar-apr05/PAGE24-30.pdf

TALKING POINTS, TAKE ACTION NOW.

*Tell your representatives in Congress and the Senate that you are appalled that chemical weapons were used against civilians in Iraq and demand that they begin an inquiry immediately into what happened in Fallujah last year. Tell your representatives that the RAI documentary showed images of bodies recovered in Fallujah of men, women and children who were burned to the bone. A former soldier in the US 1st Infantry Division in Iraq has gone on record as saying, "I do know that white phosphorus was used." He also said he saw, "burned bodies, burned children and burned women.” RAI also reported that the US used the Mark 77 firebomb, a weapon similar to napalm, in Iraq. A former soldier in the Iraq war told RAI news correspondent Sigfrido Ranucci this, "I received the order to use caution because we had used white phosphorus on Fallujah." White phosphorus burns the human body on contact, to the bone. Medics and humanitarian workers who entered Fallujah after the offensive say they found people with "bizarre wounds-their bodies burned but their clothes intact."

*The RAI report shows that contrary to US State Department statements, white phosphorus was dropped indiscriminately and in massive quantities throughout Fallujah. Footage is also shown of the effects of this chemical substance on civilians--women and children who were burned to death while sleeping. RAI also discovered the use of a napalm-like formula called MK77, which has been banned since a 1980 UN treaty and which the US signed in 1997.

*Tell your representatives that you are deeply disturbed by the use of chemical weapons against Iraqis. Ask that they immediately hold the government accountable for the lies leading up to the war in Iraq and for the indiscriminate killing of Iraqi civilians. Ask your representatives what it will take for them to speak out against the atrocities occurring in Iraq. The RAI report includes footage of these chemical weapons being dropped on Fallujah, it includes footage of the burned corpses of men, women and children, and it includes interviews with American soldiers admitting that these chemicals were used. Ask your representatives how long they will remain silent about the war crimes occurring in Iraq.

*Remind your representatives that many pointed to Saddam's use of biological weapons against the Kurds in Halajba as reason enough to wage war against Iraq. Ask them what the difference is between Saddam using biological weapons against Kurds and the US using chemical weapons against Iraqis. Tell your representatives that while it is too late to help the people of Fallujah who were killed by our chemical weapons that at the very least they need to speak out and condemn the use of these chemicals and hold the current administration accountable for the war crimes they are committing in Iraq.

===============================
EMAIL AND OR CALL THE WHITE HOUSE
WHITE HOUSE COMMENTS LINE: 202-456-1111
WHITE HOUSE SWITCHBOARD: 202-456-1414
WHITE HOUSE FAX: 202-456-2461
===============================
Citizens for Fair Legislation is a grassroots organization committed
to encouraging a fair domestic and foreign policy with an emphasis on
the US/Arab world.
www.cflweb.org

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Some thing to read

According to the Oct. 20 Washington Times, in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ms. Rice said "that it was always the Bush administration's intent to redesign the Middle East after the September 11 attacks, which exposed a 'deep malignancy growing' in the region, and that the Iraq was part of that plan."
Read this and this.


In 2003, tired of the US media’s inaccurate portrayal of the realities of the Iraq War, independent journalist Dahr Jamail headed to the conflict himself. Instead of following in the footsteps of mainstream media’s embedded, "Hotel Journalists," Jamail hit the Iraqi streets to uncover the stories most reporters were missing. His countless interviews with Iraqi citizens and from-the-ground reporting have offered a horrific look into the bowels of the US occupation. From covering the bloody siege of Falluja to breaking a story on Bechtel’s failure to reconstruct water treatment plants, his writing and photographs depict an Iraq that is much worse off now than it was before the US invasion.
Read this.