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Iraq

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    On the Edge of Armageddon: Notes on Another Iraq Vijay Prashad February 14, 2003

    Those who live between Mosul and Basra know what it is to suffer, and to struggle. When the yoke of the Ottoman sultans lifted from the lands of the Euphrates and Tigris, the people celebrated and declared independence. Iraqi officials in the Ottoman state formed al-’Ahd (The Covenant), disgruntled tribal sheikhs and clerics formed the Jam’iyya al-Nahda al-Islamiyya (the Society of Islamic Revival), and in May 1919, Sheikh Mahmud Barzinji followed popular opinion and declared an independent Kurdistan. In May 1920, mass rallies across the three provinces of Mosul, Baghdad and Basra demanded the ouster of the British mandate. The British responded with an iron fist and in the next three years pounded hopes into ashes.

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    The Media & War Eric Laursen February 14, 2003

    "I did not look on the press as an asset. Frankly, I looked on it as a problem to be managed.”
    —Then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, on how he managed press coverage during the 1991 Gulf War.

    Was Dick Cheney the father of modern warfare? If not, he at least helped birth the postmodern art of wartime press management as Defense Secretary during the first Gulf War in 1991. Now, along with his old White House mentor Don Rumsfeld and sidekicks Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, Cheney is no doubt looking forward to another lightning campaign against Saddam Hussein and another free pass from an obliging press corps.

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    Empire & Its Consequences Bilal El-Amine February 14, 2003

    Incredibly, we’re on the brink of war. Millions are opposed, hundreds of thousands have marched in just about every capital city, even the right wing has stated it’s objections, but to no avail. The Democrats crumpled in Congress and rival powers finally complied in the United Nations, naively believing that a UN-sanctioned war would at least be a constraint on US might. The jackals in the Bush administration are hearing none of it. Too much is at stake for them to change their course. Iraq is a major prize by its sheer wealth in oil—second only to Saudi Arabia in known reserves. Control of Iraq would also give the US added leverage to shape events in the region. The future stability of Saudi Arabia, for example, has caused much consternation in the Pentagon.

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    Framing Iraq: The Marketing of Preemptive War Chris Toensing February 14, 2003

    Ours is a cynical age. We know that the government lies to justify its military adventures, and that the mainstream media most often swallows the lies whole. But the most inveterate cynic must be astonished by the dishonesty of public debate during the interminable buildup to George W. Bush’s war on Iraq. Asked why Bush was not “making his case” for war as talk-show pundits sniped from right and left in the late summer, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card quipped, “You don’t roll out new products in August.” Country club Republicans and Democratic presidential hopefuls had gained the media’s ear with a feeble protest for peace: go to war if you must, but not so fast and not without allies.

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    Iraqi Women Before US Intervention Huibin Amelia Chew June 16, 2007

    Iraqi author and dissident Haifa Zangana, formerly imprisoned under Saddam Hussein’s regime but adamantly opposed to US occupation wrote in the UK Guardian, “The main misconception is to perceive Iraqi women as silent, powerless victims in a male-controlled society in urgent need of ‘liberation.’ This image fits conveniently into the big picture of the Iraqi people being passive victims who would welcome the occupation of their country. The reality is different.” In 1958, with the end of British indirect rule over Iraq, tens of thousands of Iraqi women demonstrated in the streets for their civil rights.

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    The Big Disconnect Max Elbaum November 01, 2007

    The promised September assessment of where things stand in Iraq is around the corner. So right on cue George Bush declared (August 22) that “a free Iraq” is within reach. The same day Iraq’s Electricity Minister told reporters that “armed groups”—not the Iraqi government—control the switching stations that channel power throughout Iraq’s energy grid. A new report from Bush’s own Intelligence apparatus declared that prospects for the Iraqi government to unite the country were somewhere between bleak and gloomy.

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    Women and War: Reclaiming a Feminist Perspective Huibin Amee Chew June 16, 2007
      Women are prominently involved in the US anti-war movement, but a gendered analysis of war is usually ignored. Political commentators occasionally make note of “women and children” as war’s victims—but few dare to sharpen their critique into an indictment of systemic patriarchy and sexism. In this article, Huibin Amee Chew breaks down how US imperialism and militarism affect women, both in the US and in occupied Iraq.

    The relation between imperialism and gender is not just a matter of macho talk and fashion, it is about who dies, about economic sexism and sexual exploitation. It is not just ideological, but material, institutional, and psychological.

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    Iraq War is Lost, But the Killing Goes On Max Elbaum April 27, 2007

    Washington's Wars and Occupations: Month in Review #24 April 27, 2007 Add Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to the growing list of Washington heavyweights who have gone on record saying “the Iraq war is lost.” Reid has caught up with the majority of U.S. people, who according to the latest poll foresee a U.S. defeat in Iraq. Two-thirds say the war was not worth fighting. But Bush says U.S. troops will never leave while he is Commander-in-Chief. He rejected the Baker-Hamilton Report’s formula for a lower-profile occupation and a new diplomatic strategy.

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    Ambitions of Empire: Deconstructing the Bush Agenda with Antonia Juhasz Rebecca Solnit September 01, 2006
      Antonia Juhasz is an author, activist, and policy-analyst living in San Francisco. She is a visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies. She has previously served as the Project Director of the International Forum on Globalization and as a Legislative Assistant to two U.S. members of Congress. She is contributing author to Alternatives to Economic Globalization: a Better World is Possible, and her work has appeared in numerous publications including the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and the Johannesburg Star. San Francisco writer Rebecca Solnit interviewed her about her new book.

    RS: One the most startling things in your book is the way you talk about the war.

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    The Hand-Over that Wasn’t: How the Occupation of Iraq Continues Antonia Juhasz ( originally printed in Foreign Policy in Focus) September 14, 2004

    The U.S. occupation of Iraq officially ended on June 28, 2004 , in a secret ceremony in Baghdad . Officially, “full sovereignty” was handed from the Americans to the Iraqi Interim Government. But it was clear from the start that this was sovereignty in name, not in deed. First, there is the continued military occupation: 138,000 U.S. soldiers and Marines, plus 20,000 troops from other countries and an estimated 20,000 contractors, all fully under U.S. control and immune to Iraqi laws. Equally debilitating, however significantly less well reported upon, is the continued political and economic occupation by the Bush administration and its corporate allies.

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