Saturday, August 05, 2006

Operation Iraqi Liberation - update

President's Message to the Iraqi People (April 10, 2003)

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President's Remarks
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Fact sheet Message in Arabic

PRESIDENT BUSH: This is George W Bush, the President of the United States. At this moment, the regime of Saddam Hussein is being removed from power, and a long era of fear and cruelty is ending.

American and coalition forces are now operating inside Baghdad – and we will not stop until Saddam’s corrupt gang is gone. The government of Iraq, and the future of your country, will soon belong to you.

Saddam Captured 'Like a Rat' in Raid

Sunday , December 14, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Without firing a single shot, U.S. forces captured Saddam Hussein (search) as he hid in the bottom of a hole at a farmhouse near Tikrit on Saturday.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we got him," L. Paul Bremer (search), the U.S. administrator in Iraq, announced.

"The tyrant is a prisoner," Bremer said.

The goals of our coalition are clear and limited. We will end a brutal regime, whose aggression and weapons of mass destruction make it a unique threat to the world. Coalition forces will help maintain law and order, so that Iraqis can live in security.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Summer of Goodbyes...
Residents of Baghdad are systematically being pushed out of the city. Some families are waking up to find a Klashnikov bullet and a letter in an envelope with the words “Leave your area or else.” The culprits behind these attacks and threats are Sadr’s followers- Mahdi Army. It’s general knowledge, although no one dares say it out loud. In the last month we’ve had two different families staying with us in our house, after having to leave their neighborhoods due to death threats and attacks. It’s not just Sunnis- it’s Shia, Arabs, Kurds- most of the middle-class areas are being targeted by militias.

We will respect your great religious traditions, whose principles of equality and compassion are essential to Iraq’s future. We will help you build a peaceful and representative government that protects the rights of all citizens. And then our military forces will leave.

Wednesday 24 May 2006
U.S builds world's biggest embassy in Iraq
by Leila Fadel
Source: MercuryNews.com

http://www.thestate.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/14638635.htm

Don't ask about the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Officially, it's a secret.

But it's hard to hide a 104-acre complex rising on the banks of the Tigris River. Anyone who cares to know can easily see four giant construction cranes towering over the river at the largest such project ever undertaken by the United States -- a symbol of American presence that will last well into the future.

When the complex is completed by June 2007 -- this one apparently is on schedule, unlike most construction projects in Iraq -- it will be an American oasis in the heavily fortified ``green zone,'' away from the fear and lack of services that permeate the rest of Baghdad. Among the 21 buildings will be a recreation center to rival any in the United States with, among other amenities, a pool, a gym, a food court, a beauty salon and, of course, a recreational area that will be called the American Club.

Baghdad may have little potable water and only a few hours of electricity a day, but the embassy complex will have its own water-treatment facilities and electricity generator, according to Andy Fisher, a press officer for Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., the chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee.

First Kuwaiti General Trading and Contracting, a subcontractor of Halliburton's Kellogg, Brown and Root, was granted the $592 million construction contract. By December it had already been paid about $483 million.

Iraq will go forward as a unified, independent and sovereign nation that has regained a respected place in the world.

Posted on Fri, Aug. 04, 2006

Iraqi civil war has already begun, U.S. troops say


McClatchy Newspapers

BAGHDAD, Iraq - While American politicians and generals in Washington debate the possibility of civil war in Iraq, many U.S. officers and enlisted men who patrol Baghdad say it has already begun.

Army troops in and around the capital interviewed in the last week cite a long list of evidence that the center of the nation is coming undone: Villages have been abandoned by Sunni and Shiite Muslims; Sunni insurgents have killed thousands of Shiites in car bombings and assassinations; Shiite militia death squads have tortured and killed hundreds, if not thousands, of Sunnis; and when night falls, neighborhoods become open battlegrounds.

"There's one street that's the dividing line. They shoot mortars across the line and abduct people back and forth," said 1st Lt. Brian Johnson, a 4th Infantry Division platoon leader from Houston. Johnson, 24, was describing the nightly violence that pits Sunni gunmen from Baghdad's Ghazaliyah neighborhood against Shiite gunmen from the nearby Shula district.

As he spoke, the sights and sounds of battle grew: first, the rat-a-tat-tat of fire from AK-47 assault rifles, then the heavier bursts of PKC machine guns, and finally the booms of mortar rounds crisscrossing the night sky and crashing down onto houses and roads.

The bodies of captured Sunni and Shiite fighters will turn up in the morning, dropped in canals and left on the side of the road.

"We've seen some that have been executed on site, with bullet holes in the ground; the rest were tortured and executed somewhere else and dumped," Johnson said.

The recent assertion by U.S. soldiers here that Iraq is in a civil war is a stunning indication that American efforts to bring peace and democracy to Iraq are failing, more than three years after the toppling of dictator Saddam Hussein's regime.

Some Iraqi troops, too, share that assessment.

"This is a civil war," said a senior adviser to the commander of the Iraqi Army's 6th Division, which oversees much of Baghdad.

"The problem between Sunnis and Shiites is a religious one, and it gets worse every time they attack each other's mosques," said the adviser, who gave only his rank and first name, Col. Ahmed, because of security concerns. "Iraq is now caught in hell."

The United States and its coalition partners respect the people of Iraq. We are taking unprecedented measures to spare the lives of innocent Iraqi citizens,

Evidence is mounting that America's war in Iraq has killed tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and perhaps well over 100,000. Yet this carnage is systematically ignored in the United States, where the media and government portray a war in which there are no civilian deaths, because there are no Iraqi civilians, only insurgents. "The Daily Star"

and are beginning to deliver food, water and medicine to those in need.

U.S. Plan to Build Iraq Clinics Falters
Contractor Will Try to Finish 20 of 142 Sites

By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, April 3, 2006; A01

BAGHDAD -- A reconstruction contract for the building of 142 primary health centers across Iraq is running out of money, after two years and roughly $200 million, with no more than 20 clinics now expected to be completed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says.

The contract, awarded to U.S. construction giant Parsons Inc. in the flush, early days of reconstruction in Iraq, was expected to lay the foundation of a modern health care system for the country, putting quality medical care within reach of all Iraqis.

Parsons, according to the Corps, will walk away from more than 120 clinics that on average are two-thirds finished. Auditors say the project serves as a warning for other U.S. reconstruction efforts due to be completed this year.

Our only enemy is Saddam’s brutal regime – and that regime is your enemy as well.

In the new era that is coming to Iraq, your country will no longer be held captive to the will of a cruel dictator. You will be free to build a better life, instead of building more palaces for Saddam and his sons, free to pursue economic prosperity without the hardship of economic sanctions, free to travel and speak your mind, free to join in the political affairs of Iraq. And all the people who make up your country – Kurds, Shi’a, Turkomans, Sunnis, and others – will be free of the terrible persecution that so many have endured.

Bush's Other Iraq Invasion

By Antonia Juhasz, AlterNet
Posted on August 22, 2005, Printed on August 5, 2006
http://www.alternet.org/story/24307/

If Iraq's National Assembly meets its deadline, it will release a draft constitution to be voted on by the people in two months. Since February, vital issues have been debated and discussed by the drafting committee: the role of Islamic law, the rights of women, the autonomy of the Kurds and the participation of the minority Sunnis.

But what hasn't been on the table is at least as important to the formation of a new Iraq: the country's economic structure. The Bush administration has succeeded in maintaining a stranglehold on issues such as public versus private ownership of resources, foreign access to Iraqi oil and U.S. control of the reconstruction effort -- all of which are still governed by administration policies put into place immediately after the invasion. The Bush economic agenda favors foreign interests -- American interests -- over Iraqi self-determination.

The nightmare that Saddam Hussein has brought to your nation will soon be over. You are a good and gifted people – the heirs of a great civilisation that contributes to all humanity. You deserve better than tyranny and corruption and torture chambers. You deserve to live as free people. And I assure every citizen of Iraq: your nation will soon be free.

WASHINGTON -- President Bush suggested yesterday that US troops might stay in Iraq beyond his presidency, which ends in 2009, saying at a press conference that the issue of removing troops from the country ''will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq."

Thank you.