Category Archives: iraq

Video Games: Simulating War For Real

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’

Another despicable US crime in Iraq banned on tape

Does game violence make teens aggressive?

Agent Orange and Depleted Uraniums Atrocious Legacy

Decades On, Agent Orange Still Stalks Vietnam

Decades after the end of the Vietnam War, the country remains blighted by Agent Orange, a toxic herbicide used by US forces during the conflict. Families with disabled children are demanding more help from the US government.

Between 1962 and 1971, the United States sprayed approximately 20 million gallons of dioxin-contaminated herbicides over some 6 million acres of Vietnamese terrain. Among these was a compound known as Agent Orange, named for the orange stripe on its label (other varieties were marked with different colors but were less widely used). These chemicals wiped out forests and crops that were used by opposition forces for cover and food. In the course of this, hundreds of thousands of U.S. service personnel and millions of Vietnamese were exposed to the chemicals in the air, water, and soil and through food raised on contaminated farms. U.S. Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange: Understanding the Impact 40 Years Later

There are of course, many Vietnam Vets who have agent orange (AO) related disabilities. I worked with homeless vets (veteran homelessness a whole other issue) with AO problems. One of the men was the father of a disabled son directly related to AO. Another had foot rot, still festering decades later.

Since Desert Storm there is a new chemical weapon that is much more damaging – depleted uranium (DU). AO is thought to last for 100 years; DU is said to last for 4.5 million. The birth defects in some DU areas are very high with unfathomable deformities.

IRAQ TO SUE US and UK OVER DEPLETED URANIUM BOMB

Depleted Uranium: Deadly Living Nightmare

Fallujah babies born with birth defects as a result of Depleted Uranium WMD contaminated dust

Disturbing story of Fallujah’s birth defects

Six years after the intense fighting began in the Iraqi town of Fallujah between US forces and Sunni insurgents, there is a disturbingly large number of cases of birth defects in the town.

Fallujah is less than 40 miles (65km) from Baghdad, but it can still be dangerous to get to.

As a result, there has been no authoritative medical investigation, certainly by any Western team, into the allegations that the weapons used by the Americans are still causing serious problems.

The Iraqi government line is that there are only one or two extra cases of birth defects per year in Fallujah, compared with the national average.

‘Daily cases’

But in the impressive new Fallujah General Hospital, built with American aid, we found a paediatric specialist, Dr Samira al-Ani, who told us that she saw two or three new cases every day.

Most of them, she said, exhibited cardiac problems.

When asked what the cause was, she said: “I am a doctor. I have to be scientific in my talk. I have nothing documented. But I can tell you that year by year, the number [is] increasing.”

The specialist, like other medical staff at the hospital, seemed nervous about talking too openly about the problem.

They were well aware that what they said went against the government version, and we were told privately that the Iraqi authorities are anxious not to embarrass the Americans over the issue.

There are no official figures for the incidence of birth defects in Fallujah.

The US military authorities are absolutely correct when they say they are not aware of any official reports indicating an increase in birth defects in Fallujah – no official reports exist.

Mothers warned

But it is impossible, as a visitor, not to be struck by the terrible number of cases of birth defects there.

We heard many times that officials in Fallujah had warned women that they should not have children.

We went to a clinic for the disabled, and were given details of dozens upon dozens of cases of children with serious birth defects. Full Story

See Also: Depleted Uranium for Dummies

Army Suicides Increase Fifth Year in a Row

Army Suicides to Top 2008

US army suicide rate on rise

‘The Notion that we are in Afghanistan to Make our Country Safer is Bullshit’

Rethink Afghanistan

Afghanistan + More Troops = Catastrophe

Here’s Why Obama Is “Gravely Concerned” About Pakistan

Rethink Afghanistan (Part 3): Cost of War

Rethink Afghanistan (Part 4): Civilian Casualties

Rethink Afghanistan (Part 5): Women of Afghanistan

Rethink Afghanistan: (Part 6) Security

Soldiers Speak Out While Obama Escalates War on Afghanistan

Veterans to Congress: Rethink Afghanistan Now

Military Escalation: Obama okays $130 b for Afghanistan, Iraq wars

President Barack Obama Wednesday signed the fiscal 2010 National Defence Authorization Act during a ceremony at the White House.

Obama hailed the act, which contains $680.2 billion in military budget authority, as transformational legislation that targets wasteful defence spending.

The authorization act contains $130 billion to fund overseas contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and it also provides $6.7 billion for thousands of all-terrain, mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles now arriving in Afghanistan.

The president was accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, congressional leaders and other senior officials, including Defence Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“There’s still more waste we need to cut; there’s still more fights that we need to win,” Obama said, noting he and Gates will continue to seek out unnecessary defence spending.

Obama said he has ended unnecessary no-bid defence contracts and signed bipartisan legislation to reform defence procurement practices so weapons systems’ costs do not spin out of control. “Even as we have made critical investments in equipment and weapons our troops do need, we’re eliminating tens of billions of dollars in waste we don’t need,” Obama said.
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“As commander in chief, I will always do whatever it takes to keep the American people safe to defend this nation,” Obama said. “That’s why this bill provides for the best military in the history of the world.”
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Money also is budgeted to fund programs that address “real and growing threats,” Obama said. Such systems, he said, include the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter, the littoral combat ship, and more helicopters and reconnaissance support for deployed U.S. forces.

Obama praised Gates and Mullen for their hard work in developing the 2010 defence budget. “I want to thank, publicly, Bob Gates for his service to our nation,” he said, and he added that Mullen has “provided wise counsel and stood with us in our efforts to initiate reform.”

Army Coaches Enlistees on Drug Testing

Hidden Camera Catches Dishonest Army Recruiters

Weapons Used in Illegal Iraqi War Causing Birth Defects

Deformed babies in Fallujah Iraq

Young women in Fallujah in Iraq are terrified of having children because of the increasing number of babies born grotesquely deformed, with no heads, two heads, a single eye in their foreheads, scaly bodies or missing limbs. In addition, young children in Fallujah are now experiencing hideous cancers and leukaemias. These deformities are now well documented, for example in television documentaries on SKY UK on September 1 2009, and on SKY UK June 2008. Our direct contact with doctors in Fallujah report that:

In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 new born babies, 24% of whom were dead within the first seven days, a staggering 75% of the dead babies were classified as deformed.

This can be compared with data from the month of August in 2002 where there were 530 new born babies of whom six were dead within the first seven days and only one birth defect was reported.

Doctors in Fallujah have specifically pointed out that not only are they witnessing unprecedented numbers of birth defects but premature births have also considerably increased after 2003. But what is more alarming is that doctors in Fallujah have said, “a significant number of babies that do survive begin to develop severe disabilities at a later stage”.

As one of a number of doctors, scientists and those with deep concern for Iraq, Dr Chris Burns-Cox, a British hospital physician, wrote a letter to the Rt. Hon. Clare Short, M.P. asking about this situation. She wrote a letter to the Rt. Hon.Douglas Alexander, M.P. the Secretary of State of the Department for International Development (a post she had held before she resigned on a matter of principle in May 2003 ) asking for clarification of the position of deformed children in Fallujah.

War President Wins Nobel Peace Prize

‘Peace Prize to Obama – big mistake by Nobel committee’

Barack Obama is the surprise winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Committee praised what it called his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy”.

The American president, in power just 9 months, was chosen over the 204 other people on this year’s record length shortlist.

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2009
Who Did Obama Beat to Win His Nobel Prize?

See:
Global Dominance Expanding Under Obama Vowing to Maintain “the strongest military on the planet”
Obama Pleads for $100 Billion Loan to IMF to Fund Wars
Obama Has Fully Embraced Bush Administration Torture
Obama’s Threats to Protect Torture
Obama Pumping Billions of Dollars into ‘War on Islam’

Throwing Shoes at Bush to Reject the Lies, Occupation, Killing of Innocent People

Muntazer al-Zaidi released after throwing shoes at Bush

The Iraqi who threw his Shoe at George W. Bush: “My Flower” to Bush, the Occupier
The Story of My Shoe

Mutadhar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi who threw his shoe at George Bush gave this speech on his recent release.

In the name of God, the most gracious and most merciful.

Here I am, free. But my country is still a prisoner of war.

Firstly, I give my thanks and my regards to everyone who stood beside me, whether inside my country, in the Islamic world, in the free world. There has been a lot of talk about the action and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol and the symbolic act.

But, simply, I answer: What compelled me to confront is the injustice that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it under its boot.

And how it wanted to crush the skulls of (the homeland’s) sons under its boots, whether sheikhs, women, children or men. And during the past few years, more than a million martyrs fell by the bullets of the occupation and the country is now filled with more than 5 million orphans, a million widows and hundreds of thousands of maimed. And many millions of homeless because of displacement inside and outside the country.

We used to be a nation in which the Arab would share with the Turkman and the Kurd and the Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shiite would pray with the Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ, may peace be upon him. And despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than 10 years, for more than a decade.

Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. Until we were invaded by the illusion of liberation that some had. (The occupation) divided one brother from another, one neighbor from another, and the son from his uncle. It turned our homes into never-ending funeral tents. And our graveyards spread into parks and roadsides. It is a plague. It is the occupation that is killing us, that is violating the houses of worship and the sanctity of our homes and that is throwing thousands daily into makeshift prisons.

I am not a hero, and I admit that. But I have a point of view and I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country humiliated. And to see my Baghdad burned. And my people being killed. Thousands of tragic pictures remained in my head, and this weighs on me every day and pushes me toward the righteous path, the path of confrontation, the path of rejecting injustice, deceit and duplicity. It deprived me of a good night’s sleep.

Dozens, no, hundreds, of images of massacres that would turn the hair of a newborn white used to bring tears to my eyes and wound me. The scandal of Abu Ghraib. The massacre of Fallujah, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every inch of our wounded land. In the past years, I traveled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the pain of the victims, and hear with my own ears the screams of the bereaved and the orphans. And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.

And as soon as I finished my professional duties in reporting the daily tragedies of the Iraqis, and while I washed away the remains of the debris of the ruined Iraqi houses, or the traces of the blood of victims that stained my clothes, I would clench my teeth and make a pledge to our victims, a pledge of vengeance.

The opportunity came, and I took it.

I took it out of loyalty to every drop of innocent blood that has been shed through the occupation or because of it, every scream of a bereaved mother, every moan of an orphan, the sorrow of a rape victim, the teardrop of an orphan.

I say to those who reproach me: Do you know how many broken homes that shoe that I threw had entered because of the occupation? How many times it had trodden over the blood of innocent victims? And how many times it had entered homes in which free Iraqi women and their sanctity had been violated? Maybe that shoe was the appropriate response when all values were violated.

When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people. My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure. And casting out its sons into a diaspora.

After six years of humiliation, of indignity, of killing and violations of sanctity, and desecration of houses of worship, the killer comes, boasting, bragging about victory and democracy. He came to say goodbye to his victims and wanted flowers in response.

Put simply, that was my flower to the occupier, and to all who are in league with him, whether by spreading lies or taking action, before the occupation or after.

Full Story