- -01-01-05 Iraq Riddles U.S. Foreign Policy (MSNBC News)
"Iraq remains the chief foreign policy test for the United States at year's end, the policy that challenges diplomats and generals, and has divided the Atlantic alliance." 01-05
- -01-11-05 Falluja Now a Ghost City (Guardian Unlimited)
"Fresh evidence has emerged of the extent of destruction and appalling conditions in Falluja, still deserted two months after a major US offensive against the insurgent stronghold." 01-05
- -01-12-05 Bush: War Justified Even With No WMD (ABC News)
"The invasion of Iraq, which ousted Saddam Hussein and has cost the lives of some 1,300 U.S. military personnel and billions of dollars, was 'absolutely' worth it, despite the absence of any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, President Bush told ABC News' Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview that will air this Friday." 01-05
- -01-12-05 Health Fears for Torture Victims (Guardian Unlimited)
"The four Britons soon to be released from Guantánamo Bay after up to three years in detention may need months of care when they arrive back home, experts in treating torture victims warned yesterday." 01-05
- -01-12-05 U.S. Stops Looking for Banned Weapons (International Herald Tribune)
"The White House confirmed on Wednesday that the U.S. search in Iraq for banned weapons, which it had cited as justification for the war against Saddam Hussein, has been quietly ended after nearly two years, with no evidence of their existence." 01-05
- -01-14-05 CIA Advisors: War Made Iraq a Training Ground for Terrorists (MSNBC News)
"Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next generation of 'professionalized' terrorists, according to a report released yesterday by the National Intelligence Council, the CIA director's think tank." 1-05
- -01-18-05 Poll: Bush Popularity Tepid (ABC News)
"President Bush approaches his second inauguration with a comparatively weak job approval rating, subdued expectations for his performance in office and the daunting challenge of a single issue with the potential to make or break his second term: Iraq." 1-05
- -01-20-05 Iraq to Vote (Bloomberg.com)
"As many as 14 million Iraqis begin voting today for a National Assembly in the country's first democratic election since 1953 amid threats of violence from insurgents and calls for a boycott." 1-05
- -01-24-05 "No Government Can Justify Torture" (Bloomberg.com)
"Iraq security forces are torturing detainees and the abuses are becoming 'routine and commonplace,' the Human Rights Watch said."
" 'The Iraqi security forces obviously face tremendous challenges, including an insurgency that has targeted civilians,' Whitson said in the report published on the Human Rights Watch Web site. 'We unequivocally condemn the insurgents' brutality. But international law is unambiguous on this point: no government can justify torture of detainees in the name of security.' ''1-05
- -01-24-05 Bush to Seek $30 Billion for Iraq (MSNBC News)
"The Bush administration plans to announce Tuesday that it will seek about $80 billion in new funding for military operations this year in Iraq and Afghanistan, administration and congressional sources said Monday." 1-05
- -01-24-05 Mass Suicide Attempts at Gitmo (CBS News)
"Twenty-three terror suspects tried to hang or strangle themselves during a weeklong protest orchestrated in 2003 to disrupt operations and unnerve new guards at the U.S. military camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the U.S. military said Monday." 1-05
- -01-25-05 To Vote or Not to Vote (USA Today)
"Iraqis voted during the Saddam era, but the dictator was the only choice on the ballot. On Sunday, the contrast will be huge: Iraqis must sift through a ballot with 111 choices. Voters will select one slate of candidates from a political party or coalition. The top vote-getters will send their candidates to a 275-person national assembly, which will draft a constitution and appoint a new government."
"Karaman Fayk Hossean, 33, was one of thousands displaced under Saddam's 'Arabization' program in the 1980s. Kurds were forcibly relocated to make way for incoming Arab families around oil-rich Kirkuk and other parts of northern Iraq. Kurds, who are mostly Sunni, make up about 15% of Iraqis."
"Sipping tea in an underground cafe in the far northern city of Erbil, Hossean says he sees democracy as a way to assert Kurdish nationalism. 'This time we have the chance to demonstrate the real size and weight of Kurds in the future of Iraq,' he says."
"The Shiites also regard the election as a chance to gain political power long denied to them. Saddam's government, fearful of a Shiite uprising, banned Shiite celebrations and other expressions of their religious identity."
"Sunni Arabs fear that no matter how successful polling is in large parts of the country, they will end up losers. Sunni Arabs have dominated Iraq's government for most of its modern history. About 20% of Iraqis are Sunni Arabs." "Fearful of violence, many Sunni Arabs say they are staying home on election day." 1-05
- -01-30-05 Iraq Completes Vote (Bloomberg.com)
"Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said today the Iraqi National Assembly should work with the Sunni community to create a government and constitution after Sunni political parties boycotted the country's election."
" 'It is time to put the divisions of our past behind us,' Allawi said in a statement to the press aired live by broadcasters including Sky News. 'Let us march forward together -- Sunni and Shiites, Muslims and Christians, Arab and Kurds and Turkomen.' "
"Shiite Muslims account for about 60 percent of Iraq's population. Sunni Muslims and Kurds each account for about 20 percent. The country's main Sunni political party, the Iraqi Islamic Party, withdrew from the race Dec. 27 citing unfair and unsafe conditions, raising concerns over the legitimacy of the outcome." 1-05
- -02-03-05 Annan Vows Action on Corruption (BBC News)
"UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has ordered disciplinary proceedings against the head of the oil-for-food programme in Iraq, Benon Sevan."
"The move came after an independent report accused Mr Sevan of unethical conduct undermining the UN's integrity."
"Inquiry head Paul Volcker revealed in the initial findings by his panel that Mr Sevan repeatedly asked Iraqis to allocate oil to a particular company." 2-05
- -02-05-05 Shiite Block Takes Lead in Election Results (BBC News)
"UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has ordered disciplinary proceedings against the head of the oil-for-food programme in Iraq, Benon Sevan."
"Preliminary results from Iraq's election released Friday show that the predominantly Shiite Muslim south backed the party of Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, over the secular party of interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi." 2-05
- -03-04-05 Italian Journalist on Way to Freedom Wounded (BBC News)
"Italy has closely followed the fate of Giuliana Sgrena since her capture a month ago." "Journalists at her newspaper, Il Manifesto, burst into cheers as the news that she was set free came through." "Then came the news that US troops had shot at Ms Sgrena's car, killing an Italian special agent. 'Someone must take the responsibility,' said Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi." 03-05
- -03-06-05 Allegation: U.S. Attack on Journalist "No Accident" (BBC News)
"Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena has said she cannot accept US troops accidentally fired on her car after her kidnappers freed her in Baghdad."
"An Italian secret service agent, Nicola Calipari, who negotiated Ms Sgrena's release, died as he shielded Ms Sgrena from the shots." 03-05
- -03-06-05 Different Stories on U.S. Attack on Journalist (Guardian Unlimited)
"Sgrena, 56, a journalist for the Communist newspaper Il Manifesto, was hit in the shoulder when US soldiers opened fire on the car she was travelling in as it approached a checkpoint less than a mile from Baghdad airport. The Italian secret service officer who had negotiated her release was killed as he shielded her from the gunfire. Two of his colleagues were also hurt."
"The US Army claimed the Italians' vehicle had been seen as a threat because it was travelling at speed and failed to stop at the checkpoint despite warning shots being fired by the soldiers. A State Department official in Washington said the Italians had failed to inform the military of Sgrena's release."
"Italian reconstruction of the incident is significantly different. Sgrena told colleagues the vehicle was not travelling fast and had already passed several checkpoints on its way to the airport. The Americans shone a flashlight at the car and then fired between 300 and 400 bullets at if from an armoured vehicle. Rather than calling immediately for assistance for the wounded Italians, the soldiers' first move was to confiscate their weapons and mobile phones and they were prevented from resuming contact with Rome for more than an hour." 03-05
- -03-11-05 Ex-Chief: Abu Grahaib Held Children as Prisoners (MSNBC News)
"Children held by the U.S. Army at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison included one boy who appeared to be only about 8 years old, the former commander of the prison told investigators, according to a transcript." 3-05
- -03-25-05 Baghdad Now an Eyesore (MSNBC News)
"Known for centuries as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Baghdad's landscape has been marred by concrete blast walls and barbed wire, its crumbling buildings pockmarked by bullet holes or ransacked by explosions." 3-05
- -04-14-05 Italian Journalist: U.S. Lied (CBS News)
U.S. troops fired at a car carrying an Italian journalist who had been captured and was on the way to the airport after being rescued. Her rescuer was killed in the assault.
"...the Army issued this statement on the night of the shooting: 'Vehicle traveling at high speed refused to stop at a check point.' [The soldiers] 'attempted to warn the driver to stop by hand and arm signals, flashing white lights, and firing warning shots…when the driver didn’t stop the soldiers shot into the engine block which stopped the vehicle.' ”
" 'I think that is a lie,' says Sgrena [the Italian journalist]."
"Sgrena says that as the car rounded a turn, driving no faster than 30 miles an hour, it was hit by gunfire and at the same time, a bright light."
"60 Minutes Wednesday wanted to better understand what happens in these shootings, so it turned to a Marine, former Capt. Nathaniel Fick, who has a lot of experience with checkpoints in Iraq.""He told [60 Minutes reporter] Pelley he learned the hard way that standard checkpoint tactics don’t work."" 'The hand and arm signals are hard to see, they’re hard to interpret. The warning shots are difficult to see, almost impossible to see in daylight,' says Fick. 'Almost impossible to hear in a speeding car at a long distance. Usually, the last resort for us was attempting to fire into the engine block.' "
"Fick told 60 Minutes Wednesday that after struggling with the Pentagon’s checkpoint procedures, he improvised; he stole an Iraqi stop sign."
" 'And at every checkpoint we set up after that, we put the stop sign down the road near the wire, and it was hugely successful,' says Fick. '[It] worked very well.' "
"Throughout Sgrena’s kidnapping, [Italian Prime Minister] Berlusconi refused to consider pulling out [of Iraq]. But after the American shooting, the Italian government says it’s looking at a schedule for doing just that." 4-05
- -04-14-05 Oil for Food Program - Q and A (BBC News)
"Since Saddam Hussein was toppled in April 2003 evidence has emerged of corruption within the oil-for-food (OFF) programme administered by the UN."
"The BBC News website examines the key questions." 4-05
- -04-18-05 New Iraqi President Said Insurgency Can be Stopped (BBC News)
Iraq's new president has said the insurgency could be ended immediately if the authorities made use of Kurdish, Shia Muslim and other militias."
"Jalal Talabani said this would be more effective than waiting for Iraqi forces to take over from the US-led coalition." 4-05
- -05-05-05 Audit Reveals Major Flaws in U.S. Money Management (BBC News)
"US civilian authorities in Iraq have been unable to account properly for nearly $100m earmarked for rebuilding, financial auditors say."
"A separate report criticises the use of almost $18bn of US taxpayers' money for reconstruction." 5-05
- -05-14-05 Senate Approves $441.6 Billion for Iraq and Afghanistan (USA Today)
"A Senate committee approved a $441.6 billion defense bill for fiscal 2006 that envisions spending an additional $50 billion next year for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."
"Congress had approved on Tuesday an additional $82 billion for war in Iraq and Afghanistan and to combat terror worldwide, boosting the cost of the global effort since 2001 to more than $300 billion."
"The Senate approved the measure unanimously, 100-0. Earlier, the House of Representatives easily approved the measure. It now goes to President Bush for his signature, which is certain." 5-05
- -05-21-05 Iraq and Iran Blame Saddam for 1980 and 1990 Wars (CNN News)
"Iraq and Iran have issued a joint statement blaming Saddam Hussein and his henchmen for being the aggressors in the 1980-88 war between the two countries and Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait." 5-05
- -05-26-05 Zaraqawi Reported Injured (Guardian Unlimited)
"Bayan Jabor, the Iraqi interior minister, said he had information that the 38-year-old Jordanian was wounded and the seriousness of the injuries came into question when a militant website said Zarqawi's group had appointed a deputy to take over his duties." 5-05
- -06-05-05 Reservists at a Loss for Jobs (WashingtonTimes.com)
"Although many employers take pride in hiring veterans and make up any pay an employee lost while deployed, some are reluctant to hire reservists and Guard members who might have to deploy again, said Bill Gaul, founder and president of Destiny Group, an online organization that seeks to match employers and veterans."
"Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, Pennsylvania Democrat, and Rep. Joe Schwarz, Michigan Republican, are co-sponsoring legislation that would give companies up to $2,400 in tax credits for each veteran from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars they hire." 6-05
- -06-08-05 Poll: War in Iraq Has Not Made U.S. Safer (MSNBC News)
"Perhaps most ominous for President Bush, 52 percent said war in Iraq has not contributed to the long-term security of the United States, while 47 percent said it has. It was the first time a majority of Americans disagreed with the central notion Bush has offered to build support for war: that the fight there will make Americans safer from terrorists at home. In late 2003, 62 percent thought the Iraq war aided U.S. security, and three months ago 52 percent thought so." 6-05
- -08-28-05 Sunni's Reject Draft Constitution (BBC News)
"US President George W Bush has welcomed the completion of work on Iraq's draft constitution and played down the decision by Sunni leaders to reject it."
"But as the Sunni community effectively has a veto, there is a high chance the document will never come into force."
"For its ratification, the constitution needs the approval of a majority of voters across the country and not to be rejected by two-thirds of the voters in three or more governorates." 8-05
- -11-21-05 Iraqi Leaders Call for U.S. Timetable for Withdrawal (USA Today)
"Leaders of Iraq's sharply divided Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis called Monday for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces in the country and said Iraq's opposition had a 'legitimate right' of resistance." 11-05
- Sgrena, Giuliana (BBC News)
"Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena never thought she would be taken hostage telling the story of the people she deeply cared for."
A toughened war correspondent, her reports filter the impact of conflict through the lives of ordinary people - precisely what she was doing in Baghdad on 4 February when she was seized by gunmen." 03-05
- General: Iraqi Insurgency Not Weakened (MSNBC News)
"The top American military commander in the Persian Gulf disputed a contention by Vice President Dick Cheney that the Iraqi insurgency was in its 'last throes' and told Congress on Thursday that its strength was basically undiminished from six months ago."
"Furthermore, Gen. John Abizaid told the Senate Armed Services Committee, 'I believe there are more foreign fighters coming into Iraq than there were six months ago.' ”
"Iraqis are to vote on the proposed constitution in a referendum by Oct. 15. It must be ratified by a two-thirds majority of voters. If approved, elections for a permanent government would be held by Dec. 15." 6-05
- Rumsfeld: U.S. Not Losing Iraq War (BBC News)
"Donald Rumsfeld has said the US is not losing the Iraq war and it would be a mistake to set a timetable for American troops to leave the country." 6-05