- Archives for 2005
- -07-14-05 New Armor for Limbs (ABC News)
"Until now, body armor for troops in Iraq has provided protection for much of the body — but not for arms and legs."
"Among the thousands of U.S. wounded, an unprecedented 6 percent have had amputations. That's double the rate in previous wars."
"But there is new hope — new armor worn over the combat uniform to protect limbs and other body parts. The protection is provided by several layers of polyethylene fiber." 7-05
- -08-13-05 New Dark Age for Iraqi Women (Guardian Unlimited)
"The principal of equality that existed in what was once one of the Middle East's most secular countries, and guaranteed women's rights even in the midst of Saddam's atrocities, is now under threat in the negotiation of the very constitution that many hoped would guarantee equality. Ironically, it is with the tacit agreement of millions of largely poorly educated Iraqi women." 8-05
- -08-22-05 Kurds and Shia Agree, Not Sunnis (Bloomberg.com)
"Iraq's Shiite political leaders prepared to send a draft constitution to the parliament later today while trying to persuade minority Sunnis to back the charter."
"Iraq is defined as a 'federal' republic in the draft, according to a copy seen by Reuters. Sunnis have expressed concerns about self-ruling Kurdish and Shiite regions, rich in oil reserves, being carved from Iraq."
"Sunnis oppose the idea of federalism, which they say will deprive them of access to Iraq's oil, the world's third-largest reserve of crude. Production and reserves are split between the predominately Shiite south of the country and the north." 8-05
- -08-25-05 Iraq Constitution Completion Date Canceled (Bloomberg.com)
"Iraqi lawmakers today canceled a vote on a new constitution and no date for a new session has been set, the Associated Press reported." 8-05
- -08-27-05 Prisoners Released at Abu Ghraib (CBS News)
"The U.S. military announced Saturday that it released nearly 1,000 prisoners from Abu Ghraib prison over the past few days in response to a request by Iraqi authorities.The move, the largest prisoner release to date, followed appeals by Sunni representatives to start releasing thousands of prisoners who have been languishing in the jail for months without being charged." 8-05
- -08-28-05 Civilian Casualties in Iraq (BBC News)
"Human rights groups say the occupying powers have failed in their duty to catalogue the deaths, giving the impression that ordinary Iraqis' lives are worth less than those of soldiers."
"Unofficial estimates of the civilian toll vary wildly, from at least 10,000 to about 100,000." 8-05
- -09-03-05 Kurds Requests Granted in Draft Constitution (International Herald Tribune)
"In three weeks of talks here, Massoud Barzani, the former guerrilla leader, quietly secured in the new Iraqi constitution virtually everything the Kurds were asking for, enshrining powers of autonomy that approach those of a sovereign state." 9-05
- -09-04-05 British MP Galloway Testifies Before U.S. Senate Committee (BBC News)
"CNN's Wolf Blitzer described the British MP's evidence as 'a blistering attack on US senators rarely heard' in the seat of American power."
"In 2003, the Christian Science Monitor issued a public apology to Mr Galloway over a story alleging that he accepted millions of pounds from Saddam Hussein, which turned out to be based on faked documents."
"It headlined Mr Galloway's latest testimony: 'Galloway lashes out at senators'. " 9-05
- -09-04-05 Senate Report: U.S. Fostered Illegal "Kickbacks" to Iraq for Oil (BBC News)
"The US turned a blind eye to the former Iraq regime's $8bn trade in smuggled oil, a new US Senate report says."
"The report says the US was well aware of both the smuggling and the kickbacks Iraq solicited from players in the UN's oil-for-food programme."
"The US was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions," the report said.
" 'On occasion, the US actually facilitated the illicit oil sales.' " 9-05
- -09-21-05 Iraqis Denounce British (Fox News)
"About 500 civilians and policemen, some waving pistols and AK-47s, rallied Wednesday in the southern city of Basra and denounced 'British aggression' following London's decision to use force to free two of its soldiers being held by Iraqi police." 9-05
- -10-04-05 UN Opposes Changes to Iraq Constitution (Bloomberg.com)
"A new interpretation of Iraq's election law, which would make it harder for voters to reject the draft constitution, violates international standards and increases the risk of civil war, United Nations officials said."
"Iraq's National Assembly said on Oct. 2 that the constitution could be approved by a majority of people who vote, while it would take two-thirds of the total number of registered voters in at least three provinces to reject the charter. The constitutional referendum is scheduled for Oct. 15." 9-05
- -10-05-05 Iraq Backs Off to Changing Voting Rules (Guardian Unlimited)
"raq's national assembly backed down today from controversial and possibly illegal plans to change the counting method for next week's referendum." 9-05
- -10-17-05 Support for Iraq War Fading (CBS News)
"Public support for U.S. involvement in Iraq continues to fall. By two to one, Americans reject financing the war through an increased federal deficit, and 62% would finance paying for the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast by cutting spending in Iraq."
"More than half of Americans think Iraq is not secure enough to hold its constitutional referendum in just under a week, and many doubt that country will ever become a stable democracy." 10-05
- -11-16-05 Changing Views of the Iraq War (MSNBC News)
"For the past three years, President Bush has set the course on U.S. policy in Iraq, and Republicans in Congress -- and many Democrats, too -- have dutifully followed his lead. Yesterday the Senate, responding to growing public frustration with the administration's war policy, signaled that those days are coming to an end."
"The rebuff to the White House was muffled in the modulated language of a bipartisan amendment, but the message could not have been more clear. With their constituents increasingly unhappy with the U.S. mission in Iraq, Democrats and now Republicans are demanding that the administration show that it has a strategy to turn the conflict over to the Iraqis and eventually bring U.S. troops home." 11-05
- -11-16-05 International Outcry Greets Allegations of Abuse in Iraq (Guardian Unlimited)
Ayad al-Samarrai, a senior official with the Iraqi Islamic party, a mainstream Sunni group, said "The party wanted an independent Iraqi inquiry established, with support from the US military and perhaps the UN, but with the powers to enter interior ministry buildings to investigate the widely reported accounts of abuse and torture. If no suitable Iraqi inquiry team could be set up, then an international investigation should be set up, he said. He said officials from Iraq's human rights ministry had tried to investigate but had been refused access by the powerful interior ministry."
" 'All those who were released from this prison were Sunnis,' Mr Samarrai said. 'It looks like part of a plan to make this community terrified, or to push them to leave Iraq or to leave their homes, or to force them into violence as they will think it is the only way to protect themselves.' " 11-05
- -11-18-05 Murtha: We Need a Well-Planned Withdrawal from Iraq (MSNBC News)
"After a lengthy and heated debate, the House on Friday overwhelmingly rejected calls for an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq, a vote engineered by Republicans that was intended to fail. Democrats derided the vote as a political stunt."
" 'Our troops have become the enemy. We need to change direction in Iraq,' said Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a Democratic hawk whose call a day earlier for pulling out troops sparked a nasty, personal debate over the war." 11-05
- -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."
"The conference was attended by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Iraqi Shiite and Kurdish lawmakers, as well as leading Sunni politicians." 11-05
- -11-22-05 Clinton Suggests a Third Way on Iraq (ABC News)
"Joining the furious debate over withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., rejected calls for an immediate pullout while suggesting Iraq may not be stabilized until the new government is told that the U.S. troop commitment is not open-ended." 11-05
- -11-23-05 Top Sunni Leader and Sons Killed (Fox News)
"Gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms burst into the home of a Sunni Arab sheik Wednesday, killing him, three of his sons and a son-in-law in an attack police said may have been aimed at discouraging members of the minority from participating in next month's election." 11-05
- -11-27-05 Allawi: Death Squads and Torture in Iraq (Guardian Unlimited)
"Human rights abuses in Iraq are now as bad as they were under Saddam Hussein and are even in danger of eclipsing his record, according to the country's first Prime Minister after the fall of Saddam's regime."
"In a damning and wide-ranging indictment of Iraq's escalating human rights catastrophe, Allawi accused fellow Shias in the government of being responsible for death squads and secret torture centres. The brutality of elements in the new security forces rivals that of Saddam's secret police, he said." 11-05
- -11-27-05 U.S. Congressmen Injured After Driving in the Middle of the Road (MSNBC News)
"A military vehicle carrying three congressmen overturned on the way to the Baghdad airport, injuring two of them, the U.S. Embassy said Sunday."
"The politicians were riding in a convoy that was driving in the middle of the road, a common practice used by the military in Iraq to deter oncoming motorists. Shortly after dark, an oncoming tanker truck refused to yield, the embassy said in a statement." 11-05
- -11-28-05 Saddam's Trial Day Short (CBS News)
"The trial of Saddam Hussein resumed Monday with the former Iraqi president trying to take command of the courtroom and angrily complaining about being shackled and mistreated by 'occupiers and invaders.' "
"After a short session during which the first testimony was read into the record, Chief Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin adjourned the trial until Dec. 5 to allow time to find replacements for two defense lawyers who were slain and another who fled the country after he was wounded." 11-05
- -11-29-05 Evidence Mounts of Assassinations and Torture in Iraq (New York Times)
"As the American military pushes the largely Shiite Iraqi security services into a larger role in combating the insurgency, evidence has begun to mount suggesting that the Iraqi forces are carrying out executions in predominantly Sunni neighborhoods."
"The chief suspects, according to Sunni leaders, human rights workers and a well-connected American official here, are current and former members of the Badr Brigade, the Iranian-backed militia controlled by the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a principal part of the current [Iraq] government."
"The alarm in the Sunni community is so great the Um al-Qura Mosque, one of the largest temples in Baghdad, has begun documenting cases of allegations of executions and abductions. Mazan Taha, who is overseeing the project, said he has compiled the names of some 700 Sunni men who have disappeared or been killed in the past four months." 11-05
- -12-01-05 Trial of Saddam Hussein and Dujail (BBC News)
"It concerns the killing of 148 people from Dujail, a mixed town of Sunni and Shia Arabs some 60km north of Baghdad, and a train of events that began one stifling hot day in 1982." 12-05
- -12-04-05 Editorial: Planting Stories in Iraqi Newspapers Ineffective (MSNBC News)
"We got into the war with the help of something called the Rendon Group, a secretive firm that won a huge government contract to 'create the conditions for the removal of [Saddam] Hussein from power.' "
"The contractor implicated in the planted Iraqi press story is the Lincoln Group, formerly Iraqex, which boasts to prospective clients that it provides services ranging from 'political campaign intelligence' (dirt on your opponents in American elections) to 'commercial real estate in Iraq' (so you can buy the choicest properties and tick off the Iraqis even more)."
"Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Pentagon was using U.S. troops to write positive articles about Iraq (for instance, heralding the opening of a school), hiring Washington-based contractors to translate the articles into Arabic, then secretly planting them in the Iraqi press with bribes."
"My problem with all of this is less ethical than practical. If it helped build Iraqi democracy or blunted anti-American propaganda, it might even be worth it (though certainly not at those prices). But exporting a bunch of budding Jayson Blairs simply feeds the perception of Americans as inept and hypocritical puppetmasters." 12-05
- -12-08-05 Probe into Iraq News Coverage Widens (USA Today)
"A U.S. investigation into allegations that the American military is buying positive coverage in the Iraqi media has expanded to examine a press club founded and financed by the U.S. Army."
"The administration has expressed concerns about the allegations. Even if reporting is true, 'it's got to be done in a way that reinforces a free media, not undermines it,' national security adviser Stephen Hadley has said."
"It's not uncommon for Iraqi journalists to accept gifts or cash in exchange for favorable stories, said Emad al-Sharr, a reporter for Radio Dijla in Iraq. Cash or gifts such as watches and pens are often handed out following press conferences or on trips with Iraqi officials, he said. 'The problem is you have poor journalists who will accept anything: $100, $50, $20 to publish articles under their names,' al-Hamdani said. 'They don't think it's wrong.' Most monthly salaries in Iraq are under $300." 12-05
- -12-12-05 Poll: Optimism and Divisions in Iraq (ABC News)
"Surprising levels of optimism prevail in Iraq with living conditions improved, security more a national worry than a local one, and expectations for the future high. But views of the country's situation overall are far less positive, and there are vast differences in views among Iraqi groups — a study in contrasts between increasingly disaffected Sunni areas and vastly more positive Shiite and Kurdish provinces." 12-05
- -12-15-05 Civilian Deaths Caused by Invasion of Iraq (BBC News)
"The campaign group Iraq Body Count has been recording the number of civilians reported to have been killed during the Iraq war and subsequent military presence."
"On 1 December 2005, it put the total number of civilian dead at between 25,685 and 29,201 and the number of police dead at 1,640."
"One study, published by the Lancet medical journal in October 2004, suggested that poor planning, air strikes by coalition forces and a 'climate of violence' had led to more than 100,000 extra deaths in Iraq." 12-05
- -12-15-05 Iraqis Have Strong Turnout for Elections (CBS News)
"Iraqis voted in a historic parliamentary election Thursday, with strong turnout reported in Sunni Arab areas that had shunned balloting last January, bolstering U.S. hopes of calming the insurgency enough to begin withdrawing its troops." 12-05
- -12-15-05 Iraqis Vote on New Government (BBC News)
"Iraqis are electing their first full-term government since the US-led invasion in 2003 amid tight security."
"President Jalal Talabani called on Iraqis to vote, and make the election a day of national unity and celebration." 12-05
- -12-15-05 Who's Who in the Iraqi Elections (BBC News)
"The BBC News website looks at the parties and alliances contesting the 15 December parliamentary elections in Iraq."
The Primary political parties are:
United Iraqi Alliance
Iraqi National List
Iraqi National Congress List
Iraqi Accord Front. 12-05
- -12-16-05 Sunnis Came to the Polls (Fox News)
"Turnout in what was a mostly peaceful election was overwhelming. Election officials estimated up to 11 million of the nation's 15 million registered voters took part in Thursday's vote, which would put overall turnout at more than 70 percent."
"So many Sunni Arabs voted Thursday that ballots ran out in some places. The strong participation by Sunnis, the backbone of the insurgency, bolstered U.S. hopes that the election could produce a broad-based government capable of ending the daily suicide attacks and other violence that have ravaged the country since the fall of Saddam Hussein."
"Sunni Arabs make up about 20 percent of Iraq's 27 million people, compared to about 60 percent for Shiites." 12-05
- -12-19-05 Makers of Weapons of Mass Destruction Released in Iraq (MSNBC News)
" 'The release was an American-Iraqi decision and in line with an Iraqi government ruling made in December 2004, but hasn’t been enforced until after the elections in an attempt to ease the political pressure in Iraq, said the lawyer, Badee Izzat Aref."
"Among them were Rihab Taha, a British-educated biological weapons expert, who was known as 'Dr. Germ' for her role in making bio-weapons in the 1980s, and Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, known as 'Mrs. Anthrax,' a former top Baath Party official and biotech researcher, Aref said." 12-05
- -12-28-05 U.N.: Iraqi Election Credible (USA Today)
"Ahmad Chalabi once argued that Saddam Hussein had doomsday weapons and that Iraq needed liberation and democracy. With that new freedom, the people of Iraq have now decided to vote him out of office." 12-05
- 09-28-05 Pattern of Abuse (Time.com)
"A decorated Army officer reveals new allegations of detainee mistreatment in Iraq and Afghanistan. Did the military ignore his charges?"
"Majority Leader Bill Frist, Armed Services Committee chairman John Warner and John McCain, a former torture victim in Vietnam. A Senate Republican staffer familiar with both the Captain and his allegations told TIME he appeared 'extremely credible.' " 9-05