- It appears as though the Cheney administration will soon
"redeploy" thousands of US troops out of Iraq. While several
permanent US military bases are under construction there as I type this,
the Captiol Hill Cabal, desperate to paint the Iraq disaster in a glorious
hue, are working their pundits and spokespeople overtime to convince the
ill-informed they have not failed dismally in every aspect of their illegal
invasion and occupation of Iraq.
- In his weekly radio address on Saturday, Mr. Bush did
not mention Iraq once. Instead, he spoke of the bright and shining US economy
and the need to maintain current tax cuts.
- "Unfortunately, just as we're seeing new evidence
of how our tax cuts have created jobs and opportunity, some people in Washington
are saying we need to raise your taxes," he said, "They want
the tax cuts to expire in a few years, or even repeal the tax cuts now."
- What better time to maintain tax cuts in the US, particularly
when a new study by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard budget expert
Linda Bilmes estimates the cost of the Iraq war to be between $1-2 trillion,
and the national debt already over $8 trillion?
- Meanwhile, the reality in Iraq is the opposite of that
generated by the Cheney administration as the carnage and chaos in Iraq
worsens each day.
- A quick look at foreign media outlets yields the following
developments that were either not reported or under-reported in the US:
- January 4:
- -Unidentified gunmen assassinated Rahim Ali al-Sudani,
director-general of the Iraqi Oil Ministry, and his son early on the morning
of 4 January in Al-Amiriyah area in northern Baghdad.
- -Clashes broke out between civilians protesting against
unemployment and Iraqi police in Al-Nasiriyah city in Dhi Qar Governorate,
wounding scores of civilians and police officers. The TV added within the
same news summary that two civilians were "martyred" and two
others were injured when an explosive charge missed a US patrol unit in
- -Al Sharqiyah television reported that a US plane had
crashed in Mosul. Quoting its correspondent in the city, the TV said that
US forces had rushed to the area and sealed off the scene where the crash
- January 5:
- -At least 130 Iraqis and 11 US soldiers die (highest
number of US soldiers killed in one day since August) in one of the bloodiest
days in Iraq since the invasion.
- January 6:
- -A medical source at Al-Ramadi State Hospital [speaking
on condition of anonymity] reports that 14 civilians, including three children,
"were martyred at the hands of US snipers today." The source
added that "the snipers stationed on roof tops of high buildings in
Al-Ramadi, killed those victims in the Al-Ma'arid district in the city
center this morning". Al Sharqiyah correspondent adds that "Al-Ramadi
has witnessed massive protests against the presence of US snipers who have
been deployed throughout the city, spreading fear among residents."
Al-Sharqiyah says that the US armed forces have yet to comment on this
- -For security purposes, Iraq has suspended its daily
pumping of 200,000 barrels of crude oil to major oil refineries in Bayji,
north of Baghdad.
- -A US convoy came under attack in Samarra when an explosive
device planted near a petrol station was detonated. Four children were
injured in the attack and were rushed to Samarra State Hospital.
- -A doctor at Nasiriyah Hospital reported that two Iraqis
were killed and 23 were injured today as clashes between demonstrators,
who were protesting against unemployment, and Iraqi police continued in
Nasiriyah in southern Iraq.
- January 7:
- -Fierce clashes broke out between resistance fighters
and US forces in Fallujah when armed men battled with the US troops in
al-Tharthar Street in the eastern part of the city as the latter tightened
security measures, blocking all main entrances to the city. Local residents
also reported fierce clashes between US soldiers and resistance fighters
on Arba'ien Street in central Fallujah.
- -Earlier in the day, a roadside bomb went off at about
7:30 a.m. (0430 GMT) in eastern Fallujah as a US military patrol was passing
by, destroying a US Humvee, killing or wounding the soldiers aboard, the
source said. An Iraqi doctor from Fallujah General Hospital was killed
by a US sniper, according to residents.
- A recent email from a good friend in Baghdad sums up
life for Iraqis in their new "democracy":
- "We are living in a very critical situation now,
for the ING [Iraqi National Guard] are covering every corner around us
wherever you go inside Baghdad. The killings are ongoing everywhere inside
and outside the city."
- "Everybody in my family is safe for now only because
no one is interested in putting themselves in danger. Demonstrations are
going on all over Iraq for different reasons; price of fuel, lack of security,
jobless people are having demonstrations as well as those who do not accept
the presence of the Badr Brigades or the American forces. [Meanwhile others
are demonstrating in support of the Badr Brigades but against the Americans.]"
- "This is some kind of situation around us. The last
four nights without electricityonly half an hour every six hours. Fuel
prices prevent people from running their generators at home. Fuel on the
black market is fifty times the price what it used to be, and nobody can
stand waiting at the pumps for days anymore. The minister of oil resigned
for this, and Ahmed Chalabi is now the ministereverybody is frustrated
yet life is still going on as if the people are hypnotized."
- "Nothing has changed except that we see US Humvees
and pick-up trucks full of Iraqi National Guard everywhere [in Baghdad,]"
- (c)2004, 2005 Dahr Jamail.
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