Saturday, June 21, 2008

Release 'Detainees'; Imprision and Charge Bush with Capital Crimes

The Bush administration is trying once again to rewrite history and the law, specifically 'the official evidence against Guantanamo Bay detainees'. Typically the legal eagles in the Bush regime have it backward. Bushco should not be given a second chance to fabricate a case when it had none to begin with. Detainees have already been in detention for years in violation of US Codes and our international treaties. Bush has had years to make a case and has failed to do so. To make 'detainees' --illegally detained to begin with --wait still longer for justice is, in itself, another crime to be charged to George W. Bush.
A capital crimes case against Bush is better than the 'case' Bush has against the 'detainees'. This is a regime that commits war crimes and tries to make them legal after the fact --a recipe for dictatorship and tyranny.

A Federal judge will review the so-called evidence against detainees in the wake of the recent high court decision. Typically, Bushies want more time to fabricate another 'case'. What was wrong with the case they had was this: they didn't have one!

Read the rest of the story at The Existentialist Cowboy.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

The Neocon's Solution to Our Dependency on Foreign Oil - The 51st State

Imagine a group of neocons gathered together brainstorming about our dependency on foreign oil. During this meeting, they write down a set of questions for which they discuss the possible answers. Here is one possible list they might develop and their conclusion:

Which country are we trying to remake in our own image?

Which country has more American military personnel than all of our current 50 states?

Which country is getting more money every month from our federal government than any of the current 50 states?

Which country might end up with more military bases than we have Army and Air Force bases in our current 50 states?

Which country now has all the major oil companies gaining a foothold in it's oil industry?

Which country could double our national oil reserves and make a truly big dent in our foreign oil dependency if it became our 51st state?


Iraq: The 51st State Of America

McCain Supports Making Iraq the 51st State

Bush Proposes Iraq As 51st State

Another 51st state

Iraq to Become 51st State in USA

10 Reasons why Iraq should become America's 51st State.

This article was originally posted on The WAWG Blog.

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How Bush Helped Establish a Corporate 'New World Order'

It was never about 'terrorism'. George W. Bush was planning oil wars, oil thefts and wars of naked aggression even before he took office. Because of it, the US is now reduced to the 'muscle', the 'enforcement arm' of huge multi-national corporations whose only interest in the Middle East is the oil. In less than ten years, a cabal of huge, multi-national corporations have very nearly consolidated corporate control of world's resources. Bush has not merely made of the US a fascist dictatorship, hehas helped his corporate 'base' create a 'New World Order' in which robber barons of big oil, assisted by 'big media', rule the world and plunder its resources in the name of 'free enterprise'. So far, no one has effectively opposed this artificial 'beast'. Bush is their tool!

The nation's super corporations were carving up territory around the Caspian Sea back in 1997, perhaps even earlier. Pakistan had been promised a war with Afghanistan to begin around October 15th of that year. Who made those promises and what did they know that we didn't?

It is no coincidence that since failed 'oil man' George W. Bush took office, war has either raged or is threatened in a region that is known to be rich in oil. The collapse of the Soviet Union added three new countries to the map of the Middle East - Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, areas once shared between the Soviet Union and Iran. The Russian-Kazakh agreement cleared the way for more exploration and development. For American oil companies and Dick Cheney, specifically, it was a question of how to get it! The question was: how to get in on it!

Countries have gone to war for less. The cast of characters are big multinational oil, gas, and pipeline companies: Unocal , Halliburton , and Chevron . The Moscow agreement divided the northern half down the middle of the Caspian. It defined who "owned" what! It defined which countries had exploration and development rights. It is not surprise that the multi-national corporations would urge the US to go to war on their behalf. It was and remains a rich resource.

In 1997, several Taliban representatives visited Sugarland, TX to meet with representatives of Unocal --an international energy company based in Sugarland. Sugarland is an affluent Houston suburb, a Republican enclave, represented at the time by Tom Delay. [The Taliban, Unocal and a Pipeline].

Unocal had proposed the construction of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to Pakistan, delivering oil to waiting tankers in the Arabian Sea. From there, the oil would have been delivered, presumably to the US and other oil addicted nations around the world. Unocal claimed to have had agreements with with Turkmenistan to sell and and with Pakistan who would buy.

Unocal's own website stated that the pipeline was put on hold when the US struck against terrorist in the Sudan. While Unocal said that they would 'wait for peace', we must assume that they are still waiting. Still other reports hint at reasons oil barons might insist upon a war: the Talian, say the reports, opposed the pipeline. It at about this time, that the US State Department reportedly threatened the Tabliban with a 'carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs'. In any case, the construction deal was 'off the table'. The Taliban left the land of Tom DeLay without an agreement.[See: Wayne Madsen: The Sellouts in the Fourth Estate]

I want to know what Tom DeLay knew at the time. It was, I believe, soon after the talks broke down that DeLay sponsored legislation 'exempting' US sodiers from war crimes prosecution at the International Criminal Court at the Hague! What did DeLay know? And when did he know it?

The following story was probably overlooked in the wake of a spectacular attack that 'traumatized' the nation and much of the world.

Read the rest of the story at The Existentialist Cowboy

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Thursday, June 19, 2008




Medical Ethicists & Vets Advocates Horrified: "No Informed Consent"

"'Disposable Heroes': Veterans Used To Test Suicide-Linked Drugs"

" Dr. McFall says the VA decided to continue the Chantix study because 'it would be depriving our veterans of an effective method of treatment to help them stop smoking.' "
In all fairness, suicide would help our veterans stop smoking. It would also trim the rolls of those requesting financial benefits, or health care. That would save the Republican government money it needs for Halliburton in Iraq (only a few months left to cash in). It might also lead to closing, or privatizing the VA medical system. Pretty much of a four-bagger, this Chantix.

No matter who reported this, or why, the facts remain:

1. No informed consent. Even in the 3-months-too-late notice sent to Vets in the study, there was no mention of suicide.
2. VA doctors continued to use a drug on suicidally-inclined patients after they knew it could lead to suicide.
3. The drug is STILL being given to veterans with PTSD.
4. Veterans groups, Democratic & Republican Congressmen and Barack Obama have expressed outrage and demanded answers, and an end to this experiment.

"32,000 Vets To Be Warned About Suicide-Linked Drug Chantix"
" Chantix has been linked to at least 40 suicides and 400 attempted suicides in the population at large, according to the FDA which published its first alert Nov. 20, 2007.

The FDA issued a second warning, and there was an alert from the drug's maker, Pfizer, before the VA finally began to warn veterans in the study on Feb. 29, 2008.

But even then, the VA omitted the word 'suicide' from the cover letter sent to veterans.

Secretary Peake said the new VA warning letter he is sending will specify that suicide is one of the possible side-effects of Chantix.

'I have no problem putting suicide in there, myself,' said Peake.

He said the VA would not hesitate to stop the study if needed, as some in Congress have demanded.

'We're not enrolling new people in this study,' he said, but there are no plans to stop the current project.

'Chantix is an FDA-approved drug,' Peake said, 'and we're trying to find the best way to support smoking cessation.'

But Peake said there was no evidence to suggest the study should be stopped. "

NO EVIDENCE???!!! Exactly how many suicides would be considered "evidence," Doc? One Vet down, and how many to go? I'll keep count for ya.

" Based upon post-marketing reports first reflected in a November 2007 labeling update, Pfizer today updated the CHANTIX label in the U.S. to include a warning that patients who are attempting to quit smoking with CHANTIX should be observed for serious neuropsychiatric symptoms, including changes in behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior.

... Patients with serious psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder did not participate in the controlled clinical trial program. "

Pfizer came out with this in NOVEMBER 2007. The VA took out the words "suicide" & "suicidal," and passed it along in MARCH 2008.

"VA using PTSD sufferers in drug testing"
" A medical ethicist said the VA's behavior in the Chantix study violated protections in medical experiments.

'When you're taking advantage of a very vulnerable population, people who have served the country, and the agency that's responsible for their welfare isn't putting their welfare first, that's a pretty serious breach of ethics,' said Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at University of Pennsylvania. "

Dubya: "Ethics?" McCain: "What?"

"32,000 Vets To Be Warned About Suicide-Linked Drug Chantix"
" 'Our first responsibility is to our veterans,' said Peake, who said he has asked VA doctors to review 'the communications process' involving all VA studies using veterans who are suffering from PTSD. Some 400,000 veterans are being treated for PTSD.

The Bush White House had initially defended the VA's handling of the Chantix experiment. "

But, hey, it's only 32,000 disabled Afghan & Iraq war heroes, right? Oh, wait: There's actually 400,000 of these McBushwar survivors with PTSD. So far.

"White House Derides Investigation That Exposed Drug Testing On Vets As ‘Irresponsible Reporting,’ ‘Awful’"

Now, think it's time for a change?

"VA Denies Ethical Lapse in Smoking-Cessation Trial"
" The media report prompted presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to write to the VA's chief, expressing outrage 'that our government would irresponsibly endanger veterans who have already sacrificed so much for our country. ... It is distressing that our government could once again let down our veterans and their families.' "

Don't forget this in November, when it comes time to vote. Support the troops AFTER they get home, too!

"New Study Highlights Dangers of Anti-Smoking Drug Chantix"

"VFW Demands Accountability Over Chantix"

"June 18 VCS in the News: Congress and VCS Demand a Stop to Experimental Drug Testing on Veterans with PTSD"

"Strong Safety Signal Seen for New Varenicline Risks"

Previous post on this subject:


[Cross-posted at blog me no blogs.]


"Democrats Give White House Another Blank-Check For Iraq"

Democrats Give White House Another Blank-Check For Iraq
By Jason Leopold, The Public Record, Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Democratic engineered emergency supplemental bill to continue funding the occupation of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan to the tune of $162 billion is expected to win bipartisan support, aides to leaders in the House said late Wednesday.

The bill, as currently drafted, does not contain any conditions for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq nor does it restrict how President Bush can conduct military operations. The legislation ensures both wars are funded well into 2009 and comes nearly two years after Democrats won majorities in Congress and the Senate largely on promises to resist handing the Bush administration "blank-checks" for Iraq and a pledge to immediately bring U.S. troops home.

A spokesperson for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was unavailable for comment.


Congressional leaders intend to hand the legislation to the Senate Thursday. The White House indicated Bush will sign the legislation into law if it passes both Houses, which Democratic leaders said is the likely outcome.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told Reuters the bipartisan legislation tackles "important domestic needs" in addition to the war funding. Hoyer and House Minority Leader John Boehner, (R-Ohio), announced the compromise between their political parties.

The latest round of funding comes two weeks after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued a scathing prewar Iraq intelligence report that accused Bush, Vice President Cheney, and other senior administration officials of knowingly lying to the public and Congress about Iraq's arsenal of chemical and biological weapons as well as its ties to the terrorist group al-Qaeda in order to win support for a U.S. led invasion.

Asked about her "greatest mistake," Pelosi said
"Why don't you tell me? 'Cause I think we're doing just great." Remember when Georgie stumbled over a similar question and couldn't recall any mistakes? It seems Our Only President is not the only one so afflicted.

"Unavailable For Comment"

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Politics: Mmmm, Peach Mint

My favourite flavour.

You will be happy to hear that House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers of Michigan and Subcommittee Chairwoman Linda Sanchez today displayed their solid steel gonads to the White House. Which were so big, they needed a goddamned wheelbarrow to schlep them!

No, really. Conyers basically told the Gang of Thieves, Crooks, and Liars that they had better get him the documents he had requested, including unredacted FBI reports related to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s probe into the leak of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Operative quote:

“Both the rules and our previous oversight activity concerning the Fitzgerald investigation plainly encompass the current inquiry, and the notion that our oversight concerning criminal law enforcement should somehow stop at the gates of the White House has no proper basis.”
Um, YOW? Yowza, yowza, yowza? Been a long time since we heard such ass-kickin' plain talk from the representatives of We The People, yes?

(Pant, pant, pant, gasp)

And as if that wasn't enough, in a further display of gonadal wherewithal, Chairman Conyers and Chairwoman Sanchez went on to tell reptilian slime repository and FAIL-laden human impersonator KKKarl Rove, through his lawyer, that said maggot had better drag his pasty segmented behind before the committee on the date stated or the crack in it might be widened by lawful but forceful means. Operative quote:
“As Committee staff made clear, and as we indicated in our May 1 letter, the proposal that we somehow seek to separate the Siegelman matter from the broader issue of politicization of the Justice Department is unacceptable,” the two lawmakers wrote.
This hearing is related to the important matters of the unlawful prosecution and imprisonment of Governor Siegelman and the politicization of the Department of Justice.

In related news, Dennis Kucinich's Articles of Impeachment are now before the committee, and The Mighty Munchkin of Justice is pressuring the committee to consider them forthwith. If you want impeachment, help Dennis out by letting Conyers and Sanchez, and Dennis, and your Rep know that you support his request and they better get off their ass and review the damn thing. You have 21 days to take these actions. Also please contact all your friends, relatives, neighbours, colleagues, even those who don't support impeachment - the mood of the country is changing, and they may have changed their minds. Operative quote:
The Ohio lawmaker said that it is now “incumbent” for the Judiciary Committee to review evidence he presented. He promised that if the committee failed to hold any hearings on the resolution within thirty days, he would repeat his efforts. He told one reporter Wednesday, “Leadership wants to bury it, but this is one resolution that will be coming back from the dead. … I will be bringing the resolution up again, and I won’t be the only one reading it.”
Don't forget to call, write, or email &mdash or do all three. If at all possible, impeachment may be the one thing that could prevent Winky McMonkeyBrain from starting a third war with Iran.

From the fine folks at ICHC

Given how successful we've been lately in Iraq and Afghanistan, we DO NOT WANT or need to start the next Presidency and Congressional Session tied up in foreign disasters. We have plenty of domestic disasters to deal with. So please, please, please, call, email, and write!

Kucinich has also warned the Judiciary Committee that if they don't get to it post-haste, he's going to present 60 (SIXTY!) articles of impeachment on the next go-round. Please thank him for his efforts. YAY Dennis! You rock! Operative quote:
“The minute the leadership said ‘this is dead on arrival’ I said that I hope they believe in life after death; because I’m coming back with it,” Kucinich vowed in an interview with the Sleuth this week. “It’s not gonna die. Because I’ll come back with more articles. Not 35, but perhaps 60 articles.”


For Kucinich, impeachment is more than simply a political windmill at which to tilt, he says. It’s about preserving the sanctity of the republic’s founding document.

“What we’re witnessing here,” he says, “is the not-so-slow-moving destruction of our Constittuion.”
Raw Story has the videos, copies of the letters, and more information at each preceding link.

Meanwhile, further displays of courage continue to erupt from other quarters. McClatchy, one of our few actual news organizations left, is reporting that Major General Antonio Taguba, who spoke out against the Bush regime's routine use of torture on detainees, is accusing the Misadministration of war crimes, and calling for those responsible to be held accountable. Operative quote:
"After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes," Taguba wrote. "The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."
Be still, our beating heart! Our collective goddammit beating heart!!

And Amy Goodman over at Democracy Now! tells us that former Senator Mike Gravel is calling for an independent investigation into 9/11 and the prosecution of Stupie O'Stutters and Demon McVampire, otherwise known as our not-at-all-esteemed Leaders.

Dang! It never rains but it pours, yes? Let's hope all these separate actions with a common goal bear the kind of fruit we want &mdash that these criminals receive their just desserts of investigation, impeachment, and imprisonment. Personal Responsibility! The people demand they take some!

These hypocrites and liars were so willing to call for personal responsibility on the part of the sick, the weak, the poor, the suffering, the helpless, the ill and disabled. When it comes to their own responsibility for anything, the only thing they're quick to show is a clean pair of heels. It's time to turn that around now.

Crossposted over at ThePoliticalCat

There's more: "Politics: Mmmm, Peach Mint" >>

Tuesday, June 17, 2008




Veterans Administration Never Told Test Subjects Drug Might Cause Suicide

"Congressman: Stop Drug Testing on Vets Now and Investigate"

" 'Nearly 40 suicides and more than 400 incidents of suicidal behavior have been linked to Chantix, yet the VA has chosen to continue the study and administer Chantix to veterans with PTSD,' said Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA).

Yesterday, a report on Good Morning America revealed that mentally distressed veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are being recruited for government tests on pharmaceutical drugs linked to suicide and other violent side effects. The report was the result of a joint investigation by ABC News and The Washington Times.

In one of the human experiments, involving the anti-smoking drug Chantix, Veterans Administration doctors waited more than three months before warning veterans about the possible serious side effects of Chantix, including suicide and neuropsychiatric behavior.

'Lab rat, guinea pig, disposable hero,' said former US Army sniper James Elliott in describing how he felt he was betrayed by the Veterans Administration. "

Just when you think George "Dubya" Bush couldn't possibly sink any lower, you read this. Your tax dollars are being used by your government to experiment on soldiers who came home from Iraq and Afghanistan with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, formerly known as Combat Fatigue, previously called Shell-Shock.

PTSD, or Delayed Stress Syndrome, causes night sweats, insomnia, bad dreams, flashbacks, paranoia, anxiety, constant fear, panic attacks, hallucinations, agoraphobia, depression, hostility, nervousness, inability to relate to friends, family and coworkers, inability to sustain careers, marriages, family relationships, homelessness, violent behavior and suicide. Like Agent Orange and Gulf War Syndrome before it, the VA under-recognizes and tries to avoid paying for PTSD, denying the validity of many cases. But you can see it on many street corners where homeless vets end up, abandoned by the government, the VA and the military that sent them into Hell again and again and again. You can hear them screaming.

World War I lasted four years, but the US was only involved for the last year or so. WWII lasted almost four years for the United States. Vietnam dragged on for nine years, but most soldiers and Marines were only "in-country" for one tour, usually twelve months, unless they re-enlisted or volunteered for more. We had a universal draft for all three of those wars. There is no draft now. Every man and woman over there now is a volunteer. But they didn't volunteer for this.

Thanks to new military enlistment contracts and the so-called "Stop-Loss" program today, troops are now contractually obligated for seven or more years of active duty. Most Marines and soldiers in the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been back there in combat at least twice, some as many as seven times, usually for ten months or more each time. There is no real R&R (rest and recuperation time) in the Middle East: Alcohol and friendly local "company" are not readily available in town in the Mid-East, but terror attacks are plentiful. Imagine escaping alive from Hell, and knowing you would have to go back to Hell several times, perhaps. And there is no end in sight, no "light at the end of the tunnel" if John McCain is elected: Not for a hundred years.

Every deployment means new danger, and more exposure to horror-movie conditions which continue to haunt even those who survive physically intact, for the rest of their lives. Stimulants like amphetamines, and depressants like barbiturates are given to many troops, to keep them awake for days at a time, and then knock them out afterwards. The effects can be devastating. Many of these men and women (yes, women are driving trucks and flying helicopters in combat zones) are teenagers, or in their early twenties. Just kids, really, fresh from some safe suburb or small town, with no experience of anything. Many of the Guard and Reserve troops are in their thirties, forties and fifties, with kids of their own back home to worry about. They go from their quiet lives in cities and towns all over America to the worst Hell-holes on Earth. They serve their country bravely there year in and year out. But when they come home, George W. Bush and John S. McCain are there at the airport to spit in their faces, figuratively. They don't care enough to spit literally, at least not in person. They do their spitting behind our veterans' backs.

If this bothers you, please write your representatives in the House and Senate, and let them know how you feel about this being done in your name. Tell them you want our boys and girls, our men and women brought home right now. Warn them that if our veterans are not honored and cared for, respected and treated with the best possible medical and psychological care, you will vote your representatives out of office this November. That's all we can do. Please do it. Congressional email information is listed here:



Follow-up post on this subject:

[Cross-posted at blog me no blogs]


Indict George Bush, Marvin Bush, Dick Cheney, Larry Silverstein for Mass Murder

There is probable cause to indict Larry Silverstein, Marvin Bush, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others inside the Bush administration for mass murder in connection with the so-called 'terrorist attacks' on 911! Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes said: "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth!"

Every other explanation but 'controlled demolition' is, rather, easy to eliminate. Many of the alleged hijackers are still alive. Steel has never and will never melt in kerosene fires. There was certainly enough 'airliner' debris to fill up NO more than a couple of wheelbarrows at the Pentagon. No piece of Flight 93 was found at its 'crash site' in PA. This is truly a miracle without precedent. On 911, we are expected to believe, the laws of physics were suspended.

In the history of flight, no Pterodactyl has ever crashed that did not leave behind a body, no bird took flight that did not leave behind a frail skeleton to rot, no bi-plane ever crashed that did not leave behind its wreckage, no jet fighter ever crashed at any speed that did not leave behind charred bodies and wreckage! As a reporter, I covered my share of those. I have yet to see a crash that left no wreckage, deaths but yet no bodies! Bush's ludicrous cover story is eliminated! It's a lie and not even a good one. The 911 Commission Report reads like a high school paper, a work of implausible and un-imaginative fiction.

What remains is the probable cause that George W. Bush and the cabal of criminals that make up his so-called administration pulled off 911 as a cover for the many crimes of this administration. Who benefited from 911? The most obvious beneficiaries are Bush, who found in 911 an opportunity to become a dicatator; Larry Silverstein who made out like the bandit he is; and a small army of 'short sellers', linked to Buzzy Krongard! They made fortunes short selling airline stocks. Guess which airlines!

The three essential ingredients of a criminal indictment can be proven of an indictable Bush gang --method, motive, and opportunity! The Bush gang had all three.

Read the rest of the story at: The Existentialist Cowboy

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Taking A Stand: Sergeant Matthis Chiroux

Hat Tip to brobin at Docudharma for pointing me to this video of Sergeant Matthis Chiroux.

Would that more people, including some in Washington, had the courage of this young man.

Fathers' Day, 2008, Matthis Chiroux stands with his father and fellow Iraq Veterans Against the War in refusal of his orders to reactivate and deploy in support of the Iraq occupation on the day of this speech.

There's more: "Taking A Stand: Sergeant Matthis Chiroux" >>

Monday, June 16, 2008

More Than 8 Million Iraqis Deserve Justice

Cross posted on KOS and Docudharma

Regardless of how you feel about the crimes of George W. Bush and impeachment, there are millions of innocent people asking for justice and who have no voice of their own. Follow me below the fold to hear ONE case for impeachment and justice.

I'm not going to post any of the thousands of pictorials on the horrors in Iraq, no pictures of streets awash with blood, or dead babies, ruined homes or the maimed. You have seen them but your senses aren't overwhelmed by the sights and sounds and smells of death all around you. Is it this luxury of being removed from the reality of life in Iraq that keeps us from the full measure of rage it should produce in us.

The pre Shock and Awe population of Iraq is estimated by UN and other relief agencies at about 23 - 24 million. Hard numbers are impossible to get partially because of the Iraqi government and partially because of the years of the embargo which cost the lives of an estimated 500,000 Iraqi women and children each year from malnutrition and inadequate medical treatment.
U.S. forces plan to drop more than 1,500 bombs and missiles across Iraq in the first 24 hours of its "shock and awe" campaign that began Friday, Pentagon officials said.
Precision guided missiles, only military and government targets. Dropping 2,000 pound bombs designed to limit collateral damage in urban areas. But the reality is hundreds of homes destroyed in those initial bombings. Massive civilian casualties, hospitals unable to handle the number of injured. The Lancet reported best estimate of 100,000 dead in the early days of the war, many others have placed the estimate as high as 285,000. Thank god we used precision guided bombs targeting ONLY military and government facilities. 2,000 pound bombs designed to limit collateral damage in urban areas in deed.

From May 2003 Providing clean drinking water to Iraq's 23.3 million citizens is the first priority. U.N. sanctions imposed in 1990 meant that Iraq, which derived 95% of its foreign currency from oil, could sell only that commodity in exchange for food. Thus, it could no longer get enough spare parts to keep all of its water-treatment plants working, according to the UNEP.
From June 2007 Four years after the invasion, rebuilding Iraq is still a huge challenge. Making sure that people have clean water is essential but the infrastructure for this is badly lacking: Iraq's pipes, pumps and purifiers are often old, damaged and unreliable. In Basra, the country's second city, the situation is especially serious.
From Nov. 2007  Despite the fact that Iraq and U.S. officials have made water projects among their top priorities, the percentage of Iraqis without access to decent water supplies has risen from 50 percent to 70 percent since the start of the U.S.-led war, according to an analysis by Oxfam International last summer. The portion of Iraqis lacking decent sanitation was even worse -- 80 percent.
From the same article A recent outbreak of cholera across Iraq has killed at least 14 people and infected 3,300 others with an intestinal ailment spread by dirty water.

Some families with vehicles buy bottled water while in Baghdad. Others wait for the water tanker to deliver free supplies. Bottled water from the U.S. military is too infrequent to be relied upon.

"We go from village to village, when we can," said Capt. Pat Moffett. "We give them water to drink, but we also have to give them water to farm, so they can work."

Villagers confirm the need for full irrigation canals to sprout new crops of watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, wheat and rice, which in many areas haven't been farmed in several seasons.
Before the invasion of Iraq access to electricity in Baghdad was nearly continuous, in the rest of Iraq the limit was between 3 - 6 hours a day. Now, electricity in some areas of Baghdad are only on for a few hours. Last summer the grid completely failed and the whole country suffered shortages as bad as the summer of 2003. Billions have been spent and there is little to show for it in terms of making life tolerable for Iraqis. The insurgents have been blamed for sabotage on the transmission lines. Last summer only two of the seventeen going into Baghdad were operational. Summer temperatures reach from 110-120 degrees. Lack of gasoline is also a problem, people can't use small home generators and the large generators used to pump sewage are also unusable. They can't use kerosene heaters in the winter either.
From a Salon Article May 21, 2008 | BAGHDAD, Iraq -- May 20: Trash pickup in most of Baghdad ended with the rule of Saddam Hussein. Now the garbage chokes the capital's streets and clogs the sewage pipes and canals, which overflow and burst. The sewage that leaks out of broken pipes seeps through the dirt of roads that were once paved, but now have mostly turned to dirt because the tracks of American tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles have destroyed the asphalt over five years of war.
From May 2008 Hundreds of houses in Sadr City have been destroyed during the fighting, leaving families more vulnerable than ever in a neighbourhood where basic services have ceased to function. The population remains largely dependent on humanitarian assistance for the provision of water and emergency medical care.
Hospitals are short of medical supplies and they are being provided by relief agencies when possible, as are many of the day to day things the average Iraqi family needs like food. Unfortunately the relief efforts are a small drop in a very big bucket that is now Iraq.
From Jan. 2008 If you need a blood transfusion at Baghdad's Al Yarmouk hospital, you can get one-so long as someone's there to donate blood on your behalf. If you need an operation, you can have one of those too-though your only anesthetic might be your friends and family holding you down. One big explosion can dry up the hospital's saline supplies for a week, leaving the next explosion's victims without the necessary treatment. And where triage is within a war zone doctors and ambulance drivers are regularly threatened and harassed.
From USA Today Feb 2008 Weakened Iraqi medical system on verge of collapse  Even with the security gains of the past several months across Iraq, it is still dangerous for doctors and their families if they dare step out of heavily guarded hospital compounds.

Drugs supplies are so low that Iraqis hospitalized for illnesses as serious as cancer are asked to track down their own medicine.

"When we need medicine, we go directly to private pharmacies," said Ahmed Khalil, the 38-year-old owner of an auto repair shop in Fallujah. "We know we're not going to get any from Fallujah hospital."

And when pharmacy shelves are bare, Iraqis turn to the black market.
Daily insurgent attacks were 14 in Feb. 2004, 70 in Nov. 2005 and 163 in May of last year. These attacks not only target military but increasingly civilians.

Thanks to DU weapons the cancer rate and birth defect rate has increased dramatically. I point you to this excellent diary It Was Done in Your Name by clammyc.

6.5 million Iraqis are still dependent on food rations. Unemployment is estimated at 70%. An estimated 3.4 million Iraqis have fled their country, relief organizations tell us half are children. Another 2.5 million are refugees in Iraq, 2.1 million of them are children, CHILDREN. UNICEF also tells us displaced children are at the greatest risk for death, not just refugee children, but children displaced in their own country. In fact the burden of this war on Iraq's children is staggering. 70 percent have not attended school except sporatically in the last 5 years and some of them haven't been to school at all. Children who are refugees in Jordan or Syria aren't going to school and in many cases their parents can't work. Now stories of prostitution being one of the only means of earning the money necessary to survive. They risk deportation if caught.

Syria and Jordan have taken the greatest number of refugees. These are countries who a simply unable to cope with a million or more refugees. No means to feed them or provide medical care. This is another humanitarian disaster of epic proportions. Virtually every other country accepting Iraqi refugees have taken more than we have taken. Perhaps 4500 since the war began, of course we say there is no limit and of course there is. You read wild numbers we will accept but in fact it was 1608 for 2007 and less than 500 so far this year.

The first to leave were the wealthy Iraqis who got out by plane and automobile. They aren't the ones in the refugee camps. Now and for sometime, the only people left in Iraq who still wish to leave must in most cases walk out. The trip from Baghdad to the Syrian border is roughly 340 miles thru what is largely waste land. They leave with what they can carry, no papers, often not enough money to sustain them. Their dead along the way, sometimes buried but often simply left at the side of the road. How desperate must you be to make that trek, to leave a loved one, a parent or child. Iraqis are still leaving at the rate of 50-60,000 a month from one hell to another hopefully safer hell.

We have held citizens, men mostly but women and children as well. Held them without trial, tortured them, raped them. We have allowed our soldiers and contractors to rape and murder as well. We have allowed genocide.

The estimated civilian death toll now stands at 1,222,000 men, women and children. There are more than 1.5 million seriously injured, maimed, blinded and burned. We have destroyed the Cradle of Civilization, allowed the looting of their Museums, we have reduced Iraq to hell on earth for years to come while we go about literally liberating them to death.

We are the occupying nation and we have responsibilities to the Iraqi people we have ignored. There are Interational Laws governing our conduct and outlining our responsibilities. Since the onset of the war  Amnesty International has been calling for the UN to authorize human rights monitors be sent to Iraq. Shoot on sight orders are against International Law and yet we know our soldiers have been given those orders. Desecrating their religious objects is forbidden. Raping their women is forbidden, strip searching them is forbidden. We must protect cultural property. We are not to control their natural resources for our gain.
From Human Rights Watch An occupying force has a duty to ensure the food and medical supplies of the population, as well as maintain hospitals and other medical services, "to the fullest extent of the means available to it." This includes protecting civilian hospitals, medical personnel, and the wounded and sick. Medical personnel, including recognized Red Cross/Red Crescent societies, shall be allowed to carry out their duties. The occupying power shall make special efforts for children orphaned or separated from their families, and facilitate the exchange of family news.

If any part of the population of an occupied territory is inadequately supplied, the occupying power shall facilitate relief by other states and impartial humanitarian agencies. However, the provision of assistance by others does not relieve the occupying force of its responsibilities to meet the needs of the population. The occupying power shall ensure that relief workers are respected and protected.
These laws have been broken over and over again in Iraq. The Iraqis know it, we know it, the world knows it and now it is time for justice. It is time Bush and his criminal cabinet answer for their indiscretions.

Today the blood of Iraq is on their hands. Should Bush and Cheney and the rest leave Washington next January and pass into history without ever being held accountable, their crimes pass to us. Their crimes will be our crimes because we allowed this to not only happen but sat by and did nothing to stop it.

There's more: "More Than 8 Million Iraqis Deserve Justice" >>